Lakeland Westchester Classic 2020
2020 — Shrub Oak, NY/US
High School LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
school affiliation: acorn community high school (Brooklyn NY), NYUDL (new york urban debate league), stuyversant high school (New york, NY)
years debating: 4 years of high school, starting college debate
in a debate round i have done everything from cp and politics to performance
my first highschool topic was aid to south Africa, last one was reduce military (if that matters)
I will vote on whatever arguments win, this means I may vote on anything, it could come down to Counterplan-Disad, Procedurals, Kritiks, Affs with no plan text, to even performance. tell me what your argument is and what the ballot signifies (if it has a meaning)...i.e. policy maker etc...(...)
speaker points: be persuasive and make it interesting thin line between funny and ass hole at times may it be in cross-x or your speech you decide *background music* ...analysis/argumentation (don't lie about reading a hole card if u didn't,don't just read cards and tag~line extend ~_~ ) i will call for evidence if needed and i will hit you wit the world famous "cum on son" lol
impact your arguments (duhh)
Topicality: i like a good t debate, their fun and at times educational, make sure you impact it, and give a correct abuse story...
counter plans: have a good net benefit prove how they solve the case
dis ads: you can run them i vote for anything and am familiar with most scenarios
k: i was a k db8er for the better half of my db8 career so i'm pretty familiar with most k~lit u will read unless its like some deep
nietzsche, zizek, lacan type ish but i get it...and if you explain it give a good story and show alternative solvency i will vote for it...it is also fine if you kick the alt and go for it as a case turn just debate it out...
preformance: i did this too...explain what the round comes down to...i.e. role of the judge/ballot/db8ers...and if their is a form of spill over what this is and means in real world and debate world... block framework lol...and show me why your/this performance is key...may it be a movement or just you expressing your self...i like methodology db8s so if it comes down to the aff and neg being both performance teams be clear on the framework for the round and how your methodology is better and how the other may recreate these forms of oppression you may be speaking about...may it be the deletion of identity or whiteness etc...same things apply if your running a counter~advocacy against a performance team...(*whispers* solvency)...k vs performance rounds same as methodology prove the link and as for the alt prove the solvency... framework vs performance rounds i had a lot of these, boring but fun to see the way they play out depending on interp, vio, impacts and stuff...
framework: any kind is fine...same justification as Topicality...depending on how your spinning framework within a round... *yells* education =)
short & sweet
#swag...have fun...do you...debate =)
Email for evidence chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell me why I should vote for you. Make sense. Explain your terms. Think of me as a relatively smart person who isn't debate-y. I'll vote for what makes sense. If I don't understand it, I can't vote for you.
Make every argument clear and tell me why it is important! Why should I vote for you?
No spreading. I do not have a problem with it on principle. I just will not be able to follow your argument. Please be clear in your articulation. Don’t use a ton of debate jargon/buzzwords- explain what you’re trying to say in your own words and make it clear. This goes for both policy and critical oriented debaters.
Argument-Specific (I prefer traditional arguments)
Critical affs- very unfamiliar. Run them if you have NOTHING else, but be sure you explain yourself VERY clearly.
Disad- Explain the story/scenario of how the aff causes a specific impact and why that impact is the most important. I prefer you use traditional impact calculus in your framing.
Counterplan- Provide a competitive counterplan and explain the NET BENEFITS of why the counterplan is better than the aff
Topicality- Prove the aff is untopical and tell me why it’s important
Kritik- Unfamiliar- explain every argument clearly. I strongly advise you not to run one. If you chose to run a K, narrow the argument down to the impacts of the K.
I attended and debated for Rutgers University-Newark (c/o 2021). I’ve ran both policy and K affs.
Coach @ Ridge HS in Basking Ridge, NJ.
Influences In Debate
David Asafu – Adjaye (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!
COLLEGE POLICY: I skimmed through the topic paper and ADA/ Wake will be my first time judging this season. Do with this information what you wish.
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.
Raul Cepin (he/him/his)
Binghamton University '18
Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School ’13
Debated for 4 years in high school, debated in college and qualified to the NDT every year I debated. Qualified teams to the TOC.
1. I think line by line as a guideline for the structure of flowing is effective
2. K, performance all okay - debated this kind of stuff. Be clear and make sure I get it.
3. T/FW - T is good and important, so is framework. You need to defend an interpretation.
4. Tricks are a no-go
Haven't judged or been involved in debate for a bit now, not sure what Zoom debate is like so 1) email chain and 2) extra clarity please. Given that, I am even more inclined to not vote for tricks and grant 2N/2A responses, etc. I'm okay with larp/theory/Ks (must have concrete alts).
If you have questions ask me in the room before the round starts.
Create an email chain and add me email@example.com
I have debated in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for 4 years in Science park high school. I recently graduated and I am now on the Rutgers Newark debate team. I've qualified to the TOC in both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate my senior Year.
I give high speaks if you are clear and really good in the big picture debate. I like a good story.
For the email chain and any contact you need - firstname.lastname@example.org
I flow debater's speech performances and not docs, but may read evidence after speeches.
I graduated from Liberty University in the spring of 2011 after debating for 5 years. Before that I debated 1 year of LD in high school. Since then I worked as a debate coach for Timothy Christian High School in New Jersey for 6 years, traveling nationally on both the high school and college circuit. Currently I am the Director of speech and debate at Poly Prep in Brooklyn.
I view debate as a forum to critically test and challenge approaches to change the world for the better. I prefer in depth debate with developed material that you look like you have a grasp of. I will always work hard to evaluate correctly and with little intervention, especially if you are putting in hard work debating.
Learning debate from within the Liberty tradition I began by running conventional policy arguments with a proclivity to go for whatever K was in the round. However, during my final 3 years my partner and I did not defend the resolution and our 1nc looked very similar to our 1ac. Personally, I’m a believer and coach for advocating liberatory and conscious debate practices. However, there will certainly be a gap at times between my personal preferences and practices and what I vote on. I’m not going to judge from a biased perspective against policy arguments, and although tabula rasa is impossible I will try to evaluate the arguments presented with limited interference.
Ultimately, do not let any of this sway you from debating how you prefer. Doing what you think you are the best educator on will probably be your greatest option. If any of this is unclear or you have questions that I have not address below please feel free to ask me before a round. Have fun, debate confidently, and be genuine.
Last updated 1/10/2020
PAPERLESS and prep time (LD and Policy specific):
Prep time ends approximately when the speech doc is saved and you remove the jump drive / hit send of the email. An overall goal (for both paperless and traditional teams) is to be prepared to begin your speech when you say end prep.
Speaking mostly to HIGH SCHOOL students:
Everyone involved in the round should be able to have access to any read piece of evidence once it has been presented. This means that if you are reading off of a computer you are responsible for providing your opponents with either a jump of what you are going to read or a physical copy before you start your speech. We shouldn’t be unreasonably fearful of people ‘stealing’ ‘our’ evidence, as source information should always be provided, and also because it’s certainly not really ‘ours’. You may, however, respectfully require your opponents to delete anything you provided them with during the round.
SPEAKING STYLES and speaker points:
I’m certainly open to (for lack of a better word) alternative and non-traditional approaches to your speech time. Passion, ethos, and emphasis are things that are usually underutilized by most speaking styles and debaters, and should be present in both constructives and rebuttals. After all, debate is at its core a communication activity. Cross-ex is a great time to exhibit this as well as advance your arguments. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech. Being a jerk, unnecessarily rude, offensive, stealing prep, and not being helpful to the other team during cx or prep time are all things that will negatively effect your speaker points outside of the quality and delivery of your arguments.
HIGH SCHOOL LD SPECIFIC:
Yes, I am fine with speed, but that does not give you an excuse to be unclear. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech.
I have experience to evaluate theory, but certainly prefer substantive theory (T, condo, NIBs, are all examples) as opposed to frivolous theory. You should probably slow down when reading your shells if you want me to be able to write down the nuances of your argument. Due to my background in college policy there may be a few preconceptions that I have that you should be aware of. Theory is not automatically an RVI, and I probably take a little more convincing on the flow than most judges in this area. You need to explain to me why a violation has resulted in abuse that warrants either voting down the other team or rejecting a specific argument. Simply claiming one to be true is not enough work here. When answering theory, showing how the abuse can be solved by rejecting a particular argument can make the violation go away.
Conceded and dropped arguments are considered true on my flow, unless they are morally repugnant or blatantly false. An example of the latter is even if your opponent drops a theory shell, if the team clearly does not link to the violation your accusation does not make that true. Conceded arguments must still be extended, warranted, and argued, but you should focus more on their implications.
Please read the paperless / prep time and the speaking style / speaker points sections of my philosophy located above.
PUBLIC FORUM SPECIFIC:
A quick overview statement: It seem that circuit PF is going through a growing period where it is solidifying some norms and practices. As a result of this, I will typically default to the understanding of the debaters in the round. I am also open to different interpretations as long as they are defended.
Concerning defense in summary: As indicated above, this is something that I am going to let the debaters determine / debate for themselves. However, if at any point the defense has been front-lined / responded to (either in 2nd rebuttal or 1st summary), then these arguments need to be answered and the defense needs to be extended for it to be available in final focus.
The rest of my philosophy is not specific towards ld or policy, high school or college, and it may do you benefit to read it as well, especially if some of your arguments tend to look like policy arguments.
FRAMEWORK (when run by the neg):
I think that negatives have the ability to and should engage with affirmatives that don’t defend a normative implementation of a plan. Even if the aff doesn’t defend the resolution there are still many substantive things that they will defend that provide ample ground. Although this ground might not be as predictable as your interpretation on FW calls for, it is still predictable enough to meet the threshold that you should be prepared for it.
Having said that, I think I’m one of those few sick individuals that will actually enjoy listening to framework debates as long as they are well developed on both sides. Granted, I will most likely be a harder sell than most, but I don’t think this should dissuade you from going for it if you think it is your best option. You will need to make inroads to the aff’s arguments by articulating ways traditional debate solves for their impacts. If you lose the impact turn to politics you will not win FW debates. You need to make arguments to the effect of traditional policy debate being key to a better form of politics and articulate net benefits to your interpretation from this. I think that the type of education we foster in debate far outweighs the preservation of the game in the strictest sense. That is to say that fairness claims alone are not the way to persuade me on FW. You should instead use claims of fairness to hedge against the impacts from the aff.
However, the main substance of FW debates (for both sides) should be about the competing benefits to the type of education and scholarship different traditions lead to.
For affirmatives concerning framework strategies, your greatest offense will be specific to your particular argument. I will be more easily persuaded if your aff is connected to the topic. I don’t appreciate aff’s that are written that hide their purpose or are exclusively constructed to impact turn FW. While I prefer some kind of relationship to the topic, I don’t think it is necessary. However, you do lose the ability to make an important strategic argument that other plan-less aff’s should employ, which is that your aff is important to topic education. More developed, this argument should be that your aff is necessary to topic education and that without it the debate ground that is left leads to bad forms of scholarship. That is to say that you aff is essentially topical. This argument is both inherently offensive and also provides the ability to make defensive claims against the neg’s offense.
This is the type of debate that I am most familiar with and have the largest literature base with (I was a philosophy major). However, messy and poor K debates are probably the worst. The key to winning this kind of debate is making the general link and alternative cards as specific as possible to the aff. I am not saying that the key is reading the most specific evidence (although this would be nice, however most of our authors here don’t write in the context of every affirmative), but that you need to find ways to apply the generic concepts to the specifics of the aff. Without this it is easier to be persuaded by the perm.
Teams are responsible for the discourse and performances in which then engage in given the context of the world we are situated in as well as the argument style the team engages in.
Aff’s have a wide range of arguments they can deploy, and are probably best sticking with the ones they are most comfortable with while doing a good job showing how they relate to the critique.
Concerning the perm, it is usually not enough work to simply show how the two different advocacies could work together. At this point it becomes easy to vote on the alternative as a purer form of advocacy without the risk of links. Aff’s should articulate net benefits to the perm to hedge against residual links and different DA’s to the perm itself. Case should be one of these net benefits, but aff’s need to watch out for indicts to foundational assumptions (concerning methodology, epistemology, ontology etc.) behind your impact claims.
Concerning framework: when was the last time a relatively moderate judge decided that the neg shouldn’t be able to run their K? The answer is probably a long time ago. The majority of these debates are compromised in the 1ar by allowing the K given that the aff gets to weigh their impacts after a lot of wasted time by both teams. I can hardly think of a situation where I would be persuaded to only evaluate the plan verses the status quo or a competitive policy option that excluded the alternative. However, I can envision certain ways that this debate goes down that convinces me to discount the impacts of the aff. In general, however, most of debate is illusory (somewhat unfortunately) and these framework questions are about what type of education is more important. If you chose to run framework with you aff you should keep these things in mind concerning your interpretation for debate.
PERFORMANCE or project verses a similar style:
These debates are some of the most important and essential ones for our community, particularly as more and more teams are participating in this form of advocacy. We need to debate and judge in light of this fact. These are also some of the most difficult debates to have. There are several reasons for this, one of the most poignant being the personal nature of these debates combined with the close relationships that most people amongst this insular community have with one another. We need to realize the value in these opportunities and the importance of preserving the pureness of our goals for the debate community. That might mean in some situations that conceding and having a conversation might be the best use of a particular debate space, and in others debating between different competing methodologies is a correct rout to go. In either case we need to realize and cherish common goals. In light of this it isn’t a bad thing to agree with large portions of your opponent’s speeches or even advocacy. Instead of reproducing the gaming paradigm of traditional debate, where competition is valued over advocacy and winning over ethics, we should instead choose to celebrate the areas of alignment we find. Conceding every round where this happens, however, is not a good idea either. This would send a message to the debate community that debate dies under this framework. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possible time and place for it though.
When both teams largely agree on certain foundational framework questions efficacious debate can still happen. While making distinctions between advocacies and methodologies is essential for this kind of a debate, you should probably not manipulate and create links that are artificial. Distinctions that are made out of an in depth knowledge of the issues are far more beneficial and consistent. Traditional debate might look at these kinds of rounds as two ships passing in the night, but I think there can be a different metaphor – one where the teams are two ships starting at the recognition that the resolution and the debate community is flawed and that the round can be decided upon which team provides a better methodology and performance to get their ship further in the direction of what we should be as a community and culturally aware individuals.
I am undecided as to whether the aff should be allowed a perm and this should probably be debated out. However, I think that the aff should always have the ability to point out when a negative advocacy is the same as theirs.
THEORY / T:
Any bias I have towards theory will probably result in placing a burden on the team that reads the violation to prove that it should result in a voting issue. However, I don’t like shady stuff done only to be obnoxiously strategic. Don’t do it.
One thing that I definitely do not like is when teams read multiple conditional strategies that contradict each other. This will usually call into question the solvency of the critique if the aff takes advantage of this.
I don’t think that I have a bias concerning reasonability or competing interpretations, but I will probably default to competing interpretations until the aff is shown to be reasonable and from there it is up for debate.
COUNTERPLANS / DA’s:
I am probably liberal concerning counter plan theory, and aside from the question over conditionality most other theory arguments are probably reasons to reject the cp. Aside from traditional theory answers, showing why a certain CP is justified given the specific aff is a good response.
PICS that are specific to the aff are great, however word pics should probably just be articulated as links to the K.
Uniqueness controls the link only if a particular side definitively wins it.
I generally evaluate from an offense / defense standpoint, but it doesn’t mean anything if the CP links less than the plan does to a DA if the CP still meets the threshold for triggering the link. In that world there isn’t greater offense to the CP.
Debater for Rutgers University-Newark.
Debated for University High School in Newark where I received 3 bids in LD my senior year. I was top speaker at the Tournament of Champions and made it to semifinals.
Ranked #6 in the country as a collegiate debater my junior year. Qualified to the National Debate Tournament every year of college.
Please read what you are most comfortable with. I will evaluate every and any argument.
I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
K's/Performances: I mostly run Ks and performances on both the aff and neg. On the aff make sure there is a coherent story that I can follow from the 1AC to the 2AR. On the neg make sure there are specific links and examples that prove the aff is a bad idea/advocacy/policy/action etc.
FW v K affs: I will vote on whoever is winning a terminal that outweighs any costs. Clash > limits on the neg. Accessibility/Education are the best impacts on the aff. I default to competing interps, but can be persuaded to err towards reasonability.
DA's: Prove to me why the DA outweighs and turns case. Do meta-weighing.
Framework: LD is beginning to shift towards creative, and at times arbitrary framework shells. I'm down, but please prove a violation on a well thought framework shell. How will debate change and/or what will debates begin to look like under the interp/counterinterp and why is this better than debate in the squo?
New to judging PF.
All arguments should have a claim, warrant, and impact.
Weigh and meta-weigh.
Debated policy in high school and parli at Columbia University
judging for over 4 years
5) Tricks (unless tied to social advocacy)
IHSA 2022 Update:
Debate Philosophy: Generally, I default to voting for the team that has done the better debating, in terms of proving the merit of the arguments they make against some comparative (opponent's arguments, status quo, etc.). Offense is always appreciated, and I normally vote for the team that has the best warranted / impacted out offense.
UK Digital TOC Speech & Debate #2 Edit:
What debaters should do more of: give roadmaps, sign post, slow down on taglines, do impact calculus/weigh, do line-by-line analyses, compare evidence, collapse on key args in final rebuttal speeches, and say why you are winning/get the ballot (write my ballot for me)
What debaters should avoid doing: spreading through overviews and theory shells (if need to spread please send out a doc), saying they have proved something to be true, bringing up that something was dropped/conceded without explaining why it matters or is a critically important to evaluating/framing the round, jumping all over the flow (please sign post so I can accurately flow/ keep track of your arguments), and sending out speech docs that can't be downloaded or copied from. ALSO please no postrounding and no sending me emails before a round is scheduled to occur nor after a round has occurred, as judges are not allowed to have contact with debaters except during a round.
Kritiks I like to hear (in order): Afropess/antiblackness, afrofuturism, set col, cap,
Updated for 2023 TOC
Conflicts: Newark Science.
I’m Amit Kukreja and I debated for Newark Science in Newark, NJ for four years.
If it helps, I debated on the local NJ Circuit, the national circuit, and was a member of the USA Debate Team. I did PF for a couple of tournaments my freshman/sophomore year. I went to the TOC in LD my junior and senior year. I competed in policy my senior year at one national circuit tournament and received a bid in policy to the TOC and won the NJ State championship in policy. I debated internationally in worlds format for Team USA my senior year. For the better part of three years, I mainly did LD, ending out in octos of TOC senior year.
So, I've been coaching for the past 7 years and my views on debate have changed dramatically from when I was in highschool. The number one thing to understand about me is that I truly do consider myself to be tabula-rasa, meaning you can read anything, I simply value the execution of the strategy that you read. The ONLY caveat I have here is tricks; please please do not read some one-line bs, the other side drops it, and then you get up and extend it and win. If you make an actual argument and it's dropped, I totally get it - but the "resolved apriori" will make me very sad. It's not that I won't vote off it, but my threshold for rejecting it will be so low that as long as the other side says "No. Just No." that will be enough for me. I want to see actual debates!
Okay, besides tricks - do whatever you want. I've coached a ton of kids the past 7 years in phil, policy, kritiks, etc. and really enjoy judging all types of debates. I love a one-off K strat just as much as a 4-off NC strat, to me it's about the strategy in which you deploy an argument and how it collapses by the end of the debate that influence me.
I love impact turn debates, solid counterplans, strong internal links on disads, core assumptions challenged within links for a kritik - all is game. I do really enjoy CX, if you can be dominant there and have some personality, speaks will benefit and I'll just be more engaged.
Feel free to ask if any questions!
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
I am a US History, World History, Law, and Personal Finance teacher in Lexington, MA and have taught Civics in a past life outside DC. Meaning that I have a strong academic background on the policy issues that are being discussed. That said, I am a relative newcomer to academic-style Debate in my second year judging.
As a PF judge I expect solid arguments that correctly apply strong evidence and do not ignore major flaws or counter-arguments. I would much rather hear someone say "we do not disagree that the aff/neg argument is valid, but here is why ours is stronger/more relevant." Speak clearly. No spreading. Have fun!
As an LD judge I am new to the game but well versed in solid arguments. Refer to your framework in your arguments to strengthen them and do not engage in extensive de-linking unless you are on solid ground logically. I will lean on my understanding of logic in the arguments rather than fancy debate tactics. Also if you spread, I will not understand you. Keep it civil in CXs but don't be afraid to press your opponent if their answer is weak. Email is Plehmann@lexingtonma.org for speech docs.
Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts '16
I competed in LD and PF in Louisiana for 6 years in MS and HS and have been judging MS and HS PF, LD, and Policy for 4 years while at Columbia. Louisiana is primarily more of a traditional / lay circuit and most of what I ran was on the more traditional side of LD, but I'm more than open to any type of argumentation as long as you explain and impact it well.
Run whatever you want short of being blatantly offensive (e.g. "racism good") as long as you explain and impact clearly. You need to provide some sort of weighing mechanism and explain why that mechanism is superior to your opponent's and how you're winning under that mechanism. Have some sort of clear offense and extend your offensive arguments throughout the round while weighing your offense against your opponent's. Clear framing and comparative weighing is important. If you're reading something conceptually complex you must explain how its relevant to the round and clearly articulate the impacts of your arguments. I'll be flowing on paper and am down to vote for some wacky complex stuff (I'm 100% not a layjudge) but am not up to date on the hip debate lit and newer progressive argumentation styles so please be especially clear (I'm an engineering major so am unfamiliar with a lot of the lit/philosophy that gets read-- pls explain). Signpost, signpost, signpost.
Having some flavor of framework in LD is important to me. If you don't provide anything I'll evaluate under a util-ish lens by default. Winning framework is a big part of the debate, but winning framework ≠ winning the debate. Framework established the mechanism for weighing your impacts.
I never ran theory and am not super familiar with a lot of the lit but don't have anything against it. As with any type of argument, explain and impact well and you can run whatever you want barring anything morally reprehensible (i.e. if you're making the debate environment uncomfortable or hostile for someone else).
Update after judging a couple theory-heavy rounds: Please be especially clear how the theory you're running interacts with the ballot and how it contributes to you winning the debate / why I should care about it. Be advised that you'll really have to convince me that I should prioritize the theory over anything else if you want me to vote for it over something more grounded in framework / a clearer weighing mechanism.
Again, never dabbled too much into Ks myself and while I'm a little more familiar with some of the common K lit you need to make sure you're explaining and impacting clearly.
Probably take things down a couple notches from your top speed, but as long as you're clear speed is fine. Slow down for tags, authors, and analysis. Speeding through cards isn't an issue given your opponent has access to your evidence (flash it, email it, print it, whatever).
*If you're clearly more experienced than your opponent don't beat them into the ground-- it's not a good look.
*Presentation style <<< clarity of arguments
*Flex prep is cool as long as your opponent is down
*Speaks start at ~28 and go up or down
*I have very minimal experience with performance debate and if you're a performance debater you need to clearly explain how your performance relates to the ballot and clashes with your opponent.
*Good evidence >>> more evidence
*Have fun!! Tasteful jokes warmly encouraged
I debated for 4 years at Grapevine HS (TX), with about equal experience in Policy (2A/1N) and LD. I read a solid mix of Policy and K arguments over the course of high school, and what I preferred to go for often changed, especially from topic to topic.
Please put me on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
I default to voting for the team that did the better debating, unless you convince me to use some other metric or lens. To get any more specific I think event matters, in which case look below.
I vote on the arguments and substance of what happens in the debate round. There are definitely cases where things that happened outside of the debate round can affect the round itself, but those things need to be brought up during the debate and explained. (excluding of course things like clipping, ethics violations, etc.)
Please provide a speech doc of some sort, it is incredibly important that both your opponents and I have access to the full text of the cards you are reading.
Tech over truth, arguments that are conceded/won are considered to be true for my decision. An argument being false or untrue makes it very very hard to win but there is an obligation for both debaters to call things out that are untrue, especially when they are/could be a large factor in the decision.
That being said, I will not vote for anything that I do not understand or does not make sense. Rebuttal/Ballot story explanations are key to winning the debate.
Debate how you feel most comfortable debating and be respectful of everyone in the room, there are very few things I will refuse to vote for.
I can’t say how often I will vote for K affs/T-USFG. In general, I think my views on debate slant more policy, however, I think debaters often mishandle these affs. Affs that are in the direction of/take a non-traditional approach to the topic are often much better than ones that just negate/avoid the topic. For me to vote on a K aff, they need to explain/win a couple things, why is it bad for the aff to be forced to defend the resolution? What makes those reasons different from simply negating? How does the aff interact with the issues it presents? What is your model of debate and why is it good? If you are explaining these things you are probably in a good place.
I actually like T-USFG debates, and I think it is a really effective strategy against K affs if done well. Similar to K affs there are a couple questions I think the negative needs to be explaining and winning. Why is your interpretation a good model of debate? Why is forcing the aff to defend the resolution good? What are the impacts on debate of not being topical? Having a TVA or some other way to mitigate the offense of the aff is really convincing to me. This was the strategy I went for most often against K affs. I think fairness is an impact, but, like every other impact, I can be convinced that something else OW/Is more important for the activity.
I am familiar with most K literature. I think K debates have a lot of potential, at their best they push the bounds of the activity, and force us to think differently about the world and how we approach debate. However, at their worst they are muddled, under explained, and don’t accomplish that much. Explanations are key, while I may be familiar with the literature you are reading it doesn’t mean you can skimp on explaining how the K operates and how it relates to the other arguments in the round. Link debates are essential in every K debate, if you are explaining the links that will help you on every other part of the debate. There also needs to be an explanation of how the K, on either a framework or alternative level resolves the links.
I am a big fan of CP debates, I appreciate a creative nuanced CPs and I think they are a really good way to explore the topic. I will vote on Condo, even though I know most debates never end up there, I also think theory is often the best way to check abusive CPs, but there needs to be a clear explanation of why how the CP works is bad and why that warrants a ballot.
I enjoy a good DA debate, I think there’s value to be had in the smaller, hyper specific politics DA debates, however, when these DA are contrived, or just aren’t really accurate, much of this breaks down. Creative DA ideas are always appreciated, but an evidence heavy topic DA debate is also good. Clear link stories are really important, especially in close debates, and having a cohesive story from uniqueness to impact is really important to get my vote in these debates.
I think T is essential for creating a clearly defined topic. Definition v Definition debates actually have a lot of relevance to actual policy and making specific and well defined interpretations is a really valuable process. T debates need to be clear with each side clearly explaining how their interpretations function and what affs are/are not allowed under each. These can get really confusing if there is not a clear distinction between the interpretations or clear standards supporting them, there should be a solid definition of what the topic looks like under each side’s definitions and interpretations.
I think that having some sort of framework/weighing mechanism/Value/Criterion is important, given nothing I will default to util. Creating clear distinction between, and articulating how the two frameworks interact is essential to winning this part of the debate. Winning framework is a big part of the debate, but winning framework does not mean you win, there still need to be impacts that are weighed under that framework.
I think theory in general is pretty good, and I am not opposed to these debates, however, when done incorrectly they can be really messy and confusing. CP theory can be really strategic in LD considering the time pressure on the 1AR, especially for cheaty process CPs. 1AC spikes are fine, but I do not think they need to be answered until they are deployed in the 1AR, for example, if the AC says 1AR theory is drop the debater, the Neg doesn’t have to answer it until the aff reads a 1AR theory shell. On that note, I default to theory being drop the debater. I think frivolous theory is often bad for the activity of debate, but I will still vote on it, and I think the notion of when theory becomes frivolous is kind of blurry, so make sure you have well articulated violations and standards and I will be much more likely to vote for you.
If you aren’t going to explain your arguments, and rely on jumping up and down for 3 minutes about how they conceded the a priori about presumption because of your made up reason why the resolution is incoherent I will probably not vote on it. This is never a great form of debate and oftentimes these “tricks” don’t make sense if you think about it for more than two seconds.
Topicality is in my opinion underused in LD. Given the nature of most topics/direction of affs it is not as applicable however it can be a really effective tool to limit out abusive affs on the topics. These shells need to be complete with and interpretation, definition, standards, and voters. Incomplete shells are really hard to win and make the debates very messy. Also everything from policy applies here
K/K affs/Framework (big F)
I like K debates in LD, I think the 2NR lends itself to really ample time for explanations which are key to winning any K debate. Very similar thoughts to the CX section on K affs and Framework. However, LD topics almost never use “USFG” so I think that often changes the way these debates happen, that being said, if there is an established reason why the aff should be the USFG then these debates become similar.
Plan debates are really good in LD, I think LD should in general shift more towards plan affs, they provide more specific and concrete things for the neg to engage with and inherently stop much of the cheaty shifts affs make in the 1AR. I am very hesitant to vote on plans bad theory especially if that is the main strategy against the aff.
I've gotten thrown into a couple PF rounds, if you have gotten this far in my paradigm and I am judging you or one of your debaters in a PF round assume I will judge the round like a policy/LD judge. Whatever style of argumentation you want to do works for me, I would look to the top level section for information on how I evaluate things.
Most of all, enjoy the round, have fun, and debate your best