46th University of Pennsylvania Tournament
2021 — Philadelphia / Online, PA/US
LD Novice Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hello! I am Gregg, a parent-judge participating in my third tournament. Because I am relatively new to judging, I recommend that you provide clear guideposts for your arguments as well as crystallizing your arguments as much as possible. I also suggest that you speak slowly so that I can follow your arguments and the structure of the debate. Wishing all participants good luck, and I hope that you have fun!
Parent Judge. Please ask any questions before or after the round, and I will do my best to answer.
Please be respectful and professional at all times. You can be assertive without being rude or unkind.
I value brevity and clarity, and please speak clearly. Please don't expect me to understand technical terms and references. You may need to explain the basics because I may have no knowledge of your topic.
I will try to take notes on the round, but I do not know how to flow. Make it easier for me by SIGNPOSTING every response, warranting EXTREMELY explicitly, and extending WITH WARRANTS in every speech. If something is important, let me know. Point out concessions, cross isn't binding. That being said, I'm not stupid, so don't be abusive (esp. in second FF).
Hello! Here are my LD & Congress paradigms, the events I coach & most frequently judge. I'm pretty standard when it comes to PF and WSD preferences so I don't have a full written paradigm here but you can feel free to ask me any questions before the round if I'm your judge in those events!
Debate experience/about me: I did mostly LD/sometimes Congress on the local Maine circuit all four years of high school from 2010-2014, and then did NFA-LD/the tiniest bit of speech at Lafayette College for 3 semesters before switching to coaching. This is my fourth year as an assistant coach for Phillipsburg HS, and I judge a lot on both the local (New Jersey) & national circuits. My B.A. is in government & English, and I just finished an M.S.Ed and a social studies teacher residency program at UPenn.
The short version: My background is pretty varied so I'm cool with most arguments in round. I'm pretty tab- it's my job as a judge to evaluate everything you put in front of me, and above all I want you to run what you think is your best strategy! A couple of specific preferences are outlined below.
Speed: I can go however fast you want to go with the caveat that online tournaments are generally not conducive to top speed. I do keep a paper flow so I ask that you slow down slightly when reading plan text/authors/etc if you're going to be referring to/extending cards exclusively by author name. I'd like to be on the email chain (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DAs: I like disads and enjoy policymaking debates in general but I am a little old school in that I don't like when they have huge, totally unrealistic impacts just for the sake of outweighing on magnitude. If you're impacting to nuclear war in a round about plea bargaining, I'm not going to buy the link story. Impact calc is very important but make sure the impacts are realistic/we don't have to make huge jumps on the internal links-- debates are way more interesting when I'm voting on the risk of something that could actually happen. This, of course, does not apply if the resolution specifically lends itself to an extinction scenario, e.g. the nuclear weapons topic or an environmental topic, but you know where the line is! If you really want to run it it's not something I'll drop you for but I just don't enjoy these debates as much as more realistic scenarios.
T/Theory: I don't love a theory and especially a topicality debate because I know it's a timesuck like 97% of the time but if you must, you must. Please save it for instances of genuine abuse. There are definitely way better theory judges than me out there so keep that in mind.
Traditional: I grew up on a traditional local circuit and this kind of round is near and dear to my heart. It's certainly not a preference, but I'm a good judge for this sort of thing. Please weigh & give me voters!
Other stuff (CPs, Ks, aff ground): This is where the overarching "run whatever" ethos truly kicks in, though you should be mindful that I am old and might need you to err on the side of overexplaining anything super new. I love a good CP; PICs are fine, and I don't really buy condo bad. I was not a K debater when I competed but I've come to enjoy them a lot-- I am familiar with the basics in terms of lit and again, just explain anything that's more niche. Plan affs? Absolutely. Performance affs? Go for it. I'm here to listen- just tell me where to vote.
And finally: have fun! Bring a sense of humor and the collegiality that makes debate such a special activity. I'll never, ever, ever drop you or even change your speaker points just for being an aggressive speaker, but keep it collegial before & after rounds, and please use your best judgment re: strat and speaking style-- i.e. if you're a varsity circuit debater hitting someone less experienced, it's not the time for your wildest K at top speed, and that is something I'm willing to drop your speaks for. You can ask me any further questions about my paradigm before the round.
The short-ish version: I did Congress during my junior and senior years of high school (2012-2014) and it's what I primarily coach now. However, because of my LD-heavy background (and because like many other women in debate I too have known the pain of putting in the research only to get dropped for "sounding aggressive"), my #1 priority is the content of your speeches. While your speaking style and delivery is, of course, an important part of the overall package, it is called congressional debate for a reason, and I'll always, always rank a less polished speaker with better content higher than somebody who's a great orator but isn't providing something new or doesn't have the same quality of evidence. This may make me a little different than judges from a speech background, and that might reflect in my ranks- but it's why we have multiple judges with different perspectives, and why it's so important to be well-rounded as a competitor!
Other notes: If you are speaking past the first aff I need to see great refutation and your arguments need to explicitly provide something new to the debate. Humanizing your impacts and explicitly weighing them is the quickest way to my ranks. I love a fun intro as long as it is creative/specifically links to the topic (please I hate the generic canned ones). I will not hesitate to dock points for any speech under 2:45; use your full 3 minutes of allotted time to provide new content. I don't have terribly strong opinions re: the PO-- just be fair and knowledgeable and you'll rank.
For online tournaments (adding this after Princeton): I am fully aware this is a silly pet peeve but in an online format please ask the judges to give a non-verbal thumbs up when they're actively ready- don't do the thing where you say "is anyone not ready" and then immediately launch in. I am extremely sympathetic to the need to run a fast chamber, especially in elims! But I have ballots for 15 of you in a chamber, plus a separate flow for 15 competitors, plus the recency doc and the chamber Zoom that I'm going between throughout the whole session, so in an online setting I probably do need an extra ten seconds to get to where I need to be.
Hi! I'm Eden (she/her) and I debated for Millburn ('20) for a couple of years and am now studying law at UCL in London. I mostly stuck to trad LD, but did some other things here and there.
1/2 Trad, 3 Ks, 4 LARP, 5 Anything else (phil, tricks, theory, T, etc.)
I'm definitely most comfortable with trad debates but you can read anything you're comfortable with as long as it isn't offensive or hateful in any way. Please put me on the email chain if there is one; my email is email@example.com.
Ultimately the most important thing is to read what you're most comfortable with and I will try my best to judge whatever you choose to read :)
I think trad debate is underrated and I really appreciate unique/strategic frameworks (speaks will reflect accordingly). Other than that, make sure your arguments are well warranted. In trad debate particularly, I think the quality of arguments are much more important than the quantity. I have a pretty low threshold for extensions– just make sure you do it. Please engage with your opponent's frameworks and impact your arguments under both framing methods! A strong argument without an impact under the winning framework means nothing in the context of the round.
I'm definitely not the best at judging tech debates, but I have some experience with Ks and LARP if that is what you're most comfortable with. I will do my best to evaluate the entire flow regardless of how comfortable I am with evaluating the arguments presented. However, please thoroughly explain your arguments because I don't feel comfortable voting off arguments I don't understand. Also, I appreciate clear overviews!
I give speaks off of strategy and clarity. I also enjoy creative arguments which will be reflected in speaks.
Being rude to your opponent will result in low speaks.
If you have any other questions, you can either message me on FB (Eden Elder) or ask before the round starts.
Have fun and be nice :)
Prefer a focus on your most important arguments for your side and counter arguments to the other side. Don't like a really fast delivery. The winning side usually has the most compelling quantitative or other real evidence that their argument provides the most value to society.
Hello everyone, I am a traditional judge. DO NOT spread. Do not even read fast! Don’t use any jargon. Make sure you make clear persuasive arguments, quality over quantity. Keep it simple, so no Ks and avoid complex counterplans.
Please put me on the email chain -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Random thing but title the email chain Tournament---round x -- aff team (aff) vs neg team (neg)
TLDR: I am willing to listen to everything as long as it isn't racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
*if I am not in for policy treat me as a lay judge I don't even know the speech times.
I am a senior at Lexington high school and I have been debating for all four years. I have been a 2a for the entire time. I think that tech comes before truth but in very specific cases can be persuaded otherwise, ie if you say something outright problematic. Beyond just saying problematic things, some debate arguments do not need much to respond to them and can be pretty easily beaten with analytics. A dropped argument is true but it does have to be a complete argument with a warrant. I also tend to look dead inside, but I promise I am paying attention.
I think that these are great. I would prefer if there is some form of a solvency advocate but what that looks like is up for debate. I think that conditionality is probably good but I can easily be convinced otherwise. I think the best interps are ether dispo or infinite condo. 2nc cps are abusive and I will vote on theory but you need to impact it out. Also make sure to explain how the cp solves the aff, a lot of times teams just make these assertions but don't actually explain it. When answering the perm you should have more than just severance or intrinsicness. I also think that counterplans should be textually and functionally competitive.
I really love these, I think I give pretty much every 1nr on a da. CJR is a bad topic for da and there is no neg ground, I am aware of this and it sucks. If you can find a topic da that is good I will give you 30 speaks but I do not think one exists. I like politics da but they need to have updated uq if you are still reading cards from before the election as uq there is a problem. I would prefer to have specific links instead of generic cjr links but if that's all you have generic links can be spun pretty well. Make sure to have turns case arguments, it makes it easier to decide the round or at least a reason why the da outweighs the case.
I don't think T subsets is a reasonable model for the topic and there are no affs that meet that definition. I think that courts affs probably aren't topical and am definitely willing to listen to a debate on this but I also think that plantext in a vacuum is a good argument against it. I do not think plantext in a vacuum is a fantastic standard but I am also not sure what the alternative looks like. This topic is huge and I do not want to listen to you complain about it for 5 minutes, so try to impact out why that matters, ie how does that make this aff unpredictable or explode limits. RVI's are not a thing, that being said I think nonresolutional theory might be worse and I do not want to hear a debate about t-three tier. I also tend to default to competing interpretations.
I love impact turns. Some are worse than others, I would much prefer a dedev debate over CO2 ag but I am willing to listen to both. Just in general make sure you either know for a fact that a cp solves the entirety of case or get to case and explain why the aff doesn't solve. Aff should make sure they explain why they do solve and how they get to their impacts. I do not want a bunch of floating impacts by the end of the round with no idea how voting aff will solve any of that. For soft left affs with framing pages, I typically do not find them super persuasive but if you have one make sure to actually clash instead of just your 2ac overviews.
Probably the type of debate I am least familiar with. I have been in quite a few of these debates but I do not know the lit as well as you do. Just in general, I would prefer if you have specific links to the aff otherwise winning case outweighs gets substantially easier. I also think you need to impact out the links and explain how they turn each case. I will probably let the aff weigh case and I have never heard a persuasive reason why they can't. I would prefer if there aren't super long overviews that require a new sheet of paper.
The stuff I said about K's applies here. I probably won't understand your aff that well and I probably haven't read most of the lit. However, if you are reading a kaff please explain how you solve and why the ballot is key. I am going to need a specific thing to vote on and if you are hedging all of your bets on one arg please make sure to impact it out. More often than not kaffs will have a blip in the 1ar and then blow it up in the 2ar, please develop your arguments fully, nothing annoys me more. I am definitely more neg leaning in these debates and I do not think novices should be reading kaffs.
Again I am very neg leaning in these debates. I think debate is a game, and while it can in some ways be more than that I think at its heart debate is a game. Fairness is the only impact but it does need to be impacted out. Make sure to have a reason why the aff can't weigh its self and preferably a no solvency argument in the 2nr. Also, make sure to answer all of the weird k tricks.
k v k:
I have never been in one of these debates and would prefer not to be but if somehow I am then I think I would weigh the aff and the aff would get a perm. Other than that I will evaluate the arguments made in the debate.
I try to average around a 28.5 and move up or down depending on what happens during a round. If I go below a 27 something happened in the round that I probably spoke to you about during the rfd.
if caught clipping lowest speaks possible and auto L
Random things on speaks:
I will boost your speaks by +.1 if you make a joke about Mahima Ramesh, Pia Jain, Angelique Pham, or Eleanora Lawrence. if I have to yell clear more than three times I will stop flowing and your speaks will probably decrease. I won't add or subtract speaks but please don't call me judge my name is Amanda and judge is just awkward.
Have fun this is one debate and won't impact your future. Please be nice and feel free to ask questions after the round. I won't change my decision though. If you don't understand anything in my paradigm feel free to ask before the round starts or have any other questions about my preferences.
Good luck and have fun!
I flow the rounds and judge based on your speeches not cross fire. I review notes, contentions that flow from beginning to end. Please make sure to have definitions and framework. Framework is very important to your case. Make sure you are clear in your contentions and arguments. If I cannot understand you or you are talking too fast, I miss things and it can be a problem. You are there to convince me why your team wins-explain the impacts, FRAMEWORK and explain the reason for decision. Pretend I do not know anything about the topic. Be respectful of your opponents and let them talk during cross fire. You should be able to provide your cards, evidence quickly. You should be organized and have them quickly to provide competitor if asked.
I flow the rounds and judge based on your speeches not cross fire. I review notes, contentions that flow from beginning to end. Please make sure to have definitions, values and criterion. Make sure you are clear in your contentions, definitions and arguments. If I cannot understand you or you are talking too fast, I miss things and it can be a problem. You are there to convince me why you win-explain the impacts, logic, reasoning explain the reason for decision. Pretend I do not know anything about the topic. You should be able to provide your cards, evidence quickly. You should be organized and have them quickly to provide competitor if asked.
Background: 3x nats senate 1x toc congress, 1x toc info 2x nietoc various events, decent amount of experience in PF, I understand LD and progressive debate but I've never done it done it and so better to err on the side of caution if you are going to get funky, if I'm judging policy then we all better put our big brain hats and cross our fingers
add me: email@example.com
Some things to consider if I'm judging you no matter event + a note on online judging:
1. Signpost. You could have the best refutation ever but if you don't signpost I might miss it.
2. don't be rude, debate is supposed to be accessible and fun for everyone, so respect your opponents! Debaters who look like they're having a good time are way more fun to judge.
3. If for some personal or act of god reason you need to step away from the computer please just message me (congress/ speech events) or bring it up to the round (other events). I will do my absolute best to accommodate you within timely reason.
4. Speed isn't an issue for me but online there might be some lag problems so just know your wifi.
5. I enjoy niche arguments in every event as long as they aren't unfairly specific
Some things to consider if I'm judging you in Congressional Debate:
1. Key word up there is debate. I highly value refutation in congress speeches. No worries if you give an authorship, but try to show me different facets of your argumentation skills and speaking styles. I'm judging on a holistic model of who is the best legislator in the round- not necessarily who has the best argument or speech.
2. I'm not a fan of when no one is prepared to give speeches. If you get up to give a speech because there is a lull, even if you are not perfectly prepared, I will mentally award you brownie points and it will contribute to the "best legislator" notion.
3. I do pay more attention to CX in congress than other debates because of how few times you get to speak. But it won't make or break you. That being said, if you ask the same question again and again to different speakers I will probably find you annoying and not contributing to the debate.
4. I love crystallizations and later round speeches in congress. If you are giving the last speech do not give a constructive. Congress is about engagement and adaption. If you give a constructive 13 speeches in the debate I am going to wonder what you have been doing. The later the cycle goes the more weighing should be done.
5. I value argument>speaking 99% of the time. But, congress does have speaking elements to it. As long as you are loud and clear we should not have a problem. It is nice if you don't look at your flow pad too much.
Some things to Consider I'm judging you in PF/LD:
1. Voters. I will vote off of what you tell me to. If a team doesn't give me voters I default to the other teams. Be clear and do the work for me and I won't care what you run
3. I'm tech can be over truth but I do like hearing warrants and am responsive to teams calling out logical gaps/ inconsistencies in link chains
4. If you want me to read a card than tell me to call for the card otherwise sry bud
5. Don't flow cross so if something happens than you better bring it up in a speech
A note on Theory and K's:
1. Theory is necc. to keep debaters in check but I'm not a fan of tricks, time wasters or other trivial nonsense. Please explain it clearly like you are talking to your well educated but slightly demented grandma
2. running theory just to be strategic kinda makes me queasy and I will have more leniency for your opponent if it's silly
3. Running theory against clearly inexperienced debaters is a form of abuse in itself
I am a parent judge who has been judging for half a dozen tournaments. The main event that I judge is LD. Please speak at a moderate pace. Please be respectful to each other. Any unacceptable behavior will result in low speaks. I usually focus on your impacts and voter issues. If you can tell me why your argument matter and what the outcome might possibly be if this doesn't happen...it will make it easier for me to vote for you. I don't disclose the results.
Good luck and have fun!
Hi. I'm Maia Katsnelson. I'm a junior at Needham HS and I mostly do LD debate (since my freshman year), and occasionally some PF.
A few things:
1. Use CX to ask good questions and get your opponent to make concessions
2. You can speak as fast or as slow as you like just make sure to be clear (no spreading)
3. VC debates can be interesting so make sure to debate that. Don't debate values because justice is a synonym of morality. If you want to, concede to your opponents FW, I will not hold it against you.
4. Remember to weigh your arguments against your opponents. And remember to give me clear voters.
5. Have fun and present interesting arguments
6. I am generally not a technical debater and prefer lay arguments, if you make any theory or kritiks make sure to explain them clearly
7. CP are welcome as long as you explain them
If you have any questions about my RFD email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck and have fun :)
Parent judge with no history of participating in high school debates as a student. I have judged a few LD competitions. I prefer that you speak slowly and clearly.
Please speak clearly; oftentimes, debaters tend to speak extremely fast, coupled with online technology, words can become extremely difficult to hear. You can be assertive without being aggressive. Also, please don't assume I know anything. Walk me through your argument and facts instead of just tossing them at me and assuming I understand.
I'm a parent judge.
Theory not allowed
Ks not allowed
Debaters can self time
I am a parent judge who pays close attention to the quality of arguments and responses. No spreading, no tricks, no Ks, no theory, nothing circuit. Please speak at a conversational pace (be clear -- I'll call clear once before dropping your speaks). I want to hear logically constructed arguments with good quality evidence. No contrived extinction scenarios. I take detailed notes of arguments and responses, but I do not flow. No jargon. Truth>tech
Please have evidence! Please have good evidence. Please do explicit evidence comparison --- I, and you, will be much happier if you point out powertagged evidence, unqualified authors, and clearly explain why your studies and warrants are better than your opponents'.
My name is Timothy Mooney, and I served as the Captain of the Debate side of my Speech and Debate, from 2010-2013, for Arthur L. Johnson Highschool. I periodically go in to provide assistance with my former team. My email is email@example.com
When it comes to pacing, I personally prefer it to be on the slower side; details tend to get lost in understanding when debaters speak too fast. For this reason, I recommend a sense of control— you can speak somewhat fast, so long as you use that speed in moderation. Make certain I can hear your arguments, and you’ll do fine. On that note, I am very anti-Spreading (speaking extremely fast, with multitudes of arguments the opponent can fail to address), and want a clear, fair debate.
Make sure you have them. Give me a compelling debate if you differ in terms of how the key terms are defined. However, while a definition debate is good, I detest seeing it get very tedious. For instance, you have two very similar definitions, with one minor difference; don't spend the entire round arguing over why I should prefer this tiny detail to be included in the definition. Assume you have the same definition, and make your case. Your definition is going to have very little impact on how I make my verdict in this round.
When evaluating the round, I’ll be looking for a number of things: clear value debate (in Lincoln-Douglas), well-fought arguments and distinct warrants, voting issues, and (all things depending) the timing of the evidence. Lincoln-Douglas is defined by the values, and there needs to be explicit arguments for which should be used for the round. Debaters also need to try and refute most pieces of evidence and support that their opponent(s) bring up. Dropping entire contentions is a big no-no. Whether in Public Forum or Lincoln-Douglas. Voting issues are key in the final speech, and are a must. Tell me why I should be voting affirmative/negative. Lastly, timing is a bit of a variable; depending on the topic, timing of the evidence can be very crucial. But, if comparing an issue to something from decades ago, old evidence can be good.
I don’t mind if debaters wish to share evidence, if asked and approved by their opponent. However, the moment they receive that information, prep time will immediately begin.
Quite honestly, do what you're comfortable with, so long as I can understand what you're trying to get across. This is especially important if you plan to run a Counter-Plan (an alternative to the resolution, to meet the results the Affirmative is after more effectively)- You need to make sure you inform me that you are running this, somewhere in your speech.
A Lincoln Douglas or Public Forum debate should be considering their option as being implemented immediately, so understanding the local climate is essential. For example, explaining why a Federal Job Guarantee can work despite us being in a pandemic. Consider what we currently deal with, and how we could work around it. Or how current global events could impede the dictated resolution. This isn't required, but it is strongly recommended.
I'll be deciding based on a number of things: whether you could be understood while speaking, who I feel has won the value debate, who has better disputed their opponent's case, the practicality and likelihood of stated impacts (saying, for instance, x and y will lead to extinction, won't fly without sufficient warrants), and whichever side has made a more compelling case.
As I've experienced it in the past, be specific when beginning to list arguments; if you don't say something like "my first contention/argument is...", especially as the Negative speaker in LD, I might not know if you're doing rebuttal arguments or making your case to me.
My educational background consists of MS in Physics from Belarus State University and MS in Computing Sciences from Villanova University.
As someone with training in accurate sciences I appreciate well thought out and warranted arguments. I prefer quality over quantity in argumentation. And I especially enjoy listening to someone who can think of their feet.
I’m fine with you speaking fast, but make sure that all arguments are clear and make sure to emphasize your main points. I like it when you become involved in the debate, but make sure not to be offensive. Being aggressive is fine, and encouraged in most cases, however it should not facilitate hostility towards your opponents. I like humor and prefer entertaining cross-examinations.
My name is Robin (she/her) and I'm a junior at Lexington. I've done LD for 3 years now, bid to the TOC and broke at a couple of tournaments. I'm familiar with most traditional and progressive/circuit arguments, but over explain if you're running high theory (except psychoanalysis) or dense phil (anything other than kant, hobbes, butler, rawls, util). Run whatever you want as long as it's not blatantly racist or offensive. I am generally tech>truth but I have a very low threshold for frivolous theory and tricks and please do not run these arguments if your opponent has no idea what they are especially since you're all novices. Give trigger warnings where appropriate (and air on the side of caution!) and please respect people's pronouns! If you feel unsafe at any time, give me a signal or let me know and I will stop the round immediately.
Please do weighing!! You can take flex prep but don't take CX for prep. Also please record your speeches in case there are audio issues. Feel free to ask me questions after the round, I think its a great way to learn but please don't post round me :)
Lastly for +0.1 speaks do any one of these things:
- Show me a picture of your pet!
- Show me a picture of some delicious food because there is a good chance I am hungry
- Make a pun sometime in the round
Email me if you have any questions/to send speech docs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I'm Sasha (she/her)! Currently a senior at Needham HS in Massachusetts; did LD for the first two years of high school before switching over to speech; now I do extemp.
Update for Penn 2021!: I haven't competed in LD since May 2019 and haven't judged since January 2020, so I'm a bit rusty! I've only judged speech online so it might take me a second to get set up on campus and my only understanding of the JanFeb topic is that it has something to do with killer robots(?? shoutout to the wording committee for that). I will really really really appreciate (read: probs boost speaks for) anyone who makes sure they speak clearly and does the whole ~write my ballot for me~ cliché <3
If you're reading this then I'm probably judging you in NLD so here are a few general things to keep in mind:
-Let me know what your preferred pronouns are before round!
-Racist/sexist/classist/homophobic/transphobic/xenophobic/etc behavior will not be tolerated! Also, debate can be super stressful and toxic at times, so please just try to be nice and use common sense.
-Please do not try to spread. It's a Sunday morning. You're NLDers. This is neither the time nor the place for that, and I feel like it will probably take away from the whole learning aspect of NLD for at least your opponent, if not both of you.
-I'm really skeptical of running Ks or Theory in novice LD since a lot of schools restrict their novice programs from those arguments (long-winded way of saying CPs and disads are fine, just don't run the more advanced stuff if I'm judging your NLD round! I also haven't been around LD in over a year so I wouldn't trust me to make a fair decision on those either!).
-I expect you to keep your own time but I'm also usually pretty good about having a timer up as well.
-If you have any questions about your RFD since I know I'm not the more coherent judge when it comes to delivering those, feel free to reach out! My email is email@example.com
Some more debate-y things to note:
-Give a quick off time roadmap and signpost throughout your speech.
-Utilize CX!!! This was probably one of my favorite parts of LD when I did it and I think you gain a TON of important skills in it.
-Actually extend arguments with warrants and impacts, not just tags.
-When it comes to framework, I want you to explicitly tell me your value criterion and warrant why I should be using your framework when making my decision. Definitely collapse under your opponent's framework if you need to; I won't hold that against you and that can definitely be strategic. That being said, values debates are essentially useless to me and I will probably shed a tear if I have to listen to the morality vs justice thing. They're the same thing. These aren't just a waste of my time but also a waste of your (limited!) speaking time.
-Weigh! For the love of god, please weigh. This is basically how I'm going to be voting if you forget to crystalize/give me voters/whatever the jargon for writing my ballot for me is.
-Give me voters! I don't want to have to fill in the gaps by myself and make my decision based on intervention. Tell me exactly why I'm voting aff/neg and what my RFD should look like at the end of your 2nr/2ar.
-Project speak clearly, and be persuasive!!! super underrated skill at local/novice debate tournaments and good speaking will improve your speaks (shocking). Being funny will also boost your speaks but please don't try to be funny if you're not.
-I'm cool with you asking a question during prep time or asking to see your opponent's case, just remember that all counts for your prep time.
Other than that: have fun, learn, and good luck :)
**I am notoriously bad at remembering to put comments and RFD's in these days so if I don't get to it before the tournament closes and you would like feedback, please email me (^) w/ the subject line of "LD round x at x tournament" and I will send you my RFD and feedback if you would like. If I give an oral RFD-you should take notes and not expect me to email that to you. I want this to be as educational for you as it possibly can be so please ask q's if you have them!
Hi! my name is Shannon Rodgers (she/her) and I was an LD debater for 3 years at Oakland Catholic in Pittsburgh, which was a relatively traditional circuit so I typically tend to favor rounds that lean more traditional. Having said that, I am ok with a progressive round if it is keeping with the "theme" of the rest of the tournament and you and your opponent both agree to a progressive round. Additionally I will permit you to spread however you must share your constructive/cards/etc. with me via email, flash, or shared document prior to the start of the round if you choose to spread.
Another little side note: I coached novices all of last year so my feedback tends to be less of my opinions on the round and more technical and strategical stuff I notice throughout the round.
How to win in my rounds:
~Overall. I do not care what you do/ run in the round so long as you explain it well and do not try to create an unfair debate space.
~Make the round easy for me to follow--if you and your partner create a sloppy round it is impossible for me to come up with a clear verdict because I will be confused as to what I just witnessed.
~I love a good value debate and I will weigh all arguments from both sides under the winning value structure so make sure you don't disregard the value structure. Additionally, if you don't understand your opponents value structure, use cross-ex to figure it out; if I am telling you a value debate is important in this round do not spend 3 minutes trying to trap your opponent during cross instead of figuring out their understanding and usage of their value structure!
~I also find theory debate really interesting, but you must explain it well and make it applicable to the round for me to buy it.
~If you gain substantial offense in cross-ex and you want me to weigh it in the round, you must bring it up in the speech immediately following cross because I will not be flowing cross
~Impact your arguments. It is your job as a debater to tell me why I care about some stat you just told me; if you don't tell me why I should care, I won't care.
~Dropped arguments will only effect the decision if your opponent brings up the dropped argument and makes it evident to me why that argument was important both as a claim and as an impact
~I care about voting issues (voters)--be confident and tell me why you won, especially if you think you won on a point that was not heavily debated throughout the round
~I will be voting off of the flow. Make this easy for me--if you're extending an argument tell me, I will not do this work for you. Also, do not respond to an opponent's argument saying that their argument is non-unique or that your argument outweighs, again you need to tell me why; if you fail to tell me "why" this says to me as a judge "crap, my opponent is right and I have nothing to say in response to this point"
~I reserve the right to call for any evidence during the round or at the end if their is a disagreement over the validity of a card
Ways to lose in my rounds:
~Being a jerk--this pretty much goes without saying but if in anyway you are purposefully a jerk in a round (examples: spreading and running a K on a novice, intentionally misgendering your opponent, being blatantly racist, homophobic, islamophobic, xenophobic, etc., or if you're a guy, mansplaining). You get the point, I want to see a nice, clean round that is based on merit and education, not on one person yelling or personally attacking their opponent
~Some cases will contain sensitive subject matter. If you think your case may need a trigger warning, it probably does and if you are unsure, please ask me personally prior to the round. If there is a chance your case does contain sensitive subject matter, it is your responsibility to have a back-up case or at least a "PG" version of your case in the event that you opponent is uncomfortable with your initial case.
~More importantly than anything I just said, HAVE FUN! And if you have any questions after the round, please feel free to ask me in the cafeteria afterwards or email me; I will typically keep my flows!
Strath Haven '20 | Penn '24
experience: debated policy all of high school (haven't listened to spreading since though)
LD: Important things to note:
- i have little to no experience with ld, so things like reverse voter theory will need to be well explained and not rapid fire.
- It's been a bit since I've done anything with debate so I won't promise that I can flow spreading.
i've mostly run policy args during my time in debate, but i'll vote for anything if you tell me why i should.
(I haven't thought about these in a year because of covid. Good framing will help me a lot)
disads - good, im very familiar with these.
counterplans - also good
impact turns - going for big turns are fun, and i will enjoy them lots if you take lots of time warranting out stuff and having a fun time with seeing what you can do with them
k's - i'm open to args with most exp with args like Cap, Security, Bio, etc... high theory args are confusing (and im pretty sure everybody will think so too) so make sure you explain those well. i think neg will need a specific and well developed link debate and i think neg should still engage lots with the aff, because its likely i will weigh the k and the aff unless proven otherwise. case turns against k's are good.
k affs - i'm also open to these, although to be fair most of my time with k affs is when i read T against them. i think neg should allocate a good amount of time on case because i dont think its done enough
t/fw - i like to think fairness is an important impact, but i think you can have really good debates about education. make sure abuse story is clear. I'm generally compelled by t args if the interp/counter interp debate is really clear. i generally am compelled to believe that the ballot is only win/loss, but a good story might change what i think about the ballot in a round. i like to be a policymaker unless told otherwise.
theory - substance is better, i have sort of high threshold for voting on theory args and esp rejecting teams if theory wasnt dropped or it isn't very clear about why i should reject the team
--- condo is chill
--- LD: i will give more weight to theory args if explained well to me because of how things go in LD
speaks - i think mostly common sense will help when approaching this
--- timing and such should be done by teams themselves
--- being overtly rude will dock pts
--- disclosing is good practice
--- efficiency and reducing downtime between speeches/prep is awesome
I expect all competitors to be respectful, know the rules of their format, and follow the needed order of the debate.
I would categorize myself as more of a traditionalist versus progressive. I appreciate clarity and responding to as many of your opponent’s points as possible, and dislike spreading. Additionally, I am okay with fast, but not choking-like speed especially in the virtual format.
I want on the email chain! firstname.lastname@example.org
•I’m a sophomore at Fordham University. I did APDA my freshman year, haven't this year due to being online. I debated LD in the Seattle region for three years, one of which I captained. I started off traditional and ended up mostly running progressive stuff adapted to the local circuit- so a lot of CPs, more simple Ks, etc.
•I’ve judged six tournaments this season (as of 2/2/2021), both Varsity and Novice, so I’m decently updated on what the kids are up to these days
•I’m a Philosophy major and a Polisci minor (kind of, technically undeclared but that’s the plan), so I’m decently well versed in that stuff
General debate stuff/conduct:
•I will not tolerate racist, sexist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, anti-LGBT+, ableist, or otherwise bigoted rhetoric in this round. If you make arguments that are clearly bigoted, especially personally towards your opponent, I will drop you with as low of speaks as the tournament will allow. I know the difference between misspeaking or coming off the wrong way and actually endorsing oppression, and I'm not going to drop you because you made a comment that sounded weird. However, I'm not going to allow any kind of hate speech, obviously.
•With rare exceptions, the 2AR and the end of the NR should be clear, simplified speeches. I don't care if the round was a K aff vs 7 off, I want to hear clear, concise reasons as to why I should vote for you. Tell me why your framework or role of the ballot wins if it's in question. Then, tell me why you're right and your opponent is wrong. I want to see impacts. Write the winning ballot for your side.
•You don't have to sound super lay, I know what an underview is, but if the debate jargon you're using is somewhat new, please tell me what it means.
•SIGNPOST!!!!! It takes a few seconds to tell me in-round where you are on the flow. Like, say "on their contention two". Please.
•I don’t flow CX, so you need to restate and extend stuff from CX if you want it to become a voting issue.
•I'm 1000% fine with speed if I have the doc. If you're speaking at 400 words per minute, I can read along with you just fine. But I'm also a subtitles-on kinda person, by which I mean if you go super fast reading something I don't have access to I will have literally no idea what you're saying. If you're just reading off arguments you wrote in prep, you're fine obviously. But please don't spread a fully written theory shell that you're reading and I'm not, and expect me to know what your fourth standard subpoint B is.
•You need to extend and warrant a point if you want me to vote on it. Don’t ask me why I didn’t vote for you based on a one-sentence argument you made in the NC
•If you can, please turn on your camera. Having at least one of you visible helps me differentiate between the two of you, ESPECIALLY during CX. I also think it's a good norm generally. I know not everyone is able to do so, and I'd never fault someone for not turning their camera on, but I do appreciate it.
•Don't misgender your opponent. Ask their pronouns if you don't know them. Make an effort. This is polite.
•If you require any kind of accommodations PLEASE let me know! Email me!. I want the debate space to work for you.
Individual arguments (in order of what I find most to least interesting):
Note: I think calling yourself tabula rasa is wack. Every judge should be striving to minimize their preconceived biases in the round, and no judge can totally do so. Therefore, while I won't deliberately factor the following opinions into the round (I'm not going to drop you for running plans bad just cause I think it's annoying), I'm not going to pretend I'm above having such opinions altogether, so I might as well make you aware of them.
K: I love K debate! I think Ks, especially unique Ks and ones you cut and wrote yourself, make rounds really fun.
As specific arguments go, I have a solid understanding of leftist, feminist, and queer theory, although my familiarity with specific theorists will vary. You obviously still need to explain the theories I just listed, both for myself and your opponent, but know I'm bringing more prior knowledge to a round about Butler than about, say, anthropocentrism.
I'm totally down for a 1AR K. Reps Ks especially can be legitimized at any point in the round (except for the 2AR, I guess... any link so awful to justify that would have to be so bad that I probably would've dropped them for open bigotry already), but I'm sure there are 1AR Ks that aren't that.
If you're nonblack, don't run afropessimism, I will not vote for you. I don't know a lot about other pessimistic arguments, so I'm not currently opposed to, say, straight cisgender people running queerpessimism, although you’re welcome make that argument.
K Affs: I think K affs are super cool and I have no problem seeing them. I'm not very familiar with them, especially those with performance aspects, but I'm into it none the less. Go ahead and run them, just make it clear to me what I'm voting on.
Traditional: Traditional debate is cool and I respect it. I think framework (as in ethical framework, not technical/ debate-y) is absolutely the highlight of trad LD, and when done well can be more interesting than a lot of LARP-y debates. You should focus on the value criterion and then look at the offense through that lens. I don't want to see value debate unless there's real clash, which I highly doubt there will be.
Plans, Counterplans, DAs: Not much to say here. I better see some good impact calc. Make sure your evidence actually says what you think it says.
Theory: Theory is... fine. I think debating about the imaginary rules of debate is somewhat annoying, and I wish people reserved theory for rounds where it was actually somewhat necessary. I'm also specifically somewhat biased against topic/real world education as a voter because theory itself is… literally not that. I think frivolous theory (like "plans bad", not "do this extremely niche thing before the round", I'll cover that later) is an especially bad strat. All that being said, you can run theory, I won't weigh theory less because of my biases, etc. I'll err on the side of drop the arg and no RVIs, but you can change that.
Meme cases: If it's fine with YOUR OPPONENT then go ahead. Please check with them, it's not funny if it's just you going off and them trying to actually debate. If they're cool with it I'm cool with it. This isn't near the end because I don't like funny cases. I think they can be great! It's near the end because it's not its own argument structure.
Stuff I won't vote on: I'm not going to vote off spikes/NIBs/whatever you wanna call them. Basically, if the argument is just something fully unrelated to debate or to the round that isn't gonna facilitate meaningful debate, I'm not going to vote for it. You should be debating, not trying to trap your opponent with "affirm means to strongly state, I strongly stated the resolution, so I fulfilled my burden" or theory like "debaters must send everyone in the round a picture of a soap dispenser before the AC".
I use speaks for a holistic evaluation of your speeches’ efficiency/quality: basically, “how well did you debate?” vs “did you win?”. I’m looking for 1ARs and NC oncases (as in the rebuttal portion) with good coverage that sets you up to win, and NRs and 2ARs that close up the round and tell me how to vote. Use good strategy and time management. Tell me what a ballot for your side looks like. I’m most likely to give low point wins in rounds where the W is only based on one layer of the flow, one dropped point, etc, without which the round would’ve swung the other way.
30: You won. All of your speeches were the best they could be. You literally wrote my ballot for me. I can't imagine how anyone would improve on this. I won’t give a 30 as a high point loss.
29: Your speeches were (almost) perfect. My decision was very easy.
28: Minor issues, maybe with structure/time allocation or small mistakes, but your speeches fulfilled their purposes well. Outcome maybe wasn't obvious, but all the arguments I needed to decide were actively discussed.
27: Speeches were messy/hard to follow OR a significant error was made: lacking weighing/layering, barely addressing major arguments, dropping (less major) arguments, etc. My decision was significantly harder than it needed to be.
26: Round was messy AND you made significant errors. Hard to follow or evaluate.
25 or below: You did something deeply offensive or genuinely morally wrong.
Email me if you have any questions, or ask once we're all in round. That's all!
Hi, my name is Joel Swirnoff, and I have done policy debate at Lexington High School in MA for 3 years. I use he/him/his pronouns, and it would be great if you could let me know what yours are, as well as your preferred name if it is different than what is listed on tabroom.
Overall/if you have time:
Please signpost! Tell me what flows I need and in what order for your speech, and say "and" in between cards.
tech>truth. This doesn't mean you can just make any claim however, you also need a warrant. If you have a sufficient one, I will presume it is true until the other team makes an argument against it.
Framing ends up being really important in my decision. More on this below.
Spreading is fine, but if I cannot understand you I won't be able to flow what you say. If you are more comfortable not spreading, don't! In the end, it's about what you say, not about flexing how quickly you can talk.
Clarity is super important too, for the reasons above.
Make sure you are extending warrants when you make any extensions! If you tell me "extend Swirnoff- that turns the link" I want to know HOW it does that.
Dropped arguments are concessions, but it is up to you to capitalize on them. Like I said above, I want to hear why that concession wins you the debate, rather than you telling me it wins the debate. Say things like "they dropped our Swirnoff card, this means only the plan leads to xyz impact as..."
Organization is key for both you and me. It helps everyone in the round when you tell us you are moving on to another specific part of the debate. This means saying clearly when you are moving to another flow, or even when moving to another part of a contention (for example: "now onto the uniqueness of the disadd")
Big fan of impact calc, especially when it is explained well! In closer rounds, this and framing is usually how you win.
In your last speech, tell me why you win the debate. Outline the arguments you are extending and say what my ballot should say.
Things specific to Novice Policy Debate:
A note: please don't say you "solve for racism," you don't.
Case: In the words of Talia Blatt, Devanshi Bhangle, and Bill Wu, case is your child, so take care of it. If you are on the aff remember that you start with the burden of proof.
Framing: As mentioned above, framing is really important in my decision. I will default to a utilitarian framework unless told otherwise. This means for soft left affs, a lot of what will likely end up going into your win is an explanation as to why we should prefer your framing of the round. For the neg, you will have to defend your framework as well. I've found in rounds that each team can win under each framework, the explanation just needs to be there.
DAs: DAs are the epitome of tech>truth, and I love debates over DAs if the link is thought out well and is contextualized to the plan. Take me through the different parts of the debate: this will organize my flow best. Tell me what's unique, what the link is, what the internal link is, and what the impact is. One thing I've seen a lot this year is that it's really hard for me to vote on a DA when there isn't a coherent link chain. So please, please, in your 2nr flesh it all out for me and weigh it at the end.
CPs: CPs that are contextualized to the aff are super strong, but remember you always always always have to prove that it is mutually exclusive from the aff. As I mentioned before, take me through all the parts of the CP. For the aff, this means going through POSTAL.
Conditionality: If you are running one or two conditional advocacies, it probably isn't abusive (two can be argued). More than that you've got a real debate on your hands, but I can be swayed either way.
Ks: I love Ks like Cap and Security! If it is well thought out and contextualized to the aff, I'll be a big fan. Make sure you prove to me that the world of the alternative is better than the world of the aff and status quo. If your alt is "Reject the Aff" it's gonna be a much harder sell to me than real substantial change (eg communism as an alt to capitalism)
T: The neg will have to win a couple parts of the debate in order to win T, but it is definitely doable if you devote your 2nr to it. You'll first have to win that the aff is violating the resolution. This includes a good definition of the language in the resolution you think the aff is violating. From there, you have to prove that what the aff is doing is bad for debate or is abusive. I think that fairness IS a voter (sorry Kaz), but it can also be used as an internal link depending on how you see it.
Things specific to Novice LD:
Framework: I love debates about values and criteria. If you can win your framework it's much more likely that you win the round. A well thought out criterion that fits your evidence well makes the round an engaging one that will probably help your speaks.
Definitions: These can really be your friend! Later in the debate you might be having an argument over how certain actions pan out in the world of the debate, and having a strong definition (it's helpful to include why this definition is good) can decide whether I choose yours or theirs.
You don't need to say "I affirm/negate resolved" or "I urge you to vote aff/neg." I'm aware, but it's not a problem if you do, I just think you should be saving time for actual substance.
Open CX- I don't really care
What should you call me- "judge" is fine
Open speeches- I'd prefer not, but it's not the end of the world. I'll flow it but it probably mentally holds more weight if the actual speech giver says it
Cameras on- I'd prefer it if you had your camera on, but if you're not comfortable don't feel pressured to do so.
New arguments from the 2ac on- I'd really prefer it if you didn't. Add ons are okay but it's much better if you just go with the arguments that came out of the 1ac and 1nc. Exceptions are if a team does something within the bold below.
Keeping track of prep- I'll do my best to keep track of prep but I don't always remember to. Consider this a panopticon tho- I am keeping track of your prep and speaks will go down if you steal.
Speaker points- I start out at 28.3-28.5 and will go up or down based on the debate. I consider clarity, respectfulness, arguments made, quick-wittedness, etc. The highest speaks I have given so far: 29.5. The average speaker points I gave at the last tournament I judged: 28.5 The median speaker points I gave at the last tournament I judged: 28.4
Be nice! Respectfulness will always liken me to giving you higher speaks. If there is a lack of respect or if there is demoralization between opponents, it'll likely lead to lower speaks, especially when this occurs from a male team towards a female or other identifying team.
Racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, ableism, or any comments of the like will automatically dock speaker points and may lead to a loss.
Some stuff about me that I might give you plus speaks on: I'm a big fan of soccer (I'm a Man Utd fan) and really all sports, so if you want I'd be down to talk about it before the round. Also, if you can make jokes about Lex Debate or anyone in it I'll definitely appreciate it.
If you have any questions, please ask, and have fun!
I am a parent judge. Please speak loudly and clearly at a moderate pace. If I cannot understand you, I cannot vote for you. I listen for weighing; please give me clear reasons why you should win.
I’m currently a first-year student at Duke and I competed mainly in Congressional Debate during high school and have had experience in Public Forum.
In Congress - I will be looking at strong link chains in your argument. Everything has to make sense if you want to be scored well. Argumentation will be valued over presentation (probably around 75% argumentation 25% presentation). Make sure you are respectful to your fellow competitors. I want to see a lot of clash and no rehashed arguments. If you can pull off a strong refutation/crystalization speech that will be scored better than bringing up two new points towards the end of the debate. Make sure you ask lots of good questions and are attentive throughout the debate. POs should be fair, respectful, and efficient. If I consider your behavior or your arguments as anything remotely sexist, racist, homophobic, or along the same lines of offensive will be immediately dropped.
In PF - Please no spreading or talking obnoxiously loud just to talk over your competitors. Make sure your link chains are strong and everything is as clear as possible. I'll want to see you cite from strong sources and are well prepared. If you want me to vote on your side I'll have to see a humanized impact (human reason). Presentation doesn't really matter to me I'll look at your argumentation and how you respond to your opponents mainly. If I consider your behavior or your arguments as anything remotely sexist, racist, homophobic, or along the same lines of offensive will be immediately dropped.
hi! my name is michelle, i go by she/her pronouns, and if you're reading this i'm probably judging you soon whoot whoot! novice year is all about learning so if there's anything you wanna work on specifically, feel free to tell me before the round. add these emails to the chain pls and thx: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- be clear, organized, and explain your arguments
- PLEASE WEIGH AND COMPARE ARGS AND BE OBVIOUS ABOUT IT (impact calc is ur best friend)
- time yourself and keep track of your own prep
- be nice, make the round a safe and fun learning environment
- you do you, but i'm not the most experienced in high theory ks or other strange theory
- if your comfortable, pls turn on your cameras
- if you have any questions before, during, or after the round about literally anything never hesitate to ask!
- currently a junior at lexington high school
- this is my 3rd year doing policy debate
- i'm part of 2a gang (second affirmative speaker)
- i lovelovelove bts, pls ask me or talk to me abt bts :))
- in among us i am a white body with a plunger
about the debate:
- a complete argument has a claim, warrants, and impact (all are important but most people will forget warrants and not use impacts)
- i shall say this many times, please weigh your arguments and do comparisons with your opponent's arguments (it helps me make a decision and it'll make ur debates much more in depth and fun). don't just say we have a higher probability, magnitude, and timeframe, explain why and how they interact with each other on both sides
- tech > truth (this means i will look at the arguments on the flow and what has been said, not what is my or your personal opinion. you should point our dropped args and blow up ur important ones. that being said, i will not value "tech" if it is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or in any way disrespectful because that wouldn't be very cash money of you please use ur best judgement)
- clarity > speed (no one should be trying too hard for speed right now)
- organization!! tell me which arguments you're responding to/extending and when you switch flows. please roadmap before you start your speech, which is telling me the order of flows in your speech
- write my ballot for me! this takes lots of practice but make your last speeches big picture and tell me what are the most important points from the round and what i should care about
- did someone say impact calc? did someone say evidence comparison? did someone say weighing across multiple flows? :0 yes indeed i said it (key word: outweighs)
i've judge a couple ld rounds, but i'm still unfamiliar with some jargons or ld-specific theory. i can flow your arguments, but i might need a little more explanation.
good luck and have fun!!
I expect all competitors to be respectful, know the rules of their format and follow the needed order of the debate. I would categorize myself as more of a traditionalist versus progressive. I would appreciate all competitors speak loud and clear AND clearly state their contentions.