Damus Hollywood Invitational
2020 — NSDA Campus, CA/US
Varsity Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
TOC: I am conflicted with Peninsula and Orange Lutheran AZ.
1. Record your speeches. If you don't have a recording and I think you clipped, you will lose.
2. Send your analytics for fast theory/phil/tricks debates.
3. My email is email@example.com. NSDA Fileshare is fine too.
4. I will clear 3 times before I stop flowing.
5. No clarification questions regarding what was/wasn't read before CX - start CX and ask any questions you need. Send marked doc after CX and take prep if you need time to mark it.
I'm Viren (pronounced "V-rain") debated LD for 3 years and graduated from Northwood High School (Irvine, CA) in 2019. I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior year.
The link to my senior year wiki: https://opencaselist.com/hsld18/Northwood/ViAb
What I read in high school (aka the kinds of debates I enjoy seeing):
Aff - big stick, soft left
Neg - topic da+advantage cp, politics/elections+states, afropessimism, capitalism, topicality (NOT NEBEL T)
- Will not vote on anything that requires I always affirm or always negate.
- Will not vote anything that took place outside the debate that is unverifiable.
- No moral skepticism.
- You must ask questions relevant to the debate in CX. No "How's your day?"
- You must disclose full text OR cites+open-source. Failure to do either is an automatic L 27 if it's brought to my attention.
- Anything evidence ethics related: clipping, reading falsified evidence, reading evidence not accessible publicly, anything inauthentic or deliberately intended to deceive. If someone makes an evidence ethics claim, the round will be decided on the claim, and I will stop the round if I am the only judge. Automatic L 25 to the loser of the claim, W 30 to the winner. If no claim is made but I notice it, the debate will still be decided on ethics, but I will let the debate continue because I think practicing speeches in a competitive setting is still valuable. In an elim, my decision will hinge on evidence ethics regardless of what happens in the rest of the debate.
- Nothing blatantly designed to attack or harm someone in the room. Nothing "_____ist" or "______phobic." Use the right pronouns or gender neutral pronouns if no pronoun is given. Automatic L 20 otherwise
Things I would strongly prefer not to see and have a very high threshold for voting on (if I have to vote for it, it will certainly hurt your speaks):
- Nebel T, plans bad, aff must defend whole res, 1 card "kritiks", etc. Keep it out of your 1NC and read a real argument in its place.
- Any rebuttal that collapses to bad theory, with disclosure being the only exception. Everything else is probably bad theory and/or not drop the debater. Note: going for counterplan competition does not fall under this umbrella, neither does going for independent voting issues.
- Any arguments centered around "aff [x] choice"
- "Independent voting issues" that aren't actually dealing with offensive in-round activity. If you are pointing out offensive or insensitive behavior, chances are I'd already vote against them.
- An RVI
- Theory: Drop the arg for all except condo and disclosure; reasonability
- Topicality: competing interps
- Comparative worlds > truth testing, epistemic modesty
- Affs must advocate for a shift from the status quo
- Procedurals "come before" the K (and pretty much anything else)
- Pre vs post fiat distinction doesn't make sense. Everything is an impact and up for comparison.
Softer defaults (much more easily swayed):
- Agent, process, consult, delay, sunset = illegitimate
- Plantext in a vacuum
- Affs get to weigh the case against the K.
- Sufficiency framing, judge kick, auto-protect 2nr as best as possible
- Affs should defend a shift from the status quo as determined by words in the resolution. This typically entails government action but is up for debate.
Email chains and questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Me - He/Him Gunn High School '20 WUSTL '25. Debating college policy @ WashU. Mostly judge policy, have experience coaching and judging LD.
General - Tech > Truth. Do your thing.
NATO Topic - Judged a lot of camp rounds. Kritikal positions feel strong, as well as certain counterplans.
K vs. Policy Affs - Yes. Overviews should be kept to what you really need. Aff perms should be explained past the tagline. I default to judge kicking the alt.
K Affs - Go for it. Voted every possible way on T. On the neg, case is underrated and can be your 2NR.
T - Big fan. You need a caselist. Reasonability is a question of the C/I, not the AFF. I default to competing interps.
DA - Both 0 risk and 100% risk exist.
CP - Nothing's off the table until the aff reads theory. Condo is probably good. I default to judge kick.
Case - Underdebated. Case turns are viable 2NR options.
Theory - I will vote on disclosure, ASPEC, etc. Need warrants to win reject the team the aff.
Speaks - Average around 28.3 for varsity policy. Good debate around 28.7. Below 28 there should be something specific for you to reevaluate.
Misc. - Please insert textual perms. Justify inserting rehighlightings. I don't want a card doc unless I ask for one, I'll read every card in the round and value high-quality evidence. If you have any questions about my paradigm, feel free to ask before the round. If you still have questions after a debate, email me.
Sophomore at GW, debated for Peninsula for 4 years
Add me to the email chain:
An argument requires a claim, warrant, and evidence to be considered. Partial arguments are not arguments.
Offense defense paradigm.
Tl;dr: I'm a younger, more naive version of this guy -
Also, Shree Awsare's perspective on debate is something I firmly believe in and subscribe to, and is something I think all debaters should be aware of:
"My ideal debate involves two teams who read well-researched positions, engage in line-by-line refutation of their opponents’ arguments, and demonstrate strategic choice-making and vertical development of arguments. Not all debate is good debate. It is my firm belief that any model of debate (whatever the content) that disincentivizes any of the aforementioned qualities is an inferior product that is simultaneously less rigorous and less enjoyable."
I very much enjoy and privilege good case debating - something that I think is getting rarer to the detriment of the activity. When I see it, you will find it reflected in speaker points, and probably the ballot too. Note: the best case debating doesn't usually require a lot of evidence. Writers on the internet publish a lot of very questionable material that, given a little world knowledge and fast research skills, you should be able to easily dismantle. 1ACs are often constructed very poorly, so take advantage of this.
2As: I get it, I was there too - you have a lot to get through and very little time. Being clear and concise, though, will benefit you a lot more than reading the 17th card on the politics disad.
My favorite kind of debate. Tricky or smart CPs earn extra points. Backfile CPs like consult NATO that don't require topic knowledge won't earn extra points.
"Sufficiency framing" against affs with linear impacts gets really annoying. Spend time explaining why the counterplan solves most or all of the aff, and why the risk of the DA outweighs the rest of the aff the CP might not solve.
Don't forget to explain why the counterplan solves the specific impacts of the aff (especially if it has a lot of planks), and explain why its a net benefit.
Condo is good. Like most theory, I have a high threshold for going for it in the 2AR (barring dropped theory, CPs that steal the aff, etc)
Default to judge kick.
Disads with specific link evidence are great. Disads with mostly just spin are fine. Disads with evidence and spin are fantastic.
Turns case and solves the case are really important on DAs, especially if they are dropped.
Impact comparison wins debates. Please don't say: "magnitude - extinction! timeframe - its happening now! probability: its happening now!"
That's not to dis extinction impacts, I love them, I just have higher standards than the example above for impact calc.
Impacts and uniqueness don't matter so much to me when evaluating the probability of a DA as the link. If the link doesn't exist, the DA doesn't exist. Good debating on this part of the DA is crucial.
I'm fine with any kritik as long as it indicts the thesis of the aff. If it doesn't, then it will be hard for you to get my ballot. Good links are really important - rehighlight evidence from the 1AC. The negative cannot just prove the world is bad, but that the aff is bad. Similarly, state bad is not a link.
Role of the ballot = roll of the eyes.
Too often, debaters assert that the kritik link exists without ever referencing a single piece of 1AC evidence or explicitly quoting lines from the affirmative. This is lazy debating. Asserting the link and then reexplaining it is not sufficient to demonstrate that the affirmative links to the kritik! (e.g., X evidence says we have a libidinal desire to do Y, therefore the aff also has a libidinal desire to do Y = lazy) You have to provide evidence. If you're extending a kritik, you should explicitly quote the aff, rehighlight aff evidence, or do explanatory work of equivalent evidentiary caliber, or I'll assume evidence for the link doesn't exist, and a simple aff response of "no link, they don't have any evidence, didn't say the aff is a bad idea" with an extended permutation explanation will be enough for me to vote affirmative.
Some may say this is a high burden, but you wouldn't vote for a disad if you didn't have evidence specific to the aff (or at least explained/spun in a way to demonstrate that the evidence does in fact describe the aff!), so it seems to me to be a good standard to filter out kritiks that aren't actually relevant to the debate. If the aff really does link to the kritik, you should be able to prove it.
The affirmative gets to weigh the aff - but needs to defend the assumptions of the 1AC. Its really easy to use framework to prove that the neg should get an alt, it is going to be really hard for you to prove the aff shouldn't get to weigh the consequences of hypothetical implementation.
I am fine with T. You should go for it like you would a CP and a DA, with standards as your offense. The aff needs offense and explanation as to why that turns the neg's standards. A strong argument that impacts out limits will go a long way to getting my ballot. Whatever side you are on you need to paint a picture of what the topic looks like, preferably with caselists, and a quick explanation as to why these cases matter.
Topicality v K affs:
First, you should probably read a plan.
The world is bad is aff ground.
Debate is a game and fairness is the best impact. I've come to think that some amount of debating about the norms of debate is alright, maybe even slightly good. Debaters need to understand and learn why the norms of policy debate are how they are.
What makes policy fundamentally different from other types of debate is 1) its depth of research and 2) its in-round and out-of-round strategic decisionmaking, which derives from the competing role-based obligations of the affirmative and negative. T vs K aff debating, I think, often misses this, and the value of policy debate as a game, and thus a kind of play that has rules, necessitates restrictions that guide the process of our research and hone our strategic thinking. If debaters focused more on how their vision of debate impacted those two fundamental parts of policy debate - on the impact and the internal link level - I think these debates would be a lot more interesting and engaging.
This is both for those who appreciate the movie Ratatouille and for those who are reading innovative and creative arguments:
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends."
West High School '20 (Salt Lake City)
Add me to the email chain --- email@example.com.
Nothing in this paradigm is set in stone and will be flipped by the quality of debating, so do what you're best at. That being said, I won't vote for arguments that I don't understand.
Judge instruction matters --- Be sure to be answering the "so what's" and make "even-if" statement in rebuttals.
I have no topic knowledge, so explaining your stuff, acronyms, etc will benefit you.
Please name the email chain something coherent --- It won't boost speaks but I'll like you more.
Be nice to each other --- Occasional assertiveness is obviously fine, but excessive call-outs, interruptions, etc. will lower your speaks.
Slow down and emphasize --- You are not as clear as you think you are. At the least, don't start your speech at 100% speed.
If my camera is off, I'm probably not at my computer and you should wait.
Again, no topic knowledge, so my threshold for explanations is naturally going to be a bit higher.
Winning requires good evidence and a lot of it. If you are going for an artificial interp with bad evidence, I'll likely be on the side of predictability, no matter how bad the aff explodes limits.
Competing interps > reasonability.
Aff teams should go for/explain reasonability as offensive, not just "good is good enough."
I'm pretty neg leaning on most theory issues omitting consult and word PICs.
I will only judge kick if the 2NR says so. 1AR's should pre-empt this.
I'm ok with analytical counterplans if it's logical and defensible, not the no-card Con Con CP.
Not sure who needs to hear this... but explaining perm do both with only those words is not an argument. I will have a very high threshold for any 1AR spins, and the neg will get full leeway in answering.
2A's should make more smart and well-articulated perms, which includes making perm text's when necessary.
Turns/solves case is a lethal argument (especially carded), but it's often done poorly. Don't fabricate turns case arguments if they don't exist.
0% risk is a thing, but it's also a thing for the aff so who cares.
Internal links usually suck on most DA's. If the evidence for it is good, I'll be very happy, but if it's bad and the aff says nothing, I'll be very not happy.
I'll be noticeably annoyed if your 1NC shell is not a complete argument.
In-depth link debating is essential and will be rewarded --- this means specific research, re-highlighting evidence, all that good stuff. I cannot stress how important creating a clear link story is (and how the alt resolves it).
Links to: the action of the plan > knowledge production > actor > fiat.
Examples with link/alt arguments are extremely helpful and under-utilized.
You should be making turns case arguments related to how your theory of power implicates the aff, their strategy of reformism, etc. But, just like with DA's, these need to make sense, and you shouldn't half-ass them if they aren't a thing.
Overviews = Overrated, but if you have one, don't lie about the size of it.
I'll probably let them weigh the aff, but it's fair game for the neg to problematize the logic I approach that with or what that entails/looks like.
Aff teams often lose when they forget about the aff and the assumptions they've already presented.
Grouping perms = facepalm.
I'm most familiar with the common kritiks (Settler Colonialism, Anti-Blackness, Cap, and Security) and probably have a baseline understanding of most other K's. My familiarity with your literature base does not mean I'll fill in the blanks for your explanations, so breaking down your language is key.
For the Aff:
Your offense should probably be in the direction of the topic, and that goes beyond reading a few cards about a theory of power and one topic link.
Arguments by analogies make me sad.
Smart counter-interps that capture parts of neg offense make me happy, but this (usually) also means counter-defining words in the resolution. It's cool if you're not doing that, as long as there is a consistent and clear model of debate articulated that is somewhat limiting and isn't a total stretch.
Aff teams should get better at answering things that aren't T and Cap, otherwise, you deserve the L.
K Affs probably shouldn't get perms but that's up to y'all ig.
For the Neg:
More neg teams should be going for other things besides T. Presumption and impact turns are heavily underutilized, especially given that most aff teams brush them off.
I'm more in the camp of procedural fairness because of how easily straight turnable advocacy skills and other impacts are, but I can easily be convinced otherwise.
Neg teams often lose when they get too block-dependent and fail to answer the nuances of the aff's arguments. An offensive argument that insinuates the state is unethical is not sufficiently answered by your 'state good' block.
Great case debating on both sides will almost always guarantee higher speaks from me.
Please leave framing pages on the education topic. They are not the silver bullet that you think they are.
I think one of the most important benefits of this activity is research skills, and teams often get away with reading horrible evidence. I'll reward good cards, but you shouldn't be afraid to (adequately) hype up your evidence or trash theirs.
Please provide content warnings for your speeches if they're necessary or requested. I don't understand why this is not a more common practice in this community.
Please don't ever ask "Why vote aff?"
If you break a new aff and extend condo past the block, your speaks are capped at 27.8.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask/email me before the round.
LAMDL and a couple of LDers currently. Previous affiliations don't really matter as of now.
Update for Jack Howe (first major in person tourney of the year).
I will more than likely be masking throughout the tournament when it is a major national tourney as we have many out of state teams who show up. I expect teams in my rounds to respect it.
I do have a hearing problem in my right ear. If I've never heard you b4 or it's the first round of the day. PLEASE go about 80% of your normal spread for about 20 seconds so I can get acclimated to your voice. If you don't, I'm going to miss a good chunk of your first minute or so. I know people pref partly through speaker points. My default starts at 28.5 and goes up from there. If i think you get to an elim round, you'll prob get 29.0+
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
for lders scroll down to the ld section
Performances and K Affs: I like em. I'd prefer you have a topic link but I've voted for teams before that were blatantly not topical. Adhering to the thesis of your k aff and/or performance is important. Please don't run a Fem aff and then proceed to misgender someone in the round. It can get infuriating at times. I'd like an explanation of the theory of power of the aff coming into the 2ac that has sufficient contextualizing to whatever k the neg is reading. Just extending your aff can be okay but more contextualization so the turns/alt debate can be cleaner is always preferred. Just because you run a K aff doesn't mean I'll vote for you though. I find pomo k affs to be harder to evaluate compared to others but if fleshed out during the round, I'll vote for it. Run your poem. Run your narrative. Run your music. Run your 15 card k aff dump. Whatever. just make sure it makes sense and I'll try my best to evaluate it as I would other positions
Framework T: Def run it. My personal preference runs more on the line that the aff must be able to defend their model of debate. If they decide excluding portions of the resolution within their position is a good thing, but can't defend that, they probably don't deserve the ballot. I lean more on epis impx and see procedural fairness as an internal link to something else but I'll default to whatever the debaters tell me and only intervene in that regard if no one wins the argument.
Having a case list of negs you can run and cannot run and why they're good or bad is convincing. Having a story around aff limits and why they matter in the context of the debate and your impacts matter. buzz words and blocks won't be enough. really explain it to me so I have a clear area I can circle on my flow (well put ** on my excel sheet) that I can pull the trigger on. FYI. TVA without a clear plantext with advantages and a solvency story is not sufficient to win that argument. Referencing other schools' affs also prob won't help you since I could care less about what most affs are and i'm not going to do extra research during rfd time to look up at the wiki. If it's important enough to reference, you can tell me how the tva functions to solve/allow for good ground for both sides of the debate. shrug.
Topicality: Go for it. I err on competing interps and have voted for wonky T's and aff's answers to t. Reasonability with really good warrants can also convince but i'd rather not vote on if it I can help it. Your interps need to be carded. I'm done with aff debaters who have counter interps that are not backed up by data. If you read that and the neg doesn't concede the we meet, you'll prob never get the ballot. As a side not for ld, please slow a bit down when ur on this flow as most debates centered on T are very light on cards and heavy on spreading and flowing analytics for minutes on end can be difficult. I'm not looking at the doc so if I miss a blippy arg that you go for? ooops.
Kritiks: I think K's are a good thing. I think running kritiques as a way to educate not only yourself but those around you is a good thing. Spend time during cx or the block (2nr in ld) to really develop a well articulated link story. Too many times the 1nc will just read generic link cards and never really give me portions of the aff that fit into those links and why they bite the theory of power. That's bad. If I can't see how the aff links, 0 chance will I vote on a K. If you're going 1 off K, please add framework. I'm okay with not evaluating the aff if they lead to a bad for debating. In that regard I think affs underutilized the potential spin they can use in order to have access to all portions of the aff.
Floating piks are probably bad. vague alts that shift between one speech and the next are probably bad. call it out please.
Perms are good. Running the K conditionally with a ROB is probably bad esp if you kick out of the K and there's a random link turn or perm argument coming out of the aff...
CP: I like counterplans. I err neg on condo theory to a degree unless the amount of conditional advocacies gets to the point the aff is forced to double turn themselves in order to answer all those off cases. I can be convinced to vote aff easily once the abuse occurs. But if the advocacies are fine with each other, then you're gtg. If no abuse and debate comes down to condo, I can pull the trigger for the aff, they just need to win the tech. I dislike multiplank cps but ld has been heavily leaning towards billions of planks so whatever. Run your abusive counterplans. adv cps are good. pics are generally good. private actor cps and the like are probably bad.
If you drop the perm. You'll probably lose. There's no excuse. don't drop it.
Prefer the Disad/NB be on another flow as it keeps my flows a little cleaner and allows the neg to be able to pivot out of the cp and go for the disad vs the case.
DA: Use it. the more the merrier. can't be conditional if you run 6 disads, right? keep your story on how the disad turns and out weighs case and you're good. problem for me on voting for disads has usually been the impact calc debate. some debates just get messy and I don't know how the impacts of the disad vs the aff work. At that point I'm sorta lost and will have to spend time being grumpy to try to clear the picture up as much as I can. I love good UQ debates. links and internal link debates, impact turns (to a degree). This is an election year so I know everyone will be running the presidential elections disad as well as some senate elections disads. That's fine. Just please keep your internal link chain concise. If the internal links are dubious at best to get to a terminal impact, my threshold for the aff answering it will likely be low.
Case debate: Go for a dropped case turn. So many debates could be resolved very quickly if the Neg would only look at the conceded case turns and solvency deficits and just go for it. In that same sense. Defend your case. If the neg undercovers case, what does that mean as a whole for the debate? If you solve the impx coming out of the 1nc... it should do so some interesting things in relation to other positions, right? ?
Online Debate: I have amazing hardware now for online debate. That doesn't mean everyone does though. If possible please don't go as fast as humanly possible because debate platforms are still limited on how clear communications can be. Coupled that with being in a panel with observers, it's even more important to think about access for the community and competitors/judges.
If the speech cuts out due to internet issues, depending on the length, I will either have you restart from that spot you cut off or will ask what you said (if less than 5-10 seconds). I trust that the people I'm judging will not do ethically questionable actions because of the online format. My tech is good enough that unless you're internet suddenly cuts off, I will be able to keep track through most of it and if I find out you're lying to me or the competitor about what you said, a 25/L will be in the future. I put my trust in the debaters I judge. Don't abuse it.
For LD debaters:
I coach a trad lder as well so I get how it works. Just do you and lets have a fun round.
Update for sept/oct HC topic: Specific drug prescription pics are not real pics of SP. At best they're a pic of a pic and that's not really where you want to get with me on a theory debate or whether or not the cp even competes.
secondly, I'm finding myself voting AFF a lot on K debates because K debaters have not been extrapolating the link story of the K to the specific adv/storyline of the aff. It's on my paradigm at the top, If i can't see a link to the aff, I have no problem voting aff on a no link/perm or no link/link turn story. Please talk about the aff.
finally, I'm finding that after 2 years of online debate, in person debate is a breath of fresh air. Don't be afraid to banter and socialize with your opponents or anyone else in the room when it's time for me to write out my RFD.
On a mutual pref sheet this is how I would pref me.
1: Larp V K, K v T/fw +
2: larp v larp. K v K
3: phil, heavy theory debaters and heavy T debates
4: Pomo K's that look like gibberish to me
5: spark, overpop, death good, nebel, trix
update for the sept/oct topic: my threshold on theory vs cheaty counterplans is pretty low. keep that in mind.
Enunciate your claims and slow down a bit so I can actually flow it. When half the constructive is literally just analytics and you're 300+ wpm... that's lit unflowable and I'm not going to the docs to resolve that. If you lose because it's not on my flow? Shrug. Don't care.
Jasmine Stidham "You have the power to stop Nebel t in this activity" Mission accepted.
NO NEBEL. THE 1AR JUST HAS TO SAY "NO" AND WE ARE DONE ON THAT FLOW.
yes 1ar theory. no rvis.
Aff's are capped at 29.2 if they include underview theory about why they get rvis and 1ar stuff.
I prefer a substantive debate with 3-4 off to something like 13 off. I'll flow you regardless but I reserve the right roast you.
Tricks are not a viable strat in front of me. Not voting for it.
Theory is good if it isn't a blippy mess. Just saying a team is "condo" and they should lose without an interp, and why condo is problematic will not get you a ballot.
Lastly, please be nice to each other. LD is such a short event that to there's really no point to get toxic from 2 cx's. If the round gets toxic. Whoever initiated the toxicity will not be able to receive anything higher than a 27.5.
Please put me on the chain and feel free to send any questions here: email@example.com
Do whatever you want. None of the biases listed below are so strong as to override who did the better debating, but adjusting to my priors could maximize your chances of winning and result in better speaks. That being said, I probably will come down on policy side against the K if the debate is exactly even.
I don't have much familiarity with the Water topic so please over explain if possible.
Being nice in round, evidence quality, and efficient line-by-line are the most important things to me / will be rewarded the most with speaks.
K: I agree with Julian here:
“I will weigh the aff unless convinced otherwise. I enjoy alt debating far, far more than FW. Aff-specific link explanation will be rewarded highly. I am most likely to vote for a K if it uses its critical theory and explanatory power to directly diminish aff solvency rather than try to access a larger impact. If debated like a critical CP, DA, and case push, you will be rewarded.”
CP: Lean neg pretty heavily on most theory but could go either way on process cps, depending on the quality / specificity of the cp and in-round theory debating. I won't judge kick unless told to.
DA: Nothing new to say really. Think that generic DAs are probably underutilized, so no worries going for those in front of me.
K Affs / FW: I went for framework many times in high school, so I judge these rounds with the experience of having been on the neg vs k affs more so than being on the aff vs fw. For affs, I find straight up impact turns / k’s of fw more persuasive than c/i + defining words in the rez. For the neg, I’m more of a skills / education impact person, but still will listen to fairness / clash impacts.
T: Please please give me more background on the topic than you would normally. I have no idea what the core of the topic, community consensus, or what the best core generics are. The team that more specifically describes what their vision of the topic usually seems to win these debates.
Speaker Points: Mine are probably too inflated. Will reward kind debaters who are enjoying themselves in the activity.
Damien ’20 —> UC Davis ’24
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please slow down on analytics. It is really hard sometimes to hear debates online so doing this is purely for your own benefit.
I debated for four years at Damien High School. I had some bids and participated at the TOC. I also did pretty well at some national tournaments so I would like to think that I know stuff about debate and that I can make a good decision most of the time. I am not perfect, but I will do my best to understand the round and adjudicate accordingly.
People that Shaped my Debate Philosophy
Christina Phillips, Mike Shackelford, Jon Sharp, Chris Paredes, Michael Wimsatt, Cade Cottrell, Christian Bato, Jyleesa Hampton, Nate Fleming, and of course Kelly Ye
Debate is a unique environment where education and competitive prowess intersect. It is a competition, but education is intrinsic to discussion that takes place. Line by line is important so please try to be organized. I of course do not have a perfect flow, but I will do my best to catch every argument. Tech comes before truth within reason. I want you to write my ballot for me in the 2NR/2AR. I will not vote on blatantly problematic arguments and will likely punish you via speaker point reduction if you make them. Anything done that jeopardizes the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the round will result in an auto loss and the necessary disciplinary actions will be taken. Other than that, just do you and I will listen intently. Please just do your best and I will adjudicate as objectively and effectively as possible.
Thoughts on Specific Arguments Below:
Impact calculus must be at the top of every 2NR/2AR. Please make turns case/turns DA arguments at the top. Offense is what wins debates. Politics disads are great but when the 2NR fails to effectively explain the link argument, the 2AR will have an easy time winning that the case outweighs.
I am all about good counterplan strategies that have great solvency evidence and finesse. I have grown tired of all the nonsense process, agent, and consult counterpleas, and while I will vote for them, I prefer to hear one that is well researched and actually has a solvency advocate for the aff. Regarding theory, most violations are reasons to justify a permutation or to lower thresholds for solvency deficits, not voters. Consult CPs are however the most sketchy for me, and I can be convinced to vote against them given good debating.
Love these debates, but sometimes people get too bogged down by the minutiae of the flow that they forget to extend an impact. Treating T like a disad is the best way to describe how I like teams to go for it. Please give a case list and/or examples of ground loss. Comparison of interps is important. I think that intent to exclude is more important than intent to define regarding predictability, but this is only marginal.
I think that up to 3 advocacies are fine for me. Anything more and I am more sympathetic to the aff. Don't get it twisted, if the neg screws up debating condo, I will vote aff.
I know how most critical arguments function and how to evaluate them, but execution determines my decision. Even if I am familiar with your literature or theory, but you fail to explain it, I will not fill in the gaps. I need you to impact out the link arguments in relation to the aff and not just make some nebulous claim about something in the world that has no relation to what the plan does. I think that the alt is the weakest part of the K because teams do not explain it or utilize it well. This is why aff teams that go all in “the impact outweighs and the alt cannot resolve the offense in time, therefore try or die” are more likely to win my ballot. If you can establish a central point of link offense and then have either your framework interp or alt resolve it, then I see no reason to vote aff.
While I have never defended these in my career, I have voted for them many times. I think that my thoughts on the K apply here with a bit more nuance involved. I prefer that the aff be related to the topic and that it actually does something that is a departure from the squo. Framework is a good strategy, but if executed poorly, the aff will have an easy time getting my vote. The neg must also answer the aff because it will be hard to win framework without contesting the method of the 1AC. I am most likely to vote for whoever consolidates and focuses on a central point of offense and impacts it out better.
Feel free to ask me anything before the round. Most importantly compete, respect each other, and have fun.
Director of Speech and Debate, Kent Denver
Please include me in email chains; my email is email@example.com.
Do what you do best, and I will try to leave my predispositions at the door. I have voted for and against every kind of argument. How you debate matters more than what you debate.
I care most about your ability to successfully communicate and defend your arguments by flowing, doing line-by-line, speaking clearly, and thoroughly explaining your arguments throughout the debate. The best tip I can give you is to go for less distinct issues as the debate develops and to focus on explaining and comparing your best points to your opponent’s arguments more.
Argument resolution is the most important part of debating. Making choices, explaining what issues are most important, identifying what to do with drops, answering “so what” questions, making “even if” statements, and comparing arguments (links, impacts, solvency, etc) are all examples of the kinds of judge instruction that winning rebuttals should focus on.
I value the research skills that debate fosters. I want students to demonstrate their topic knowledge and to utilize their specific research. I think a lot of teams get away with reading poor evidence. Please make evidence comparison (data, warrants, source, or recency) a significant part of the debate. Evidence that is highlighted in complete and coherent sentences is much more persuasive than evidence that is not.
I do not follow along with the speech document and will tell you clear if I can’t understand you. I am more likely to read evidence that is discussed and explained during the debate and will use the debater's explanation to guide my reading. I am unlikely to read evidence that I didn't understand when it was initially presented, or to give much credit to warrants that only become clear to me after examining the evidence.
The affirmative should present an advocacy that is grounded in topical policy and critical literature. The negative should clash with ideas that the affirmative has committed to defending. I am most impressed by teams that demonstrate command of their arguments, who read arguments with strong specific links to the topic, and who come prepared to debate their opponent’s case. I am less impressed with teams that avoid clash by using extreme conditionality, plan vagueness, generic positions without topic nuance, and reading incomplete arguments that lack clear links or solvency advocates.
Debated: Norman High School (2005- 2009), University of Oklahoma (2009-2014)
Coached: University of Texas at San Antonio (2014-2015)
Caddo Magnet High School (2014-2015)
Baylor University (2015-2017)
University of Iowa (2017-present)
I am not too biased against any particular argument, it's your round so do what you do, but do it well.
I did however primarily read kritiks, but I have also done strictly policy debate in my career, so I have been exposed to a wide variety of arguments and I am not someone who will always vote for the k or for FW. I like to think that I am a favorable judge for either.
Kritiks: Although, I am familiar with some kritiks, I do not pretend to be an expert on all. There are still many kritiks that I have trouble understanding. That being said, I think that case specific links are the best. Generic links are not as compelling especially if you are flagging certain cards for me to call for at the end of the round. It seems that many times debaters don't take the time to really explain what the alternative is like, whether it solves part of the aff, is purely rejection, etc. If for some reason the alternative isn't extended or explained in the 2nr, I won't just apply it as a case turn for you. An impact level debate is also still important even if the K excludes the evaluation of specific impacts. It is really helpful to articulate how the K turns the case as well. On a framing level, do not just assume that I will believe that the truth claims of the affirmative are false, there needs to be in-depth analysis for why I should dismiss parts of the aff preferably with evidence to back it up.
Performance/Methodology debates- Since I debated for OU and I debated in the D3, I am not unfamiliar with these debates. I am in no way biased in one way or another. I think that arguments need to be competitive. The things you may talk about in your performance/methodology may be true, but there needs to be a clear link articulated to the argument that you are debating. Many times competing methodologies start to sound really similar to each other, so teams need to establish a clear difference between the arguments.
Clash of Civ. debates- I think that these debates can be really great because clash is kind of important. However, these debates tend to get really muddled, so you need to work extra hard to make things clear for me rather than just assuming I will lean one way or another. When it comes to K Affs v. FW, I think that you need to do a lot of work and don't just go for generic arguments like switch side without giving specific examples of things like in round abuse, etc. or interesting impact arguments. Ex: just saying roleplaying good/bad without a really good explanation is not going to be compelling.
CPs- I really like counterplans especially if they are specific to the aff, which shows that you have done your research. Although PIKs are annoying to deal with if you are aff, I enjoy a witty PIK. However, make it clear that it is a PIK and explain why it solves the aff. Generic cps with generic solvency cards aren't really going to do it for me. However, if the evidence is good then I am more likely to believe you when you claim aff solvency. There needs to be a good articulation for why the aff links to the net benefit and good answers to cp solvency deficits, assuming there are any. Permutation debate needs to be hashed out on both sides, with Da/net benefits to the permutations made clear.
DAs- I find it pretty easy to follow DAs. However, if you go for it I am most likely going to be reading ev after the round, so it better be good. If your link cards are generic and outdated and the aff is better in that department, then you need to have a good reason why your evidence is more qualified, etc. Make your scenario clear, DAs are great but some teams tend to go for a terminal impact without explanation of the scenario or the internal link args. Comparative analysis is important so I know how to evaluate the evidence that I am reading. Tell me why the link o/w the link turn etc. Impact analysis is very important, timeframe, probability, magnitude, etc., so I can know why the Da impacts are more important than the affs impacts. A good articulation of why the Da turns each advantage is extremely helpful because the 2ar will most likely be going for those impacts in the 2ar.
Theory- I generally err neg on theory unless there is a really good debate over it. Your generic blocks aren't going to be very compelling. If you articulate why condo causes a double turn, etc. specific to the round is a better way to go with it. I think that arguments such as vague alternatives especially when an alternative morphs during the round are good. However, minor theory concerns such as multiple perms bad aren't as legitimate in my opinion.
Topicality- Generic T shells are not something that hold my attention, however, a specific definition or a T in tandem with another position to get a link, is strategic. If you are going to go for T, then go for it starting in the block and make it a legitimate option and I will evaluate it.
Other notes: If you are unclear, I can't flow you and I don't get the evidence as you read it, so clarity over speed is always preferable.
Don't be rude, your points will suffer. There is a difference between being aggressive and being a jerk.
Impact calc please, don't make me call for everyones impacts and force me to evaluate it myself. I don't want to do the work for you.
The last two rebuttals should be writing my ballot, tell me how I vote and why. Don't get too bogged down to give a big picture evaluation.
Accomplish something in your cross-x time, keep me interested, have an agenda during your cx and use the answers you get in cx and incorporate them into your speeches. Cx is wasted if you pick apart the DA but don't talk about it in your speech.
Add me to the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Water topic update
I have very little topic knowledge. This has two implications for you
1. Obscure/schematic T arguments might not be the best strategy. If that is the 2nr, however, try to be crystal clear about everything.
2. Obscure/schematic CP competition arguments might not be the best strategy. If that is the 2nr, however, try to be crystal clear about everything.
I'm perfectly willing to vote for either of these things, and I'll do my best to evaluate these arguments, but know that the chances of me misunderstanding something are a bit higher than you might like.
Four most important things
Clarity >> speed
I am a bad judge for the K, I am a good judge for framework. Pref me as such or suffer the consequences.
I will eagerly vote on explicit judge instruction in the 2AC/block that's extended in the rebuttals (I will also boost speaks)
I think evidence comparison is the most important skill in debate, and a few smart pieces of evidence comparison can often decide a close debate for me
The aff gets to weigh the plan absent major concessions on framework
I will not vote on things that have happened outside of the debate I am judging, nor will I vote on personal attacks towards one of the debaters
The neg can read any CP they want and do whatever they want with it. I will likely only vote on theory if it is dropped or substantially mishandled
I have no moral or ethical issue with Russia war good/Spark flavors of impact turns, and I will evaluate them like any other argument -- I think there is value in learning how to explain why absurd arguments are absurd
You can (and are encouraged to) insert re-highlightings
28.7 is average for the pool barring some tournament rule about speaks
Email me with questions
The more you make it like policy debate, the better
That means spread, read a lot of off, read case turns, etc.
I dislike theory in Policy, and those feelings are magnified when it comes to LD theory
I debate currently at CSUF Until further notice
I debated for around 5.5 years and my background is mostly K args, but dont be afraid to run policy, I’m cool with both
Keep me on the chain por favor – email@example.com
If you have any questions for after the round or just need some help feel free to email, I’ll try to get back
- I will distribute speaker points based off the accumulated performance from y’all, I like hearing arguments more if you truly believe in what you’re saying, especially debating Kritiks, be funny tho I’ll probably laugh, try to have fun and be the chill ones, try not to be toxic and even more so do not be violent, no -isms
- I will try to keep up on the flow but do not hyper-spread through theory blocks or any block for that matter, I will most likely not catch it
- be chill with each other but you can be aggressive if thats just your style, try not to trigger anxiety though in other debaters if you’re going too far
———- some more specifics ———-
I run and prefer Kritikal arguments, I am more comfortable listening to Settler Colonialism, Afro-Pessimism and Marxist literature, but that does not mean you can just spew jargon and hope to win, explain what your theories mean and your arguments, it will go a long way for your speaker points as well
Speaking of, i will be in the range of 27.5 - 29.9 for speaker points, I will try to be objective as possible but you do you, if you can do that well the speaker awards will come too
On T/FW, please make sure that your standards are specific to the round and are clearly spoken, I am substantially less convinced if you do not argue how that specific aff loses you ground and/or justifies a bad model of debate, but I will not vote it down for no reason, argue why those skills are good to solve the aff or provide a good model that sustains KvK debate in a better way than the aff justifies. Just don’t try to read your generic 2NC blocks, it gets more obvious the longer the debate goes on, do it well.
On Counterplans, try to have a net benefit, be smart with it, try not to have a million planks, having a solvency advocate is cool too, not much here.
Disads - do your link work as usual, I will vote on who does the better impact framing, just make sure you still got that link :) p.s for affs, just dont leave it at the end of the 2AC with a 2 second “they dont link isn’t it obvious”, please explain your answers and divide up time strategically
on K’s, I love good 2NC/1NR link stories, try not to just extend some evidence and answer 2AC args, evaluate why your links implicate the aff and how their specific aff makes something problematic. I dont mind a 2NC only the K with no cards, just make sure you’re not reading prewritten blocks, please be as specific as possible
Please stick to your arguments and embody them, just tell me what to evaluate at the end of the debate, I will very much appreciate if you can tell me how that happens, be revolutionary if you want to, I would probably enjoy the debate more.
I've coached LASA since 2005. I judge ~100 debates per season on the high school circuit.
If there’s an email chain, please add me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re using a flash drive, prep stops when you pull the flash drive out of your computer. If you’re using an email chain, I won’t count attaching and emailing as prep time. Please do not steal prep.
If you have little time before the debate, here’s all you need to know: do what you do best. I try to be as unbiased as possible and I will defer to your analysis. As long as you are clear, go as fast as you want.
Most judges give appalling decisions. Here's where I will try to be better than them:
- They intervene, even when they claim they won't. Perhaps "tech over truth" doesn't mean what it used to. I will attempt to adjudicate and reach a decision purely on only the words you say. If that's insufficient to reach a decision either way--and it often isn't--I will add the minimum work necessary to come to a decision. The more work I have to do, the wider the range of uncertainty for you and the lower your speaks go.
- They aren't listening carefully. They're mentally checked out, flowing off the speech doc, distracted by social media, or have half their headphones off and are taking selfies during the 1AR. I will attempt to flow every single detail of your speeches. I will probably take notes during CX if I think it could affect my decision. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve a judge who works hard as well.
- They give poorly-reasoned decisions that rely on gut instincts and ignore arguments made in the 2NR/2AR. I will probably take my sweet time making and writing my decision. I will try to be as thorough and transparent as possible. If I intervene anywhere, I will explain why I had to intervene and how you could've prevented that intervention. If I didn't catch or evaluate an argument, I will explain why you under-explained or failed to extend it. I will try to anticipate your questions and preemptively answer them in my decision.
- They reconstruct the debate and try to find the most creative and convoluted path to a ballot. I guess they're trying to prove they're smart? These decisions are detestable because they take the debate away from the hands of the debaters. If there are multiple paths to victory for both teams, I will take what I think is the shortest path and explain why I think it's the shortest path, and you can influence my decision by explaining why you control the shortest path. But, I'm not going to use my decision to attempt to prove I'm more clever than the participants of the debate.
- I’m not a professional debate coach or even a teacher. I work as a finance analyst in the IT sector and I volunteer as a debate coach on evenings and weekends. I don’t teach at debate camp and my topic knowledge comes primarily from judging debates. My finance background means that, when left to my own devices, I err towards precision, logic, data, and concrete examples. However, I can be convinced otherwise in any particular debate, especially when it’s not challenged by the other team.
- Tech over truth in most instances. I will stick to my flow and minimize intervention as much as possible. I firmly believe that debates should be left to the debaters. I rarely make facial expressions because I don’t want my personal reactions to affect how a debate plays out. I will maintain a flow, even if you ask me not to. However, tech over truth has its limits. An argument must have sufficient explanation for it to matter to me, even if it’s dropped. You need a warrant and impact, not just a claim.
- Evidence comparison is under-utilized and is very important to me in close debates. I often call for evidence, but I’m much more likely to call for a card if it’s extended by author or cite.
- I don’t judge or coach at the college level, which means I’m usually a year or two behind the latest argument trends that are first broken in college and eventually trickle down to high school. If you’re reading something that’s close to the cutting edge of debate arguments, you’ll need to explain it clearly. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear new arguments. On the contrary, a big reason why I continue coaching debate is because I enjoy listening to and learning about new arguments that challenge my existing ways of thinking.
- Please mark your own cards. No one is marking them for you.
- If I feel that you are deliberately evading answering a question or have straight up lied, and the question is important to the outcome of the debate, I will stop the timer and ask you to answer the question. Example: if you read condo bad, the neg asks in CX whether you read condo bad, and you say no, I’ll ask if you want me to cross-out condo on my flow.
- Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison.
- When I vote neg, it’s usually because the aff team missed the boat on topical version, has made insufficient inroads into the neg’s limits disad, and/or is winning some exclusion disad but is not doing comparative impact calculus against the neg’s offense. The neg win rate goes up if the 2NR can turn or access the aff's primary impact (e.g. clash and argument testing is vital to ethical subject formation).
- When I vote aff, it’s usually because the 2NR is disorganized and goes for too many different impacts, there’s no topical version or other way to access the aff’s offense, and/or concedes an exclusion disad that is then impacted out by the 2AR. Without a credible counter-interpretation that the aff meets and that establishes some sufficient limits on the scope of debates, I lean negative.
- Over the years, “tech over truth” has led me to vote neg on some untruthful T violations. If you’re neg and you’ve done a lot of research and are ready to throw down on a very technical and carded T debate, I’m a good judge for you.
- I'm a stickler for the quality of a definition, especially if it's from a source that's contextual to the topic, has some intent to define, is exclusive and not just inclusive, etc.
- Reasonability is a debate about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not their aff. The size of the link to the limits disad usually determines how sympathetic I am towards this argument, i.e. if the link is small, then I’m more likely to conclude the aff’s C/I is reasonable even without other aff offense.
- The kritik teams I've judged that have earned the highest speaker points give highly organized and structured speeches, are disciplined in line-by-line debating, and emphasize key moments in their speeches.
- Just like most judges, the more case-specific your link and the more comprehensive your alternative explanation, the more I’ll be persuaded by your kritik.
- I greatly prefer the 2NC structure where you have a short (or no) overview and do as much of your explanation on the line-by-line as possible. If your overview is 6 minutes, you make blippy cross-applications on the line-by-line, and then you drop the last three 2AC cards, I’m going to give the 1AR a lot of leeway on extending those concessions, even if they were somewhat implicitly answered in your overview.
- Framework debates on kritiks rarely factor into my decisions. Frequently, I conclude that there’s not a decisive win for either side here, or that it’s irrelevant because the neg is already allowing the aff to weigh their impacts. Usually, I find myself somewhere in the middle: the neg always has the right to read kritiks, but the aff should have the right to access their advantages. Kritiks that moot the entire 1AC are a tough sell.
- I’m not a good judge for “role of the ballot” arguments, as I usually find these to be self-serving for the team making them. I’m also not a good judge for “competing methods means the aff doesn’t have a right to a perm”. I think the aff always has a right to a perm, but the question is whether the perm is legitimate and desirable, which is a substantive issue to be debated out, not a gatekeeping issue for me to enforce.
- I’m an OK judge for K “tricks”. A conceded root cause explanation, value to life impact, or “alt solves the aff” claim is effective if it’s sufficiently explained. The floating PIK needs to be clearly made in the 2NC for me to evaluate it. If your K strategy hinges on hiding a floating PIK and suddenly busting it out in the 2NR, I’m not a good judge for you.
- Just like most judges, I prefer case-specific over generic counterplans, but we can’t always get what we want.
- I lean neg on PICs. I lean aff on international fiat, 50 state fiat, condition, and consult. These preferences can change based on evidence or lack thereof. For example, if the neg has a state counterplan solvency advocate in the context of the aff, I’m less sympathetic to theory.
- I will not judge kick the CP unless explicitly told to do so by the 2NR, and it would not take much for the 2AR to persuade me to ignore the 2NR’s instructions on that issue.
- Presumption is in the direction of less change. If left to my own devices, I will probably conclude that most counterplans that are not explicitly PICs are a larger change than the aff.
- I’m a sucker for specific and comparative impact calculus. For example, most nuclear war impacts are probably not global nuclear war but some kind of regional scenario. I want to know why your specific regional scenario is faster and/or more probable. Reasonable impact calculus is much more persuasive to me than grandiose impact claims.
- I believe that in most cases, the link is more important for determining the direction of risk than uniqueness. The exceptions are when the uniqueness can be definitively determined rather than probabilistic.
- Zero risk is possible but difficult to prove by the aff. However, a miniscule neg risk of the disad is probably background noise.
- I actually enjoy listening to a good theory debate, but these seem to be exceedingly rare. I think I can be persuaded that many theoretical objections require punishing the team and not simply rejecting the argument, but substantial work needs to be done on why setting a precedent on that particular issue is important. You're unlikely to win that a single intrinsic permutation is a round-winning voter, even if the other team drops it, unless you are investing significant time in explaining why it should be an independent voting issue.
- I think that I lean affirmative compared to the rest of the judging community on the legitimacy of counterplans. In my mind, a counterplan that is wholly plan-inclusive (consultation, condition, delay, etc.) is theoretically questionable. The legitimacy of agent counterplans, whether domestic or international, is also contestable. I think the negative has the right to read multiple planks to a counterplan, but reading each plank conditionally is theoretically suspect.
- I usually take a long time to decide, and give lengthy decisions. LASA debaters have benefitted from the generosity of judges, coaches, and lab leaders who used their decisions to teach and trade ideas, not just pick a winner and get a paycheck. Debaters from schools with limited/no coaching, the same schools needed to prevent the decline in policy debate numbers, greatly benefit from judging feedback. I encourage you to ask questions and engage in respectful dialogue with me. However, post-round hostility will be met with hostility. I've been providing free coaching and judging since before you were birthed into the world. If I think you're being rude or condescending to me or your opponents, I will enthusiastically knock you back down to Earth.
- I don't want a card doc. If you send one, I will ignore it. Card docs are an opportunity for debaters to insert cards they didn't read, didn't extend, or re-highlight. They're also an excuse for lazy judges to compensate for a poor flow by reconstructing the debate after the fact. If your debating was disorganized and you need a card doc to return some semblance of organization, I'd rather adjudicate the disorganized debate and then tell you it was disorganized.
Updated October 2022
Note for Online Debate: Please check your internet connection, your audio clarity, and your volume levels before the debate starts. This can be as simple as doing a 2 minute speed drill for your partner in a separate chat. I don't want technology to become your biggest opponent in a debate. I will usually use a thumbs up to let you know I'm ready before speeches, so watch for that or let me know if you need a verbal response.
Yes I know my philosophy is unbearably long. I keep adding things without removing others, the same reason I was always top heavy when I debated. But I tried to keep it organized so hopefully you can find what you need, ask me questions if not.
For the few college tournaments I judge, understand that my philosophy is geared towards being of use to high school students since that is the vast, vast majority of my judging/coaching. Just use that as a filter when reading.
Seriously, I don't care what you read as long as you do it well. I really don't care if you argue that all K debaters should be banned from debate or argue that anyone who has ever read a plan is innately racist and should be kicked out of the community. If you win it, I'm happy to vote for it.
***Two Minutes Before A Debate Version***
I debated in high school for a school you've never heard of called Lone Peak, and in college for UNLV. I coached Foothill High School Green Valley High School, as well as helping out as a hired gun at various institutions. I have debated at the NDT, was nationally competitive in high school, and coached a fair share of teams to the TOC if those things matter for your pref sheet (they shouldn't). I genuinely don't have a big bias for either side of the ideological spectrum. I seem to judge a fairly even mix of K vs K, Clash of Civs, and policy debates. I can keep up with any speed as long as its clear, I will inform you if you are not, although don't tread that line because I may miss arguments before I speak up. If you remain unclear I just won't flow it.
Sometimes I look or act cranky. I love debate and I love judging, so don't take it too seriously.
My biases/presumptions (but can of course be persuaded otherwise):
- Tech over Truth, but Logic over Cards
- Quality and Quantity are both useful.
- Condo is generally good
- Generic responses to the K are worse than generic K's
- Politics and States are generally theoretically legitimate (and strategic)
- Smart, logical counterplans don't necessarily need solvency advocates, especially not in the 1NC
- 2NC's don't read new off case positions often enough
- I believe in aff flexibility (read: more inclusive interpretations of what's topical) more than almost anyone I know. That is demonstrated in almost every aff I've read or coached.
- I'll vote for "rocks are people" if you win it (warrant still needed). Terrible arguments are easily torn apart, but that's the other team's duty, not mine.
A Few Notes You Should Know:
Speaker Points: Firstly, I compare my speaker points to the mean after almost every tournament, so I try to stay in line with the community norm. I have had a dilemma with speaker points, and have recently changed my view. I think most judges view speaker points as a combination of style and substance, with one being more valuable than the other depending on the judge. I have found this frustrating as both a debater and coach trying to figure what caused a judge to give out the speaks they did. So I've decided to give out speaker points based solely on style rather than substance. I feel whichever team wins the substance of the debate will get my ballot so you are already rewarded, so I am going to give out speaker points based on the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of a debater. Logos implies you are still extending good, smart arguments, but it just means that I won't tank speaks based off of technical drops (like floating pics, or a perm, etc) as some judges do, and I won't reward a team's speaker points for going for those arguments if I feel they are worse "speakers", the ballot is reward enough. Functionally all it means is that I probably give more low-point wins than some judges (about one a tournament), but at least you know why when looking at cume sheets after tournaments.
Debate is a rhetorical activity. This means if you want me to flow an argument, it must be intelligible, and warranted. I will not vote on an argument I do not have on my flow in a previous speech. I am a decent flow so don't be too scared but it means that if you are planning on going for your floating pic, a specific standard/trick on theory, a permutation that wasn't answered right in the block, etc. then you should make sure I have that argument written down and that you have explained it previously with sufficient nuance. I might feel bad that I didn't realize you were making a floating pic in the block, but only briefly, and you'll feel worse because ultimately it is my responsibility to judge based off of what is on my flow, so make those things clear. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
(*Update: This is no longer true in online debate tournaments, I look through docs because of potential clairty/tech issues*: I don't look at speech docs during debates except in rare instances. I read much less evidence after debates than most judges, often none at all. If you want me to read evidence, please say so, but also please tell me what I'm looking for. I prefer not to read evidence, so when I do after a round it means one of three things: 1. The debate is exceedingly close and has one or two issues upon which I am trying to determine the truth (rare). 2. You asked me to read the evidence because "its on fire" (somewhat common and potentially a fire hazard). 3. The debate was bad enough that I am trying to figure out what just happened.)
Prep time: I generally let teams handle their own prep, I do prefer if you don't stop prep until the email is sent. Doing so will make me much happier. If you are very blatantly stealing prep, I might call you out on it, or it might affect speaker points a little.
Neg: I am very much in favor of depth over breadth. Generally that doesn't affect how I feel about large 1NC's but it means I find myself thinking "I wish they had consolidated more in the block" quite often, and almost never the opposite. If you don't consolidate much, you might be upset with the leeway I give to 1AR/2AR explanations. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate. Pick your best arguments and go to battle.
DA's: I love in-depth disad debates. Teams that beat up on other teams with large topic disads usually have one of two things: A. A large number of pre-written blocks B. A better understanding of the topic than their opponents. If you have both, or the latter, I'll quite enjoy the debate. If you only have the former, then you can still get the ballot but not as much respect (or speaker points). Small disads very specific to the aff are awesome. Small disads that are small in order to be unpredictable are not. I am of the "1% risk" discipline assuming that means the disad is closely debated. I am not of that discipline if your disad is just silly and you are trying to win it is 1% true, know the difference.
CP's: I have a soft spot for tricky counterplans. That doesn't mean I think process/cheating counterplans are legitimate, that just means I'll leave my bias at the door more than most judges if you get into a theory debate. That said, theory is won or lost through explanation, not through having the largest blocks. Generally I think counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive, that doesn't mean you can't win of yours isn't, it just means if it is then you probably have some theoretical high ground. I also think if you have a specific solvency advocate for the counterplan (meaning a piece of evidence that advocates doing the counterplan, not just evidence that says the counterplan "is a thing" [I'm looking at you, Consult CP people]) you should utilize that both as a solvency argument and as a theoretical justification for the counterplan. I am neutral on the judge kick question. If you want me to judge kick, say so in the 2NR/2NC, and if you don't then say so in the 1AR/2AR, that's an argument to be had. However, if no one makes an argument either way, my default is if the 2NR is DA, CP, Case, then I think there is an implicit assumption in that strategy that the squo is an option. If the 2NR is only CP & DA, I think the implicit assumption is aff vs. CP. Advantage counterplans are vastly underutilized. Logical counterplans probably don't need solvency advocates.
T: I think the way reasonability is construed is sad and a disservice to the argument. I perceive competing interpretations as a question of whose interpretation sets the best standard for all future debate, and reasonability as a question of whether the aff harmed the negative's fairness/education in this specific round. Under that interpretation (Caveat: This assumes you are explaining reasonability in that fashion, usually people do not). I tend to lean towards reasonability since I think T should be a check against aff's that try to skirt around the topic, rather than as a catch-all. T is to help guarantee the neg has predictable ground. I've voted neg a few times when the aff has won their interp is technically accurate but the neg has won their interp is better for fairness/limits/ground, but that's mostly because I think that technical accuracy/framer's intent is an internal link, rather than an impact. Do the additional work.
Theory: This is a discussion of what debate should look like, which is one of the most simple questions to ask ourselves, yet people get very mixed up and confused on theory since we are trained to be robots. I LOVE theory debates where the debaters understand debate well enough to just make arguments and use clash, and HATE debates where the debaters read blocks as fast as possible and assume people can flow that in any meaningful fashion (very few can, I certainly can't. Remember, I don't have the speech doc open). I generally lean negative on theory questions like condo (to a certain extent) and CP theory args, but I think cp's should be textually, and more importantly, functionally competitive, see above.
Framework/T against Non-Traditional Aff's: I have read and gone for both the Procedural Fairness/T version of this argument and the State Action Good/Framework version of this argument many times. I am more than willing to vote for either, and I also am fine with teams that read both and then choose one for the 2NR. However, I personally am of the belief that fairness is not an impact in and of itself but is an internal link to other impacts. If you go for Fairness as your sole impact you may win, but adequate aff answers to it will be more persuasive in front of me. Fairness as the only impact assumes an individual debate is ultimately meaningless, which while winnable, is the equivalent of having a 2NR against a policy aff that is solely case defense, and again I'm by default #1%RiskClub. "Deliberation/dialogue/nuanced discussion/role switching is key to ____________" sorts of arguments are usually better in front of me. As far as defending US action, go for it. My personal belief is that the US government is redeemable and reformable but I am also more than open to voting on the idea that it is not, and these arguments are usually going straight into the teeth of the aff's offense so use with caution. TVA's are almost essential for a successful 2NR unless the aff is clearly anti-topical and you go for a nuanced switch side argument. TVA's are also most persuasive when explained as a plan text and what a 1AC looks like, not just a nebulous few word explanation like "government reform" or "A.I. to solve patriarchy". I like the idea of an interp with multiple net benefits and often prefer a 1NC split onto 3-4 sheets in order to separate specific T/FW arguments. If you do this, each should have a clear link (which is your interp), an internal link and impact. Lastly, I think neg teams often let affs get away with pre-requisite arguments way too much, usually affs can't coherently explain why reading their philosophy at the top of the 1AC and then ending with a plan of action doesn't fulfill the mandates of their pre-requisite.
K's: These are the best and worst debates. The bad ones tend to be insufferable and the good ones tend to be some of the most engaging and thought provoking. Sadly, most debaters convince themselves they fall into the latter when they are the former so please take a good, long look in the mirror before deciding which you fall under. I have a broad knowledge of K authors, but not an in depth one on many, so if you want to go for the K you better be doing that work for me, I won't vote for anything that I don't totally understand BEFORE reading evidence, because I think that is a key threshold any negative should meet (see above), so a complex critical argument can be to your advantage or disadvantage depending on how well you explain it. I also think the framing args for the K need to be impacted and utilized, that in my opinion is the easiest way to get my ballot (unless you turn case or win a floating pic). In other words, if you can run the K well, do it, if not, don't (at least not in the 2NR).
Edit: I think it usually helps to know what the judge knows about your critique, so this list below may help be a guide:
I feel very comfortable with, know the literature, and can give good feedback on: Nietzsche, Wilderson, Moten (& Harney), Security, Neoliberalism, Historical Materialism, Colonialism (both Decoloniality and Postcolonialism), Fem IR, Deleuze and Guattari (at least relative to most).
I have both debated and read these arguments, but still have gaps in my knowledge and may not know all the jargon: Hillman, Schmitt, Edelman, Zizek cap args, Agamben, Warren, Ableism, Kristeva, Heidegger, Orientalism, Virillio, Lacan, Anthro, Ligotti, Bataille, settler colonialism metaphysics arguments.
ELI5: Baudrillard, postmodern feminism arguments, Killjoy, Bifo, Zizek psychoanalysis, Object Oriented Ontology, Spanos, Buddhism, Taoism, your specific strain of "cybernetics", probably anything that isn't on these lists but ask first.
Bad aff teams wait til the 2AR to decide what their best arguments are against a position. Good aff teams have the round vision to make strategic choices in the 1AR and exploit them in the 2AR. Great aff teams have the vision to create a comprehensive strategy going into the 2AC. That doesn't mean don't give yourself lots of options, it just means you should know what arguments are ideally in the 2AR beforehand and you should adapt your 2AC based off of the 1NC as a whole. Analytical arguments in a 2AC are vastly underused.
Non-Traditional Affirmatives: I'm fine with these. They don't excite me any more or less than a topical aff. I think the key to these aff's is always framing. Both because negatives often go for framework but also because it is often your best tool against their counter-advocacy/K. I often am more persuaded by Framework/T when the aff is antitopical, rather than in the direction of the resolution, but I've voted to the contrary of that frequently enough. This won't affect the decision but I'll enjoy the aff more if it is very specific (read: relevant/jermaine/essential) to the topic, or very personal to yourself, it annoys me when people read non-traditional aff's just to be shady. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
Answering K's: It is exceedingly rare that the neg can't win a link to their K. That doesn't mean you shouldn't question the link by any means, permutations are good ways to limit the strength of neg offense, but it means that impact turning the K/alternative is very often a better strategy than going for a link turn and permutation for 5 minutes in the 2AR. I think this is a large reason why aff's increasingly have moved further right or further left, because being stuck in the middle is often a recipe for disaster. That said, being able to have a specific link turn or impact turn to the K that is also a net benefit to the permutation while fending against the most offensive portions of negative link arguments are some of the best 2AR's.
I prefer quality over quantity of arguments. If you only need a minute in the 2NR/2AR then just use a minute, cover up any outs, and finish. I believe in the mercy rule in that sense. I will vote against teams that clip and give the culprit 0 speaker points, however I believe in the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt", so be certain before levying accusations and make sure to have a recording. (Explicitly tell me that you want to issue a clipping challenge, I've had debaters email me and I don't see it, or wait until after the debate. Don't do that.)
I'll give you +.1 speaker points if you can tell me what phrase appears the most in my philosophy. Because it shows you care, you want to adapt to your judge, and maybe because I'm a tad narcissistic.
Things I like:
- A+ Quality Evidence (If you have such a card, and you explain why its better than the 3+ cards the other team read, I accept that more willingly than other judges)
- Brave (strategic) 1AR/2AR decisions
- Politics disads that turn each advantage
- If you are behind, I'd much rather you cheat/lie/steal (maybe not steal, and cheat within reason) than give up. If you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'.
- Neg blocks that only take 1-2 flows and just decimate teams.
- Controlling the "spin" of arguments (I'll give a lot of leeway)
- Red Bull/Monster/M&M's (Bringing me any of these will make me happy, me being happy generally correlates to higher speaker points)
Things I don't like:
- Not knowing how to send speech docs in a timely manner!
- Debaters that act like they are of superior intelligence compared to their partner/opponents
- Reading arguments with little value other than trying to blindside teams (timecube, most word pics, etc.) Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
- Being unclear
- Horses (Stop acting like they're so goddamn majestic, they're disgusting)
- Toasted Coconut
Updated for Notre Dame November 2021
Short Version + Email:
Read what you want. I have a decent breadth of knowledge of things in the world but will reward you for making it clear you have depth of knowledge. My debating background was mostly Ks, my coaching background is mixed but leaning K, and my career/academic work is mixed but leaning policy. I'd recommend you read the section below on the argument you wanna go for.
I will vote for theory and T. Smart DA / CP strategies are fun. I judge a lot of policy aff v. K rounds and would appreciate if K folks would ground more in the literature and make more content args than K trick args. With framework, fairness can be an impact but you must win debate is a game. K affs probably need to win debate is not just a game / impact turns to FW outweigh the value or truth of game framing.
Write my RFD for me at the top of your 2NR / 2AR, but make args instead of grandstanding about how you're winning - you did it right if I repeat your words back to you in my RFD. Impact framing is a powerful tool. Cost benefit analysis is inevitable to a degree but it's your job to convince me how the round's cost benefit analysis should look.
Would appreciate if you add me to the email chain in advance - just let me know that you did so.
Email: larry [dot] dang2018 [at] gmail [dot] com
---now the full paradigm---
I care quite a bit about being a good judge, but only if you're clearly here to bring your A-game. Do what you will with that information.
*In case this ever matters, this is a policy paradigm*
Read whatever you want - I really do mean it. As humans tend to do, I have my predispositions. They are evident in the rest of my paradigm, which I worked to make very clear on my positions. However, I like to believe that I am a fair judge who can evaluate whatever style of argument you bring to the table, be it very policy, very K, or something new altogether. With that said, see the two paragraphs below.
I seem to end up judging a lot of policy aff v. K debates and end up voting policy slightly more than K (see next sentence for explanation). I think that as a big fan of critical literature and as someone who reads a lot, I have a high bar for explanation and content-based argumentation. I will vote for but am pretty tired of K tricks on framework or supposedly using sweeping claims to skirt points of clash. I like voting for smart K explanations, so if you're a K debater disappointed to hear about my voting for policy args more often, same here. By all means, I hope you can turn that record around, but by no means will I "hack for the K." Shallow K args make me sad and I won't reward it. One problem I feel like I see often is that K args don't become complete and coherent strategies by the end of the round cos the pieces are not tied together - don't let this happen. It seems like a missing the forest for the trees kind of issue.
T is a viable option in front of me, and a good T debate will be rewarded in your speaks.
You will benefit from reading the section of my paradigm on the arguments you plan to execute in front of me. I explain how I think arguments are best won. With that said, my suggestions are functional in nature. You should do what you do best. I will reward you for being smart, strategic, and hard-working.
Framing This Paradigm
I believe that reading paradigms is less a practice of learning how judges view specific arguments and more a practice of learning different ways to execute arguments. My debate knowledge has increased exponentially from reading paradigms, and I write this paradigm with that in mind.
A Note for the Water Resources Topic
This is a big and technical topic and honestly I'm not the most familiar with it. Critical literature on water can sometimes be a stretch but it's also pretty cool. I like environmental and social policy - do what you will with that information.
Head-Royce HS 2018 (Oceans, Surveillance, China, Education), Harvard College 2022 (didn't debate) Sociology and Global Health (I think like both a critical sociologist and social policy researcher - I read critical theory for fun and do research on public administration; do what you will with that information)
I debated on the national policy circuit in high school and did decently well by traditional standards (blah blah TOC blah blah bids). Most of the arguments I read were critiques, on the AFF and the NEG, though I engaged with more traditional policy arguments a fair amount at camp and now in my time coaching. I believe that traditional policy genuinely has value - it just wasn't my focus as a debater. The Ks I read in rounds were mostly about capitalism, neoliberalism, sovereignty, biopolitics, critical security studies, and psychoanalysis. The K arguments I coach now are mostly in the vein of critical race theory and postmodernism. I have a good working knowledge of other common K authors/lit bases in debate like Baudrillard, Deleuze, queer pessimism, other queer theory, Spanos, critiques of death, disability studies, feminist critiques, and the likes. However, you should never take any of this as an excuse for lackluster explanation - shallow K debates are a big sad. All in all, do what you do best. That'll make for the best and most enjoyable debate.
Tech over truth - answer arguments and don’t drop stuff - debate is about in depth contestation of ideas. However, what constitutes tech is up for debate and should ultimate be a matter of contestation, whether that happens holistically, via a rigorous line by line, or otherwise. There are many different ways to be a skilled and technical debater that isn't always just following the line by line closely or forcing opponents to drop an argument. Smart framing claims and innovative arguments can go a long way. With that said, please do try to do line by line when appropriate - it's not the only way to debate, but it definitely is an effective way that is tried and true. A few more quick thoughts.
Execution probably matters more than evidence, but good evidence/cards goes a long way + helps speaks.
Don't cheat - no clipping cards, falsifying evidence, or stealing prep.
Achieving 0% risk is difficult but not impossible.
Voting NEG on presumption exists - some AFFs don't say anything.
Cross-ex is binding - I will listen and flow notable parts.
Do some impact framing at the top of every final rebuttal.
Be kind to one another and by all means don't be bigoted.
I read K AFFs for most of high school, so they're generally what you might call my forte. Some thoughts:
- A lot of K AFFs don't seem to in any way clearly do anything. Please make sure the 2AR (and the rest of AFF speeches) does not forget to explain the AFF. It becomes hard to vote AFF when I don't know what I'm voting for, even if you did everything else right. Utilize CX to bring up examples that will concretize your method.
- When answering framework, make sure that you have a justification for why your K AFF must exist in debate. Even if you have forwarded a generally good idea, framework begs the question not of whether the K AFF should exist in general but why it should be presented in round. Make arguments about how your K AFF interacts with the status quo of debate arguments, or how debate is a platform, or how argumentative spaces are key. I think the easiest way to do this is usually to impact turn the notion of framework, which I'll note is different from impact turning limits.
- When answering Ks of your AFF, the winner will usually be the team who can concretize their argument better. Don't forget that. Keep it simple and keep it real. Don't get bogged down in theory.
Despite having read K AFFs most of high school and coaching K AFFs most of the time currently, I also read and really like framework. In many ways, I do believe it makes the game work.
- Some general agreement about what debate constitutes is probably necessary for debate to function, even with K debates. Your job reading FW is to convince the judge that that agreement should be the resolution. Don't forget that FW is T-USFG. You are fundamentally arguing for a model of debate, with limits that provides teams the ability to predict and prepare for arguments. You forward a way to organize a game. Don't let a K team force you into defending more than you need to.
- Game framing is very helpful in FW rounds. If you can win that debate is a game, then you hedge back against most of the offense the AFF will go for. You can best prove that debate is a game by giving empirics about the way that all debaters shift arguments to get a competitive advantage. Present the question of why the K AFF needs to occur in debate and strategically concede aspects of how the K literature might be useful while making it clear that that literature can be accessed outside of debate while your impacts to FW, such as policy education and advocacy skills, are best accessed in debate.
- There was a time when I think I had a decent predisposition against going for fairness as the only impact to framework, but I've since amended my belief to being that going for fairness alone is difficult but when done successfully is usually very dangerous and impressive. A few thoughts on how to make it good: 1) Win that debate is a game and that we do not become intrinsically tied to arguments in debate - make a game theory argument about the nature of competition. 2) Force the aff to make arguments about the value of the ballot. If the K team says they think the ballot is good, then they are in one way or another arguing that fairness in debate is somewhat necessary insofar as fairness maintains the value of the ballot. 3) Use #1 to then force the burden onto the aff to describe when fairness is good and bad, once you've pigeonholed them into defending that some fairness must be good. 4) Defend a dogma/switch side argument as offensive defense - I phrase it that way because I think dogma is a great way to internal link turn K affs without giving them education offense to impact turn (since the education offense then makes debate at least in some capacity more than a game / risks indicating that debate changes subjectivity).
- Go for your preferred FW impacts. Some will work better than others against different types of K AFFs, and I have some thoughts about that as a coach but enjoy hearing different takes on framework.
Do your thing. I think this is pretty straightforward. I will say, I'm not the biggest fan of when teams have a million impact scenarios and very little explanation of the AFF's solvency mechanism. I think that's a pretty abusive use of the tech over truth framing in debate, and I will in that instance grant the neg a chance to use framing to get their way (and vice versa with the neg reading a million off). With that said, I'll listen to what you have to say.
I read Ks for most of my high school debate career. I think that they're a great way to think about the world and deepen our understandings of the world and problematize the mundane. Some thoughts on how to effectively execute.
- See paragraph 3 of the overview section of this paradigm.
- Overviews are good but not to be abused aka don't forget about line by line.
- The alt is usually the weakest part of the K, so I often find it effective to do things like take the link debate and make turns case arguments. These make the threshold for winning alt solvency much lower. Things about how your systemic critique complicates the way the AFF can solve or makes the AFF do more harm than good are very effective.
- The framework debate on the K is important - you should use it to your advantage to shift how the judge analyzes the round. Don't just throw it out there. You can use framework to make the judge think more deeply about whether or not it is ethical to take a policy action even if it solves the AFF's impacts, or you can use framework to have the judge consider implementation complications (e.g. the Trump regime) that the AFF doesn't factor in because of fiat.
The biggest mistake NEGs make going for T is forgetting that at the end of the day, the impact debate is always still the most important, even with a procedural. Give me strong T impacts, limits and ground arguments that internal link to fairness and education - you can't win without it, even if you win that they violate and your interp is more predictable or precise.
I like to think about the meaning of the topic and what different models of the resolution look like. I'm okay with throwaway T 1NCs, but don't throw it away when there's opportunity. T can be a very good argument, as long as you remember to keep the impact debate in mind. Different models of the topic have different effects on people's education and fairness of debates. It's not sufficient to prove the AFF doesn't meet your interpretation.
I like to hear nuanced DA debates, especially when they're contextualized well to the AFF's mechanism. Just don't take for granted the amount to which policy debaters are used to the idea that proving a link to the DA makes the DA true. At least make an attempt to explain the internal link between your link story and the impact scenario. Otherwise, I think this is an easy avenue for the AFF to win a no risk of DA argument.
Like with DAs, I really enjoy when CPs are related to the AFF's literature/mechanism. I will reward with speaker points a well-researched DA/CP strategy. Don't forget that in the 2NR, the CP is just a way for you to lower the threshold of DA/internal offense that you need to win. The CP is a very effective strategy, but it is not the offense that wins the debate.
Use theory against abusive CPs when you're AFF - I will take it into account. For the NEG, read smart CPs or be prepared to defend against theory. It will favor the NEG if a CP is maybe abusive (process, PIC, agent, etc.) but is core controversy in the literature.
I am willing to vote for theory to reject the team. Theory arguments with claims about how the violation specifically engages with the topic literature are especially convincing. My threshold to reject the team is high but winnable and I enjoy theory when it's done well. Don't forget to go for reject the arg strategically when things are really cheat-y. Impact out reject the team and reject the arg differently when theory is a big part of the debate strategy.
Maybe this is a hot take, but my default assumption is that the status quo is always an option. Unless the 2AR tells me no judge kick / vote aff on presumption explicitly (and all the 2AR has to do is assert this - I’ll change my assumption if you tell me to assuming the 2NR has not made an issue of this), then my paradigm for evaluation involves judge kick, cos I think that just means the neg proved the status quo is better than the aff, and that’s enough for me to vote neg even if there was a CP and that CP doesn’t do anything.
I like conditionality debates.
I consider 28.5 to be about decently average (not a bad thing). I think inflation has gotten to a point where I skew a little low, but if you are good, then I wouldn't worry about it cos I am far from conservative with 28.9+ points. If it helps for context, I debated from 2014 to 2018, so that's my frame of reference for points. I follow this guide pretty closely. Here's a breakdown:
29.7-30: You are one of the best speakers I've ever seen
29.3-29.6: You should get a speaker award, and I'm really quite impressed
28.9-29.2: You gave some really good speeches and maybe deserve a speaker award
28.7-28.8: You are a decently good speaker, are above average, and have a fair shot at breaking
28.3-28.6: You are probably squarely in the lower middle to middle of the pool (standard for circuit bid tournament)
27.8-28.2: This pool is probably tough for you, but you're getting there - keep trying!
27-27.7: This tournament was/is probably going to be rough for you, but don't give up!
Below 27: You almost certainly did something offensive to deserve this
Ways to increase speaks: have organized speeches, be friendly in round, have good evidence, know what your evidence says, be effective in cross ex, be funny (but don't force it)
Ways to decrease speaks: have disorganized speeches, be mean, make it clear that you are reading blocks you don't really get, treat the debate as a joke (don't waste our time)
Ways to get a 0 (or a 20 since that's usually the minimum): be blatantly racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, or generally bigoted towards your opponents or people in the round in any way
Don't forget to have fun in debate. Good luck!
Graduated from CK McClatchy High School in 2020. Currently debate for UC Berkeley. Conflicts: CK McClatchy, West Campus, Harker.
yes email chain please -- email@example.com
I flow straight down on my laptop.
These things suck. Everybody lies and says they are agnostic but in my experience nobody but maybe 10 people really mean it. I am not going to pretend like I don't have preferences and won't internally eye-roll and react negatively to certain arguments, but I will try my absolute hardest to stick to my flow (with the exception of the arguments clearly identified in this paradigm as non-starters).
That in mind, here is my general approach to judging and some preferences:
I was largely a k debater in high school but I am exclusively a policy debater in college. I feel comfortable judging both sides of the spectrum. Regardless of the issue at hand, evidence quality matters a lot to me, and I will read every card mentioned by name in the final rebuttals before making my decision.
I think I care more than other judges about judge instruction. Telling me how to read/understand cards, how to frame warrants, etc. will be taken very seriously when the debate comes to an end. Smart, strategic judge instruction and framing will quickly earn speaker points (addendum: this does not mean I want you to give a 5 minute overview to "frame out" their offense - under no circumstances should judge instruction come before line by line.)
Most of my paradigm is about k debate because I have far less feelings about policy rounds. That is not to say I am not a good judge for them. My favorite debates to judge are big, in-depth policy rounds that are vertically oriented and have lots of good evidence. That being said, I have far less instruction to offer you because those rounds are more straight-forward to evaluate. I will reward smart turns case arguments and clever analytics above a wall of cards in these debates.
Non-resolutional debate -
I generally think that debates are better, more interesting, and more educational when the aff defends a topical plan based on the resolution.
I have been in many of these debates, mostly on the aff and always impact turning some part of T. I think that raises my threshold for the aff a bit because I have first hand experience with how easy it can be to beat framework with args that suck. If you are going for an impact turn to T without a counter-interpretation, you should probably win offense against model v model debates. If you do have a counter-interpretation, tell me why your offense doesn't link to that model and it resolves some predictability/limits/whatever.
- I like impact turns a lot. I am a good judge for heg/cap good, and a bad judge for affs that don't want to defend anything. In my opinion, if you have taken a radically leftist position and forwarded a structural kritik but are unwilling to debate the most surface level right-wing propaganda, you are both bastardizing the literature and being cowards. As someone that genuinely subscribes to a lot of leftist political ideals, I find this sort of revolting. I will not be convinced that your indictment of settler colonialism/some other superstructure is conviently okay with whatever the neg has impact turned. Inversely, if you are a k team that is ready to throw down on these questions, I will consider you strong-willed, brave, and smart.
- Skills/clash solve the case with a big external, a TVA, and a robust presumption push on case is the quickest way to my heart.
- Procedural fairness is not a silver bullet for aff offense. If this is your impact, a vague sentence about not weighing the aff is not sufficient for me to zero all of their stuff, especially if they have impact turns to your model. I have never heard the sentence "procedural fairness is the only impact your ballot can remedy," nor do I know what it means, please don't say it at me.
- Similarly, presumption pushes against affs that are just built to impact turn T are very persuasive.
- I don't like offense that hinges on the subject position of your opponent or me as a judge. I also very strongly prefer not to be in charge of your mental health, livelihood, or identity. EDIT 11/21: have received questions about this and would like to clarify -- args about value to life, ressentiment, etc. are totally fine. I don't want be in charge of you as an individual -- meaning your role in the community, your mental health, or your sense of self.
Neg - I consider myself fairly sufficient in most kritik literature and have researched extensively, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't explain your theory. I don't think its fair of me to just fill in gaps for you (for example, deciding in my own head what it means if you "win the ontology debate.") The best way to win in front of me is to have a unique link that turns the case and beats the aff without framework.
Aff - Impact turn things. Weigh the aff against the alt for more than just fairness -- see my framework thoughts for the neg above. If you are going soft left against the k that is also fine, but sounding nice and in the direction of whatever your opponents say doesn't tell me why the alt doesn't solve the aff.
Usually these debates are pretty bad to judge because people just spread through their blocks and don't do line by line. I tend to be lenient with all neg shenanigans. I will totally kick positions for you if you tell me to, but please remind me to do so -- I have no theoretical qualms with judge kick, but I sometimes forget to do it unless you tell me to in the 2NR.
I largely think if cps compete, they are legit. I can sometimes be convinced otherwise, but if your theory argument is just "this counterplan is bad," I am going to be convinced by neg arbitrariness arguments (with the exception of ConCon -- I think there is a case to be made that we should just arbitrarily exclude that counterplan because it is so clearly bad for debate.)
All of that being said, I also think most cheat-ey cps don't compete! So if you're aff, you're not tanked -- you are just better off going for the perm than, say, theory.
Please do not go for condo in front of me. I have no idea why the neg thinking they can kick a counterplan or an alternative is a voting issue -- simply saying conditionality is bad is not sufficient for me to nuke the other team from the debate. I have never participated in or seen a debate between competent opponents in which even the most egregious abuses of conditionality effected the decision. If the neg drops it twice, I guess you have to go for it. I can think of very few circumstances where it is a good idea otherwise. Slightly more sympathetic for LD because of 1AR time pressures, but still will lean heavily neg and will cap speaks at 29 for the aff.
If my camera is not on, please assume I am not ready for you to begin speaking.
I would very much appreciate if you could record your speeches in case there are internet issues while you are talking.
I am not comfortable evaluating arguments about debaters being in the same room together, "the COVID procedural," or anything else that has to do with out of round conduct. If you make the debate about this, I will be angry with you and likely vote you down.
Even the clearest debaters tend to be tougher to flow in an online format. I understand that this comes with some strategic cost, but I will reward you with speaks if you go a little slower than usual and make sure to be extra clear.
EDIT 4/10/22: adding this after judging ~120 LD debates:
1. There seem to be issues with clarity plaguing this activity. I will be implementing the following measures to mitigate this: a.) I will never open your documents during the debate. I will read cards after if you tell me too. b.) I will say clear 5 times, after that, I'm not flowing c.) If, on the other hand, you are clear, I will give way too high of speaks. Some of the best teams in this activity sound great -- its clearly possible to win without being unflowable.
As my record indicates, I overwhelmingly vote neg in LD debates. Usually, this is because the 1AR runs out of time and drops something important, and I feel like my hands are tied on new 2AR args. That in mind -- 1ARs that set up big framing issues, start doing impact calc, and cut out superfluous arguments in favor of barebones substance will be rewarded with speaker points and usually the ballot. Aff teams, the entire activity seems to be stacked against you -- so debate accordingly, and don't waste time on useless stuff like condo.
I am gettable on Nebel/whole rez, but don't usually find it particularly persuasive. Seems counter-intuitive.
Please go easy on the theory -- I get that its a big part of the activity, but if your plan going into the debate is to go for a theory arg, you shouldn't pref me. I am usually going to vote neg.
I am not 100% familiar with all of the LD nomenclature so I may need a little explanation of things like "upward entailment test" and other LD-specific vocab
No RVI's ever under any circumstances
- Consider me dead inside -- moralizing and tugging on my heart strings will only earn you negative speaks - debate is not about individual feelings, and I will not consider yours when deciding your round.
- I strongly believe that you should be allowed to insert rehighlightings of evidence that has already been read in the debate if you think it goes the other way/want to add context to an argument. Please do not abuse this by inserting a million rehighlightings, but I will be hard to convince that it is not okay to do so in moderation (especially in the 1AR.)
- There is nothing more off-putting to me than debaters who take themselves too seriously. Please stop acting like this is anything other than a silly game we all want to win at.
- In that same vein, being rude does not make you cool or interesting. Snarky CX comments, saying mean stuff in speeches, etc. will make me dislike you and actively hope that you lose the debate. If I think you are too rude, I will say something after the round and take pleasure in giving you bad speaks. If it gets to the point where I am saying something to you, you should assume I bombed your speaks. If you are a team that can't make your arguments without being mean to other debaters, strike me.
running list of arguments that are simply too bad to be evaluated:
new affs bad
no neg fiat
plan focus allows you to say the n word in debates
my opponent did something outside the round that they should lose for
Please do not ask me for high speaks -- you lose half a point every time you bring it up
I will only flow the person who's speech it is (edit: Feel less strongly about this during the 1AC/1NC)
email me if you have questions -- I kind of suck at responding to email sometimes but I will get around to answering your questions.
i debated policy for 4 years in hs at georgetown day school and now debate for the university of west georgia
read whatever you read and it’ll be fine. i judge plenty of k v k debates, “clash” debates, and policy throw-downs and have voted just about every which way in them
make sure you extend warrants for all your arguments in every speech. merely saying they dropped/conceded x is dropping x.
control the story, don’t just rattle off arguments back and forth, tie them together into a narrative
tell me how and why i should sign my ballot
use your fw/framing arguments, don’t treat them as a separate debate, apply them to the flow
engage the case and not just in the 1nc
use your knowledge and experience to make analytic arguments even if you don’t have a card
use lots of examples and debate the other teams, less abstraction generally makes it easier for me to understand your argument
if you don’t know what the other team is talking about, try googling it rather than ignoring it
leverage perfcons to your advantage
use your cx, don’t just treat it as filler time, the cx is extremely important to how i come to understand your arguments and if you’re pointing back to moments in cx to prove your argument you are much much more likely to win my ballot
trust your partner, you are a team, one seamless organism, and fighting amongst yourselves does more harm than your opponents could ever hope to do on their own
be racist sexist homophobic transphobic or otherwise spout fascist nonsense
speed through a 15 second overview in the 1ar without extending warrants and internal links for the affirmative, especially your solvency mechanism
say insert highlighting here, i usually do not follow along on speech docs and will not flow anything you do not say aloud.
read a ton of off if it means you aren't gonna develop your arguments until the 2nr (i am still cool with 10 off strategy, just make sure you are collapsing down and there is some synergy between your positions)
think that that just because you have a card and they have an analytic your argument is intrinsically stronger, absent author quals, arguments about your evidence’s data set etc there is no reason for me to evaluate them as distinct in any way
assume i agree with your argument and so i’ll let you get away with not doing the work
read extremely contradictory arguments
block everything out to the extent that you’re just ignoring the other team
treat your arguments the same in every speech, your arguments should evolve with the rest of the debate and rarely do i vote on arguments where you are just repeating verbatim the extension from your previous speech without any added depth
blaze through analytics without giving me any pen time
how to get extra points:
read arguments you are passionate about
do author indicts
go for a presumption argument by which i don’t mean “the ballot doesn’t resolve this k affs impacts” i mean terminal defense
recut and or spin or opponent’s evidence
read plan flaws, theory arguments that aren’t blocked out into oblivion, and arguments that require a measure of nuance like presumption, strong defense, or the minor repair
creatively weave your off case positions together (especially for k teams not going for a one off strategy this can be a truly beautiful thing to watch, though i definitely here for your one or zero off strategies as well)
UPDATE MUST READ:
Absent substantial argumentation to the contrary, when discussing anything in a routine debate you must describe at least:
a. what it is
b. how it is or functions
c. what ought be our response/relationship to it
As such, your solvency arguments or link arguments should address what it is you/your opponents are doing, how it is being done, and what ought to our response/relationship to that, and, at the same time you should be aligning all of the whats/hows/oughts to be proportionate to those at the impact level. If in this process they don’t connect, you don’t have a complete argument. Attention to scale in this process is key. For example, if you have an advantage predicted on climate related impacts but only have a plan that could mitigate a small fraction of the problem in a localized area, you should not describe the what of your impact as extinction (that is entirely irrelevant to your plan’s how, which doesn’t address the extinction level impact), and as such your oughts can’t be related to an existential try or die framing, at least not in the conventional sense. This applies to all tendencies in debate, not the ones represented in this particular example. This is not to say you must with certainty resolve 100% of every impact you discuss. The point is that any argument must be complete with epistemic, technical/practical, and ethical components and that arguments/concepts should be consistently analyzed and synthesized in concert so as to reflect how they are applied at every other level of the position.
the permutation is not a test of competition but of the monotonicity of entailment, explication of compatibility between premises is irrelevant if the addition of these new premises meaningfully alters the conclusion
a causal argument cannot merely describe an observed correlation between two or more data, it must prove 1. a feature that is necessary and intrinsic to the theoretical relationship between those data and sufficient to explain the observed practical/empirical relationship 2. that this causal relationship is not overdetermined (ie there is not another sufficient cause in play,) or if there is why it shouldn’t matter
Former Assistant Coach at Baton Rouge Magnet, now I mostly work with Millard West and BL debate
Honestly kind of a wildcard, I find myself voting in ways I never would’ve thought of quite often. At one point in time, I was a well-known policy debater, now I might as well be anyone they just picked up on the way to the tournament.
I’ve judged everything from the finals of CEDA Nationals to pf finals at NSDA. Debate and music pays my rent and puts food on my table, this is a job for me, so take that seriously when trying to make something relatable to me. I am a member of the Cherokee Nation, I grew up in a suburban Chicano/Filipino American Household… I say this because Debates that most capture my heart occur in a similar fashion to the arguments we make at the dinner table.
POLICY: There aren’t a lot of arguments I haven’t seen/heard/smelled… I like clear-cut offense in policy debates. It’s very rare that I vote for anything along the lines of “gotta have a plan” or Topicality in general. I’ve coached both high school and college teams on the explicit premise that the topic and or community engaging the topic is flawed in some way. Ideal debates for me will be more about performance and method, I’m more intrigued by what you did/do than the hypothetical. Even when doing fiat style debate, you need to defend it like it has benefits. If heg/cap is good you gotta sell me on a unique enough reason why in THIS instance I NEED/HAVE NO CHOICE OTHER THAN vote for you. Uniqueness absolutely determines the direction of the link for me in more traditional debates. Although I believe in my heart that conditionality is bad, it's hard for me to vote for condo bad when it is debated so nebulously, I generally believe that the negative should have access to everything under the sun to negate the affirmative.
LD: The best LD debates for me are not some mutant reproduction of old policy arguments and styles. I’m a great judge for you if you read a plan text and go multiple off, but in the back of my mind, I wish more LDers would push arguments against fiat, against this way of debating. My ideal form of debate is based on evaluating performance and method… I.e. I think what you do/did is more important than what could potentially happen if x hypothetical policy were passed. Also after judging a significant amount of y’all on the national circuit I’d like to know who is “we”…A lot of top-level LDers are getting away with regurgitating policy arguments to the point where they don’t even think or change up the blocks. I can’t be the only one slightly concerned at the implications of debaters mindlessly reading whatever is on the page right?
PF: I want a copy of your evidence so I can look at it for myself, preferably a speech doc too… other than that these debates are all about uniqueness and terminal impacts for me. I want a clear and cut disadvantage to your opponents' case… it can’t just be a “here’s our side, here’s their side” type of thing. Challenge sources, challenge privilege, and bias. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
Current coach at Kent Denver School, University of Kentucky, and Rutgers University-Newark. Previous competitor in NSDA CX/Policy, NDT/CEDA, and NPTE/NPDA. Experience with British Parliamentary and Worlds Schools/Asian Parliamentary.
> Please include me on email chains - firstname.lastname@example.org <
TL;DR - I like judge instruction. I'll vote for or against K 1ACs based on Framework. Clash of Civilization debates are the majority of rounds I watch. I vote frequently on dropped technical arguments, and will think more favorably of you if you play to your outs. The ballot is yours, your speaker points are mine. Your speech overview should be my RFD. Tell me what is important, why you win that, and why winning it means you get the ballot.
Note to coaches and debaters - I give my RFDs in list order on how I end up deciding the round, in chronological order of how I resolved them. Because of this I also upload my RFD word for word with the online ballot. I keep a pretty good record of rounds I've judged so if anyone has any questions about any decision I've made on Tabroom please feel free to reach out at my email above.
1. Tech > Truth
The game of debate is lost if I intervene and weigh what I know to be "True." The ability to spin positions and make answers that fit within your side of the debate depend on a critic being objective to the content. That being said, arguments that are based in truth are typically more persuasive in the long run.
I'm very vigilant about intervening and will not make "logical conclusions" on arguments if you don't do the work to make them so. If you believe that the negative has the right to a "judge kick" if you're losing the counterplan and instead vote on the status quo in the 2NR, you need to make that explicitly clear in your speech.
More and more I've made decisions on evidence quality and the spin behind it. I like to reward knowledgeable debaters for doing research and in the event of a disputable, clashing claim I tend to default to card quality and spin.
I follow along in the speech doc when evidence is being read and make my own marks on what evidence and highlighting was read in the round.
Most rounds I judge involve Framework. While I do like these debates please ensure they're clashing and not primarily block reading. If there are multiple theoretical frameworks (ex. RotB, RotJ, FW Interp) please tell me how to sort through them and if they interact. I tend to default to policy-making and evaluating consequences unless instructed otherwise.
For theory violations - I usually need more than "they did this thing and it was bad; that's a voter" for me to sign my ballot, unless it was cold conceded. If you're going for it in the 2NR/2AR, I'd say a good rule of thumb for "adequate time spent" is around 2:00, but I would almost prefer it be the whole 5:00.
In the event that both teams have multiple theoretical arguments and refuse to clash with each other, I try to resolve as much of the framework as I can on both sides. (Example - "The judge should be an anti-ethical decision maker" and "the affirmative should have to defend a topical plan" are not inherently contradicting claims until proven otherwise.)
Winning framework is not the same as winning the debate. It's possible for one team to win framework and the other to win in it.
Procedural Fairness can be both an impact and an internal link. I believe it's important to make debate as accessible of a place as possible, which means fairness can be both a justification as well as a result of good debate practices.
3. Debate is Story Telling
I'm fond of good overviews. Round vision, and understanding how to write a singular winning ballot at the end of the debate, is something I reward both on the flow and in your speaker points. To some extent, telling any argument as a chain of events with a result is the same process that we use when telling stories. Being able to implicate your argument as a clash of stories can be helpful for everyone involved.
I do not want to feel like I have to intervene to make a good decision. I will not vote on an argument that was not said or implied by one of the debaters in round. I feel best about the rounds where the overview was similar to my RFD.
4. Critical Arguments
I am familiar with most critical literature and it's history in debate. I also do a lot of topic specific research and love politics debates. Regardless of what it is, I prefer if arguments are specific, strategic, and well executed. Do not be afraid of pulling out your "off-the-wall" positions - I'll listen and vote on just about anything.
As a critic and someone who enjoys the activity, I would like to see your best strategy that you've prepared based on your opponent and their argument, rather than what you think I would like. Make the correct decision about what to read based on your opponent's weaknesses and your strengths.
I've voted for, against, and judged many debates that include narration, personal experience, and autobiographical accounts.
If you have specific questions or concerns don't hesitate to email me or ask questions prior to the beginning of the round - that includes judges, coaches, and competitors.
5. Speaker Points
I believe that the ballot is yours, but your speaker points are mine. If you won the arguments required to win the debate round, you will always receive the ballot from me regardless of my personal opinion on execution or quality. Speaker points are a way for judges to reward good speaking and argumentation, and dissuade poor practice and technique. Here are some things that I tend to reward debaters for:
- Debate Sense. When you show you understand the central points in the debate. Phrases like "they completely dropped this page" only to respond to line by line for 3 minutes annoy me. If you're behind and think you're going to lose, your speaker points will be higher if you acknowledge what you're behind on and execute your "shot" at winning.
- Clarity and organization. Numbered flows, references to authors or tags on cards, and word economy are valued highly. I also like it when you know the internals and warrants of your arguments/evidence.
- Judge instruction. I know it sounds redundant at this point, but you can quite literally just look at me and say "Nate, I know we're behind but you're about to vote on this link turn."
I will disclose speaker points after the round if you ask me. The highest speaker points I've ever given out is a 29.7. A 28.5 is my standard for a serviceable speech, while a 27.5 is the bare minimum needed to continue the debate. My average for the last 3 seasons was around a 28.8-28.9.
Will Halverson (he/him/his)
Kent Denver '20
Coach at Gunn
Standard procedure: 1) Start an email chain and put me on it: willhalverson02 [at] gmail [dot] com. 2) If you have opensourced every card you have ever read (this includes the 2AC and the block), let me know before the RFD and I will boost your speaker points by .3 per debater. 3) Please compile all evidence you believe is relevant after the debate and send it to me.
I don't really care about most of the preferences listed below. I mostly just want to see a debate where both teams are engaging in good faith and are interested in the arguments they're reading. You do you, I'll try to leave my predispositions at the door.
I am unlikely to do any work for you or apply anything that you have not explicitly told me to apply. Judge instruction and argument resolution are the most important parts of debating. Tell me what issues are most important and why you are winning them.
I think the best debates are ones that involve both teams reading well-researched arguments, engaging in line-by-line refutation and clash, and speaking clearly. I prefer debates where both teams go for a few well-developed arguments as opposed to many un-developed ones.
For Online Debate:
Go slower than you usually would. Everyone is more unclear online. (Seriously. Please go slower.)
Please don't speak over each other. It's impossible to hear you.
If my camera's off don't start speaking.
Ks: I have a basic understanding of most K literature. Historical examples on both sides are helpful.
I will likely conclude that the aff gets the aff and the neg gets the K. Instead of asking me to completely disregard one side's arguments, make impact calculus arguments about the relative importance of representations vs hypothetical consequences.
Specificity is key. Affs should read aff-specific answers, even if they are analytics, rather than generic cards. The neg should attempt to make the K interact with the aff as much as possible (i.e. quoting your opponent's cards for links, making specific turns case arguments, applying the alt to the aff, etc.).
T vs Planless Affs: I believe that the affirmative should read an aff that is grounded in topical literature.
Fairness is the most compelling impact, but you must explain it well. I will be more persuaded by arguments about predictable limits and research burdens than arguments about skills or ground.
Ks vs Planless Affs: I have limited experience in these debates. Please help me understand your theory if you want my ballot.
DAs: Judge instruction is especially important when evaluating the different parts of the DA. This includes comparative impact calculus as well as explaining the importance of the link versus the importance of uniqueness.
I like creative link spin, even if you don't have a card.
It is possible for an argument to have zero risk, but rare.
CPs: Read the CP text slower please.
I love love love big advantage CPs. Process CPs are less great, but if you gotta read em, so be it. I would prefer that process CPs have a topic-specific solvency advocate.
I will default to judge-kicking the CP unless persuaded otherwise.
Theory: Lean aff on international fiat and multi-actor fiat. I'm neutral on 50 states. On everything else, I'm heavily neg-leaning, especially against new affs. All theory except for condo is probably a reason to reject the argument.
Either you get conditionality or you don't. Numerical interpretations are arbitrary.
I might be more persuaded by your argument that you get new answers than you think.
T vs Plan Affs: Again, I prefer predictable limits-based arguments over arbitrary arguments about ground. Invest more time in evidence comparison to win my ballot.
Framing Pages: I am persuaded by affs that leverage framing pages as kritiks of the DA. I am also persuaded by affs that argue that a utilitarian calculus is best served by evaluating probability, not just magnitude. Affs that argue that structural violence should always come first are less convincing.
I've been judging debates for a long time. I prefer listening to debates wherein each team presents and executes a well-researched strategy for winning. The ideological flavor of your arguments matters less to me than how you establish clash with your opponents’ arguments. I am open to most anything, understanding that sometimes “you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do” to win the debate.
At the end of the debate, I vote for the team that defends the superior course of action. My ballot constitutes an endorsement of one course relative to another. To win the debate, the affirmative must prove their course is preferable when compared to the status quo or negative alternatives. That being said, I interpret broadly exactly what constitutes a plan/course of action. An alternative is proven a superior course of action when it is net beneficial compared to the entirety of the plan combined with part or parts of the alternative. Simply solving better than the affirmative is not enough: the alternative must force choice. Likewise, claiming a larger advantage than the affirmative is not enough to prove the alternative competitive. A legitimate permutation is defined as the entirety of the "plan" combined with parts or parts of the alternative. Mere avoidance of potential or "unknown" disadvantages, or a link of omission, is insufficient: the negative must read win a link and impact in order to evaluate the relative merits of the plan and the alternative. The 2AC saying something akin to "Perm - do the plan and all noncompetitive parts of the counterplan/alternative" is merely a template for generating permutation ideas, rather than a permutation in and of itself. It's your job to resolve the link, not mine.
I believe there is an inherent value to the topic/resolution, as the topic serves as the jumping off point for the year's discussion. The words of the topic should be examined as a whole. Ultimately, fairness and ground issues determine how strict an interpretation of the topic that I am willing to endorse. The most limiting interpretation of a topic rarely is the best interpretation of a topic for the purposes of our game. The topic is what it is: merely because the negative wishes the topic to be smaller (or the affirmative wishes it bigger, or worded a different way) does not mean that it should be so. An affirmative has to be at its most topical the first time it is run.
I don’t care about any of your SPEC arguments. The affirmative must use the agent specified in the topic wording; subsets are okay. Neither you nor your partner is the United States federal government. The affirmative is stuck with defending the resolutional statement, however I tend to give the affirmative significant leeway as to how they choose to define/defend it. The affirmative is unlikely to persuade me criticisms of advocacy of USFG action should be dismissed as irrelevant to an evaluation of policy efficacy. I believe that switch-side debating is good.
All theory arguments should be contextualized in terms of the topic and the resultant array of affirmative and negative strategies. Reciprocity is a big deal for me, i.e., more negative flex allows for more aff room to maneuver and vice versa). Conditional, topical, and plan inclusive alternatives are presumptively legitimate. A negative strategy reliant on a process counterplan, consultation counterplan, or a vague alternative produces an environment in which in which I am willing to allow greater maneuverability in terms of what I view as legitimate permutations for the affirmative. I’ve long been skeptical of the efficacy of fifty state uniform fiat. Not acting, i.e., the status quo, always remains an option.
Debate itself is up for interrogation within the confines of the round.
I tend to provide a lot of feedback while judging, verbal and otherwise. If you are not clear, I will not attempt to reconstruct what you said. I tend to privilege the cards identified in the last two rebuttals as establishing the critical nexus points of the debate and will read further for clarification and understanding when I feel it necessary. Reading qualifications for your evidence will be rewarded with more speaker points. Reading longer, more warranted evidence will be rewarded with significantly more consideration in the decision process. Clipping cards is cheating and cardclippers should lose.
I value clash and line-by-line debating. Rarely do I find the massive global last rebuttal overview appealing. Having your opponent's speech document doesn't alleviate the need for you to pay attention to what's actually been said in the debate. Flow and, for god's sake, learn how to efficiently save/jump/email/share your speech document. I generally don't follow the speech doc in real time.
"New affs bad" is dumb; don't waste your time or mine. When debating a new aff, the negative gets maximum flexibility.
I believe that both basic civil rights law as well as basic ethics requires that debaters and judges conduct themselves in rounds in a manner that protects the rights of all participants to an environment free of racial/sexual hostility or harassment.
I debated for four years at Olathe Northwest and one year at Kansas State. I was previously an assistant coach at Blue Valley North (2014-2018 and 2021-2022), a lab leader at the Jayhawk Debate Institute (2018), and an assistant coach at Peninsula (2019-2021). I am now a patent lawyer based in Kansas City.
- I prefer policy-oriented debates, but I'm not terribly picky and will listen to most arguments as long as you can justify them.
- I don't pretend to be truly tabula rasa, as I believe that setting some ground rules (namely, that the affirmative team should defend the resolution and that the negative team should disprove the desirability of the affirmative) is a necessary prerequisite to meaningful, fair debate.
- Logic > tech > truth
- I'm far more willing vote for a smart analytical argument than a shallow extension of a card. Evidence should be read for the purpose of backing up your arguments -- not the other way around.
- On a similar note, my least favorite type of debate is the "card war". Don't just read cards -- make arguments.
- The technical aspect of debate is important to me. I'm generally willing to assign substantial risk to dropped arguments, but you still have to extend those arguments and their respective warrant(s).
- I love cross-x. If your cross-x is well thought out and used to generate arguments and understandings that are useful in speeches for important parts of the debate, my happiness and your speaker points will increase. [Credit to Nick Miller for most of the preceding sentence.]
- I enjoy a good joke (and occasionally a bad one).
The affirmative team must affirm the resolution in order to win the debate, and I believe that maximizing fairness and education (generally in that order) is good for debate. "The plan is reasonably topical" is not an argument unless the negative's interpretation is patently absurd; the neg's standards/voters are reasons why the aff is not reasonably topical. T is never an RVI. Conditionality is fine unless abused in an egregious fashion; for example, if your 1NC strat consist of 3 Ks and 4 CPs (I've seen it), you should probably go home and rethink your life.
I am not especially well versed in high-theory critical literature, so do what you can to avoid burying me in jargon. I am probably persuaded by permutations more often than the average judge, and I tend to be skeptical of alts that seem utopian and/or impossible. I'm not a fan of 2NRs that go for "epistemology first" as a way to remove all substantive clash from the debate. Additionally, I tend not to think that my ballot has any particular "role" besides choosing who wins/loses the debate. "Role of the ballot" arguments should be articulated as impact framework, and they require actual standards/warrants -- not just the assertion that "The role of the ballot is [to vote for exactly what our aff/K does]." I am extremely skeptical of the idea that an isolated use of gendered/ableist language is reason enough for a team to lose a debate round. Please avoid reading from dead French philosophers if at all possible.
Debates judged (NATO topic): 0
Debates judged (career): 337
Judges for: Sonoma Academy, Meadows, Montgomery Bell
Experience: Participated in 4 years of national circuit policy debate, cleared at most tournaments. Currently not participating in college debate due to the lack of infrastructure at UCLA.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
post DAMUS update: CROSS EX IS NOT PREP. If I see any more teams taking most if not all of cross-ex as prep, I will be deducting one full speaker point per 10 seconds of cross ex taken as prep.
Speed is fine, but clarity over speed! If I don't understand what you're saying, I won't flow it. Also please disclose on the wiki. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the debate more accessible for you. Emailing me or talking to me before the round totally works.
Do what you do best. Trying to adapt to me as a judge is a waste of time. I will vote for any argument you run as long as you do it well.
Arguments are claims, warrants, and impacts -- means that "dropped" arguments are true only if you explain why they matter and the reasons they're true. I need more explanation than just "they dropped the DA- we win!"
I'm down to see a good T debate! I think T is vastly underused by 2Ns. If your 1N is a killer T debater, use it to your advantage. Most affs to some extent are untopical, so make them stop cheating. Have a good interp/counter interp and give me some good clash on the standards debate. I don't defer to reasonability or competing interps, so I will be convinced by both.
I've gone for condo twice in my four years of doing debate, and it's still one of my favorite rounds. That being said, if condo is a legit strat for you it should be a big part of the 1AR and all of the 2AR. I will vote on condo, but there has to be in round abuse. If they read states and neolib, I will not be very convinced to vote on condo. And I definitely believe that neg should definitely have condo to test the aff. Other theory args aren't as convincing to me unless the other team completely drops it. That's the only time I might vote on it.
Probably my favorite debate argument. I love a good CP/DA neg start. You do you here.
A good advantage CP with a sick DA can be a killer neg strat. But have some good evidence on how and why the CP solves. Usually, 1AC evidence can be used as solvency advocates for ADV CPs. Also, the CP better be competitive, cause then I have no reason to vote for it.
Yes, most K's are cool and I will definitely still vote on the K even though I'm most familiar with policy arguments. I think Ks are very interesting and probably produce the most real-world change. But if you don't understand your K and can't explain it to your opponents, I will have a VERY hard time voting for it. Have some good links that you can explain. Also, the alt better solve or at least do something. If you can't explain what the alt does and what voting neg does, then please don't read that K. There's nothing more embarrassing than watching a K team not know what they are talking about in cross-ex. What K lit I know well (Cap, Set Col, Gnoseology, Security, Orientalism, Foucault). If you read any authors that start with a B (Bifo, Baudrillard, Battile etc, just don't pref me lol). Bad K debates are worse than bad policy debates.
Do what you do best. Have solvency advocates, win the case solves something.
Used to err neg on these debates, but as I judge more and more rounds, I feel differently now lol. I don't really have a preference anymore and yes I will vote for K affs. I am more experienced with policy but recently I have really enjoyed K aff rounds. Same rules apply as the K above.
Destroy them on case. Nothing makes the 1AR harder than amazing case debate in the block.
Don't steal prep. Flashing/emailing isn't prep unless it becomes an issue in the round. If you're very unclear, I will dock your speaks. Please don't clip. That's the last thing I want to deal with. You will lose the round, get a 0 and I will have to have a conversation with your coach. Also please don't make sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic etc. comments. You will lose the round and get a 0. Don't be mean to the other team.
Director of Debate at Alpharetta High School where I also teach AP US Government & Politics, former grad assistant at Vanderbilt, debated at Emory.
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the below notes are just some general predispositions/ thoughts. I firmly believe that debaters should control the debate space and will do my best to evaluate the round in front of me, regardless of if you adapt to these preferences or not.
Counterplans- I like a good counterplan debate. I generally think conditionality is good, and is more justified against new affirmatives. PICs, Process CPs, Uniqueness CPs, Multiplank CPs, Advantage CPs etc. are all fine. Delay CPs- no, I tend to think they're pretty abusive. On consult counterplans, and other counterplans that are not textually and functionally competitive, I tend to lean aff on CP theory. All CPs are better with a solvency advocate. If the negative reads a CP, presumption shifts affirmative, and the negative needs to be winning a decent risk of the net benefit for me to vote negative. I am probably not the greatest person for counterplan competition debates.
Disads- The more specific, the better. Yes, you can read your generic DAs but I love when teams have specific politix scenarios or other specific DAs that show careful research and tournament prep. If there are a lot of links being read on a DA, I tend to default to the team that is controlling uniqueness.
Topicality- I find T debates sometimes difficult to evaluate because they sometimes seem to require a substantial amount of judge intervention. A tool that I think is really under utilized in T debates is the caselist/ discussion of what affs are/ are not allowed under your interpretation. Try hard to close the loop for me at the end of the 2nr/ 2ar about why your vision of the topic is preferable. Be sure to really discuss the impacts of your standards in a T debate.
Framework- Framework is a complicated question for me. On a truth level, I think people should read a plan text, and I exclusively read plan texts when I was a debater. However, I'll vote for whoever wins the debate, whether you read a topical plan text or not, and frequently vote for teams that don't read a plan text; in fact, my voting record is better for teams reading planless affirmatives than it is for teams going for FW. However, I also think this is because teams that don't defend a plan are typically much better at defending their advocacy than neg teams are at going for FW. I tend to think affs should at least be related to the topic, and if I vote aff in a FW debate it's often based on an education impact. If your aff is not at least somewhat related to the topic area it's going to be harder to get my ballot. I do think fairness is a terminal impact because I don't know what an alternative way to evaluate the debate would be but I can be persuaded otherwise.
Kritiks- I am more familiar with more common Ks such as security or cap than I am with high theory arguments like Baudrillard. You can still read less common or high theory Ks in front of me, but you should probably explain them more. I tend to think the alternative is one of the weakest parts of the Kritik and that most negative teams do not do enough work explaining how the Kritik functions.
Misc-If both teams agree that topicality will not be read in the debate, and that is communicated to me prior to the start of the round, any mutually agreed previous year's topic is on the table. I will also bump speaks +0.5 for choosing this option as long as an effort is made by both teams. I am unlikely to vote on disclose your prefs, wipeout, spark, or anything else I would consider morally repugnant. I am strongly in the camp of tech over truth.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at the email address above. Good luck!
Put me on the chain - email@example.com
Used to debate for WY; tech > truth.
9/9/20 ---- Less sick of clash debates, but just do it well.
10/10/2019 ---- I am kind of sick of judging clash debates.
Topicality - I have been in a lot of T debates this year - the only thing I want here is good line by line and impacted out standards in the 2nr/2ar (e.g. and aff ground o/ws neg ground -but why?) *** its not a reverse voter issue/its not genocide (dont annoy me)
T-USFG - I hate judging these now but I still have a conscience, I'm just hostile to them - couple things - make the 2ar responses to the 2nr on FW clear, the 1ar is make or break in FW debates for me so beware technical concessions. I don't really have a preference between prioritizing fairness vs education arguments. For the aff in these debates - dont drop SSD, TVA, or a truth testing claim on your scholarship - with minimal mitigation that's an easy neg ballot to write.
Disadvantages - They're lit - do turns case analysis and have a link story (even if its non specific), have an external impact and you're golden. Stupid DAs are fine (ANWR, tradeoff etc), if they read a stupid DA produce an amusing CX from it to showcase the contrived link chain, it'll up your ethos (and your speaks)
Counterplans - Have a competitive counterplan text with a net benefit. I will vote on a CP flaw/whether or not a CP is feasibly possible, I will not judgekick unless I am told to. Theoretically illegit CPs are fine and the theory debate should be done well if you really want me to reject them. Unorthodox CPs are also cool w me - anarchy for example.
Conditionality - Explain it, go for it if you want - I don't consider myself having a high threshold for judging theory, unless condo is dropped it should be at least 45 seconds of the 1ar (if extended) or else I will be less lenient in a 2ar on theory. In the 1ar, if condo is extended in 10 seconds as an afterthought (e.g. YEAH condo ummm its abusive next) that's annoying and I won't vote on that if the 2nr spends 8 seconds there and is marginally less coherent than you.
Kritiks v Policy Affs - I'm down - just tell me the truth about about whether or not I will need a separate sheet for your O/v honestly - I have assuredly seen any K you're going to run in front of me and have a reasonable threshold for voting on K tricks. That being said - Reps are shaped by context I find that incredibly persuasive and useful when evaluating the K v case. In round links/impacts are fine .
--------things that will annoy me in these debates
- Claiming that I should give you leeway because they read a "K trick" a. no BL for a K trick, b. unless you're going for condo with an impact of in round abuse/some other theory arg stop whining to me.
- unresponsive answers to FW that lead to an interventionist decision
- an incoherent link story/alt solvency
- not being able to explain your K in CX
-not Cross applying FW if they read more than one K and instead spending twenty seconds reading the same FW again
-Claiming the role of the aff in debates is to "stfu" - I don't like voting for this model of debate because it is one sided and in debate as a competitive activity engagement is critical - but I can't make that argument for you.
That being said - go read Khirn's reasoning for why he votes for Kritiks most of the time, and what his RFDs look like. I agree with him.
Ks I have written files on/answering/into the lit for - spanos, psycho, cap, communist horizon, security, fem, mao, death cult, berlant, scranton, queerness, set col, *the thing you'll really need to do in high theory debates is be responsive to 2ac answers and break your prewritten block dependency, show me you know what you're doing and I won't use my background knowledge to help you.
Kritiks v K affs - Usually interesting. the RFD will most like be they did/didnt win the perm (that's usually how it goes).
Death Good - I'll vote on it but I'll have a high threshold.
Ethics Violations - Dont clip, it will annoy me. Ethics Violations as pertaining to evidence quality/evidence flaws are not usually a voter (these types of debates will also annoy the shit out of me)- it is not your role to persuade me that it was particularly abusive - if you introduce one of these into the round a. it is make or break - if i determine you're wrong, you lose and that is a decision I will make myself without consideration from either team by reading the ev, b. these are usually accidents and stupid to waste time doing, c. the appropriate thing is to tell the team to correct it and not weaponize it for a strategy - that's a bad model of debate for several reasons and doing so makes you a living representation of a moral hazard.
Impact Turns - They're funny and usually have questionable evidence quality, I think that good impact turn debates are underused and very threatening to a stupid team that reads both an ineq and hard impact adv.
- don't shake my hand, don't try it's weird and i don't like it
- If you drop Antonio I will probably laugh at you.
- I'll vote on a floating PIK
- Dropped Aspec is a dropped ballot (MBA proves)
- There's a brightline between being argumentative and being a prick, everyone loses that line sometimes but it's important to be attentive and paying attention to the responses of your opponents.
- Ill be on the email chain but I usually won't be flowing off of it
- You get two clears - then I stop flowing
- Time your own prep
- do untopical policy things against K teams it is their fault they can't go for T
-counter-fiction/poetry is acceptable
*High speaker points with generally be determined based on how well you take this advice/the frequency at which you make smart logical arguments/the frequency at which your mentality irritates me
Feel free to message me w questions about my RFDs/comments - take notes during the RFD
[any] I debated for four years at Eisenhower High School. I'm attending the University of North Texas as a sophomore, majoring in mathematics and minoring in linguistics. I tend to view debate rounds through a game-theory perspective and prioritize tech over truth (though every argument needs a justification and impact to matter). In high school, I ran policy affs and mostly went for policy strategies on the neg, though I feel comfortable with mostly every type of argumentation.
Add me to the e-mail chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please no overviews! If you must read them, make them very short. If I didn't understand your argument the first time, I'm not going to understand it from you speeding through a wall of text. Everything can and should be on line by line.
These graphs will be about my preferences, while the rest of the paradigm will be about more specific thoughts on strategy.
Team should adapt------------------------------X-Judge should adapt
(insert) Counterplans aren't fair---------------------------X----Counterplans are fun
Nothing competes-------------------------X------Summers 94
Conditionality good-------X------------------------Conditionality bad
Topicality is a procedural. It primarily comes down to impact calculus, in terms of limits, or some other neg standard, against game-playing-esque impacts of the affirmative. Other aff arguments (including we meet & reasonability) are just defense to the neg's impacts.
A true we meet arg means the aff wins the page; reasonability can be won and is best framed as a question of interpretations rather than a literal "reasonability" of the case. Grammar is an a-priori standard and an intricate explanation of the other team's interpretation not being grammatical or legally precise will earn high speaks.
Additional interps in the block can be very strategic.
A thorough case debate will result in higher speaks, as will a 2ac that's layered and efficient. A 1nc that spends a lot of time on case doesn't do much if all of their arguments are generic and answered well.
Collapsing the case debate in the block and reading the best literature for your arguments will usually put you far ahead of the aff, especially if you had a wide array of args on case in the 1nc. That being said, a 1ar (and often 2ar) collapse on case can also be very strategic.
Strategic concessions are underutilized on case, and can often take out entire disads.
Impact turns are fun, even large ones such as spark. "Oppression good" args are unacceptable. A block pivot to an impact turn will be rewarded.
Disads on case seem to be generally under-covered by the aff but have no less importance than a disad with a seperate sheet.
"UQ/link controls link/UQ" args don't make sense to me, but links tend to be the most important component. DA turns case args are very powerful (especially so if you have multiple), and they are even better if they are UQ or Link turns case rather than "war causes their impact." Timeframe is underutilized by the negative.
New 1AR arguments are unacceptable, e.g. a non-uq arg when there were none in the 2ac, and a 2n who calls them out as new will be rewarded. But an additional justification for an argument that was in the 2ac, e.g. a "DIB collapse inevitable--reliance on Congress" card is fine if you have any UQ argument in the 2ac; answering new block arguments is always fine.
An impressive 1nr on a DA will earn high speaks. Extending multiple warrants from each card for every component, having case-specific link walls, having specific cards against individual 2ac warrants, and being knowledgeable about the institutions and topic of the DA make it very difficult for the 1a.
Politics DA's (particularly horsetrading) are good, but "fiat solves the link--bottom of docket"-esque arguments can be persuasive.
"Cheating" counterplans are fine, but always susceptible to theory. Permutations can beat them too, but few people tend to make the correct perms against them. Perm shields link arguments aren't usually answered well, so don't be afraid for going for a perm and one or two other args if you're aff.
I default to "sufficiency framing," solvency deficits have to have impacts to matter. Judge kick might be an extension of condo, but it doesn't often win rounds. I can also be persuaded that it's bad (this argument has to be in the 1ar unless the block makes no mention of judge kick, of course).
Kicking planks and even combining counterplan sheets are fine, but there can always be a debate.
Internal net benefits are fine.
Kritiks are very powerful arguments. I am most familiar with Baudrillard, kritiks of capitalism and security, and psychoanalysis. However, any kritik is fine if you have a consistent thesis and explanation.
Links should turn case and have independent impacts. Alt should solve links, and alt solves case arguments can be very good. Even if the alt doesn't solve case, going for it as a "uniqueness counterplan" for an extinction level impact to a link is good enough to win even with little case offense if you win the perm debate and that the alt solves the link completely.
You don't need to go for the alt if you're winning FW and/or a link well enough. Permutations need to solve every link and must be theoretically legitimate and possible, i.e. negs should argue the alt cannot be accomplished because the aff engages in institutions that the alt makes obsolete.
Aff FW interps are usually not ambitious enough and should include more that factors the intangible internal link chains of the K out of the decision-making process, since the neg team is doing such against the aff. Basically one should say more than "let us weigh the aff", as an interp, but including that phrase isn't a bad idea. You can still lose if you win your FW interp, but it's far more unlikely. Incorporating the substance of the K into your FW interp can make it more powerful.
Link uniqueness is a good thing for the aff to push on, but the neg can solve it with claims about discourse or their alt solving the link. The aff should always contest the thesis of the K and the solvency of the alt, at least in the 2ac.
Dropping K tricks will lose the round against a clever 2n.
I don't have any qualms with these affs, but I also don't have any issues with T-USFG. Use the case to leverage offense against T; impact turns are the best arguments against it. Winning debate is a game, a TVA, or switch-side makes a negative ballot much easier.
Cap K against K affs is always viable. Good links in the block and theory comparison is crucial.
Case debate on K affs is not used enough by either team.
Can always be a reason to reject the team. However, "reject the arg not the team" will almost always suffice for anything that isn't condo. However, if you're losing a debate badly and the other team drops a theory interpretation, this could be your best path to victory, provided you have reasons they should lose the round.
If you don't want to go for theory, going for a 'remedy' can be useful and possible: e.g. "stick them with the counterplan", "don't evaluate planks that violate the interp", etc.
Condo offense typically doesn't increase with the number of condo they run. Qualitative reasons condo is bad are more persuasive, and even one condo can be abusive in the right circumstances. If you're going for condo, the 1ar should be spending significant time answering every neg standard, and the 2ar should be entirely condo.
You can go quickly in theory, but signposting is especially important.
Speed is not a problem, but you must be comprehensible. Clarity is more important, and efficiency can more than make up for pure speed. Have fun, and making me smile is never a bad idea. 28.5 will be my average points awarded. Being rude makes it worse for everyone. Let me know if I can accommodate you in any way.
Email: email@example.com - add me to the email chain
Emory University '21
Debated 4 years at McDonogh ('17)
Do you, I will equally evaluate any argument (unless clearly, intentionally, and/or inherently unethical) as long are you are willing to defend the argument in a passionate and respectful way. I will try to be as objective as possible. My history in non-traditional/performative debate does not mean that I default to these arguments or prefer them over any other type of argument - if you win the debate, you win the debate. I am still familiar with traditional forms of debate but err to the side of more explanation for topic DA contextualization. I love seeing smart/new/strategic arguments. The best way to get a ballot in front of me is for the 2NR/2AR to tell a story stitching together all of the previous moving parts of the debate and paint a picture of what voting for you would look like. This may include a role of the ballot/debate/judge, but not necessary.
K/Performance/Non-traditional Affs & T/Framework:
- I am flexible with alternative ways of viewing the topic. What I have read/believe is true however does not necessarily matter in these debates though because (like I said above) if you win you win. An aff that's not T can still win against T/FW and a T aff can lose on T/FW. It all depends on the debate and what your arguments are.
- I will not prescribe to you how you should read your args - as long as you believe you are making a smart/well-explained/strategic argument, do you and I'll evaluate it.
- FW: Actually talk about the specific aff/and what they do wrong instead of making a generic/uncontextualized "no-plan bad" argument. You can still win these debates but usually not at high-level competition. (T you won't have to worry about this as much)
- Familiar with race-based Ks (STILL give me the story/theory of the K especially in the context of the aff - not everyone reads the same Ks the same way).
- High-theory Ks will need to include explanation that isn't full of jargon (even if it makes sense to you).
- DA: Solid link contextualization and impact work (assuming you are winning the basic stuff i.e. uq, i/l chains, etc.) and you'll be good.
- CP: Open to them all, no matter how small/picky or big if you win the flow you win the CP
- I evaluate based on what I have seen at your level of debate.
- Generally 28.5 - 29.5 but you will be below or above if you need to learn/practice a lot more and practice or did exceptionally well and made very smart arguments that stitched the debate together, respectively.
- Open, cool with using prep to prolong CX
- Of course reference if necessary in speech
- Speed isn't everything - slower + clear > faster + hear every 5th word; I will also listen and usually flow the parts of the evidence you read/have highlighted
- Clipping: You and partner get L + 0 speaks, W + 30s for opponents, taken up with tab
- Saving the doc, emailing, flashing, that whole process is not prep
1. Conflicts [as of 10/04/2020]
- No Univ of Chicago Lab
- No Iowa City
2. Short Version
- tech over truth
- strong analytics/analysis can beat carded evidence
- prioritize your impacts
- have fun!
3. Pandemic Social Distancing Related Technology Notes
- Please slow down 5-10%. Emphasize your warrants. Without a microphone stem, your quality fluctuates. Keep in mind that I still flow on paper.
- Please get explicit visual or audio confirmation from everyone in the debate before beginning your speech. I may use a thumbs up to indicate I am ready.
- If my camera is off, unless I explicitly have told you otherwise, assume I'm not at the computer.
- If the current speaker has significant tech problems, I'll try to interrupt your speech and mark the last argument and timestamp.
4. Some Detail
I've been meaning to do this for a while, but have not really had the time. My hope is that I end up judging better debates as a result of this updated philosophy. I am now changing to a more linear philosophy, it is my hope that you read this in its entirety before choosing where to place me on the pref sheet. I debated for four years at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in the south Chicago suburbs from 2007-2011. During that time I debated, Sub-Saharan Africa, Alternative Energy, Social services and substantial reductions in Military presence.
Nearing a decade ago, during would would have been the h.s. space topic. I started at the University of Northern Iowa, Where I debated NDT/CEDA Middle East/North Africa while judging a few debate rounds across the midwest. After my freshman year I transferred to the University of Iowa, where I started coaching at Iowa City High School. This year, I will continue to coach the City High Debate team.
Framing, Issue choice and impact calculus are in my opinion the most important aspects of argumentation, and you should make sure they are components in your speeches. Late rebuttals that lack this analysis are severely.
I preference tech over truth. Your in round performance is far more important to me, as it is what I hear. I greatly attempt to preference the speaking portion of the debate. Increasingly, I've found that my reading evidence is not necessarily an aspect of close debates, but rather results from poor argument explanation and clarification. The majority of 'close rounds' that I've judged fall into the category of closeness by lack of explanation. In some limited instances, I may call for evidence in order to satisfy my intellectual fascination with the activity. Anything other than that--which I will usually express during the RFD--probably falls upon inadequate explanation and should be treated as such.
I feel my role as a judge is split evenly between policymaker and 'referee' in that when called to resolve an issue of fairness. I will prioritize that first. Addressing inequities in side balance, ability to prepare and generate offense is something may at times find slightly more important than substance. In short, I consider myself a good judge for theory, THAT BEING SAID, rarely do I find theory debates resolved in a manner that satisfies my liking - I feel theoretical arguments should be challenged tantamount to their substance based counterparts. Simply reading the block isn't enough. Though I was a 2A[≈ High power LED current, peak 2.7 A] in high school I have since found myself sliding towards the negative on theoretical questions. I can be convinced, however, to limit the scope of negative offense quite easily, so long as the arguments are well explained and adjudicated.
I consider reasonability better than competing interpretations, with the caveat that I will vote on the best interpretation presented. But topicality questions shouldn't be a major concern if the team has answered.
I have a long and complicated relationship with the K. I have a level of familiarity with the mainstream literature, so go ahead and read Capitalism or Neolib. Less familiar arguments will require more depth/better explanation.
Hebron HS '20, 2A for one year, 2N for three, qualified to the TOC
Pronouns – He, him, his
Put me on the email chain - rahulk1325 AT gmail DOT com
- Clarity > speed
- Tech > Truth in most instances
- Don't be violent (racism, sexism, genocide good)
- Clipping is bad (L and 0 speaks for the team who does it)
- Reject the arg > reject the team
- I flow on a computer
- Being funny is good - debates can get quite boring sometimes. Just don't be stupid about it.
- I have invested most of my career into exploring critical literature bases and as such am more adept at judging Policy v K rounds and K v K rounds. But I will evaluate anything present in front of me.
- Enjoy these debates, but bad K debate makes me sad.
- I don't care how long your overview is, but technical line-by-line is always the move.
- More specific the link/analysis the better.
- Familiar with a litany of theory basis, but when making specific analysis, make sure your explanation starts broadly.
- My evaluation begins with the framework portion of the debate - make sure you have a clear articulation of your model of debate and why it is preferable.
- If your read a kritik against a K aff, I will reward specific engagement by holding affirmative teams to a higher standard for permutation explanation.
- I can be convinced to vote for anything in regards to reasonability/competing interps.
- Impact comparison is pretty important.
- Good counter interp ev is really cool.
- Smart, creative counterplans are appreciated if executed well.
- I lean neg for most counterplan theory except for consult, condo, solvency advocate.
- I need instruction for judge kick.
- Presumption flips if there is a counterplan in the 2NR.
- DA internal links suck.
- Good impact comparison makes me happy.
- DA turns case arguments when executed correctly are strategic and beneficial for negative teams.
Debate is an unique experience - don't take it/yourself too seriously and make sure to have fun.
Be nice! Debate is rapidly losing participation - don't be the reason debaters quit.
4 years at Greenhill
1 year at USC
Please put me on the email chain. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I went for' policy' arguments in high school. In terms of categories of negative arguments (i.e. k,cp,da,etc.), I have no overlying ideologies or overt preference to what categories of negative arguments you must make.
However, there are debates that i've noticed that i personally enjoy judging and are interesting to me, and debates that i've noticed i do not enjoy judging and are not interesting to me. so if you are at all interested in my enjoyment:
examples of debates i have enjoyed judging: counterplans and disads, occasionally security, psychoanalysis one time
examples of debates i did not enjoy judging: baudrillard, death good, identity arguments, no fiat/fiat bad
if you plan to do anything from the latter category, please spend more time explaining your arguments because im not as smart as you!
The rest of this paradigm is mostly biases I've noticed about myself when I judge.
Condo - its good. Unless condo is dropped, not really worth going for if I'm judging you. Generally I err neg on theory - states cps, process cps, international fiat and pics/word pics are all okay with me. Private actor fiat, floating piks and multi-actor fiat are the exceptions where I err aff on theory.
judge kick - i won't kick the counterplan for you if you don't tell me to in the 2nr. if you tell me to kick it and/or read it conditionally i will. if you are aff and want me to not kick the counterplan, you should start that debate in the 1ar at the very least. ***if the aff reads and does not extend condo after the block, or at least a reason why conditionality being good does not necessitate that judge kick is also good, i will not be persuaded by judge kick bad in the 2ar.
Offense/defense - I think you can mitigate the risk of something to the point where it is inconsequential in my decision.
Framework/Topicality - I generally think of fairness as an internal link not a terminal impact but could be persuaded otherwise.
tag teaming in cx - its annoying to me but you do you
k affs – you shouldn't pref me. i don't like and don't often vote for these types of affirmatives.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask before the round or email.
put me on the email chain <email@example.com>
Debated for University HS Irvine
Freshman at UC Berkeley
Qualifed to the TOC senior year
Don't have much knowledge of the CJR topic
-case debate is great debate and will warrant high speaks if done well
- I prefer if the aff's praxis is exportable. I "prefer" framework in order of 1) institutionality/infiltration 2) skills/deliberation/ssd 3) fairness/limits/predictability. By "prefer" I mean easiest to judge. I will vote on any type of framework including fairness.
2nc add ons are fine. Planks can be kicked if you want. Lean neg towards infinite condo.
love these a lot. The link wall should be explained really well.
Good K debate means no/minimal overviews. I am familiar with most identity oriented critiques and postmodern arguments. I prefer 2NRs with link specific analysis and case. Winning framework to bracket out the case also works, but it that requires you to be substantially ahead on your theory of power and winning the perm.
T (not t usfg)
meh - i don't really think the debate should come down to whether or not the aff was extremely topical, but if you must I will vote on any arg
I was a 2N in high school. I have little topic knowledge, so please explain stuff. Don't go for everything in the 2NR.
If the Aff doesn't read a plan I will most likely vote Neg. Fairness is an impact, but still needs to be weighed against their impacts.
If you're reading a soft left Aff don't rely on your framing to get out of responding to DAs.
Evidence quality is a good link to your impacts and usually what I base my decision upon, so have a good definition.
Fairness is an impact.
I'm fine for any counterplan, except ones that compete off certainty or immediacy, as long as you win the theory debate (if the theory debate devolves into both sides just repeating their arguments I will usually not vote for the theory).
I don't think I evaluate DAs very differently from others.
tech>truth, although if you skimp out on your coverage of some things (like a one line turns case argument) I probably won't evaluate it very much.
I'm fine for Ks as long as there is a link to the assumptions of the aff.
Most of my attention will be on the link and alt debate because most of the K doesn't matter without first winning those parts. The aff can weigh their plan against the K.
Don't kick the alt and go for the K.
Reject the aff is not an alt.
Add me to the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a 2A during high school. I think tech > truth, but truth gets increasingly important the closer the debate becomes. Weigh and do line by line. I am very easily persuaded by smart analytic arguments in response to bad evidence/argument quality. I will look to evidence if I'm given two opposing claims without a way to reconcile them.
Please compile a card doc at the end of the debate and send it to me.
Be nice :)
I think they should be topical and defend a plan.
If you read a soft left affirmative, I won't be convinced by going for just the framing advantage in the 2AR and not adequately debating the disad.
I think I'm good for most stuff (e.g. 2NC counterplans/not having a solvency advocate in the 1NC etc.). The exception to this is if your counterplan competes off certainty/immediacy, which I don't particularly enjoy.
I lean neg in most counterplan theory debates.
The more specific to the aff these are the better.
Well explained link story > uniqueness.
Fairness is an independent impact.
I'm familiar with the prevailing ones. Please explain a lot more than you typically would if you're reading Bataille/Deleuze etc.
Please have a clearly articulated, specific link to the aff that isn't just "state bad" and an alternative that actually does something. Recutting of aff evidence and using cx to prove links is super appreciated/important.
Do your best to stay organized; try not to have stream-of-consciousness speeches in which you allude to the long overview instead of doing line by line.
In K v. K debates (I am probably not optimal for you in these), I think the aff gets the perm but can be persuaded otherwise.
northwood hs 19 (no longer coaching.
coaching northwood ff; debatedrills ld) chain: email@example.com
northwestern 23 (ma econ, ba econ + math + some other stuff): not debating.
past: i don't debate in college, but coach policy (and previously ld). when i was debating, i got a few bids in policy and ld, was mostly a double 2 (2n otherwise), and usually read a plan.
0. racism, sexism, queerphobia, ableism, and other arguments which advocate violence based on immutable characteristics are bad and will result in an L 0.
1. boilerplate: tech > truth, judge instruct and i'll abandon my predispositions. don't clip. dropped args = true, but implications = up for contestation. evidence quality matters. spin, contextualization, and judge instruction matter much more.
2. "judge type": ideological differences are usually a result of heterogenous academic background filtering the way we read arguments. to be explicit: i work in abstract economic theory and pure mathematics (particularly game theory, mechanism design, information). this implies
a. i think of the world much more through the lens "definition theorem lemma proof." i enjoy specific claims with good warrants that have clear implications for why you should win, and do not enjoy "warrant by n = 1 example."
b. if you ask me to read cards that cite statistics, i will read unhighlighted portions to check statistical significance of the results.
c. i did not go for, nor do i interact with the literature for, "hard-left" critical arguments; you will need to do more work to win my ballot as a consequence of the above. even though i find myself voting for k affs and all types of ks when i do judge them, i have found my predisposition towards preferring axiomatically formal, rigorous argumentation implies winning these arguments is an uphill battle in front of me.
3. what i like: impact turn debates, multiplank process counterplans with smart advantage and uniqueness planks, aggressive 2acs that don't modularize the debate, and well-contextualized politics disads.
4. what i dislike: high theory buzzwords, assuming i have the same references/knowledge as you, a lack of judge instruction, and particularly messy block/1ar organization.
5. condo: conditionality is good. a lot of conditionality is even better.
6. theory: counterplans are arbitrary modifications to the status quo using the actor identified in the resolution to identify the existence of an opportunity cost. any counterplan that meets this definition is a-priori not abusive (i.e. theory is an uphill battle). however, "sketchier" counterplans might justify creative permutations and bolder strategic concessions, both of which will give you higher speaks.
7. ld: i don't anticipate having to judge ld again in the future. if i do and you are reading this trying to pref me, if the word "kant" means anything to you, strike me.
8. speaks: if you care, my speaks have mean 28.45 with standard deviation 0.57. if you know what you're doing, you'll probably get fine speaks.
they/them pronouns // firstname.lastname@example.org
4 yrs CX @ BVW '19. UC Berkeley '22. did not debate in college. aff:neg - 88:98, sat 4x.
* if you're any degree of sick, covid or otherwise, wear a mask, my immune system sucks. I will use the threat of low speaks if it incentivizes you not putting me at risk of going to the hospital. if you do not have a mask I will personally get you one. *
ETHICS VIOLATIONS; the debate ends when the accusation is made. if its verified/valid, the violating team drops with 0 speaks. if the accusation is disproven/invalid, the accusing team drops with 0 speaks.
(clipping); if i hear it happen but its not pointed out, auto 25 speaks for the clipper & I'll put in tab which card it was. clipping accusations usually necessitate recording the round, so that's mostly contingent on tournament rules.
[online] do not start if my camera is off. SLOW DOWN; I will clear you once per speech.
[IRL] I'll clear u once per round & stop flowing if i don't understand. my facial expressions reveal a lot about what I do/dont understand. track your own prep please. feel free to cut me short if you need to prep another round immediately.
nearly all arguments welcome as long as you can explain it to me. I like efficiency & will not punish a shortened speech. i do not read "inserts". I am good for T, policy/policy, and (most) K's on the neg. I'm not great for theory & KvK. I like when teams make decisions simple for me.
[important] I have auditory processing problems [read: signpost]. content warnings/disability accommodations/etc should be made verbally before disclosure/round. i am not a witness to your disclosure argument. Tech > truth. clarity > speed. i like spoonfed decisions and organization.
[case] yes. plan texts are my preference, but not a requirement. case is important to me. I won't read "inserted" recuts - read it. case turns are dope.
[K-aff] meh. not experienced here, neg-leaning on t-USFG for limits/TVAs. engage the case & develop offense early on. being germane to the resolution is good. I wanna be told the implications of voting aff/neg. I generally think aff teams should solve something. offense/defense paradigm is easiest for me to understand here. KvK is difficult for me to keep up, give me overviews, write my ballot for me plss.
[K-neg] sure. i dont know your words, tell me what they mean. I'm ok for cap/security/identity-based K's - everything else is a no (Derrida, heidegger, etc.).
[disads] yes. impact turns are awesome.
[cp] okay. dislike blips like "sufficiency framing" (you should tell me the threshold for sufficiency). cheating CP's are cringe. big fan of adv cp + impact turn combo. I don't weigh the CP unless i think there's a risk of the net benefit.
[T, T: USFG] yes. I generally prefer a limited topic. default to competing interps. Spec your ground loss and impact out your model of debate. SIGNPOST. tell me why you win & why i should vote. TVA's are dope. no one goes for T anymore :(
[theory] lots of "theory" are norms, and not rules (re: disclosure). please try to avoid going for theory in front of me, I am not good for it and have a high threshold for proving in-round abuse. dropped = true is not the same as dropped = win.
[speaker points] everyone starts at 28. I drop speaks for disorganization, offensive behavior, obvious/egregrious prep theft, whitesplaining/mansplaining. speaks are earned via efficient/effective speech construction, cx usage, succinctness, and strategy.
>25 = clipped or did something offensive not resolved in-round
27-28 = revisit fundamental strategies
28-28.3 = avg, making some critical mistakes
28.3-28.6 = avg, making some strategic choices
28.7-29 = above avg, missing details
29.1-29.4 = great/good, I enjoy judging, probably breaking
29.5+ = exemplary, role model debate for younger debaters, breaking to deep elims
email@example.com - email chain - please put me on it
---update - 12/5/2021 ---
- All impact turns
- Specific, well-researched K's
- Tag team for asking questions
- AFFs without a plan text
- Talking about your identity, race, sexual orientation, class, kinks, or anything of the sort
- Untopical AFFs
- Generic, unapplied arguments
- GBX-style process CPs
- Quantum Physics-based impacts
- Tag team for answering questions
---end of update---
---update - 11/7/2020 ---
reasons to strike me:
-you read a 1ac without a plan text
"27.5 if you think the 1ac is a strategy to survive."
-you talk about your identity in debates
-you read baudrillard
-you have 3-minute-long 2nc overviews
-you think a good 1nc can be made by a conglomeration of generics
---end of update---
vote from my flow |--------------------------------------X| read every card at the end of the debate
the 1ac can be whatever you want it to be |--------------------------------------X| read a plan
the cp needs a solvency advocate |------------------------X--------------| the cp doesn’t need a solvency advocate
pics are bad |--------------------------------------X| pics are good
condo is bad |---------------------X-----------------| condo is good
go for t |---X-----------------------------------| don’t go for t
k’s that link to every aff |--------------------------------------X| k’s that link to this specific aff
---end of update---
predispositions – if you accurately describe your evidence as phenomenal, i will reward you with extra speaks in proportion to how good your cards are. if you oversell your sub-par cards, i will be thoroughly disappointed. regardless of my biases, please just go for what you are prepared to execute and have the research on.
there are really only 2 things you need to take from this –
1 – do what you're good at
2 – do LINE BY LINE
"i vote on dropped arguments that i don't believe" -ian beier
for ld – please spare me the kant.
things that bother me -
tag-team cx: fine for answering, not for asking.
prep: please have the 1nr emailed out before 2nc cross-ex is over. you can go get water for -.5 speaks or you can use prep to do it.
topicality – love it. please read a good amount of cards. if you've done the research to support a well-articulated t argument, i will be overjoyed to judge the debate. although i generally default to competing interpretations, after thinking about it, reasonability is compelling if the 2ar accurately articulates why the neg interpretation is unpredictable and overly burdensome for affirmatives, which outweighs 2nr offense – this is especially persuasive if you have aff-specific cards in relation to the topic literature or legal question of the resolution. negatives that 1 – do thorough impact calculus external to ‘they explode limits – limits are good’ and 2 – give overwhelmingly extensive lists of the absurd affs their interp justifies are crucial. limits is an internal link to the topic-specific expertise the resolutional question is designed to impart.
theory – can be tedious to resolve, but i'm intrigued. 1ar's do not extend this enough. 2ar's that do the impact comparison, turns case analysis, and offense/defense framing on theory as if it were a da are very enjoyable. if theory arguments aren't well-articulated and are overly blippy, i am fine with simply dismissing them.
must disclose judge prefs theory – no, thank you. i am not sympathetic.
kritiks – the most intricate debates or the most mediocre debates – i mean this sincerely. if you are good at making a real argument, yes please. specific link work with intricate turns case analysis and examples relating to the aff win debates. reading a new phenomenal critical theory card will make my day - ie if you have done the research to support your argument, let's go. the more generic your k is, the less inclined i am to vote for you. if you are a team that goes for the k like a disad (techy, line-by-line, interacts with the case) i'll be happy to judge the debate; the inverse is true as well.
cp – wonderful.
counterplans with long texts – my favorite.
pics – they're the best. HOWEVER – they should be substantively different than the aff and have a solvency advocate.
process cp's – you're probably cheating.
states cp – teams overestimate the impact of their solvency deficits and underestimate the efficacy of theory as an answer. aff – please go for theory.
da – yes, please.
well-researched link evidence works wonders. taking a minute of the 2nr to detail turns case analysis puts you in a great position.
if you don't have a da, you don't have a da. 1% risk calculus won't make your link for you.
impact turn – please go for these if your evidence is recent and of high quality. this means not spark. doing thorough comparison between the data and qualifications of your cards versus theirs is how these debates are won.
"people should impact turn.... everything" -ian beier
neg v. k affs – if you're neg and don't win these debates, you're the exception. these are the hardest 2nr's, so i'm willing to grant some leeway.
presumption – make this argument.
framework – yes. compare your impacts at the internal link level and do intricate turns case analysis. i enjoy institutional engagement arguments vs identity affs and truth testing/fairness against more abstract affs.
the k – though i think it is an admirable strategy, unless you have hyper-specific evidence about the aff or its mechanism, you are highly susceptible to the perm.
k affs – good luck.
aff v. the k – you have an aff; that's all you have to defend.
affs lose to the k when they don't answer offense that is embedded in link arguments, lose the framework debate, letting them get away with broad and absurd generalizations, and going for too much.
execution – evidence quality doesn't replace the necessity of good debating. but i really do love good evidence.
zero risk – it’s not possible strictly in the sense of ‘zero risk’, because there is inherently a possibility of all events but it is possible to diminish the risk of an advantage or da to such a degree that it is not sufficiently significant to overcome from the noise of the status quo. i think the new fettweis card is pretty devastating impact defense. lots of neg da's are utterly ridiculous.
cx – if their cards are awful, or their da is incoherent, pointing it out is fun. being strategic in the rhetorical method you use to get the other team to say what you want, then referencing their answers in speeches to warrant arguments is persuasive and gets you additional speaks if what they said is truly applicable.
"be snarky if you want" -grace kuang
judges/people i admire - dheidt, tallungan, khirn, tyler peltekci, dan bannister, grace kuang, spurlock, matt munday, tucker carlson, forslund, scott brown.
bad args – 'racism/sexism good' args are obviously non-starters. i won't immediately dismiss 'death good' but if this is really the position you're in, you have more immediate problems than my judging preferences.
Debated for UWG ’15 – ’17; Coaching: Notre Dame – ’19 – Present; Baylor – ’17 – ’19
"Can I get a marked doc?" / "Can you list the cards you didn't read?" when one card was marked or just because some cards were skipped on case. Flow or take CX time for it.
I prefer K v K rounds, but I generally wind up in FW rounds.
K aff’s – 1) Generally have a high threshold for 1ar/2ar consistency. 2) Stop trying to solve stuff you could reasonably never affect. Often, teams want the entirety of X structure’s violence weighed yet resolve only a minimal portion of that violence. 3) v K’s, you are rarely always already a criticism of that same thing. Your articulation of the perm/link defense needs to demonstrate true interaction between literature bases. 4) Stop running from stuff. If you didn’t read the line/word in question, okay. But indicts of the author should be answered with more than “not our Baudrillard.”
K’s – 1) rarely win without substantial case debate. 2) ROJ arguments are generally underutilized. 3) I’m generally persuaded by aff answers that demonstrate certain people shouldn’t read certain lit bases, if warranted by that literature. 4) I have a higher threshold for generic “debate is bad, vote neg.” If debate is bad, how do you change those aspects of debate? 5) 2nr needs to make consistent choices re: FW + Link/Alt combinations. Find myself voting aff frequently, because the 2nr goes for two different strats/too much.
Special Note for Settler Colonialism: I simultaneously love these rounds and experience a lot of frustration when judging this argument. Often, debaters haven’t actually read the full text from which they are cutting cards and lack most of the historical knowledge to responsibly go for this argument. List of annoyances: there are 6 settler moves to innocence – you should know the differences/specifics rather than just reading pages 1-3 of Decol not a Metaphor; la paperson’s A Third University is Possible does not say “State reform good”; Reading “give back land” as an alt and then not defending against the impact turn is just lazy. Additionally, claiming “we don’t have to specify how this happens,” is only a viable answer for Indigenous debaters (the literature makes this fairly clear); Making a land acknowledgement in the first 5 seconds of the speech and then never mentioning it again is essentially worthless; Ethic of Incommensurability is not an alt, it’s an ideological frame for future alternative work (fight me JKS).
General: 1) Fairness is either an impact or an internal link 2) the TVA doesn’t have to solve the entirety of the aff. 3) Your Interp + our aff is just bad.
Aff v FW: 1) can win with just impact turns, though the threshold is higher than when winning a CI with viable NB’s. 2) More persuaded by defenses of education/advocacy skills/movement building. 3) Less random DA’s that are basically the same, and more internal links to fully developed DA’s. Most of the time your DA’s to the TVA are the same offense you’ve already read elsewhere.
Reading FW: 1) Respect teams that demonstrate why state engagement is better in terms of movement building. 2) “If we can’t test the aff, presume it’s false” – no 3) Have to answer case at some point (more than the 10 seconds after the timer has already gone off) 4) You almost never have time to fully develop the sabotage tva (UGA RS deserves more respect than that). 5) Impact turns to the CI are generally underutilized. You’ll almost always win the internal link to limits, so spending all your time here is a waste. 6) Should defend the TVA in 1nc cx if asked. You don’t have a right to hide it until the block.
Theory - 1) I generally lean neg on questions of Conditionality/Random CP theory. 2) No one ever explains why dispo solves their interp. 3) Won’t judge kick unless instructed to.
T – 1) I’m not your best judge. 2) Seems like no matter how much debating is done over CI v Reasonability, I still have to evaluate most of the offense based on CI’s.
DA/CP – 1) Prefer smart indicts of evidence as opposed to walls of cards (especially on ptx/agenda da's). Neg teams get away with murder re: "dropped ev" that says very little/creatively highlighted. 2) I'm probably more lenient with aff responses (solvency deficits/aff solves impact/intrinsic perm) to Process Cp's/Internal NB's that don't have solvency ev/any relation to aff.
Case - I miss in depth case debates. Re-highlightings don't have to be read. The worse your re-highlighting the lower the threshold for aff to ignore it.
All of my thoughts on policy apply, except for theory. More than 2 condo (or CP’s with different plank combinations) is probably abusive, but I can be convinced otherwise on a technical level.
Not voting on an RVI. I don’t care if it’s dropped.
Most LD theory is terrible Ex: Have to spec a ROB or I don’t know what I can read in the 1nc --- dumb argument.
Phil or Tricks (sp?) debating – I’m not your judge.
A few things about me (TLDR version):
Former debater at University of Georgia
Plans are good
Impact calculus is important. Tell me how to write my ballot.
Clarity > Speed
Cross-ex is binding
Have fun and don't be rude!
Framework - I'm a good judge for framework. Debate is a game and framework is procedural question. I’m persuaded by negative appeals to limits and I think fairness is an impact in and of itself. I don’t think the topical version of the aff needs to “solve” in the same way the aff does. If there are DA's to the topical version of the aff, that seems to prove neg ground under the negative’s vision of debate. Tell me what your model of debate looks like, what negative positions does it justify, and what is the value of those positions.
Kritiks - I think it's really hard for the neg to win that the aff shouldn't get to weigh the plan provided the aff answers framework well. I've got a decent grasp on the literature surrounding critical security studies, critiques of capitalism, settler colonialism, and feminist critiques of IR. The aff should focus on attacking the alternative both at a substance and theoretical level. It's critical that the 2AR defines the solvency deficits to the alternative and weigh that against the case. Negative debaters should spend more time talking about the case in the context of the kritik. A good warranted link and turns the case debates are the best way for negative teams to get my ballot. Tell me how the links to the aff uniquely lead to the impacts.
Counterplans - They don't have to be topical. Whether you have a specific solvency advocate will determine if your counterplan is legitimate or not. There's nothing better than a well-researched mechanism counterplan and there's nothing worse than a hyper-generic process counterplan that you recycle for every negative debate on the topic. I generally think that 2 conditional options are good, but I can be persuaded by 3 condo is okay. PICs are probably good. Consult/Conditioning/delay counterplans, international fiat, and 50 state fiat are bad. Typically, if you win theory I reject the argument not the team unless told otherwise.
Disads- I love a good DA and case debate. I've gone for the politics DA a lot in my college career. Normally uniqueness controls the link, but I can persuaded otherwise. Impact calc and good turns cases analysis is the best!
Add me onto the e-mail chain, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If your computer crashes, stop the timer until you can get your doc back up.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain, please put both emails on the chain.
I attempted to resist the point inflation that seems to happen everywhere these days, but I decided that was not fair to the teams/debaters that performed impressively in front of me.
27.7 to 28.2 - Average
28.3 to 28.6 - Good job
28.7 to 29.2 - Well above average
29.3 to 29.7 - Great job/ impressive job
29.8 to 29.9 - Outstanding performance, better than I have seen in a long time. Zero mistakes and you excelled in every facet of the debate.
30 - I have not given a 30 in years and years, true perfection.
I am willing to listen to most arguments. There are very few debates where one team wins all of the arguments so each of you must identify what you are winning and make the necessary comparisons between your arguments and the other team's arguments/positions. Speed is not a problem although clarity is essential. If I think that you are unclear I will say clearer and if you don't clear up I will assign speaker points accordingly. Try to be nice to each other and enjoy yourself. Good cross-examinations are enjoyable and typically illuminates particular arguments that are relevant throughout the debate. Please, don't steal prep time. I do not consider e-mailing evidence as part of your prep time nonetheless use e-mailing time efficiently.
I enjoy substantive debates as well as debates of a critical tint. If you run a critical affirmative you should still be able to demonstrate that you are Topical/predictable. I hold Topicality debates to a high standard so please be aware that you need to isolate well-developed reasons as to why you should win the debate (ground, education, predictability, fairness, etc.). If you are engaged in a substantive debate, then well-developed impact comparisons are essential (things like magnitude, time frame, probability, etc.). Also, identifying solvency deficits on counter-plans is typically very important.
Theory debates need to be well developed including numerous reasons a particular argument/position is illegitimate. I have judged many debates where the 2NR or 2AR are filled with new reasons an argument is illegitimate. I will do my best to protect teams from new arguments, however, you can further insulate yourself from this risk by identifying the arguments extended/dropped in the 1AR or Negative Bloc.
GOOD LUCK! HAVE FUN!
LD June 13, 2022
A few clarifications... As long as you are clear you can debate at any pace you choose. Any style is fine, although if you are both advancing different approaches then it is incumbent upon each of you to compare and contrast the two approaches and demonstrate why I should prioritize/default to your approach. If you only read cards without some explanation and application, do not expect me to read your evidence and apply the arguments in the evidence for you. Be nice to each other. I pay attention during cx. I will not say clearer so that I don't influence or bother the other judge. If you are unclear, you can look at me and you will be able to see that there is an issue. I might not have my pen in my hand or look annoyed. I keep a comprehensive flow and my flow will play a key role in my decision. With that being said, being the fastest in the round in no way means that you will win my ballot. Concise well explained arguments will surely impact the way I resolve who wins, an argument advanced in one place on the flow can surely apply to other arguments, however the debater should at least reference where those arguments are relevant. CONGRATULATIONS & GOOD LUCK!!!
LD Paradigm from May 1, 2022
I will update this more by May 22, 2022
I am not going to dictate the way in which you debate. I hope this will serve as a guide for the type of arguments and presentation related issues that I tend to hear and vote on. I competed in LD in the early 1990's and was somewhat successful. From 1995 until present I have primarily coached policy debate and judged CX rounds, but please don't assume that I prefer policy based arguments or prefer/accept CX presentation styles. I expect to hear clearly every single word you say during speeches. This does not mean that you have to go slow but it does mean incomprehensibility is unacceptable. If you are unclear I will reduce your speaker points accordingly. Going faster is fine, but remember this is LD Debate.
Despite coaching and judging policy debate the majority of time every year I still judge 50+ LD rounds and 30+ extemp. rounds. I have judged 35+ LD rounds on the 2022 spring UIL LD Topic so I am very familiar with the arguments and positions related to the topic.
I am very comfortable judging and evaluating value/criteria focused debates. I have also judged many LD rounds that are more focused on evidence and impacts in the round including arguments such as DA's/CP's/K's. I am not here to dictate how you choose to debate, but it is very important that each of you compare and contrast the arguments you are advancing and the related arguments that your opponent is advancing. It is important that each of you respond to your opponents arguments as well as extend your own positions. If someone drops an argument it does not mean you have won debate. If an argument is dropped then you still need to extend the conceded argument and elucidate why that argument/position means you should win the round. In most debates both sides will be ahead on different arguments and it is your responsibility to explain why the arguments you are ahead on come first/turns/disproves/outweighs the argument(s) your opponent is ahead on or extending. Please be nice to each other. Flowing is very important so that you ensure you understand your opponents arguments and organizationally see where and in what order arguments occur or are presented. Flowing will ensure that you don't drop arguments or forget where you have made your own arguments. I do for the most part evaluate arguments from the perspective that tech comes before truth (dropped arguments are true arguments), however in LD that is not always true. It is possible that your arguments might outweigh or come before the dropped argument or that you can articulate why arguments on other parts of the flow answer the conceded argument. I pay attention to cross-examinations so please take them seriously. CONGRATULATIONS for making it to state!!! Each of you should be proud of yourselves! Please, be nice in debates and treat everyone with respect just as I promise to be nice to each of you and do my absolute best to be predictable and fair in my decision making. GOOD LUCK!
*2021-22 Water Topic Damus - this is my first time judging this topic - don't assume i know terms or acronyms*
meadows --> duke
add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I debated for four years in high school at Meadows, with 5 bids to the TOC my senior year. I was a 2N for 3 of those years and a 2A my senior year. We read mostly Ks on the neg, and a mix of soft left and hard right affs.
Heritage Hall will be my first time judging after high school and on this topic-- this means you should not presume I know any jargon or acronyms. Presumably, your ev will explain this.
I probably view debates most similarly to Malcolm Gordon -- check out his paradigm
Some top level things:
K: your K must make sense in order for me to vote for it. how you go for the K is a different question, but you must have offense to beat the perm. I believe the K comes down to a question of framing - tell me what impacts/values are the most important to prioritize in the round. whichever team does this best will likely win the round.
FW v K aff: I have the least experience here - I will evaluate the debate to the best of my abilities, but my partner and I almost always went for the K v K debate. I understand and have learned these args, but make sure your arguments and offense are clear.
T: I haven't judged any debates on this topic since camp, so don't presume I know the importance of your definition. you need impacts to win topicality :)
CP: I have a very high threshold for CPs that compete off of certainty or immediacy to win the theory debate. Otherwise, I love a good CP/DA debate.
DA: Make sure your evidence is good. There are wayyyyy too many bad ptx DAs that can be taken apart by reading the evidence in round. The link story is important. Well thought out impact turns/turns the aff args are fun.
CX: This is one of my favorite parts of the debate, when done well. Be assertive, but not rude. Frame their evidence with your questions, and if you're answering, don't let them frame your evidence that way.
Currently a senior at UC Berkeley studying Genetics and Plant Biology. As a high schooler I debated for Davis Senior and SUDL, qualifying to the TOC in my senior year. I debated on the China, education, and immigration topics. I've been coaching and judging throughout college and I'm now a coach for SUDL, Folsom, Davis, and do some other coaching here and there.
Please put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to contact me for anything before or after the debate.
Everything I have written here are opinions I have developed in my time coaching and debating. I am learning along with you.
***Pls do not read this whole paradigm, your time is more important than that. find what you need to know!
Alta will be my first time judging this year but I've been coaching since the summer and have okay topic knowledge. Still, keep that in mind when using acronyms etc.
My personal experience as a debater lies mostly in k debate (specifics below) but I have judged and coached the whole spectrum. Regardless of your style, impact calc and framing are going to determine how well you do in front of me. If it matters to you, I seem to mostly get preffed for K v K debates. Other things that might matter for your prefs: I avoid judge intervention. I generally don't give speaks below 28 unless you've done something obnoxious. I flow CX. I value good organization. I love creativity but not at the expense of substance. Finally, and most importantly, I appreciate the enormous amount of work many students put into this activity, and I show my respect for that by making a very genuine effort to be the best judge that I can be. That being said, I love it best when you make my job easier for me!
***Note on online debate: please please please slow down. Feel free to spread cards as fast as you like (while remaining clear) because I can read along with you, but when it comes to your analytics, please slow down slightly so I can get all of your wonderful arguments. MY SPEAKERS SUCK. The clarity is bad. My hearing is also kinda bad. Keep in mind that I'm also having to flip between tabs to see you, your cards, and my flow as I type. I know it's not ideal, but it's even less ideal for me to get 50% of your arguments because I can't understand you. I will say clear three times and then I will give up and do my best.
If a tech issue causes you or me to drop from the call mid-speech, I will have you pick up from your last word and I definitely won't let tech issues impact your speaker points or the ballot. We're all doing our best in this environment and accessibility is important. If you encounter tech issues, please let me know ASAP and we will work something out!
Debate is an activity with an incredible amount of potential that probably has the ability to shape our perspectives to at least some small (but meaningful) degree. It definitely shaped me. It means many different things to many different people and I am not here to change that. Please run whatever arguments you want to (with the obvious exclusion of racist/queerphobic/xenophobic/misogynist/ableist args which are an immediate L0). It is my job to do my very best to arbitrate your round, not to decide how you should be operating within that round. That being said, no one is completely unbiased. It is also my job to make sure you're informed of biases and opinions that I might have.
The best way to win in front of me regardless of style is to filter arguments through impact framing. Why is your model/disadvantage/advocacy/etc important? Compare this importance to your opponent's arguments. What does it mean to mitigate/solve these impacts in the context of the debate? Why is the ballot important or not important? Even the most disastrous debates can often be cleaned up/won/saved through high-level framing. See the bigger picture and explain it to me in your favor for a clear ballot. This is, in my opinion, is the difference between “winning” debates on the meta level rather than “not losing” them on the line by line.
I am very expressive. My face will do a lot of things during the debate. This is not a judgement on you as a debater or person but it's probably a pretty good indication of how I think things are going!
Kritiks: If this is the only section of the paradigm that you're looking for, I'm probably a good judge for you. I ran almost exclusively kritikal arguments in my last 2 years of debate and the coaching I do now is largely k oriented.
I am very familiar with: settler colonialism, fem (particularly iterations fem IR and queerfem), puar, other queerness stuff, biopower, cap, security, and chow. :) These are the Ks I ran during my time in debate but it's by no means a comprehensive list of things I understand. It's probably a safe bet that I'm at least somewhat familiar with whatever you're reading. Most of the rounds I judge are k v. k debates.
Make your literature accessible for everyone in the room (by this, I mean understand if folks haven't read what you have, and avoid trying to obfuscate for a strategic advantage). Not everyone has equivalent access to the time/resources necessary to invest in critical literature, and their perspectives are still valid. Be respectful. This is especially true for those of you reading pomo.
My experience with and love for Ks doesn't mean I hack for them--if anything, it raises my expectations for what a well-executed K strat looks like. Bad K debates may not be the worst debates but they are still very nasty.
If you're a traditional policy debater wondering how to best respond to Ks in front of me, I discourage you from reading "Ks are cheating" framework (not a fan, but I'll evaluate it if I have to), but I think reading framework overall is probably a smart move and I can be persuaded that you should be allowed to weigh the aff. I find that the most convincing policy teams answering Ks do a great job of explaining their framework impacts beyond "realism good" or "fairness good" and end up more in "policy education good" or "engaging the state good" territory. Remember that impacts can function on a multitude of levels.
If you're looking to read a K in front of me, know that I am extremely open-minded about how you go for or read this argument. Do you need an alt? Up to you! Performance? By all means. Part of the beauty of kritikal debate is its flexibility. I encourage you to do you in these debates. I will flow performances unless told otherwise, just so I can be sure to remember clearly. Anything can be an argument. I don't particularly care what sort of links you go for so long as you can effectively defend why you're going for them.
I am NOT as familiar with bataille, baudrillard, psychoanalysis, or nietzsche, for example. I didn’t read any of this as a debater. Honestly, I'm just not a pomo hack. This doesn't mean I won't vote for these arguments or think they have no place in debate! This simply means more elaboration will probably be necessary. I was frequently exposed to these arguments as a debater and I still deal with this lit now as a coach. If I'm tilting my head at you in confusion, I probably don't know what you're talking about. It may pay for you to slow down and explain vocab/buzzwords. Please never assume I (or your opponents) know all of your lingo.
K Affs: Go wild. I was a 2A reading a kritikal aff throughout almost all of high school and I understand them strategically, practically, and structurally. Again, performance is great. Pessimism is great, optimism is great, anything in between is great. Anything that doesn't fit into these categories is great. Personally I don't care if you talk about the resolution, though I could be convinced otherwise if the neg takes a stance on it. I come into the round with 0 predispositions about the "role" of the aff because I think that doing so would be basically arbitrary. Tell me why what you're doing is important (or not important). Also, good case overviews are a thing. If you have one of these, preferably don't blast through it at a million wpm. There's valuable stuff in there.
K affs probably get a perm, but I can be convinced otherwise.
Neg: engage the case when possible! There are lots of K affs that don't really do anything and have trouble explaining defending their method under close scrutiny. Take some time to just think abt the aff straight up, your questions may also be my questions.
Framework: I understand the importance of framework and used it myself a few times in debate. That being said, be warned that I was a 2A responding to framework in most of my aff rounds. As a small school debater, I understand why it can be necessary, especially if you legitimately have nothing else to run and don't have coaches to prep you out against every aff. Structural fairness/education/subject formation etc impacts make WAY more sense to me than procedural fairness. I also think it can be extremely convincing to turn the aff with portable skills arguments, if you do it right. If you're from a huge school with 10 coaches and your main defense of framework is "we couldn't possibly prepare :(" then you're going to be facing an uphill battle on this argument if your opponent calls this out. Your interpretation should be clearly defined and should probably be more than one "words and phrases" card. TVA usually ends up being extremely key to resolving aff offense. Like I said about aff overviews, neither team should be blasting through your framework blocks so fast that I miss all of your warrants.
If you're responding to framework, you better have a pretty good block for it. Have defense on their standards but offense of your own on their model of debate. I also do not care if you go for a counter interpretation or if you go for just a turn on their model of debate. If you do the latter, you should probably impact that turn out in the context of the aff. Also feel free to do both or whatever else you feel like.
Both teams should have a role of the ballot. Tell me why yours matters in relation to the biggest impacts in the debate!
Policy Affs: there are some very interesting and educational policy affs on this topic. Just like a K aff, you should have a defense of your model of debate when pressed on it. You should probably also be able to defend your subject formation. I think this standard should be universal.
Love a good, well-warranted impact defense debate here from the neg. doesn't usually win on it's own but super helpful for mitigating offense and also just makes me happy.
Topicality: I like T a lot. I default to competing interpretations but can be convinced otherwise. Why do limits/ground/fairness/research matter? I am of the mind personally that fairness is less of an independent impact and more of an internal link to education but I will also evaluate fairness as an independent impact in the round if instructed to do so. Also, caselists are underutilized and are important, please have these early in the debate! And stop dropping reasonability yall.
To quote my old partner "I met the heart of the topic and it said yall are wack" --Jack Walsh esquire. pls explain what heart of the topic means. If you keep explaining this argument as vibes alone you are forcing me to judge on vibes alone.
Disadvantages: Do what you do here, DAs are straight forward for the most part. Topic DAs are super important for neg ground but I also really appreciate creative, unique DAs. That being said, quirkiness shouldn't trade off with a good link chain. Contextualize. Not enough teams tell good stories of the disadvantage: block extension is just as key as 2NR. I wanna hear specifics in the impact debates pls, that's where all the fun is usually.
Counterplans: Good solvency advocates can be killer here. Have a good understanding of your mechanism. These debates can be extremely interesting. I don't have any predetermined notions about what kinds of CPs are abusive or not. That's up to you to decide. For the aff: explain the world of the permutation--"perm do both" means nothing without an explanation. Paint a picture, worldbuild.
Theory: I love a good theory debate. By good, I mean really in depth discussion rather than a blippy "floating PICs bad" sentence in the 2AC that gets extended in the 1AR and then becomes 3 minutes of the 2AR. Why is your model of debate important? Why does it matter? How does it implicate this round specifically, and potentially all others? Theory can be really strategic and also pretty true in some instances. I don't come in with any predispositions about any particular theory argument here except probably for RVIs. Don't do that.
Misc: if you get caught cheating and the other team calls you out with proof, expect an autoloss and the lowest speaks possible. Clipping, falsifying cites, texting coaches, etc. If you suspect your opponent is clipping, pls record before you call them out, otherwise its a huge mess
Good luck and have fun prepping!
Saint Vincent de Paul '19
Judge for Sonoma Academy
Hey there, my name is Emma but I do go by Tony as well(she/her), feel free to call me whatever in round. (If you can naturally call me Captain I will give you a speaks boost. If it is not natural, I will know) I qualified for the TOC my sophomore and senior year and broke at most national tournaments during those two years. I have read K Affs for three of my seven years in debate but don't think that it means I am biased towards one type of argument but I am definitely more K friendly. I am a pretty basic judge, you do you and I will be happy to judge the round fairly. I get that judges might be intimidating, but I'm pretty nice. Feel free to ask me questions, we're all here to have fun. This is my first tournament on the water topic so please please please explain your weird acronyms, abbreviations and names for things!
Please strike me if you read an argument that is - racist, sexist, homophobic or anything that inherently violates someone as a person or their identity. I work on a three strike policy, if you say something that I believe comes close to crossing the line, I will tell you in the round, thats strike one. If you continue, I will warn you once more and you have docked your speaks. Strike three, I will drop you and make sure to sit you and your coach down to talk about your actions. This is not a norm that I am enforcing based on my own biases, it's based on the actions of debaters that have been left unchecked. Due to recent events in high school policy debate, if you come from a well cemented policy program you will have a higher standard to reach in general.
A note for large squads: I will hold you to a higher standard in general especially about my three strike policy. I am not a fan of a whole squad reading the same aff but I do understand it can be beneficial for debaters. That being said, read your files before the tournament. The trend of sharing files and never looking over the one's you didn't do is killing debate. So please, read your files.
Please put me on the email chain - email@example.com and feel free to email me any questions and let me know if I can help make the the round more accessible.
I am willing to hear anything. Please don’t change what you’re strat just because I like a K more than a DA. If it’s a debate where we can all learn I will be super happy to judge it.
DA’s – they’re good, contextualize the link, make sure I know the story by the end of the round
CP’s – they’re also pretty cool, if you’re the affirmative I am happy to hear that the CP is abusive for XYZ reasons, make sure I have a story by the end of the round and some kind of net benefit. Perms need clear contextualization by the 1AR or I won't vote on it. I.E tell me exactly how it functions in this round.
K’s – I love a good K debate but this doesn’t mean you should read a K you don’t understand, same goes for the link debate here. Please explain the K like I am a policy judge, not only does it give you practice for your future rounds, I can then help you write your blocks for that K. Plus it never hurts to make sure that I truly understand the K regardless of if I have read it before.
T – I love a good T-Debate, please actually have voting issues. I will gladly vote for it.
- I don't mind them. Make sure you have researched and understand the DA well
- Turns case and case solves are different arguments
- Quality analytical reasoning and counter-examples can undermine most DAs. Combining logical analytics with your evidence or faults in their evidence boosts the credibility of analytical indicts.
- I will not accept a perm in passing, it needs to be flushed out entirely by the 1AR. Otherwise, I can't vote for it no matter how much it's winning
- I love reasons as to why the CP is abusive from the Aff but I need a good reason as to why.
- Ensure that you flush out the link and really contextualize it to the Aff in this round.
- T is good
- make sure you don't forget to answer it in its entirety
- Affs should explain how reasonability impacts how I should decide the debate. Often, Affs win that reasonability is good but do not explain how that buffers/raises threshold for Neg offense
- I love a good Kritik debate, I have read - Psychoanalysis, Death, Preciado, Bifo, Info/Persuasion, Set Col, Cap and many more
- if you don't understand the K, don't read it
- I prefer if your K is contextualized to the topic and better yet to the Aff
- you need a strong link and the entire K needs to be explained
- please limit your overview to 45 seconds
- I love it
- make sure your aff turns FW
- please make sure you can explain why you're topical or not and own it
Weird Pet Peeves
- please disclose on the wiki
- i cannot handle people who are rude or mean in CX for the sake of being mean
- extinction is not a tag line
Be nice, have fun! Break a leg
Updated for NATO Topic
E-Mail Chain: Yes, add me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I do not distribute docs to third party requests unless a team has failed to update their wiki.
Experience: Damien 05, Amherst College 09, Emory Law 13L. This will be my sixth year as the Assistant Director at Damien, and my first year as Director at St. Lucy's Priory. I consider myself fluent in debate, but my debate preferences (both ideology and mechanics) are influenced by debating in the 00s.
Debate: I am open to voting for almost any argument or style so long as I have an idea of how it functions within the round and it is appropriately impacted. Debate is a game. Rules of the game (the length of speeches, the order of the speeches, which side the teams are on, clipping, etc.) are set by the tournament and left to me (and other judges) to enforce. Comparatively, standards of the game (condo, competition, fiat) are determined in round by the debaters. Framework is a debate about whether the resolution should be a rule and/or what that rule looks like. Persuading me to favor your view/interpretation of debate is accomplished by convincing me that it is the method that promotes better debate, either more fair or more pedagogically valuable, compared to your opponent's. My ballot is awarded to who debated better; I will not adjudicate a round based on any issues external to the round, whether that was at camp or a previous round.
I run a planess aff; should I strike you?My ideological predispositions on framework are negative, but I will try my hardest to vote for whoever defends their model of debate better. I do actually end up voting aff about half the time. Be aware that I will hold planless affs to the same standard I would hold a neg alt; I absolutely must have an idea of what the aff (and my ballot) does and how/why that solves for an impact. If you do not explain this to me, I will hack out on presumption. Performances (music, poetry, narratives) are neat, but are non-factors until you contextualize and justify why they are solvency mechanisms for the aff in the debate space.
Evidence and Argumentative Weight: Tech over truth, but it is easier to debate well if you are on the side with the true arguments and better cards. In-speech analysis goes a long way with me; I am much more likely to side with a team that develops and compares warrants vs. a team that extends by tagline/author only. I will read cards as necessary, including explicit prompting, however I read critically and evaluate warrants. Cards are only as good as their highlighted warrants. You are better off with fewer well-highlighted cards than multiple under-highlighted cards. Well-explained logical analytics, especially if developed in CX, can beat bad/under-highlighted cards.
Debate Ideologies: I think that judges should reward good debating over ideology, so almost all of my personal preferences can be overcome if you debate better than your opponents. You can limit the chance that I intervene by 1) providing clear judge instruction and 2) justifications for those judge instructions; the 2NR and 2AR are competing pitches trying to sell me a ballot.
Accommodations: Please email me ahead of time if you believe you will need an accommodation that cannot be facilitated in round so that I can work with tab on your issue. Any accommodation you wish to request of the other team that has potential competitive implications (content, speed, etc.) should be requested either with me CC'd or in my presence so that tournament ombuds mediation can be requested if necessary.
Argument by argument breakdown below.
Debating T well is a question of engaging in responsive impact debate. You win my ballot when you are the team that proves their interpretation is best for debate -- usually by proving that you have the best internal links (ground, predictability, legal precision, research burden, etc.) to a terminal impact (fairness and/or education). I love judging a good T round and I will reward teams with the ballot and with good speaker points for well thought-out interpretations (or counter-interps) with nuanced defenses.
I default to competing interpretations, but reasonability can be compelling to me if properly contextualized. I am more receptive when affs can articulate why their specific counter-interp is reasonable (e.g., "The aff interp only imposes a reasonable additional research burden of two more cases") versus vague generalities ("Good is good enough").
I believe that many resolutions (most domestic topics) are sufficiently aff-biased or poorly worded that preserving topicality as a viable generic negative strategy is important; I would much rather hear a well-articulated limited vision of the topic than either Ks with state or omission links or Frankenstein process CPs that result in the aff. I have no problem voting for the neg if I believe that they have done the better debating, even if I think that the aff is topical in a truth sense. I am also the rare judge who will actually vote on T-Substantial, because I think there needs to be a mechanism to check small affs, so long as the neg debates it well.
Fx/Xtra Topicality: I will vote on them independently if they are impacted as independent voters. However I also treat them as internal links to the original violation and standards. The neg is best off introducing Fx/Xtra early with me in the back; I give the 1ARs more leeway to answer new Fx/Xtra extrapolations than I will give the 2AC for undercovering Fx/Xtra.
* Framework / T-USFG
For an aff to win framework they must articulate and defend specific reasons why they cannot and do not embed their advocacy into a topical policy as well as reasons why resolutional debate is a bad model. Procedural fairness starts as an impact by default and the aff must prove why it should not be. I can and will vote on education outweighs fairness, or that substantive fairness outweighs procedural fairness, but the aff must actually debate and win these arguments. The TVA is an education argument and not a fairness argument; affs are not entitled to the best version of the case (policy affs do not get extra-topical solvency mechanisms), so I don't care if the TVA is worse than the planless version.
For the neg, you have the burden of proving either that fairness outweighs the aff's education or that policy-centric debate has better access to education (or a better type of education). I am neutral regarding which impact to go for -- I firmly believe the negative is on the truth side on both -- it will be your execution of these arguments that decides the round. Contextualization and specificity are your friends. If you go with fairness, you should not only articulate specific ground loss in the round but why neg ground loss under the aff's model inevitable and uniquely worse. When going for education, deploy arguments for why plan-based debate is a better internal link to positive real world change: debate provides valuable portable skills, debate is training for advocacy outside of debate, etc. Empirical examples of how reform ameliorates harm for the most vulnerable, or how policy-focused debate scales up better than planless debate, are extremely persuasive in front of me.
I think that debate's largest educational impact is training students in real world advocacy, therefore I believe that the best iteration of debate is one that teaches people in the room something about the topic, including minutiae about process. I have MUCH less aversion to voting on procedurals and theory than most judges. I think the aff has a burden as advocates to defend a specific and coherent implementation strategy of their case and the negative is entitled to test that implementation strategy. I will absolutely pull the trigger on vagueness, plan flaws, or spec arguments as long as there is a coherent story about why the aff is bad for debate and a good answer to why cross doesn't check. Conversely, I will hold negatives to equally high standards to defend why their counterplans make sense and why they should be considered competitive with the aff.
That said, you should treat theory like topicality; there is a bare amount of time and development necessary to make it a viable choice in your last speech. Outside of cold concessions, you are probably not going to persuade me to vote for you unless you have done actual line-by-line refutation and you have formed a coherent abuse story that is solved by your interpretation.
Also, if you go for theory... SLOW. DOWN. You have to account for pen/keyboard time; you cannot spread a block of analytics at me like they were a card and expect me to catch everything. I will be very unapologetic in saying I didn't catch parts of the theory debate on my flow because you were spreading too fast.
My defaults that CAN be changed by better debating:
-- Condo is good (but should probably have limitations to check perf cons and skew).
-- PICs, Actor, and Process CPs are all legitimate if they prove competition; a specific solvency advocate proves competitiveness and non-abuse whereas the lack of specific solvency evidence indicates high risk of a solvency deficit and/or no competition.
-- The aff is not entitled to all theoretical implementations of the plan (i.e. perm do the CP) just because they do not specify. The neg is not entitled to intrinsic processes that result in the aff (i.e. ConCon, NGA).
-- Consult CPs and Floating PIKs are bad.
My defaults that are UNLIKELY to change or CANNOT be changed:
-- CX is binding.
-- Lit checks/justifies (debate is primarily a research and strategic activity).
-- OSPEC is never a voter (exception to a team fiating something contradictory to their ev or contradictions between different authors).
-- "Cheating" is reciprocal (utopian alts justify utopian perms, intrinsic CPs justify intrinsic perms, and so forth).
-- Real instances of abuse justify rejecting the team and not just the arg.
-- Teams should disclose previously run arguments; breaking new doesn't require disclosure.
-- Real world impacts exist (i.e. setting precedents/norms)... but a specific instance of behavior outside the room/round that is not verifiable is not relevant.
-- Condo doesn't automatically allow severance of the discourse/rhetoric attached to the offcase (it's one thing to test the aff from multiple perspectives, it's another to run hege impacts when you have a K with a reps links and the alt is to reject bad scholarship). You can win severance of your reps, but you must actually justify it. It is not a default entitlement from condo.
-- ASPEC is checked by cross and the neg should ask. If the aff does not answer, the neg can subsequently win the round by proving moving target or link spikes. If the aff does answer and doesn't spike, then ASPEC is dead.
TL;DR: I would much rather hear a good K than a bad politics disad, so if you have a coherent and contextualized argument for why critical academic scholarship is relevant to the aff, I am fine for you. If you run Ks to avoid doing specific case research and brute force ballots with links of omission or criticisms about the state/fiat, I am a bad judge for you. If I'm in the back for a planless aff vs. a K, it's a mutual mid round or you did your prefs wrong.
A kritik must be presented in an comprehensible argument in round. To me, that means that a K must not only explain the scholarship and its relevance (links and impacts), but it must function as a coherent call for the ballot (through the alternative). The link alone is insufficient without a reason to reject the aff and/or prefer the alt. I do not have any biases or predispositions about what my ballot does or should do, but if you cannot explain your alt and/or how my ballot interacts with the alt (or lack thereof) then I will have an extremely low threshold for treating the K as a non-unique disad. Alts like "Reject the aff" and "Vote neg" are fine so long as there is a coherent explanation for why I should do that beyond the mere fact the aff links (for example, if the K turns case). If the alt is some actual action which solves back for the implications of the kritik, whether it is a material alt or a debate space alt, the solvency process of the alt should be explained and contrasted with the plan. Links of omission are super uncompelling in front of me. I am usually unpersuaded by perm answers that are just re-explanations of links without re-contextualization to why those links implicate perm solvency. Ks can solve the aff, but the mechanism probably shouldn't be that the world of the alt results in the plan.
Affs should not be afraid of going for straight impact turns behind a robust framework press to evaluate the aff. I'm more willing than most judges to consider the merit in challenging kritik ideology head on rather than labeling your discourse as a link. I am also particularly receptive to arguments about pragmatism on the perm if you have empirical examples of progress through state reform that relate to your aff or the neg's impacts.
I think that research is a core part of debate as an activity, and good counterplan strategy goes hand-in-hand with that. The risk of the net benefit the neg must win is inversely proportional to how good the counterplan is. Generic PICs are more vulnerable to perms and solvency deficits and carry much higher threshold burden on the net benefit. PICs with specific solvency advocates or highly specific net benefits are devastating and one of the ways that debate rewards research and how debate equalizes aff side bias by rewarding negs who who diligent in research. Agent and process counterplans are similarly better when the neg has a nuanced argument for why one agent/process is better than the aff's for a specific plan.
I do not judge kick by default, but 2NRs can easily convince me to do as an extension of condo. I believe that superior solvency for the aff case alone can be a sufficient reason to vote for the CP in a debate that is purely between hypothetical policies (i.e. aff has no competition arguments).
I am very likely to err neg on sufficiency framing; the aff absolutely needs either a solvency deficit or arguments about why an appeal to sufficiency framing itself means that the neg cannot capture the ethic of the affirmative (and why that outweighs).
Process CPs: I do not think intentionally vague plan texts should give the aff access to all theoretical implementations of the plan, so I am super unfriendly to Perm Do the CP. I expect aff teams to know their case well enough to welcome a debate against the neg on implementation. Conversely, the neg has an equally high burden to defend the competitiveness of their counterplans. There are differences in form and content between legislative statutes, administrative regulations, executive orders, and court cases; I will readily reject a counterplan if the neg's attempt to convert between these processes produces a structural defect. Process counterplans where the process is entirely intrinsic are not competitive, and I have a very low threshold for rejecting them theoretically or granting the aff an intrinsic perm to test germaneness.
I value defense more than most judges and am willing to assign minimal ("virtually zero") risk based on defense, especially when quality difference in evidence is high or the disad scenario is painfully artificial. Nuclear war probably outweighs the soft left impact in a vacuum, but not if you are relying on "infinite impact times small risk is still infinity" to mathematically brute force it. I can be convinced by good analysis that there is always a risk of a DA in spite of defense.
Speaker Point Scale: I feel speaker points are arbitrary and the only way to fix this is standardization. Consequently I will try to follow any provided tournament scale very closely. In the event that there is no tournament scale, I grade speaks on bell curve with 30 being the 99th percentile, 27.5 being as the median 50th percentile, and 25 being the 1st percentile. I'm aggressive at BOTH addition and subtraction from this baseline since bell curves are distributed around the average. Elim teams should be scoring above average by definition. The scale is standardized; national circuit tournaments will have higher averages than local tournaments. Points are rewarded for both style (entertaining, organized, strong ethos) and substance (strategic decisions, quality analysis, obvious mastery of nuance/details). I listen closely to CX and include CX performance in my assessment. Well contextualized humor is the quickest way to get higher speaks in front of me, e.g. make a Thanos snap joke on the Malthus flow.
Delivery and Organization: Your speed should be limited by clarity. I reference the speech doc during the debate to check clipping, not to flow. You should be clear enough that I can flow without needing your speech doc. Additionally, even if I can hear and understand you, I am not going to flow your twenty point theory block perfectly if you spit it out in ten seconds. Proper sign-posted line by line is the bare minimum to get over a 28.5. I will only flow straight down as a last resort, so it is important to sign-post the line-by-line, otherwise I will lose some of your arguments while I jump around on my flow and I will dock your speaks. If online please keep in mind that you will, by default, be less clear through Zoom than in person.
Cross-X, Prep, and Tech: Tag-team CX is fine but it's part of your speaker point rating to give and answer most of your own cross. I think that finishing the answer to a final question during prep is fine and simple clarification and non-substantive questions during prep is fine, but prep should not be used as an eight minute time bank of extra cross-ex. I don't charge prep for tech time, but tech is limited to just the emailing or flashing of docs. When you end prep, you should be ready to distribute.
Strategy Points: I will reward good practices in research and preparation. On the aff, plan texts that have specific mandates backed by solvency authors get bonus speaks. I will also reward affs for running disads to negative advocacies (real disads, not solvency deficits masquerading as disads -- Hollow Hope or Court Capital on a courts counterplan is a disad but CP gets circumvented is not). Negative teams with case negs (i.e. hyper-specific counterplans or a nuanced T or procedural objection to the specific aff plan text) will get bonus speaks.
I would like to be on the chain, here's my email: email@example.com
Debated at Notre Dame for 4 years, went to the TOC, currently a student at American University, feel free to ask questions if you have them.
Read whatever you want as fast as you want (as long as you're clear)
Given that, there are a few areas where I hold specific opinions. These opinions are closer to my natural dispositions and can all obviously be swayed by good debating. If there's something you're worried about that's not on here, chances are I don't have strong feelings about it, but you can always email me or ask me before the round if you're curious:
Kritiks-- If you're looking at this trying to decide between going for the K or something else, you should go for something else. But if the K is what you do best, go for it. I find myself increasingly judging bad k debates which has substantially lowered my tolerance for the argument. Fundamentally I think K's are interesting, strategic arguments that are capable of bringing about really in-depth and nuanced debates, but debaters are so insistent on just throwing overviews and paragraph long tags at each other that I think much of the potential of K debate is lost. Unless you have a link to the PLAN, then you should not go for the k in front of me. Any other type of link articulation should be easily disposed of by the affirmative with a permutation. Floating PIKs are probably bad but not the end of debate, and severance is bad.
Counterplans-- "PICs are good, especially if they PIC out of a part of the plan" -- Brett Bricker, NDT Champion. Functional competition > textual competition.
Topicality-- I don't have any specific bias on topicality, just tell me why the aff is or is not topical, and make sure to do impact calc in terms of why that matters. It's not enough to assert that the aff "explodes limits", you have to tell me how and why that is important.
Non-Traditional affs/Topicality vs. Non-Traditional affs-- I'm down to listen to whatever you want to talk about, as long as you give me a reason why talking about that is good/productive/unproductive/etc. Now given that, debate is a game. Procedural fairness is an impact, perhaps the only impact that my ballot can resolve. Despite this, debating the line-by-line on topicality is necessary for negative teams to get my ballot. If you concede that debate is not a game or that it should not be viewed as such, I'm not going to automatically default to procedural fairness. While I may tend to lean negative on the question of framework, I find that most negative teams are bad at persuading me to vote on it so don't let that discourage you from reading your aff. Also "but you flipped neg" is not an argument.
Theory-- I think condo is a reason to reject the team. Anything beyond condo is probably a reason to reject the argument, although I can be persuaded otherwise. As a former 2A I'm pretty sympathetic to 2+ condo illegit args. Judge kick is bad but only if the aff tells me it is.
- impact calc is extremely important
- impact turns are underrated
- case debate is also underrated
- don't be rude, it'll lower your speaks and also makes me uncomfortable
- I probably won't read evidence after the round unless there's a lot of contestation over a specific piece of evidence, and if I do read ev, I'm only going to read what you read in the debate (i.e highlighting)
- tech > truth
- saying the words 'durable fiat' is not a sufficient answer to circumvention
Yes I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't steal prep
I have not done research or judged a lot this year so at least for the first few tournaments keep that in mind.
I like flex debating and enjoy diverse strategies, so you do you and I will try to judge you with as little argumentative biases as possible. That being said, I am a human and I do have preferences.
I think the aff should read a plan text and defend it. At worst, I think the aff should have a strong resolutional basis. Probably related to that, I'm likely not the greatest judge for super K-oriented strategies. This is not to say I do not enjoy these debates or won't vote for Ks, but that you will have to do more work explaining the theory and its relationship to the aff than average.
I feel much more qualified in "policy" debates. I like wonky and technically intensive stuff so do something interesting.
Isolate what impacts you think you have a chance of winning and compare it to the impacts you think the other team has a chance of winning.
I'm good with it but don't sacrifice clarity. Slow down on theory arguments, give me pen time.
*For online tournaments: Maybe slow down a bit to compensate for mic quality so I can still understand what you're saying.
Tech vs. Truth:
Tech> Truth. Being on the side of truth is obviously a good thing and I'm hesitant to consider arguments that are objectively false, but if you can't answer an argument that's really really bad, then you should lose anyways.
Evidence vs. Spin:
I think research is the most important aspect of debate and should be rewarded. I will read every card that I think I need to at the end of the round, so isolate evidence you think is really good or important. That being said, cards are support for larger arguments, meaning that I will default to your explanation of an argument or card whenever it makes sense.
In technical debates, have a card doc for the end of the round so I don't have to look around for relevant cards.
Specific argument preferences:
I went for T a lot in both high school and college and think a lot of debaters just aren't as good at debating it or as willing to go for it as a lot of other argument categories. Well executed T debates are really fun for me, but poorly executed T debates are the least enjoyable type of debate to judge. Limits and ground aren't impacts, they're internal links to things like education, fairness, research models, etc. I default to competing interpretations but reasonability is a winnable argument.
RVI's are bad arguments.
T comes before theory.
Case lists are good and necessary.
Actually engage with the other teams arguments, most T debates I've judged at this point have felt like ships passing in the night and forced me to resolve a lot of stuff on my own which should never be what you want. Statistically I lean neg in these debates, but I think that's because a lot of 2Ns only go for T if it's very clear cut which is unfortunate.
Cool. Aff specific DAs are much cooler (and usually easier to win).
There is such thing as zero risk and I think the link usually controls the direction of uniqueness.
Do a lot of turns case analysis that's actually contextualized to the internal links of the 1AC. Not much else to say.
Good, not much else to say. I will say that I like advantage CP + Impact turn debates a lot.
Word PICs should be based on a word in the plantext, anything other than that is meh.
Read a solvency advocate, each plank should be based on evidence or something the other team said.
I will not kick the counterplan for you unless you tell me to.
Material> High theory
I have a high threshold for the link portion of the debate. Root cause claims are not links but they can be solvency deficits. Fiat not being real is not an argument. Links of omission are the worst arguments in debate.
If I don't feel like I can explain your K to someone else by the end of the round then I will not feel comfortable voting for you.
Ks that advocate for death or suicide are not only bad arguments in the context of debate, but also morally objectionable and I will not vote for them.
I am not the best judge for this. I prefer debates focused around a plan, and in nearly all of the clash debates I have judged at this point I have voted for FW.
I don't know that my ballot has the potential to do anything beside designate a winner or loser, and debate isn't meant to come to a final decision on the truth of any given statement but come to a determination on subjective truth so I don't think subject formation arguments are very persuasive.
The aff should at a minimum be related to the topic. You should also have some clear advocacy statement that you defend consistently. The CI should be predictable and res grounded with definitions. USFG = "the people" is intellectually dishonest and just not a good argument.
FW vs. K Affs:
Go for it, it's the most strategic 2NR available.
I'm more likely to vote on procedural fairness than I think the community at large is. Structural fairness disparities are inevitable but procedural fairness disparities aren't.
FW is not violent or policing and saying so is insulting to people that have dealt with those issues.
Usually a reason to reject the argument not the team. 3 conditional advocacies are probably ok but more is iffy. Consult, delay, and condition counter-plans are sketchy. Each conditional plank is its own world if you can kick them individually. I have been both a 2A and 2N, so I don't have any strong protectionist feelings for either team, and sometimes cheating is pretty fun to watch. Also I think the impact of some theory arguments should sometimes just be that you should get to cheat too.
They're entirely subjective. That being said, I do understand that context (tournament size, quality, etc.) should influence my scale. Speaker points are a holistic reflection of how I think you did. I used to have a scale here but with speaker point inflation I don't think it really matters anymore. My average hovers around 28.5-28.6.
I have shortened my paradigm over time to make it easier to read, if you have questions for prefs just email me.
20 years coaching. I have coached at Damien High School, Cal State Fullerton, Illinois State University, Ball State University, Wayne State University and West Virginia University. Most of my experience is in policy but I have also coached successful LD and PF teams.
After reading over paradigms for my entire adult life, I am not sure how helpful they really are. They seem to be mostly a chance to rant, a coping mechanism, a way to get debaters not to pref them and some who generally try but usually fail to explain how they judge debates. Regardless, my preferences are below, but feel free to ask me before the round if you have any questions.
Short paradigm. I am familiar with most arguments in debate. I am willing to listen to your argument. If it an argument that challenges the parameters and scope of debate, I am open to the argument. Just be sure to justify it. Other than that, try to be friendly and don't cheat.
For Water Protection: I am no longer coaching policy full time so I haven't done the type of topic research that I have in the past. I have worked on a few files and have judges a few debates but I do not have the kind of topic knowledge something engaged in coaching typically does.
For CJR: New Trier is my first official tournament judging this season, but I have done a ton of work on the topic, judged practice debates etc.
Evidence: This is an evidence based activity. I put great effort to listening, reading and understanding your evidence. If you have poor evidence, under highlight or misrepresent your evidence (intentional or unintentional) it makes it difficult for me to evaluate your arguments. Those who have solid evidence, are able to explain their evidence in a persuasive matter tend to get higher speaker points, win more rounds etc.
Overall: Debate how you like (with some constraints below). I will work hard to make the best decision I am capable of. Make debates clear for me, put significant effort in the final 2 rebuttals on the arguments you want me to evaluate and give me an approach to how I should evaluate the round.
Nontraditional Affs : I tend to enjoy reading the literature base for most nontraditional affirmatives. I'm not completely sold on the pedagogical value of these arguments at the high school level. I do believe that aff should have a stable stasis point in the direction of the resolution. The more persuasive affs tend to have a personal relationship with the arguments in the round and have an ability to apply their method and theory to personal experience.
Framework: I do appreciate the necessity of this argument. I am more persuaded by topical version arguments than the aff has no place in the debate. If there is no TVA then the aff need to win a strong justification for why their aff is necessary for the debate community. The affirmative cannot simply say that the TVA doesn't solve. Rather there can be no debate to be had with the TVA. Fairness in the abstract is an impact but not a persuasive one. The neg need to win specific reasons how the aff is unfair and and how that impacts the competitiveness and pedagogical value of debate. Agonism, decision making and education may be persuasive impacts if correctly done.
Counter plans: I attempt to be as impartial as I can concerning counterplan theory. I don’t exclude any CP’s on face. I do understand the necessity for affirmatives to go for theory on abusive counterplans or strategically when they do not have any other offense. Don’t hesitate to go for consult cp’s bad, process cps bad, condo, etc. For theory, in particular conditionality, the aff should provide an interpretation that protects the aff without over limiting the neg.
DA's : who doesn't love a good DA? I do not automatically give the neg a risk of the DA. Not really sure there is much else to say.
Kritiks- Although I enjoy a good K debate, good K debates at the high school level are hard to come by. Make sure you know your argument and have specific applications to the affirmative. My academic interests involve studying Foucault Lacan, Derrida, Deleuze, , etc. So I am rather familiar with the literature. Just because I know the literature does not mean I am going to interpret your argument for you.
Overall, The key to get my ballot is to make sure its clear in the 2NR/2AR the arguments you want me to vote for and impact them out. That may seem simple, but many teams leave it up to the judge to determine how to prioritize and evaluate arguments.
Loyola: I have done significant research on the topic and I have judged a number of rounds for camps.
Debate how your choose. I have judged plenty of LD debates over the years and I am familiar with contemporary practices. I am open to the version of debate you choose to engage, but you should justify it, especially if your opponent provides a competing view of debate. For argument specifics please read the Policy info. anything else, I am happy to answer before your debate.
Last updated 11/4/2022:
I mostly judge policy, for other events, go to the bottom.
Please add me if you are starting an email chain: steve _at_ interlakedebate _dot_ org
CX / Policy Philosophy:
Michigan will be my first tournament on the NATO topic so don't make assumptions about what acronyms or specific knowledge. I do have an IR background, but please explain things.
If you are a policy team, I am likely good for you. If you are a team that runs Ks on the neg or K/Soft left impacts on a policy aff, I am probably fine for you. If you run a K-aff, I may or may not, please read below.
First and foremost, I judge based on the flow. I will do my best to determine the winner based on what has been said. This makes line-by-line refutation and dropped arguments important. I will do my best not to impose my opinions and values into the round. That being said, I am not strictly tabula rasa. See below for exceptions. By default, I will take a utilitarian approach.
I want to see clash. This means that negatives should not ignore the 1AC. Affirmatives need to respond to the negative positions as they are presented not just read a generic block that only sort-of applies. If you are merely extending your own cards and not responding to the other side’s arguments, your speaker points will be lower.
I am fine with speed, but you need to be clear. Remember that, as a judge, I often do not have a copy of the evidence and especially the analytics on my computer. If I can't hear the words as you read the cards, you are going too fast for your ability. If I am going to judge on the flow, you want to make sure my flow matches what you said. This is especially important when it comes to theory. Reading your theory block at full speed guarantees that I won’t be able to flow it all. Slow down on theory.
Be nice. I will react negatively if you are arrogant or rude to your opponents. This applies to your partner as well. I do not want to see the debate personalized. Feel free to attack and characterize your opponents’ arguments as you like, but refrain from attacking your opponents themselves. Their arguments may be *-ist. Your opponents are not.
My pet peeve is flowing. Rather, teams that don’t flow. If you have to ask about whether your opponents read each card or if you respond to positions and arguments that they didn’t read, your speaks will be docked.
I enjoy the occasional theory debate, but it must be developed well. Everything you say needs a warrant. Develop your arguments if you want me to consider them. I am unlikely to decide an entire round based on an issue explained or extended in less than five seconds.
I am unlikely to find *-spec persuasive unless there is in-round abuse. I do find vagueness more interesting each year as teams make their plans less and less specific.
I will vote on topicality. I evaluate it as a technical argument, no more dominated by truth than any other type of argument. I find myself drawn to the definitional debate over other aspects of T. That means you should focus on standards, definitions, and the fallout from those. I’m more persuaded by limits than ground. I will be unlikely to vote for reasonability unless there is a standard to determine whether something is, or is not, reasonable. I am unlikely to be persuaded by arguments that tell me to ignore topicality.
It is my belief that the resolution must play a critical role in scoping debate and allowing for clash. To that end, while I will vote for a critical aff, I expect it to be germane to the resolution. Affs which are anti-topical will lose if the negative carries a reasonable version of that argument through to the end.
This is my home turf. I want to see clash. Spotting the affirmative their advantages and trying to outweigh them with disads is not a good strategy. Contest the internal links and/or impacts. Run solvency takeouts. These make your off-case much more persuasive.
I am happy to vote on kritiks. You need to explain how I should be evaluating the k versus the case. Teams should feel free to challenge the a-priori status of the kritik. There needs to be some kind of benefit to the world of the alt. At the end of the day, I will be weighing it against the case. A K without an alt is just a non-unique, linear disad.
I expect that critical arguments will be supported by the evidence. This should go without saying, but I have seen teams give entire 2NCs that are not based on anything but their own opinion. Analogies and extrapolations are fine, but the basis for the analogy or the extrapolation should be in found in evidence.
Running a kritik is not an excuse for sloppy debate. I see too many kritik debaters that rest on truth over technical and ignore the structure of the debate. Direct refutation and line-by-line are still important even in the kritik debate.
I was primarily a policy debater in my day. I have judged many critical rounds and read some of the authors. My knowledge of them is reasonable, but if you run something outside of the common ones, explain it clearly.
I try not to impose my views on the debate, but that requires debaters do a good job in the last two rebuttals crystalizing the issues and telling the story of the round. "We win the entire flow" is not usually true and is not a good way to weigh the issues. Tell me why your winning of the disad overwhelms the advantage of case or why their rhetorical slight is more important than structural violence. Make sure there is a traceable lineage to your arguments. I am strict on new arguments from the 1NR onward. Tell me that it’s new and, if true, I’ll strike it. You must tell me though. If you don’t, it counts. I will do my best to protect the 2NR from new 2AR arguments.
If you watch me, I tend to emote my opinions.
Many have asked: Tag-team CX is fine. I only request that the person who is “supposed” to be cross-examining be part of the conversation.
I debated policy in high school and CEDA (policy) in college for a total of seven years, including four at Whitman College. I coached college policy for one year at the University of Puget Sound and have been coaching policy debate at Interlake High School since 2012.
Public Forum Judging Philosophy:
I don’t judge PF a lot so assume that I’m not deeply educated on the topic. That said, I read a lot of economics, politics, and philosophy so I am likely to be familiar with most arguments.
The best description of me is likely as a progressive, flow-oriented judge. I will be adjudicating the round based on who presents, and extends, the better arguments. I will try my best not to intervene. If you didn't say something, I won't make the argument for you. Sounding good making shallow arguments won’t earn you a win. In the end, I want to see clash. Don’t just tell me why you are right, you have to also tell me why they are wrong.
A few points that might matter to you:
1. Speed: Keep it easily comprehensible and you will be fine. In reality, I doubt you will exceed my threshold. If you do, I’ll yell clear.
2. Dropped arguments: There is no punishment for dropping your own arguments. Obviously, don’t drop something your opponent is turning.
3. I think definitions should be used strategically to define what interpretation of the resolution you will be defending.
4. I will reward clever debating. Show me how the arguments interact. Defend ground that avoids most of your opponent’s thrusts.
Assistant Coach: Rowland Hall, UT
I keep my camera on as often as I can. I still try to look at faces during CX and rebuttals. Extra decimals if you try to put analytics in doc.
I still end prep once the doc has been sent.
****TLDR IN BOLD****
Please include me in email chains during the debate (johnshackelf[at]gmail). I do not follow along with the speech doc during a speech, but sometimes I will follow along to check on clipping and to follow along with cross-ex questions about specific pieces of evidence
Here is what an ideal debate looks like. (Heads up! I can be a silly goose, so the more you do this, the better I can judge you)
- Line by Line (Do it in order)
- Extending > reading a new card (Your better cards are in your first speech anyway. Tell me how the card is and how frames the debate in your future analysis)
- More content >Less Jargon (avoid talking about the judge, another team, flows, yourselves. Focus on the substance. Avoid saying: special metaphors, Turns back, check back, the link check, Pulling or extending across, Voting up or down. They don’t exist.)
- Great Cross-examination (I am ok with tag team, I just find it unstrategic)
- Compare > description (Compare more, describe less)
- Overviews/Impact Calc (Focus on the core controversy of the debate. Offense wins)
- Engage > Exclude
- Clarity > Speed
- Making generics specific to the round
- Researched T Shells (Do work before reading T. I love T, but I have a standard on what is a good T debate)
- Arguments you can only read on this topic!!
- K/FW: More sympathetic to Ks that are unique to the topic. But I dig the 1 off FW strat or 9 off vs a K.
- Theory: Perfcon theory is a thing, condo theory is not a thing. I like cheating strats. I like it when people read theory against cheating strats too.
- Prep time: I stop prep time when you eject your jump drive or when you hit send for the email. I am probably the most annoying judge about this, but I am tired of teams stealing prep and I want to keep this round moving
- I flow on my computer
Want extra decimals?
Do what I say above, and have fun with it. I reward self-awareness, clash, good research, humor, and bold decisions. It is all about how you play the game.
Cite like Michigan State and open source like Kentucky
Speaker Points-Scale - I'll do my best to adhere to the following unless otherwise instructed by a tournament's invite:
29.5-This is the best speech I will hear at this tournament, and probably at the following one as well.
29-I expect you to get a speaker award.
28.5-You're clearly in the top third of the speakers at the tournament.
28-You're around the upper middle (ish area)
27.5-You need some work, but generally, you're doing pretty well
27-You need some work
26.5-You don't know what you're doing at all
26 and lower-you've done something ethically wrong or obscenely offensive that is explained on the ballot.
All in all, debate in front of me if your panel was Mike Bausch, Mike Shackelford, Hannah Shoell, Catherine Shackelford, and Ian Beier
If you have any questions, then I would be more than happy to answer them
Head Coach of Rowland Hall
Do what you do best. I’m comfortable with all arguments. Practice what you preach and debate how you would teach. Strive to make it the best debate possible.
Key Preferences & Beliefs
Debate is a game.
Literature determines fairness.
It’s better to engage than exclude.
Critique is a verb.
Defense is undervalued.
I flow on my computer. If you want a copy of my flow, just ask.
I think CX is very important.
I reward self-awareness, clash, good research, humor, and bold decisions.
Add me to the email chain: mikeshackelford(at)rowlandhall(dot)org
Feel free to ask.
Want something more specific? More absurd?
Debate in front of me as if this was your 9 judge panel:
Andre Washington, Ian Beier, Shunta Jordan, Maggie Berthiaume, Daryl Burch, Yao Yao Chen, Nicholas Miller, Christina Philips, jon sharp
If both teams agree, I will adopt the philosophy and personally impersonate any of my former students:
Ben Amiel, Andrew Arsht, David Bernstein, Madeline Brague, Julia Goldman, Emily Gordon, Adrian Gushin, Elliot Kovnick, Will Matheson, Ben McGraw, Corinne Sugino, Caitlin Walrath, Sydney Young (these are the former debaters with paradigms... you can also throw it back to any of my old school students).
Most of what is above will apply here below in terms of my expectations and preferences. I spend most of my time at tournaments judging policy debate rounds, however I do teach LD and judge practice debates in class. I try to keep on top of the arguments and developments in LD and likely am familiar with your arguments to some extent.
Theory: I'm unlikely to vote here. Most theory debates aren't impacted well and often put out on the silliest of points and used as a way to avoid substantive discussion of the topic. It has a time and a place. That time and place is the rare instance where your opponent has done something that makes it literally impossible for you to win. I would strongly prefer you go for substance over theory. Speaker points will reflect this preference.
Speed: Clarity > Speed. That should be a no-brainer. That being said, I'm sure I can flow you at whatever speed you feel is appropriate to convey your arguments.
Disclosure: I think it's uniformly good for large and small schools. I think it makes debate better. If you feel you have done a particularly good job disclosing arguments (for example, full case citations, tags, parameters, changes) and you point that out during the round I will likely give you an extra half of a point if I agree.
- 11 Years Policy Debate
- Weber State and University of West Georgia
- Coach at Juan Diego Catholic High
Good evidence is secondary to what a debater does with it. I really appreciate evidence of interrogation in speeches and cross-examination.
I often vote for the team that can make complex arguments sound like common sense. Clarity of thought is paramount
If there is an “easy” way to vote, that's warranted, I’m likely to take it.
I appreciate technical execution and direct refutation over implied argumentation.
The earlier in debate that teams collapse down to lower quantities of positions and/or arguments, the more likely I am to latch on to what is going on and make a decent decision.
Identifying what I have to resolve behooves you. Debates are won or lost on a few primary debatable questions. If you are the first to identify and answer those questions thoroughly, you will be ahead in my mind.
Updated November 2022
2 Years at Los Rios Community College
1 Year at CSU Fullerton
1 Year at UNLV
2 Years Coaching at UWG
2 years @ Baylor
Iowa 2019 - 2020
IC 2022 -
Coached for CKM on TI topic
Coached for Juan Diego on Surveillance
Coach for SLC West Education
Coached for CKM Immigration - CJR
Coached for Nevada Union Immigration - CJR
Add me to your email chain email@example.com
October 2022 Update:
Taylor Swift lyrics cleverly incorporated will result in a speaker point boost. Jokes in poor taste will result in a speaker point drop. Buyer beware.
"I am a firm believer that debate is for debaters. I had my time to make others listen to whatever (and I do mean absolutely whatever) I wanted to say, and its my turn to listen to and evaluate your arguments, whatever they may be. While I'm sure I have my limitations make me adapt to you instead of the other way arouund" -- Lindsay VanLuvanee
I will attempt to limit the amount my predispositions will influence how I evaluate a debate round. Don't feel as if you need to change your strategy to debate in front of me, do what you do best, because the alternative is usually subpar debate. The final two rebuttals should write my ballot for me, teams that accurately break the round down and are reasonable about what they are and are not winning will usually be rewarded with increased speaker points.I enjoy a high level of specificity and nuance broad sweeping claims will get you nowhere. I place importance on how pieces of evidence get debated, as opposed to simply constructing debates based on the pieces of evidence that have been introduced. While I also place a premium on quality evidence (which, I would like to be able to hear during your speech), I believe that a smart analytic argument has the potential to gain equal traction to a solid piece of evidence. Quality always trumps quantity.
I find cross ex to be the most important part of debate its one of the few times I feel I get to connect with the individual debaters, while I don't flow it I pay very close attention to it, and what happens here will inform how I see large portions of the round.
Theory needs to be well executed. Debates in which theory blocks do the arguing almost always favor the neg.
I don’t like cheap shots.(This does not mean I won't vote on them, I'll just be cranky about it) I like arguments to be well developed. Most cheap shots are not reasons to reject the team and significant time would need to be spent in order to convince me otherwise. However, it is your burden to point out how irrelevant many theory arguments that are advanced in debates are, as a concession may force my hand.
Nearly all theory questions I end up siding in favor of the negative, I think conditionality is fine, any potentially abusive CP is checked by quality of evidence. 50 States Fiat is one arg where an affirmative could convince me this is a reason to reject the team it is likely to still be an uphill battle.
Judge Kick: I think this deserves its own section, when the 2nr goes for a CP I believe the debate is solely a question of plan versus the CP. While a 2nr can instruct me to to kick the cp for them if the 2r wins offense against the counterplan an affirmative can respond that I shouldn't kick the counterplan for the negative and I am likely to side with the affirmative. If the 2nr contains a counterplan I have a very strong predisposition that if the affirmative wins substantive solvency deficits to the counterplan or other offense against it that outweighs the net benefit than I should be voting aff. And that I then shouldn't decide to then evaluate the status quo (i..e the net-benefit) vs. the plan.
Separate from the framework section, I really enjoy evidentiary T debates that aren't clash of civ debates. I find these are some of the most nuanced debates about what the resolution means which is always compelling to me. I evaluate topicality like a DA offense v defense. For affirmatives here do not place all your eggs in the basket of reasonability, I think only reasonability is only a question of the interpretation and not the aff or plan itself. Any other interpretation of reasonability I don't think constitutes an actual argument.
First contrary to popular belief I do not hack for framework, however this year I have noticed myself voting for framework more often than I don't vote for framework. For me there are a few ways the framework debates break down in terms of impact, primarily between procedural and education based impacts. By procedural I mean those impact arguments that result from things such as limits, or grounds internal links to impacts like clash, fairness, debatability. The second form of framework are those arguments about decision making skills, topic education, deliberative democracy.
If you are negative reading framework I cannot stress how much I would rather see the version of framework that couches its arguments in terms of the procedural side, ie. limits , ground, etc. I believe this is the most strategic form of the argument. I believe debate is a game and impacts that make the game unable to be played by one side or the other constitute a reason to vote negative. Explanations of the impact that have been compelling to me is that I strongly believe there should be a negative path to victory, a negative that couches their impacts like this will have greatly increased my likelihood to vote for framework. For affirmatives debating this style of framework if you win a counter interpretation that provides a limit on the topic and can explain why that limit on the topic mitigates some portion of the negative offense regards to limits or debateability, then that is the best route for getting me to vote affirmative. I will also say YOU NEED OFFENSE, playing the middle ground will not get my ballot I need impact turns big disads to their interpretation of the topic with well explained impacts. If affirmative I do not need 5-10 barely explained disads to FWI need 1-4 well explained and warranted DA's to the negative interpretation.
Conversely it is much harder to win my ballot exclusively going for arguments about topic education, decision making skills, or deliberative democracy. I believe any affirmative that is even close to knowing what they are doing will be able to easily impact turn these arguments. This isn't to say you shouldn't read these arguments at all they can be excellent external impacts to your interpretation, but instead you should use these arguments as a supplement to the more game-playing/ procedural versions of the argument.
For negatives who have framework as their go to strat THE CASE STILL MATTERS , the reason for this is the case determines the weight I give to affirmative impact turns / disadvantages to framework. If the affirmative solves 100% of their aff then I gave 100% of the weight of their impact turns to framework, conversely if the aff solves maybe 1% of their aff then the strength of the disadvantages or impact turns will be drastically reduced.
Topical version of the aff: You don't have to have one to win but it can help. They also don't have to solve the entire aff instead they are a test to show that the content of the aff is not precluded by the resolutional prompt. For affirmatives the topical version of the aff doesn't solve our aff not very persuasive to me. However, an argument that the topical version of the aff is not in fact topical under the negative's interpretation of the topic is persuasive. Similarly an argument that the topical version of the aff in fact does not allow for the content of the aff to exist. Form based arguments from affirmatives are also compelling to me in response to topical versions of the aff, how the content may exist but the form of it would not be, can be an extremely persuasive argument against both the topical version, as well as also acting as offense against the negatives interpretation.
Beyond counter interpretations it can be incredibly helpful for an affirmative to have a counter model of what debate looks like, which can act as a filter for a variety of the negatives arguments as well as acting as a type of uniqueness for your own impact turns to a negatives interpretation of the topic.
Something I've told to a few debaters this year may help further contextualize what I've said here -- "If both affirmative and neg execute absolutely perfectly I probably lean slightly negative" -- however it should be noted that I have never seen this perfect execution take place.
I will do my best to limit my predispositions from giving explanation or advancing arguments for the other team. Specificity and spin are important for both sides of the debate. I don’t like generic explanations of meta theory with no tie to the affirmative. Similarly, I don’t like generic responses to critical theory outside of the context of the aff. Generic evidence does not force generic explanation.
Disability k's -- Due to how I spent my last two years in debate , this is obviously a body of literature that I am extremely familiar with however if you are not familiar with it trying to pick it up just because I am in the back of the room is a terrible decision, and one you will almost certainly regret. Secondarily I thought I should include my thoughts on the various ableist language arguments. Essentially most of the time I believe these arguments in and of themselves don't constitute a great argument unless its an especially violent piece of language this doesn't mean what you say doesn't matter what it does mean is that the negative needs to explain to me why the language warrants a negative ballot and not just punitive measures like maybe lower speaker points or not evaluating certain pieces of evidence. I'm happy to explain this further if there are questions.
Recent years I have found I have a tendency to enjoy arguments described as "high-theory" IF THEY ARE EXECUTED WELL. I have coached teams to read all variety or arguments from the cap k to baudrillard, so if the death K is your jam then you should go for it. A lot of my current academic work revolves around disability and psychoanalysis so take that as you will.
If you ask anyone at Baylor they will tell you (and are correct) in that I really enjoy hearing arguments about psychoanalysis I find this to be an incredibly interesting area of argumentation and always enjoy when the affirmative or negative has to do with these questions of psychoanalysis.
I love a good, well-researched, specific strategy. The more generic your strategy becomes, the greater the chance of me assigning an extremely low risk to these arguments. Sometimes there is simply no link. Absolute defense does exist.
The last thing I will say is that debates that I have fun in will be rewarded by higher speaker points. I have fun when I see well thought out and deployed strategy.. Make me laugh and you will be rewarded. Be nice.
Also, I adore good puns (well maybe bad ones even more) make some clever puns in your speeches and you will be rewarded with speaker points.
Change in 2014
excessive / intentional use of racial slurs, jokes in bad tase, misgendering, ableist slurs will result in much lower speaker points. Note: an ableist slur is the R word , or derogatorily referring to someone as a cripple. It is not saying the word stand in your plan text/advocacy statement.
Monta Vista '18, UC Berkeley '22. firstname.lastname@example.org -- put me on the chain.
This philosophy reflects my ideological leanings; it is not a set of rules I abide by in every decision. All of them can be easily reversed by out-debating the other team, and I firmly believe tech > truth.
The most important thing for me is argument resolution. In close debates, I generally resolve in favor of rebuttals that have judge instruction, explain the interaction between your arguments and theirs, and efficiently frame the debate in a way that adds up to a ballot. If you don't give me a way to reconcile two competing claims, I'll likely just read evidence to make my own judgment. Some effective examples of this are "even if they win x, we still win because y" and short overviews for individual parts of the line by line (like framing issues for comparing the strength of a link to a link turn).
K Affs and Framework:
K Affs: Develop one or two pieces of central offense that impact turn whatever standard(s) the neg is going for. I tend to vote more frequently for the direct impact turn than the 'CI + link turn neg standards' strategy.
Framework: I don't have a preference for hearing a skills or fairness argument, but I think the latter requires you to win a higher level of defense to aff arguments.
I am well versed in security, cap, and a few other similar K's. Links are best when they prove the plan shouldn't be implemented. I'm skeptical of sweeping claims about the structure of society (provided reasonable pushback by the aff). If equally debated, I am likely to conclude that the affirmative gets to weigh the plan. I tend to vote aff when the aff wins they get to weigh the plan and their impact outweighs the neg's, and I tend to vote neg when the neg wins a framework argument.
Infinite conditionality, agent CPs, PICs, conditional planks, 2NC CPs are all good. CPs that rely on certainty or immediacy or the like for competition are illegitimate. I would strongly prefer if you resolve debates substantively than resort to theory.
CPs/DAs/Impact Turns/Case Debate/T:
Smart, analytical case defense or CPs are fine if completely intuitive or factual, but they hold significantly more weight if tied to a piece of evidence.
As far as T goes, I highly value precision when compared to limits and ground. Winning that your interp makes debates slightly more winnable for the neg is unlikely to defeat a precise interpretation that reflects the literature consensus.
When reading evidence, I will only evaluate warrants that are highlighted.
Dropped arguments don't need to be fully explained until the final rebuttals. However, you must point out that they are dropped and give a quick explanatory sentence.
Kent Denver 2020
Debating at Dartmouth 2024
Please include me on the email chain: email@example.com
Do what you want. I am fine with all types of arguments.
Please keep your camera on for the whole debate unless you are having tech issues.
-I like well-researched debates that have substantial clash over several issues
-I will give very little weight to evidence that is highlighted in a way that doesn't make grammatical sense
-numbering arguments (especially in the 2AC/on case 1NC) is very good
-impact comparison and "even if" statements are good in rebuttals
-i strongly dislike debate "buzzwords" and will not vote on them even if dropped
(ie dropping "serial policy failure" or "sufficiency framing" is not an issue unless the other team has already explained why this is something I should actually care about)
-good evidence matters but good understanding of your ev matters more
-I don't know tons about CJR
-if you open source ALL your cards and show me I will give you +.2 speaker points
DAs are good. If the 1NC doesn't have every part of the DA, the 1AR probably gets new answers. I enjoy well-researched debates on the politics DA.
Clever advantage counterplans and topic CPs are good. Generic process CPs are less good. Process CPs without a solvency advocate are bad.
I have some understanding of most critical literature, but you should assume I know nothing about your K. You will definitely benefit from slowing down in the 2NC.
I strongly enjoy Ks that interact with major premises of the affirmative.
Defending your aff's specific assumptions about hegemony, economic growth, progress, etc. should always be the A-strat in these debates.
I think FW is overused and either side can probably win without it. If your k actually interacts with major premises of the affirmative it probably shouldn't be necessary. You should explain to me why your critical theory outweighs/turns/disproves the aff's specific impacts rather than relying on vague FW blocks to do it for you.
Affs should spend their time defending their affirmative rather than saying they only have to defend the plan.
T vs. Planless Affs
Fairness is the only impact I find compelling to topicality. (Read whatever you want in front of me but fairness is your best bet).
Affs will win these debates in front of me by choosing to (1) impact turn T OR (2) have a counter-interp that solves most of the offense with a DA to reading a plan.
Both the 2AR and 2NR would benefit from a 15-30 second overview where you explain what your main strategy is.
TVAs and SSD are overused--they literally only solve you exclude "x" discussion.
K vs. Planless Affs
Sure. Be clear and organized when executing these debates.
All theory except condo is reason to reject arg not team.
Hiding 5 second ASPEC shells under topicality/cutting them out of the doc makes me VERY lenient for new 1AR answers.
Seriously, go slower.
Have fun and good luck!
Debnil Sur (he/him/his)
Pronounced phonetically as DEB-nil. Not pronounced "judge", "Mister Sur", or "deb-NEIL".
Policy Coach at Lowell High School, San Francisco
Email: lowelldebatedocs [at] gmail.com for email chains and at tournaments; debnil.sur [at] gmail.com otherwise (do not put my personal email on chains). Sensible subject please.
Lay Debate: If we are in a primarily lay setting, I'll evaluate the debate as a lay judge unless both teams ask for a fast debate. In a split setting, please adapt to the most lay judge in your speed and explanation. I won't penalize you for making debate accessible.
Resolving Debates: Above all, tech substantially outweighs truth. The below are preferences, not rules, and will easily be overturned by good debating. But, since nobody's a blank slate, treat the below as heuristics I use in thinking about debate. Incorporating some can explain my decision and help render one in your favor.
I believe debate is a strategy game, in which debaters must communicate research to persuade judges. I'll almost certainly endorse better judge instruction over higher quality yet under-explained evidence. I don't flow using speech docs. I will only read a card in deciding if that card was contested by both teams or I was told explicitly to and the evidence was actually explained in debate.
General Background: I work full-time in tech as a software engineer. In my spare time, I have coached policy debate at Lowell in San Francisco since 2018. I am involved in strategy and research and have coached both policy and K debaters to the TOC. Before that, I read policy arguments as a 2N at Bellarmine and did youth debate outreach (e.g., SVUDL) as a student at Stanford.
I've judged many excellent debates. Ideologically, I would say I'm 55/45 policy-leaning. I think my voting records don't reflect this, because K debaters tend to see the bigger picture in clash rounds.
Topic Background: I judge and coach regularly and am fully aware of national circuit trends. I know a great deal about cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at a technical level. If you understand what you are saying, this can substantially elevate emerging tech-oriented strategies. If you do not (looking at many affs this year), I will not be happy.
Voting Splits: As of the end of the water topic, I have judged 304 rounds of VCX at invitationals over 9 years. 75 of these were during college; 74 during immigration and arms sales at West Coast invitationals; and 155 on CJR and water, predominantly at octafinals bid tournaments.
Below are my voting splits across the (synthetic) policy-K divide, where the left team represents the affirmative, as best as I could classify debates. Paradigm text can be inaccurate self-psychoanalysis, so I hope the data helps.
I became an aff hack on water. Far too often, the 2AR was the first speech doing comparative analysis instead of reading blocks. I hope this changes as we return to in-person debate.
Policy v. Policy - 18-13: 58% aff over 31 rounds
Policy v. K - 20-18: 56% aff over 38 rounds
K v. Policy - 13-8: 62% aff over 21 rounds
K v. K - 1-1, 50% aff over 2 rounds
Policy v. Policy - 67-56: 55% for the aff over 123 rounds
Policy v. K - 47-52: 47% for the aff over 99 rounds
K v. Policy - 36-34: 51% for the aff over 70 rounds
K v. K - 4-4: 50% for the aff over 8 rounds
1. I'd prefer your camera on, but won't make a fuss.
2. Please check verbally and/or visually with all judges and debaters before starting your speech.
3. If my camera's off, I'm away, unless I told you otherwise.
Speaker Points: I flow on my computer, but I do not use the speech doc. I want every word said, even in card text and especially in your 2NC topicality blocks, to be clear. I will shout clear twice in a speech. After that, it's your problem.
Note that this assessment is done per-tournament: for calibration, I think a 29.3-29.4 at a finals bid is roughly equivalent to a 28.8-28.9 at an octos bid.
29.5+ — the top speaker at the tournament.
29.3-29.4 — one of the five or ten best speakers at the tournament.
29.1-29.2 — one of the twenty best speakers at the tournament.
28.9-29 — a 75th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would barely clear on points.
28.7-28.8 — a 50th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would not clear on points.
28.3-28.6 — a 25th percentile speaker at the tournament.
28-28.2 — a 10th percentile speaker at the tournament.
K Affs and Framework:
1. I have coached all sides of this debate.
2. I will vote for the team whose impact comparison most clearly answers the debate's central question. This typically comes down to the affirmative making negative engagement more difficult versus the neg forcing problematic affirmative positions. You are best served developing 1-2 pieces of offense well, playing defense to the other team's, and telling a condensed story in the final rebuttals.
3. Anything can be an impact---do what you do best. My teams typically read a limits/fairness impact and a procedural clash impact. From Dhruv Sudesh: "I don't have a preference for hearing a skills or fairness argument, but I think the latter requires you to win a higher level of defense to aff arguments."
4. Each team should discuss what a year of debate looks like under their models in concrete terms. Arguments like "TVA", "switch-side debate", and "some neg ground exists" are just subsets of this discussion. It is easy to be hyperbolic and discuss the plethora of random affirmatives, but realistic examples are especially persuasive and important. What would your favorite policy demon (MBA, GBN, etc.) do without an agential constraint? How does critiquing specific policy reforms in a debate improve critical education? Why does negative policy ground not center the affirmative's substantive conversation?
5. As the negative, recognize if this is an impact turn debate or one of competing models early on (as in, during the 2AC). When the negative sees where the 2AR will go and adjusts accordingly, I have found that I am very good for the negative. But when they fail to understand the debate's strategic direction, I almost always vote aff.
6. I quite enjoy leveraging normative positions from 1AC cards for substantive disadvantages or impact turns. This requires careful link explanation by the negative but can be incredibly strategic. Critical affirmatives claim to access broad impacts based on shaky normative claims and the broad endorsement of a worldview, rather than a causal methodfff; they should incur the strategic cost.
7. I am a better judge for presumption and case defense than most. It is often unclear to me how affirmatives solve their impacts or access their impact turns on topicality. The negative should leverage this more.
8. I occasionally judge K v K debates. I do not have especially developed opinions on these debates. Debate math often relies on causality, opportunity cost, and similar concepts rooted in policymaking analysis. These do not translate well to K v K debates, and the team that does the clearest link explanation and impact calculus typically wins.
1. I do not often coach K teams but have familiarity with basically all critical arguments.
2. Framework almost always decides this debate. While I have voted for many middle-ground frameworks, they make very little strategic sense to me. The affirmative saying that I should "weigh the links against the plan" provides no instruction regarding the central question: how does the judge actually compare the educational implications of the 1AC's representations to the consequences of plan implementation? As a result, I am much better for "hard-line" frameworks that exclude the case or the kritik.
3. I will decide the framework debate in favor of one side's interpretation. I will not resolve some arbitrary middle road that neither side presented.
4. If the kritik is causal to the plan, a well-executing affirmative should almost always win my ballot. The permutation double-bind, uniqueness presses on the link and impact, and a solvency deficit to the alternative will be more than sufficient for the affirmative. The neg will have to win significant turns case arguments, an external impact, and amazing case debating if framework is lost. At this point, you are better served going for a proper counterplan and disadvantage.
1. This is a question of which team's vision of the topic maximizes its benefits for debaters. I compare each team's interpretation of the topic through an offense/defense lens.
2. Reasonability is about the affirmative interpretation, not the affirmative case itself. In its most persuasive form, this means that the substance crowdout caused by topicality debates plus the affirmative's offense on topicality outweighs the offense claimed by the negative. This is an especially useful frame in debates that discuss topic education, precision, and similar arguments.
3. Any standards are fine. I used to be a precision stickler. This changed after attending topic meetings and realizing how arbitrarily wording is chosen.
4. From Anirudh Prabhu: "T is a negative burden which means it is the neg’s job to prove that a violation exists. In a T debate where the 2AR extends we meet, every RFD should start by stating clearly what word or phrase in the resolution the aff violated and why. If you don’t give me the language to do that in your 2NR, I will vote aff on we meet."
1. As with other arguments, I will resolve this fully technically. Unlike many judges, my argumentative preferences will not implicate how I vote. I will gladly vote on a dropped theory argument---if it was clearly extended as a reason to reject the team---with no regrets.
2. I'm generally in favor of limitless conditionality.
3. From Rafael Pierry: "most theoretical objections to CPs are better expressed through competition. ... Against these and similar interpretations, I find neg appeals to arbitrariness difficult to overcome." For me, this is especially true with counterplans that compete on certainty or immediacy. While I do not love the delay counterplan, I think it is much more easily beaten through competition arguments than theoretical ones.
4. If a counterplan has specific literature to the affirmative plan, I will be extremely receptive to its theoretical legitimacy and want to grant competition. But of course, the counterplan text must be written strategically, and the negative must still win competition.
1. I'm better for strategies that depend on process and competition than most. These represent one of my favorite aspects of debate---they combine theory and substance in fun and creative ways---and I've found that researching and strategizing against them generates huge educational benefits for debaters, certainly on par with a politics/case strategy.
2. I have no disposition between "textual and functional competition" and "only functional competition". Textual alone is pretty bad. Positional competition is similarly tough, unless the affirmative grants it. Think about how a model of competition justifies certain permutations---drawing these connections intelligently helps resolve the theoretical portion of permutations.
3. Similarly, I am agnostic regarding limited intrinsicness, either functional or textual. While it helps check against the truly artificial CPs, it justifies bad practices that hurt the negative. It's certainly a debate that you should take on.
4. People need to think about deficits to counterplans. If you can't impact deficits to said counterplans, write better advantages. The negative almost definitely does not have evidence contextualizing their solvency mechanism to your internal links---explain why that matters!
5. Presumption goes to less change---debate what this means in round. Otherwise, it goes aff in the event of an advocacy.
6. Decide in-round if I should kick the CP. I'll likely kick it if left to my own devices. The affirmative should be better than the status quo.
1. There is not always a risk. A small enough signal is overwhelmed by noise, and we cannot determine its sign or magnitude.
2. I do not think you need evidence to make an argument. Many bad advantages can be reduced to noise through smart analytics. Doing so will improve your speaker points. Better evidence will require your own.
3. Shorten overviews, and make sure turns case arguments actually implicate the aff's internal links.
4. Will vote on any and all theoretical arguments---intrinsicness, politics theory, etc. Again, arguments are arguments, debate them out.
1. Cheating means you will get the lowest possible points.
2. You need a recording to prove the other team is clipping.
3. If you mark a card, say where you’re marking it, actually mark it, and offer a marked copy before CX in constructives or the other's team prep time in a rebuttal. You do not need to remove cards you did not read in the marked copy, unless you skipped a truly ridiculous amount. This practice is inane and justifies debaters doc-flowing.
4. Emailing isn’t prep. If you take too long, I'll tell you I'm starting your tech time.
5. If there is a different alleged ethics violation, I will ask the team alleging the violation if they want to stop the debate. If so, I will ask the accused team to provide written defense; check the tournament's citation rules; and decide. I will then decide the debate based on that violation and the tournament policy---I will not restart the debate---this makes cite-checking a no-risk option as a negative strategy, which seems really bad.
IMPORTANT: I will only vote on an ethics violation about an article's citation practice (missing an author, missing a year, etc) if the team alleging the violation has evidence that they contacted the other team and told them about the issue. Clearly, you had the time to look up the article. As a community, we should assume good faith in citation, and let the other team know. And people should not be punished for cards they did not cut. But if they still are reading faulty evidence, even after being told, that's certainly academic malpractice.
Note that if the ethics violation is made as an argument during the debate and advanced in multiple speeches as a theoretical argument, you cannot just decide it is a separate ethics violation later in the debate. I will NOT vote on it, and I will be very annoyed with you.
6. The closer a re-highlighting comes to being a new argument, the more likely you should be reading it instead of inserting. If you are point out blatant mis-highlighting in a card, typically in a defensive fashion on case, then insertion is fine. I will readily scratch excessive insertion with clear instruction.
1. I'll only evaluate highlighted warrants in evidence.
2. Dropped arguments should be flagged clearly. If you say that clearly answered arguments were dropped, you're hurting your own persuasion.
3. Please send cards in a Word doc. Body is fine if it's just 1-3 cards. I don't care if you send analytics, though it can help online.
4. Unless the final rebuttals are strictly theoretical, the negative should compile a card doc post 2NR and have it sent soon after the 2AR. The affirmative should start compiling their document promptly after the 2AR. Card docs should only include evidence referenced in the final rebuttals (and the 1NC shell, for the negative)---certainly NOT the entire 1AC.
5. As a judge, I can stop the debate at any point. The above should make it clear that I am very much an argumentative nihilist---in hundreds of debates, I have not come close to stopping one. So if I do, you really messed up, and you probably know it.
6. I am open to a Technical Knockout. If you think the debate is unwinnable for the other team, say "TKO" (probably after their speech, not yours) and explain why it is unwinnable. If I agree, I will give you 30s and a W. If I disagree and think they can still win the debate, you'll get 25s and an L. Examples include: dropped T argument, dropped conditionality, double turn on the only relevant pieces of offense, dropped CP + DA without any theoretical out.
Be mindful of context: calling this against sophomores in presets looks worse than against an older team in a later prelim. But sometimes, debates are just slaughters, nobody is learning anything, and there will be nothing to judge. I am open to giving you some time back, and to adding a carrot to spice up debate.
7. Not about deciding debates, but a general offer to debate folk reading this. As someone who works in tech, I think it is a really enjoyable career path and quite similar to policy debate in many ways. If you would like to learn more about tech careers, please feel free to email me. As a high school student, it was very hard to learn about careers not done by my parents or their friends (part of why I'm in tech now!). I am happy to pass on what knowledge I have.
Above all, be kind to each other, and have fun!
Georgetown Day School '17
Pomona College '21 (not debating)
DAMUS 2020 UPDATE:
I've judged a bit this season, so I'm not a total digital debate novice, but I'm still barely involved with the activity these days. That means I'm not very familiar with new argumentative trends. It also means I'm not as fluent with buzzwords as I once was, and my flowing hand is a little slower than it used to be. If you blaze through your T shell or theory blocks, you do so at your own risk. Clarity, or lack thereof, remains as big an issue as ever, but I'm not going to say "clearer" during a digital speech.
An important note about ethics that I apparently haven't made sufficiently clear: if you want to impugn your opponents' ethical practices, do not do so during a speech. Any and all allegations of improper conduct take priority over the competitive section of the debate, which means they are to be discussed outside of it—that means between speeches. Don't make me stop the debate early unless it's absolutely necessary.
-K teams tend to prefer me higher than policy teams do.
-I vote against K teams a lot in K vs. policy debates.
-I judge very few policy vs. policy debates.
-The above bullets do not mean I hate policy arguments. You will be at a disadvantage if you avoid going for the arguments you're comfortable with because you think I'll prefer a K.
-While I don't have strong preferences as to the content of the debates I judge, I do have the form preference that debate be an oral activity. So if you want me to vote for something other than an argument that comes out of your mouth or your partner's, you're going to need to do a substantial amount of work using oral argumentation so I know how to weigh it.
Longer/older stuff follows:
Views on the Content of Arguments
Do what you do best. I don't prefer any style of argumentation over any other and strive to be equally unsympathetic to all of them. To be a true tabula rasa is of course impossible, but my biases tend to involve more specific argumentative tactics rather than the types of content debaters read. K teams tend to pref me higher than policy teams do because I read and had success with Ks when I debated and I mostly coach K teams. As a result, I don't judge a lot of policy versus policy debates. In so-called "clash of civilization" debates, I have voted against the K team slightly more than 50% of the time. Maybe this is because familiarity breeds contempt or maybe it's just the way the debates I've judged have happened to turn out. My hope above all else is that no one feels the need to fundamentally alter their strategy because I'm in the back of the room.
How I Evaluate Debates
I previously described my judging as "ruthlessly technical," but I'm increasingly becoming dissatisfied with that model because it's impossible to maintain it to an extent that isn't arbitrary. Ultimately, different people are going to find different claims and warrants more or less persuasive. I would still certainly place myself in the tech over truth camp, but there's a limit. If you make a claim that is self-evidently false and your opponent drops it, I'm not going to vote for it absent explicit and robust justification. Is there an arbitrary element here? Absolutely, but I'd prefer to keep that as clear and out in the open as possible rather than pretend a totally technical approach that is divorced from my own biases is possible. If you tell me "truth over tech," I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea on principle, but it needs to come out early in the debate and you need to explain how it works in a lot of detail or else I just won't know what to do with it. Even if truth comes before tech, I'm not sure how I can know what's true without tech.
I think framework is the most fundamental part of any debate, so it's always the first question I try to resolve when making a decision. It's frustrating to me that both sides often leave framework underdeveloped. Of course, many debates, such as most policy versus policy debates, don't involve explicit framework arguments, but that doesn't mean framework is any less fundamental in those rounds—it just means both sides are in agreement about what that fundamental aspect of the debate looks like.
The nature of debate is that not everything you say will end up on my flow, but if it's not there, I'm not evaluating it. That means effective development, explanation, and time allocation in the final rebuttals are essential to make sure I don't miss the argument you want me to vote on, or to make sure I don't miss your answer to their argument that I want to vote on. Framing in the final rebuttals wins debates when supplemented by good line by line and impact calculus.
Clarity is of paramount importance. I say clearer more than most judges, and I don't think it should be an outlandish request that I be able to understand upwards of 80% of the words you say, including cards. Slowing down a bit on important points is a useful tool for emphasis and is a good way to make sure I actually write down all of the important parts of your argument.
I tend to take a long time to submit my decision because I want to be as thorough as possible. I've realized that this is a losing battle and can result in me doing extra work for both sides, which I do not want to do. So I'm going to try to decide faster from now on and focus more on the framing of the final rebuttals.
On a semi-related note: if I don't understand what the aff does to solve well enough that I can explain it to the neg in my decision, I will vote neg on presumption. This is not at all difficult to avoid, but it's happened in at least one debate I've judged recently. This should really only be an issue with K affs, but since those are what I judge most often I figure it should go in this section anyway.
I determine speaker points in a subjective and arbitrary manner based on factors such as effective organization of arguments, clarity, ethos, and decisively winning portions of the debate. I will not respond to demands that I distribute speaker points any other way. I think speaker point inflation is a problem but I make an effort to keep up with current norms so that debaters don't end up with worse points just because they're unlucky enough to have me as their judge.
It's a three-minute speech and I flow it. I realize that allowing teams to take prep to extend cross examination seems contrary to this understanding, but since it seems to have become a norm on the national circuit, I'll allow it.
I am not a fan of hyper-aggressive cross examination strategies—that means talking over the other team, repeating mischaracterizations of their answers, laughing at them, etc. This really annoys me and will not help your points.
Topicality/Framework vs. K Aff Thoughts
I enjoy these debates. I've found myself voting for T against K affs more often than I expected to. The main reasons for this are a) the tendency of K teams to be bad at answering standards and case turn tricks (which are almost always disgustingly generic and there's no excuse for not having a case specific answer) and b) the fact that 2ARs like to vomit their offense at me at the top or sprinkled throughout the speech without contextualizing it to the neg's (and often without doing impact calculus). Here are some more specific thoughts on being each side of the T vs. K aff debate:
Going for T
T is an effective argument against K affs when deployed well, and it is sometimes, but probably not always, the neg's best option. I generally find the most important question in T debates to be impact calculus and particularly impact framing, which is especially key for 2NRs on T that go for fairness as an impact rather than as an internal link, since the 2AR will always claim their genocide/value to life/etc. offense outweighs, and I will be inclined to agree unless you have a compelling framing argument about the need for fairness in the context of debate (or, even better, something cleverer that hasn't occurred to me). It's also important that you explain the implications of certain arguments. For example, people like to say that "debate is a game" when going for T. Those four words will not have a particularly large effect on my decision without some explanation. I understand some judges will automatically place fairness before any other offense if you win that debate is a game. I'm not naturally inclined to be one of those judges, but I'm open to being convinced I should become one.
Reading a K Aff Against T
I do not care what kind of aff you read, nor do I care if it is related to the topic, though I can obviously be convinced otherwise in a T debate. If you're debating against T, you're better off impact turning their standards and leveraging the aff against T rather than counter-defining words in the resolution and reading high school papers stripped of their original context as evidence. I do not think that you need to present or defend a different model of debate than the neg, but I need to know what exactly it is I'm voting for when I vote aff if you're not defending a vision of what debate should look like. As always, impact calculus and big picture framing are crucial.
Ethics/Other Unpleasant Things
I would really, really like to avoid ethics challenges in debates I'm judging. If you make one, the round stops and does not continue afterward. I will pull the trigger on clipping and give the person who clipped minimum speaks, but if you make an ethics challenge and I find it to be unwarranted, you will lose and get minimum speaks, and I will harbor a great deal of animosity toward you if I judge you again. If I catch minor clipping (as oxymoronic as that may sound—I mean a few skipped words here and there in a card) I'll give you one warning after your speech. If it doesn't stop, the above applies.
I hate it when debaters personally attack each other. That's a warning. If you fail to heed it, you'll be at a disadvantage. You might even lose the round.
I understand how crucial it is to the functioning of any debate tournament that judges be effective, and I promise that I will do my absolute best to be well-rested and focused anytime I'm tasked with evaluating a round. I hope you will keep this in mind before aggressively post-rounding, which annoys me and does not help you because it will never change my decision and can lead to you missing important parts of my RFD.
If any of the above is objectionable to you, I welcome your strike.
OES (Oregon Episcopal School) '20
UC Berkeley '24
email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
TL;DR: I'm probably not the best judge for you if you're a K debater, and definitely not a good judge for you if you don't defend a topical plan.
- I pretty much only read policy arguments in high school.
- If you're reading a K, please have an actual link (not a link of omission or a link to the status quo). The alternative should do something, and I usually don't understand why you would kick the alt. The affirmative should get to weigh the plan against the K.
- Please do line-by-line, slow down on analytics and theory blocks, and emphasize the most important arguments in the debate. Judge instruction is always appreciated!
- Don't steal prep or clip cards.
- Turn on your camera (if you are able to)!
- I would prefer not to judge a debate where I have to make a decision based on a debater's personal identity.
- Be nice :)
Good luck and have fun!
Currently working with Alpharetta, previously worked with Chattahoochee. I debated throughout high school, then at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma, and am now a member of U of West Georgia debate.
I’m comfortable with all speeds and styles, especially those regarding the k – I’m most familiar with poststructural + positional criticisms, though you should do whatever it is you do best – you can just as easily win with a plan, theory, framework, etc. If you want to test a sneaky new framework strategy, I'll happily adjudicate your chess match; if you're all about the Death K, well, I've done my fair share of that stuff too. Give me your best args and write my ballot. I privilege tech over truth and frequently vote for arguments that contravene my personal beliefs. I judge k affs frequently but this only thickens my belief that they need some relation to the resolution, even if only neg-neg. I thus also believe that the neg, in turn, needs to prove why either A) the aff links to harder to the k than squo does, or B) why that distinction doesn't matter - i.e. how I can vote without presumption and/or L/UQ or why presumption still goes neg, does not exist, sucks, whatever. I am not, personally, keen on the notion that presumption can flip aff, but am willing to entertain the argument and have voted on it when used to exploit a neg weakness.
I flow on paper, if you care. I'll say clear twice and then stop flowing anything incomprehensible. If you begin a speech in unsettling fashion (e.g. giving an inaccurate roadmap or jumping the gun with 400+wpm), I'll act flustered and require a few effervescently dramatic seconds to get my affairs in order. If I'm otherwise not flowing or I'm on the wrong sheet, it's because either you've created a mental backlog of arguments that I'm flowing in retrospect or I'm repackaging your arguments to make them more palatable to my flow, or both.
Some things that frustrate me: excessive rudeness (toward opponents or judges), offensive strategies (racism inevitable/good, for instance), and clipping (zeroes + L = bad time for you). The advent of digital debate brings with it a new and widespread sense of suspicion, and though I will do my best to catch any and all forms of cheating, I ask that debaters remain vigilant for it as well. Also, and I can’t believe I need to write this, please don’t engage in acts of self-harm to win my ballot (you know who you are). Instead, please demonstrate mastery of persuasion, word economy, and 2nr/2ar prescience – teams that reverse-engineer strategies and execute them methodically speech-by-speech impress me the most – a searing cross-ex is, of course, welcome – entertaining and innovative teams will be rewarded with speaker points.
A few final notes: not a huge fan of process counterplans (but I’ll still vote for them), conditionality is pretty good (as is neg fiat), link uniqueness wins k rounds, and maybe, just maybe, go for presumption.
*****IF MY CAMERA IS NOT ON I AM NOT THERE******
I have a philosophy degree from Loyola and last debated for GSU (2n). I have a background in coaching, judging, and debating LD, PF, and Policy and I have been working at camps for 6 years (GDS, UNT, Hdc, and Snfi). Currently coaching for CKM. I will listen to most arguments as long as I do not find them offensive. I prefer clarity over speed- that being said I am perfectly fine with speed. If I have to call clear more than three times I will stop flowing. I will listen to pretty much any arg pending heinous claims. However, I typically only like to vote on theory arguments in which the violation can actually be resolved by the ballot. Can go either way on tricks, but I don't hate creative attempts at securing the ballot. Please for the love of everything... do not run a tva arg in front of me because we are both gonna be upset. My threshold for granting the tva is incredibly high and this is probably the only argument I really dont love hearing. It is unlikely I will vote on T. Definitely K leaning in terms of what I am most familiar with.
tldr; pref me as a k judge
My connection is not the best- please include your analytics in your speech doc and make my life a lot easier. Reduce your speed by 10-15%.
My email is: email@example.com
UC Berkeley 2021 (go bears)
Yes I want to be on the email chain -
College - firstname.lastname@example.org, debatedocs
High School - ktwimsatt at gmail
Most of my experience as a debater was reading policy affs and going for some combination of CP's and DA's. Those are my favorite rounds to judge.
Tech over truth. Only exception is death good arguments/spark. Do not read them; I will not vote on them.
Inserting rehighlightings is fine as long as you explain why it matters in the speech. I usually read ev while making decisions.
Online Debate - I will do my best to keep my camera on during debates. If my camera is off, assume I am not present and do not start. Please do your best to resolve common tech issues in advance (fix any problems with gmail, adjust mic settings, upload 1acs to email before the round starts).
Framework - I'm probably not as bad as you think, but I also prefer affs that defend a plan. I'm more convinced by affs that commit to, and defend, an action coming out of the 1ac. I find framework arguments most persuasive against affs that are solely designed to impact turn framework. The most persuasive framework answers to me center on some sort of link turns, I'm unlikely to vote on a 'we meet' argument unless it's dropped. I strongly believe debate has a positive impact and the skills gained from debate are beneficial. I can be convinced otherwise, but it's an uphill battle.
Ks - Also probably not as bad as you think, just prove the plan is a bad idea. My ballot will weigh the aff against the alternatitive. Please clearly explain how the alt resolves the links. I dislike strategies based on links of omission or three minute long 'overviews'. Err on the side of explaining more - do not assume I know your theory of the world or understand what alt does.
Couterplans/CP Theory - I am very very unlikely to vote on theory arguments. It is a very uphill battle to convince me to vote on generic theory arguments like condo or PICs bad. Even if completely conceded, I still would rather affs go for substance. I do not think all CPs are legitimate, for example, theory arguments against private actor fiat, multi-actor fiat, or object fiat definitely have merit. Perms and solvency takeouts are a much better use of your time.
Other assorted counterplan thoughts - Logical counterplans probably don't need a solvency advocate. My general belief is that links are a sliding scale, not a yes/no question but I can be convinced otherwise. I will judge kick CP's unless both sides agree that should not be allowed.
DA/Case - I don't have unique or strong feelings here. DA/case debates are good and I enjoy judging them.
I take judge instruction very seriously.
Arbitrariness and follow-on are probably more important to me than other judges.
Arguments that extinction should not come first don't make very much sense for me. I'll vote for them if won, but they probably require greater investment.
I'll vote for no-plan Affs or Ks. I usually vote for whoever controls impact framing. I would prefer not to hear arguments about debate as a community, debaters as individuals, or schools.
I dislike run and gun strategies.
Successfully executing one/two off strategies will earn substantial speaker point boosts.
The wipeout/spark genre will not be considered. If you have to ask, you already have your answer.
I presume innocence and good faith error in most ethics challenges. This is possible to overcome, but requires something egregious.
email@example.com – add me; also add firstname.lastname@example.org | they/them | Updated for Wake 2022
Wake Update: This is my first experience judging college debate. I debated for USC with very limited success. I haven't been very actively involved in debate over the last two years, but I did a lot of research for the AI IPR aff USC has been reading this year. It's been a while since I've judged, so I recommend you go a bit slower than usual and overexplain your arguments. I'm not very good for the K, especially high level K debate. The paradigm I wrote below was written for high schoolers, but my thoughts should translate to college debate just fine.
Online Debate: I have judged and participated in roughly 100 online debates over the course of the pandemic. Things I've found to be useful are going slower than you normally would and sharing analytics if they’re already written out in a speech doc. Also, I feel it's important to note that I flow on paper, so with lag and poor mic quality, it's extra important to give me enough pen time. Lastly, if my camera is off, I am not ready for your speech unless I've said otherwise.
Rounds Judged on this Topic: 0. I haven't been very active in judging or coaching this year so I am well behind the curve when it comes to topic knowledge.
About Me: I did policy debate for three years at Green Valley High School in Las Vegas and I’ve been debating at USC and coaching Chaminade College Prep in LA for two years now. I qualled to the TOC my senior year of HS and am currently in my third year of college debate. I am majoring in physics and in astronomy, so please don't assume I know all the intricacies of econ, IR, the law, etc. because it's not something I am actively studying. I'd say I have pretty good intuition about most things though, but it's always better to simplify the arguments you're making in front of me because I don't like to think too hard.
tl;dr: All the below thoughts are in no way set in stone and the way I evaluate a round depends a lot more on what happened in those 2 hours than anything I'll say here; with that in mind, I will vote for any argument as long as I think you are winning it. I'd say I'm pretty tech > truth, but this only goes so far (e.g. if your argument starts off with near-0% risk, even if you technically win the argument, I will only evaluate your argument with the level of risk that your evidence indicates I should). Most importantly, if I don't know how to explain to the other team how they lost to your argument during an RFD, then you're not getting my ballot.
Rhetoric: Debate is a rhetorical activity meaning if I can’t understand you, I won’t vote for you. Speed is fine, but clarity is key. A dropped argument only matters if you extend a claim, warrant, and impact to it. Please be nice to each other, we’re all here to learn and have fun.
K's in General: I am not going to lie, I am not proficient in any K literature whatsoever. So please, assume I have no idea what you’re talking about, explain your author's jargon, develop my understanding of your theory during the round, and tell me the RFD in your 2NR/2AR. However, I really try to not let my lack of knowledge be a determining factor in the decision. If you're going for a K, I tend to try extra hard to flow everything you say and read along with evidence as you are speaking, as well as be extra expressive so you have some indication if I am buying what you're selling.
Framework/K Aff's: I think that an affirmative team should probably read a topical plan, but well-researched and topic specific non-plan affs are generally more interesting to me than bland policy affs. I feel that framework debates turn into two ships passing in the night very quickly, so the more clash you have on either side, the better off you’ll be. Negative teams should try to have specific answers to the aff’s case and cross apply those to framework if they want a greater chance of winning the debate. Skills or fairness, I don't care, just have an impact or prove to me the aff doesn't. Most TVA's are egregiously bad (sometimes, not even topical), so read it on the neg is probably the better 2NR extension to make.
K’s on the Neg: The affirmative should probably get to weigh their plan. Negative teams need to explain their arguments in depth and without jargon. Alternative’s are usually incredibly vague and meaningless to me; please explain them to me like I were a five year old, I promise I won’t find it patronizing. Please provide specific and detailed link, internal link, and impact stories.
Topicality: I was coached by Cade Cottrell, which means that almost every aff I read throughout high school was borderline topical at best. I love creative and innovative affs that are right at the boundary of topical and non-topical, but I’ll still hold the line if the neg proves they have the better interp. I think that the best affirmative argument against any T violation is a combination of arbitrariness and reasonability, but my default is competing interpretations.
CP’s: Read whatever and however many CP’s you want, just make sure you can theoretically justify them if this becomes an issue in round. If you're neg tell me to judge kick, if you’re aff tell me why that’s bad; I’m leaving it up to you to decide if I should allow it or not.
DA’s: I can see myself voting aff even if there aren’t any cards read on a DA if the negative team’s story is entirely incoherent. Turns case and solves case arguments are distinct and need to be answered differently; neg teams should probably have both. Link turns case arguments are more persuasive than impact turns case. The more specific the DA the better, but generic DA’s are fine. Impact calc is generally the most important part of these debates.
Theory: These debates rarely end up being good. I think theory args other than conditionality are probably not a reason to drop the team. 2A’s that terrorize the neg with theory will get higher speaks, but 15 seconds should be sufficient on ridiculously contrived and self-serving theory.
People I Agree With: Cade Cottrell, Samin Kamal, Parker Coon, Jaden Lessnick.
Things to do for Higher Speaks: I believe that the ballot is enough of a reward for the team who did the better debating, so ethos/logos/pathos will be how I evaluate speaker points. In general, you should make jokes about anyone mentioned above, do line by line, be funny, don't be rude, and end speeches/prep early when you are CLEARLY ahead.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Debated for Interlake, 2 years out
Tech Issues: I'll be sympathetic to them, idc if your camera is on
Use content warnings if needed pls.
Debate how you want to debate. Don't be antiblack, anti-Indigenous, racist, transphobic/nbphobic, ableist, antiqueer, misogynistic, Islamophobic etc -- the round will stop and you will get lowest speaks possible. Don't misgender your opponents. If there's something I'm not noticing and you want the round to stop, you can send me a quick email and I will check it between speeches/crossex.
Mostly tech > truth, but truth sets thresholds for how technical you need to be. I'm not tech > truth for disgusting arguments like racism good, etc.
DAs: I default to any risk framing, especially with a counterplan
Counterplans: I will judge kick for you, I'll lean towards infinite condo good, unless theory is dropped. I love a good impact framing debate (offense/defense paradigms, sufficiency framing, etc.). I lean neg on PIC theory, aff on delay/consult/process cps, and neutral on agent + states cps. I lean neg on no severance/intrinsic perms.
K v Plan: I will judge kick the alt for you. I'll vote for a floating pik if it's clearly articulated to me in the neg block and the 1ar drops it. I like robust link work, but I also think generics are fine (because if the aff team doesn't know how to respond to generic links then what are you doing y'all). I'm most familiar with Settler Colonialism, Queerness Deleuze, and Antiblackness kritiks. I lean neg on no severence/intrinsic perms.
Topicality v Plan: I'll listen to any T violation. I'm probably not the best judge for super technical T debates, so if you have some nuanced T violation you might have to do more work for me to understand it.
K affs: Great. Please do impact calc in the 2ar, especially if neg drops case. I have no strong predispositions for what debate/my ballot/my role is.
Framework v K affs: I love these debates. Please do actual impact calc in the 2nr (especially if you're going for fairness).
K aff v Cap: Great. Lean aff on no perm theory.
K aff v other Ks + PIKS: Great. Lean neg on (floating) pik theory here.
Other Theory + Random Voters: I'll hear them, but warrant them out. I'll defer to reject the argument, except for Condo. Performative Contradictions should probably be answered with strategic concessions, not theory (but that's just a personal preference, I'll evaluate perfcon as theory if you run it). Tech>Truth on dropped theory arguments (but don't be egregious with this). I'll probably not vote on RVIs in policy.
Speaks: Race/gender/disability bias exists. I will do my best to overcorrect myself to account for this.
Email me if you have any more specific questions.
I think postrounding can be an important tool for holding people accountable. Don't be afraid to call me out if I mess up on something.