West Bloomfield HS Invitational Tournament
2020 — Online, MI/US
Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
My name is pronounced Ka-trail not Ka-trel.
I am a graduate from Wayne State and I debated throughout HS and college.
I am open to all forms of debate. To be transparent, I was a policy debater throughout my years of competing. All arguments/methods being presented have to be well explained and impacted out for me to be persuaded; if I find myself asking "why?" to your arguments then you have not explained/impacted it out. I'm not going to vote on anything that I don't understand.
Generally I hated debating theory and didn't find it convincing unless there was clear in-round abuse (unfair, education, ect.). Not to say I won't vote on it, but it's probably an uphill battle. This doesn't mean don't include theory in your strategies. Debate is fun to me because of strategy, not the type of arguments. So, you can utilize theory to bolster other arguments/time skew.
If you want higher speaks then I want to reiterate how much I love a good strat in debate. Make flows connect. Use weird arguments from one flow to take out your opponents' arguments, connect the dots, scrap flows to save time, use impact calculus, etc. Anyone can cut decent cards (except probably me) or read blocks from last year so do the cool stuff.
Framework is fine.
I don't really have any strong feelings about arguments or styles besides the obvi:
1. I don't vote for offensive arguments - any racism, homophobia, ableism, etc. is going to get you an automatic L
2. I will dock your speaks for obnoxious behavior towards your opponents (which is ironic given my behavior in college debate) ...unless it's funny...which I find most HS debaters not to be so you have been warned
you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pronouns: Any (They/He/She/Them/Him/Her)
E-mail: email@example.com - put me on the email chain
Updated in October, 2020.
Experience: 2 years high school debate at Mona Shores High School, 2.5 years college debate at Wayne State University, 1 year coaching at Mona Shores High School, 2 years coaching at Detroit Country Day School, and a long judging history over that time to present, for both high school and college-level debate.
I'll give a short version: I'll listen to just about anything, minus overtly problematic arguments (racism good, sexism/gender discrimination good, fascism good, etc.), which will at best lead to tanked speaker points, at worst an automatic loss (and I lean that way).
I have a fair amount of experience debating both traditional policy and K frameworks but find myself being more entertained in K v K rounds. It's a T/Framework thing, it's boring and I don't trust the government to do anything right. Read more below, I definitely still do like a policy v. policy round, I just hate voting on T.
I expect everyone to be timing themselves. Please don't call me "judge," I don't like most of them IRL. "Logan" is fine.
Virtual Debate: I don't care whether or not your camera is on, regardless of what the tournament rules are saying. If your virtual workspace is anything like mine, it's improvised and ugly. Also, it feels like I'm invading your privacy on some weird level when you're debating from your bedroom. 2020 is weird enough without trying to force you to show me your house. Also, if you're experiencing connection issues, turning the video streaming off can really help. On another topic, CX is kind of tough right now due to talking over one another by accident. I don't really have a solution for it other than trying to stick to the model of whoever's not speaking next asks, the person who just spoke answers. That being said, if you can tag-team effectively virtually then go for it. When the questioner tells you to stop answering, stop answering.
Dropped arguments are usually true arguments (save for the above), you must make the argument early enough in the debate for me to vote on it (outside of theory/common-sense or evidence-based analysis). That being said, I vote on arguments I understand. If I don't understand, that's on you, this is a speech activity.
More probabilistic impacts outweigh bigger magnitude ones for me, on almost every level. Establishing probability is most important to me and I think the overemphasis on existential impacts is making policy debate stale (as well as literally untrue, I have not yet died in a nuclear war).
A lot of the longer version below doesn't really apply in high school debate outside of Open division.
The long version (ask specific questions before the round if anything is unclear):
T/Framework - T needs standards and voters on the neg and counter-standards and -voters on the aff or you probably won't win it. Framework is also fine, but you should do it right (when I didn't go for Cap, I went for framework). You need to have impacts to Framework that you can weigh against the aff (or another off-case argument you can weigh). "Fairness" is not an impact I'm going to vote for. Framework can be defensive if you want to go for the other off, and this is usually the best way to use it in front of me. I don't find skills arguments very convincing at all and I find them very easily turned as the only skills I learned in debate either A. weren't transferable or B. were skills that help the government murder people more effectively (this is definitely more for college and I'll definitely vote on skills args at the high school level). I have a high threshold for this line of argumentation and I'm not ashamed to hold you to that, but I will vote on them if they're mishandled or you've found one of the few I believe (here's a hint: research probably isn't inherently bad). Explain the impacts to the generally accepted ones like fairness (research burden, ground loss, etc.) Probabilistic impacts matter more here too: Does the aff you're running framework against stand a chance of modifying debate culture? What specific fairness/skills loss was there? The most probabilistic impacts happen in-round, in front of my face, and this is how I weigh T. I default to competing interpretations, as do most, but my threshold on reasonability is comparatively low, because for me to vote on competing T interpretations, you're going to have to convince me beyond a doubt that the way they violated the topic was uniquely bad for you debating in this round. That means if you're reading a CP or DA that clearly links, you probably shouldn't run T as I will probably buy the "but their DA links" arg.
The Aff, in general: I was a 2N and when I was double 2s I hated being aff, so I don't have much advice here. Most teams who are aff lose in the 1AR, but the 2AC is close behind. Time allocation is much more important on the aff (which is why I hated being a 2A, I'm slow), so identify which arguments are the biggest threat early on and adjust accordingly. The biggest mistake newer debaters make is forgetting about all that evidence you read in the 1AC, which should have embedded answers to your weak spots.
Policy Affs: Cool. You should probably kick some of it by the end of the debate at the college level, free up some time for that 1AR and 2AR. Left-policy affs are usually weaker than both their policy and K options (standard policy follows the rules better, helping you out in a framework debate, and the K probably solves better), so try not to read them unless you have really good ideas for how to use it.
K affs - Fine by me, be prepared for the framework debate, win the impact turns to framework and I'll vote for you. That being said, I still have to understand. These weird "every theorist ever" affs are kind of getting out of hand (at least at the high school level), but if you can explain it, run it. No plan text or advocacy statement required if the mechanism is clear. If you're going to run a left-policy aff, you'd might as well just run the K version in front of me, I'm good for it. I prefer K v K debates in these rounds because I hate listening to framework/T (it's just boring), use it as leverage and time-skew instead. I also think they're more useful and educational because waxing poetic about how a team broke the rules for 4 speeches is not only extremely boring, it's self-fulfilling and frankly only useful for institutionalized debate (which isn't a real thing IRL). They should probably still be tangential to the topic, but I can be convinced the topic should be ignored in favor of something better.
The Neg, in general: The more specific the strategy to the aff, the better chance you have of winning. General topic links are usually not enough and need some analysis to make them compelling. That's not to say I won't vote on more general links/uniqueness evidence, but that the aff is probably winning your DA/K/CP coming out of the 2AC and you'll need to develop the arguments a lot more in the block.
DAs - fine, run them, explain them, win them. Winning a link (and the internal links) is more important than totally winning the impact. I'll vote on risk, depending on how things are going on the case flow.
Theory - I've become a bit more open to theory but the only theory I find automatically compelling is conditionality bad (and that's if the neg runs too many condo off-case args, "too many" being determined by the skill level). If theory is dropped and is a reason to reject the team, that is super bad for the team that dropped it, keep track of the line-by-line. Best case, I reject the argument, worst case I reject the team (if they've dropped it but you haven't explained it well, I'll probably just reject the arg, be prepared to lose if your 2AR is 5/6 on theory). Theory about generally accepted and common args is probably useless (50 states fiat, neg fiat, limits on aff fiat, etc.), but I'll vote on it if it's explained well and is mishandled by the other team, or you can convince me an actual offense was committed (a long shot). Your theory should have warranted impacts, just like any argument ("They did a bad thing that's bad because...").
CPs - See above for how I feel about conditional advocacies. I can be convinced of most counterplan theory (again, see above). The best PIC/Ks are when no one knows that's what they are until the 2NR, usually that's an immediate neg ballot. PIC theory is usually a wash after you read your blocks at each other. I love a good advantage CP and I hate a bad one.
Ks - I went for the Cap K in almost every 2NR of my college/late high school career. Ks should usually engage something specific about the aff. Specific links are good. However, I don't think you necessarily need them, your general ones probably do the job well enough, paired with explanation. Ks should prove the aff is a uniquely bad idea/influenced by bad ideas and prove the alt can solve the impact. They should prove the perm doesn't work (preferably just being able to cross-apply case offense and prove it still links) and that the impacts outweigh the aff. This means you have to win the framework debate too, unless the K has existential impacts). I'll vote on risk of alt solvency if there's enough defense/risk on the case flow, probably at a lower threshold than most, given the framework debate basically has to be won (unless you kick the alt and go for structural impacts, which means you're probably having a bad time anyway). Fiat is illusory. It just is. Good policy-prone teams know this better than the K team.
More specific thoughts, as I did debate the K:
Cap: Honestly, I have a slightly higher threshold because I went for it so much when I debated. I'm an anti-capitalist in "real life" and familiar with most theoretical arguments contained within and if I think it's a dumb argument (not even in the round, just generally) I might have some bias, but I promise I'll try not to. I love great Cap rounds, though, so, if you're confident in your strategy (and maybe more importantly, theoretical basis), go for it!
Queerness: Read this for maybe a year as well, but wasn't as heavily invested or well-researched. That being said, I am passingly familiar with the field and like the line of argumentation, but it must be explained well, both for my sake and your opponents', as Edelman can be basically incomprehensible at times.
AntiBlackness: I find this and Cap most compelling when talking about debate writ large, which AntiBlackness debaters frequently do (not so much on the Cap side, but you should, debate is classist). I have found the best AntiBlackness rounds I've spectated or watched (or, rarely, was a part of) directly tied their impacts to the round or the topic (governance writ large isn't as good of a link/internal link, but use it anyway). However, I also think that many AntiBlackness debaters have a hard time encountering a Black policy debater, when they really shouldn't. The strategy should NOT be to attack or cast doubt on this debater's Blackness, but the structure of policy debate that incentivizes skewed topics, interpersonal violence, resource skewing, and bad rhetoric. I'm fairly read on the subject of AntiBlackness but, as a white person, I'm always listening closely in these rounds (not to imply I don't otherwise). Also, as a white person, I CANNOT be trusted fully to adjudicate these rounds, which AntiBlackness debaters would do well to keep in mind for all of their white judges. I find alternate root cause arguments fairly unconvincing on most Ks, but this one even more so (although there are TYPES of arguments I can find convincing in this realm, such as the totalizing description of oppression that some AntiBlackness teams make; It's complicated). I (and if "we" were being honest, most white judges and debaters) am usually pretty uncomfortable adjudicating these rounds as I feel whiteness is inherently moderating in these cases. That being said, I think white debaters should be very careful with these arguments (to the point of maybe considering not reading them), ESPECIALLY in reading prewritten tags. Don't call yourself Black or imply that you are a part of the "Black Body" if you are not.
Anthro: I can be convinced, but it's been a running joke to me (and pretty much anyone who isn't a die-hard) for years. I'm a vegetarian for ethical reasons, so I'm probably more persuadable than most people on this one. Animal death matters and anthropocentrism definitely defines our relationship to the environment, but I'm gonna find it really annoying if you equate animal death to human death, as I feel like this has some... implications. The better impacts here are rooted in environmental destruction, but there are easier ways to that impact.
Ableism: I am very easily convinced that the root cause of ableism is capitalism. Other alt causes could probably convince me too. Always open to hearing your way around that, though.
Beaudrillard/Symbolic Exchange/"The Real": I gotta be honest, this usually isn't helpful without being combined with theory that evaluates an axis of oppression under this theoretical framework. Another point of honesty: Tough to understand, especially being read at Mach 5 in a debate round. Explain yourself well, impact it out, and explain how the alt resolves the impact. The link debate is less important with this type of K (at least to me), but it should still be there.
Rhetoric more generally: Should probably contain a justification for the self-link here, but other than that I can be pretty easily convinced that debate is bad and the rhetoric we use sucks too, read further on for details.
Speaker points - I generally try to think as little as possible about them, as speaker points are subjective and largely useless except for tie-breaking. I am a chronic stutterer, empathize with speaking difficulties, and they obviously won't affect speaks. Doing things like using problematic language, misgendering, stealing prep, being generally rude, etc. will at worst get you dropped (malicious or ignorant use of problematic language or misgendering will get you dropped 100% of the time), and at worst will get you docked speaks. However, I understand mistakes happen, especially in the case of misgendering, and as long as it doesn't become a reoccurring/malicious issue, I won't be very heavy-handed with the docking. Get to know your competitors and asking for pronouns never hurts. The way you earn the most amount of speaker points is good STRATEGIC decision-making. I don't really care about your style, but the way you manage the round. Also, if you're not using all of your prep/speech time, it better be perfect or you'll probably lose speaks for that too.
One caveat, definitely more for college-level - My debate experience has been complex and frankly, frequently negative in university. The community is toxic and often overworks students to the point of serious mental health issues. I am thankful for what I learned and what resources debate gave me, but some of the behavior in this community is inexcusable and leads to the sort of institutional abuse (verbal, emotional, and sexual) that plagues politics, which makes debate a good microcosm for government (which, if it's not clear, I hate). I take extreme issue with anyone that uses institutional power in debate to give themselves or their team an edge and will make that clear if I think you or your team is doing so. Of course, this is an unsolvable problem, as more wealthy schools have inherently better access to resources and, thus, better win rates. I encourage every debater to remember that debate does not happen in a vacuum and to respect your fellow debaters no matter their skill level, style, or status because at the end of the day, your skill level, style, and status are all dependent on luck and environment. I also especially encourage coaches to take this into consideration and help your students understand this, as you are ultimately responsible for not just their careers and health, but everyone else's in this community (especially because it is usually coach ego causing these issues). All of this being said makes me sound like I have a heavy bias against policy debate (versus the K), which I'd like to think I don't, but I may have one. I suppose what this all means for your rounds, besides the obvious decorum I expect, is that I likely have a higher threshold for arguments that assume policy debates, and to some extent government and statehood, are inherently good. I believe some of the skills arguments, but any argument about upward mobility (gross), political understanding good (which "political understanding?"), or literature knowledge (again, what "literature knowledge?") I may chuckle to myself over, but begrudgingly vote for if the other team drops the ball. I think it's pretty proven that most former debaters either become bureaucrats or other government (gross) or debate coaches (due to lack of time to pursue literally anything else in college), which makes me basically not believe most policy debate education arguments. All of that being said, K affs focusing on debate bad still have to win. I know these perspectives in debate are rare, with many viewing policy debate education as being worth power, time, and energy trade-offs, but I've only seen these issues exacerbated in recent years. Policy snobs (myself included) need to either modify the activity to help with these issues or embrace other forms of debate. That likely makes me more malleable to arguments that break "the rules," such as form or content differences, because anything else is debate fascism.
I am the Co- Director of Debate at Wylie E. Groves HS in Beverly Hills, MI. I have coached high school debate for 46 years, debated at the University of Michigan for 3.5 years and coached at Michigan for one year (in the mid 1970s). I have coached at summer institutes for 46 years.
Please add me to your email chains at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the 2018-19 immigration topic, I coached at the two week Spartan Debate Institute and judged 28 rounds at the SDI two week tournament, the University of Michigan Institutes final tournament, West Bloomfield HS, Wayne State University, Detroit Urban Debate League, Groves HS, Michigan State University, Sylvania, Ohio, the University of Michigan and MIFA State Debate Finals, voting affirmative 15 times. I've also judged three public forum debates on the UNCLOS and drug price controls topics, voting pro once.
On the 2019-2020 arms sales topic, I coached at the two week Spartan Debate Institute and administered and taught the coaches workshop at the one week Detroit Urban Debate League Institute. Thus far, I've judged 28 rounds at the SDI Two Week Tournament, West Bloomfield HS, University of Kentucky, University of Michigan, Wayne State, Michigan State, Evanston Township HS and the University of Michigan Institutes final tournament, voting affirmative 13 times. I've also judged two middle school public forum rounds on the "One Belt, One Road" resolution, splitting one pro and one con ballot.
I have judged 17 tournament rounds on the 2020-2021 criminal justice reform resolution, at the Grapevine Classic, Marist Ivy Street, Wayne State Pappas Memorial, JW Patterson Invitational (OK), University of Georgia, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Woodward Academy JV/Novice Nationals and West Bloomfield Invitational (MI), voting affirmative 12 times. I also judged three college debate rounds (alliances topic) at the University Kentucky and Wayne State, voting affirmative once. I judged six public forum rounds on the no first use topic at the University of Michigan and Dexter HS (MI) HS, voting pro three times. In addition, I judged seven rounds on the NSA surveillance topic at Michigan JV State Finals, UNLV-Golden Desert and Lexington (MA), voting con six times as well as seven rounds on the West Africa Urbanization resolution at the Providence (NC) HS Classic and the Rushmore (SD) Challenge, voting pro three times. I judged two Lincoln-Douglas debates for the Detroit Catholic Forensic League, voting negative twice. I co-administered and taught at the Detroit Urban Debate League Summer Institute, which addressed this year's policy resolution. I actively coach and co-direct the Groves Debate Team on the resolution.
I am open to most types of argument but default to a policy making perspective on debate rounds. Speed is fine; if unintelligible I will warn several times, continue to flow but it's in the debater's ball park to communicate the content of arguments and evidence and their implication or importance. Traditional on- case debate, disads, counterplans and kritiks are fine. However, I am more familiar with the literature of so-called non mainstream political philosophies (Marxism, neoliberalism, libertarianism, objectivism) than with many post modern philosophers and psychoanalytic literature. If your kritik becomes an effort to obfuscate through mindless jargon, please note that your threshold for my ballot becomes substantially higher.
At the margins of critical debate, for example, if you like to engage in "semiotic insurrection," interface psychoanalysis with political action, defend the proposition that 'death is good,' advocate that debate must make a difference outside the "argument room" or just play games with Baudrilliard, it would be the better part of valor to not pref me. What you might perceive as flights of intellectual brilliance I am more likely to view as incoherent babble or antithetical to participation in a truly educational activity. Capitalism/neoliberalism, securitization, anthropocentrism, Taoism, anti-blackness, queer theory, IR feminism, ableism and ageism are all kritiks that I find more palatable for the most part than the arguments listed above. I have voted for "death good" and Schlag, escape the argument box/room, arguments more times than I would like to admit (on the college and HS levels)-though I think these arguments are either just plain silly or inapplicable to interscholastic debate respectively. Now, it is time to state that my threshold for voting for even these arguments has gotten much higher. For example, even a single, persuasive turn or solid defensive position against these arguments would very likely be enough for me to vote against them.
I am less likely to vote on theory, not necessarily because I dislike all theory debates, but because I am often confronted with competing lists of why something is legitimate or illegitimate, without any direct comparison or attempt to indicate why one position is superior to the other on the basis of fairness and/or education. In those cases, I default to voting to reject the argument and not the team, or not voting on theory at all.
In T or framework debates regarding critical affirmatives or Ks on the negative, I often am confronted with competing impacts (often labeled disadvantages with a variety of "clever" names) without any direct comparison of their relative importance. Again, without the comparisons, you will never know how a judge will resolve the framework debate (likely with a fair amount of judge intervention).
Additionally, though I personally believe that the affirmative should present a topical plan or an advocacy reasonably related to the resolution, I am somewhat open to a good performance related debate based on a variety of cultural, sociological and philosophical concepts. My personal antipathy to judge intervention and willingness to change if persuaded make me at least open to this type of debate. Finally, I am definitely not averse to voting against the kritik on either the affirmative or negative on framework and topicality-like arguments. On face, I don't find framework arguments to be inherently exclusionary.
As to the use of gratuitous/unnecessary profanity in debate rounds: "It don't impress me much!" Using such terms doesn't increase your ethos. I am quite willing to deduct speaker points for their systemic use. The use of such terms is almost always unnecessary and often turns arguments into ad hominem attacks.
Finally, I am a fan of the least amount of judge intervention as possible. The line by line debate is very important; so don't embed your clash so much that the arguments can't be "unembedded" without substantial judge intervention. I'm not a "truth seeker" and would rather vote for arguments I don't like than intervene directly with my preferences as a judge. Generally, the check on so-called "bad" arguments and evidence should be provided by the teams in round, not by me as the judge. This also provides an educationally sound incentive to listen and flow carefully, and prepare answers/blocks to those particularly "bad" arguments so as not to lose to them. Phrasing this in terms of the "tech" v. "truth" dichotomy, I try to keep the "truth" part to as close to zero (%) as humanly possible in my decision making. "Truth" can sometimes be a fluid concept and you might not like my perspective on what is the "correct" side of a particular argument..
An additional word or two on paperless debate and new arguments. There are many benefits to paperless debate, as well as a few downsides. For debaters' purposes, I rarely take "flashing" time out of prep time, unless the delay seems very excessive. I do understand that technical glitches do occur. However, once electronic transmission begins, all prep by both teams must cease immediately. This would also be true if a paper team declares "end prep" but continues to prepare. I will deduct any prep time "stolen" from the team's prep and, if the problem continues, deduct speaker points. Prep includes writing, typing and consulting with partner about strategy, arguments, order, etc.
With respect to new arguments, I do not automatically disregard new arguments until the 2AR (since there is no 3NR). Prior to that time, the next speaker should act as a check on new arguments or cross applications by noting what is "new" and why it's unfair or antithetical to sound educational practice. I do not subscribe to the notion that "if it's true, it's not new" as what is "true" can be quite subjective.
PUBLIC FORUM ADDENDUM:
Although I have guest presented at public forum summer institutes and judged some public forum rounds, it is only these last few weeks that I have started coaching PF. This portion of my philosophy consists of a few general observations about how a long time policy coach and judge will likely approach judging public forum judging:
1. For each card/piece of evidence presented, there should, in the text, be a warrant as to why the author's conclusions are likely correct. Of course, it is up to the opponent(s) to note the lack of, or weakness, in the warrant(s).
2. Arguments presented in early stages of the round (constructives, crossfire) should be extended into the later speeches for them to "count." A devastating crossfire, for example, will count for little or nothing if not mentioned in a summary or final focus.
3. I don't mind and rather enjoy a fast, crisp and comprehensible round. I will very likely be able to flow you even if you speak at a substantially faster pace than conversational.
4. Don't try to extend all you constructive arguments in the final stages (summary, final focus) of the round. Narrow to the winners for your side while making sure to respond to your opponents' most threatening arguments. Explicitly "kick out" of arguments that you're not going for.
5. Using policy debate terminology is OK and may even bring a tear to my eye. I understand quite well what uniqueness, links/internal links, impacts, impact and link turns, offense and defense mean. Try to contextualize them to the arguments in the round rather than than merely tossing around jargon.
6. I will ultimately vote on the content/substance/flow rather than on generalized presentational/delivery skills. That means you should flow as well (rather than taking random notes, lecture style) for the entire round (even when you've finished your last speech).
7. I view PF overall as a contest between competing impacts and impact turns. Therefore specific impact calculus (magnitude, probability, time frame, whether solving for your impact captures or "turns" your opponents' impact(s)) is usually better than a general statement of framework like "vote for the team that saves more lives."
8. The last couple of topics are essentially narrow policy topics. Although I do NOT expect to hear a plan, I will generally consider the resolution to be the equivalent of a "plan" in policy debate. Anything which affirms or negates the whole resolution is fair game. I would accept the functional equivalent of a counterplan (or an "idea" which is better than the resolution), a "kritik" which questions the implicit assumptions of the resolution or even something akin to a "topicality" argument based on fairness, education or exclusion which argues that the pro's interpretation is not the resolution or goes beyond it. An example would be dealert, which might be a natural extension of no first use but might not. Specifically advocating dealert is arguably similar to an extratopical plan provision in policy debate.
9. I will do my level headed best to let you and your arguments and evidence decide the round and avoid intervention unless absolutely necessary to resolve an argument or the round.
10. I will also strive to NOT call for cards at the end of the round even if speech documents are rarely exchanged in PF debates.
11. I would appreciate a very brief road map at the beginning of your speeches.
12. Finally, with respect to the presentation of evidence, I much prefer the verbatim presentation of portions of card texts to brief and often self serving paraphrasing of evidence. That can be the basis of resolving an argument if one team argues that their argument(s) should be accepted because supporting evidence text is read verbatim as opposed to an opponent's paraphrasing of cards.
13. Although I'm willing to and vote for theory arguments in policy debate, I certainly am less inclined to do so in public forum. I will listen, flow and do my best not to intervene but often find myself listening to short lists of competing reasons why a particular theoretical position is valid or not. Without comparison and refutation of the other team's list, theory won't make it into my RFD. Usually theoretical arguments are, at most, a reason to reject a specific argument but not the team.
Overall, if there is something that I haven't covered, please ask me before the round begins. I'm happy to answer. Best wished for an enjoyable, educational debate.
I debated for Wylie E. Groves High School for four years, debated for 3 years at MSU, and currently coach at Groves.
Topicality: I’m not opposed to voting on T, but rereading T shells is insufficient. There needs to be substantial work on the interpretations debate from both teams, in addition to the standards and voters debate, i.e. education and fairness. As long as the aff is reasonably topical and it is proven so, T is probably not a voter. Also, if you are going for T in the 2NR, go for only T, and do so for all 5 minutes.
Counterplans: Any type of counterplan is fine; however, if it is abusive, do not leave it for me to decide this, make these arguments.
Disads: Any type of DA is fine. A generic link in the 1NC is okay, but I think that throughout the block the evidence should be link specific. When extending the DA in the block, an overview is a must. The first few words I should here on the DA flow is “DA outweighs and turns case for X and Y reasons.”
Kritiks: I will vote on the K, but I often find that in the K rounds people undercover the alternative debate. When getting to this part of the K, explain what the world of the alternative would look like, who does the alternative, if the aff can function in this world, etc. I am well versed in psychoanalytic literature i.e. Zizek and Lacan and I do know the basis of a plethora of other Ks. This being said, I should learn about the argumentation in the round through your explanation and extrapolation of the authors ideas; not use what I know about philosophy and philosophers or what like to read in my free time. Read specific links in the block and refrain from silly links of omission.
Theory: I am not opposed to voting on theory, but it would make my life a lot easier if it didn’t come down to this. This is not because I dislike the theory debate rather I just believe that it is hard to have an actual educational and clear theory debate from each side of the debate. Now, this said, if a theory argument is dropped, i.e. conditionality bad, by all means, go for it!
Performance: An interesting and unique type of debate that should still relate to the resolution. As long as there is substantive and legitimate argumentation through your rapping or dancing and whatever else you can come up with, I am willing to vote on it. Even if you are rapping, I would prefer to have a plan text to start.
*As technology is vital in our life, many of us have switched toward paperless debate. I do not use prep for flashing, because I have also debated both off of paper and paperlessly in debate and I understand that technology can sometimes be your opponent in the round, rather than the other team. I am being a nice and fair judge in doing this, so please do not abuse this by stealing prep, because I will most likely notice and take away that stolen prep.
FAQs: Speed – I’m okay with speed as long as you are clear!
Tag teaming - I’m okay with it as long as it’s not excessive.
Things not to do in rounds I’m judging: go for RVIs, go for everything in the 2NR, and be mean. Believe it or not, there is a distinction between being confident and having ethos vs. being rude and obnoxious when you don’t have the right to be.
Email - email@example.com - please include me on the email chain!
As an FYI, I don't coach for any teams currently, and last debated as a senior in high school, so I probably have a little less experience with the intricate details of a lot of arguments than other judges, especially as the season is starting. Explaining everything out to me, no matter how obvious it might seem, is a great way to earn my ballot.
Judging Philosophy - My default position is that debate is an educational competition, and that by exchanging arguments in this space we gain knowledge on the topic, the world, political mechanisms, activism, etc. I can be convinced out of this reasoning but sans framework it's where I default.
I am adamant that I vote only on the arguments presented to me in the round. If an argument is clearly abusive, doesn't link, makes no sense, has no supporting warrants - I am counting on YOU to be the one to point it out. This is a test of your skills, not mine. I've voted for DAs that clearly don't link simply because the Aff let's Neg get away with it - always call out the other team and don't count on me to do it.
A dropped argument is a conceded argument - but you need to point out why this wins you the round.
Slurs or abusive language/arguments designed to hurt others (racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc), is an auto-ballot against the violating team. "Fascism good" arguments fall under this category as well.
Sans above, I will be willing to vote for any argument, but historically, I've noted what I find more persuasive below.
Topicality - I'll be honest that I have rarely voted on T's that were not dropped in whole/in part. The neg needs to make the argument that T is a priori (as I will not assume this). The Neg should attempt to prove what education/ground has been lost by the aff with actual examples, otherwise I tend to be unconvinced. If you're going for T, make it the whole 2NR.
DAs - always cool (Unless you're going for "climate change good / isn't happening" in which case I will laugh you out of the room)
CPs - always cool - Neg run what you want, aff run theory it's abusive. Arguments that tell me "this is what debate will look like if we allow ______" are a must if you're arguing abuse.
Ks - cool if explained well. A layperson's explanation is a must, especially on psychoanalytic Ks. It's not necessary for K's critiquing Aff's specific plan epistemology to have an alt, but is never a bad idea. Ks that critique the resolution/general format of policy (IE 'state bad') should absolutely have one. Aff - always question the link.
FW - super cool - needs to be in every round.
Theory - cool - I'm probably in the minority of judges who think so. But debate is a competition, and debating best practices that allow everyone to play the competition are intriguing to me. Statements like "Debate becomes _______" or "Debate will look like ________" are essential.
Performance Affs - cool, but should still be "topical". At minimum, a "plan text" that states "We [do the resolution] by ________".
Impact Calc - absolutely necessary. Probability / questioning the link always seems neglected in favor of magnitude, which would be a mistake for me.
General Things I like:
- SLOW DOWN on your Tags! and tell me NEXT when moving on!
- Explicitly contrasting FW/Role of the Ballot.
- Explaining the benefits or drawbacks of the world of the alt
- Questioning the warrants of cards
- Reading more than just the T or Theory shells.
- Theory debates where we are having honest discussions on game theory/what is best for debate, and moving beyond shell arguments.
Things I'm not the biggest fan of:
- Running Condo with less than 4 off case
- 5 or more off case
- Elections DAs more than 6 months before an election
- Sticking ONLY with T or Theory Shells
- Reading off standards/voters in T/Theory without explaining what they mean (What the heck is "reasonable"? Or "education"?)
- Not explaining the warrants/alt of the K to me.
- Heck, reading any K and not being able to explain it with current / relevant examples outside the space of the round
Policy in HS 4 years; Melissa High School. Broke @ TFA State and broke @ bid tourneys(UT Austin;UH Houston)
Former coaches: Brenden Dimmig and Kyle Brenner <3
Paradigm Thesis: TAB
Refer to me as "Alex" instead of "judge", sweeet
I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Speed is fine. Don't be crazy tho
I don't have "high thresholds" for anything (T;disad links;alts;theory)
My paradigm should not restrict the debaters from choosing one thing over the other. Use this as a guide, not as the rules. Everything is up for debate! Do what you're comfortable with.
Thesis: I will listen to whatever you read in front of me (unless otherwise derogatory) and will try my best to evaluate each position fairly -- I do consider myself tab. I feel a lot of times judges say this but just want to look cool/not get striked or whatever and end up screwing teams over. I want to stray as far away from that and will live up to my paradigm! Do whatever you're comfortable with and just be cognitive of me following along with your arguments. Have fun! :)
- Tell me how/where/why to vote
- Truth over tech WITH warrants to uphold your truth claim(s)
- The winning framework, impacts or theoretical, has priority. Default policymaker if no framework is given
- Impact scenarios are pretty, especially in the 2nr, but internal links are more important
- Split the neg block correctly and please collapse the debate down to 1, maybe 2, positions
- ^^^that includes disad standards on topicality in the 2nr
- I'd rather you not read new in the 2nc
- Give trigger warnings/ disclosure is educational and will help you
Speed: I'm fine with it! omg please slow down on overviews/underviews (especially for the method)
Speaker Points: For specific tournaments, I will adjust my speaker point range for sure — ask me if you have any specs. for speaks
Card clipping: Noopppppeeee. Not cool. Don't cheat
Etiquette: I will absolutely not tolerate any racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, xenophobic, derogatory, etc. commentary in the round. Just be kind pls. Let her talk
Appearance: I could care less about how you dress or look. Misogynistic and gendered norms are really ugly. Also, I don't care if you sit down during cross-ex. Just make sure I can hear/see you. Whatever makes you comfortable
Last couple of things: I flow on paper and sometimes on my computer. Every contention/advantage will be its own sheet and every off will be its own sheet. I will flow everything you say unless I have no idea what you're saying. I don't necessarily count flashing as prep unless it becomes excessive, duhhh
- The standards are disadvantages. Please provide a case list as to what you loose/why that's important
- I love contextualization and/or grammar arguments. Term of art pls. Saying, "look at the plan through a vacuum" doesn't really do anything for me - do that full analysis
- Competing interps or reasonability? Tell me which one to prefer. If there is no telling here, I will most likely default to competing interps
- Reasonability is the test of the AFF's counter-interpretation, not the AFF
- I treat framework in similar regards to topicality. Explain how/why this sets a precedent
- A topical version of the aff is probably your best way to win here
- I think I could vote on any type of theory given its correctly debated/ ask me otherwise
- I don't need a case-specific link on the disad in order to vote on it, that is if the aff doesn't do a good job analyzing this. A good disad has a line in the link evidence that exclusively mentions the aff- obviously
- An awesome 2ac has smart analytical arguments more than cards answering each level of the disad
- Tell me why the disad outweighs/turns case
- If you are losing uniqueness, it's going to be really hard for you to win the disad debate unless it's a linear disad. You have to win the link in order to win the disad
- Straight turning needs both a non-unique and link turn. If you do this, make sure the impact framework on the disad doesn't contradict the aff framework you're going to go for in the 2ar
- External and internal net benefits are super-duper important. Don't contradict your case arguments with the counterplan
- Both aff and neg explain to me how the counterplan can/cannot solve 100% of the aff- with impacts to those arguments
- Perm debate is super important, obviously. Make disads to the perm(s) with impacts and make net benefits for the perm(s) too
Kritiks & Performance:
- Line by line is great. The overview can get messy when you try to cross apply/answer arguments here. Just be strategic here
- Make sure, of course, you are solving the linear disad and winning the root cause debate
- As you've heard a thousand times I'm sure, don't assume that I know your author. Give me that accessible explanation y'know?
- If you want to make framework the contesting issue here then so be it
- I think the method debate starts at the level of the alternative and goes up from there. Reject alts are fine but more substantive alts will probably get you farther
- If you're going for the disad, you should probably have some defense here
- Please utilize the comparative analysis on their evidence/ taking down their internal links here would be strategic
- Impact turning the aff- teams are like "Omg, who is she? We don't know her". Please utilize this more and make sure to impact it out and don't contradict yourself of course
- Reading your generic circumvention/block arguments here get really boring- having case-specific arguments are dope and will help your speaks for sure
Aff Performance/K Affirmatives:
- I'm good with this. Not super experienced with it tho. Just make sure to tell me what my ballot does (explain the method)
I did policy in HS so just keep that in mind. I view this as an important weighing of offense/defense in conjunction with framework of course. I think the information from the policy section will serve the same purpose for you here
- Tell me to vote and/or view the round in a specific framework, that's fine. Explain to me why your lens is better/more important/ solves better or whatever you defend
- Internal link turning your opponents framework is super cool. Here make sure you are explaining why your criterion/standard better resolves your opponets value in some better way
- I don't have any predispositions about what values are better/tangental or of that sorts to the resolution
- Just do a good job building link chains to whatever framing you want to go for
- Yah they're fine
- I view and treat these as advantages to the case like in policy debate. Just make sure it links back into your framework clearly
Plans & Performance
- All dope. Give me solvency on plans of course
- Great. These most likely need to be tangent with the aff- like their plan or their method
- Refer to the policy section
- I'll view these as advantages in policy debate but of course tangent to LD
- Attacking your opponent's evidence is sweet - internal link chains for their value too
(PF + I.E events + additional):
Ask for further questions! peace out
Theo Van Hof
Assistant Debate Coach, Okemos High School
email@example.com Please include me on the email chain.
Bio: I am Theo Van Hof, I debated public forum debate for one year and policy debate for two years at Okemos High School. I am now in my second year of assistant coaching and judging for Okemos High School as well as competing for Michigan State.
Aff: Read whatever you wish to read. I love policy debate so please read whatever plan text you want. I don't mind K-Affs, but I am not super familiar with a lot of the buzzwords and such. If you are going to read a K-Aff make sure to explain everything for me nicely because if I don't understand it, it is unlikely I can vote for you. After all this is a communication activity and it is on you to properly explain your arguments. I am also unlikely to be able to flow your super long tags.
Topicality & Theory: I like T and have run it in almost every single one of my rounds, that being said I would appreciate T arguments that are flushed out and complete. Neg: Run T, explain it, win it. Aff: Provide counter-interpretations/definitions, explain them, win them. I will not vote on RVIs, so don't try. I am OK with most if not all theory arguments as long as they make sense and you explain them to me. Explain why I should care about your theory argument (e.g. have an impact).
DAs: Great. Please explain your DA's, primarily your link story and how they outweigh your opponent. Impact calculus is great in the final speeches of the round.
CPs: Great. Please read a plan text other than; "Do the aff". Explain the net benefit(s) and why the CP is better.
Ks: While I have read a few Ks and debated against a good number of them there is still a lot I don't understand fully about Ks. Generally, simple Ks like Cap or Security will be fine, but more complex K's are going to need a good amount of explaining. I am not super familiar with a lot of the buzzwords of Ks and will most likely not be able to understand a bunch of jargon. I will vote for you K as long as I can understand it and just like anything else, you win it.
Speaking: Speak loudly and clearly (maybe not so loud if it is a morning round). Please have overviews and signpost. Even something as simple as saying "next" will do. Speed is fine as long as I can understand you. I will not flow what I can not understand, so please do not expect me to go sifting through your cards to figure out what you said. Other than that any style of speaking is great. Do whatever floats your boat. Because we are online this year you may have to slow down a little bit if your microphone/internet are not the best. As long as I can hear you though, read as fast as you normally would.
Hey, my name is Jake, not "Judge".
Addressing me as "Judge" just makes me feel not human and not present in the conversation we're having.
I graduated from MSU with a degree in international relations. I competed in policy debate with MSU from Fall 2015-Spring 2017. I attended Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas, Nevada. While not debate related, Canyon Springs was a law magnet school, so from high school on, I've been studying the law and government. I’ve done all the forms of debate throughout middle and high school (PF for two middle school years, LD for one year, Congress for a tournament, and Policy my sophomore through senior year). Since the Fall of 2019, I have judged and coached predominantly public forum and congress for Dexter High School.
I want to give back to the activity that gave me so much.
I have paradigms written in the order:
1. Public Forum
4. Lincoln Douglas
While I love policy, I see public forum as the shorter version of what Policy was always intended to be. The topic is always changing, so teams always have the same starting point. You are encouraged to speak clearly so that the speech could be understood in a public forum. You attain all the short-hand, tech, and research skills as any other debate. Please remember while you're debating that is much more about developing skills than winning a singular debate.
All that aside, here is what I've gathered during my time judging public forum:
I'm very much a "flow" judge. I don't care about the things I know about the topic outside of the round, I hope to be completely tabula rasa. If a team says the sky is orange, and it goes uncontested, I will vote assuming the sky is orange. If your response to "The sky is orange." is "That just doesn't make sense, because it's not." I do not want to be the one who does the work for you to assume that because it is not orange it is blue.
I strongly believe that teams should time themselves and call out their opponent when it is "time". If you say you want to use 30 seconds of prep, I will not tell you when those 30 seconds are up, unless you explicitly ask me to be your timer. I will just keep running your time.
I believe the first speaker holds the responsibility of providing definitions and the necessary context for understanding the topic. I do think definitions and context can be framed strategically in favor of the side in which the team is arguing; therefore, I would entertain counter definitions (and warrants to use one definition over another). Also, see the paragraph below about Framework.
I believe that if you are the second speaker, it is strategic for you to have a plethora of contentions that you can draw from to form a case that has built-in answers or "turns" for your opponent's case. For example, you know that you can only fit three contentions into your case to be within time. Yet, you have 5 or 6 possible contentions that you can put together to make a cohesive case. Reading one of your contentions that you know gives you a leg up on your opponents by either turning their argument or refuting their argument is strategic. It will also limit the ability of the first speaker to spread you out after their first rebuttal because the second rebuttal has to not only answer the first rebuttal but provide answers to the opponent's case.
I like it when teams use a lot of evidence, but if you have evidence that is using percentages, decimals, and whole numbers, please just do the conversion so they are all the same. I generally don't like data laundry lists, unless you specifically tell me why each point of data matters.
Your summary should invest a lot of your speech time in impact comparison. Go through magnitude, timeline, reversibility (whether there is a brink point), etc. You need to be contextualizing your link scenario. You can not jump from an overview to saying that causes nuclear war without telling me who is fighting and why.
I catch maybe 50% of the authors/citations from the constructives. You can not just say "Extend Krueger" as an answer or extension. I probably don't know what evidence you're referring to. I would prefer if you say, "Extend Krueger which says...". At that point, I will usually catch the citation and call for the evidence if I really need to. I rarely call for evidence.
Your final focus should start with a Reason for Decision. Tell me right out of the gate, the reasons I should vote for you and what my ballot does (does it fiat, actually save lives, decide on a decision about the rules of debate, or is it just a logical decision for which side I think is best.). The best teams can rehash the debate and close all the doors line-by-line.
You should not be asking your opponent to reiterate anything. You should be asking leading questions like, "You said [paraphrase], correct?", "Your first contention was X, correct?". Asking "What was your first contention?" or "Can you explain how your link scenario?" just gives your opponents more speech time and often leads to filibustering. I like teams who filibuster if their opponents don't know how to cross-examine.
I don't typically flow cross-examination, but if you're asked a question like, "What is Iran's motivation to attack Israel?" and your response is, "Their feud goes way back." That doesn't give me much confidence that you actually understand your argument. This means your extension of that argument in the speech is just a reiteration with no contextualization, and that's not a good debater.
In most of the PF debates I've seen, framework is not argued properly, and it has become an unnecessary 10 seconds of everyone's speech time. If a framework is not mentioned, I assume I should vote for the team attempting to do the greatest good for all people (general utilitarianism). If you want to provide a framework that tells me to vote for the good of America, the poor, the few, etc. tell me and my ballot will assume that framework unless argued against. I also think you can tell me whether my ballot has any actual meaning in the world. Does the impact happen as soon as I vote? I also would also entertain a framework that tells me to vote for the team that provides the best education/practice of skills, because at the end of the day my ballot does not impact real policy.
If you do not want to contest your opponent's framework, you don't have to. If the framework goes uncontested after the first constructive on either side, I don't need you to extend it through to your summary and final focus.
Any evidence read/cited in the round must be made available to the opponent upon request. Teams ought to be able to find and electronically share their evidence very, very rapidly. If the time spent finding a piece of evidence is beyond 90 seconds/piece of evidence, I will begin taking prep away from the team asked to provide the evidence. The lack of prep time CANNOT be a reason to deny a team the chance to see their opponent’s evidence.
If a team simply cannot produce their evidence or is out of prep time to find it, it will be dismissed.
Time spent reading the opponent’s evidence must be timed in some way, either as prep time or while another speech/crossfire is underway.
PF has not evolved to include Kritiks from what I've seen, and I don't think it should evolve in that direction. 4 minutes doesn't really allow you enough time to make a good case for a Kritik like argument, and I think Public Forum should really be about developing real-world skills.
I started to say “y’all” instead of gendered pronouns, but I don’t think what you say outside of your speech or cross-ex should be a reason to lose the debate; unless the team is clearly sexist/racist/etc.
If you enter the room while someone else is talking, I will hold a vendetta against you forever. I’m okay with everyone acting casual and having a good time. I always enjoyed the debates I had against my friends and with judges that I knew, because it was fairly laid back. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, loosen up, and wear whatever. If you can make me feel comfortable, I’ll be happy.
I like people that express Spartan pride. Make good jokes and puns while speaking. Dance at any appropriate time during the debate. Make a reference to someone you know from Las Vegas. My dad is a magician. If you can do a relevant magic trick in the context of the debate, I’d be amazed.
Performance arguments: Most of my high school success came from Humorous Interpretation, where I qualified to the NIETOC twice. While I don’t think this will affect how you debate, it should make you think about how you read any performative arguments in front of me. I have been a 2A, 2N, and double 2s. I had a different partner every year in high school. I was mostly self-taught in policy, and my coach advised me to do a lot of silly things. I was part of the only policy team our school had. Therefore, I understand if you aren’t familiar with certain arguments or have limited backfiles, because I was in the same boat. I always preferred judge philosophies that were broke up into categories after the intro; therefore:
Speed: You do you. I’m pretty good at following arguments if you’re clear and do work signposting. I have experience debating in front of flow and lay judges so I understand any experience level. Some speeds are impossible to follow unless you have a speech doc; don’t go that fast. I don’t think I ever want to get in the habit of flowing on my computer so you will most likely see me flowing on paper.
Flashing/Prep/CX: Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/email is sent unless there is a clear computer malfunction. Otherwise, it’s just inefficiency on your part. Don’t steal prep time. I am alright with tag team cross-ex, but don’t take all of your partner’s time. Cross-ex is a good opportunity to elaborate on arguments that have been/will be made.
Theory: I’d vote on theory if it was dropped. Everyone has to lose on condo at least once in their life. If you’re going to make theory the only thing left in the debate, it needs to take up all of your time and you need to do a good job explaining why they’re abusive. Condo is really only abusive if there is more than 1 of each argument, but I can see either side. I’d still vote on condo (in some cases) if the neg met that interpretation but dropped condo.
T: I really only like watching T if the aff is clearly untopical, or if it’s a Kritikal affirmative. I evaluate the analysis of abuse the same as if it were theory. I don’t mind you putting T in the 1NC if you think it would be a viable 2NR option. I went for “T quid-pro-quo” on the Latin America topic quite a bit, but I knew it was really silly. I can also justify T if it is purely for laughs.
CP/DA: 99% of the time these were my go-to arguments in high school. Go for anything here! Extra bonus if you have aff specific arguments. I don't have too much experience going for politics as the Neg. I always went for PC isn't real as the aff and winners win. It's hard for me to vote on an unquantifiable influence token. I am willing to evaluate the evidence and determine my opinion of politics in the round.
K: Don’t read things that you haven’t done background research on. I read the security k and cap/neolib k throughout high school because I read a ton of books about them. I wrote a 25 page research paper on reevaluating American capitalism during my senior year of high school. I have background with any queer theory/gender/sexuality arguments you might have. Other than that, I’m not very familiar with most arguments, but if you do a good job explaining it, I’ll vote on it. Anything is fair game if it isn’t absolutely absurd. Coming from a background with little experience against the kritik, I can sympathize with the teams that freak out when a Kritik is read against them, but I won’t vote for them if they don’t answer the argument. If you can teach me new things, I’ll be happy.
K Affs: I really don’t understand the purpose of Kritikal affirmatives that don’t have a plan text. Most of the time I just hear implications of what voting aff means without getting a concrete answer. You should have a reason to vote aff, and I’m not sure what the reason is without a plan. I’ll vote for you if you do a good job explaining it. I have a litany of ways I’d scrutinize performative arguments that come from my background in interp. Go for what you do best.
Offense vs. Defense: I feel like there are scenarios where the neg can win if they only have defensive arguments at the end of the debate, but don’t make that your priority. In that instance, I would evaluate that scenario as the world is better without the aff. Yet, I’d vote aff in that scenario if they proved benefits outweighed the cost.
Word Choice: I started to say “y’all” instead of gendered pronouns, but I don’t think what you say outside of the 8/5 speech or cross-ex should be a reason to lose the debate; unless the team is clearly sexist/racist/etc. I’m okay with some cussing, but don’t make it like you’re talking to your best friend. If the other team reads an argument against you for cussing, I’ll laugh and vote for it if it is good.
Conduct: If you enter the room while someone else is talking, I will hold a vendetta against you forever. I’m okay with everyone acting casual and having a good time. I always enjoyed the debates I had against my friends and with judges that I knew, because it was fairly laid back. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, loosen up, and wear whatever. If you can make me feel comfortable, I’ll be happy.
Bonus points: I like people that express Spartan pride. Make good jokes and puns while speaking. Dance at any appropriate time during the debate. Make a reference to someone you know from Las Vegas. My dad is a magician. If you can do a relevant magic trick, I’d be amazed.
Politics is a cut-throat world. I find it humorous that most of the congress rounds I've watched have devolved into this utopian atmosphere where you find a way to make sure everyone can give a speech. I do not like to reward students for being cordial in a competitive event. The presiding officer has the responsibility to give everyone fair and equal opportunities to speak. The other competitors can strategically use the rules of order to be more competitive. If you are consistently overriding the rules to allow multiple Pro speeches in a row, you are not doing anyone favors.
You should be preparing speeches for multiple legislation per round. If you missed your opportunity to speak on the one legislation you had prepared, that sounds like your fault. I also think there are plenty of pieces of legislation that are debatable on both sides, so if you can't play the devil's advocate on lop-sided legislation, you are not "playing the game".
Each speech should have clash. Rebuttal (with a direct reference to the senator who made the argument) is an example of clash. Adding nuance to another senator's point that was on your side is clash. If you are rehashing the same points, you are not clashing, and will not be rewarded for doing so. As the author of a bill, or first speaker on the bill, I evaluate your positive clash by seeing whether you have introduced all the major talking points on your side. I think you can introduce the talking points briefly, and allow other legislators to add evidence.
I think it is very difficult to judge the presiding officer. So long as the presiding officer is staying organized, and doesn't make mistakes, they typically do well. I think presiding officers hold the responsibility of encouraging good debate. They do not have to entertain every motion to postpone the rules and allow the last person to speak if the previous speeches on the topic have only been rehash. Given that presiding officers typically do well, I think it should be a competitive appointment. Unanimous decisions for who should be PO typically mean the kids know who the best in the round is.
I honestly have only judged a few rounds of Lincoln Douglas, and I competed in it for a semester. I don't think I have enough experience to develop a sound paradigm.
In a lot of ways, my paradigm will parallel my policy paradigm when it comes to national circuit Lincoln Douglas, and my public forum paradigm when it comes to local circuit LD.
I'm familiar with most of the philosophies presented, because of my policy experience and the few philosophy classes I took in college. However, I want to approach the debate as a tabula rasa judge, so tell me what I need to know in the round.
Okemos High School 2020
T - fine
FW - fine
DA's - fine
CP's - fine
K's - I love these, so definitely fine; race theory/pomo/gender and or sexual orientation
K-Affs - ^^^^
Theory - fine
Run whatever you want, be clear, signpost and warrant out all arguments you want me to vote on. If it isn't in the 2nr/2ar, I will not vote on it. A dropped argument is a concession but make sure you point it out and EXPLAIN why it matters. I'm familiar with a fair amount of K literature but some of the heavy pomo/race theory stuff should be explained and warranted. Plz dont make me ask people to not be racist/sexist, I don't even have to say why.
Args I've run consistently: Cap, Militarism, Set Col, Antimilitarism K-aff, Set Col K-aff, FW/T-USFG
Args I'm familiar with: Fem, Set Col (and it's varients), Afropess (and it's varients), Psycho, Black Psycho, Baudrillard, Deleuze and Death Good
Link: make sure it's something unique to the aff, something that the aff does or supports through direct evidence or analysis. "Aff does _____ with ____ which causes ______" A link doesn't have to be a direct quote but it does have to be a direct mechanism or flaw with the aff/resolution. If you're critiquing the resolution then at least tie your theory into whatever your dismantling/restructuring. Other than that, I don't have too much of a high threshold for the topicality of the K or the K aff.
Alt/Solvency for K-Aff's: I have a little more leniency with alt's on a K than an alternative/mode of solvency for a K aff because in my opinion, when critiquing an aff, it should honestly be enough to say that the aff's epistemology is flawed, therefor we shouldn't invest any energy into debating about it, and they should lose. If you're critiquing the resolution though, you need to have some concrete way of doing something about what you've critiqued. A lot of K-affs just kind of say the rez sucks and then do quite literally nothing about it. Even in round education can beat a lot of other off case offense, but you have to explain how reading your aff in debate spills out into something that changes our relationship to the rez. Even in a world without fiat, I need to know why the scholarship of the aff is net better than any scholarship the neg would have access to in a debate under different circumstances.
Do whatever you want, but I don't really believe in voting on T as a reverse voter but under some special circumstances I can see myself doing so, assuming the Aff can clearly explain a voter and standards that prove they lost ground by having T run on them (for some reason I have a fear of this, don't ask). Slow down a little on standards and block stuff.
If you don't extend your interp throughout each speech then I probs will have a harder time voting for you, so make sure to do so. Other than that though, do whatever the hell you want. Standards and/or Impact turns being gone for should be extrapolated and contextualized to the type of advocacy/education in the round. Read all the disads you want. Make sure to tell me why policy education might be better vs. critical education in the long run for a certain case scenario. Keep FW separate from framing on case but MAKE CONNECTIONS.
I mean if you want. I tend to give condo more weight when there are 3 + conditional advocacies, including the K, so be a bit careful there.
IMPACT FRAMING!!!!!! 2ar/1ar as well Block/2nr need to be solid about what impacts/offense is/are being gone for in the debate. There's obviously going to be concessions on both sides at the end of the debate but where are they, why do they matter, and what does this mean for other arguments on the flow? 2ar's/2nr's that write my ballot at the top of the rebuttles>>>>>>
Pls enunciate the tags and don't spread through blocks at the rate of a lawnmower on drugs, especially when/if they're not in the doc. I have a sore spot from a round with clipping so I'll probably say clear like 5 times, and if there's still an issue after that I'll mention something at the end of the speech. If it keeps happening, there will probably be more severe consequences.
I'll probably give you better speaks if you're slower and have good arguments than if you're fast and make little strategic arguments. If you're fast and make good args, I'll definitely give you the extra speaker points.