Greenhill Fall Classic
2020 — Addison, TX/US
Lincoln Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Updated pre TOC 2021
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org please put me on the email chain
Pref Shortcuts: 1: substantive arguments about the topic 2: mainstream K's, good T debates 3: Theory, Pomo K's 4: Phil 5-6: Tricks
I expect the debate to be conducted as though it were a classroom setting. As such inappropriate behavior, specifically cursing, will not be tolerated. If you choose to curse during the debate expect dramatically lower speaker points. Further, if the behavior of one of the teams crosses the line into what I deem to be inappropriate or highly objectionable behavior I will stop the debate and award a loss to the offending team. Examples of this behavior include but are not limited to highly sexual or sexualized performances, abusive behavior or threats of violence or instances of overt racism, sexism or oppression based on identity generally.
My background prior to coming to Harker in 2010 was almost entirely in college policy debate though I have been coaching LD for 11 years and Public Forum for the past 4 years. But it is hard for me to separate my years of policy debate experience from the way I judge all debates. I do not judge very much anymore but am very involved in our team's evidence production and preparation and my topic knowledge is fairly good.
The execution of the argument is almost as important as the quality of the evidence supporting the argument. A really good disad with good cards that is poorly explained and poorly extended is not compelling to me. Conversely a well explained argument with evidence of poor quality is also unlikely to impress me.
Critiques: I am familiar with most mainstream critical arguments that are prevalent but anything outside of that is likely to require more explanation. I took a handful of continental philosophy classes in grad school but that was a long time ago and my knowledge of a lot of the underlying literature for lots of critical arguments, particularly high theory, is likely lacking. Having said that I think I am an ok judge for critical arguments, especially when executed technically. I often find the strongest elements of K's to be the link and the weakest to be the alternative, though of course this varies from argument to argument. I also think impact turning is an underutilized strategy though I get that can be hard to pull off at times in LD.
Critical Affs: I think the affirmative should have a meaningful relationship to the topic. Thus topical, soft left affs are often very strategic. I am very sympathetic to t/framework against affs with little or no relationship to the topic. In these debates I think the best aff strategy is to impact turn framework, depending on what that looks like in the context of the aff. But overall I am likely not the best judge for non-T affs.
Topicality/Theory: I am slightly less prone than other judges to vote on topicality. Although I do take a fairly strict view of the topic and am willing to enforce that view when teams do a good job of arguing topicality. I often find topicality arguments that are not based on expert/technical definitions of key terms of art in the resolution to be fairly hard for the negative to win. I am also more likely than most judges to vote on reasonability if well explained and this is true for most theory arguments as well.
In debates about counterplan theory, I probably err slightly neg. on most theory issues, though I have voted aff. on things like PIC’s bad, etc. so I am not terribly biased. There are two exceptions to this. I think conditionality is more debatable in LD than in policy and given the time constraints and slightly more likely to vote aff on this in LD. I also think that a lot of mainstream counterplans that compete on the function of the affirmative are not competitive (think consultation, delay). I am kind of a sucker for the argument that counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive though this is not something I will automatically check in on, especially if the negative has strong explanations for their defense of their counterplan.
Arguments like “abbreviating USFG is too vague” or “You misspelled enforcement and that’s a VI” are non-starters. Don’t waste your time.
Theory arguments are generally too underdeveloped for my tastes so if that is a key part of your strategy invest some time.
The likelihood of me voting on a 1ac spike or tricks in general are exceptionally low. If this is your strategy I am not the judge for you.
Philosophy/Framework: dense phil debates are very hard for me to adjudicate having very little background in them. I default to utilitarianism and am most comfortable judging those debates. Any framework that involves skep triggers is very unlikely to find favor from me.
Evidence: Quality is extremely important and seems to be declining. I have noticed a disturbing trend towards people reading short cards with little or no explanation in them or that are underlined such that they are barely sentence fragments. I will not give you credit for unread portions of evidence. Also I take claims of evidence ethics violations very seriously and have a pretty high standard for ethics. I have a strong distaste for the insertion of bracketed words into cards in nearly all instances.
Cross examination: is very important. Cross-ex should be more than I need this card and what is your third answer to X. A good cross-ex will dramatically increase your points, a bad one will hurt them. Everyone in the debate should be courteous.
Disads/CP's: these are the debates I am most familiar with and have spent nearly all of my adult life judging and coaching. DA turns the case is a powerful and underutilized argument. But this is all pretty straightforward and I do not think I have a lot of ideas about these that are not mainstream with the exceptions in the theory section above.
Speaker points: for me are based on the following factors - clarity of delivery (especially important in online debates), quality of evidence, quality of cross examination, strategic choices made in the debate and also, to a degree, on demeanor. Debaters who are friendly and treat their opponents with respect are likely to get higher points.
Also a note on flowing: I will periodically spot check the speech doc for clipping but do not flow from it. I will not vote on an argument I was unable to flow. I will say clear once or twice but beyond that you risk me missing many arguments.
The only thing I will add here is that I strongly oppose the practice of paraphrasing evidence. I will not look through an entire article to find out if your paraphrasing accurately reflects the article. If you cannot point to a specific line or paragraph in the article I will disregard your paraphrasing entirely. If I am your judge I would strongly suggest reading only direct quotations in your speeches.
Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].
I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).
My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!
All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!
First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.
Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:
1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.
2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.
Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.
The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!
Ask any other clarification questions before the round!
TOC UPDATE: in an effort to provide full transparency, I want to make clear that there are certain debates I feel not confident adjudicating:
1. Really messy substance debates (that lack weighing and clarity and rely on my ability to catch every analytic against every card) & or anything that requires me to have in-depth knowledge of the topic.
-please provide clarity and overviews & tell me why you are winning
-weighing impacts and between other weighing standards
-if you want to win on a turn, answer the aff & explain defense
2. Blippy 1ar theory that is collapsed to in the 2ar (I’m biased against 15 second shells unless the 1n is 5+ offs)
-imbedded weighing in the standards is ideal!
3. K debate (I’m pretty confident in this but I have a hot take that makes me vote against k’s more often than I would like to)
-I need to be convinced that a cap or security k (or other variant) exists on a pre-fiat level or somehow the aff cannot be leveraged against it. If the impacts are post fiat, so is the k in my opinion. Pre fiat Ks are about reps that influence the real world! This seems kinda obvious but just to clarify.
4. tricks vs ableism/other ks- I will 9 times out of 10 vote on the k
5. Performance affs that stray from message after the 1ac. Do not forget your message by the 1ar and don’t drop case in the 2ar! I will vote against you if you want to win on the aff.
1.OK Y'ALL IF YOU DO NOT EXTEND YOUR CASE, I CANNOT VOTE ON IT. If they concede your case, tell me they conceded your case and extend your arguments and weigh them, don't just say "They conceded my case, now let's move on" I will NOT VOTE FOR YOU on this argument.
2. no new in the 2 args- I STOP FLOWING. IF I AM NOT FLOWING IT, I AM NOT EVALUATING IT.
3. Also, when the timer goes off my pen is down, I am not flowing unfinished args/cards.
I want to be on the email chain- email@example.com
TLDR: Run anything! How to pref me:
T/Theory: 2 (Lower if you are going to spread through all your analytics)
Hi y'all! A lil background on me: I debated for Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, AZ for 4 years from 2015-2019. I currently attend the University of Pennsylvania. I at-larged to the TOC my Senior year and debated almost entirely locally my freshman and sophomore year so I am comfortable with more traditional style debating as well as progressive. I have run every type of argument that exists in LD debate so I will try my best to adjudicate rounds as tab as possible but I will provide a disclaimer to you that I tend to give more weight to Reps than most judges because I very often ran Reps myself as a debater- that does not mean reading reps is an auto win so just make good args.
Things to keep in mind: I have not been involved in debate since April of 2019 so I advise you not to go full speed. I will let you know by saying "Clear" 3 times before I start docking speaks. Also when switching between flows: say 1, 2, .., etc so I can keep my flows separate. I am generally a messy flow-er and I do not think that will change. If I miss something because you didn't listen to me when I cleared you, that is on you. Also if something is really important, SLOW DOWN. You do not want me to miss your ballot story.
General thoughts on Progressive vs Traditional debates: I do not think you should have to go out of your comfort zone to try to match a traditional debater. If they ask you to slow down, please do. If they ask you to explain your arguments, please do. I will not hurt your speaks for your strategy but being a dick warrants at the highest a 27. If you both explain and maintain a slower pace, I will be a points fairy.
How I view rounds:
Layers of debate (obviously negotiable- but my defaults- pls do weighing and change my mind)
My defaults on theory: They don't exist. Read paradigm issues, if you don't I can't evaluate your shell.
Phil: I did this a lot in high school but if you are running a less well-known philosopher in debate, please take time to slow down and explain how the framework operates. I ran a lot of tricky framework args in high school to auto-win framework so I fairly well versed in how these debates run. Default epistemic confidence.
Aff K's: I ran these but also debated them so I have no default opinion. I have both read and responded to T against these but if it is the type of debate you are most comfortable with or feel like you have a strong message, please read them. Just make sure to give me a ballot story or I don't know how to evaluate your AC.
K: I love the K but pls if you don't understand your K and cannot give a 2N on it, do not run it. Your speaks will be very disappointed in you. Other than that, give me a ROTB and prove that the alt solves the impacts you read and I will evaluate your K. Pretty well versed on almost every K- legit all reps, Cap, Anthro, Antiblackness (mostly ran Wilderson), Set col, Nietzsche (wouldn't suggest running it unless you are very confident because I have pretty low threshold for responses to it), Fem, Security, Baudrillard (but really just who on hell is Baudrillard), etc. K's I don't know much about: Psychoanalysis (tried to avoid these debates by uplayering) and Bataille.
T: I love T and imbedding reps into it-- Shoutout to the OG Sai Karavadi for being an icon at doing this. That being said, I would run 3 T shells if the aff violated so I love these debates. 2N should collapse and weigh. I don't have any defaults but Nebel T is kinda funny although I ran it all the time so I think it's a legit arg (or time suck). RVIs are great, go for them.
Theory: I mean go for it. I will vote on bad args if they win. Just pls read paradigm issues. RVIs are great, go for them.
1AR theory: I do not like the 5 second condo bad shells, please read something that you can grandstand on in the 2AR without making a ton of new args. That being said, please read 1AR theory because I will vote on it if you win it and win weighing.
DISCLOSURE: PLEASE DISCLOSE. I have been both pro and anti disclosure through my debate career but by the end of my senior year, I can say that I am a very strong advocate of disclosure. If your opponent does not have a wiki, find them on facebook or in person and ask for their case. If they are a traditional debater, they are still required to give it to you. I think disclosure theory is always valid if you have asked and they have declined to give it to you (Esp if they know what the wiki is). However, if you could not find your opponent and their case is very traditional and you have blocks to it, please read those instead.
Tricks: No pls no. If you do read them, I believe in new in the 2 responses and will provide a very low threshold to responses. Auto 25 speaks if you ask, "What's an a priori?" to someone asking if you have any a prioris.
Larp: Go for it! I love love love when debaters make it easy with weighing (prob, mag, duration, tf, etc) and also if you weigh between them (Prob vs mag) I will love you and your speaks will notice.
CP: I default condo and I do not judge kick.
Long U/V: Go for it.
Speaker Points Scale (I tend to evaluate this more on strat than how you speak because I would never dock points for a stutter or speech impediment).
30: You'll win the tournament IMO
29.5-29.9: Clear win, my ballot was written in 3 seconds, thank you for your service.
29-29.4: Great strategy, you won, but it wasn't crystal clear at the end of the round.
28.5-28.9: More muddled but I knew what you were going for.
28-28.4: Round was messy and it was hard to evaluate.
27.5-27.9: You really had no idea what your strat was but pulled something together.
27-27.4: I wanted to rip my hair out writing this ballot.
25: You are a dick
My judging philosophy is first built on the approach that debaters define the debate. This means I generally do not have any predisposition against anything within the context of the debate. Hence, I do NOT push an agenda. The arguments presented before me are to be engaged by both sides and analysis should be given whereby I should either reject or accept those arguments. This means arguments for or against should be well developed and structured logically. There needs to be a clear framework, but that is the only first level. Impacts and disadvantages need to fit within this framework. They need to be developed so that they are consistent.
If there is one thing I do not like, blip arguments. These are essentially glorified tag lines that have no analysis behind them, where then a debater claims a drop of this 'argument' becomes a voter for them. For me: no analysis = no argument thus is not a voter. However, if within the context of the debate both debaters do this they lose the right to complain about me intervening. So, take heed, do this and I will allow myself to insert how these blips should be pieced together and the analysis behind them.
There needs to be clash. Far too often debaters do not really analyze. Generally, people view good debates where the flow shows responses to everything. I view this as a fallacy. There should be analysis as to how the arguments interact with each other in regards to the line by line debate and hopefully build a bigger view of the entire debate. Again, it is the debater's job to fine tune how everything pieces together. Specifically, I prefer hearing voters that are in some way intertwined versus a bunch of independent voters. Yet, though, I prefer intertwined voters it does not mean independent voters could not subvert or outweigh a good story.
Things I have voted for AND against
K - I actually like a good K debate. However, I do warn debaters that often I see people run K's they have no reason running because they themselves do not really understand them. Further, as a theme, debaters assume I am as familiar with the authors as they are. Not true. Rather, I feel it imperative that the position of K be well articulated and explained. Many debaters, read a stock shell that lacks analysis and explanation. NEW - Alts need to be clear as to what will cause and what will the after will look like. Nebulous Revolutions will not sway me, because you will need to have some solvency that the revolution will lead to the actual implementation of the new form of thought.
counter plans - I have no problem with these in the world of LD.
Topicality - I generally stand within the guidelines of reasonability. Muddy the waters and that’s what I will likely default to.
Role of the Ballot - At its heart I think the ROB is a paradigm argument or more simply a criterion argument so that even if one on face wins it does not guarantee a win because the opposite side can in the venue of the debate meet the criterion or ROB. However, the ROB I tend not to like are ones devolve the debate into pre fiat and post fiat debate. I tend towards post fiat worlds in close debates.
RVI - Again this less so, an RVI for seems to be justified within the context of some blatant abuse. As an analogy I have to see the smoking gun in the offenders hand. If it not clear I will side with a standard model. To date I have not voted on an RVI as of 1//29/21.
Understand, I honestly do approach all arguments as being justifiable within the confines of a debate. However, arguments I will on face reject are arguments whose sole objective (as a course or an objective for gain) is to oppress, murder, torture or destroy any class or classes of people. That is to say you know what you are doing and you are doing it on purpose.
I'd say that the realm of debate is for students to engage and craft. As I am no longer a competitor my bias, if it exist, should only intercede when debaters stop looking at human beings as genuine but rather as some abstract rhetoric.
Feel free to ask me some questions. but understand I'm not here to define what will win me. Good well structured argumentation that actually engages the other side are the types of debates I find most interesting. It's your world you push the paradigm you want. My voting for it or against it should not be interpreted as my support of the position beyond the confines of the debate.
Personal Narratives - I am not a fan of these arguments. The main reason, is that there is no way real way to test the validity of the personal narrative as evidence. Thus, if you introduce a personal narrative, I think it completely legit the personal narrative validity be questioned like any other piece of evidence. If you would be offended or bothered about questions about its truth, don't run them.
Communication - I believe in civility of debate. I am seeing an increasingly bad trend of students cursing in debates. I fundamentally, think High School debate is about learning to argue in an open forum with intellectual honesty and civility. The HS debate format is not one like private conversations between academics.. I reject any belief that the competitive nature of the debate is like a professional sport. Cursing is lazy language and is a cheap attempt to be provocative or to fain emphasis. Thus, do not curse in front of me as your judge I will automatically drop you a point. Also, most people don’t know how to curse. It has its place just not in HS debate.
So what about cards that use curse words? Choose wisely, is the purpose because it is being descriptive of reporting actual words thrown at persons such as racial slurs. I will not necessarily be bothered by this, however, if it is the words of the actual author, I advise you to choose a different author as it is likely using it to be provocative versus pursing any intellectual honesty.
I do not have a have a problem with spreading. However, I do not prompt debaters for clarity as it is the debaters responsibility to communicate. Further, I think promoting is a form of coaching and gives an advantage that would not exist otherwise.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for email chains. I am now putting myself part of the email chain due to virtual tournaments and to help overcome technical issues regarding sound. However, please understand I will NOT read along. I have it there for clarification if a audio issue arises during the speech. I still believe debaters should be clear when speaking and that speaking is still part of the debate.
I will automatically down a debater that runs an intentionally oppressive position. IE kill people because the world sucks and it’s bad to give people hope. However, if a person runs a position that MIGHT link to the death of thousands is not something I consider intentional.
NEW - 1/29 7:30PM Central Time
DISCLOSURE - Once parings come out. If you are going to make contact with your opponent requesting disclosure you need to CC on the your email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Unless I am part of the request I will NOT evaluate the validity of the disclosure inside the round. If you do not read my paradigm and you run disclosure and your opponent does read this. They can use this as evidence to kick it directly and I will. This means they do not have to answer any of the shell.
I expect folks to be in the virtual debate room 15 minutes prior to the debate round. I especially expect this is a flip for sides has to be done.
You are welcome to time yourself. However, I am the official time keeper and will not allow more than a 5 second disparity.
When you say you are done prepping I expect you are sending the document and will begin with a couple of seconds once your opponent has confirmed reception of the document. This means you have taken your sip of water and your timer is set.
My name is Alex and my pronouns are he/him.
UDL policy debater in high school. Former president of NPDA parli debate at Tulane.
Yes email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org (also email me here if you have any questions or accessibility needs)
Fall 2020 Update:
- For online debate: PLEASE go slower than usual and take local recordings of speeches
- I've noticed I'm judging a lot of K debates, which are fun! But I would be SO happy to judge some da/cp rounds too
- CJR Topic: If you say (or worse, actually believe) that the criminal justice system isn't racist, don't pref me. Some things are more important than debate.
- LD and PF specific stuff at the bottom!
- TLDR: Read what you like and have fun with it! Whether you're reading a rage aff without a plan text or nine off in the 1NC, if you're into it, I'm into it.
- The best way to win my ballot is to filter arguments through impact framing. Why is your model/disadvantage/advocacy/etc more important? What does it mean to mitigate/solve these impacts in the context of the debate? Why is the ballot important or not important?
- I believe very strongly that debaters should show mutual concern for each other's well being and avoid any physical and/or rhetorical violence. Additionally, debate means different things to different people and I expect you all to be respectful of this
- Every speech is a performance. How you choose to perform is up to you, but be prepared to defend every aspect of your performance, including your advocacy, evidence, arguments, positions, and representations
- Organization is rewarded in speaks!
- Tell me why stuff matters!!!!!! Especially dropped arguments
- If you are a jerk to novices or inexperienced debaters, I will tank your speaks. This is an educational activity. Don't be a jerk.
Framework and K Affs:
- I like kritikal stuff -- if that's your thing, I'm probably a decent judge for you. I've also read my fair share of framework though, so I def have 2N sympathy
- Your aff should probably at least be in the direction of the resolution
- Framework needs to be impacted out and fairness and education are both legitimate impacts. Tell me why your model of debate is best
- Sure! I am most familiar with neolib, cap, security, biopower, queer theory, fem, Puar, Chow, and afropess
- Explain things out (especially on the link and alt level!) and don't rely on buzzwords
- If you're running theory just for the sake of running theory, I can probably tell and I'll hold you to a pretty high standard. I'll be grumpy if you waste my time with blippy theory shells, especially if your ten second 2AC "floating pics bad" becomes three minutes of the 2AR
- Condo is probably good (unless the advocacies are egregiously contradictory) but I can definitely be persuaded otherwise
- I default to competing interpretations
- Phrases like "it's a voter for fairness and education" don't mean anything — give me more. Explain and impact out your voters. I will not vote on T if there are no impacts
- Smart counterplans with a good net benefit are my fave
- "Cheating" counterplans are great and super fun (and it's probably in your best interest to read theory against them!)
- Yes pls
- Politics disads are sometimes of questionable quality, but they're fun
- Zero risk is a thing
- I don't know what "tricks" or "spikes" are. I judged a round that I'm told had both of these things, and it made me cry (and I sat). Beyond that, I've judged lots of traditional, kritikal, and plan rounds and feel comfortable there.
- No, I don't disclose speaks
- I'm not terribly familiar with PF norms, but I promise you that I'm capable of evaluating your arguments. Please please impact things out and do lots of weighing -- this is the easiest path to my ballot.
GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, LEARN THINGS
Anthony Berryhill Judge Paradigm (NEW PARADIGM AS OF NCFL 2021 - PLEASE READ):
- Assistant LD Coach for Isidore Newman (my alma mater); Former Managing Director for Victory Briefs (2018-2020)
- Stanford BA Political Science 2004; Previous PhD Candidate (MA/MPhil) at Yale in Contemporary Political Theory, dissertation on intersectionality (2004-2011); MBA Quantic School of Business and Technology
On how I judge:
How I vote (in brief): I vote for the debater who -- through the appropriate decision rule (values, burdens, argument layer) -- convinces me that I should vote for their side of the resolution (and/or performance) above the other debater.
Signposting (specific on the flow reference to areas of the case/cards) will help you win rounds. Identify and outline specific arguments you are answering. Not signposting = dropping an argument even if you 'talk about' a point.
Extending is a big plus as well. Use the word "extend" and highlight which impacts you are going for and how they specifically refer to the framework(s) in the round. In an ideal RFD, I look at arrows in my flow, look at the framework, and then use that to write my decision.
It is also in your best interest to explicitly weigh between scenarios in which you lose/win. It is better to admit/account for what you may lose than to ignore it. Debaters who do this round analysis win my ballot with shocking consistency, unless there is a technical error.
You must vary your voice, speed and avoid monotone at all costs. National circuit debate like spreading puts me to sleep and I stop flowing.
My max is fast conversational speed. If you spread and you aren't college policy champion level clear/decipherable, I will not be able to flow you (and won't yell clear).
What I won't vote for:
1. Blippy arguments, esp. on theory. If it's bad English, not warranted, etc. I won't vote for it, or I'll look for reasons not to. "It's obvious" is not an argument and I won't vote for an "obviousness" claim even if extended.
2. "Tricks" debaters are bad people and don't get my ballot. Don't hide arguments or lie.
3. POWERTAGGED evidence/tags that are lying or exaggerating the claim made by the author. If your tag says more than your card does and I catch it, I'll intervene and not vote for the argument.
4. No skepticism, no disclosure theory cheap shots, no impossible burdens, no arguments that are contingent on the identity of your opponent, no misgendering theory, and don't ask me to save society or debate with the ballot. Just debate the topic--or if you don't defend it well.
5. I will stop rounds and consider a Loss/0 if a debater is being inappropriate in content, performance, or language. TLDR: If you wouldn't do it in front of your mom, principal, or the scholars you are citing, don't do it in front of me. Just debate clean and we'll all leave happy!
Updated 5/16/21 for TOC
Hi, I’m Holden (He/They)!
Jack C. Hays ‘20
The University of North Texas ’24 (Go Mean Green!)
Put me on the email chain please: email@example.com
Worlds, Policy and PF Paradigm is Near the End
Random Thoughts (Updated as Thunk):
- I didn’t know I had to say this but please don’t say the n-word in ANY form if you aren’t black, this is your one and only warning. Yes this includes if the word is inside a piece of evidence, just bracket something in, or just don’t say it please
Who is Holden?
I did debate for 4 years at Jack C. Hays. Two of those were in policy, the other two in LD. Even though I don't think competitive success equates to being a good judge, I had some success on the circuit, and got pretty far at some bid tournaments. I now attend the University of North Texas, where I study psychology, philosophy, and political science, and will be doing NFA-LD in the fall.
You can refer to me as Holden (what I prefer most), or judge. However, I would very much like it if you left anything more formal (Mr. Bukowsky, sir, etc.) as it makes me very uncomfortable and is rather impersonal in my opinion (Update: For the future, I will be docking .1 speaks every time you say that in reference to me because it a. reflects that you haven't read my paradigm or b. you have and just don't respect my opinion).
Conflicts: Jack C. Hays (my alma mater). I currently coach Carmel CS, Midlothian AC, Perry JA, Sandra Day O'Connor WW, Sidwell SW, and Westlake AK.
I have previously been affiliated with/have coached, or have been contracted by Lynbrook, Evergreen Valley (on a team based level), and then McMillen AW, and Ayala AM (who I worked with on an individual level).
People I agree with/have influenced my views on debate if you'd like to use them as somewhat as a reference -
Nate Galang (my former coach), and Patrick Fox (my colleague, mentor, and former teammate).
TLDR: You do you, just be able to have a coherent argument, don't be violent, and have the ability to explain it.
Strike Guide, this is not a list of what I prefer to see, rather what I think I could adjudicate most fairly (ideally I would like to be a one for all of these, but I have yet to explore all of these forms of debate to the extent that I would like):
K - 1
LARP - 1
Clash Debates (phil v k, policy v k, policy v phil, etc.) - 1
Theory/Topicality - 1/2
Phil - 2
Tricks - 2/3
Trad - 4/Strike
Triggers – please refrain from reading anything with in depth discussions of anxiety, depression, or suicide that way I can adequately access and evaluate the round. Please give trigger warnings so that debate remains a place in which everyone can participate :)
I flow on my laptop, but am not the fastest typer, so I would put me at a 7.5 or 8/10 in terms of speed. Just be clear, slow down on tags and analytics please
Respect your opponents pronouns or I won't respect your speaks (I have given out 20's because of this, seriously just respect people)
I flow spark on a separate page, this may not matter to you, but it matters to me. Sign post accordingly
How has he voted?
- I've judged approximately 185 rounds so far this season on the TOC circuit (213 rounds overall)
- I have voted aff approximately 55.86% percent of the time, this is mostly because 1. skill difference between competitors, or 2. the 2NR most of the time lacks weighing or catching all of the 1AR argument
- I have sat three times (technically four times but one was on an evidence ethics challenge which isn't a tell of my judging ability but rather a paradigmatic evaluation) out of 49 paneled debates that I have been a part of.
- I average a 28.45 in speaks
What is debate to him?
I take debate very seriously insofar as I contain a genuine enjoyment from it. I enjoyed competing, but I especially enjoy being on the other side of a ballot, and I also enjoy teaching. That being said, debate is an educational game in which my role is to evaluate the arguments as presented in the least interventionist way possible, I'm probably a lot less ideological than most judges and that's because I do not think it is my place to deem arguments valid or invalid. That means that at the end of the day, you do you to the full extent. If you do what you do best, I will do my best to evaluate those arguments fairly (granted that the exceptions are arguments that are problematic and arguments with no warrant). There are two concrete rules of debate - 1. There is always a winner and a loser, and 2. speech times are set in stone. None of my preferences should matter because you should be making those arguments for me.
What does he like?
I like debates that require little to no intervention. The way you can achieve that is weighing and making your arguments easy to flow (so label them like 1, 2, 3 a-point, b-point, c-point). I am agonistic about content, so do what it takes to get the dub. Warranted arguments are key to the dub though, that means that I only evaluate arguments that are complete (claim, warrant, impact). Collapsing in your speeches is how you get the ability to make good arguments, it shows room for explanation and proficiency that the game known as debate.
A framing mechanism to help me filter the round, whether that be a standard, role of the ballot, impact calc, or fairness v education weighing. All of them help me decide the debate and what should be preferred.
To summarize the way I feel about judging, I think Yao Yao Chen does a excellent job at it, "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment."
What does he dislike?
The opposite of above.
Being exclusionary to novices, reading K's, CP's, and DA's is fine but if there's any kind of situation where you ask them about any sort of theory spikes and they ask "what's a theory spike," don't read spikes such as "evaluate the debate after the 1NC" or "no aff analytics." That extremely upsets me and your speaks WILL get tanked
Not weighing, if you can't tell by now, weighing is how you win in front of me
When people go "my time will start in 3, 2, 1"
What will he never vote on?
Arguments that involve the appearance of a debater in the room (yes, that means shoes theory is a no go).
Arguments that say a form of oppression is good, this is the one that will get you downed with a 25.
Arguments that contradict what was said in CX (it is binding folks, just be a good person and don’t lie).
Arguments warranted by out of round occurrences are cool if they don’t devolve into ad homs (see the strikes K read by Greenhill SK in 2017 NDCA finals).
Self-serving role of the ballots are cool, if you can’t beat them then just get better at answering them.
Cheezits are better than goldfish.
Tricks debates is a legitimate form of debate.
Now onto more specific things argument wise-
Impact turns to T are absolutely fine, T can be violent in certain instances.
Love them. Read them, debated them, have judged several of them. They're healthy for the debate space, and don't necessary have to be constrained on relation to the resolution. People running these need to explain what the aff does or else presumption looks pretty good, explanation and implicating your affirmative is how you can easily win these in front of me. For people negating these, don't concede the aff, thats just bad practice and gives them too much wiggle room. Innovative and refreshing strategies are wonderful, especially if they're strategic.
Yes I will and have voted on this (several times). I'd say I'm ideologically aff leaning on this question, but that literally means nothing if you do the work for me. Affirmatives win in front of me in these debate because the negative most often concedes key framing issues (a role of the ballot, an impact turn), or just don't reads off the doc. Negatives win in front of me because the aff doesn't do enough layering, or engage in the framing debate (for affirmatives, line by lining ALL of the arguments is near impossible, so weighing is how you win), or just weigh. Fairness isn't a terminal impact, but could possibly be impacted out to such. TVA’s are important to me, make sure that they’re well-explained on how they access the aff’s framing. I view these as counterplans in the sense that they try and resolve the offense coming off of the counter-interp and the affirmative method, please conceptualize them as such in the round.
Here are my defaults, but are not set in stone at all -
- Competing interps > reasonability
- Drop the debater > drop the argument
- No RVI > RVI
Topicality is fine, and some of my favorite debates to judge. Definitions quality matters, and having a definition with the intent to define is even better. Unlike theory, arbitrary interpretations probably don't resolve their offense, you need a grounded vision of the topic, not something like "your interp plus my aff." Reasonability most definitely needs a brightline please. Going for the impact turn to T when able to is really underrated, and a valuable strategy if employed correctly. Slowing down a bit on these debates is key, otherwise I will most likely miss something. Weighing in these debates will help everyone, especially me when deciding the round. Condo is good probably, but can be easily convince otherwise (leniency switches with >2 condo advocacies). I lean neg on most counterplan theory as well (that flips if there is not a solvency advocate).
Up in the air on Nebel, just be able to explain your semantics warrants and contextualize them to the topic. Otherwise just go for the limits standard.
Go for whatever shell you want, I will evaluate it, barring these exceptions:
- Theory that includes the appearance/clothing of another debater (so no shoes theory)
- Shells where the interp was checked before round, and there is verifiable evidence that it was checked
- Disclosure in the case in which a debater has said that they can't disclose certain positions for safety reasons, this is especially non-negotiable
Really cool with this, clear argument interaction and weighing is key in these debates. Evidence quality also matters in these debates more so than others (namely because of the causality that is associated with this style). I default yes judgekick, you just need to tell me to do so in the 2NR. Explanation of link chains is important because often times teams have poor explanation of them. If a link chain is conceded, then extend it briefly (meaning I want at least a condensed version of the impact story) and implicate it, saying "extend x it was conceded" is not sufficient. Counterplans are viewed through sufficiency framing until told otherwise. I need to know what the world of the permutation looks like at least a little bit in the first speech it is introduced. A few good, robust internal links into 2-3 impacts > a lot of bad internal links into 7 different impacts. The DA turning case and it's analysis matters a lot to me, do the work and make it make sense.
I tend to read evidence more in these debates, I use your interpretation of the evidence to frame how I look at it, do with that as you will
This is where most of my debate experience has been, and the type of debate I am most comfortable judging, I went for the K a lot. My ideal K 1NC (if it's one off) would have 2-3 links to the aff (one of which is a topic link), an alternative, and a role of the ballot (along with weighing on the aff page as to why it's a prior question). Having links contextual to the aff, whether that be to the resolution, the reps, or the framing, is good and helps with strength of link. Winning framing for both sides is a crucial part of strategy, and controls the direction of the debate (but does not guarantee the dub). I may know the buzzwords you’re using but always be able to explain what the heck you’re saying. Don’t run a k in front of me just because you think I’ll like it, because bad k debate makes me sad and will make your speaks reflect such. Explain the perm in the first responsive speech please.
Here’s a list of literature bases I am read up on and know quite well:
- Deleuze and Guattari
- Hardt and Negri
- Stock K’s (cap, security, etc.)
- Reps K’s
Here’s a list of literature bases I know somewhat/am learning:
These are fine, and can be quite enjoyable if executed correctly (that doesn't mean that you have the right to just extend arguments without implications or warrants). I tend to think that when done well that these debates are some of the most technical and clean rounds to judge. This doesn’t mean do it because you think I’ll like you more, because these debates can also be extremely messy. Messy tricks debates make me sad, clean and efficient tricks debates make me happy. Please slow down on your 27 point underviews, yes I think they're interesting, but I need to be able to flow them and I can't do that if you're blitzing through them. That doesn't mean go at like regular talking speed, but go at like 70% speed when you're blitzing through those aprioris please. Being straight up, delineating them as easily identifiable, and making these rounds clean is how you get my ballot in these debates.
My threshold for these arguments also depends on you being straight up about them. If you lie about a version of an aff during disclosure and I have proof of this, my threshold for answering these tricks goes down, and so does my threshold for answering a misdisclosure shell.
After coaching several students that go for phil, and judging phil debates frequently I am happier to say that I'm good for these debates. Syllogisms should be warranted and implicated in a way that shows their impact in the first speech (yes, saying solves skep for a skep trigger is enough for this threshold). Going for and impacting out a certain the 1-2 justifications needs to involve weighing (this also means collapse in these debates too!).
In phil v util debates, I think that util debaters often undercover the line by line, or just don't really layer enough in these debates, phil debaters often concede a crucial justification or undercover extinction first, so both sides be warned.
In phil v phil debates, both sides need to be able to explain their ethic more. These debates can either be super informational, or super messy, and I would prefer that they be the former rather than the latter. Explanation, clear engagement, and weighing is the way to my ballot in these debates
Hijacks that are shorter than 15 seconds are often unwarranted, and blippy, call them out as such.
Blitzing through the line by line in these debates is annoying and will inevitably make me miss a warrant. Im not asking you to go at a conversational pace but be a LITTLE bit reasonable
I am studying philosophy in college as well, which means I am reading a lot about authors that you might be reading. This means that I am antiquated with a variety of philosophy literature.
Here’s a list of literature bases I know confidently:
- Moral Particularism
Here’s a list of literature bases I know somewhat:
- Comparative worlds > truth testing
- Permissibility negates > affirms
- Presumption negates > affirms
- Epistemic confidence > epistemic modesty
Since these are becoming increasingly read in front of me, and are becoming a separate argument in debate, I thought they deserved their own section. I think that these are good arguments when executed well. That being said, I think that for these to be won, you need to win either some meta level framing (such as accessibility first) or linking it to an ethical framework. I often have to ask myself “should I abandon the flow if I think that this is violent” and here is the litmus test for how I will determine to abandon the flow, I will:
1. See if you won the flow proper to see if I can avoid intervening
2. If you did not win the flow proper, I will see if the action in question is a legitimate question of violence in the debate space, your explanation may help, your explanation may not. As much as your 2AR ethos may be good, if I do not think that this situation is an act of violence with reasonable malicious intent, then I will not abandon the flow. A few instances in which I will abandon the flow can be: misgendering, dead-naming, some sort of maliciously intended argument meant to exclude individuals from debate
This is not to say I won’t abandon the flow, but I feel like there has to be some outline for how I can reconcile this, or else this would justify me becoming increasingly interventionist for littler reasons which I think is a horrible model of debate.
Yes, I can judge this. But I often time find these debates to be boring, and most definitely not my cup of tea. I think that given the people that pref me most of the time, it will be in your best interest to pref me low or strike me, both for your sake and mine.
I would much prefer these debates be executed as a shell rather than having the round staked on them. I hate adjudicating these debates because a. They deprive me of a substantive round and b. Are normally a cheap shot by an opposing debater. As such, if you stake the round on evidence ethics this will be the procedure for which things will go down: 1. I will look into the evidence that is in question 2. Compare it to the claim/violation that is being presented 3. Utilize the rules for which the tournament is using (NSDA, NDCA, etc.) to determine whether or not it is a violation 4. Check with the debater if they are sure they want this to be a drop the debater issue, or to drop the evidence. If it is a violation, then I will drop the person who committed such with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then I will not evaluate the evidence and we can debate as normal. If it is not a violation, then I will drop the accuser with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then your speaks will be capped at a 28.
Here is what I consider evidence ethics violations in the absence of guidance: 1. If the author concludes in opposition of what is cited 2. If worlds are deleted or inserted in the middle of a sentence 3. If a debater misrepresented what the author says
For the policy kids-
- I judge circuit LD a lot (and I mean A LOT), on there I judge nothing but T, cp/da, and k debates. I can handle speed, and I will understand the intricacies of whatever argument you want to run
- Sign post please
- Weighing early is how you get my ballot (best case scenario is starting in the 2AC)
- Yes open cross
- Yes K-Aff's
- Yes T-FW
For the World Schools Kids-
- I don't have TOO much experience in this, but that being said, when I did worlds I was somewhat successful (15th speaker and dubs at the 2020 NSDA tournament, went undefeated in prelims)
- Countermodels are ok, but need to be contextualized about how they a. compete with the proposition, b. solve the props impacts
- I still think that tech > truth, but this becomes muddled a bit in worlds given the nature of the activity. I think that warranting is still important, but if an argument is conceded, the threshold for explanation becomes a lot lower, BUT it needs to be implicated and impacted out
- 3rd speakers need to collapse and weigh a BUNCH. I was the 3rd speaker all of my rounds, so this is arguably one of the more important speeches to me
- Spreading can be ok? I don't know how it would work given worlds structure and nature but I'm definitely down for spreading
- Overall, do what you do best and I will do my best to evaluate the round accordingly
For the PF Kids-
- Never did pf in high school, but am somewhat familiar with the event
- Defense is not sticky, extend your arguments please
- It makes the most sense for proper refutations to be saved for the summary's but at the same time the policy mind in me says to respond to them, so I will leave that up to judge instruction
- Yes theory is fine, just be clear on the abuse story
- Yes your progressive arguments are also fine, just explain them in an efficient manner
- Yes speed is fine, just be clear P L E A S E
Across over 100+ prelims at bid tournaments, I have averaged at a 28.45 in terms of speaks, which means I'm not necessarily a speaks fairy or stingy
A 30 is very hard to achieve in front of me, and the only ones (which has been 10 out of the 312 debaters) I have given out is because of the utilization of the challenges
I don't evaluate "give me x amount of speaks" arguments, if you want it so bad utilize the ways to get extra speaks I have below
They're adjusted according to the tournament, but here's a general scale -
29.6+ Great round, you should be in late elims or win the tournament
29.1-29.5 Great round, you should be in mid to late elims
28.6-29 You should break or make the bubble at least
28.1-28.5 About middle of the pool
27.6-28 You got some stuff to work on
27-27.5 You got a lot of stuff to work on
Anything below a 27: You did something really horrible and I will be having a word with tab and your coach about it
Challenges (Max up to 1 point):
- Bring me coffee with cream and sugar = +.5
- Come into the room and shout "rev up those fryers" loud enough for people outside the room to hear = +.5
- If you send pictures of your cute pets in the doc, +.1-.5 depending on how cute I deem them (no snakes please, I have a phobia of them and this will get your speaks docked half a point)
Other ways to just boost your speaks:
- Be pleasant (not in the artificial "hi judge how are you doing" way, but like just be vibey i guess??)
- Humor inserted into your speeches in an organic way
- Good strategic choices that make my job easier
If you have anymore questions about my paradigm, please don't be afraid to email me or ask me in the room.
I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during prep. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
Updated for TOC 2021
Email for chain – firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflicts: Harker, Harvard-Westlake
-If you're a senior and you don't want me to give an RFD, let me know and I can forgo a regular RFD. I'll still give a regular RFD to your opponent but you're free to leave if you don't want to hear it.
-In general, the TOC is obviously a very important tournament to some people. I always try to be respectful of the work that debaters put in, but especially so at this tournament. It's always a pleasure to judge your debate.
-It is now April of 2021, and people are still going too fast on theory
-I have found myself increasingly unconvinced by 2ARs that go for theory. This is usually because the 1ar is either a) wayyyyy too short/blippy or b) too fast for me to catch the full argument. 2ARs on theory are still completely viable in front of me, but it would be wise to slow down and develop it in the 1AR if you plan to go for it. If you don't, you might not be happy with my RFD, which will boil down to something like "I didn't catch enough of an argument in the 1ar". I do not want to have to give that RFD at this tournament because it's my least favorite type of RFD to give.
-If you are neg and going for a K, it will be much easier for me to vote for you if you explain how your links turn the case under the aff FW.
-I like this topic, I like IR, I like debates about IR theory as much/maybe more than nitty gritty policy stuff
-I am not persuaded by disclosure theory arguments that require more than disclosure of first 3 + last 3 - I think open source/not putting full text in the cite box is good, but I don't think it should be a theory argument.
Hi! I’m Vishan. I graduated from Harvard-Westlake in 2019 and am now an assistant coach at Harker. I generally read policy style arguments (CPs, DAs, etc) and some kritiks, but I feel comfortable evaluating any style of debate except for maybe a dense phil or tricks debate, but I don’t see myself/don’t want to be judging those anyway.
1. Online debate – we are all relatively new to online debate so I think in general we should be charitable to one another. Everyone will have minor tech issues, audio glitches, etc. and we should give each other the benefit of the doubt. That being said, do your best to minimize these mistakes + don’t take advantage of the leeway you have by stealing prep/pulling other shenanigans. I have a very low tolerance for shenanigans. General ground rules for me with online debate are as follows:
-Record a local copy of your speech. I will under no circumstance have someone re-give a speech if they drop out of the call/there are major audio glitches during the speech. Before your speech begins, start recording on your phone/laptop (I will try to remind people) so you can send me a copy in case something goes wrong.
-Your face should be showing during your speech and you should be close to your microphone
2. Speed - this is also an online debate related, but it warrants its own section. You should not go your top speed, 80-90% is probably fine most of the time, maybe err on the slow side on (especially short) analytics.
Theory is an entirely different ballgame - I don't know if theory arguments are just getting shorter or if I'm not catching as much because people go too fast, but people need to slow down a substantial amount.
3. General argument preferences – I prefer quality arguments over arguments that I am familiar with/arguments I read as a debater. If you have a very strong link to a K I never read as a debater, I would rather hear that (if you can explain it well) than a contrived link to the terror DA. Specific thoughts on arguments are:
A. Policy arguments (CPs, DAs, etc.)
–I am best for these types of arguments.
-Impact calc + turns case are underutilized/usually a game winner if you do them well.
-I do not default judge kick, but I am open to it.
-I am open to most CP theory (conditionality, PICs, agent CPs, etc.) but am a hard sell on LD nonsense (must spec status in speech, no neg fiat, etc.). One condo is generally ok, two is pushing it, three or more is just you being a chazzer.
- I’m a big fan of well-done T debates. A big fan.
-I find myself usually unpersuaded by “only semantics matter” claims on T. A well thought out limits claim is definitely the way to go in front of me.
-On T I’m probably 50-50 on the competing interps/reasonability debate.
-In theory debates (that are not CP theory), I am generally persuaded by reasonability + drop the argument. I do not like judging theory debates a whole lot.
-I am a (very, very) hard press on the RVI and would not recommend going for it in front of me. It will be absurdly difficult, if not impossible, for me to vote on an RVI on T.
-Yes - Neolib, Afropessimism, Set Col, other "structural" identity Ks, Security
-Maybe, but only if you're very very good at it - Baudrillard
-No - all other pomo. It’s not that am not ideologically against these Ks, I am just very unfamiliar with them which will make it hard for you to win them in front of me. It's unlikely you get higher than a 28.5 unless you are very good at explaining your argument.
-My first year out, I was 50/50 in K aff vs T-FW debates, but I think I ideologically lean slightly neg. Negs need to articulate an impact outside of "limits because limits" and affs usually are missing counterinterpretations that solve any neg offense
-When going for a K on the neg, if your only link is some fancy packaging of "fiat bad" I am not the judge for you. Links should be contextualized/turn the case. This does not mean that all your links need to be to the plan; rather, links to representations/scholarships are most persuasive to me when I can clearly identify what the impact to the link is and why it outweighs the case.
-Ideally the 2NR does most if not all of their work on the line-by-line – I’m fine with a short overview to explain thesis/impact but I’m not a fan of the 4-minute overviews followed by the neg saying “this was in the overview” to answer every 1AR argument.
- Neg teams should frame their link not only against the plan alone but through the lens of the permutation. Likewise, affs should frame their link turns not through the lens of the status quo, but through the alternative.
- I’m most well-versed in consequentialism but I think I understand Kant and some political theory a decent amount. I’m at ELI5 level for almost every other type, so tread carefully. You do not need an explicit standard text.
-“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” – Trix kids
4. Evidence ethics – if a debater claims their opponent committed an evidence ethics violation, such as clipping, they will stake the debate on that claim. If there’s proof that the accused the debater clipped, they get an L and the lowest points I can give. If the opposing debater did not clip, the accusing party gets an L and the lowest points I can give.
I don’t read along in the speech doc…usually. Usually if you’re talking, I’m flowing. Sometimes, however, I look if I suspect clipping is occurring. If I catch you clipping, I will let the debate finish, but you will lose. I won’t catch everyone who clips, I don’t think it’s my job to constantly check everyone, so when I check/when I don’t may be somewhat arbitrary, but the easy way to do that is to not cheat.
If I call clear (multiple times) and you don't clear up/I cannot understand the words you are saying, it is clipping.
Things like bracketing, cutting an author who concludes the other way (as long as it’s not egregious), etc. aren’t round-stopping issues to me. However, I am extremely receptive to theory arguments about them, and doing those things will tank your speaks.
I unfortunately have to add this, but I'm starting to sometimes see evidence which is very, very questionable. This is how I think I will evaluate these debates, even if no ethics challenge is raised.
If I notice...
-Card from an article which concludes the other way - your speaks get tanked (25) if you don't go for the flow/it is not egregious; you lose if it is integral to your strategy/you would lose the debate without it
-Card with paragraphs missing - you lose
-Clipping - you lose
-Cards that are miscited - you lose
5. Ways to get good speaker points
-Demonstrating topic/content knowledge
-Good Star Wars references
-Debating about author quals
-High quality/not scarcely under-highlighted evidence
-Going for an impact turn well
6. Last housekeeping things
-You must share your speech docs with your opponent - email is preferable
- Each debate will have 1 winner and 1 loser. The speech times are set as is prep time. You can’t use CX as prep time. Asking for me to give you a 30 will result in you getting no higher than a 26.
-I will only vote on arguments that I understand and can explain back to the other debater. I will never vote on arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, etc.
-I like evidence a lot, but good analytics >>> bad cards. Even if your card is A+, you only get credit for how good you explain it in later speeches/when you extend it.
- Debate is a communicative activity, so I don't make my decision by reading through all the cards in the speech doc after the debate. I think I'm a pretty good flow, so I don't backflow unless I think it was my fault. If it's not on my flow, you don't get credit for it - emphasizing/slowing down on certain arguments will greatly enhance my ability to understand them. People need to slow wayyyyy down on theory.
-Please be nice to your opponent
7. People who influenced me/who I largely agree with:
My former coaches:
My former teammates:
University of Pittsburgh
Add me on the email chain: email@example.com
During my time as a high school debater, I spent three years in public forum debate and have experience as the Varsity captain of our debate team. Although my experience mostly lies in public forum debate, I have a decent understanding of how the other debate formats work and will utilize my knowledge and experience to judge the round as fairly and accurately as possible.
When judging, I take into account
1) who has the better value and weighs the impacts of their arguments more strongly
2) who provides more substantial evidence to support their points
3) maintaining proper decorum (behave respectfully and speak politely)
4) presentation skills (avoid speaking too quickly, make sure you speak clearly)
5) stay away from philosophical or hypothetical arguments (aim to prove your points with logic and evidence)
You should aim to refute as many of your opponents as possible while continuing to sustain your points. Essentially, protect more of your arguments and effectively knock down their points to win the round.
I am mainly interested in voting on high quality arguments that are clearly presented, thoroughly explained, and supported with insightful examples and credible evidence. Arguments should not be advanced on "emotional" or "philosophical" grounds.
It is a good idea to use your final statements/speeches to summarize your entire case and the major points of conflict and make it clear to me why you believe you won the round.
A. General: I find it difficult to vote for an argument that doesn't have proper explanation or analysis. If you only make a claim, I am not likely to do work for you to actually win that claim. You can run any argument, as long as it is not offensive or harmful. I am fine with speed, but I'll yell "clear" if I am unable to understand. Don't read blocks like cards. Tell me what to vote on and why.
B. Read whatever you want. I'll vote on anything.
1. Theory: I evaluate theory as a reason to reject the team, unless told otherwise.
2. Disadvantages: I evaluate on an offense-defense framework. This means that offensive arguments are more strategic, and that impact calculus is important. You can still win with defense though. Links should be contextualized if not specific.
3. Counterplans: It is good to put theory, but to not just stop there. You should actually answer the permutation because I am less likely to buy perm theory arguments. That doesn't mean I won't vote on them, that just means you'll have to do more work on them.
4. Kritiks: I'm cool with the K. I haven't read every K, and if I have it might not be as in depth. You can read your kritik, but there should be clear explanation so I know what I'm voting off of and why. Jargon won't get you very far, if your opponent is confused just assume that I am, too - just to be safe. If you only do jargon and bad explanation I'll give you bad speaks and you're more likely to lose. Your links should be contextualized if not specific.
Put me in email chains or feel free to email me some questions: JamieSuzDavenport@Gmail.com
May 2020 graduate from Samford where I coached our novices and sometimes coached at local high schools. Debated CX while at Samford and LD in High School.
for eTournaments: I'll need a little more time than normal to adjust to your style of speaking/spreading because online anything gets tricky. Try to keep that in mind for your speeches so my ears can adjust. Also, I'll default to having my camera off just because my cats are Zoom demons -- I'll change this based on tournament policy or any debater preference so just give me a heads up before the round starts and I'll turn it on.
Do what you want. Fairness is probably k2 education in T debates. Can be persuaded that education reigns supreme with the right impacts. You can skim the high school section to get an idea of how I otherwise perceive debate but I'm generally a go with the flow type of debater/person. I'll imagine fiat is real for policy debates but can be persuaded otherwise. If you're doing a style that is not plan-text big-impact AH, define by what standards I should evaluate the round and we'll be good.
I don't like theory debates. I need a lot more explanation of them to understand them so please be clear if this is your strat and make it easy to understand. Further, please don't pref me if you're high theory because I don't get it. If you're confident in your ability to explain it in an extremely clear way, go ahead, but I'm warning you that it's an uphill battle with me.
High School Debaters:
I don't care if you sit or stand or how you present yourself -- do what makes you comfortable.
Follow @SUDebate on Insta if you're cool
GENERAL LINCOLN DOUGLAS
I'm cool with all experience levels and I'm mainly out to help everyone improve the debate community.
Some pointers to get me on your side:
- Don't be rude - which includes: racism, sexism, elitism, etc. Also don't just yell - make your words smarter not louder. I could very easily be convinced to vote someone down for exclusionary behavior in the debate space. If the transgression is severe enough, I may make that decision without your opponent having to make the arg and I may report you to your coach/the tournament director.
- Road maps and signposting are A+! If you don't know what that is, ask me before the round.
- Don't be overly aggressive in Cross-ex - especially if you're just trying to scare your opponent.
- Don't assume I'm stupid - If you want to make an argument, make it. If you explain it well enough then you can overcome any stupidity I may or may not have. This has literally happened where a debate opted to not make an argument because they didn't think I would understand and I'm pretty sure they lost the debate.r
- Please time your speeches.
I dabbled in policy-type LD while I was in high school - I was closer to progressive debate than not. As mentioned, I am also now debating Policy so I'm pretty open to most "progressive" arguments: Kritiks are lit, counterplans are cool, disads are fine, I've adjusted to plantext affs and like them now, I think Topicality doesn't have to be run as a separate page but should be a shell with interp, standards and voters. Ask about anything else.
I've seen some... interesting.. arguments that hinged on like multiple-world theory, trivialism, etc. I'm cool with you running these types of arguments. You're going to have to win abuse args but you can always try. Typically you can run whatever you want in front of me - I like to learn new things.
I can handle speed - I discourage all out spreading because LD is very analytical and I would like to hear what explanations you have. If you choose to spread please email out the doc to both me and your opponent as that is a regular practice for Policy debate, which you're clearly trying to embrace.
I will probably automatically vote you down for card clipping. I've done it before and am fine to do it again. Don't do it. I'll also report you to the tournament director, who will likely tell your coach. Thanks!
I don't flow cross-ex. If it's important, bring it up in a speech.
ACTUAL POLICY DEBATE
My LD prefs should generally apply here. I'm cool with Kritiks (on either side), but if it's a more niche arg I'm probably not up-to-date on the literature. I think condo bad is uber valid when you get to the 4+ area (I could be convinced of 3, depending on the round).
For the HS topic: I am not super up to date on this topic and don't plan to be. You don't have a topic-specific knowledge base to take for granted here.
MISC - MAYBE REFERENCE?
I'm updating this as debaters do things that frustrate/confuse me. Please do none of these things.
- I don't particularly love T/theory debates, so if this is your strat make sure you're explaining things really well. Like way more than you think you should.
-- On theory, I default to a fairness k2 education paradigm unless you tell me to do something else and give reasons why. Also try winning the fairness interp.
- I seriously don't get RVIs and don't like them. I think they're especially silly in a constructive (read: the 1AC). A debater asked me about an RVI in the RFD of semi's at a tournament, I said I just literally didn't get it and the other judges concurred. At a different semi's, a debater lost because they went for a trivial RVI and the entire panel voted it down. Be the change. Don't do an RVI. ((does not apply to RVIs that are specific and well-explained I guess?? I haven't seen this happen often but usually see this as a time suck in rounds that doesn't have to do with the substance of the topic))
- Please don't read an identity k in front of me (while not being a member of that identity) and ALSO read a DA/link that your opponent is speaking for others by advocating X plan. This happens WAY too often and it's pretty ridiculous. Find a K and/or authors that don't make this yikes if you really want to go for it. Similarly, if your opponent does these shenanigans, I'm really open to the arg that they link and I should probably vote them down
***Below are the preferences I had while debating. They do not have a significant impact on the way I evaluate debates. I’m just going to vote for whoever wins.
Update: There is no "flow clarification" time slot in a debate. If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, you must do it in CX or prep -- better yet, flow!
Cross ex is a speech, not extra prep — treat it as such.
Labeling an argument a “voting issue” does not make it a voting issue.
Clipping cards is cheating, and you will receive a loss 25 if you do it.
Prep ends when the email has been sent. Don’t steal prep - you’re not sneaky.
Don’t be annoying, treat your opponents with respect, and if you appear to have a lot of background knowledge on the subject that is being discussed I will improve speaks.
Speaks range generally: 27-29.5 — 30s are unattainable — there’s no ceiling on excellence.
K vs. aff —
Your kritik should disagree with and disprove the aff. You should include a link wall that pulls lines from the aff, and you should answer the case. The Kritik should outweigh and turn the case and incorporate other K tricks as well. The 2NR should explain the thesis of the position and an explanation of the above.
Aff vs. K —
The case probably outweighs, and don’t be afraid of staking the 2ar on that. Unless your aff is set up for the link turn, impact turn everything you can – security, heg, neolib – excluding that which would be morally repugnant. Most importantly though, make the debate about your aff. So often the aff seems to forget that the onus is on the negative to disagree with the aff, not the other way around. â€¨
My favorite neg strategies include these. It should solve the aff and avoid a tangible disadvantage. Answer the perm by isolating a DA or explaining why it is severance or intrinsic – “perm is illogical” isn’t an argument and “CP solves better” isn’t a DA to the perm. 1-2 condo is good, 3+ is pushing it. I am pretty neutral on cheaty CPs – generally, I think you should just defend your aff, but I am not predisposed towards voting against theory arguments. Judge kick only if you tell me to, so tell me to!
My favorite neg strategies also include these. 2NR should be fore fronted with impact calculus. Explain why the DA turns and outweighs the case before the case turns the DA, and rather than explaining why probability or magnitude should be prioritized categorically, explain it in terms of strength of link.
**You must do it.** Do it well and you’ll see a boost to speaks. Your evidence should be recent and of high quality, and don’t undervalue the utility of smart analytics!
T vs. Non-topical Affs —
Don’t be afraid to go one off framework in front of me, but you should definitely answer the case (as always!). I think fairness is best articulated as an internal link, but procedural fairness definitely matters to some degree in itself. Include a robust topical version of the aff.
Non-topical Affs vs. T —
It’s helpful to extend a counter-interp that mitigates some of their fairness offense and isolate offense as to why the exclusion of your aff and the like would be more detrimental than a world with slightly less predictability and increased prep burden.
Non-topical Affs vs. K —
Not a very good judge for these debates -- exception to this is probably cap.
If your argument is frivolous, the threshold for your opponent’s responses drops pretty significantly. If you are debating a frivolous argument, use reasonability to your favor. Other than that, the way you debate theory/topicality shouldn’t differ drastically from the way you’d conduct a plan/CP debate.
I honestly enjoy these debates when executed well. I am partial towards epistemic modesty, but that can be changed with in-round arguments. I will be most pleased if you explain your philosophical framework as reason why your offense matters and not a preclusive impact filter. If your strategy is to concede the case and just answer framework, I am not the best judge for you, but if you mitigate the probability of the case (notice a trend?) through defense or an advantage CP, I will be thrilled. Please don’t extend your framework card by card — begin with an overview that includes the thesis of your position and a summary of your offense.
I am the Director of Debate at Immaculate Heart High School and the Co-Director of The Debate Intensive. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list.
I decided to update my paradigm upon realizing that my old one referenced cards and strategies that have not been popular for at least five years.
1. I will vote on nearly any argument that is well explained and compared to the arguments your opponent has made.
2. Accusing your opponent of an evidence ethics or clipping violation requires you to stake the debate on said allegation. If such an allegation is made, I will stop the debate, determine who I think is in the wrong, and vote against that person and give them the lowest speaker points allowed by the tournament.
3. I won’t vote on arguments that I don’t understand or that I don’t have flowed. I have been involved in circuit LD for almost ten years now and consider myself very good at flowing, so if I missed an argument it is likely because you were incomprehensible.
4. I am a strong proponent of disclosure, and I consider failing to disclose/incorrect disclosure a voting issue, though I am growing weary of nit-picky disclosure arguments that I don’t think are being read in good faith.
5. For online debate, please keep a local recording of your speech so that you can continue your speech and share it with your opponent and me in the event of a disconnect.
6. Weighing arguments are not new even if introduced in the final rebuttal speech. The Affirmative should not be expected to weigh their advantage against five DAs before the Negative has collapsed.
7. To quote a judge who shares my last name:
“There is no "flow clarification" time slot in a debate. If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, you must do it in CX or prep -- better yet, flow!”
Some thoughts of mine:
1. I dislike arguments about individual debaters' personal identities. Though I have voted for these arguments plenty of times, I think I would vote against them the majority of the time in an evenly matched debate.
2. I am increasingly disinterested in voting for topicality arguments about bare plurals or theory arguments suggesting that either debater should take a stance on some random thing. No topic is infinitely large and voting for these arguments discourages topic research. I do however enjoy substantive topicality debates about meaningful interpretive disagreements regarding terms of art used in the resolution.
3. “Jurisdiction” and “resolvability” standards for theory arguments make little sense to me. Unless you can point out a debate from 2013 that is still in progress because somebody read a case that lacked an explicit weighing mechanism, I will have a very low threshold for responses to these arguments.
4. I dislike critiques that rely exclusively on framework arguments to make the Aff irrelevant. The critique alternative is one of the debate arguments I'm most skeptical of. I think it is best understood as a “counter-idea” that avoids the problematic assumptions identified by the link arguments, but this also means that “alt solves” the case arguments are misguided because the alternative is not something that the Negative typically claims is fiated. If the Negative does claim that the alternative is fiated, then I think they should lose to a theory argument. With that said, I still vote on critiques plenty and will evaluate these debates as per your instructions.
5. Despite what you may have heard, I enjoy philosophy arguments quite a bit and have grown nostalgic for them as LD increasingly becomes indistinct from policy. What I dislike is when debaters try to fashion non-normative philosophy arguments about epistemology, metaphysics, or aesthetics into NCs that purport to justify a prescriptive standard. I find philosophy heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing side’s contention or advantage to be unpersuasive. I promise you that Kant would think extinction is worse than telling a lie.
6. “Negate” is not a word that has been used in any resolution to date so frameworks that rely on a definition of this word will have close to no impact on my assessment of the debate.
I coach Greenhill. I am conflicted from ETHS. In the fall of 2021, I'll be a PhD student in philosophy at MIT.
Here is a slightly older + longer version of my paradigm. Everything on the longer version remains true.
From Rodrigo Paramo: "here is the procedure i will follow if a student drops off a call, or i drop off a call: students are expected to maintain local recordings of their speeches - if they drop off, they should complete the speech and immediately email their recording upon completing it. i will not allow students to restart speeches / attempt to figure out how much time they had left, particularly in elimination rounds." If you do not record your speech, then the part that I missed b/c of someone dropping off is gone.
Short version: If you are aff, you should read a well-researched affirmative that defends someone doing something. If you are neg, you should read something that meaningfully engages with the aff.
Here are some things that it will be useful to know if I am judging you.
 I don’t flow author names.
 Please slow down on analytics, probably more than you think you need to.
 I am best suited to judge well-researched debates about a clear point of contestation in which both sides are clear about what they’re defending. Policy-style, K, T, and many theory debates are all fine.
 I will not vote for exceptionally bad theory arguments. Exceptionally bad arguments include but are not limited to: so-called "role of the ballot spec," "neg may only make 2 arguments," "must spec CP status in speech," "must read an explicit standard text," "must contest the aff framework," and "must spec what you meant when you said 'competing interps.'" By contrast, arguments that are fair game are CP theory, plans good/bad, stuff like that.
If you’re unsure whether an argument counts as exceptionally bad, err on the side of caution. You should err on the side of caution on very specific / demanding disclosure theory arguments.
 Other theory predispositions:
I think it's good to keep topics fairly small, which makes me good for the neg in many T debates.
It's pretty hard to convince me that 1 condo is bad. 2 starts to push it, and I think 3+ is probably bad. I'm increasingly convinced PICs should have a solvency advocate. And I'm pretty in the middle with respect to whether process counterplans & the like are good.
 No tricks. I won't vote on them. If you think your argument might count as a trick, don't read it. If you do go for tricks, you will not win and your speaks will not exceed 26.
 I value explanation a lot. I vote aff in a lot of debates in which the neg goes for a ton of arguments, each of which could be a winning 2NR but end up getting very under-explained. I have also voted for a lot of debaters whose evidence is not amazing but who give very good explanations/spin for that evidence.
 I am unlikely to be convinced that something categorically outweighs something else (e.g. extinction outweighs regardless of probability, tiny unfairness outweighs all education no matter what, etc.). Weighing arguments should be contextual and comparative.
 No "inserting highlighting" or inserting a list of what the aff defends. You have to read it.
 Debaters should disclose, and the aff should tell the neg what aff they’re reading before the debate unless it is new. No one should lie when disclosing. It is very hard to convince me that disclosure isn’t good.
 Clipping and reading miscut evidence will result in an automatic loss, regardless of whether your opponent notices / mentions it. More on that here.
 I will not vote on: tricks (broadly construed), "paradox" tricks (e.g. Zeno's Paradox, the "Good Samaritan" Paradox), a prioris, oppression good (if you concede that your position entails that oppression is good, then your position is that oppression is good), skepticism ("both frameworks are wrong; therefore, 'permissibility'" is skep), trivialism, arguments that the other side cannot make arguments / that I should evaluate (any part of) the debate at the end of a speech other than the 2AR, or awful theory arguments. These arguments are bad for debate.
no tricks / spike heavy constructives
t/theory is reasonability, latter is drop the argument
risk of offense
aff gets RVIs on T
affs should be in direction of topic
I debated LD for four years at the Bronx High School of Science, competing in various regional and national-circuit tournaments (though I mainly debated nationally in the latter half of my career) and one year of policy at NYU. I coached Bronx Science LD from 2012-15. I've been out of the activity for a while -- prior to this year, the last rounds I've judged were in 2016.
I believe that debate is, at its core, an educational activity and as a judge/coach, I have some minimal obligation to protect the educational value of the activity while still giving debaters a reasonable amount of freedom. People say I intervene, but I don't really know what that means. I guess I don't adjudicate rounds with a "clean slate," for a brain, whatever that might entail. I no longer understand framework as it is utilized in LD, but if you run it I guess I'll do my best to evaluate the competing moral philosophies as they apply to the specific case of the resolution. Theory is a reason to drop the argument and a matter of reasonability.
I will not look for the "easy way out," I will look for the right way out. This doesn't mean I will actively do work for the debaters, it just means that I won't be lazy when I make my decision. If the neg has a gateway-issue/theory argument with two responses on it and the aff has substantive offense that links to a framework with 30 responses, I'll still vote aff if the two responses make sense and the 30 responses don't.
- I won't come into the round with a fixed set of opinions on what the role of the judge/ballot is.
- That being said, I find myself increasingly unpersuaded by framework as a response to performative arguments. I'll probably be annoyed if this is how you choose to deal with arguments that are not explicitly tied to the resolution.
- I don't think you have to win a moral theory first to claim that genocide/extinction/racism/oppression is bad (that is not to say I cannot be persuaded otherwise; for example, I think there are plenty of good reasons why extinction isn't all that bad, but my default view, absent specific arguments, is that the cessation of human life on earth is an impact that should be avoided).
- The alternative to this is to weigh your actual impacts against your opponent's, rather than weigh competing moral theories. The reason your impacts matter more might ultimately be grounded in some form of ethical reasoning, but these weighing arguments should always be contextualized with the actual impacts in the round, rather than abstract moral principles.
- Feel free to run cases without an explicit framework (i.e. a moral theory preceding your substantive arguments) as long as you weigh in your latter speeches (because framework after all, is just a method to weigh apparently disparate impacts).
- I generally don't have a problem flowing fast rounds, but I prefer speed as a means of developing a deeply warranted ballot story rather than as a means of getting out as many blips as possible.
- I will not call cards because you were unclear or I didn't catch the first iteration of an argument and then understood it later. It is your job to explicitly compare contradictory evidence and not mine; I have seen too many rounds where judges call evidence after the round and just vote on which is better instead of the arguments made by the debaters in round. The debate is between the debaters, not the authors. However, if there is absolutely no weighing/evidence comparison done and I have no other way of evaluating the round than to evaluate the evidence, I will call evidence, but I will not be happy.
- Slow down when you're reading a string of analytics or dense philosophical arguments. Also, increase your volume/inflection for reading important tags/arguments.
- Clearly number arguments...don't segue into a new argument using "also" or "moreover." I find myself becoming increasingly annoyed when debaters don't do this.
- T/theory is a matter of reasonability. I probably won't closely flow the line by line on T/theory, will gut check 99.9% of the time.
- I don't flow theory arguments in the AC.
- Violations should be clarified in CX. By this, I don't mean that you can just vaguely mention something tangentially related to the violation. If you are planning on running theory after the AC, you must ask your opponent something to the effect of "will you exclude X argument?" I will be really receptive to I meet's/no abuse arguments absent this clarification.
- You will drop with a 0 if you run necessary but insufficient burdens bad and say your opponent violates because she has multiple framework justifications.
- I'm receptive to a well-developed RVI.
- I tend to give more weight to the spirit of an interpretation than to the letter. So if you're terrible at writing interpretations and your opponent makes an "I meet," but doesn't explain how the standards no longer apply, you can make the argument that there is still some violation of fairness.
- Don't run frivolous theory i.e. must run a plan, run a particular philosophy, have a solvency advocate for a stock whole res case, specify an actor/aspec for a stock whole res case, multi-actor fiat bad for a stock whole res case, etc...
- The most important facet of any round is argument interaction. Don't just read a card that contests your opponent's claim then presume that you are ahead on the debate because you read your card after your opponent did. Tell me how the arguments interact with each other and with the ballot.
- I will yell “clear” as many times as it takes for you to become clear enough for me to understand. Simply multiply the number of times after the first I say “clear” by 0.5 to determine how many speaker points you lose each time.
- I had indicated earlier that I'm not a lazy judge, but that doesn't mean you should make me do work if you can avoid it; my ideal RFD should be the winning debater's last speech verbatim. However much I must deviate from that will be reflected in speaker points; the less you make me think, the higher your speaker points will be.
- I rarely base speaker points off of the first iteration of an argument; I will not be impressed by an amazing AC that you fail to explain/extend strategically in rebuttal speeches. Thus, speaks are almost directly a function of the quality of latter speeches.
- Throwing around vacuous weighing buzzwords (like magnitude, timeframe, probability etc...) without explaining how they interact with the standard will probably annoy me and lower your speaker points.
- Don't be rude. Be humble. While genuine humor and assertiveness are fine in CX (and often appreciated), I find that the national circuit has created a culture where even the most minor accomplishments inflate debaters' egos to unreasonable heights, which I find immeasurably irritating.
- The more times you use the word "trigger" non-substantively (i.e. skepticism trigger, permissibility trigger), the more your speaks will suffer.
- I don't know what you have to do to get a 30, so don't ask.
- If your AC/NC has any of the following, it's in your best interest to remove them before you debate in front of me:
--Generic theory preempts (i.e. "aff gets access to RVIs," "no necessary but insufficient burdens," etc...).
--AFC/AEC -- don't know how relevant this is anymore, but better safe than sorry
I don't just have a "high threshold" for voting/listening to these arguments; I will not flow them at all and won't consider them even if they're dropped and cleanly extended in the rebuttals, so it's in your best interest to save some time in the AC/NC by just not reading them in the first place. I will drop you with a 0 if you run contingent standards. I will drop you with a 0 if you purposely try to wash substance in order to trigger permissibility/presumption.
- Since I will never vote off presumption/permissibility, I will vote off of risk of offense if need be. If this is not viable (for whatever reason) I will vote for the debater who I think has made generally smarter arguments in the round/who annoyed me the least.
- Speaking of CX...it's binding. I consider it as much a speech as any other and will be intently listening (so don't ask if I'm “cool with flex prep”). However, you should not use CX as a tool for explaining arguments that were poorly explained in your actual speeches.
- Look at me during CX, not your opponent.
- CX always checks.
- Extension evidence: The ideal extension evidence would directly refute your opponent's arguments while casting your original claim in a new, more persuasive light; it should not provide a missing link for the initial argument.
Annoying idiosyncrasies to avoid:
- "[X argument] comes out of [Y author]" -- Anytime this is said I just envision the argument bleeding out from the author's eyes.
- "don't look to my opponent's argument" -- Ok, I won't "look" to that argument -- but I'll still vote off of it.
- Using silly abbreviations like "skep" or "deont" in place of the actual words.
- Being overly technical/general inability to communicate like a normal person in CX. By this I mean, for example, prefacing all of your CX questions with "let's go to [specific place on the flow]" instead of just asking your question about the argument, or, conversely, answering your opponent's questions with "that's 'in' [author name]" instead of just explaining the argument.
- Not writing down how much prep time you and your opponent have left and then asking me as if I am supposed to be keeping track of these things.
- Asking filler/vacuous questions in CX so you can prep while ignoring your opponent's long-winded answers. You should be fully engaged in CX and shouldn't be writing a whole lot down.
- Stopping the timer in CX if you deem your opponent's answer unsatisfactory and demand that they give the answer you want before restarting the timer.
- Failing to ensure your laptop has sufficient life prior to the round if you're reading off a laptop.
- Telling your opponent which files they shouldn't be taking out in your speech i.e. "PUT AWAY YOUR GENERIC CPs"
- Following each and every one of your opponent's CX answers with "ok, cool."
- Making faces during your opponent's speech.
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated LD for 3 years for Harvard-Westlake School (2014-17) - 13 career bids, Dukes and Bailey 17', won some tournaments/broke at the TOC. I loved debate because of the variety. I could be a fan of any argument you want to read, provided it 1) is explained in a way I can understand and 2) has an explicit reason why that means you should win. I like when debaters appreciate the space they've been given and use it to do what they like. This means engage in the resolution and your speaking time however you want whether that means dense ethical philosophy, debate theory, or critical debate. Just do what you find meaningful even if that just means doing what gives you the best chance to win. My biggest preference in terms of what you run is that you make good arguments, which you understand and execute well. I hated judges that say "I won't vote on X because I disagree with/don't like it" so I try not to be one, but I reserve the right to hold debaters to a reasonable standard of quality argumentation.
You must share your speech docs with your opponent. Flashing, emailing, speechdrop, NSDA Campus message; whatever method of sharing you prefer as long as it's more effective than looking over your shoulder.
I think disclosure is very good for debate - this is not to say you cannot beat disclosure theory in front of me - it just means you will have a very hard time.
Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/the email is sent
- Here is the procedure i will follow if a student drops off a call, or I drop off a call: students are expected to maintain local recordings of their speeches - if they drop off, they should complete the speech and immediately email their recording upon completing it. I will not allow students to restart speeches / attempt to figure out how much time they had left, particularly in elimination rounds.
- If someone drops off a call, please do not steal prep time.
- It will make the round easier for all of us if you figure out a way to be able to see both me and your opponent on screen - non-verbal communication is really helpful for e-debate working at its best, and if we both nod at "everyone ready," you need to be able to see that, not just be waiting on us to un-mute ourselves and speak up! if you do not hear from me or see me indicate I am ready in some form, you should not assume i am ready. one thing i think this means is that "is anyone not ready" is no longer the right question to ask - "is everyone ready" is gonna be key to ensure no one misses anything.
- Slow down. i think online you should be going at 70% or so of the speed you would go in person. if you do not slow down and technical difficulties mean i miss arguments, i will not be very sympathetic to the post round - I have had a lot of kids not be able to hear me bc of the way zoom handles microphones - i am sorry if you do not hear me say "slow", but i cannot emphasize enough the need for you to slow down.
- You should have an email chain - if you are flight b, the chain should be set up before you hop on the call if possible.
I like good K debate a lot. An NR containing a well explained, and well impacted K that doesn't forget about the case is a good thing. An NR containing a K you've never read the lit for is hair pullingly frustrating. Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category.
I'm not generally a huge fan of the 4 minute K overview followed by line by line constituted primarily by "that was in the overview". Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff.
I believe people should be able to do whatever they want with their affirmative, and I will by no means auto vote you down for not being topical. That said, T/Framework was my favorite argument in high school, and I will be hard pressed to vote aff absent a robust defense against it - whether that comes in the form of impact turns, a counter-interp, or something else is up to you. I find myself voting aff during these debates more often than not for two reasons - 1. The NR on framework is more whining about how hard the aff was to prep than it is clear impact comparison 2. The NR doesn't engage the 1ar arguments properly - the 2nr should both deal with the warrant AND implication of these arguments because too often I have on my flow "this doesn't make any sense" without an explanation of why or why that matters.
I think these can be some of the best debates around. I would love you if you did good evidence comparison and comparison of links to the impact rather than doing superficial weighing of impacts. I've read DA's, CP's, and Plans (basically every aff round), so I like to think I know most of the lingo and the function. The straight turn and impact turn are both deeply underutilized arguments in LD. I'm sick of judging 1ARs that are 80% defense against the DA.
I'm not a fan of plans bad theory arguments. I think you should either read a T shell or a more nuanced reason why their type of plan text is bad.
Your interp needs evidence, standards and voting issues. A good T debate is one of my favorite debates and should involve a deep comparison of the world of debate each interp justifies, not just competing 6-points of the limits standard. Textuality as a voter just barely meets the standard for coherent argument, i'll vote on it, but it will be defeated easily in front of me. RVIs on T are not a thing.
I'm not a fan of frivolous theory, i'll vote on it, but there is a low bar to answering it. If you're struggling to figure out whether a certain shell is too frivolous for me to give the benefit of the doubt, don't read it. I am extremely persuaded by infinite regress/arbitrariness arguments against the vast majority of spec shells.
I am far and away the least versed in this part of LD. I'm not unwilling to vote on anything you choose to read, just understand that if it's more complicated than the simple end of ripstein or util, you will need to explain it to me like I'm a distracted 5 year old. You should know that I, generally speaking, am a firm believer that comparative worlds is the best interpretation for debate and, as a result, I will likely not love your burdens aff/whatever postdating related trend is popular.
I will vote for these arguments if I absolutely have to, but I greatly dislike them. Chances are if you're winning in front of me on a blippy theory spike or an apriori it's because the rest of the debate was literally impossible to evaluate and you will not be happy with your speaks because of it.
Santa Monica High School 2020
Tech>truth but arguments must contain a claim, warrant, and impact—I'm likely to hold the line on underdeveloped arguments and will only vote on arguments I understand as presented in the debate.
Strong impact calculus wins debates whether it's policy, theory, philosophy, kritiks, or topicality. This is often the first place I look when making my decision. You should do comparative impact calculus and answer your opponent's.
Not a fan of most theory arguments--reasonability and reject the argument are often quite persuasive.
Speaks reflect a combination of strategic choices, clarity, quality evidence, and quality arguments.
Paradigm update: Harvard 21'
Chris Flowers (He/Him)
Golden State Academy
Little Rock Central
Email - email@example.com
I don't have a speaking rate preference.
I mostly just care that you are warranting your arguments, clashing with your opponents, and advocating for a unique reason to vote for your side.
Debaters ought to determine the procedural limits and educational value of each topic by defending their interpretations in the round. I ought to vote for the team that does the best job of that in the debate.
Debate is a game, but games shape subjectivities, particularly true of debate.
Debaters should not do any of the following:
Ignore reasonable things like showing up on time and maintaining speech times and speaking order.
Disregard reasonable personal request of their opponents. If you don’t wish to comply with opponent requests, you ought to have a good reason why.
Say or do racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or ableist things.
Read pessimism args from identities they don't claim.
Education > Fairness
Breadth = Depth ---> both are important please make warrants here
K’s don’t need to win an alt to win.
Perf Con is a reason to vote AFF, RVI’s are probably not.
Vote for theory when there’s a clear and substantial brightline violated
Reasonable disclosure practices should be followed.
Analytic > Low quality evidence
I strive to carefully consider my decision based exclusively on the arguments in the round. It's not always possible, but its my goal. I included more opinions I have about particular arguments and strategies. If you have a specific question or concern, please email or ask in-round.
Neg teams ought to attempt to engage with plan free affirmatives. Affirmative teams should advocate for some departure from the status quo in the context of the topic. The more likely an aff is steeped in topic literature, the less likely I am to vote against it for fairness. I generally think education is a more important element of debate than fairness.
T plan text
I default to reasonability because I think it incentivizes innovative research by the aff that expands the limits of the topic in a good way. I also don’t think it creates much more judge intervention that is already inevitable and comparable to evaluating competing interps. But, I will vote for competing interps if you’ve got good stuff to say that will establish a clear brightline as to what makes a definition better.
Neg definitely gets to be conditional. Limited conditionality is the most comfortable theory interp for me, but unlimited conditionality is fine too, unless you cross over the line into perf con.
The threshold for me on perf con is
a. Arguments made on one flow could be extended to other parts of the flow once the original argument is dropped.
b. Positions are grossly ideologically contradictory. IE, the econ da plus cap.
If you have a solvency advocate, its legit.
Most PIC’s I’ve heard seem theoretically legit because demonstrable abuse hasn’t been proven. But if you have a clear, thesis story on CP abuse I will vote there. It’s happened before. But violations have to be clear.
I think most politics arguments are false and most econ arguments are false. However, I can detach myself from those beliefs and vote for your disad, even if it's terrible. Please be reading updated uniqueness arguments and be paying attention to what’s happening in the squo. Make your turns case analysis efficient and terminal.
Neg walks in with presumption. If both teams show up and neither team speaks I’d vote neg on a low point win. Neg teams should still make presumption analysis and not just rely on my assumption to vote there. Explain to me the inefficiencies of the aff to resolve the harms in the status quo.
*If I haven't mentioned it here, I don't have any strong thoughts on the matter and am most likely to be a pretty blank slate. Especially on theory. *
Debate is transformative. It is foremost an educational activity. As a classroom teacher, as well as an active coach and judge I approach nearly everything I do with that element of education in mind. I do think there should be some parameters to the game, but I also believe that part of the beauty of the game is that those parameters are generally underlimiting. I think this isn’t always the best for creativity, but that it definitely encourages students to do in-depth research on a broad range of topics.
Debate is challenging. I like arguments that are hard to beat, but not impossible. As a coach debate allows me to set personal challenges, some that I have accomplished others I may never achieve. There’s beauty in the struggle. As a coach, I want to be down in the trenches as much as possible, cutting cards, maximizing pre-round prep. and doing anything I can to win, even if it means being the waterboy before rounds. As a judge, I hope the debaters I judge will feel the same way. I don’t care how much experience you have, how good or bad at debate you are, I want you to be in it to win it. I also want you to not be afraid to fail.
Debate is exhausting. On my squad, I share responsibilities with two other phenomenal coaches. We all drive to and from tournaments, work tirelessly on hearing redos, facilitating practices, cutting evidence and overall trying to put all of our debaters in the best possible position to win debates. All of this can be excruciating and exhausting. If debaters on my team or at tournaments don’t’ share in this sense of sacrifice or the recognition that we are all a part of something a little bigger, there’s no payoff for me. Don’t be those kids. Being away from home and family so frequently during the school year CAN be a worthy sacrifice, if the students I coach and judge demonstrate excellence or a desire for excellence in competitive and interpersonal ways. Your coaches, myself included, do this for a reason. Most of us really want nothing but the best for you. Winning is important, but not everything. Have a good attitude and embrace the game.
Your coaches and judges give up a lot to be here on the weekends. It’s because deep down they care about you and the activity. It has made a marked difference in their lives and they want you to be rewarded in similar ways. Make this experience enjoyable and educational for yourself and others. If it’s not fun, maybe consider quiz bowl or model UN.
William G Enloe HS '20, UPenn '24
Qualified to TOC twice (13 bids, cleared junior year, skipped 2020 eTOC senior year) and NSDA thrice
Don't particularly care what you read and can evaluate most things fine
Last updated May 2021
Record your speeches in case of tech issues - I'm not flowing rebuttal redos
Turn up your volume during your speeches so you can hear me saying clear/slow over the sound of yourself spreading
+.1 speaks for each full minute of prep you can prove you didn't use - point this out if you want speaks and time your opponent's prep so they don't lie
Debate is a game - play it well, don’t overinvest, and have fun
Rules: speech times and such, no "clarification" timeslot before CX, CX can't be prep, compiling a doc is prep but sending it isn't, don't ask for high speaks or 30s
Not voting on:
---Ad-homs or args that deny the badness of racism/sexism/homophobia/etc (these may lose you the round depending on severity and my mood)
---Args that rely on out of round actions or a debater's appearance/personal identity/social or physical location (exception is disclosure with screenshots)
---Death/suffering good (spark-esque stuff is fine)
Independent voters are not independent voters if not labeled as such in the speech they are introduced with a reason why they are
Arguments start at 0 not 100 and go up based on your warranting - larger or unintuitive claims need stronger warrants (spark/ontology need more warranting than nuke war bad/contingency)
I'll deal with irresolvability using the "needs test" - burden of proof falls on the side that "needs" to win the argument (i.e. if the neg needed to win counterplan solves case to win the debate, then the burden of solvency vs solvency deficit explanation falls on the neg)
Traditional/lay debate is fine, progressive/circuit debaters should be accessible
These are useful and underutilized: weighing impacts, turns case/disad, ev comparison, smart analytic advantage counterplans/PICs
1ARs should probably read theory and 2NRs should probably answer it
Framing cards (i.e. probability first) aren't substitutes for debating the disad
Usually won’t read ev unless you tell me to - not looking for parts of the article that aren't ev in the debate
I'll judge kick if you win an argument for it
Read rehighlightings if they make a new/different argument - insert them if they show x thing is in y context (and explain any insertions)
Stop forgetting to kick advocacies in the 2NR
Easily changed defaults - f/e are voters, drop the debater, competing interps, no RVI
Slow down on short analytics
Thresholds (more of a preference than a yes/no on whether I'll evaluate them)
---Fine - counterplan theory, T, resolutional spec, AFC type shells, etc.
---Not fine - font size/type/color, dinosaurs, avatars, etc.
Ks need to prove that the aff is a bad idea - 1NC link walls are good
Winning framework is important for both sides and can decide the debate
---Avoid ROBs that function as self-serving and artificial impact filters
Alt solves case and warranted root cause claims indexed to the affs impacts are useful
Case debate is still important - so is weighing the case
I seem to vote for Ks vs phil affs (when well executed tech-wise) more than vs policy affs
Basic familiarity with most literature bases but will avoid filling in gaps in explanation
Affs - I need an answer to "why vote aff"
---Impact turns to T might be a better way to go but counterinterps are winnable too
---Don't feel comfortable adjudicating personal narratives/performances/survival strats/ad-homs
Neg - stop extending things through ink
---T is fine - fairness/clash/research >>> skills/movements
---Cap is fine - not familiar with most other K v K debates, but go for it if the 1AR puts ~2 args on a K and you can spend time explaining interactions and links
---PICs and presumption are underutilized
Default to comparative worlds, epistemic confidence, and policy presumption - epistemic modesty requires impact calc and LD presumption/permissibility requires warranting
I encourage reading a framework of some length in all debates, but will default util
Delineate and explain your arguments (and their implications) - this includes CX
The 2AR is after all the speeches before it - interpret this as you choose
Slow down on short analytics
Things I shouldn’t have to say but fit best here
---You need to extend a warrant even if an argument is conceded
---I won’t vote on arguments that I don’t understand in the first speech they're introduced
---Arguments need to meet a minimum threshold of coherence/warranting to be evaluated and cannot be a non-sequitur
---I will default to intuition against arguments that I believe are illogical and never met the threshold for being an argument to begin with
One debater is probably getting the lowest speaks I can give.
Clipping: Ending the debate if I catch it. If you have a recording, you can stake the round. Skipping at least 3-5 words multiple times probably constitutes clipping.
Ev Ethics: If I catch a violation, speaks will plummet and the card will be ignored (though I don't go out of my way to check). You can read any violation you want as theory (drop the arg or debater). The following are sufficient to constitute a miscut card such that you can stake the round/make a challenge:
---Card starts/ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph
---Text has been added to or removed from the original text of the cited article
---Card has been cut/highlighted/bracketed to make a claim that the article does not make (these should be clear if you're staking)
---Cite needs either the correct article/book title or a correct URL (or some other way to find it, like a DOI)
If another part of the article contradicts the argument made in the card, I'd prefer to see a recutting of the article read as an argument.
I coach Northland Christian.
Please justify a role-of-the-ballot argument (standard, criteria, ROB, ROJ, all fine, just justify it)
Evidence Ethics (and decorum) matter. If there is an evidence-ethics/cheating claim, I will stop the debate immediately. If I believe there is a violation, I will award the accusing debater with a win. I will then immediately contact tab and let them know what I have done. All challenges are then up to the tournament process.
I prefer and believe I am best at evaluating util/policy-style debates. Plans, CP's, Disads, all good.
I like the K debate. I am not well-read in Deleuze or Butler. I am fairly well read in Marx, Wilderson, Curry, and bell hooks. I am very well read in Cone, Augustine, Aquinas, and Wesley. These are not exhaustive lists.
I see theory/Topicality as a matter of competing interps. I am more inclined to buy reasonability arguments on Theory than T.
The K vs Theory debate is interesting. Be clear on in-round implications when impacting out this debate.
I'm probably not your best judge if your strategy is tricks.
Performance arguments are fine. See ROB caveat above.
Speed is fine. Clarity is better. Please make sure I know where a tag starts and a card ends.
I want to be on the email-chain (if the tournament is cool with it). paul DOT gravley AT gmail DOT com
I debated in high school for 3 years, and I primarily did LD, World Schools, and Original Oratory. I have privately coached LD and Worlds for 5 years. I have also taught Worlds School Debate at the Houston Urban Debate League summer camps for the past 4 years.
1. This is more of a problem I have seen in PF. PF debaters love to ask their opponents for the original PDF of more than 2-4 pieces of evidence BEFORE prep time starts. At some point I will just start your prep time to make sure the round finishes in a timely fashion.
2. Slow Down. This is especially true for the online format. I will not hesitate to tell you during the RFD that I did not catch analytics and therefore did not vote off of them.
Background: I started out as a traditional LD debater and dabbled in a more "progressive" form of LD towards my Junior and Senior year. I competed on the national circuit and got a TOC bid my senior year.
Framework - Even after taking a lot of philosophy in college, I still know so little. So please explain and slow down if you are running some dense philosophical arguments. Most importantly, have a weighing mechanism and then actually weigh.
CP/DA/Plans: I like these.
Theory/Topicality: I cannot emphasize enough, slow down. I will not hesitate to tell you after the round that I did not catch everything, and therefore did not vote on X theory argument. I default to reasonability unless told otherwise. I was never a talented theory/topicality debater. I ran it only when necessary, never frivolously.
K's: I like them. If you are going to run a K, go all out. Although I enjoy crit readings, as always do not assume I have read what you are running. I particularly love these arguments when they are grounded in the topic, in literature, and have some originality.
If you seem like you are having fun and not making the round a terrible place to be, I will listen to pretty much any argument that isn't intentionally obnoxious or repugnant (death good, racial equity bad, etc.). I prefer lines of argument that don't rely on nuclear war or extinction, but if your case is strong, go for it.
Clash and analysis are key. Use your case to analyze and refute your opponent's arguments. Don't just toss out cards; explain WHY and HOW. If your logic/reasoning is sound, you don't need to extend every card to win. I prefer strategic condensing over shallow line by line rebuttal.
I thoroughly enjoy critical debate. It fits very well with the intent of LD and forces debaters to examine assumptions. Logic must be sound and you should make a concerted effort to use the conceptual framework of your K as the basis for your argumentation (i.e. don't read "We can't draw conceptual lines between people," and then respond to case with phrases like "those people"). I have a pretty high threshold for what is topical so be prepared to engage with your opponent's lit. I don't really enjoy rounds that devolve to T.
Make sure you weigh your impacts for me. I may have a different perspective so if you don't make the weighing explicit, you are leaving it up to my interpretation. This includes ROBs, etc.
I expect timers and flashing to work without much delay. Having issues more than once in a round will lose speaks.
My speaks start at 28 for circuit tournaments. I'll dock a varsity debater more often for nonsense or rudeness than a JV debater. Making me laugh is a good way to bump up your points a few tenths. Enunciation is also a bonus.
I studied linguistics. If you are going to talk about plurals and indefinite articles, please have read more of the article than just the card you are citing.
CX is important and clarifies for me how well you understand your own arguments. I will dock points for badgering novices. Kindness is never the wrong move.
**Virtual debate notes: WiFi strength is not universal. Audio lags make it CRUCIAL that you speak clearly and don't talk over each other.
I don't mind speed, as long as you are clear. I will only call "clear" twice in a varsity round. Taglines, authors, and card interp should be noticeably slower. It is up to the speaker to communicate their arguments and be aware of the audience's attention level. Language has a natural rythym. Using that to assist you will make you easier to understand than cutting all the linking words out of your cards.
**Virtual debate notes: if I can't follow your speed on a video chat, getting those extra two cards in doesn't matter. Strategy has to adapt to the medium.
I evaluate the full participation of the chamber, from docket maneuvers to quality and variety of questions. Successful legislators are those who drive the debate, present new/unique arguments, extend/refute/deepen previous arguments, choose sources carefully, and use parliamentary procedure appropriately. Debate on the merits/flaws of the specific legislation is given more weight than general issue arguments. Delivery style can enhance the persuasiveness of your analysis, but will not make up for canned speeches, poor supporting materials, or rehashed arguments.
POs are an essential part of the chamber. They set the mood, pace, and attitude of the chamber. It is a risk, and that is taken to account when I score. POs with a good pace and no major errors are very likely to be ranked.
Note on authorships/first pros: The price for establishing recency is that your speech must provide some background for the debate and at least one reason why this legislation in particular is/is not the answer.
The purpose of evidence in all forms of debate is to support your arguments with expert testimony, not to BE your arguments. I will only ask for cards if something sounds exceptionally wonky. Have some understanding of the bias of your sources (Are they all from conservative think tanks?, etc.). It is generally up to your opponent(s) to point out blatantly wrong evidence, but I will dock for egregious offenses.
I am a first year out so I am probably a worse judge then you think. I think the best way you can win with me in the back would be to write out your ballot story at the end of your last rebuttal. I will give you better speaks if in the 2nr/2ar you say "Zan your voting aff/neg in this round because (insert how you want me to view the round)".Obviously I will evaluate the entirety of the flow in my decision but I feel that it would be advantageous to practicaly write my rfd for me here"
Hi! I’m Zain and I mainly debated LD at Episcopal School of Dallas, where I graduated from in 2020, but I attended RKS before my senior year and have some policy experience too. I made several bid rounds in my career, Tied Georgetown PR in the finals of RKS because I got carried by Oak Hall KZ, and got top speaker at a few tournaments, including TFA state and Grapevine.
As a judge, I think I should let the debate be in the debaters’ hands, and I will try not to intervene, although it would be wrong to call me a blank slate because I do have some predispositions. I would say I was relatively flex as a debater, but I mainly LARP’ed, read antiblackness literature, and went for T (especially Nebel). Near the end of my career, I basically became a technical lay debater because I felt like it. I appreciate knowledge about the topic literature, and I am a fan of both creative positions and well-executed stock arguments.
A large portion of the arguments I went for would fall under this category, and I am always down to hear a good LARP debate, so go for it.
I am more familiar with structural K’s like antiblackness arguments, but I have some knowledge of K’s like Baudrillard, psychoanalysis, batallie Nietzsche, etc. Please don’t take this as an excuse not to explain your arguments. Always err on the side of safety because there are plenty of arguments I haven’t heard, and I have no problem voting for the other side if you do a bad job explaining your thesis, link story, or alt.
K aff’s are fine, but I do hold them to the same standards as any other aff. Creatively topical aff’s are interesting, and if I find your aff cool, you might see a boost in speaks.
I think I am 50/50 on these debates. I am not a boomer who thinks K affs don't belong in debate, but I also think k teams need to be able to debate about the inherent opportunity cost of the reading of a non-topical aff. IE you need to win a reason why the benefits of reading your aff outweigh the benefits of predictable/topical discussion.
Fairness impacts are fine, but I also was a fan of the black/critical framework arguments put out by RKS as they allow the neg to avoid the typical topicality impact turns
I had a good amount of topicality debates in my career, and I am a BIG FAN OF THE WORKS OF JAKE NEBEL. That also means I will understand a good amount of the grammatical arguments you make and know if you’re wrong.
Hot take: Don't run Nebel T if you can't explain the upward entailmenttest
Not as good as a judge for high-level theory debates, but I am fine evaluating any shell. Just know that the more frivolous the shell, the lower the threshold for response.
Not the best judge for these debates because I mainly ran Util positions. That being said I am familiar with Kant, Rawls, Hobbes and Locke just because I like to read in my free time. If your a phil debater and I am in the back I encourage you to do what your good at. I have debated against phil plenty of times so I am familiar with most of the interactions. Make sure to go slower here and over explain, and hey if your a phil debater and I learn something new or fascinating in your round I will give you a 30. AND PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ANSWER THE BOSTROM EVIDENCE.
Fine with voting on these, just know that 1. I have very little understanding of tricks and might screw you over if you don’t explain them well and 2. I might lower speaks if you’re super sketchy. If you debate these in a funny and clean way though, I will be impressed.
I think debate is a communication activity. Does this mean I am a lay judge, yes and no I guess. Your job as a debater is to convince and persuade your judge, and it just so happens your judge is a former high school debater who can understand speed and circuit arguments. That being said having ethos and letting me know what to emphasise will carry you a long way with speaks and getting my ballot easier. I think its cool if debaters have ethos moments in the rebuttal where they slow down and make eye contact with the judge and emphasize a core point. If you do this and address me by my name(pronouncing it correctly of coarse) to get my attention I will give you higher speaks.
I feel that debaters never dive deep enough into the core topic literature. If you read a stock ac and nc and really know the topic literature and are able to effectively utilize empirical studies to out debate your opponent by straight up knowing the topic better than they do I will give you a 30.
I am old and don't know anything and my RFDs are bloated and terrible strike me
Current affiliation: head debate coach at LC Anderson in Austin, TX
Email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
Note on ableism: It is somewhat difficult and potentially upsetting for me personally to hear positions advocating unipolar pessimism, hopelessness, or the radical rejection of potential futures or social engagement/productivity by the disabled or neurodivergent subject. I will never punish debaters for pursuing arguments that explore their own agency and relation to societal structures. Just be mindful that it's very hard for me to hear.
Afropessimism: If you don't identify as Black, please respect the wishes of many of your peers in the community and don't read afropessimism in front of me. This is not a pronouncement that I agree or disagree with any particular person's position on whether this practice should be allowed. But the bottom line is, if people in our community who we value and respect articulate to us that they are hurt by this practice, it's on us not to do it or encourage it. This doesn't mean you can't argue against the theory or read other positions that deal with antiblackness or structural racism. I am specifically willing to listen to Wynter, racial capitalism, Afro-futurism, and racially-oriented semiotic arguments that are philosophically, structurally, and most importantly methodologically distinct from Wilderson, Warren, and Sexton et al. Note: I will have a *very* high threshold for dropping a debater as retroactive punishment for reading afropessimism in the past. This is an evolving norm, and we are all learning as we go. The exception is if you were called out on it before or made verifiable pronouncements indicating you stopping the practice but continued to do it afterward. If that's the case, sorry bud, you kind of brought it on yourself. I'm not impressed with non-Black debaters being self-righteous about the race war. If I'm at all unclear, I will vote you down regardless of any arguments made in the round if you or your partner aren't Black and you read afropess.
TLDR: If you or your coach are a person who post-rounds after losses, please assume in advance that I am an extreme lay judge and strike/block me forever. This includes post-rounding in email after rounds. Please, I am autistic and it is psychologically and behaviorally triggering for me. I'll take the blame that I can't handle it, just please don't. I'm fine with you thinking my decision was incorrect; it probably was.
I am what a lot of people would call a "flex judge." I don't default one way or another on most arguments. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Debate is a game, but winning is not the only objective. Line by line debate is important. No new case extensions in the 2AR. Don't insult my (admittedly limited) intelligence. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. Give content warnings. Tricks and excessive preempts/triggers make me so very unhappy, my attention deficit and cognitive impairments make it impossible for me to keep up with all of them, and just know if you're reading them you are being violent toward me (and probably the other debater). I don't disclose speaks. I promise I'm trying my best to be nice. There's a lot of PF-specific stuff at the bottom of this doc. I love Star Wars. I don't hack. Pronouns he/him/his.
I judge national circuit-style LD the most, but I competed exclusively in policy debate and run a PF camp. Assume I'm fine to judge any of the 3 and that I'll adapt to you rather than the other way around. I'm super old, but I like to think I can still handle some or most high-level debate. PF: I expect ALL evidence read or especially paraphrased to be shared and accessible by both teams and the judge. Evidence is not a link to an article, it's cut evidence in the context of an entire passage/paragraph of text that isn't deleted or obscured. If you don't share, don't be surprised if I drop you. I have the lowest threshold you can possibly imagine for well-structured theory arguments based on the refusal to share evidence.
Quick guide to prefs
1-off ap, setcol, cap/1nc non-friv theory: 1
deleuze/softleft/non-pess black studies: 1-2
kant without tricks: 2
most k/idpol/: 3
performance/non-Baudrillard pomo: 3-4
Baudrillard/non-kant phil/heavy fw: 4
friv theory/skep/warming good: strike
tricks/abusive strats: strike no matter what
Despite how long my paradigm is, I don't think it's my job to tell debaters what to do; rather, it's the job of the debaters to tell me why to vote a certain way.
Debaters shouldn't lie or act like jerks. While I get that debate is ostensibly a competitive activity and can get very intense, this is supposed to be educational, good-spirited, and fun. Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. I don't like to intervene, but blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, and there's even a slight question as to whether it might be a trigger, please notify your opponent. Blatant evidence ethics violations such as clipping are an auto-voter. I consider bullying nontechnical debaters or over-employing jargon against them a violation of the "shouldn't act like jerks" maxim. Stop yelling at each other.
Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I am moody and can be a total jerk sometimes, and I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.
Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, panic, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for my sake and for your opponent's. I am not flexible on this and will absolutely use my ballot to enforce this expectation.
Speaks: You're probably not going to get a 30. I tend to start at 28 and work my way up or down. If you get a 26 or below, you likely did something bigoted/abusive. I usually range between 27.5 and the mid 29s. I'm a little more generous in PF and at locals. I will dock you hard if you make the space unsafe, particularly for women, gender/sexual minorities, disabled or differently abled debaters, religious minorities, and debaters of color. I'm not afraid to give good speaks if you're good, but yeah 29.8 is usually as high as I'll go
Speed: Any rate of delivery is fine, though I love and prioritize clarity. If you are not clear, I will say "clear" once. Slow down on tags and analytics for my sake and for your opponent's sake, especially if you don’t include your analytics in the doc. For online debates, the more arguments that are in the doc the better. I will listen to well-developed theoretical or critical indictments of spreading, but it will take some convincing.
Kritik: Fine. I have a basic understanding of most of the literature. Explain very clearly why I should vote and why your opponent should lose. For me, "strength of link" is not an argument applicable to most kritik rounds - I ask whether there is a risk of link (on both sides). Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned. "Don't weigh the case" is not a warranted argument by itself - I tend to believe in methodological pluralism and need to be convinced that the K method should be prioritized. A link is *not* enough for a ballot. Just because I like watching policy-oriented rounds doesn't mean I don't understand the kritik or will hack against them. If you link to your own criticism, you are very unlikely to win. I believe the K is more convincing with both an alternative and a ballot implication (like most, I find the distinction between ROB and ROJ somewhat confusing).
Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument. My abuse threshold on friv shells is much higher. An exception to me voting on friv theory is that I will not ever vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless their appearance is itself violent). I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff and am more likely than not to hold the line on allowing US affs in most topicality debates. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious. Don't abuse theory against inexperienced debaters. A particularly egregious example would be to read shells in the 1AC, kick them, and read multiple new shells in the 1AR cough cough I see you
Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy-oriented, phil, critical frameworks, performance, narratives but see my pref guide above for what I personally prefer. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing absent a distinct strategic reason to do so. I hate framing that is abusive for abuse's sake, like "the aff/neg must win every round." Examples of this are a prioris that say "Resolved" means the resolution has already been affirmed or "evaluate the round after the 1AC." I'm the worst person to pref if you are a tricks debater. I think TJF debates are interesting, but I seldom meet frameworks that *can't* be theoretically justified. Not sure if there's a bright line other than "you need to read the justifications in your constructive," and I'm not sure how good that argument is. I don't enjoy permissibility triggers, but I understand them and will vote on them.
LARP: Great. Plans, counterplans, PICs, PIKs, disads, solvency dumps, whatever. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm very skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced - my threshold for voting on severance bad is very low. Impact turns are underutilized, but don't think that means I want you to be bigoted or fascist. Cap/heg good are fine. I'm very skeptical of warming good. Any position that argues death or war is good will need to be argued really well. For UIL/traditional policy debaters - please read the entirety of the aff in the 1AC and please divide labor in the block. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and no one should ever pref me under any circumstances, LARPers ought to consider preffing me really highly, and sometimes don’t on the basis that I've coached good K debaters. I am most comfortable and conversant with policy arguments.
Condo: Fine, although I don't think 100% of conceded offense on kicked arguments just goes away because the argument is conditional (specifically stuff like theoretically unjustified argumentation or oppressive/discourse-related offense). Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter. I am more likely to entertain condo bad if there are multiple conditional advocacies. More likely to vote on condo bad in LD than policy because of time/strat skew. One conditional advocacy is generally ok to me and I need a clear abuse story.
Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped with 25 speaks; I don't care if it's part of the method of your advocacy. If you're super experienced, please consider not being terrible about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. I won't vote on disclosure theory against a queer debater for whom disclosure would potentially out them. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I listen to theory about it. In my opinion, the best form of disclosure is open-source speech docs combined with the wiki drop-down list. For sharing, I prefer email. Please include me on email chains. Even if you don't typically share docs, please share me on speech docs - I can get lost trying to listen to even everyday conversation if I'm not able to follow along with written words. Seriously, I have cognitive stuff, please send me a speech doc.
Sitting/Standing: Whatever. I have my own debaters stand if they can at in-person competitions because it helps with volume and clarity. But do your thing, it won't affect speaks. Maybe look at me every once in a while, your call. For online debate specifically I fully recognize and accept that most debaters are sitting and whatever.
Flex prep: Fine. More clarity is good.
Performative issues: If you're a white person debating critical race issues, or a man advocating feminism against a woman, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea. "Perf con good" arguments had better make a metric ton of sense.
I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks. If the framing debate is absolutely impossible to evaluate (sadly, it happens), I will try to figure out who won by weighing offense and defense under both mechanisms.
I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing.
I don't vote against a "traditional" value debater because they're "less progressive" or "less cool" or whatever. Every person in our community has value. PUN INTENDED! That said, I am what you’d call a “technical” judge and if a debater concedes something terminal to the ballot, it’s probably game over. If you’re a traditional debater and the field is largely circuit debaters, your best bet to win in front of me is probably to go hard on the framework debate and either straight-turn or creatively group your opponent’s arguments.
Warrant all arguments in both constructives and rebuttals. An extended argument means nothing to me if it isn't explained. “They conceded it” is not a warranted argument.
Policy: I was a 2A-1N in the 90s, and began my judging/coaching career strictly in policy debate. Most of this doc is LD-specific, because that's the pool to which I'll generally be assigned. Policy debaters, don’t worry. I’m not going to expect you to read weird phil or something. Still, most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. I am most comfortable evaluating topical affirmatives and their implications, but I am a very flexible judge and critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate and I will happily vote for TFW if it's well-argued and won. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate (meaning overarching framing mechanisms, not T-Framework) is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it. Excessive prompting/feeding during speeches may affect speaks, and I get that it's a thing sometimes, but I don't believe it's particularly educational and I expect whomever is giving the speech to articulate the argument. I am not flowing the words of the feeder, just the speaker.
PF: If you're actually reading this, congratulations! Speed is fine. Framework is great (actually, to the extent that any weighing mechanism counts as framework, I desire and enthusiastically encourage it). Nontraditional PF arguments (theory, spec advocacies) are fine. I will listen to disclosure theory, though I am less likely to buy it if the offending case is straightforward/common. Offense is important. I'm surprised and impressed when PF debaters cut actual evidence rather than paraphrasing it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. If you try to read a policy/critical argument you don't understand, I will flame you in the oral, so be ready for that. For god's sake, do weighing. All that said, I love that the format is sometimes still accessible to actual regular people. I believe PF debaters should be adaptable, like all-weather shrubbery.
DO NOT PERPETUATE THE TOXIC, PRIVILEGED PF ARCHETYPE. You know *exactly* what I’m talking about, or should. Call that stuff out, and your speaks will automatically go up. If you make the PF space unwelcoming to women or gender minorities, expect L25 and don’t expect me to feel bad about it.
I absolutely expect frontlining in second rebuttal, and will consider conceded turns true.
If I call for evidence and you give me a link to an article, I will auto-dock speaks and flame you in the RFD.
More PF specifics:
Anything above regarding performative issues applies to PF, so please read carefully. I am primarily an LD judge on the national circuit and at Austin-area locals. Take from that what you will, and assume I am fine with either a more progressive or traditional style of PF debate. "It's not allowed in PF" is not a warranted argument. Line by line debate is important, and as it's what I am used to, I am not likely to vote on new arguments (or arguments that weren't gone for in Summary) made in Final Focus. This means sticky defense justifications are probably a no-no. Weighing offense is important. Framing should be established in constructive or at the very latest on the top of rebuttal. Don't call something terminal without a warrant. Don't call link defense a turn. Don't say you are "turning an impact" if you're not. An impact turn argues that the impact itself is good. If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I am not flowing crossfire. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence and am just *waiting* for some hero to make it an independent voter.. So nice, I’ll say it twice: evidence standards in PF are possibly the biggest holding it back from being truly great. Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold - if you're shady and there's a shell or implication I am very inclined to vote on it. If you're running theory, don't run it wrong or I'll make it really obvious how little I care for your debating. Remember, I am an LD judge and hear theory shells in more than half of the rounds I watch.
Everyone: please ask questions if I can clarify anything. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.
Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust sets me off. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.
Strake Jesuit Class of 2020
Email - email@example.com
Debate is a game first and foremost.
I qualified to the TOC Junior and Senior year frequently making it to late Elims
Summary of my debate style - I was a memer who just enjoyed the activity while reading all types of arguments but with a twist. I think debate is often boring with debaters just reading blocks and not being innovative.
Please note that I have strong opinions on what debate should be but I will not believe them automatically every round they have to be won just like any other argument. Tech>truth no exceptions unless under extreme circumstances which I don't think will happen, if they do then I will update this.
I am not a fan of identity based arguments. Please don't run arguments that are only valid based on your or your opponents identity.
How to get good speaks
- be entertaining either with good music good jokes etc
- explain something to me really well
- in order to get super high speaks 29.5 + in front of me you really need to do something new or innovative, reading your 2NR doc on something will never get you this high no matter how good it is. A new meme or strategy is almost a guarantee of this speaks range.
- making arguments that I really like or agree with, this includes Catholicism and Monarchism.
do any of these things and you will for sure get above a 28.5
How to get low speaks
- Having bad strategy choice
-being really rude or mean. Aggression can be a part of a good strategy but being aggressive to the point of making your opponent uncomfortable is what I mean.
- Swearing or cursing, try to keep it professional and respectful please.
Styles of debate -
Before I get into every style just know that I will vote on all of them if I see your winning them, this is just to say what my bright line for winning the arguments tends to be.
K - If you are one of the 10% who actually knows really well what you are talking about and you can show it to me, you will get very high speaks. Just make sure to explain it super well as I think well done explanation allows you to use the K in a more strategic way on other flows. I will not vote on something I don't understand. Be warned I will not walk into the round thinking an impact is true, I will vote on impact turns to any argument, you need to be ready to defend the impact of the K as I'm not going to accept it as true automatically.
Larp - This was my main Strat when I couldn't read theory and I do enjoy a good larp debate. Being a good larper requires knowing your evidence more than your opponent and CX is where this becomes clear. If you know your Aff and you have good evidence you will get good speaks.
Tricks - If you just blip storm a ton of aprioris I will probably miss some so please be clear with what you're doing. That being said if you are just reading some stupid generic aprioris or skep I will not be impressed and you will not get higher speaks. please be innovative.
Theory - Make sure to be clearly extending and weighing your standard and please read paradigm issues. I don't get this new trend of not reading voters it really makes me sad. I will vote on anything no matter how frivolous if its won. If the round becomes a messy theory debate with little to no weighing done I will be leaning towards fairness impacts first.
Phil - If you have skep or permissibility triggers make sure to do a good job explaining why they are triggered just saying "extend this card it says trigger skep in the tag gg" does not do it for me. Side note I really enjoy theological debate if it’s possible. I promise good speaks if you make the debate interesting. Do with that what you will.
Background/experience: I debated for 3 years at Montgomery High school competing two years in policy and one year in LD..
General Paradigm: I really think debate has become an activity involving strategy over anything else in policy and ld especially. Therefore, I will tend to be more perceptive to strategy over grandstanding on your critiques. Additionally, I felt like during my career that judges tended to put their own personal beliefs about debate and the issues being debated on a pedastool making them biased toward certain arguments like Ks over theory or theory over Ks. My goal is to be a complete blank slate as far as that goes. I believe things like frivolous theory can be a strategy even though some judges are biased against it. That's not to say I'm a theory hack because I'm probably the opposite, but I am receptive to it just as I am to a DA or K. Also don't say racist stuff or I probably won't like you.
K: I read Ks throughout most of high school and am well read in most of the literature. That being said, I am not a K hack. I am probably going to know if you don't understand what you're reading or talking about. Most of the critiques I read were high theory involving authors such as baudrillard, deleuze, bataille, Heidegger, etc. I'm not going to grandstand about how you have to explain Ks thoroughly. They should have some explanation in the 2nr but some of this stuff can't be simplified down to a third grade level so I don't expect that to occur. I feel like the debate community has allowed some kids to get away with little explanation and say they are a great debater while other times judges use it as a cop out to not give an RFD. Just know what you're talking about and I'm cool with it. Also k affs are great and strategic.
REPS: i think reps matter alot so if you do something blantly offensive or racist/offensive i feel inclined as educator probably to pull the trigger. that being said i'm less compelled to vote off of reps k like if you used latino instead of latinx. like i feel like you shouldn't lose the round because of that.
LARP: I read policy affs and DAs throughout my policy career and somewhat as an LDer. I really like these arguments because they allow debaters to be strategic with turns and usually allow me to learn some cool stuff too. Have fun! I love DAs, CPs, plans, etc.
Theory: I never really read theory unless I was forced to. That's not because I didn't like it but I thought some judges would hesitate to vote on frivilous theory. I am happy to say that I am not one of those judges. Read frivilous theory all you want. Just remember that usually there are simple intuitive responses that are effective. Also I default competing interps but I don't have a specific leaning toward reasonability or competing interps one way or another.
Phil: I didn't read Phil whatsoever until my senior year. I still am not read on the literature. That being said, I think Phil arguments are great and I will do my best to evaluate them just as I would a k. Just be prepared to explain it to me and how it interacts with offense in the round. If you like reading Phil, go for it.
I usually give a 29+ if you do some of the following
-if you share a funny meme ill boost your speaks (ONLY SHITPOST MEMES)
- AD LIP when switching flows
-Show me a good song, if its some basic then i'll doc speaks.
-If you can drip a shot in paper basketball after the round. (It has to be from far away)
- COMING DRIPPED UP TO TOURNAMENTS
My goal is to be the most tab judge you have ever had, so read anything you want, be strategic, and have fun.
EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York; I was an assistant coach at Lexington from 1998-2004 (I debated there from 1994-1998), at Sacred Heart from 2004-2008, and at Scarsdale from 2007-2008. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students.
If you're in high school, please just call me Hertzig.
Please include me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.
Ks (not high theory ones) & performance - 1 (just explain why you're non-T if you are)
Trad debate - 1
T, LARP, or phil - 2-3 (don't love wild extinction scenarios or incomprehensible phil)
High theory Ks - 4
Theory - 4 (see below)
Tricks - strike
If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.
I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds.
I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will usually not vote for theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on it. I will vote for theory that is actually justified (as in, you can show that you couldn't have engaged without it).
I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.
For in-person debate: I would prefer that you stand when speaking if you're physically able to (but if you aren't/have a reason you don't want to, I won't hold it against you).
Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. And be nice.
To research more stuff about life career coaching then visit Life coach.
I am the head coach at Plano West. I was previously the coach at LC Anderson. I was a 4-year debater in high school, 3-years LD and 1-year CX. My students have competed in elimination rounds at several national tournaments, including Glenbrooks, Greenhill, Berkeley, Harvard, Emory, St. Marks, etc. I’ve also had debaters win NSDA Nationals and the Texas State Championship (both TFA and UIL.)
Email chain: email@example.com
· You can debate quickly if that’s your thing, I can keep up. Please stop short of spreading, I’ll flow your arguments but tank your speaks. If something doesn’t make it onto my flow because of delivery issues or unclear signposting that’s on you.
· Do the things you do best. In exchange, I’ll make a concerted effort to adapt to the debaters in front of me. However, my inclinations on speeches are as follows:
o Rebuttal- Do whatever is strategic for the round you’re in. Spend all 4 minutes on case, or split your time between sheets, I’m content either way. If 2nd rebuttal does rebuild then 1st summary should not flow across ink.
o Summary- I prefer that both teams make some extension of turns or terminal defense in this speech. I believe this helps funnel the debate and force strategic decisions heading into final focus. If the If 1st summary extends case defense and 2nd summary collapses to a different piece of offense on their flow, then it’s fair for 1st final focus to leverage their rebuttal A2’s that weren’t extended in summary.
o Final Focus- Do whatever you feel is strategic in the context of the debate you’re having. While I’m pretty tech through the first 3 sets of speeches, I do enjoy big picture final focuses as they often make for cleaner voting rationale on my end.
· Weighing, comparative analysis, and contextualization are important. If neither team does the work here I’ll do my own assessment, and one of the teams will be frustrated by my conclusions. Lessen my intervention by doing the work for me. Also, it’s never too early to start weighing. If zero weighing is done by the 2nd team until final focus I won’t consider the impact calc, as the 1st team should have the opportunity to engage with opposing comparative analysis.
· I’m naturally credulous about the place of theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD/CX, I default reasonability over competing interps and am inclined to award the RVI if a team chooses to pursue it. Don’t be surprised if I make theory a wash and vote on substance. Good post fiat substance debates are my favorite part of this event, and while I acknowledge that there is a necessity for teams to be able to pursue the uplayer to check abusive positions, I am opposed to this event being overtaken by theory hacks and tricks debate.
· I’m happy to evaluate framework in the debate. I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default Cost-Benefit Analysis.
· Don’t flow across ink, I’ll likely know that you did. Clash and argument engagement is a great way to get ahead on my flow.
· Prioritize clear sign posting, especially in rebuttal and summary. I’ve judged too many rounds this season between competent teams in which the flow was irresolvably muddied by card dumps without a clear reference as to where these responses should be flowed. This makes my job more difficult, often results in claims of dropped arguments by debaters on both sides due to lack of clarity and risks the potential of me not evaluating an argument that ends up being critical because I didn’t know where to flow it/ didn’t flow it/ placed it somewhere on the flow you didn’t intend for me to.
· After the round I am happy to disclose, walk teams through my voting rationale, and answer any questions that any debaters in the round may have. Pedagogically speaking I think disclosure is critical to a debater’s education as it provides valuable insight on the process used to make decisions and provides an opportunity for debaters to understand how they could have better persuaded an impartial judge of the validity of their position. These learning opportunities require dialogue between debaters and judges. On a more pragmatic level, I think disclosure is good to increase the transparency and accountability of judge’s decisions. My expectation of debaters and coaches is that you stay civil and constructive when asking questions after the round. I’m sure there will be teams that will be frustrated or disagree with how I see the round, but I have never dropped a team out of malice. I hope that the teams I judge will utilize our back and forth dialogue as the educational opportunity I believe it’s intended to be. If a team (or their coaches) become hostile or use the disclosure period as an opportunity to be intellectually domineering it will not elicit the reaction you’re likely seeking, but it will conclude our conversation. My final thought on disclosure is that as debaters you should avoid 3ARing/post-rounding any judge that discloses, as this behavior has a chilling effect on disclosure, encouraging judges who aren’t as secure in their decisions to stop disclosing altogether to avoid confrontation.
· Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions you may have before we begin the round, or email me after the round if you have additional questions.
· You should do what you do best and in return I will make an earnest effort to adapt to you and render the best decision I can at the end of the debate. In this paradigm I'll provide ample analysis of my predispositions towards particular arguments and preferences for debate rounds. Despite that, reading your preferred arguments in the way that you prefer to read them will likely result in a better outcome than abandoning what you do well in an effort to meet a paradigm.
· You may speak as fast as you’d like, but I’d prefer that you give me additional pen time on tags/authors/dates. If I can’t flow you it’s a clarity issue, and I’ll say clear once before I stop flowing you.
· I like policy arguments. It’s probably what I understand best because it’s what I spent the bulk of my time reading as a competitor. I also like the K. I have a degree in philosophy and feel comfortable in these rounds.
· I have a high threshold on theory. I’m not saying don’t read it if it’s necessary, but I am suggesting is that you always layer the debate to give yourself a case option to win. I tend to make theory a wash unless you are persuasive on the issue, and your opponent mishandles the issue.
· Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you.
· I’m voting on substantive offense at the end of the debate unless you convince me to vote off of something else.
· You should strive to do an exceptional job of weighing in the round. This makes your ballot story far more persuasive, increasing the likelihood that you'll pick up and get high speaks.
· Disclosure is good for debate rounds. I’m not holding debaters accountable for being on the wiki, particularly if the debater is not from a circuit team, but I think that, at minimum, disclosing before the round is important for educational debates. If you don’t disclose before the round and your opponent calls you on it your speaks will suffer. If you're breaking a new strat in the round I won't hold you to that standard.
· Speaker points start at a 28 and go up or down from their depending on what happens in the round including quality of argumentation, how well you signpost, quality of extensions, and the respect you give to your opponent. I also consider how well the performance of the debater measures up to their specific style of debate. For example, a stock debater will be held to the standard of how well they're doing stock debate, a policy debater/policy debate, etc.
· I would estimate that my average speaker point is something like a 28.7, with the winner of the debate earning somewhere in the 29 range and the loser earning somewhere in the 28 range.
Debaters that elect to read positions about traumatic issues should provide trigger warnings before the round begins. I understand that there is an inherent difficulty in determining a bright line for when an argument would necessitate a trigger warning, if you believe it is reasonably possible that another debater or audience member could be triggered by your performance in the round then you should provide the warning. Err on the side of caution if you feel like this may be an issue. I believe these warnings are a necessary step to ensure that our community is a positive space for all people involved in it.
The penalty for not providing a trigger warning is straightforward: if the trigger warning is not given before the round and someone is triggered by the content of your position then you will receive 25 speaker points for the debate. If you do provide a trigger warning and your opponent discloses that they are likely to be triggered and you do nothing to adjust your strategy for the round you will receive 25 speaker points. I would prefer not to hear theory arguments with interps of always reading trigger warnings, nor do I believe that trigger warnings should be commodified by either debater. Penalties will not be assessed based on the potential of triggering. At the risk of redundancy, penalties will be assessed if and only if triggering occurs in round, and the penalty for knowingly triggering another debater is docked speaks.
If for any reason you feel like this might cause an issue in the debate let’s discuss it before the round, otherwise the preceding analysis is binding.
· I enjoy a good framework debate, and don’t care if you want to read a traditional V/C, ROB, or burdens.
· You should do a good job of explaining your framework. It's well worth your time spent making sure I understand the position than me being lost the entire round and having to make decisions based on a limited understanding of your fw.
· I’m more down for a topicality debate than a theory debate, but you should run your own race. I default competing interps over reasonability but can be convinced otherwise if you do the work on the reasonability flow. If you’re going for T you should be technically sound on the standards and voters debate.
· You should read theory if you really want to and if you believe you have a strong theory story, just don’t be surprised if I end up voting somewhere else on the flow.
· It's important enough to reiterate: Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you. Also, if you do not heed that advice there's a 100% chance I will miss some of your theory blips.
· I’m a fan of the K. Be sure to clearly articulate what the alt looks like and be ready to do some good work on the link story; I’m not very convinced by generic links.
· Don’t assume my familiarity with your literature base.
· For the neg good Kritiks are the ones in which the premise of the Kritik functions as an indict to the truth value of the Aff. If the K only gains relevance via relying on framework I am less persuaded by the argument; good K debates engage the Aff, not sidestep it.
· If you give good justifications and explanations of your performance I'm happy to hear it.
· These are good neg strats to read in front of me.
· Both the aff and neg should be technical in their engagement with the component parts of these arguments.
· Neg, you should make sure that your shells have all the right parts, IE don’t read a DA with no uniqueness evidence in front of me.
· Aff should engage with more than one part of these arguments if possible and be sure to signpost where I should be flowing your answers to these off case positions.
· I think I evaluate these arguments in a pretty similar fashion as most people. Perhaps the only caveat is that I don't necessarily think the Aff is required to win uniqueness in order for a link turn to function as offense. If uniqueness shields the link it probably overwhelms the link as well.
· I think perm debates are important for the Aff (on the CP of course, I WILL laugh if you perm a DA.) I am apt to vote on the perm debate, but only if you are technical in your engagement with the perm I.E. just saying "perm do both" isn't going to cut it.
· I'm not very familiar with it, and I'm probably not the judge you want to pref.
Feel free to ask me questions after the round if you have them, provided you’re respectful about it. If you attempt to 3AR me or become rude the conversation will end at that point.
I competed for Plano Senior High School in Plano, TX in the TFA and National Circuit coached by Adam Tomasi, Alex Yoakum, and school debate coach Neal White. Currently, I debate for Indiana University in policy and qualified for NDT 2021 coached by Brian Delong, Ayoka Wicks, Cameron Dehmlow Dunne, and Jacob Bosley.
Add me on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
CONFLICTS: Plano Senior(TX), Clark High School(TX), Coppell VS, Stanford Online MB, Saratoga AG
TLDR: I am fine with you reading anything if it is not offensive.
NOTE FOR ONLINE: Record your speeches. If anyone's internet goes out you should immediately send the recording to everyone in the round. If you don't have a recording, you only get what I flowed.
Some Generic Stuff
1)I care a lot about evidence. I will read through most, if not all, of the cards at the end of the debate. I won't insert arguments into the debate based on what the evidence implies, but I can't vote for you if your explanation of the evidence is based on some misreading. I do this to encourage you to know your cards well and utilize them the best you can. Unpack your warrants and be comparative; use lines of your own and your opponents' evidence to flag important arguments that matter to my decision.
2)I can handle speed so feel free to go as fast as you want, BUT if you are hitting a novice or anyone who has a disability of which they can speak at a faster rate.
3)I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, and WEIGH and DEVELOP a ballot story.
4) Use all of your speech and cross-ex time. I will dock speaker points if you use cross-ex for prep, or if you end a speech early. I think that there's always more you can ask or say about an argument, even if you're decisively ahead.
5) Don't cheat - miscutting, clipping, strawmanning etc. It's an auto-loss with 0 speaks if I catch you. Ev ethics claims aren't theory arguments - if you make an ev ethics challenge, you stake the round on it and the loser of the challenge gets an L-0. (this only applies if you directly accuse your opponent of cheating though - if you read brackets with an ev ethics standard that's different).
6)I will assume zero prior knowledge when going into a round on any subject, which means it's on you to make me understand your warrant purely from the speech itself. For example, even if I know what the warrant for something like gratuitous violence if I don't think your explanation completes a logical warrant chain on why gratuitous is an accurate description of relationships, I won't vote for you.
8)Prep stops when speech doc is sent.
9)Please have pre-flows ready when you get in the round so we can start immediately.
10)If you are hitting a novice, please don't do something like reading 5 off and making the round less of a learning experience and more of a public beat down. It just isn't necessary. I will give you higher speaks if you make the round somewhat more accessible (ie going slower, reading positions that they can attempt to engage in, etc).
11)The quickest way to LOSE my ballot is to say something offensive (racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc.)
Theory: I will default to “competing interpretations” unless told otherwise. I will not make any presumptions on the voter level of the debate. This includes the voter (fairness/education/etc.) and the implication (drop debater/argument). Failure to present arguments in favor of a voter and its implication is to present an unwarranted argument. Instead of doing the work for you, I will not evaluate the argument, and I will default to truth testing. This also means you should be extending your voter and its implication properly and in every speech. I am fine with frivolous theory if executed properly.
Update for NDCA/TOC 21: I believe that RVI is very illogical and non-sensical thus I will not vote on RVIs.
Kritiks: I like good K debate a lot. Your impacts must link into a framework. They could link into a normatively justified framework, or they could link into a pre-fiat role of the ballot. An NR containing a well explained, and well impacted K that doesn't forget about the case is a good thing. An NR containing a K you've never read the lit for is very frustrating. Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category. Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff.
Philosophy/FW: I really like a good framework debate. Please make all framework arguments comparative. I will default to truth testing unless told otherwise.
LARP/Policy Positions:I love judging good policy rounds. Copied from Yoakum's paradigm: "Unsure why I have to say this but DA are not an advocacy and if I hear the phrase "perm the DA" you immediately drop down to a 28. If you extend "perm the da" then you will drop to a 27." If you read a plan please read specific evidence instead of general util offense for the topic. I am kind of ambivalent towards the whole "are perms advocacies or tests of competition" debate. Regardless, you must articulate either why a perm is net beneficial or how the CP is not mutually exclusive from the aff (or, ideally, both). I WILL NOT VOTE ON A PERM THAT IS NOT EXPLAINED OR DOES NOT DELINEATE HOW THE PLAN AND CP ADVOCACIES ARE COMBINED. If you read a billion perms and its like: 1. perm do both 2. perm do the aff then the CP 3. here is an intrinsic perm, then I probs won't vote on any of them unless you EXPLAIN. For god sakes please weigh!!!
Tricks (Stole from Yoakum's paradigm): Alright, so you roll up into the room and you got this really tricked out case with 100 different a prioris, so many theory spikes that they are literally jumping off the page to fight for fairness, and the classic incontestable descriptive offense, and you are ready to win. I just have a couple of requests:
1. I want the spikes clearly delineated. None of that hidden theory spikes between substantive offense bs. I won't catch it, your opponent won't catch it, so it probably doesn't exist (like absolute moral truths).
2. Slow down a little for theory spikes.
3. If you extend an a priori, lean more towards the side of over explanation rather than under explanation. I have a high standard for extensions, so I need to understand a) why the a priori means you affirm/negate b)the claim, warrant, impact of the arg
4.Do not make tricks is the only thing you do, your speaks will suffer heavily.
K Affs:I don’t care whether you read a plan or not, but affs should have a specific tie to the resolution and be a departure from the status quo that is external from the reading of the 1AC. Impact turning framework is more strategic than counter-defining words or reading clever counter-interps, but you should have a clear model of debate and what the role of the negative is.
Framework:Affirmatives should have some relationship to the topic, even if not traditional endorsement or hypothetical implementation of a policy. At the bare minimum, affirmatives should "affirm" something. I am much less sympathetic to affirmatives that are purely negative arguments or diagnoses.Teams should have a robust defense of what their model of debate/argument looks like and what specific benefits it would produce.Teams tend to do better in front of me if they control the framing of what I should do with my ballot or what my ballot is capable of solving. Whether it signals endorsement of a particular advocacy, acts as a disincentive in a games-playing paradigm, or whatever else, my conclusion on what the ballot does often filters how I view every other argument. Teams tend to do better with me the more honest they are about what a given debate or ballot can accomplish."TVAs" can be helpful, but need to be specific. I expect the block to actually provide an example plan text. Solvency evidence is ideal, but warranted explanation for how the plan text connects to the aff's broader advocacy/impact framing can be sufficient. If the 2NR is going to sit on a TVA, be explicit about what offense you think the TVA accesses or resolves.
Policy v K: Don't lose the specificity of the aff in favor of generic K answers. Reading long framing contentions that fail to make it past the 1AC and 2ACs that include every generic K answer won't get you as far as taking the time to engage the K and being intentional about your evidence. You should clearly articulate an external impact and the framing for the round. I'm more likely to buy framework arguments about how advocating for a policy action is good politically and pedagogically than fairness arguments.
K v Policy:Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category. Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff. Make sure to tell me why the impacts of the K come first and weigh the impacts of the K against that of the alt. Absent serious investment in the framework portion of the debate/massive concessions, the aff will most likely get to weigh the aff's impacts against the K so impact comparison and framing is vital. Framework arguments should not only establish why the aff's framework is bad, but also establish what your framework is so that my ballot is more aligned more closely with your framework by the end of the debate. K's don't have to have an alt and you can kick out of the alt and go for the links as case turns.
K v K: Affs should have an advocacy statement and defend a departure from the status quo. Affs don't have to have a clear method coming out of the 1AC, although I am more likely to vote neg on presumption absent a method. I have a higher threshold for perms in debates where the aff doesn't defend a plan, but just saying "K affs don't get perms" isn't sufficient for me to deny the perm.
Policy v Policy: Nothing much to say here, but please weigh!!
T: I enjoy a good T debate and think T is very underutilized against policy affs. Make sure you are substantively engaging with the interpretation and standards and aren’t just blitzing through your blocks. I default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise.
CP:Explanation is crucial. I need to be able to understand how the CP operates. 2NCs/2NRs should start off with a quick overview of what the CP does. Blazing through this at top speed will not contribute to my understanding. Fine with you reading PICS
DA:Framing is everything: impact calculus, link driving uniqueness or vice-versa, the works. Smart arguments and coherent narratives trump a slew of evidence.
Theory: I love theory debate if executed properly. I will default to “competing interpretations” unless told otherwise.
I prefer line-by-line debate to big picture in summary, rebuttal, and final focus.I am fine with Policy/LD arguments in PF.
1) The only thing that needs to be in summary and final focus beside offense is terminal defense. Mitigatory defense and non-uniques are sticky because they matter a lot less and 2 minutes is way too short for a summary. BUT, if you do not extend terminal defense, it doesn't just go away; it just becomes mitigatory rather than terminal ie I will still evaluate risk of offense claims.
2)First summary only needs to extend the defense with which 2nd rebuttal interacts. Turns and case offense need to be explicitly extended by author/source name. Extend both the link and the impact of the arguments you go for in every speech (and uniqueness if there is any).
3)2nd Rebuttal should frontline all turns. Any turn not frontlined in 2nd rebuttal is conceded and has 100% strength of link -- dont try to respond in a later speech.
4)Every argument must have a warrant -- I have a very low threshold to frontlining blip storm rebuttals.
5) If you want me to evaluate an arg, it must be in BOTH summary and Final Focus.
6)I'm fine with progressive PF- I don't have a problem w plans or CPs. PFers have a hard time understanding how to make a CP competitive- please make perms if they aren't. Theory, Kritiks, and DAs are fine too. If you wanna see how I evaluate these, see my LD paradigm above.
7)You get a 1:15 grace period to find your PDF, and for every thirty seconds you go over, you will lose .5 speaker points. If you go over two minutes and thirty seconds, the PDF will be dropped from the round.
8)Please have a cut version of your cards; I will be annoyed if they are paraphrased with no cut version available because this is how teams so often get away with the misrepresentation of evidence which skews the round.
9)If you clear your opponent when I don't think it's necessary, I'll deduct 0.2 speaks each time it happens. Especially if there's a speech doc, you don't need to slow down unless I'm the one clearing you.
10)Because evidence ethics have become super iffy in PF, I will give you a full extra speaker point if you have disclosed all tags, cites, and text 15 mins before the round on the NDCA PF Wiki under your proper team, name, and side and show it to me. I would love for an email chain to start during the round with all cards on it.
I evaluate speaker points purely based on strategy and whether or not you actually listened and slowed down when I yelled clear.
Speaker points will be arbitrary, but I will try to be as consistent as I can be.
I am a traditional judge. I place a high value on the framework debate, specifically on values and value criterion. All contentions should link back to the framework, and voters should as well. Weigh your arguments as well. At the end of your final speeches, I expect to hear clear voters. If possible, do not spread. If you are, send me the doc. I do not judge many circuit rounds.
Sheryl Kaczmarek Lexington High School -- SherylKaz@gmail.com
I expect debaters to treat one another, their judges and any observers, with respect, and I also expect all audience members to treat every participant in a round with respect. If you plan to accuse your opponent(s) of being intellectually dishonest or of cheating, please be prepared to stake the round on that claim. Accusations of that sort are NOT JUST ARGUMENTS, they are round ending claims for me, one way or the other, so don't make the accusation in a speech if you don't want me to judge the round based on that argument alone, either for or against the person making the claim. I believe debate is an oral and aural experience, which means that while I want to be included on the email chain, I will NOT be reading along with you, and I will not give you credit for arguments I cannot hear/understand if you do not change your speaking after I shout clearer or louder for the second time. [Note for the Virtual World: I don't think judges shouting at debaters to be louder or clearer is a very good idea, so I may glance at a speech doc during CX or Prep Time for "big picture" assistance, should I find a debater especially hard to understand, but I will not read full speech docs to produce a flow.] I take the flow very seriously and I probably judge as much as anyone my age, across the disciplines, but I still need everyone to explain their arguments because I may not "know" all of the nuances for every topic in every event, and I should not judge on what I know anyhow. There is an exception: I will NOT vote for arguments that are racist, sexist or in any other way biased against a group based on gender identity, religion or any other characteristic and I will NOT vote for suicide/self harm alternatives. None of those are things I can endorse as a long time high school teacher and decent human.
The Resolution -- I would prefer that debaters actually address the resolution, but I do vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often. That is because it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.
Framework -- I often find that these debates get really messy really fast. Debaters tend to make too many arguments and tend not to answer the arguments of the opposition very clearly. I would prefer more direct clash, and fewer arguments overall. While I don't think framework arguments are as interesting as many other types of arguments in a debate, I will vote for the team which best promotes their vision of debate through their framework arguments, or at least look at the rest of the arguments in the round through that lens.
Links -- You should have them, for both Disads and Kritiks. I would really like to know what the affirmative has done to cause the impacts referenced in a Disad, and I think there has to be something the affirmative does (or thinks) which triggers a Kritik. I don't care how big the impact/implication is if the affirmative does not cause it in the first place.
Solvency -- I expect actual solvency advocates for both plans and counterplans. If you are going to have multi-plank plans or counterplans, make sure you have solvency advocates for those combinations of actions, and even if you are advocating a single action, I still expect some source that suggests this action as a solution for the problems you have identified with the SQ, or with the Affirmative (which is why your counterplan is better).
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly really annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part of the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy. I will try to follow you, but there is no guarantee I will succeed.
Old/Traditional Arguments -- I have been judging long enough that I have a full range of experiences with inherency, case specific disads, theoretical arguments against politics disads and many other arguments from policy debate's past, and I also understand the stock issues and traditional policy-making. If you want to really confuse your opponents, and amuse me, you'll kick it old school rather than going post-modern.
The Resolution -- The thing that originally attracted me about LD (as opposed to policy) was that debaters actually addressed the whole resolution. These days, that happens far less often in LD than it used to. I do like hearing the resolution debated, but I also vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often in LD. That is because I believe it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.
Framework -- I think LDers are better at framework debates than policy debaters, as a general rule, but I have noticed a trend to lazy framework debates in LD in recent years. How often should debaters recycle Winter and Leighton, for example, before looking for something new? If you want to stake the round on the framework you can, or you can allow it to be the lens through which I will look at the rest of the arguments in the round.
Policy Arguments in LD -- I understand all of the policy arguments that have migrated to LD quite well, and I remember when many of them were first developed in Policy. The biggest mistake LDers make with policy arguments -- Counterplans, Perm Theory, Topicality, Disads, Solvency, etc. -- is making the assumption that your particular interpretation of any of those arguments is the same as mine. Don't do that! If you don't explain something, I have no choice but to default to my understanding of that thing. For example, if you say, "Perm do Both," with no other words, I will interpret that to mean, "let's see if it is possible to do the Aff Plan and the Neg Counterplan at the same time, and if it is, the Counterplan goes away." If you mean something different, you need to tell me. That is true for all judges, but especially true for someone with over 40 years of policy experience. I try to keep what I think out of the round, but absent your thoughts, I have to use my own.
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly really annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part if the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy. I will try to follow you, but there is no guarantee I will succeed.
Traditional Arguments -- I would still be pleased to listen to cases with a Value Premise and a Criterion. I almost certainly prefer traditional arguments to new arguments that I cannot understand at full debate speed.
Theory -- Theory arguments are not magical, and theory arguments which are not fully explained, as they are being presented, are unlikely to be persuasive for me, particularly if presented in a paragraph, since there is no way of knowing which ones I won't notice or write down, and no one can write down all of the arguments in a densely packed theory paragraph. I also don't like theory arguments that are crafted for one particular debate. If it is not an argument that can be used in multiple debates (like topicality, conditionality, etc) then it probably ought not be run in front of me. New 1AR theory is risky, in my opinion, because the NR typically has more than enough time to answer it, and I don't especially like disclosure theory arguments because I am not in a position to judge what was done or said before a round, and because I am not at all sure I ought to be voting on things that happened before official speech or CX time begins. All of that being said, I have voted on theory, even new 1AR theory, and disclosure theory, if a debater WINS the argument, but it does not make me smile.
The Resolution -- PF still debates the resolution, which is one of the things I really like about the activity. Please make sure you do debate the resolution when debating in front of me. It would be best if the Final Focus on each side attempted to guide me to either endorse or reject the resolution.
Framework -- This is beginning to be a thing in PF in some places. I am perfectly willing to consider a lens through which I can look at the arguments in the debate, but given the time limits, please keep your framework simple and focused, should you decide to use one.
Policy or LD Behaviors/Arguments in PF -- I personally believe each form of debate ought to be its own thing. I do not want you to talk quickly in PF, just because I also judge LD and Policy, and I really don't want to see theory arguments, plans, counterplans or kritiks in PF. I will definitely flow, and will judge the debate based on the flow, but I want PF to be PF. That being said, I will not automatically vote against a team that brings Policy/LD arguments/stylistic approaches into PF. It is still a debate and the opposition needs to answer the arguments that are presented in order to win my ballot, even if they are arguments I don't want to see in PF.
Paraphrasing -- I really wish the NSDA had decided to kill paraphrasing in PF. When someone paraphrases inaccurately, I have a huge problem with it. I expect debaters to be able to immediately access the text of the cards they have paraphrased -- there should not need to be an off time search for the article, or for the exact place in the article where they drew their paraphrasing from. Taking a 150 page article and making a claim from it is not paraphrasing unless you can point to the exact place your statement is based upon.
Evidence -- If you are using evidence, I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is unacceptable. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part you card you read needs to say extinction will happen. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
Theory -- This has begun to be a thing in PF in some places, especially with respect to disclosure theory, and I am not a fan. As previously noted, I want PF to be PF. While I do think that PFers can be too secretive (for example, getting excited because people are watching their debates -- debates are educational and should be open to observers) I don't think that PFers ought to be expending their very limited time in rounds talking about whether they ought to have disclosed their case to their opponents before the round. Like everything else I would prefer not be true, I can see myself voting on theory in PF because I do vote based on the flow, but how about debating the case in front of you, instead of inventing new arguments you don't really have time to discuss? I would like that, and happy judges give better speaker points.
2021 NSD camp tourney: Haven't really listened to spreading since February. Maybe go 65-70% of your top speed? I know everyone says this, but I am really really rusty rn and I promise I just want to understand what you're saying so I can render a useful and accurate decision :)
Last major update: 3/28/21 post-season overhaul
Conflicts: Edina HS, Minnetonka HS
email@example.com - put me on the email chain, no I don't flow off the doc
Background: 4 years of high school LD, 2 on the national circuit. Competed in outrounds at bid tournaments and NSDA nationals, 1 career bid. In my second year of coaching LD at Edina HS and competing in NPDA parli (think extemp policy) at the University of Minnesota.
1] There's no reason you should be late to an online debate round - if you're not in the call by the start time I will deduct speaks absent tech issues or something of that nature - I want to start rounds on time.
2] Record all of your speeches. If someone drops the call complete the speech and then send the recording. You don't get to restart speeches under any circumstance.
3] 75% speed maximum. I cannot understand you (yes, you) if you are spreading full speed over Zoom, and you won't be happy with my decision if I'm missing arguments.
General thoughts (all debate formats)
1] As a judge my general philosophy is to minimize intervention - this means that I will try to find the path of least intervention to a ballot for either side. I won't fill in background information for either debater, and I will try to minimize the effects of my personal opinions on the decision. However, no judge is truly a blank slate, and you should view the rest of my paradigm as descriptions of the biases I hold about debate and the approach to debate that I will bring to the table at the start of the round.
2] Every argument requires a claim, warrant, and an impact. A dropped argument is true in the context of the round, but a dropped claim is not.
3] I will vote on any implicated argument with the obvious exception of any argument that is racist or violent in any other way.
4] Debate is fundamentally about comparison - this means you should be doing robustly justified weighing along with comparison of warrants, evidence quality, etc. A rebuttal without a single comparative statement is never a good sign for speaks. I find that the most common cases where debaters complain about judge intervention is when there are unresolved comparisons in the round, whether it's at the link or impact level, and you can make my job easier by doing this work explicitly in your speech.
5] Accessibility is a priority for me - if I think you are being violent in a way that is impeding someone else in the round's access to this space, I will drop you regardless of the flow. This means you should do things like reading trigger warnings and using your opponent's correct pronouns.
1] Evidence practices in LD are absolutely atrocious right now, and I will drop you if I notice your evidence is miscut, regardless of whether your opponent points it out or not. Miscut evidence includes, but is not limited to, inaccurate citations, omitted text in the card, changing text in the card and cutting the card in a way that misrepresents the source material. You are responsible for the evidence you introduce into round. If a debater calls an evidence ethics challenge, the round ends, and I will vote for whoever wins the challenge.
2] My ideal LD round involves clash about the topic between two well researched opponents, and I dislike strategies that skirt engagement and clash.
3] Sandbagging is bad and the 2NR is not a constructive speech. Reading 8 incomplete positions in the 1NC and blowing one up for 6 minutes in the rebuttal is not a winning strategy in front of me - I actively patrol my flow for new 2NR arguments.
4] K affs: cool, I read them in high school, but I often find myself on the framework side of the debate in college. I don’t care whether you’re topical or not, but you should have a clear explanation of how your advocacy functions and be prepared to defend what you did. In clash debates, I tend to vote affirmative when the aff presents a robust defense of an alternative model of debate that is net better than the negative’s, and when the neg doesn’t beat back thesis level claims in the aff that interact with their standards. I tend to vote negative when the neg engages with the case page and beats back the aff’s theory of power, uses smart defense (ex. TVA/SSD) to scoop the counter interp’s offense or when the aff mishandles the standards level of the framework debate or relies more on overviews than doing the line by line. In practice, this looks like close to a 50/50 voting record in K aff vs. framework rounds.
5] I think theory is generally overused in LD. There’s almost always a more strategic option than a spec shell. Reasonability is criminally under utilized. It will be difficult to get me to vote on an RVI. I don't care that affirming is harder.
6] Tricks: I tend not to vote on these because they are almost always unwarranted in the constructive and rely on sandbagging, or they genuinely just don’t make sense to me on a warrant level. My threshold is low for responses to tricks, and it’s pretty much always more strategic to read a position with like, actual warrants. I have never voted on, and cannot foresee myself voting on any of the following: permissibility affirms, tacit ballot conditional, the resolved a priori or indexicals and I will always evaluate every speech in the debate.
I graduated from Harvard-Westlake in 2020 and attend Wesleyan now. As a debater, I qualified to the LD TOC 3x and exclusively read policy arguments and Ks. I also participated in one policy tournament with the marvelous Jessa Glassman.
Please put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other people with whom I am ideologically aligned: Jasmine Stidham, Scott Phillips, Indu Pandey, and Jessa Glassman.
Most of my thoughts on this paradigm are not stringent requirements that I will enforce during the round but rather things that will make me happy. Ultimately, all that I ask is that your arguments have a claim, warrant, and impact... I will disregard arguments without all three of these.
II. THE MOST IMPORTANT STUFF (just read this if pressed for time)
1. ONLINE DEBATE IS REALLY WEIRD. Please record your speeches, so that if someone cuts out of the call you can send them the file instead of doing your speech over again. Please go slower than usual, ESPECIALLY on T and theory. Also, please come to the round on time....
2. Debate is about arguments and ideas, not about people. I will be uncomfortable if you deride your opponent by making ad hominem attacks or being otherwise disrespectful. This is especially important since your competitor is a child, and so are you.
3. You should make intuitive and intelligent arguments as opposed to intentionally illogical ones. Tricks, frivolous theory, and even certain K arguments strike me as antithetical to the purpose of this activity. Insisting that an argument is true or a voting issue does not mean it actually is.
4. Make weighing arguments, or I will be devastated. So will you upon viewing your speaker points.
5. Don’t read an arbitrary role of the ballot. Although I won’t punish you for reading one (provided that it’s not ridiculous), I think ROBs/ROJs/standards/value criterions are often unnecessary. What’s the point of adding a sentence that explains in a worse way what a bunch of academics just said? (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make framing arguments. You should! They just shouldn’t be reductive.)
6. As the wise Vishan says in his paradigm, "If a debater claims their opponent committed an evidence ethics violation, such as clipping, they will stake the debate on that claim. If there’s proof that the accused the debater clipped, they get an L and the lowest points I can give. If the opposing debater did not clip, the accusing party gets an L and the lowest points I can give."
7. This should go without saying, but don’t be discriminatory.
III. POLICY ARGUMENTS
2. I’d prefer actually good evidence as opposed to clever spin.
3. Impact calc is key, as is evidence comparison. A policy debate without one or both of these is likely irresolvable.
1. If well-executed, K debates are fun and cool. If not, these are the worst debates possible. Seriously.
2. Please have good links. I don’t like the generic links made on arguments like psychoanalysis or Baudrillard that say, “Oh, the AFF doesn’t actually do anything because fiat is fake. LOL!” This is not interesting to me. You should pull lines from the AFF and be super specific instead!
4. Resist the temptation to repeat a ton of philosophical buzzwords in your speeches. Here’s a good rule of thumb when going for a K in the 2NR: speak as though you’re sharing your thoughts in a humanities class. Many K authors intentionally fill their papers with dense language, which is a bad practice to mimic when participating in an activity centered on coherent dialogues. You should articulate what confusing concepts such as the hyperreal, libidinal economy, or the symbolic order actually mean instead of just saying these terms!
5. The alternative should be implementable and not an ambiguous amorphous concept that somehow solves every problem. This does NOT mean the alternative has to prescribe a legislative solution to resolve the links. Similarly, the AFF should explain what a perm does and why it’s beneficial.
6. Be technical -- no 3 min overviews
7. I think gender, race or other Ks against analytic philosophies are incredibly convincing. However, I think there are more nuanced links to make than “Kant was a bad person” especially if Kant hasn’t been directly read.
8. Continental philosophy/critical theory is SUPER interesting. However, I think that most K debaters distort the original meanings of these texts beyond recognition in order to make strange, contrived links to the affirmative. Please avoid the temptation to do so and instead just be realistic and demonstrate to me that you have a firm enough understanding of what you’re reading.
V. T (INCLUDING FRAMEWORK)
1. I tend to believe that debaters should defend the topic. I’ll happily judge a K AFF, but I’d prefer if it was at least slightly in its direction. You should be able to prove the AFF produces a positive change within debate or the world. I’m more likely to vote on framework against a case that labels the world/debate as inherently flawed without mentioning the resolution or being at least somewhat in its direction.
2. I’m fine with T against policy AFFs, but I don’t find it super interesting. I probably went for it once throughout 10th-12th grade. This doesn’t mean I will punish you for reading/going for T, especially if it is imperative that you do so.
3. the 1NC need not spend more than 15 seconds justifying things like competing interps or drop the debater
4. RVIs are not a thing on T
5. Comparing framework to policing or genocide is an unconvincing K against framework. You should know your case well enough to make more substantive and nuanced arguments against framework.
6. SLOW DOWN ON ANALYTICS AND INTERPS
1. Bad theory arguments are like tricks… unexciting and academically bankrupt. I consider good theory arguments to be: condo bad, PICs bad, agent CPs bad and other arguments in this direction. I consider bad theory arguments to be: shoes theory, AFC, cannot read extinction impacts and other shells of this sort.
2. The only CP theory argument that I really think is a reason to drop the debater is condo. I can be convinced on others but don’t think something like PICs being bad or agent CPs being bad is inherently a reason to vote AFF.
3. ROB spec, must read ROB, normative ethics spec, etc. = bad. I’d probably only vote on these arguments if ENTIRELY conceded.
4. Quick note about disclosure theory: it can quickly become silly when it’s transformed into “must disclose all round reports on wiki” or “must disclose 45 minutes before the round as opposed to 20” because I frankly just don’t care unless their disclosure practices are verifiably abhorrent.
5. Don’t read theory just to read theory. Thank you
6. I will not flow arguments that tell me to "evaluate X argument after Y speech."
1. I don’t get the arbitrary distinction between Ks and phil NCs in LD — they’re incredibly similar given they both heavily center around philosophy. Thus, all of my thoughts on Ks apply here. Avoid overrelying on buzzwords to explain your arguments, deconstruct the core concepts of the theory you’re defending, etc.
2. Phil debates would be much better if they were separated from nonsense tricks.
3. There is a time and place for everything, including phil NCs. Reading phil just cuz deeply frustrates me, as I find many contention-level arguments to be silly and tangentially related to the philosophy at hand. If you only have a sentence-long analytic contention, you shouldn’t be reading the NC.
4. Ultimately, I am very fascinated by the existential, big-picture questions with which analytic philosophers contend. However, I think phil NCs do an incredibly bad job of connecting those questions to the AFF or even just explaining them. If you can demonstrate to me that this isn't true, I will be super impressed!
I look forward to the round!
Kyle Kopf (He/Him/His)
West Des Moines Valley High School ‘18 University of Iowa ‘22
I want to be on the email chain (but I do my best to not flow off of it): email@example.com
Conflicts: Iowa City West High School, West Des Moines Valley High School
Bio: I debated LD for Six Years. Received one bid my junior year and 3 my senior year. I taught at NSD Flagship and NSD Philadelphia in 2018.
-Please speak at like 60-70% of your top pace (UPDATE: I am very bad at flowing online, I'll be much more likely to catch your arguments and therefore vote for you if you actually slow and don't rely on me shouting "slow" or "clear" a lot) Also, slow down extra on underviews and theory because I'm extra bad at flowing those.
-Please keep a local recording in case your speech cuts out to the point where I miss arguments. If you do not there is no way for me to recover what was missed.
-I find myself flowing off the doc more with online debate than I do normally, but I still do my best to not flow off of it
-If you think there are better norms for judging online I should consider, feel free to share before the round!
I won’t automatically ignore any style of argument (Phil, Theory, K, LARP, T, etc), I will only drop you for offensive arguments within that style (for example, using LARP to say racism is good). That being said, I am more familiar with certain styles of arguments, but that does not mean I will hack for them. Shortcut for my familiarity with styles:
K – 1
Theory/T – 2/3
Phil – 2/3
Tricks – 3/4
LARP – 5
Based on strategy, quality of discourse, fun, creativity etc. NOT based on speaking style. I will shout “clear” as needed without reducing speaks.
Don’t start speech at top speed, build up to it for like 10 seconds. Slow down significantly on author names and theory underviews (I'm bad at flowing these).
SPEECH IMPEDIMENTS, PRONOUNS, ETC:
I've stuttered for my entire life, including the 6 years I was in debate. Speech impediments will not impact speaks or my evaluation of the round whatsoever. I default shouting “clear” if needed (I always preferred being told to clear than losing because the judge didn’t understand me) so please tell me if you prefer otherwise.
If there is anything else related to identity or anything else that might affect the round, please let me know if you feel comfortable doing so. Even if it doesn’t affect debate but you just want to talk still feel free to let me know! :)
This is what I primarily read in high school. I’m familiar with K strategy, K tricks (floating PICs need to be in some way hinted at in the 1N), etc. I enjoy seeing a K executed well.
I read some theory although significantly less than Ks. People read T against me very often, so I am familiar with that too. I think the strategy behind Theory/T and the tech of Theory/T is cool and fun to watch. Assuming literally no argument is made either way, I default:
- No RVI
- Competing Interps
- Drop the argument on theory
- Drop the debater on T
- Text of interp
- Norms creation model
- “Converse of the interp” is sufficient
I went to Valley, so I started out reading phil. I enjoy the nuance of framework debate, especially related to competing moral theories.
I never read tricks and I haven’t seen them in action too much, but I will still evaluate them like any other argument. I think tricks are often very fun, so I’d enjoy seeing them in debate.
I never LARPed and I rarely engaged in the LARP debate, but I will also evaluate it like any other argument. I think the depth and applicability of LARP makes it enjoyable to watch.
I think post rounding is a good norm for debate to encourage good judging, preventing hacking, etc. Always feel free to postround me. I'll be VERY strict about starting the next flight/round, allowing debaters to be on time, etc but feel free to find me or email me later (email at top).
*If you're kicking a CP or K, you need to explicitly say "kick the CP/K", not extending is not sufficient to kick
*All arguments must have some sort of warrant. The warrant doesn’t have to be good or true
*if an argument is new in the 2, I will disregard it even if it’s not pointed out. To clarify, you still should point it out in case I missed it.
*I won’t evaluate embedded clash unless an argument is made as for why I should.
Hello! My name is Michael Kurian and I did Natcircuit LD for 2 years at Dulles High School in Houston, TX.
I had 5 career bids and qualled to the TOC as a junior and senior. I also did a bit of policy as a senior and qualled to NSDA in CX.
Yes, email chain me friends:
Do whatever you want, some things tho
1. I will say clear and slow if you're incoherent
2. I dislike theory when frivolous (you know what "frivolous" means) but will vote on it. This means yes, I will vote on it, but I give the opposing side a shit ton of leeway. If the aff makes a shitty I meet or has marginal offense on a really dumb shell like "Link chains bad" I will err that way. I like theory when strategic, but LOVE it when there is legit especially if you use creative interps or good combo shells. My favorite theory shell is O-Spec :)
3. Lets say you read a dump of some kind and you don't flash the arguments to the room. If your opponent asks you to flash them during CX or prep, you will do so. Otherwise, I will eviscerate your speaks.
4. You're allowed to be a jerk proportionally to the amount of foolery going on in the debate
ex. If the aff has 3 NIBS, you can be a little mad. If the 1NC is racism good, you can be furious etc.
5. I dislike partial disclosure shells ie. "Must disclose Plan Text of new aff, must open source, etc."; Disclosure is simple - if you've read it, disclose it. All of it. If you haven't broken it yet, you don't owe your opponent jack. You can give them the ROB text or the plan text if you're feeling benevolent.
*****I will NOT vote on ****
1) Brackets theory
2) Font theory
3) Arguments that are explicitly homophobic, racist, or otherwise bigoted.
4) Evaluate the debate at X speech (no - I will eval the whole debate regardless)
5) New affs bad
6) Arguments that exclusively link to your opponents/your identity without structural warrents- ex. "White ppl should lose", "vote for me cuz im X minority group"
7) Must Disclose Round Reports
This is the form of debate that I did the most in high school. I will probably understand your insane postmodern nonsense as long as you understand it enough to explain the application back to me. Race and Id pol Ks are cool - ive changed my mind on them - i actively like them now.
1) Link work - really important.
2) Alternative explanation - I have a somewhat low threshold; I'll assume it solves case and the K's links unless that is contested by the Affirmative
3) WEIGH with the ROLE of the BALLOT - tell me why your pedagogy is important, why it belongs in debate, and how we can use it to derive the best form of praxis. If you aren't doing these things, you will probably lose to a more intuitive RoB.
Things I don't like but will still vote on:
1) Kritikal presumption arguments
2) Links of Ommission
3) Lazy, overused link arguments
4) edgy jargon that stays edgy jargon (explain ur stuff at SOME point at least)
Love it, think its cool and underused.
Do lots of weighing and explain why your framework resolves meta-ethical problems -- Infinite regress, Constitutivism, Actor spec. etc. If not, tell me why it should be preferred over another framework. I don't like particularism (or rather I like it as an ethical theory, but think it is weird when used in debate); my favorite frameworks to hear are Pragmatism and Virtue Ethics.
I prob went for a DA 2 times in my entire career lol. Just do weighing and warrant comparison. It's a relatively intuitive debate style and if it doesn't seem so, I'm not one to say, but you might be doing it wrong. I'm a sucker for good IR analysis. If you understand how States function in relation to eachother and can use concrete examples in explanations I'll be persuaded and also boost your speaks.
Weigh. Make good arguments or make really creative bad arguments. Failure to do either will make me sad.
On the Theory vs K debate:
1. If the AC references the topic heavily, is strongly in the direction of the topic, defends implementation, and/or in some other way grants you your topic ground, don't whine and call me a K-hack when I err aff against whatever shell you read. If they're doing everything within reason to grant you your prep, and I still hear 9+ mins of crying in the 1NC and 2N about how you have LITERALLY ZERO GROUND™ I'm going to be much more likely to vote the other way. That being said, if you genuinely feel like the aff is out of the range of the topic or is straight up non-T, go for T, or T - Framework, and go as hard as you want.
2. Reading disclosure against K affs is a good strat.
3. This shit is so boring literally everyone hates this debate, so make it interesting. Have good TVAs, and do actual analysis; policy-good dumps are dry af.
4. The "small schools can't access Ks" argument is objectively false and one of the dumbest args to ever become popular - don't make it in front of me unless you have a spectacular warrant.
5. SPECIAL NOTE ON TVAs - I have a very high threshhold for TVAs because I think 99% of the time, the position that the neg argues is a TVA is actually very different from the aff. In other words, I usually have a hard time understanding why a TVA is actually a TVA instead of a topical aff that somewhat resembles the actual 1AC. If you're reading the K aff, just make arguments for why the TVA misses out on a benefit that the aff proper possesses, and if you're negating and going for the TVA make arguments for why the TVA subsumes the aff or has other benefits which outweigh.
I just evaluate it the same way I would a bs-heavy theory or framework debate, which lets be honest, is what this is.
Paradoxes, Aprioris, and presumption/skep triggers are all fine.
Things I'll boost your speaks for:
Naruto Reference in speech: +.1
Dressing like you don't give a shit: +.1
Cool Affirmatives: +.3
Solid Collapsing: +.5
Creative arguments: +.2
30: straight fire
29.5-29.9: ur fire
28.6 - 29.4: You good
26.1-27: big oof
25.1-26: go to church dude lol
25: f you
Hi. I did LD at Westwood High School for four years. Put me on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Affiliations: Westwood, Bishop's AC, Bishop's SR, Oxford VM, Roeper RL, Irvington SS
Updated Things are in Bold
LARP - 1
Theory/T - 1
K - 2-3 (depends on how dense the lit is)
Phil - 2-3 (depends on how dense the lit is)
Tricks - 4-Strike
I'm just gonna summarize paradigm in a few points up here since I realize how length the paradigm has gotten and might not be beneficial for people reading it right before rounds.
0] I am comfortable judging policy-style debates and T/theory debates, though the worse the shell gets, the more unhappy I am. I am comfortable judging phil and kritik debates if they don't get too advanced for my brain (pomo, Baudrillard, existentialism, etc.). I am not comfortable judging tricks debates, and though I will still evaluate those debates, I have great distaste in that debate and my threshold/understanding of those arguments is much lower than other arguments.
1] I agree with Rodrigo Paramo on evidence ethics and trigger warnings. Detailed specifics for ev ethics is below as well.
2] I think tricks args operate on a sliding scale; I think some tricks are worse than others. For example, calc indicts are fine whereas "evaluate the debate after the 1AC" is horrendous. Likewise I also think indexicals and tacit ballot conditional are horrendous arguments for debate. If you're not sure whether an argument is too tricky to read in front of me, err on the side of caution, or just email me pre-round.
3] I believe in open-source disclosure. I think most disclosure arguments that go beyond this are bad (contact info, round reports, actual tournament name, etc.).
4] I give speaks based on how far I believe your performance would get you at the tournament I'm judging at. I currently average a 28.47 for this year. Yes I will disclose speaks if requested.
5] I require much more explanation for arguments than you think I do. Many 2AR's that I've judged go for a 3-second argument in the 1AR that I did not catch/have an understanding for, and many 2NR's that I've judged blitz through overviews of the theory of power/philosophical position that I cannot keep up with. Either slow down or be clearer in explanations.
I feel the need to clarify my views on evidence ethics and the like. I perceive the following to be cheating (or check Rodrigo's paradigm):
- Cards starting or ending in the middle of a paragraph, or leaving paragraphs out (yes this includes the "they continue" stuff
- Miscutting evidence
- Misrepresenting the date of evidence
I will intervene if I notice any of these, or if a debater points this out, even if they do not making it a voting issue, I will evaluate the legitimacy of this claim and decide then if I will vote you down. If I consider it cheating I have no problem handing out a loss 25.
(other stuff from this year)
- Things aren't as obvious to me in phil debates as you think they are. I don't know why ideal theory matters most of the time as an example, as well as certain justifications on either consequentialist or other arguments. I need this stuff flagged if you think it's going to be on my ballot.
- I hate when the 2NR goes for T and something else... why isn't the 2NR just 6 minutes of Topicality? 9 times out of 10 the 2NR doesn't cover something as well as it should and goes for some substance argument... which is irritating
- PLEASE SLOWER - I can't handle you blitzing through unsent analytics, either send or slow down
- I think I'm gonna start holding ballot until after I give my RFD. Asking questions after RFD is good but being rude to me is not, so I'll dock speaks if you're just being rude and not trying to improve.
0] Slow down please, I'm getting too old to flow top-speed spreading over online debate
1] I feel comfortable with my RFD being, “idk what’s going on” if I don’t understand whatever high theory or weird phil you’re reading. I tend to not process complicated literature very well, so you should treat me like I’m a child and over-explain whatever you’re reading. This extends way past just weird K's or NC's. Most of my RFD's tend to be this since debaters' explanations of args they go for tend to be poor. I will not vote for an arg I can't explain to the other debater. This also tends to happen when debaters don't collapse and go for multiple args in either the 2NR or 2AR.
2] I’m pretty expressive and will make faces if I like or not like something. If my eyes get even more squinty than they already are, then that's a sign.
3] Go slow on tags or analytics, especially on theory/T, analytic frameworks, or underviews. If I miss some arg because you blitzed through it at top speed, don't be surprised if I don't vote on it
4] Accusations of clipping or any other form of cheating stops the round. I’ll decide if said clipping/cheating did occur; if the accuser is right, the other team loses with minimum speaks, and if the accuser is wrong, the accuser loses with minimum speaks.
5] I share many beliefs with Jugal Amodwala, Dhruva Mambapoor, Rishabh Shah, Rohith Mandavilli, Abby Grifno, Rodrigo Paramo, and Morgan Grosch.
6] Tech over truth unless an argument is so obviously bad I won’t vote on it (racism is good).
7] If you’re hitting a novice, you don’t need to go full speed and read 5 off. Doing so will probably lower speaks
8] Do not completely alter the way you debate based on this paradigm. I’d rather see you go for a high theory kritik well than do a larp debate horribly.
9] I agree with Rodrigo Paramo on trigger warnings and evidence ethics. I am very thorough if I check for evidence ethics. I will ask if you've read every card in the doc, and/or if you've marked any cards. If you give me an answer that is inconsistent to what I've concluded from following the doc, I will vote you down. I'll give this explanation in my RFD. Stop sending coaches to me wondering why I gave you an L 25, I am very detailed.
To further clarify: I do check for clipping if I suspect it, and will only vote on clipping if I'm 100% sure a card has been clipped. I do not actively check for things such as miscut cards, but if a debater points it out and I notice it, I will vote on it.
10] Weighing HAS to be comparative and specific instead of generic and categorical. Saying x arg is an independent voter and therefore outweighs everything else is unlikely to persuade me.
11] I don't want to hear args meant to call out or attack a debater's school, coaches, teammates, etc. This is just weird and uncomfortable to listen to.
12] Update for online debate: debaters should have a local recording of their speeches ready in case they get cut off. Debaters should complete their speech if this happens and email the recording afterwards. Also just slow down a little bit in general.
13] If you ask me to evaluate the debate after x speech, I will evaluate the debate right after you make said arg. Shouldn't be too hard to guess how low your speaks are either.
I give speaks based on how far I think you’ll get at the tournament. For reference:
30 - you're winning the tourney
29.5-29.9 - you'll be in late elims
29-29.4 - you'll break
28.5-28.9 - on the bubble
28-28.4 - even record
27.5-27.9 - negative record
Anything lower means you ruined my day.
Efficiency and strategy are important
You shouldn’t be too fast for me as long as you’re clear
I’m more impressed by slow and efficient debaters
I've learned that I award speaks for being nice and dock speaks for being an jerk. I also tend to boost/dock by quite a bit.
My average speaks for 2019-2020 are 28.49.
Here's my averages for 2020-21 season:
Greenhill RR: 28.73
Nano Nagle: 28.42
The Tradition: 28.56
Isidore Newman: 27.9
St. Mark's: 28.56
TFA State: 28.76
Kandi King RR: 28.45
I think disclosure is amazing and will heavily lean towards voting on disclosure theory. My tendency to vote on disclosure theory slightly goes down the more planks get added (full-text, open-source, etc.) but I’m still very in favor of open source disclosure.
Don't read disclosure against novices or people who have no idea what the wiki is
Violations need a screenshot in the doc with a timestamp.
My favorite type of debate, I’m pretty comfortable judging these types of debates
Solvency advocates are important, more so for plans, less so for counterplans
Good evidence matters, especially on big-stick DA’s and I’m willing to look at evidence post-round
Please weigh, makes my life easier
I am pretty bad at keeping up with politics. If you do read a PTX DA, don't assume I know everything
The more creative you get the better
To clarify the pref shortcut, I should be a fine judge for you if you're reading
- Settler Colonialism
- Simple Stuff (Biopower, Discourse K's, etc.)
I should be be a pretty bad judge for you if you're reading anything more complex than that. That includes, but is not limited to,
- Queer theory
- Anything high theory
I have a very basic understanding of most of the literature, don't assume I know your lit base
The more dense your kritik is the more likely I am to not understand it and vote you down. That burden is on you to explain to me and I have no problem with my RFD being "I don't understand the 1NC."
I get very confused when debaters read long overviews off a doc and don't contextualize any args to ones on the flow. Reading overviews are fine, just use your brain now and then to interact args.
Specific links are better
Framing also important
Floating PIKs should be explained instead of just saying they're floating PIKs, and there should probably be some hint of it before the 2NR
Knock yourself out, I got into this my senior year
I might have a slight tendency towards T - framework, but I can see myself voting either way
Be creative pls, specific arguments are better
Go for it as long as it doesn’t endanger someone else
One of my favorite types of debate
The worse and more frivolous the shell is, the less willing I am to vote for it, the better of an abuse story you'll have to give me, and the worse speaks you’ll get.
I default drop the debater, competing interps, no RVI’s, and text of the interp, but all of these are super easy to change. These are also likely to lean more towards drop the arg, reasonability, RVI's, and spirit of the interp the more frivolous your shell is.
The messier, larger, and more complicated theory debate gets, the harder it is for me to resolve and keep up with. Therefore, it would benefit you not to have, for instance, 5 theory shells in your debate, or slow down and not blitz analytics at your top speed.
Things I consider tricks are:
- A priori's
- Really really really bad theory shells (contact info theory, font size theory, shoes theory, and the like)
I've become more open to these args but I will only vote on things like a priori's or other shenanigans if I have nothing else to vote on, and I'll still dock speaks quite a bit.
To clarify the pref shortcut, I'm a fine judge for you if you're reading
- Virtue Ethics
If you're reading anything else, chances are I won't understand you and you'll have to spend extra energy explaining to me,
I need explanation on whatever syllogism you plan on giving me
I love util
I don't default epistemic modesty/confidence, you do that for me
Hi, I’m Gabby! (they/them)
I debated for 4 years at All Saints in Tyler. Please put me on the email chain. My email is email@example.com
I go to the University of Houston now where I do policy debate with Patrick and am majoring in biomedical engineering.
UPDATE FOR E-DEBATE: I kinda suck at flowing lol. Maybe it's something about that 420p mic quality that really makes my ears scream. Please keep a local recording of your speeches in case of tech issues. Also, make it clear where and when you’re extending arguments. PREP TIME ENDS WHEN YOU SEND THE DOC. DON'T FINISH COMPILING, THEN STOP PREP TO SEND THE DOC. I am impatient :(
In general tech>truth, run what you want, but I will not vote on an argument that I don’t understand. I don’t like doc-botting (not the same as having some pre-written extensions). Please contextualize arguments. Voters are greatly appreciated. Don’t call me ma’am. Judge is awkward but fine. Just call me Gabby or something. Feel free to email or Facebook message me after the round with any more questions. If I find that you're clipping in your speech you get an automatic L20 and I'm telling tab >:(
I have a horrible poker face. Watch my non-verbals. I have hearing problems so you should be clear, start slowwwww then speed up but don’t go more than 80%. S I G N P O S T. I will not cross apply arguments for you. Tell me where to flow things. I’ll vote on almost anything as long as it’s warranted/impacted well and isn’t morally repugnant. I’ll vote on like cap or death (not in a personal sense) good but not any oppression good args. Presumption goes to the side with the least change. CX is binding. Don’t try to convince me it isn’t. Stop telling me to judge kick arguments please it's too much thinking and my brain is small.
Overall: S U B S T A N C E P L S. If you’re going to run something you think I won’t understand then err on the side of over-explaining or else I probably won’t vote for it. EXTEND WARRANTS. I WON'T EXTEND ARGUMENTS FOR YOU. I generally don't vote on new arguments made after the 1AR but I can be convinced to make exceptions.
Phil: oOooOoo. I mostly did this. Don’t assume I know what the white guy you’re talking about is saying. I probably understand Kant the most. Always loved me some Mouffe. Rawls is cool but kinda cringe. You should put turns on the contention. Independent voters (Kant is Racist!) need warrants and implications. Please don't make me vote on "induction fails" because I will if you reallllly sell it but you'll probably end up with an LPW.
LARP/Policy: Did a lot of this debate and I think you should too. Use normal/simple jargon (uq, links, etc.) I still don't understand sufficiency framing tho lol. Zero risk is possible especially if you don’t read a complete link chain. Can you even quantify this stuff otherwise? Idk. If you say uniqueness controls the directionality of the link I will laugh at you. Be efficient. Wacky impact d (mushrooms, bubbles, etc) on case is funny and I like it. Reading it will probably bump your speaks. Smart analytic advantage counterplans are cool. Solvency advocates are cooler.
T/Theory: UPDATE- Please don't make me have to sort through more than 3 shells in a single round. I have a high threshold for voting on "new affs bad" and I EVALUATE DEBATES AT THE END OF THE ROUND GOD DAMNIT. I'm dropping speaks if you read "eval the debate after x speech that isn't the 2ar." Make the abuse story clear. Spikes are fine. Tricks are less fine. If indexicals are true then I evaluate debates under the index that they're not real arguments that can win you the round. I'll vote on frivolous theory but I DO NOT WANT TO. I will not vote on theory args about your opponent’s appearance or clothing. I’ll end up going truth>tech if you annoy me with too many shells. I default competing interps and drop the argument, but if you warrant reasonability and/or drop the debater better than your opponent, then that’s the way I’ll evaluate the shell. I'll vote on paragraph theory if you're clear enough for me to flow it.
Mini Note on Framework/Clash Debates: Being topical is probably good I guess. Negation theory is true. I like "semi-topical" K affs that show how much you've researched/worked. All these debates I’ve judged have been hella boring. Make it funky, make it fresh PLS. I’m not good at flowing lots of little arguments in these types of debates so you have to be very clear/slow down and sometimes you really just gotta persuade me. I usually think you have a better shot going for K/case in these debates if you're a 2+ off team, but you do you.
K: Tasty. Pat and I are a K team now but he’s the 2N so uhhh let that guide your decisions. Don’t have a 4 min long overview and then explain again on the line by line. Pick one, preferably the second. Don’t use big words to explain big words. Use little words. I’m dummy. From what I’ve gathered, affect is the ~vibes~ so maybe I’m not the best for the gooey-est of pomo debates. Role of the ballot debates feel more like a role of the buzzword competition. These debates tend to be incredibly irresolvable and still don't give me much of a direction in terms of how the ballot functions (is it an endorsement of a research model? why do you want the ballot?) I will be highly skeptical of you reading an identity-based K and not being that identity. I won’t auto drop you but I probably won’t think it’s a very good debate if you say self abolition 20 times. Make sure the alt resolves the link or I’ll vote aff on presumption. Floating PIKs don’t make that much sense outside of technical offense but if you really sell it I’ll vote on it. Don’t be sketchy about them in CX. Tell me why the link being a disad to the aff even matters. Perms need warrants and implications/net benefits. Low key most Ks are just CPs with multi-actor fiat but that’s just my hot take.
Performances: I think these are pretty neat. Please contact me if the content might be triggering in any way or talk explicitly about queer/trans experiences. Have a theory of power. Explain your method. If you’re playing music or have background noises make sure it’s not too loud.
Tech>Truth. Be nice to your opponents. Being rude in cross will hurt your speaks. I really don’t feel a need for you to be spreading in PF. I don’t mind if you say "clear" or "slow" to your opponents if they spreading in round and you are not comfortable with it. Giving me a framework will only help your case. No framework/standards mean that I default to a cost-benefit analysis. Observations need a warrant, and I will not vote on them alone. Don’t run sketchy/abusive/messed up arguments. Please terminalize/contextualize your impacts (e.g. don’t make your impact “bees will die” without telling me why bees dying should matter). Give good voters (no, the framework is not a voter) and an impact calc (comparing your impacts with theirs and why yours will matter more).
A note on Speaker points (ALL EVENTS)
rule of thumb: happy Gabby = higher speaks!
I determine speaker points based on a mix of strategic choices, persuasion, and vibes. IF YOU ASK FOR A 30 YOU GET A 25! Speaks will start at a 28 and go up or down from there. Speed is fine. I’ll say clear 3 times before I dock speaks. Slow down on tags and analytics. Please be nice to your opponent. Snark and sarcasm are fine. Being outright rude will result in lower speaks. If you fail to read content warnings and your opponent ends up feeling unsafe in round, you won't get automatically dropped but you’ll get 25. If you purposely misgender your opponent you will get no higher than a 25 and I will find and talk to your coach and school sponsor. Doing the listed things might get you some extra points. Kind of important: I will be very very unhappy if you take more than 20 seconds to send out your doc. More than a minute and you're capped at 29. More than 2 and you're capped at 28.
- for every silly spec shell you add (shoes, internet spec, etc.) - minus a full point
- clown Patrick Fox for not having a life outside of debate (in a way that makes sense in the round) +.2
- read an argument that has to do with space/aliens/frogs and win it +.4
- outspreading someone you know can’t keep up or being an ass to novices/lay debaters - 27 max
- ask for a 30 or other speaks theory = 25 max for not reading my paradigm
Last note- have fun!
Elizabeth (she/her), Bergen County Academies '20
You must locally record your speeches: if you cut out, finish your speech, then send me and your opponent the local recording. Without a local recording, I will only evaluate the part that did not cut out. Slow down, send out long analytic dumps, let me know before the speech if you're extemping stuff in the 1AC.
<< PF >>
I did national circuit Lincoln Douglas with minimal experience in PF. I am NOT familiar with the PF topic (especially abbreviations).
I will flow and vote on tech.
- Add me on the email chain for any cases/cards sent between teams.
- Time yourselves. CLEARLY say when you are beginning and stopping time. I won't be calling time for the debaters unless they're egregiously over time, but I'll lower speaks if you keep going over time (for both speeches and prep).
- Looking at your opponent's cards counts as prep.
- Tech > Truth, but I have a lower threshold for "sufficient" responses to false args.
- Weigh, signpost, give judge instruction.
- Given my LD background, I have higher expectations for "frameworks" in PF. I need at least 1 warrant for why I should use your fw, ESPECIALLY if there's a disagreement on framework.
- I won't flow CX but will listen to it. CX is binding, but it's your burden to point it out to me if your opponent is lying about something or if you want to mention an arg from CX. Just don't lie about stuff that happened in CX.
- Be nice to each other.
<< LD >>
Def read the "I won’t vote on:" section.
I enjoy K's. I don't enjoy blippy phil justifications and theory-heavy AC/NCs.
I will vote on (almost) anything. While I won't increase/decrease your speaks just because you read something I like/dislike, my ability to evaluate def varies with args.
Assume I don't know topic lit.
LD Prefs shortcut
1/2- K, Phil
3/4- Non-T, Theory
5- tricks/theory heavy strats
- tech>truth. I'll try my best to be tab.
- I won't flow CX but will listen to it. CX is binding, but it's your burden to point it out to me if your opponent is lying about something that happened in CX.
- I have a low threshold for responses to arguments that haven’t been sufficiently explained to me in the round.
- Extensions must have warrants/impacts, even if they’re brief. If something was cold conceded, at least explain the general arg/impact instead of just saying "extend adv 1"
- Debating novices
- In PRELIMS: If you are debating a novice or someone who lacks a lot of circuit experience, please be accessible during CX. You don’t have to change your entire strategy/style, but make an effort to make the round somewhat educational. Otherwise, I’ll decrease speaks. Spreading is fine if you send a speech doc. Feel free to ask me questions about this before the round.
- In ELIMS: Do whatever you want.
- Prep ends when you hit “send”.
- In other words, compiling the doc is prep. Sending the doc is not prep.
- Tech issues
- I understand tech issues arise in rounds and can be super stressful. I’m fine taking a reasonable amount of time to resolve the issue, as long as you remain transparent about what’s going on with both your opponent and me.
I won’t vote on:
- sexist/homophobic/racist argumentation
- theory interp or violation that involves policing the appearance or clothing of an opponent. If you’re unsure about your interp, ask before the round.
- theory args without voter implications (fairness/education/etc.) by the end of the round. I don't have a default for assigning voters.
- "give me X speaker points"
Other qualms of mine from Sai Karavadi's paradigm:
1. There’s a difference between asking questions and post-rounding — I’m all for telling you how to win my ballot next time and to discuss things you might disagree with, but I’m not about to sit here while you talk down to me — not saying you can’t be loud about it or anything, but there’s a respectful way to do this.
2. I like tags — not just for evidence, but for links and overviews, etc. (i.e., “Liberalism Link”)
3. If you’re going to be talking about sensitive topics, please give me (and everyone in the room) a heads up.
4. Please just use one highlighting color in a card so I can follow what you're actually reading.
5. DO NOT CLIP EVIDENCE. Let's not go there. It makes things difficult for everybody.
- I’ll give speaks based on strategic decisions (AC/NC positions & 2NR/2AR collapses), level of engagement/clash, technical proficiency, and your in-round persona.
- To get HIGHER speaks :)
- Give judge instruction
- Clearly delineate separate arguments through numbering, changing your speed/tone for “and” between args, etc.
- Line-by-line instead of reading a card dump. Reading cards is fine if you explain their applications to specific parts of the aff.
- Clearly weigh
- To get LOWER speaks :(
- Mislabeling arguments. Calling link defense a link turn, etc.
- Not answering the AC
- Being obnoxious: using ad-hominem, patronizing your opponent (especially when you’re obviously more experienced than them), etc.
- Just reading off the speech doc in 2NR/2AR
- Collapsing on tricks/blips when the other layers are winnable.
- Muddling the debate with a ton of unwarranted "independent voters"
- Spreading quickly at the cost of clarity.
- Ships passing in the night: only extending your own args while not engaging with the opponent's args
Defaults – these matter only if nobody makes any args to the contrary.
- Epistemic Confidence
- T > theory > substance
- Theory > K
- Fairness > education
- Pragmatics > semantics
- Truth testing
- Competing interpretations > reasonability
- No RVIs
- Drop the arg
- If you read theory in the AC and don't justify voters, the 2NR gets to contest new 1AR voters.
- Go for it! I'm most familiar with afropess/anti-humanism/setcol/Jodi Dean's communicative cap. Err on the side of over-explanation. I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH BAUDRILLARD/Virilio.
- I like topical K affs that defend a method based on a theory of power. Soft left affs about generally mitigating structural violence are less interesting to me.
- Just because you say the word "role of the ballot/judge" doesn't mean the K comes above the framework debate. The ROB/ROJ distinction is unclear in most debates.
- Topic/Aff specific links > generic links. Even better if you pull quotes directly from the AC.
- well-explained world of the alt with examples = impressive
- Explain the K's impacts in the context of AC impacts
- Cap vs idpol is interesting
- In a K vs K debate, do actual interaction between the methods instead of just making technical preclusion args.
- I think reps K’s of a general theory (ex. K of Kant being racist) are weak because they often lack specific links to the specific aff read in round. However, I'll vote on them if the arg is won.
- The 2NR:
- You should give a slower top-level overview of your theory of power.
- But don't sacrifice technical LBL for multiple big overviews
- Collapsing on 1 link > spreading your explanation thin on multiple links
- The 2AR:
- make sure to explain your own theory of power if you're collapsing on case
- I like phil. I’m more familiar with Butler, Kant, Virtue Ethics, Particularism, and somewhat Derrida.
- Phil vs. K debates are interesting.
- logical syllogism >>> list of independent reasons to prefer your theory.
- I like cool syllogism hijacks
- EXPLAIN YOUR WARRANTS. Even if I know the arg, I'm not going to give it credence if you just blip "shmagency objection."
- SLOW DOWN when reading non-carded analytics of your phil fw.
- Only asserting preclusionary reasons to prefer your fw muddles the debate and makes me think you don’t have a deep understanding of your theory.
- SKEP NC: I prefer that your 2NR collapse is not on skep unless necessary. Don't pretend to not be a Skep NC when it IS a Skep NC. Don't read skep against a K aff.
- cool with it, but please don't make the whole round a pure theory debate starting from the AC.
- I’m fine with out-of-round violations, as long as verification is provided IN ROUND (screenshots are good). I will not verify things myself during the round. If the violation is unverifiable, I’ll assume innocent until presumed guilty for the sake of the ballot. Don't lie.
- Reasonability should have a brightline that is not “gut-check”.
- Less familiar. I'm probably not the best judge for a full-on LARP debate. Don't assume I have in-depth topic knowledge.
- I’m fine with impact turns: cap good/bad, extinction good/bad, econ collapse good/bad, warming good/bad, death good/bad, etc.
- I prefer that affs are at least in the direction of the topic. I probably lean on the side of T-FWK, but you can change my mind. I tend to think fairness bad args are often unclear.
- Be clear about whether you’re being non-topical or not. Are you defending the resolution, a different method, etc.
- Performance is fine
- Don't be mean to debaters who don’t know how to engage your aff.
- Don't do too much. I dislike messy theory/tricks heavy rounds. If you're going this route, be VERY organized/clear & give judge instruction.
- I strongly dislike hidden tricks (ex: a priori hidden between 2 cards).
- Don't be shifty in CX.
- Signpost very clearly
- Slow down when reading analytic-heavy sections
For Novice/JV LD:
I will be tab (Tech>Truth) in evaluating these rounds, but I believe these divisions have the purpose of education. Thus, I will be more upset than usual by evasive tactics and debaters who are inaccessible in round. I will also reward ethos-y/persuasive speaking with higher speaks.
1. Some form of framing in the round is absolutely necessary. I will only evaluate contentions that link to the winning framework. If you have a high quality framework debate, I'll reward it with good speaks. However, I will be really upset by muddled fw debates. Also, I find morality vs justice debates pointless. Debate the criterion.
2. Extend your args through each speech. I'm not voting for args that aren't in the 2NR/2AR.
3. I will not vote on anything racist/homophobic/sexist/etc.
4. Don't read friv theory + disclosure theory in Novice/JV LD. If you're unsure about your interp, feel free to ask me before the round. Feel free to read legitimate theory shells if you think you can execute them well.
5. I'll reward good high engagement with good speaks. I'd be happiest with an AC vs 1 or 2 -off NC debate with strong clash.
6. Don't spread in Novice/JV LD unless your opponent agrees to it. I prefer that neither of you spread in Novice, though.
7. Don't be obnoxious. I'll dock speaks.
I am a high school teacher. I have a degree in theater, psychology and English. I took debate all four years in high school and have been head coach for state champion speech and LD teams for years. I competed equally in policy and in Interp events.
I can follow most spreading, but I would rather not.
I am not a fan pf progressive debate - no performance or outrageous K's.
I appreciate the ability of a debater to think logically for themselves and not regurgitate cases written solely through purchased evidence files or a college coach. With that said however, you better have more than analytics to back up your arguments.
I typically won't vote for lack of fair education - unless the other team is very egregious is their abuse.
In partner debates I expect each partner to debate strong enough on their own that tag-teaming is not necessary.
I expect debaters to frame their arguments with a weighing mechanism with which you want me to view the round. Tell me why your argument is better - don't expect me to to just get it. If you want me to judge based on your defined values, you better explicitly state them.
You could win ten arguments to their six, but if their six have more weight, you will still lose.
History: Debated for Reagan HS for 4 years in LD. Ran a lot of Ks, mostly setcol/coloniamlism/coloniality based towards the end of my career.
Cool with: Most things! Ks, DAs/As, CPs, PICs, performance, critical (kritikal?) affs, or good old case debate. Not a K-hack, will not be biased in your favor just because you run a K.
Not cool with: Spreading all the way through a theory shell. I honestly didn't run a lot of theory as a debater, so if you are planning to win solely on a shell, please do not go spreading through your competing interp and violations. I also haven't heard a Kant NC run in a viable competitive manner yet and I'm slightly confused that it seems to be gaining more popularity in HS debate (not the traditional case with a deontology-oriented value/criterion). Also, don't be toxic, don't be rude, make sure your opponent is fine with spreading, etc.
Zoomer tings: My mic is a little feedbacky, and I'm sorry about that. For the sake of connectivity, I will probably be videoless, and might ask you to repeat something if the audio completely dips. If the latter is the case, it will be on you and your opponent to verify that when I ask someone to repeat something, they do not read new information. Also, minor, but I do flow on paper and like to have overviews or signposting occurring.
Timing: I'll keep track of prep (I'm cool with flex prep if both parties are comfortable), but knowing me, that may not be the case for speeches and CX. Please be sure to time yourself and your opponents to ensure no timehogging.
Speaks: My baseline is a 28, and I subtract half-points thereafter for clarity of speech/args and/or misbehavior. I award higher than a 28 for clever arguments and analytics. Overall, I tend to prefer quality of arguments more than the optics of debate, such as clarity of speaking, vocal tone, etc.
Most importantly, have fun! The goal in debate is often phrased as winning the round and getting points, but the educational impacts of the activity, the discussions you have in the space, and the people you meet are what stick with you long-term. I know that sounds slightly basic, but so is human blood.
Director of Debate at Grapevine High School 20'- 21'
Debate Coach at Trinity High School 16'-20
Assistant Debate Coach for OU 14'-15'
College: University of Oklahoma Class of 14'
HS: Flower Mound High School 09'
You can put me on the email chain : firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE- I do not look at your speech doc during round- I only ask to be on the chain in case I need to view cards after round. Please do NOT assume that because something is in your doc, it was flowed.
Background in Events: I did Policy debate for 9 years (4 at Flower Mound High School; 5 at OU)- I was a big K debater. I ran the following Ks- listed from most to least common:
Whiteness, Settler Colonialism, Security, Futurity, Nuclear Colonialism, D&G, Nietzsche, Fem Security, Baudrillard
*You still need to explain your K lit if I am in the back of your room.
I was a NSDA National Competitor in Student Congress in 08'
I also competed in Extemp, Original Oratory, Impromptu, and Prose.
I currently coach students who compete in Policy, LD, Congress, WSD, and Public Forum.
What is most important to me in a round?
ORGANIZATION! I like overviews that actually serve a purpose. I like speeches that tell me where they are going, stick to that roadmap, and tell me where they are on the flow.
FRAMING! You gotta tell me how to frame your impacts- especially in a clash of civilizations debate. If you have impacts functioning in different worlds, clear that up for me so I don't have to intervene. If you have the same impact framing- give me the breakdown of the magnitude and timeframe.
DECORUM! I really do NOT like aggressive CX. You can get ethos without yelling over each other. Find strategic ways to control CX and generate ethos without being mean, please. I also flow CX- so if you say something, stick to it, otherwise- I will buy your opponent's argument about shiftiness.
DEPTH OVER BREADTH! I prefer debates with 5 off or less, but I will not count it against you if you read more. However, I am open to contradictory arguments bad theory if the Aff finds it strategic.
Speaker Point Policy:
My typical pivot point is a 28. You will gain or lose .5 if you do something that justifies gaining/losing a point.
A 30 is not impossible from me, but also not super common.
Ranked 1-8- 1 being most preferred/tolerated arguments, 8 being least preferred
Ks & K Affs:
1- You will not lose my ballot just for running a K. Ever.
1- Make sure your link scenarios aren't ultra tenuous- I need clear and strong connections
2- I actually enjoy a good theory debate- but just like T, don't make it frivolous- run it if you need it and leave it if you can't win on it
CPs & PICS
2- No Topical CPs- I like PICs
3- Don't run it frivolously- prove in-round abuse
4- This kind of depends on context- Affs are welcome to run theory on Politics and I will listen
5- No thank you.
Ranked 1-8- 1 being most preferred/tolerated arguments, 8 being least preferred
1- If you do not have framing in your case- that is a problem
2- I think Ks make A LOT of sense in LD
Theory and Topicality
3- I actually enjoy a good topicality and theory debate, just don't make it frivolous- run it if you need it and leave it if you can't win on it
4- You need to do framing for this to make sense in LD - either by relating to plan text solvency or articulating how the CP works in comparison to Aff methodology
5- Just like with CPs, you have to deal with framing. If the Aff doesn't have a plan, a disad can be pretty tenuous for me
Multiple Conditional Neg Args
6- I am NOT a fan. I am very sympathetic to Aff args about time constraints when you run more than 5 conditional args on the Neg
7- Do not run politics DAs in front of me in LD. I don't think they belong in this event unless there is a plan text and framing is resolved CLEARLY.
8- No thank you.
If I am judging you in PF- assume I have no experience at all judging debate and have no familiarity with the topic.
Please follow the parameters for this event. I am not open to arguments that try to skew the center of a WSD debate.
I spent a bunch of time before New Trier 19 writing a policy paradigm and in the one round I got the aff read "queer eroticism" so I am done trying to explain to policy teams how to adapt to me. Those of you who would strike or otherwise depref me because I am an LD coach: good call. Those of you who would refrain from striking me and then read "queer eroticism": please reconsider.
I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.
I coach students on both the local and national circuits.
I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.
I'm most familiar with philosophical framework debating, but you can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing.
UPDATE JUNE 2019: AND IMPACTING!
Kinkaid '20 / Penn '24
Hey! My name is Shreya Mehta. I debated LD at Kinkaid for four years and am coaching there this year. I qualified to TFA state all four years, reached elims & bid rounds at multiple national tournaments, and taught at TDC this past summer.
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Tricks: super low 4
1. Be respectful to your opponent!! Respect their pronouns and trigger warnings. And if you feel unsafe, please let me know. Debate needs to be, first and foremost, accessible.
2. Go at 60-70 percent speed online—glitches and delays make it even harder to understand speeches. I’m happy to say “clear” or “slow” but after 3 times, I’ll probably dock speaks. Please send analytics!! They are so helpful especially online—and if nobody has to ask for them to be sent in round, I’ll probably boost your speaks.
3. Please do not run morally reprehensible arguments (racism or sexism good, etc).
4. Be kind to novice debaters!! Be respectful and make the debate educational for them. We’ve all been novices before and hate the feeling of getting clapped and not understanding why—don’t contribute to that.
5. I’ll default speaker points at a 28.7 or 28.8 and move up or down depending on how the round goes!
1. I read Ks on every topic—I mainly read psychoanalysis, fem, cap, and colonialism but am familiar with most other lit bases like D&G, Foucault, and set col. I never read Baudrillard so I only have a basic understanding of it-- if you read that (or any other K, for that matter), please explain everything well! Please don’t rely on buzzwords and hope I’ll catch on eventually.
2. Framing is important!! I’ve seen and debated so many rounds where somone might be winning a link argument but not winning framework or weighing it under the aff’s—make sure to include a framing so I know what to do with the arguments you’re reading! It can be a ROB, ROJ, value, value criterion, whatever.
3. Please explain the alternative well! It’s not enough to extend the alt tag—you should be explaining how the alt functions, why the alt solves case and meets the ROB, and why perms don’t solve.
4. I strongly recommend you not read pessimistic positions based on an identity that you are not a part of in front of me. For example, I do not want to watch nonblack debaters reading afropess or nihilism. If you have questions about reading another position, you can always ask me before round to clarify. Otherwise, your speaks will drop.
Non-T & Performance Affs:
I’m fine with these—I don’t weigh one way or the other on the T-framework vs K aff debate. Just make sure to explain the aff, explain the framing and impacts, and weigh them clearly in the 1AR and 2AR.
1. I love theory! I read it frequently. I default to drop the debater, no RVIs, and competing interps.
2. Weigh!! Standard and voter weighing are super important. Otherwise the theory debate get muddled really easily—make sure that you execute weighing cleanly in your speech.
3. Please please slow down in the 2NR or 2AR with extensions—they’re hard to catch and even more difficult online.
4. I love T debates—just make sure you win your semantics or pragmatics weighing claims and internal links! Good creative T interps or spec shells will also give you a boost in your speaks!
5. I can be less receptive to frivolous theory but would likely still vote on it nonetheless—if you have questions about specific interps, just ask.
6. I’m fine with disclosure theory—I will vote on open source and full text but am also easily persuaded by the reasonability argument for out of round abuse.
These are great! I read them as a debater all the time. A couple of things:
1. Weigh! You’ll find I write this a bunch in my paradigm but it’s super important generally! You have to tell me why your impacts matter more—probability, magnitude, time frame, scope, whatever.
2. Make sure your evidence is strong and that you aren’t missing any critical internal links. Your extensions should include; citing names specifically, what the card says, and the impact of it. I really appreciate a clear story of the argument as a general extension overview.
I read mostly soft-left and util positions in high school but am familiar with Kant, Hobbes, Rawls.
1. Use the framing well—make sure to win analytics about why your framing comes before any other counter-framing.
2. Please explain the story of your author at the top of the 1AR or 2NR—a quick summary is super helpful!
3. I appreciate hearing a wide variety of args in a phil debate (logical fallacies, paradoxes, double-binds, materialism weighing, etc) and will definitely boost your speaks if I hear them!
I never read these as a debater. I really would encourage you to read a different position in front of me. But if you do decide to read tricks, then please don’t just extend blippy a prioris or arguments in the 1AR and 2AR as a reason to vote. I need to hear clear warrants for these arguments and extensions between speeches.
Finally, here’s a list of things to do to improve speaker points—I always found these helpful:
1. Be kind and respectful to your opponent, especially during CX
2. Asking smart, strategic questions in CX
3. Strategic collapses in the 2NR or 2AR with crystallization
4. Reading creative positions or answers to common arguments
5. Strong weighing
Hope this helps! Feel free to reach out with any questions :)
Carroll High School '19
UT Austin '23
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (add me to the email chain pls)
----- if you are flight 2 pls have the email chain already set up!-----
If the round starts early or on time I'll bump both debater's speaks.
Don't call me judge etc. its awkward, just call me Samir.
-If you want a marked/cut version of a doc that comes out of your prep/CX - just flow
Background: Hey, I'm Samir. I debated for 4 years at Carroll High School and qualified to TFA State and the TOC my senior year. I debated on the national and local circuit so I have no preference between progressive and traditional debate.
- most comfortable with policy args, some theory (as long as its not absurd/concerns what your opponent is wearing or how they dress), and basic phil
-I don't have the greatest understanding of Ks - explain them to me as if I were a 5 year old - same thing goes with more complex/less common phil
-I find myself getting lost or confused often in k aff vs framework debates - don't blitz thru every arg on the lbl and breaking the debate down in later rebuttals will help me be not as confused
-wont vote on args that are blatantly offensive
-s l o w d o w n with online debates, I can't follow super high speed over zoom calls so start off at 60% and work your way up to 80%
-I think reasonability almost always needs a brightline and am not really sure how to evaluate it without one
Other stuff to note:
-I think disclosing at a minimum level is important (first 3, last 3) but for other types of disclosure (full text, open source etc.) I'll just evaluate the arg like a normal theory shell.
-I'll flow along with the doc but don't use it as a crutch to be unclear. If I have to yell clear a couple of times I won't drop speaks but if there's no effort to improve clarity I will.
-please be kind to your opponent, some sass is fine just don't be rude
-compiling the doc is prep but emailing it isn't
-friv theory/tricks are fine and I'll evaluate them like any other argument but I'll have a lower threshold for responses to them
-Super long overviews always mess up my flow bc I'm not sure where to put them; either tell me where to flow them or just make them shorter
-If you've already sent cards in a doc for ur constructive then just send later cards in that same doc
-China authoritarianism good args are kinda iffy for me as a Muslim, feels like they justify the ongoing Uighur oppression and that's not something that sits well with me personally.
How to get better speaks:
-having a good understanding of the args ur reading
-nuanced argument interaction
Updates for 2020:
-I'm a bit new to the format of online debating but here are a few things to keep in mind: 1. Record your speeches locally (on your phone, laptop etc.) in the event the call drops/wifi issues - I think allowing debaters to redo speeches/guess how much time they had left is kinda sketchy. 2. If your mic is unclear, its not your fault. I'll do my best to let you know by saying "clear" and won't penalize you for it.
-Go a bit slower bc online
My email is email@example.com. Please add me to the chain
I tried to keep this limited to things that are applicable to all or most rounds, so if you have any specific questions about particular arguments, feel free to email me or ask me before the round.
1. An argument is a claim, warrant, and impact. I will not vote on anything that does not meet this threshold and I will vote on basically anything that does.
2. I won’t vote on any argument that I cannot explain back to your opponent after the round. I need to be able to explain it back based off your explanation, not my prior knowledge of the argument.
3. Assuming they meet the threshold set in #1 and #2, I’m willing to vote on “bad” arguments. However, the less intuitive/worse that I consider an argument to be, the lower the threshold I have for the response.
4. If something is conceded, I grant it the full weight of truth. If I did not realize that an argument was being made, then I will not consider it to be conceded. So if, for example, the NR claims the 1AR conceded an independent psychoanalysis K, but I didn’t realize this argument was being made in the 1NC, I’ll grant the 2AR new answers. In the cases in which an argument does meet my standard of being conceded, this, of course, doesn’t mean the round is over because debaters can weigh between arguments in any speech.
5. I will attempt to err on the side of least intervention. I think it’s the job of whoever presents an argument to prove the argument is true. So, for example, if the NEG team says “X card is a link to our K because it’s gendered” and then the AFF team says “no link, X card is actually criticizing gender norms, not perpetuating them,” I would consider both these explanations to be lackluster and have no way of resolving the question, but instead of reading the card and coming to my own conclusion, I would err AFF and assume there’s no link because it is the job of the NEG to prove a link to the K, not the job of the AFF to disprove it. The NEG should be doing a robust explanation of why the evidence is gendered and pulling lines from the card, rather than making assertions and expecting me to find those the lines for them.
6. Debaters have an obligation to flow. I’ll deduct speaks for questions like “can you send me a marked version of the doc” or “did you read X card” that aren’t asked during prep.
7. Slow down on theory and topicality interps, plan texts, and counter plan texts. Slowing down a little on other analytics may or may not be necessary depending on how fast you are, but you won’t have to slow down to the same extent.
8. Theory defaults - drop the team for T and condo, drop the argument for everything else, no RVIs, and competing interps. These are admittedly very arbitrary defaults and I really only created them so that I would have a consistent way of evaluating rounds in which neither side establishes paradigm issues - these defaults can and will change as soon as one team makes an argument to justify their paradigm issues. In fact, I generally think reasonability is a strategic and compelling argument (especially against 1ar theory if you have specific warrants!!!)
9. I think good evidence is important in so far as it allows debaters to make arguments about author qualifications, recency, the methodology of their studies, quality of warrants, etc... but if you don’t make any of these arguments, you basically lose the value of reading good evidence because I won’t decide rounds based on my own reading of cards.
10. I generally don’t flow author names
Online Debate Specific:
Slow down and be extra clear! How much you need to slow down is based off how fast you generally are (i.e. if you’re naturally pretty slow, you’re probably fine as long as you’re clear, if you’re naturally blazing fast, you might have to go at 60% speed, etc...). I’ll call slow once, but if I don’t call it after that, it’s not necessarily because I can understand you - it may also be because when I speak, your audio gets muted and I don’t think it’s worth it to miss an even larger percentage of what you’re saying if you’re not going to slow down anyways.
Record all of your speeches on voice memos so that if there’s a problem, I can fast forward to the time of the cut-out and listen to that argument. This means that if you get kicked out of the meeting or there’s any type of glitch, you must keep speaking and recording and then you can deal with the technical issue after your speech. And if you forget to record it during a rebuttal, I won’t evaluate what was missed.
I will end rounds in which I witness clipping because to the best of my current knowledge not clipping cards is an NDCA “rule,” and doc speaks when I see miscut evidence because to the best of my current knowledge, properly cut evidence is a “norm” (although reading theory about miscut evidence or ending the round for an evidence ethics challenge are still fair-game).
regarding online debate:
1] you need to slow down significantly……after a summer of online camp I’ve concluded that i can probably handle only 70% of your top speed over zoom. at the very least, slow down at the beginning of your speeches so i can get used to the sound of your voice.
2] debates where one person cuts out for multiple seconds at a time in rebuttal speeches are irresolvable. please record a local copy of your speeches so that if this happens to you, your opponent and i can listen ....will obviously defer to tournament policy on this but i think letting students regive speeches is ridiculous and anything else feels egregiously interventionist
other things you’ll find helpful:
1] I am most comfortable judging policy-style debates and this is the style of debate i have thought most about (plans, cps, das, ks, topicality).
2] I think disclosure is good. I trend towards more disclosure = better but tags/cites/first ten and last ten seems like a reasonable minimum to me. I think debates about full text vs open source etc etc are boring. (If you cannot put your positions on the wiki for some reason i think you should make an effort, in good faith, to make your previously read positions available to your opponent at least 30 minutes prior to the round).
3] I think it is worth reserving some prep time to make sure you can present/explain your arguments cohesively and demonstrate strategic vision.
4] I find I vote aff when the 2nr goes for too many arguments and that I vote neg when the 2ar goes for too many arguments. please robustly develop a few game-winners instead of shallowly extending every arg you’ve got.
5] i don't like "silly arguments"
6] i am also super uninterested in voting on ad homs thrown out about individual debaters, their coaches, their school, or their teammates.
7] if u miscut a card and ur opponent calls you out for it, I will ask them if they want to stake the round on this accusation. If they say yes and you have read miscut evidence, I vote you down and give you 25 speaks. Conversely, if you call your opponent out for miscut evidence and decide to stake the round on it, and it is not the case that the evidence is miscut, I will vote you down and give you 25 speaks.
A piece of evidence is miscut if it misrepresents the intent of the author (including citation information).
miscellaneous things i like:
cross aps across flows, good and time efficient overviews, ballot stories/judge instruction, interesting cx, numbering args on the line by line, lots of line by line, line by line in k debates, TKOs, condo ethics, presumption against k affs, reading cards you cut yourself, historical or material examples, explaining the perm, good util justifications, weighing in theory debate, putting case on top, alt solves case + explanation, paragraph theory,
miscellaneous things i do not like:
you being a jerk, unresponsive overviews, long 1AC underviews, spreading fast while making 0 arguments, kicking the aff in the 1ar, splitting the 2nr/2ar, not explaining the perm, cps without net benefits, disads with the same impact as the aff, oppression good, death good, unnecessarily graphic descriptions of violence, kicking the alt in k debates, reading arguments you know nothing about, theory shells that indict the character of your opponent
Update December 2020: I am removing from a mild head injury, I would probably advise against spreading especially with the online format.
Update January 2021: 60-75% speed is OK.
I am a special education teacher and coach debate for New Trier Township High School (IL). I debated Lincoln Douglas and some PF at Valley High School 2008-2013.
Online Debate: Please start the email chain before the round starts. YES, I would like to be included. firstname.lastname@example.org. PLEASE slow down. If tournaments have guidelines/protocols for what to do if someone drops off the call, I will follow those. If not, please:
-Record your speeches on your own end in case someone drops off the call. If you do NOT do this, I'm sorry but I have to consider that your problem. If you are unable to for some reason please let me know before the round. You may want to record the speeches individually because some platforms/iPhone have length limits for recordings. Audio recording only is fine.
-If YOU drop off the call in the middle of the speech: finish the speech via recording and then send immediately via the email chain. We will time-check to verify your speech was within the time limit, etc. Your opponent will be provided with the time necessary to flow the recording.
-If YOUR OPPONENT drops off the call in the middle of the speech: finish your speech (again, you should be recording) and then immediately send via the email chain. I will provide up to the length of the missed speech for your opponent to flow before they must take prep/begin their speech.
-If YOUR JUDGE (me) drops off the call, finish your speech and send the recording at the end. I may rejoin prior to the end of the speech, but still send the recording so I can fill in the gaps. I will attempt to do so during prep time but may need additional time.
Overall: Debate the way you know how in the best way you can. Clearly explain your arguments, impacts, and interactions in the round. Articulate what my reason for the decision should be. Here's how I evaluate the round once it ends: (1) Look at the 2ar, decide whether there's anything the aff can win on, (2) if yes, consider neg interaction with that/those argument(s) and consider comparable neg offense then decide what wins, (3) if no, look at the NR and decide if there's anything that the neg can win on, (4) if still no, ???
General/neither here nor there:
-Sit wherever makes sense. I don't care which side sits in which place in the room, and feel free to sit or stand at any point in the debate.
-Flash before your speech but you don't need to use prep time to do so. Please flash analytics.
-I think brackets are fine in evidence if they are used *properly.* Please line down cards honestly and include full citations.
-The value is not particularly important to me; the value-criterion is how I evaluate the framework if it’s relevant in the round.
-I judge on the national circuit a few times tournaments year, so please don't expect me to know the general happenings or stock arguments.
-I don't flow off of speech docs but I will look at cards after the round (sometimes prompted, sometimes unprompted)
-Please disclose. There are some exceptions to this that are more lenient (local debater and you're not sure what that means, wiki down, etc) but if your opponent asks what the aff is, don’t leave them on read. You probably don’t have to disclose >30 min before the round but I’m open to hearing otherwise.
-I don't default to anything on theory or T, I just sit there very confused when things aren't explicit and justified. If you justify the argument once and it's dropped, then it becomes my default.
-I'm familiar with most types of arguments (traditional, disads, advantages, plans, theory, topicality, critical, types of counter-plans, types of perms). I have heard of and judged most frameworks used in debate but I'm not deeply knowledgeable about any.
-Sometimes I’ll get questions like “are you ok with...” or “will you listen to...” and the answer is yes. There are no arguments I feel so strongly about that I’ll reject them outright. I don’t even really have arguments I prefer. It’s my job to judge the debate so I do. That being said, I will react negatively if your argument feels abhorrent.
-Complete extensions are a must. Claim, warrant, and impact. Please do your impact analysis for me and address all aspects of the debate in your crystallization. If I don't clearly understand your side and ballot story, you might not get my vote because of confusion or misinterpretation on my end. Pre-correct for my potential judging errors in your speeches.
-I have high-frequency hearing loss so my ears ring. If you anticipate your speech will include very loud noises or high-frequency pitches from music, etc, please let me know.
-I'm not going to flow what I don't hear or understand. Sometimes I say clear or slow or louder if necessary. I don't always look at my keyboard or computer when I'm typing, so if I'm looking at you it doesn't necessarily mean I'm not flowing. I can type very fast so sometimes I’ll just flow extensions verbatim to sort them out later.
-If I'm flowing on paper you probably need to go about 60% of your top speed. If I am flowing on a computer it’s all good, just work up to your top speed and slow down on tags, transitions between offs, etc. If I miss the author name I just write “CARD/“ on my flow.
Please feel free to ask me about anything not mentioned here that might be pertinent to your debate. I can't say I have many strong opinions in any direction way when it comes to debate styles, arguments, etc.
I am one of the most naturally neutral individuals I know. I will NOT favor a side because I SHOULD. I will favor a side because you convinced me to... hence the purpose of effective argumentation. Don't assume -- just explain.
Be understood. Be clear. If I don't flow it... IT NEVER HAPPENED. Remember this during warrants / impacts / extensions. I rarely call for cards, so if I need to hear it, make sure you set the scene for optimal results.
Debating about debate is fun and engaging -- if it makes sense. Silly theories are just silly, but go back to my section on presumption - I will favor a side because you convinced me to... hence the purpose of effective argumentation. If you convince me that the theory is valid, then it is for the round. I will not assume how it functions or the reasonability of it. Prove that it does or doesn't. A good K with clear explinations, links and impacts are refreshing to me. Neg must explain why aff can't perm the day away -- why is the alt superior? Aff, why is the perm better than the alt and case solo? This is where speed choices are important.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself: Do you understand the card? Does it link to the argumentation presented? Is it topical to the context you're using it in? Do the warrants exist in the text? Is it qualified? Is it dated? ....is clipping truly worth it?
T's, DA's, CPs
Policy was my niche back in the day. That being said -- I'll buy it if its clear, all conditions are met, it makes sense, and if it actually does something / proves a point. I will follow the flow, and the flow alone. Keep it clean!
Finally... most importantly... tell me WHY I should be voting for you. Yes. I want voters. Explain why a drop is catastrophic. Tell me why case outweighs. You know what happens when you assume... don't assume that I'm rolling with you. Explain why I should be.
Spkr Point Breakdown
30 Likely to take the tournament
29.5 Contender to the crown
29 Excited to see how deep you go!
28.5 Highly likely to clear
28 Clearing is possible
27.5 On the bubble, keep pushing
27 Congrats on earning entry into the tournament!!
Hiya! I’m Indu. I debated for Harvard-Westlake for 4 years (graduated in 2018), qualified to the TOC 3 times, had 10 career bids, and won a couple of tournaments/cleared at the TOC. I previously coached at Harvard-Westlake and now I coach at The Harker School. I take the she series (she/her/hers) and I don't mind if you use the they series to refer to me.
I want to be on the email chain. Your opponent should also be on it. **Email: email@example.com
Check out girlsdebate.org – it has free resources, like cards and videos, as well as blog articles about being a woman or other marginalized debater.
Top Level (this is all you really need to know):
- Debate is about arguments/ideas and not individual people. You all are children and creating an actively hostile environment doesn’t really jive with me.
- I can’t vote on arguments that are immediately evident to me to be false. By that I mean, if you read a theory shell or make a competition arg and you are just objectively wrong about the violation, I cannot see myself being compelled to vote for you.
- I don’t really know how to classify myself on the weird “truth” vs “tech”/”flow”/”tab” spectrum – I just want people to be reasonable. That means I’ll lean heavily on the flow, but if you make arguments that are self-evidently ridiculous or underdeveloped it won’t float my boat.
- I love CX!!! Like, seriously. It’s my favorite part of debate. A good CX is killer, and I’ll give good speaks for it.
- Sexism, racism, etc are obviously nonstarters.
- I’ll try to give everyone in the round a fair shake even if you read arguments I never did in high school, I’ve never met you before, etc. Likewise, I expect everyone in the round to treat me with respect. Post-rounding is cool, and people have important questions to ask. Just take a deep breath and avoid insults, yelling, etc.
- I flow. Just wanted to throw that out there.
- WEIGH PLEASE. Most post-rounding is a result of a lack of weighing, and I don't feel particularly bad if I drop you because you didn't make a single comparative statement for 45 minutes.
- I'd prefer if you all regulate yourselves. By that I mean that you should hold each other accountable for speech times, CX, etc. If there's some clear age/experience/other factor that seems to prevent one party from having an equal opportunity to control the round, I will step in. This will likely be pretty uncommon.
- In the era of online debate, I ask that debaters maintain a "professional" environment. Please hold yourself like you would in a classroom setting and situate yourself in a neutral environment. It's important that all debaters, observers, and judges feel comfortable in the "room". (Sit up at a table if possible, remove things from your background you wouldn't want your teacher to see, wear tournament appropriate clothing (be fully dressed....)) This has not been an issue for me thus far, but I want to establish these boundaries in advance.
- Start at 60-70% speed and build up to max speed. I have trouble hearing people if they start at full speed online. Please also locally record your speeches (i.e. record your speech on your phone/computer). In the event the call drops, this is the only way for me to go back and listen to your speech.
More specific things below. Honestly, you can change my mind on most of this stuff, and I’ll really try my best to give you a fair shot at winning these arguments. I just know as a debater I appreciated when judges put their default views on things in their paradigm to ease pre-round anxiety.
Cards are cool------------X---------------------------------Tons of spin
Evidence comparison-X--------------------------------------------Make Indu flip a coin
Conditionality bad-----------------------------------------X----Conditionality good
States CP good (+ uniformity)----------X-----------------------------------States bad
Agent, process CPs, PICs -----------------X---------------------------Boooooooo
Impact Calc------------------------------------------X--IMPACT CALC!!!!
4 second competition arguments -------------------------------------------X-- Real competition arguments
Answering straight turns --X-----------------------------------------— Aggressive eye roll
Overviews so long my hand cramps --------------------------------X------------- Line by line
What does [INSERT CONFUSING K THING HERE] mean? ------X---------------------------------------Smoke bomb!
Specific links to the aff ------------X---------------------------------Generic links
Hashing out what it means to vote AFF/NEG -X-------------------------------------------- ???????
Starting from the assumption certain arguments are true ----------------------------------------X----- Argument humility
The aff does literally anything -X---------------------------------------- Nothingness for 6 minutes
Explain the perm -X---------------------------------- hehehe perm: do both, perm: double bind, perm: do the alt & make Indu mad
COLLAPSING TO A FEW CORE ARGS IN THE 2NR/AR -XXXXXXX---------------------------------------- ha ha no
Making framing args in the 1NC/1AR --X----------------------------------------------------- me arbitrarily weighing based on my ~vibes~
Mix-and-match buy-1-get-1-free kitchen sink theory interps -----------------------------------------X- Debating?
Defend the topic!--------------------X------------------------- Completely non-T
Fairness/Limits good---------------X------------------------------Nope nope nope
Slowing down on analytics & interps -XXXXXX--------------------------------------------------- LKDFGLJEOIKDFGLKJFDGL
Super structured LD froufrou shell -------------------------------------------------X---------- [Thingy] is a voting issue because ground blah blah
Shells that are actually just substantive -------------------------------------------X- make a substance arg?
Arbitrariness bad --X--------------------------------------------------------------------- hyper specific shells
Definition comparison in T debates --X-------------------------------------------------- weighing is overrated
Read a violation card in a T shell -X-------------------------------------------------------- assert a violation and hope for the best
Explain atypical framework ---X------------------------------------------ Assume Indu understands 400 WPM metaphysics at 8 AM
Straight up -X-------------------------------------------- Tricks and memery
Collapse to a few core arguments ----------X----------------------------------- Everything
Actually having offense under your FW -X----------------------------------------------- 1 sentence analytic... ???
- Please enunciate and be clear. If I clear you, it’s not because you’re going too fast, it’s because you are nearing or already are incomprehensible. Trust me – you can be fast while still making words come out of your mouth.
- Have some personality! I really enjoy people making some jokes, sarcasm, etc.
- I’m very expressive during round. I don’t really try to suppress in any way. Do with that what you will.
- Disclosure and being straight-up at the flip/disclosing cases pre-round/other related practices are good!
- Cheating accusations: you can stake the round on these. Tab could get involved. Have audio/video evidence of clipping. If a debater makes the clipping accusation, I will rely on the Tabroom provided clipping policy (if available) to make my decision and for guidance on how to proceed. Similarly, if a debater makes an evidence ethics challenge, I will rely on Tabroom's guidance when possible.
- Clipping: I've dropped a handful of people for clipping. I read along and feel comfortable dropping debaters regardless of if an accusation has been made by the other debater. If clipping happens once, I usually chalk it up to a mistake. When I do drop you, please be assured you were clipping egregiously (usually 3+ words) and consistently (usually 2+ cards). I've never dropped someone for clipping if they were super unclear, but I'm comfortable doing so if I've cleared multiple times, I'm ignored when I say clear multiple times, and the level of clarity is so poor such that a reasonable person could not discern which words were read and which weren't. Please don't cheat. I'm happy to have a conversation with debaters and their coaches during these difficult circumstances, but I ask for respect from all parties involved. It's incredibly frustrating for everyone when rounds end in this way, and I understand that these decisions may seem personal. Ending rounds because of clipping or other dishonest behavior does not reflect my personal evaluation of you as a debater or your team/coach. It's just in the spirit of academic integrity, and I hope everyone involved learns and grows from the experience. I take decisions to end a round very seriously.
- Evidence ethics: you can also stake the round on this. I take an accusation of this nature to mean they have substantially changed the work of an author such that it includes ideas not present in the original work or excludes critical portions of a piece of work, concludes differently than the author intended, or follows poor citation methods in a way that is academically dishonest. Here is a list of things I consider unethical (which is not exhaustive): cutting out part of a paragraph, adding your own (or that of another author) ideas to a card, skipping paragraphs in a single card, not noting when an author disagrees with the argument presented, and mis-citing (literally just incorrect cites).
- Like, I mentioned... I flow. That means, like you, I could miss arguments or not understand what you’re talking about. We all expect judges to be magic flow fairies, which isn’t true. Try your best to be clear, collapse to few arguments, and weigh. Little judging errors happen when there’s a million moving pieces, and I’ll feel less bad if I make a mistake and the round is like this.
- I read cards and like rewarding good evidence. My reading of evidence unless instructed or in extreme extraneous circumstances (ethics challenges, etc) does not affect my decision. I think debaters would do so much better if they read their opponent's cards because a lot of cards I've seen this season have had... sub-prime quality.
- As I went to Harvard-Westlake, I probably view debate in a similar way to my coaches and teammates. Some of them include: Travis Fife, Scott Phillips, Mike Bietz, Connor & Evan Engel, Cameron Cohen, Nick Steele.
- In light of recent events, I will wait to submit speaks until after the post-round is done. I think aggressive/rude/condescending post-rounds are bad sportsmanship and will be reflected in speaks. I'd like to think I have reasonably thick skin, so this is something that I don't think I'll have to use too often. Just wanted to give everyone a fair warning. This equally applies to your coach(es) & friend(s) who are rude to me after a round. If you can't control yourself, I will not be sympathetic.
- I sometimes (read: often) vote for a team even though I think their arguments aren't particularly good, they made contradictory arguments, or some other ridiculous thing occurs. It's incumbent upon the other debater to point this stuff out. Most of the time, they don't. If you don't, it'll just make everyone sad, including me. This scenario is where most post-rounding occurs. I generally won't just drop people because I don't vibe with their arguments.
- Please don't feel compelled to read arguments that you think I read in high school. I can tell when you read arguments to try to pander to me, and it's usually a worse quality debate than if you just read the position you actually wanted to. (No one believes this, but I read 50/50 K & policy args in high school and now judge 50/50 K & policy rounds... I actually don't have a preference. Seriously.) I don't need to hear decol fem and states every round -- don't worry about me. Do your own thing. (That being said, I judge a decent number of phil, theory, and clash rounds. I feel comfortable evaluating whatever you throw at me provided you do whatever you're doing well and straight up.)
- I vote relatively 50/50 in non-T aff vs FW rounds. You NEED to have offense and a defense of your vision of the topic/debate! Most of my decisions boil down to not being able to articulate what are big macro-level issues because people are overly caught in LBL. LBL is very important obviously, but that doesn't supplant the importance of explaining what model you're even defending.
- #stopsplittingthe2nr2k20 (Seriously, *who* taught you all to do this! I do not give above a 29 to people who split the 2NR even if you're in the finals of every tournament that year. There is 1/1000 instances where this is debate smart, and I bet you your round isn't that instance.)
- I'm uninterested in underviews. I don't think they add strategic utility, and they're boring. Read more arguments that defend the aff instead of reading infinitely regressive "evaluate the debate after X speech" and "we get 1AR theory" shenanigans. Theoretically, the best constructed affs are making a bunch of substantive arguments that pre-empt a variety of 1NC positions, which is why the best debaters win by reading--well--arguments. I've started to deduct speaks for this because it's getting pretty ridiculous and I just roll my eyes the whole time. Read at risk of your speaker points.
- I don't disclose speaks -- you don't need to ask after the round. Here's random things I enjoy and reward with higher speaker points (in no particular order): being passionate about your position, numbering of args, strategic collapse in every speech, not going for every argument, weighing(!), having a personality, using examples & stats effectively, anticipating your opponent's args, good CX, judge instruction, being respectful during the RFD & post-round. While I vote on args that I think are silly sometimes, people get low speaks for those rounds. If you, for example, go for some reasonable phil position and do it well/straight-up, that's fine -- high speaks. However, If you go for some ridiculous theory shell and bumble your way into a win, I will not be kind with speaks.
- I have chronic migraines that are sometimes triggered by excessive noise, which is sort of unfortunate given that debate... involves much yelling. I will occasionally ask debaters to speak softer if you yell-spread. I've only done this once or twice, but just wanted to give people a fair warning. (No, the migraine does not affect my ability to judge your round. It's just painful. Be a homie.)
i debated LD and policy in high school, graduating in '13. this is my 4th year coaching LD @ greenhill.
[current/past affiliations: coached independent debaters from: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18); team coach for: westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now) ]
i would like there to be an email chain and I would like to be on it: firstname.lastname@example.org. I strongly prefer an email chain to the NSDA Classroom file sharing, and would love for the chain name to be specific and descriptive - perhaps something like "Tournament Name, Round # - __ vs __". I find debates without cameras to be a real bummer; particularly at the toc when students' careers will end, and i would thus appreciate if cameras were on for the duration of rounds.
I have coached debaters whose interests ranged from util + policy args & dense critical literature (anthropocentrism, afropessimism, settler colonialism, psychoanalysis, irigaray, borderlands, the cap + security ks), to trickier args (i-law, polls, monism) & theory heavy strategies.
That said, I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, and thoroughly enjoy 6 minutes of topicality or framework 2nrs [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell.
I am a bad judge for highly evasive tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not coach or think about analytic philosophy or tricks anymore outside of debate tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace in order for me to process and understand all the moving parts - notably, this is also true for whoever is answering these positions. every time i have voted for an analytic phil arg, it has been because the relevant rebuttal tailored its speed to a level where i understood the arguments!
i think the word "unsafe" means something and I am uncomfortable when it is deployed cavalierly - it is a meaningful accusation to suggest that an opponent has made a space unsafe (vs uncomfortable), and i think students/coaches/judges should be mindful of that distinction. I think this also applies to things like “evidence ethics,” “independent voters,” "psychological violence," etc., though in different ways for each. If you believe that the debate has become unsafe, we should likely pause the round and reach out to tournament officials, as the ballot is an insufficient mechanism with which to resolve issues of safety. similarly, it will take a lot for me to feel comfortable concluding that a round has been psychologically violent and thus decide the round on that conclusion, or to sign a ballot that accuses a student of cheating without robust, clear evidence to support that. i have judged a lot of debates, and it is very difficult for me to think of many that have been *unsafe* in any meaningful way.
This used to be much longer - I have preserved the older version, but understand it was cumbersome for pref purposes, too long to read immediately pre-round, etc.
3 things on online debate:
slow down slow down slow down slow down slow down. i think online you should be going at 70% or so of the speed you would go in person. if you do not slow down and technical difficulties mean i miss arguments, i will not be very sympathetic to the post round.
zoom mics means it is very difficult for debaters to hear me cue "slow/clear" - if you would like me to type it in the chat, i will, but otherwise facial expressions will have to be your best cue. if i am not flowing at the speed you are reading, you will know, but the time i lose on flowing to unmute myself and shout slow is not worth it imo.
- given how clear it is to me that no one could flow a debate round as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow them at top speed. i prefer more experienced debaters to modulate their speed/presentation to be closer to that of their opponent's as i believe this facilitates better debates.
10 things to know:
- Evidence Ethics: In previous years, I have seen a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence. My longer thoughts on that are available on the archived version of this paradigm, including what kinds of violations will trigger this, etc. If you are uncertain if your evidence is miscut, perhaps spend some time perusing those standards, or better yet, resolve the miscutting. Similarly, I will vote against debaters clipping if i notice it. If you would like me to vote on evidence ethics, i would prefer that you lay out the challenge, and then stake the round on it. i do not think accusations of evidence ethics should be risk-less for any team, and if you point out a mis-cutting but are not willing to stake the round on it, I am hesitant to entertain that argument in my decision-making process. if an ev ethics challenge occurs, it is drop the debater, there is no room for drop the arg negotiation. do with that what you will.
i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer. this is not negotiable, and just because you kept reading for 10 seconds post timer does not mean that the card gets marked ten seconds post timer.
please do not split your 2nrs! you will be far likelier to win if you develop one flow for the 2nr, and will be served poorly by the attempt to go for every 1nc arg in the 2nr. In principle, this is also true for your 2ARs. an important caveat: if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it i think that likely means the 1nc arg is underdeveloped. that issue should be resolved pre round, not by relying on 2nr cards/new args, or on split 2nrs - i think this is particularly true of very short topicality arguments - a sentence or two of standards will likely not be enough to beat a 1ar thats just like "hold the line" (a similar logic applies to 1ar theory args!)
there is no chance you get me to exclude a speech from the debate - i will evaluate every portion of the debate after the 2ar, with relevant content from the 2ar taken into consideration.
Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if a card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. it seems to me there are competitive incentives to say as few words as possible and that this trickles down to highlighting. I think this is a practice that should not be rewarded, and that you should highlight your evidence to make claims the author has made, and that those claims should make sense if read at conversational speed outside of the context of a high school debate round. The 1ac/nc should have evidence of high quality, and the 1ar/2nr/2ar should have explanation of that evidence of a similarly high quality. if you have great evidence that explains what your aff defends, great! you should read it - i am not particularly sympathetic to unread ev in a doc/ unread lists that explain what the affirmative/cp/whatever does/does not defend. i prefer for you to read re-highlightings and explain how your reading of the other team's ev differs from theirs.
I think disclosure is good, and "in the interest of disclosing my own bias, i think the best debates happen when both teams are able to reasonably predict what arguments will be read (with the exception of new affs + unbroken neg positions). i am unsympathetic to arguments about disclosure that do not contest this point. even if you cannot post broken positions on the wiki for whatever reason, it is my belief that you should be willing to provide them, in good faith, to your opponent upon request in some way." - anna. That said, i do not enjoy being in the back of disclosure debates where the violation is difficult to verify, or where a team has actively taken actions to help a team engage, even if that action does not take the form of open sourcing documents on the ndca wiki. if a team refuses to tell you what the aff will be, or is clearly familiar with circuit norms but has nothing on their wiki, I will be considerably more receptive to disclosure, but again, verifiability is key. - "If there was an accessibility, disclosure, or other request made before the debate that you plan to bring up in the debate please inform me before the debate. I would like to evaluate the debate with this information ahead of time. More personal issues/things that someone did last year are difficult for me to understand as relevant to my ballot." - eli
i rely heavily on framing claims made by both teams in deciding debates, and i much prefer these claims to break early than late - if neither the 1nc/1ac have particularly clear framing claims, my decision is liable to get weird. a lot of k debates i've coached/judged this year have taken for granted that "explanatory power" has some innate value that is sufficient to win debates - i don't understand why this is true, or why explanatory power is intrinsically valuable/something i should view as sufficient to grant a ballot. it strikes me that if all the aff/neg has is explanatory power, but do not answer what one should do *next* if those theoretical claims are true, then the aff/neg has not done much absent a framework argument to explain why that should be enough for me.
- form vs content: over the last few years, i have seen a significant uptick in arguments about form vs content. i find this dichotomy fascinating, but i find myself rarely understanding where debaters want me to draw the form/content line - if you plan for this to be a significant part of your strategy, you need to be very clear about what is different between your form and your opponent's form. perhaps i misunderstand this bucket of arguments, but almost every time i see this play out, i find myself thinking that the aff and neg's form are near indistinguishable from each other, which makes me deeply skeptical of which ever side is going for the form indicts.
- i think the semantics da to T is often articulated in ways that are paternalistic and verge on racist. if you do not have a defense of your reading of the resolution, i think vaguely gesturing at racial minorities and saying "topicality is racist, why do you exclude minorities?" is gross unless you have an explanation of what dialect, culture, etc., interprets the topic the way you have. otherwise, you are simply making the claim that minorities are insufficiently intelligent to handle... grammar? other languages have internal structures, grammar, and conceptions of semantic correctness, and it is unbelievable to me how many times i've seen debaters assert otherwise in debates this year! i think often in debates the argument takes this paternalistic form because debaters cut down on warrants and internal links for the sake of efficiency, but i do not think that is an excuse
- speaks: if you debate at a level that makes me think you should be in out rounds, you will likely have 28.8 as your floor - moving above that requires good strategic decisions, well structured rebuttals, and making the debate easy to resolve. i believe 28.8 were the average speaks required to break at a few of the larger octas bids in recent years, so it seemed like a good point to establish a scale around. as point distribution changes, perhaps i will revisit this metric.
Finally, I am not particularly good for the following buckets of debates:
Warming good & other impact turn heavy strategies
IR heavy debates - i encourage you to slow down and be very clear in the claims you want me to evaluate in these debates.
Bad theory arguments / theory debates w/ very marginal offense (rotb spec falls neatly in this category, and it is unlikely i will vote for theory debates where i can not identify meaningful offense / where the abuse story is very difficult for me to comprehend)
- must disclose pronouns/must disclose race war/must give a trigger warning shells
Identity ks that appropriate the form and language of antiblackness literature (particularly with regards to queerness & disability)
affs/nc's that have entirely analytic frameworks (even if it is something like util!) i think this is often right on the line of plagiarism, and more importantly, my brain simply cannot process it & flow it at high speeds.
- baudrillard & his derivatives
- new affs bad - frankly, its not worth putting in the 1nc.
Debated LD and Policy at Harvard-Westlake for 5 years
add me to chain- email@example.com
I mainly read and went for policy arguments and kritiks (Set Col, Security, Afropess, and Cap) as a debater and am best for these debates.
I have paradigmatically shifted from how I judged last year to be less interventionist. I am will to vote on any argument that reaches the threshold of a claim, warrant, and impact (including friv theory) that I can explain back in an rfd. That being said I think that the threshold for defeating these arguments is pretty low.
My thoughts on online debate are the same as Rodrigo Paramo which you can see below -
- here is the procedure i will follow if a student drops off a call, or i drop off a call: students are expected to maintain local recordings of their speeches - if they drop off, they should complete the speech and immediately email their recording upon completing it. i will not allow students to restart speeches / attempt to figure out how much time they had left, particularly in elimination rounds.
- if someone drops off a call, please do not steal prep time.
- fell off a call today at the tail end of the 1nc - when i was able to get back on, the kids were mid cross-x and hadnt noticed! in order to avoid things like this, it will make the round easier for all of us if you figure out a way to be able to see both me and your opponent on screen - non-verbal communication is really helpful for e-debate working at its best, and if we both nod at "everyone ready," you need to be able to see that, not just be waiting on us to un-mute ourselves and speak up! if you do not hear from me or see me indicate i am ready in some form, you should not assume i am ready. one thing i think this means is that "is anyone not ready" is no longer the right question to ask - "is everyone ready" is gonna be key to ensure no one misses anything.
- slow down. i think online you should be going at 70% or so of the speed you would go in person. if you do not slow down and technical difficulties mean i miss arguments, i will not be very sympathetic to the post round - i have had a lot of kids not be able to hear me bc of the way zoom handles microphones - i am sorry if you do not hear me say "slow", but i cannot emphasize enough the need for you to slow down.
- you should have an email chain - if you are flight b, the chain should be set up before you hop on the call if possible.
1. I will try to be as impartial as possible. 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.
2. You have to send your opponent a doc. Prep ends when you are done compiling it.
3. I tend to think I am pretty flexible in terms of judging. I enjoy a dense ptx debate, well executed 2nrs on the k, T debates, and FW v K aff debates. The one exception to this is awful theory debates.
4. I can’t vote on arguments that immediately evident to me to be false. By that I mean, if you read a theory shell or make a competition arg and you are just objectively wrong about the violation, I cannot see myself being compelled to vote for you.
5. I love CX and think it’s the most interesting part of debate. I will reward you with good speaks if you execute it well. You can’t use it as prep.
6. Ethics challenges stop the round immediately and if you are right you get what would be the average speaks I give for someone with you record prior to the round and your opponent gets the lowest speaks. If you are wrong the opposite is true. It is your job to call your opponent out on clipping and miscut evidence.
7. I would find my self hard pressed to vote for an RVI on T.
8. Evidence quality matters a lot to me. A lot of close debates I judge ultimately come down to Ev quality.
9. I tend to vote neg in plan v K debates when link articulation is done well and presents a genuine DA to a permutation or if framework is decisively won by the neg.
10. I’m 50/50 on Framework v K affs. I find skills/clash more persuasive than fairness but will vote for either. Being able to impact out your arguments on either side is critical in these debates.
11. I feel very comfortable evaluating high tech policy rounds. Most of my 2nrs were CP/DA.
12. Debating the case well is underutilized and can make a big difference in close rounds.
13. I’m neutral on most CP theory. I lean neg on one condo bad and more split if it is multiple condo.
14. I think comparison of definitions in T debate is critical. Precision should be an impact in every 1nc T argument IMO.
15. I think that my threshold for newish arguments in rebuttals is pretty low, but I think it is up to the debaters to instruct me and argue about what arguments the other side gets access too.
Online debate update
-i will have camera on or off if debaters prefer-feel free to express your preference
-I am using a desktop computer (for tabroom/to see your doc, I'm flowing on paper) without a webcam and using Zoom etc on a tablet sitting next to me. This means I'm rarely looking "at" the camera
-my headset is wireless, I may get up and move around during CX/prep but I can hear even if I'm not on camera
My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.
Rounds Judged on the topic- a lot
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case
Cliffs Notes-Top 10 Things you should know
1. I vote on arguments commonly considered "bad" frequently because a team mishandles them, it is my belief belief that most bad arguments can be defeated by making a thumbs down motion, so if you fail to meet that minimum threshold I will be qualmless voting against you. The overarching principle of my judging is "least intervention"-Much like Harrison Ford in Ender's Game under no circumstances will I help you with bad arguments, I believe in self help.
2. I vote on kritiks a lot because the team answering them reads a lot of bad generic answers instead of making analytic arguments based on the specific arguments they have made in that debate. To clarify this sentence - what I mean is an analytic based on your 1AC- ie "tradable permits empirically don't cause commodification and extinction since we already have them for SO2". In general I think most debaters have no idea what they are saying when reading a K and that affirmatives SHOULD win about 80-90% of the debates in which the negative goes for one.
3. No plan affs- 100% of the time when I vote against you on framework its because the other team won theory was a trump card over issues like education/K impacts and you didn't advance theory offense for your interpretation. I end up voting for no plan args frequently because the neg collapses/has no idea what to do.
4. Theory needs to come back with a vengeance
A. Entirely plan inclusive counterplans- I have never heard a theory argument to defend them that passes the minimum threshold explained above. That being said, winning a solvency deficit against them is basically impossible.
B. More than 2 conditional counterplans is just you being a chazzer
C. K frameworks/roles of the ballot that stack the deck absurdly are worse than entirely plan inclusive counterplans
D. Reject argument not team produces terrible debates with very bad strategies. Voting on theory doesn't fix this, but it improves it substantially.
5. I believe you have a choice
A. Clearly articulate your ground/say as much in CX
B. Because your position is vague you are susceptible to a reduced credibility modifier that taints many of your arguments. Plan vagueness affects plan solvency, alternative vagueness affects.... etc.
6. IMO there are, in fact, risks of things. Debaters should be aware of this and make arguments about how I should resolve risk. The plan may be popular with 5 people and unpopular with 6, should I place more emphasis on the number of people or maybe are those 5 more important? Very few link cards establish such a clear threshold that you can say with certainty (when contested) yes definite link. (this point is largely irrelevant now as the tides of history have turned and no risk people have been successfully marginalized)
7. I will always defer to debater argument resolution if one side does it and the other doesn't-no matter how bad or illogical I think the argument is. This is to me, the most important part of debate.
8. I try really hard to flow well. Teams who willfully ignore line by line/structure - I will not do work for you to figure things out if the other team does line by line barring some argument why I should.
9. I often call for lots of evidence after a debate, most of the time this is just out of curiosity. When making my decision evidence is only a factor when it is a point of contest or someone has made an argument for why it should be a part of the decision. I am not a judge who reads every card from both sides and makes a decision based on the evidence.
10. Evidence quality in debate is in terminal decline. If you have good evidence and you make an issue of it in the debate (talk about quals, or recency for uniqueness) you will most likely crush.
Making a decision:
Everything is debatable but speech times: The role of the ballot, whether evidence or analytic arguments are more important, is it acceptable for the other team to read off their computers, who gets presumption and why etc. If neither team makes an argument on the issue, the following are my defaults:
1. Evidence and analytic arguments are treated equally- I will look at the total sum of explanation offered for an argument, from any form. So if a well explained analytical will beat a poorly written piece of evidence. If one teams reads qualifications and the other doesn't, the team who read quals will receive a slight bump in the level of quality I assess to their explanation (assuming all other factors are equal). Treating them as equal until told otherwise is my way of encouraging debate.
2. Presumption, in the case of a tie or too close to call resolution of an argument, goes to the team advocating the least change. I would use presumption in the instance where each team had an advocacy and an offensive argument, and each team dropped a terminal defense argument to their own offense such that the net risk in either direction of presented offense was exactly zero. In that instance the "hidden disad" of change makes sense as a decision making tool. In no other circumstance I can think of would I use presumption unless explicitly instructed by the debaters.
3. If an argument is unresolveable (or tough to resolve) I will use a "needs" test- the burden of explanation will be assessed to the team who NEEDS the argument to win. So for example
-on a CP permutation, if the neg would win the debate without the permutation, then the aff needs it to win- so the burden of explanation is on them
-for CP solvency, if the neg would lose if the CP did not solve the case, then the neg needs to win solvency- so the burden of explanation is on them
4. Concession= truth. If you drop epistemology comes first/is a side constraint, then it is. You can drop that framing issue and still win as long as you beat the link (that your epistemology is flawed), but you will not be allowed new answers to the impact. I use a reasonable person standard- if I was unaware that the 1NC presented a epistemology first argument (based on what was said in the 1NC, not my prior knowledge of the negative team), then if the aff says "they didn't say this, therefore our answers aren't new" I would allow it. But remember, everything is debatable. If the 2NR comes back and asserts it was clearly stated when they said XYZ, the aff has to disprove that.
5. The threshold for how good a response to an argument has to be is directly related to the quality of the initial argument. Saying "RANT" is sufficient to beat a lot of voting issues. If the other team answers RANT in their 2NC sever perms are a VI block, and thats all you say, you will be in trouble. Similarly, many counterplans (consult, recommendation, delay, lopez) are easily defeated by theory arguments but almost impossible to beat on substance. A well rounded debater should avoid trying to ice skate uphill.
6. I spend a lot of time on debate. Other than eating and playing video games, basically all of my time is spent cutting cards, coaching, writing and reading about debate. A lot of judges say "I'm not a very good flow". I'm a very good flow, I may even go as far as to say probably one of the best. All that being said, it is very possible that you could say a string of words, or utter a quote from an article I have written that fully conveys your argument to me, but would leave a less experienced/judge with a life with no idea what you were saying/what your argument was. I try to temper this fact by using a "reasonable person" standard for what makes a complete argument. I feel this is essential because otherwise any student who was in my lab, had emailed me a question, or had just read a lot of the 3NR would have an absurdly unfair advantage vs a similarly skilled student. So if I made a joke in lab about saying "purple monkey dishwasher" and that meaning "we do the whole plan minus the reps", so you say that in a debate and expect me to vote on it, I won't. Unless you are debating someone else from the lab who had equal access to that information. Similarly, even if I flowed an argument/got the jist of what you were saying, but feel that the other team is being reasonable when they say your argument was poorly explained/did not constitute an argument I will be open to that and you need to respond.
1. I like fast debate. That being said, some people give fast debate a bad name. You can be fast only after you are clear and efficient. I should be able to understand every word you say, not just the tags. If you are stammering (or displaying other verbal missteps) excessively you are going faster than you are capable of going imo.
2. Points are determined by how well you perform your function, which depends on what speeches you give. A 1AC should be perfectly smooth because you can practice it as much as you want. A 2NC assembled on the fly vs a new case can be excused a few missteps on the other hand. I think auto giving the 1N low points because they could be replaced by a robot in most debates is a bit unfair- a blazing fast 1NC and devastating 1NR can be game changing. That being said, rarely do people perform up to that level.
3. Points are assessed relative to the field in which you are competing. The same speech can be a 29 at a local, but a 27.5 at St Marks.
What is your threshold for T?
The threshold is established by the other teams answers- if they make good defensive arguments and argue reasonability well than my threshold will be high. If they don't it will be very low.
What are you favorite kinds of debate?
Ones in which there are clash, since that is not really a thing anymore its usually impact turn debates- heg bad, de-dev, CO2 ag and warming good- loved to go for these when I debated and love to see them debated now. CO2 ag is the upper limit of stupid I think is acceptable.
Did you run kritiks when you debated?
Not as much as Bricker would want you to believe. My senior year in HS and my senior year in college I went for K's about 30% of the time, in the other years of my debate less than 5%.
Did you ever read a critical aff?
By today's standards no- I always had a plan, though sometimes the advantages were not nuke war.
You bash the politics disad a lot, will you still vote for it?
Yes, almost always because the affirmative never does anything of the things that highlight the problem with politics.
Are you OK with speed?
Yes, if anything I dislike slow debate. However this is a double edged sword- if you do fast debate terribly I will punish you for it.
Is Fem IR beatable?
What race do you play in SC2?
Usually random, but if I pick -zerg.
If you were in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to?
A note on jumping:
I want to see good debates. I'm not interested in charging you 10 seconds of prep to jump your speeches. If, however, you show total technical incompetence at jumping/severely delay the round your speaks will suffer. A good jump is like a good road map- its not hard, so get it over with quickly.
Standards for sharing should be reciprocal, and as such are established by the team willing to do the least. If Team A doesnt jump speeches as a policy that is fine by me, but then Team B is under no obligation to let Team A see any of their evidence. If Team A doesn't jump analytics, Team B doesn't have to etc.
A note on quality:
I generally believe that there are certain "norms" in debate- don't steal prep time, don't clip cards etc. These norms are not rules, and as such as a judge I don't think its my job to enforce them. In fact, I think it SHOULD be the burden of a good team to be on top of is the other team stealing prep, are they clipping cards etc. Encouraging students to take responsibility for this is the best model imo. However, there are debates where there is a huge mismatch in terms of the quality of the teams involved. I no longer think it reasonable to expect novices entered in their first varsity tournament to check to see if the Baker Award winning team they are debating is stealing prep. I also don't really care to argue with you about whether or not you are stealing prep. So my solution is that for all things that could be considered a violation of good sportsmanship I will severely jack your points if it is a debate where I subjectively decide the other team should not be responsible for checking you.SO
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx in the finals of the TOC vs another excellent team I would expect the other team to catch you
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx during a preset vs a vastly inferior team I will severely dock your speaker points
Intro: I debated for 3 years at Royse City (it’s okay if you don’t know where that is) I was the only debater at my school my senior year but actively competed on the National circuit. I primarily did LD but I also have experience in Policy I ran just about everything during my years of debate from non-T affs, K affs, and any option on the neg that saying I’m open to any argument you will read.
Short version- I try to be as TAB as possible knowing there are some preferences just read whatever you want I don’t have preferences in that sense (plans, DAs, Ks, theory) just tell me why you ran them and why they matter. Go as fast as you want I’d like to say I’m pretty good at flowing. I’m not the best at really dense phil so please explain exactly what the argument means (even if you win the tech debate it’s hard for me to vote on an argument that wasn’t explained well during round.
1. Policy args (CP, DA, ADV)
2. T & Theory
If you start an email chain put me on it. Pogue2000@gmail.com
Framework- V/C debate, ROB, ROJ, are all acceptable. I didn’t really run dense framework in my years of debate but for certain positions its required so go for it. I’m sad I have to say this but just because you win framework doesn’t mean you win the round. Please weigh well tell me how your arguments fit in the framework and why that framework matters. I feel like most debaters don’t do a great job at arguing frameworks after the first two speeches so even if you read a 5-card dump on your opponent’s framework you still need to extend and say why yours is good.
Policy args- I tend to lean to policy style debates even in LD but only if the topic allows it. If the wording of the resolution doesn’t ask for some sort of policy action don’t try to fit on in.
Topicality/ theory- When you read these arguments in front of me give 1. A proper structure Interp, violation, standards, voters 2. A clear abuse story (if one isn’t pointed out it’s hard for me to vote on it even if you when the tech debate) don’t just say it’s bad for education or fairness show me why that matters and how it’s bad for debate 3. I feel like competing interps is a better way to debate theory but sometimes reasonability is a good strategy (I don’t like reasonability as much because it calls for me to create some type of Brightline and requires a bit of intervention) 4. I feel like the 1AR is one of the hardest speeches in debate and will vote on RVIs for theory or topicality if the RVI is properly warranted.
K- I don’t have a lot of experience in super dense K debate so if you’re going hard please explain it because it’ll go right over my head. I’m good with general Ks Biopower, Cap, ECT. If you can explain the position in an overview in a way that I can understand I will vote on it.
I am an LD debater from Strake Jesuit.
As a senior I got 3 bids to the TOC. I also cleared and made it to octos.
Add me on email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to objectively evaluate arguments to determine who wins the round. For this reason, I give you a list of round scenarios and give you my comfortability in evaluating them.
1 = best (as in fairest evaluation on BOTH sides)
K vs K = 1
LARP vs K = 1
Phil = 1
LARP = 2
K affs = 1
Friv theory = 2
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity (clarity being the least important).
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during cx. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/offensive (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
I debated for Harker from 2014-2017. I mostly read policy arguments. I care a lot about evidence quality. Arguments do not begin at 100% truth. I haven't judged in a while, so for Apple Valley, especially the earlier rounds, please read a little slower.
I don't like preclusion-based arguments. By this I mean arguments that say "x is the root cause of y" or "x argument/framework comes before y framework". These arguments are impact calculus, albeit usually pretty good impact calculus, and do not mean none of the links to y matter. This means I am strongly in favor of epistemic modesty. This does not mean I'm not open to framework debates. It does mean I think a stategy that concedes all of the other side's offense and just answers the framework or impact is very bad.
If your opponent points out or I find out you didn't disclose (absent outstanding circumstances), I will vote against you. I've recently judged a lot of edge cases here recently, and if you think you fall in one of these edge cases, your best bet is to pseudo disclose to your opponent through messenger/email or whatever as soon as possible.
my email is email@example.com - add me to the email chain.
Hey I’m Jack! I went to Northland in Houston, Tx. I did LD for 4 years and competed on the national circuit for 3. My favorite part of debate was thinking about different strategies, so if I think you make good strategic choices, you will probably get really good speaks. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains at firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy - 1
Theory/T - 1
K (security, cap, set col) - 2
K (anything else) - 3
Tricks - 3 (I don't want to judge this, but I'm fine if need be)
Phil – 4
- Fairness > Edu
- 1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
- comparative worlds
- no RVIs, competing interps, dtd
- sufficiency framing
- Above all, I want you to debate the way you debate best. I want debaters to read what they know and are invested in.
- Disclosure is good. I am willing to vote on any sort of disclosure argument.
- I will vote for anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact. I won't vote for anything that doesn't.
- Don't split your 2nr
- In the world of online debate - please send your analytics and go 70% normal speed.
- I have an extraordinarily high threshold for any argument concerning out of round practices (except disclosure).
- Clipping/ethics challenges will result in an L minimal speaks. False accusations will result in the same.
- Debate should be a safe space. If you are sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist or something similar, you will be dropped with minimal speaks.
- This is what I am most comfortable with. I prefer plans to have tight scenarios that have big impacts instead of spamming absurd scenarios or soft left scenarios. Please know your aff like the back of your hand.
- Impact turns are amazing and should be used a lot more. I think debates that involve them turnout to be some of the most in depth and fun debates to watch.
- I think having good evidence is extremely important, but having good spin and ev comparison is what wins these debates. In these debates I will probably read cards at the end of the round to confirm that the spin is valid.
- PTX DA is great. My only request is that your uniqueness is not old.
- All CPs are good with me. I love CP theory debates.
- Affs should be able to weigh the plan
- I would much prefer links to the action of the plan
- Your speaks will suffer if your links are overly generic
- Throw out the big overview for more lbl.
- I think using examples and pulling lines from the aff to contextualize links is very persuasive.
- Please explain how the world of the alt solves/interacts with the world of the aff and the links.
- Answer 2 questions- 1. What does the alt look like, and 2. how does it solve the links? That’ll make my job very easy.
- No mention/hint at the k being a floating pik in the 1nc means the 2ar gets answers.
- K affs have a pretty high threshold for explaining solvency and what the aff does.
-The threshold for winning debate bad/should not exist is very high.
- I tend to slightly lean neg on T-FW especially when the affs model of debate does not include a role for the negative.
- Affs should have counterinterps that solve large portions of the neg offense
- Please utilize the TVA
- The 2nr needs to explain the differences in the models of debate you endorse, and why that matters/has an impact.
- I prefer the fairness 2n to the clash 2n.
- I tend to think that 2nrs on framework that don't go on case put themselves in very tough positions.
- Don’t expect me to know what your buzzwords mean.
- I'll be honest, I probably shouldn't be in the back for a dense k v k debate (unless it's like x aff v cap).
- Affs should have a framework.
- Don’t assume I have read your literature. BUT, I will still evaluate just like I would any other type of debate. I just need a very clear extension of why your framework comes first/is true.
- The only framework arguments besides util that I ever read in debate were Kant, Hobbes, and Rawls.
- I don't know why but I really like logcon.
- Truth testing is all good.
- I'm probably not the best for debates that come down to permissibility triggers.
-Not a fan of skep.
-Please don't pref me if you are looking for in depth phil v phil debates.
- SLOW DOWN
- I will evaluate these arguments the same as every other argument.
- Most of these arguments are very silly and easy to answer, but it seems like debaters either over invest or do not answer them at all.
-A prioris are fine but incredibly stupid.
- I love these debates.
- These debates are about competing models of debate/topic
- The frivolous nature of some of these arguments does not factor into my decision. Although, reasonability tends to become easier to justify.
- I can't express how important weighing is.
- If you are going for semantics you need to have a very clear explanation of the grammatical intricacies of the topic wording.
- I think reasonability bright lines are just counterinterps.
- I'm totally cool with paragraph theory
- I will probably err on the side of giving higher speaks.
- Clarity is VERY IMPORTANT. If you are unclear and I miss a “game changing” argument – that’s a you problem.
- Speaks will be awarded for good debating (strategy, technical ability, good CX, etc).
Greenhill LD (2016-2019) – Send docs to email@example.com
TLDR – Do whatever you believe you are best at. An ideal debate for me will determine whether an instance of the resolution is preferable to the status quo or any alternative. My debate career was mostly reading policy arguments and some kritiks (primarily afropessimism) so keep that in mind. You can read whatever theory or topicality shell you have but make sure you’re reading it with the right intent (prove some abuse), otherwise my threshold for responses will be very low. All arguments should have a claim, warrant, and impact.
Tips for online debating in front of me –
1. Don’t spread through analytics (especially if they’re not in the doc)
2. I’d prefer you start an email chain, rather than use the file share
3. Test your audio before the round to make sure the audio is clear/loud enough
4. If you know your connection might be weak or unstable, I would recommend having a backup recording going just in case you cut out
Below are more specific thoughts on arguments
I love unique counterplans and believe they are heavily underutilized in debate. There aren’t many counterplans that I find abusive and I tend to believe in negative should get every argument to test the aff. More than 6 off is unnecessary and I’ll be more receptive to conditionality if you choose to utilize a strategy that tries to overload the 1AR. I don’t see a meaningful difference between condo and dispo, so just defend the CP as condo or uncondo.
I don’t have much to say here. Make sure your scenarios are sound and be ready to explain to me how an economic collapse will lead to extinction given 2020. Impact weighing is critical in these debates and don’t be afraid to go just for the DA in the 2NR if the aff has undercovered it. There are many times when going for just the DA is the move in the 2NR.
To win a topicality or theory shell in front of me, it is critical that you prove some clear abuse. I dislike debates that involve reading frivolous theory shells because they detract from other meaningful debates that could have occurred. It will be harder for you to win debates with shells that rely on artificial limits or constraints on the topic barring some form of abuse (ex: spec shells against whole res affs). Don’t read your analytic shells full speed – I guarantee you I will miss half of what you say. If you’re going for Nebel or a similar argument, I don’t know how you win a Nebel debate without a grammar justification. Weighing and impacting out standards on a theory debate are important and make sure you have some clear offense at the end of your speech because most debates I have seen are lacking clear offense by the end of the round. If you have the wrong interp in the document, clearly flag it as incorrect, otherwise I’ll hold you to whatever interp is in the document.
LD Framework –
If you are going to read something other than util, please make sure you have an actual framework and not some analytics you made yourself to justify a Kant framework. Make sure you do a good job at explaining your framework and keep the flow clean because these debates tend to get very messy.
2NRs on the kritik should have clear explanations and not rely heavily on overviews that you have already written. If you are going to read high theory, make sure you can do a really good job at explaining it to me. I have gotten much better at these debates, but I still will need you to not throw around buzzwords thinking I’ll catch them and understand what you’re saying. I am not the judge for Baudrillard. If you’re answering a kritik, make sure that you actually go down the flow and answer the carded evidence. I have seen debaters not answer a single link or put any arguments on the alt more often than I would like to.
Framework v. Kritiks –
These are the debates I have had the least exposure to. I will become fairly receptive to framework arguments on the negative if you are unable to find any way to connect your affirmative to the topic so I would recommend having some way to prove you are connected to the resolution in some meaningful way.
These are a non-starter for me. No, I will not evaluate the debate right after the 1NC and I will not evaluate the theory debate right after the 2NR. Please make sure that all the arguments you read have a clear claim, warrant, and impact.
Other Arguments –
Read disclosure for the right reasons. I’m probably not voting on disclosure when you’re reading it against a school that has no wiki and you’re telling me disclosure is good for small schools. I’d prefer not to hear a debate that delves into the specifics of how disclosure should occur if disclosure has occurred in a reasonable form. But if something has actually happened that you believe necessitates disclosure, by all means go for it.
Aff 1AR extensions –
Even if the entire aff is conceded, you must do more than just say the aff was conceded. Give a quick overview of the aff and extend some cards. This will allow you to utilize the aff better in the 2AR because if you miss a case turn or concede some blippy argument in the 2NR, I will be more receptive to you utilizing the aff in some way to respond to that evidence. If you have created some implicit clash in the 1AR, I will be willing to grant you arguments in the 2AR.
I will give you speaks based on your strategy, your CX performance, your clarity, and your ability to keep the debate clean and clear.
I won’t judge kick, default to util, take prep if you need to clarify perms or the text of an advocacy, sending the doc isn’t part of prep (within reason), and tech > truth.
If you have any questions before the round, please feel free to message me on FB to resolve anything unclear in my paradigm.
Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.
T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen AND CAN BE PERSUADED TO VOTE FOR IT I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.
Also, very very important! Affirmatives have to do something to change the squo in the world in debate etc. If by the end of the debate the affirmative cannot demonstrate what it does and what the offense of the aff is T/Framework becomes even more persuasive. Framework with a TVA that actually gets to the impacts of the aff and leverages reasons why state actions can better resolve the issues highlighted in the affirmative is very winnable in front of me.
DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly
CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit
K- I am familiar with most of the k literature
CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at
In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).
First let me explain how to get a Hot L:
So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L
THE SAME IS TRUE FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO GENDER, LGBTQ ISSUES ETC. ALSO WHITE PEOPLE AND WHITENESS IS NOT THE SAME THING
Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean
Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples
I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc
I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating
Conflicts: Carnegie Vanguard, McNeil
Hello! I competed in LD for 4 years at McNeil. I got 2 toc bids and qualified my senior year. I think every judge has biases/experiences that will push them one way or another so I will try to explain them as succinctly as I can.
I am always down for these debates, this is mostly what I read. Weighing and strategic vision is the name of the game. Try to craft a story, spin goes a long way here too. Evidence comparison is also vital when there are two competing claims, it makes evaluating the round much easier and reduces the chance that I have to figure out things for myself.
Read kritiks a fair amount as well. I am most familiar with structural kritiks such as setcol, afropez, and cap, impact kritiks such as security as well as being somewhat familiar with the literature of biopower and psychoanalysis. I am least familiar with high theory kritiks such as Baudrillard and Deleuzian literature broadly. Explaining how your advocacy solves your offense, what offense their advocacy can’t solve, and why that outweighs is needed from both the aff and neg.
Caught on to phil to the later end of my time debating. I am familiar with util, kant, rawls, hobbes, butler and less familiar with anything else. I find meta weighing arguments i.e resolvability or bindingness first and winning offense under them especially helpful in evaluating these debates. I also feel somewhat hesitant to vote for independent voters that say that “x framework justifies y bad thing” because oftentimes this is just a substantive argument to reject the framework rather than a reason to drop the debater, but obviously I am open to having my mind changed.
I think in non-t vs FW debates, affs tend to struggle on establishing what the alternative stasis point outside the res is and largely what their model of debate looks like. I think negs tend to struggle on explaining why their offense precludes the aff, answering impact turns, and making a good TVA. Doing these things well is a big plus. Also definitions will help me greatly in understanding what your model of debate looks like in whatever type of T debate you find yourself in.
In regards to theory generally, I don’t have draconian preferences on paradigm issues or what you can read. I find standard weighing and impact framing greatly helpful in evaluating these debates. Weighing is especially something that often times is not used which makes it hard to evaluate between standards, whether it be probability, magnitude, reversibility, strength/size of link, will help you greatly.
The term tricks is kinda vague but I mainly mean paradoxes, logcon, condo logic, stuff like that. I don’t mind these debates and I think they can be very interesting, if planning to read these arguments please have a claim, warrant, and impact.
Speaks will be given based off my opinion of your strategic vision and argument quality. That being said, please slow down on tags and analytics (especially in theory shells or underviews), also I personally find it hard to follow monotone spreading. Also please avoid being rude/ad hominem!
Evidence ethics is important. In the case of an evidence ethics challenge the debater making the challenge must clarify to me they are making a challenge and what that challenge is. In that case, I will adjudicate to the best of my ability or go to tab (whatever the rules of the tournament dictate).
Hi, I'm Tarun and I debated at Southlake Carroll for four years and qualified to the TOC my senior year. I'm most comfortable evaluating policy, theory, and some philosophy. You should read what you're best at in front of me though.
**Try and record your speeches in case of tech issues**
Im tech over truth but I won't vote on your one sentence arg without a warrant.
Please slow down a little. The number of arguments I flow is rarely equal to the number of arguments the debater actually makes, and those numbers will be much closer to each other if everyone prioritizes clarity a bit more.
Please do impact calculus, make it good, and make it comparative. This is how you will win a debate no matter what type of argument you read.
Arguments are resolved probabilistically. If a 2nr has 30 reasons condo is good just because the 2ar responds to everything doesn't mean you win.
Referencing aspects of my paradigm in the middle of a debate is usually extremely cringe.
I default to judge kick, but I'm open to args against judge kick.
Permutations that are not either some variation of perm do both or perm do the cp need a written out perm text in the 1ar.
Impact turns and "cheaty" counterplans are underutilized. It seems no one is ready to debate them.
You can’t just read generic cards about probability and concede a DA; I have no problem voting for a small impact against some extinction scenario, but I won't vote on probability first if you don't actually diminish the probability of the specific scenarios they read.
I prefer and enjoy legit philosophy debates where you just win deontology or something is true rather than go for induction fails or a spike.
I'm comfortable with most common philosophy positions that are read in debate but I primarily am best for Util vs any phil and Kant vs any phil.
I don't enjoy when debates end with a 3 minute 2ar on a 15 second shell from the 1ar.
Drop the argument and reasonability are extremely underutilized. Theory is over-utilized in LD you will always have your links of omissions to generate violations.
Every theory shell besides condo bad should be drop the arg but no one contests it for some reason, same with spec shells saying there is nothing to drop is not an argument.
I am not a fan of plans bad. Other T shells that qualitatively not quantitatively limit the topic are good.
Won't vote on death good
I like the K a lot if it has a link to the aff, and it indicts the epistemology behind the aff. However Ks that rely on fiat illusory, or framework that just ignores the entire aff make me like these arguments significantly less.
These are underutilized; many positions seem to either be based on unfounded racist fears of other countries, have evidence written by a bunch of pro war neocons, or have no warrants at all.
I wont vote on a trick I don't understand or without a warrant.
I default comparative worlds.
Non T affs
Framework debates almost always require you to debate the case well. Don't just rely on truth testing to exclude arguments.
Ks on the neg are underutilized as long as they are specific to the aff.
K Affs should impact turn the negative model of debate or be topical people who do a best of both worlds don't usually win against framework.
Last updated - 7/20/22
ODI UPDATE - (for those debating in the camp tournament, pls read my paradigm [at least the bolded stuff], I will be sad if I can tell you didn't)
Garland HS - '20
The University of Texas at Austin - '24
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflicts: Garland (TX)
LARP - 1
T/Theory - 2
K - 2-3
Phil - 2-3
Tricks - hurts me physically (pls strike)
TLDR: Just read the bolded stuff
Background: Hey I'm Ishan (pronounced E-shaun). My pronouns are he/him and I'll use they/them if I don't know you. I debated for Garland High School for 4 years in LD and competed on the national circuit for almost 2. I broke at several nat circuit tournaments, got a bid round, but never bid - do with that what you will - also broke at NSDA nats and was in octos and trips of TFA State for the past 2 years. Debate focuses/expertise include: LARP, T/Theory, and generic Ks and phil (Cap, Security, word PIKS, Kant, etc.)
People I agree with/have been coached by who I may or may not have modeled this paradigm after: Khoa Pham, Alan George, Bob Overing, Devin Hernandez, Vinay Maruri, Patrick Fox
My senior year wiki in case you care:
debate is a game
Tech>Truth with the caveat that burden of proof>burden of rejoinder - I'm not going to vote on a conceded argument if I can't explain the warrant/impact - the bare minimum is saying this argument is bad because of XYZ.
CX is binding
DTA>DTD (except for T/condo)
1AR theory is cool
Presumption goes neg (absent an alternate 2NR advocacy)
(Tbh these don't matter as long as you make the argument for the other scenario)
Ev Ethics: (PLS READ)
- I didn't enjoy rounds that were staked on this a debater so I obviously won't as a judge. However, this doesn't mean you should not call out your opponent for a violation.
- If/when an accusation is made, I will stop the debate and determine if the accusation is true/false. Whoever is right about the accusation gets a W30, and whoever is wrong gets an L0.
- Reading an ev ethics shell is not the same as an accusation and I will evaluate it like a theory debate, so you might as well go for the accusation. That said, winning "miscutting ev good" is a hella uphill battle and probably the wrong decision.
- PLEASE have complete citations - if you don't and it is pointed out by your opponent, I will not evaluate the argument/card and your speaks will drop. Make it a voting issue! It's your responsibility as a debater to cut good ev.
- Don't intentionally clip cards - I will follow along in the doc to prevent this as much as I can. If I notice this in prelims, it's an L0, if I notice this in elims, it's an auto-L. Seriously, don't do it. >:(
- Brackets theory is fine, especially considering how egregious violations are becoming.
- Don't miscut your ev (cutting out counter-arguments/modifiers, breaking paragraphs, etc.) - If I notice this in round, it's an auto-L.
General notes I think are important:
- BE NICE, bigotry of any kind will result in an L0 and me reporting you to tab.
- Debate is fundamentally a game, but it is also a very competitive game that can get very messy. If at any point in the round you feel uncomfortable/unsafe, let me know verbally or by message and I will stop the round to help you in any way I can.
- If you are hitting a novice or someone who is clearly behind in the debate, don't be mean. Go for simple strats (2 or less off, no theory, 50% speed, etc.) and err on the side of good explanations. Doing so will result in me bumping your speaks.
- I'll call clear/slow as many times as a need to be able to flow. If you don't listen after 5+ times, that's your fault and your speaks will suffer.
- Please do NOT start off your speech at max speed, just work your way there.
- If the tournament is online, I understand tech issues will happen, so I'll be pretty lenient.
- Get the email chain set up ASAP. Sending docs in between speeches shouldn't take that long. Don't steal prep, I'll know and drop your speaks.
- Speech times and speaker order are non-negotiable.
- I'd really prefer you don't interrupt another person's speech, even if it's a performance. CX is obviously an exception.
- Performances that justify voting for anything outside of the debate realm (e.g. dance-off, videogames, etc.) are not persuasive to me. If you're conceding the round (exception), however, just let me know ahead of time.
- I know my paradigm is not short and you might not have time to read it, so ask questions if needed - I won't be an ass about start time unless tab forces me to - I think debaters should always read their judges' paradigms and take them to heart since it often results in better debates/speaks. That having been said, I'd rather see you debate well with a strategy you know than a strategy you're bad at just because you're trying to model what I did as a debater.
- My favorite style of debate and the one I'm most familiar with
- Link/impact turns require winning uniqueness!
- I think doing your impact calculus/weighing in the 2NR/2AR is fine - idk how the alternatives are feasible - making your weighing comparative/contextual is a must. I think debates about impact calc are really interesting and carded meta-weighing will get you far.
- If your extensions don't have a warrant, you didn't extend it - I won't do your work for you. (Ex: The aff does X and solves Y by doing Z)
- I'm perfectly fine with reading evidence after round, especially if was a key contestation point. Also, call out your opponents on having bad evidence. Debate fundamentally requires well-researched positions.
- Having clever analytic CPs, especially when the aff is new, can be really strategic - negs should always exploit aff vagueness, especially on questions of solvency.
- I really liked going for theory as a debater, but often felt discouraged by judges who hated frivolous theory. That's not me though so feel free to go for it - with the exception of egregious arguments like policing people's clothes - also keep in mind that intuitive responses to friv theory are pretty effective. Reading bad/underdeveloped shells does not equate to reading friv theory and will make me sad.
- Please slow down on theory interpretations and analytics and number/label your arguments - especially in underviews - I don't type very fast - seriously tho stop blitzing theory analytics
- I think paragraph theory is cool and prefer it most of the time. I don't think you need paradigm issues, but if you know your opponent is going to contest it, you might as well include them.
- I think going for reasonability is under-utilized and strategic, so doing it well with up your speaks. However, you need to have a counter-interp that you meet, even when you go for reasonability. I don't think a brite-line is always necessary, especially if the shell was terrible and you have sufficient defense.
- I'll resort to defaults absent any paradigm issues, but they are all soft defaults and I'd rather not, so literally just make the argument for the side you are going for.
- Winning the RVI isn't a super uphill battle with me, but I find that it often is a poor time investment.
- Having CIs with multiple planks (provided you actually construct offense with them) is cool/strategic.
- Weighing between standards, voters, and shells is just as important here as it is in LARP!
- I ran and debated Nebel T a lot as a debater, so I'm quite familiar with the nuances. If I can tell you don't know what this argument actually says e.g. you don't know what semantics being a floor/ceiling means, your speaks will suffer.
- I'm quite fond of topicality arguments and think they are a good strat, especially against new affs. That being said, if your shell is underdeveloped or you can't properly explain an offensive/defensive case list, the threshold for responses drops.
- Having carded interps and counter-interps is key.
- I don't care about your independent voters unless you can actually explain why they're a voter.
- T-fw/framework (whatever you wanna call it): I read this argument a lot as a debater and this was often my strat against k affs.
- Procedural fairness is definitely an impact, but I will gladly listen to others e.g. topic ed, skills, clash, research, etc. and I often find these debates to be very interesting.
- Contextualized TVAs are a must-have.
- Contextualized overviews in the 2NR are a must-have as well. If I wanted to hear your pre-written 2NR on framework, I'd go read my own.
- I think disclosure is good for debate, but I'm open to whatever norm is presented in round. I think reading disclosure theory, l even at locals (provided you also meet your interp) is fine. I was a small-school debater and I disclosed all my stuff with full cites and round reports. I think the first 3/last 3 is a minimum, but you do you. Open-source, full text, round reports, new affs bad, etc. are all shells I feel comfortable evaluating like any other theory debate.
- This is the only theory argument about out-of-round abuse I will vote on.
- I have a good understanding of Marxist cap, security, afropess, and humanism. I have a very basic understanding of Deleuzian cap, Baudrillard, and Saldanha. That being said, I can't vote for you unless you properly explain your theory to me and you should always err on the side of over-explanation when it comes to the links, alternative, turns case arguments, and kritiks your judge doesn't know front and back.
- The K needs to actually disagree with some or all of the affirmative. In other words, it needs to disprove, turn, or outweigh the case. Actual impact framing>>> bad ROB claims.
- Please don't spend 6 min reading an overview - if I can tell someone else wrote it for you, I will be very sad and drop your speaks - if your overview is contextualized to the 1ARs mistakes, however, I will be very happy and bump your speaks up.
- I think CX against the aff and CX against the K are very important and I make an effort to listen. Pointing out links in the aff and using links from CX itself is cool. I also find that sketchiness in CX is acceptable to some extent (ex: it's a floating PIK), but I'd prefer you not be a jackass to your opponent. If you make an effort to actually explain your theory, links to the aff, and alternative sufficiently, I will make an effort to up your speaks. Absent a sufficient explanation, the threshold for responses to K plummets.
- I think K tricks/impact calc args (alt solves case, K turns case, root cause, floating PIK, value to life, ethics/D-rule) are under-utilized.
- Please have a good link wall with contextualized links from the case!
- The words pre/post-fiat are inconsequential to me. Just do proper impact framing.
- I think these strategies can be very interesting and these debates tend to be very fun to listen to. However, I'm not the best person to evaluate dense KvK rounds (not that I won't).
- If your K aff has no ties to the topic whatsoever, don't read it in front of me, it won't be a fun time for either of us.
- Your aff should be explained with, at the bare minimum, a comprehensible, good idea. If I can't explain what I think your affirmative/advocacy does, the threshold for responses along with your speaks drops.
- The 1AR vs T-FW/T-USFG should have a robust counter-interpretation that articulates a vision for the topic. Having counter-definitions is a good thing to do. "Your interp plus my aff" is not convincing.
- I'm more lenient to 1ARs with case arguments that apply to T, but I'm very hesitant to vote on new cross-apps in the 2AR unless they're justified.
- I'm most familiar with Kant since it was one of my generic strats, although I know some basic Hobbes/Testimony/Rawls.
- Please slow down on phil analytics/overviews as well.
- Be able to explain the difference between confidence and modesty and go for one in a rebuttal.
- If you can't explain your NCs syllogism in a way that I can explain it back, I'm not gonna feel comfortable voting on it.
- I think using examples to prove how a philosophy allows for some morally repugnant action is strategic.
- Please do proper weighing between framework justifications (if both sides keep repeating my fw precludes/hijacks yours without comparison, I will be sad and dock speaks)
- This is likely the type of debate like/want to see/feel comfortable evaluating the least. However, if this is your bread and butter, don't let that discourage you. That being said, if even I can tell you don't know how the trick you read interacts with the debate, your speaks will suffer.
- I'm from Texas and never debated in the Southeast or Northeast, so if you're from those states, err on the side of over-explanation.
- I'm probably going to be more lenient to you if you're not reading 30 hidden a prioris and skep triggers, so just keep that in mind.
- If you aren't winning truth testing, I'm probably not going to evaluate any of the tricks.
- I view presumption as a reason the judge should vote aff/neg in the absence of offense. I view permissibility as whether the aff/neg actions are permissible under some ethical theory/ in a world without morals. Winning skep will rely on you winning either 1- moral facts don't exist, 2- moral facts are unknowable, or 3- all moral statements are false.
- I'm generally pretty nice with speaks so long as you're clear and debate well - I prefer strategy over clarity but hey why not have both - I'll start from a 28.5 and go up or down depending on the round.
I'll up speaks for doing the following (lowkey pretty easy to get a 30 in front of me):
- ending a speech early (<2 min) - up to +0.5 depending on strategy (I would prefer a shorter/concise and conversational speech to a repetitive long one especially when debating a novice)
- if you make an arg with an analogy about a doggo and/or include doge memes - up to +0.3 depending on quality
- bringing me a sprite - +0.1 or +0.2 if it's cold
- if you actually buy me boba and it's good - +0.5, -0.1 if it's bad
- keeping me interested in the debate (interesting affs, bold NCs, good/funny CX, etc.) - +0.1
- a good anime/kpop reference - +0.1 per good reference
- if you bring me food and its good - +0.5 if its good, -0.1 if it's bad
- beating me in pokemon showdown - https://play.pokemonshowdown.com/ - up to 1.0 depending on how bad you beat me but - 0.1 if you lose >:))
- funny memes/shitposting inserted in the doc - +0.1 per good meme, -0.1 if it's bad
- being dripped up at the tournament - up to +0.3 depending on drip
- making a funny joke/reference about people mentioned in this paradigm - +0.1 per good reference, -0.1 if it's bad
- sending me a funny tiktok - up to +0.3 based on how much I laugh
(online tournaments especially)
- having a funny/cool zoom background - +0.1
- having seamless audio/video - up to +0.2 (i won't dock points if your internet is bad)
- showing off your pets - up to +0.3 depending on cuteness
katy taylor '17
yes, add me to the email chain: email@example.com
cal rr/tournament 2021 update: I have judged numerous rounds on this topic and I can confidently say that I don't like nebel t as an argument.
current 2020 conflicts: Rutgers-Newark AH and Northern Valley JL
previous conflicts: Evergreen Valley SS, Coppell DR, Houston EP, Alief Kerr EG, Guyer CM, Woodlands MR, Cy-Fair TW, and Katy Taylor.
background: I have been coaching high school CX and LD for the past three years. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. In the past, I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams going for policy arguments and/or critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached debaters in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.
overall thoughts: I believe it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and extending some sort of impact framing in the debate because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is a place for you to do you. I will make my decisions based on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. This means I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about the content/style of an argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. It is up to the debaters to present and endorse whichever model of debate they want to invest in. Have fun and best of luck!
-- please record your speeches/debates.
-- please be kind to each other.
-- good quality evidence + in-depth analysis of the evidence is always appreciated.
-- i will not vote on an rvi on topicality.
-- do not intentionally clip cards. it will be an automatic L and 25 speaks if you do.
-- please start out clear, slow, and loud (very crucial for online debate).
-- ld theory tricks are bad and i refuse to vote for it.
-- speaks are determined by a combination of strategy choice, efficiency, weighing, and good cross-x skills.
-- some people who I agree with and/or have been heavily influenced by in debate: Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Devane Murphy, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Chris Randall, Anthony Joseph, and Jon Sharp.
Specifics thoughts I've provided from my previous paradigm (2019-2020):
-- Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part of every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.
Policy affs vs. K
-- I am most familiar with these types of debates. With that being said, I think the affirmative needs to prioritize framing i.e. the consequences of the plan under a util framework. There need to be contestations between the aff framing versus the K's power of theory in order to disprove it, not desirable, or incoherent and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point of the flaws of the kritiks alternative and make solvency deficits. Aff teams need to answer the link arguments, read link defense, make perms, and provide reasons/examples of why the plan is preferable/resolve material conditions. Use cross-x to clarify jargon and get the other team to make concessions about their criticism.
-- CP(s) need to have a clear plan text and have an external net benefit, otherwise, I'm inclined to believe there is no reason why the cp would be better than the affirmative. There needs to be clear textual/function competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better.
-- The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement the net benefit. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable. Generally, I think conditionality is good but I can be persuaded otherwise.
-- Please have good evidence and read specific DAs. If you have a good internal link and turns case analysis, your speaker points will be higher. For the aff, I think evidence comparison/callouts coupled with tricky strategies like impact turns or internal link turns to help you win these debates.
-- I don't really have a threshold on these arguments but lean towards competing interps over reasonability unless told otherwise.
-- When going for theory, please extend offense and weigh between interps/standards/implications.
-- When responding/going for theory, please slow down on the interps/i-meets.
-- Comparative analysis between pieces of interpretation evidence wins and loses these debates – as you can probably tell, I err towards competing interpretations in these debates, but I can be convinced that reasonability is a better metric for interpretations, not for an aff. Having well-explained internal links to your limits/ground offense in the 2NR/2AR makes these debates much easier to decide, as opposed to floating claims without warranted analysis. A case list is required. I will not vote on for an RVI on T.
-- I prefer framework debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in the constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff teams are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. I am persuaded by standards like clash and topic education over fairness being an intrinsic good/better impact.
K affs vs. T-Framework
-- There are a couple of things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear are buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote to neg on presumption.
-- You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.
-- I went for the Kritik in almost every 2NR my senior year. I have been exposed to many different types of scholarship, but I am more familiar with some critical race theory criticisms such as anti-Blackness, capitalism, psychoanalysis, and some critiques of humanism. This form of debate is what I am most comfortable evaluating. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism.
-- You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact.
-- The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is an important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact framing claim.
K vs. K
-- These debates are always intriguing.
-- Presumption is underutilized by the neg and permutations are allowed in a methods debate. However, it is up to the teams in front of me to do this. There needs to be an explanation of how your theory of power operates, why it can preclude your opponent’s, how your method or approach is preferable, and how you resolve x issues. Your rebuttals should include impact comparison, framing, link defense/offense, permutation(s), and solvency deficits.
Put me on the chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach @ USC and Marlborough. Debated @ USC and MBA.
Your burden is to make it make sense. Write the ballot for me.
Strategic cross applications and argumentative creativity are good. I generally give low speaks by LD standards, but this is one way to get them up.
I'm more tech>truth in policy, but truth
Cards dumps as substitution for explanation is bad. Use them for warrants not claims. If your highlighting is just a repeat of the tag you might as well not have read the card.
I refuse to vote for theory I subjectively believe to be frivolous regardless of the line by line, but speeches can alter my views on what is frivolous. I will not flow tricks or rvis. ASPEC etc. as a theory standard is not a viable 2NR. Don't makes args that only win if dropped. Yes 1AR theory (for LD, obviously).
Asking what cards were read counts as prep.
Affs need solvency advocates, neg cps (probably) dont
Generally, if you are going for "We Meet" vs T, I think of we meet as "prefer an interpretation of their interpretation that we meet over one that we dont" rather than a factual yes/no question
I took all jokes out of this because people always brought up my philosophy in round and made me feel awk.
Always 1%----------------------------X----------0% Risk a Thing
Stone Faced------------------------X------------Reacts to your args
K vs Policy
Ks dont have to link the plan, the aff gets to be weighed. Again, consequences matter to me.
K Affs v Framework usually comes down to who wins what the purpose of debate is.
I think the distinction between K affs that link turn T and ones that impact turn is a false dichotomy.
Disclaimer about RFDs:
I don't like telling people they lose in close rounds, and my natural response to anxiety is to be very smile-y. If you see me smiling while deciding or explaining my rfd please don't assume it means I'm going to vote one way or another, or that I was really excited for voting the way I did.
- Tell me why and on what grounds you’re winning -- this matters a lot
- Tell me how I should evaluate the round. Give me the standards
- ALWAYS make comparative claims about the other teams evidence & arguments (in relation to yours). Direct clash is important
- Speed is good, but clarity is far better. Be efficient with your speeches. If you can’t speak quickly without slurring, don’t speak quickly
- LD and Policy Specific -- Favorite strats to least favorite. Respect this order -
- Impact turning the whole case
- Topic specific T
- Politics/Process CP
- PIC with internal net benefit
- Be nice. I will not give good speaks to people who act inappropriately in rounds or to their partners/team. Being offensive is not funny. I refuse to accept abuse in round.
Performance/Non-traditional: I default to traditional.
Speaks: 28 is average. I doubt you'll get a 30. Try not to talk into your paper/flows/laptop because I won't say "louder" unless it's really extreme and I might be missing arguments. Speak clearly and persuasively.
I debated at Pines Charter on both the local and national circuit and went to TOC my senior year. My email for speech docs is: Stevescopa23@gmail.com
General: I am very much a tech > truth person who will vote for any argument you make no matter how seemingly ridiculous or bizarre, all I need is a warrant. I also have a low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments but they need to be extended in each speech. My goal is to evaluate rounds with as little intervention as possible. Judges have become too dogmatic in my opinion, so everything that follows is merely a preference or a default, nothing but the arguments you make will factor into my decision.
- I default to truth testing if no other RoB is read in the round.
- I am not exactly the best at flowing, so when you are making analytic arguments you should label them and sign post as clear as possible. Also maybe take half a second after author names.
- I don’t evaluate embedded clash unless there is an argument as to why I should or the round is irresolvable without it.
- I do not believe you get new 2n responses to AC arguments unless an argument is made for why you get those arguments in the NC- making an argument in the 2n that says something like “this was just a dumb blippy argument” is not sufficient. This goes for 2ar responses to NC arguments as well.
- Believe it or not, I will vote on disclosure theory. I’m more open to it these days than I have been in the past, but I still think frivolous disclosure theory is super annoying. Not disclosing period is one thing, not cohering to every aspect of whatever you think is good is another. Also don’t read it against novices or people who clearly don’t know what it is. I also won’t evaluate it if it becomes clear/verifiable the debater’s team won’t allow it or other similar circumstances.
- Don’t need to flash analytics to your opponent but I would like them
- Even if something is labeled an independent voter, if there is no warrant for why it is one, I won’t evaluate it as such. This is becoming slightly annoying norm. I also don’t really think “x author is sexist/racist/etc so you should lose” makes much sense. I’ll vote on it if you win it but it’s an uphill battle.
- I consider myself pretty much agnostic in terms of arguments, obviously every judge has their preferences but content has 0 effect on my decision.
- I don’t mind you “grilling” me, I think judges learn sometimes too and it can be good to keep judges accountable. Just be aware that if you are aggressive I will be sassy too.
- If your offense is conceded but you don’t extend it, it doesn’t exist. Too many affs take for granted the offense is conceded and don’t even mention it in the 2ar. Literally all you have to do is say “extend the offense, it was conceded” but apparently that is even too much for some people.
- Explaining why a card doesn’t have a warrant is terminal defense if you can’t answer with a clear articulation of a warrant.
- Saying “the aff is a good idea” doesn’t mean anything. You have to win arguments to prove this.
- I really like a good CX. People trying to be edgy without the personality for it is cringe, but people with the personality for it can be dominant. I won’t vote on arguments made it in CX, but I getting concessions or making people look silly will boost your speaks.
- This is just a preference but like... Reading T probably isn't violence. False equivalencies from K debaters are kinda whack and I'll vote on conceded arguments but if it's pointed out that it's a false equivalency I probably won't.
- If an argument is conceded it's conceded. Too often I feel like the 2ar is treating me like a lay judge over-explaining things. Be tech, I know what arguments are conceded. Obviously you should still weigh and implicate the argument if that's crucial to the 2ar/2nr strategy, but often that's not what is happening.
Theory: Go for it - this is probably one of the easier things for me to judge, and I really enjoy judging nuanced theory debates. Slow down on the interpretation a bit if it’s something more nuanced. I don’t “gut check” frivolous shells but obviously if you are winning reasonability then I will evaluate through whatever your brightline is. If neither debater makes arguments I default to the following:
- There is no impact to a shell without drop the arg or drop the debater warrants so I will just eval substance
- Competing interps
- Norms creation model
- RVIs good
- Fairness is a voter
- Education not a voter
Also, for counter interps “converse of the interp” is not sufficient, if your opponent says “idk what the converse is so I can’t be held to the norm” I will buy that argument, just actually come up with a counter interp.
I also hate the spamming of affirming/negating is harder and will probably hurt your speaks a lil for it.
I really like RVIs and think they are underutilized so if you successfully go for one I will be happy.
T: I don’t like it quite as much as theory but it’s still fun to judge. T debates weren’t nearly as nuanced when I debated so you may have to explain some of the particulars more than you may be used to. I am also a sucker for semantics.
T “framework”: To be honest I am sort of agnostic as to whether affs should be T. I probably lean yes, but I also find non-T affs pretty interesting and fun to judge. I don’t consider an aff that doesn’t defend fiat but does defend the principle of the resolution non-T, and I am less persuaded by T in that sense.
Tricks: This was my favorite style of debate when I competed and clever tricks are entertaining but that doesn’t mean I will instantly vote for you if you read them without winning why they are relevant (aka you are winning truth testing). The more clever your arguments are, the higher your speaks will be. Despite my old love for them, I usually have a low threshold for responses since the arguments are usually fairly weak. If you obviously just included an a priori because I am judging you and don’t extend a conceded one, your speaks will probably suffer. I also prefer you be more up front with them in CX if your opponent catches them, I have a lot more respect for people who are straight up about their sketchiness. If you are not the best at answering these arguments I wouldn’t worry too much, I will be more than happy to disregard them if you are winning a role of the ballot that excludes them or a shell that indicts them. Also, calling something a trick doesn’t mean anything to me -- tell me what the implication of the argument is. It also bothers me how tricks debaters have become reliant on the same resolved a priori every debate - I'd much rather listen to an interesting phil or K round than watch u extend the same a priori people have been reading for years. Think of new and clever arguments. Also, reading 16 spikes with a Kant framework isn’t a tricks aff and I really don’t like it. I judge these constantly cause I’m probably one of the few that will listen, and that hasn’t changed but don’t expect high speaks or for me to be impressed.
Ks: I feel like this is the section that needs the most updating because I do a lot of reading and coaching for the K these days. I really enjoy a good K debate. Despite my reputation, I’m a big fan of K’s and am fairly well versed in the literature. I really enjoy high theory and find good K affs super fun. I have read Deleuze, Butler, Wilderson/Warren, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Edelman, etc so I definitely think Ks like these are interesting and strategic. I occasionally enjoy judging these debates the most because of how interesting and unique the arguments are. However, I cannot stand unwarranted “this is just another link” arguments, you need to explain or give a warrant as to why what you say is a link actually is one. I also am not a huge fan of identity K's, and I may vote on some responses you disagree with, just as a fair warning. Additionally, I prefer to see line by line debate, and it seems as though a lot of Ks begin/consist of long overviews without much specific reference to arguments in previous speeches, which can be difficult to flow, so you may want to consider this when going for the K in the 2n/1ar/2ar. I also am very open to you kicking the alt and going for disads, and would almost advise this in front of me cause winning the alt can be a pain. The one K I am really not liking these days is set col, cause I think almost every response is just true and most debaters I’ve seen aren’t the best at handling them, but obviously I’ll still vote on it if you win it. Ultimately if this is your favorite/ best style of debate, you should go for it.
My favorite K’s: Baudrillard, Nietzsche, Psychoanalysis
Larp: I was never a larper, never judged a high level larp round, and am probably not qualified to judge a really good DA v Util AC debate. I don’t particularly enjoy these debates, and you most likely will not enjoy me judging you but I will do my best to evaluate the round. If you can’t defend util against a dump or well justified framework you shouldn’t pref me, because “the aff is a good idea” will not get my ballot. (Update: For some reason people still stand up and larp and read disads in front of me so PLS don’t pref me or change up the strat, trust me it is best for both of us). (Update for JF20: I find this topic pretty interesting and am more open to listening to some cool plans/advantages. I would also really enjoy some larp innovation like rule util or some other more nuanced framework/new util warrants).
Fwk: This is my favorite type of debate and really want it to make a comeback. I enjoy a good framework debate, and it is probably my favorite thing to judge, but it can become fairly difficult to follow at times. As long as you clearly label arguments and make sure to weigh I feel very comfortable evaluating these rounds. However, these debates can often become muddled and devolve into a chicken and egg debate, which makes it near impossible to resolve so be careful of that. My major has given me a new passion for interesting frameworks so I would love to hear whatever unique positions you got. Also extra speaks for meta-ethics that aren’t practical reason – let’s be creative people.
Favorite phil positions: Existentialism, Levinas, any interesting meta-ethic
Speaks: I average probably a 28.5. I assign them based on mostly strategy/execution with a little bit of content, but content can only improve your speaks not make them worse really (with the exception of disclosure probably). I like unique and clever arguments and well executed strategy - I would not advise you to go for a tricks aff if you are a larp debater just because I am judging you, do what you do well to get good speaks. I am also somewhat expressive when I think about how arguments interact so don’t mind my face. Also, if I can tell your 1ar/2n/2ar is pre-written your speaks will probably suffer.
How do I get a 30?
I won’t guarantee a 30 based on these strategies but it will definitely increase your chances of getting one if you can successfully pull off any of the following:
1) Going NC, AC really well with a phil NC
2) A trick I haven’t heard before (THAT IS NOT TERRIBLE)
3) A good analytic PIC
4) Any unique fwk/K/RoB that I haven’t heard before or think is really interesting
5) A true theory shell or one I haven’t heard before
6) Execute a Skep trigger/contingent standard well
7) Really good CX
8) Successfully going for an RVI
9) Making the round super clear
Lay debates: If you are clearly better than your opponent and it is obvious that you are winning the round, please, dear lord, do not use all of your speech time just because you have the time- win the round and sit down so we can have a discussion and make it more educational than just you repeating conceded arguments for 13 minutes.
Pace adequately and modulate to get your argument heard. Be concise, persuasive, clear, and understandable. Spreading is fine as long as it is not at the expense of being incomprehensible.
I give due credit to the framework and impact analysis they deserve.
I do value contemporary and relevant arguments. Any studies/anecdotes/quotes that very much align with your standpoint are welcome.
If you are referring philosophies, ensure they carry enough relevance. I would scrutinize any esoteric or complex philosophy to ensure they are represented and referenced appropriately to your arguments.
Emphasis is on a hybrid of Flow & Policy. Preferably the case with the most logical, relevant, and pointed arguments both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Timothy E. Sheaff - Dowling Catholic
I have been coaching various events both speech and debate for 30 years.
I am very good at getting students started and then passing them on to experts in the specific events. I am a generalist.
I entered this activity because I am pretty dyslexic and so I am a slow reader and terrible writer, this activity allowed me to SPEAK...I like SPEAKING.
I have a fairly policy mindset. I like that kind of pretend.
Per above I am a BAD FLOW for fast....I am not opposed to fast..we try to be fast...but I can not make my hand write what I am hearing if I am also thinking...just a struggle...maybe that means something to you...I am trying to let you know here in advance, I will try, I will not be mad at you...but I may not get it all down.
Old school, not MILITANTLY so, its just what I actually know and understand.
I feel I can evaluate best when the debate is about the resolution being a truth claim.
I LOVE POLICY...If a genie came and gave me 3 wishes I would use one to perpetually understand the arguments better than I do (esp if I could trick the genie into letting me also add "flowing perfectly" on to that wish and still counting it as 1)
I just do not comprehend why we can't do the plan and work on the valid issues in the K as well..if you can explain why really that can not happen, I suppose you could get my ballot with it...otherwise I am probably not your guy
I feel it is a short policy round with less time to develop arguments. Again I am probably better suited for a round about the merits of the truth statement than a contest over who has read who's meta study in more detail)
I have been around a long time in a lot of venues, be kind, use the activity to grow in a way that means you will actually make a difference in the world going forward.
TLDR- This guy is stupid and does not get the K and he can't even flow
BLAKE (and rest of the eSeason) UPDATE
Please don't spread. Sorry y'all I'm just so burnt out with Zoom and it's getting harder to keep up without getting super exhausted. Going a bit over conversational speed is totally fine but your regular spreading is not. I won't stop flowing but I might miss stuff and dock your speaks, just so you know. And trust I'll be honest about this and say slow a couple times if you need reference. Otherwise, the rest of my paradigm is still the same - adjust prefs accordingly if you'd like.
I'd love to be on the email chain. My email is email@example.com
I'm the current assistant coach at Coppell High School where I also have the lovely opportunity to teach Speech & Debate to great students. I did LD, Policy, and Worlds in High School (Newark Science '15) and a bit of Policy while I was in college (Stanford '19). I'm by no means "old" but I've been around long enough to appreciate different types of debate arguments at this point. As long as you're having fun, I can feel it and will probably have fun listening to you, too!
Pref shortcut for those of you who like those:
Theory (if it's your PRIMARY strat - otherwise I can be preffed higher): 3
Notes for this lovely eSeason:
1. Slow down. 70% speed max. I don't think you need me to explain why.
2. I love this idea going around about recording your speeches on your phone or elsewhere in case the call drops. I'd be so grateful if you did. Not a fan of restarting entire speeches.
3. The further along in the day, the more I need you to start slower and pick things up. Zoom fatigue is real and I want to be present while judging you. Help me help you. I'm not a robot and get tired too!
Everything else below is older but I still feel pretty much the same - take a look if you want more details. So excited to judge your round, learn from you, and help you learn through my decisions. Ask any questions before the round if you need me to clarify something. I'm very honest if I didn't understand something so don't be taken aback by that in an RFD. Just do your best, defend things you have fun defending, and enjoy :)
Credentials that people seem to care about: senior (BA + MA candidate) at Stanford, Director of LD at the Victory Briefs Institute, did LD, policy, and worlds schools debate in high school, won/got to late elims in all of those events, double qualled to TOC in LD and Policy. Did well my freshman year in college in CX but didn't pursue it much after that. Now I coach and judge a bunch.
LD + Policy
Literally read whatever you want. If I don't like what you've read, I'll dock your speaks but I won't really intervene in the debate. Don't be sexist, ableist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, or a classist jerk in the round. Don't make arguments that can translate to marginalized folks not mattering (this will cloud my judgement and make me upset). Otherwise have fun and enjoy the activity for the 45 or 90 mins we're spending together! More info on specific things below:
I get this.
I understand this.
I also understand this. But don't abuse the privilege. I am not a friv theory fan.
I understand this too.
I don't default to anything necessarily however I do know my experiences and understandings of debate were shaped by me coming from a low income school that specialized in traditional and critical debate. I've been around as a student and a coach (I think) long enough to know my defaults are subject to change and its the debaters' job to make it clear why theory comes first or case can be weighed against the K or RVIs are good or the K can be leveraged against theory. I learn so much from you all every time I judge. Teach me. Lead me to the ballot. This is a collaborative space so even if I have the power of the ballot, I still need you to tell me things. Otherwise, you might get a decision that was outside of your control and that's never fun.
I will be able to evaluate whatever debate you want to have. Your job is to make signing my ballot easy. This usually happens when you debate the style you are best at instead of reading K arguments in front of me because you heard I'm a K judge.
On that note, let it be known that if you're white and/or a non-black POC reading afropessimism or black nihilism, you won't get higher than a 28.5 from me. The more it sounds like you did this specifically for me and don't know the literature, the lower your speaks will go. If you win the argument, I will give you the round though so either a) go for it if this is something you actually care about and know you know it well or b) let it go and surprise me in other ways. If you have a problem with this, I'd love to hear your reasons why but it probably won't change my mind. I can also refer other authors you can read to the best of my ability if I'm up to it that day.
Last thing, please make sure I can understand you! I understand spreading but some of y'all think judges are robots. I don't look at speech docs during the round (and try not to after the round unless I really need to) so keep that in mind when you spread. Pay attention to see if I'm flowing. I'll make sure to say clear if I can't understand you. I'll appreciate it a lot if you keep this in mind and boost your speaks!
Honestly, the same things above apply. I never did PF so I'll do my best to adjudicate by flowing and coming to the best decision laid out for me by you, the debaters.
1. Rebuttal speeches: Slow down on your analytics please. I do not have the doc. Even though I flow on computer, I am not a robot and I have long nails. Y'all are going 400 words a minute and there is no verification of what you say. Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. I won't feel bad if I missed it and drop you. You can spread but please be reasonable. Use numbering and pause. Name your analytical disads and pause between them. Do SOMETHING to show that you remember debate is still about communication. I will say slow/clear 2 times and start docking .2 each time I struggle if you don't listen after those warnings.
2. If you plan on reading a link that requires me to dig into what happens in your personal life with your opponent before we hit the timer, I won't do it. A screenshot of an empty wiki/lack of disclosure on your email is one thing. Personal texts or just word of mouth is out of line. On a related note, if someone makes you legitimately feel unsafe and worried about your ability to participate, I am fine pausing the debate and bringing it to tabroom/coaches/etc. and advocating the best I can. But I will not evaluate the debate like nothing happened and it is just an argument. If you need further clarification, please let me know.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tl;dr I'm fine with really any argument you want to read as long as it links to and is weighed in relation to some evaluative mechanism. I am pretty convinced that T/theory should always be an issue of reasonability (I obviously think that some debates are better when there is a clear counter-interp that offense is linked back to); if you trust me to compare and weigh offense on substantive issues in the debate, I can't figure out why you wouldn't also trust me to make the same judgments on T/theory debates (unless you're just making frivolous/bad T/theory args). I enjoy any debate that you think you can execute well (yeah this applies to your K/counter-plan/non-T aff; I'll listen to it). I base speaker points on whether or not I think that you are making strategic choices that might lead to me voting for you (extending unnecessary args instead of prioritizing things that contribute to your ballot story, dropping critical arguments that either are necessary for your position or that majorly help your opponent, failing to weigh arguments in relation to each other/the standard would be some general examples of things that would cause you to lose speaker points if I am judging). Beyond those issues, I think that debate should function as a safe space for anyone involved; any effort to undermine the safety (or perceived safety) of others in the activity will upset me greatly and result in anything from a pretty severe loss of speaker points to losing the round depending on the severity of the harm done. So, be nice (or at least respectful) and do you!
First year student - Go to Rutgers Newark - I DO NOT debate in college.
Yes, I would like to be apart of the email chain. (email@example.com)
Yes, you can spread.
Yes, it can be open cx.
Quick Things to Know ...
*DO NOT say anything racist/homophobic/transphobic. Even if the other team doesn't make it a voting issue (which they should ... hint hint) I will.
*Impact out all of your arguments!
On to the Specifics ...
CPs are fine, just prove mutual exclusivity (b/c I am likely to buy a perm with a good net benefit). A clever PIC is always good but be ready to defend why you get to steal most or certain parts of the aff plan.
DAs are good too, but generic links are ineffective, and if the aff proves that to be true I am less likely to vote on it.
- I'm also not as persuaded by nuclear war impacts. You can try, just have a good internal link story.
Ks are my favorite! BUT this DOES NOT include white POMO ... those are my least favorite. You can read them if you like but I will not pretend to understand "gobbledygook", so you will have to explain. Do not take this to mean that I will vote up a queer anarchy k, anti-blackness k etc. just because its read. Have specific links to the AFF, point out specific warrants and give analysis on how the world of the alt vs. the world of the aff functions, and you got my ballot
FW shells are interesting as I do not have a bias on it, so do whatever you want. Just prove why I should adopt your FW shell and compare it to the aff's.
I have a HIGH threshold for voting on T/Theory especially if the violation is unreasonable.
- I DO NOT think Fairness is an impact.
- I will likely buy condo bad if its more than 6 off.
That's all! GOOD LUCK! DON'T SUCK! HAVE FUN!
Email for speech docs: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure there’s parity in document access during the round.
My background: I did LD for 3 years. I was the director of debate at Hopkins for 4 years, coached at St. Thomas Academy & Visitation for 2 years, and am now the head coach at Apple Valley. I’ve worked at VBI since 2012 and I’m currently the director of instructional design and curriculum.
TLDR: Good debate involves well developed arguments and genuine interaction/clash with the other debater’s arguments. Quality >>>>>> quantity of arguments. Speed is ok. Yay Ks, yay policy, yay stock, eh phil, and theory/T as needed. Trying to avoid engagement/clash makes it more difficult for you to show that you’re the better debater. Parity in document access is important.
An important note for progressive debaters: if you’re debating someone that is a traditional debater or significantly less experienced than you then you should adjust what you do so that there can be an actual debate. Don’t read a non-topical Baudrillard AC at 450 wpm against a new novice. Don’t have your 1NC be skep and a PIC against a traditional debater who hasn't had the opportunity to learn about the mechanics of such arguments. Slow down and/or read arguments that your opponent can actually understand. Use your best judgement. If I think that you knowingly made choices that functionally preclude your opponent from engaging then I may murder your speaker points and/or drop you.
I care deeply about inclusion and accessibility within debate. I’m more than happy to vote against debaters who engage in practices that promote exclusion or inaccessibility, even if they’re winning on the flow. I also think that super tricky arguments/strategies designed primarily to avoid substantive engagement don’t offer great evidence of a debater doing the better debating and I might not vote for them even if they’re ahead on the flow. I’ll be a tab judge until you give me a good reason not to be.
I’m fine with speed and will yell clear or slow once or twice; after that it is up to you to pick up on non-verbal cues. I expect you to make serious alterations to your delivery if I’m forced to yell. I won’t vote on an argument, even if it is in the speech doc, if I didn’t flow it or understand when it was initially read in the round. I place a very high premium on quality argument development. I think that I’m a trashcan judge to have in the back of the room when the rebuttals are filled with hundreds of 1 sentence arguments (especially for T/Theory debates) without real clash, impact analysis, and framing.
I almost never vote on presumption/permissibility/skepticism since there’s usually a risk of offense. I default to comparative worlds and need some convincing to adopt truth testing.
One thing that makes me sad about circuit LD is how the same literature and positions get recycled so frequently without regards to how well the argument applies to the given topic. Explore and try something new!
Critical: I’m probably most familiar with critical debate. I dislike overly simplistic root cause debates that ignore the intricacies of how oppression operates. I’ll listen to non-topical and “in the direction of the topic” affs (let’s be honest, the model of debate that most of these affs operate under is no more limiting than non-topical ACs), but I’ll also listen to framework against them. A well-executed “there’s a topical version of the aff and this is what it looks like” is pretty persuasive to me. If your aff is super amorphous, designed to avoid substantive engagement, or a truism then you shouldn’t pref me super high. I loathe Ks that sandbag until the 2N, if I don’t know exactly how your link evidence applies specifically to the aff until the 2N then it is too late.
Policy: I love a good policy round, ‘nuff said. I’m inclined to think that core-to-the-topic-lit plan affs that parameterize the resolution are probably good, but I can be convinced otherwise. I dislike that so many policy style positions narrowly focus on extinction impacts and think that they crowd out positions that are much more reasonable & grounded in what anyone outside of a debate round would find persuasive. If we’re debating important environmental policy or nuclear weapons, then go for it pedal-to-the-metal. I’ll still vote on contrived extinction scenarios if they’re cleanly won and you’ve done a good job articulating the meaningful change in the probability of extinction.
Philosophy: I enjoy philosophy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m the best judge to have in the back of the room for a phil round. Phil debate often ends up being blippy, so I’m going to need to hear and understand the warrant for an argument to consider it in my evaluation. I’m not a giant fan of most of the lit that has become circuit LD philosophy canon, but I’ll vote on it if it is adequately explained and won. Modesty is a pretty cool argument.
Theory/Topicality: I think that theory & T are way too commonplace in circuit LD, but I also understand that they’re necessary tools given current norms and practices. If I think the theory interp or abuse story are BS then I’m going to gut check theory. If there’s an actual theory debate to be had then I’ll be as tab as possible. I default competing interpretations, don’t have a default for RVIs (the more abusive/bad/unnecessary the initial shell is the more receptive I am to RVI good arguments), and will err very heavily in favor of the debater that has weighing and/or has done interaction to determine who is winning the various arguments on the theory/T flow.
Speaker Points: The factors I focus on for determining speaker points are: strategic choices, execution, and how persuasive I found your argumentation. My normal range is 25-30, with 20-24 being reserved for rough or problematic debating. My speaker points are relative to the strength of the pool: 30 for champion level performance, ~28.5 for a performance worth of elims, and I aim for ~27.5 as an average performance.
BEFORE ROUND PLEASE READ:
I’m always ready, no need to check in with me before each speech (I sit down to flow & have a standing desk so then I don't have to sit and stand over and over messing up my flow :). Ironically, I also get up here & there to stretch (I do this during prep time) as I have Scheuermann's. Time each other including each other’s prep time & CX
Please email me the speech docs & any evidence read (-.5 speaker points if not). If you’re Aff do this before the round so we can start on time & if you're Neg you can do this before your speech but please have speech docs ready so this doesn't take long thanks! email@example.com
Please don't have your timer super close to your mic (the high pitch beep isn't fun for vertigo/migraines thanks :).
Flex &/or running prep is fine. If we’re at a zoom tournament and video is making your audio choppy/etc then it’s fine to emphasize the audio as that’s the key:). Ps Tournaments Please if possible don’t start zoom rounds ridiculously early with the different time zones so debaters can do their best as well:)
PF: Please share the evidence you’re reading with your opponent before the round so half of the round isn’t “can I have this specific card” (it ruins the flow/pace of the round) thanks! Feel free to run disclosure theory every round I judge (aka drop my opponent for not disclosing their cases on the wiki, disclosure makes debate more accessible/educational) when your opponent doesn’t have their case on the wiki https://hspf.debatecoaches.org/ It makes debate more fair & outweighs if someone runs your case against you/your school as you should know how to block it anyway:).
Pronouns: they/them/theirs; genderqueer, no need for judge and please no mister, that’s my cat Mr Lambs. If you insist on last name formalities, students have called me Dr Smith
Your oral RFD can be done as Gollum, John Mulaney or Elmo if you so choose.
I have coached Lincoln–Douglas debate as well as other forms of debate and speech since 2005.
I participated in debate throughout high school, won state twice, and was competitive on the national circuit (advanced far at Nationals and other prominent tournaments like Harvard, Valley, etc) so I understand the many different styles of debate that exist and the juggling you as debaters have to do in terms of judge paradigms. My goal is for you to learn/grow through this activity so feel free to ask any questions.
I studied philosophy at Northwestern, my PhD was in sociology (intersectional social movements/criminal injustice system) at Berkeley/San Diego & have taught many courses in debate/theory at the graduate & secondary level so I love hearing unique arguments especially critical theory/strong advocacies/anything creative. When I judge debate, I flow throughout the round. I appreciate debaters who take time to crystallize, weigh arguments/clearly emphasize impacts (when appropriate), and who are inclusive in their debate style and argumentation. By this I mean debaters who respect pronouns, respect their opponents, and who work to make debate more accessible (as someone who has been disabled since the time I competed, there is a lot more that needs to be done, but it starts with each of us).
PRACTICES I LIKE:
- Taking risks to advance debate (such as using theory and arguments that are often ignored in debate both in high school and beyond, ie not the same several social contract theorists/arguments for every debate topic/round). Advocating, being creative, showing your passion for something, researching different perspectives, and bettering/supporting your fellow debaters and our community as a whole and beyond are some of the best skills that can come out of this.
-Sharing cases/evidence with your opponent/the judge before your speeches/rebuttals; there should be no conditions on your opponent having access to your evidence.
- Enunciating clearly throughout the round (I can handle speed, but I need to be able to hear/understand you versus gibberish).
-Having explicit voters. Substance is key. Signpost throughout.
- To reiterate, I am open to a range of theory and frameworks and diverse argumentation (really anything not bigoted), but be clear on why it matters. With kritiks and any “non-traditional” case, avoid relying solely on buzz words in lieu of clearly explaining your arguments or linking where needed (and not, for example, jumping to exaggerated impacts like extinction).
- And again, delivery matters and being monotone gets tiring after judging rounds throughout the day so practice, practice.
PRACTICES I DISLIKE:
- Any form of discrimination, including bigoted language and ableist actions (such as using pace as a way to exclude opponents who are new to circuit).
- Also ad homs against your opponent such as insulting their clothing or practices, and attacks against an opponent's team or school. Don't yell. Be kind.
- I have noticed lately more and more debaters trailing off in volume as they go; ideally I don't like to have to motion the "I can't hear you or slow down" sign throughout the round.
- Non-verbal reactions when your opponent is speaking (e.g., making faces, throwing up your hands, rapid "no" shaking).
Be as clear as you can. Uniqueness/making the round not like every other round is nice! Be funny if possible or make the round interesting :)
If there's anything I can do in terms of accommodations please let me know and feel free to contact me after the round with any post-round questions/clarifications (I can give my information or we can speak at the tournament) as my goal is for all of you to improve through this. I see debaters improving who take advantage of this! Good luck!
I debated LD for three years for Strake Jesuit (after a brief period in PF). I qualified for TFA State and TOC in LD, and I have instructed at TDC and NSD. I am conflicted with Strake Jesuit and Walt Whitman. Contact me/add me to docs at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can call me "JP" -- calling me "James," "Mr. Stuckert" or "judge" is fine but weird to me.
For online rounds:
1. Keeping local recordings of speeches is good. You should do it.
2. If I or another judge call “clear” video chat systems often cut your audio for a second. This means (a) you should prioritize clarity to avoid this and (b) even repeat yourself when “clear” is called if it’s a particularly important argument.
3. I don’t like to read off docs, but if there's an audio problem in an online round I will glance to make sure I at least know where you are. I would really prefer not to be asked to backflow from a doc if there's a tech issue, hence local recordings above.
4. You should probably be at like 70% of your normal speed while online.
· I aim to be a neutral party minimizing intervention while evaluating arguments made within the speech times/structure set by the tournament or activity to pick one winner and loser for myself. Some implications:
o The speech structure of LD includes CX. Don't take it as prep and don't go back on something you commit to in CX (unless it's a quick correction when you misspeak, or is something ambiguous). I generally flow cx and factor it into speaker points, but arguments must still be made in other speeches.
o The speech structure also precludes overt newness. Arguments which are new in later speeches should be implications, refutations, weighing or extensions of already existing arguments. Whether 2N or 2AR weighing is allowable is up for debate and probably contextual. Reversing a stance you have already taken is newness -- e.g. you can't kick out of weighing you made if your opponent didn't answer it. (Obviously you can kick condo advocacies unless you lose theory.)
o I won't listen to double-win or double-loss arguments or anything of the sort. You also can't argue that you should be allowed to go over your speech time.
o Being a neutral party means my decision shouldn't involve anything about you or your opponent that would render me a conflict. If I were involved in your prefs, I would consider myself to essentially be a coach so I won't listen to pref/strike Ks. If other types of out-of-round conduct impact the round, I will evaluate it (e.g. disclosure).
o Judge instruction and standards of justification on the flow are very important, and if they are not explicit I look to see if they are implicit before bringing to bear my out-of-round inclinations. If two debaters implicitly agree on some framing issue I treat it as a given.
o Evidence ethics: I will allow a debater to ask to stake the round on an evidence ethics issue if it involves: (1) brackets/cutting that changes the meaning of a card; (2) outright miss-attribution including lying about an author's name, qualifications, or their actual position; (3) alterations to the text being quoted including ellipses, mid-paragraph cutting, and changing words without brackets. Besides these issues, you can challenge evidence with theory or to make a point on the line-by-line. For me, you should resolve the following as theory debates: (1) brackets that don't change meaning; (2) taking an author's argument as a premise for a larger position they might not totally endorse; (3) cases where block quotes or odd formatting makes it unclear if something is a mid-paragraph cut. If another judge on a panel has a broader view on what the round can be staked on, I'll just default to agreeing it is a round-staking issue.
· Despite my intention to avoid intervention, I am probably biased in the following ways:
o All else equal, I think topicality is good. That being said, I think I actually vote against T framework a bit more frequently than I do for it.
o I'm not actually sure if disclosure has been a good thing for debate, but now that it is a norm it's hard for an individual debater to justify not disclosing. However, I am slightly sympathetic to "don't vote on out of round violations" as a strategy.
o I will be strongly biased against overtly offensive things (arguments which directly contravene the basic humanity of a marginalized group). I don’t think it’s prima facie offensive to read moral philosophy that denies some acts are intrinsically evil (like skep or strict ends-based ethical theories) or which denies that consequences are morally relevant (like skep or strict means-based theories). I also don't think generic impact turns against big stick impacts are innately offensive. But I will certainly listen to Ks or independent voters indicting any of those things.
o Speaks: each speech counts, including CX. Strategy and well-warranted arguments are the two biggest factors. My range typically doesn't go outside 28 to 29.5. I adjust based on how competitive the tournament is.
o Be polite to novices, even if you can win a round in 20 seconds it’s not always kind to do so. Just be aware of how your actions might make them feel.
o I am usually unpersuaded by rhetorical appeals that take it for granted that some debate styles (K, LARP, phil, theory, tricks) are worse than others, but you can and should make warranted arguments comparing models of debate.
Hey, my name is Favian and I debated for Dulles High School for 4 Years. I got a bid round, but that's pretty much it. I'm willing to vote on functionally anything ranging from tricks to non-t Affs to policy arguments. I don't have any argumentative preferences and if you weigh/make smart arguments you will probably get the result you want. If an argument is conceded my threshold for extending it is pretty low. If I have 2 conceded contesting claims, I'll probably default to what was read first.
email@example.com for email chain.
1 - LARP/Phil
2 - T/Theory
2/3 - Tricks
3/4 - Ks
Speed is fine. A little slower on analytics and anything not in a doc would be appreciated.
Policy Debates (Plans, CP's, DA's)
1] These can be fun to judge at a high level. I'd appreciate explicit impact weighing and evidence comparison
2] I'll boost your speaks if its a hyper specific plan that I haven't seen before late into the topic
3] I have a low threshold for extending the advantage in the 1AR especially with conceded warrants
1] I'm most familiar with straight cap, but if you can explain coherently explain your theory of power, I'll vote on it. I should be able to understand what the alt does and why it solves after the 1n or cx at latest.
2] Alt solves case is massively underused and should be used more
3] I most likely do not know your lit, so err on the side of overexplaining
I can judge this. Basically, my A-Strat was Kant. I've also read/am pretty familiar with agonism, pragmatism, hobbes, virtue ethics, and more. That being said you can probably read whatever you are most comfortable for. Just err on the side of over-explanation in these debates if its extremely dense.
I love permissibility/presumption triggers :). Please read an actual coherent framework and trigger permissibility or presumption if your opponents framework answers trigger them. I will judge a straight skep nc but its most likely not going to earn as many speaks.
These are fine too. Just over-explain. I'm not going to vote on something I don't understand. I have a high threshhold for what counts as an actual warranted spike in the 1ac. Don't expect me to buy a 1 line blip extended into a 3 minute collapse. Also, I'm prob gonna end up flowing the 1AR, 2NR, and 2AR straight down in these types of debates because things get messy very quickly and flipping through flows becomes difficult, so there's a higher chance you get a decision you don't agree with if you make the debate messy.
I enjoy these debates a lot. This shouldn't be an excuse to spam shells but I think these can be fun to judge when executed well.
1] I don't really understand the distinction between what constitutes a shell being frivolous and what doesn't. I think that if an interp is truly frivolous or stupid then you should be able to respond to it easily. I will vote on any shell if it's won.
2] Weighing is what makes these debates resolvable. Please weigh
3] I am down to listen to aff/neg flex arguments. If you clearly implicate the affirming/negating is harder debate then that would make it easier for me to resolve the debate. A lot of the time tho, debaters will just go for affirming/negating is harder without implicating it which leaves me with an argument that I have to do implicit work which I don't want to do.
4] If paradigm issues are conceded, you don’t have to extend them. Please don't concede paradigm issues, they are a huge part of what makes a good theory debater good.
If you stake the round and you lose L25. If you stake the round and you win W30.
I think the violation should have to be pretty egregious for me to intervene. Egregious violations can include miscutting or taking parts of the middle of the card out, misciting stuff, clipping,etc. This shouldn't discourage you from staking rounds on Evidence Ethics by any means just be sure the violation is legit yk.
30 - I think you will win the tournament
29.5-29.9 - Late outrounds
29-29.4 - You can make bid round/bid
28.5-28.9 - High chance of breaking, made some minor mistakes
anything lower and I probably don't think you'll break
If you win the debate while ending a speech with 1+ minutes left, I'll give you 30 speaks.
Facts about me that you can arbitrarily and subjectively use to pass judgements about me:
Did policy and LD in HS and college. I read existentialism for pleasure. I have interesting affinity for reading and researching things relating to Mao, Maoism and weird contours of communist organizing despite being a rather open capitalist.
TLDR: Tech>Truth (default). Do what you want...no actually like read and do whatever you want/whatever you think is the most strategic. I judge the debate in front of me. Yes I will likely understand whatever K you're reading. Yes T/fwk. By nature of the last 2 sentences I just a lot of clash debates and KvK debates.
The following three points are borrowed from J. Stidham's paradigm which I think captures some of my general beliefs:
"-No judge will ever like all of the arguments you make, but I will always attempt to evaluate them fairly. I appreciate judges who are willing to listen to positions from every angle, so I try to be one of those judges. I have coached strictly policy teams, strictly K teams, and everything in between because I enjoy all aspects of the game. Debate should be fun and you should debate in the way that makes it valuable for you, not me. My predispositions about debate are not so much ideological as much as they are systematic, i.e. I don't care which set of arguments you go for, but I believe every argument must have a claim, warrant, impact, and a distinct application. Tech and truth both matter... I strive to be as non-interventionist as possible. Impact framing/judge instruction will get you far. The predispositions I have listed below are my general heuristics I use when making a decision, but I will ultimately vote for the team who wins their argument, even if it strays from these conventions. I appreciate debaters who do their thing and do it well.
-Don't base your strategy off of your (probably incorrect) assumptions about my own debate career.
-For everyone: Stop being afraid of debate. Cowardice is annoying. Don't run away from controversy just because you don't like linking to things. If you don't like defending arguments, or explaining what your argument actually means, please consider joining the [Chess Club]."
-My first cx question as a 2N/debater has now become my first question when deciding debates--Why vote aff? I ultimately think the aff has to...well do something regardless of what style of argumentation.
-My ballot is nothing more than a referendum on the AFF and will go to whichever team did the better debating. You decide what that means.
-If I don't have a reason why specifically the aff is bad at the end of the debate I will vote aff. Similarly if the 2AC fails to extend/explain why they actual solve anything I will vote neg on presumption. I see this problem a lot in T debates and it just baffles me. Congrats you won that your aff is topical but not that it is good.
-CASE DEBATE its a thing...you should do it...it will make me happy and if done correctly will be rewarded with heavily with speaks.
-If you expect a judge to stop the round after a debater reads a Shapiro or Patterson card...I'm not the judge for you.
-I go in to rounds as a blank slate, you should tell me how you want arguments treated/used("filter the debate through the permutation etc.) This makes framing HUGE!
-It is in your best interest to
-Dropped arguments are true, but they're only as true as the dropped argument. "Argument" means claim, warrant, and implication.
All the COOL kids give args their own section so they're below if you care.
From low theory to high theory I don't have any negative predispositions.
I do enjoy postmodernism for casual reading so my familiarity with that literature as well as CRT will deeper than other works.
Top level stuff
1.You don't necessarily need to win an alt. Just make it clear you're going for presumption and/or linear disad.
2. Tell me why I care. Framing is uber important.
My major qualm with K debates as of late mainly centers around the link debate.
1.I would obvi prefer unique and hyper-spec links in the 1nc but block contextualization is sufficient.
2. Links to the status quo are links to the status quo and do not prove why the aff is net bad. Put differently, if your criticism makes claims about the current state of affairs/the world you need to win why the aff uniquely does something to change or exacerbate said claim or state of the world. Otherwise I become extremely sympathetic to "Their links are to the status quo not the aff".
Not much needed to be said here. Have good internal link analysis. You don't need to be an aspiring poly sci major, just be knowledgable about what you're reading.
- vs policy affs I like "sneaky" CPs and process CPs if you can defend them.
-I think CPs are underrated against K affs and should be pursued more.
- Solvency comparison is rather important.
I dont have any major predispositions here.
I'm pretty even on this honestly. If you're actually reading this section, I would encourage you to read all of it and not cherry pick sentences to make sweeping judgements.
I think debate is a game cause it is. This does not mean it cant have spill out or have important meanings for certain groups, but at the end of the day its a competitive game that both sides want to win.
-Did I read an aff without a plan my entire junior and senior year and most of college? Yes
-Do I think T-USFG/Fwk is a true arg in the sense that its probably unfair given certain models of debate? Yes
-Does what I ran or think is true play into my decision? Nope. As I said above tech>truth just because something is true doesn't mean you have done the necessary work to win the argument in a debate.
For aff teams, you should answer T the way most consistent with the story of your aff. If your aff straight up impact turns FW or topicality norms in debate, a 1ar that is mainly definitions and fairness based would certainly raise an eyebrow.
You should probs have a counter interp or model of debate.
Hi, I’m Ana (she/her)
I debated for Copper Hills for three years. I did a little bit of everything debate wise throughout my high school career, but mostly did LD.
- if you read arguments about sexual violence in any context please provide a tw *
- please include me on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
- tech > truth; any arguments that require judge intervention will probs get you dropped
- depth > breadth is great in 9/10 instances
- flex prep is fine
- cx is important. i will flow it but if you want to win on an arg from cx, definitely bring it up in future speeches
- pls sign post. it truly makes my life easier
- in your 2ar/2nr write my ballot for me, tell me why you believe you should win. what does a world with your name on the ballot look like. in other words, please be completely clear as to why you are winning.
- you can run pretty much whatever argument you’d like to in front of me. i enjoy a k debate (if it’s done properly), performance debate is my fav, but i’m also down with some traditional ol’ args. [with that said, power differentials / power protected rounds happen sometimes and if you can tell you are more well versed than your opponent and are belittling, i will deck your speaks. it doesn’t help anyone and debate is supposed to be an inclusive space]
- my fav debates to watch are performance (but if you do this, make sure to carry it through and explain why you’re winning on it, this is especially important in LD where with such short speech times, the important things can get lost), a properly done K debate, pretty much any kind of theory (unless it’s obscure and is a waste of time for the aff team - these debates get boring to watch)
* i also dig traditional debate as i did a lot of it in hs but if you’re gonna go traditional, please try to make it interesting :)
K debate or performance debate:
extra cool beans
- tech > truth extended: this is my outlook to an extent, if you abuse the tech bit (this especially goes for the locals) by having way too much breadth > depth and then belittling your opponent for not catching it all, that’s super meh
- flex prep is actually super interesting, you can definitely use your prep time to ask your opponent more questions, especially if this helps you get into a position you need to be in for your next rebuttal
- on that note, as i mentioned before, cx is super important in a debate round - definitely try to use it to get yourself into a better situation in the debate round. you should probably bring up things that you ask in cx in your rebuttals if your opponent answers the way that you want them to. also, please finish your thought even if the timer goes off mid-answer or mid-question
- don’t be exclusive in the debate space continued: a lil bit of dominance in round never hurt anybody, but nobody gains anything by extensive unnecessary aggression or making the round inaccessible to your opponent in any way (whether it be using jargon that they obvi don’t understand, going at a speed that they can’t process, using a highlight color that they can’t see, using demeaning language, or other things along those lines). you just look mean and that’s one of the many reasons that people leave the community
- i don’t think it’s necessary for you to make eye contact if you’re uncomfortable with it, i will not dock your speaks
- on that note, i’m not very expressive unless you make a super solid point or say something i absolutely do not buy. thus, looking at my face throughout the debate doesn’t do much as far as predicting the ballot
- definitions are usually super unnecessary, i can almost guarantee that your opponent and i are familiar with the words “should, “ought,” and “nuclear”
- i could not care less where you sit in the room as long as you’re comfortable
- i’m happy to answer any questions about my decision after the debate is over / give further critiques if needed - but after we all leave the room, email me about it
This shouldn’t have to be said - but don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. or I will drop you and substantially deck your speaks.
2018 update: College policy debaters should look to who I judged at my last college judging spree (69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa) to get a feeling of who will and will not pref me. I also like Buntin's new judge philosophy (agree roughly 90%).
It's Fall 2015. I judge all types of debate, from policy-v-policy to non-policy-v-non-policy. I think what separates me as a judge is style, not substance.
I debated for Texas for 5 years (2003-2008), 4 years in Texas during high school (1999-2003). I was twice a top 20 speaker at the NDT. I've coached on and off for highschool and college teams during that time and since. I've ran or coached an extremely wide diversity of arguments. Some favorite memories include "china is evil and that outweighs the security k", to "human extinction is good", to "predictions must specify strong data", to "let's consult the chinese, china is awesome", to "housing discrimination based on race causes school segregation based on race", to "factory farms are biopolitical murder", to “free trade good performance”, to "let's reg. neg. the plan to make businesses confident", to “CO2 fertilization, SO2 Screw, or Ice Age DAs”, to "let the Makah whale", etc. Basically, I've been around.
After it was pointed out that I don't do a great job delineating debatable versus non-debatable preferences, I've decided to style-code bold all parts of my philosophy that are not up for debate. Everything else is merely a preference, and can be debated.
I strongly prefer to let the debaters do the debating, and I'll reward depth (the "author+claim + warrant + data+impact" model) over breadth (the "author+claim + impact" model) any day.
When evaluating probabilistic predictions, I start from the assumption everyone begins at 0%, and you persuade me to increase that number (w/ claims + warrants + data). Rarely do teams get me past 5%. A conceeded claim (or even claim + another claim disguised as the warrant) will not start at 100%, but remains at 0%.
Combining those first two essential stylistic criteria means, in practice, many times I discount entirely even conceded, well impacted claims because the debaters failed to provide a warrant and/or data to support their claim. It's analogous to failing a basic "laugh" test. I may not be perfect at this rubric yet, but I still think it's better than the alternative (e.g. rebuttals filled with 20+ uses of the word “conceded” and a stack of 60 cards).
I'll try to minimize the amount of evidence I read to only evidence that is either (A) up for dispute/interpretation between the teams or (B) required to render a decision (due to lack of clash amongst the debaters). In short: don't let the evidence do the debating for you.
Humor is also well rewarded, and it is hard (but not impossible) to offend me.
I'd also strongly prefer if teams would slow down 15-20% so that I can hear and understand every word you say (including cards read). While I won't explicitly punish you if you don't, it does go a mile to have me already understand the evidence while you're debating so I don't have to sort through it at the end (especially since I likely won't call for that card anyway).
- Defense can win a debate (there is such as thing as a 100% no link), but offense helps more times than not.
I'm a big believer in open disclosure practices, and would vote on reasoned arguments about poor disclosure practices. In the perfect world, everything would be open-source (including highlighting and analytics, including 2NR/2AR blocks), and all teams would ultimately share one evidence set. You could cut new evidence, but once read, everyone would have it. We're nowhere near that world. Some performance teams think a few half-citations work when it makes up at best 45 seconds of a 9 minute speech. Some policy teams think offering cards without highlighting for only the first constructive works. I don't think either model works, and would be happy to vote to encourage more open disclosure practices. It's hard to be angry that the other side doesn't engage you when, pre-round, you didn't offer them anything to engage.
You (or your partner) must physically mark cards if you do not finish them. Orally saying "mark here" (and expecting your opponents or the judge to do it for you) doesn't count. After your speech (and before cross-ex), you should resend a marked copy to the other team. If pointed out by the other team, failure to do means you must mark prior to cross-ex. I will count it as prep time times two to deter sloppy debate.
By default, I will not “follow along” and read evidence during a debate. I find that it incentivizes unclear and shallow debates. However, I realize that some people are better visual than auditory learners and I would classify myself as strongly visual. If both teams would prefer and communicate to me that preference before the round, I will “follow along” and read evidence during the debate speeches, cross-exs, and maybe even prep.
I like competing interpretations, the more evidence the better, and clearly delineated and impacted/weighed standards on topicality.
Abuse makes it all the better, but is not required (doesn't unpredictability inherently abuse?).
Treat it like a disad, and go from there. In my opinion, topicality is a dying art, so I'll be sure to reward debaters that show talent.
For the aff – think offense/defense and weigh the standards you're winning against what you're losing rather than say "at least we're reasonable". You'll sound way better.
The exception to the above is the "framework debate". I find it to be an uphill battle for the neg in these debates (usually because that's the only thing the aff has blocked out for 5 minutes, and they debate it 3 out of 4 aff rounds).
If you want to win framework in front of me, spent time delineating your interpretation of debate in a way that doesn't make it seem arbitrary. For example "they're not policy debate" begs the question what exactly policy debate is. I'm not Justice Steward, and this isn't pornography. I don't know when I've seen it. I'm old school in that I conceptualize framework along “predictability”; "topic education", “policymaking education”, and “aff education” (topical version, switch sides, etc) lines.
“We're in the direction of the topic” or “we discuss the topic rather than a topical discussion” is a pretty laughable counter-interpretation.
For the aff, "we agree with the neg's interp of framework but still get to weigh our case" borders on incomprehensible if the framework is the least bit not arbitrary.
Depth in explanation over breadth in coverage. One well explained warrant will do more damage to the 1AR than 5 cards that say the same claim.
Well-developed impact calculus must begin no later than the 1AR for the Aff and Negative Block for the Neg.
I enjoy large indepth case debates. I was 2A who wrote my own community unique affs usually with only 1 advantage and no external add-ons. These type of debates, if properly researched and executed, can be quite fun for all parties.
Intrinsic perms are silly. Normal means arguments are less so.
From an offense/defense paradigm, conceded uniqueness can control the direction of the link. Conceded links can control the direction of uniqueness. The in round application of "why" is important.
A story / spin is usually more important (and harder for the 1AR to deal with) than 5 cards that say the same thing.
I generally prefer functionally competitive counterplans with solvency advocates delineating the counterplan versus the plan (or close) (as opposed to the counterplan versus the topic), but a good case for textual competition can be made with a language K netbenefit.
Conditionality (1 CP, SQ, and 1 K) is a fact of life, and anything less is the negative feeling sorry for you (or themselves). However, I do not like 2NR conditionality (i.e., “judge kick”) ever. Make a decision.
Perms and theory always remain a test of competition (and not a voter) until proven otherwise by the negative by argument (see above), a near impossible standard for arguments that don't interfere substantially with other parts of the debate (e.g. conditionality).
Perm "do the aff" is not a perm. Debatable perms are "do both" and "do cp/alt"(and "do aff and part of the CP" for multi-plank CPs). Others are usually intrinsic.
I think of the critique as a (usually linear) disad and the alt as a cp.
Be sure to clearly impact your critique in the context of what it means/does to the aff case (does the alt solve it, does the critique turn it, make harms inevitable, does it disprove their solvency). Latch on to an external impact (be it "ethics", or biopower causes super-viruses), and weigh it against case.
Use your alternative to either "fiat uniqueness" or create a rubric by which I don't evaluate uniqueness, and to solve case in other ways.
I will say upfront the two types of critique routes I find least persuasive are simplistic versions of "economics", "science", and "militarism" bad (mostly because I have an econ degree and am part of an extensive military family). While good critiques exist out there of both, most of what debaters use are not that, so plan accordingly.
For the aff, figure out how to solve your case absent fiat (education about aff good?), and weigh it against the alternative, which you should reduce to as close as the status quo as possible. Make uniqueness indicts to control the direction of link, and question the timeframe/inevitability/plausability of their impacts.
Perms generally check clearly uncompetitive alternative jive, but don't work too well against "vote neg". A good link turn generally does way more than “perm solves the link”.
Aff Framework doesn't ever make the critique disappear, it just changes how I evaluate/weigh the alternative.
Role of the Ballot - I vote for the team that did the better debating. What is "better" is based on my stylistic criteria. End of story. Don't let "Role of the Ballot" be used as an excuse to avoid impact calculus.
Performance (the other critique):
Empirically, I do judge these debate and end up about 50-50 on them. I neither bandwagon around nor discount the validity of arguments critical of the pedagogy of debate. I'll let you make the case or defense (preferably with data). The team that usually wins my ballot is the team that made an effort to intelligently clash with the other team (whether it's aff or neg) and meet my stylistic criteria. To me, it's just another form of debate.
However, I do have some trouble in some of these debates in that I feel most of what is said is usually non-falsifiable, a little too personal for comfort, and devolves 2 out of 3 times into a chest-beating contest with competition limited to some archaic version of "plan-plan". I do recognize that this isn't always the case, but if you find yourselves banking on "the counterplan/critique doesn't solve" because "you did it first", or "it's not genuine", or "their skin is white"; you're already on the path to a loss.
If you are debating performance teams, the two main takeaways are that you'll probably lose framework unless you win topical version, and I hate judging "X" identity outweighs "Y" identity debates. I suggest, empirically, a critique of their identity politics coupled with some specific case cards is more likely to get my ballot than a strategy based around "Framework" and the "Rev". Not saying it's the only way, just offering some empirical observations of how I vote.
I debated for 4 years at Grapevine HS (TX), with about equal experience in Policy (2A/1N) and LD. I read a solid mix of Policy and K arguments over the course of high school, and what I preferred to go for often changed, especially from topic to topic.
Please put me on the email chain email@example.com
I default to voting for the team that did the better debating, unless you convince me to use some other metric or lens. To get any more specific I think event matters, in which case look below.
I vote on the arguments and substance of what happens in the debate round. There are definitely cases where things that happened outside of the debate round can affect the round itself, but those things need to be brought up during the debate and explained. (excluding of course things like clipping, ethics violations, etc.)
Please provide a speech doc of some sort, it is incredibly important that both your opponents and I have access to the full text of the cards you are reading.
Tech over truth, arguments that are conceded/won are considered to be true for my decision. An argument being false or untrue makes it very very hard to win but there is an obligation for both debaters to call things out that are untrue, especially when they are/could be a large factor in the decision.
That being said, I will not vote for anything that I do not understand. Rebuttal/Ballot story explanations are key to winning the debate.
Debate how you feel most comfortable debating and be respectful of everyone in the room, there are very few things I will refuse to vote for.
I can’t say how often I will vote for K affs/T-USFG. In general, I think my views on debate slant more policy, however, I think debaters often mishandle these affs. Affs that are in the direction of/take a non-traditional approach to the topic are often much better than ones that just negate/avoid the topic. For me to vote on a K aff, they need to explain/win a couple things, why is it bad for the aff to be forced to defend the resolution? What makes those reasons different from simply negating? How does the aff interact with the issues it presents? What is your model of debate and why is it good? If you are explaining these things you are probably in a good place.
I actually like T-USFG debates, and I think it is a really effective strategy against K affs if done well. Similar to K affs there are a couple questions I think the negative needs to be explaining and winning. Why is your interpretation a good model of debate? Why is forcing the aff to defend the resolution good? What are the impacts on debate of not being topical? Having a TVA or some other way to mitigate the offense of the aff is really convincing to me. This was the strategy I went for most often against K affs. I think fairness is an impact, but, like every other impact, I can be convinced that something else OW/Is more important for the activity.
I am familiar with most K literature. I think K debates have a lot of potential, at their best they push the bounds of the activity, and force us to think differently about the world and how we approach debate. However, at their worst they are muddled, under explained, and don’t accomplish that much. Explanations are key, while I may be familiar with the literature you are reading it doesn’t mean you can skimp on explaining how the K operates and how it relates to the other arguments in the round. Link debates are essential in every K debate, if you are explaining the links that will help you on every other part of the debate. There also needs to be an explanation of how the K, on either a framework or alternative level resolves the links.
I am a big fan of CP debates, I appreciate a creative nuanced CPs and I think they are a really good way to explore the topic. I will vote on Condo, even though I know most debates never end up there, I also think theory is often the best way to check abusive CPs, but there needs to be a clear explanation of why how the CP works is bad and why that warrants a ballot.
I enjoy a good DA debate, I think there’s value to be had in the smaller, hyper specific politics DA debates, however, when these DA are contrived, or just aren’t really accurate, much of this breaks down. Creative DA ideas are always appreciated, but an evidence heavy topic DA debate is also good. Clear link stories are really important, especially in close debates, and having a cohesive story from uniqueness to impact is really important to get my vote in these debates.
I think T is essential for creating a clearly defined topic. Definition v Definition debates actually have a lot of relevance to actual policy and making specific and well defined interpretations is a really valuable process. T debates need to be clear with each side clearly explaining how their interpretations function and what affs are/are not allowed under each. These can get really confusing if there is not a clear distinction between the interpretations or clear standards supporting them, there should be a solid definition of what the topic looks like under each side’s definitions and interpretations.
I think that having some sort of framework/weighing mechanism/Value/Criterion is important, given nothing I will default to util. Creating clear distinction between, and articulating how the two frameworks interact is essential to winning this part of the debate. Winning framework is a big part of the debate, but winning framework does not mean you win, there still need to be impacts that are weighed under that framework.
I think theory in general is pretty good, and I am not opposed to these debates, however, when done incorrectly they can be really messy and confusing. CP theory can be really strategic in LD considering the time pressure on the 1AR, especially for cheaty process CPs. 1AC spikes are fine, but I do not think they need to be answered until they are deployed in the 1AR, for example, if the AC says 1AR theory is drop the debater, the Neg doesn’t have to answer it until the aff reads a 1AR theory shell. On that note, I default to theory being drop the debater. I think frivolous theory is often bad for the activity of debate, but I will still vote on it, and I think the notion of when theory becomes frivolous is kind of blurry, so make sure you have well articulated violations and standards and I will be much more likely to vote for you.
If you aren’t going to explain your arguments, and rely on jumping up and down for 3 minutes about how they conceded the a priori about presumption because of your made up reason why the resolution is incoherent I will probably not vote on it. This is never a great form of debate and oftentimes these “tricks” don’t make sense if you think about it for more than two seconds.
Topicality is in my opinion underused in LD. Given the nature of most topics/direction of affs it is not as applicable however it can be a really effective tool to limit out abusive affs on the topics. These shells need to be complete with and interpretation, definition, standards, and voters. Incomplete shells are really hard to win and make the debates very messy. Also everything from policy applies here
K/K affs/Framework (big F)
I like K debates in LD, I think the 2NR lends itself to really ample time for explanations which are key to winning any K debate. Very similar thoughts to the CX section on K affs and Framework. However, LD topics almost never use “USFG” so I think that often changes the way these debates happen, that being said, if there is an established reason why the aff should be the USFG then these debates become similar.
Plan debates are really good in LD, I think LD should in general shift more towards plan affs, they provide more specific and concrete things for the neg to engage with and inherently stop much of the cheaty shifts affs make in the 1AR. I am very hesitant to vote on plans bad theory especially if that is the main strategy against the aff.
Most of all, enjoy the round, have fun and debate your best
New Trier '19, Vanderbilt '23, coach for New Trier. firstname.lastname@example.org. Updated for TOC 2021
1. My strongest-held ideological bias is against arguments that either a. are read to avoid research or b. attempt to hide from clash. As such, LD shenanigans (tricks, bad theory, RVIs, philosophy arguments not supported by evidence, etc.) are rarely successful in front of me.
2. Argument comparison and judge instruction are more important than anything else. Most times you disagree with the decision, it's because the way you explained your arguments was not how you wanted me to understand them. Remedying this requires argument comparison, weighing, and framing how you think I should evaluate the debate.
3. Evidence is important to me and I read it frequently. I prioritize explanation over evidence, but when the content of cards is disputed/relevant or in incredibly close or murky debates, I use the text of the evidence to resolve an issue. This is the best way to reward both technical debating and high-quality research.
4. Clipping, misrepresenting evidence, soliciting outside help, intentionally not disclosing = L; no inserting rehighlighting; save bathroom/water breaks for the other team's prep time; flow clarification is cx or prep.
5. If you argue that death is good, oppression is good, or debate is bad, you will lose.
I most enjoy technical policy strategies and judge very few K debates. I've listed some of my thoughts below.
Kritiks: I tend to prioritize the link debate: I need a coherent reason why the plan is a bad idea, otherwise arguments like ontology claims don't mean much to me. Affs should answer the specific links the neg reads and leverage the case against them and the neg should answer the case and do impact calculus. Framework needs to be in more 2ARs and heavily debated in the 2NR because as it stands, K teams are getting away with far too much. Lastly, role of the ballot=roll of the eyes: I have little interest in frameworks that absurdly stack the deck or assert an arbitrary role for my ballot.
Planless affs: I have and will continue to vote for them despite my belief that debate is a game and fairness is an intrinsic good that necessitates predictable limits for the topic. Affs often win when they have a coutner-interpretation of the topic that solves for some predictabile limits offense and delineates a role for the negative and lose when they cannot explain why the process of debating topics is bad. Negs often win when they avoid generalization and answer the case and lose when they are behind on line-by-line or over-generalize.
Policy arguments: Vast majority of debates I judge. It's most interesting to me and useful to you to develop solvency/link answers instead of impact defense. Zero risk is a tough sell. Great for nuanced case debate, specific advantage counterplans, and well-researched topic disadvantages. Less of a fan of (but frequently vote for) counterplans that compete on certainty/immedicacy and politics disadvantages. Above average for impact turns like dedev, heg good/bad, warming good, first strike. Below average for spark/wipeout.
Theory: Not exciting, but if it becomes the easiest path to the ballot, it should be the 2AR. Some thoughts:
a. Very neg leaning on 2 or less condo, pics; neg leaning on agent, consult, "process", delay, states, 3+ condo.
b. Conditionality is the only reason to reject the team, everything else is a reason to reject the argument. Yes judge kick; hard default to reasonability and to protect the 2NR from new 2AR arguments/weighing.
c. Most neg theory arguments (spec, new affs bad, etc.) are non-starters unless conceded.
Topicality: It's a voter, never a reverse voter, and likely a question of competing interpretations. I prefer these debates center around limits v. aff ground/predictability/overlimiting. Grammar can be a standard but needs to be explained like one and weighed against other impacts without asserting it's a prior question.
1998-2003: Competed at Fargo South HS (ND)
2003-2004: Assistant Debate Coach, Hopkins High School (MN)
2004-2010: Director of Debate, Hopkins High School (MN)
2010-2012: Assistant Debate Coach, Harvard-Westlake Upper School (CA)
2012-Present: Debate Program Head, Marlborough School (CA)
General Preferences and Decision Calculus
I like substantive and interesting debate. I like to see good strategic choices as long as they do not undermine the substantive component of the debate. I strongly dislike the intentional use of bad arguments to secure a strategic advantage; for example making an incomplete argument just to get it on the flow. I tend to be most impressed by debaters who adopt strategies that are positional, advancing a coherent advocacy rather than a scatter-shot of disconnected arguments, and those debaters are rewarded with higher speaker points.
I view debate resolutions as normative. I default to the assumption that the Affirmative has a burden to advocate a topical change in the status quo, and that the Negative has a burden to defend either the status quo or a competitive counter-plan or kritik alternative. I will vote for the debater with the greatest net risk of offense. Offense is a reason to adopt your advocacy; defense is a reason to doubt your opponent's argument. I virtually never vote on presumption or permissibility, because there is virtually always a risk of offense.
Moral Skepticism is not normative (it does not recommend a course of action), and so I will not vote for an entirely skeptical position. Morally skeptical arguments may be relevant in determining the relative weight or significance of an offensive argument compared to other offense in the debate.
I am skeptical of impact exclusion. Debaters have a high bar to prove that I should categorically disregard an impact which an ordinary decision-maker would regard as relevant. I think that normative ethics are more helpfully and authentically deployed as a mode of argument comparison rather than argument exclusion. I will default to the assumption of a wide framework and epistemic modesty. I do not require a debater to provide or prove a comprehensive moral theory to regard impacts as relevant, though such theories may be a powerful form of impact comparison.
Arguments that deny the wrongness of atrocities like rape, genocide, and slavery, or that deny the badness of suffering or oppression more generally, are a steeply uphill climb in front of me. If a moral theory says that something we all agree is bad is not bad, that is evidence against the plausibility of the theory, not evidence that the bad thing is in fact good.
I default to evaluating theory as a matter of competing interpretations.
I am skeptical of RVIs in general and on topicality in particular.
I will apply a higher threshold to random theory interpretations that do not reflect existing community norms and am particularly unlikely to drop the debater on them. Because your opponent could always have been marginally more fair and because debating irrelevant theory questions is not a good model of debate, I am likely to intervene against theoretical arguments which I deem to be frivolous.
Tricks and Triggers
Your goal should be to win by advancing substantive arguments that would decisively persuade a reasonable decision-maker, rather than on surprises or contrived manipulations of debate conventions. I am unlikely to vote on tricks, triggers, or other hidden arguments, and will apply a low threshold for answering them. You will score more highly and earn more sympathy the more your arguments resemble genuine academic work product.
Counterplan Status, Judge Kick, and Floating PIKs
The affirmative has the obligation to ask about the status of a counterplan or kritik alternative in cross-examination. If they do not, the advocacy may be conditional in the NR.
I default to the view that the Negative has to pick an advocacy to go for in the NR. If you do not explicitly kick a conditional counterplan or kritik alternative, then that is your advocacy. If you lose a permutation read against that advocacy, you lose the debate. I will not kick the advocacy for you and default to the status quo unless you win an argument for judge kick in the debate.
I default to the presumption that floating PIKs must be articulated as such in the NC. If it is not apparent that the kritik alternative allows you to also enact the affirmative advocacy, then I will regard this argument as a change of advocacy in the NR and disregard it as a new argument.
To the extent possible I will resolve the debate as though I were a reasonable decision-maker considering only the arguments advanced by the debaters in making my decision. On any issues not adequately resolved in this way, I will make reasonable assumptions about the relative persuasiveness of the arguments presented.
The speed at which you choose to speak will not affect my evaluation of your arguments, save for if that speed impairs your clarity and I cannot understand the argument. I prefer debate at a faster than conversational pace, provided that it is used to develop arguments well and not as a tactic to prevent your opponent from engaging your arguments. There is some speed at which I have a hard time following arguments, but I don't know how to describe it, so I will say "clear," though I prefer not to because the threshold for adequate clarity is very difficult to identify in the middle of a speech and it is hard to apply a standard consistently. For reasons surpassing understanding, most debaters don't respond when I say clear, but I strongly recommend that you do so. Also, when I say clear it means that I didn't understand the last thing you said, so if you want that argument to be evaluated I suggest repeating it. A good benchmark is to feel like you are going at 90% of your top speed; I am likely a significantly better judge at that pace.
My threshold for sufficient extensions will vary based on the circumstances, e.g. if an argument has been conceded a somewhat shorter extension is generally appropriate.
It is primarily the responsibility of debaters to engage in meaningful evidence comparison and analysis and to red flag evidence ethics issues. However, I will review speech documents and evaluate detailed disputes about evidence raised in the debate. I prefer to be included on an email chain or pocket box that includes the speech documents. If I have a substantial suspicion of an ethics violation (i.e. you have badly misrepresented the author, edited the card so as to blatantly change it's meaning, etc.), I will evaluate the full text of the card (not just the portion that was read in the round) to determine whether it was cut in context, etc.
I use speaker points to evaluate your performance in relation to the rest of the field in a given round. At tournaments which have a more difficult pool of debaters, the same performance which may be above average on most weekends may well be average at that tournament. I am strongly disinclined to give debaters a score that they specifically ask for in the debate round, because I utilize points to evaluate debaters in relation to the rest of the field who do not have a voice in the round. I elect not to disclose speaker points, save where cases is doing so is necessary to explain the RFD. My range is approximately as follows:
30: Your performance in the round is likely to beat any debater in the field.
29: Your performance is substantially better than average - likely to beat most debaters in the field and competitive with students in the top tier.
28: Your performance is above average - likely to beat the majority of debaters in the field but unlikely to beat debaters in the top tier.
27.5: Your performance is approximately average - you are likely to have an equal number of wins and losses at the end of the tournament.
26: Your performance is below average - you are likely to beat the bottom 25% of competitors but unlikely to beat the average debater.
25: Your performance is substantially below average - you are competitive among the bottom 25% but likely to lose to other competitors
Below 25: I tend to reserve scores below 25 for penalizing debaters as explained below.
Rude or Unethical Actions
I will severely penalize debaters who are rude, offensive, or otherwise disrespectful during a round. I will severely penalize debaters who distort, miscut, misrepresent, or otherwise utilize evidence unethically.
A debater has clipped a card when she does not read portions of evidence that are highlighted or bolded in the speech document so as to indicate that they were read, and does not verbally mark the card during the speech. Clipping is an unethical practice because you have misrepresented which arguments you made to both your opponent and to me. If I determine that a debater has clipped cards, then that debater will lose.
To determine that clipping has occurred, the accusation needs to be verified by my own sensory observations to a high degree of certainty, a recording that verifies the clipping, or the debaters admission that s/he has clipped. If you believe that your opponent has clipped, you should raise your concern immediately after the speech in which it was read, and I will proceed to investigate. False accusations of clipping is a serious ethical violation as well. *If you accuse your opponent of clipping and that accusation is disconfirmed by the evidence, you will lose the debate.* You should only make this accusation if you are willing to stake the round on it.
I am happy to answer any questions on preferences or paradigm before the round. After the round I am happy to answer respectfully posed questions to clarify my reason for decision or offer advice on how to improve (subject to the time constraints of the tournament). Within the limits of reason, you may press points you don't understand or with which you disagree (though I will of course not change the ballot after a decision has been made). I am sympathetic to the fact that debaters are emotionally invested in the outcomes of debate rounds, but this does not justify haranguing judges or otherwise being rude. For that reason, failure to maintain the same level of respectfulness after the round that is generally expected during the round will result in severe penalization of speaker points.
My email is beccatraber (at) gmail (dot) com. I want to be on the email chain. I don't disclose speaks.
I debated on the national circuit for the Kinkaid School, graduated 2008. I've been coaching and teaching on the national circuit since. I am finishing my dissertation at Yale University in Political Theory. In Fall 2020, I started working as a full-time teacher at Lake Highland Prep in Florida.
I try to be as tab as possible, but we all know, a truly tabula rasa judge is impossible. Just know that everything I'm about to say is simply a preference and not a rule; given a warranted argument, I will shift off of just about any position that I already have or that your opponent gave me. The following are thoughts on specific issues of interest to many debaters, in only the vaguest order.
Speed: I have no problem with spreading -- all I ask is that you are still clear enough to follow. What this means is that you need to have vocal variation and emphasis on important parts of your case, like card names and key arguments.
Threshold for Extensions: If I am able to understand the argument and the function of it in the context of the individual speech, it is extended. I do appreciate explicit citation of card names, for flowing purposes.
ROB/LD FW: I prefer an explicit ROB and/or standard defended as a framework for evaluating the round. I do not have a preference as to what the ROB is, as long as it capable of filtering offense. I am willing and able to judge tricks debate or k debate. I regularly vote for ROBs from a policy making, high theory, and materialist k perspective.
Policy FW/T-Must-Be-Topical: I regularly vote both that affs must be topical and that they don't have to be. I regularly coach in both directions. I think the question is very interesting and honestly one of my favorite parts of debate--when done interestingly and with specific interaction with the content of the aff.
Disclosure: Is by now a pretty solid norm and I recognize that. I have voted many times on particular disclosure interps, but in my heart of hearts think the ways that most people handle disclosure competing interps tends to lead to regress.
CX: CX is really important to me, please use it. You have very little chance of fantastic speaker points without a really good cross-x. I would prefer if y'all don't use CX as prep, although I have no problems with questions being asked during prep time (Talk for at least three minutes: feel free to talk the rest of the time, too). If you are getting a concession you want to make absolutely sure that I write down, get eye-contact and repeat to me what you view the concession as.
Do not be unnecessarily mean. It is not very persuasive. It will drop your speaks. Be mindful of various power-dynamics at play in the room. Something I am particularly bothered by is the insistence that a marginalized debater does not understand their case, particularly when it is framed like: [male coach] wrote this for you, right [female debater]? Or isn't there a TVA, [Black debater], you could have used [white debater's] advocacy. Feel free to mention specific cases that are topical, best not to name drop. I can't think of an occasion when it is appropriate to explicitly challenge the authorship or understanding of a particular argument.
When debating someone significantly less experienced: your speaks will benefit from explaining your arguments as straightforwardly as you can. I won't penalize you for the first speeches, but in whatever speech happens after the differences in experience level becomes clear, you should treat them almost as a pedagogical exercise. Win the round, but do so in a way where you aren't only trying to tell me why you win the round, but you're trying to make sure your opponent also understands what is happening.
Theory: I'm willing to listen to either reasonability or competing interpretations. I don't assume either fairness or jurisdiction as axiomatic voting issues, so feel free to engage on that level of the theory debate. I do really enjoy a well-developed theory argument, just make sure you are holding to the same standards of warranting here that I demand anywhere. Internal links between the standards and the interpretation, and the standards and the voter, are both key. Make sure you have a robust interpretation that isn't simply the same thing as the violation, particularly if you are going under competing interpretations paradigm. I love a good counter interp that is more than defending the violation--those result in strategic and fun rounds.
"Don't Evaluate After The 1ar": Feel free to run these arguments if you want, but know that my threshold is extremely high for "evaluate debate after [speech that is not the 2ar]." It is very difficult to persuade me to meaningfully do this. A better way to make this argument would be to tell me what sort of responses I shouldn't permit and why. For instance, new paradigm issues bad, cross-apps bad, no embedded clash, no new reasons for [specific argument] -- all fine and plausible. I just don't know what it means to actually stop evaluating later speeches. Paradigmatically, speech times are speech times and it makes no sense to me why I should obviate some of your opponent's time for any in round reason. If you have a specific version of this argument you want to check with me, feel free to do so before round.
K&Phil Debate: Kritikal debate, phil/framework debate, and high theory debate are all my favorites. I don't see them as different as all that, on the whole, and enjoy judging them all. I am familiar with a wide variety of critical literature.
Accessibility note for performances: If you don't flash the exact text of your speech, please do not play any additional sounds underneath your speaking. If there is sound underneath your speaking, please flash the exact text of what you are reading. I do not want to undermine the performance you want to engage in and whichever option you prefer is fine for me. It is fine to have part of your speech be on paper with music underneath and then turn the music off when you go off paper. I struggle to understand what is being said over noise and I'm uncomfortable being unable to know what is being said with precision.
Presumption: I don't default any particular way. I am willing to listen to presumption arguments which would then make me default, given the particular way the round shakes down, but my normal response to a round where no one meets their burden is to lower my standards until one person does meet their burden. Now, I hate doing this and it makes me grumpy, so expect lower speaker points in a situation where nobody meets their burden and nobody makes an argument about why I should presume any which way. This just points to the need to clearly outline my role and the role of my ballot, and be precise as to how you are meeting it.
James Bowie 19
I debated on the Texas circuit for 4 years and qualified for the TOC my senior year.
I'm teaching (or have taught at) NSD Flagship/Texas, TDC, Flex Debate.
Conflicts- Anderson (all) and Westlake (all) and Hunter AI
TLDR- I like most arguments. I read mostly critical positions but would prefer you to just read whatever you are best at- persuasion is important to me because i don't want to be bored.
no excuse for being late to online debate - log in and keep you mic off while u prep- speaks will suffer if this doesn’t happen
They start at 28.5. I will evaluate speaks based on strategy but also ethos and knowledge of your position. I'll also index to the quality of the pool and if you keep me interested the entire debate I will reward +++. I'm not going to disclose them-- chill you infomaniacs.
K affs and T FW-
I like them but I'd prefer them to be grounded in some way to the topic. I don't care if you are sketchy initially but please make the 1ar overview or something clear. Judging vs T FW-- I have no biases here, but would prefer substantive engagement with a c/i or something in addition to impact turns. Also, impact turns need to be fleshed out and specific. If your reading T fw im more persuaded by fairness arguments and a TVA.
These are fine, I never really read these. But I can prob judge them fine, just don't assume I understand the intricacies of the topic. Also please weigh. I believe in 0% risk. I don't like dumb perms. Please collapse.
Read what you like. I am familiar with a lot of the lit but will just go along with whatever your spin/interpretation is. the 1NC needs to answer in some capacity prempts in the 1AC. Good debates here are what will get the highest speaks.
I have found myself judging a lot of these debates so I added this section. I like big-picture overviews that are clear. These dont need to be very long but i want to clearly be able to identify the tension point of the debate. I also want synthesis in the 2nr- this means i want you to not just extend particular parts of your critique but explain them in context with 1ar args-- implicit clash will only go so far.
default - DD, CI, no rvi. Weigh in the 2NR/ar. I was never in love with theory debate and am probably not the best judge for multiple shell debates. I will evaluate k first args but default to theory first.
Phil and tricks--
will judge these styles of debate but will not promise to judge them well. NOTE-- for me to vote on dumb arguments i require you to have a high amount of ethos ie if i am not feeling like your argument is persuasive in this context i will not be inclined to vote for it. I also wont feel bad randomly deciding im not voting for your argument if it is akin to must [insert random thing] theory.
-If you are debating a novice or person you are way better than just read what you would normally read but a little slower and be nice to them-- these debates were always awkward for me.
- fine with speed, sit where you want, flex prep is fine.
- I will give you a 28.9+ if you sit down early and win-- tell me if your sitting down early bc i wont be timing- i dont want to hear you ramble.
- 2NR/2AR overviews are v persuasive to me - don't expect me to piece together a ballot story - collapse and tell me in 10secs at the beginning of your speech what my RFD should be
Influential Judges: Kris Wright, Sam Azbel, Momo Khattak, and Saeshin Joe
for toc: the bottom line is that i am very familiar with t/theory/phil/tricks debates and much less familiar with everything else. also, please be aware that i do not do topic research and am therefore unfamiliar with topic-specific jargon or niche subsets of the topic.
given that toc is often the last tournament of the year/debaters’ last tournament, and also an unusually stressful tournament, i am happy to honor the wishes you may have about my rfd—i am happy to do anything from giving compliments instead of critique, to only sharing the decision with your opponent, etc. i no longer follow things on the circuit, so i won’t know you are a senior if you don’t tell me (but underclassmen please feel free to ask anyways!). if you want me to do this, please communicate this to me before i begin with the rfd!
enjoy the toc experience—you deserve it!
hey, i’m megan! i debated on the national circuit for a couple years and qualified to the toc as a senior ('19). during my senior year and summer 2020, i interned at the university of washington’s philosophy department, where i did research for prof. colin marshall in comparative metaethics, deliberative democracy, the ethics of persuasion, and contractarianism as it relates to commercial sex. i taught at nsd flagship '19, nsd philadelphia '19, tdc '19 & '20, and legacy debate '20, and i coached hunter college high school in the '19-'20 season. for the '20-'21 season, i coach hunter md and lindale pp. i currently attend swarthmore college ('23), where i debate parli and study philosophy and math.
in the interest of full disclosure, i am profoundly deaf in both ears and have bilateral cochlear implants. i do not believe that this significantly impacts my ability to judge, as i debated on the circuit and wasn’t horrible at it; you should be clear, give overviews, slow down for anything important, and explain to me how i should write your rfd—as you should with any judge. i will use speech docs in the 1ac/1nc, but will not in rebuttals for anything besides advocacy texts and interps. i will call clear or slow in your speech if i can’t understand you.
i do not have any preferences for style of debate; my only preference is that you debate in the way you choose, as opposed to what you think i’d like to see. i will vote for any argument so long as it is fully warranted, won, and implicated. i won’t vote on links/violations that i can’t verify. i am most familiar with philosophical framework and theory/t debates and least familiar with policy/k debate. i won’t supplement a debater’s explanation of arguments with things i know that weren’t on the flow, so it should not matter if i’m unfamiliar with literature that is read because it is the job of the debaters to fully explain and implicate their arguments—nor will i help you out even if you read a framework that i know well.
i will attempt to operate under the shared assumptions held by both debaters—e.g. if both debaters collapse to theory shells in the 2n/2a but forget to read voters, i will act as if a voter had been read rather than ignore theory and vote on a random substance extension. however, it will always be to your benefit to debate in a non-messy way: even if the 2n collapses to T, concedes substance, and it is assumed by both debaters that substance flows aff, the 2a should still quickly extend the ac. you should also attempt to extend interps & violations. the more i have to think about what the shared assumptions of the round are (and the less clear you are about your ballot story), the more your speaks will suffer.
if i am unable to determine what the shared assumption is, and if no argument has been made on the issue, i will assume the following defaults:
- theory is drop the debater, no rvi, competing interps, fairness and education are voters, fairness > education
- strength of link to weigh between layers, and theory > t > k if strength of link is irresolvable
- epistemic confidence
- presumption and permissibility negate
- evidence ethics, clipping: you need to formally stake the round for me to call tab in & i will defer to tournament policy when that happens. otherwise, i will adjudicate this like any other theory debate.
- in-round safety: if you judge that the round needs to be stopped, please ask me to and i will call the equity ombudspurson or tab in & defer to tournament procedure/tab's judgment. i am highly unlikely to stop the round unprompted, or vote on an in-round conduct issue if it is not made into a voting issue by the other debater. my policy on this is intended to place the judgment of the affected debater in higher regard than my own.
speaker points: higher when you utilize judge direction, make creative strategic choices rather than spamming args, and are good at cx. lower when you clearly haven't read my paradigm, comport yourself in an uncompassionate way, and read largely prewritten args. i average around 28.6 and i don't disclose speaks.
important notes, especially for west coast debaters:
- if you read reasonability without a brightline, say only that “good is good enough,” or tell me to “gut check,” i will gut check competing interps. reasonability should have a brightline that tells me how to differentiate between abusive and nonabusive scenarios.
- i would really prefer it if you read and normatively justify a rob/standard/vc, even if it's short. i tend to think that normative ethic spec is a true argument, and if neither debater indicates a framework and there is not a clear shared assumption of a certain framework, i will be forced to default to my intuitions to frame offense—which you likely don’t want because i’m not a utilitarian.
- i will vote on an rvi if won.
- i will vote on framework preclusion of impacts if won.
- i don’t care if your theory shell is frivolous. "this is frivolous" is not an argument.
- i think epistemic modesty is wack and have never understood what debaters want me to do with it. (if it means strength of link, just say that instead?)
- ethos is created through persuasion/passion/showing you have a ton of knowledge about the subject—not snarky taglines and personal jabs—and good ethos never comes at the expense of safety in the round.
ask me if you have any questions (especially if you're a small school debater). good luck and have fun debating!
I study political science and finance at Case Western Reserve University.
I did policy at Bronx Science.
If you want something to be more important, then emphasize it (slow down, be clear).
Also add me on the email chain @email@example.com.
I DO NOT look at evidence during the debate. If you are unclear and force me to look at speech docs, I will be frustrated and will probably take off speaks.
I hate dead time-- be efficient please.
Experience: I have taught at NSD, VBI, TDC. This is my 9th year of being in debate both as a competitor and a coach.
TL;DR: Use TWs, do not be rude, I am truly agnostic about what kind of debate happens in front of me. If you do not want to read through my whole paradigm check pref shortcuts and "things that will get your speaks tanked/I won't vote on." Also, LARPing is fine, I know my paradigm sounds particularly derogatory to LARPing, but do whatever you want.
update for e-debate tournaments and more recent uncategorized thoughts 12/17:
1. Please do not go full speed over zoom. I try my best to flow off the doc, but lately I've been relying more and more on the doc just to catch arguments which I do not like to do. I also do my best to pay attention to what is going on and am usually pretty engaged in the round (out of fear of messing up) but I do tend to get pretty distracted during lackluster CXs. If there is an important concession you want me to pay attention to then make it clear both in CX and in speech. Also if my laptop camera is at a weird angle/pointing straight up at the ceiling, I am still paying attention my laptop is just broken to the point that my screen flashes whenever it is not open to the widest position (I also do not have a desk/workspace in my apartment).
2. If you are going to speedily read through a million analytics then I need them in the doc if you want to ensure that it is relevant in my decision making. Even prior to zoom, I was bad at flowing theory arguments and underviews so if you extemp them going full speed then you will also need to take responsibility for losing if I did not catch one of them.
3. I just want to hammer home one core idea that zoom debate has revealed to me as somewhat of a lost art to a lot of debaters: crystallizing. If you throw a bunch of shit out there and do nothing in the 2nr or 2ar to tell me what matters then it increases the likelihood that I just straight up have to intervene on some area of the flow. The 2NR and 2AR needs to collapse. Whoever can present me the simplest and most coherent ballot story tends to win.
4. Independent Voting Issues: I am starting to hate the version of these which is becoming more popular which is making a one line argument, then saying "it is an independent voter" mention the word accessibility and then moving on. I feel extremely uncomfortable voting on these when they are not clearly implicated and impacted in the first speech it is flagged as an independent voting issue. For this reason, you need to fully warrant, label, and impact out this argument in the first speech that goes beyond "util justifies atrocities which makes debate unsafe bc accessibility, next." When these are made on the framework and are not clearly impacted then I just view them as framework defense.
5. Non-black debaters reading afro-pessimism, black nihilism, etc: Idk I do not really feel that comfortable with it, I will probably say that if you are non-black and reading it then your speaks probably will not be higher than a 27 and I do tend to err on the side of a decent 1ar explaining why you cannot get access to positions such as these. This does not mean that I will just intervene against you because there are ways to answer that 1ar, but it will reflect in your speaks.
some random uncategorized thoughts
I think it is extremely important for trigger warnings to be included on cases that will discuss particularly triggering issues (i.e. sexual violence, suicide, strong depictions of violence against any marginalized group). I will say that TWs are especially important for me regarding issues of mental illness/suicide. This is a particularly triggering issue for me and it would be nice if you at least gave me a warning if that is what we are about to delve into. If your opponent (or myself) makes a request that you not read a certain position because it is personally triggering for them then please accommodate them. If you do not you will get a L and 20 speaks. Similarly, if your opponent makes a reasonable request for other accommodations (i.e. if they have some form of disability or if there are some language barriers) and you refuse then you will also get a L 20.
Another thing: I will not vote on things like shoe theory, water bottle theory, laptop charger theory. Really anything that involves frivolous aspects of people's clothing choice or dumb little things. If you read theory akin to any of these things you are instantly getting 25 speaks.
I, unfortunately, may have helped that argument spread by a particularly awful decision of mine at Emory. I can no longer have this rep.
In terms of my debate preferences it probably goes:
This is only a ranking of my favorite kinds of debate, not how comfortable I am. On the left is most intriguing and moves to the right which is most boring.
Also I think I have a higher threshold for extensions than some judges, so err towards the side of over explaining.
NEW: While I think overview extensions are fine, you should not substitute these extensions for actual argument interaction. If there is an argument that is unclear to me that you spread through in an overview and expect me to evaluate it then you MUST must MUST make that argument clear to me. y'know. clash.
PLEASE ASK FOR PPL'S PRONOUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS SO IMPORTANT. IF YOU CONTINUOUSLY MISGENDER SOMEONE IN ROUND I HAVE NO QUALMS VOTING YOU DOWN. DEBATE IS SUPPOSED TO BE SAFE FOR EVERYONE AND I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY BS.
Also, I probably will ask for everyone's pronouns at the beginning of the round. If I forget, and if I make a mistake, please let me know.
hi i am alex, yoaks, xander, xanderyoaks, yo; i have various nicknames idc what you call me.
Pronouns: any pronouns are fine, I have no direct preference I do tend to refer to myself using gender neutral pronouns however
K: 1-2 (more comfortable with identity Ks like queer theory, critical race theory, etc. I know some post-structuralist like Derrida, some Deleuze, Butler, Foucault, Anthro). I think I finally figured out what an assemblage is
Give me a 3 if you read Baudrillard unless you re good at explaining it
A bunch of theory: 2-3, I am not the best at evaluating very technical theory debates but I do it relatively often. I am also bad at flowing theory so slow down on interps in particular, and slower generally. My hearing is not as good as it once was.
New view on theory: it is pretty cool. I end up judging a lot of theory debates (and clash of civ debates bc yay Ks) and I also have coached it a lot more. Feel free to pref me a bit higher. However, the difficulties in flowing theory still applies. Go a bit slower when reading Theory or T generally, but have at it (with the caveats in the uncategorized thoughts section).
Tricks: 2-3 I like good tricks but please have the spikes clearly delineated (don't hide stuff in between cards or any other sketchy business). I will not vote on an a priori unless it is explained and impacted well. I.e. I am not going to vote on something like "also extend the resolved a priori you affirm." Pls Explain
Also, I really really really dislike lazy a prioris that are super generic. I likely will find an excuse to vote somewhere else on the flow, whether that be good or bad for you.
LARP: 3 I understand everything technically when it comes to LARP, I just find it a pretty boring style of debate (even though I end up teaching/coaching it lmao)
I know that all of these have me in the 1-3 range, it isn't because I am conceited and think I am an amazing judge it is more like I have no real preference for any type of debate and I have pretty much judged every kind of debate by the end of prelims of every tournament I judge. I usually get caught up in clash of civilizations debates for some reason, and I don't think I have consistently chosen one side of the clash over another (if I have, lmk and I will edit paradigm). If you are really pressed about my rankings, then put me lower on your prefs.
I am familiar with most kinds of critical literature since that is pretty much what I am majoring in. This does not mean, however, that you do not have to explain it/extend it as much as you would for the uninitiated. Blippy K extensions suck equally as much as blippy theory extensions. Here are some other things I care about:
1. Make sure the K links back to some framing mechanism, whether it is a normative framework or a role of the ballot. You can't win me over on the K debate if you don't clearly impact it back to a framing mechanism. The text of the role of the ballot/role of the judge must be clearly delineated.
2. Point out specific areas on the flow where your opponent links. I'm not going to do the work for you. Contextualize those links!
3. If the round devolves into a huge K debate, you must weigh. Sifting through confusing K debates where there isn't any weighing is almost as bad as a terrible theory debate.
4. I don't have any presumptions regarding whether or not K or T comes first. While I do like K debates, I am equally as likely to vote on T or theory with weighing. As you can tell, weighing is really important to me.
This is the type of debate I did way back when, so I am probably most comfortable evaluating these kinds of debates (but I only get to rarely). I also study philosophy so I am relatively hip with philosophical slang.
Make all FW arguments comparative
Unless otherwise articulated, I probs default truth testing over comparative worlds when it comes to substantive debates
Good theory debates are fun, bad theory debates suck
I don't default on any particular paradigm issue. IF you aren't justifying paradigm issues at this point, who are you
I don't presume theory/T or K first, make it easy for me as a judge and win some args why one or the other comes first.
PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO SOME WEIGHING. THEORY DEBATES WITHOUT WEIGHING MAKES ME CRY EVERY TIME.
If you are going for reasonability, you also need to justify and set a bright line
I tend not to vote on silly semantic I meets unless you impact them well (e.g. text>spirit) my implicit assumption is that an I meet needs to at least resolve some of the offense of the shell
aff/neg flex standards: need to be specific as opposed to generic e.g. you cant just say "negating is harder for xyz therefore let me do this thing" rather, you should explain how aff/neg is harder and then granting you access to that practice helps check back against a structural disadvantage in some specific way
Alright, so you roll up into the room and you got this really tricked out case with 100 different a prioris, so many theory spikes that they are literally jumping off the page to fight for fairness, and the classic incontestable descriptive offense, and you are ready to win. I just have a couple of requests:
1. I want the spikes clearly delineated. None of that hidden theory spikes between substantive offense bs. I won't catch it, your opponent won't catch it, so it probably doesn't exist (like absolute moral truths).
2. Slow down a little for theory spikes. I was and continue to be terrible at flowing, so help me out a little by starting out slower in the underview section.
3. If you extend an a priori, lean more towards the side of over explanation rather than under explanation. I have a high standard for extensions, so I need to understand a) why the a priori means you affirm/negate b)the claim, warrant, impact of the arg
Unsure why I have to say this but DAs are not an advocacy and if I hear the phrase "perm the disad" you immediately drop down to a 28. If you extend "perm the disad" then you will drop to a 27. I'm not kidding.
I am kind of ambivalent towards the whole "are perms advocacies or tests of competition" debate. Regardless, you must articulate either why a perm is net beneficial or how the CP is not mutually exclusive from the aff (or, ideally, both). I WILL NOT VOTE ON A PERM THAT IS NOT EXPLAINED OR DOES NOT DELINEATE HOW THE PLAN AND CP ADVOCACIES ARE COMBINED. If you read a billion perms and its like: 1. perm do both 2. perm do the aff then the CP 3. here is an intrinsic perm, then I probs won't vote on any of them unless you EXPLAIN
Pls for the love of god weigh
Speaker points are relatively arbitrary anyways, but I tend to give higher speaks to people who make good strategic decisions, who I think should make it to out rounds, who keep me engaged (good humor is a plus) and who aren't assholes to other debaters (esp novices/less experienced debaters).
NEW: Ok so, I have been told by many at this point that I give "absolutely garbage speaks" and that I am the worst because my speaks contribute to the 4-2 screw, or whatever idk. So, for Greenhill, I am going to try to be a little nicer with speaks. What that looks like, I am not quite sure, but I am going to try my best to give better speaks.
If you are hitting a novice, please don't read like 5 off and making the round less of a learning experience and more of a public beat down. It just isnt necessary. I will give you higher speaks if you make the round somewhat more accessible (ie going slower, reading positions that they can attempt to engage in, etc).
Things that will get your speaks tanked and that I will not vote on:
1. Shoe theory, or anything of the like. I won't vote on it, instant 25.
2. Being rude to novices, trying to outspread them and making it a public beatdown. Probs a 27 or under depending on the strength of the violation. What this means is that you should make the round accessible to novices; do not read some really really dense K (unless you are good at explaining it to a novice so that they can at least make some responses), nor should you read several theory shells and sketchy/abusive arguments to win the ballot. Not making the round accessible is a rip, and I think it is important for tournaments to be used as a learning experience, especially if it is one of their first tournaments in VLD.
3. If you are making people physically uncomfortable in the space, and depending on the strength of the violation, you can expect your speaks to be 27 or lower. If you are saying explicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc things then probs an auto-loss 25.
4. Consistently misgendering people. L 25
5. I will not vote on the generic Nietzsche "suffering good" K anymore, I just think that it is a terrible argument and people need to stop going to bad policy back files, listen to some Kelly Clarkson if you want that type of education. L 25