2020 Ivy Street Round Robin
2020 — Atlanta, GA/US
Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Background: Debated mostly Policy Debate for 4 years at Marist School although I did a couple of PF tournaments here and there.
Last Update 11/16/16
Summary: I usually prefer DA Case CP debate but K's are fine if I can understand it. Really don't want to vote on theory though.
- I don't take prep for flashing or emailing unless the tournament is running behind or tab is nagging me to get done faster
- Keep the debate calm and more relaxed
- I probably won't look at evidence unless it is specifically indicted or highlighted
- I haven't had a lot of experience with this topic so please don't use too many abbreviations and acronyms
- I don't know much about China policy as of this year but I know a good amount of Japanese politics and policy if that helps you at all
- Please don't read an econ impact in front of me if your internal links aren't amazing. I study economics and unless your internal link and solvency cards are by economists with a ton of numbers. I like warming impacts and sciencey impacts like nuclear fusion since they interest me and I would probably more likely to pay attention to them
- I'm getting tired of heavy impact debates and overviews. It seems like most of the time the debate boils down to nothing
- Solvency debates and debates about the actual aff are the most enjoyable for me since they make the debate less generic. They also have to be explained a lot more in detail since I probably won't know it
- I really like DA debates
- The DA debate is probably going to be won or lost at the link level so I would probably focus on that
- I like CP's but I'm sometimes easily confused about what they do so you have to make it clear in CX or the 2NC as to what it does
- I'm fine with judge kicking the CP even if you don't say it, given you extend case
- I'm very hit or miss when it comes to K's. Often I get very confused by the barrage of information 2N's introduce in the block. Here's my advice if you decide to go for a K in front of me, slow down when you get to the K flow and explain everything as if I've never debated before
- K debates are way too technical and I hate that. Debate the K like how your authors would, slowly and philosophically
- The link debate is honestly the only important thing about the K debate. If you run a K, I'm pretty much going to agree that you that you will outweigh the aff. I will, however, give you a much higher threshold to meet for the link so you need to spend about 75% of your time on the link debate
- K tricks are stupid and cheap ways to win rounds so I'm probably not voting for them
- On the aff the first thing you should do is just hammer that 1NC link evidence. It's usually super generic
- I probably won't for T unless it is pretty much obvious that the aff is untopical. I'm probably going to default to reasonability
- If it is a questionable aff, then please make the impacts clear and go slow.
- If you prove that the aff is untopical but still lose the impact debate then I'll probably still just vote for you
- I honestly don't know how I feel about these since I've only encountered a single unorthodox debate. I would prefer it if your argument is topical
- If you do something really weird I'm probably going to have this confused look on my face and default to the more orthodox team
I hate voting on theory. Please don't make it a theory debate and if you do slow down. Theory about one specific argument is a reason to reject the argument.
- Word PICs: have to be extremely justifiable
- 50 State Fiat: stupid but not an immediate reason to reject
- International Fiat: good
- Consult and Conditions CP's: depends on the solvency advocate
- Condo: probably won't vote on unless dropped or perfcon
- Multiplank CP's: fine if you have a solvency advocate for each plank
- CP Perms: can make the CP go away, not sure about it as an advocacy
- K Perms: kind of dumb. Just go for the no link
I am the Director of Speech and Debate at Charlotte Latin School. Have been coaching all types of debate (except Policy), but most specifically Public Forum.
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently serve on the Public Forum Topic Wording Committee, and have been since 2018.
1. Judge and Coach mostly Traditional styles.
2. Am ok with speed/spreading but should only be used for depth of coverage really.
3. LARP/Trad/Topical Ks/T > Theory/Tricks/Non-topical Ks
4. The rest is largely similar to PF judging:
- Flow judge, can follow the fastest PF debater but don't use speed unless you have too.**
- I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that, with some humor and panache.
- I have a high threshold for theory arguments to be valid in PF. Unless there is in round abuse, I probably won’t vote for a frivolous shell. So I would avoid reading most of the trendy theory arguments in PF.
5 Things to Remember…
1. Sign Post/Road Maps (this does not include “I will be going over my opponent’s case and if time permits I will address our case”)
After constructive speeches, every speech should have organized narratives and each response should either be attacking entire contention level arguments or specific warrants/analysis. Please tell me where to place arguments otherwise they get lost in limbo. If you tell me you are going to do something and then don’t in a speech, I do not like that.
I will evaluate arguments under frameworks that are consistently extended and should be established as early as possible. If there are two frameworks, please decide which I should prefer and why. If neither team provides any, I default evaluate all arguments under a cost/benefit analysis.
Don’t just extend card authors and tag-lines of arguments, give me the how/why of your warrants and flesh out the importance of why your impacts matter. Summary extensions must be present for Final Focus extension evaluation. Defense extensions to Final Focus ok if you are first speaking team, but you should be discussing the most important issues in every speech which may include early defense extensions.
Paraphrasing is ok, but you leave your evidence interpretation up to me. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round. Make sure to extend evidence in late round speeches.
Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to the key contention-level impact story or how your strategy presents cohesion and some key answers on your opponents’ contentions/case.
SPEAKER POINT BREAKDOWNS
30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior.
***Speaker Points break down borrowed from Mollie Clark.***
-Do not spread. On a scale of 1-10 for speed I prefer somewhere around 6-7. I would prefer you to slow down or pause a tad for taglines for my flow. Also if you list 4-5 short points or stats in quick succession, I probably will miss one or two in the middle if you dont slow down.
-Arguments you go for should appear in all speeches. If your offense was not brought up in summary, I will ignore it in FF.
-I do not think cross is binding. It needs to come up in the speech. I do not flow cross, and as a flow judge that makes decisions based on my flow, it won't have much bearing on the round.
-At the least I think 2nd rebuttal needs to address all offense in round. Bonus points for collapsing case and completely frontlining the argument you do go for.
-In terms of overviews, please do not be abusive. I don't like it when a team throws a nib on their opponent. I will reduce speaker points for this tactic. It's fine to use an overview for something that covers their entire case, not to just introduce a new argument that acts just like a contention from case.
-Please time yourselves. My phone is constantly on low battery, so I'd rather not use it. If you want to keep up with your opponents' prep too to keep them honest then go ahead.
-For speaking, I do not care at all about eye contact. I do not care if you sway, etc. I will not be looking at you during speeches, as I am looking down at my flow most of the time. Project your voice and be clear.
-In terms of some of the more progressive things- I haven't actually heard theory in a PF round but I hear it's a thing now. If your opponent is being abusive about something then sure, let me know, either in a formal shell or informal. Don't run theory just to run it though. Obviously, counterplans and plans are not allowed in PF so just don't.
1) Bad or misleading evidence. Unfortunately this is what I am seeing PF become. Paraphrasing has gotten out of control. Your "paraphrased" card better be accurate. If one piece of evidence gets called out for being miscut or misleading, then it will make me call in to question all of your evidence. If you are a debater that runs sketchy and loose evidence, I would pref me very high or strike me.
2) Evidence clash that goes nowhere. If pro has a card that says turtles can breathe through their butt and con has a card saying they cannot and that's all that happens, then I don't know who is right. In the instance of direct evidence clash (or even analytical argumentation clash) tell me why to prioritize your evidence over theirs or your line of thinking over theirs. Otherwise, I will consider the whole thing a wash and find something else to vote on.
3) Not condensing the round when it should be condensed. Most of the time it is not wise to go for every single argument on the flow. Sometimes you need to pick your battles and kick out of others, or risk undercovering everything.
So first, I primarily judge PF. This means my exposure to certain argument types is limited. I LOVE actually debating the resolution. Huge fan. I'm cool with DAs and CPs. Theory only if your opponent is being overly abusive (so no friv). If you are a K or tricks debater good luck. I know about the progressive things but since I primarily judge PF, my ability to evaluate it is very limited from experience. If you want to go for a K or something, I won't instantly drop you and I will try my best to flow and evaluate it in the round. But you will probably need to tweak it a little, slow down, and explain more how it is winning and why I should vote for it. I come from a traditional circuit, so the more progressive the round gets, the less capable I am of making a qualified decision.
I do not want you to flash your case to me. I want to flow it. If you read to point that it is unflowable then it is your loss. If I don't flow it, I cannot evaluate it and thus, cannot vote on it. Spreading in my opinion is noneducational and antithetical to skills you should be learning from this activity. Sorry, in the real world and your future career, spreading is not an acceptable practice to convince someone and get your point across.
Please signpost/roadmap- I hate when it is unclear where you are and I get bounced around the flow. Have fun and don't be overly aggressive.
Hi! My name is Marybeth and I debated in high school and coached/independently drilled with some students in college!
Contact info: email@example.com
Read this, if anything:
Please just have as comfortable of a round as you want, let's all treat each other with respect, empathy, and camaraderie.
Stolen from Malcolm Davis's paradigm: As I get old and grumpy, I am increasingly frustrated with PF's bells and whistles. We are all regular people. You don't need to 'strongly urge an affirmation' or proudly declare what the 'thesis of your case' is or anything, you just need to debate the round and explain what's going on clearly. There needn't be pomp and circumstance in a room where we're talking about ideas for fun on the weekend.
1. I will vote for an argument (hopefully under a framework [one that is warranted and fairly won] ) if it is warranted, impacted, and weighed against the other args in the around under a default of comparative worlds unless instructed otherwise. Blippy and unwarranted offense will likely produce an audible sigh from me. Exceptions to this rule: the arg is offensive/exclusionary, not in both summary/FF, card is misconstrued/grossly paraphrased.
2. MY HEARING IS NOT THE BEST. please be VERY CLEAR with signposting, extending author names etc.
3. Weighing has to be explicitly comparative and contextualized to your opponent's offense.
4. No off time roadmaps unless you are reading an off.
5. The extension of defense into first summary is not required. It is required if the defense has been frontlined.
Random things due to the cultural decline of public forum:
1. read cards in front of me please, I don't care to hear paraphrased evidence but I will evaluate it when push comes to shove
2.i think disclosure theory in PF is pretty unconvincing/bad strat, although it is a good norm.
3. i would much rather you read theory in paragraph form rather than shell if that's what you're comfortable with and wont look down upon such when I'm evaluating it.
Good luck and have fun!
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.
Public Forum debater at Marist School in Atlanta, GA (2014-2017)
Public Forum Philosophy (updated for 2020 season)
Public Forum is a research based event and is more about evidence usage than persuasive speaking. With that in mind, your speeches should center around your evidence and using that evidence to persuade me. That being said, I implore debaters to speak clearly and avoid spreading.
Most debates will come down to an offense/defense paradigm, with me voting for the team with the most offense at the end of the debate. Going for straight defense typically won't be persuasive in front of me unless you warrant why your terminal defense is a reason to prefer you over any offense the other team has.
My ballot is constantly evolving throughout the round. After each speech, I evaluate the debate at that point and create an RFD. This RFD remains fluid until the end of the debate and allows me to come to decisions pretty quickly. I prefer not to call for evidence but will if explicitly directed to.
Hey, my name is Sam! I debated on the GA circuit for 3 years and nationally for 2 (2014-2017), breaking even my senior year at ToC and Nationals. Since then, I have judged and coached for several programs. Weigh your arguments and their terminal impacts against your opponent's arguments and impacts in summary/final focus. Second-half cohesion is important, make sure the summary and final focus work well together. I will not vote off of anything that fails to be extended from speech-to-speech. I can follow most speeds you're used to, but please do your best to speak clearly. Be polite to each other and enjoy the learning experience: D.B.A.A!
TLDR: I like when people are kind and have fun. It's cool to be smart but it's even cooler to be kind. Talk to me like a human, make a compelling argument and I'll listen. I am not a robot and will not vote on some concept of the flow simply because it exists, but complex arguments (when explained well) are great to hear and impressive to observe.
email if needed for evidence stuff: email@example.com
I have some general expectations for round:
1.) Important stuff in Final Focus needs to be in Summary. You can clarify analysis present in the round and explain the warrants/links already extended in summary, but there should be no new warrants/impacts that are key to the round. A good rule of thumb is that the earlier I am able to hear/comprehend an argument, and the more you explain the argument, the more likely it is for me to vote for the argument. Even in front of "flow" judges I believe there is an advantage to the "narrative" style of debate (even when combined with line-by-line).
2.) Make sure to weigh in round. The easiest way for me to decide a round is if you are creating a clear comparative between your opponents arguments and your own. Many rounds I have to intervene and do work for the teams as they don't tell why their arguments are more important than their opponents. If teams don't weigh, I tend to give more credence to the first speaking team as they are still somewhat disadvantaged.
4.) Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses have no place in the debate community (and really any community).
5.) Progressive argumentation if accessible is cool but I haven't judged in a while and it'd be a big risk to run in front of me.
Don't forget to have fun in round and be kind! It's cool to be smart but it's even cooler to be kind.
Hi! I competed in PF on the local Georgia circuit for 4 years and the national circuit for 2 years at Starr's Mill High School and go to GT.
*I will not vote for homophobic, racist, sexist, xenophobic, or offensive arguments. If you run something bigoted or if you are racist, homophobic, ableist, sexist, etc. - I will drop you.
*Do not interrupt unnecessarily in crossfire (this is especially true if you're a male debater in cross with a female opponent). Do not shake your head, make faces, mutter, etc. during your opponents' speeches (this is especially true if you're a male debater doing this to a female opponent). I hate this.
How to get my Ballot:
I do not want to intervene. Please weigh and do not extend through ink so I don't have to.
I like well warranted and well-weighed arguments. I will vote on arguments most heavily weighed (with good warrants) that still have offense left at the end of the round.
I won't vote for an argument if it isn't in Summary and FF.
Second rebuttal must respond to first rebuttal arguments/offense if the second speaking team is collapsing on those arguments. Defense doesn't have to be in first summary and Summary and FF should be mirrored.
This is one of the most important parts of the debate. I cannot and most likely will not vote for you if you do not tell me how to weigh your arguments. Warrant your weighing analysis.
This is crucial. Signpost clearly and often. Tell me where to flow before your speeches in the latter half of the round.
If it isn't in the summary and it's in the FF I won't vote on it. When I was a novice I went for all my arguments. Don't. Pick one to two arguments you are winning on and go for those.
From my experience debaters misrepresent evidence a lot. I want Author [Not Institution Only], Credentials (preferably, but not required), and Year. I will not tolerate cards that are cut incorrectly or misrepresented.
If you tell me to look at your opponent's evidence because you believe it is misrepresented- I will.
Making puns and being witty while having a good debate will make you look good and have high speaks. You will have very low speaks if you are offensive, rude, and generally not conducive to a good debate.
Feel free to ask me about anything before/after round. I will disclose if the tournament allows me to. If you have any questions feel free to email me at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or message me on FB.
I competed in OO/HI in high school, but most of my friends did PF, so I've seen my fair share of rounds and have a pretty strong grasp on what the event entails.
Please signpost or give me an off-time road map; they make flowing a lot easier.
I watch Trisha Paytas videos on 2x speed, so I can handle fast talking. If you do speak at a 9 or a 10, though, please give me and the opposing team a copy of your case to follow along. (email@example.com)
I don't flow CX; that's your time to duke it out with each other, so pretend I'm not even there. If anything important happens, bring it up in later speeches or I won't consider it.
Generally, I prefer strong links with weak impacts to weak links with strong impacts. If your impact is saving millions/billions of lives or global thermonuclear war, you've probably lost me unless the link is impenetrable.
Any offense in final focus should also be in summary. Summary is your opportunity to narrow the debate and FF to seal the deal.
Don't just say "extend our impact/contention/etc." Re-explain your argument. Same thing with cards: don't just namedrop the author/source, remind me of what they prove.
You probably don't want to run any K/Theory stuff with me as I don't think PF gives enough time to fully flesh out these arguments. I am a total heaux for Baudrillard, though...
At the end of the day, just remember the D.E.B.A.T.E acronym:
Epstein didn't kill himself
Tell me I'm pretty and I'll give you 30 speaker points
Good luck, and don't f%#@ it up!
First, a little about me...
I debated Public Forum for three years in high school at Piedmont Academy and Policy for four years at the University of Georgia.
Yes, put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I expect respect from everyone involved no matter the climate - race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. IF you have something controversial to say, I expect you to back it up and give it a purpose.
Let's talk PF:
Do you expect everything in the final focus to also be in the summary? Not necessarily - every round is different and comes down to different things, but I think having your main points extended in both is important. By the time of the summary and final focus, your winning points should be obvious (this includes your impact calculus).
Do second speaking teams have to respond to the first rebuttal? Yes, if time permits.
Do first speaking teams have to extend defense in the first summary? Defense, yes. New arguments, no.
Do you flow/judge off crossfire? It depends on how the round is going; crossfire can either make or break you, and if it is a close round, crossfire will play a part in the decision.
Do teams have to have more than one contention? No.
Does framework have to be read in the constructives? This is a loaded question - if you think you will need framework, include it in the constructive. AT THE LEAST, framework MUST be apart of the rebuttals. Summary or final focus is too little too late to bring up or heavily impact the framework debate.
Speed is fine, off-time roadmaps are encouraged, do not dominate or take over your partner's crossfire, but if needed, I will allow *some tag-teaming. I don't want you to be a sitting duck, but crossfire is the time where judges can see just how much you really know about your case, evidence, and arguments.
Let's talk Policy:
At the end of the day, the debate will come down to who had the most convincing points and who extended them the best. Clash is key, impact calc is key.
K Arguments: I am fine with K arguments, but do not assume that what you are advocating for is clear to all those who are listening. I need to see why the K outweighs staying on-case and why it is beneficial to debate.
DAs: I love me a good disad. Economy DA, Politics DA, any DA. If you can prove to me why the DA outweighs what the Aff can do, then I am all in it.
Topicality: I am completely fine with T args; I think in the chaos they keep the debate centered. But be warned, if you go for T, it must be won in the round.
CPs: Counterplans are fine IF they are not messy. I have seen, gone against, and read some really complex CPs that just don't pan out in the time permitted. If the explanation is not there in the planks and you struggle to add all you are trying to say, you probably shouldn't do it.
Don't get lost in the complexity of what Policy debate is; no matter the format, all debates come down to what the arguments are, how the evidence withstands, and how the debaters themselves carry the case through.
If anyone has any questions or if I left anything out, don't hesitate to ask :)
Good luck to all, and God bless!
Hi! I did PF at Hunter College High School (NY) until 2017, and was an assistant coach for Saint Mary's Hall (TX) from 2017-2020. Honestly just make the round fun and entertaining please I beg of you.
A quick note: I’ve experienced a lot of debate rounds, and have probably had more bad than good experiences. Let’s make this a good one! Come into the round ready to learn and be supportive to everyone in the round, including your opponents. Have fun and be kind to everyone in the room. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make the round a more safe and fun experience for you (feel free to Slack me in advance of the round!). Please give a meaningful (i.e. people can actually opt-out if they are worried about being triggered) trigger warning if you’re reading arguments on sensitive topics (for me personally esp with regards to addiction, abuse, or sexual violence). Contact your opponents and me before the round or give people a chance at the beginning of the round to text you to ask that you not read certain arguments you warn us about, and actually read a different case if someone asks! Happy to walk people through best practices for trigger warning if there's confusion. Given the fact that I'm specifying this, I will 100% vote off trigger warning theory if the abuse is clear, and will auto-drop you if you don't trigger warn an argument I can't judge bc it is a trigger for me. I’m excited for the next hour we’ll spend together! :)
· Warrant and extend warrants not just card names
· Frontline offense in second rebuttal, extend defense the speech after it's frontlined, offense needs to be in summary + ff for me to vote off it
· You can go fast, but don’t spread
· Read any kind of arguments except disclosure (not gonna lie though, my understanding of theory specifics is minimal so I won't evaluate it very technically, if that's gonna annoy you, don't read theory in front of me--otherwise, just explain stuff clearly and don't rely on things like them reading a counterinterp or not having drop the debater to win the argument)
· Believe in role of the ballot arguments if you read them
current affiliations: Delbarton School, NJ; NSU School, FL
Past affiliations: Delbarton School, NJ (Assistant Director -- 2020 - 2022); Duchesne Academy, TX (Head Coach -- 2017 - 2020)
Other: Summit Debate Senior Staff (2018-2022); NSDA PF Topic Committee (2020-Present)
Teams should start an email chain as soon as they get into the round (virtual and in-person) and send full case cards by the end of constructive. If your case is paraphrased, also send the case rhetoric. I cannot accept locked google docs; please send all text in the email chain.
Additionally, it would be ideal to send all new evidence read in rebuttal, but up to debaters.
The subject of the email should have the following: Tournament Name - Rd # - Team Code (side/order) v Team Code (side/order) .
Please add 1) email@example.com 2) firstname.lastname@example.org & 3) email@example.com to the email chain.
Your choice if you want to paraphrase. However, I require you to cut cards for all evidence referenced in the round. These are properly cut cards. If you don't cut cards, you might want to consider striking me. Cut cards promote better research and debate ethics. No cut card = won't be evaluated in the round.
Main PF Paradigm:
1.) I look at the round through an offense/defense paradigm. Ultimately, offense wins debates and requires proper arg extensions, frontlining, and weighing. It will be hard to win with just terminal defense.
2.) Speech specifics: Second Rebuttal -- needs to frontline first rebuttal responses. Anything in Final Focus should be in Summary (weighing is a bit more flexible).
3.) Please weigh. Make sure it's comparative weighing and uses either timeframe, magnitude, and/or probability. Strength of link, clarity of impact, and solvency are not weighing mechanisms.
4.) I'll evaluate (almost) anything. Expect that I'll have already done research on a topic, but I'll evaluate anything you have me flow (tech over truth). I will interfere (and most likely vote you down) if you argue anything racist, sexist, homophobic, or fabricated (i.e., evidence issues).
5.) I will disclose and always allow accommodations for debaters.
Ks - I'm okay with the most common K's PFers try to run (i.e. Feminism, Capitalism, Securitization, Killjoy, etc.), but I am not familiar with high theory lit (i.e. Baudrillard, Bataille, Nietzsche).
Theory - Debate is a game, so do what you have to do* ... Evidence of abuse is needed for theory (especially disclosure-related shells). I will (usually) default competing interps. I generally think disclosure is good, open source is not necessary (unless your wiki upload is just a block of text) paraphrasing is bad, trigger warnings and anonymous opt-out when there are specific mentions of graphic depictions are good, and arguments with non-graphic depictions should have a content warning but still be debated.
*note -- if you read an excessive number of offs that appear frivolous, I will be very receptive to reasonability and have a high threshold for your arguments. So it probably won't work to your advantage to read them in front of me. Regardless of beliefs on prog PF, these types of debate are without a doubt awful and annoying. I'll still evaluate it but run at your own risk.
Please pre flow before the round; I don't think crossfire clarifications are super important to my ballot so if something significant happens, you should make it in ink and bring it up in the next speech; I'm okay if you go fast (please don't spread please), but will say clear if you go too fast and ask for a doc; speaker points usually range from 28.5-30.
Questions? Ask before the round.
Hi everyone! My name is Jack Miklaucic and I debated Public Forum in North Carolina for 4 years during high school and now debate Policy at Emory. Thanks for reading this paradigm!
Jan 2020: I have not debated the current PF topic, so please explain any acronyms or topic-specific jargon you use. This shouldn't be a problem as I will judge the debate as a "well-informed citizen" but not an expert on the topic as outlined in NFL judging materials.
- I am comfortable with speed but that doesn’t mean you should be inaudible or unclear.
- Please don’t make me intervene in the debate! That means clearly weighing in your summary and final focus and extending evidence with warrants and responding to counter arguments. As far as evidence debates go, this means I try not to call for a card unless you ask me to.
- If you are running a framework, please explain clearly why that framework is a beneficial lens through which to view the round and extend that reasoning (as well as responses to counter arguments) throughout the round.
- Continuity is important—you should be going for the same arguments in summary and final focus.
- Make sure to signpost, especially in rebuttals.
- Please don’t extend through ink—if the other team makes a response to your argument and you simply ignore it, I can’t vote for that argument.
- I will pay attention and flow during crossfire, but if you want me to vote based on a concession made in crossfire, it needs to come up in your speeches.
- When extending an argument, you need to extend the link and the impact for me to consider it. This goes for defense as well.
- Rudeness, name-calling, excessive interruptions, etc. can lose you speaker points and the round. Please be courteous.
- Don’t steal prep. If your prep is not running, you should not be writing, looking at your computer, shuffling your papers, etc.
- Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I am comfortable with speed but that doesn’t mean you should be inaudible or unclear.
- Please don’t make me intervene in the debate! For conditionality or theory, this means that I am weighing only your arguments made in the round, not my opinion on those arguments. Feel free to run arguments that you want to—you don’t need to conform to my philosophy. I don’t want to have to read evidence and will do my best not to unless asked.
- That being said, I am not well read in high level theory, so clear and thorough explanation is helpful. Referencing the name of an author without any warranting or logic is not enough.
- Especially when running tons of arguments, organization is key. Please signpost and tell me where you want me to flow overviews or framework.
- Make sure to engage with and respond to the specific arguments made by the opposing team. Just because an argument is vaguely similar to something you have encountered before doesn’t mean you can read those responses and they will apply.
- Rudeness, name-calling, excessive interruptions, etc. can lose you speaker points and the round. Please be courteous.
- Don’t steal prep. If your prep is not running, you should not be writing, looking at your computer, shuffling your papers, etc.
If you have other questions, feel free to ask me!
Current Coach -- Marist School (2011-present)
Lab Leader -- National Debate Forum (2015-present), Emory University (2016), Dartmouth College (2014-2015), University of Georgia (2012-2015)
Former Coach -- Fayette County (2006-2011), Wheeler (2008-2009)
Former Debater -- Fayette County (2002-2006)
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains, please (no google doc sharing and no locked google docs)
Last Updated -- 2/12/2012 for the 2022 Postseason (no major updates, just being more specific on items)
I am a high school teacher who believes in the power that speech and debate provides students. There is not another activity that provides the benefits that this activity does. I am involved in topic wording with the NSDA and argument development and strategy discussion with Marist, so you can expect I am coming into the room as an informed participant about the topic. As your judge, it is my job to give you the best experience possible in that round. I will work as hard in giving you that experience as I expect you are working to win the debate. I think online debate is amazing and would not be bothered if we never returned to in-person competitions again. For online debate to work, everyone should have their cameras on and be cordial with other understanding that there can be technical issues in a round.
What does a good debate look like?
In my opinion, a good debate features two well-researched teams who clash around a central thesis of the topic. Teams can demonstrate this through a variety of ways in a debate such as the use of evidence, smart questioning in cross examination and strategical thinking through the use of casing and rebuttals. In good debates, each speech answers the one that precedes it (with the second constructive being the exception in public forum). Good debates are fun for all those involved including the judge(s).
The best debates are typically smaller in nature as they can resolve key parts of the debate. The proliferation of large constructives have hindered many second halves as they decrease the amount of time students can interact with specific parts of arguments and even worse leaving judges to sort things out themselves and increasing intervention.
What role does theory play in good debates?
I've always said I prefer substance over theory. That being said, I do know theory has its place in debate rounds and I do have strong opinions on many violations. I will do my best to evaluate theory as pragmatically as possible by weighing the offense under each interpretation. For a crash course in my beliefs of theory - disclosure is good, open source is an unnecessary standard for high school public forum teams until a minimum standard of disclosure is established, paraphrasing is bad, round reports is frivolous, content warnings for graphic representations is required, content warnings over non-graphic representations is debatable.
All of this being said, I don't view myself as an autostrike for teams that don't disclose or paraphrase. However, I've judged enough this year to tell you if you are one of those teams and happen to debate someone with thoughts similar to mine, you should be prepared with answers.
How do "progressive" arguments work in good debates?
Like I said above, arguments work best when they are in the context of the critical thesis of the topic. Thus, if you are reading the same cards in your framing contention from the Septober topic that have zero connections to the current topic, I think you are starting a up-hill battle for yourselves. I have not been entirely persuaded with the "pre-fiat" implications I have seen this year - if those pre-fiat implications were contextualized with topic literature, that would be different.
My major gripe with progressive debates this year has been a lack of clash. Saying "structural violence comes first" doesn't automatically mean it does or that you win. These are debatable arguments, please debate them. I am also finding that sometimes the lack of clash isn't a problem of unprepared debaters, but rather there isn't enough time to resolve major issues in the literature. At a minimum, your evidence that is making progressive type claims in the debate should never be paraphrased and should be well warranted. I have found myself struggling to flow framing contentions that include four completely different arguments that should take 1.5 minutes to read that PF debaters are reading in 20-30 seconds (Read: your crisis politics cards should be more than one line).
How should evidence exchange work?
Evidence exchange in public forum is broken. At the beginning of COVID, I found myself thinking cases sent after the speech in order to protect flowing. However, my view on this has shifted. A lot of debates I found myself judging last season had evidence delays after case. At this point, constructives should be sent immediately prior to speeches. (If you paraphrase, you should send your narrative version with the cut cards in order). At this stage in the game, I don't think rebuttal evidence should be emailed before but I imagine that view will shift with time as well. When you send evidence to the email chain, I prefer a cut card with a proper citation and highlighting to indicate what was read. Cards with no formatting or just links are as a good as analytics.
For what its worth, whenever I return to in-person tournaments, I do expect email chains to continue.
What effects speaker points?
I am trying to increase my baseline for points as I've found I'm typically below average. Instead of starting at a 28, I will try to start at a 28.5 for debaters and move accordingly. Argument selection, strategy choices and smart crossfires are the best way to earn more points with me. You're probably not going to get a 30 but have a good debate with smart strategy choices, and you should get a 29+.
This only applies to tournaments that use a 0.1 metric -- tournaments that are using half points are bad.
Experience/Background: I coached at Columbus HS from 2013-2021, primarily Public Forum, and now coach at Carrollton HS (2021-present). I did not debate in high school or college, but I have been coaching and judging PF since 2013, both locally (Georgia) and on the national circuit, including TOC and NSDA Nationals. I have been a senior staff member at Summit Debate since 2017 and previously led labs at Emory (2016-2019).
If you have specific questions about me as a judge that are not answered below (or need clarification), please feel free to ask them. Some general guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions are below:
1. Speed: I can flow a reasonably fast speed when I'm at the top of my game, but if it's late in the day/tournament, and I'm tired, my capacity for speed drops accordingly. For online rounds, I prefer that you speak at a more moderate speed. I will tell you "clear" if I need you to slow down. If I am flowing on paper, you should err on the slower side of speed than if I am flowing on my laptop.
2. Signposting and Roadmaps: Signposting is good. Please do it. It makes my job easier. Off-time roadmaps aren't really needed or helpful if you're just going "their case, our case."
3. Consistency of Arguments/Making Decisions: Anything you expect me to vote on should be in summary and final focus. Defense is not "sticky" -- meaning you cannot extend it from rebuttal to final focus. Please weigh. I love voters in summary, but I am fine if you do a line-by-line summary.
4. Prep (in-round and pre-round): Please pre-flow before you enter the round. Monitor your own prep time. If you and your opponents want to time each other to keep yourselves honest, go for it. Do not steal prep time - if you have called for a card and your opponents are looking for it, you should not be writing/prepping unless you are also running your prep time. On that note, have your evidence ready. It should not take you longer than 20-30 seconds to pull up a piece of evidence when asked. If you delay the round by taking forever to find a card, your speaker points will probably reflect it.
5. Overviews in second rebuttal: In general, I think a short observation or weighing mechanism is probably more okay than a full-fledged contention that you're trying to sneak in as an "overview". Tread lightly.
6. Frontlines: Second speaking team should answer turns and frontline in rebuttal. I don't need a 2-2 split, but I do think you need to address the speech that preceded yours.
7. Theory: I prefer not judging theory debates. Strongly prefer not judging theory debates. If you are checking back against a truly abusive practice, I will listen to and evaluate the argument. If you are using theory in a way intended to overwhelm/intimidate an opponent who has no idea what's going on, I am not going to respond well to that.
8. Crossfire: I do not flow crossfire. If it comes up in cross and you expect it to serve a role in my decision-making process, I expect you to bring it up in a later speech.
9. Speaker points: I basically never give 30s, so you should not expect them from me. My range is usually from 28-29.9.
I did PF for three years at Columbus High School and am now a junior at Emory University. Im probably not very different than any standard flow judge. For specifics:
1. I try to vote on whatever offense is cleanest in the round, whether it be dropped turns or something from case. This basically just means that the easiest way to get my ballot is collapsing and weighing as early as possible.
2. I like consistency between summary and final focus, so if you plan on going heavily for something in ff, structure the summary accordingly. I'm not against 1st speaking teams extending defense from rebuttal to final assuming that it's explained well in rebuttal, but I still prefer to hear it in summary.
3. I'm not receptive to long offensive overviews in rebuttal that are basically new contentions and am very unlikely to vote on them. Second rebuttal should also address offense from 1st rebuttal - defense can be responded to in summary, but like responding earlier is still probably better
4. I don't care about speed, go as fast as you want as long as you're clear. I don't flow author names typically, so please don't extend just names.
5. for speaks: big fan of being funny and signposting. dont steal prep.
6. preflow before round!!!
I recently graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in Birmingham, AL. I debated at Vestavia in public forum for 4 years. I went to camp and competed locally and nationally. I’m flow. I did probably 5 Congress rounds in my entire career but I feel pretty confident in my abilities to judge it.
Here's my actual paradigm:
1. Weigh weigh weigh weigh
2. If you have claim then impact without warrants and link in between you do not in fact have an impact
3. If your evidence is miscut/power tagged/wrong the highest speaks I’ll give you is 25.
4. Time yourselves
5. I don’t require defense extension in first summary, only offense is required
6. If both teams agree to skip grand before the round, I’ll give everyone 2 extra speaks.
7. Collapse!!!! If you find yourself going for every argument in summary, you're doing this wrong. Everything in FF must also be in summary. This is true for both first and second FF.
8. Don't keep prep time for your opponents. I'll doc speaks it's a pet peeve I think it's rude
9. Roadmaps are always welcome
10. I’m good with speed but don’t spread PF is not the place for that lol
11. Framework debate is so boring plz don’t
12. If you're flight two, go ahead and flip for sides and order before the round, that way I have more time to give you feedback at the end
13. I don't require disclosure but I do appreciate it so you can add me to the e-mail chain if you feel so inclined/are not on the wiki
14. If your evidence is shady I will probably call for it. If I do call for evidence, cut card/website are both fine, but a paraphrased version of said evidence is not fine. Refer to #3
15. A 3 minute summary does not give you permission to go for all 800 arguments in the round. Spend more time weighing if you need to fill the time. Please continue to condense the round.
16. Honestly a ~saucy~ crossfire really doesn't bother me just don't be rude or degrading in cross and I won't doc your speaks
17. random but I don't shake hands I think it's gross lol
uhhhh nothing in particular just time yourselves lol
Please e-mail me or find me if you have questions!! email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
If the tournament doesn’t allow disclosure or if we’re running late and I don’t get to disclose/give feedback, feel free to post round me via e-mail or in person. Have fun y’all I love his activity don’t make me hate it after your round !
Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at the Oxford Debate Union.
NSDA PF Topic Committee Member/Writer: If you have any ideas, topic areas, or resolutions in mind for next season please send them to my email below. We on the NSDA PF Topic Committee will be finalizing our topics for the season over the next five months with tentative topics released mid-June.
Coaching Experience: Director of Debate at Fairmont Prep 2018-Current, 13 years of coaching, instructor at 14 debate camps, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, Capitol 2016-2018, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach and lecturer for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.
Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Law & Religion - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas include Buddhism, comparative religion, sociology of religion, conlaw, First Amendment law, free speech, freedom of expression, art law, media law, & SCOTUS history. AP Macroeconomics Teacher
2023 Winter Data Update: Importing my Tabroom data I've judged 651 rounds since 2014 with a 53% Pro and 47% Con vote balance. There may be a slight subconscious Aff bias it seems. My guess is that I may subconsciously give more weight to changing the status quo as that's the core motivator of debate but no statistically meaningful issues present.
Right-to-work law debate comments for UNLV/Stanford/California Round Robin/Berkeley
For the Cal Round Robin: I am not going to disclose to respect Lexy and the tournament's spirit. Also lowkey how many tournies have experts judge finals? I would prefer topic specific debates/topic specific k's. We should be testing who deserves to debate in front of the experts in my opinion.
I've judged about 20 rounds now on the topic. If y'all just go for an econ link or econ impact debate please be careful. These debates can be total soupy number messes. Wages go up/no they go down. Econ goes up/now they go down. Inequality goes up/no it goes down. Pensions go up/no they go down. Start thinking about evidence comparison because both warrants can sound true. Or prereqs. Or short term or long term analysis. I've already judged several rounds on this topic where I have two pieces of evidence that say the opposite economic conclusions and no one tells me why their evidence or warranting is better.
For example, on Neg you run profit and patent decreases from unions decrease innovation by 20%. Aff runs increased wages increase motivation and thus productivity and new ideas increasing innovation by 24%. This is introducing clash but you don't implicate either side or resolve the clash. Why is one warrant better than another? Is one piece of evidence net innovation? Are there different types of innovations? In different sectors? Is one piece of evidence a meta study or more recent? If more recent why does that matter? Does your study have better methodology? You need to resolve these questions otherwise I make the choice on how to resolve the clash which is not what you want. These choices increase judge intervention. Even if I am an AP Macro Econ teacher as well don't make me do the work to decide.
Lastly chill on the global impacts. I know you want those nice terminal impacts but the resolution is not US right to work laws do more harm than good which lets you link in outside the US. The resolution is In the US, right to work laws do more harm than good. Grammar forecloses your high mag/scope weighing outside the US. I like the wishful thinking but just debate domestic impacts for once I believe in you and you should believe in yourself. You're going to do great without global recession and global war. :)
PF Paradigm 2022-23 Season:
I consider myself tech>truth but I have been approaching a closer equilibrium between the two lately due to the poor state of evidence ethics, power tagging, clipping, and more. Further, I know stakes can be high in a bubble, bid, or important round but let's still come out of the debate feeling as if it was a positive experience. Life is too short for needless suffering. Please be kind, compassionate, and cordial.
- What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but also when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot. I have recently become more sensitive to poor extensions in the back half. Please have UQ where necessary, links, internals links, and impacts. Weighing introduced earlier the better. Weighing is your means to minimize intervention.
- Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
- Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
- Don't be a DocBot: I love that you're prepared and have enumerated overviews, blocks, and frontlines. I love heavy evidence and dense debates with a lot of moving parts. But if it sounds like you're just reading a doc without specific or explicit implications to your opponent's contention you are not contributing anything meaningful to the round. Tell me why your responses interact. If they are reading an arg about the environment and just read an A2 Environment Non-Unique without explaining why your evidence or warranting is better then this debate will suffer.
- I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical, theoretical, and/or pre-fiat based roads. I think framework debates be them pre or post fiat are awesome. Voted on many K's before too. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become increasingly tired of opportunistic, poor quality, and unfleshed out theory in PF. But in the coup of the century I have been converted that disclosure theory and para theory is a viable path to the ballot if you win your interp. I still believe theory is used as an easy way to avoid substantive debates but you do you. I will always prefer a round sans disclosure theory but can no longer for intellectual consistency stop you from running it. Still highly suspicious of paraphrasing theory as your "full-text" cards are super power clipped and disclosure solves back but you do you. TL;DR: I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. I am more skeptical of paraphrasing theory than disclosure theory. Lastly, if you look back at the last 32 rounds or so I've judged with theory as the primary voter I've probably only voted for the team who introduced theory in the round 7 of 32 rounds. Meaning I vote for theory 22% of the time when it's the voter. Take that as you will. All variables being equal I would prefer post-fiat stock topic specific rounds but in principle remain as tabula rasa as I can.
- What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time. If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
- Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
- DA's in general or second rebuttal? You mean the borderline new contentions you are trying to introduce in the round that are tentatively linked at BEST to the existing arguments in the round order to time skew/spread your opponents thin? Don't push it too much.
- I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
- Calling for your opponent's cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Do preflows before the round. Smh y'all.
- If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear or provide speech docs to your opponents to allow for accessibility and accommodation.
- My favorite question in cx is: Why? For example, "No I get that's what your evidence says but why?"
- My favorite phrase in debate is: "Prefer our warrant or evidence" or "comparing our warrants you prefer ours because..."
- Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me! [Before covid times this was prophetic].
- I don't like to time because it slows my flow in fast rounds but please flag overtime responses or raise your phone. Don't interrupt.
Ramblings on Theory
Let me explain why I am writing this. This isn't because I'm right and you're wrong. I'm not trying to convince you. Nor should you cite this formally in round to win said round. Rather, a lot of you care so much about debate and theory in particular gets pretty personal fairly quickly that I want to explain why my hesitancy isn't personal to you either. I am not opposing theory as someone who is opposed to change in Public Forum.
- First, I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. My grad school research and longstanding work outside of debate has tracked how queer, civil rights advocates, religious minorities, and political dissidents have been extensively censored over time through structural means. The suppression and elimination of critical race theory and BLM from schools and universities is an extension of this. I have found it very difficult to be tabula rasa on this issue. TW/anonymous opt outs are welcome if you so wish to include them, that is your prerogative, but like I said the lack of one is not a debate I can be fair on. Let me be clear. I do not dismiss that "triggers" are real. I do not deny your lived experience on face nor claim all of you are, or even a a significant number of you, are acting in bad faith. This is always about balancing tests. My entire academic research for over 8 years was about how structural oppressors abuse these frameworks of "sin," "harm," "other," to squash dissidents, silence suffragettes, hose civil rights marchers, and imprison queer people because of the "present danger they presented in their conduct or speech." I also understand that some folks in the literature circles claim there is a double bind. You are opting out of trigger warning debates but you aren't letting me opt out of debates I don't want to have either. First, I will never not listen to or engage in this debate. My discouragement above is rooted in my deep fear that I will let you down because I can't be as fair as I would be on another issue. I tell students all the time tabula rasa is a myth. I still think that. It's a goal we strive for to minimize intervention because we will never eliminate it. Second, I welcome teams to still offer tw and will not penalize you for doing so. Third, discussions on SV, intersectionality, and civil rights are always about trade offs. Maybe times will change but historically more oppression, suppression, and suffering has come from the abuse of the your "speech does me harm" principle than it benefits good faith social justice champions who want to create a safe space and a better place. If you want to discuss this empirical question (because dang there are so many sources and this is an appeal to my authority) I would love to chat about it.
Next, let me explain some specific reasons why I am resistant to TW theory in debate using terms we use in the literature. There is a longstanding historical, philosophical, and queer/critical theory concern on gatekeeper shift. If we begin drawing more and more abstract lines in terms of what content causes enough or certain "harm" that power can and will be co-opted and abused by the equally more powerful. Imagine if you had control over what speech was permitted versus your polar opposite actor in values. Now imagine they, via structural means, could begin to control that power for themselves only. In the last 250 years of the US alone I can prove more instances than not where this gatekeeping power was abused by government and powerful actors alike. I am told since this has changed in the last twenty years with societal movements so should we. I don't think we have changed that significantly. Just this year MAUS, a comic about the Holocaust, was banned in a municipality in Jan 22. Toni Morrison was banned from more than a dozen school districts in 2021 alone. PEN, which is a free press and speech org, tracked more than 125 bills, policies, or resolutions alone this year that banned queer, black, feminist, material be them books, films, or even topics in classrooms, libraries, and universities. Even in some of the bills passed and proposed the language being used is under the guise of causing "discomfort." "Sexuality" and discussions of certain civil rights topics is stricken from lesson plans all together under these frameworks. These trends now and then are alarming.
I also understand this could be minimizing the trauma you relive when a specific topic or graphic description is read in round. I again do not deny your experience on face ever. I just cannot comfortably see that framework co-opted and abused to suppress the mechanisms or values of equality and equity. So are you, Gabe, saying because the other actors steal a tool and abuse that tool it shouldn't be used for our shared common goals? Yes, if the powerful abuse that tool and it does more harm to the arc of history as it bends towards justice than I am going to oppose it. This can be a Heckler's Veto, Assassin's Veto, Poisoning The Well, whatever you want to call it. Even in debate I have seen screenshots of actual men discussing how they would always pick the opt out because they don't want to "debate girls on women issues in front of a girl judge." This is of course likely an incredibly small group but I am tired of seeing queer, feminist, or critical race theory based arguments being punted because of common terms or non-graphic descriptions. Those debates can be so enriching to the community and their absence means we are structurally disadvantaged with real world consequences that I think outweigh the impacts usually levied against this arg. I will defend this line for the powerless and will do so until I die.
All of these above claims are neither syllogisms or encyclopedias of events. I am fallible and so are those arguments. Hence let us debate this but just know my thoughts.
Like in my disclaimer on the other theory shell none of these arguments are truisms just my inner and honest thoughts to help you make strategic decisions in the round.
If you're on this page, you've probably just gotten a notification from tab about your next round pairings and you wanted to see your judge for next round. Here's a couple of the top questions you have in the easiest to read format.
Did PF Debate for 4 years throughout high school in the Northeast including a bid to TOC from Penn. Did a bit of other debate forms but PF was by far the favorite. I'm currently a student at Georgia Tech but not doing much debate at college.
I understand the need to get out as much information as possible in constructives. That being said, there is only so much information my brain can process and I can write down. If you think something is important and don't want me to miss it, inflection and repetition are your best friends.
Flow? Lay? Flay?
I can flow but not to the extent of transcribing everything you say. I will write down what I think is important but if you don't trust that to win you the round, you should tell me what is important and why. I do enjoy people talking to the judge like a conversation, not as a yelling competition. That being said, facts and logic will always overrule speaking skills unless delivery places a restriction on how much I can understand the facts.
TLDR; I will flow and whoever has the most offense left at the end will take my ballot, but you have to extend throughout the round and signposting is always good to tell me where to look on my flow.
Calling for Cards?
I will rarely call for cards myself unless I think it is so amazing it can not be true or it must be poorly cut. However, the probability of me calling for a card drastically goes up if you give me reason to believe it is wrong. How should you do that? Call for a card you want to see on prep, and if it's wrong, your next speech should include exactly what the card said. That will for me negate the card and its effect on the round. If that card then becomes contested, I will call for it at the end of the round and draw my own conclusion. If I catch someone cutting cards poorly, I will determine how much it impacted the round and make a decision on its impact on the ballot based upon that.
I've had my fair share of judges that just give a ballot based off of no feedback and its infuriating. Based on that, I will provide limited speaking feedback and whatever in as long as I have after the round ends. RFD's given on tab will be much more detailed and disclose what arguments I bought, didn't buy, any confusion I had, and any other feedback I wanted to give on the round. If you don't think that my feedback is an accurate description of how the round went in your mind, suck it up and move on because debate is all about learning how to play the game and if you can't convince the judge to pay attention to your side and that you won, you don't deserve the ballot anyways.
Any other preferences?
Just like treat everyone with respect and have a good time. No matter how good you are or how serious you take this, debate is a game and its supposed to be fun so treat it that way. In the long run one round won't matter anyways.
Current Assistant Director of Debate at Emory University
Former graduate student coach at University of Georgia (2016-2020), Wake Forest University (2014-2016), University of Florida (2012-2014)
Create an email chain for evidence before the debate begins. Put me on it. My email address is email@example.com
Do not trivialize or deny the Holocaust
Determine if I am in the room before you start a speech. "Becca, are you ready?" or "Becca, are you here?" I will give you a thumbs up or say yes (or I am not in the room and you shouldn't start).
I get that tech issues happen, but unnecessary tech time hurts decision time.
Please have one (or all) debaters look periodically to make sure people haven't gotten booted from the room. The internet can be unreliable. You might get booted from the room. I might get booted from the room. The best practice is to have a backup of yourself speaking in case this occurs. If the tournament has rules about this, follow those.
Is there an overview that requires a new sheet of paper? I hope not
Impact turn debates are fine with me
What are the key differences between the CP and the plan?
Does the CP solve some of the aff or all of the aff?
Be clear about which DA/s you are claiming as the net benefit/s to your CP
"Solving more" is not a net benefit
I lean neg on international fiat, PICS, & agent CP theory arguments
I am open minded to debates about conditionality & multiple conditional planks theory arguments.
I prefer when debaters make flowing easier for me (ex. debating line by line, signposting, identifying the other team’s argument and making direct answers)
I prefer when debaters answer arguments individually rather than “grouping”
"What cards did you read" and "What cards did you not read" count as cross-x time
Avoid intervening in your partners cross-x time, whether asking or answering. Tag team is for professional wrestling, not debate.
Public forum debate specific thoughts:
I am most comfortable with constructive speeches that organize contentions using this structure: uniqueness, link, and impact.
I am comfortable with the use of speed.
From my experience coaching policy debate, I care a lot about quantity and quality of evidence.
I am suspicious of paraphrased evidence. I would prefer to see a “card” as evidence (the full text of an article is provided and what you are choosing to read aloud is underlined and highlighted).
I like when the summary and final focus speeches make the debate smaller. If your constructive started with 2 or 3 contentions, by the summary and final focus your team should make a choice of just 1 contention to attempt winning.
Because of my background in policy debate, it takes me out of my comfort zone when the con/neg team speaks first. I will try to get over that.
(Credit to the great Sandeep Shankar for this paradigm)
I debated for two years in high school for Lincoln-Sudbury (in Massachusetts).
I think you should be frontlining offense in rebuttal (turns and disads). I think frontlining defense is strategic, but it isn't necessary.
Extensions of Defense:
You must extend defense in first summary if they frontline their arguments in second rebuttal, or else I think your defense is essentially dropped. Clean defense doesn't need to be extended, but the more you repeat an argument, the more likely it is to stick and for it to factor into my decision. Second summary should definitely be extending defense.
Extensions of Offense:
an extension of an argument is only accepted if BOTH the link AND the impact are extended. Extend the warrants behind both of these parts as well. This means that if I don't have BOTH of these parts of an argument extended in both the second half speeches, I won't vote for it unless there are severely unusual circumstances
keep your summaries and final foci consistent based on the most important issues in the round (they should be about the same arguments)
don't just weigh using random buzz words, do comparative weighing between your offense and your opponents' to help me vote for you. If you just repeat your impact and attach a "magnitude" or "scope" to it, I won't evaluate it as weighing.
I will not call evidence until it is absolutely crucial to my decision. This means that if I don't understand your argument by the end of the round, (link-story or impact scenario), I will not call for your evidence to clarify it, you just won't generate much offense. Please warrant well With this in mind, there are three scenarios where I will call for round-changing evidence.
1. I am explicitly told to call for it as an implication of an indict.
2. There are competing interpretations from the teams and neither team gives me a compelling reason to prefer theirs.
3. The meaning of the evidence has been changed/misconstrued when extending it throughout the round.
You can go pretty quickly in terms of speed for a PF round, but I'm not very experienced following full on spreading.
Tech vs Truth:
i'm more tech than truth. But, I'll have a lower threshold for analytical responses when an argument is super out there, and be more likely to buy the defense it. If you wanna go crazy, do so, but make sure you're not misconstruing evidence, and explain your argument and the warrants behind it super well.
i vote for the status quo on presumption
i will always prefer the more clear, specific, and well-warranted argument.
i am wholly inexperienced with theory and K debate. I don't think you should run it in front of me.
please ask any questions you may have before the round
at the end of the round, i will disclose the result and provide feedback. Ask me any questions about anything and I'll be down to give you whatever answer I can provide. I think providing feedback after round is the most direct way to convey my thoughts to you as debaters, so I'll prioritize that over writing down comments when I need to.
Debate Experience: Graduated HS 2018; 3 years of PF debate for James Madison Memorial High School. Now at Emory
1) Clean extensions - This means responding to every response on your relevant offense in summary. Extend your warrants and impacts fully eg: If you say the tagline or a card name - I will not flow it for you; you must explain the argument behind the tagline or card name.
2) Weighing- Weighing is the first thing I evaluate at the end of the round. Tell me where I should vote. Logic matters.
3) Summaries and Final Focus - You can extend defense directly from first rebuttal to first final focus unless the second speaking team goes back to case in second rebuttal. All offense must be in summary and final focus.
Those three things are the most important and applicable to every debate round.
4) Speed. If you want to speak fast, make sure you're good at speaking fast. If I can't understand you, it can't make it to my flow. That said, speed rarely is a problem.
5) Second Rebuttal. Second Rebuttal doesn't have to go back to case. However, I think its strategic for you to do so. If first rebuttal puts a turn on your case, however, make sure you address this in second rebuttal.
6) Dropped Arguments: Arguments are dropped after you ignore it in summary. Please collapse strategically. If you don't respond to turns on a dropped argument, your opponents can extend them. Kicking contentions/subpoints is okay as long as you do it correctly.
7) Evidence. All evidence must have author and source. eg: "Vovata of Harvard University" rather than "Vovata" or "Harvard University". I will call for evidence if either your opponent wants me to or if its extended in two different ways. Obviously, you may call for evidence from your opponents etc. but if you do I expect to hear about it in speech.
8) Dates: I think if you have time you can put dates in your case/rebuttal. If you don't, you can open up yourself to date theory. For people running date theory - tell me why it puts you in a structural disadvantage in context to the topic. Don't just cite "NSDA Rules"
I debated for Marist School (GA) from 2011-2015, earned seven bids to the TOC (qualified junior and senior year). I am a senior at UChicago majoring in Environmental Science.
What I will be looking for in the round:
- Evidence: I expect your arguments to be well cited and warrants to be given. I don't accept an argument just because a random author said so--tell me why I need to believe you and that author. Evidence should be readily available or speaker points will drop. (That said, don't make the whole debate about a piece of evidence your opponents couldn't find. Just strike it from the flow and I will too.)
-Consistency: I should be able to find the arguments you choose in the final focus throughout every speech of the debate. Second rebuttals need to defend their contentions and answer the first rebuttal's arguments. Summaries should extend and clarify those arguments that will be in the final focus if you want me to vote on them.
-Evaluation: I want you to interact with all the arguments and evidence in the round. In general, it's better for you as the debaters to tell the judge how to weigh arguments (yours against your opponents) rather than hoping they will evaluate it the way you want. Be explicit and it will be easier for me to vote for your team.
I've been debating and coaching teams across the country for a while. Currently coaching Dreyfoos AL (Palm Beach Independent) and Poly Prep.
I will make whichever decision requires the least amount of intervention. I don't like to do work for debaters but in 90% of rounds you leave me no other choice.
Here's how I make decisions
1) Weighing/Framework (Prereqs, then link-ins/short-circuits, then impact comparison i.e. magnitude etc.)
2) Cleanly extended argument across both speeches (summ+FF) that links to FW
3) No unanswered terminal defense extended in other team's second half speeches
I have a very high threshold for extensions, saying the phrase "extend our 1st contention/our impacts" will get you lower speaks and a scowl. You need to re-explain your argument from uniqueness to fiat to impact in order to properly "extend" something in my eyes. I need warrants. This also goes for turns too, don't extend turns without an impact.
Presumption flows neg. If you want me to default to the first speaking team you'll need to make an argument. In that case though you should probably just try to win some offense.
I like analytical arguments, not everything needs to be carded to be of value in a round. (Warrants )
Signpost pls. Roadmaps are a waste of time 98% of the time, I only need to know where you're starting.
I love me some good framework. Highly organized speeches are the key to high speaks in front of me. Voter summaries are fresh.
I love T and creative topicality interps. Messing around with definitions and grammar is one of my favorite things to do as a coach.
Try to get on the same page as your opponents as often as possible, agreements make my decision easier and make me respect you more as a debater (earning you higher speaks). Strategic concessions make me happy. The single best way to get good speaks in front of me is to implicate your opponent's rebuttal response(s) or crossfire answers against them in a speech.
Frontlining in second rebuttal is smart but not required. It’s probably a good idea if they read turns.
Reading tons of different weighing mechanisms is a waste of time because 10 seconds of meta-weighing or a link-in OHKOs. When teams fail to meta-weigh or interact arguments I have to intervene, and that makes me sad.
Don’t extend every single thing you read in case.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm not gonna call for cards unless they're contested in the round and I believe that they're necessary for my RFD. I think that everyone else that does this is best case an interventionist judge, and worst case a blatant prep thief.
Skipping grand is cringe. Stop trying to act like you're above the time structure.
Don't say "x was over time, can we strike it?" right after your opponent's speech. I'll only evaluate/disregard ink if you say it was over time during your own speech time. Super annoying to have a mini argument about speech time in between speeches. Track each other’s prep.
Don't say TKO in front of me, no round is ever unwinnable.
Theory's fine, usually frivolous in PF. Love RVIs Genuinely believe disclosure is bad for the event and paraphrasing is good, but I certainly won't intervene against any shell you're winning.
I will vote for kritikal args :-)
Just because you're saying the words structural violence in case doesn't mean you're reading a K
Shoutouts to my boo thang, Shamshad Ali #thepartnership