2020 — NSDA Campus, PA/US
Varsity Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hi!! I did pf for 4 years.
Just do comparative weighing and you’ll win my ballot. I don’t really like theory/Ks. Have fun and be nice! :))
Hi there! My name is Andrew, and I'm a current college senior. While in high school, I competed in Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum debate for Regis, but I haven't continued with debate since then (besides judging to help out my school when needed).
When I debated, my partner and I were considered staunchly "traditional": We argued the resolution as it was written, spoke slowly, and engaged with our opponents' arguments directly. That's definitely the style of debate I prefer — that said, I understand that that's not necessarily the trajectory of the activity these days, and my experience in LD means I'll probably understand whatever you throw my direction. If you have any more specific questions, just ask me before the round!
I have spent the last 30 years in the finance industry (BS in Econ and MBA in International Finance) working on diverse projects ranging from carbon credit trading and college 529 plan administration to venture capital investments and merger and acquisition execution. I typically read up on the Resolved to lay the groundwork to quickly understand your contentions.
This is my fourth year judging PF and I ask for a few simple things to help me in flowing the debate and rewarding your efforts:
1) Clearly highlight your contentions.
2) Define any acronyms / abbreviations the first time you use them.
3) You can speak quickly but please speak clearly.
4) Sign-posting is greatly appreciated to help me flow.
5) Off time road mapping also helps me follow your argument.
I will not disclose decisions but will provide constructive feedback in my RFD on your contentions and each speaker's contribution to the team.
I have been judging mostly PF for 4 years. I leave timing the speeches up to you, but will start my timer for the crosses. I listen in to your speeches carefully. Your style, command over the topic and politeness amazes me. Looking forward to great debating!
I am a parent judge, who has some experience judging public forum rounds. I like a few things in a speaker.
For the First Speaker:
When presenting your case to me, I would like you to speak clearly and slowly. If you start speaking too fast, I'll stop flowing. Make sure that you're emphasizing what contention you're on and organize your case by subpoints, making it easier for me to flow your case.
For the Second Speaker:
When you are rebutting your opponent's case, make sure that you tell me what on their case you are responding to, and I would prefer you to go down the flow. If you do something else, tell me in an off time roadmap. Also, clash is very important in a round so I would like to see a lot of it from you.
During your final focus, I would like to hear Impact calc and why you win the round. Your impacts should be resolutional. Also tell me the reasons why you should win.
I want you to be respectful to your opponent. I don't care about where you're facing, either me or your opponent. During Grand CX, teams can either stand up or sit down.
I am a lay judge - make sense and I vote for you :).
Be kind and have a great debate.
Try not to spread because I won't be able to flow. If you don't see me flowing, you're probably going too fast.
I did 3 years of PF, 4 years of extemp, and a few LD tournaments so I have experience and am familiar with how things are supposed to run. I am a standard flow judge but take the presentation aspects of debate very seriously--treat me like you would a lay judge. Please no spreading, especially in the virtual format. I like to call for evidence at the end of rounds so please have your evidence organized. I won't do the work for you, fully explain all of your contention and rebuttal points--if you don't say it I can't consider it. Please be respectful of each other, try to learn something from your opponents, and have fun.
For email chains/evidence exchange: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is my third year judging PF. The best thing you can do for yourself to cleanly win my ballot is to weigh. At the end of the round, you will probably have some offense but so will your opponent. Tell me why your offense is more important and really explain it—otherwise I’ll have to intervene and use my own weighing, which you don’t want.
Speak slow and clear. Be respectful to your opponents.
I am a lay judge and have judged a few debate rounds earlier.
I see debate as a medium to learn real life speaking, logical thinking, and persuasive skills.
I would like the debaters to be crystal clear in their messaging (speeches, rebuttals) and follow a steady, slow and impactful pace.
Don't use any debate jargon.
Be confident and respectful during crossfire, please don't be dominating and over aggressive.
Signpost and explain their arguments before responding to them.
Time yourself, you can go around 20 seconds overtime to complete your argument.
I prefer quality over quantity.
Be thorough, logical, and convincing.
Debaters need to be well prepared and carry supportive evidence.
The arguments debaters are making should be well tied together to present a complete story.
I will leave my personal views aside while judging.
Background: I graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School (IA) in 2016 and compete dfor the George Mason University Forensics Team until May 2020. During high school I competed in Extemp, OO, Public Forum, Congress, World Schools, even Interp a couple times. I prioritized Extemp 1st, Public Forum 2nd.
For Public Forum:
1) Speed/arguments: I am comfortable with decent amounts of speed, but don't sacrifice clarity and enunciation. If your speed causes you to fail to communicate an argument clearly enough for me to weigh or understand it, that's on you. I will flow arguments and details to the best of my ability, just remember not everybody's perfect. As such, I prefer arguments and warrants being fully fleshed out and explained throughout the entire round.
2) Rebuttals: I don't believe the 1st team's rebuttal has an obligation to respond to anything except the opposition's case. I do believe the 2nd team's rebuttal should begin to respond to the 1st team's rebuttal, but I won't consider rebuttal arguments dropped if untouched.
3) Sources: I am historically bad with understanding the pronunciations/spellings of names, so PLEASE enunciate names of authors clearly. Don't just extend cards, extend explanations.
4) Time: Keep your own prep time, hold each other accountable.
5) Speaker points: I choose points based on unclear speaking/argumentation, rudeness, fabricating evidence, quality of the round, etc.
6) Have fun!
I’m a parent judge who got involved last fall. I'm relatively new to the role, but I'm looking forward to seeing you debate.
The clarity of your arguments will be the most important thing. Make sure that I can understand the structure you're following. The terms of art that you use in discussing debate among yourselves are probably less familiar to me, so plain language at a reasonable speed is best. I’m not likely to vote on something that doesn’t make any sense to me.
Impacts are what matter, and not the amount of arguments. Make sure everything you want me to vote for is extended, and important moments in crossfire are explained in speeches.
I will try to keep track of time including prep, but please make sure to do so as well.
Please keep in mind that in a virtual debate, true crosstalk in a crossfire usually means that I can't hear either speaker, so do your best to allow your opponent to finish before responding.
Have fun, try to come out of the round smiling.
Please do not give me a line-by-line in Final Focus. If possible, I don't want it in summary. Write my RFD for me in summary and FF.
Please collapse. Good extensions and weighing requires this.
If you don't read warrant names in summary and FF, you probably will not win the round. The team that makes the best and most strategic extensions almost always wins, and dropping warrants irretrievably weakens your offense.
Don't extend offense that your opponent kicked unless you're extending a turn on it.
Cross-applications and grouped responses in rebuttal, when used sparingly and handily, can be useful.
I don't need a roadmap for expected strategies (ex. no need for "it's gonna be their case, then my case")
You are free to collapse grand cross if you'd like.
If it takes longer than one minute to find a (singular) card that is called for, prep starts.
(heavily drawing from the brilliant Mollie Clark throughout)
For both teams, I like to see layered responses and very clear road-mapping, when necessary, and sign-posting. The refutations should cover both the entire contention and also examine specific warrants and impacts, with weighing at these levels when possible. Frontlining defense seems to be the new standard, and I think that that's a good strategy. Extend framework if you want me to use it in order to weigh in the summary and final focus. I love a good overview. I loathe a bad overview.
It’s important to note that to get an argument through to the final focus the team must extend the claim, warrant, and impact. If a single piece is missing, then it significantly weakens the point’s weight in the round. If an argument is dropped at any time, it will not be extended and you’d be better off spending your time elsewhere. WARRANT AND IMPACT EXTENSIONS ARE WHAT MOST LIKELY WILL WIN YOU THE ROUND. Extensions are the backbones of debate, a high-level debater should be able to allocate time and extend their offense and defense effectively. You will not have time to extend everything, and attempting to do so shows a major deficit in your ability to discern the central and successful arguments in the debate. Part of the challenge of this activity is making smart decisions about what to extend and what to drop on the the fly.
Speed and Speaking
I tend not to penalize speed with speaker points. I do penalize for incomprehensibility. Make sure you enunciate and are clear so that your opponent can understand you. Efficiency, eloquence, extensions, and strategy in later speeches will define your speaks. Basically, go as fast as you want so long as you're clear. Lack of clarity welcomes penalty.
I like to see strong engagement of the issues in CX and appreciate a deeper analysis than simple clarifying questions. Issues in CX will not be weighed in the round unless brought up in a following speech. CX is not binding, but speakers may use concessions in CX as offense in subsequent speeches. I say CX is not binding to encourage an earnest conversation in CX, rather than constantly defensive, abrasive, or self-conscious exchanges. I will, however, nonetheless take a good response to offense brought in from cross by the opposing speakers seriously if they contextualize that concession and produce sound analysis that supports them.
Organization through all speeches is essential, and is especially paramount in summary. Make sure I know exactly where you are so that I can help you get as much ink on the flow as possible.
I tend to give high speaks in general. 28.3-28.5 is a pretty common/average score from me at tournaments that utilize one tenth decimals. I find myself usually giving 28.8-29.1 in strong circuit rounds, though I did come across an array of really remarkable speakers at Yale, Bronx, and Blue Key who scored higher. I will, however, strictly adhere to a points rubric offered by any tournament when provided. This may elevate or deflate my speaker points to an extent. At tournaments that utilized a tradition scale with .5 increments (i.e. Glenbrooks), strong circuit debaters tended to score at 28.5-29.5, with generically good speakers at around 28 and average speakers at 27.
The extra stuff: I studied English @ Columbia, where I spent a lot of reading/writing about poetry and other things, critical theory, and the history of esotericism. I competed in many circuit PF tournaments in high school and judged many in college. I now write about curation, museology, and the poetics of the museum as a Henry Evans Fellow "at" the British Museum, and work in the Capital Markets group at a corporate law firm in New York. This is to say that I may not be extraordinarily studied in the things most directly related to what we're doing in round. But! I have consciousness and subjectivity and am, therefore, more than qualified to be in round. Be thorough in your analysis and don't make assumptions. I'm excited to learn with you + I'm excited to watch you have fun. I want to take every measure to resist elitism/inaccessibility in debate, so let's mitigate it! Please be courteous to your opponents, especially when it seems evident that there is an imbalance in resources/access in and out of round. A normal circuit round is accessible to me, but it may not be for your opponents. Please accommodate + make the round as accessible for your opponents as possible. If it is clear that you are being accommodating and kind, your speaker points will benefit!
I have a mostly basic knowledge of how this form works, yet I've nonetheless found myself in the position of having to judge 20+ rounds of it. Essentially, my decisions will be better when debaters read their tags somewhat slowly, try to explain things as early and coherently as possible, and order/analyze my decision for me. If you make assumptions about what you think I already know, my decision will likely be worse. Also, shouldn't really need to say this, but you need to impact your arguments and signpost clearly on the flow -- no shockers here. I really like the kinds of conversations that tend to emerge specifically from LD rounds, but you may have to be generous and accommodating about some of the more idiosyncratic qualities of the style.
Speed: If speed is important to your style or strategy, roll with what is necessary for you, but I'd prefer you give me about a 3/10 if you put your speed potential on a spectrum, if that makes sense. Most importantly, I'd really like you to slow down on the following: tag lines, spikes, blips, theory interps, and advocacy texts. Note: I don't want to have to yell clear...like ever, but I might throw it in the chat if I need to (I also might not and then miss a lot on the flow). In general, I'm probably a judge that you need to send a case doc to.
Theory: Honestly, I've always been okay with theory. If it's ridiculous, I'm obviously not going to vote for it. Just be smart.
Framework: Framework debate is critical, usually. If it's important, spend time on this. This debate should also heavily determine how I evaluate the round. Make this clear for me.
Ks: These can end up being pretty neat, but like I said before, don't assume I know anything. Lean toward overexplanation. You are going to have to do substantial work situating the K into the discourse posited by the topic, and superseding your opponent's arguments with the K. I suppose saying something like this would also imply that I think topicality is a somewhat important arena to address if you are a K debater.
But don't get the wrong idea: I am amenable to K debate; probably more than most other judges! I just really want to understand what's being said, which I do think that I have the capacity to do (see above about my study of critical theory).
A note: Be ethical in your practice of K debate. It is going to be hard for me to vote for you if it seems glaring that you are employing K debate as an opportunistic strategy to win rounds. For example, there is no reason for a white debater to be running an afropessimism K.
Value and criterion: What even are these? Why are these? These are probably vestigial to LD, yeah?? Or if they aren't, convince me otherwise?
You will want to pref me if you are reading: Max Weber, Jack Halberstam, Judith Butler, Saidiya Hartman, Fred Moten, Hortense Spillers, Frank Wilderson, or Sylvia Winter.
If I didn't cover something in this paradigm, just ask me in round. I want to be as transparent as possible.
This isn't the important part. Generally, when not given a speaks matrix by the tournament that dictates how I give these, I'm gonna treat every round like it's a bubble round + give speaks based on who should break and who shouldn't. 29-29.5 is a good typical breaking score.
Please be respectful. Respect lends itself to better speaks.
Another note: If you are unhappy with my decision, know that I, unfailingly, vote for whichever debater was most persuasive. Even if you are totally convinced that you have made transcendent, pristine argumentation, clearly some disconnect or error occurred in round that prevent me from, well, achieving transcendence alongside you. This means it is absolutely essential, even if you are the smartest high school debater in the world, to communicate clearly to me. I can't vote on what I don't understand, and it isn't my fault as a judge for being unable to comprehend 20 arguments/minute or some extraordinarily clunky analytic on techno-capitalism etc.
I want to be included on all email chains email@example.com
please please PLEASE stop calling for so much evidence what kind of norm is this
**current thoughts on debate: i think the longer judges take to come to a decision the more incorrect their ballot is**
4 years PF @ canyon crest/carmel valley, also championed the prestigious and well-run del norte pf round robin w/ syon iain & maanas
if you're going to spread, i need the speech doc
no slurring pls and slow down for numerical stats
please no Ks
messy round = long wait for rfd, see above
explain any topic-specific terms clearly
-you're best served debating the way that you normally debate as i can understand pretty much everything within the realm of PF and can adapt to most styles
-that being said, a few things you should know (most important --> least):
i require everything to be frontlined in 2nd rebuttal to access case offense, not just turns - be strategic
dropped defense can go from rebuttal to ff
ideally, no theory/K/etc. i think these types of arguments aren't relevant in most PF rounds -- i have a low threshold for responses
ill probably call for cards but if there's anything you want to make sure i read, tell me to in your speech -- i only read highlights unless you tell me to read unhighlighted parts
preflow in your own time, show up to round & set up table tote ASAP, flip beforehand etc - please don't keep the tournament waiting
For speaks: if it's a really good round, expect 30s. otherwise, I tend to give out pretty average speaks. Default 25 if you're syon mansur or Yash gupta
if you have further questions, ask before round
My name is Kenny Golson, I have judged PF Debate for quite a few years now in various contexts.
I explain my paradigm through DOs & DONTs:
1. Make note of contentions that are not addressed by your opponents in the rebuttal and crossfire segments of the match. Your summary speech is also acceptable.
2. For both constructive speeches, go slow. I want to write down your argument for my comprehension. Clearly state the topic sentence of each of your contentions.
2a. I follow your case as follows: Claim > Statistic & Evidence > Impact on Claim
Emphasize the numbers, if your stat outweighs your opponent you need to point that out throughout the course of the match. Make sure it’s relevant to your impact.
1. No lengthy quotations or unclear values unattached to the "who" or "what" in the Debate.
Be polite, kind and stay strong, I am easy-going and want this to be fun for everyone!
I debated for four years in Public Forum at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Massachusetts.
I am fine with most speeds. However, I definitely prefer the round to go at a moderate pace and I will not tolerate spreading.
I like to think that I am tech>truth. That said, there is an inherent tradeoff with my threshold for responses on ridiculous arguments.
You do not need defense in the first summary unless the second rebuttal frontlines.
I do not think progressive arguments (Theory, K, Breaking Speech Times/Meta, etc.) belong in PF so I will not judge those types of rounds. On the other hand, if there is some outrageous violation, warrant the issues in a speech and I will probably give some credence to it if it is true. Just don't read like a full-blown shell on me.
- I default Neg but am willing to hear warranted arguments about why I should presume the first speaking team.
Things I Like:
Although I do not require it, I love it when teams frontline efficiently in the second rebuttal. I think it is strategic to do so and it makes for a better debate.
I will always prefer smart analytics over unwarranted cards. If you read some nuke war scenario and your opponents question why war has never occurred it is not enough for you to just drop evidence and say it post dates. Interact with the warrants and show me why your side is stronger.
Weighing is super important for my ballot. If you do not show me why your arguments matter more than your opponents I will not know how to vote and I might make some heinous decisions.
I also love teams who use impact clarity well! Use it correctly, I often see this "weighing" mechanism done poorly.
- Please time each other. Keep each other accountable, don't rely on me for that.
Things I Do Not Like:
I do not like second rebuttal offensive overviews or new contentions. I will evaluate the arguments but I will have a super low threshold for responses and your speaks will likely reflect this.
- A lot of teams think that if they frontline case then that just counts as an extension of it. I do not believe this is true. I prefer that there are explicit extensions made and I will not flow through arguments without good extensions.
If you are blatantly racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. to either your opponents or within your argumentation, I will hand you an L and tank your speaks.
Please be civil in crossfire (to a reasonable degree). Trust that I can recognize if someone is being abusive but also stand your ground when you feel it's appropriate.
If you have any questions please ask me before the round starts.
I'm Yan, I just graduated in 2020 after doing 4 years of public forum at The Haverford School, though I have minimal LD experience as well.
This is my first time judging, so please be patient if I am a bit slow. Other than that, I am quite a traditional judge, so a couple of rules below.
1. No Theory, Shells, or K's. I really dislike them, and have very little experience debating them and even less judging so I don't feel comfortable voting off of them.
2. No new arguments or cards after summary. This is pretty much a firm rule among all judges, but just want to re-emphasize that I won't take any new cards you throw in during GC or FF.
3. I place a big emphasis on anything being allowed in debate as long as you back it up. I will not discount things because they are a tad unrealistic as long it is built on a solid factual basis. So, please make sure to rebutt all of your opponents contentions even if they are squirrely. Don't be afraid to take me off the deep end if your stuff is warranted.
4. Normally, I am quite good on speed, and can go fast, please speak a bit slower as the online format makes it harder to hear. 200 words a minute is about good.
5. Offtime Roadmaps are good.
I am a lay judge, but have judged a few debates. It is helpful if you speak slowly and clearly.
I will look for a well-rounded argument. I prefer that debaters aren't rude or condescending during crossfire.
I am a parent judge representing Regis High School in New York City. I have been judging debate for over three years at some of the larger regional tournaments, states, and local tournaments, judging principally Varsity PF, rounded out with a BQ qualifier and BQ nationals.
I work in finance. I'm familiar with basic debate jargon (turn, extend, etc.) but I'm certainly not a very 'debatey' judge. Off time roadmaps are welcome. Please be sure everything you say is understandable. Speed is okay but you must be clear. If I can't follow you it will be harder for me to understand connections between your contentions, warrants, and impacts or challenges to your opponent's arguments.
When time runs out, please finish your thought and stop speaking.
I will vote off the flow.
I participated in public forum when I was in high school and have judged since then for over 10 years. I don't have any particularly unique manner in which I judge. Some slight thoughts below on responses I've had to past experiences:
-Statistics alone cannot win you the debate. They need to be joined by rational thought and reasoning
-Providing a clear framework on how the round should be weighed is helpful in your concluding speech
-Speed is fine to a limit. At a certain point, it is a disservice to the debate
I am a parent judge. I have been judging PF for the past 3 years. I debated LD in high school many years ago. I prefer students to speak at a reasonable pace and not race through their individual speeches. I expect all students to respect their opponents and not make derisive remarks about arguments. When you ask a question allow your opponent to respond. Obviously, I prefer when arguments are addressed at least at some level rather than just ignored. I am often more persuaded by the logic of an argument rather than just counting pieces of evidence.
4 years of PF at duPont Manual in Louisville, KY.
3 years of NFA-LD/LP at Western Kentucky University.
(1) Speed good.
(2) Do what you do best – I’ll do my best to adapt.
(3) Prefer fast policy-style rounds.
(4) No objections to judging the K – just less experienced.
(5) Great debate minds that heavily influenced the way I view/judge this activity: Chad Meadows, Anthony Survance, Claire Rung & Alex Rivera.
Long(ish) Version (will become more detailed as I judge more NFA rounds) –
It’s your round – I’m just here to evaluate it. Debate how you’re most comfortable. I’ll do my best to evaluate whatever’s in front of me.
I have not researched the endless wars topic.
I dislike evidence from random news outlets. Flex your author qualifications in front of me.
I like big affs that directly engage a large portion of the topic. I dislike small affs that use their tangential relation to the topic to no-link all neg ground.
Lean neg on most issues related to conditionality. Multiple condo CPs is fine if you can win the condo flow.
Not a fan of five-card DAs that take forever to get to the point.
I default drop the debater on disclosure (put your stuff on the wiki!) – drop the arg on every other theory argument. Feel free to convince me otherwise.
T is a voter. What’s “topical” is up for debate!
Don’t waste your time on RVIs in front of me.
I didn’t debate the K much, but feel free to read it. Alt solvency is really important to me. Wouldn’t suggest kicking the alt and going for the K as a DA to the aff in the 2N in front of me.
I am an assistant coach at The Potomac School, and previously was the Director of Forensics at Des Moines Roosevelt. If you have any questions about Public Forum, Extemp, Congress, or Interp events, come chat! Otherwise you can feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions about events, the activity, or rounds I've judged.
I'm a flow judge that wants to be told how to feel. Ultimately, Public Forum is supposed to be persuasive--a 'winning' flow is not inherently persuasive. My speaker points are generally reflective of how easy I think you make my decisions.
Things to Remember…
0. The Debate Space: R E L A X. Have some fun. Breathe a little. Sit where you want, talk in the direction you want, live your BEST lives in my rounds. I'm not here to tell you what that looks like!
1. Framework: Cost/benefit unless otherwise determined.
2. Extensions: Links and impacts NEED to be in summary to be evaluated in final focus. Please don't just extend through ink--make an attempt to tell me why your arguments are comparatively more important than whatever they're saying.
3. Evidence: If you're bad at paraphrasing and do it anyway, that's a reasonable voter. See section on theory. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round. I also prefer authors AND dates. I will not call for evidence unless suggested to in round.
4. Cross: If it's not in a speech it's not on my flow. HOWEVER: I want to pay attention to cross. Give me something to pay attention to. Just because I'm not flowing cross doesn't make it irrelevant--it's up to you to do something with the time.
5. Narrative: Narrow the 2nd half of the round down with how your case presents a cohesive story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case. I like comparative analysis.
6. Theory: If an abuse happens, theory shells are an effective check. I think my role as an educator is to listen to the arguments as presented and make an evaluation based on what is argued.
Disclosure is good for debate. I think paraphrasing is good for public forum, but my opinion doesn't determine how I evaluate the paraphrasing shell. This is just to suggest that no one should feel intimidated by a paraphrasing shell in a round I am judging--make substantive responses in the line-by-line and it's ultimately just another argument I evaluate tabula rasa.
7. Critical positions: I'll evaluate Ks, but if you are speaking for someone else I need a good reason not to cap your speaks at 28.5.
8. Tech >< Truth: Make the arguments you want to make. If they aren't supported with SOME evidence my threshold for evaluating answers to them is, however, low.
9. Sign Post/Road Maps: Please.
**Do NOT give me blippy/underdeveloped extensions/arguments. I don’t know authors of evidence so go beyond that when talking about your evidence/arguments in round. I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that with some humor and panache.**
I look for clear, logical, and well-supported arguments. Signposting and a conversational pace of speed are important. I also look for a debater to actually engage his or her opponent's arguments, not just to reiterate their own points that were made in their initial case.
I do not like speed, spreading, excessive jargon, critiques, or other unconventional arguments.
UPDATE FOR 2022 LEXINGTON - I am best thought of as a traditional LD judge. To be completely honest, I cannot handle spreading at all. I simply will not be able to flow the round to the level you would want. Additionally, I prefer topical arguments. Please avoid Ks, performance or any other progressive argumentation. I do not have a problem with these arguments on principle, I simply will not be able to effectively evaluate the round. Also, I have not completed any topic preparation so please do not assume that I know common abbreviations or stock arguments. Explain things well and make sure you are clear through the flow. Thanks, everyone!
Greetings everyone! My name is Timothy Huth and I'm the director of forensics at The Bronx High School of Science in New York City. I am excited to judge your round! Considering the different circumstances for the e-tournament this year, I've decided to pare down my paradigm to the most essential parts that will help you get my ballot. Considering you want to spend the majority of time prepping from when pairings are released and not reading my treatise on debate, I hope you find this paradigm "cheat sheet" helpful in your preparation.
Add me to the email chain: My email is email@example.com.
General overview FOR PUBLIC FORUM
Experience: I've judged PF TOC finals---X----------------------------------------------- I've never judged
Tech over truth: Tech -------x------------------------------------------- Truth
Comfort with PF speed: Fast, like policy fast ---------------------------x-------------------- lay judge speed
Theory in PF: Receptive to theory ---------------x--------------------- not receptive to theory
Impact calculus that I use:
Weigh: Comparative weighing x----------------------------------------------- Don't weigh
Probability: Highly probable weighing x----------------------------------------------- Not probable
Scope: Affecting a lot of people -----------x------------------------------------ No scope
Magnitude: Severity of impact -------------------------x----------------------- Not a severe impact
(One word about magnitude: I have a very low threshold for responses to high magnitude, low probability impacts. Probability weighing really matters for my ballot)
Defense in first summary? Depends if second rebuttal frontlines, if so, then yes, I would expect defense in first summary.
Offense? Any offense you want me to vote on should be in either case or rebuttal, then both summary and final focus.
Flow on paper or computer? I flow on paper, every time, to a fault. Take that for what you will. I can handle speed, but clarity is always more important than moving fast.
What matters most to get your ballot? Easy: comparative weighing. Plain and simple.
I think you do this by first collapsing in your later speeches. Boil it down to 2-3 main points. This allows for better comparative weighing. Tell me why your argument matters more than your opponents. The team that does this best will 99/100 times get my ballot. The earlier this starts to happen in your speeches, the better.
Overviews: Do it! I really like them. I think they provide a framework for why I should prefer your world over your opponent's world. Doing this with carded evidence is even better.
Signpost: It's very easy to get lost when competitors go wild through the flow. You must be very clear and systematic when you are moving through the flow. I firmly believe that if I miss something that you deem important, it's your fault, not mine. To help with this, tell me where you are on the flow. Say things like...
"Look to their second warrant on their first contention, we turn..."
Clearly state things like links, turns, extensions, basically everything! Tell me where you are on the flow.
Also, do not just extend tags, extend the ideas along with the tags. For example:
"Extend Michaels from the NYTimes that stated that a 1% increase in off shore drilling leads to a..."
Evidence: I like rigorous academic sources: academic journals and preeminent news sources (NYT, WashPo, etc.). You can paraphrase, but you should always tell me the source and year.
Theory in PF: I'm receptive to it, but it really should be used to check back against abuse in round.
Pronouns: I prefer he/him/his and I kindly ask that you respect your opponents preferred gender pronoun.
Speed: Slow down, articulate/enunciate, and inflect - no monotone spreading, bizarre breathing patterns, or foot-stomping. I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds. This portion on speed is credited to Chetan Hertzig, head coach of Harrison High School (NY). I share very similar thoughts regarding speed and spreading.
TOP 3 ABOUT Ms. D
1) PF Debate when I was in High School and College = I Feel You. Am fully aware of the Stress - Prep - Blood Sweat and Tears that goes into this. Breathe. You've Got This!
2) Mom = Check your Manners and Respect your Opponent(s) at ALL TIMES, I'm watching (and Judging ).
3) Shot Caller = Fact Based, well versed, enunciated arguments that are delivered with conviction, will make you a winner every time. I'm OK with up to 5 seconds overtime. Relax..... and make your argument!
Competed both in PF and Congress national circuit + TOC. Junior in college studying Human Rights and Sociology specializing in Immigration and Race and Ethnicity Studies.
do a voter summary and FF *please*
less evidence that is better explained is better than 6 pieces of evidence that you don't explain and run through too quickly for me to understand. Especially during virtual debate, I simply cannot weigh what I can't understand.
Extend through Summary
If you're speaking second come back to your case in Rebuttal
Be clear and Organized
Have narrative / advocacy
Exploit arguments about inequities (Ie. racism, homophobia, xenophobia etc.) if you're only doing it to win. Handle these arguments with care and really try to understand from the perspective of the people impacted by these disparities. Do your research, use inclusive terminology, and use debate as a form of social justice instead of using social justice just to win a debate.
Speak faster than your words come out
Be Rude / Bigoted / Make the other team feel small
Be aggressive and loud especially during cross
I have no background in debate, but I've been judging since 2013. I have also been a practicing attorney for over 35 years. I am looking for a thoughtful exchange of ideas. I do not emphasize technicalities often associated with high school speech and debate. I do not like K’s.
Speak clearly and avoid spreading. I cannot credit arguments that I miss because you were speaking too fast. Arguments should be supported by evidence.
I like signposting and prefer quality of evidence and argument over quantity. Teams should do their best to collapse and weigh.
Explain why I should vote for your side, including why the other side's arguments fail and why yours don't, or why your arguments are better than theirs.
I am a lay judge and would just like to see a CLEAR and CLEAN debate.
- Don't speak fast and don't be too aggressive
- Explain your arguments well and don't expect me to know everything you know about the topic
- Have an order to your speeches, don't jump back and forth between different parts of the debate and expect me to easily follow along
- Don't use technical debate terms. Keep everything simple.
- Be respectful to your opponents
- Don't bring up new arguments late in the round
- Make sure to interact with your opponent's arguments instead of just listing off random ideas
At the end of the day, debate is an educational activity so have fun and be respectful.
I am a parent judge. I value truth over tech. Please go slow and be engaging. Never judged ld before.
I did 3 years of public forum at Poly Prep (2015-2018) and I'm a senior at uchicago. Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
- here's how i make my decision: i look at who wins the weighing/framework. I evaluate that argument. If you win the weighing/framework and the offense with a terminalized impact, you'll probably win. If no one weighs then I'm gonna go with scope or the argument with the least ink.
- I don't like frivolous theory. If you read it you better go for it. Ks are cool, but I reserve the right to intervene if I feel like you're running it in a problematic/game-y way.
- I like warrants. If they provide a warrant and your only response is "they don't have evidence for this" but it logically makes sense, I'm likely to give them some ground. I prefer your counter warrant/ev as a response rather than just their lack of supporting evidence.
- speed is fine as long as you aren't speaking unclearly.
- First summary doesn't have to extend defense from rebuttal unless second rebuttal frontlines. Turns/Offense you want me to vote on need to be in both summary and final focus.
- Second rebuttal doesn't have to frontline but I like it when you do.
- I don't flow crossfire. If it's important, say it in a speech
- I don't time but if your opponents are telling me time is up I'll stop flowing but give them at least 5 seconds. Don't hold up your timer .5 seconds after the speech time is over
- i default neg if there's no offense
4 years of national circuit PF at Strath Haven in PA, 1 summer of teaching at camps (ISD, VBI), 1 year of coaching, current 4rd year undergrad at UChicago in math and econ
Since PF has changed from when I competed, my understanding of current norms is:
1. If 2nd rebuttal does not respond to an argument from 1st rebuttal, then 2nd rebuttal has dropped that argument
2. If I evaluate an argument in final focus, it must have been in summary -- including defense and weighing, for both teams
3. First summary can frontline with new arguments and introduce new weighing. Second summary can only introduce new weighing
4. Paraphrasing, while allowed, is discouraged
Adhering to these ideas brings me closer to rule-based judging, giving you a sharper prediction of my decision and perhaps a better expected outcome
Please ask questions and enjoy!
I'll keep this short and simple. I am a flay judge with 7 years experience judging and coaching (with a much more legit coach). I didn't do debate in high school or college, but I know what I'm doing at this point. Having said that:
1. I prefer arguments to technicalities. Debates about debate are dreadful.
2. Common sense arguments are not great. Give me evidence.
3. Signpost as you go. Helps me keep my flow organized.
4. Keep your impacts at the forefront, but also keep them grounded (if you "solve for world hunger", or the end of your linkchain is the annihilation of the human race, I'm going to be skeptical).
5. If cross turns into a yelling match I will tune it out and start thinking about dinner.
Good luck, and have fun.
I debated public forum at Shrewsbury High School and policy at GMU.
Contact me at email@example.com.
I usually judge PF, so:
If you're rude, routinely interrupt people, don't let your partner speak, take absurd amounts of time to find evidence, or, obviously, give bad speeches, those things will not help you.
They're cool but you do actually have to tell me where to flow them.
I give off lots of em. If you're paying attention, you will probably know what I think of your arguments before the RFD.
I will occasionally write down good articulations of key arguments that you already made or take note of positive or negative ethos moments, but for the most part I regard cross-ex as an opportunity for clarification between debaters.
I won't start time till you're ready, but I promise you that they're totally redundant and I can flow what you're doing as long as you're signposting correctly, which you should be doing anyway.
Give me real warrants and contextualize your evidence in comparison to theirs.
I won't vote on plans, counterplans, or critical alternatives.
I debated for four years at Walt Whitman High School (MD), where I now serve as a PF coach. This is my fourth year judging/coaching PF. The best thing you can do for yourself to cleanly win my ballot is to weigh. At the end of the round, you will probably have some offense but so will your opponent. Tell me why your offense is more important and really explain it—otherwise I’ll have to intervene and use my own weighing, which you don’t want.
- If second rebuttal frontlines their case, first summary must extend defense. However, if second rebuttal just responds to the opposing case, first summary is not required to extend defense. Regardless, first summary needs to extend turns if you want me to vote on them.
- Second summary needs defense and should start the weighing part of the debate (if it hasn't happened already).
-I will only accept new weighing in the second final focus if there has been literally no other weighing at any other part of the debate.
- I don't need second rebuttal to frontline case, but I do require that you frontline any turns. Leaving frontlining delinks for summary is fine with me.
-I highly suggest collapsing on 1-2 arguments; I definitely prefer quality of arguments over quantity.
- I love warrants/warrant comparisons. For any evidence you read you should explain why that conclusion was reached (ie explain the warrant behind it). Obviously in some instances you need cards for certain things, but in general I will buy logic if it is well explained over a card that is read but has absolutely no warrant that's been said. I also really hate when people just respond to something by saying "they don't have a card for this, therefore it's false" so don't do that.
- Speed is okay but spreading is not.
- Don’t just list weighing mechanisms, explain how your weighing functions in the round and be comparative. Simply saying "their argument is vague/we outweigh on strength of link/we have tangible evidence and they do not" is not weighing.
- Not big on Ks and theory is only fine if there is a real and obvious violation going on. Don’t just run theory to scare your opponent or make the round more confusing. With this in mind, please trigger warn your cases. Trigger warning theory is probably the only theory shell I will ever vote on, but I really really don't want to because I hate voting on theory. PLEASE TRIGGER WARN YOUR CASES AND/OR ASK YOUR OPPONENTS IF THEY READ SENSITIVE MATERIAL PRIOR TO THE ROUND BEGINNING TO AVOID TRIGGERING PEOPLE AND THEN RE-LITIGATING THE TRAUMA FOR THE ENTIRE DEBATE. If you care about protecting survivors, you will ask before the round if a case has sensitive material. Also, I hate disclosure theory. Just ask your opponent to share their case if it is a big deal to you.
- I highly encourage you not to run arguments in front of me about people on welfare having disincentives to work, or any other type of argument like that which shows a clear lack of understanding/empathy about poverty and the lived experiences of low-income people.
- I like off-time roadmaps, but BE BRIEF.
The only time I’ll intervene (besides if you don’t weigh and I have to choose what to weigh), is if you are being sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, etc. or are blatantly misrepresenting evidence. I’ll drop you and tank your speaks.
Also, I know debate is often stressful so try to have fun! Let me know if you have any other questions before the round or if there is anything I can do to accommodate you.
I am a parent judge with no background in high school or college debate. I am a former math professor who also has 15 years of experience in global macro-economic investing.
I will attempt to flow the debate, but it is mostly just me taking notes. A citizen judge, I prefer not to get tangled in the arcana of debating rules. If I feel you’ve made and overall maintained a strong argument in favor of your case (or in opposition to your opponent’s), I will rule in your favor.
Logic reigns supreme (that math thing I mentioned before). A well-constructed argument backed by a small number of quality statistics will usually sway me better than a barrage of statistics. Similarly, a smaller number of quality arguments will sway me better than a barrage of arguments.
Which brings us to speed. I don’t mind if you speak quickly, but I will be more impressed by watching you think on the spot than by watching you rattle off prepared remarks. I’ve also found that the more you say, the more likely you are to contradict yourself. Give your opponent the chance to contradict him- or herself.
Be gentle with each other and have fun.
· Make it easy for me to see why you won and you'll probably win.
With More Words:
If you want the ballot, make clear, compelling and warranted arguments for why you should win. If you don’t provide any framework, I will assume util = trutil. If there is an alternate framework I should be using, explain it, warrant it, contextualize it, extend it.
Generally Tech>Truth but I also appreciate rounds where I don’t hate myself for voting for you. That being said, debate is an educational activity and rounds should be inclusive. Will vote down arguments that aren't.
I am open to pretty much anything you want to read but, in the interest of full disclosure, I think tricks debate sets a bad norm for debate.
Most of this is standard but I'll say it anyways: Don’t extend through ink and pretend they "didn't respond". Don't oversimplify responses and, in the back half of the debate, make sure your extensions are responsive to the arguments made, not just rereading your cards. If they say something in cross that it is important enough for me to evaluate, make sure you say it in a speech. Line by line is important but being able to step back and explain the narrative/ doing comparative analysis makes it easier to vote for you.
Weighing is important and the earlier you set it up, the better. Terminalize your impacts and spend your time on analysis, not card dumping. Also, for the love of all that is good and holy, give a roadmap before you start/sign post as you are going. I will be happier; you will be happier; the world will be a better place.
Speed is fine but clarity is essential. Even if I have a speech doc, you'd do best to slow down on tags and analytics. Your speaks will be a reflection of your strategic choices, overall decorum and how clean your speeches are.
For PF: I don't require 1st summary to extend defense, but link/impact extensions should be in summary for me to evaluate them in final focus.
Having evidence ethics is a thing. As a general rule, I prefer that your cards have both authors and dates. Paraphrasing makes me sad. Rounds where you need to spend more than 30 seconds pulling up a card make me more sad. I think that judges calling for cards at the end of the round leads to judge intervention. This is a test of your rhetoric skills, not my reading ability. However, if there is a piece of evidence that is being contested that you want me to read and you ask me to in a speech, I will. Just be sure to contextualize what that piece of evidence means to the round.
Why yes, I would like to be added to the email chain:
AMurphy4n6@gmail.com (Side note: As Gen Zers, I have faith in you to successfully hit "reply all" when continuing an email chain. Don't let me down.)
A Final Note:
This is a debate round not a divorce court and your tone should match accordingly. If we are going to spend as many hours as we do at a tournament, we might as well not make it miserable.
Been judging debate (PF and LD only) for almost 20 years. Coached PF at Cary Academy last year. While I try to stay up on the "technical stuff," to me, this misses the point of debate as an educational or, for that matter, a persuasive activity. So, while I can probably follow whatever case you want to run, put me in the truth (vs tech) camp. Running a well executed rhetorically sound argument will be the best way to win my ballot.
As for style, clear communications will win the day. Can probably flow at whatever speed you choose to run, but I don't value quantity over quality, whereas I do value clarity over vagary.
In addition to advancing rhetorically sound arguments, I expect debaters to find the clash in the round and give me a standard with which to weigh it. Don't expect me to do that work for you. You don't want me imposing my sensibilities by picking some arbitrary standard for the round. Moreover, between two sound cases, I will prefer any reasonable standard to no standard at all (even for an otherwise compelling/sound cases). Word of caution, though, don't let the round devolve into a pure weighing debate. At the end of the day, I will vote for the side that presents the most compelling case for affirming or negating the resolution.
I have no background in high school or college debate, but I have been a practicing attorney for more than 30 years and have been judging PF debates for 6 years.
I am a great believer in the “citizen judge” roots of Public Forum. The debater’s job is to persuade the man on the street, with no background as to the resolution of the month, that pro or con should win. Thus, clarity and focus are paramount. Your job is to persuade, not confuse, me. Well-structured arguments and effectively utilized evidence are key, but so are articulation, modulation, and engagement. A glance up from your laptop from time to time can work wonders, as can staying in the Zoom frame in a well-lighted room.
I do flow arguments, but not in a very technical way. A dropped argument will only count against you if it is material to your overall presentation and not offset by more meritorious arguments that make it through Final Focus.
Spreading and the pointless acceleration of pacing it engenders are strongly discouraged. You should choose your arguments carefully and deliver them at a pace, and with an energy and focus, that are designed to persuade.
Use your evidence fairly and judiciously. Do not overstate its significance or twist its meaning beyond recognition. I will only ask to see your card if the outcome of a round turns on an evidentiary dispute, but, if it comes to this, you want to be confident that your card can be read as presented. Also, feel free to request your opponent's cards, but do so sparingly and only when necessary to dispute a material contention or buttress a key argument.
Unfortunately, only one team can win; that’s the way it is in real life and in every courtroom I have ever appeared, so try to roll with the punches.
Most importantly, have fun. Few things are as satisfying as a hard-fought win; or as motivating (for the next round) as a too-close-to-call loss.
Hello! I’m Ben and I debated for four years at the Bronx High School of Science. The biggest of shoutouts goes to Mr. Huth and the whole Bronx Science team. I am probably best viewed as a pretty traditional flow judge. If you want the details:
I don’t believe that defense needs to be in first summary to answer any argument that was not frontlined in second rebuttal. If it was frontlined, then you need to answer it in summary. Turns should be extended in first summary if you want me to evaluate them as offense. Don’t extend through ink.
You do NOT have to frontline defense in second rebuttal. I personally rarely did so and I often believe it is unstrategic to do so. That being said, take whatever strategy you believe is most strategic for your team in the round.
Weighing is very important to me. I think it is important to weigh early (preferably rebuttal but no later than summary) and have consistent weighing throughout the round. Try to explain your weighing instead of just repeating it. Saying you outweigh on scope, timeframe, magnitude, etc without explaining why doesn’t mean anything. I look to weighing first when I evaluate my ballot -- if you are winning the weighing I will look to your arguments first. I personally believe that probability is often the strongest form of weighing as no matter how large your impacts -- if you don’t win your links they can’t materialize. Focus on winning your links and explaining how you access them better than your opponents. I am a technical judge but I care a lot about truth value, and my threshold for a response to a high-magnitude low-probability argument is pretty low.
If you don’t weigh, I will be forced to intervene which is very sad.
I default to looking at impacts globally. I will drop America First framing in a heartbeat.
I care about your overall cohesion in your speeches. Having a single narrative that you defend over the course of the round is more persuasive to me than a set of many arguments that change with each speech.
I believe that theory is only justified in instances of significant abuse where there is no other mechanism to check back against the abuse. I will try my best to evaluate any argument presented to me on the flow, but I am not good at evaluating progressive argumentation including theory and Ks. I am inclined to believe that they are bad for Public Forum, but that’s just my opinion. I always want the round to be a safe space for all debaters.
I can handle speed. I debated fast and I can handle fast debate. That being said, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity and don’t speak so quickly that your words are not clear. Don’t spread.
I will only call for evidence if I believe it is both a) important to my overall decision in the round and b) was cast into doubt by the opposing team.
Don’t shake my hand. Virtually or in person. Yes, virtual handshakes are a thing.
You will get 30 speaker points if you find an earthworm (or any worm for that matter) and place it on the head of Adriana Kim at a tournament. Please show me photographic proof before the round.
Good luck :) Feel free to ask me any specific questions before the round.
I have judged PF for a few years.
Be respectful to your opponents, especially in crossfire, and don't make bigoted arguments
I will flow your speeches, but I expect you to call out if your opponent dropped an argument, has incorrect logic/ facts etc.,
Speed: If I cannot understand/flow it, it does not count i.e., I favor normal speech speed , quality arguments vs spreading/quantity.
Cross: Raise items in speech if you want me to flow it and use it in my decision.
Clearly identify your arguments, warrants, highlight clash, weigh, identify voting issues and why you should win the debate
Generally, I will call for cards only if asked, or if my decision rests on a card. Don't use that as an excuse to misrepresent cards.
Theory? Please don't!
Lastly, have fun!
I am a lay judge. Please speak slowly and clearly and give reasoning behind your arguments. Be civil to each other in round; rudeness is not tolerated. Humor is appreciated only if appropriate.
I will be in TAB so don't waste a strike on me.
I am a novice judge who has never debated but has been a spectator at multiple high school PF debates and has enjoyed listening and learning. I have given many seminars and talks (speeches) so I have an understanding of what goes into developing and presenting an argument, albeit ones quite different from those you will be engaged with in this tournament.
Since I am a novice, I won’t be able to follow if you speak too rapidly or use a lot of jargon. I want to understand what you are saying—I am not looking to be impressed by an excess of language or obscure citation. I value coherence of narrative, logic and reasonable contentions. And it’s better to offer a simple but clear contention than a “fancier” more discursive one.
Please make sure you've collapsed in your summary so that I am clear on what you are asking me to vote on. I would also appreciate clear links and weighing.
I will probably gain more from you than you from me during this tournament so I appreciate your indulgence. I will do my best to be thoughtful and fair.
Good luck to all!
!!! IF THE SECOND-SPEAKING SIDE CALLS FOR EVIDENCE OR TAKES PREP TIME BEFORE BOTH CASES ARE READ, THEY WILL BE IMMEDIATELY DROPPED ON MY BALLOT. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Hi, I'm Pratik. I'm a former PF debater from Canyon Crest, now studying at UC Berkeley. (class of '23)
TLDR: Read the bold (but you should read everything if you have time). Also, these announcements:
*2020-2021 SEASON: Most presentational stuff in my paradigm won't apply because of remote debates so ignore those. BUT, the remote nature means you will have to speak more clearly than in an in-person debate.
How I judge:
- I consider myself a really basic, no-frills debater and judge, which means I would prefer the typical definitions/framework/contentions debate. I won't understand any policy/LD mumbo jumbo, and will never accept copies of your case/speech doc/etc.
- 80% flow, 20% speaking/presentation. As a general rule, better debaters tend to be better speakers. I have a big soft spot for 'flay' teams and rounds so if going fast isn't your thing, don't sweat it! It'll also boost your speaks for prelims. In elims, I tend to be more flow- and argumentation-heavy.
- I don't flow crossfire, or factor it in my decision. Use crossfire to trap your opponents and expose gaps in their arguments. Elaborate on your team's crossfire discoveries in the following speech.
- I will disclose unless it is too close to call on the flow. I will also give a (mostly) oral RFD after round unless we are running late. If either case occurs, expect a lengthy written RFD. You are always free to talk to me or ask for my email after round.
- I prefer speaking speed to be <200 words/min but can probably handle up to 225. Above 225, I won't be able to flow effectively, and 300+ is considered spreading. If I can't flow something you said because you were too fast, and end up dropping it or voting against it, that's on you, not me.
- No calling for evidence/running prep until both cases are read. Also, please don't slow down the flow of the debate by calling for evidence all the dang time.
- No using prep time before cross.
- Don't abuse offtime roadmaps. Keep roadmaps to 5 seconds if you want to use them offtime. However, ONTIME road maps/signposting are greatly encouraged and highly recommended (see "How to win").
- 5% grace period on speeches to wrap things up. If your opponents are being abusive with time, let me know.
- After the round, I may ask for cards. Keep them ready!
How to win:
- The 4 Cs: Be clear, concise, convincing, and confident. That's it. Everything else I say here falls under one of those.
- SIGNPOST! Please make my flow organized. Use roadmaps before/at the start of your speech and number your topics. (Ex. "My opponent's first contention was ___. I have three responses. First...")
- CLEAR, RELEVANT VOTER ISSUES IN FINAL FOCUS. If the debate is super messy, then I may just only factor your Final Focus speeches in my decision.
- Have good posture and delivery. Don't hunch over your paper/laptop in your delivery; look at me as much as you can while giving your speech. Remember, your speaks DO matter to me more than the average circuit judge.
How to lose:
- I will instantly give your team a loss and tank your speaks if you are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or otherwise egregiously exclusionary.
- Be rude to me, your opponents, or anyone else participating in or managing the tournament.
- Slur/mumble/speak in a way that I cannot understand and flow what you're saying. Spreading (talking in excess of 300 words/min for me) will be an instant loss and 25 speaks.
- Bring up new evidence in Final Focus. Only concepts expressed in Summary Speech can be expressed in Final Focus. The only exception is if your opponents dropped rebuttal defense in their Summary Speech.
- Fidget/fumble on or off the podium.
- Break tournament rules.
If you think your opponents are breaking the rules:
- Stop the round IMMEDIATELY (not after the round ends) and notify me. I will take appropriate action. I would prefer to have both sides present during a conflict, but if it is something you NEED to speak to me in private about (without your opponents around), please request not to disclose after round.
- The longer you wait until after the round to notify me of any wrongdoing, the less I can do about it. I will NEVER accept claims of a violation without evidence unless I noticed it too.
Speaking/presentation scale (updated 11/17/20):
NOTE: This score has NOTHING to do with the quality of your arguments.
25 or less: Rule violation, discrimination, spreading, etc.
26: Rudeness, I didn't understand anything you were saying, frequent pauses, monotony, distracting fidgeting, etc.
27: No droppable offenses, but below average.
29: You're VERY good, and only had a few errors that only minorly impacted your delivery.
30: Basically impossible to achieve from me.
Thanks for reading this really long paradigm! Let me know if you have any questions before the round starts.
PSA: Spreading, common in circuit LD and policy, is contrary to the purpose of debate because debate's main objective should be to stimulate discourse in forums all over the US and abroad. Spreading hinders any further discourse by strategically and unfairly stuffing arguments and winning off technicalities, making it inaccessible to a larger audience and lowering any chances of real discourse happening.
I debated for Bronx Science for (almost) four years, and I'm now at NYU Tisch studying Drama. I'm a technical judge, but lay debate is perfectly fine for me! For more specifics:
For starters, disclose your case and speech docs to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have autism, processing info can be hard, so please send me stuff to make my job easier. Please send your case as soon as you get your pairing.
- First rebuttal can extend into final focus. If something was frontlined, though, I expect to hear defense on it.
- I love probability weighing, and I'm inclined to have a low threshold for responses to high magnitude, low probability impacts.
- I care about truth value, don't run something objectively false and think I'll buy it when it's extended just because I'm tech. Tech > truth as a practice is intellectually dishonest and I think that judges need to stop valuing it.
- Please have a narrative.
- The only progressive stuff I can handle is theory in the case of abuse. You must disclose that you're going to read it.
Keep my flow clean. I shouldn't have to do any work in making a decision. Be organized in your speeches.
- Warrant + Weigh = Win (Ty Tenzin <3)
- I HAVE NO TOLERANCE FOR ARGUMENTS THAT ARE RACIST, ANTISEMITIC, ISLAMOPHOBIC, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC, TRANSPHOBIC, ABLEIST, OR WHITE FEMINIST. RUNNING THESE ARGUMENTS WILL RESULT IN 20 SPEAKS AND AN AUTOMATIC LOSS. DEBATE IS NOT A SPACE FOR THAT TYPE OF BEHAVIOR, NOR SHOULD IT BE.
- I hate America First frameworks, I will drop you or give you low speaks if you run them, with some exceptions.
- I pay attention in cross, but don't flow it.
- I don't look at cards unless you ask me to.
I will always make an effort to give an oral RFD, but will write it down if pressed for time. Feel free to ask questions, but don't argue with me.
I am a flay judge with two years of experience judging, mainly public forum on both the local and national circuit, and have also judged a few parliamentary and speech rounds.
Ten Commandments (just kidding, these are more my preferences and guidelines)
1. Don't spread
2. Have an off time roadmap particularly before rebuttals
3. Sign post throughout the round
4. Have logical, well supported links and internal links. Rebuttals should include link level responses
5. Don't throw a lot of sketchy statistics and cards around. Pay more attention to quality than quantity. A few well constructed contentions, supported by powerful evidences are better than poorly linked or overly stretched link chains
6. Be courteous to each other
7. Flow your impacts through the round
8. Negation should frontline in their rebuttal. Frontlining in negations's summary is slightly unfair for the affirmation
9. Don't go over time (incl prep) except a grace period of 5-10 seconds to complete your sentence or two
10. I listen to all crosses and would prefer everyone to participate during grand cross (though won't ding anyone who doesn't)
I currently am on my second year GA'ing for WKU's debate team. I also am on my 3rd year of working for Ridge high school, now as the director of debate working with LD, PF, and Parli. In high school i did pf for 4 years at duPont Manual and attended the UK Toc my senior year. In college i competed at Western Kentucky in LD debate, as a two time PKD national champion, and the 2019 NFA national champion.
I like speed! I think fast debates advance the bounds of possible argumentation within the debate space. Although, I do think people should avoid spreading if it is going to propogate structrual disadvantages or your opponents have asked you not to & would hear out speed bad in those instances. Additionally, I do need pen time. I think there should be pauses between arguments delivered at max speed and without them I may miss something
I like debate to be focused on topical advocacy. This means I prefer when debaters do research related to the topic at hand and my ballot in some way affirms. This doesn't mean I am not willing to vote for resistance strategies on the AFF/Neg but that I like to see research connected to the topic within those strategies. Not purely generic arguments. This also applies to theory. While I like T debates. I am fairly unpersuaded by theory argument completly seperated from the topic-- although I have voted for them before.
I am a flow judge but not fully tab. I dont think the role of the judge is to vote for unwarranted arguments. This means 1 sentence analytics (especially spikes or 'tricks') have little value to me and even if conceded are unlikely to be voted on. However, if evidence is conceded I am almost 100% going to vote on it. Basically, ev = fully tab. Blips = not fully tab.
When I did NFA i ran primarily policy arguments, so as a judge I am best evaluating policy arguments. However, this doesnt mean I don't want people to run K's if thats your thing-- you just need to 'tuck me in' more in those debates or I may make a mistake.
As a judge I feel like the most important thing to me is that your reading arguments that are well researched and you can easily explain neuonced details of the arguments. This means reading arguments that you dont understand well with me in the back is not a good decision-- I wont want to vote for it. Also please cut new evidence, evidence quality is very important to me.
GO FAST!! I love spreading. I think debate is a highly competitive activity build upon using skills and tactics to overwhelm your opponent and make them lose.
Generally I would say, I'm cool with just about any argument if the round isn't close. But when rounds are close and competitive there are a few important things to note
For Theory-- I default to competing interps. I want theory positons to have direct in round implications as they relate to the affirmatives plan-text. This means I really hate 'trolley' theory. for example high school LD rounds about robot theory would be a non-starter for me; or if you read 'go to the beach thoery' i will stop flowing the position and you just wasted your time. Essentially I think T, Spec args, or CP theory-- but don't like random interps that aren't clearly derived from debate norms.
For the K-- I'm pretty comfortable with evaluating the K, however if its a more obscure K then i would prefer you to go slower during the collapse or contextualize it so i know what im voting for. I'm really into philosophy from a person level, especially Marxism and psychoanalysis-- so the odds are fairly high I'm relatively familiar with the literature. However, this doesn't mean I'm the most informed about kritique tricks and strategies you may carry out with your specific K (since I didn't read the K in many rounds), so just be sure not to assume too much from me from a knowledge standpoint.
Non-T AFFs: I'm willing to listen to the debate, and in a round thats a crush I would consider myself a fair judge. However, I definitely lean toward prefering that AFFs are resolutional. I have no issue with non-T affs from an ideological standpoint, but I do really have an issue with non-resolutional arguments because of the sheer impossibility of predicting them. So while I'm not going to hack in these rounds, I do think as a competitor you want to prefer resolutionality when possible
My favorite rounds are a really good policy debate. DA + CP's are great for me. Contrary to the K, it's going to be almost impossible for you to loose me on policy tricks or strategy. I love it when people set NC's up to cleaverly get their opponent for example T to force DA links or other creative policy strategies (doing these things, or generally impressing me with the policy strat is a great way to boost speaks.)
------High School LD------
^Read above 1st^
This is only my first year coaching HS LD, so LD specific tricks (in progressive rounds) are a little risky for me. Essentially, if you wouldn't ever see it in a policy round (RVI's, Spikes, NIBs, friv. theory, actions theory style phil) then it might not be the best argument to run for me. But that isn't to say I would never vote for that stuff
-I don't like RVI's on T. I think the neg gets to test T at least once. However, on other theory args RVI's are cool.
-I don't like when the 1ar completely collapses to theory. This doesn't mean I won't vote for it. However, it isn't a good way to get high speaks
-I don't love disclosure debates. I think people get to break new affs. If people never disclose I will fairly evaluate the arg.
-Nothing truely frivilous please
-I don't like spikes/ one sentence theory args. Theory needs warrants too
-I am used to college LD where the AR is 6 minutes. As a result, I generally do think the aff has it a little worse-- do with that what you will
All phil debates aren't my favorite/ I am not the most familiar with them so tread lightly. However I will hear out the arg and totally try my best to evaluate it. I got a degree in phil so I am likely familiar with the authors, but not the specific debate applications/ tricks
------High School PF-----
Weighing is one of the most important things for me in PF because i find rounds often get muddled and lack an easy place to vote so i want to be told exactly what issues are the most important and where to vote. This means there needs to be a clear collapse in summery with that argument well impacted out in final focus.
Clash is also extremely important to me in PF. This means a few things. The second speaking team must cover the ink that was just put on their case in the first rebuttal as it makes the round easier to follow and fosters more clash if you choose not to and then the first summary makes extensions I'm not going to be very receptive to your new responses in second summary. Additionally please avoid only responding to taglines, if you don't give a warrant for your response, or concede their warrant the argument is functionally conceded.
Please give me a clear road map because I'm flowing and hate it especially in summaries when they don't make sense or aren't easy to flow due to lack of a road map. This doesn't mean you can't get creative in your order just have one and make it clear.
Beyond this I'm willing to vote on just about anything as long as it isn't blatantly offensive. I also really like when debaters try new things so step outside of the box, so especially in PF don't be afraid to try arguments that may not generally be the norm.
My 2 most important preferences:
1. Please, please slow down. I suggest 1 to 1.5x conversational speed; I think ideal case length is 680-700 words. If you could imagine someone asking for a speech doc, SLOW down! Implications for you:
-- If your speed means I miss something important, it’s like it never existed. I’m not gonna be like, “Hmm, maybe I heard something kinda like that” when you extend it. It’s goodbye
-- If your opponent cannot understand and asks you to slow down (do this by loudly saying “clear”), you must do so. Within reason; I will intervene in obvious cases of abuse
-- This preference is also reflected in speaks. Selective vision >>> brute force coverage. Extreme speed = low speaks
2. I place a strong emphasis on warranting. Implications:
-- If you and your opponent disagree on something, I prioritize your comparisons in this order: 1. Warrant comparison 2. Warranted evidence comparison 3. Evidence comparison that is just: “dates”
-- If an arg is not warranted and your opponent mentions this, I won’t let you bring in new warranting. Don’t go for something that wasn’t warranted in case and expect me to vote off it. Only exception is commonly intuitive statements
Notes on the flow
--Theory/K's/progressive args: I consider them a barrier to entry in PF and probably won't vote on them. 99% odds I won’t buy theory about dates, speaks, disclosure, paraphrasing, etc. If you do it in combination with extreme speed, consider it an auto-drop. If it's something you're genuinely concerned about, you impact it convincingly, and you make it accessible, you can give it a try. I seriously and strongly recommend against it, but you can
--I’m not super picky about extensions (e.g. if you extend a paraphrased version of your impact in summary and one specific impact card in FF, that’s fine). But ofc any argument in FF should be in summary
--1st FF can extend defense from rebuttal if it isn’t frontlined in 2nd rebuttal. But I’d still recommend extending a couple of your favorite responses in summary
--2nd rebuttal doesn’t need to frontline their voters, though it must frontline major turns/ offensive overviews
--2nd rebuttal shouldn’t go overboard with disads; > 1 minute on them is too much. If a ton of your speech is disads and it feels abusive I may drop you. Even if I don’t, the speaks will suffer and I’ll allow blippier responses in 1st summary
--if there’s no offense in the round that I can see, I default first speaking team. (I realize this is unusual, I personally think it's fairer)
Please be kind to each other. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me at beginning of round. Good luck!
My name is RJ Tischler, and I've been volunteering as a judge for speech & debate for over 5 years now.
For debate: Clarity is key. Don't speak too fast. Weigh the impacts at the end of the round for me. Explicitly state what your voters are.
Prioritize clash. That is the purpose of a debate. I am not inclined to buy sneaky arguments that "the opponents didn't respond" to contentions that you neglected to revisit & therefore didn't result in clash. If your opponent truly doesn't respond to an important contention, be sure to point that out in rebuttal or crossfire. Don't wait until summary.
If you'd like, feel free to send me your case to read along: email email@example.com
Hello! My name is Mackenzie and I am a sophomore at Penn. I've been debating for six years, coaching and judging for four years, and currently compete for Penn's parliamentary debate team. Here is a short list of things that you should know about me as a judge.
1) I'm a flow judge.
2) I'm fine with any type of argument, but I'm not the best at evaluating theory. If you're going to run theory, I'm fine with it as long as you're super clear. Also, feel free to run progressive arguments.
3) Please weigh! It's super important and something that I expect in a good debate.
4) I find it difficult to flow speed, and I'll yell "clear" if you need to adjust. If you're going over an important point, I recommend slowing down a bit so that I don't miss it.
5) Please don't be rude or overly aggressive. If you are being an asshole, I will take it into account when deciding speaker points.
6) Warrant your arguments please! Good debates have good argument and good arguments have good warranting.
7) Signpost please. It helps me flow.
I have been judging PF for past 1 year. I don't have a lot of "must do's"
Speak clearly and concisely.
If you are speaking too fast, I might miss some salient points. Although I will not deduct any scores for speaking style.
Please cite your evidences. I appreciate any statement you make if you can back it up with reliable source.
Proud Boriqua Educator and Artist
Middle-School Debate Coach at John D. Wells, MS. 50
Full-time Undergraduate Student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Full time Paraprofessional in Brooklyn, NYC
ACORN Community High School 2012-16: Policy Debate
Coached Leon M. Goldstien from 2016-17
Judging Policy and Public Forum from 2015- Present
Judging LD from 2018- Present
Judging Congressional and Speech from 2019- Present
For the majority of my debate career I was double 2s, and later became 2N, 1A.
Overall Rules and Expectations:
I do not count sharing evidence as prep unless you take a century.
I believe that judges are NOT supposed to intervene in round under any circumstances, unless in the case of an extreme emergency.
I shouldn't have to tell you be respectful or to not use hateful, racist, ableist, sexist, or homophobic language. If I hear it, I will automatically give the ballot to the other team. ABSOLUTELY NOT TOLERATED.
Some may think petty debaters or debaters with attitudes are amusing or cute, I don't. Treat your competitors with respect or it will affect your speaker points.
I believe that it is my responsibility as the judge of the round to remove any pre-existing notions or biases from my mind on whatever topic you chose to debate over, and act as an objective observer who decides whether or not the AFF is a good idea. Unless told otherwise in the round, this is the perspective I default to.
Minimal expectations are the following: If the NEG does not provide any DAs to voting AFF then I will vote AFF. If the AFF does not prove that the AFF is better than the status quo and has an actual solvency method, then I will vote NEG.
It is in your best interest (speaker points) to go far beyond these basic debate expectations. I'm generous with speaker points if you keep me engaged and make sure I understand you, they usually range from 28-29.5
I don't have any specific preference when it comes to argumentation and I will vote on virtually anything you want me to if explained well, but DO NOT assume I know anything.
I am a first time parent judge. Please speak at a reasonable pace and try and be respectful of everyone.
I competed in PF for 4 years. Please feel free to ask questions any time on Facebook Messenger.
I presume for the neg.
No new weighing in 2nd FF.
No Ks and use theory only for egregious abuse.
Cross isn't that serious; Please stop making my head hurt.
L0 if you make any ___ist arguments.
I will make whichever decision requires the least amount of intervention. I don't like to do work for debaters but in 90% of rounds you leave me no other choice.
I have a very high threshold for extensions, saying the phrase "extend our 1st contention/our impacts" will get you lower speaks and a scowl. You need to re-explain your argument from fiat to impact in order to properly "extend" something in my eyes. This goes for turns too, don't extend turns without an impact.
I need parallelism (summary+FF) for any offense you want me to vote for.
I realize this is controversial, but I don’t require defense in summary, although it usually makes sense to extend in 2nd summ once you know what offense your opponent is going for. With that being said, if your opponents frontline case in 2nd rebuttal, you need to answer back their frontlines in 1st summary if you still wanna go for that defense. Defense is most important for me in Final Focus though, so if you want me to delink/NU the offense they're going for, blow it up in FF. (Long story short, good pieces of defense can be extended as terminal D from rebuttal to FF if not answered by your opponents.)
Presumption flows neg. If you want me to default to the first speaking team you'll need to make an argument. In that case though you should probably just try to win some offense.
I like analytical arguments, not everything needs to be carded to be of value in a round. (Warrants )
Signpost pls. Roadmaps are a waste of time 98% of the time.
I love me some good framework. Highly organized speeches are the key to high speaks in front of me.
Try to get on the same page as your opponents as often as possible, agreements make my decision easier and make me respect you more as a debater (earning you higher speaks). Strategic concessions make me happy. The single best way to get good speaks in front of me is to implicate your opponent's rebuttal response(s) or crossfire answers against them in a speech.
Frontlining in second rebuttal is smart but not required. It’s probably a good idea if they read turns.
Reading more than 1 or 2 different weighing mechanisms is a waste of time because 10 seconds of meta-weighing OHKOs. When teams fail to meta-weigh or interact impacts I have to intervene, and that makes me sad.
Don’t extend every single thing you read in case.
I'm not gonna call for cards unless they're contested in the round and I believe that they're necessary for my RFD. I think that everyone else that does this is best case an interventionist judge, and worst case a blatant prep thief.
Skipping grand is cringe. Stop trying to act like you're above the time structure.
I may look like I’m timing stuff, but I just like to watch the clock run. Track each other’s prep.
Theory's fine, usually frivolous in PF. Love RVIs . Genuinely believe disclosure is bad for the event, but I won't intervene against a shell you're winning.
I will vote for kritikal args if you win/extend role of the ballot :-)
Just because you're saying the words structural violence in case doesn't mean you're reading a K.
Shoutouts to my boo thang, Shamshad Ali #thepartnership
Hello! I'm currently a junior at UCSD. I've debated PF for 4 years and LD for 2 years back in high school(Canyon Crest/Carmel Valley - graduated in 2018), mostly at lay tournaments but I do have circuit PF experience(I guess I would describe myself as the average "flay" judge).
I don't like to impose too many guidelines on how rounds should go, but here are some things to keep in mind:
Speed is fine, but if you do choose to spread, I need the speech docs.
I'm pretty flexible with any argument that you run(except for theory/Ks/tricks and stuff like that); just make sure you explain it clearly with weighing and signposting :)
Please don't be rude in crossfire/cross-ex.
Please no new information in final focus :)
Don't be afraid to ask me questions before/after the round! And most importantly, have fun!!!
I am a parent judge. Please speak clearly.
Hi there! I am a parent judge, and I have a few rounds under my belt. With that said though, treat me like any other parent judge. Talk slowly, clearly warrant out your arguments, truth > tech, and always do comparative analysis. At the end of the day, I am going to choose the side I believe and understand more. Good luck and have fun
I debated PF all through high school, coached all through college, and am now coaching at Walt Whitman High School in Maryland. My role in the round is to interpret the world you aim to create, and to that end you should tell me explicitly what it is you are trying to do. I stick to the flow as well as I can.
common question answers:
1. Anything that needs to be on the ballot, needs to be in Final Focus, and anything in final needs to be in summary.
2. The first speaking team should be predicting the offense in first summary that needs to be responded to, and putting defense on it then. This ALSO means that the second speaking team has to frontline in the rebuttal. Any arguments/defense that are not in the First Summary are dropped, and any arguments that are not frontlined in the second rebuttal are dropped.
3. Summary to Final Focus consistency is key, especially in terms of the relevance of arguments, if something is going to be a huge deal, it should be so in both speeches.
4. I will call for cards that I think are important, and I will throw them out if they are bad or misrepresented, regardless of if they are challenged in the round. sometimes when two arguments are clashing with little to no analysis, this is the only way to settle it.
Speed is fine, I'll evaluate critical arguments if they have a solid link.
I evaluate theory if it's needed, but I'm semi-skeptical of how often that really is.
Feel free to ask for anything else you need to know.
You should also probably pre-flow before the start time of the round, that will help your speaks!