Lakeland Westchester Classic 2020
2020 — Shrub Oak, NY/US
Varsity Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Debated for University of Rochester for 6 years in Varsity Policy Debate and BP/Worlds Debate
Coached HS policy debate for 1.5 years
Currently a Clinical Psychology PhD student at Indiana University Bloomington
And yes, I would like to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Borrowed from the Glass man himself: "If you are a debater with accessibility (or other) concerns please feel free to reach out to me ahead of the round and I will work with you to make the space as hospitable as possible."
Honestly, just do what you want in front of me and just explain your arguments. I will vote on how you want me to vote (since how I see the debate may not be the same way you think you are articulating).
Also, if you can, I prefer debaters to slow down when in front of me. I am not the best judge for you if you decide to spread as fast as Harvard MS or Northwestern MV (although Arjun is very clear).
If you read high theory, do not pref me unless you are willing to explain your argument. My area of study is in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and disability studies so I am not hitting up the latest post-modern/structuralist/etc. papers.
Thanks for taking the time to read this paradigm, as well as all of the other paradigms you're probably reading right now too, so let us begin, shall we?
I am a graduate of East Side High School (class of 2012) and I have been debating for four years while I was at East Side High School. I did policy debate for three years and then I did Lincoln-Douglass debate in my last year of high school because I had a lot of partner issues. I have graduated from Essex County College with my Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts (2020) and I will be attending Kean University to pursue my Bachelor's Degree in History (also in tandem with a K-12 certification) in the Spring 2023 semester; which begins in mid-January.
For Novice Debaters
-Please keep your speeches concise and organized as you make your arguments throughout the round.
-Always make sure to flow during EVERY speech and I would also suggest that you prepare your cross-ex questions in advance, prior to the cross-examination proper.
-Please be mindful of any details you may come across during the round so even if you have to ask a question while you're using your prep time (AKA "flex prep"), ask ONLY for clarification and nothing more.
Akin to playing fighting games, sticking to the fundamentals will never steer you wrong, so as long as you know how to execute, when to execute, where to execute, and follow through.
-give me a road map (the order of the speech) and make sure to signpost during the speech as well
-I'm ok with speed reading so as long as you are clear and concise with your arguments and how you present them to me. If you can't, then that's also fine, because debate as an activity, is all about being an effective communicator, regardless of your pace. Also, if you have time at the end of your speech, try to include a summary of the arguments you presented (AKA an under-view) so I as the judge can have a clear picture of how your arguments will not only interact with your opponent's arguments but also how your arguments can dismantle the logical appeal of said arguments and WHY I, the judge should vote for you.
As for the rest of this paradigm, here are my other preferences (for JV/Varsity Debaters)
-I ABHOR THEORY ARGUMENTS THAT ARE USED in bad faith! To clarify, when a theory argument is used to not check potential or in-round abuse, and instead is used to garner offense without context specific to the debate, it indicates to me as a judge that you're trying to circumvent the discussion instead of actually engaging the arguments being presented in the round. As a debater, you need to pay attention to how it is being deployed in the round and discern if the argument is being used in good faith or not. If not, then respond to it with direct clash and warrants to back it up.
-Topicality is another argument that I don't like but I don't totally dislike as well. Like theory, the situation has to present itself in a way that will be smart for you to run the argument. So as long as you don't drop it and try to bring it back in the later speeches for a cheap win, I will evaluate it. I do evaluate the K of topicality as well so as long as you can explain how the K of Topicality addresses topicality as a concept and why it is bad for the round. However, you still need to answer the shell thoroughly with a counter-interpretation, definition, or even if you can't, concede to their framework and use it as means to dismantle the credibility of the argument itself Arguments that you run analytically will have to have some sort of warrant or empirical evidence in order for me to truly evaluate it.
-I'm totally fine with the staple arguments (i.e. CP's and DA's). And for CP's specifically, if you're running a PIC, I'd really appreciate an overview of the pic for the sake of clarity and why the PIC is uniquely beneficial for the neg, and why a permutation would make them extra topical.
Side Note: if you plan on kicking out of any of these types of arguments, make sure to "close the door" on them appropriately so the aff doesn't gain access to any offense on those flows. By "closing the door" I refer to making the argument that explains why the idea was conditional and explaining how and why the aff ought to not gain any access to the offense they've made on those arguments by pointing out how in the neg and aff world the aff arguments wouldn't function as solvency but rather as a solvency deficit to the 1AC on those particular flows.
-Kritiks to be honest, are one of my favorite off-case arguments so as long as you know how to run it correctly. When it comes to certain kritiks that I've never heard, or really don't get, I'd appreciate it if you can give a quick explanation of how the kritik functions in the neg world if you have any time left over in your speech. When it comes to critical affs, explain how racism or other "isms" functions through a specific or myriad of social institutions functions to oppress "x" marginalized group(s) of people the 1NC claim to solve for in the kritik.
-If the aff doesn't address the K thoroughly with a permutation argument or impact turns the K, make it your priority to extend it throughout the debate. Don't let them get away with defensive/non-answer-Esque arguments that don't address the core issues the K intends to solve. However, if they do go for a permutation argument and they don't explain how and why the permutation is uniquely better than the alternative, explain why their permutation argument can't and shouldn't work, and why it is a reason I should prefer the alternative.
-when it comes to frame-work, I evaluate it in the round as the clearly established bright line that both teams ought to adhere to, purely on a mechanical level. If one team establishes the framework as the guiding point of the discussion but fails to use it as a weighing mechanism to give me an idea of how the round is supposed to play out then there's really nothing else for me to see on a macro level.
-Essentially, if it doesn't meet the bright line, they'll functionally concede to it without an explanation as to how and why they'll meet that bright line better than you. However, if the bright line is upheld and extended throughout the round as the prerequisite/starting point to whatever discussion needs to be had then I will evaluate it as the argument. By the way, I also prefer framework arguments that promote an idea that is able to be utilized in the most holistic way possible. I'm also fine with Policy Option framework arguments as well, as long as they're explained in a way that promotes practicality in terms of putting forward a systemic solution along with using it as a starting point for a discussion.
-during Cross Examination, do not stick to just one question and expect to get a different answer. If they don't answer the first time around go to the next one, and the next one and get them to concede to your side of the debate because that is what cross-ex is for and that is how it should be utilized. And please, DO NOT GO ON A RANT when you're the one asking questions. Just keep the questions concise and rapid, three minutes can go by like nothing so please use those three minutes wisely. Additionally, BODY LANGUAGE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND DURING CROSS-EX. I say this because as a judge, it shows me that you are confident and persistent in the questions that you are asking/answering.
-DO NOT SAY ANYTHING OFFENSIVE AND TRY TO JUSTIFY IT, and by offensive I mean anything that is racist, sexist, or just completely taboo. I will dock your speaker points!
aside from that, just have a good time and if you lose, that should be the least of your worries. this is literally just a learning experience that commodifies arguments to get your point across. I'm sure you have a much better life outside of this extracurricular activity...but if it is something you choose to devote yourself to on a daily basis then by all means pursue your goals and strive to be the best that you can possibly be within the activity. Don't let anyone stop you from reaching your goals, not even me!
I am a head coach at Newark Science and have coached there for years. I teach LD during the summer at the Global Debate Symposium. I formerly taught LD at University of North Texas and I previously taught at Stanford's Summer Debate Institute.
The Affirmative must present an inherent problem with the way things are right now. Their advocacy must reasonably solve that problem. The advantages of doing the advocacy must outweigh the disadvantages of following the advocacy. You don't have to have a USFG plan, but you must advocate for something.
This paradigm is for both policy and LD debate. I'm also fine with LD structured with a general framing and arguments that link back to that framing. Though in LD, resolutions are now generally structured so that the Affirmative advocates for something that is different from the status quo.
Be clear. Be very clear. If you are spreading politics or something that is easy to understand, then just be clear. I can understand very clear debaters at high speeds when what they are saying is easy to understand. Start off slower so I get used to your voice and I'll be fine.
Do not spread dense philosophy. When going quickly with philosophy, super clear tags are especially important. If I have a hard time understanding it at conversational speeds I will not understand it at high speeds. (Don't spread Kant or Foucault.)
Slow down for analytics. If you are comparing or making analytical arguments that I need to understand, slow down for it.
I want to hear the warrants in the evidence. Be clear when reading evidence. I don't read cards after the round if I don't understand them during the round.
Make it make sense. I'll vote on it if it is reasonable. Please tell me how it functions and how I should evaluate it. The most important thing about theory for me is to make it make sense. I am not into frivolous theory. If you like running frivolous theory, I am not the best judge for you.
Don't take it out of context. I do ask for cites. Cites should be readily available. Don't cut evidence in an unclear or sloppy manner. Cut evidence ethically. If I read evidence and its been misrepresented, it is highly likely that team will lose.
For LD, please not more than 3 offs. Time constraints make LD rounds with more than three offs incomprehensible to me. Policy has twice as much time and three more speeches to develop arguments. I like debates that advance ideas. The interaction of both side's evidence and arguments should lead to a coherent story.
30 I learned something from the experience. I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate. I was moved. I give out 30's. It's not an impossible standard. I just consider it an extremely high, but achievable, standard of excellence. I haven't given out at least two years.
For policy Debate (And LD, because I judge them the same way).
Same as for LD. Make sense. Big picture is important. I can't understand spreading dense philosophy. Don't assume I am already familiar with what you are saying. Explain things to me. Starting in 2013 our LDers have been highly influenced by the growing similarity between policy and LD. We tested the similarity of the activities in 2014 - 2015 by having two of our LDers be the first two students in the history of the Tournament of Champions to qualify in policy and LD in the same year. They did this by only attending three policy tournaments (The Old Scranton Tournament and Emory) on the Oceans topic running Reparations and USFG funding of The Association of Black Scuba Divers.
We are also in the process of building our policy program. Our teams tend to debate the resolution with non-util impacts or engages in methods debates. Don't assume that I am familiar with the specifics of a lit base. Please break things down to me. I need to hear and understand warrants. Make it simple for me. The more simple the story, the more likely that I'll understand it.
I won't outright reject anything unless it is blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic.
Important: Don't curse in front of me. If the curse is an essential part of the textual evidence, I am more lenient. But that would be the exception.
Note// I am a very expressive judge. If I do not like or buy an argument, you will see it on my face. Do what you will with this information
Edited mid-Harvard Tournament: after reading a few other judges paradigms I have come to the conclusion that I will add this, I do not like args that say "I can do x because I am y identity group", especially when the x that you want to do is "abusive". This does not mean I won't vote on it, it just means that my threshold for responses is lower than most other arguments.
Dont like: really messy substance debates, blippy 1ar theory that is collapsed to in the 2ar (no 10 second shells!), tricks, performance affs that drop their performance in the 1AR/2AR, new in the 2 >:(, speaking past time, etc.
Likes: clarity, overviews + why you are winning; weighing & IMBEDDED weighing; if running k, on THEME K debates (w/prefiat analysis); EXTENSIONS, etc.
I want to be on the email chain- email@example.com
Run anything except tricks! How to pref me:
T/Theory: 1 (Lower if you are going to spread through all your analytics)
Phil: 2-4 (I love Phil but not when you spread analytics)
Hi y'all! A lil background on me: I debated for Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, AZ for 4 years from 2015-2019. I currently attend the University of Pennsylvania. I at-larged to the TOC my Senior year and debated almost entirely locally my freshman and sophomore year so I am comfortable with more traditional style debating as well as progressive. I have run every type of argument that exists in LD debate so I will try my best to adjudicate rounds as tab as possible but I will provide a disclaimer to you that I tend to give more weight to Reps than most judges because I very often ran Reps myself as a debater- that does not mean reading reps is an auto win so just make good args.
Things to keep in mind: I will let you know by saying "Clear" 3 times before I start docking speaks. Also when switching between flows: say 1, 2, .., etc so I can keep my flows separate. I am generally a messy flow-er and I do not think that will change. If I miss something because you didn't listen to me when I cleared you, that is on you. Also if something is really important, SLOW DOWN. You do not want me to miss your ballot story.
General thoughts on Progressive vs Traditional debates: I do not think you should have to go out of your comfort zone to try to match a traditional debater. If they ask you to slow down, please do. If they ask you to explain your arguments, please do. I will not hurt your speaks for your strategy but being not nice warrants at the highest a 27. If you both explain and maintain a slower pace, I will be a points fairy.
How I view rounds:
Layers of debate (obviously negotiable- but my defaults- pls do weighing and change my mind)
My defaults on theory: Drop the debater & Competing interps
Phil: I did this a lot in high school but if you are running a less well-known philosopher in debate, please take time to slow down and explain how the framework operates. I ran a lot of tricky framework args in high school to auto-win framework so I am fairly well versed in how these debates run. Default epistemic confidence.
Aff K's: I ran these but also debated them so I have no default opinion. I have both read and responded to T against these but if it is the type of debate you are most comfortable with or feel like you have a strong message, please read them. Just make sure to give me a ballot story or I don't know how to evaluate your AC.
K: I love the K but pls if you don't understand your K and cannot give a 2N on it, do not run it. Your speaks will be very disappointed in you. Other than that, give me a ROTB and prove that the alt solves the impacts you read and I will evaluate your K. Pretty well versed on almost every K- legit all reps, Cap, Anthro, Antiblackness (mostly ran Wilderson), Set col, Nietzsche (wouldn't suggest running it unless you are very confident because I have pretty low threshold for responses to it), Fem, Security, Baudrillard (but really just who on heck* is Baudrillard), etc. K's I don't know much about: Psychoanalysis (tried to avoid these debates by uplayering) and Bataille. God, please stop reading Deleuze and Baudrillard with me as a judge. I do not like it, and you do not explain it well.
T: I love T and imbedding reps into it-- Shoutout to the OG Sai Karavadi for being an icon at doing this. That being said, I would run 3 T shells if the aff violated so I love these debates. 2N should collapse and weigh. I don't have any defaults but Nebel T is kinda funny although I ran it all the time so I think it's a legit arg (or time suck). RVIs are great, go for them.
Theory: I mean go for it. I will vote on bad args if they win. Just pls read paradigm issues. RVIs are great, go for them.
1AR theory: I do not like the 5 second condo bad shells, please read something that you can grandstand on in the 2AR without making a ton of new args. That being said, please read 1AR theory because I will vote on it if you win it and win weighing.
DISCLOSURE: PLEASE DISCLOSE. I have been both pro and anti disclosure through my debate career but by the end of my senior year, I can say that I am a very strong advocate of disclosure. If your opponent does not have a wiki, find them on facebook or in person and ask for their case. If they are a traditional debater, they are still required to give it to you. I think disclosure theory is always valid if you have asked and they have declined to give it to you (Esp if they know what the wiki is). However, if you could not find your opponent and their case is very traditional and you have blocks to it, please read those instead.
Tricks: No pls no. If you do read them, I believe in new in the 2 responses and will provide a very low threshold to responses. Auto 26 speaks if you ask, "What's an a priori?" to someone asking if you have any a prioris.
Larp: Go for it! I love love love when debaters make it easy with weighing (prob, mag, duration, tf, etc) and also if you weigh between them (Prob vs mag) I will love you and your speaks will notice.
CP: I default condo and I do not judge kick.
Long U/V: Go for it.
Speaker Points Scale (I tend to evaluate this more on strat than how you speak because I would never dock points for a stutter or speech impediment).
30: You'll win the tournament IMO -OR- you did everything I wanted you to and I have no constructive criticism
29.5-29.9: Clear win, my ballot was written in 3 seconds, thank you for your service.
29-29.4: Great strategy, you won, but it wasn't crystal clear at the end of the round.
28.5-28.9: More muddled but I knew what you were going for.
28-28.4: Round was messy and it was hard to evaluate.
27.5-27.9: You really had no idea what your strat was but pulled something together.
27-27.4: I wanted to rip my hair out writing this ballot.
26: You are not nice.
Hey y’all. I’m David and I debated at Newark Science for 4 years on the state, regional, and national level.
College Debate: firstname.lastname@example.org
High School Debate:email@example.com
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.
I am affiliated with the DebateDrills Club Team. Should you have any questions or concerns, please look through the below links or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.
College Junior, Former Policy Debater for Newark Science '19 and debated about 4 years on the state, regional, and national level.
Yes, I would like to be apart of the email chain. Ask in round.
Yes, you can spread, but it needs to be clear. If I say clear more than THREE times I will start to deduct from your speaker points by 0.1 points. And whatever I can hear is what I will flow. If I don't flow it because I can't hear you please do not come to me after around and ask "Did you not flow this x argument?" I will ask you how many times did I say clear and the proceed to walk away.
Yes, it can be open cx.
I do not like SPIKES or TRICKS there is no benefit for it in debate in my opinions, so I will not vote on it.
DO NOT card clip if I find you clipping depending on the tournament or bracket you will lose speaker points AND/OR lose the round.
DO NOT say anything racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/xenophobic/tbh any of the -isms. Even if the other team doesn't make it a voting issue in the round (which they should ... cough cough) I will deduct speaker points and maybe the round will be affected.
TL;DR- DO YOU. I do not need you to conform to my paradigm to win the round because most times I will be able to tell. I will vote for anything as long as you win. Please have a road map, I flow straight down by the way. OFFENSE wins rounds DEFENSE only tells me why I shouldn't vote for (AFF/NEG) not why I should vote for your side. Please explain all acronyms.
Note: 1) If you are doing a Performance AFF/NEG please do not get all up in my face, I value personal space and you may not like my reaction if you do so. 2) Ignore my facial expressions in the round if I have any because I have no way of controlling it and is not an accurate indication of who is winning losing the round.
AFFs- I am fine with both K and policy Affs and topical and untopical Affs. My only request is that you meet these tenants of an Aff. There needs to be an explicit problem, some sort of solvency ie plan, advocacy, outline to address the problem, and there needs to be advantages to doing the Aff. Also, include a framework/ROB/ROJ there needs to be one. You always need to go back to case outweighs.
CPs- are fine, just prove mutual exclusivity (b/c I am likely to buy a perm with a good net benefit). If a CP is being ran with a DA and the DA is a net benefit to the Aff please let me know and also say that the CP solves 100% of the Aff and doesn't link to the DA(s) A clever PIC is always good but be ready to defend why you get to steal most or certain parts of the aff plan.
DAs- are good too, but generic links are ineffective, and if the aff proves that to be true I am less likely to vote on it.- I am also not as persuaded by existential scenarios ie nuclear war impacts I get that people have them and love it but it doesn't make sense to me. You can try to win this, I need a very GOOD internal link story. Please also say that the DA turns case.
Ks-are my favorite! BUT this DOES NOT include white POMO, I am not a fan, those are my least favorite. You can read them if you like but I will not pretend to understand "gobbledygook", so you will HAVE to explain this. Do not take this to mean that I will vote up a queer anarchy k, anti-blackness k etc. just because it's read it needs to be read good and still needs to interact with the AFF. Have specific links to the AFF, point out specific warrants and give analysis on how the world of the alt vs. the world of the aff functions. A K without an alt will automatically be seen as a DA.
FW- shells are interesting and I kind of like them, so do whatever you want. Just prove why I should adopt your FW shell and compare it to the aff's FW. There NEEDS to be a TVA to the framework.
T/Theory- This will be an uphill battle for you. I have an extremely high threshold for winning T, but I can be persuaded to vote for it. Fairness is not an impact ESPECIALLY- Procedural fairness. To win a T-shell I need a case list of Affs that are topical under your interpretation. There NEEDS to be voters, debaters for some reason will have standards and voters as one but know there needs to be a specific voter. If there is no voter the other team (......needs to tell me there are no voters so this shouldn't be a voting issue.---HINT HINT) it will save both of us time.
I will vote on CONDO BAD. If the Neg runs more than 6 off case positions, condo bad is a thing and a voting issue.
Rebuttals- NEED to summarize why I should be voting for your side in the last 30 sec- 1 min, this should literally write my ballot. I also like overviews starting from the 2AC and on it can be long or short but please have one.
That's all! GOOD LUCK! DON'T SUCK! HAVE FUN!
I attended and debated for Rutgers University-Newark (c/o 2021). I’ve ran both policy and K affs.
Influences In Debate
David Asafu – Adjae (he actually got me interested in college policy, but don’t tell him this), and of course, the debate coaching staff @ RU-N: Willie Johnson, Carlos Astacio, Devane Murphy, Christopher Kozak and Elijah Smith.
Yes, I wish to be on the email chain!
Given that I will be judging here and there on the college circuit this year, I will be making periodic updates to my paradigm. Please bear with me.
COLLEGE POLICY: As an undergrad who worked on many research teams performing microeconometric analysis on different economic sectors of the US, I have a pretty good understanding of this whole antitrust spiel at a technical level - even more so now that I am doing a lot of market design simulation work in grad school.
GENERAL: If you are spreading and it’s not clear, I will yell clear. If I have to do that too many times in a round, it sucks to be you buddy because I will just stop flowing and evaluate the debate based on what I can remember. Zoom through your cards, but when doing analytics and line by line, take it back a bit. After all, I can only evaluate what I catch on my flow. UPDATE FOR ONLINE DEBATES: GO ABOUT 70% OF YOUR NORMAL SPEED. IF YOU ARE NOT CLEAR EVEN AT 70%, DON'T SPREAD.
In general, I like K’s (particularly those surrounding Afro-Pess and Queer Theory). However, I like to see them executed in at least a decent manner. Therefore, if you know these are not your forte, do not read them just because I am judging. One recent pet peeve of mine is people just asserting links without having them contextualized to the aff and well explained. Please don't be that person. You will see me looking at both you and my flow with a confused face trying to figure out what's happening. Additionally, do not tell me that perms cannot happen in a method v. method debate without a warrant.
I live for performance debates.
I like to be entertained, and I like to laugh. Hence, if you can do either, it will be reflected in your speaker points. However, if you can’t do this, fear not. You obviously will get the running average provided you do the work for the running average. While I am a flow centric judge, be it known that debate is just as much about delivery as it is about content.
The bare minimum for a link chain for a DA is insufficient 99% of the time for me. I need a story with a good scenario for how the link causes the impact. Describe to me how everything happens. Please extrapolate! Give your arguments depth! It would behoove you to employ some impact calculus and comparison here.
Save the friv theory, bring on those spicy framework and T debates. Please be well structured on the flow if you are going this route. Additionally, be warned, fairness is not a voter 98% of the times in my book. It is an internal link to something. Note however, though I am all for T and framework debates, I also like to see aff engagement. Obviously these are all on a case by case basis. T USFG is not spicy. I will vote on it, but it is not spicy.
For CPs, if they're abusive, they are. As long as they are competitive and have net benefits, we're good.
On theory, at a certain point in the debate, I get tired of hearing you read your coach's coach's block extensions. Could we please replace that with some impact weighing?
Do not assume I know anything when judging you. I am literally in the room to take notes and tell who I think is the winner based on who gives the better articulation as to why their option is better. Therefore, if you assume I know something, and I don’t … kinda sucks to be you buddy.
I’m all for new things! Debating is all about contesting competing ideas and strategies.
I feel as though it should be needless to say, but: do not run any bigoted arguments. However, I’m well aware that I can’t stop you. Just please be prepared to pick up a zero in your speaking points, and depending on how egregious your bigotry is, I just might drop you. Literally!
Another thing: please do not run anthropocentrism in front of me. It’s something I hated as a debater, and it is definitely something I hate as a judge. Should you choose to be risky, please be prepared for the consequences. (Update: voted on it once - purely a flow decision)
For My LD'ers
It is often times difficult to evaluate between esoteric philosophies. I often find that people don't do enough work to establish any metric of evaluation for these kinds of debates. Consequently, I am weary for pulling the trigger for one side as opposed to the other. If you think you can, then by all means, read it!
Yale Update: Tricks are for kids.You might be one, but I am not.
I'm gonna have to pass on the RVIs too. I've never seen a more annoying line of argumentation.
In general, give me judge instructions.
On average, tech > truth --- however, I throw this principle out when people start doing or saying bigoted things.
***Public Forum/TOC '23 Read This***
I've judged and coached at a lot of debate tournaments this season, but they've been almost all for high school Lincoln Douglas and college policy formats. I'm coming to the TOC right after the NDT and CEDA nationals actually. Policy debate is where the vast majority of my experience lies as a competitor, coach, and judge. I am not super up to date on current literature/news about biometrics, though it was a large feature of the policy surveillance topic my senior year of high school back in 2015-16 and I remember a few things.
My default way of deciding the debate is by determining which side leads to a better world, using my flow to compare the arguments made in the final two speeches of the debate. I generally think the aff/pro should present an advocacy which is a change from the status quo and the neg/con should defend the status quo or a competitive advocacy. I can be convinced to decide the debate in other ways, usually via framework, theory, or kritik arguments. From when I judged public forum a few years ago, I don't remember there being many of these arguments present in debates, but I'm not up to date on what PF norms are nowadays. TBH, most of what I judge/get preffed for in policy and LD are kritik debates of some kind. If you want to read something like that with me in the back, go ahead, but I'll evaluate those kinds of arguments with the same rigor that I would in policy, which could be detrimental if you don't know what you're doing. Most of my thoughts on kritiks can be found in the policy section and most of my thoughts on theory can be found in the LD section.
In general, however, I would much prefer that you just go for the arguments that you have put the most time/research into and enjoy rather than trying to adapt to what you think would be good for me as a judge.
I think evidence needs to be shared with the opposing team in some capacity, either directly before or after the speech the evidence is presented. I value high-quality evidence, though I care more about how you apply and utilize your evidence, especially in the final two speeches of the debate. If an argument is not extended from one speech to the next, I consider it dropped. I do not like paraphrasing. Disclosure is debatable and based on community norms, but I generally want it to happen - see LD portion. Just below this is my email to add to the chain; speech drop also works.
-yes email chain: email@example.com
-if you would like to contact me about something else, the best way to reach me is: firstname.lastname@example.org - please do not use this email for chains I would like to avoid cluttering it every weekend which is why I have a separate one for them
-debated in high school @ Mill Valley and college @ NYU for 7 years total - mostly policy arguments in high school, mix of high theory and policy in college
-head LD/policy debate coach at Bronx Science and assistant policy coach at The New School, former assistant for Blue Valley West, Mill Valley, and Mamaroneck
-spin > evidence quality, unless the evidence is completely inconsistent with the spin
-tech > truth as long as the tech has a claim, warrant, and impact
-great for impact turns
-fairness is more of an internal link or impact filter than an impact itself
-don't like to judge kick but if you give me reasons to I might
-personally think condo has gone way too far in recent years and more people should go for it, but I don't presume anything for theory questions
-most of the rounds I judge are clash debates, but I've been in policy v policy and k v k both as a debater and judge so I'm down for anything
-apparently, I take a long time with my decisions - often I go all the way to the decision time - this does not say anything about the debate, I am just trying to give the best feedback possible, so don't read into it
-I'm a masters student studying the history of 20th-century French social thought - aside from that debate is basically all I do and I don't have a lot of other hobbies - I listen to audiobooks and read in transit, occasionally play some video games - between coaching both high school and college I am at debate tournaments nearly every weekend of the season - I find myself incredibly lucky that I get to spend most of my time thinking about history, philosophy, theory, policy, and ideas - I love learning interesting things in debates and if you want to chat about something, feel free to reach out
Overview: Debate is for the debaters so do your thing and I'll do my best to provide a fair decision despite any preferences or experiences that I have. I have had the opportunity to judge and participate in debates of several different formats, circuits, and styles in my short career. What I've found is that all forms of debate are valuable in some way, though often for different reasons, whether it be policy, critical, performance, LD, PF, local circuit, national circuit, public debates, etc. Please have fun! Debating is fun for you I hope!
How to use - look for your section. First with what format you are in. Now that I'm judging/coaching both LD and policy at the same time, I've split it up between the two activities, with the things that I find most relevant to each. Second with the kind of debate you think you might have in front of me - based on what you read, your opponent reads, the panel, etc. If there's a kind of debate you think you are going to have that you don't find though, try scanning the other activity for the bolded parts to see if it's mentioned. I would prefer that you do not change your style of debate based on what you think my preferences are, but instead read what you've dedicated your time to, feel most passionate about, and feel most confident in.
Speaking and Presentation: I don't care about how you look, how you're dressed, how fast or in what manner you speak, where you sit, whether you stand, etc. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and will help you be the best debater you can be. My one preference for positioning is that you face me during speeches. It makes it easier to hear and also I like to look up a lot while flowing on my laptop. For some panel situations, this can be harder, just try your best and don't worry about it too much.
In terms of clarity - I do not like to follow along in the speech doc while you are giving your speech. I like to read cards in prep time, when they are referenced in cx, and while making my decision. I will use it as a backup during a speech if I have to. This is a particular problem in LD, that has been exacerbated by two years of online debate. I expect to be able to hear every word in your speech, yes including the text of cards. I expect to be able to flow tags, analytics, theory interps, or anything else that is not the interior text of a card. This means you can go faster in the text of a card, this does mean you should be unclear while reading the text of a card. This also means you should go slower for things that are not that. This is because even if I can hear and understand something you are saying, that does not necessarily mean that my fingers can move fast enough to get it onto my flow. When you are reading analytics or theory args, you are generally making warranted arguments much faster than if you were reading a card. Therefore, you need to slow down so I can get those warrants on my flow.
I'm bad at yelling clear. I try to do it when things are particularly egregious but honestly, I feel bad about throwing a debater off their game in the middle of a speech. For rebuttals and analytics that I can't find when I grumpily tab to the speech doc, I will yell clear twice before I stop flowing. If it's in the speech doc, I'll probably flow the important things off the doc unhappily, but it will affect your speaker points.
Logistical Stuff: I would like the round to run as on-time as possible. There are a few reasons for this. First, I like it when tournaments run on time and the primary determiners of their timeliness are debaters and judges. Tabrooms like this too, and they already have a hard enough job. Second, I would like to have as much time for my decision as possible. In the decision time, I am trying to put together both the best decision possible and also the best feedback possible for you to improve. I can think of a few decisions off the top of my head that I've later thought might've been wrong or where my explanation in RFD didn’t make much sense - let's be real, judges are human and everyone makes mistakes - for all of these decisions that come to mind however, limited time to actually make my decision played a significant factor. I try my best, but please, it really is better for you if you do everything you can to make things run quickly. Docs should be ready to be sent when you end prep time. Orders/roadmaps should be given quickly and not changed several times. Marking docs can happen outside of prep time, but it should entail only marking where cards were cut. CX or prep time needs to be taken to ask if something was not read or which arguments were read. I think it’s your responsibility to listen to your opponent’s speech to determine what was said and what wasn’t. I don’t take time for tech issues and am of course fine with bathroom breaks or whatever debaters need - tournaments generally give plenty of time for a round and so long as the debaters are not taking excessive time to do other things like send docs, I find that these sorts of things aren’t what truly makes the round run behind.
Email chain or speech drop is fine for docs, which should be shared before a speech. I really prefer Word documents if possible, but don't stress about changing your format if you can't figure it out. Unless there is an accommodation request, not officially or anything just an ask before the round, I don't think analytics need to be sent. Advocacy texts, theory interps, and shells should be sent. Cards are sent for the purposes of ethics and examining more closely the research of your opponent. Too many of you have stopped listening to your opponents entirely and I think the rising norm of sending every single word you plan on saying is a big part of it. It also makes you worse debaters because in the instances where your opponent decides to look up from their laptop and make a spontaneous argument, many of you just miss it entirely.
Stop stealing prep time. When prep time is called by either side, you should not be talking to your partner, typing excessively on your computer, or writing things down. My opinion on “flex prep,” or asking questions during prep time, is that you can ask for clarifications, but your opponent doesn’t have to answer more typical cx questions if they don’t want to (it is also time that they are entitled to use to focus on prep), and I don’t consider the answers in prep to have the same weight as in cx. Prep time is not a speech, and I dislike it when a second ultra-pointed cx begins in prep time because you think it makes your opponent look worse. It doesn’t - it makes you look worse.
Speaker Points: I try to adjust based on the strength of the tournament pool/division, but my accuracy can vary depending on how many rounds in the tournament I've already judged.
29.5+ You are one of the top three speakers in the tournament and should be in finals.
29.1-29.4 You are a great speaker who should be in late elims of the tournament.
28.7-29 You are a good speaker who should probably break.
28.4-28.6 You're doing well, but need some more improvement to be prepared for elims.
28-28.3 You need significant improvement before I think you can debate effectively in elims.
<28 You have done something incredibly offensive or committed an ethics violation, which I will detail in written comments and speak with you about in oral feedback.
The three things that affect speaker points the most are speaking clearly/efficiently, cross-x, and making effective choices in the final rebuttals.
I enjoy reading large fantasy and sci-fi novels in my free time. Relatable references to such in a final rebuttal speech can earn up to +.2 speaker points :) - I especially like Brandon Sanderson. Sci-fi/speculative fiction affs are also super cool.
How you should pref me: I don't believe in ranking myself as a "1" for certain kinds of debates or a "strike" for others. I am interested in many kinds of debate and try to evaluate any argument presented in front of me to the best of my ability. Also, I really hate the idea of being confined to certain bubbles in debate or being isolated from interesting arguments. All that being said, I of course have more experience in some arguments than others, and the biases that come with that. I come from policy debate. I started my sophomore year of high school, where I competed in mostly lay divisions aside from two weeks of debate camp. I then competed for 4 years on the NDT/CEDA circuit in college, had some moderate success, etc.
Though I say I did lay debate, it was very unlike what you would consider "traditional" debate in LD. I did in fact not spread, have debates mostly in front of parents, and not read so-called "progressive" arguments like kritiks or theory very often. However, all those debates were done with policy resolutions and in a policy format. This involved some "stock issues" debate, which I don't think is useful to elaborate on, but mainly just standard disads, advantage cps, some pics, solvency arguments - what you all would call "larp," just at a slower speed and with more traditional appeal. In college, I was fairly flexible for policy standards, and oscillated between reading stuff with big stick impacts and kritiks with a lot of French theory authors. In college I spread and exclusively did "progressive" debate - I spent a lot more time on debate overall in college than in high school.
The debates that I've had by far the most experience with overall are plans vs. cp/da, plans vs. kritiks, and k-affs vs. t-fw. Secondary to those are probably k v. k debates. The kinds of debates that I've had the least amount of experience with are what you would call "traditional." I come to these debates from the opposite perspective of you all - things like value/value-criterion feel jargony and I often struggle to figure out what it means for how I should decide the debate. If you are having this kind of debate in front of me, please treat me like a true lay person, and assume that unless you are reading util I will be probably unfamiliar with your framework and will not automatically know why you winning your value-criterion means that you should win the debate.
Phil Debates: Something I am fairly unfamiliar with, but I've been learning more about over the past 6 months (02/23). I have read, voted for, and coached many things to the contrary, but if you want to know what I truly believe, I basically think most things collapse into some version of consequentialist utilitarianism. If you are to convince me that I should not be a consequentialist, then I need clear instructions for how I should evaluate offense. Utilitarianism I'm used to being a little more skeptical of from k debates, but other criticisms of util from say analytic philosophy I will probably be unfamiliar with.
Plans/DAs/CPs: See the part in my policy paradigm. Plans/CP texts should be clearly written and are generally better when in the language of a specific solvency advocate. I think the NC should be a little more developed for DAs than in policy - policy can have some missing internal links because they get the block to make new arguments, but you do not get new args in the NR that are unresponsive to the 1AR - make sure you are making complete arguments that you can extend.
Kritiks: Some stuff in my policy paradigm is probably useful. Look there for K-affs vs. T-fw. I'm most familiar with so-called "high theory" but I have also debated against, judged, and coached many other kinds of kritiks. Like with DAs/CPs, stuff that would generally be later in the debate for policy should be included in the NC, like ROBs/fw args. Kritiks to me are usually consequentialist, they just care about different kinds of consequences - i.e. the consequences of discourse, research practices, and other impacts more proximate than extinction.
ROB/ROJs: In my mind, this is a kind of theory debate. The way I see this deployed in LD most of the time is as a combination of two arguments. First, what we would call in policy "framework" (not what you call fw in LD) - an argument about which "level" I should evaluate the debate on. "Pre-fiat" and "post-fiat" are the terms that you all like to use a lot, but it doesn't necessarily have to be confined to this. I could be convinced for instance that research practices should come before discourse or something else. The second part is generally an impact framing argument - not only that reps should come first, but that a certain kind of reps should be prioritized - i.e. ROB is to vote for whoever best centers a certain kind of knowledge. These are related, but also have separate warrants and implications for the round, so I consider them separately most of the time. I very often can in fact conclude that reps must come first, but that your opponent’s reps are better because of some impact framing argument that they are making elsewhere. Also, ROB and ROJ are indistinct from one another to me, and I don’t see the point in reading both of them in the same debate.
Topicality: You can see some thoughts in the policy sections as well if you're having that kind of T debate about a plan. I personally think some resolutions in LD justify plans and some don't. But I can be convinced that having plans or not having plans is good for debate, which is what is important for me in deciding these debates. The things I care about here are education and fairness, generally more education stuff than fairness. Topicality interpretations are models of the topic that affirmatives should follow to produce the best debates possible. I view T like a DA and vote for whichever model produces the best theoretical version of debate. I care about "pragmatics" - "semantics" matter to me only insofar as they have a pragmatic impact - i.e. topic/definitional precision is important because it means our research is closer to real-world scholarship on the topic. Jurisdiction is a vacuous non-starter. Nebel stuff is kind of interesting, but I generally find it easier just to make an argument about limits. Reasonability is something I almost never vote on - to be “reasonable” I think you have to either meet your opponent’s interp or have a better one.
For JF23 - Plans are debatable, but if your interpretation is that "open borders" means you get to spec any single border between two states, you should be prepared for a very large limits disad. The resolution does not have an actor and does not say "ought" or "should." Please keep this in mind when having debates about whether affs have to defend implementation or a policy.
RVIs: The vast majority of the time these are unnecessary when you all go for them. If you win your theory or topicality interp is better than your opponent's, then you will most likely win the debate, because the opposing team will not have enough offense on substance. I'm less inclined to believe topicality is an RVI. I think it’s an aff burden to prove they are topical and the neg getting to test that is generally a good thing. Other theory makes more sense as an RVI. Sometimes when a negative debater is going for both theory and substance in the NR, the RVI can be more justifiable to go for in the 2AR because of the unique time differences of LD. If they make the decision to fully commit to theory in the NR, however, the RVI is unnecessary - not that I'm ideologically opposed to it, it just doesn't get you anything extra for winning the debate - 5 seconds of "they dropped substance" is easier and the warrants for your c/i's standards are generally much better than the ones for the RVI.
Disclosure Theory: This is not a section that I would ever have to write for policy. I find it unfortunate that I have to write it for LD. Disclosure is good because it allows schools access to knowledge of what their opponents are reading, which in pre-disclosure days was restricted to larger programs that could afford to send scouts to rounds. It also leads to better debates where the participants are more well-prepared. What I would like to happen for disclosure in general is this:
1) previously read arguments on the topic are disclosed to at least the level of cites on the opencaselist wiki,
2) a good faith effort is made by the aff to disclose any arguments including the advocacy/plan, fw, and cards that they plan on reading in the AC that they've read before once the pairing comes out,
3) a good faith effort is made by the neg to disclose any previously read positions, tied to NC arguments on their wiki, that they've gone for in the NR on the current topic (and previous if asked) once they receive disclosure from the aff,
4) all the cites disclosed are accurate and not misrepresentations of what is read,
5) nobody reads disclosure theory!!
This is basically the situation in college policy, but it seems we still have a ways to go for LD. In a few rare instances I've encountered misdisclosure, even teams saying things like "well it doesn't matter that we didn't read the scenario we said we were going to read because they're a k team and it wasn't really going to change their argument anyways." More intentional things like this, or bad disclosure from debaters and programs that really should know better, I don't mind voting on. I really don't like however when disclosure is used to punish debaters for a lack of knowledge or because it is a norm they are not used to. I will vote for it, but I won't feel good about it, and it may reflect in speaks. You have to understand, my roots are as a lay debater who didn't know what the wiki was and didn't disclose for a single round in high school. For my first two years, I debated exclusively on paper and physically handed pages to my opponent while debating after reading them to share evidence. For a couple years after that, we "flashed" evidence to each other by tossing around a usb drive. I've been in way more non-lay debates since then and have spent much more time doing "progressive" debate than I ever did lay debate, but I'm very sympathetic still to these kinds of debaters.
Especially if a good-faith attempt is made, interps that are excluding debaters based on a few minutes of a violation, a round report from several tournaments ago, or other petty things make me sad to judge. My threshold for reasonability in these debates will be much lower. Having some empathy and clearly communicating with your opponent what you want from them is a much better strategy for achieving better disclosure practices in the community than reading theory as a punitive measure. If you want something for disclosure, ask for it, or you have no standing. Also, if you read a disclosure interp that you yourself do not meet, you have no standing. Open source theory and disclosure of new affs are more debatable than other kinds of disclosure arguments, and like with T and other theory I will vote for whichever interp I determine is better for debate.
Other Theory: I really liked theory when I did policy debate, but that theory is also different from a lot of LD theory. What that means is I mainly know cp theory - condo, pics, process cps, perm competition (i.e. textual vs. functional, perm do the cp), severance/intrinsicness, and other things of that nature. You can see some of my thoughts on these arguments in the policy section. I've also had some experience with spec arguments. Like T, I view theory similarly to a da debate. Interpretations are models of debate that I endorse which describe ideally what all other debates should look like. I almost always view things through competing interps. Like with T, in order to win reasonability I think you need to have a pretty solid I/meet argument. Not having a counter-interp the speech after the interp is introduced is a major mistake that can cost you the round. I decide theory debates by determining which interp produces a model of debate that is "best." I default to primarily caring about education - i.e. depth vs. breadth, argument quality, research quality, etc. but I can be convinced that fairness is a controlling factor for some of these things or should come first. I find myself pretty unconvinced by arguments that I should care about things like NSDA rules, jurisdiction, some quirk of the tournament invitation language, etc.
Tricks: I think I've officially judged one "tricks" round now, and I've been trying to learn as much as I can while coaching my squad. I enjoyed it, though I can't say I understood everything that was happening. I engaged in some amount of trickery in policy debate - paradoxes, wipeout, process cps, kicking out of the aff, obscure theory args, etc. However, what was always key to winning these kinds of debates was having invested time in research, blocks, a2s - the same as I would for any other argument. I need to be able to understand what your reason is for obtaining my ballot. If you want to spread out arguments in the NC, that's fine and expected, but I still expect you to collapse in the NR and explain in depth why I should vote for you. I won't evaluate new arguments in the NR that are not directly responsive to the 1AR. The reason one-line voting issues in the NC don't generally work with me in the back is that they do not have enough warrants to make a convincing NR speech.
T-Framework: It seems this is the main reason most people read paradigms these days. I have voted both ways in these debates, and have been on both sides (2A reading a k aff & 1N going for fw in the block) of the framework debate in my career.
Neg --I think negative teams here most often miss why things like fairness and education are important. Impact these claims out into some tangible benefit that I can compare against the impact turn. Writing a neg ballot only on procedural fairness is hard for me. I find a lot of these debates to end up pretty tautological - "fairness is an impact because debate is a game and games should have rules or else they'd be unfair," etc. These debates leave me wondering how to compare fairness to something tangible like psychological violence or political passivity in a traditional impact calc sense. I find fairness much more convincing to me as an impact filter, i.e. a reason to be skeptical of the case page, ensuring better clash, etc. This is considered a hot take by a lot of people, but I really don't understand why. Many teams in front of me will win that fairness is necessary to preserve the game, but never take the next step of explaining to me why preserving the game is good. In that scenario, what "impact" am I really voting on? Even if the other team agrees that the game of debate is good (which a lot of k affs contest anyways), you still have to quantify or qualify how important that is for me reasonably compare it to the impact turn. Perhaps if you read something like deontology arguments that say fairness is a virtue I must always preserve, I could vote on it alone, but in a utilitarian sense, I just don't know how to weigh it against anything. Fairness as a filter to some neg arguments and a more external impact like skills or topic-specific education is a much more convincing ballot for me. When I do vote on fairness alone, it is usually because the negative team has also forwarded substantial defensive arguments like a convincing TVA, read it on the neg, or c/i links to aff offense that mitigates the risk of the impact turn to nearly zero.
Aff -- I generally prefer aff strategies that just impact turn framework. I have seen and voted for predictable counter-interps, but a lot of the time it feels like an uphill battle. Most of the time, the neg is able to tie a good chunk of their offense to the predictability portion of the debate, which really hurts c/i solvency. That being said, a counter-interp can still mitigate a good amount of neg offense, so it may be still good to have one even if you are impact turning some of the neg's stuff. I just wouldn't recommend it as the focus of your strategy. Like the neg however, aff teams need to do more than make nebulous references to things like psychological violence. What kind of violence, and why is it more important than debating the topic? Explain to me in clear terms what the impact to your impact turn is. Be careful of large defensive arguments. I have dropped a number of teams who mishandle read it on the neg or who read impact turns that link to their own interp.
Everyone needs to compare their impacts to the other side's as well as relative solvency of the interps, and tell me why I should vote for them. For some reason, impact comparison just seems to disappear from debaters' repertoire when debating framework, which is really frustrating for me.
Kritiks: Both sides of these debates often involve a lot of people reading overviews at each other, especially in high school, which can make it hard to evaluate at the end of the round. Have a clear link story and a reason why the alternative resolves those links. Absent an alt, have a framework as to why your impacts matter/why you still win the round. For affs, pick either the impact turn strat or the perm strat and stick with it. I like impact turns better, but sometimes perms are more strategic. I'm not sure how useful this is, but the way I think about kritiks may also be a bit different than what you're used to. Rather than thinking about it as a non-unique disad with a counterplan, I think about the impacts as negative effects of the status quo, the alternative as a way of resolving the status quo, and the links as reasons why the aff prevents the alternative from happening, rather than something that directly causes the impacts. This framing helps me a lot when I'm thinking through permutations. This is of course when I'm evaluating something like fiat. Winning that the debate should only be about representations and that the affirmative's reps are bad for scholarship is also a convincing ballot for me.
Literature I am intimately familiar with (have run these arguments frequently and/or have done other research outside of debate into them): Cap, Psychoanalysis (more Lacan than Freud), Baudrillard, Foucault, DnG, Bataille, plant ontology (lol), Bifo, Edelman, Puar.
Literature I am somewhat familiar with (have run these arguments infrequently or done some coaching on them): Derrida, Wilderson, Warren, Set Col.
Anything else assume that I have little or no familiarity with.
Affirmatives: I think all affs should have a clear impact story with a good solvency advocate explaining why the aff resolves the links to those impacts. I really enjoy affs that are creative and outside of what a lot of people are reading, but are still grounded in the resolution. If you can find a clever interpretation of the topic or policy idea that the community hasn't thought of yet, I'll probably bump your speaks a bit.
Disads: Love 'em. Impact framing is very important in debates without a neg advocacy. A lot of disads (especially politics) have pretty bad ev/internal link chains, so try to wow me with 1 good card rather than spitting out 10 bad ones. 0 risk of a disad is absolutely a thing. I don't automatically presume a 1% chance of the link for the whole debate just because you read 1 or 2 bad cards in the 1NC. You have to actually win the link debate for me to grant you a chance of a link.
Counterplans: They should have solvency advocates and a clear story for competition. Exploit generic link chains in affs. I read some wonky process cps and pics in my career but if the aff wins theory then they win theory. I won't judge kick unless you tell me to in the 2NR, and preferably it should have some kind of justification.
Topicality: I default to competing interps. Be clear about what your interp includes and excludes and why that is a good thing. I view topicality like a disad most of the time, and vote for whoever's vision of the topic is best. I find arguments about limits and the effect that interpretations have on research to be the most convincing.
Theory: Being a 2A I think makes more inherently sympathetic to affs on theory questions and the like. I think condo has gone way too far in recent years, especially with multi-plank counterplans that have dozens or hundreds of possible combinations that can all be kicked. If the aff wins new affs are good, it doesn't make sense to me why new affs would then justify unbridled conditionality. That being said, I do my best to evaluate theory arguments as well as I would any other argument in debate. I haven't thought too hard about other theory questions. If you're winning it as a reason to reject the team, feel free to go for it no matter how silly you think it is.
My email is email@example.com I definitely want to be added to the email chain.
I don't count myself as an expert so therefore I don't stick to hard to the technicalities. I focus more on the presentation of the argument and make my decisions based on the most convincing argument. If your argument is impactful, you don't drop cards and are respectful you good to go. Judge adaptation is key.
I hate speed reading. I feel it doesn't contribute to the argument and frankly, if I can't hear you it's not counted in my flow.
Hey my name is Michael, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Experience; 3 years of High School POLICY debate ( University High School )
PLEASE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT I AM A POLICY JUDGE WHO JUST BEGAN JUDGING LD
Rutgers University - Newark
EXPLAIN what I should vote for you and make it clear. Once you make your point MOVE ON, please don't repeat yourself.
Organize your arguments. Line-Line is nice too.
Spreading is acceptable but be clear. I will call out clear when you are unclear TWICE. After that, I will just stop writing.
i dont like severance affs
I'm pretty liberal so you can any type of argument as long as you can convince me
Critical Affs are cool, explain why we should start with your point and their impacts. (framing preferred with K Aff's)
All Neg Strats are acceptable but please present them clearly so i know when you're starting a new argument.
Theory is beautiful but make it clear to the judge.
Procedural Fairness over all unless you fail to show me it is.
I competed in Lincoln Douglas debate for four years in high school. In college I competed in policy debate for four years at the University of Richmond where I was a three-time participant at the NDT. Since graduating from law school I have been practicing as an attorney in the New York state court system. Any argument preference or style is fine with me: good debate is good debate. To me, well-warranted arguments extended and explained in rebuttals combined with strategic control of the flow wins debates. Technical proficiency in terms of argument interaction is also appreciated. Well executed link and impact turns are also impressive. It won't change how I evaluate the debate, but in case you are curious, I was primarily a 2A/1N and ran everything from hard right, to soft left, to ironic affs as well as a full range on the neg. My email is jchicvak at gmail dot com.
Aaron Clarke, former varsity debater at George Mason University (email@example.com, if you want feedback after the round and want to shoot me an email)
**HIGH SCHOOL/SPACE TOPIC: I haven't done any topic research for this topic so I'm not going to know any acronyms or anything like that.
Top-Level Stuff: I don't really care what you go for, but traditional policy debate was what I spent about 95% of my debate career doing. I typically went for traditional arguments but 1) I often read non-traditional arguments on the aff and neg AND 2) I want you to do what you want to do. Debate is only fun when you're doing what you like.If you want to go for a K, aff or neg, go for it.
It's usually in the 1NCs my partner reads and I'll definitely vote on it. Reasonibility should not be your A strat when debating T. It does not make sense when there are competing interpretations. I'm also down to hear framework against K affs. That's usually my strat because I don't know too much K lit to read a K against it (more below).
Condo is good up to two counter-advocacies. Once you hit three counter-advocacies, I'll start feeling heavy sympathy for the aff. That being said, if the neg drops condo, I'll vote on it. My stance on condo does not allow you to blow over it shallowly. I tend to reject the arg, not the team.
I'm gonna keep it real with you chief: I'm not the best judge for you on this. High theory lit is going to go over my head but other K lit I at least have a basic understanding of it.
I'm down for most CPs. I'm split on counterplan theory like process CPs and consult CPs, but hey, it's debate. If you can convince me they're not abusive, okay. If you can convince me it is abusive, okay. I'll vote either way.
I. Love. Disads. Being a former 2N, disads were my bread and butter. I love topic DAs and I love politics DAs. Once again, although I hold DAs close to my heart, if you lose a DA, you lose a DA. There can be zero risk of a link. I love impact turn debates as well.
This is my favorite debate as most of my 2NR's were DA and case.
Details of warrant extrapolation and depth in the 2NC are key. 2AC's tend to be blippy so take advantage.
Aff’s should choose and break down more in the 1AR. Choose your impact comparison to the DA or solvency deficit connected to an advantage in the 1AR. It is difficult when the 2ar breaks down and establishes a new lens such as time frame, of which there is no record for in the previous speeches and one the 2NR would likely have responded too.
See "Top-Level Stuff" I'm open to listening to theory and will vote on it. If you do go for a K aff, make sure it relates to the topic. I'll lean neg on Framework if your aff has no relation to the topic.
It flips neg when they don't go for a CP or K. Flips aff when they go for a CP or K
Tech vs. Truth:
This is circumstantial. I generally reward technical concessions and try to hold a firm line on new arg's in rebuttals. Though, I also think a silly advantage or DA can be demolished in cross ex
Cross ex can be the best moment of a debate if deployed correctly. I reward speakers that have a strategy and use their time wisely in cross ex.
Don't be a jerk. I find myself in too many debates where people equate being a dick to having a lot of ethos. Not only will it piss off your opponents, it'll put you in poor position speaker point wise. I don't have a problem if you rip someone's arguments apart in cross-ex, but there is a respectable way to do it.
If you show a fairly large amount of knowledge about the topic, that goes a long way in terms of speaker points.
The timer for prep stops once you stop making changes to the doc. Don't try and take advantage of this by saying you're "saving" when really you're typing up more stuff
I wouldn't consider myself a point fairy, but I think I give out pretty good speaker points.
Danielle Dupree - firstname.lastname@example.org - she/her
21 y/o DMV Debater at Howard University. 7 years of debate experience
Pretty go with the flow, any argument is on the table as long as its not racist, misogynistic, ableist, trans/homophobic, etc. My main concern is a fun, educational round.
The things you probably wanna know most....
Speed: I'm fine with clear spreading. Slow down on things that you need to stress, i trust my flow so what gets missed, doesn't exist.
Performance: I love an unconventional debate when its done well, meaning make it abundantly clear why your form of debate is necessary.
Theory: Well done theory thats not just a throw away that you ended up being stuck with makes my little heart sing.
K: I love them, beware though, I will always have speaking for others in mind so don't run things that advocates on behalf a community you're not part of.
Policy: Policy always has a place in my heart, as stated, as long as it's well explained, & well defended, game on.
Troll: I need to hear BOTH teams enthusiastically consenting to a troll round, otherwise at the end of the round you will lose. That is your warning.
The obvious/nitpicky reminders...
CP: NEED a net benny. And if you don't solve case tell me why that doesn't matter.
DA: Mostly useful in the 1NC
T: Violation & definition is never enough, no limits & grounds, no case. I appreciate creative violations, and T that is brought into the real world.
FW & ROB: I default the actor of policymaker unless directed otherwise. I need actual competitiveness on FW, not
"SV is most important"
"No extinction is"
"No SV is." give me a debate w/clash pls
All of that is to say, do whatever you want, just make sure you work hard on it and make it fun for all of us :)
I vote on almost anything if you win the debate. I believe that debate should be an even competition of what happens in the round and how it affects the outside world instead of the other way around. Also don't do anything racist, homophobic, sexist, patriarchal, transphobic, heteronormative or simply disrespectful in round without expecting poor speaker points. It will also affect how I view your argumentation in this safe space.
In regards to spreading I'm fine with it just don't start out at full speed I need time to adjust to voices. Also be clear and slow on tags so I can know what you are saying and what I should be voting on. I can't vote on something that I can't hear.
Top Level - Only judge every once and a while now, debated for George Mason University.
I would like to be on the email chain - gerrit.hansen96 AT gmail.com
Go to the bottom for non-policy formats
What to read before the round, if you are interested.
This paradigm is too long - I like K debate, but also policy debate. I am not as experienced in the latter, and will likely over-compensate by reading cards if I get confused or lost. I will do my best to judge your debate fairly.
I am neither the best - nor the worst, hopefully - flow in the game. I have great auditory processing, handwriting not so much. I would encourage a lil pen time for important args.
If the other team brings up an accessibility issue about some portion of your speech, the impetus is on you to fix the problem. I am somewhat open to discussion of what is reasonable (or fair) but please don't make me punish you for being a jerk.
Exclusionary language - including misgendering anyone, racism, ableism, sexism, etc is a voting issue. Almost guaranteed your speaks suffer at least. I will usually leave it to the team that has been harmed to make an argument about it, because I don't want to decide for you when your debate should end.
(Please Read) A few choice E-Debate best practices I have come across:
Please have someone listen to you speak at full speed before we get going if this is the first round of the day. Some of y'all are using rather nice technology and still having rather bad audio quality because you don't bother to set it up right.
Record prep time in the zoom chat - I find it really hard to keep timers at the best of times, and this is not the best of times. Will make exceptions for novices, but otherwise you are big kids. Please time yourself so we don't end up in awkward situations.
Post the order in the zoom chat ((especially when someone is afk) credit to Wichita BM for this one)
Webcam is not mandatory, but consider that it is both harder to pay attention to your speech, and to understand you when I can't see you.
We will negotiate what happens if someone's tech glitches out in the middle of the speech before the 1ac. Please be upfront about the tech problems you have. Telling me you almost got it 13 times while trying to fight with your internet connection is much more frustrating when you haven't communicated effectively.
Do not start interrupting people. As annoying as it is when people talk over others to ask another pointless question in real life, it's even more annoying over zoom. Treat each other with respect, like you would a classmate. Some people seem to be taking the computer screen as a reason they can be even more rude. Don't do this.
Topicality - I think this argument has many valuable uses in debate. Use it how you will. Evidence comparison and caselists are a MUST in these debates. Tell me what your vision of the topic looks like.
Reasonability, as a phrase, is not an argument. I'm open to any and all arguments about how T debates should be viewed, but the onus is on you to create a model for what judging debates in that way ought to look like. Default to competing interps.
Theory - Slow if you plan to go for it. High speed blocks are unpersuasive and are optically a cheap-shot. Potential abuse is probably not an impact I care about that much.
CP's - They can be cool, they can be contrived and silly. PIC's should be specific rather then general. Sympathetic with 2As on some counter-plan theory. Slow down on your CP text if you want me to catch its nuances. Word PIC's are usually silly.
DA - They're cool. The more creative the better. Politics is good. 1 good and well compared impact scenario is worth 3 with loose comparison or impact calculus.
K's - This is the style of debate I personally chose to do. I have a fairly extensive literature base, and am probably more then willing to listen to your stuff. If you argue your position well and prove that you have an understanding of your literature base I will probably want to vote for you. If you're good at what you do, do it.
Links are better when they are specific to the aff - I'm down for spin, but a generic state link or a security K with no impact defense is unlikely to make me want to vote for you
Line by line is important to me, and I have yet to hear a way to evaluate debates in a reasonably fair fashion except some version of the offense/defense paradigm. If you don't want me to flow or want to change the format of the debate, I support you in your efforts but I'm also probably not the judge for you
Debates about debate (The section is a bit of a tangent for K teams) - I grow increasingly tired of the "standard moves" in these debates. I feel many ballot commodification/currency arguments are very reductionist and very much resemble whiny debaters screaming about fiat being illusory. I will obviously vote on them, but I would say I have a higher threshold than most. I care a little bit less about what the ballot does for the aff/neg, and more about what strategies, tactics, methods, alternative world views etc my ballot ought to endorse.
K Aff's/Framework- This is a debate. Defending debate norms is cool, saying "Debate bad" is cool. Being creative on both sides is more likely to get me on your side.
Topical Versions of the Aff are a good way to mitigate offense against framework. Explain to me why it solves their impact turns, not why it is similar to the aff
The Affirmative is much more likely to win if they have a counter interpretation - I find it hard to evaluate defensive "rez already exploded" or "rez poorly written" arguments without one. Rez +1 is not an argument
Arguments about jurisdiction and authority are not good ones, so long as they are answered.
Fairness is an impact. I have the inclination that debates should be fair. That being said, I don't particularly care about procedural fairness in my heart of hearts, and it's rather easy to convince me that a host of things might outweigh the need for debates to be fair.
Speaker Points: I used to have a convoluted scale of sorts here. To be honest, as I judge more often, I usually give pretty high speaker points. I think I tend to presume the best of debaters, and I often find it hard to judge their relative qualities against other debaters I have seen in a bad light. That being said, I have found that I punish very vindictively if you use exclusionary language or are a jerk.
I mainly participated in and judge policy. I will be upfront and say that while I am familiar with the rules and some of the norms of non-policy formats, but it is probably not as second nature to me as it is to you. I would not say that I judge more then 6 tournaments in either LD or PF a year, and speech is even more uncommon. These are some helpful thoughts:
PLEASE CLASH. Compare impacts. Compare frameworks. Acknowledge that your opponent made arguments, and tell me why I should care about your arguments more.
"Progressive" debate styles are cool. Theory is way too common in LD, but I don't plan to be the activist judge that stops it.
There is not a single thing that will matter to me LESS then if you stand up whenl you speak, where you speak from, etc. Accommodate yourself in the room, and I will choose my place in relation to that. It is strange how common this question is in public forum.
I'm pretty good at flowing, and the flow is how I will decide the debate. Logic over persuasion. Good policy over good personality. Tech over truth.
"Off-time" Roadmaps are helpful
Don't spread if you can't be clear. PLEASE.
Coach for SA Harlem North Central. Approach to policy debate is stock issues and policymaker. Don't mind spreading but prefer e-disclosure for rapid readers. Prefer a few well-developed arguments rather than many shallow arguments. Prefer resolution of substantive issues over communication. I will vote on Topicality if Aff fails to properly respond. CPs and generic DAs acceptable. Debate theory arguments acceptable. Don't love conditional neg positions but will vote if done correctly. K's are acceptable but want links to stock issues to still prevail, don't want case to go completely ignored by the Neg. I have not found a performative compelling enough to vote on. Will ALMOST ALWAYS vote against problematic language; 100% of the time when opposition team makes it a voting issues.
Debated for Bronx Science for 4 years (2015-2019) and been judging for three years in college; polsci and public policy major at Hunter College
DISCLAIMER FOR CAT NATS: I am completely new to the water topic (haven't researched, coached it, etc.), keep this in mind while debating in terms of technical terms and knowledge of topic Ks, CPs, etc. I have also not judged policy in over a year so chill with the spreading
Feel free to run any argument in front of me. I want you to tell me how to vote and how I should view the round. Besides that, I'm down for anything.
Quarantine edition edit: My connection isn't the best so please send the analytics and/or spread like 5% slower so I can flow it, if the argument isn't on my flow I can't evaluate it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Feel free to add me to the email chain: email@example.com
tl;dr: run what you want
I decide rounds pretty quickly so I usually disclose right after the 2AR.
This is more for policy rounds but don't just card-dump, I hate it when teams just spew a bunch of cards at each other and expect me to do all the work.
If I’m on a panel with Eugene Toth there is a literal 100% chance that we will vote the same way.
My paradigm has been greatly influenced by my god-tier debate partner in high school so if you want to give it a look: https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=46818
TKO: If you think you 100% won the round at any point in the debate (i.e. other has no path to a ballot bc of conceded off case, etc.) then you can call a TKO and the round will stop. If I buy that the opponents have no path to the ballot, I will give you the win and 30s. If you are wrong, you will get an L and 25s.
DA should at least have a aff-specific link and not just "Protecting water resources means Biden loses political capital". Make sure impact calc is tight, and good evidence comparison will notch up your speaker points. I want you to tell me a story of how the aff actually triggers the impacts.
Haven't gone for that many CPs, not really my favorite argument. Please slow down for the CP text, especially if it's one of those really long ones. Whatever you run, make sure that you have a clear net-benefit.
Unless its not even in the direction of the topic, I won't automatically vote down an aff because it violates your interpretation of framework and the resolution. If there is no significant impact and there is sufficient response from aff, I will weigh education over fairness.
I like to hear cleverly thought out T arguments against K affs that aren't just USFG, but an explanation, again, is necessary.
I run Ks very often and love a good K debate but I also hate it when the links for the Ks are not explained well or are just generic. Most of the K debate is rooted in the link debate and you have to be able to do this well in order for me to understand how the kritik functions in terms of the affirmative.
A side note: I am not a judge who thinks you need to win the alternative debate in order to win the round. As long as you can prove that each link is a non unique disad to the aff, and those disads outweigh, I will gladly vote neg. However, winning the alternative debate definitely makes your job a LOT easier. If you do go for the alt, I need to know what the alt is supposed to do, how it is supposed to do it, and why what it does matters. You have to be able to explain the alt well, a lot of debaters do not read the literature behind their kritik and this means they cannot explain their alternatives well or just summarize the tags of the cards when explaining the alt.
Love creative K args, topic-specific Ks are really cool too and I've been finding myself voting for more eccentric and high theory Ks so take that as you will
Ks I've ran: Cap (almost every variant of it: logistics, Dean, historical materialism, etc.), academia (Moten and Harney, Tuck and Yang, etc.), ID stuff (set col, queer theory), psychoanalysis.
I have read K affs the majority of my debate career. Love them, they great. But if it is a nontraditional aff, an EXPLANATION is necessary. If I don't understand what the aff is, what it does, or why it's good, then I will absolutely default neg
Have judged a fair amount of theory debates at this point and have voted for condo and ASPEC, so I'm down w it just make sure you have interpretation, violation, and standards esp in the last speech
Been there done that, just don't be reading random files you found in the backfiles or online without knowing what they mean
I feel the need to fix this huge communication issue in the debate community it will start with my judging philosophy. If you are a debater who say any of the following "Obama is president solves for racism" or "we are moving towards less racism cause of Obama or LBS" and the opposing team reading a racism arg/advantage or colorblindness I will instantly vote you down with 25 points for the debater who said it.
Jumping: Novice please don't but if you must which you all will you have 20 seconds after you call for prep to be stop till I consider it stealing prep and instead of restarting prep I will just measure it by the ticker timer in my head (which you do not want). I suggest that you carry a debate jump drive, viewing computer or the cloud system. For Open debaters I get even more angry with the lack of competence you guys have with being responsible when it comes to jumping files and card. I have a soft warmness for debaters who are mostly paper and may involve me smiling like a boy with a crush don't be alarmed it is just me remembering my old days.
Speaking: I believe that clarity comes before all other ideals of what we often fantasize a good speaker to be, a debater has to be clear so that I spend more time analyzing and processing what is said then trying to comprehend what the hell is being said. This helps in the rebuttals when there is more cross applying of arguments instead of me sitting there trying to ponder what argument reference is being made. Speed is something I can adjust to not my general forte yet if you are clear I can primarily make easier adjustments (look I sound like a damn metronome). I tend to give hints towards the wrongs and rights in the round so I won’t be put off if you stare at me every now and then. Debates should be a game of wit and word that upholds morals of dignity and respect do not be rude and or abrasive please respect me, the other team, your partner and of course yourself
The Flow: My hand writing is atrocious just incredibly horrible for others at least I generally flow tags, authors and major warrants in the world of traditional debate. Outside of that with all the other formats poetry, performance, rap, theatricals and so forth I just try to grasp the majority of the speech incorporating the main idea
The K: yeah I so love the K being from a UDL background and having running the K for a majority of my debate career, yet don't let that be the reason you run the K I believe that a great K debate consist of a in-depth link explanation as well as control of the clash. There should be Impact calculus that does more then tell me what the impact is but a justification for how it functionally shapes the round which draws me to have a complete understanding of the Alt versus the plan and there must be some idea of a solvency mechanism so that the k is just simply not a linear disad forcing me to rethink or reform in the status quo (K= reshape the Squo)
The T debate: First I find it extremely hard to remember in my entire debate career where I cast a ballot for topicality alone yet it is possible to get a T ballot you must have a clear abuse story I will not evaluate T if there is not a clear abuse story. Voters are my best friend and will become a prior if well explained and impacted, yet I do believe education and fairness have extreme value just want to know why.
The D/A: Well I actually find myself voting more on the Disad then the K I just think that the disad debate offers more tools for the neg then the K yet it is the debater who optimize these tools that gain my ballot, link debates should contain at least a specific link as well as a an established Brink generic links are not good enough to win a D/A ballot and any good aff team will destroy a a generic link unless there is some support through a link wall. Impact debates must be more than just nuke war kills all you have to place comparative value to the status quo now and after plan passage. Yet a disad is an easier win with the advantages of solvency deficits and the option of competitive counter plans.
The Counter Plan: Competition is key if there is no proof that the end result is not uniquely different from the aff plan it is less likely to capture my ballot. So C/P solvency and competition is where my voter lies on the C/P flow this involves establishing and controlling the clash on the net benefit. PIC's usually rely on proving that the theoretical value of competition is worth my jurisdiction.
Theory: cross apply T only thing with a theory debate that is different is you must be able to show in where the violation actually happens yet I find theory to be easy outs to traditional clash.
Framework: this is where my jurisdiction truly falls and it is the teams’ job to not only introduce the functioning framework but to uphold and defend that their framework is worth singing my ballot towards. I have no set idea of a framework coming into the round your job is to sell me to one and by any means my job is not to look at what framework sounds good but which is presented in a manner that avoids judges intervention (really just the team that prevents me from doing the bulk of the work if any).
In general: I love a good old debate round with tons of clash and where there is an understanding and display of your own intellect I find it hard to judge a round where there is just a display of how well a team can read and make reference to evidence, usually I hope that ends or is done less coming out of the 1AR. I'm a man who finds pleasure in the arts and execution of organic intellect and can better give my decision and opinion based mainly on how one relates back to competitive debate, if debate for you is a card game then it forces me to have to make decision based off my comprehension of the evidence and trust me that is never a good thing, yet a round where the discussion is what guides my ballot I can vote on who upholds the best discursive actions.
1. Conflicts [as of 10/04/2020]
- No Univ of Chicago Lab
- No Iowa City
2. Short Version
- tech over truth
- strong analytics/analysis can beat carded evidence
- prioritize your impacts
- have fun!
3. Pandemic Social Distancing Related Technology Notes
- Please slow down 5-10%. Emphasize your warrants. Without a microphone stem, your quality fluctuates. Keep in mind that I still flow on paper.
- Please get explicit visual or audio confirmation from everyone in the debate before beginning your speech. I may use a thumbs up to indicate I am ready.
- If my camera is off, unless I explicitly have told you otherwise, assume I'm not at the computer.
- If the current speaker has significant tech problems, I'll try to interrupt your speech and mark the last argument and timestamp.
4. Some Detail
I've been meaning to do this for a while, but have not really had the time. My hope is that I end up judging better debates as a result of this updated philosophy. I am now changing to a more linear philosophy, it is my hope that you read this in its entirety before choosing where to place me on the pref sheet. I debated for four years at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in the south Chicago suburbs from 2007-2011. During that time I debated, Sub-Saharan Africa, Alternative Energy, Social services and substantial reductions in Military presence.
Nearing a decade ago, during would would have been the h.s. space topic. I started at the University of Northern Iowa, Where I debated NDT/CEDA Middle East/North Africa while judging a few debate rounds across the midwest. After my freshman year I transferred to the University of Iowa, where I started coaching at Iowa City High School. This year, I will continue to coach the City High Debate team.
Framing, Issue choice and impact calculus are in my opinion the most important aspects of argumentation, and you should make sure they are components in your speeches. Late rebuttals that lack this analysis are severely.
I preference tech over truth. Your in round performance is far more important to me, as it is what I hear. I greatly attempt to preference the speaking portion of the debate. Increasingly, I've found that my reading evidence is not necessarily an aspect of close debates, but rather results from poor argument explanation and clarification. The majority of 'close rounds' that I've judged fall into the category of closeness by lack of explanation. In some limited instances, I may call for evidence in order to satisfy my intellectual fascination with the activity. Anything other than that--which I will usually express during the RFD--probably falls upon inadequate explanation and should be treated as such.
I feel my role as a judge is split evenly between policymaker and 'referee' in that when called to resolve an issue of fairness. I will prioritize that first. Addressing inequities in side balance, ability to prepare and generate offense is something may at times find slightly more important than substance. In short, I consider myself a good judge for theory, THAT BEING SAID, rarely do I find theory debates resolved in a manner that satisfies my liking - I feel theoretical arguments should be challenged tantamount to their substance based counterparts. Simply reading the block isn't enough. Though I was a 2A[≈ High power LED current, peak 2.7 A] in high school I have since found myself sliding towards the negative on theoretical questions. I can be convinced, however, to limit the scope of negative offense quite easily, so long as the arguments are well explained and adjudicated.
I consider reasonability better than competing interpretations, with the caveat that I will vote on the best interpretation presented. But topicality questions shouldn't be a major concern if the team has answered.
I have a long and complicated relationship with the K. I have a level of familiarity with the mainstream literature, so go ahead and read Capitalism or Neolib. Less familiar arguments will require more depth/better explanation.
Sheryl Kaczmarek Lexington High School -- SherylKaz@gmail.com
I expect debaters to treat one another, their judges and any observers, with respect. If you plan to accuse your opponent(s) of being intellectually dishonest or of cheating, please be prepared to stake the round on that claim. Accusations of that sort are round ending claims for me, one way or the other. I believe debate is an oral and aural experience, which means that while I want to be included on the email chain, I will NOT be reading along with you, and I will not give you credit for arguments I cannot hear/understand, especially if you do not change your speaking after I shout clearer or louder, even in the virtual world. I take the flow very seriously and prior to the pandemic judged a lot, across the disciplines, but I still need ALL debaters to explain their arguments because I don't "know" the tiniest details for every topic in every event. I have not judged much during the pandemic so please start a little slower and work up to your top speed and please articulate. I am pretty open-minded about arguments, but I will NOT vote for arguments that are racist, sexist or in any other way biased against a group based on gender identity, religion or any other characteristic and I will NOT vote for suicide/self harm alternatives. None of those are things I can endorse as a long time high school teacher and decent human.
The Resolution -- I would prefer that debaters actually address the resolution, but I do vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often. That is because it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.
Framework -- I often find that these debates get messy fast. Debaters make too many arguments and fail to answer the arguments of the opposition directly. I would prefer more clash, and fewer arguments overall. While I don't think framework arguments are as interesting as some other arguments in debate, I will vote for the team that best promotes their vision of debate, or look at the rest of the arguments in the round through that lens.
Links -- I would really like to know what the affirmative has done to cause the impacts referenced in a Disad, and I think there has to be something the affirmative does (or thinks) which triggers a Kritik. I don't care how big the impact/implication is if the affirmative does not cause it in the first place.
Solvency -- I expect actual solvency advocates for both plans and counterplans. If you are going to have multi-plank plans or counterplans, make sure you have solvency advocates for those combinations of actions, and even if you are advocating a single action, I still expect some source that suggests this action as a solution for the problems you have identified with the Status Quo, or with the Affirmative.
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part of the card you read needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards after a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain a complicated argument to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy.
Old/Traditional Arguments -- I have been judging long enough that I have a full range of experiences with inherency, case specific disads, theoretical arguments against politics disads and many other arguments from policy debate's past, and I also understand the stock issues and traditional policy-making. If you really want to confuse your opponents, and amuse me, you'll kick it old school as opposed to going post-modern.
The Resolution -- The thing that originally attracted me to LD was that debaters actually addressed the whole resolution. These days, that happens far less often in LD than it used to. I like hearing the resolution debated, but I also vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often in LD. That is because I believe it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question.
Framework -- I think LDers are better at framework debates than policy debaters, as a general rule, but I have noticed a trend to lazy framework debates in LD in recent years. How often should debaters recycle Winter and Leighton, for example, before looking for something new? If you want to stake the round on the framework you can, or you can allow it to be the lens through which I will look at the rest of the arguments.
Policy Arguments in LD -- I understand all of the policy arguments that have migrated to LD quite well, and I remember when many of them were first developed in Policy. The biggest mistake LDers make with policy arguments -- Counterplans, Perm Theory, Topicality, Disads, Solvency, etc. -- is making the assumption that your particular interpretation of any of those arguments is the same as mine. Don't do that! If you don't explain something, I have no choice but to default to my understanding of that thing. For example, if you say, "Perm do Both," with no other words, I will interpret that to mean, "let's see if it is possible to do the Aff Plan and the Neg Counterplan at the same time, and if it is, the Counterplan goes away." If you mean something different, you need to tell me. That is true for all judges, but especially true for someone with over 40 years of policy experience. I try to keep what I think out of the round, but absent your thoughts, I have no choice but to use my own.
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part if the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot understand enough to write it down, I won't vote for it. If you don't think you have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you should try a different strategy.
Traditional Arguments -- I would still be pleased to listen to cases with a Value Premise and a Criterion. I probably prefer traditional arguments to new arguments that are not explained.
Theory -- Theory arguments are not magical, and theory arguments which are not fully explained, as they are being presented, are unlikely to be persuasive, particularly if presented in a paragraph, or a three word blips, since there is no way of knowing which ones I won't hear or write down, and no one can write down all of the arguments when each only merits a tiny handful of words. I also don't like theory arguments that are crafted for one particular debate, or theory arguments that lack even a tangential link to debate or the current topic. If it is not an argument that can be used in multiple debates (like topicality, conditionality, etc) then it probably ought not be run in front of me. New 1AR theory is risky, because the NR typically has more than enough time to answer it. I dislike disclosure theory arguments because I can't know what was done or said before a round, and because I don't think I ought to be voting on things that happened before the AC begins. All of that being said, I will vote on theory, even new 1AR theory, or disclosure theory, if a debater WINS that argument, but it does not make me smile.
The Resolution -- PF mostly still debates the resolution, which is one of the things I really like about the activity. Please make sure you do debate the resolution when debating in front of me. It would be best if the Final Focus on each side attempted to guide me to either endorse or reject the resolution.
Framework -- This is beginning to be a thing in PF in some places. I am perfectly willing to consider a lens through which I can look at the arguments in the debate, but given the time limits, please keep your framework simple and focused, should you decide to use one.
Policy or LD Behaviors/Arguments in PF -- I personally believe each form of debate ought to be its own thing. I DO NOT want you to talk quickly in PF, just because I also judge LD and Policy, and I really don't want to see theory arguments, plans, counterplans or kritiks in PF. I will definitely flow, and will judge the debate based on the flow, but I want PF to be PF. That being said, I will not automatically vote against a team that brings Policy/LD arguments/stylistic approaches into PF. It is still a debate and the opposition needs to answer the arguments that are presented in order to win my ballot, even if they are arguments I don't want to see in PF.
Paraphrasing -- I really wish the NSDA had decided to kill paraphrasing in PF. When someone paraphrases inaccurately, I have a huge problem with it. I expect debaters to be able to immediately access the text of the cards they have paraphrased -- there should not need to be an off time search for the article, or for the exact place in the article where they drew their paraphrasing from. Taking a 150 page article and making a claim from that is not paraphrasing -- that is summarizing (and not allowed). You must be able to point to the exact place your argument is based upon, within seconds of being asked to do so, or I am unlikely to consider the evidence in my decision.
Evidence -- If you are using evidence, I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is unacceptable. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part you card you read needs to say extinction will happen. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
Theory -- This has begun to be a thing in PF in some places, especially with respect to disclosure theory, and I am not a fan. As previously noted, I want PF to be PF. While I do think that PFers can be too secretive (Policy and LD both started that way), I don't think PFers ought to be expending their very limited time in rounds talking about whether they ought to have disclosed their case to their opponents before the round. Like everything else I would prefer were not true, I can see myself voting on theory in PF because I do vote based on the flow, but I'd prefer you debate the case in front of you, instead of inventing new arguments you don't really have time to discuss.
(I go by Sai + they/them)
Quarry Lane 19, NYU 22
(firstname.lastname@example.org) -- Pls add me to the email chain! And feel free to ask me questions before round about my paradigm or judging!
I don't know how much this matters, but I've done debate for 8 years now, had 9 career TOC bids in LD in high school, broke at the TOC, championed a college policy tournament, and coached several debaters who earned bids. I have extensive experience competing in and judging traditional rounds both locally and nationally, and I've also judged over 200 rounds of LD and policy at bid tournaments. I now work in real estate, film/tv production, and I'm a writer.
UPDATE for NSDA:
I don't care if you spread or speak slow, so you do you but please just slow down on tags. The easier you make the round for me to evaluate, the happier I will be!
I'm willing to give you a 30 if you read a really well-researched aff or have a strong defense of a K, but I'm also tryna be pretty generous with speaks anyways. I'm comfy evaluating pretty much anything you read as long as it's not disrespectful/bigoted/blatantly offensive, etc. (state good is fine, oppression good is not) and I enjoy creativity + well-researched args!
I like RFD's. I think they're a valuable tool for education and for you to challenge judges/hold us accountable. I'll disclose and give an oral RFD if you are willing to listen/if there's time (I like to write them out too tho, so you will see them on tab hopefully/I can email them to you or your coaches if you would prefer)!! And feel free to push me on anything or ask questions! This is about you, not me -- and I don't take it personally but I know that y'all get a W/L, so don't hold back if you feel some type of way.
I don't care if you read tricks, friv theory, K's, policy, etc. -- but I do care for warrants, weighing, and interesting args so have fun and do u -- I have a pretty good amount of experience with every style and form of debate in LD and policy, so feel free to read whatever you're most comfortable with. My only hardcore paradigmatic policies are that I will not enforce an argument about what a debater should wear because I feel uncomfortable doing that (shoes theory, clothing theory, etc. will earn you an auto-loss) or anything that is overtly violent, but you are also welcome to ask me or have your coaches ask me about my comfortability evaluating a certain argument.
You do you and I'll do my best — I don't care what you read as long as you win it and you're not actively violent. I'll aim to be as tab as I can -- I appreciate judge instruction, clarity > speed, and clear framing -- but regardless, tech > truth and I will vote for whoever has the cleanest route to the ballot/whoever I have to do less work for.
I also am trying to be super generous with speaks, but humor, creative args, or strong execution will get you a 29.5-30!
Please give me trigger/content warnings
Go to the bottom for stuff about speaks and some random shtuff I care about (also influences speaks tho)
K, Performance, Planless, etc.: 1
Plans, CP's, DA's, etc.: 1-2
Tricks, Friv Theory, etc.: 2-3
Topicality, Kritikal Theory, etc.: 1
Normative Phil/Framework: 1-2
Lay (LD): 4-5/strike
My approach to rounds has always been who do I need to do the least work for. That means you’re always better off with more judge instruction, clear weighing, impact comparison, and strong line by line as well as overview analysis. That’s obviously a lot (and LD rounds are short), so prioritize issues and collapse in later speeches. I am more than willing to vote on impact turns, independent voting issues, etc. — just make them clear, warrant them, and don’t leave me with a ton of questions at the end of the round. I default comparative worlds, but tech > truth. I think I probably have a relatively high threshold for warrants, which means quality > quantity. I don’t see myself really reading through evidence or revisiting your docs to find args — it’s your job to do that work for me.
I love impacting, weighing, and warranting -- don't just say "neolib" or yell "ontology" and move on because you think I will vote for you since I was a K debater -- do the work for me because I will drop you and hate intervening to fill gaps.
For Policy/CX Debate:
There's not a lot I think I really need to say -- I was a college policy debater at NYU and I went to RKS 2018 -- I judged a bid round/up to early elims at tourneys, coached some policy debaters in the past, and I'm pretty familiar with both policy and K lit -- I also read a ton of performative args from cardless aff's about throwing a party to queer bombs, tons of K's (queer theory, gender studies, critical race theory, indigenous studies, disability studies, and pomo), but also read a ton of straight up strats from a Bahrain aff to the classic politics DA + framework/T against non-T aff's -- I have been on both sides of most issues, but I don't really care about my opinions (except when it comes to accessibility and safety in rounds) -- so you do you and go ham (within reason of course).
My approach to rounds is typically to vote for the team that I need to do less work for to determine a ballot -- I have a somewhat high threshhold for warrants regardless of what you read (at least, compared to what I've seen other folx grant) -- meaning, you need to make sure you warrant everything because I will feel uncomfortable voting for something I cannot adequately explain without intervening to do work for you. This kinda just means I wanna hear internal links and their warrants, and/or a strong overview defense of your impacts.
I think framing is important -- doesn't mean you have to win util or a ROTB, but just do weighing, impact comparison, and draw me a ballot story by telling me what matters most in the round.
Everything else is pretty straight forward -- tech > truth, judge instruction, and you do you.
Feel free to hit me up and ask me any questions if you have em on either FB or my email.
I don’t think there’s much of an issue here since this is my initial foundation, I defended plan aff's and DA's throughout my career, I was a west coast debater, I read policy strategies in college with my partner, coached a couple policy and LD kids who read topical plan aff's, and I love policy debate. Debate as you do and I doubt there’s gonna be a problem for me. I'm a sucker for weighing and warrant comparison.
Don't be afraid to defend a policy aff against k's or phil -- I don't mind voting aff on Zanotti 14, but I'd rather you have a coherent justification for the aff being a good idea and a developed link turn strategy. Compare between the aff and the alt. Do framework comparisons if there's an NC and don't pretend Bostrom is enough. Also, adding in an impact that applies to marginalized populations could really help in debates where you want to go for a DA against a K aff, which shouldn't be hard to find since shtuff like climate change, war, and poverty affect those groups the most and also first.
DA's and CP's are fine and I have no problem here. I really like specific links and very specific politics scenarios, from like specific bills in Congress to international relations (I love IR). I think 2 condo CP's might be starting to push it, but that just means you should be ready to defend that you get them because I don't care as long as you answer any potential theory args.
I’m mostly familiar with Kantian Ethics, and have experience with Virtue Ethics, Pragmatism, Particularism, Agonism, Butler, and Social Contract Theories. I've read and/or defended all of these, but never studied them in-depth and wouldn't call myself an expert -- I haven't had trouble judging them and actually enjoying hearing them, so just do your best and you should be fine.
I find Phil vs. K interactions really interesting, but both sides could benefit from specific warranting when it comes to this rather than just winning your own framework or theory of power, but I am just as willing to vote on Kant as I am to vote on a K.
I am not very persuaded by author indicts of philosophers, but can be convinced if it is argued well -- BUT I have a higher threshhold for this than a turn to the framework itself. For example, I won't vote on Kant is racist, unless someone proves that his theory is and does the work of proving the aff is as well, OR is able to prove to me why I should not evaluate any of the work that someone who is a racist philosopher/writer has done -- which is a valid argument to make, but you can't just end it at Kant is racist -- explain to me why that's a voting issue/reason to drop the debater/argument because I'm so far not convinced by the super old and recycled cards everyone keeps reading. And if you're defending a framework against these objections, stand your ground and defend your aff without being repugnant -- impact turning racism is not ok, but you can definitely win that your framework guides against structural violence even if the original author sucks (i.e., Farr 02 lol).
HOWEVER, this is a different story if they actually read cards/cite the author you are calling out -- i.e., if someone read a Kant card and you read Kant is racist, I don't see a way for the affirmative to win a no link argument or prove why their reading of Kant is uniquely necessary -- at which point, the Kant is racist voter issue becomes very very persuasive to me.
I default epistemic confidence, but am open to hearing epistemic modesty and/or other framing mechanisms for evaluating competing ethical theories -- but that's up to you to justify and win.
I don't mind if you read these -- read a fair share of them myself (good samaritan paradox, a priori's, k tricks, etc.) and went for them too, coached debaters who read them, and have judged many rounds that came down to tricks.
I like creativity and think this can be a very fun style of debate to judge -- I find it often easier to resolve than other rounds, but that is all up to how you choose to go for them -- I will comfortably vote on tricks when they're impacted out and you explain the ballot story to me.
I think people could be more creative with these -- I wanna see a nailbomb K tricks aff or something else fresh -- and they are quite easy to write a ballot story with for me because they require mostly just an explanation of the argument, a warrant, and some impact analysis that explains why it's a voting issue/is sufficient for the ballot.
Go for it. I read everything from solvency advocate theory to disclosure to body politics, so I as long as it’s not actively violent (look at the bottom of my paradigm for more on that) and you're not being too frivolous -- it's fine with me -- the more frivolous it gets, the lower my threshhold for responses gets ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
My defaults: competing interps, drop the debater, no RVI’s — this is just how I will evaluate the theory debate if you don't give me paradigm issues, but please do and I'm more than willing to vote on reasonability or grant an RVI if it's won.
Impact turns are not RVI's and I still haven't heard a single persuasive or compelling reason I shouldn't vote on an impact turn -- feel free to read your no impact turns dump, but I recommend just cleaning up the flow by answering them instead -- a lot of impact turns to both T and theory are just cross-apps of case or huge conflations of arguments -- point that out, make it a link, put offense on that too (i.e., when they rely on warrants in the aff and you're reading arguments on T/theory for why you couldn't engage those warrants, granting the impact turn doesn't make sense in this case and seems to supercharge the abuse story) -- however you deal with it, deal with it.
I read topicality against most k aff’s that I hit my senior year, both just defend the topic and framework itself, and I read spec bad against like every larp aff my last topic too. However, I have no biases here and can be persuaded to vote either way.
I have no issues with you going for 1-off T-FW against K aff’s and I’m more than willing to vote on it, but I do think there are ways to win my ballot easier. Having a clear TVA is always persuasive, but what I mean by this is not just like a literal plan text that mentions the identity group the aff talks about — take it further and explicitly explain to me why that TVA is a much better model for debate than the version of the aff that was the 1AC.
I think having either offense on the case page or doing clear interactions between the aff offense and the T flow is persuasive and useful when I write my ballot. I’d prefer you tell me a story in the 2NR and really sell your model of debate to me. In other words, it is not sufficient to win that debate is solely a competitive game for me, I want you to really explain the implications of that to me because that’s a pretty bold claim considering all that this activity has been for a ton of people.
When debating T — have a clear counter-interp and defend your model of debate. I am more than willing to vote on an impact turn and am down for all the drama of various T strategies. Regardless, have a strong and robust defense of whatever model you choose to defend. I have been on both sides of this issue and I love debating from both sides of the issue (to some extent -- some language y'all be using in both your topicality extensions and your topicality answers are very iffy), and I find these to be some of the best and worst rounds. However, I am here for it.
Quick side note on Nebel -- I have not read much into Nebel, but it's not very persuasive to me that I should determine the topic by conventional grammar rules in a language that has been so deeply tied to colonialism -- I don't think this means I will auto-vote on grammar/textuality is racist, but I can be very strongly persuaded to and I think negatives need to have a robust defense prepared against this -- as in, take it serious and engage the argument by explaining to me why Nebel is not racist/answering the aff arguments, but don't assume I will vote on fairness outweighs or semantics first in a scenario where you are losing on that argument. That being said, a simple spec bad shell with a limits standard gets the job done and is a very great strat in front of me.
Yes. This is what I’m most comfortable evaluating. I’m most comfortable with identity politics, especially Critical Race Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Queer Theory, Queer of Color Studies, Asian Studies, and Performance Studies. If there’s a high theory k or some other area of literature that you enjoy reading or want to try out — go for it. However, I will hold you to really knowing your lit.
Also, please be aware of your own privilege -- have a strong and robust defense of why you should be able to read the k, what your relationship is to the literature, and how I should evaluate the round given all that.
Leverage the K against other flows and put offense on different layers — if you’re winning a case turn, implicate it both through the thesis of the K and independently.
Engage the thesis claims and answer the links in the 1AR.
Perms should probably have a text, but I'm open to the 2AR having leeway to explain them. But if you just yell "perm -- do the aff and graffiti the alt" -- I'm not gonna be very inclined to vote aff if I have no explanation of why that does anything. Have a relatively clear warrant and explanation of the perm that you can develop in the 2AR if you collapse to it.
Kicking the alt is fine — win the links and warrant presumption. I’m also fine with all your k tricks, but I’m not gonna stake the round on the 2AR dropping that fiat is illusory absent some clear warranting and judge instruction with it, as well as some comparison between your claim and a 1AR/2AR arg about the value of simulating policymaking or whatnot.
Yes. These are my favorite aff’s and I find them super interesting. I read them almost every round for 5 years now, I coached them for 2 years now, and I've debated/judged them for that whole time as well -- I got you LOL. I don’t care if you defend the topic or not, but be prepared to defend your aff and all the choices you made in it.
Presumption is fine, but I’m probably not gonna be persuaded by the classic arg that the aff does not affect how I view the world, feel, etc. This is not to say that I will not vote on a ballot presumption argument if it is argued well and won, but don't expect me to bank the round on a 5 second shadow extension that lacks clear warrants or weighing. I did read and go for presumption against a lot of these aff’s, but I prefer these to be reasons for why the performance of the aff is inconsistent with the method or other parts of the 1AC somehow, lack of solvency, vagueness, etc., and make sure the turns are impacted out effectively and weighed against affirmative's.
Be creative. Have fun. Express yourself. The best kritikal and performative aff’s that I have seen are a result of how they are presented, written, and defended — I think these can be some of the best or some of the worst rounds, but the only thing I’ll hold you to is defending something clear, whether a method, advocacy statement, praxis, or whatnot. Just be clear and tell me how to evaluate the round, considering most of these aff’s ask for a shift in how to evaluate and view debate itself.
Do NOT read these in front of me just because it’s what I did. I will definitely hold you to a higher threshold. Also, feel free to ask me any questions — I’d be more than happy to help you figure out some aspects of how you wanna explore reading this and I know I definitely benefitted from judges who did that for me, so I got u. With that being said, here's some cool things I'd love to see.
Something I loved doing was impact turning presumption args though — 1AR’s and 2AR’s that can effectively do this and collapse to it are dope and I’m here for it.
I think CX is a place to perform too -- I love performances that somehow extend beyond just the 1AC because they bring so much more of the drama of debate into question. However, I have also seen many people do this in ways that aren't very tasteful and end up either confusing me or triggering me. On the other hand, I've also found that these can be some of the most brutal CX strategies when employed well.
Regardless, don't feel shy about testing the waters in front of me, within reason. However, fire hazards are real, flashing lights are a no-no, and I would like to be warned, if possible. In other words -- sure, go off, but don't get me (or yourself) in trouble or do anything hazardous/risky. Also, I don't think it's ok for you to infringe on someone else's literal ability to debate, in terms of doing anything to their flows or picking up their computer for whatever reason -- please don't, I won't be happy and your coaches/school won't be happy.
I loved getting speaker awards, so just do you and I got you, but here's some incentives + random things LOL
- + speaks for everyone if you have the email chain set up before I walk into the room
- Clarity and enunciation > speed please
- Passion and ethos are dope — I don’t care what form this is in, but really sell whatever you read to me
- I will try to average a 29, but to be continued
Some qualms of mine (these will affect speaks):
- Non-black folx who read anti-blackness against black folx will prolly lose in front of me
- Please please slow down on tags and give me something to differentiate between args (i.e., “and”)
- I will not vote on anything that polices what clothing other debaters are wearing — this is not negotiable sorry and yes, that means I will not vote on shoes theory or formal clothing theory — you can @ me if you want, but I don't feel comfortable deciding what children should wear
- If you are reading a card with more than one color highlighted in it, please remove the highlights of what you're not reading -- it really messes with me and I personally have issues processing that -- it's not a huge deal, but it will help me adjudicate better and I'll boost speaks
- Evidence ethics is actually quite important to me -- just cite stuff and use EasyBib if you are unsure how -- that means I have very low tolerance for lack of citations (the minimum is the author name, name of the book/article, and the date it was published), clipping, and more
- Pronouns are important — misgendering is not cool w me, but try your best and I understand — I recommend defaulting to “they” anyways
- Trigger and content warnings are important to me as an educator in the activity, but also as a participant in the round — if you’re going to be talking about sensitive topics, please give me (and everyone in the room) a heads up -- (this does not mean you don't get to read it tho -- you don't need my permission, just let us all prepare emotionally/mentally)
Email chains are a tangible improvement to debate. RLarsen at desidancenetwork dot org. You can read my entire paradigm for bolded passages, as you would a card. Pronouns are he/him/”Judge”. The affirmative should have speech doc ready to be emailed by round start time. Please keep a local copy of speech recordings. In the event of a 30-second tech blip, recordings will be reviewed; no speeches will be redone, barring tournament policy. Debaters have the right to reserve CX start until receipt of marked speech doc.
(Long Version is for procrastinating non-debate work)
(Pre-round Prep/Deadline Preffing): If you're a student doing your own prefs, you're best off reading the next two paragraphs and skimming my voting record. If you're a coach, you likely already know where to pref me.
Debate is a group of people engaging in performances. The nature of those debate performances (including my role as a judge) is settled by the competitors in the round with arguments. My default as a policy judge is to believe that those performances regard policymaking and that plans (/counterplans/alts/advocacies) create worlds with real impacts I should calculate via fiat as the plan is executed. As an LD judge, I think the round is about pursuing philosophical reasons to affirm or negate the resolution, and impacting through the lens of the criterial structure. Any successful movement away from the default paradigm typically entails explaining why I, the judge, should interpret your speech time differently. Most people succeed in shifting my defaults, and would consider me a “tabula rasa” judge. Nearly all of my LD rounds look like solo Policy these days. I’m expressive while judging, and you should take advantage of that, and look for cues. It is my belief that students are owed an explanation of the decision and that the judge is accountable to their evaluation of the round.
Clash happens through the lens of the ballot. The nature of how the ballot is to be considered is the framework flow, and that means that arguments like Kritiks might engage with T/Theory in some rounds and not others. This means I will vote for your take on burning down civil society in one round and vote you down on T in the next. I listen to about 20 rounds/week, so my strong preference is for good argumentation, not specific strategies. More at the top of the long version below.Strategy Notes:
Negatives are currently going for too much in the 2NR, while dropping case. Affirmatives are currently spending too much time extending case while dropping world of the perm articulations.
Perms: I give the benefit of the doubt to the intuitive status of the permutation. I’m happy to vote against my intuition, but you need to lead me there (more below).
Tricks: If you go for this, impact the tricks out, as you would a dropped card. Slow down for the key line(s) in rebuttal speeches. Eye contact makes this strategy sustainable. Yes, Tricks rounds have '19-'20 ballots from me. No, they should not be your first move.
Disclosure the Argument is great! Drop the debater on disclosure is unimpressive. Read it as an implication to round offense, or you're better off spending time on basically any other sheet.
Topical Version of the Aff (TVA): Gotta read them, gotta answer them. Most of the rounds I vote for T are from a dropped interp or dropped TVA
RVIs =/= Impact Turns: My patience for abusive theory underviews is fading. Quickly
Independent Voters: explain to me why the voter stands apart from the flow and comes first. Debaters are not consistently executing this successfully in front of me, so consider my threshold higher than average
No Risk: I do vote on no risk of the aff/plan doesn't solve. Terminal defense is still a thing
If you expect me to evaluate charts/graphics in your speech doc, give me time during the speech to read any graphics. It will otherwise only be a tie-breaker in evidence analysis
Uplayering: layers of debate often interact with each other; that they exist in separate worlds is not very compelling. Sequencing why I should analyze argument implications before others is the best way to win the layers debate.Previous Season Notes:
While I recognize there's no obligation to share your analytics, the practice serves a good pedagogical benefit for those who process information in different ways. This is even more relevant for online debate. I will begin awarding +.3 speaker points for those speeches including all/nearly all analytics in the speech doc AND that are organized in a coherent manner.
2019-2020 Aff Speaks: 28.801 Neg Speaks: 28.809; Aff Ballots 114 Neg Ballots: 108
222 rounds judged for the '19-'20 season, mixed LD and Policy
Coached students to qualification for 2020 TOC in LD and Policy
(good luck, get snacks)
I recognize that this is no longer a viable read between rounds. Because I continue to receive positive feedback for its detail, it will be kept up, but I do not have any expectation that you will memorize this for my rounds. Bold text is likely worth its time, though.
Long Version (Procrastinating Other Work/Season Preffing):
Role of the Ballot:
Framework debaters: if you think the debate space should be predictable and fair, you should articulate what education/fairness/pick-your-voter means to the activity and why the ballot of this particular round matters.
K debaters: if you think rhetoric and its shaping matters more than the policy impacts of the 1AC, you should articulate your world of the alt/advocacy/pick-your-impact in a way that allows me to sign the ballot for you.
Performance debaters: if you think the debate space is for social movements/resistance/pick-your-story, you should explain why your performance relates to the ballot and is something I should vote for. Ideal performance cases explain topic links or provide reasons they actively choose not to be topical.
Everybody else: you get the idea. Clash happens through the lens of the ballot. The nature of how the ballot is to be considered is the framework flow, and that means that arguments like Kritiks might engage with T/Theory in some rounds and not others. This means I will vote for your take on burning down civil society in one round and vote you down on T in the next.
The world is unfair. Fairness is still probably a good thing. We get education from winning, and from losing. Some topics are poorly written and ground issues might not be the fault of your opponent. For debaters pursuing excellence, traditional voters aren’t the end of the conversation. Argument context can be everything. Tech speak, fairness is an internal link more than it is an impact.
“Two ships passing in the night” is something we hear in approximately 143% of RFDs, and it’s almost always the most efficient way to sad faces, frustration, and post rounding. RESOLVE this by finding points of clash, demonstrating that your claims engage with the claims of your opponent in a way that is beneficial for you. Clash shows that you are aware that your opponent has ground, and your following that with an explanation of why that ground couldn’t possibly earn my ballot is very persuasive. A round without clash is a round left to the judge, and you don’t want to leave any argument, big or small, up to the discretion of the judge.
The preventable argument issue that most often shows up on my ballot is how the permutation functions. I give the benefit of the doubt to the intuitive status of the permutation. For example, I think it’s very easy to imagine a world where two separate policy actions are taken. I think it’s very hard to imagine a world in which Civil Society is ended and the 1AC still solves its harms through implementation. The former gets preference for the permutation making sense. The latter gets preference for exclusivity making sense. I’m happy to vote against my intuition, but you need to lead me there.
I flow on paper, because as a wise teacher (Paul Johnson) once (/often) told me: “Paper doesn’t crash.” This means I will NOT:
Flow your overview verbatim
Flow your underview verbatim
Flow your tags verbatim
But I WILL:
Follow the speech doc for author name spelling
Have no issues jumping around sheets as long as you signpost as you go
Still always appreciate another run through the order (if you don’t have the order, or you change it up, that’s O.K. Again, just sign post clearly)
Write in multiple colors (for individual speakers and notes)
Typically respond to body language/speech patterns and give you cues to what should be happening more or what should be happening less (furrowed brow + no writing usually means bad news bears. No writing, in general, means bad news bears)
I will keep the speech doc open on my computer, because it seems like a good idea to live the round as closely to the competitors’ experience as possible. However, it is YOUR job as a debater to COMMUNICATE to me the most important parts of your speech. 9 times out of 10 this means:
SLOW DOWN to emphasize big picture ideas that you use to contextualize multiple parts of the round. Let me know that you know it’s important. That level of awareness is persuasive.
TELL A STORY of the debate round. Are you winning? (the answer is almost always “yes”) Why are you winning? What are your winning arguments? Why do they demolish your opponent’s arguments into a thousand pieces of rubble that couldn’t win a ballot if you were unable to deliver any additional arguments?
WEIGH IMPACTS. Time frame/magnitude/probability. These are all great words that win debate rounds. There are other great words that also win rounds.
PRIORITIZE (TRIAGE) arguments. You don’t need to win all the arguments to win the debate. If you go for all the arguments, you will often lose a debate you could have won.
New Affs Bad may be persuasive, but not to me. Breaking new affs is the divine right of the affirmative.
I’m still hearing this debated occasionally, but cross ex is binding. I flow it/take notes.
Flex Prep is alive and well in my rounds. You have an opportunity to ask further questions, but not a clear obligation to answer them. I also think it’s pretty fair that prep time can be used to just… prep.
If you ask me to call for evidence, you probably didn’t do a sufficient job presenting your cards during the round.
Rhetorical questions seem very clever as they’re conceived, but are rarely persuasive. Your opponent will not provide a damning answer, and your time would have been better spent working to make positive claims.
I tend to like policy arguments and performance more than philosophy-heavy kritiks because Ks often lose their grounding to the real world (and, it follows, the ballot). Policy arguments are claiming the real world is happening in the speeches of the round, and performance debate has had to justify its own existence for as long as it has existed, which makes it more practiced at role of the ballot. If you love your K and you think it’s the winning move, go for it! Just make sure to still find clash. Related: “reject” alts almost always feel like they’re missing something. Almost like a team without a quarterback, a musical without leads, a stage without performers.
Good links >>> more links
Good evidence >>>>> more evidence
Many definition interpretations are bad. Good definitions win [T] rounds.
Many framework card interpretations are bad. Every debater is better off reading the cards in the entirety at some point during their infinite prep, in order to better understand author intent.
My threshold for accepting politics disads as persuasive feels higher than the community average. I think it’s because probability is underrated in most politics disads.
Anything I believe is open to negotiation within the context of debate, but general truths have a much lower standard of proof (i.e. Debater 1 says “we are currently in Mexico.” Debater 2 counters “Pero estamos en Estados Unidos.” I consider the truth contest over at this point). The more specialized the knowledge, the higher the standard of proof.
Technical parts of the flow (T & Theory come to mind) can be really fast. I mentioned above that I’m writing by hand. You are always better off with -50% the number of arguments with +50% presentation and explanation to the remaining claims. Yes, I have your speech doc. No, I’m not doing your job for you. Communicate the arguments to me.
Debaters are made better by knowing how arguments evolve. There’s a reason a permutation is a “test of competition” (see: plan plus). Knowing the roots and growth of arguments will make you better at clash will make you better at debate will make you better at winning real, actual ballots.
My default is always to give an RFD, and to start that RFD with my decision. This will typically be followed by the winning argument(s). Ideally, the RFD should look suspiciously like the final rebuttal speech of the winning team.
I apologize for this paradigm becoming unreasonable in length.
Advice I give frequently enough to consume space on this infinitely long page that is now my paradigm:
Ships passing in the night/Clash wins rounds (see above)
Thanksgiving standard: if you can't explain why this argument is important to your Grandma during Thanksgiving dinner conversation, you probably need to keep reading the literature until you can contextualize to the real world. There's also a really good chance it won't win you the round.
At least try to live the advocacy you endorse. If you think coalition-building is the move, you shouldn’t be exclusionary without clear justification, and possibly not even then. The debate space is better for inclusion efforts.
It’s always to your advantage to use cross ex/prep to understand opposing arguments. Don’t realize after a rebuttal speech that your strategy was based on an incomplete understanding of your opponent(s) and their case.
It’s almost always worth your time to take a small amount of prep to sit back, breathe, and consider how you’re going to explain this round to your coach, debate-knowledgeable legal guardian, or friend-who-doesn’t-like-debate-but-supports-you-in-your-endeavors-because-they’re-a-good-friend. It’s an exercise that will tell you what’s important and help clear the clutter of speed, terminology, and tech.
This is also a good test for seeing if you can explain all the arguments using small words. I think the fanciest words I use in this paradigm are “verbatim” and “temporal proximity”. If you can’t explain your arguments in a simple, efficient manner, you need to keep reading.
It’s also almost always worth your time to take a moment, a sip of water, and a breath to collect yourself before a speech. Do this without excess and every judge you compete in front of will appreciate the generated composure and confidence in your ensuing speech.
Don’t start that speech with a million words a minute. Build to it. Double plus ungood habit if you forgot to check that everyone was ready for you to begin speaking.
I have never, not even once, in a decade+ of debate, heard a judge complain that author names were spoken too slowly.
Don’t take 5 minutes to flash a speech or to sort together a speech doc after you’re “done” prepping.
Your speech and prep time is yours to do with as you wish. Play music, talk loudly, play spades.
Opponent prep time is theirs to do with as they wish. That means you don’t get to play music intrusively (read: use headphones), talk intrusively, play spades intrusively, you get where this is going. This is one of the areas I think speaker points is very much at judge discretion.
If it’s not a speech and it’s not cross ex and neither team is running prep, you should not be prepping. Stealing prep is another area that I think leaves speaker points very much to judge discretion.
Don’t set sound alarms to the time you keep for your opponent’s speeches. Nobody ever, ever wants to hear the timer of the opponent go off before the speaker’s. I will keep time in 99% of debates, and if you’re wrong and cutting into their speech time, you’re losing speaker points.
I’m almost always down to give notes between rounds/after tournaments/via email on your performance in debate. Temporal proximity works in your favor (read: my memory has never been A1).
There are few things I love in this good life more than hearing a constructive speech that takes a new interpretation of an old idea and expands how I see the world. Writing your own arguments makes the time you invest in debate more worthwhile.
Spend some time teaching debate to others. Most things worth learning are worth teaching, and the act of teaching will give you an excellent perspective to arguments that have staying power in the community.
Lincoln-Douglas Debaters: A priori arguments can win rounds, but I’d rather see a debate where you win on substance than on a single line that your opponent dropped/misunderstood. If you’re going for a dropped analytic, impact it out in the 2R, as you would any other dropped card.
I feel like the rounds that end up being primarily the criterial debate typically indicate that the debaters could have done more to apply their arguments to the lens of their opponent’s criterion.
This space is for you. We don’t hold debate tournaments so that judges can sign ballots. You don’t spend hours/years preparing arguments and developing this skill because you just really want Tab Staffers to have something to do on the weekends. Mountains of money aren’t shifted so that we can enjoy the sweet, sweet pizza at the lunch hour. We’re here so that you can debate. Performance is about communicated intent, and debate is no exception. You can take anything out of that experience, but articulating your purpose walking into the round, even if only to yourself, will make you more persuasive.
Closing note: I typically think dialogue is the best way to educate, and that my role (at a bare minimum) is to educate the competitors following the round, through the lens of my decision and its reasoning. I will typically write a short Tabroom ballot and give as extensive a verbal RFD as scheduling permits/the students have asked all the questions they desire. The short version of this paradigm caused me physical pain, so that should indicate my willingness to engage in decision-making/pedagogical practices.
4 years high school LD/Extemp/PF
3 years college policy/parli/public
Coaching/teaching debate since 2009-ish
Writing Arguments by Allegory since 2013
Yes, include me on the email chain. email@example.com
Brooklyn Tech: 2011 - 2012 (those three novice UDL tournaments apparently count), 2017 - 2021 (coach)
NYU: 2014 - 2018
The New School: 2018-2020 (coach)
***I used to keep my video off for rounds, but I've since learned that it's a mistake for the morale of the debater as well as for confirming whether or not I'm actually in the room. If my camera is off, I am not in the room. Please do not start speaking***
In case you're pressed for time
1. Do you. Have fun. Don't drop an important argument.
2. If there is an impact in the 2NR/2AR, there's a high chance you've won the debate in front of me. I like going for the easy way out and impacts give me the opportunity to do that. Impact comparisons are good too. NEG - LINKS to those impacts matter. AFF - how you SOLVE those impacts matter. Outside of that context, I'm not sure how I should evaluate.
3. I flow on paper, so please don't be upset if I miss arguments because you're slurring your words or making 17 arguments/minute.
4. Don't assume I know the acronyms or theories you're talking about, even if I do. This is a persuasion activity, so no shortcuts to persuading me.
5. Obviously, I have biases, but I try not to let those biases influence how I decide a round. Usually, if debaters can't accomplish #2, then I'll be forced to. I prefer to go with the flow though.
6. If at the end of the round, you find yourself wanting to ask my opinion on an argument that you thought was a round winner, know that I have one of two answers: I didn't consider it or I didn't hear it. Usually, it's the latter. So try not to make 5 arguments in 20 seconds.
**ONLINE DEBATE**: You don't need to yell into your mic. I can hear you fine. In fact, yelling into your mic might make it harder for me to hear you. Which means you may lose. Which is bad. For you.
**PF ONLY**: I didn't care about your Sunday best in person and I care even less about it online. If you want to keep your camera off when I'm judging, it's fine (particularly if your connection isn't strong). You're not going to lose the round or lose speaks for it. Also, I don't know why asking for evidence isn't done in advance or automatically considered taking prep time. Just know that, in front of me, if it takes more than 2 minutes to ask for evidence, it's coming out of your prep. And 3 minutes is not a lot of prep to begin with.
If you're not so pressed for time
I debated for four years at NYU and ran mostly soft left affs. I think that means I'm a pretty good judge for these types of affs and it also means I'm probably able to tell if there is a genuine want for a discussion about structural violence impacts or if they're just tacked on because K debaters are scary.
I do think debate is a game, but I also think people should be allowed to modify the "rules" of the game if they're harmful or just straight up unlikeable. I guess now would also be a good time to point I'm a game designer, so I like thinking about the implications of declaring debate to be "just" a game or "more than" a game. Now to the important stuff.
Speed: Through a card, I'll tolerate it. Through a tag or analytics, I'll be pretty annoyed. And so will you, because I'll probably miss something important that could cost you the round. When reading a new card, either verbally indicate it ("and" or "next") or change your tone to reflect it.
Planless affs: Even in a game, some people just don't want to defend the government. And that's perfectly okay. But I would like the aff to be relevant to the current topic. I feel like some affs are just random backfile cards put together with slightly altered tags. Not a big fan of those, but I'll still vote for them if I'm convinced enough in a round.
CP: Wasn't really much of a CP debater and I don't really coach teams that run CPs, except the basic novice ones that come in a starter kit. I think they're a fine argument and am willing to vote on them.
DA: You could never go wrong with a good DA. DAs, when run correctly, have a really good, linear story that can be extended in the neg block and could be used to effectively handle aff answers. Feel free to go crazy.
Ks: I can't think of a neg round where I didn't run a K. I've run cap, security, queerness, my aff, and some variations of Black feminism. But please, do not talk to me as if I know your K. If you're running pomo, I most definitely don't know your K and will need to be talked through it with analogies and examples. If you're running an identity K, I probably do know your K but expect the same from you as I expect from a pomo debater. Cap, security - you get the memo.
T: My favorite neg arg as a senior. I'm always down for a good T debate. I do think that sometimes it's used as a cop-out, but I also think that some affs aren't forwarding any sort of plan or advocacy. Just stating an FYI and a neg can't really argue against that. So T becomes the winning strategy.
Framework: Not exactly the same as T, but I still **like** it. If you're a non-Black debater, I do not care what variation of Framework (or T) you're running in front of me. Just call it framework.
Theory: Important, but the way debaters speed through their theory shells makes me question just how important it is. Again, slow down when reading theory in front of me so it's actually an option for you at the end of the round.
Most likely, if you've had me as a judge, then you know my timer. This is where I downloaded it from (and yes, it's wrestling-related): https://youtu.be/-TkA3ObTSLc
I'm a versatile judge but also keeping in mind that this is policy debate, I intend on voting at least with the barest minimum required:
- Framework - what's yours, reasons to perfer, why is your opponents f/w undesirable, etc.
- Impacts - what is the urgency? In round impacts included. If going for theory, what's the terminal impact of that.
- Risks - what conquenses will be made from an opposing ballot?
- Solvency - evidence of proof
- Topicality/Theory - if there are no voters, I will not be voting on the argument. Independent voters need to be impacted out.
K affs have the burden of proof which means even if you don't claim fiat, solvency is still required. Evidence can be used as proof but there's going to be a deeper analysis needed to support your commitment and legitimacy of your advocacy if it is a performative style of debate especially. I still expect clash and line by line. You cannot get caught up in the argument that you refuse or forget to engage in actual debate. If by the end of debate I don't understand the solvency mechanism being used to solve the impacts of the aff and no analysis on reasons to perfer affs f/w I'm probably going to vote on persumption.
Lastly but should've been firstly, after years of debating and over a decade of judging, I have seen an upward trend in bad ethos in debate. Lets keep it respectful. If there are trigger warnings, they need to be addressed before the debate starts.
Open cross-x is fine.
I'm not going to evaluate any questions past cross x but if you want to ask simple questions during your prep during contructives, that's fine.
This is a new tabroom account so please excuse the lack of judging history.
I have participated in PF, LD and Policy within the 8 years of me being in the debate community.
Please email me if you have any questions as I continue to update my paradigm thank you.
OR - If you have any immediate question for PREFS you can always find me on facebook Heaven Montague
Tech or Truth?
I am a technical judge BUT I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY ARGUMENTS THAT MAKE STATEMENTS SUCH AS RACISM GOOD AND ETC.
This is a new tabroom account so please excuse the lack of judging history.
I have participated in PF, LD and Policy within the 8 years of me being in the debate community.
Please email me if you have any questions as I continue to update my paradigm thank you.
OR - If you have any immediate question for PREFS you can always find me on facebook Heaven Montague
Tech or Truth?
I am a technical judge BUT I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY ARGUMENTS THAT MAKE STATEMENTS SUCH AS RACISM GOOD AND ETC.
Roberto Montero, Bronx Science ’16, Binghamton ’20. I debated 4 years in high school and broke at the ToC if that means anything to you.
There are two types of arguments in debate (and their inverses): smart arguments and good arguments. Some arguments happen to be both but most of the time they are neither (thus either a bad argument or a not-so-intelligent argument). A smart argument is well-researched, nuanced, and interesting. Good arguments are strategic and effective at winning debates. For example, the politics disad is a ‘good argument’ in that it wins a lot of debates and can be executed and deployed to perfection in the correct hands. That doesn’t make it a smart argument because every novice can tell you that it doesn’t reflect real politics outside of a basic uniqueness claim (which half the time is cut out of context because news articles aren’t written as conclusive as cards are purported to be). A smart argument isn’t always good however. If you have a critique that you’ve put a grad thesis amount of work into, it might make some interesting observations about the world/aff but may not be the most strategic.
Understanding the distinction between these two types of arguments is a recipe for combining them and developing the most well rounded arguments and a higher quality of debates. However, it isn’t my job to sit behind my laptop and mock the quality of your arguments, rather it is up to you as debaters to develop and articulate your arguments as such. When judging I do my best to let debaters do the debating so regardless of what my opinions/thoughts on your arguments are, as long as they are warranted, impacted and clearly extended throughout the speeches. This is also important for understanding how I judge debates—framing your rebuttals with important technical concessions on the line by line is valuable in making my decision easier and not make me sift through dropped arguments on both sides.
The biggest problem in most debates starts with that whole line by line thing. Teddy Albiniak taught me that one of the ways that high schoolers develop bad habits is through imitating prominent college debaters. The thing that bothers me the most is the reliance on 7/8 minute overviews. While this may be something that works for some very talented college debaters, generally it shouldn’t be a tactic employed by most. There is a place for an overview, and it serves a valuable and strategic function but there is such a thing as excessive. This is one of the biggest tradeoffs with engaging in the line by line in general which is pretty important.
*This last portion, like most of my paradigm, assumes a basic model of debate. This means that if you present an alternative model of debate and a different metric for evaluating arguments I will accept that. To quote Alain Badiou It’s only a principle, it’s not a programme. Debate isn’t standard and that is one of the things that makes it such an enjoyable and valuable activity, so take this with a grain of salt.
The second biggest problem is case debating. ~~Newsflash~~ most affs are bad. Not even most, definitely all of the affirmatives are bad. One of the best way to satisfy judges (and me) is by exploiting that on the case page. The threshold for smart 1nc case analytics is a little high but by the block some smart engagement with the warrants and internal links of the 1ac, especially at a basic, logical level, can only help you in the long run. This is particularly important for me as a judge because I can easily justify pulling the trigger on a presumption/0 risk of the aff type argument if mishandled by the affirmative and well-articulated/nuanced by the negative. This is not to say it’s impossible to be aff or that even that the standard is higher but that you should be prepared to defend the 1ac against larger level solvency questions.
We also need to talk about presumption. It is important, especially versus critical affirmatives. If your aff cannot answer the question of why the ballot is key or implicate it in any sense, you have abdicated my role as an adjudicator. All I can really do is enter a team that is victorious on a ballot, just saying that this is obvious does not mean the issue goes away. Perhaps this contradiction is too much to overcome in 8 minutes of a 1ac, and maybe is a problem with how we construct affirmatives but something persuasive needs to be said that doesn't amount to "You're right nothing we said or do matters but you should vote for us anyways" in 1ac cross-x.
Tl;dr please debate the case. Just do it. Like cigarettes and overviews it’s not cool just because the big kids do it.
As for specific arguments I don’t have much to say on all the ~nuances~ of agent counter plans or the intricacies of politics disad theory. I think the go through every issue thing is cliché and generally just a waste of time. If you have any specific questions about my thoughts on some random thing I’d be happy to answer it but I won’t bother to write down an arbitrary opinion on the 7th subpoint of some condo block from 2006. The only issue worth addressing (and what I’m almost confident is the only thing people look at) is framework.
The biggest problem with framework is that a lot of 2nr’s seem to forget to extend an impact. And when they do remember to extend an impact it turns out to just be a really bad impact. Although I’m willing to vote on a dropped fairness argument I’m still skeptical that the age old phrase ‘Debate is a game so fairness you broke the rules you lose’ meets the necessary threshold of an argument. If you plan on going for this impact in front of me make sure it is clearly articulated and not the same circular claim without a warrant.
What I think the so called ‘intrinsic’ value of debate is can be loosely understood as clash. The ability for two teams to debate the merits of competing positions seems valuable not only for education but is just plain fun. Not to say that clash is an impact in it of itself because at some level it’s fundamentally inevitable, but it’s a question of what that clash looks like. This should structure how you articulate a framework impact (or answer one for that matter) most likely to get my ballot. If framework is a question of competing models or visions of debate then you just have to prove comparatively that your model produces better debates, skills or education.
The second biggest problem with framework debates is that negative teams let affs get away with too much. If the 2ar gets to stand up and weigh the entirety of the 1ac versus framework it puts you way behind. The easiest way for an affirmative to defeat framework is to complicate and problematize the way they have constructed the world. This means if you win some truth claims about your aff and the way the world operates through your theory or interpretation then it nullifies a lot of their arguments. For example if you read an affirmative that says the global system of capitalism is bad and the 2nr doesn’t answer the case debate, then what do their skills matter if they can only reproduce a system of capital you have critiqued. This, like any good framework rebuttal, requires a lot of framing and contextualizing the line by line through these bigger picture questions.
The best way for negative teams to check back against this is to just reduce the risk of the aff. You can look back up to that whole portion about case debating, it applies to K affs as well. The other necessary piece is a topical version of the aff. Obviously not helpful against an anti-topical aff but in a majority of framework debates a persuasive and nuanced topical version of the aff goes a long way in resolving a lot of their offense. It still requires a larger impact in conjunction because at the end of the day it is still a defensive argument.
Tl;dr don’t waste time, make good arguments, do line by line, debate the case, extend a framework impact, don’t say talks about how.
Hey, please add me to the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org.If you really don't want to read this I'm tech > truth, Warranted Card Extension > Card Spam and really only dislike hearing meme arguments which are not intended to win the round.
PF and LD specific stuff at the bottom. All the argument specific stuff still applies to both activities.
How to win in front of me:
Explain to me why I should vote for you and don't make me do work. I've noticed that I take "the path of least resistance" when voting; this means 9/10 I will make the decision that requires no work from me. You can do this by signposting and roadmapping so that my flow stays as clean as possible. You can also do this by actually flowing the other team and not just their speech doc. Too often debaters will scream for 5 minutes about a dropped perm when the other team answered it with analytics and those were not flown. Please don't be this team.
Online Debate Update
If you know you have connection/tech problems, then please record your speeches so that if you disconnect or experience poor internet the speech does not need to be stopped. Also please go a bit slower than your max speed on analytics because between mic quality and internet quality it can be tough to hear+flow everything if you go the same speed as cards on analytics.
By default theory and topicality are voters and come aprior unless there is no offense on the flow. Should be clear what the interpretation, violation, voter, and impact are. I generally love theory debates but like with any judge you have to dedicate the time into it if you would like to win. Lastly you don't need to prove in round abuse to win but it REALLY helps and you probably won't win unless you can do this.
I feel framework should be argued in almost any debate as I will not do work for a team. Unless the debate is policy aff v da+cp then you should probably be reading framework. I default to utilitarianism and will view myself as a policy maker unless told otherwise. This is not to say I lean toward these arguments (in fact I think util is weak and policy maker framing is weaker than that) but unless I explicitly hear "interpretation", "role of the judge", or "role of the ballot," I have to default to something. Now here I would like to note that Theory, Topicality, and Framework all interact with each other and you as the debater should see these interactions and use them to win. Please view these flows wholistically.
I am comfortable voting on these as I believe every judge is but I beg you (unless it's a politics debate) please do not just read more cards but explain why you're authors disprove thier's. Not much else to say here besides impact calc please.
I am a philosophy and political science major graduate so please read whatever you would like as far as literature goes; I have probably read it or debated it at some point so seriously don't be afraid. Now my openness also leaves you with a burden of really understanding the argument you are reading. Please leave the cards and explain the thought process, while I have voted on poorly run K's before those teams never do get high speaker points.
Look above for maybe a bit more, but I will always be open to voting and have voted on K affs of all kinds. I tend to think the neg has a difficult time winning policy framework against K affs for two reasons; first they debate framework/topicality most every round and will be better versed, and second framework/topicality tends to get turned rather heavily and costs teams rounds. With that said I have voted on framework/topicality it just tends to be the only argument the neg goes for in these cases.
Perms are a test of competition unless I am told otherwise and 3+ perms is probably abusive but that's for theory.
So I will only intervene if the 2AR makes new arguments I will ignore them as there is no 3NR. Ethics and evidence violations should be handled by tab or tournament procedures.
- What gets you good speaks:
- Making it easier for me to flow
- Demonstrate that you are flowing by ear and not off the doc.
- Making things interesting
- Clear spreading
- Productive CX
- What hurts your speaks:
- Wasting CX, Speech or Prep Time
- Showing up later than check-in time (I would even vote on a well run theory argument - timeless is important)
- Being really boring
- Being rude
- I am much more lenient about dropped arguments than in any other form of debate. Rebuttals should acknowledge each link chain if they want to have answers in the summary. By the end of summary no new arguments should made. 1st and 2nd crossfire are binding speeches, but grand crossfire cannot be used to make new arguments. *these are just my defaults and in round you can argue to have me evaluate differently
- If you want me to vote on theory I need a Voting Issue and Impact - also probably best you spend the full of Final Focus on it.
- Make clear in final focus which authors have made the arguments you expect me to vote on - not necessary, but will help you win more rounds in front of me.
- In out-rounds where you have me and 2 lay judges on the panel I understand you will adapt down. To still be able to judge fairly I will resolve disputes still being had in final focus and assume impacts exist even where there are only internal links if both teams are debating like the impacts exist.
- Please share all evidence you plan to read in a speech with me your opponents before you give the speech. I understand it is not the norm in PF, but teams who do this will receive bonus speaker points from me for reading this far and making my life easier.
- 2AR should extend anything from the 1AR that they want me to vote on. I will try and make decisions using only the content extended into or made in the NR and 2AR.
- Don't just read theory because you think I want to hear it. Do read theory because your opponent has done or could do something that triggers in round abuse.
- Dropped arguments are true arguments, but my flow dictates what true means for my ballot - say things more than once if you think they could win/lose you the round if they are not flown.
I did 3 years of policy debate in the RI Urban Debate League. Been judging since 2014. As a debater I typically ran policy affs and went for K's on the neg (Cap and Nietzsche mostly) but I also really enjoyed splitting the block CP/DA for the 2NC and K/Case for the 1NR. Despite all of this I had to have gone for theory in 40% of my rounds, mostly condo bad.
My judging history will show that I’ve primarily tabbed at tournaments since the pandemic started. However, I’ve been keeping up with topic discussions and am looking forward to judging you all!
** Updated in 2021**
I’ve been in the debate world for over a decade now. I was trained in policy debate but have also judged both policy and LD since 2016.
TLDR: I want you to debate what you’re best at unless it’s offensive or exclusionary. I try to have very limited intervention and rely on framing and weighing in the round. Telling me how to vote and keeping my flow clean is the fastest way to my ballot. Please have fun and be kind to one another.
ONLINE DEBATE UPDATES
In an online world, you should reduce your speed to about 75%-80%. It’s difficult for me to say clear in a way that doesn’t totally disrupt your speech, so focusing on clarity and efficiency are especially important. I will try to resolve tech issues in the round to the best of my ability.
I use two monitors, with my flow on the second monitor, so when I’m looking to the side, I’m looking at the flow or my ballot.
If your argument isn’t on my flow, I can’t evaluate it. Because of this, keeping my flow clean, repeating important points, and being clear can decide the round. I flow by ear and have your speech doc primarily for author names, so make sure your tags/arguments/analytics are clear. I default to tech over truth and debate being a competitive and educational activity. That being said, how I evaluate a debate is up for debate. The threshold for answering arguments without warrants is low, and I don’t find blippy arguments to be particularly persuasive.
In general: I take my flow seriously but am really not a fan of blippy arguments. I’m fine with speed and theoretical debates but am not the best judge for affs with tricks. I don’t like when theory is spread through and need it to be well-articulated and impacted. I have a decent philosophy background, but please assume that I do not know and err on over-explaining your lit.
On Framework: In LD, I default to framework as a lens to evaluate impacts in the round. However, I am willing to (and will) evaluate framework as the only impact to the round. Framework debates tend to get really messy, so I ask that you try to go top-down when possible. Please try to collapse arguments when you can and get as much clash on the flow as possible.
A note on fairness as a voter: I am willing to vote on fairness, but I tend to think of fairness as more of an internal link to an impact.
On T: I default to competing interpretations. If you’re going for T, please make sure that you’re weighing your standards against your opponent’s. In evaluating debates, I default to T before theory.
On Theory: I lean towards granting 1AR theory for abusive strats. However, I am not a fan of frivolous theory and would prefer clash on substantive areas of the debate.
On RVIs: I think RVIs have morphed into a way of saying "I'm fair but having to prove that I'm being fair means that I should win", which I don't particularly enjoy. If you’re going for an RVI, make sure it’s convincing and reasonable. Further, please make sure that if you’re going for an RVI that you spend sufficient time on it.
In general: I rely on my flow to decide the round. Keeping my flow clean is the best path to my ballot, so please make sure that your speeches are organized and weigh your arguments against your opponents. Please take care to not misrepresent your evidence. Along those lines, I would also prefer that you do not paraphrase evidence.
On LD/Policy Arguments: While I will evaluate the round based on my flow, I want PF to be PF. Please do not feel that you need to adapt to my LD/Policy background when I’m in the back of the room.
On Framework: ROBs and ROJs should be extended and explained within the context of the round. Interpretations and framing how I need to evaluate the round are the easiest path to my ballot. Please weigh your standards against your opponent’s and tell me why your model of debate works best. While I will vote on fairness as a voter, I tend to default to it as an internal link to another impact, i.e. education.
One off FW: These rounds tend to get messy. Please slow down for the analytics. The best path to my ballot is creating fewer, well-articulated arguments that directly clash with your opponent’s.
On Theory and T: Make sure you make it a priority if you want me to vote on it. If you’re going for T, it should be the majority of your 2NR. Please have clearly articulated standards and voters. I typically default to competing interpretations, so make sure you clearly articulate why your interpretation is best for debate.
On DA/CP: Explain why your evidence outweighs their evidence and please use impact calc.
On K-Affs: Make sure you’re weighing the impacts of your aff against tech stuff the neg articulates. Coming from the 1AC, I need a clear articulation of your solvency mechanism and the role of ballot / judge.
Hitting K-Affs on neg: PLEASE give me clash on the aff flow
On Ks: Make sure that you’re winning framing for these arguments. I really enjoy well-articulated link walls and think that they can take you far. I’m maybe not the best judge for high theory debates, but I have some experience with most authors you will read in most cases and should be able to hold my own if it’s well articulated. I need to understand the world of the alt, how it outweighs case impacts, and what the ballot resolves.
One off Ks: These rounds tend to get very nuanced, especially if it’s a K v K debate. Please have me put framework on another flow and go line by line.
yes please put me on the chain, use this email: email@example.com
I did HS LD for 4 years at Fort Lauderdale High graduated in 2016 then did college policy for a couple years after.
I think debate matters a lot, and when people see it like a place to collect trophies to justify being rude as hell or problematic, it’s disappointing to me and your speaker points (I don’t care why you debate, just respect why other people come here too). This also means pay attention to people social location and don’t fill the round with microaggressions.
Most debate I did was focused on K debate. That’s just honestly going to be the round where I am the best judge for you in terms of education. judge adaptation is usually BS, and you’re most likely to win when YOU do whatever you do best. I’ve been judging for long enough that I’m able to competently judge a traditional Policy or LD round.
My paradigm used to have a bunch of debate opinions I held, a lot of them I still do, but if you make a good argument, or an argument I think is bad but well warranted, that’s going to matter a lot more than some random opinion I have. If you want to know any specific argument preferences I have, feel free to ask me any time until the round starts, and I’ll clarify whatever you need.
I evaluate rounds based off the flows, I consistently vote on warrants that are cleanly extened through rounds being more sufficient than repeating the tag from the 1ac to the 2ar without explaining how you should win from that. The more you explain why your arguments are true AND why that means you should win, the more likely you are to get my ballot.
I'm pretty much always going to give an RFD for debaters but if you don't pay attention or seem like my input doesn't matter, your RFD will be very short. I love making sure debaters understand how they lost my ballot instead of walking away and telling their teams that they don't know how they lost on something that wasn't even in my RFD.
I didn't think this was something that had to be made explicit BUT:
** If your answer to arguments about oppression include minimizing violence that is very clearly established (antiblackness, colonialism, anti-queer violence, there's a lot more im missing, but if you have to question it, it probably falls into this group) you will not win anything you think your defense gets you, and your speaks will be directly related to how uncomfortable those arguments make me.
Assistant Coach @ Mamaroneck, 2020-2021
Assistant Coach @ Lexington, 2019-20
Debated @ Northside College Prep, 2015-19
The sections below this are a set of my opinions on debate, not a stringent set of guidelines that I always adhere to when making decisions. I encourage you to go for the arguments that you enjoy instead of overcorrecting to my paradigm. I tend to like most arguments - my only distinction between good and bad debates is whether or not your argumentation is strategic and nuanced.
I think CX is heavily underutilized by most debaters. Organized debates make my job easier and are more enjoyable.
I won’t vote on things that have happened outside of the round.
There is a fine line between being assertive and being rude in CX - please be aware of it.
Don’t threaten others or make harmful comments about someone or a group of people - you will lose the round and I will talk with your coaches.
Non-Traditional Affs/Clash Debates
It’s hard for me to be convinced that policy debate actively creates bad people OR perfect policymakers; I think there’s value in challenging our understanding of the resolution and debate itself, but I also don’t think T is inherently violent.
In clash debates, I tend to vote negative when the affirmative fails to parse out the unique benefits of their model of debate, and tend to vote affirmative when the negative fails to grapple with the applicable offense of case. Organization often falls by the wayside in these debates, so I would encourage you to identify the nexus questions of the debate early and compartmentalize them to one area of the flow.
Fairness can be an impact, but it is not one by default - that requires explanation. I’ll vote for any impact on FW if effectively argued, but I personally like strategies centered around truth-testing/dogmatism. I think skepticism is healthy and that breaking out of our preferred ideological bubbles results in more ethical and pragmatic decision-making over time, but I can also be persuaded that the method the aff defends can also be consistently ethical/beneficial.
Aff teams are overly reliant on exclusion/policing arguments but almost never actually impact out the tangible consequences of the negative model as a result, or provide a reason why the ballot would resolve this. If arguments like these are what you like going for, I suggest you codify them within a reasonability paradigm that criticizes the usefulness of the competing interpretations model when it comes to K Affs.
I will say that I am quite partial to teams that go for the K against non-traditional affs (I judge FW debates frequently, and they get repetitive). Most K affs nowadays are specifically tailored to beat FW and generally rely on generic permutations to beat back K’s. I can be easily convinced that permutations exist to compare the opportunity cost of combining specific policies, and that in debates of competing methodologies the evaluating point of the debate should be reliant on who had broader explanatory power and a more effective orientation. How I decide that is up to what parameters you establish within the debate.
I’m not opposed to any of them. However, I do prefer techy K debaters - overviews should be short and the substantive parts of the debate should be done on the respective parts of the line by line.
Specificity goes beyond good links - nuanced impact and turns case explanations make it easier to vote on something tangible as opposed to nebulous platitudes. It’s easy to tell when you have a generic link wall with fill-in-the-blanks like “insert aff impact” “aff mechanism” etc.
For both teams - know the broader theories that your arguments function within (i.e. understanding what theory of IR your authors defend, or actually knowing a decent amount about the author your K is named after). Understanding these concepts outside of the context of debate will give you the tools to be more specific in round, and will often give you additional ways to leverage offense.
Aff teams with extinction impacts - stop overcorrecting to the negative team's strategy. Extinction is extinction, which is easily defensible as bad - if you're not link turning the K/going for the perm, I find it strange when the 1AR/2AR try to subsume the K's impacts/offense by describing how the inroads to extinction would be bad for X group the K is worried about ("nUcLeAr StRiKeS tArGeT uRbAn CeNtErS") ... because extinction, in the end, kills everyone. Also, K teams often capitalize on this arbitrary framing and make it a new link. Don't waste your time - win that you get to weigh your impacts and then win that your impacts outweigh.
The more specific, the better.
Yes judge kick. “Status quo is always an option,” once said, is sufficient enough for me to be willing to kick the CP unless the aff explicitly challenges it in both aff rebuttals.
Condo is good. If the 2AR is condo, it's either been dropped or you think it is your only road to victory.
I lean neg on most theory issues, but can be convinced that process CPs and 50 state/NGA fiat are bad for debate.
Invest time and organization into the competition debate - meta definitions matter just as much as word definitions in these debates because they are about competing models.
Severance perms are probably always bad, but intrinsic perms can be very useful if you know how to defend them well.
Love them, even the crappy ones - there's nothing more fun than watching someone very effectively debate in favor of something everyone in the round knows is ridiculously unlikely.
Winning framing does not mean you win terminal defense to the DA. Winning that a DA is low risk comes from substantive arguments, and then how the framing debate is resolved dictates whether or not risk probability matters. Seriously. Nebulous arguments about the conjunctive fallacy or the general low risk of existential impacts mean nothing if the 2NR can just get up and point to a unique internal link chain on their DA that has not been contested.
Impact turn debates are some of my favorite rounds to judge, but unfortunately I am often left to resolve stalemates within a debate by reading a bulk of the cards in the round and then determining on my own which ones are better, which I think functions as a disservice to everyone in the round. I don’t think that having less/worse ev necessarily means you’ll lose the debate, but you must have constant and effective comparison in-round.
Evidence comparison matters. Terminal impacts are important - so many 2NRs don't do this work (why, I don't know). Not enough teams are going for T against the egregious number of bad affs on this topic.
I don't like arguments like Embody PTX because I don't think there is a way to enforce them as a model and thus lend themselves to problematic enforcement, and it frustrates me when affirmative teams don't make the obvious case for this being true.
Aff teams should be going for reasonability more often against nitpicky T violations - not as a vague appeal, but as a better heuristic than competing interps.
Debated policy for Brooklyn Technical High School (2013-2016) and for Binghamton University (2016-2020). You can add me to the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR been out of debate for a while, have very little familiarity with the topic so please explain acronyms, topic specific knowledge, etc... You can probably run anything (nothing offensive) and I'll evaluate it. While I enjoy K debates more, I'm not particularly against debates about policies as I started out as a non-K debater. I prefer depth over breath and think line-by-line is important. Since debate is now on Zoom, please be very clear using changes in tone, inflection, etc to ensure that I am evaluating the arguments you want me to evaluate.
I'm just going to copy and paste a portion of Lee Thach's paradigm here because it basically summarizes how I evaluate debates:
"1. Clarity > Loudness > Speed.
2. Framing > Impact > Solvency. Framing is a prior question. Don’t let me interpret the debate, interpret the debate for me.
3. Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate.
4. Offense vs Defense: Defense supports offense, though it's possible to win on pure defense.
5. Try or Die vs Neg on Presumption: I vote on case turns & solvency takeouts. AFF needs sufficient offense and defense for me to vote on Try or Die."
Here are some of my other thoughts:
Kritiks: I mostly ran critical arguments including ones about anti-blackness and biopower. I like Ks and when good K debates happen. One thing that has changed for me in terms of Ks is that I want to hear that the K does "something" whatever that "something" is. Whether in round or external to the debate, please explain what that "something" is, why I should evaluate whatever the K does as "something," and how exactly the K does that thing.
FW: I would say that I'm probably 51/49 against framework. I think that it is sometimes valuable to discuss non-traditional affirmatives especially when the affirmative has given me reasons why their AFF is valuable to this year's resolution. I do enjoy framework for certain AFFs that are abusive/irrelevant. That said, my bias can be overcome with good debating (i.e. when standards/violations are super nuanced and when there are clear articulations/comparisons of each side's model of debate and why they're good/bad)
CPs/Piks: I love them. Flex your creativity as much as possible. I can also be convinced why particular CPs/Piks can be abusive.
DAs: I will evaluate all types of DA but just please have uniqueness and be very clear about your internal links. Contrary to popular opinion, I like politics DAs.
Miscellaneous: I like jokes and the like that make debates entertaining and enjoyable so if you can make me laugh I'll probably boost your speaks. Troll debates are cool too but only when the arguments actually apply and can sorta make sense.
I want to be on the email chain: Kristin.email@example.com
I debated College Policy at NYU. Earlier in college I read more soft left Affs with performative elements, but I've been getting progressively more performative and more kritical as my college career progresses. That means I'm open to hearing whatever arguments you want to read as long as you're able to defend it. In terms of policy, I've never read a strictly "policy" AFF, but I've coached teams reading them and am familiar with that style. With this in mind, you should read whatever makes you most comfortable and confident and I'll vibe with you.
Flow - I will flow what I hear. If you're fast, I can keep up as long as you're clear. If I can't understand you I will say "clear." I flow performative elements (music, poetry, dance), but if you think I might not flow something flag it for me. It's your job to tell me what is most important, I won't do that work for you.
Flashing/email chain - Be organized. I don't want to wait 5 minutes for you to reply to the email chain or flash files. If I feel like you're taking too long prep time will start again. Don't waste my, your opponent's, or your partner's time. Stealing prep is disrespectful and if I see it, your speaker points will be docked. That applies to Novices too (although my threshold is a bit higher) because it's important to get into good habits from the beginning.
Speaking/CX - Be respectful. I love sass and attitude in CX and in speeches, but be aware of where the line is between sass and disrespect. This includes being disrespectful to your own partner (don't talk over them during CX). Debate should be a community and space where we all feel safe, if you jeopardize that and the other team problematizes and impacts this out, I am willing to vote on that outweighing all of your hypothetical policy impacts. If you make me laugh your speaks are going up.
FW/T - I will vote on T and FW, so feel free to read it in front of me. For both AFFs and NEGs, you need to have a clear abuse story and explain to me why your interpretation creates a better model of debate. Don't just say "our model of debate is better for fairness and education," you must also prove to me why those things are necessary and good and why the counter-interp is insufficient.
K - I mostly read them in college and they are my favorite arguments in debate. THERE SHOULD BE CLASH WITH THE AFFIRMATIVE. You need to link specifically to something in the AFF, not the squo. Even though I am familiar with K lit, I'm not going to do work for you. Explain clearly and have a compelling story. You need to show me the world of the Kritik. If at the end of the debate I don't understand what your alt is (how it functions, what it looks like, how it resolves the links, how/if it solves the AFF) I probably won't vote for it. You should be giving explanations that compare the world of the AFF and the world of the K.
NOTE: Be careful if you read anthro against anti-blackness teams. I find it is often argued in very problematic ways and I typically hate hearing anthro in those rounds. I have, however, voted for anthro many times (unfortunately), so it can be done successfully, just TREAD CAREFULLY.
DA - Here, it's all about the link and impact debate. Have specific links to the plan and have a cohesive impact story. If you're going for the DA, I want to hear in depth impact comparisons. If everyone is claiming the same impacts or everything leads to extinction, you will need a more robust story to get me to prioritize the DA. My preference is that you read a CP that solves for the DA. If you're not reading a CP that can overcome the DA, make it clear to me why this is worse than the squo.
CP - It's all about solvency and competition. That means you need to have a net benefit.
If you wish to have one, please set up the email chain before round so you can hit send at start time.
Conflicts: Sehome HS, Bellingham HS, Squalicum HS (WA)
* are new/significant
*UPS 2023- I will vote on anything yall are likely to read and am somewhat in the literature for coaching. I've noticed a lot of good LARRP debaters on our circuit, but haven't judged a very high level LARRP v LARRP round in a while, so if you plan on doing any kinda crazy stuff like plan tricks or plan repair maybe explain it in a tiny bit more depth.
*online debate note* from my limited experience judging online, I/my wifi seem to generally be able to follow a pretty good speed, though if you are very fast your mic will probably clip words. Know your mic quality, it changes how fast you can go and be clear. I will 'clear' 2-3 times, watch chat messages. I flow speeches not docs. Also, somehow, some of ya'll steal prep more than in-person with less stuff to do, don't do that.
-Do good and win arguments. The more rounds i judge, the less i feel like the type of argument/style of debate you do matters as much in my evaluation of a round as i expected it would when i first started judging.
-Read what you want, if it has a warrant and some kind of framing mechanism to impact into.
-Also, don't intentionally be a bigot if you don't want to lose w/bad speaks. *This includes the cards you read and strategies you go for*
-Feel free to go fast, but signpost, differentiate tags, be clear, and SLOW DOWN AT INTERPS and PLANS! I flow speeches, not docs, and it is just good debate/spreading to differentiate tags and cards this way. also somewhat applies to important analytics
-*dont be sus: don't clip. dont message/talk to your friend or coach about the debate round in progress. dont have teammate in the room whispering tips to you. It really isn't complicated. I've disqualified teams over all of these. Most of the time, the team doing this stuff would win straight up if they would just think and debate normally. I may give you a warning, especially in JV, but I don't have to.
I try to base speaks on how well you debate, with some focus on technical performance but more on strategic choice, with 28.5 being average. Not too stingy, but i think point inflation is bad and rarely give 29.5 and above. I appreciate really good debates and try to reward good/ outstanding performances, technically or in 'the vibe'. Creativity gets rewarded pretty heavily
if you think my paradigm is odd and want to ask questions about it, feel free to.
I debated LD in HS and got a few bids. I also did policy debate for NYU in college. I am probably more familiar with LD still, but I've judged and debated a lot of good CX rounds. I mostly read critical or performative arguments (especially in policy), and thats the style of debate I understand the best generally, but in HS i was very flex and fundamentally I will vote on whatever.
*note here for Washingtondebaters *- i mostly debated on the east coast and Texas, so i am way more familiar with tricks, phil, and pomo than the average judge on our circuit, despite my somewhat policy background. Feel free to read any of this stuff (well please) and i will appreciate it.
I also think disclosure is in general good and the best responses to disclosure theory are kritical rather than about small schools or fairness. about disclosure- i do not like deployment of disclosure theory outside of norms. If the aff has not been broken, or the debater has not competed at a tournament yet (or even worse, at all this year), I will likely reduce speaks for reading disclosure, even if i will vote on it. I really really don't like contact info theory as a way to establish a violation for a debater who is otherwise disclosing and following norms. I will absolutely reduce speaks for this in all instances. Other stuff (full text vs cites, must disclose to black/other group of debaters/ other reasonable deployments) is totally fine.
i wont vote on- the resolved a-priori (other a-priories are fine), arguments cut from the SCUM manifesto, *trans-exclusionary feminism/gender args*, oppression of any kind good, evaluate theory after the 2nr (some debate about what to evaluate when is fine, but this being shelled out is a really tough buy for me).
I strongly dislike how the DSRB 'must talk about personal experience/positionally' framework shell is deployed in some (both LD and CX) rounds. If you read this arg, at minimum, your performance should meet the interp. Reading it, for example, with a ton of tricks, nibs, skep, and fairness first without any discussion of your own identity is anti-black and insulting to the context these arguments originated in (and, often, very violent in round). I have not intervened against this argument, but I have and will reduced speaks. I am also very very open to voting on prefcon and other offensive arguments when this shell is deployed in an anti-black way.
Don't be violent, and pay attention to social position. I dock speaks for microggressions, sometimes subconsciously, so try to not. (for example; there is nothing less impressive to watch in a debate round where a dude condescends a woman on something she understands better than he does)
defaults- presume neg (i think me writing aff here previously was a typo), flips if neg reads an advocacy. other ones are probably not important: ****Im more likely to discard a flow/impact as irresolvable and look for other offense in other places, rather than default on a million paradigm issues to make a ballot story make sense****
I'm cool with more weird/innovative arguments and i tend to like them a lot, as well as impact turns like extinction good that some judges don't like. make sure your justifications are good (and no fascist stuff please)
*this section was written several years ago. I don't know how it holds up to the current meta, assume my ideas are still similar, if maybe somewhat more mellowed out*
I do NOT evaluate rounds based on persuasion. I evaluate the flow. If i should evaluate the round different, that's possible, but you have to win a warrant for your role of the judge. Any progressive stuff yall want to do is cool, but don't do it really badly. None of yall can spread too quickly so go whatever speed. Also uuuh 'rules of pf' isnt an argument in 99% of cases
I really do not like paraphrased evidence. PF already has huge issues with evidence integrity, and paraphrased evidence can say whatever you want it to say. Analytic arguments are almost always better because they normally actually have a warrant and don't teach bad academic practices. I also call for cards after the round and will go through the effort to check cites- do not fabricate evidence in front of me *this also applies to any other debate event when allowed by tournament*
ALL basic debate things actually do still apply to yall. For example- no new in the 2 (your arguments other than weighing/comparison in the final focus u want me to vote off of must be in a previous speech, and ideally before the summery. To clarify further, you also do not have to extend all arguments from earlier speeches, rather you should collapse down to your best arguments), dropped arguments are conceded arguments (including the first speech for whoever is speaking second!), you need offense to win a round, ect.
Another issue i often have in pf rounds is that teams expect me to take something bad-sounding for granted as an impact. You should not to this- 1. you de facto have to warrant all of the pieces; a) that your impact exists, and (b) that its bad, and (c) that its worse than your opponents impacts. 2. Things you think are intuitively bad may not be the same as what i think is intuitively bad
It is the responsibility of the debater to look at the paradigm before the start of each round and ask any clarifying questions. I will evaluate the round under the assumption it has been read regardless if you did it or not. I will not check to see if you read my paradigm, nor will I give warnings of any kind on anything related to my paradigm. If you don't abide by it you will reap what you sow I am tired of debaters ignoring it, and myself in a debate round my patience has officially run out.
1. I hate spreading slow down if you want me to flow your arguments if it is not on my flow, it is not a part of the round. It doesn't matter how well it is explained or extended. At best, depending on the speech, it will be a new argument or analytical argument and will be evaluated from then forth as such. I do want to be part of the email chain, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, note that just because I am part of the email chain does not mean I flow everything I read. I only flow what I hear so make sure I can hear your arguments. Beware I will be following along to make sure no one is cutting cards and I will call out teams for cutting cards so be sure to do things correctly. I will drop cards before the team and continued cutting will result in me stopping the round and contacting tab. Additionally, I will not yell clear, and I will not give time signals except to inform you your time is up. I find doing this splits my attention in a way that is unfair to the debater and often distracts debaters when called out. You will have my undivided attention.
2. I hate theory and have only voted on it once (current as of 4/12/22). In particular, I do not like disclosure theory and think it's a bogus argument, as I come from a time when there was no debate wiki; as a result, I am highly biased against this argument and don't advise running it in my round. Also, regardless of the argument, I prefer they be related to the topic. I am just as interested in the topic as I expect debaters to be. On that note, I am willing to listen to just about anything as long as they are well articulated and explained(See 3). I have heard some pretty wild arguments so anything new will be fun to hear. Know in order for me to vote on an argument, there needs to be an impact on it, and I need to know how we arrive at the impact. But I want to know more than A + B = C, I need to know the story of how we arrive at your impact and why they matter. I will not simply vote on a dropped argument unless there is no other way to vote and I need to make a decision, I consider this Judge intervention, and I hate doing this. You, as a debater, should be telling me how to vote I will have to deduct speaker points if I have to do any work for you. Keep this in mind during your rebuttals.
3. At the beginning of each round, I am a blank slate; think of me like a 6 or 7-year-old. Explain arguments to me as such. I only evaluate things said in a round; my own personal knowledge and opinion will not affect me. For example, if someone in a round says the sky is purple, reads evidence the sky is purple, and it goes uncontested, then the sky is purple. I believe this is important because I consider anything else judge's intervention which I am highly opposed to and, again, will result in a speaker point deduction. That being said, I default to a standard policy-making framework at the beginning of each round unless I am told otherwise. This also applies in the context of evidence, your interpretation of the evidence is law unless challenged. Once challenged, I will read the evidence and make a decision based on my understanding of the evidence and how it was challenged, this may result in my decision on an argument flipping, the evidence being disregarded, and/or the ballot being flipped.
4. Be aware I do keep track of Speech times, and Prep, and go solely by my timer. My timer counts down and will only stop when you say stop prep. Once you say "Stop prep" I expect you to be ready to send the file. I do not want to hear I need to copy arguments to a file to send as a part of an email chain. I will run prep for that. It should not take long to send a prepared file through the email chain, and I will wait until all participants receive the file before allowing the following speech to start but do not think you can abuse this I will restart prep if it takes an abnormal amount of time. Also extremely important to note I will not stop my timer for any reason once speech has started for any reason outside of extreme circumstances, and technical difficulties do not count. If you choose to stop your timer to resolve your issue before resuming, know that my time has not stopped and your speech time is being consumed. Also, aside from using your phone as a timer, I expect all debaters to not be on their phones during the round (this includes in between speeches and during prep). I think it is disrespectful to debate as an activity and to your opponent(s), and will deduct speaker points for it. Keeping that in mind, I will not evaluate any argument read off a phone, especially if you have a laptop in the round.
5. In JV and VCX, Cross-X is closed, period. NCX, I will only allow it if you ask. If you don't, it is closed. If you decide to have an open CX anyway, I will deduct speaker points.
6. Last but not least, be respectful to me and to each other, and I would appreciate a good show of sportsmanship at the beginning and end of each round. Any disrespect will result in a speaker point deduction on a per-incident basis. Continued disrespect will result in notifying tournament staff and lower-than-average speaker points. Although I do not expect it will go that far.
A. Cameras must be on at all times. I will not flow teams with cameras off. Do not be surprised if you lose because I did not flow it you have been warned. I will not be lenient with this as I have been in the past.
B. Prep time will be run until speeches are received in the email chain. DO NOT assume you control the time as mentioned above. I am keeping time and will go by my timer. I WILL start the speech timer if you end prep AND THEN send the speech. I have zero tolerance for this, as teams consistently abuse this to steal prep. You should know how to send an email; it should not take long. If you are having genuine technical issues, let me know as the tournament has Tech Time, I can run that timer instead, otherwise, I will run speech time. DO NOT make light of this I am tired of being ignored as if I am not a part of a debate round.
C. Make sure I'm ready this should be common sense, but for some reason, I have to mention it. If you start a speech before I am ready, I will miss some arguments on my flow, and I will be highly annoyed. Your speaker points will reflect this, and you may lose the round as a result if it was a key argument that I did not flow.
D. Also, spreading on camera is a terrible idea, and I highly advise against it from a technical perspective and my general disdain for spreading. E-Debates are tricky enough with varying devices, internet speeds, and audio equipment affecting the quality of the stream, spreading in my experience is exceptionally disadvantageous, do so at your own risk.
E. REMINDER, I Control speech and prep timers, and speeches DO NOT stop because you are reading the wrong speech or can't find where you are at on a document; once the timer has started, it stays running until speech time is over. I do not know why I have to mention this, but recent judging experiences have told me it must be mentioned.
I am very new to judging Lincoln-Douglas Debates. As such, I am relying on the debater to frame the debate for me, particularly in the rebuttal. Arguments should always be responsive to what your opponent is saying if you wish to win them. Explain how your arguments interact, and your line of argumentation means that line of argumentation weighs in your favor. In general, I think all arguments should be filtered through the lens of your values and criterion. That work must be done by the debater, not the judge. Additionally if what you say matches what is on my flow the chances of you winning are high.
I want to be on an email change, I ike to follow along as evidence is being read. My email is email@example.com
Particularly in rebuttals make sure you are filtering aregumens through Value, Criterion and FW.
The only topic work I’ve done for Personhood is digging up my old plant ontology files, go slow and tell me your stuff.
If my camera is off I am not present - don’t start.
I've read every kind of aff from straight up heg good to baudrillard, I care way less about what arguments you make than how well you defend them.
I went for the K a lot in high school and still do, but I also love a good policy round, and would much rather you debate to your strengths than to what arguments you think I'll like.
Put me on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org I won't be reading along, unless you read a card that I think is so good I want to recut it for my teams, or if there's a dispute about something that was read.
I flow on paper. This means that you going slightly slower, and having a clear story will be quite helpful. I'm at the tail-end of year 10 competing and year 5 judging, so this doesn't mean you have to talk to me like I'm a parent judge, but it does mean that if you go full speed through 8 minutes of blocks, to not be surprised when I miss an argument or two. The easy fix to this, for all of you speed demons out there, is to label your arguments with a flowable tag. We already do this with cards, why not do it with our analytics too?
When making my decision. I first write up the most important arguments for both sides. This usually comes down to about 2-3 things, though that may just be because I only judge clash rounds. I then look over my flow, and try to write up an explanation of each, and what it means for both sides. I then compare these, and look for responses that the other team has forwarded. What this means for you, is that it is in your interest to identify what you think the 2-3 most important arguments for either side are, tell me why you're winning them, or why you should still win in the event that you don't win these arguments. If you do not do this, I will still do my best to identify these arguments, but, what I think is important and what you do may not line up, and as a result, our perceptions of the winner may not line up either.
When doing this, I often try as hard as I can to not read evidence. This is because I am very committed to my belief that debate is an activity about communication, and that if you did not effectively communicate an argument to me, it does not matter if you read an amazing card. While I obviously still care about research and evidence quality, I feel that the impulse to read all of the evidence to decide the round makes me more interventionist (which I would like to avoid) and also seems to fall outside of the terms of debate. I.e. outside of teams dropping stuff, if i were to just decide the round based on the cards you read, and not what you said about them, why should I even be sitting there for two hours listening to you? Couldn't you just send me your cards and have me decide at the end whose I thought were better?
This applies less and less if both sides are comparing a piece of evidence, or questioning it's qualifications, or implication, but the "this card is fire, please read it judge" has never been something I have been that inclined to do.
I judge a majority clash debates (around 80% when I last checked) and have found that oftentimes the winners in this debates are the ones who engage with the other side's approach to the world, rather than just explaining why their approach is better. While we obviously should still care about drops, and they are often useful in making decisions in these rounds, I've found that it's useful for both teams to invest a substantial amount of time in looking to where the other team clashed, as much as where they didn't.
I've noticed that I may sound kind of grumpy when giving rfds. This very rarely reflects my distaste at having to judge your round, and more so reflects that I am displeased at having to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep.
My favorite judges in high school were always the ones who seemed really excited to be there judging my round, and the ones who emphasized voting on what was in the round. I love debate and I know you care about the activity to be giving up your weekends to compete in it, and it would be rude of me if I didn’t put all my effort into making the best decision I can. If you don’t think I’m paying enough attention, go ahead and call me out. Nothing here is set in stone, but, if you don't tell me to change how I'd evaluate any of these, then they're my defaults.
1 Tech Over truth, but to an extent. True arguments require less technical explanation for me to buy what you're selling. Oftentimes when making decisions, I find that I am looking at dropped words on my flow, but am unsure how to piece them together to make a cohesive rfd. It is in your best interest to not only tell me what was dropped, but then tell me what I should think about the drops.
2 Mediocre strategies may win in front of me, but, speaker points will likely suffer. If the 1ar drops aspec that was at the bottom of your t overview, and that’s your a-strat, I’m probably not the judge for you. I prefer debates with either really tricky and nuanced strategies, or teams that are willing to just bet it all on black and go for impact turns. I've found that teams that do a better job articulating how I should evaluate arguments do better in front of me than teams that just wait for me to reconstruct what an argument means for my decision. I'm not smart so if you tell me how arguments implicate the rest of the debate, you'll be in a better spot.
3 Protecting the 2nr. There's nothing worse than giving what you think is a fire 2nr and then watching the judge nod along with an argument you're certain wasn't in the 1ar. 2ars should have a high standard for drawing arguments from the 1ar unless they were clear in the speech. I.E. new 2ar cross applications should be justified in the speech/flagged in the 1ar. If I don’t think I could have seen it coming, I probably will think it’s new.
4 Counterplans: They should compete with the aff. Theory arguments are usually just reasons to reject the counterplan, but this is primarily because most folks are afraid of going all in. If your solvency deficit is mediocre, theory is probably a good way out. You don't need a solvency advocate, but having one definitely makes your job easier. Exploit generic link chains in affs.
Generic pics are awful, and specific pics are one of the fastest ways to get good speaks, but in both cases, pics bad needs to come back with a vengeance. I won't judge kick unless you tell me to in the 2NR.
5 Disads: 2acs with bold strats, i.e. straight turning a disad would increase my value to life, and your speaker points. I am very much in the camp that a disad that isn't a full argument in the 1nc is a terrible strategic decision hint: 1a's pull out your impact turns. Outside of that though, I really do like them, whether you're a plug and chug politics team, or a team with the amazing topic link card that no one else has found.
6 Kritiks I like them, they’re probably my favorite argument. I’m really into high theory, and probably am a good judge for you if you like to run kritiks. I’ve run all kinds of things, mainstream stuff like cap, and apoc rhet, to stuff like dng, baudrillard, and halberstam. Examples, explanation and re-contextualization will be integral to your success. These rounds are often more about controlling the narrative than many others, which makes sense given that the focus of the debate is on whether the assumptions that the other team has forwarded are valid.
You don’t need to have an alt to win, but you should justify why. Your links should be specific to the aff. Obviously this is a sliding scale, and if you're reading a K of realism against an aff from John Mearsheimer, I won't be rolling my eyes wishing you had a card specific to the aff, but, If I can’t tell what aff your debating in your 2nc on the k, we’re both gonna have a bad time.
I was always pretty frustrated after giving a 2nr on the K when the judge was just like. "I know you both read a bunch of stuff on framework, but I couldn't really decide who won so I kinda just picked a middle option that both teams never said" Not only does this seem to heavily favor the affirmative, but also reflects a combination of arguments that was never advocated for by either team. I think the best strategy for the aff is just to have some arguments that presume that they (gasp) have to defend why their representations and scholarship are good. Given that most k's are some kind of argument about how the affirmative's theory of IR justifies violence, it doesn't seem that hard to identify the strain of IR that you have affirmed, and provide a defense of why you think about the world the way you do. If the neg has said debate is about how we craft our subjectivity, and said that the subjectivity they endorse opposes a particular world view, why wouldn't this equally apply to the aff, and the defensive realist subjectivity of the taiwan aff be a reason why you should get to say your impacts still matter.
Generally though, I think that affs need to be doing a lot better job answering k's. Please talk about your aff more and generic backfile cards less. Most cases outweigh the k, and extinction impacts are often pretty persuasive. I really do not want to die, and presume that most people do not want to die either, and one thing that always confused me was when there were debates where that comparison didnt really start until the last two rebuttals.
I also think more affs should just bite the link and impact turn the K. Obvi dont read racism/sexism/ableism good, thats the quickest way to a 25 and an L short of conceding the round, but, every K makes other claims that you can, and probably should consider reading offense against.
Two side thoughts
1. Most people read utterly incoherent theories of international relations. I.E. Ikenberry and Mearsheimer may both think that leadership is good, but are not as buddy buddy as people would like me to believe. Obviously just being like "lmao these cards are a double turn" does not meet the threshold of an argument, but, "the aff de-prioritizes the role of institutions because ___ this means that you should be skeptical of their ability to solve for the liberal international order, which Ikenberry says is cohered through a strong commitment to international institutions" is. The latter will shock and impress me, and put your baseline speaks at a 29.
2. Most people have turned against the "not our x" Sometimes this is fair, because the team is lying to get out of links. But, I don't particularly understand why a team should be punished because their author had a bad idea that they don't defend or talk about in the 1ac or 1nc. Consider if we applied this same standard to policy rounds, and the neg read a politics card from nate silver about a specific seat in the midterms. The affirmative responded with a card that said "nate silver was way off on this one super unrelated prediction" and read a card indicting the method of that poll specifically. Why would the neg be tied to defending the poll that they have not cited, and is not intrinsic to their argument? This doesn't mean that I'm waiting to vote on not our x, but, that I will be pleased if both teams can defend why their argument is or is not distinct from x, by demonstrating a command of the literature base that they are deploying.
7 Topicality: Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't really understand ground arguments - if you don't have generics ready to go for core topic areas, or arguments that make debating the aff irrelevant (impact turns, process cp's etc) that seems like a you problem. I get some affs are really small and don't do much, but either they have an absurd impact claim that you can turn or outweigh, or they'd need such a contrived interpretation of the topic to be T that you could just go for limits.
Reasonability has never really made sense to me either, because usually those debates just boil down into the same silly buzzwords that everyone uses. I think reasonability can be an incredibly gnarly argument if it's framed more in the form of an explanation of why offense/defense is bad for topicality debates. Scotty P wrote a really good explanation of what that would look like here https://hsimpact.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/what-is-reasonability/
Things that will get you good speaks
5 minutes of Antonio in the 2nr (not joking)
9 Clipping- Don’t do it. I’ll be sad, and have to give you a 0
10 No argument too strange- I can be convinced to vote on anything if you do well. T is a rvi, double win theory, normativity k, silence k. If you think you can pull it off, and want to risk a ballot on it go ahead. If you execute it poorly, I'll probably be annoyed, but at the same time, no one ever did anything to radically change debate without taking a lot of risks.
11 Non-traditional affs. I think I’m a pretty good judge for these. I think these affirmatives are unfair, but, don't really know why that's bad (fairness is not an impact). I don’t really think framework is deployed effectively very often, which is unfortunate, because I oftentimes think that many of the claims from framework teams make a lot of intuitive sense. I ended up voting against framework about 60% of the time last year, but I'd attribute that a lot more to what happened in the rounds I judged than to a general predisposition.
For the neg. When I vote neg on T, it's because the negative has successfully done one of two things.
1. Proven that their impact turns the aff's offense.
2. Proven that the aff doesn't solve their offense, and have mitigated the application of case to T in a way beyond the sentence blurb "they don't get to weigh the aff because t is a procedural"
I've found that the topical version of the aff has become less persuasive to me the more clash rounds I've judged. This is not due to the argument being not strategic, but rather, me being left confused about how the topical version resolves offense that the affirmative has deployed, (and a secondary problem of most topical versions of the aff not meeting the standard of being a topical aff in a policy v policy round). The solution to this is easy. Instead of repeating any disad to the topical version doesn't prove it isn't an answer, it just proves neg ground, take some time thinking about the offense that the other team is deploying.
A second problem, is that most people seem to forget they're reading a topicality argument. I have judged almost 30 framework debates this year, and in about 5 of them, I've been clear on how the counterinterpretation solved the aff's disads, and included their affirmative. If the aff read a counterinterp they didn't meet on T-Pearson, or that didn't solve the aff's overlimiting offense why wouldn't you point that out? There's a reason why you're reading interpretations, and why we call framework a topicality argument, you should debate your shell as such.
I've also found that the repetitive "but what do you do?" presumption argument, is wholly unpersuasive. Most affs say they do something, and the neg says, but what do you do, the aff says what they do, and the neg says, yeah, but what do you do? I think this can also be fixed pretty easily, instead of carrying over this, but what do you do argument, make the implied follow on argument, which is something to the effect of, if x structure is so totalizing as their theory says it is, their method is insufficient to resolve it. Think about x as a similar example, which failed for y reason.
All this being said, I'm more than willing to vote on T, as it is obviously a strategic position, and I'm very sympathetic to teams (especially without substantial coaching resources) who would rather prepare to get really good at one argument that would answer all no plan affs, as opposed to specific critiques/disads.
For the aff - Have a clear counterinterp, tight impact turn story, and exploit the weakness of most teams at answering arguments that they are mostly unfamiliar with.
You have to answer disads, even if you dont defend hypothetical implementation of usfg action. This doesn't mean I'm waiting to vote on the aff flips the 2020 election, but rather that if you can think of a nuanced way to articulate a link I wont be a super tough sell on the aff has to defend the consequences of their epistemology. I.e. if an aff says that executive power is bad, I feel like John Yoo would have some things to say about that, even if the aff doesn't implement a policy.
I also really enjoy K vs K debates, as this gives me a break from hearing about what Steinberg and Freely need to tell me about decisionmaking, and allows both sides to engage literature bases that are often not brought into connection with each other. One side note is that I tend to find that the theory of power debate is far less compelling than specific applications. Most folks in the 2nr and 2ar tend to just be like, they dropped our theory of power, game over!!
Questions? Email me at email@example.com. The longer you wait, the less specific my comments may be, but I have noticed that I recall my thoughts about rounds more than I don't.
I debated in policy for The Blake School for four years (2009-2013) and then I debated for Rutgers University-Newark in college (2013-2017). I ran mostly policy based arguments in high school and mostly critical arguments in college. I was an assistant coach (policy and public forum) with the Blake School until 2019, now I teach/coach debate (policy and congress) at Success Academy Midtown West and Harlem West.
Feel free to run any arguments you want whether it be critical or policy based. The only thing that will never win my ballot is any argument about why racism, sexism, etc. is good. Other than that do you.
I do not have many specific preferences other than I hate long overviews - just make the arguments on the line-by-line.
I am not going to read your evidence unless there is a disagreement over a specific card or if you tell me to read a specific card. I am not going to just sit and do the work for you and read a speech doc.
I am not as familiar with the post-modern literature - so just make sure you are clearly explaining the alternative. Most of the K literature I know well is race and gender based.
Note on clash of civ debates - I tend to mostly only judge clash of civ debates - In these debates I find it more persuasive if you engage the aff rather than just read framework. But that being said I have voted on framework in the past.
PF - Please please please read real cards. If its not in the summary I won't evaluate it in the final focus. Do impact calculus. Stop calling for cards if you aren't going to do the evidence comparison. I will increase your speaker points if you do an email chain with your cards prior to your speech.
If you are starting an email chain for the debate, I would like to be included on it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate should be centered on the hypothetical world where the United States federal government takes action. I default to a utilitarian calculus and view arguments in an offense/defense paradigm.
Most topicality debates come down to limits. This means it would be in your best interest to explain the world of your interpretation—what AFFs are topical, what negative arguments are available, etc—and compare this with your opponent’s interpretation. Topicality debates become very messy very fast, which means it is extremely important to provide a clear reasoning for why I should vote for you at the top of the 2NR/2AR.
Conditionality is good. I default to rejecting the argument and not the team, unless told otherwise. Counterplans that result in plan action are questionably competitive. In a world where the 2NR goes for the counterplan, I will not evaluate the status quo unless told to by the negative. The norm is for theory debates to be shallow, which means you should slow down and provide specific examples of abuse if you want to make this a viable option in the rebuttals. The trend towards multi-plank counterplans has hurt clarity of what CPs do to solve the AFF. I think clarity in the 1NC on the counterplan text and a portion of the negative block on the utility of each plank would resolve this. I am also convinced the AFF should be allowed to answer some planks in the 1AR if the 1NC is unintelligible on the text.
I am willing to vote on a zero percent risk of a link. Vice versa, I am also willing to vote negative on presumption on case if you cannot defend your affirmative leads to more change than the status quo. Issue specific uniqueness is more important than a laundry list of thumpers. Rebuttals should include impact comparison, which decreases the amount of intervention that I need to do at the end of the debate.
I am not familiar with the literature, or terminology, for most criticisms. If reading a criticism is your main offensive argument on the negative, this means you’ll need to explain more clearly how your particular criticism implicates the affirmative’s impacts. For impact framing, this means explaining how the impacts of the criticism (whether it entails a VTL claim, epistemology, etc.) outweigh or come before the affirmative. The best debaters are able to draw links from affirmative evidence and use empirical examples to show how the affirmative is flawed. Role of the ballot/judge arguments are self-serving and unpersuasive.
In my eight years as a debater, I ran a policy affirmative and primarily went for framework against performance AFFs. The flow during performance debates usually gets destroyed at some point during the 2AC/block. Debaters should take the time to provide organizational cues [impact debate here, fairness debate here, accessibility debate here, etc.] in order to make your argument more persuasive. My lack of experience and knowledge with/on the literature base is important. I will not often place arguments for you across multiple flows, and have often not treated an argument as a global framing argument [unless explicitly told]. Impact framing and clear analysis help alleviate this barrier. At the end of the debate, I should know how the affirmative's advocacy operates, the impact I am voting for, and how that impact operates against the NEG.
I am not the fastest flow and rely heavily on short hand in order to catch up. I am better on debates I am more familiar with because my short hand is better. Either way, debaters should provide organizational cues (i.e. group the link debate, I’ll explain that here). Cues like that give me flow time to better understand the debate and understand your arguments in relation to the rest of the debate.
Prep time continues until the jump drive is out of the computer / the email has been sent to the email chain. This won't affect speaker points, however, it does prolong the round and eliminate time that I have to evaluate the round.
I am not a fan of insert our re-highlighting of the evidence. Either make the point in a CX and bring it up in a rebuttal or actually read the new re-highlighting to make your argument.
The debaters that get the best speaker points in front of me are the ones that write my ballot for me in the 2NR/2AR and shape in their speeches how I should evaluate arguments and evidence.
Depth > Breadth
I am a coach for NYU and used to debate for Cornell University and Georgetown Day School. While I almost exclusively ran Ks, I'll vote on anything. Run whatever you're good at and I'll adapt to you.
Please add me to the email chain - my email is email@example.com.
Racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. behavior will result in a loss and zero speaker points.
I am a technical, flow-centered judge and attempt to intervene as little as possible. The more I have to explain, extrapolate, and cross-apply your arguments, the less likely I am to vote for you. Tech over truth, but a handful of well-developed, warranted arguments often beat even the largest piles of blippy evidence and blocks. While this is the default way I evaluate debates, you can convince me to do so differently.
When coming to a decision, I first write down the central questions that frame the debate, which often are: do I weigh both teams' impacts and how do I weigh those impacts. Then I look at how the final rebuttals responded to those questions and how those responses correspond with previous speeches. Finally, I look to the quality of evidence, historical examples, and contextualization when comparing the relative truth of those responses.
I assume that 28.7 is average for national tournaments and 28.5 for regional ones, while low 28's mean I expect you not to break. High 28's to low 29's signifies that I think you will break to early elims and mid 29's mean that I think you will go further.
The K vs. Policy:
Don't go for a K just because you think I'll like it, since I have a higher bar for arguments I'm familiar with.
In-depth knowledge of your theory is not a substitute for historical examples. Tailor your offense to specific lines from your opponents' evidence instead of relying on jargon. If I cannot explain the K in your words after the round or articulate how it solves, I will likely presume for the other team.
It's fine to jettison the alt and just go for framework and a link or two, but then you really need to devote time to them and flesh out the links as case turns. Too often, teams isolate the right link but forget impact calc and framing.
Policy vs. The K:
Long framing contentions in the 1AC which don't get extended into later speeches and 2ACs that include every generic K answer are disappointing to watch and a blow to your credibility.
K teams often assume that their impacts inherently come first and don't do nearly enough impact comparison or framing. I'm a good judge for standard policy arguments like pragmatism, extinction outweighs, etc. as well as clever impact turns.
Too many Ks contain multiple divergent literature bases, so exploit those tensions. I think that internal non-contradiction is a low bar, but failing to clear it is devastating.
K Affs v. Policy:
I don't care if you're topical or not, but you should have some relation to the topic. The more that your aff looks like it could be read on any topic with a few minor changes, the more likely I am to vote on framework.
You either need to flesh out your impact turns to framework standards or explain why your aff is contestable and articulate a model of debate with a clear role for the neg. Reading definitions based on lived experience or metaphors can be a good starting point; saying "only our aff is topical" or "counter-interp plus our aff" is not.
Generic 2ACs against framework and cap are often redundant and lack a warranted explanation for why the topic is totally irredeemable. Develop a couple of DAs on each flow and cross-apply them instead of making a ton of blippy arguments that get lost by the rebuttals.
Policy v. K Affs:
Debate might be a game, but also has aspects that go beyond the room. As such, fairness can be an impact, but policy teams often don't do enough impact comparison and clash. We won't become policymakers anytime soon, so contextualize your impacts to the room, activism, organizing, etc.
It is very difficult to convince me not to evaluate the impacts of the aff against framework, so don't neglect the case page, especially because most K affs don't solve their impacts. Similarly, you should devote time to developing TVAs that don't just speak to the aff's stakeholders, but also to their theory of power.
Don't make the "small schools" argument unless you actually come from a small program.
K v. K Debates:
These debates are often decided by concessions in the first CXs, so plan for them like you would a speech.
Affs should have an advocacy statement and defend a departure from the status quo. While refusing to defend a clear method on the aff can be strategic, it can also make you more vulnerable to presumption.
I have a higher threshold for the perm in debates where the aff doesn't have a plan, so warrant out what it looks like. Additionally, "perm do the aff" and "perm we do us, you do you" are not real arguments, so don't make them.
Policy v. Policy:
I will read a lot more evidence than I otherwise would after the round in these debates.
If you persuade me that the risk of the DA is infinitesimally small, I will disregard it. However, this seems like an unnecessarily difficult way to answer arguments.
Solvency advocates are ideal but not necessary for CPs and you should not just have purely theoretical justifications for competition. I don't have strong opinions about what constitutes an abusive amount of advocacies, so convince me.
I dislike voting on theory over substance, but will do so given in round abuse or concessions. The one exception is disclosure theory, which can be evidence for links or abuse claims, but is never a winning strategy on its own.
I have 7 years of both debate and judging experience combined, ill go into deeper detail before an actual debate round (feeling lazy)
I consider myself to be an all around judge, in the sense that my sole purpose in the debate round is to evaluate it and vote on who made the most convincing argument.
Former (HS+College) debater, increasingly old / experienced coach 15+ years now
Director, Washington Urban Debate League (WUDL)
I run an Urban Debate League; debate is my full-time job. I judge 30 rounds at national circuit tournaments each year, cut A LOT of cards on each topic, and am in the middle of the argumentation spectrum. I often judge clash debates.
I work with 500+ students per season, ranging from brand new MS students refining their literacy skills and speaking in front of someone else for the first time to national circuit teams looking to innovate and reach the TOC. Both debaters are equally valuable members of the community and accessibility is a big issue for me. I see the primary role of a judge as giving you thoughtful and actionable feedback on your scholarship and strategies as presented to me in round.
I have some slight preferences (see below), but do your best, be creative, and I am excited to hear whatever style/substance of argumentation you'd like to make.
5 Min Before Round Notes:
- Speed: I can handle whatever you throw at me (debate used to be faster than it is now). 75% Speed + emotive is always better than squeezing in that last card or two.
- Policy v Kritik: I was a flex debater and generally coach the same way, though I have run/coached 1 off K and 1 off policy strategies. Teams that adapt and have a specific strategy against the other team almost always do better than those that try to just do one thing and hope it matches up well.
- Theory: I often find these debates shallow/lacking details and trading-off with more educational, common-sense arguments. Use when needed and show me why you don't have other options.
- Creativity + Scholarship: *Moving up for emphasis* I heartily reward hard work, creative thinking, and original research. Be clever, do something I haven't heard before. I will give very high speaker points to folks who can demonstrate these criteria, even in defeat. (Read: Don't barf Open Ev Downloads you can't contextualize) Go do some research!
- Performance: “Back in my day….” performance Affs were just being invented, and they had a lot more actual “performance” to them. Spreading poetry and never talking about it again doesn't qualify. I have coached a few performative cases, and find myself more and more excited about them....when there is a point to the performance. Focus on why / what the net benefit is of the unique argument / argumentation style.
- Shadow Extending: I literally don’t flow author’s names in Varsity rounds, so if you are trying to extend your "Smith" evidence, talk to me about the warrants or I won’t know what you are talking about and won't do the work for you.
- Novices get a lot of latitude here; I am always down to help folks develop the fundamentals. Try extending things even if it isn't perfect.
- Email Chains: This is a persuasive activity. If I don’t hear it/flow it, you didn't do enough to win the point and I’m not going to read along and do work for you. I’ll look through the cards after the round if the substance of a card will impact my decision, or if I want to appropriate your citations.
- About "the State": I was born and live in Washington D.C., have a graduate degree in Political Science, and worked in electoral politics and on public policy issues. This has shaped a pre-disposition that governance of some kind is inevitable. The US government has a poor track-record on many issues, but I find generic "state bad" links unpersuasive, historically untrue, and/or insufficiently nuanced. I think you are better than that, and I challenge you to make nuanced, well researched claims instead. Teams that do usually win and get exceedingly high speaker points, while those that don't usually lose badly. This background also makes me more interested in implementation and methodology of change (government, social movement, or otherwise) than the average judge, so specific and beyond-the-buzzword contextualization on plan/alt, etc. solvency are great.
Ways to Lose Rounds / Speaker Points:
- Be a douchebag--I am very flexible with speaker points, heavily rewarding good research, wit, and humor, and am very willing to nuke your speaker points or stop the round if you are rude, demeaning, racist/sexist, etc.
- Leave D.C. Out: Don't leave D.C. out of your States CP Text or other relevant advocacy statements. There is a racialized history of erasure and abuse of the 750,000 + majority black residents who live here and experience taxation without representation. Don't perpetuate it.
- Make Debate Less Accessible: I run an Urban Debate League; it is my professional responsibility to make debate more accessible.
- If you erect a barrier to accessing this activity for someone else, I will vote you down, give you the lowest possible speaker points, report you to TAB, complain to your coach, and anything else I can think of to make your time at this tournament less enjoyable and successful.
- This includes not having an effective way to share evidence with a team debating on paper (such as a 3rd, "viewing" laptop, or being willing to share one of your own) when in person. This is a big accessibility question for the activity that gets overlooked a lot, many of our debaters still use paper files.
- Rude Post-Rounding (especially if it is by a coach who didn't watch the round): I will contact tab and vigorously reduce speaker points for your team after submission.
- Multi-Minute Overviews: Enough Said
- Death Good: This is an objectionable school of argumentation that usually has some nasty racial undertones. Don't be a troll, get a better strategy.
- Intentionally Trolly or Technobabble Arguments: If you just want to demonstrate how good you are that you can make up nonsense and win anyway, strike me. There should be a point to what you say which contributes to our understanding of the world.
- Highly Inaccurate Email Chains: Unfortunately, some folks put a giant pile of cards they couldn’t possibly get through in the email chain, and skip around to the point of confusion, making refutation (and flowing) difficult. It’s lazy at best and a cheap move at worst and will impact your speaks.
In the Weeds on Specific Argument Structures:
Do: Better Speaks, increase likelihood of winning the round
Don’t: Worse speaks, decrease likelihood of winning the round
· I like DAs. Too many debates lack a DA of some kind in the 1NC.
§ Research! Cut Updates! Quote a card from this week! I am a huge sucker for new evidence and post-dating, and will make it rain speaker points
§ Creative/Topic/Aff specific DAs.
§ Read an Elections DA after the election / not know when an election is
§ Be wrong about what the bill you are talking about does on Agenda Politics DAs.
o Politics DA: Given my background in professional politics, I am a big fan of a well-run/researched politics DA. I read Politico and The Hill daily, enjoy C-SPAN, and many of my best friends work for Congress -- I nerd out for this stuff. I also know that there just isn't a logical scenario some weekends. Do your research, I’ll know if you haven’t.
· I like a substantive counterplan debate.
§ Run a Topic/Aff specific CP, with a detailed, well written/explained CP Texts and/or Topic nuance for Generics (like Courts).
§ Clearly explained net benefit stories.
§ Questionably competitive counterplans (consult, PIC, condition, etc.) that are supported by strong, real world solvency advocates.
§ Substantive, non-theoretical responses (even if uncarded) to CPs.
§ Forget to perm.
§ Fake a net benefit
§ Default to theory in the 2AC without at least trying to make substantive responses too.
· Can be a strong strategy if used appropriately/creatively. If you go into the average round hoping to win on Condo, strike me.
§ Prove harm
§ Have qualified evidence and intent to define
§ Slow down. Less jargon, more examples
§ Creative Violations
§ Use procedurals just to out-tech your opponents, especially if this isn't Varsity.
· More folks should debate the case, cards or not. Do your homework pre-tournament!
§ Have specific attacks on the mechanism or advantage scenarios of the Aff, even if just smart analytics.
§ Make fun, non-problematic Turns
§ Concede the case for no reason
§ Spend a lot of time reading arguments you can’t go for later or repeating warrants already in the 1AC
· I started my debate career as a 1 off K Debater and grew to see it as part of a balanced strategy, or a good strategy against some affs and not others.
§ -Read a K that fits the Aff. Reading the same K against every aff on a topic isn't often the most strategic thing to do.
§ Read Aff specific links. Identifying evidence, actions, rhetoric, representations, etc. in the 1AC that are links.
§ Have coherent Alt solvency with real world examples that a non-debater can understand without having read your solvency author.
§ Tell a non-jargony story in your overview and tags
§ Read hybrid Ks whose authors wouldn't agree with one another.
§ Read a K you can’t explain in your own words or one that can’t articulate why it is being discussing a competitive forum or what my role listening to your words is.
§ Generic Links. See note about "The State" above
o Literature: I have read a lot of K literature (Security, Cap, Fem, Anti-Blackness, etc.) but nobody is well versed in all literature bases.
o Role of the Ballot: I default to serving as a policymaker but will embrace alternative roles if you are clear what I should do instead in your first speech
· Update: I find myself judging or seeing a lot of psychoanalysis arguments, which I find frustratingly unfalsifiable or just hard to believe or follow. Run at your own risk.
Public Forum: (Stolen from Sim Low, couldn't have said it better) I'm sorry that you're unlucky enough to get me as a judge. I'll be grumpy and tell how PF was created as a result of white flight and the American pursuit of Anti-Intellectualism far more than you want to hear (but less than you need, if you are still doing PF). If you do not have cards with proper citations, you paraphrase, and/or you don't have full text evidence ready to share with the other team pre-round, I will immediately vote for your opponents. If both of you happen to ignore academic integrity, I will put my feet up, not flow, and vote based on.....whatever vibes come to me, or who I agree with more. I also might extend my RFD to the length of a policy round to actually develop some of the possibilities of your arguments. Without academic integrity, this is a Speech event and will be judged accordingly.
Mark E. Weinhardt
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated a very long time ago: Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Washington (1975-78) and Dartmouth (1978-1982). I was fortunate to have some success (quarters at TOC in high school; quarters, finals, and semis at 3 NDT’s and #1 and #6 at large bids in college). I then left the activity entirely, returning as a judge and assistant coach in 2010 when my kids started debating at West Des Moines Dowling Catholic High School. I attend several tournaments a year and judge a mixture of competitive levels. In real life I am a trial lawyer with my own firm (see www.weinhardtlaw.com).
I believe it is called “policy debate” for a reason, and my default approach is to evaluate the round as a policy maker in the real world (i.e., I am a U.S. Senator; the plan text is a bill before me). I can and will judge the debate differently, but you must ask me to do so and persuade me it's a good idea. Other than the kritik movement, debate has changed much less in 40 years than you think it has. We went fast and I can flow fast.
HOW to debate in front of me:
—This is an oral activity. At live tournaments, I must get your content from the spoken word, not the written word. And if I can't flow it, it's not in the debate. I will sometimes, however, look at evidence after the round to resolve conflicts in or weigh the evidence. I am willing to be on the email chain to get speech docs for this purpose (email@example.com), but do not expect me to look at that content during the round. At online tournaments, however, I may look at speech docs in round to makeup for lag in the electronic format. Don't depend on that, though--you'd best slow down a little.
—Line by line GOOD. Giant overviews BAD.
—During speeches and cross-ex, I allow only one team member to talk. The other debater can’t talk to his/her partner or to me. Always stand when speaking.
—When arguing analytics, don’t just stare at your laptop and read fast. You need to look at me and persuade me why you are right, especially in late rebuttals.
WHAT to debate in front of me (almost anything, but here are some thoughts):
I will vote on K's but am not deep in the literature. If your K is named after a concept (capitalism, security), I am probably conversant with it. If it is named after a philosopher, you'd better explain it very clearly. I will weigh the case against a K absent a compelling reason not to.
I believe the affirmative is required to affirm the resolution. But I am generally lenient on T if the affirmative does this. That is, I like breadth over depth within the resolution but hate it when the aff wants a debate that has nothing to do with the resolution. Against policy affs, I think many negatives waste their time on T. But T is always a voting issue if the affirmative loses it.
I believe a counterplan must be competitive with the affirmative plan; i.e., the negative must explain why I can’t do both. I am very willing to vote on the idea that a counterplan cannot be topical. Affirmatives should argue this in front of me. I am generally not a fan of little cheating PICs.
Other theory issues
I will vote on theory but much prefer debates about the desirability of the plan text/resolution as a policy matter. Calling a theory argument a “voter” does not make it so. One conditional advocacy is OK; more than that could try my patience. Three things matter to me in theory debates: (1) Competitive fairness to both sides. (2) Education about things that transcend debate. (3) The rules of this game should attract, not repel, students from participating in it. I will vote for theory positions that do those things and I will punish positions that don't.
I applaud debaters who separate what evidence actually says from the spin their opponents put on it. I like case debates; negs invest way to little in this in most rounds.
 Here is how old I am: Many credit a guy named Bill Shanahan with inventing the concept of the K. I debated against him in college.
I will evaluate any argument, except for any argument that is derogative, racist, sexist,
or ableist so with that being said it won’t be strategic for you to run
“Racism is good” in front of me. I have ran critical arguments and understand most of
them but please don’t assume that since I know it I will vote on, I ONLY VOTE ON
WHAT I FLOW. I feel if you go for any procedurals arguments such as( T, Framework,
Theory) I will need to hear some abusive story, and some VOTING ISSUE, and if you
run Topicality I need to hear a topical version of the aff and what I should I prefer such
as Competing interps or reasonability. Also, with traditional policy arguments I think
these debates are really evidence based and should also be articulated well. So I’m
generally an open judge just please articulate all arguments with a claim and warrant
and some weighing will be nice.
Email me if you have questions and please put me on the chain: dylan.willett8 at gmail dot com as well as firstname.lastname@example.org. I coach for the Asian Debate League. I debated for UMKC. In college, I mostly went for framework, topic DAs, and an assortment of topic critiques. As a coach I mostly have spent the last year working on random policy stuff, but have spent a lot of time working with critical approaches to the topic as well.
Be bold, read something new, it will be rewarded if you do it well. Analysis of evidence is important. I have found that over the past few years I have grown my appreciation for more of the policy side of research not in an ideological lean, but rather I am not starting from negative with process counterplans, I appreciate clever disadvantages, etc. If you have good cards, I am more willing to reward that research and if you do something new, I will definitely be happy.
I begin my decisions by attempting to identify what the most important arguments are, who won them, and how they implicate the rest of the debate. The more judge instruction, including dictating where I should begin my decision by showing me what is most important will help determine the lens of how I read the rest of the arguments
I find that I am really annoyed by how frequently teams are asking major flow clarifications like sending a new file that removes the evidence that was skipped. Please just flow, if there is an actual issue that warrants a question its obviously ok, but in most situations it comes across as not paying attention to the speeches which is a bit frustrating.
I like good, strategic cross-ex. If you pay attention and prepare for your cx, it pays dividens in points and ballots. Have a plan. Separate yourself and your arguments here!
I am a big fan of case debates that consist of a lot of offense – impact turns or link turns are always better than just pulling from an impact d file.
I think that I mostly lean negative on theory arguments – I would be really sad if I had to parse through a huge theory debate like condo, but am willing. I think I start from a predisposition that condo, PICs, etc are okay, and change based off the theory debate as it develops. I think theory is an important part of an affirmative strategy versus good, and especially cheaty, counterplans. I don't think education is a super persuasive argument in theory debates I have found. Way easier to go for some type of fairness argument and compare internal links versus going for some abstract notion about how conditionality benefits or hurts "advocacy skills".
In framework debates, the best teams spend a lot of their speeches on these flows answering the nuanced developments of their opponents. AFF or NEG teams that just say a different wording of their original offense in each speech are setting themselves up to lose. I am interested in hearing what debates would look like under each model. I like education arguments that are contextual to the topic and clever TVAs and impact turns are good ways to get my ballot while making the debate less stale. I find the framework teams that lose my ballot most are those that refuse to turn (on the link level or impact level, in appropriate manner) AFF offense. I find the K AFF teams that lose my ballot most are those that don't double down on their offense and explain how the NEGs impacts fit in your depiction of how debate operates.
Ks, DAs, CPs, T, FW, etc are all fine to read and impact turn – as long as I am judging a round where there is some attention to strategy and arguments are being developed, I will be happy. Definitely willing to vote on zero risk of a link.
Policy - I debated Policy for 4 years in high school and have coached for the past 2 years. In an online world I am NOT COMFORTABLE with spreading, it is already difficult to understand in person and over the computer it's even harder. I have no issues with K, just make sure there is a clear framework. If you’re going for T it will have to be very convincing, Not a huge fan of T. Must see signposting, roadmaps, and impact calculus.
PF - I have coached and judged PF before and feel very comfortable with the format. I like to see clash, impact weighing, and well thought out/structured arguments. Roadmaps and signposting are helpful.
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
about me: i debated for brooklyn tech from 2013-2017, qualing to the TOC my senior year. i went for afropess for every 2nr/2ar for 3 years. i am more familiar with K lit but have no predispositions about what debate should look like and will try my best to stick with my flow.
top level stuff:
1) I always default to my flow, however absent a claim, warrant, and impact to every argument-I will have trouble adjudicating.
2) Please properly explain your positions. I find that the best debates are ones with material examples and not reliant on K jargon.
3) The 2nr/2ar should write my ballot and tell me why you win. I find myself increasingly frustrated by defensive 2nr/2ars that are more of an FYI then telling me how I should frame my ballot/prioritize things. I love an easy way out so that means go for theory cheap shots, under covered arguments, etc
4) 7 minute long overviews in the 2NC upset me. You should strike me if you plan on doing that or send me your entire speech doc and not give a 2NC...I will give both partners an auto 30 but drop you.
t vs k affs
Affs should have a clear relationship to the topic-if your aff doesn't mention the words "immigrant", "borders", or "immigration", my threshold for framework is going to be pretty low for the neg to win. I also think a stable advocacy is important for educational debates, if the aff is shifty-you should call them out on it.
For the aff:
1) the aff should impact turn the neg's model of debate and win why normative policy debate is bad for X, Y, Z reason
2) Provide a counter interpretation with net benefits for why your own model of debate is better for in round education or spillover claims. Both teams should be explaining to me what your model of debate looks like: what's the neg's role, what affs are included/excluded, etc
For the neg:
1) I view fairness as an important impact and think every team should enter the round with a 50/50 shot of winning. I can be fairly easily persuaded that K-affs make debate less fair but I find that the neg often times neglect to answer aff arguments about how fairness is bad/unimportant. However fairness arguments that have a clear internal link to topic education, clash, and your model of debate are more persuasive for me.
2) Defend your model of debate. I default to competing interpretations unless you tell me otherwise.
I'm pretty familiar with a good portion of contemporary critical literature, however that does not mean that you can get away with not explaining the argument/jargon outside of the literature base it comes from.
If you are reading a K vs a policy aff, it is the burden of the negative to prove the undesirability of the implementation of the plan. The 2NR must extend framework, link, and do impact calc or I will vote aff on presumption if there is no alt extended.
K vs non-traditional affs, again please DO NOT read an overview for 8 minutes with "embedded clash" and never get to the line by line. I will NOT draw any lines for you. Please explain how the aff/neg theories compete and do a lot of framing. I'm skeptical of a permutation in method vs method debate but if the neg doesn't explain how their theory of power is incompatible with the aff/perm theory then it's a really easy aff ballot for the perm. I think the 2NR should have an alt because I generally default to viewing a K vs K debate as a question of competing methods and who has a better orientation towards resolving the impacts presented in the round.
I'm honestly not great for these debates but a good DA debate with solid links is cool. Have a counterplan text with net benefits. I'm a fan of smart, strategic, and weird CPs.
Name: Jefferey Yan
Affiliations: Stuyvesant High School ’15
Binghamton University '19
Currently working as an assistant coach w/ GMU for 2021-22
Please put me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated for 8 years, in HS for Stuyvesant and in college at Binghamton. I read a plan for a majority of my time in HS, and various K arguments on the neg. In college, I read an affirmative about Asian-Americans every year with a variety of flavors and a few about disability. On the neg, we primarily went for K arguments with themes of biopower, capitalism, and resiliency.
I think line by line is an effective way to both record and evaluate clash that happens in debate. I like to judge debates that are heavily invested in line-by-line refutation because I think it requires the least amount of intervention and the largest amount of me pointing to what you said.
That being said, I think rebuttals require less line-by-line and more framing arguments. The biggest problem for me when evaluating debates is there is often little explanation of how I should treat the rest of debate if you win x argument. In other words, you need to impact your arguments not just on the line by line, but also in the broader context of the debate. The ability to do both in a round is primarily what modulates the speaking points I give.
Framework/T-USFG: I like to think of framework as an all-or-nothing strategy that can either be utilized effectively and persuasively, or poorly and as an excuse to avoid engagement. My ideal block on FW is where you spend time articulating specific abuse and why it implicates your ability to debate with examples. I think specificity is what makes the difference between framework as a strategy for engagement versus framework as a strategy for ignoring the aff. I think a lot of the delineation here is most apparent in the 2NR and whether or not the neg explicitly acknowledges/goes to the case page.
Generally speaking, I think ties to the topic are good. I think topical versions of the aff are something people need to be going for in the 2NR and are lowkey kind of broken given the time tradeoff vs amount of defense generated ratio. I am unpersuaded by fairness as an intrinsic good or impact in itself, and relying heavily on it in the 2nr is not a great spot to be in. For example, I am relatively easily persuaded by the argument that if a current form of the game produces bad outcomes, then whether it’s fair or not is ultimately a secondary to concern when compared to re-thinking the content of the game itself. I think arguments regarding the quality of clash are the most persuasive to me as they can implicate both fairness and education impact arguments fairly intuitively.
I default to competing interps, but I think that aff teams tend to read awful C/Is without realizing it, mostly because they fail to really think through what their counter-model of debate looks like. I think a strong counter-interp really sets aff FW strategies apart, because being able to access the neg’s offense does a lot for you in terms of explaining the specificity of your own impact turns.
T: Like I said, I have very little topic specific knowledge and am a bit out of the loop in regards to the meta. This means I’m probably more willing to vote on a stupid T argument than other judges. This could be good or bad for you.
DA: I like stories. DAs are opportunities to tell good stories. Not much else to say about this.
CP: I wish people slowed down when reading CP texts because it makes it so god damn hard to flow them. I think judge-kick is stupid. If the debate becomes theoretical, please adhere to some kind of line-by-line format.
K: I am most familiar with structural kritiks. Link specificity makes life good. I think framework is incredibly important for both sides to win to win the debate. I think the neg should defend an alternative most of the time. I think the neg should generally pick and choose one or two specific link arguments in the 2NR.
K but on the aff: These debates are largely framework debates, and the winner of that debate gets to decide what happens with the judge and the ballot. I think it’s important to make clear what the aff advocates early on, because often times these affs have too many moving parts, which gets you into trouble vs link debates/presumption arguments. I think ties to the topic are generally good. I usually really like judging these types of affs.