Kansas Flint-Hills District Tournament
2019 — US
Debate (Policy Debate) Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I have been coaching debate since 2009, and debated 4 years in high school. I did not debate in college.
First: Debate is a game we play with our friends. Assertive is fine, but there is no need to belittle your opponent, mock them, laugh at them during their speeches, etc. This can cost you speaks, ranks, and in really egregious cases, the round. Obviously any racist, sexist, transphobic, or other hate speech will not be tolerated. You'll lose, on a 7.
Framework: I am most comfortable judging the round as a policy maker; that's default. But I am happy to adopt a different framework, as long as I am told how and why I should do that. I WANT you to tell me how to evaluate the round. The team that does the best job filling out my ballot for me and telling me where to vote is probably going to win.
I am evaluating the round based on impacts. You need offense to win. I will vote aff on the risk of solvency if there are no impacts on the negative. In a round where neither team has any impacts, I'm voting negative.
Flowing vs. Reading Evidence: I keep a flow, and that's what I want to evaluate the round off of. I don't want to read your evidence if it can possibly be avoided. I want you to read it to me and tell me what it says and why it matters. (2020 edit - I will ask for your speech docs, because sometimes audio cuts out)
Speed - I don't prefer a very rapid rate of delivery, but in the context of an open, policy centered debate, I can keep up with a *fairly* rapid rate. If you are not familiar with your K literature well enough to teach it to someone within the time constraints of the round, don't run that arg. When it comes to a something like your politics disad, or your topicality standards, speed away.
Theory - I love theory debates. Topicality debates are fun when they are centered on the standards part of the flow (otherwise they are usually terrible). I have opinions about theory, but I will vote for the team that wins the theory flow, on really any theory argument. That's the game.
Any other questions, ask away.
I believe that LD is a value debate, and I consider the value and value criterion to be paramount. I want you to tell me that you win the debate because the contentions prove that your side of the rez leads to your value, as measured by your criterion. In fact, if you wanted to give that analysis on the bottom of every contention flow, that would be pretty great.
I will evaluate the round based on the arguments made in the round, so if your idea of what LD is differs greatly from mine, you can still win the debate as long as you do a better job of justifying your framework. This doesn't seem like the easiest path to my ballot, but I don't aim to intervene.
Any other questions, ask away.
Coach at Kansas State and Manhattan High. Debated for Weber.
I evaluate debates by looking for central questions or tensions to be resolved. My eyes are drawn to ink. The heavy implication is that strategic focus is in your interest. A necessary debate skill is being able to tell what matters and what doesn't, and to make arguments about these classifications.
I really like it when debaters pull specific lines out of evidence in speeches. I tend to mentally track link extension by looking for vocabulary and terms of art to be repeated and applied.
If you are making arguments you don't understand, I can probably tell. Do yourself a favor and stick to arguments you can be an effective advocate for and which you find fulfilling, instead of trying to satisfy what you assume I want you to argue. Debate is for you, not for me.
Argumentatively, my focuses have been on philosophy and critical theory, so it is likely that I will have some experience with the literature base you are pulling from. That said, I find I tend to have higher expectations regarding the quality of explanation than other judges.
I am slow to enforce exclusions on acceptable arguments. If an argument is bad, then beating it should not present an undue burden. This presumption can of course be overcome by arguments made in the debate, but merely observing that an argument is counter to polite society does not constitute a refutation. That said, I have little patience for arguments which are factually incorrect. I subject every argument I consider voting for to a reasonableness test- Could a reasonable person hold the view being expressed in light of the available evidence? If the answer is no, I will not hesitate to reject the argument.
I see debate as an exercise in persuasion, which means that I evaluate arguments with a mind towards narrative coherence, quality of explanation, and quality of evidence. I think “tech vs truth” is largely a false binary, but if forced to pick between them I would err towards truth. Truth and pathos are not the same- you convince me to support your interpretation of the facts by having more and better reasons than your opponent.
Some more specific comments:
I find “any risk” arguments to be generally unpersuasive- even if you believe you are winning some framing issue, uniqueness question, etc., you should still be able to win the argument on its merits. Your argument needs to be able to overcome the background levels of chaos to be considered complete.
I think the interaction between many kritik arguments, typically referred to as “method debates,” don’t map well onto traditional policy models of competition. Debaters should clarify how to evaluate the interaction between competing arguments whenever it is possible to do so.
Fairness and education are not real impacts until they are explained. Fairness is only an impact in relation to a particular kind of debate, the value of competition, etc. Education is only an impact in relation to a particular role for debaters, the value of certain literature bases, etc.
I flow every speech straight down, so the presence of an overview is meaningless to me. Thus I neither prefer nor despise them.
The 1NR is a rebuttal and cannot make new arguments except in response to 2AC arguments. That said, the affirmative must point out that an argument is new for me to disregard it in this manner, barring extreme cases.
Frivolous T/theory is annoying and I am not likely to vote for it. I recognize this is a subjective criterion but it is usually obvious when it is happening. If your argument does not make logical sense when stated aloud, it doesn’t belong in a debate. That said, smart T/theory is really good and will advance your cause in front of me. Learning to know the difference is an essential debate skill.
If the 1ac has made an argument which is clearly flagged as a preempt to a common 1nc argument, a 1nc making that argument should respond to the 1ac preempt.
For my background - I debated four years in Kansas on the varsity circuit. I also debated for KU at a couple tournaments, but haven't forayed much into collegiate debate beyond that.
I'm pretty clean slate - I'd like to hear what you have to say, and will evaluate it if you tell me why it's important. That's really all it comes down to for me.
Speed - it's fine, please be clear though. I flow on paper so I need time to write stuff down on theory arguments and stuff.
T - my threshhold is kind of high for this, honestly? I do think it's important for critical affirmatives to articulate the relationship they have to the resolution, and doing so (even just in CX) will help. On FW debates, I'd love to hear methodological debates about why the argument is important and how it engages different avenues of social change.
Other K stuff - I'm here for it! I really will evaluate whatever if it is explained clearly and seems significant. Let me stress though that I need to understand what is going on for me to vote on it - explain jargon and contextualize it to the round, especially if you're running something niche or postmodern or something?
Also I love to be entertained!!! and engaged as a judge. love performance-heavy things. doesn't mean i'll immediately vote on it but still i'd love to see it?? lol thx for reading bbz
updated: October 24, 2019
Experience: 2 years of parliamentary debate at Northwest Community College, and did 3 years of NPDA and NPTE debate at Washburn University. During this time, I was semi-competitive at both levels. Many of my thoughts and upbringing of debate comes from a multitude of people from the community college circuit and the national circuit. I would say my views on debate though have been largely shaped by Jeannie Hunt, Steven Doubledee, and Kevin O’Leary.
General: Debate to me is a multitude of things meaning that it is an open space for a diversity of arguments. It still to me though is largely a game that is shaped by the real world and lived experience. I am fine with you doing whatever you please, but I am not saying that I will understand it, I will do my best to evaluate all arguments as best as I can. Make the debate yours, have fun, and compete, that’s what I believe.
--Defense (I love terminal defense, to me it is very underutilized)
--Ask for copies of texts or repeat them (ROTB, interps, or anything I will need word for word please read slowly and repeat)
--Partner Communication is fine
In general, I do not have a preference in the style of the way you debate, do you, and I will evaluate the best I can.
Theory: This is one subset of arguments that I wished I delved more into when I debated. I will not say I am the best at understanding theory, but I do not mind a good procedural or a strategic use of theory. Deploy it as necessary or as an escape valve, it doesn’t matter to me. I think having impacted out voters is nice. Although, the standards debate to me is the crux of the shell, gotta win a substantive standard to get the impact/voter. I probably would mostly default to competing interps, as well, to me it just makes the most sense.
Case: I love case debate. Good terminal case defense and awesome turns, to me, is an underutilized strategy. Aff’s be able to defend the case, sometimes as MG’s we get too bogged down prepping for the off case positions, just be sure to be able to defend your case. I think LOC’s should get to case to at least mitigate each advantage, but I understand time constraints and time management.
Performance: To me all debate is a performance, right? Like the judge is basically the audience and evaluates two opposing speakers, seems like a performance, but I digress.
- You should have a role of the ballot/judge argument (probably in your framework interp).
- Explain how the opposing team ought to interact with your performance.
- Explain the importance of your specific performance within the context of the topic.
- Frame your impacts in a manner that is consistent with your performance
The K- I think a good criticism has framework, thesis, links, impacts, alt, and alternative solvency. The thesis allows the judge to be able to better understand the K itself, by giving a short synopsis of the K, the framework tells me how to evaluate it, is fiat illusory, should evaluate epistemology over ontology, etc. The links should be specific to the topic and grounded to the literature or if the aff is a critical aff then there should be good justifications for why you are rejecting the topic ( I will vote on framework). If the aff is a critical aff, if you are on the neg and don’t have good links to the aff and you prepped your k, and you are also going to read Framework, just make a decision and either go for framework or the K (I just think many instances framework contradicts criticsms so reading framework and a K seems to be contradictory to me unless they don’t contradict). The K should probably outweigh and turn the aff. I do not know all critical literature but the literature bases I do know are:
- Post Modernism
- Post Structuralism
- Critical Race Theory
Don’t let this constrain you though, I love to learn new things and don’t mind listening. I will try my best to evaluate your arguments
CP Theory: Read whatever theory related to Counterplans you want, if you win it you win it. If you lose it, you lose it.
- Always and only a test of competition
- Should explain how the Permutation resolves the links/offense of the DA/K.
- You don't ever need 8 permutations. Read one or two theoretically sound perms with net benefits.
- Sev/Intrinsic perms are probably not voting issues given they are merely tests of competitiveness.
Speak Points: I will probably range from 26-30. 30 would be excellent, 29 is almost excellent, and so forth.
Updated for the Legalization Topic 9/11/14
I do want on the e-mail chain: email@example.com
Debate Experience: Wichita State graduate 2009. We read a middle of the road straight up affirmative and won more debates on arguments like imperialsim good than should have been possible. However, on the negative roughly half of my 2NRs were a K (with the other half being some combination of T, politics/case etc.) so I believe firmly in argumentative flexibility and am comfortable voting for or against almost all arguments.
Judging Experience: 5-8 tournaments each year since graduating.
Most importantly: I do not work with a team currently so I have not done any topic research, my only involvement is judging a handful of tournaments each year. It would be in your best interest to not assume I have the intricacies of your PIC or T argument down and take some time explaining the basis of your arguments. If the first time I figure out what your CP does or what your violation is on T is after you give me the text after the debate, my motivation to vote for you is going to be pretty low. I am currently a practicing attorney so I may have some insight on the topic from that perspective, but I'll try to minimize what impact that has on my decisions outside of possibly some suggestions after the debate on how to make it more accurately reflect how the legal process works.
Ways to kill your speaker points/irritate me
1. Cheating - I mean this substantively not argumentatively. This can include stealing prep time, clipping cards, lying about disclosure etc. If people are jumping cards or waiting to get the flash drive and you are furiously typing away on your computer it's pretty obvious you are stealing prep and I will call you out on it.
2. Being unecessarily uptight/angry about everything. There's no need to treat every round like it's the finals of the NDT, try having some fun once in awhile I promise your points from me and others will go up as a result. I take debate seriously and enjoying being a part of debate, but you can be very competitive and still generally pleasant to be around at the same time. I have no problem if people want to make fun of an argument, but it's one thing to attack the quality of an argument and another entirely to attack the person reading those arguments.
3. Not letting the other person talk in cross-x. It irritates me greatly when one person answers and asks every single question on one team.
4. A lack of line-by-line debate. If your only reference to the previous speeches is some vague reference to "the link debate" you are going to be irritated with my decision. I'm only willing to put in the same amount of work that you are. This is not to say that I can't be persuaded to have a more holistic view of the debate, but if I can't tell what arguments you are answering I am certainly going to be sympathetic if the other team can't either. Also people over use the phrase "dropped/conceded" to the point that I'm not sure they mean anything anymore, I'm paying attention to the debate if something is conceded then certainly call the other team out, if they spent 2 minutes answering it skip the part of your block that says "they've conceded: . It just makes me feel that you aren't putting the same work that I am in paying attention to what is occurring in the debate.
5. If your speech/cx answers sound like a biblography. Having evidence and citations is important, but if all you can do is list a laundry list of citations without any explanation or application and then expect me to wade through it all in the end, well we're probably not going to get along. I do not tend to read many cards after a debate if any. I pretty quickly figure out where the important arguments (debaters that identify and highlight important arguments themselves and resolve those debates for me are going to be very far ahead) and then I will turn to arguments and evidentiary issues that are contested.
Ways to impress me
1. Having strategic vision among the different arguments in the debate. Nothing is better than having a debater realize that an answer on one sheet of paper is a double turn with a team's answer on another and be able to capitalize on it, bold moves like that are often rewarded with good points and wins if done correctly.
2. Using your cross-x well. Few people use this time well, but for me it's some of the most valuable speech time and it can make a big difference in the outcome of debates if used effectively.
3. Having a working knowledge of history. It's amazing to me how many arguments are just patently untrue that could be disproven with even a basic understanding of history, I think those are good arguments and often more powerful than the 10 word overhighlighted uniqueness card you were going to read instead.
I enjoy a well crafted and strategic T argument. My biggest problem with these debates is the over emphasis on the limits/reasonability debate occuring in the abstract, usually at the expense of spending enough time talking about the particulars of the aff/neg interps their support in the literature, and how the particular interp interacts with the limits/reasonability debate. T cards rival politics uniqueness cards as the worst ones read in debate, and more time should be spent by both teams in pointing this out.
I think this topic provides an interesting opportunity for discussion with the absence of the federal government in the topic as far as what the Aff can and should be allowed to defend. I'm curious how both Affs and Negs will choose to adapt to this change.
Topicality - K Affs
I think you have to have a defense of the resolution, the manner in which that is done is up to the particular debate. Unfortunately I've been forced to vote on T = genocide more times than I'd like to admit, but Neg's refuse to answer it, no matter how terrible of an argument it is (and they don't get much worse). Critical Affs are likely to do the best in front of me the stronger their tie is to the resolution. The argument there is "no topical version of our aff" has always seemed to me to be a reason to vote Neg, not Aff. Stop making that argument, doing so is just an indication you haven't read or don't care what I put in here and it will be reflected in your points.
I don't ususally get more than one or two opportunities per year to judge debates centered around issues of race/sex/identity but try to be as open as I can to these types of debates when they do occur. I still would prefer these arguments have at least some tie to the resolution as I think this particular topic does allow for good discussion of a lot of these issues. I have generally found myself voting Aff in these types of debates, as the Negative either usually ignores the substance of the Aff argument or fails to explain adequately why both procedurally and substantively the way the Aff has chosen to approach the topic is bad. Debates about alternate ways in which these issues might be approached in terms of what Negatives should get to say against them compared to what the Aff should be forced to defend seem most relevant to me, and one that I find interesting to think about and will try hard to make an informed decision about.
I like this style of debate a lot. However, one thing I don't like is that I find myself increasingly voting on made up CPs that for some unknown reason link slightly less to politics, simply because Aff teams refuse to challenge this claim. To sum up, don't be afraid to make smart analytical arguments against all arguments in the debate it can only help you. I am among those that do believe in no risk either of an aff advantage or neg disad, but offense is always nice to have.
Affs also seem to give up too easily on theory arguments against certain process CPs (condition/consult etc.) and on the issue of the limits of conditionality (it does exist somewhere, but I can be persuaded that the number of neg CPs allowed can be high/low depending on the debate). In general though I do tend to lean neg on most theory issues and if you want to win those arguments in front of me 1) slow down and be comprehnsible 2) talk about how the particulars of the neg strategy affected you. For example conditionality might be good, but if it is a conditional international agent cp mixed with 2 or 3 other conditional arguments a more coherent discussion about how the strategy of the 1nc in general unduly harmed the Aff might be more effective than 3 or 4 separate theory arguments.
I judge these debates a lot, particularly the clash of civilization debates (the result of judging exclusively in D3). Negative teams would do well to make their argument as particularized to the Aff as possible and explain their impact, and by impact I mean more than a vague use of the word "ethics" or "ontology" in terms of the Aff and how it would implicate the aff advantages. If you give a 2NC on a K and haven't discussed the Aff specifically you have put yourself in a bad position in the debate, apply your arguments to the Aff, or I'm going to be very hesitant to want to vote for you.
Additionally while I vote for it pretty often exploring the critical literature that isn't "the Cap K" would be pleasantly appreciated. I can only judge Gabe's old cap backfiles so many times before I get bored with it, and I'd say 3/4 of the debates I judge it seems to pop up. Be creative. Affs would be smart not to concede big picture issues like "no truth claims to the aff" or "ontology first." I vote for the K a lot and a large percentage of those debates are because people concede big picture issues. Also keep in mind that if you like impact turning the K I may be the judge for you.
NDT debater @ University of Wyoming – 2013-2018. 2x NDT qualifier.
yes email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Make strong arguments, compare them with other arguments and assess their relative importance in the debate.
Debate how you’d like.
Make complete arguments.
Links are highly important to me, but good impact calculus wins debates.
Top level considerations:
- The winner of a debate is usually the team who has the strongest arguments (duh…). I am more interested in listening to a debate with strongly supported arguments and specific clash than any particular type/category of content in a debate (i.e. I prefer hearing a good debate over hearing one particular style or approach to debate).
- Identifying the important questions / winning the key arguments in a debate is under-done imo. Erring on the side of winning one, two, or three arguments and explaining why those win you the debate is far better than trying to win most of the arguments without explaining how they interact or weighing their importance. Good debaters make choices.
- Not a fan of the offense/defense paradigm. Willing to vote on ‘no risk of a link, impact, etc.’
- “The affirmative has the Burden of Proof to overcome presumption. The team advancing an individual argument has the burden of proof to advance a complete argument. If the significance of that distinction is unclear to you, ask and I can happily explain.” stolen from Travis Cram
- Keys to good speaks: organization/line-by-line proficiency, demonstrating deep knowledge on something relevant to the debate, excelling at cross-ex, humor.
T / Framework: I like T debates. I think that there are ways to affirm the topic that don’t necessitate a traditional plan being read. I’d prefer an affirmative that has content connected with the topic, the more specific the better. I have no presuppositions against either. I spent more time going for T against critical affirmatives than defending critical affirmatives than T, but I think I’m pretty close to the middle on the issue. I tend to prefer clear interpretations with an outlined idea of how debates on the topic would go over vague ‘reasonable’ ones.
DAs: I like ‘em. Link and internal link specificity matters most to me. Warrant and evidence comparison is next in the line of importance. Impact calc wins debates though.
CPs: Having these things is best: a clear-solvency advocate and a world that doesn’t result in the entire aff. Competition is important. Specificity here is important. If it’s a highly nuanced CP, take some time in the 2NC overview to give me some bearings and explain the context.
Critiques: Link and internal link specificity matters to me here, too. Example-driven argument and comparison are very valuable. If the subject matter of the debate is complex, do what you can to make the content more concrete and clear for me.
Case debates: underloved, in my opinion. I like really in-depth case debates. It makes winning on the neg far easier.
Other notes: I have a lot of facial expressions. Paying attention to that could be advantageous. Being courteous is valuable. I don't like prep stealing.
Currently an assistant coach, have been for the last two years. And did debate all 4 years in high school. I'm open to anything really. I'm a bit stupid with K's and stuff like that so feel free to run them so long as you're willing to elaborate on them a bit. As for speed, you can go fast so long as your clear, but the technological transition has not been kind to clarity. So prioritize clarity.
Don't be an asshole, I will vote you down on it.
My main concern when judging a round is whether or not I can understand what is being said. If a speaker stumbles over a lot of words when reading a case, it shows lack of preparation for the round. If you use vocabulary that is not in everyday language, you should define what you referencing, especially if you are using acronyms. I appreciate when the arguments have a nice flow to them. Evidence is extremely important to me. I like to see good sportsmanship, so being polite to the other team is key.
debated in high school in Kansas from 2013 to 2017. been involved judging speech and debate since then including CX debate at the NSDA tournament in 2019 and state championship/nsda quals in kansas. .
for the good of your peers provide content warnings for speeches and avoid language/behavior that threatens or harms others.
email for email chain, questions, etc. : email@example.com
stuff about Affirmatives: i'm mostly interested whether you can defend your advocacy: from prototypical topic aff to no-plan criticism. i understand the plan-text (or thesis, or whatever) as a statement of fact, e.g. if you say "the usfg should stop exporting arms," you should prove this is the case, including defending the methods you may specify. i disfavor relying on the negative being unable to understand exactly what your aff is, so i'm generally sympathetic to theory arguments regarding vagueness, intrinsicness, and severance. not clarifying what the aff defends by the end of the cx of the 1ac is an error of the affirmative.
stuff about Negatives: the neg either should prove the aff's advocacy is bad or provide a different advocacy. i will default to evaluate a single, consistent negative advocacy as presented in the 2nr, meaning i understand the negative is defending either the status quo, a counter plan, an alt to a K, or one other .
Topicality: i don't assume topicallity is important in every round, so i'm interested in being told why i should vote one way or another on T. if i'm left asking "what's the impact to T?" at the end of the debate, i'm probably going to vote on something else in the round.
Disadvantages: a disadvantage is usually not sufficient to win a debate alone. a DA deployed in a strategy including case turns and case defense is much more potent. i don't care if the link is generic or specific in terms of how many topic affs they hit, but the link evidence should be explicit about how whatever the aff is arguing for will cause something to happen.
the K, Kritik, Critique, Criticism, etc. : i like Ks, but i will never be as well-read as i'd like to be (so i might not have read any of your authors or i might have read all of them). a K that turns case doesn't need an alt. --- aff take note: i'm picky about permutations, so perms need to be persuasive (explain why the thesis of the K does/should not apply to the aff) if the affirmative advocacy is ostensibly opposed to the thesis of the criticism. if you lose the K, a perm will probably not save you (unless the neg doesn't answer). if you read a K, reading framework is a good idea.
Counter Plans: i often vote against counterplans because i find they are not exclusive/competitive with the aff (my threshold on the perm against CPs is lower because the aff is usually not antithetical to the CP). "the perm links to the net benefit" is not usually sufficient to establish competition. i don't have anything against CPs as a strategy choice or any specific type or subcategory of CP otherwise.
CEDA late 80's early 90's.
Slow and smart beats fast and stupid.
I prefer you embrace the topic.
HEG & Politics debates are fun.
All CPs are fun...even Delay and Consult.
Topic specific K debates are fun.
Impacts = time frame/probability/magnitude.
Topicality viewed through competing interpretations.
Theory-Do what you can justify.
Be polite to each other.
Debate is a game.
I prefer an evidence email firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue Valley Southwest: 2015-2018
Liberty University: 2019-2022
Email for the chain: email@example.com
1. Ignore my facial expressions.
2. Much better for policy than the K.
K on the Neg
1. Short of technical concessions, the Aff always gets to weigh the 1AC.
2. I don't understand high theory.
3. Links should be to the plan.
K on the Aff
1. Defend a material change from the status quo.
2. We Meets/Counter-interps are your friend.
1. Answer case offense.
2. If debate is a game then fairness probably comes first.
3. Topic education and idea-testing arguments are fine, but fairness is the clearest path to offense.
4. I think of TVAs the way I think of counterplans; they don't necessarily have to solve the whole Aff, but your impacts proper (fairness, education, etc.) must outweigh any solvency deficits/DAs to the TVA.
1. Not my favorite debate to watch, but that won't reflect in the speaker points.
2. Reasonability is cringe.
3. Offense should be comparative. I really enjoy impacts about the direction of research for the topic (limits and precision).
4. TVAs are underutilized.
5. Caselists are great. I like having a clear picture of the topic.
1. CPs should be textually and functionally competitive. I lean Aff on Perm do the CP in process debates.
2. CP amendments are okay against new affs and add-ons. Not a big fan otherwise.
3. Perm do both explanations can be clarified in the 1AR, but not the 2AR.
2. Turns-case args should be couched in the internal links of the DA.
3. Good 1NRs line up their speech with the 2AC (impact o/v is the exception).
4. 1NR should card dump if you have the goods.
1. Go a bit slower.
2. Conditionality is good, but performative contradictions are bad. Couch condo bad args through the lens of perf con.
3. Everything should be a reason to reject the team. Why artificially limit the impact of your argument?
Things I've noticed about myself as a judge
1. I highly value explanation of impacts/scenarios/links/etc. This is especially true for the rebuttals.
2. I don't love reading evidence. If you think the debate should be won/lost on evidence, make that known.
3. Impact turn debates are by far my favorite rounds to watch.
4. I am prone to confusion. Try to keep strategies simple and to the point.
1. Good for spark/dedev/co2 good.
2. I will flow/evaluate the arguments made in the debate and totally ignore arguments that tell me to disregard the other team. This includes arguments along the lines of "don't flow the debate". Both (I presume) teams have worked hard to produce their evidence, arguments, and strategy. It would be immoral for me to waste you or your opponents' time.
1. Arguments in the final focus must exist in the summary.
2. I care about line-by-line more than some judges. Meta framing is not a substitute for clash.
3. I'm curious about how the K would play out in an activity where the topic is yes/no to the rez. Framework would also be strange; is it the first speaker who sets the tone for K v. Framework, or is it based on being Pro or Con? I will develop a concrete opinion after judging a few of these debates. *update: nobody has gone for a K in front of me yet. Waiting for the day, lol.*
4. Signposting will get you very far very quickly.
5. I've noticed that some teams do not read evidence in rebuttal - that seems bad, but nobody tells me why.
6. Some teams have expressed that FF and Summaries do not need to extend arguments or do line-by-line. If that philosophy applies to you, then I should not be your judge.
7. I very rarely evaluate arguments from Summary when making my decision. Only exception is to ensure Summary and FF are consistent (i.e. no new FF arguments).
8. Teams that email evidence/speech docs get a .5 speaker point boost.
1. Be polite and don't be offensive. You will lose for discriminatory language or policy.
2. I think death/suffering good arguments are unpersuasive. Arguments about inevitable death/suffering are unimportant.
3. Mark cards during the speech.
Head Coach - Washburn Rural High School, Topeka, KS
Debated at Manhattan High School
Email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
First thing is first, if anything in this paradigm isn't clear enough, feel free to ask me before the round, I'd be more than happy to clarify.
Tl;dr - I judge quite a bit, about 100 rounds last year, and am generally pretty familiar with the topic from coaching and working at camps. As a competitor I gravitated toward plan oriented affs and CP/DA strategies on the neg and have coached teams who debate similarly, but I am open to you debating however you would like to. I have literature deficiencies in some areas that make me less knowledgeable of certain strategies. I am also a teacher who believes in debate as an educational activity, so I am generally open to listening to you debate in whatever fashion you're the most comfortable.
If you would like to know more specifics, they are below.
Topicality: I feel like topicality is usually a question of competing interpretations, but just like anything else in debate, you can persuade me otherwise. I tend to think that debaters are not great at explaining the offense that they have on T flows, and particularly, how offensive arguments interact with one another. I have seen a lot of 2ARs recently where the aff doesn't extend a terminal impact to their counter interp. I pretty much always vote neg in these situations. All too often the neg will go for a limits DA and the aff will say precision, but no one will discuss which one has more value in creating a stable model for debate. Reasonability alone is not an argument that makes sense to me, absent an offensive argument. Good is good enough is nonsense - if you are close to beating a DA, I'm still going to vote neg. If you want to utilize a reasonability argument more persuasively, I would suggest that you frame it almost like sufficiency on the counterplan and have an offensive reason that inclusion of the aff is good. As far as spec debates, I usually find them quite dull. I am growing weary of affs that obviously defend a certain agent with their solvency advocate and advantages but will not defend that agent when debating an agent counterplan. Stop this and defend your arguments please.
Framework: I find that framework debates to me are usually an issue of fairness. I find myself generally not super persuaded by the value of topic education vs the value of whatever educational outlet the affirmative has chosen to discuss is. The aff usually has better evidence about the importance of their particular educational outlet anyway, especially given the fact that they know what it is and can adequately prepare for it. Fairness is a bit more contestable from the negative perspective, in my opinion. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. K affs can gain a lot of leeway with me by being in the direction of the resolution and defending at least some links in the realm of topic literature. I am not a very good judge for affs that have no resolutional basis. Regardless, I also think that the aff has a better chance by focusing most of their time on impact turning framework and then using the directionality of the aff toward the topic in order to win some defense against the negs framework claims.
Theory: Most theory debates are people reading blocks back and forth and are totally useless. I usually default to rejecting the argument and not the team. Conditionality is a potential exception to that rule, but it has been a long time since I saw a team ready to debate condo very well.
Kritiks: I am not as familiar with the literature base for this style of argumentation. That doesn't mean I don't vote on the K, it simply means that you need a little more explanation for your argument than you otherwise might. I think that good K teams are able to contextualize their argument with the world of the affirmative. Recently I've judged a bunch of K debates where the links all seem to be descriptions of the status quo, but the affirmative is not very good at winning that the aff is in the direction of the alt. If the neg is going to try and go for just framework and a link/ethics argument, I think it is important that they focus a substantial amount of time on the framework debate, and try and have an interpretation of framework that is not completely arbitrary and should try and win that there is a unique link to the aff. If you are able to win framework and a unique link then you're probably good without an alt. If you are going to go for an alternative, it is probably important that you explain to me how the alternative functions and how the alt resolves the links to the K and probably portions of the affirmative, otherwise you will be susceptible to losing on the aff outweighs. Be descriptive of how the alt functions. I have also found myself recently voting for the aff in the vast majority of debates where the 2NR does not have a thorough contestation of the affirmative. You don't explicitly have to go to the case pages, but you should definitely be calling into question the truth of the 1ACs internal link chains or the efficacy of it to solve the problems that it seeks to solve.
Disads/Counterplans/Case: These are the types of debate I am most familiar with. I think the case debate is under utilized, and that the education topic may have been the worst thing in recent memory at teaching people to debate the case. I wish that more teams would focus on the internal links to the aff advantages instead of just reading impact defense and hoping that a DA outweighs. I think delay counterplans are cheating. Conditions and consult counterplans I can easily be convinced are cheating, but having a solvency advocate helps.
Things I like: Rebuttals that paint a clear picture of what an aff/neg ballot means. Evidence comparison. Debaters who don't read off their computer for the whole debate. Debaters who are funny/having fun. Warranted arguments/smart analytics. Well thought out strategies.
Things I dislike: Bluetooth speakers, must define all terms, running arguments you don't really understand, death good, topicality = genocide, general rudeness, stealing prep time, and clipping cards. If you enjoy doing these things, you probably don't want me to judge you.
Disclaimer: I love the activity of debate, and think that it is a place where all types of debate styles/debaters should be welcome. If you are excessively rude to the other team (laughing during speeches, being disrespectful in cross-x, etc) I will let you know. If the behavior continues, there is a strong chance that I will vote against you on principle.
I am currently the assistant debate and forensics coach at Topeka Seaman School District. I have three rounds of High school experience and over 8 years of judging experience. Generally speaking, I consider myself a tabula rasa judge. I vote on the arguments or framework presented in the round itself. Clear communication and professionalism are also important in determining who is the better speakers and who makes the more compelling arguments.
Hey y'all - I assume you're here to figure out how I evaluate debate - all of that information is included below.
Addendum for College LD:
I think most of this information will apply to LD - most of my experience with LD is from the Kansas High School circuit, which is traditional in comparison to the National College circuit, but hopefully my description of how I evaluate policy arguments will help! Also please feel free to ask questions!
A few things about me as a person:
First and foremost, I would appreciate a content warning for domestic violence and sexual assault. I am employed by a school, because of that I am a mandatory reporter. Please consider this when sharing your narratives, personal communications, etc. with me. If you have questions about mandatory reporting, I will happily answer them!
Second, here's my short bio, I'm in my sixth year of judging and coaching in Kansas (four years at Shawnee Heights High School since graduating in 2014 and in my second year at Topeka High School). I debated the space topic, transportation infrastructure topic, and Latin America topic. I divided my paradigm into several categories - an overview of my paradigm, a list of arguments and how I feel about them, and general framing concerns. Any questions? just ask
Third, I am fine with speed. However, I am telling you right now that I will be unable to flow top speed without a speech doc. Also, I will not do the work to flow top speed theory, overviews or general analysis - slow down when you want me to pay attention. I'll be fairly apparent when I stop flowing. If it is especially bad I will clear you. I want to be on the email chain - email@example.com
I'm open/willing to hearing any type of argument (performance, critical, semi-critical, policy, etc.). If y'all don't provide me a framework for how to view the round or a Role of the Ballot that is clearly articulated and developed, then I will default into a policy maker mindset. If y'all are rude to each other, I will write about it on your ballot and most likely dock you speaks, ranks or even give you the L depending on the severity of your actions. I am easy to read as a judge so if you see me stop flowing or looking annoyed it probably means what you're doing is rude or doesn't make sense to me. I'm fine with speed, but clear tags and analysis are appreciated. I want you to be empowered to debate what you want to debate in front of me - this is your round, not mine.
How I evaluate Debaters and their actions:
I've developed a zero-tolerance policy if debaters are rude to any of the debaters in the round - expect a reduction in speaks or losing the round due to your behavior. You are accountable for the way you act so I don't feel like warnings are necessary. Additonally, I hold you accountable for the arguments you choose to read. Therefore, if your arguments are sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or targeted towards any person or group in a negative-way, expect a reduction in speaks or losing the round. If you have questions about this, please ask me before the round starts - I want to make debate educational and inclusive.
I'm open/willing to listen to any type of affs. Non-T affs are fine IF they are rejecting the topic. If you are Non-T and upholding the use of the Fed Gov, you better have good T blocks written. Any aff needs to provide me with a clear method of how you solve and a way I should view the round.
When I wasn't taking politics in the 2NR, I was probably taking T. Every level of the T flow is important to me so you must extend and explain interp, standards and voters. Saying "we access fairness and education best" isn't going to win you the round. You need to tell me HOW you access fairness and education the best. I enjoy Topical Versions of the Aff, Case Lists and Core of the Topic args. If you can explain to me why your interp is better for fairness/education in this round and in debate in general, you'll have an easy time winning my ballot. Also, I probs default to competing interps.
Generics are fine, but I prefer them to have case-specific links (analytical or carded). When I was in high school, I ran politics disads and would often take them into the 2NR so I'm fairly confident in my ability to understand them.
I get it, Delay CP is the strategic CP on the topic - lots of people run it and it is core neg ground. I am fine with listening to any CP, but you have to be able to answer why PICs are bad, Delay CPs are bad, Condo is bad, etc. I will vote on any of these arguments depending on the level of abuse in round. Otherwise, when running a CP have a clear net ben. Also, I'm fine with CP funding planks. I don't buy 2NC CP amendments, but I'll only vote against them if the aff makes an arg - make sure your plan text read in the 1NC makes sense and isn't just "the 50 states (insert plan text here).
I'm not familiar with most K lit so you'll want to develop clear analysis about the K. I am most familiar with Neolib, Cap and Security, but my familiarity DOES NOT mean I will do the necessary analysis of cards for you. In the rounds I've watched so far this year, framework has been underutilized by teams. Read framework!!! Explain your alts - your alt solvency is important and I won't vote on a blippy extension of Zizek.
You need a clear interp of what the framework or Role of the Ballot should be. There needs to be clash on the framework about why the aff/neg team's framework is good/bad for debate and for education/fairness in the round.
I'm not the judge to talk about aliens/wipeout/goos/etc in front of, but if you still feel inclined to do so, impact out your illogical args logically.
I view debate as an educational activity. I want the best education and most fair experience for both teams. Use this framework when explaining your theory arguments. Otherwise, anything you do to directly harm a debater in round will be counted against you because it conflicts with the aim of using debate as an educational tool.
Yes email chain-- College: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
High School: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 years debating and 6 years coaching at Washburn Rural High School (1 of those also with Carrollton), 4 years debating and 2 year coaching at KU
March 2021 update
SLOW DOWN. Even the clearest debaters have moments of unclarity in online debate, slow down a little bit so that it's easier to recover from small lags in tech.
I have a 2-monitor setup, so if I look like I'm staring above my computer, I promise I'm paying attention
I would really prefer that you kept your camera on. I will not require it, but I would strongly request it.
I would strongly suggest recording your own speeches in case somebody's internet cuts out. Do not record other people's speeches without their consent.
I have been very involved with the college topic (judged roughly 40 rounds). I have been moderately involved in the high school topic (judged roughly 30 rounds).
Argument non-specific things
I vote neg a lot. I think a lot of that is circumstantial. However, I reward going deep on an argument and resolving/impacting every argument (rather than just extending/making arguments). The neg almost always does this, the aff (especially in the 1ar) not so much. Aff teams that win in front of me almost always forgo a strategy of extending a large quantity of arguments in favor of going very deep on a handful of arguments, almost always with additional evidence and comparisons.
Debate off your flow, don't just read scripts
I read a lot of evidence. I value evidence quality a lot, and that includes highlighting quality.
Argumentative narrative is very important to me. Packaging arguments effectively goes a long way with me.
I will not evaluate arguments about an individual's character or behavior that occurred outside of the debate.
I am not the best judge for run and gun strategies. I have a relatively high threshold for what counts as a complete argument, and am very receptive to teams that flippantly disregard incomplete arguments.
Turns case has been relevant in a lot of rfd's I've given
Not the best judge for process cp's
Theory is a winnable 2ar. I think I am just as persuadable that the neg should get 0 conditional advocacies as I am that they should get infinite. To me, it is entirely up to the debaters, which these days makes me a good judge for a team going for theory.
"Conditional" means judge kick but I can definitely be convinced to stick the neg with the cp they went for without wholesale rejecting conditionality
I'm a tough sell on any theory argument outweighs T. It's not *impossible* to win it, but you should have a pretty robust and consistent argument.
I think a I could easily be persuaded to vote for a well-evidenced, thoughtful, complete vagueness argument (particularly on the CJR topic). I will easily dismiss warrantless, blippy vagueness arguments like "aspec- they didn't- voter for counterplan and disad ground." The fact that I am saying this shows my frustration with aff's on the high school CJR topic refusing to defend a mechanism, given my more general disregard for non-topicality procedurals.
Framework vs K affs
I am very good for the neg in these debates. I vote neg a lot because usually it is more clear to me how the negative team's model of debate produces a better season of debates. Aff's would be well served investing a lot of time into describing their model of debate as opposed to their own affirmative. I am unlikely to determine that debate is wholesale bad and/or that there is no value to debating. If you rely on those arguments to win framework debates, I am not your ideal judge.
Neg Kritik vs Policy aff
Framework is important. I very rarely vote neg if the neg doesn't win framework. It isn't impossible to win without winning framework/consequentialism, but as the neg it makes your job much harder
Negs that do impact calculus, change the framework of the debate, and actually challenge core assumptions of the aff are usually in a good spot
Please do impact comparison, don't just list your impacts in the overview.
I debated for four years at Washburn Rural High School and a year at KU. Currently, I am an assistant coach at Shawnee Heights High School.
Generally I evaluate in an offense-defense paradigm, but in rare circumstances I do believe that 100% defense is possible. I would generally prefer to see a team run arguments that they are good at rather than try to adapt to my specific paradigm and run arguments that they are less familiar with. With that being said, I do have some preferences.
If your speech contains content that may be disturbing, a trigger warning for judges and other competitors is appreciated. This warning should occur before your speech. You should also have a non-triggering version of your speech available. It is not okay to force another team to be triggered.
Generally I believe an affirmative should read a topical plan text. However, if you cannot articulate specific ground loss and education loss as a result of your violation, I find it hard to evaluate T.
I also have trouble believing that one or two conditional positions are a reason to reject the team.
Thoughts on counterplans - Delay counterplans are almost always cheating unless timeframe is explicitly in the aff plan text. Consult counterplans are probably cheating. 50 state fiat seems questionable. At the very least, state flexibility arguments are wholly unpersuasive if your counterplan text requires uniform state action. PICs usually don't bother than me. That is not to say I won't listen to or vote on a counterplan that seems like a cheating counterplan. It just means my threshold for theory arguments to reject it will likely be lower.
If the negative team goes for a counterplan, I generally believe that presumption flips aff. I am not okay with judge kicking a counterplan unless I have been told it is an option, and if the affirmative team tells me a good reason why I shouldn't I might not even be okay with judge kicking then.
Kritiks are usually okay, but they should be paired with arguments as to why the aff cannot or should not get to access their impacts. They are rarely an excuse to ignore the aff case.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Policy maker, not a fan of topicality, not impressed by rudeness in cross-ex, explain your arguments, moderate speed is preferred
Debated 4 years at Washburn Rural
I have not debated for a year now, so I will be a little rusty. I do not have any strong opinions on anything related to debate. I would ask you to go about 70% of your top speed as my ears are pretty bad. I did judge at a three or four TOC tournaments last year.
I enjoy judging all kinds of debate. You can read anything in front of me as long as you explain it well. This will be my first tournament this year in terms of judging so reading words instead of acronyms would be helpful!
I have no process of giving speaks, they are completely arbitrary but I am pretty generous I think.
My knowledge on debate theory stuff is like 4/10.
Favorite rounds to watch are clash debates probably.
I debated 4 years in High School, and 4 years for Washburn University for parliamentary debate. I now coach at Topeka West High School (6th year). I am a flow centric judge and I am willing to vote on anything that is articulated well with a clear framework. I can handle most levels of speed so long as you are articulate. It is in your best interest to start relatively slow and speed up as the speech progresses (crescendo). The rest of this judge philosophy is how I will default in the event that you DON'T tell me how to evaluate a position (but why wouldn't you just tell me how I should evaluate the position?).
Lincoln Douglas Debate
I believe that an LD round is decided by both the aff and neg presenting a value, and a criterion that measures the achievement of that value. I vote aff/neg on the resolution by evaluating the contentions through the winning criterion to see if it achieves the winning value. I am very flow centric and will weigh arguments that aren't answered in favor of the other team. I am not a super fan of turning LD into policy debate but if you argue for that and win that position then I will play ball. I am fine with speed. If you have any questions feel free to ask before the round.
Theory: I love theory debates. Generally I will evaluate them through competing interpretations based on the standards and which standards I am told are most important.
Advantages/Disadvantages: Generally, uniqueness controls the direction of the link; extinction and "dehumanization" are terminal impacts. A 1% chance of a disad/adv occurring gives that team offense for the ballot.
CP: Counterplans should be competitive and switch presumption from the negative to the affirmative. Thus, the CP has to give me a net-benefit over the case or a perm to warrant a ballot. I am willing to vote on CP theory if those arguments are won.
K: I wasn't a big K debater, but I have argued them and judged them frequently. You should be able to explain your K, its framework, link, impx, alt and alt solvency. Buzz words, and name dropping are not a substitute for the former explanation. I am willing to vote on framework and similar arguments if those theory arguments are won.
*communication skills and resolution of substantive issues are roughly of equal importance,
*fairly rapid delivery is acceptable so long as the presentation is clearly enunciated, very rapid speed discouraged,
*CPs are acceptable if justified and if consistent with other elements of the negative strategy
*Generic DAs are acceptable if specific links are clearly analyzed
*Ks are acceptable even if inconsistent with other elements of a team's strategy
Substantively, tread lightly IF attempting to mitigate harm. Also, don't overstate/oversimplify complex issues like racism, sexism, discrimination using platitudes. Stylistically, should go without saying, but don't be too clever for your own good and don't be abrasive to your opponent, including personal attacks/insults. Treat one another respectfully, or you may find yourself on the losing end of my ballot.
You should debate at whatever speed and argumentative style you are most comfortable with and I will adapt.
Email Chain: email@example.com
Please include relevant information (tournament name, round, teams, ect.) in the subject line and when naming speech docs.
I did policy debate at Wichita East for four years (2015-19). I am currently debating at Washburn University (NFA-LD) and coaching for Shawnee Heights.
My background is in policy, I'm a stereotypical policy 2N, went for politics or an impact turn + a CP almost every round, never went for K's, and always went for T vs K affs.
Because of my background I am most comfortable and confident judging policy style strategies such as a topical aff vs a counterplan and disad. If your preferred strategy is something else, go for it anyways and I will do my best to keep up. I would much rather see you executing strategies you are comfortable with than over adapting to me.
Not the biggest fan of process or delay counterplans.
Starting to be a lot more sympathetic to condo bad.
Judge kick is an argument I'd prefer the 2NC/NR explicitly make.
For the aff, perms should be more than "perm do both" in the 2AC. Explain what the perm looks like and how it functions in the round, the earlier the better.
I love politics/elections disads. Good spin + recent evidence is a must.
Specific impact evidence (Trump lashes out at Iran) is better than generic impact ev (Trump lashes out).
Incomplete 1NC shells are bad and make me sad. If the block completes the argument I'll be a lot more lenient with new 1AR arguments.
Relying solely on framing contentions to deal with disads is not compelling.
I have very little experience going for kritiks but plenty answering them. I'm not the greatest judge for K debates and an even worse judge for K vs K debates but if this is your thing go for it, I'll do my best to keep up. I enjoy watching K rounds but my lack of experience means it would be helpful if you made things as clear as possible.
A winning 2AR in front of me is probably extinction outweighs and turns to the alt. A winning 2NR in front of me should prove that hypothetical implementation of the plan is bad (and probably solve/turn the aff).
The more clear the abuse story and what your vision of the topic looks like the easier it is for me to vote neg.
Affs should have offensive reasons to vote aff (not RVIs).
Case lists are helpful but it should be more than a list of affs, explain why X Aff, Y Aff, and Z Aff are bad or good for the topic.
Evidence quality and intent to define matters a lot to me.
Impact turns are fun.
Neg teams should take out the last throw away offcase that they were never going to go for and spend more time on case.
Aff's should interact more with case args instead of appealing to "try or die". Aff's should not just extend impacts in the 2AC/2AR, explain your internal links.
I like when case debates are more than just impact defense (impact turns, internal link turns/defense, ect. are much more fun).
Hate arguments that are there only to skew the 2AC (spec args, vagueness, incomplete disads, ect.) Much rather you spend that time on case or reading arguments that you can realistically go for in the 2NR.
Good evidence is good only if you're able to explain it. Spin/Explanation matters.
An argument is made of a claim, warrant, and impact. Asserting that they dropped something is not an argument.
Theory debates are fun, interps are important.
Anything that makes speech docs less accessible (dumping 1 million cards you cant get through, removing tags, shrinking text to .00001 font, not using hats/headers, ect.) will make me sad.
No topic abbreviations please, I dont judge a lot so wont know what youre talking about.
Put me on the email chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org
I graduated with my master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from KU in 2020. Because I now actually have a full time job outside of debate etc. I won't be doing a lot of coaching aside from on the weekends and primarily will just be judging at tournaments here and there. Because of this, I probably will not be familiar with the CJR topic as much as I have been with other topics in the past so just keep that in mind
Experience--I debated for BVSW for 4 years in high school. I have spent the last 6 years coaching at Blue Valley Southwest, Lansing High School, Washburn Rural, and occasionally on the college circuit for KU. I've spent 3 summers (2017-2019) working at the Jayhawk Debate Institute.
-unless otherwise argued, I default to judge kick is okay. If you want to get into specifics like cp planks, then I would prefer you make an argument about why judge kicking one part is okay.
-I will only do evidence comparison if explicitly told to in the debate. Please don't just say you're inserting a card. Read your ev and call for me to read it at the end of the round if you think the round should be decided based on it etc.
-Dropped arg is a true arg as long as the warrant is extended
-I believe that affs should be in the direction of the topic
-disclosure is good and you should do it
-Theory is alright. Not my favorite thing to vote on obviously but do what you gotta do. My one frustration with theory debates though is they are rarely impacted out enough by the end of the debate.
~More specific arguments~
-Whatever you decide to run, just apply it to the round you're in. I've been in too many debates recently where everyone is just throwing around buzz words but not applying it to the context of the round. This same point applies to the aff in the context of the perm debate (i.e. how does the perm function why is it a better option etc). I don't care what you read just contextualize it.
-I don't think that a link of omission is a link. My threshold is pretty high for this so if you do so feel compelled to go for this argument, just know you will need to dedicate a lot of time to it.
-I like to see a lot of work done on the alt debate in the block. I need to see clear arguments as to what the world of the alt looks like and why the alt solves better than the aff.
-I think fairness is more an internal link than it is an impact. (i.e. fairness is an internal link to topic education, clash, etc)
-In addition to framework there needs to be some sort of argument to indict the aff's methods. In rounds where this doesn't happen by the neg, I find the aff's argument to weigh the impacts more compelling. Read arguments as to why their theory is wrong.
-Competing interps over reasonability. Doesn't mean I don't vote on reasonability but I don't think enough teams do the work explaining what exactly would being reasonably topical look like in context to the roundor how voting on reasonability solves the impacts.
-Limits are universally good.
-You should slow down
-T-USFG is more persuasive to me than a framework arg.
-should be textually and functionally competitive with the aff
-I think the top of the 2NC/1NR should be explaining what the cp is or how it is different from the aff.
I am an assistant coach at Washburn Rural High School. However, I don’t coach the varsity teams. I mainly work with the open teams. I have not listened to a round at speed for over two years. So I would not decide to pick it up anymore than just a moderate competition speed. I don’t listen to K’s. Mainly because I am not current on the literature. So I wouldn’t suggest taking that risk. I will vote on a good T argument however if it is frivolous I can be convinced to vote against you. Generic DA’s are ok with specific link analysis. Finally, I default to. Policy maker paradigm. Good luck and have fun.
Analysis and weighing is key, this is a debate, not a card reading competition. I can take some speed but not the fastest spreading. If I don’t understand you I’ll just say “slow down.” I did 3 years of high school policy Debate and am now on the Kansas State University British Parliamentary debate team studying mechanical/nuclear engineering. If you’re considering studying at KSU let me know and I’ll get your email to our coach.
Debated for 4 years at Washburn Rural High School from 2013-2017.
I mainly competed in the DCI circuit here in Kansas with a couple of limited out of state experiences my senior year. I only got seriously involved in debate as a senior but debated at a relatively high level during that season. Since then I have pretty much only judged once a year at WaRu so it might take me a second to adjust to your speed. I would suggest slowing down a bit for tags and when you're extending your evidence in the block if you want me to catch your warrants.
Topicality: I evaluate this as a question of competing interpretations but I am not super familiar with topic definitions or resolutional limits since I don't coach or judge a ton. A hyper technical T argument is probably not your best argumentative choice since I don't know the literature that well.
CP/DA: This is probably the strategy that I am the most comfortable with, although process counterplans are an uphill battle in many situations. I will default to rejecting the argument and not the team.
Case: Underutilized part of the debate. Neg teams can easily win my ballot by thoroughly debating the case and also winning a risk of a disadvantage.
K: Not very familiar with the literature, especially on the topic since I do not coach. I am more familiar with your run of the mill kritiks than postmodernist nonsense. I will evaluate your kritik if you read it, but specific links would be helpful and I might not just recognize your K trick intrinsically, which means you will need to explain it if you want a chance at me voting for it. Probably not the 2NR I would suggest in front of me.
Please don't be rude to each other or otherwise make my time judging unenjoyable. I judge every year because I like it, not because I am being paid or otherwise obligated to do so, so please do your best to make me enjoy coming back and evaluating debates.
I debated for 4 years in Spring Hill High School in Spring Hill, KS. I now coach for Manhattan High School in Manhattan, KS.
I am definitely a policy maker and will vote for the side/scenario that does the most good while causing the least amount of harm. Impact calc in the rebuttals will go a long way with me. An overview is always appreciated. I, like many judges, can get lost in high speed rounds.
Speed: Moderate speed is acceptable so long as tags are read clearly. I would prefer a round where I don't have to flow off of the speech doc. What is the point of having you stand up there and speak if everyone is flowing off of the speech doc?
Kritiks: While I would like to believe that I would vote for a good argument if it is a good argument. My understanding of the literature and conventions behind Kritikal debate is very minimal. Don't run a K with me as a judge, you probably won't enjoy how it turns out.
Topicality: Topicality violations have to be generally pretty blatant for me. There are fairly standard responses an Aff can make that will generally sway me on Topicality. If the Aff doesn't do some simple work, then I am forced to vote Neg. I default to competing interpretations and will evaluate the standards in a way to determine which interpretation best upholds an equitable debate experience. I have a hard time voting for a potential for abuse. In round abuse (like the aff linking out of everything) will weigh more heavily on my ballot.
Counter plans. I'll listen to a good counter-plan debate, but i won't generally vote for super-generic counter plans like consult cp's. They strike me as a hair abusive.
Politics DA's: I'll evaluate the politics DA, but I always want some great uniqueness evidence and a strong link. Many politics DA's I have been seeing lack the latter.
Please feel free to ask me questions. You all knowing my preferences benefits me just as much as it benefits you all.
I have an extensive history with debate--four years of LD in high school and three years of NDT CEDA in college. Since then, I have been involved as a debate judge for the local high school, and even judged debate a few years at CFL Nationals. I evaluate rounds based upon what is presented--I understand the game of debate, but I do not vote solely on the body count.
Here's what you need to know:
* I view debate as a medium for communication. I've learned lots of fascinating things from debate that, oddly enough, I do still use in my regular, mundane life. If you're not communicating well (i.e., disorganized spewing; mumbling, slurring, or yelling; tossing out a variety of generic arguments to see what gets dropped and then going for that; jumping all over the flow; etc.), that's an issue for me. I have voted for the team that communicates the best, and I've also voted for the poor communicators (speaker points and ballot comments reflected my displeasure at having to do so).
* You are not as fast as you think you are. Speed is not an issue for me; however, clarity is highly important. If I cannot understand what you're saying, I can't write down your argument, and therefore I can't vote on it.
* I don't make logical leaps for you. I've written this on almost every ballot for the last 20 years, and will probably continue to write it after this tournament: you need to extend, expand, and explain your cards and arguments. Do not throw tag lines at me and expect me to make a decision on that. I'm listening to the content of your card as well, and you should be expanding and explaining your story. Do not think this means that you have to summarize every card, but by the time we get to rebuttals, I should be able to see how your cards play into the story you're telling. If you're just telling me to cross-apply the Malthus impact card, that's not telling me a story--that's expecting me to create the story for you.
* I do consider Topicality to be a valid and important argument, but you'd better run it right. T as a time suck falls under not communicating well, which has been previously discussed.
* Manners matter. If you are rude or condescending, that really puts me off. I've voted for rude people before (again, speaker points have taken a hit), but bear in mind that I consider well-mannered discussion to be a part of effective communication.
* I listen to any off-case arguments, including generic DAs and kritiks. However, again, we find ourselves needing to make sure that we're performing the three Es: extend; expand; and explain. If you're going to run a kritik, I feel that it should be something that you can express your belief in, and not simply run as an argument to fluster your opponent. It helps if your actions do not perpetuate the kritik you run against the other team. Generic DAs should have specific link cards, and you should be making sure to tell the impact story--not just repeatedly reading the tag of the impact card.
TL;DR: I'm not a newbie judge, but effective communication is key to winning.
Debated Policy @ Washburn Rural HS (2014-2018)
Lover of food and liberalism and Tim Ellis
What's up! First off, don't be rude in round! If you're outrageously rude in round it will be very hard to win my ballot. Be nice, and have fun. Debate is an activity where everyone should be enjoying their time, that is why it was created. Not for you to flaunt around your arrogance.
-Tech over truth, must have warranted arguments.
-Debate arguments that you are most comfortable with!
-I won't do your work for you
-Use CX to your benefit, I'm a big fan
-If you have non cringy puns in your intros I respect you more
-I don't know a lot about this topic yet, so explain acronyms you might use or specific theories etc. Else I won't know whats happening probs
Listen I'm a little out of the whole speed thing. I am going to assume you're faster than I was in HS, however, if you are clear I will be able to follow along. If you are not clear, I will say "clear". If you do not become clear after I have said it, I'll wait a couple seconds then stop flowing.
-Reject the arg, not the team for all instances besides maybe condo
--For Condo there should be some pretty heavy in round abuse, and you have to prove it to me. Don't just read blocks, use your head.
I'm a fan of topicality. But because I'm lazy and Tim worded it well enough here is an excerpt from his paradigm
Topicality is usually a question of competing interpretations, but just like anything else in debate, you can persuade me otherwise. I tend to think that debaters are not great at explaining the offense that they have on T flows, and particularly, how offensive arguments interact with one another. All too often the neg will go for a limits DA and the aff will say precision, but no one will discuss which one has more value in creating a stable model for debate. Reasonability is an uphill battle for me, but I find myself being more persuaded by it as neg teams get worse and worse at extending an impact to their T argument. As far as spec debates, I usually find them quite dull, and it will take a pretty egregious violation or a crush of a spec debate for me to vote against someone for not specifying agent, funding, etc.
Thank you for listening to Tim's ted talk
Ha I'm not too familiar with this aspect of debate. If you run an aff w/o a plan text that is perfectly fine. All you have to do is explain it to me and why your standard of debate is better for the activity and whatnot. If you just give me depth less arguments about how debate sucks now and the USFG is bad then it will not be an easy ballot to win. I will most likely lean negative in these types of debates, because fairness typically aligns towards the neg in these debates. But the negative team needs to do work if they want to win. Having offense on case and on top of that adding external impacts is important. Don't just throw together BS arguments at the end of the round, you'll need to do work to win.
Regardless, you do you. Explain your arguments, answer the other team's. You'll gain a ballot. Probably.
I am not to well versed in K literature, however, that does not mean I won't vote on it. Traditionally, if the team does a good job of explaining the world of the kritik and how the kritik is good, then they will be fine. If you read a K just to confuse your opponents, you will also confuse me.
-I think you should try and explain to me how the K looks in the debate, whether that is the post plan implications or whatever is happening in the round.
-Explain the alt well. That is probably important. Having good links to the aff is a plus, if it is a bunch of SQUO stuff it won't be very convincing.
-If the neg goes for FW be sure to explain the argument throughout the debate. And have a specific interpretation for me to vote on.
Big fan. Big fan. Big fan. I love me a good Disad.
-Try and have specific Links
-Politics DAs are pretty good. They might not make sense a lot of the time but you know
-Be sure to cover Case along with the DA. That is a pretty spicy combo in my eyes
-Have a nice internal link chain. I wanna know why doing the aff causes the world to explode into a ball of fiery doom
-Not too sure what else to say. Explain the world of the aff and how the DA trumps all Aff benefits
CPs are good. CP + DA is always good. I'm not super technical and informed on CP theory but:
-Delay CPs, probably bad
-Consult/Conditions CPs, def bad unless they have a specific solvency advocate
-Cut the other team's solvency advocate and make it into a CP. That is pretty spicy.
-Word PIC's are annoying
Speaker points (I'm still figuring this out so it could be different in the future and whatnot)
29.4+ -- Straight fire (One of the best I've seen)
29-29.3 -- Speaker Award at the tournament
28.6-28.9 -- Good, no complaints in terms of speaking ability (Above Average/Average - comments will determine)
28.0-28.5 -- Didn't do anything distinctly "wrong", critiques here and there about issues (A bit below average - you're getting there)
27s -- Dropping arguments, ending speeches early, etc. (Needs improvement - but hey you'll get there)
If you get anything below a 27 it means there was something that did not belong in the debate. Meaning rudeness, cheating, etc.
Idk other stuff that is probably important
Don't just say random debate words. Have warrants for every argument you make. BE CLEAR for analytical blocks. Have fun.
-1AR must be fire. It's a requirement
-Make jokes. If they are bad I will dock you speaker points (-.5 per joke), however, if they are good you will get additional points (+.5)
Reminder don't be awful in round.
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
I think you should have content warnings if your arguments may push this debate into uncomfortable territory.
I debated for four years in High School (Lansing HS, KS) from 1998-2002, I debated for four years in college (Emporia State University, KS) from 2002-2006, Coached one year at Emporia State from 2006-2007, and from 2007 to present I have been a coach at Topeka High School (KS) where I have been the director of Speech and Debate since 2014. In terms of my argument preference while I was actively debating, I dabbled in a little bit of everything from straight up policy affirmatives, to affirmatives that advocated individual protests against the war in Iraq, to the US and China holding a press conference to out themselves as members of the illuminati. In terms of negative arguments, I read a lot of bad theory arguments (A/I spec anyone?), found ways to link every debate to space, read a lot of spark/wipeout and read criticisms of Language and Capitalism.
In terms of teams I have coached, most of my teams have been traditionally policy oriented, however over the last 2-3 years I have had some successful critical teams on both sides of the ball (like no plan texts, or slamming this activity....). For the past 2-3 years, I have been working with teams who read mostly soft left affirmatives and go more critical on the negative.
My Philosophy in Approaching Debate:
I understand we are living in a time of questioning whether debate is a game or an outreach of our own individual advocacies for change, and I don't know fully where I am at in terms of how I view how the debate space should be used. I guess as a high school educator for the past decade, my approach to debate has been to look for the pedagalogical benefit of what you say/do. If you can justify your method of debating as meaningful and educational, I will probably temporarially be on board until persuaded otherwise. That being said, the onus is on you to tell me how I should evaluate the round/what is the role of the ballot.
This is not me being fully naive and claiming to be a fully clean slate, if you do not tell me how to judge the round, more often than not I will default to an offense/defense paradigm.
I tend to default to competing interpretations, but am not too engrained in that belief system. To win a T debate in front of me, you should go for T like a disad. If you don't impact out your standards/voters, or you don't answer crucial defense (lit checks, PA not a voter, reasonability etc.) I'm probably not going to vote neg on T. Also, if you are going for T for less than all 5 minutes of the 2NR, I'm probably not voting for you (unless the aff really messes something up). I am more likely to vote on T earlier in the year than later, but if you win the sheet of paper, you tend to win.
I do think there is a burden on the negative to either provide a TVA, or justify why the aff should be in no shape-or-form topical whatsoever.
In approaching T and critical affirmatives. I do believe that affirmatives should be in the direction of the resolution to give the negative the basis for some predictable ground, however in these debates where the aff will be super critical of T/Framework, I have found myself quite often voting affirmative on dropped impact turns to T/Framing arguments on why the pedagogical model forwarded by the negative is bad.
Look, I believe your plan text should not be terrible if you are aff. That means, acronyms, as-pers, excessive vagueness etc. are all reasons why you could/should lose a debate to a crafty negative team. I probably love and vote on these arguments more than I should.....but....I loved those arguments when I debated, and I can't kick my love for them.....I also am down to vote on just about any theory argument as a "reject the team" reason if the warrants are right. If you just read blocks at me and don't engage in a line-by-line of analysis....I'm probably not voting for you...
I am on the losing side of "condo is evil" so a single conditional world is probably OK in front of me, but I'm open to/have voted on multiple conditional worlds and/or multiple CPs bad. I'm not absolutely set in those latter worlds, but its a debate that needs hashed out.
I also think in a debate of multiple conditional worlds, its probably acceptable for the aff to advocate permutations as screens out of other arguments.
Eh.......the more devoted and knowledgable to your literature base, the easier it is to pick up a ballot on the K. Even if you "beat" someone on the flow, but you can't explain anything coherently to me (especially how your alt functions), you may be fighting an uphill battle. I am not 100% compelled by links of omission, but if you win a reason why we should have discussed the neglected issue, I may be open to listen. The biggest mistake that critical debaters make, is to neglect the aff and just go for "fiat is an illusion" or "we solve the root cause" but....if you concede the aff and just go for some of your tek, you may not give me enough reason to not evaluate the aff...
I am the most familiar with anti-capitalist literature, biopolitics, a small variety of racial perspective arguments, and a growing understanding of psychoanalysis. In terms of heart of the topic critical arguments, I've been reading and listening to more abolitionist theory, and if it is your go-to argument, you may need to treat me like a c+ level student in your literature base at the moment.
I like them.....the more in depth they go, the better. The more you criticize evidence, the better...
Defend your theoretical base for the CP, and you'll be fine. I like clever PICs, process PICs, or really, just about any kind of counterplan. You should nail down why the CP solves the aff (the more warrants/evidence the better) and your net benefit, and defense to perms, and I will buy it. Aff, read disads to the CP, theory nit-picking (like the text, does the neg get fiat, etc.) make clear perms, and make sure you extend them properly, and you'll be ok. If you are not generating solvency deficits, danger Will Robinson.
I think delay is cheating, but its an acceptable form in front of me...but I will vote on delay bad if you don't cover your backside.
I think I'm too dumb to understand judge kicking, so its safe to say, its not a smart idea to go for it in front of me.
Be a jerk, be sexist/transphobic/racist/ableist etc, steal prep, prep during flash time, or dominate cx that's not yours (I get mad during really bad open CX). Don't clip, misrepresent what you read, just say "mark the card" (push your tilde key and actually mark it...) or anything else socially unacceptable....
If you have questions, ask, but if I know you read the paradigm, and you just want me to just explain what I typed out.....I'll be grumpier than I normally am.
In the most simplistic and general sense, my paradigm is tabula rasa. In other words, I am extremely interested in wherever the competitors feel the debate needs to go. I will hear any arguments, and, though it should not have to be said, I will not tolerate any disrespect toward anyone else in the round.
With that being said, I debated all four years of high school and would consider myself to be fairly experienced. I understand spreading, and I think it is just as valid a strategy as any other. I would like to note, however, that I am also interested in what you, as individuals, feel about the topics you are discussing. Therefore, solely an abundance of evidence will not normally win you my ballot - analysis of the topic and reasoning of the debate will be far more important to me than how much evidence you present (though you could explain to me why more evidence makes your analysis more credible).
Mostly, I hope for a genuine discussion of the topic centered around your experiences and analyses of criminal justice reform.
Assistant Debate Coach -- The Barstow School (2017-19)
College Debate -- University of Kansas (2017-19)
High School Debate -- Blue Valley North High School (2013-2017)
add me to the email chain -- firstname.lastname@example.org
1. You should always do what you're best at. This paradigm is not a strict guide for how to debate in front of me rather it is a collection of my thoughts on the debate.
3. Sqo>Aff>2NR Advocacy
4. A strong warranted analytical argument and common sense can go a long way
5. Disclosure is always good
6. Cheating in any form is unacceptable and will result in an automatic loss and 0 speaks. Wrongly accusing someone of cheating will also result in the same.
7. If you are going to "insert" a re-highlighting please read the re-highlighting.
8. I should not be asked to become the referee on what has happened outside of the debate or what has happened in previous debates.
Aff(s) -- I think that affirmative teams should defend the implementation of a hypothetical plan by the United States federal government.
Affs with a plan -- I like nuanced and well thought out topicality debates. Limits are important, but the negative should attach these to pieces of negative ground or what affirmatives should be excluded. I default to competing interpretations. T-Substantial is a no from me. It is difficult to judge these debates when debaters treat their blocks as cards.
Affs without a plan -- Topicality is an important tool for the negative during these debates. I believe that the affirmative should have a counter-interpretation, not just relying on a criticism of the negative's interpretation or of the topic. I do not think that "policy education good" is an impact. Debate is a research activity. Winning your interp is best requires you to win a reason why the research your interp produces is the best. I will reward teams for in-depth "topical version of the aff" research. I do not believe that topicality is an attempt to exclude or police people in debate.
Disadvantages -- Strong impact calculus and turns case arguments are critical to winning. I think that high quality and recent evidence is also important to this debate. Comparing evidence is absolutely critical. I am very annoyed when I have to read and compare evidence for you at the end of the debate. The link controls the direction of the disadvantage. I will vote on a risk of absolute defense. I enjoy and appreciate well thought out politics disads. Small note: merely saying "immigration unpopular" or "immigration is polarizing" is not a link to a politics disadvantage, you need a reason why the passage of the aff causes the piece of the agenda to either pass or not pass - or causes people to vote one way or another in an election.
Counterplans -- Under very rare circumstances should you go for delay, consultation, or a generic word pic in front of me. I generally err neg on other competition questions. I think counter plans are made stronger by the presence of solvency advocate but given the lack of consensus on what qualifies as a solvency advocate, I think it is unreasonable to demand a solvency advocate for every counter plan.
Theory -- Every theory argument with the exception of conditionality is a reason to reject the argument, not the team (this is non-negotiable). I rarely find myself unwilling to vote for this argument unless it is either dropped or poorly handled. Lateral moves on theory are risky. Please do not just read prewritten blocks, do some debating.
Kritiks -- A kritik should prove why the aff's particular example of hypothetical state action is bad. I believe that the aff should get to weigh the impacts of fiated plan implementation against the criticism. There must be a robust defense of what the alternative does, does not do, turns, or solves. Convince me that the world of the alternative is better than the world of the aff. Please do not assume that you can gloss over important parts of your argument - I am not super deep in the literature. I am not very good for arguments (aff or neg) that involve saying an argument is your "survival strategy". I am not and do not want to be the referee on how you should live your life. I will under ZERO circumstances entertain a "death good" debate.
Strategy -- What has happened to reading uniqueness cards? Coherent DA shells? Counterplan solvency advocates in the 1NC*? Tags that explain your argument? I do not understand the impulse to massively spread out the other team, wait till they drop something, blow it up, and start the debating later. It's gross, messy, hard to decide, and will lower your points. I would much rather watch a really in-depth and clean debate than some silly 7-9 off debate. If this is your style of debate, that is cool, but prove to me you did the research and aren't just backfile checking with your most grossly under-highlighted generic positions. I cannot stress this enough.
Misc -- Other thoughts I have, which you should take into consideration
1. I do not want your flash drive -- I really don't want to be on your pocket box, don't even ask -- just start an email chain.
2. Be nice to your opponent -- I have always disliked teams who have been rude and belittling.
3. Look at me -- My facial expressions are a very good indicator of how I feel things are going.
4. The rebuttals should all include some amount of "judge instruction". What is the question of the debate and how should my ballot answer that question? What should I do when deciding this debate? What is important versus what is unimportant? Be persuasive! The debaters who are the best at this win the most amount of debates. S/O all the judges I have lifted this phrasing from/
5. Saying/Advocating racist, homophobic, antisemitic, transphobic, sexist, and ableist things are not a way to my ballot -- Debate is a community and everyone deserves to be a part of it.
6. Well placed humor is always appreciated -- keep it fun, keep it flirty.
7. Please don't ask me to type in my email into your computer. I don't want to touch your nasty computer. I am very sad when people do not read my paradigm and then ask me for my email and present me with their spit covered laptop.
8. Questions? Just ask
I competed in Kansas in both speech and policy debate for 4 years in high school.
I was the assistant debate and forensics coach at Hayden High School for 7 years, beginning in 2013. Recently I have moved into the role of Head Coach of both of these activities. We compete in Kansas on various different levels, but I would say we mostly compete in a traditional circuit and so that's the type of debate I'm most familiar with and comfortable judging. Don't read that as "other types of debate are illegitimate" but just know where I'm coming from and what my experience with debate has been.
I judge infrequently, but I'd like to say that I do keep up with the arguments that are being ran in a number of different circuits. As I learn more about the activity, and as the activity evolves my paradigm does change slightly, however what is written here is generally true.
At this point, I identify as a tabula rasa judge. But I do think that saying that comes with some caveats. When I say tabula rasa, I'm trying to say that I'm cool with whatever you want to run. There are some arguments that I enjoy more than others, but I'll do my best to keep up. I understand arguments that are considered traditional policy and I've coached kids that have dabbled in criticisms. I coach teams that compete on a mostly traditional debate circuit, it's seldom that we see a K, and performance is pretty much unheard of. Now that being said, I think quite a few things in debate are "legitimate". If you want to run a K or do a performance then I'll allow you to do that. I, however, may not be the most qualified judge when it comes to these types of debate. So having that limited experience with these arguments may not give you the best shot to win on them in front of me.
I'm a big believer in trying to make debate accessible to everyone. I've voted teams down in the past for being rude, racist, sexist or otherwise problematic. Just don't be a horrible person, don't talk over people, if you must interrupt try to do it politely. Debate is supposed to be educational and in theory a fun activity, these types of behaviors ruin debate and they make me grumpy.
I'm ok with speed, as long as it's comprehensible. I'm from a tradition where this activity is about communication. I do however understand that at upper levels it's about strategy and tactics, and speed is a tactic. So, if you must speed at least make sure the tags are clear and you're sign posting really well. The take away here is that I can judge speed rounds, but I don't prefer it. Efficiency, Clarity, and Organization are the three factors when it comes to delivery that I put the most stock in.
T's, CP's, Disads:
If your CP or DA is generic that's ok, just be sure to tell me why they link or why your counterplan solves etc.
T is very important in my book, but if it's not a clear round winner then kick it and move on. If you want to stick with it, then you have to dedicate a lot of speech time to it.
I have pretty limited experience with K's. But that doesn't mean you should avoid them in front of me. My wheelhouse in terms of critical theory is Cap, Neolib, and Biopower. Again this doesn't mean you should avoid other critical theories, but this is just what I know best. In terms of debating a K I think that you should spend a lot of time on alt solvency. Chances are that the aff links hard into whatever you are critiquing, so now you need to prove to me why your method solves best.
That should be about it, if you have questions about anything here then please do not hesitate to ask me.
Basic practice preferences
Flashing should not take an eternity. Do not waste our time. Be honest with how you treat flashing with the other team and I. If you are shady, it's going on the ballot and I will be heavily annoyed. If you want an email chain - email@example.com
I will be flowing the round and that will be the largest decider in our round. Defend/debate all portions of an arguments and that will reflect well for you on the flow. I want to see ya'll interact with the arguments read - if you choose to discount an argument without just refutation, it'll be a yikes for all involved.
I will never vote on arguments which are discriminatory and encourage violence (racism good, ableism good, anti-queer literature, etc.) If you create spaces which encourage violence or are the source of abuse in the round in any way, you will lose this debate. I view my privilege in this round is to protect education and the safety of all debaters - in no way will I sit by and watch another team/debater be attacked for any identity they may possess. Debate space should be a space to act without fear of oppression - I will make sure that is reflected in my judgments and comments. I would rather see ethical debaters than those who read awful arguments in hopes of gaining a winning edge. Be a better person than you are a debater at all times.
I am fine with any speed you choose, but I will hold you accountable for creating a safe and accessible space for the debate to occur. If the practice is used as a way to push a debater/team out of the round, that's a problem. I will not directly intervene in this case, but if the team/debater chooses to critique your process or read in-round abuse theory, I will prefer it.
Framework: I will flow what you want from me to either change my evaluation of the round or use it as a critique of debater methods. This can be important at the end of the round if you make it to be. I will evaluate the round as your framework dictates if you give me the solid reasoning as why it should be preferred over default consequentialism. I want to see your ability to interact with the framework throughout the round, not just a one-time read at the end of an aff or at the start of a neg argument. If you are willing to read it, work with it during our time.
Author debates are tedious and boring. Do the work. Do the analysis. Disprove the argument written and presented rather than count on me to judge whether a piece of evidence should be included. Again, I want to see you engage with the evidence as read rather than dismiss it.
Topicality: I love it. A good T debate is my favorite debate to judge and was my favorite argument to run. By default, the aff needs to win the interpretation and work through the standards/voters. Don't discount the argument and make sure to prove T through thorough argumentation.
Counterplans: Always a fun time! As the neg, I feel this gives you automatic offense which can lead you away from the "the aff is still better than the SQ" debates. The thing that will irritate me quickest is the aff simply saying the perm to be argued rather than adding a simple line or two to analyze how that perm performs its abilities within the round and in the world of the aff. Do the work! In my opinion and practice, condo bad can help guard importance analysis space. Go for it! Other theory arguments are chill with me if you provide adequate analysis for how it negatively/positively shapes the round.
Criticisms/Performances: As a debater, I ran a few K arguments and have coached students through lit bases. There is a high chance I will be familiar with the base you are pulling from, but if I am not, I am sure I can understand the argument through the flashed evidence! Any K read should be an advocacy. This means that I want to see these arguments function as something you/the team truly believes and truly are a part of the community the literature bases itself within. Running literature from a community of which you are not a member runs the line of commodification which is bad for many reasons! I am willing to hear any K and will rely on the you to prove link and solvency clearly.
Debate is about education and learning how to interact with arguments on great topics. I want to see your work, your passions, and your way of debating. Make this activity fit you and your teammate, not the other way around! With as much as I value education, I want you to value and safeguard that education for all involved. This is why I will never vote up a team which places that in jeopardy for the round. As I tell my team: be better people than you are debaters. Never sacrifice parts of yourself for arguments that may seem competitive. Be a part of the reason this community is becoming safer for its members, not a reason people dread the activity.
Assistant coach at Blue Valley North High School
Debated at Washburn Rural High School
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to ask questions before the round if you need clarification or detail on anything.
I debated for 4 years in high and 1 year in college. I usually judge around 20-30 rounds on each topic and gain more familiar with topic literature as the year progresses. In high school I debated mostly an offense/defense policy style with disads, CPs, case turns, and T. That said, I think debate should be an open intellectual space and am open to at least considering most argumentative positions.
T: My default is to competing interpretations. I believe winning reasonability still requires a resolution of the standards debate to prove the interpretation reasonable. That said, it could be effective in cases that the neg interp is arbitrary or if the aff justifies some interpretive flexibility. I like T debates that have a nuanced discussion of the standards and do a good job of impacting out why a certain interpretation creates a fairer and more educational world to debate in. Emphasizing how each standard internal links to an impact is important. Tying arguments such as precision, grammar, and source credibility to the way those things impact case lists, the research process, and ground division is the most effective way to win my ballot.
Theory: I don’t like deciding debates on small technical concessions on theory but could be persuaded to do so if there is a particularly egregious lack of contestation. I’m usually persuaded by reject the argument not the team but will vote otherwise in cases such as condo where a team successfully argues that the larger debate has been skewed.
K: Not my favorite argument form but not something you should feel apprehensive reading in front of me either. A lot of the K rounds I’ve judged I voted aff because the negative went for framing, link, and impact arguments without advancing much of the alternative. While I understand how the aff’s perpetuation of an immoral system is a form of negative offense, I’m generally persuaded by affirmatives that point to the aff as a method to solve a material problem anyway given the inevitability of whatever structure the negative is critiquing without an alternative. I find that I generally have a high degree of skepticism in the alt’s ability to rupture the status quo, so that is a good place to start for affirmatives. In the same sense, I think it is important that the 2NR on the K doesn’t abandon contesting the truth of the 1AC’s internal links or impact scenarios. In most debates where the block focuses heavily on the K and abandons any ambition of beating back the case, I tend to vote that the aff outweighs. I should say I have limited exposure to critical literature but should follow pretty well regardless. I enjoy framework debates that aren’t arbitrary and self-serving. Also, a good cx on the K from either side is nice to see.
I am most familiar with these arguments. I am easily convinced that delay, conditions, and consult CPs are cheating without specific solvency advocates to justify them. Solvency advocates in general are important to have when running theoretically questionable CPs in front of me. I think internal link defense is underutilized, and really enjoy seeing a discussion of the affirmative/DA’s logic in CX and rebuttals. If you think something doesn’t make sense, I probably think it doesn’t either. I think responsible scholarship is important, and sometimes entire flows can be defeated with a good CX and a few strong analytics.
Have fun and be nice.
I am an old man. I am angry. I generally hate the K. instead, why don’t we talk about the resolution and throw an actually somewhat serious of a plan out there. Then, maybe the Neg could run a DA or two, and maybe an off-case item or two, all which have some basis in reality. I realize The Butterfly Effect sounds really cool and all, but a gnat farting in Florida should not provide enough impetus to launch a global thermonuclear war.
I really appreciate nice humans. Rude, overly aggressive, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. behavior will drastically reduce your speaker points and possibly lose you the round.
Don't extend tags, extend warrants.
Don't clip cards.
Don't read overgeneralized blocks at me.
Don't flow from the speech doc. Every debate round I have judged for the past 3 years on the circuit has pretty much been won by the team who was flowing properly. When you aren't flowing you aren't able to see the round properly, you miss really important things like turns and cross applications, your line-by-line is terrible, and you reduce the debate to a bunch of overviews that don't help me decide anything. FLOW PROPERLY.
I can handle most rates of speed fairly comfortably, but if you are going top-rate, I'm going to be less confident in my ability to get everything. If I am not able to understand I will say clear. Obviously, don't race through theory or any blocks of really important analysis that you are going to want me to vote on later.
The 2AR/2NR should be telling me when, what, where, why and how. I won't do work for you. If you want me to vote for something tell me explicitly how to evaluate it and why it matters. "even if" arguments are really important in your framing of the round in rebuttals. Contextualization is important.
I have voted on presumption before.
Case debate is very underutilized and underrated. I enjoy it.
I will always listen to everything you read, but I generally subscribe to the theory that if it is not blatantly untopical, then I really don't care to waste time on T. I am going to break from tradition and scandalize a few people here...but I will generally evaluate reasonability with the same frequency I do competing interps...UNLESS you don't impact it out and give me some analysis why reasonability is good. I see about 1 T debate every 2 years that is fully developed and impacted out. Unfortunately, your blocked out blurbs about ground and predictability are not going to do much in terms of showing me why this argument is important. I hold T to the same standards of analysis and impact development as all other arguments and wayyyy too often (aka all the time) teams do not meet those standards on T. That being said, do the work and I will be more likely to vote on it.
Generic is fine...but in my old age I am starting to really prefer specific links and I love a really unique/specific link story. Really good analysis and inference can take a mediocre DA and make it pretty good. Analysis like "Disad turns case" is really great and I really like in-depth impact debates. Ptx is fine, but please do your updates.
In a world where a lot of our big topics become overly generalized without much attention to rule of law or specifics by the affirmative team, I think the CP has a lot of value. I like a well thought out plan text with good Solvency. If your net benefit is super generic I will be less likely to like it. What ever happened to dispositionality? I don't think affs utilize their cases enough when answering and I think that there needs to be a lot more debate on the CP proper than what currently happens. I will listen to theory (condo), but I generally don't vote unless there is evident abuse.
Use your framework! Engage with framework. If you do not feel comfortable analyzing theory and framework arguments, I feel like maybe these arguments are not for you yet. Don't expect that I can do much analysis here for you in terms of lit. I don't know enough literature to be able to make those connections in my head. I am very familiar with Cap, Neolib, and security. I am somewhat familiar with Fem and set col. I had a Baudrillard team once but I didn't understand anything they ever said, they understood it though and that is all that matters. All other literature you are going to really have to slow down and do the work for me.
Overall, I like debate...in all its forms. If you want to win something in front of me just do the work to make it matter.
Updated before J Matt Hill 2020
Debated at Topeka High for 4 years (2014-2018)
Currently in second year debating for K-State (2019 -
Email - email@example.com - Yes, put me on the email chain. That being said, I will flow in paper and will only look at evidence after the round if I really think I need to or you tell me to.
Rounds on the CJR topic: 0 - So clarify acronyms
Read whatever you want to. My preferences or background of running/not running certain arguments should not dissuade you from running whatever strategy you think is best for yourself. Read a plan text or don't read a plan text, I am willing to hear any kind of debate.
I did traditional policy args in high school. So, DA's, T, case turns, etc. Now, I do a mix of kritkal and policy arguments at KSU.
I like judge instruction at the top of the 2NR and 2AR giving a quick overview instructing how I ought to write my ballot and why.
As you think you are winning arguments, make sure you explain why winning that argument matters. Ideally, all your arguments you go for in the rebuttals ought to have these 4 parts in some form or fashion:
1. Clarify what the argument is.
2. Explain why your interpretation of that argument is true.
3. Why it matters in the context of the flow or RFD.
4. How it answers/responds to the other team's argument.
Go slowish for tags, especially authors, standards, and theory, but as long as you are clear and signpost you can go as fast as you want on the text of cards. I will "clear" you if you are not clear.
Last, debate can be stressful. Make sure you are having fun. :)
How I view certain args:
I default competing interps. However, I can obviously be persuaded a different way
The key to winning T is impacting out your standards as much as possible. I default thinking education and fairness are both equally important impacts - one isn't more important than the other. I default thinking that clash and predictable ground are the best internal links to make to get to those impact arguments. Taking the time in prep to make a contextualized list of what the other team's model of debate looks like and what their interpretation justifies/ doesn't justify is a good strategy.
Your 2nr probably needs to be 5 minutes of T if you go for it, at a minimum of 3:30.
FW (for against K affs):
The point above focusing on impacting out your education and fairness claims applies here too. This means the key for the neg to win these debates is to explain why the aff's model of debate produces less productive debates through the lens of the neg's impact.
The more specific you make the links to your DA's the better. It will be harder to win the probability portion of impact calc the more generic your links are.
I like all DA's, but especially like weird, process, and ptx DA's.
Explicit impact calc in the rebuttals in the 2NR or 2AR is recommended
Your CP text should be as precise as possible.
The CP should probably have some sort of solvency advocate. It can be a highlighting or reference to an aff card, but it has to be there.
"Cheating" CP's are reasons to reject the arg, not the team.
Precise links are more important here than they are for DA's.
I am most familiar with Cap and Security. I am vaguely familiar with most everything, but don't have a lot of in-depth knowledge of most other args. Anything else will need more of an explanation.
The alt needs to be explained well.
K aff's are fine.
There are some judges who will never vote on case defense. I am not one of them. I have a higher affinity compared to most judges for voting on case defense. I usually default to probability, so magnitude-oriented try or die aff args don't automatically do something for me. If the negative does a sufficient job proving that the aff doesn't solve, I have no qualms voting on presumption. Heavy case debates are the most fun to judge I think.
Yes email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lol I just had to edit this for "profane language" what an absolute joke. (There would absolutely be an expletive in that sentence but the cops over at tabroom.com won't let me save it if any is detected)
I don't have a camera preference. Notify me if you plan on recording one of your speeches so I can turn my camera off.
Debated at Raymore-Peculiar High School for 4 years
Second year debating for Kansas State - 2021 NDT Qualifier
Usual things - do whatever makes you happy, don't let my paradigm convince you otherwise. Feel free to ask questions if anything in here is nonsensical and you need clarification lol.
I'm not one for "wearing a poker face", so if it looks like I'm not understanding you/confused, that's probably the case.
Obviously any acts of racism, sexism, etc. will be voted down on face. My threshold for two white individuals running afrofuturism/pessimism is also really really high - as a POC it's just really hard for me to tolerate those kinds of rounds.
I don't judge LD or PF very often so I'm not going to make a whole section dedicated to them so sorry - some of these things will apply to you some won't.
If you're reading unhighlighted cards please tell me if you are reading the whole card, just underlined, or just bold before you start reading the card.
Onto the semantics-
K Debate: I decided to put this at the top because I feel like it's one of the first things teams search for when looking at paradigms. Personally, I love K aff rounds - they are very enjoyable for me to be in. You have to imagine it from my POV - after hearing so many affs about Saudi Arabia arms sales and SCS, hearing an aff about why discourse about that [expletive] is meaningless/bad is so refreshing. I've run anti-blackness and queer theory, so those two specifically are right up my ally. That being said, I'm far from an expert on K literature. (Throwing out random "woke" phrases or author names to seem smart does nothing for me or anyone so don't do it). So if the debate turns into a high theory debate, make sure you're using the 2NR/AR to really pump the breaks and break it down - this should be an opportunity for me to go back through my flow and make sure I got everything that you were talking about. (Specifically important for the 2NR to isolate link(s) and impacts)
FW: Coming off the heels of that paragraph about how much I love listening to K affs, you can probably tell that I'm not super inclined to vote on FW. I think the aff should be entitled the ability to reject the resolution on face for whatever reason they outline. I totally get FW in the 1NC and even 1NR as a test of competition, but just get a little sad inside when it gets carried through to the 2NR. That being said, I'm not an "absolutely no FW" type of guy - if aff really fumbles FW coming out of the block, by all means go for it. But if you have something better and there is no damning concession, I really urge against going for it. Additionally, a good TVA really helps put you ahead on this page - you don't even have to solve 100% of the aff just please make sure it's in the same realm and you have some sort of access to their solvency advocates.
T: I'm a lot more willing to vote on T than framework, and I don't think I stray too far from the beaten path when it comes to T. Have all four components solid and ta-da you win. Obviously I'd prefer not to listen to a T debate but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I do need really really specific ground loss examples if you're going for ground though, and why the ground that you want to access is actually good ground (k/2 the core of the topic or whatever)
Theory: I think that condo should be in every 2AC ever if neg is running multiple conditional worlds. This means that you have to ask them in CX of the 1NC to make sure they're actually condo lol. Condo is the internal link to a lot of different things and shields from neg blowing up dropping 2AC args. Undercover a sheet in the 2AC and drop some args? That's offense for condo being a voter, and condo justifies new 1AR spin. Neg caught in some perf cons? Condo is the internal link. I think it is super under utilized and is such a valuable asset, and I will probably say this in the RFD of any round there are multiple conditional worlds and you don't put condo in the 2AC. That being said, voting for condo makes me a little sad but if they fumble it you can go all in in the 2AR I guess. Just make sure if you utilize it for the things mentioned above (or anything similar) you give it a light 15 sec extension in the 2AR. Don't make your interp anything dealing with dispositionality because dispo is literally fake and no one knows what it actually means. Also, really explain to me why I'm rejecting the team and not the arg. I think judge kick is total bull[expletive] - go for an arg or don't. If "judge kick bad" becomes a theory arg in the round I will be quick to vote for it.
CPs & DAs (And case lol): Again, not far from the beaten path here. I'm okay with them all. Have all the parts. Please do something on case. Case turns are fun. Also read a DA (or random ass case cards) to prove offense on T, that's a power move.