2020 Golden Gate Invitational
2020 — Online, CA/US
Open Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
***Before you strike me, ask your DoF how many times I beat the teams they coached. Now, rethink your strike and pref me higher.***
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- black pepper
- 2⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)
- 1 lb fettuccine, prepared as directed
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter.
- When butter is melted, add cream cheese.
- When the cream cheese is softened, add heavy cream.
- Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in parmesan.
- Serve over hot fettuccine noodles.
I've been debating since I was in high school and am familiar with most forms of debate. Specifically, I've competed in PF and NPDA. With that being said, I'm open to literally any style of debate. I really like critical theory and alternative interpretations of the resolution, but I'm good with traditional too. The most I really ask of you all as debaters, is to make your cases clear to me. Other than that, have fun, be safe, and don't be mean.
Now that we are online, I need more pen time for arguments. Reading off laptops is fast and I will not vote on analysis in the last speeches that is not on my flow.
I have 4 years of policy debate in high school and 5 years of parli at Washburn University
I am currently a coach at Texas Tech University. This is my second year coaching.
I want to hear a good case debate because warrants and resolutional understanding is good. If that is not possible, here are my opinions on other things:
Speed is good. Just be accessible when called clear or slow down. I will not vote if I do not hear arguments. If I call slow, it means I cannot cognitively process what you are saying with enough time to write it down.
K's are good as long as the structure and warrants are there. Don't assume I know the philosophy you are reading. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand. You need to have clear solvency when it comes to how you resolve impact turns on theory as well as perm answers. If you can't give me a clear articulation of "how" through your framework, then I probably will hold your K to a high skepticism.
CP's are good but have your theory ready.
DA's are great make sure you have squo solves if you don't have a cp
Theory is good. Make sure you have a competitive interp when responding to theory. This means for me, your text needs to be textually competitive. I also will only vote on a IVI when it is gone for fully. This means you need UQ, links, Internal link and terminalized impact. Debate collapse is not terminalized. What does that mean outside of this forum/event.
You can run anything as long as it's justified and offensive. When you weigh your arguments in the last speech and make "even if" claims I am more likely to vote on it.
Don't drop offense!! Be kind and respectful.
I was part of a National Championship team at the University of Kansas via Head Coach, Donn Parson...only a half of a century ago. I judge traditionally, evaluating factors of case logic, evidence, argumentation, organization, persuasion, and overall speaking acumen.
I strongly believe the evolution of "The K" (Kritik) is a cancer in college debate. It is against the rules, fundamentally unfair, and a cowardly approach to competition. In short, engage on the tournament's topic or don't waste my time.
Furthermore, "spreading"--the "art" solely for the purpose of becoming an auctioneer--is a worthless skill, contributing nothing to teaching students how to persuade others, nor has any relationship to any argumentation environment in the real world. I tolerate it and, as long as I can understand (via reasonable enunciation) what is being said, I do not vote against one who must "spread".
I competed at the University of Illinois for four years in NPDA and NFA-LD. Tl;dr I try to be as flow as possible. If you tell me the sky is green, I’ll take that as true. Assume I’m not familiar with what’s being run on the resolution so if there’s any jargon or specific knowledge just make sure you explain it well. Above all debate’s supposed to be fun, so try to have fun with it, if you go for a crazy strategy I’ll probably enjoy it too. Don’t be unnecessarily combative. Extend your arguments all the way through, clash with your opponents, just give me clear reasoning why I should vote for you over your opponent and we should have a good round. Now into specifics.
I’ve always been a fan of clean case+DA debate. And theoretically if case does not adhere to stock issues that is a reason for me not to vote for the affirmative. Please do impact calc, don’t just leave me as the judge to vote on which impact I think is more important at the end of the round.
Make sure you can articulate well why your CP is competitive. If your perm severs or is intrinsic I probably won’t vote on it. I’m generally not a huge fan of delay CPs and PICs but you need to prove the in round abuse to me in the theory argument. At the end of the day just give me a world by world analysis and demonstrate the net benefit to me.
I really like theory debates, but you need to link it in round and show proven abuse otherwise I’ll probably grant some leeway if you tell me to extend reasonability. By this I mean I’m not a fan of super frivolous shells like disclosure theory or aspec. Basically if you just run the same generic shell without demonstrating proven or strong potential in round abuse, it’s probably won’t meet my threshold to vote on it unless it’s like clean dropped. I also generally won’t vote on RVIs. The negative shouldn’t be able to lose for making the claim that the affirmative’s definition is unfair.
K’s really aren’t my favorite. I’ve run them, I’ve answered them, generally my problem is that high level philosophy can be very difficult to understand. If you’re going to run it, make sure you can explain it as if you were talking to an average person on the street.
Collegiate LD is much more policy based than value criterion. Just make sure I can have it cleanly on my flow what the role of the ballot should be, if it’s vote for the team that best upholds this value or prefer our value criterion over their value criterion. Essentially just give me something to weigh and reasons to prefer and I should be able to follow along.
This is going to apply to some circuit norms more than others but NPDA Rule 4b states "Debaters may refer to anything that is within the realm of knowledge of liberally educated and informed citizens," and 4a states "No prepared arguments ... may be brought into the debating chamber." If your argument sounds like it could not possibly have been prepared within prep time, (I understand the subjectivity of this but you know it when you see it after 4 years of debating/coaching) I will be heavily enforcing this. Expect me to be very open to hearing a theory shell on why pre-prepared arguments are bad or if both teams do it expect bad speaker points. The purpose of parliamentary debate is that it's supposed to be limited preparation, and some of these clearly pre-written args are bad for parli specifically. Be sure to give me clear topic specific links, (if it's that the USFG is an actor, that's not enough).
I will defend new arguments in summary, but new evidence/analytics like weighing are obviously allowed. When in doubt, it's probably safe to just point out new arguments, but I will protect what I have. Also not a huge fan of talking over each other in cross or aggressive tone. Like debate's just supposed to be fun, so chill out a bit
Last pet peeve that goes to all formats but I think I've seen the worst in PF, which is being hyperbolic. Don't use jargon to tell me you have things you don't have. For example don't be like I have 5 turns and then when I go look a bunch of them are just solvency defense. Or that they dropped everything when I clearly have answers on the flow. Like it just works out poorly on the flow at the end of the day, but is also just annoying to have to be like oh did I miss something on my flow, nope.
I generally work off this scale. But if you’re rude to your opponents or trying to spread them out of round
30: You’re the best speaker I expect to see at the tournament
28.5 to 29.5: I expect you to break at this tournament
27 to 28: Somewhat unclear, minor mistakes
26-26.5: Very unclear, major mistakes
Below 26: Lots of major mistakes or you did/said something offensive
Otherwise, just be funny, be cool, and have a good time. I’ll give oral RFD’s as well but email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I judge many different formats, see the bottom of my paradigm for more details of my specific judging preferences in different formats. I debated for five years in NPDA and three years in NFA-LD, and I've judged HS policy, parli, LD, and PF
Please include me on the email chain if there is one. email@example.com.
Also, speechdrop.net is even better than email chains if you are comfortable using it, it is much faster and more efficient.
ONLINE UPDATE: I do not care if you have your camera on, and while I sometimes have mine on and on sometimes have it off, I am happy to turn it on or off if any debater has an accessibility need that would be better served that way. I understand that some people need facial expressions to communicate well, and others can't read them and would be at a competitive disadvantage if their opponents can.
CARDED DEBATE: Go as fast on arguments in the doc as you would in person - I'll use the doc to keep up if the connection is bad and I have good enough hearing I can still handle speed online almost as well as in person. Please send the texts of interps, plans, counterplans, and unusually long or complicated counter interps in the doc or the Zoom chat. Slow down a little on analytics not in the doc though. Also, while I am fine with tricks and spikes, I think you should put them in the doc for the sake of accessibility.
PARLI: I will try to protect the flow in online rounds because POO's are difficult, but you should still call them if you can because I am not used to protecting. I am okay with speed but I would appreciate if you would send texts in the chat before or after your speech (or at least repeat them twice). I prefer you not ask POI's if there is flex time. If there is not flex time, POI's are a necessary evil.
TL:DR for High School LD: 1 - Theory, 2 - LARP, 3 - K, 4 - Tricks, 5 - Phil, 99 - Trad. I enjoy highly technical and creative argumentation. I try to evaluate the round objectively from a tech over truth perspective. I am more used to LARP and policy-style arguments but I have no problem voting on phil. I love circuit-style debate and I appreciate good weighing/uplayering. I enjoy seeing strategies that combine normal and "weird" arguments in creative and strategic ways
TL:DR for Parli: Tech over truth. I don't believe in the trichotomy, please read a plan or other stable advocacy text if you can. Plans and CP's are just as legitimate in "value" or "fact" rounds as in "policy" rounds. I prefer theory, K's, and disads with big-stick or critically framed impacts to traditional debate, but I'll listen to whatever debate you want to have. My favorite event is high school circuit LD and I'm down for creative arguments. I do not allow off time thank yous but I do allow off time road maps and content warnings.
CASE/DA: Be sure to signpost well and explain how the argument functions in the debate. I like strong terminalized impacts - don't just say that you help the economy, tell me why it matters. I think generic disads are great as long as you have good links to the aff. I believe in risk of solvency/risk of the disad and I rarely vote on terminal defense if the other team has an answer to show that there is still some risk of offense. I do not particularly like deciding the debate on solvency alone. Uniqueness controls the direction of the link.
SPEED: I can handle spreading and I like fast debates. In all forms of carded debate, I have a high threshold for abuse on speed theory/K for arguments that were included in a speech doc that was shared with me and the other team. I do not really care about clarity if I have a speech doc I can follow along with. In general, if I am going to vote on an argument against speed, you need to prove that you asked your opponents to slow down and they did not. As hard as it is to establish a brightline for speed, it is impossible to establish a brightline for clarity. While I do prefer you not use speed to exclude the other team, I won't drop you for it unless they convince me I should. I do not intervene against you if you exclude lay/traditional judges from the round with speed - they have their own ballots and I can't speak for them. I'm unlikely to vote on the idea that one way of speaking is inherently "better" than another, and I actively HATE the argument that debate should be held to IE/speech-style standards of communication.
THEORY/T: I love theory debates - I will vote on any theory position if you win the argument even if it seems frivolous or unnecessary - I do vote on the flow and try not to intervene. I will even vote on PMR/2AR theory if there is an egregious violation in the MOC/NR that did not happen in the LOC/NC. I default to fairness over education in non-K rounds but I have voted on critical impact turns to fairness before. Be sure to signpost your We Meet and Counter Interpretation.
I do care a lot about the specific text of interps, especially if you point out why I should. For example, I love spec shells with good brightlines but I am likely to buy a we meet if you say the plan shouldn't be vague but don't define how specific it should be. RVI's are fine as long as you can justify them, and I will not intervene against an RVI if you win it on the flow. I do not need reasons why fairness and education matter unless you are comparing them to something else or to one another. I default to competing interpretations with no RVI's but I'm fine with reasonability if I hear arguments for it in the round. However, I would like a definition of reasonability because if you don't define it, I think it just collapses back to competing interps. I default to drop the debater on shell theory and drop the argument on paragraph theory. I am perfectly willing to vote on potential abuse - I think competing interps implies potential abuse should be weighed in the round. I think extra-T should be drop the debater.
Rules are NOT a voter by themselves, and I rarely read the rules of events that I judge. If I am going to vote on the rules rather than on fairness and education, tell me why following rules in general or following this particular rule is good. I will enforce speaking times but any rule as to what you can actually say in the round is potentially up for debate.
COUNTERPLANS: I am willing to vote for cheater CP's (like delay or object fiat) unless theory is read against them. PIC's are fine as long as you can win that they are theoretically legitimate, at least in this particular instance. I believe that whether a PIC is abusive depends on how much of the plan it severs out of, whether there is only one topical aff, and whether that part of the plan is ethically defensible ground for the aff. I think that condo is good but I try to be neutral if I evaluate a condo bad shell. I hate dispo and I think all CP's should be either condo or uncondo. I will not judge kick unless you ask me to. Perms are tests of competition, not advocacies, and they are also good at making your hair look curly.
IMPACT CALCULUS: I default to magnitude because it is the least interventionist way to compare impacts, but I'm very open to arguments about why probability is more important, particularly if you argue that favoring magnitude perpetuates oppression. Timeframe is more of a tiebreaker to me - unless you show how the timeframe of your impact prevents the other impact from mattering. In debates over pre fiat or a priori issues, I prefer preclusive weighing (what comes first) to comparative weighing (magnitude/probability).
KRITIKS: I’m fine with kritiks of any type on either the AFF or the NEG. The K's I'm most familiar with include security, ableism, Baudrillard, rhetoric K's, and cap/neolib. I am fine with letting arguments that you win on the K dictate how I should view the round. I think that the framework of the K informs which impacts are allowed in the debate, and "no link" or "no solvency" arguments are generally not very effective for answering the K - the aff needs some sort of offense. Whether K or T comes first is up to the debaters to decide, but if you want me to care more about your theory shell than about the oppression the K is trying to solve I want to hear something better than the lack of fairness collapsing debate, such as arguments about why fairness skews evaluation. If you want to read theory successfully against a K regardless of what side of the debate you are on, I need reasons why it comes first or matters more than the impacts of the K.
IDENTITY/PERFORMANCE: I think that these arguments are important and should be taken seriously, and while I want to let you read them and talk about the things that you are passionate about, but at the same time debate is a competitive activity with the burden of rejoinder, so if you set up the debate in such a way that the other team can't negate your argument without negating your identity, I will be more willing to vote on theory. I am willing to listen to both sides of the T vs Identity K debate, but please do not attack your opponents' marginalized identities to deliberately trigger them.
REBUTTALS: Give me reasons to vote for you. Be sure to explain how the different arguments in the debate relate to one another and show that the arguments you are winning are more important. I would rather hear about why you win than why the other team doesn't win. In parli, I do not protect the flow except in online debate (and even then, I appreciate POO's when possible). I also like to see a good collapse in both the NEG block and the PMR. I think it is important that the LOR and the MOC agree on what arguments to go for.
PRESUMPTION: I rarely vote on presumption if it is not deliberately triggered because I think terminal defense is rare. If I do vote on presumption, I will always presume neg unless the aff gives me a reason to flip presumption. I am definitely willing to vote on the argument that reading a counterplan or a K flips presumption, but the aff has to make that argument in order for me to consider it. Also, I enjoy presumption triggers and paradoxes and I do not mind voting for them if you win them.
SPEAKER POINTS: I give speaker points based on technical skill not delivery, and will reduce speaks if someone uses language that is discriminatory towards a marginalized group. I no longer give everyone 30's, but I do try to give speaker points in a way that is fair to everyone.
Some of my pet peeves as a judge (that might affect speaks):
- When the AFF says they "believe" in the res or the NEG says they "don't believe" in it. You were assigned your side at random.
- When debaters start their speech with a quote
- When anyone calls the debate round a "day" or talks about "today's debate" - it's annoying because there are usually multiple rounds in a day
- Please do not set the criterion to net benefits for one particular country or region unless you read social contract theory as your framework (especially in parli). I have a very low threshold for letting NEG win that net benefits should include everyone. However, I am fine with other parametricized forms of net benefits, like structural violence first or extinction first, I just don't think that whether someone's life matters should be dependent on lines drawn on a map.
If you have any questions about my judging philosophy that are not covered here, feel free to ask me before the round.
If there is no flex time you should take one POI per constructive speech - I don't think multiple POI's are necessary and if you use POI's to make arguments I will not only refuse to flow the argument I will take away a speaker point. If there is flex, don't ask POI's except to ask the status of an advocacy, ask where they are on the flow, or ask the other team to slow down. Anyone who asks or takes an unnecessary POI in a round with flex will lose a speaker point - I think that keeping POI's intact in a format with flex is rooted in problematic notions of politeness. I don't care about "protected time". I think it's a silly and unnecessary rule.
I think that parli structurally favors MG theory so I believe that MG theory should have a higher threshold than LOC theory, but I won't judge it any different unless the negative tells me why I should, because I dislike intervening.
I believe trichotomy should just be a T shell. I don't think there are clear cut boundaries between "fact", "value", and "policy" rounds, but I think most of the arguments we think of as trichot work fine as a T or extra-T shell.
PUBLIC FORUM ONLY:
I judge PF on the flow. I do acknowledge that the second constructive doesn't have to refute the first constructive directly though. Dropped arguments are still true arguments. I care as much about delivery in PF as I do in parli (which means I don't care at all). I DO allow technical parli/policy style arguments like plans, counterplans, topicality, and kritiks. I think there are good arguments for why these arguments should not be in PF, but I won't make them for you - you have to say it in round.
Speed is totally fine with me in PF, unless you are using it to exclude the other team. However, if you do choose to go fast (especially in an online round) please send a speech doc to me and your opponents if you are reading evidence, for the sake of accessibility. If you want a theory argument or an argument about the rules being a voting issue, please tell me. Just saying "they are cheating" or "you can't do this in PF" is not enough.
I think policy is an excellent format of debate but I am more familiar with parli and I rarely judge policy, so I am not aware of all policy norms. Therefore, when evaluating theory arguments I do not take into account what is generally considered theoretically legitimate in policy. I am okay with any level of speed, but I do appreciate speech docs. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not fond of the rules or stock issues and it would make me happiest if you pretend they don’t know exist and act like you are in one-person policy or high school circuit LD. However, I will adjudicate arguments based on the rules and I won’t intervene against them if you win that following the rules is good. However, "it's a rule" is not an impact I can vote on. Also, if you threaten to report me to tab for not enforcing the rules, I will automatically vote you down, whether or not I think the rules were broken.
I think the wording of the speed rule is very problematic and is not about accessibility but about forcing people to talk a certain way, so while I will vote on speed theory if you win it, I'd prefer you not use the rules as a justification for it. Do not threaten to report to tab for allowing speed, I'll vote you down instantly if you do.
I am very open to theory arguments that go beyond the rules, and while I do like spec arguments, I do not like the vague vagueness shell a lot of people read - any vagueness/spec shell should have a brightline for how much the aff should specify.
Also, while solvency presses are great in combination with offense, I will rarely vote on solvency alone because if the aff has a risk of solvency and there's no reason not to do the aff, then they are net beneficial. Even if you do win that I should operate in a stock issues paradigm, I am really not sure how much solvency the aff needs to meet that stock issue, so I default to "greater than zero risk of solvency".
I don't believe in the mission of IPDA. I will not vote on your delivery even if the rules say I should. Please debate like it is LD without cards or one-person parli. Go as fast as you want unless it excludes your opponent from the round, and read theory, K's, counterplans, etc.
tldr; I'm open to pretty much whatever, and would much rather you debate how you want than have you try to adapt to my preferences! A lot of my paradigm is pretty technical/jargon-heavy, so please feel free to ask me any questions you have before the round.
I came from a high school parli background, but most of my relevant experience is from the last 7 years with the Parli at Berkeley NPDA team. I competed on-and-off for 3 years before exclusively coaching for the last few years, leading the team to 6 national championships as a student-run program. As a debater I was probably most comfortable with the kritikal debate, but I’ve had a good amount of exposure to most everything in my time coaching the team; I've become a huge fan of theory in particular in the last few years. A lot of my understanding of debate has come from working with the Cal Parli team, so I tend to err more flow-centric in my round evaluations; that being said, I really appreciate innovative/novel arguments, and did a good amount of performance-based debating as a competitor. I’m generally open to just about any argument, as long as there’s good clash.
- I pretty strongly disagree with most paradigmatic approaches that frame the judge's role as one of preserving particular norms/outlining best practices for how debate ought to occur, and I don't think it's up to the judge to paternalistically interfere in how a round ought to be evaluated. This is in part because I don't trust judges to be the arbiters of which arguments are or are not pedagogically valuable, given the extensive structural biases in this activity; and the tendency of coaches and judges to abuse their positions of power in order to deny student agency. I also think that debaters ought to be able to decide the purpose of this activity for themselves-while I think debate is important as a place to develop revolutionary praxis/build critical thinking skills/research public policy, I also think it's important to leave space for debaters to approach debate as a game and an escape from structural harms they experience outside of the activity. Flow-centric models seem to allow for debaters to resolve this on their own, by outlining for me what the function of debate ought to be on the flow, and how that should shape how I assign my ballot (more thoughts on this at the top of the "Framework" section in my paradigm).
What the above implicates out to is: I try to keep my evaluation of the round as flow-centric as possible. This means that I’ll try to limit my involvement in the round as much as possible, and I’ll pick up the "worse argument" if it’s won on the flow. That being said, I recognize that there’s a certain degree of intervention that’s inevitable in at least some portion of rounds, and in those cases my aim is to be able to find the least interventionist justification within the round for my decision. For me, this means prioritizing (roughly in this order): conceded arguments (so long as the argument has at least an analytic justification and has been explained in terms of how it implicates my evaluation of the round), arguments with warranted/substantive analysis, arguments with in-round weighing/framing, arguments with implicit clash/framing, and, worst case, the arguments I can better understand the interactions of.
- In-round framing and explanation of arguments are pretty important for me. While I will vote for blippier/less developed arguments if they’re won, I definitely have a higher threshold for winning arguments if I feel that they weren’t sufficiently understandable in first reading, and will be more open to new-ish responses in rebuttals as necessary. Also worth noting, I tend to have a lower threshold for accepting framing arguments in the PMR.
The LOR’s a tricky speech. For complicated rounds, I enjoy it as a way to break down the layers of the debate and explain any win conditions for the negative. I don’t need arguments to be made in the LOR to vote on them, however, so I generally think preemption of the PMR is a safer bet. I've grown pretty used to flowing the LOR on one sheet, but if you strongly prefer to go line-by-line I’d rather have you do that than throw off your speech for the sake of adapting.
I have no preferences on conditionality. Perfectly fine with however many conditional advocacies, but also more than happy to vote on condo bad if it’s read well.
Please read advocacy/interp texts slowly/twice. Written texts are always nice.
I will do my best to protect against new arguments in the rebuttals, but it’s always better to call the POO just to be safe.
I’m open to alternate/less-flow-centric methods of evaluating the round, but I have a very hard time understanding what these alternate methods can be. So, please just try to be as clear as possible if you ask me to evaluate the round in some distinct way. To clarify, please give me a clear explanation of how I determine whether to vote aff/neg at the end of the round, and in what ways your alternative paradigm differs from or augments traditional flow-centric models.
- I evaluate shadow-extensions as new arguments. What this means for me is that any arguments that a team wants to win on/leverage in either the PMR or LOR must be extended in the MG/MO to be considered. I'll grant offense to and vote on positions that are blanket extended ("extend the impacts, the advantage is conceded", etc.), but if you want to cross-apply or otherwise leverage a specific argument against other arguments in the round, I do need an explicit extension of that argument.
I think the framework debate is often one of the most undeveloped parts of the K debate, and love seeing interesting/well-developed/tricksy frameworks. I understand the framework debate as a question of the best pedagogical model for debate; ie: what type of debate generates the best education/portable skills/proximal benefits, and how can I use my ballot to incentivize this ideal model of debate?
This means that I'm probably more favorable for frame-out strategies than most other judges, because I think of different frameworks as establishing competing rulesets for how I evaluate the round, each of which establishes a distinct layer in the debate that filters offense in its own unique way. For example, framework that tells me I should evaluate post-fiat implications of policy actions vs a framework that tells me I should evaluate the best epistemic model seem to establish two very different worlds/layers in the round; one in which I evaluate the aff and neg advocacies as policy actions and engage in policy simulation, and one in which I evaluate these advocacies as either explicit or implicit defenses of specific ways of producing knowledge. I don't think the aff plan being able to solve extinction as a post-fiat implication of the plan is something that can be leveraged under an epistemology framework that tells me post-fiat policy discussions are useless and uneducational, unless the aff rearticulates why the epistemic approach of the aff's plan (the type of knowledge production the plan implicitly endorses) is able to incentivize methods of problem-solving that would on their own resolve extinction.
- As much as I'm down to vote on frameouts and sequencing claims, please do the work implicating out how a specific sequencing/framing claim affects my evaluation of the round and which offense it does or does not filter out. I’m not very likely to vote on a dropped sequencing claim or independent voter argument if there isn’t interaction done with the rest of the arguments in the round; ie, why does this sequencing claim take out the other specific layers that have been initiated in the round.
I'm very open to voting on presumption, although very rarely will I grant terminal defense from just case arguments alone (no links, impact defense, etc.). I'm much more likely to evaluate presumption claims for arguments that definitionally deny the potential to garner offense (skep triggers, for example). I default to presumption flowing negative unless a counter-advocacy is gone for in the block, in which case I'll err aff. But please just make the arguments either way, I would much rather the debaters decide this for me.
I generally feel very comfortable evaluating the theory debate, and am more than happy to vote on procedurals/topicality/framework/etc. I’m perfectly fine with frivolous theory. Please just make sure to provide a clear/stable interp text.
- I don't think of theory as a check against abuse in the traditional sense. I'm open to arguments that I should only vote on proven/articulated abuse, or that theory should only be used to check actively unfair/uneducational practices. However, I default to evaluating theory as a question of the best model of debate for maximizing fairness and education, which I evaluate through an offense/defense model the same way I would compare a plan and counterplan/SQO. Absent arguments otherwise, I evaluate interpretations as a model of debate defended in all hypothetical rounds, rather than as a way to callout a rule violation within one specific debate.
I will vote on paragraph theory (theory arguments read as an independent voting issue without an explicit interpretation), but need these arguments to be well developed with a clear impact, link story (why does the other team trigger this procedural impact), and justification for why dropping the team solves this impact. Absent a clear drop the debater implication on paragraph theory, I'll generally err towards it being drop the argument.
I default to competing interpretations and drop the team on theory, absent other arguments. Competing interpretations for me means that I evaluate the theory layer through a risk of offense model, and I will evaluate potential abuse. I don’t think this necessarily means the other team needs to provide a counter-interpretation (unless in-round argumentation tells me they do), although I think it definitely makes adjudication easier to provide one.
I have a hard time evaluating reasonability without a brightline. I don’t know how I should interpret what makes an argument reasonable or not absent a specific explanation of what that should mean without being interventionist, and so absent a brightline I’ll usually just end up evaluating through competing interpretations regardless.
I don't mind voting on RVIs, so long as they're warranted and have an actual impact that is weighed against/compared with the other theory impacts in the round. Similar to my position on IVIs: I'm fine with voting for them, but I don't think the tag "voting issue" actually accomplishes anything in terms of impact sequencing or comparison; tell me why this procedural impact uplayers other procedural arguments like the initial theory being read, and why dropping the team is key to resolve the impact of the RVI.
Uniqueness determines the direction of the link (absent explanation otherwise), so please make sure you’re reading uniqueness in the right direction. Basically: I'm unlikely to vote on linear advantages/disadvantages even if you're winning a link, unless it's literally the only offense left in the round or it's explicitly weighed against other offense in the round, so do the work to explain to me why your worldview (whether it's an advocacy or the SQO) is able to resolve or at least sidestep the impact you're going for in a way that creates a significant comparative differential between the aff and neg worldviews.
I have a pretty high threshold for terminal defense, and will more often than not assume there’s at least some risk of offense, so don’t rely on just reading defensive arguments.
Perfectly fine with generic advantages/disads, and I’m generally a fan of the politics DA. That being said, specific and substantial case debates are great as well.
I default to fiat being durable.
Please give me specific texts.
Fine with cheater CPs, but also more than happy to vote on CP theory.
I default that perms are tests of competition and not advocacies.
I default to functional or net benefits frameworks for evaluating competition. I generally won’t evaluate competition via textuality absent arguments in the round telling me why I should.
I really enjoy the K debate, and this was probably where I had the most fun as a debater. I have a pretty good understanding of most foundational critical literature, especially postmodern theory (particularly Foucault/Deleuze&Guatarri/Derrida). Some debates that I have particularly familiarity with: queer theory, orientalism, anthro/deep eco/ooo, buddhism/daoism, kritikal approaches to spatiality and temporality, structural vs micropolitical analysis, semiotics. That being said, please make the thesis-level of your criticism as clear as possible; I'm open to voting on anything, and am very willing to do the work to understand your position if you provide explanation in-round.
I’m perfectly happy to vote on kritikal affirmatives, but I will also gladly vote on framework-t. On that note, I’m also happy to vote on impact turns to fairness/education, but will probably default to evaluating the fairness level first absent other argumentation. I find myself voting for skews eval implications of fairness a lot in particular, so long as you do good sequencing work.
Same with CPs, I default to perms being a test of competition and not an advocacy. I’m also fine with severance perms, but am also open to theoretical arguments against them; just make them in-round, and be sure to provide a clear voter/impact.
I default to evaluating the link debate via strength of link, but please do the comparative analysis for me. Open to other evaluative methods, just be clear in-round.
I have a decent understanding of performance theory and am happy to vote on performance arguments, but I need a good explanation of how I should evaluate performative elements of the round in comparison to other arguments on the flow.
Regarding identity/narrative based arguments, I think they can be very important in debate, and they’ve been very significant/valuable to people on the Cal Parli team who have run them in the past. That being said, I also understand that they can be difficult and oftentimes triggering for people in-round, and I have a very hard time resolving this. I’ll usually defer to viewing debate as a competitive activity and will do my best to evaluate these arguments within the context of the framing arguments made in the round, so please just do your best to make the evaluative method for the round as clear as possible, to justify your specific performance/engagement on the line-by-line of the round, and to explain to me your position's specific relationship to the ballot.
June 4th 2020 NFA-LD Update:
I'm mostly new to NFA-LD LD so feel free to ask me questions. I competed for a year as a freshman (moon energy topic), mainly on the Northern California circuit, although I wasn't particularly competitive. I don't have a ton of familiarity with the current topic, besides the last week or so of research. Most of the paradigm below applies, but here's some specific thoughts that could apply to NFA-LD.
I don't think I know the format well enough to know which paradigmatic questions to outline here explicitly. As a general rule of thumb, please just be explicit about how you want me to evaluate the round, and give me reasons to prefer that mechanism (ie whether I should read cards or only evaluate extensions as made in-round, what the implication of a stock issues framework should be, whether/how much to flow cross-ex, etc.). I have very few preferences myself, so long as the round burdens are made explicit for me.
- All of the above being said, I'll probably err towards reading speech docs (Zoom is difficult, and this keeps my flow a lot cleaner), I will evaluate CX analysis although I may not flow it, and I'll only hold the line on stock issues framing if explicitly requested. If you want to know how I default on any other issues, please just ask! Also, no particular issues with speed, although I may tank speaks if you spread out an opponent unnecessarily.
- I don't have as much experience flowing with cards; I have been practicing, and don't think this should be much of an issue, but maybe something to be aware of. Clearer signposting between cards might not be a bad call if you want to play it safe.
- I'm a very big fan of procedural and kritikal debate in NPDA, and don't see that changing for NFALD, so feel free to run whatever in front of me. Fine with evaluating non-topical affs, but also very comfortable voting on T, especially with a good fairness collapse.
When in doubt, read the argument you believe in the most. Or a children's story.
Convince me that more than the links are contextual to the round.
Teams that engage directly with thesis level questions and the warrant level substance of arguments are likely to be rewarded more than strategic choices more dependent on debating around the other team (Yes I’ll still vote on spec, but now may not be the time to be reading McTaggart).
Generally, I don’t think there’s a meaningful distinction between most types of arguments. I don’t care what you read, and I care even less what you call it. I’ll sit in the back of the room and cheerfully flow your speech regardless of its content. I’ll try to keep as tight a flow as possible, but what I do with that is up to you. If you want to avoid decisions that feel rife with intervention contextualize how warrants interact and tell me the order in which I should prioritize and evaluate them while making my decision. Absent this, we’ll probably all be a little annoyed and confused.
My strongest argument preference is novelty. I’ll be ecstatic if you teach me something. Also jokes are neat. If you prioritize having fun, we will probably all have more fun. I think we'd like to have fun.
My second strongest argument preference is the Internal Link turn.
So is my third.
Pet Peeves and Idiosyncrasies:
I judged a chess match once - I voted neg. It was very pleasant.
Regarding presumption: I am not Buridan's Ass.
Debate fills different roles in different peoples lives: employment, education, competition, inward journeys, etc. Most importantly it is a platform from which you can demand to be taken seriously - respect that and engage in debate with grace.
The permutation is not offense. I will vote on offense if presented with the opportunity to.
"Max's brain is like a game of chutes and ladders" - Fiker Tesfaye
"When I was a freshman in high school Max was a senior and I was afraid of him. Now Max fears me." - Gabe Graville
“Hello, Max is a smart cookie who writes really fast and thinks pretty well. He will hear your words and think about them and maybe you'll win.” - Eliana Taylor
“The thing about a good recliner is that is has to both be firm enough for back support, but cushy enough for butt comfort. the ability to recline is a necessary component for any sustainable home living.” - Cody Gustafson
“Max's life goal is to eat every animal.” - Alex Li
"Max Groznik is an absurd bird. And I think birds are neat. Also do not feed him bread." - Adeja Powell
Specifics for formats that feature evidence:
-I believe that well researched argumentation is one of the largest benefits of carded debate, likewise I am extremely willing to call for cards at the end of a round; if you ask me to read a card I will read it. Don't power cut evidence, don't misrepresent evidence, don't clip cards.
-I really like advantage counter-plan/impact turn strategies
-I really like nuanced arguments that delve into mechanism debates and rigorous debates about methodology (both for determine validity of empiric data and underpinnings of ideological positions). I think this is something that is uniquely possible in carded debate and should be taken full advantage of.
email chain email@example.com
I've been competing and/or coaching in various speech and debate events since 2011. My primary experience is with policy (national circuit/toc, tfa, and regional/local traditional circuits) and parli (npda/npte). I judge almost every weekend, and I spend a lot of time in debate since it is essentially my full-time job, so I am relatively up-to-date on debate trends and norms, as well as discussions of the criminal justice topic. I typically judge ~50+ rounds a year.
I don’t have any predispositions regrading the content, structure, or style of your arguments. I will defer to evaluating the debate through an offense/defense paradigm absent a team winning an argument for me to evaluate it another way. Clear impact weighing in the rebuttals and evidence/warrant comparison are typically what I notice in teams I enjoy judging.
I attempt to be a ’technical’ judge in every round I watch. I try to keep a detailed flow, and use my flow to evaluate the round that happened. If the flow doesn’t decide a clear winner, I will then look to the quality of evidence/warrants provided. I tend to find I’m less interested in where an argument in presented than others. While clear line-by-line is always appreciated, some of my favorite debaters to watch were overview-heavy debaters who made and answered arguments in the debate while telling a persuasive story of the debate. I would rather you sound organized and clear than following a template throughout each flow.
I will most likely not vote on ‘independent voting issues’ unless it’s an egregious instance. This is separate from ethics concerns, like cheating, card clipping, etc. I am not persuaded by claims that I should evaluate the entirety of the debate based upon a single argument on my flow. Particular rhetorical abuses, such as racist, sexist, transphobic remarks are a different story, and I will hold those to much higher scrutiny than a claim that I should decide a whole debate because the 2ac read a severance perm.
Instead of framing debates through ‘body counts’, I am much more persuaded by framing as ‘who saves the most lives’, or who has the best advocacy for change. Sometimes debaters talk about claims of very real violence and problems for various communities with little regard to the real world implications of their political advocacies.
I tend to prefer specific plan texts over vague plan texts. I also like specific internal link claims and impact scenarios. Specific instances of war are more persuasive to me than ‘goat power war’ claims.
counterplans, disads, & case turns
I would prefer you read at least once piece of solvency evidence per plank in the 1nc. Obviously that’s not a hard rule, but I will hold CPs that read multiple planks with no evidence in the 1nc to much higher scrutiny than a sufficiently developed 1nc shell.
I tend to lean neg on most CP theories. Obviously, the debate is to be had, but I am generally more persuaded that the negative should get access to most CPs and conditional advocacies. Specific claims about instances in-round to generate offense in these debates is much more persuasive than generic standard debates. I am more willing to vote on reject the argument than reject the team.
I find I am more willing to judge-kick in the 2nr than most judges, but think this is still a debate that needs to be had. The 2nr must have a persuasive reason for me to judge kick, and the 2ar can still win that I ought not judge kick.
Uniqueness guides the direction of the link. I like robust development of each level of the debate for disads and case turns, while telling a clear story about the thesis of the disad. I decide the probability of your impact based on the link and internal link level of the debate, and find that often times 2nrs are lacking on this level of the disad flow.
I think the impact turn is a lost art and have a special place in my heart for them. The same is to be said for developed case turn debates.
To me, the best kritiks are the ones that clearly identify a theory of power or possesses some sort of a structural analysis. I am most persuaded by specific historical examples and a clear alternative that frames what my ballot does.
The link level of the debate tends to be the most important in my making my decision at the end of the round. I like developed link blocks, and think that the aff often times doesn’t adequately handle the link section of the debate.
In reformism v revolution debates, I prefer explanations that pinpoint why the conditions of the status quo are the way they are, and can best explain casualty for violence. This is where historical examples become especially important, and where warrant comparison becomes paramount.
I think permutations in the 2ar that attempt to prove the alt is not functionally competitive are not nearly as persuasive as arguments in the 2ar that the aff is in the direction of the alt. A heg aff probably cannot go for a perm against anti-blackness, but an aff that is a step towards the same telos of the alt can.
Affs will usually win that they can weigh their aff, but I am typically not persuaded by framework arguments that attempt to tell me not to evaluate the k. I think the same is also true for the negative. Instead, I think the framework portion of the debate should tell me what my ballot does and how I should frame my decision given the context of the round.
'clash of civilization' debates
I've been seeing a lot of these debates recently, so I figured it was worth adding a section with a bit more tailored to these debates.
In these debates, warrant comparison is paramount. Rebuttals that are just extending state good/bad or reformism good/bad arguments without doing any interaction with the flow is a common mistake I see in these debates. Ideally, your arguments for this level of debate also have terminalized and developed impacts as well. The best debaters in these debates typically are those who use their evidence/examples to implicate the specific warrants the other team is extending.
Links should be explained as disadvantages to the permutation with impacts developed and extended for them. I need the 2nr to be doing more work on the permutation than just extending the link level; this isn't to say you cannot or should not extend them as disads to the perm (I think you probably should), but simply saying the phrase isn't enough to prove mutual exclusivity. I appreciate a really well developed and implicated link wall.
I would much rather not have my ballot decided by the framework level debate. Engaging the substance is very much so appreciated in these debates. Obviously this doesn't influence any debates I watch, but I tend to believe that the aff should get access to their 1ac and the neg gets to weigh their impacts against it; fiat is illusory isn't reason enough for me to moot the 1ac, and just because it's a K doesn't mean your 1ac was necessarily mooted. but again, grain of salt, do you.
A lot of these rounds are decided on which team wins their theory of power or governance, and rebuttalists that are using historical and contextual examples are typically those who win these debates. The more specific the examples throughout the debate, the better spot you will probably be in to get my ballot.
Instead of telling me what your alt does, tell me how I can do your alt. I love references to other movements, specific actions I can take, and what the telos or the vision of your alternative is; I do not like you telling me in the abstract what the alterative means. Don't try to explain the words of the alt to me, tell me what the alt means with specific warrants for how the alt can resolve the links and/or the aff.
The 2ar needs to be finding ways to extend and terminalize offense that exists outside solving the aff. If your offense on the K only relies on your ability to solve your aff in the 2ar, it tends to not bode well for the aff. Reformism/state good offense that isn't just 'we solve the aff, the aff is a good idea', or terminalized impact turns or disadvantages to the alternatives can be really useful in close 'clash' debates.
If the 2ar is going for a permutation, I must know what the world of the permutation looks like with some explanation of the solvency mechanism for the perm and why the alt is not mutually exclusive.
Competing interpretations just tells me to evaluate offense vs defense, which is what I am most likely going to do. I think reasonability tells me that even if they win the their impact claims (the standards), they haven’t won the link debate (the interp debate) because we meet/are close enough to the interp. Because I view T debates this way, I like clear and developed standard debates that clear isolate impact claims.
Case lists, TVAs, examples of affs that would violate, etc. are all useful because they help me situate your interp within the topic. These are all terminal defense, so you won’t necessarily win a debate with them alone, but they are persuasive.
Interp comparison is really useful as well. Debating the quality of interps is a lost art and can generate offense in the standard level as well.
I don’t think that the aff has to win a specific counter interp in K aff v FW debates, but rather a counter model for debate. I like these debates that break down the skills gandered from each model of debate, and use them to generate offense. Arguments like fairness claims, or claims that framework is inherently violent aren’t persuasive to me. Standards about portable skills, research, advocacy, etc. that tell me the tangible benefits of your model serve best on either side because I think helps frame what sort of method my ballot is endorsing.
Bio: I am a recent graduate and debated 4 yrs of NPDA at Point Loma Nazarene University and I'm currently Assistant Director of Debate at Grand Canyon University
TL;DR: I strongly believe that I don't have any strong beliefs when it comes to debate rounds, I ran all types of arguments and faced all types of arguments. I see every round as an individual game and don't try to leverage my preferences into my decisions. Go for what you will. I won't complain.
Speed: Speed seems to be fine. Idk about online so depending on how fast you are maybe 80% is better in case you want me to get everything.
Theory/Framework: These are fine. I include this to say, I don't mind your squirly or K aff, but I'm more than willing to listen to the other side and you should be prepared to respond to framework or theory.
K's: K's are great. K's have a place in debate. I enjoy K's because I believe I can learn from them. It forces me to be more critical in my evaluations and it is of my opinion that people that resent that type of debate altogether are stuck in an ultimately noneducational way of thinking. That being said, I'm not afraid to vote on "this doesn't make any sense". Just because it's a game doesn't mean it shouldn't be accessible.
CP: Just do it right if you're gonna do it? idk the goal isn’t to get permed right?
Condo: I really don't see condo as an issue. I won't forbid myself from voting for condo bad if its argued for well enough or the strategy really is being that abusive. I know some people have ideologies, but I think that's more of a meme at this point.
Speaker points: I'm not a fan of speaker points so I plan on being a bit of a point fairy
I did two years of circuit LD at Miramonte High School and graduated in 2015. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019 after doing four years of NPDA parliamentary debate.
I have no desire to impose my own views upon the debate round. In deciding the round, I will strive to be as objective as possible. Some people have noted that objectivity can be difficult, but this has never seemed like a reason that judges shouldn't strive to be objective. I, overwhelmingly, prefer that you debate in the style that you are most comfortable with and believe that you are best at. I would prefer a good K or util debate to a bad theory or framework debate anyday. That's the short version--here are some specifics if you're interested.
May 28th 2020 NFA-LD Update:
I'm new to NFA-LD LD so feel free to ask me questions. Most of the paradigm below applies, but here's some specific thoughts that could apply to NFA-LD.
1. Cards v. Spin: I tend to err that spin and analysis trump evidence quality in the abstract. Intuitively, a card is only as good as its extension. However, I will listen to framing arguments that indicate judges should prioritize debate's value as a research activity and prefer cards to spin.
GGI 2019 Parli-Specific Update:
While I will generally vote for any strategy, I would like to discuss my thoughts on some common debates. These thoughts constitute views about argument interaction that should not make a difference in most debates.
- K affs versus T: Assuming the best arguments are made, I err affirmative 60-40 in these debates (The best arguments are rarely made.) However, I tend to believe that impact turns constitute a suboptimal route to beating topicality. I differ from some judges because I believe that neg impact framing on T (procedural fairness first, debate as a question of process, not product) tends to beat aff impact framing. However, I err aff on the legitimacy of K affs because I'm skeptical of the neg's link to that framing. Does T uniquely ensure procedural fairness? Thus, to win my ballot, teams reading K affs must take care to respond to the neg's specific impact framing. They cannot merely read parallel arguments.
- Conditionality: I lean strongly that the negative gets 1 conditional advocacy. 2 is up for debate and three is pushing it. Objections to conditionality should be framed around the type of negative advocacies and the amount of aff flex. For example, perhaps 2 conditional advantage counterplans is permissible, but not 2 conditional PICs.
- Absent weighing on any particular layer, I default to weighing based on strength of link.
- I probably won't cover everything so feel free to ask me questions.
- Taken from Ben Koh because this makes sense: "If I sit and you are the winner (that is, the other 2 judges voted for you), and would like to ask me extensive questions, I will ask that you let the other RFDs be given and then let the opponent leave before asking me more questions. I'm fine answering questions, but just to be fair the other people in the room should be allowed to leave."
Delivery and speaks:
- Fine with speed.
- I'm not the greatest at flowing, so try to be clear about where an argument was made.
- High speaks for good strategic choices and innovative arguments. I will say clear as much as necessary and I won't penalize speaks for clarity.
- I default to being epistemically conservative, but will accept arguments for epistemic modesty if they are advanced and won.
- I am willing to support any framework given that it is won on the flow.
- I'm willing to vote for permissibility or presumption triggers. However, there must be some implicit or explicit defense of a truth-testing paradigm. The argument must also be clear the first time that it is read. If the argument is advanced for the first time in the 1AR and I think that it is new, I will allow new 2NR responses.
- Many framework debates are difficult to adjudicate because debaters fail to weigh between different metastandards on the framework debate. For example, if util meets actor-specificity better, but Kantianism is derived from a superior metaethic, is the actor-specificity argument or the metaethic more important?
Theory and T:
- I default to no RVI, drop the argument on most theory and drop the debater on T, competing interpretations, and fairness and education not being voters. Most of these defaults rarely matter because debaters make arguments.
- I don't think that competing interps means anything besides a risk of offense model for the adjudication of theory. That means, for example, that debaters need to justify why their opponent must have an explicit counter-interpretation in the first speech.
- I, paradigmatically, won't vote on 2AR theory.
- I'm willing to vote on metatheory. I probably err slightly in favor of the metatheory bad arguments such as infinite regress.
- I'm willing to vote on disclosure theory.
- Fine with frivolous theory.
- I default to believing in durable fiat.
- Debaters should work on pointing out missing internal links in most extinction scenarios.
- I default that perms are tests of competition and not advocacies.
- I probably err aff on issues of counter-plan competition.
- Err towards the view that uniqueness controls the direction of the link. However, I'm willing to accept arguments about why the link is more important.
- I will evaluate 1ar add-ons and 2nr counter-plans against these add-ons. This is irrelevant in most debates.
- There are many different kinds of kritikal argumentation so feel free to ask questions in round.
- I'm unsure whether I should default to role of the ballot arguments coming before ethical frameworks. I personally believe that ethical arguments engage important assumptions made by many ROB arguments. However, community consensus is that ROB's come first so I will usually stick with that assumption if no argument is made either way.
- I default to fairness impacts coming before theory, but I'm willing to evaluate arguments to the contrary.
- I don't have strong objections to non-topical positions. However, I believe debaters should probably engage in practices like disclosure that improve the theoretical legitimacy of their practices.
- Willing to vote on Kritikal RVI's/impact turns to theory.
- I'm willing to listen to arguments that there shouldn't be perms in method debates. However, I find these arguments not very persuasive.
Note for HS Parli:
Everything above applies. Except for the stuff about prep time. The only parli specific issue is that I will listen to theory arguments that it is permissible to split the block. Feel free to ask me any questions
TL;DR: Do what you want, but I have a high threshold for theoretical defenses in favor of rejecting the topic (although I'm very in favor of creative ways to endorse the topic), and I tend to hold proximal impact framing/proximal solvency mechanisms to a pretty high standard as well.
While I'm open to arguments about debate being a "training ground" for personal advocacy and political change, I view debate itself as a game. This means that I view arguments very impersonally, and I care more for the strategic aspect of the game than the emotional or truth-based appeals. Those things are obviously still important, but that just means I will very likely vote for arguments that are "winning" even if I don't necessarily like them (just because of how I understand the utility of debate). For impact weighing, I probably default to magnitude>probability>timeframe unless told otherwise, so do in-depth impact comparison that includes weighing of the different metrics. I tend to hold proximal impact framing and solvency mechanisms to a pretty high standard, and while I'm down to vote on proximity you should just keep in mind that I think of all of these arguments as pieces to a game, so I'm not more persuaded by proximal impacts than magnitude-based impacts absent a clear reason.
I'm fine if you want to reject the topic on the Aff, but I'll be very sympathetic to the Neg's theoretical objection to that. You can win the theory debate, but I'll have a pretty high threshold for your theory answers so just be aware of that. Impact turning theory out of the aff is fine as well, but I've found that if the Neg team wins that you shouldn't get to leverage the Aff against theory if truth-testing the aff is impossible, I'll usually evaluate the theory prior to the PMCs reasons that fairness and education are bad or impossible to access. I'm pretty indifferent about conditionality also, but will vote on theory saying it shouldn't be allowed if you win that sheet.
Also on theory, this has only mattered a couple of times, but if I'm not given a paradigm by either team I have a tendency to default to reasonability instead of competing interpretations. This is largely because (absent being told otherwise/as a default) I tend to evaluate theory as a check against abuse (i.e., should I penalize a team for doing something unfair), rather than evaluating it as the endorsement of the "ideal model" of debate, which tends to make a difference regarding how I evaluate the impact framing on the theory, but this has only ever mattered when neither team makes any of the arguments that would give me a cohesive story on theory and I'm left pretty much evaluating a non-functional/unclear interp with no voters.
I love policy debate, but I was also super into reading Ks and I dig janky stuff from obscure philosophical sources. In my opinion, I'm able to understand and follow pretty much whatever you want to throw at your opponent. On the flip-side though, that also means that you probably won't get very far with super ambiguous solvency. You need to have some kind of solvency that is (at the very least) a clearly explained mechanism that is preferably drawn from the literature that the K is based on.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me in person! Good luck :)
I am a fairly straight-up critic. I view debate as a game, not a community, a training ground for a particular cause, or a place to air my own grievances. Don't worry about appealing to what you think my ideology is. I vote on the stupidest shit all the time, so just do what you think is strategic. That being said, tell me it is and why and I'll view it that way for the round. Tell me where to vote, win it, I'll vote on it. It's basically that simple.
- The K. I vote for it a lot because I don't particularly see my ballot as my own personal moral imprimatur. I enjoy good framework debate, most of it is relatively bad. Alt debate is better. While I am familiar with a lot general kritiks, please do not assume I care about your lit even 1/200th as much as you, so dropping a lot of references I should get will not work very well as an empiric or analytic for me.
Please be relevant. I don't mind a generic cap k for some godawful debate about the minutiae of financial regulation or something. But try to make it slightly connected to the topic beyond, "You reify the state by using the USFG as an actor. Next off, 8 minutes of state bad."
-Theory: Don't mind it. Pet peeve: counter interps should be actually counter to something. "The aff should be held to the resolution" is neither counter nor an interp.
-DAs. I'm a huge fan of good uniqueness debates. Bad uniqueness debates (oh here's 5 reasons why the econ is up, naw dawg here's 6 reasons why its down. 6> 5 duh.) make me sad. Personally how I decide on this will go a long way in how I decide the direction of the DA and its likelihood since it is a debate on what world the plan takes part in to begin with.
Major points: Internal link/impact defense. Does not happen enough. It sucks how much each sides just spots wild internal link scenarios with nothing filled in at all.
Counter plans/perm debate.
Competition is good. Personally, I prefer net benefits competition as I think it's the most educational. Mutual exclusivity is usually just a form of NB competition though I am open to arguments as to why it is not.
Impact Calc: If no one tells me how to judge impact debates then I revert to magnitude and probability. So if you just tell me your impact is bigger and they tell me that theirs is more probable, I will probably revert to the bigger magnitude impact (especially if its extinction vs. someone feels bad about themselves).
Give me reasons why prob > mag or vice versa. I do enjoy good defense debate on the probability level. Time frame isn't brought up enough. I'm also a big fan of the "Big mag impacts bad v. Big mag impacts good" debate. But if it doesn't happen, unfortunately, I'm a hack for the mag x prob (extinction x .000001 still pretty big risk) impact calc. Not totally against "key to value to life" args if they are decent internal links into what gives human life value. But baseless claims of, "And now there's no value to life!" claims are pretty easily beaten in front of me.
>Speed: Don't care one way or another. I will clear you if I can't understand. I can hang, though slightly less than when I was competing since my ego isn't in the round anymore. If your advocacy is long as hell please repeat it.
>Points of order: Call them. I can't guarantee me catching them cheating every time. So unless you want me letting it slide and someone throws a tantrum, call it. But if you're some senior team on the national circuit pummeling some freshman babies from a CC and you really feel the need to call 18 points of order this poor child's PMR, you should feel bad.
>Side note: Don't freak out if you get a 27 in speaker points. That's good from me. I've seen like, maybe 2-3, truly 30 point speeches in my life so idk why everyone expects it so much.
>Speaking personally due to my own history, I do not care for excessive shouting/cursing. I also really do not care for debate being made personal against the individual debaters. I will not vote on an argument that demands I adjudicate the intent of someone in the round (i.e the argument is wrong vs "the aff is lying"). Additionally for the record as this weirdly becomes an issue in debate lately, I am a white Hispanic. I find other white-passing individuals using similar stories to pull a functional Elizabeth Warren to answer identity oriented arguments extremely cringeworthy. Cringe = speaker points hit.
I don't vote on IVIs. Claims of "time suck" are just absurd, please do not run this.
I don't vote on procedurals or kritiks based on speed. The barest of defense on this will be seen as terminal by me.
I will not, under any circumstances, vote for advocacy that explicitly calls for categorical eliminationist violence against people, based on their membership in a particular group. I should not have to write this but it seems I do.
>For PSCFA circuit: I don't vote on "this should be a fact round." Don't be ridiculous. I don't care if they drop it I will literally not vote for it, it's my one thing I'm just not going to do. Do not cry about it because you didn't read this section.
-I am on a cop on the rules, sorry. This is due to the fact that the NFA authorizes tournament directors to levy fines on schools for judges not following the rules and that is a risk that I am not willing to take. I am very open to arguments based on what the rules actually say, which is often quite broad or vague (whatever "conversational" or "pleasant" or "area of further study" means).
-That being said, my threshold for terminal defense on alleged rules violations is extremely low in NFA-LD given that the cards are right there and there is nothing really being lost. Tbh I really don't know what conversational means either.
-I am fine with theory and Kritiks but naturally, I will listen to old school type arguments on why they do not indict whether or not the aff has fulfilled their stock issues burden or whether or not your particular kritik would be allowable by the rules.
Hey yall!!! I'm lila (she, her and they, them) and I have been involved with debate for around 8.5 years at this point (with 7 years of HS + collegiate competition). During that time I had the pleasure/honor to debate with the wonderful Jessica Jung, and among many other accomplishments of ours that I hold dear, we won NPDA nationals once upon a time; that was pretty swell <333
Tldr: Go as fast as you want, ill be able to flow it. That said, for online NPDA rounds, if you could make sure to give pen time between positions + slow/repeat texts; that would be awesome!!! ^^ Most people would probably label me as a K hack, so do what you will with that information. Although, what this information probably actually means is that I just detest bad/opportunistic Ks even more. That being said though, I don't really care what you do, unless it is explicitly reactionary, if you win whatever position you are reading I will vote for it. I have no inherent predilections to what debate should be, or how specific 'rules' of debate ought function (barring the necessary antagonism against colonial power). It's your job to tell me how to evaluate that, so please do it. Oh also I won't kick arguments for you, if you don't know how to collapse your a bad debater.
Updated Notes (as of March 31st 2021):
1. I don't judge NFA-LD any differently then any other format, so if I am judging you in NFA-LD, then make sure to read the entirety of my paradigm; don't hesitate to ask me any specific questions, about my paradigm or otherwise, pre-round though!! ^^
2. I will NOT vote for any team comprised of entirely non-Black debaters (either those of us within the settler class, or non-Black colonized people) reading Afropessimism, in fact I will drop you for it (if you do so). Read: https://thedrinkinggourd.home.blog/2019/12/29/on-non-black-afropessimism/ Black militant debaters have been articulating, since Afropessimism was first forged within debate by/for Black survival/combat of debate's constitutive antagonism, that non-Black debaters should not read/endorse Afropessimism as a position within debate; so we ought not. If we cannot materially defer to the Black vanguard (within debate or elsewhere), then we cannot principally read arguments about/engage in the expropriated aid for Black revolutionary sovereignty. This also should not have to be said, but unfortunately because of debate's (and thus the World's) constitutive antiBlackness it does: any argument/position about antiBlackness does not = Afropessimism. To assume such would not only be the definition of anti-materialism, and thus antiBlack abstraction, but in fact a direct result of antiBlack opportunism within the context of debate's material conditions; a recovery of debate's, as a piece of settler society's, base antagonism in the face of contradiction intensified by Black militancy within debate itself. So if you are another white/settler reading my paradigm, or a non-Black Indigenous and/or colonized person, do not take this as "don't read arguments/positions about antiBlackness." Because not only should you, but you must; if your analysis/theory/praxis is lacking a material line in reference to the base antagonism of antiBlackness, and thus the vanguard necessity of Black militancy, then your already behind/lacking material (and thus revolutionary) coherence. If your a team/debater comprised of only other white/settlers, and/or non-Black Indigenous and/or colonized people, then just don't read/defend Afropessimism-as-position (or any other piece of the Black radical tradition that requires Blackness-as-singular advocate to defend).
3. The revolutionary praxis/theory that I align with has shifted fairly drastically since my time competing within NPDA; for the most part (although not entirely or totally of course) away from the theory/'praxis' that I often defended/advanced during my time within NPDA (and for what many of you likely know me for). I say this not because it will likely shift my judging a whole lot, but rather just to be transparent, and to give a clearer picture as to what I will be more politically persuaded by; and thus on the flip side, that which I won't be as politically persuaded by, or rather not as much as I perhaps used to be. That change being, that I know consider myself (and seek to materially practice) a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Maoist internationalist particularly. Specifically, as I have been taught/am always being taught by my Black, Brown, and/or Indigenous comrades (as well as the anti-colonial formations that I directly and indirectly follow the leadership of), the correct anti-colonial line being: 1). the world-system of Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism being the principle (global) contradiction, born from the base antagonisms of antiBlackness and settler-colonialism, and productive of the economy of racial capitalism and cisheteropatriarchal-conquest. 2). Militant decolonization, through anti-colonial socialism, is the only revolutionary (antagonistic) negation of the imperial dialectic. 3). Black and/or Indigenous Gender-oppressed revolutionaries, and cadres, are the vanguard of militant decolonization; which thus requires revolutionary deference to the revolutionary leadership of Black and/or Indigenous Gender-oppressed revolutionaries. In relation to debate, and thus the content that I am more politically-in-relation with/happy to see, this means that (for the most part) I largely see the vast majority of what some may term 'postmodernism' (although of course this does not mean I won't vote on it, or I have lost any of my previously knowledge on this work) as a). materially impotent and/or b). liberal, academic, counterinsurgency. If anyone is curious in reading any, incredible, pieces of anti-colonial synthesis that have aided me (been introduced to me, etc) in arriving here:
4. If you misgender me, your competitors, or anyone else within the space during the time at which i am judging and don't correct yourself, or continue to do so, I will auto drop you. This extends to any sort of transphobic and/or transmisogynistic violence; I am done with having to put up with that and ill use my temporary power as a judge to create an incentive for students to stop doing so. I say this not because Gender is an exceptional form of violence among other colonial machines, because I will certainly drop you for investing within any other proximal colonial violence. Rather, I just know so much of debate coercively position trans fems as 'men.'
5. While it is true that I was quite a fast debater, this does not mean that if you are slower and/or more lay that I don't want to judge you. Most importantly though, if you slow and/or clear your opponents (if they are going too fast or are being needlessly unclear) and they do not adapt to meet those demands, then I absolutely will tank their speaks and give you a lot of leeway in answering their arguments even if they are technically conceded.
Obviously everything below applies to Parli as well, so please read it. If you ask my what my paradigm is in the round instead of reading it on tabroom, I am going to be a little grumpy. That said, please do not hesitate to ask any specific questions or confusions about something in my paradigm, because I am always more then happy to answer those!!!!
Policy Affs: Despite my love for the K, I think a strategic and well written policy aff make for some of the best debates possible. I have no preferences on how policy affs should be formatted but I think it is always a good idea, especially since having me as a judge means the neg will probs run a K, to have a framework on the top, or bottom, of the 1AC that justifies policymaking in some manner. Please make sure your ADV's have uniqueness, links, and impacts, but other than that do what you want. To be clear though, liberalism is colonial-imperial violence that must be combatted. Which is not to say that all 'policy action' takes place within the materiality of liberalism, but rather, that the specific framework for which policy is generally deployed (situated) within LARP 1AC's is just that; liberalism, and it's bare minimum, by way of submission to the politics of settler society. So just know if you do decide to read a policy aff in front of me, while I will always judge it on the flow, I am not going to be sympathetic to the politics of the 1AC.
K Affs: K Affs, 'performative' or not, are amazing. I put 'performative' in scare quotes not because I don't like the positions that have been signified as performances within debate, in fact quite the opposite. Instead, I do so to indicate that all of debate is a performance, and to parse out radical mircopolitical practice within debate as exclusively 'performative' seems silly to me. That said, if you want to read these types of arguments in front of me, please please please do. Once again I do not really care about the content of K affs but I am most familiar with; DnG, antiBlackness, (neo)colonalism and settler-colonalism, trans and queer theory, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and other anti-capitalist practice, and decolonial feminisms. If your feminism is not, or not informed by: Black, Indigenous, and trans feminisms, dont read it. I hate Lacanian psychoanalysis. That being said, just because that is true does not mean I won't vote on it, just wont be judging it. Mentioning those areas of revolutionary theory that I am most familiar with is not to say that, those are the only ones I will listen to/vote for. Rather, I mention them (which is also not an exhaustive list by any means) to be transparent in where my knowledge bases come from/have been taught through. The tldr here is that I ALWAYS love to judge principled positions from these, or any, bases of revolutionary theory!!!! If you are going to reject the res, which is totally cool with me, you should make sure to have justifications as to why the res is bad, and why rejecting it on the affirmative is key. To give you an example of what K Aff's I tended to go for, Jessica and I most often went for: Gender Death, Sex Workers, Juche, Medicalization, and Han.
Framework Affs (LD): As a quick preface, if you are doing LD and reading this you can run whatever type of aff you want, I have merely labeled this under LD because its most relevant to LD. Framework affs are dope, I love them and used to run them all the time when I was debating in LD. I am pretty well versed in most of the frameworks that are common on the circuit and especially with, as much as I hate it, Kantianism and Deontology. What makes framework affs strategic is their ability to have a framework that when won, wins the debate for the aff. Due to that fact, if you are running a framework heavy aff then you should make sure you have a framework that is strategic in that vein, not just a framework that seems fun to run.
Note: Again, if you are in LD you can run whatever off positions are the most strategic, do whatever you think will best win you the round. That being said though, while I am cool with it and will be able to flow you, if you are hitting an opponent who does not want you to spread, don't be an ass. That does not preclude you from running K's or DA's or T, just don't spread them if you opponent does not want you to.
DA/CP: DAs and CPs are great, but I have noticed this trend lately in which people label every piece of case specific offense as "Disads." This is slightly annoying because it greatly reduces and distorts the reasons that DAs are strategic. DAs need to have uniqueness, case specific links, and external impacts that the Aff cannot resolve; all other case offense are just case turns. Even if you have a CP that solves for your DA(s), make sure you have status quo uniqueness on the top of the DA that way you are not forced to go for the CP if you want to go for the DA. If you are running a counterplan make sure it has clearly defined sections of "text," "competitiveness," and "solvency." Also I think that conditionality is great, not that I wont vote on condo bad, so if you wanna read 5 contradictory condo offs I am very cool with that.
Ks: I love Ks, they are what I ran most in highschool and what I ran most in college. If you want to see the types of Ks that I am most familiar with, and what that means for you, look to the K aff section of my paradigm. If you are in policy, during the 1NC make sure you have either labeled or unlabeled thesis, links, impacts, and alt sections. If you are going for the K in the block it is always a good idea to read a framework for the K in the 2NC. On the other hand, if you are in LD and reading a K in the 1NC you need to make sure to have a framework, thesis, links, impacts, and alt. Something that I have noticed in hs LD and Policy is that K alts never explains why the alt is key in resolving the K, but rather just describes what the alt is, so make sure your alt actually has descriptive solvency. In terms of the K's I went for most, Jessica and I often collapsed to Bataille, Barad, Semiocap, Maoism, and Trans Spatiality.
T/Theory: I love good topicality and theory debates, they are some of the most technical types of debate and I love good technical debate. While theory and topicality are not exactly the same thing, they do share a similar structure of how they should be formatted. Both should have a clear interpretation, violation, standards and voters. While I know the general trend is to collapse the standards and voters into the same section, it would easier for me if you would make sure that those are two distinct sections wherein the standards explain why violating the interp is bad, and how losing that standard links into what ever voters you are going for. Then in the voters section terminalize why those voters are the biggest impact in the round. I have a pretty low threshold for frivolous theory in that I think if a theory position really is that bad, then you should not lose to it. I think most people would probably in fact label me as a debater who reads and goes for frivolous theory quite frequently, so if thats your jam, go for it. That said, if you use frivolous theory as a form of disrespect, i.e. reading 40 spec shells against a project, that is not going to fly for me. Read it when its strategic, not when its repugnant.
Final Note: For both LD and Policy I would like to be on an email chain for all of the speech docs read in the round, email is "firstname.lastname@example.org." If you have any other specific questions about my paradigm you can message me on facebook at "Chris Coles (lila lavender)" or email me.
2020 Update: I am no longer actively involved in the activity, other than judging a few tournaments a year, so my threshold for speed is going to be lower than it has in the past as a result of being rusty at flowing. If you are particularly fast, I would recommend starting at about 75% speed.
Experience: 4 years policy debate at Tualatin High School, 4 years NPDA/NPTE experience at the University of Oregon. 3 years high school coaching experience at Thurston High School.
Quick in prep version: In general I am down with just about anything, however I would much rather hear a good disad than some only tag lines and a bad alternative kritik. Theory was my jam when I was debating, so if you want to read it go ahead, however, I’m not going to vote for you just because you read it, while my threshold is probably lower than most judges I like to pretend I’m not a hack .
Longer (probably unnecessary) version
My ideal debate is a strategic topical aff v some CPs and a DA or a topic K. That being said, I tend to be down with anything you want to read in front of me, I believe that it is my job to adapt to you and the arguments you want to read not your job to adapt to me. I am not going to tell you what to or not to read in front of me or reject your arguments on face. I tend to prefer more technical debates where you explain to me how all of the relevant arguments interact at the end of the round over just extending them and making me try to figure it out myself at the end. I want to be able to write my RFD at the end of the round by sticking as much as possible to the flow without having to insert my own analysis, this means I want you to write my RFD for me, tell me why I should vote a particular way at the end of the round.
Impact framing is a lost art, it’s not helpful to just inform me that both teams do, in fact, have impacts. I want to hear how I should evaluate those impacts against each other, ie. Do I care more about fairness or education on the theory flow, is timeframe or magnitude more important, can I even evaluate arguments rooted in some kind of epistemology?
More specific stuff:
Theory/ T : I read a lot of theory when I was debating so I am pretty much able to follow what is going on in complex theory debates, although I would prefer that you slow down a bit when spreading theory since it is more condensed and harder to flow. I evaluate theory just like any other argument, which means I am probably more likley to vote on it than most judges if you go for it correctly. In order to win theory in front of me you are going to need to impact it out and explain what it means for the round. (IE just because they dropped your Consult CP's are illegit argument doesn't mean you insta-win if you don't give me some reason why that theory argument results in a ballot, not just me dropping the CP). I find myself voting a lot this year on teams forgetting to read a counter interp. If I am judging in a competing interps paradigm, which is usually how these things shake out, and there is not either an interp or a counter-interp that you meet I will vote against you regardless of the rest of the flow, as there is not an interp for me to stick your offense to. I think that this is a pretty common way of evaluating theory but I feel it is worth flagging explicitly in my philosophy given that I find myself voting on this a lot.
Framework : Framework was my go-to when debating the K aff. That doesn’t mean that you necessarily shouldn’t or can’t read a K aff in front of me, just be aware than I’m not going to be one of those judges that just ignores the argument for some vague political reason.
K affs : I would prefer that if you are going to read an aff that isn’t topical that you have some good justification for doing so, I am not really interested in your “I read a cool book and here is my book report” project.
Ks : I am down with the K, however there are some recent trends in the kritik that I feel need some addressing here. First, Marx was my bread and butter and I am fairly deep in that literature, but outside of that and maybe Heidegger you should not assume that I am incredibly well read in your lit base. That doesn’t mean that you can’t read your K in front of me, it just means that you are going to need to do some more explaining. Second, there has been a tendency of K’s becoming just a list of tag lines, that then get extended as arguments later in the debate. If your K sounds like this I am probably going to give the other team a lot more leeway in reading new arguments when your K finally becomes something in the block.
CP/ DA : Ayyyyyyyyy
I have a lower threshold for speed than most on the 4 year circuit.
I have a decent understanding of K literature, but please be specific especially if you combine philosophies.
I'm happy to answer any questions anytime!
I’m open to most arguments as long as they’re not sexist, racist, ableist, etc. Don’t berate your opponents, debate cleanly. Open to T and Ks apart from Give Back the Land and other identity arguments concerning identities you don’t share (you should know why the large percentage of you should not be running this). I’m tabula rasa to an extent; I won’t buy that the sky is green but if you say something like “x country has y policy” and there’s no response on the flow, that’ll fly.
Ask me any other questions you may have before the round! :-)
Background- I’ve done Varsity High School Parli Debate at Evergreen Valley High School, qualified to the TOC as a senior, and was active in almost every Bay Area-based tournament over the 2015-2018 seasons. I’ve also done a bit of LD. I currently attend UC Berkeley as a junior Political Science and Data Science double major. Pronouns she/her/hers.
Etiquette- Please do not shake my hand; it’s a pointless formality. I don’t factor what you wear or anything like that into your speaker points. I hate speaker points and try to be as objective as possible, but for errors in terms of frivolous theory, rudeness, etc, I will drop you .5 speaks each instance. Don’t be rude to your opponents. Loud whispering isn’t respectful while the other team is speaking; try to keep your volume down or write notes to one another instead. I also don’t really care if you stand or sit, or if you dress up; make yourself comfortable so you can debate the best that you can. Don’t flip pens. Try to use all the time given. Be clear.
I will, however, tank your speaks and drop you if you use abusive (sexist, racist, ableist, Islamophobic, etc.) rhetoric and try to spread your opponents out of the round- I am generally fine with speed but your opponents may not be, and especially if they say slow or clear and you fail to adjust, I will have more reason to drop speaker points.
Case: Case debate should be pretty straightforward. I’m tabula rasa to a rational extent. Try to link your arguments clearly and signpost so I know where to look on the flow. I won’t make extensions for you, so make sure you articulate what it is you're extending, why it flows through, and where I’m making the extension. Do not restate your previously made points as a response without explanation of why the response reapplies/don't just reiterate your offense as defense. Use evidence where you can, I'm not looking things up but it definitely helps to be/appear accurate and factual. If I don't understand what you're saying (as in it's a structurally deficient or blipped argument) I won't flow it. Please terminalize your impacts, don't just say "lives" or "economy". Please do some kind of weighing or aff world vs. neg world analysis in your voters as well.
Theory: I enjoy theory debate, when it is done well. While I find frivolous theory annoying, if the other team doesn’t respond adequately and you prove to me why you win and run it structurally well I’ll have reason to vote on it. Again, make sure you signpost and make clear responses. I shouldn’t be doing any of the work for you.
Kritiks: I liked debating Kritiks and watching rounds where they are run well. I’m cool with Aff and Neg Ks. I can easily tell when you are running a K to skew your opponents out of a round, so please avoid doing that as at the end of the day, we all want an equitable debate where people can learn; otherwise the activity becomes useless. Try to avoid running the K if you don’t really understand it because then the ideology will become very convoluted and there will be a lot of holes in your argumentation, and it will be hard for me and the other team to understand. Don’t expect me to vote on something I cannot understand. Arguments I’m very familiar with include Orientalism, Capitalism/Marxist Kritiks, Transhumanism and Feminism. Don’t run Give Back the Land or identity arguments where you don’t actually share that identity, because then it becomes apparent you’re exploiting that identity for your personal gain. Sign post well. Speak clearly and always tell me which link or impact you are responding to if responding to a K. Make sure your links are contextualized in a manner that makes it clear how the other team's epistemology/rhetoric/etc. is connected to whatever impacts you discuss. Terminalize your impacts please! And make ROTB clear.
default to K, T, case. Competing interps over reasonability.
Bottom line is, try to have fun, be inclusive, and learn something.
My name is Callistina, but call me Callie, it's 2 syllables shorter :)
I debated parli 2 years for Valley Christian High School in San Jose, CA and then another 2 years LD for Ithaca College. Now I'm coaching LD at Ithaca College and occasionally judge for the Penn State Speech and Debate Society. My favorite kinds of tournament are those with a lot of food and those with civil, respectful and friendly debaters.
That being said, right off the bat, I don't tolerate any kind of disrespect and/or incivility towards your opponent and/or literally anybody else. I think it's important to maintain an educational environment with courtesy and respect to encourage debaters, especially novice debaters. If you're rude in round, make fun of your opponent under any circumstances, make racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/xenophobic/ableist, etc. statements, misgender anyone in the round intentionally (and/or keep doing so after knowing everybody's pronouns) or just generally make the round hostile and intimidating to your opponent, I will drop you, period. Courtesy is a voting issue, and I have a generally low threshold for it, because I think it's important to be courteous before being a good debater.
On that note, I'm ok with speed, but please signpost and be clear and slower with your tags and plan text. I will frown upon spreading if it 1. trades off with your clarity and 2. excludes your opponent, especially when they're international students and/or don't speak English as their first language (like myself).
About CX and prep time - Please don't cut off your opponent as they're legitimately answering, BUT feel free to do so when they start rambling on to waste your time or frustrate you. Don't use CX as a weapon to exclude your opponent. If I notice things like that in round, the least severe action I will take is docking your speaks significantly, and the most severe being possibly dropping you, especially if a legitimate argument for that is raised by and defended by your opponent in their next speech. Also, I frown upon people attempting to start CX time or prep time for their opponent - it's pretty rude actually, so please try not to do that. I will notice if you do.
Now about debate itself. Tell me how you want me to vote and explain clearly why you're winning the argument.
Before your speech: please please please (yes I'm begging you) never ever forget to give me an off-time roadmap/order (if it's IPDA, then 10-15s at the beginning of your speech time). I've had to ask for it quite a handful of times and I kinda not want to anymore, because it really isn't my job to have to keep asking for it. Roadmaps/orders are extremely helpful for me to follow you in your speech, since (believe it or not) I struggle with English in debate pretty often.
** PSA** Regarding tagging and highlighting/underlining evidence: Please make sure your tags accurately reflect the body of your evidence and your highlighting/underlining preserves the context of the evidence and respects the intention of the author. Powertagging and highlighting/underlining out of context and the author's intention are enough grounds for dropping the debater who commits these practices, especially when called out by the opponent. At best, this will lead to the entire evidence card being rejected, which also hurts the debater in the round.
I really don't want to have to penalize anyone for this, so please try to avoid this situation entirely.
You as the aff should present/explain the stock issues clearly, and be ready to defend them against the neg with everything you have. That's the easiest way to get my ballot there. On the other side, when you're neg, if you can show me that the aff doesn't meet any of the stock issues they're supposed to present, then I will vote for you there.
This is also another easy way to get my ballot because I've found myself starting to love T debates a lot more lately.
T is a priori, but depending on the wording of the resolution, my threshold for T fluctuates accordingly. If you as the neg wanna go for T, then you should clearly explain 1. why I should prefer your interpretation, 2. why your standards are better and how the aff hasn't met them and 3. what I should be voting on and why I must do so.
I don't love them, but I'll listen to them. My threshold for Ks isn't as high as it used to be, but it's definitely still not low. In a nutshell, Ks are some sort of thought process concerning certain issues, and I find them perm-able most of the time, since it is possible to enact policy and embrace a thought process at the same time. I don't hate Ks though, but you gotta do some real work to show me why your K is not perm-able and explain to me which level your K is engaging in and why it matters more than the aff.
My threshold for any theory against condo Ks varies depending on the K, but usually it's pretty low.
If you read a K aff, you'd better have a plan text and a good reason why your aff is better than a policy aff. My threshold remains high for those also.
I think CPs are really strategic if done right. I think unconditional CPs are best. Condo CPs can get abusive in my opinion, so my threshold for any condo theory will be pretty low. It doesn't mean I'll vote against a condo CP right away though - I'll listen to it and try to follow it to the best of my ability, and how I vote also depends on the neg strat you're reading. Other than that, you should explain why your CP is competitive and why you have the net benefit, as well as how your CP doesn't bite (a) disad(s) like the aff does. I don't care whether or not your CP is 100% topical, but it's best to have a CP that has some sort of relevance to the resolution in my opinion. It'll be helpful to, based on my experience. Also you should be able to defend why the aff can't perm your CP and be very sure that you can fight tooth and nail to defend your position.
I think these are underrated; disads are pretty straightforward and more often than not they do force a choice. To win a disad you need to do some impact calculus and show me why your impact(s) outweigh(s) the aff advantage(s). You also need to clearly explain why your disad scenario is unique and establish a link to the aff. As the aff, you only need to beat either uniqueness, link/threshold or impact, whichever one you can beat, to beat the disad.
I have a love affair with those. I actually have a reputation of having read full cites way more than I should've, and I wear it like a badge of honor :D
That being said though, since theories are interesting wildcards, my threshold for those varies depending on how you read them, though my threshold for voting on theories without proven abuse is pretty high. I find them entertaining and refreshing, but you really need to tell me why your theory argument matters and what implications it has regarding the round. Be careful when reading these though; they can sometimes toe the line of an ethical charge, and you'd better make it clear that you're reading a theory and not bringing any charge against your opponent.
However, I will never, ever, ever vote for disclosure theory on either sides, in any shape or form, so don't bother. You'll be wasting your time.
All is fair game. If an RVI is not answered to sufficiently, I will vote for it.
For Parli/NPDA and IPDA: TL;DR I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to parli or IPDA, so I will evaluate everything you say to me, as long as you can clearly explain it. I will not vote for something I don't/can't understand, because it's your job to help me understand where you're at in the debate. Be nice and courteous, because you can cross apply my whole paragraph on courtesy here too.
That's it for my rambling TED Talk. Thanks for reading! If there's still anything you need me to clarify before your round with me, just ask!
Final note: Debate can sometimes be overwhelming and intimidating, and sometimes you find yourself in a bad tournament for you. It's discouraging and exhausting. I know, I've been there before. Please please please know that even if you don't do as well as you'd like to, you are a great debater with a lot of potential, and that a few bad tournaments don't define you as a person or even a debater. I'm always available to support you even emotionally in a tournament, should you feel like you need someone rooting for you during a tough weekend. I've made many friends from other schools during my debate years who have supported me, and I'd like to do the same for you too.
My name is Amanda, and I'm the DOF at Concordia University Irvine. It's been a while since I've judged at a tournament, so I'll just give a few highlights:
*Not a very big fan of these things they call NIBs, to be honest I simply don't understand how they work. Sorry:( I won't vote on them.
*Things that are rules of the game (Topicality, time limits, prep, etc) are A Priori. Everything else is up for debate.
*Since this is my first tournament in a while, and my first one really judging virtually, please slow if I say slow. I promise I'm not doing it to be annoying, but I can't evaluate things I can't write down.
I tend to prefer policy debate, and am sympathetic to trichotomy arguments that say policymaking includes the educational facets of value and fact debate. Value and fact debates are often lacking in the very basic structure of claim+data+warrant, and rarely use terminalized impacts. These shortcomings are much easier to logically rectify if policymaking is used. "should" is not necessary to test whether or not the resolution is true.
Theory comes first in debate, since it is a debate about the rules. I default to competing interpretations and am unlikely to vote for your counter interpretation if it has no counter standards for that reason. That being said, a we meet acts as terminal defense under competing interpretations, so that's a way to win as well. MOs should choose whether to go for topicality or the substance debate and collapse to one OR the other, not both. Likewise, PMRs should choose whether to collapse to MG theory arguments OR the substance debate, not both. I do not enjoy voting for RVIs and have a very low threshold for defense on these. I do not enjoy voting for spec args honestly can't remember doing so.
Kritiks should explain why they turn the AFF and have terminalized impacts. The framework should be utilized as offense to frame out the method of the AFF, and prioritize the impacts of the K. The Alt should explain why they solve for the AFF, and avoid the disadvantages of the link story. I prefer critiques that do not make essentialized claims without warrants about how the AFF's method in particular needs to be rejected. I prefer critical affirmatives be topical in their advocacy statement or policy option.
Disadvantages should explain why they turn the AFF and have terminalized impacts. Uniqueness claims should be descriptive of the status quo, with a predictive claim about what direction the status quo is heading. Politics disadvantages should have well-warranted link stories that explain why the plan uniquely causes losers/win, winners to lose, etc.
Counterplans should solve for at least one of the advantages of the AFF. Plan-inclusive counterplans are core negative ground, though perhaps less so on resolutions with 1 topical affirmative (resolutions that require the AFF to pass a bill, for example). I usually default to counterplans competing based on net benefits, and thus permutation arguments need to explain why the perm shields the link to the disadvantage(s).
EMAIL (for email chains/mid-round memes): email@example.com
I use they/them pronouns! Please respect that! For example: "Mikay is drinking coffee right now. Caffeine is the only thing that gives them the will to keep flowing."
I debated for Lewis & Clark in parli for 4 years and now coach at SDSU. I liked traditional and critical debate - no preferences there, read what you want to read. Some caveats: especially in K v K debates, I am prone to buy your argument more if you spend time explaining your method/advocacy, how it solves, and why it's better than the other one (hopefully with offense!). If I can't explain what your solvency mechanism is as I am writing my RFD, there is a low likelihood that I will vote on it. For theory debates, if you do not collapse and choose to go for theory and other offense, there is a low likelihood that I will vote on the theory. If you clearly win the sheet in a way that requires absolutely no intervention on my part fine, but that is highly unlikely if you are not collapsing. Be nice, have fun, and maybe read some overviews or something idk.
ALL HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE:
Background: I competed in high school Policy for two years on a not very good Idaho circuit, with a few LD/Pf tournaments thrown in the mix. Additionally, I competed for Lewis & Clark College in Parliamentary Debate for four years. The majority of the literature I have read involves critical feminism and queer theory and phenomenology, which makes me pretty decent at understanding the majority of critical debates. In debate, however, I probably read policy/straight up arguments at least 70% of the time, and thus can understand those debates just as well.
The way to get my ballot: I appreciate well warranted debates that involve warrant and impact comparison. Please make the debate smaller in the rebuttals and give a clear story for why you have won the debate. This limits the amount of intervention that is required of me/all judges and will make all of our lives much easier. I will auto-drop teams that yell over their competitors' speeches or belittle/make fun of the other team/me. I value debate as an accessible, educational space, and so if you prevent it from being either of those two things, I will let you know.
Speed: I am a decently fast debater and can typically keep up in the majority of rounds. If you are reading cards, slow down for tag lines, author affiliations, advocacies, and interpretations, because those are pretty important to get down word for word, but feel free to go fast through the rest of the card. If you are cleared/slowed by the other team and do not slow down/become more clear, I will give you low speaks (again, debate is good only insofar as it is educational and accessible - spreading people out of the debate is boring and a silly way to win).
Theory: I love theory and believe it is currently underutilized in high school debate. I appreciate well thought out interpretations and counter-interpretations that are competitive and line-up well with their standards/counter-standards, as well as impacted standards that tie in with your voters. Theory is a lot of moving parts that require you fit them together into a coherent story.
Condo: I think conditionality is very good for debate, but also love hearing a good theory debate about condo. I have a pretty level threshold for voting either way, so have the debate and I will decide from there.
Critical affs/negs: I love hearing K's that are run well, both on the aff and neg! I have voted for and run critical affirmatives, and have also run/voted on framework answers to those very affirmatives. I am about as middle of the road as you can get, so again have the debate and I will decide from there based upon the arguments presented in round.
Finally, if you've made it this far, please please please do what you can to make debate educational, accessible, and worth all of our time. Coming in and being mean/spreading out some novices will not make you better debaters, so there is no point in doing so! This activity means so much to so many people; the least we can all do is be respectful of those around us.
I am a junior majoring in Physics and Philosophy at the University of Illinois. I have some limited experience with debate, so I'll be able to understand and flow down your arguments as long as they're not too esoteric.
I do not like spreading or confusing Ks. If you run a K, make sure you signpost exactly where you are on the flow at every section.
I'm fine with theory and most any argument you can think of.
I don't like most K's in parli (especially not lazy stock ones) but I'll still write a K ballot if it's well-connected to case/provides a good pre-fiat level debate. Don't spread if you're in a limited prep event, and generally don't be an asshole in round. Any other questions feel free to ask me.
For online rounds, I'm fine with camera on/off depending on your preference.
pronouns: he/him/his // firstname.lastname@example.org - put me on the email chain // ADOF at SLHS
Making the debate space more violent or otherwise inaccessible will result in a loss, low speaker points, and possibly me having a discussion with tab/your coach.
I am the Assistant Director of Forensics at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas. Most of my debate experience is in Public Forum and NPDA Parliamentary Debate (think extemp policy).
Conflicts: University of Minnesota, JMM, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Seven Lakes, Cobin Szymanski (St Michael-Albertville), Josh Enebo (Blake), Hannah Sweet (Blake)
PF: Updated for King RR 3/23/2021
I keep a tight flow and will make decisions primarily based on content and strategy rather than style or form. I view debate as an academic game which should reward thoughtful, in-depth research and excellent strategic decision making. I will give more weight to arguments that make intuitive sense, are grounded in solid evidence, and are fully warranted and developed during the back half of the round.
I try to intervene as little as possible. I will vote on "progressive" or non-traditional positions if you win the debate, and feel relatively comfortable evaluating them (see NPDA or LD sections). I really enjoy well-executed strategies that don't rely on a pure body count to determine a winner.
Second rebuttal should begin to condense the round. I expect that it answers the first rebuttal to enough of an extent that I could reasonably see what you could go for in summary. Second summary is too late to make new arguments to anything in the first rebuttal speech, including defensive arguments. Obviously, anything that you want me to vote on must be in both the summary and final focus speeches. I generally think that the earlier you begin weighing arguments, the more compelling they are by the end of the round.
I dislike judging most theory debates in PF, but I'm more than willing to grit my teeth and vote on it when it's warranted. Theory should be a tool used in-round to set desirable community norms. The more contrived or esoteric your theory shell, the lower my threshold will be for your opponents to prove that it is not a voting issue. I personally believe that disclosure is generally good and paraphrasing is generally bad. Teams who do not disclose or paraphrase should be prepared to substantively defend their practice in round. RVIs are silly and illogical, and I won't vote on them.
In PF, I default to a reasonability framework to evaluate theory. If I don't think that I can explain to your opponents why they deserved to be punished by losing to theory, I won't vote on it. Basically, I will ask myself, "do the in-round actions of this team warrant me voting against them?" If the answer is yes, I'll vote on theory. This, in practice, means that I am more willing to vote on gut-check style arguments to answer theory which becomes increasingly asinine, even if the team answering theory is behind on the standards-level line by line debate.
Evidence quality and presenting evidence with integrity is very important to me, and ethical violations related to evidence are always a voting issue to me, even if your opponent does not call you out. In practice, however, I am hesitant to vote against a team if the piece of evidence that I think is questionable was not a) explicitly called out by the other team and b) does not make a substantive difference in my decision. Please make my job easy and call out garbage evidence so that it doesn't feel like I have to intervene to vote against it.
That said, I reserve the right to vote against you for misconstruing or misrepresenting your evidence, regardless of whether your opponents do make my job easier to do so. If you do not give a significant amount of attention to your evidence's quality, you should consider striking me. Failure to produce a piece of evidence during the round, in the form of a cut card, will result in a loss with very low speaker points.
Here’s a list of my PF pet peeves, in no particular order of annoyance: long off time roadmaps, blippy or unwarranted arguments that are magically expanded in later speeches, "cards" which are a sentence long, aggressive/loud crossfire with a lot of cross talk, grand crossfire, dismissing arguments as "improbable" without warranting that argument, long evidence exchange time (just have your cards ready to send in a doc). Doing any of these things will likely result in me lowering your speaker points and/or rolling my eyes.
If you have other questions, please ask before the round either in the room or via an email. I am happy to clarify anything you think is insufficiently explained above.
NPDA: Updated post-NPDA on 3/9/2021
When I debated in college, I primarily read topical affirmatives and went for basically anything I thought might win the round on the negative. I enjoy watching well-executed and creative strategies - no matter what your favorite argument is. In closely debated rounds, my most common criticisms for teams after the round, generally, are “I wish the LOC spent more time on case,” and “This round would have benefitted from more in-depth impact calculus.”
I'll be most comfortable in a topical aff vs DA/CP round. In these debates, I need clear solvency comparisons and a lot of impact calculus (see above). If the PMR is going for a permutation, it should frame the PMR and clearly delineate why the aff and the CP are not competitive/why the permutation is preferable to the CP alone. I am very unlikely to vote solely on a permutation that is not a significant part of the MG/PMR strategy, though a well-developed and debated perm is one of the best ways to answer a CP that is just not competitive. For the purposes of the round, I’m pretty ambivalent about most CP theory and it’ll come down to how it’s actually debated. I think 1 condo is good, more than that is maybe up for debate. Process, delay, and similar CP shenanigans which compete based on fiat are probably silly, but might be justified in some instances, depending on the topic. Other than condo, I’m not sure why most CP theory is a reason to reject the team.
Speaking of theory debates, I'm alright listening to theory, although I agree with Chris Miles that "theory debates are boring."
Here are my more specific thoughts about theory:
a) the more specific and contextualized your shell to the current round, the better – that means clear abuse stories and specific standards/warrants from the exact wording of the plan or the rhetoric of the other team.
b) a we meet is terminal defense to the entire shell if sufficiently debated – I don't understand the concept of a "risk of a violation."
c) I am theoretically willing to vote on terminal defense to an interp though I think this scenario is unlikely, and would recommend an explicit counter-interp in 99% of debates.
d) Good reasonability arguments are underrated, but they need to be developed.
e) Just because I think theory is boring doesn’t mean that I don’t think that sometimes the best collapse is aspec.
I'll be fine with most kritiks. I’d prefer your advocacy do a material thing that can be articulated in ~2 sentences. I’d recommend against high theory/postmodernism in front of me. I don't really get it, I haven't read the books, and I still don't know what hieroglyphics of the flesh, lines of flight, or rhizomes are. C'est la vie.
In rounds with a kritik I think teams spend too much time on framework, not enough time on the alternative, and should do more specific and contextualized link/impact work. Would highly recommend collapsing to a single link/impact in the MO in front of me and weighing it directly against the affirmative.
If your kritik solves the aff, you should say that in the LOC. New claims that the K solves the aff in the MO are probably grounds for PMR theory.
K teams should especially be spending more time on the aff itself. If the MO isn’t spending any time on case, the neg is probably losing the round.
It often takes me a long time to parse through K v K rounds. I don't dislike them by any stretch, but I've found that teams often rely on extensions of their global framing claims to control a root cause claim without interacting with the other side's framing arguments. I think of all advocacies in terms of how likely they are to solve a given impact - so, I still want you to compare your ability to solve an impact and then do explicit impact calculus. Just claiming you are "the root cause" of their impact may result in confusion and frustration from me.
If reading a “non-traditional” aff or an aff that rejects the topic is your thing, go for it. Teams that pursue this strategy and run into framework should have good inroads against the negative’s fairness arguments and also win that their education/scholarship is more important than fairness. What this looks like will obviously depend on the round. It helps me evaluate the round if you also have a counterinterp on FW – I understand arguments like “the aff is an impact turn to framework,” but in a lot of these rounds I find myself voting on “FW determines whether the aff should have been read in the first place” or similar truth-testing claims.
I've found that I need "performance" affirmatives - using quotes because all speeches are performances - to very clearly delineate what they advocate for and what their solvency mechanism is. I am very persuaded by negative arguments which come down to: "no really, what do you do?" when I can't describe what it is the affirmative does. This may be a personal shortcoming of mine, and I will obviously do my best to follow along, but spending a few sentences articulating exactly how the aff solves a particular impact or what method the affirmative defends will go a long way in front of me.
A couple of other notes:
Cowardice is a voting issue.
Case debate is a lost art. Spending 4 minutes on case on the LOC = happier Bryce. Have I included that like 4 times in my paradigm? Absolutely.
I probably give defensive arguments more weight than the average NPDA judge. Compelling terminal defense can play a very significant factor in my decision.
I think teams make too many bad arguments and should spend more time developing better ones. This doesn’t mean don’t go fast – it means spend more time developing better arguments than bad short ones.
Read texts slowly and twice and give your opponents a copy. If you're online, put them in the chat. I will look to the written text of your advocacy if it becomes relevant for any reason, i.e. a T interp, plan flaw, etc.
The aff can always read a permutation. Obviously, they have to justify how the perm works in the round, but I don't think there are certain types of debates or rounds where the aff can't perm.
I won't evaluate new arguments in the LOR/PMR, obviously, but if you think something is new, I would prefer that you call a point of order. As a competitor, I appreciated when judges would clarify how they thought the argument I was making in a PMR functioned if a point of order was called. In prelims I will rule on them, on panels I will make sure other judges are okay with it before I rule.
When I make decisions, I tend to gravitate towards resolving things that are easily resolvable first rather than going in a specific order. This generally looks like grabbing a different color pen and denoting arguments I think that each team is clearly winning. I then use those arguments to frame my thinking about the rest of the round. I’m not sure if this materially alters my decisions compared to other judges, but it may alter how you decide to frame arguments in the rebuttal speeches, which is why I’ve included it.
If you have pref questions or would like me to answer something in particular not covered here, feel free to send me an email!
Pref guide: LARP > Traditional > Ks that aren't pomo nonsense > theory > k's that are pomo nonsense > heavy phil >>>> tricks/memes. I would recommend phil or tricks debaters strike me.
I don't judge LD often, and I'm rarely judging national circuit HS LD. My NPDA paradigm largely applies, where applicable. NPDA has a lot of debaters transition from high school LD, so I should be able to follow you for the most part. The exception to this is phil debates - these do not exist in parli, and I will likely be totally lost.
I am fine with using prep to ask questions. I may jot down notes in CX: I am always paying attention and the answers you give are binding.
I don't flow off of a speech doc and I'm pretty rusty at flowing outright spreading of cards. So, please, slow down a little bit - especially for analytics and tags. Clear and smart is always preferable to fast and dumb. I'm more than happy to give answer post round "but what about?" questions with "I didn't get that."
I don't know what's hot in LD right now. I likely don't know your lit base as well as you do - I have passing familiarity with a lot of arguments from my time in parli, but I'll still probably rather you LARP than bust out that cool new aff you've been waiting to break.
My NPDA partner was Noah Gallagher, and his paradigm is here. I agree with lots of his debate opinions, especially his point about engaging with your opponents. I'm much better for debaters who choose to engage in their opponent's arguments rather than debaters who skirt engagement entirely.
I used to have a longer paradigm that just became mostly me rambling about how I feel about debate. That's not really relevant to how I judge rounds nowadays, but if you're curious, it's here.
If you're reading this, that's already a good start. You should continue to do so until there are no words left. I debated in parli for ~5 years at McKendree University, and did 4 years of high school LD before that. My partner and I won the 2020 NPDA. All of these things mostly tell you nothing about my thoughts on debate, but they should tell you that I have quite a lot of them. I'll do my best to keep it brief here.
Before I get into any specifics, I want to avoid what I assume most of your coaches or veteran debaters on your team will tell you about my time as a debater. Was I fond of the K? Yes. More accurately, I was fond of winning and a good chunk of the time, I found the K to be the best way to do so. With that being said, I would by no means describe my career as being a "K debater." I won just as many debates reading a topical policy aff as I did reading a K aff. In the same vein, our neg strat was a one off K just as often as it was a DA/CP combo or sometimes just straight up case turns against the aff. I did it all, and I consider myself to be a judge that can evaluate any kind of debate you put in front of me because, well, I used every tool at my disposable to win debates. I think you should as well. I pride myself on having been an incredibly versatile debater so please, for the love of god, do not high pref me for your "k teams" and low pref me for your "non-K teams" because you think that's the kind of debate I wanna hear/am best positioned to evaluate. I will get tired of hearing Ks every round very quickly, then I'll get annoyed, and then I won't be a good judge for anyone because I'll want to go home. Do not make me want to go home (chances are I already want to by no fault of yours so like, don't pile it on).
Max Groznik recommended I add these quotes from a conversation between the two of us. I don’t know why I am, but I’m not sure any of this means anything anyway:
”Ah, my life is a series of baubles that I must sort. Both real and fabricated for me to have something to do. C’est la vie.” - Me, 2020
”I think everyone is stupid except for me. It actually makes me care more. I’ll steer them in the right direction.” - also Me, 2020
In general, I think debate is a technical game and I evaluate it as such. I'm not easily swayed by positions that rely on some other metric that's not a net-benefits paradigm where my role is to weigh impacts and evaluate the arguments on the flow. That being said, I did dabble in this kind of non-traditional debate during my career. I think it's interesting, and I'm all for arguments that lightly poke and push at the limits of parli debate, I'm just not at all sure how I evaluate these arguments as a judge. If that's your thing, my advice is to proceed with caution and keep in mind that at my core, I'm a technical debater and that's where I'm comfortable. If you want me to throw tech out the window in favor of something else, you'll have to be fairly convincing and exceptionally clear on what exactly this means. This in no way means I'm unwilling to listen to a less technical argument. I definitely will, I just don't have a concrete framework for how I evaluate these arguments, so I think it's important that you make this clear for me so that I don't end up making a decision that misses the point entirely.
I also think I should address MG theory here. If you've read Alyson Escalante's philosophy, I pretty much agree 100% with her about the direction this activity is going and what's causing it. The proliferation of nonsense MG theory is definitely up there for me in terms of something that's threatening this activity, and you will be hard pressed to get me to vote on it. The only legitimate MG theory in my mind is CP theory (PiCs bad, multiple actor CPs bad, floating PiCs bad, Delay bad, for the most part) and Condo bad. These are debates that I will listen to, and that for the most part, I don't have a huge bias for voting one way or the other (maybe Condo, but read my later section on that). Any other silly MG theory about passing texts or reading the plan text in 30 seconds or whatever is becoming increasingly annoying to me. I don't even want to listen to these debates, so your speaker points will reflect my annoyance if these are even apart of the MG order. Beyond that, you likely will not get a ballot out of me that even references the MG theory as a part of my decision. My threshold for abuse on these sheets is very high, and absent an incredibly legitimate abuse claim, I will find any small defensive argument possible to make this sheet of paper go away, and your speaker points will suffer the more you press the issue. Please keep this in mind if you have me as a judge.
Read whatever you want on the aff. I truly don't care, and I'll evaluate the debate that happens in front of me. Just a few specifics though:
1. I need texts read twice and slowly.
2. Don't try to be faster than you are. It's probably my biggest pet peeve in this activity. Clarity is just as important as speed, and I won't be nice with your speaker points if your inability to be honest with yourself about your own skills means we all have to suffer through a speech that's unclear.
3. I love a non-topical aff - in theory. In practice, I find myself begging for just one or two arguments that clearly explain why you ought to be non-topical. If I get those, I'll be far more enthusiastic about whatever your k aff is. Also, referencing the topic on your link page and giving a lackluster warrant as to its connection to whatever your k aff is about does not make you "topical" and I will vote on framework 99% of the time in these cases.
As far as negative strats go, I also pretty much think you should do whatever you want, but as for specific thoughts:
1. I assume all negative advocacies are conditional unless specified otherwise. As a person, I think you should say most things with your chest, which would naturally mean I think condo is bad. BUT, as someone that understands how the activity works and would like it to keep working that way, I think condo is good and I don't think there are many scenarios where I would vote for condo bad unless it's an egregious abuse of condo.
2. I love a T debate - in theory. I don't think many judges or debaters really agree on how a T debate ought to be evaluated, which is why most of the time every judge in the room ends up sighing, groaning, and shaking their heads through a T debate and then punishing debaters for committing any number of "sins" that are entirely based on their personal views on T and not some agreed upon community norm. So, here are my thoughts: I think of interps similarly to counterplans. It's a specific text (that defines a certain word in the resolution), with "net-benefits" (or standards) that resolve or cause certain negative or positive impacts (that discuss an effect on debate as an activity). Although the interp usually defines a singular word, it's defining that word in the context of the resolution, not in a vacuum. The violation describes this context. That's typically how words work, alongside other words or groups of words. I evaluate topicality in this way. If you don't win a standard on your interp, then there's not reason for me to vote for it instead defaulting to the PMC (just like there's no reason for me to vote for a counter-plan if it doesn't have a net benefit. I would just vote for the aff). If both interps win a standard, then I need impact weighing to compare offense and determine which interp solves the most. We-meets can be terminal defense, if they sufficiently resolve the offense gone for in the context of the violation. Just like in any other debate, if the defense isn't enough to outweigh the offense gone for in the MO, I can still vote on the offense. For example, if you read defense against one link on the disad but not the other, I can still vote on the offense triggered by the second link. This goes for T as well. These are just my thoughts, but if you keep them in mind, I will not groan through your MO/PMR on T. I think T is fun and more people should go for it.
3. Please...collapse...in the block...
4. Whatever your nonsense k is, please explain it to me as if I did not pay attention in my intro ethics class (I did not). This threshold is much higher for D&G (I just don't get it. I'm sorry).
Finally, I was pretty deep in the anti-blackness literature as a debater, I mostly debated pess, but I also dipped into futurism/nihilism/etc. I mean like, 5 years and lots of books and research and readings by lots of different authors deep. This is a topic area that I have a lot of knowledge on because I did a lot of work to accumulate this knowledge. I like these arguments, and I don't think parli has even scratched the surface of this lit base and the type of arguments that can come from it. That being said, I have zero respect for debaters that think they don't need to do any of this work and that they can formulate an argument based entirely on their own (albeit real and highly valuable) cultural knowledge. This isn't twitter, (although if you're funny and often talk about your cultural experiences as a Black there, I might follow you) but there's a reason tweets have a character limit, this activity does not. Luckily, there are a ton of Black authors that have just as much cultural knowledge, paired with years of academic research and writing that contains well thought out and explained theories regarding the Black experience and anti-Blackness generally. Please give them their clout, read their books/essays, and use them as at least the basis for your argument. Otherwise, you're not engaging in this activity in the way that it's designed to be engaged in and I won't be the judge that rewards you for it.
Also, I have opinions about speaker points. Mainly, that a 30 ought to be virtually unattainable and given only to those that are truly exceptional - not just in a given round, but compared to the rest of the field. I will almost never give one, and my average range is somewhere between a 27.7 and a 29.7. If you’re on either side of that range it means you were particularly impressive (either negatively or positively). Judges that give these out like candy or debaters that explicitly ask for them when they’ve not given a speech that constitutes a 30 generally tend to make speaker awards not reflective of the actual ranking of debaters at the tournament. I’m pretty committed to not contributing to that, so if you receive a 30 from me just know it was well deserved. If you ask for a 30, I probably will not respond nicely with how many speaker points I end up giving you. 30s ought to be earned; and, if the 2020 NPDA is any indication, when people explicitly ask for them and judges give them, people who actually earned their 30s end up not getting rewarded for it.
TLDR; say whatever you want, I'm a good judge for any of it. Condo is good. Books are fun and you should read them. There's someone out there that has spent years researching whatever thought you think you came up with all on your own, I promise.
The allegory of the cornbread:
Debate is like a delicately constructed thanksgiving dinner. Often, if you take time to make sure you don’t serve anyone anything they’re allergic to, we can all grit it and bear it even if we really didn’t want to have marshmallows on our sweet potatoes. Mashed potatoes and gravy are just as good as cranberry relish if you make it right. Remember, If you’ve been invited to a thanksgiving dinner you should show up unconditionally unless you have a damn good excuse or your grandma got hit by a reindeer because we’re here to eat around a point of commonality unless your great uncle happens to be super racist. Then don’t go to thanksgiving. I’ll eat anything as long as you’re willing to tell me what’s in it and how to cook it. Remember, you don’t prepare stuffing by making stuffing, that’s not a recipe that’s a tautology. I eat a lot, I’m good at eating, and I’d love to help you learn how to eat and cook too.
PS: And why thanksgiving? Because you’re other options are Christmas featuring a man way too old to be doing that job asking if you’ve been naughty or nice at the hotel lobby, the Easter bunny which is just a man way older than you’d think he is in a suite offering kids his definitely-not-sketchy candy (who maybe aren’t really even old enough to be eating all that candy), or Labor Day where everyone realizes they can’t wear their hoods and be fashionable at the same time.
Hi! I’m Zach. I debated for 5 years of NPDA/NPTE parli (4 at Cedarville and 1 at SIU) and this is my 6th year coaching/judging. I've been coaching for McKendree since 2017. Here are some of my many thoughts about debate:
- I will flow the round and make a decision based on my flow. I will skip flowing your speech if you insist but I will not evaluate arguments that I don't flow.
- You won't get a 30 unless you give a perfect speech. My average is 28.1 with a standard deviation of 0.6. 27 is the floor unless you do something offensive.
- I've gone back and forth on this a few times and I've decided the best use of this space is just to tell you what I think I'm a good/bad judge for. Standard caveats apply, you should really just do what you do best, don't read something just because I listed it here, but this is what I've learned about myself to help you pref me. I also keep a Google doc with stats for every round I judge.
- Good judge for: topicality, big-stick affs, topic-specific disads, advantage counterplans, K affs that do the work on the flow, framework teams that do the work on the flow, Nietzsche, antiblackness arguments, conditionality, impact turns, pessimism based arguments, defense, creative interpretations of the topic, fast-paced debates, teams that stake out their ground and defend it
- Medium judge for: politics, process counterplans, soft left affs, Marx, Foucault, D&G/Bataille/most other Eurotrash, Buddhism (unfortunately), counterplan theory, novelty, teams that win by tricking the other team, probably anything else I didn't think to list above or below
- Bad judge for: K aff teams that think I'll autovote for them for ideological reasons, framework teams that think I'll autovote for them for ideological reasons, Lacan/psychoanalysis, Baudrillard, any argument that posits that rocks and/or animals are people, fact or value affs
- It will take a Herculean effort to make me vote for: spec, AFC, any other theory that makes me roll my eyes (e.g. must pass texts at X time), RVIs
- Will not vote for: negative kritiks that don't have a link to the aff, any theory if the other team wins a we meet, arguments about something that happened in another round/that I cannot verify
Hi everyone, I competed from 2013-2017 at El Camino College and then at Southern Illinois University. I competed mainly in Parli, but also in LD at El Camino and my last year at SIU.
As a debater, I read many arguments and am familiar with most, but my wheelhouse is a plan debate. However, I am not predisposed to any other types of arguments you would like to read. I will probably need a bit more work on framework if you are going to read a non plan and non critical argument, but I’m confident I can follow and vote appropriately based on the arguments made in round. I was also a lover of framework as a debater, and thus as a judge you would be more successful if your criticism is clear and can be explained in a simple overview at some point in the round and has a justification for being non-topical if you're affirmative.
With respect to theory arguments, I also enjoyed these frequently as a debater, however I am weary of arguments that enforce new burdens or requests for specification that seems highly unnecessary in a Parli format with limited preparation.
I used to be able to flow and compete at high speed, but I’ve been out of the activity for a few years, so it would be worth it to slow down a bit. I will also indicate to you if you are going too fast to me.
Otherwise, if you have any other questions, you are free to ask me before the round begins.
"All socially constructed worlds are inherently precarious. Supported by human activity, they are constantly threatened by the human facts of self-interest and stupidity. The institutional programs are sabotaged by individuals with conflicting interests. Frequently individuals simply forget them or are incapable of learning them in the first place. The fundamental processes of socialization and social control, to the extent that they are successful, serve to mitigate these threats. Socialization seeks to ensure a continuing consensus concerning the most important features of the social world. Social control seeks to contain individual or gorup resistances within tolerable limits. There is yet another centrally important process that serves to support the swaying edifice of social order. This is the process of legitimation. By legitimation is meant socially objectivated "knowledge" that serves to explain and justify the social order. Put differently, legitimations are answers to any questions about the "why" of institutional arrangements."
~ Berfer, Peter L. The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. New York: Random House Inc, 1967.
Please, I beg, read the things I write here. I didn't write it for no reason.
I'm Fiker (pronounced like snicker). She/her/hers. I debated a bit in high school which is mostly unimportant, and then did four years (2015-2019) at Texas Tech University. I (and my partner) won the NRR and I won all 3 national top speaker awards in 2019. Now I judge and coach for TTU. So it goes.
I generally think debate is a game, but a useful and important one. It may not be "fiat" but it does influence the real world by how we exist inside of it. Let's not forget we're human beings. Read what you want, I certainly did. However, I do not intend on imposing my own ideals onto debaters, so please have whatever round you want so long as we respect one another as humans. Speed isn't usually an issue but if we're blazing, let me know so I can use paper and not my laptop.
Things to keep in mind: My favorite arguments are well warranted critical arguments that I can actually learn and grow from; also, Japan re-arm. I like to do as little work as possible when it comes to making decisions on the flow so please be incredibly explicit when making claims as I will not fill in arguments not being made in the round. Impact calculus is essential. However many warrants you have, double it. Condo is good, but don't test the decently sturdy limits. I don't really get presumption and may not be in your best interest to stake the round on it. Thought experiments aren't real. Jokes are fun. 9/10 the MG theory is not worth it.
Affs: Read them and be very well warranted within them. Pull from the aff throughout the debate as I feel this is one of the least utilized forms of offense in the round. K affs are fine (I'm a big fan) just make sure the things you say make sense and do something. I think because I have read a lot of Ks in my time that people think I will vote them up regardless, which is not true. I like offense and warrants and I like not doing work so whoever allows the most of that will be in the better spot regardless. Read case against the aff. Be clear and read texts twice.
DA/CP: Also read these. They need to be complete and fleshed out with good warrants and net benefits where they need to be. Warrant explicitness are your best friend. CPs should come with written texts, imo. I would say I have a slightly higher than average threshold for CP theory but that doesn't mean I won't evaluate it if it is read and defended well (just remember MG theory isn't always worth it if you can just win the substantive).
Theory: I like this and my threshold is pretty equal to substance if run well, but I needneedneed good structure. Interpretations are key, please slow down and repeat them. Now, I don't need several sheets of theory, MG theory, overly high-level theory, and certainly not MO and later theory. Keep it at home. Have voters. Defend them. Competing interpretations is based on the way that the interpretations are being upheld through the resolution of the standards but standards alone do not win without a competitive interpretation.
Ks: I love them, but I don't vote on nothing. Framework needs to be strong or it needs to not bog down the real parts of the argument. Links need to link..... please (generics won't save you)......Alt needs to make sense, repeat them twice for me, and if they're long, I'd like to be told in flex or given a copy. Even if I know your literature, I am not debating. Please do the work for me in round. Identity arguments are fine, do as you please just don't be offensive or overly satirical about real violence. You must still win the actual debate and make the actual arguments for me to vote. This runs both ways, so anyone reading the K should do so if you want but if this is your winning strategy then make sure I know why and am not filling anything in for you where you believe I should be able to.
Any other questions about my paradigm or my opinions/feelings about debate can be directed to me on social media (probably facebook most easily) or you can email me at email@example.com
Have your debate. Live your life. Yee, and dare I say it, haw.
Experience: College NPDA (4 years) and NFA-LD (1 year)
TL;DR: I prefer case, theory, and K's that are sociological in nature, but I also value strategic decisions and seeing debaters use their relative strengths to win the round. I also significantly prefer flow-based debate.
General: I view debate as a game to be played and won. Tell me what weighing mechanism to use when evaluating who should win, debate which weighing mechanism is better, and tell me why you win within that weighing mechanism. Also, more structure and signposting is ALWAYS better. I default to evaluating the round through the technical components of the flow unless told to do otherwise. In my career, I mostly debated Buddhism, set col, cap, heg, spec, and case (not much of a specialty).
Policy Debate: Run anything you want (politics, PICs, business confidence, anything). I prefer the contemporary debate structure (Advantages and Disadvantages) to the classical stock issues style. Solid impact weighing/framing can easily win you an otherwise close round. I really enjoy a good heg debate. I know literally nothing about science so explain if necessary.
Theory: I am good with anything. Potential vs proven abuse should be debated out in-round. I probably have a lower threshold than most on theory. I enjoy theory that many would consider "frivolous" but I also won't actively try to hack for T. I am probably biased towards condo being good but will still vote on condo bad if you win the flow.
Kritik: Fine with not upholding the res, also down for voting on framework. I think that your kritik should also win the line-by-line, unless you make arguments otherwise (I have a very high threshold for rejecting the flow). Very familiar with cap/Marx but down for cap good. Don't know much about pomo so if that's your thing then explain thoroughly.
Speed / Speaker Points: I have no problem with speed, but be clear and maintain solid word economy. Don’t exclude other teams from the debate with your speed, it will cost you speaker points and I am open to theory/kritikal arguments against it. Otherwise, go as fast as you want. I award speaker points based on the quality and strategic utility of arguments made rather than on persuasiveness.
I was a critical policy debater in college and currently coach policy, parli, and LD at SFSU.
I'm drawn to critical and unconventional arguments. That said, I care more about seeing you debate what you believe in and are passionate about than seeing you craft a case you think will please me - if that's traditional policy for you, please keep doing you. This is your education and your debate experience first.
I love critiques, but you need to establish clear, strong links. I love performance, but you need to establish and extend what your in-round performance is. I'm familiar with most K literature, but you need to make sure your opponent fully understands your K/literature so they can engage with your case. I am a judge who wants to hear your critiques, but if you are not a K team, you are not at a disadvantage with me. I've voted against Ks just as often as I've voted for them.
I vote on the flow unless an argument is made about why I should evaluate the round differently. In other words, I default to being a technical judge but am happy to judge differently if you tell me why I should. I come from the stance that fairness and education are subjective, and, as T/theory standards in LD and Parli, most often err toward upholding the ivory tower of academia. There are huge disparities in resources between different schools; my stance is that more education is gained by questioning who these benefit than by policing this activity. So, as a judge, I choose to default to the flow because I feel that is the most neutral way for me to approach this. I don't protect the flow, please call out any new arguments in the rebuttals.
**Speed is fine BUT now that we're virtual, please make sure you're speaking clearly if you want to spread. Audio quality can be poor when debating online, so enunciating is really important for me to catch exactly what you're saying. I don't want to limit you, but I do need to get your taglines on my flow.** If you're intentionally going for full unintelligibility or rejecting the English language as part of your performance/case, I commend your dedication and carry on. Just give me enough that I can weigh it against your opponent.
If you're neg against a critical affirmative: Please do not collapse to theory in front of me - I want to see you engage with the critique as you would engage with a plan, and you are fully capable of doing so. I will vote neg for dropped theory arguments or for proven abuse if the aff refuses to explain their literature to you, but if you collapse to theory and the aff answers it, you will have a hard time winning my vote.
I dock speaker points for being rude in flex/cx, making excessive faces during your opponent's speech, or straight up interrupting your opponent's speech. I don't wanna watch that shit. As long as you're respectful, my speak ranges are 27-29.5.
I'm trans so please keep that in mind if trans issues become part of the debate. :^)
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any extra questions after round. Please use speechdrop instead of email chains!
Take what you will from the comments below, and don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
Procedurals/Theory: I am a big fan T/Specs/Theory type arguments, but rarely see teams collapsing to these positions (which I think is a necessary strategic decision to win these types of arguments in front of me). As for types of specs I’m less/more sympathetic to: I don’t find over-spec or under-spec particularly compelling arguments (point of clarification: by under/over spec I mean blanket spec positions not the individual specs that would fall under these categories such as aspec fspec espec etc.) although I am willing to listen/vote on over/under spec. I do really like topicality (as long as you aren’t running 5 of them and simply just cross-applying the standards and voters without new articulation of how those standards/voters function in conjunction with your different interpretations). I also think that conditionality is a great/true argument, but only in particular scenarios. I am far more sympathetic to conditionality arguments if there are multiple advocacies that cause the affirmative to double-turn themselves (meaning don’t run condo just to run condo, run it because you think there is actually a strategic advantage being leveraged by the other team). I prefer articulated abuse, although I will vote on potential abuse, and I default competing interpretations unless otherwise told.
Kritik: I am fine with critical debate on either side of the resolution, although I prefer the K Aff to be rooted in the substance of the resolutions, that being said, I will listen to any justification as to why you should have access to non-topical versions of the affirmative. The framework should be informed by your methodology (meaning your framework should not just function as a way of excluding other positions, but actually inform how to evaluate your advocacy), your links contextualized to your indictments (some generics are fine, but it should include a breakdown of how the other teams position/mindset perpetuates the system), and an alternative that can actually resolve the harms of the K (meaning there needs to be very clear solvency that articulates how the alternative solves/functions in the real world). I don’t think rejection alts get us anywhere in the debate space, unless it is rejection on word choice/language (in which case I think those grievances are better articulated in the form of a procedural) or you clearly explain what that rejection looks like (in which case you should probably just use that explanation as your alternative in the first place). Permutation of the K alternative is perfectly fine, but I think on critical debates I need substantially more work on how the perm functions (especially in a world where the links haven’t been resolved). I am rather familiar with most of the K literature bases, but still think it is important for debaters to do the work of explaining the method/functionality of the K, and not rely on my previous knowledge of the literature base.
Disadvantages: I like a good DA/CP strategy, with a couple of caveats. The first is that the disadvantage needs to have specific links to the affirmative (generics just don’t do it for me), I am far more likely to vote on a unique disadvantage with smaller impacts, than a generic disadvantage with high magnitude impacts (although I will obviously weigh high magnitude impacts if you are winning probability). I have a rather high threshold for politics disadvantages, but if you can tell me which senator/representative will vote for which policy and why, I am far more likely to buy into the scenario (specifics are your friend on ptix).
Counter-Plans: I am fine with almost all types of counterplans (+1, pics, timeframe, etc.) but think they often need to be accompanied by theory arguments justifying their strategic legitimacy. I also think that mutual exclusivity competitiveness should always be preferred over simply having a net benefit/disadvantage that makes the position functionally competitive. I am fine with all types of permutations with justification (again often needs to be accompanied by theory). My threshold on perms are sometimes low, but I think that is because they are often under-covered, so knowing that you should be spending a great deal of time answering/going for the permutation if you want to win/not lose there.
1. Status of arguments: It is your responsibility to ask, and for the other team to answer (don’t give them the run-around, and if you aren’t sure just say dispo).
2. ALL “Text/ROB/Thesis” should be read twice, and made available for the other team.
3. The order you give at the beginning of your speech is actually important. I flow exclusively on paper, so switching between sheets/having them in the correct order helps me follow along. I completely understand that you have to switch up the flow mid speech sometimes, but you need to clearly signpost where you are (especially if you deviate from the order given).
4. Speed: You can go as fast as you want in front of me, that being said, I’m not sure if going fast for the sake of going fast is always the best strategic choice, as your word count probably isn’t much higher even if you think you sound faster. I will "clear" and "slow" debaters, within reason, but competitors are ultimately responsible for making necessary adaptations.
5. I will listen to literally any argument (heady, aliens, personal narrative of a farmer from Wisconsin), doesn’t really matter to me, but please don’t put me in a situation in which I have to evaluate/endorse advocacies of mass death of people (like genocide good). Also, as far as identity politics go (this maybe should have gone in the K section) I think that debate is a great platform to talk about your own person experiences, but I think it’s important to note that oppression is often intersectional and is articulated/experienced in different ways. I think forced disclosure of experience/identity in order to interact with your position can be potentially harmful to others, and “trigger warnings” only work if you give people time to exit the room.
6. DO NOT BE MEAN, I will tank speaks. Totally fine to being witty, and slightly confrontational, but avoid personal attacks, I would much rather listen to you actually debate. Overall I believe debate is a creative space, so feel free to run literally anything you want.
4 years policy debate in Kansas, 4 years parliamentary debate at Louisiana Tech University, and Arkansas State University. 2 years Assistant Debate Coach at Arkansas State University. Currently Assistant Director of Debate at Whitman College.
**I know I'm judging NPTE this weekend-I'll be updating my paradigm Wednesday night, but if you're doing prefs before then, please hit me up on Facebook Messenger.
This is my first year out of debate and I'm trying to take my paradigm seriously, especially with debate being online and not being able to ask judges questions pre-round. With that being said, I'm relatively inexperienced with online debate, so even though I was decent with speed in-person, I might have to ask y'all to be a little clearer or a little slower to accommodate.
I'm Sarah, I use they/them pronouns, I did CX for 3.5 years in high school, 2 years in college at JMU, and then just under 2 years of NPDA at Western Washington University ending as a semifinalist with my partner in 2020. I know NPTE is this weekend and I'm in the process of writing my paradigm (I will eventually have the detailed and organized paradigm that I dream of).
I have a higher threshold on theory than some, but I follow the flow, so if you want to go for it, go for it.
I spent the last year running nontopical affs, and K's on the neg. I like that type of debate, but also if counterplans and DA's are what you tend towards, run the arguments that you feel comfortable running, that's what makes debates the best.
*this is still a work in progress*
David Worth – Rice
D.O.F., Rice University
Parli Judging Philosophy
Note: If you read nothing else in this, read the last paragraph.
I’ll judge based on given criteria/framework. I can think in more than one way. This means that the mechanisms for deciding the round are up for debate as far as I’m concerned. My decision is based mostly on how the debaters argue I should decide the round but I will intervene if the round demands it. There are many cases where this might be necessary: If asked to use my ballot politically for example, or if both sides fail to give me a clear mechanism for voting, or if I know something to factually incorrect (if someone is lying). In these cases, I try to stay out of the decision as much as I can but I don’t believe in the idea that any living person is really a blank slate or a sort of argument calculator.
I prefer debates that are related to the topic.
I will not vote for an argument that I don’t understand. If I can’t figure it out from what you’ve said in the round, I can’t vote on it.
I will admit that I am tired of debates that are mostly logic puzzles. I am tired of moving symbols around on paper. Alts and plan texts that are empty phrases don’t do it for me anymore. The novelty of postmodern critique that verges on--or actually takes the leap into--nihilism has worn off. I don’t think there’s much value anymore in affirming what we all know: That things can be deconstructed and that they contain contradictory concepts. It is time for us to move beyond this recognition into something else. Debate can be a game with meaning.
Warrants: I will not vote for assertions that don’t at least have some warrant behind them. You can’t say “algae blooms,” and assume I will fill in the internals and the subsequent impacts for you. You don’t get to just say that some counter-intuitive thing will happen. You need a reason that that lovely regionally based sustainable market will just magically appear after the conveniently bloodless collapse of capitalism. I’m not saying I won’t vote for that. I’m just saying you have to make an argument for why it would happen. NOTE: I need a good warrant for an "Independent Voting Issue" that isn't an implication of a longer argument, procedural, or somehow otherwise developed. Just throwing something in as a “voter” will not get the ballot. I reserve the right to gut-check these. If there is not warrant or if the warrant makes no sense to me, I won't vote on it.
Defense can win, too. That doesn’t mean that a weaker offensive argument with risk can’t outweigh defense, it simply means that just saying, “oh that’s just defense,” won’t make the argument go away for me. Debate is not football. There’s no presumption in the NFL, so that analogy is wrong.
You need to deal with all the line-by-line stuff but should not fail to frame things (do the big picture work) for me as well. It’s pretty rare that I vote on one response but it’s equally rare that I will vote on the most general level of the ideas. In a bind, I will vote for what’s easier to believe and/or more intuitive.
Speed is fine as long as you are clear. There are days when I need you to slow down a tad. I have battled carpal/cubital tunnel off and on for a few years and sometimes my hand just does not work quite as well. I’ll tell you if you need to clear up and/or slow down, but not more than a couple of times. After that, it’s on you.
Please slow down for the alt texts, plans, advocacies, etc., and give me a copy too. If I don’t have it, I can’t vote for it.
Strong Viewpoints: I haven’t yet found "the" issue that I can’t try to see all sides of.
Points of Order: Call them—but judiciously. I’ll probably know whether the argument is new and not calling them does not change their status as new. Also, if you’re clearly winning bigtime don’t call a ridiculous number of them. Just let the other team get out of the round with some dignity. If you don’t, your speaker points will suffer. It’ll be obvious when I think you are calling too many.
If the round is obviously lopsided and you are obliterating the other team then be nice. I will lower your speaker points if you aren’t respectful or if you simply pile it on for the heck of it. If it’s egregious enough, you might even lose the debate.
You don’t need to repeat yourself just to fill time. If you’re finished, then sit down and get us all to lunch, the end of the day, or the next round early.
Theory: I’m not going to weigh in on the great theoretical controversies of the day. Those are up to you to demonstrate in the round. T can be more than one thing depending on the round. I’m not going to tell you what to do. Debate is always in flux. Actually, I’ve learned or at least been encouraged to think differently about theory issues from debaters in rounds far more often than from anyone else. If I had pontificated about The Truth As I Knew It before those rounds, the debaters would have simply argued what I said I liked and I wouldn’t have learned, so it’s in my interest as well as yours for me not to hand you a sushi menu with the items I’d like to see checked off. PICS, Framework, Competing Interp, in-round abuse, etc. are all interpretable in the debate. I will say that I probably most naturally think in terms of competing interpretations, but, again, I can think in more than one way.
My “Debate Background:” I did CEDA/NDT in college. I coached policy for years, and also coached parli from the days of metaphor all the way into the NPTE/NPDA modern era. I have also coached NFA-LD.
Finally, I ask that you consider that everyone in the room has sacrificed something to be there. A lot of resources, time, and effort went in to bringing us all there. Be sure to show some respect for that. I am serious about this and it has come to occupy a significant portion of my thinking about debate these days. In fact, I think it’s time for the in-round bullying to stop. I see too many rounds where one team’s strategy is simply to intimidate the other team. I find it strange that an activity that talks so much about the violence of language often does so in such a needlessly aggressive and violent manner. In some rounds every interaction is barbed. Flex/CX is often just needlessly aggressive and sometimes even useless (when, for example, someone simply refuses to answer questions or just keeps purposely avoiding the question when it’s obvious that they understand the question, opting instead for aggression sometimes verging on ad hominem). I see too many other rounds where everyone is just awful to each other, including the judges afterward. You can be intense and competitive without this. We are now a smaller circuit. It’s strange that we would choose to spend so much time together yet be so horrible to each other.
I'm a lay judge now.
FOR EVERYONE ELSE:
TL;DR: Go nuts (but please don't be rude/horrible to your opponents).
The round is yours. I prefer a well-executed strategy more than anything else. For some background, I competed in NPDA at Cal for three years. As a competitor, the arguments I most commonly collapse to are Theory, Buddhism, Anthro, Politics, and Dedev.
Here are some general thoughts/preferences:
Case/Disads: I love to see good case debate. I'm not particularly well versed in what's going on in the world, so if the case debate is getting messy then some top-level overviews and explanation are probably helpful. I don't care if you read generics. I like good politics debates.
Counterplans: I have no preferences on issues like conditionality, PICs, delay, consult, negative fiat, etc.. I'll vote for it if I think you're winning it, and I'll vote for them if I think they're winning a theoretical objection. By default, I assume negative advocacies are conditional.
Kritiks: If you're reading something complicated, overviews/explanation are super appreciated. Words like ontology, epistemology, etc. don't mean that much to me in a vacuum, so it's good to read implications to arguments when extending them. K affs are fine, I don't have much attachment to the topic (although I'm happy to vote on framework-T too if won).
Theory: I think it can be a strategic tool in addition to a check on abuse. I default to competing interpretations and drop the team. Will evaluate an RVI if you read a justification. Proven abuse is unnecessary, but you can make arguments why it should be necessary and I'll listen to them. If reasonability doesn't have a brightline or some explanation of what it means to be reasonable, then I'll just disregard it.
Independent voting issues: Will evaluate them, but I need a) an impact to the IVI and b) a framework for evaluating that impact (e.g. discourse first). I don't think the term "voting issue" gives any special status to the argument, so you still need to weigh the IVI against other offense in the round.
Presumption/tricks: I believe in terminal defense. By default, I think presumption goes neg. In general, I don't mind voting on tricksy arguments as long as they're sufficiently explained when gone for.
Point of orders: Feel free to call them. I'll try and protect, but I think they're still good to call just in case I'm missing something. I will also try to protect from shadow-extensions.
Out-of-round stuff: I'm pretty sympathetic towards arguments calling for content/trigger warnings before the round. I'll vote on disclosure if won on the flow, but I've yet to see anyone beat the argument that it's unverifiable in parli.
If you have any questions, feel free to bug me or ask before the round starts.