The Cougar Classic at the University of Houston
2021 — Online, TX/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Name: Maryam Alghafir
I am a Policy debater at the University of Houston. I have previously done Public Forum debate in middle and high school as well as a couple of rounds in World Schools Debate. I don't have any argument preferences. Don't talk at the speed of light I want to understand what you are saying and keep my flow organized. I really like a good impact cal comparison and why I should prioritize your arguments in the round.
upenn '24, reagan '20
i debated for 4 yrs at reagan hs, qual to the toc, attended ddi and mich k lab.
1 - k debaters 2 - flex debaters 3 - "soft left" policy debaters 4 - policy throwdowns
tldr: ik everyone says this, but really u do u. i think debate is one of the best spaces to express urself in the way that u want and with the args u want to. most of my experience is with k's so i prolly wouldn't be the best for policy throwdowns but i can adjudicate pretty much all debates. what i will say abt some debate "rules": disclosure is good and should be reciprocated. don't clip cards, and don't cheat. if you clip, i'll let u know after ur speech ends to be more careful and clear, and if u continue, it's an L. spreading is cool but also if ur opponents require speed accommodation bc they're hard of hearing, u should slow down. be aware of how ur identity affects others in this space and check ur privilege. respect pronouns. i will call out microaggressions and i am comfy voting down teams that don't apologize or clearly don't respect who they're debating.
fw vs. k affs:
this was the majority of my debates and i'm pretty experienced with both sides. procedural fairness isn't an impact unless you explain why it is. for fw debaters, what can the ballot resolve and for the aff what does the aff resolve that o/w the impacts of fw?
i am sympathetic to fw when the aff team is unable to explain what their aff does or if the aff explanation changes significantly throughout the debate
i do not auto vote k affs and don't auto vote against fw. u gotta explain ur stuff w nuance.
pls don't copy paste fw blocks from old topics
clash debates are good and i enjoy them but do NOT say that k's don't belong in the debate space bc that won't end well for u lmao
t vs. policy affs:
i love t against policy affs. default to competing interps
went for T in p much every 2nr my junior year
topical and untopical caselists <3
most of my experience is with k's. i'm familiar with afropessimism, settler colonialism, baudrillard, and some others
love em and read em well
no links of omission
invest time in the fw part of these debates pls
major props to going for k's vs k affs <3
wasn't in many of these debates, but i can evaluate tech and the flow
i will auto judge kick but if the aff is like don't do that, i'll need yall to debate it out
theory has to be not wild, condo is good, i'm not that good at cp theory doe like if u go for textual v functional competition pls slow down and really explain why the cp doesn't meet ur interp
debate is a learning space for judges and debaters so post-rounding is valuable imo but just don't post up and then get wilded out after i post up back
do not graphically describe violence or suffering of any kind
be aware of ur identity when reading structural k's like afropessimism and settler colonialism if you are not black or not indigenous
do not pornotrope black suffering if u are a nonblack debater
don't speak over ur opponents and be wary of gendered interactions (i will call those out and lower speaker points)
sassy debaters r hilarious and i love u
debate is competitive but be kind to your opponents. this doesn't mean don't bring the heat, but instead do not personally attack ur opponents or insult them bc 0 for speaks ok
for online debate, pls keep ur camera on when u speak bc like i wanna see ur face and also debate is communicative ya know
have fun, kill it, byeeeeeeeeee :)
*my email is firstname.lastname@example.org*
LD- I'm fine with speed. run whatever you want.
PF- Steps to getting my vote: extend, line by line rebuttal, collapse in summary, if you're speaking second then I expect your summary to address attacks made in last rebuttal. Also: weigh in EVERY SPEECH.
Here are some of my personal preferences: I like K's. Signpost. I don't expect the 1AR to respond to a 13 paged card dump, just do your best by grouping arguments and responding in a way that allows you enough time to save your 1AC from falling into LOTR fire pit.
be good = you win
Benjamin Brody (He/Him)
First Year out of Winston Churchill HS
I did policy for 4 years, but have judged/coached/debated in LD.
Email chain pls - email@example.com
Topicality is about competing interpretations unless I’m told otherwise and I think that the lit base determines reasonability. T interps should define both what IS and ISN’T topical. Intent to define is cool. Why is ur interp/counter-interp better for debate? Substantial is usually unpersuasive because I think it’s relatively arbitrary.
If you’re not cheating you’re not trying hard enough <3
Probably better if you have a solvency advocate for each part of the counterplan though.
Recut their evidence. I promise there's a counterplan hidden in their solvency advocate. Counterplans that are super specific to the aff are way more persuasive to me. Actor counterplans are boring.
I will judge kick the counterplan unless told not to.
I love good counterplan debates.
Some of my favorite 2NRs were on the China disad so I really enjoy disad/case + disad/counterplan debates. I don’t think I’ve judged enough debates to know if winning a 0% risk is possible, but I won’t believe it till I see it. PLEASE do the framing debate (UTIL/structural violence/urgent bodies/whatever you want to call it), it is SO hard to judge a debate I don’t know how to evaluate.
Just as you would with a K, the block should be making more than one link argument.
Turns case arguments are underutilized (including link turns the case args).
SPECIFIC LINKS. I don’t enjoy K debates when they’re not about the aff. Explain your theory of power to me. I went for biopolitics a lot my junior year but I’m not gonna lie to y’all, I never read the lit, only the cards that we had in the file. In other words, explain to me either on the line by line or in an overview that does not require a different sheet of paper. The less I understand your theory, the less I want to vote for you, and the more persuaded I am by simple no link arguments. Make sure that before you initiate a big framework debate, that you actually need to do so. Like if you’re gonna let them weigh the aff and just impact turn it anyway, why do all the framework magic?
You don’t always need an alternative. But usually you do.
For aff teams: KNOW YOUR AFF AND DON’T MAKE EASY MISTAKES. Do they have a LINK? Did they extend an ALTERNATIVE? Have they explained an IMPACT? Did you remember to extend a PERM?
Almost every single time we debated the K my senior year, we went for framework and the aff outweighs. I will have a lot of respect for you if you have defense of your epistomology and a defense of what you do materially. You don’t have to defend that the state is GOOD, or even that it’s redeemable. Just win that it is an infrastructural unit capable of rectifying the issues that it creates. You’re never gonna win that the state doesn’t have a history or that the state is free from violence. But all the aff does is recognize violence (or the potential for it) in its most unmediated form, and use the state’s ability to regulate itself to unwrite that violence.
All that being said, sometimes going for framework is not the move. So answer specific links, turns case, disads to the perm, and severance. I find those arguments persuasive insofar as they are reasons to reject the permutation or as independent reasons to reject the aff.
Simple no link arguments will help you greatly.
I will vote for framework. I will vote for the impact turn to framework. I feel like that's all you needed to hear.
Like most things, I enjoy judging these debates when they're done well. I prefer it when it's in the direction of the resolution, but also understand that sometimes that is not an option/not strategic. In any event, I think both the aff and negative team should have a reason why I give you my ballot. If you are the aff team, please explain what I am voting for/what your theory is/how you understand the world/the meaning of the 1AC. I prefer it if you can explain why my ballot actually has a causal influence as well. TVAs are underutilized. I probably think fairness is more of an internal link than a terminal impact but could be persuaded otherwise. What does your model of debate look like? Why is your model good not just for debates but also what we do once we leave debates?
(This is mostly for the LD folks) I did 4 years of policy. I have a hard time buying a lot of the theory stuff that y’all do in LD. I guess if you think you have a reason why you think that other team has made it structurally more difficult for you to win the round, then make the arg. Just make sure to explain it.
-Things I've Noticed About My Own Judging-
I find myself not voting for conceded arguments if they're not explained. Very cool that they dropped the counterplan in the 2AC, but "don't make me reinvent the wheel" is not an explanation as to why that conceded counterplan solves the aff.
I reward well thought out strategies.
-Things I Hate-
Needing a new page for the overview
Being excessively rude/offensive
Update 12/2- I have voted on disclosure theory, but I do not enjoy it. Personally, I don't see disclosure as a voting issue. I debated before disclosure became the norm in NFA, and disclosure is impossible in NPDA. Since I've come back into the debate community in the past couple years, disclosure has become the norm and I missed that transition. My teams disclose and I'm personally in favor of disclosure, but there are solid arguments that disclosure isn't necessary for good debate. I am also highly annoyed by teams that run the same neg strat every round regardless of the aff while also running disclosure.
I do not think there is any reason for the neg to disclose, and I think expecting the neg to disclose is silly.
I am very open to RVIs on abusive or silly procedurals like "being in the same room is a voting issue," disclosure, or silly Ts.
I prefer round-specific clash. Teams that are too reliant on blocks miss key extensions or cross applications that would allow them to efficiently answer arguments. I give a ton of weight to dropped arguments--if you have a (for example) framing card in your 1AC that goes dropped, you can and should extend it to answer the neg's framing card. If I had a dollar for every time the aff doesn't extend a "aff is the necessary first step" card that answers a DA or K, I would be able to afford tournament-provided food at nationals.
Update 10/30- As the year goes on both in NFA and NSDA, I find myself viewing process arguments highly favorably. If the federal government doesn't have the power to enact the plan, or if the agent of the CP can't enact the CP, I am very open to solvency args or fiat abuse/workability procedurals. I believe part of (non-kritikal) policy debate should include a burden of proof for solvency, and part of that is workability. For example, I am very open to fiat abuse/extra T args against NSDA affs that rely on reforming local/county/state law enforcement for solvency or court cases that do not specify a test case.
Experience: Competed in NFA-LD and NPDA for Hillsdale College from 2011-2013. Competed in NCFCA policy from 2008-2009. Have coached for Hillsdale, Nebraska-Lincoln, and Marshall. Current policy and IE coach at Grace Academy of Georgetown. I judge for Grace Academy in NSDA/TFA/NCFL and Hillsdale in NFA/NPDA. This paradigm should apply to both.
General paradigm: My goal is to be the most generic flow judge possible. I am slightly old-school in my burden of proof. I'm by no means a stock-issues judge, but I will vote on terminal defense, "traditional" link or impact calc weighing case against a K, etc. Generally, I am open to any argument, but I will not do work for debaters on the flow. I slightly favor policy debate over K debate, but only because I think its much easier to have a good policy round than a good K round. I mostly ran policy when I competed, so I'm more familiar with that style, but I do think a good K debate is more fun than a good policy debate. I have no stats to back this up, but I feel like Ks have about a 50% winrate in front of me.
Don't be racist, homophobic, etc in front of me. Challenging critical theory is fine, exclusion is not.
1. I will always default to policymaker unless I'm put in some alternative paradigm.
2. I always weigh biggest impacts first, with timeframe and probability as the "tiebreaker."
3. I do not evaluate probability arguments without specific warrants as to why a scenario is unlikely. I.e. saying "This won't happen" with no warrants is not an argument I flow.
4. I am comfortable voting on stock issues, so long as the burdens of the aff and neg are clearly articulated. If burdens are not clearly articulated, I will default to policymaking.
5. I am fine with kritiks, although in LD I think it is difficult to set up a clear framework within the time limits. If you do not do a good job of setting up an alternate world for the K framework, I am open to "aff impacts outweigh K" arguments. I am fine with counterplans, including conditional CPs. I am moderately familiar with K literature, but I have been out of the NFA circuit for a while so do not assume I have heard your K before.
6. I see T as jurisdictional and do not require proven abuse. I will not evaluate T/procedurals that does not specify violations or voters. I will also only evaluate the voters given in the round. For example, if you win that there is ground loss on the standard debate, but don't have a fairness voter, I won't vote on the ground loss. Similarly, if you win that T is a voter for fairness, but don't prove there has actually been abuse in-round, you don't win on T, even if you win the violation. I can't imagine a scenario in which I vote on potential abuse. All that to say: if you want to win T in front of me, proven abuse is great, but run a jurisdiction voter to be safe.
7. I think everything, including the governing league's rules, are up for debate. I mostly see procedurals such as vagueness/Aspec as a way to guarantee ground for DA links/CPs/Ks/etc; it is very rare for me to vote on them in a vacuum.
8. I am fine with speed so long as it is not exclusionary. It is unlikely any competitors will be able to spread me out so long as their organization is clear. In-round behavior can be a voter so long as it is 1) egregious and 2) made a voter by the opposing team. Absent in-round arguments, I use speaker points as a way to punish abusive behavior. Slurs are, of course, an instaloss.
9. Unless a card is called into dispute, I will always assume the reader's analysis/tag is accurate. I will only read cards if the opponent asks me to or if it is absolutely necessary for my decision. Please put me on any email chains or speechdrop.
10. Please be very clear with your organization. Tell me where specifically to put arguments. I do not do cross-application for debaters. If you don't tell me where specifically to put something on the flow, I will make my best guess and put it there. That can lead to you dropping something you didn't intend to, and at the very least will negatively affect speaker points. If both teams are unclear in organization, I'll do my best to reconstruct the round, but things can get weird. It's easier for everyone if you just take a second and say "On the Smith card..."
Bakersfield High School class of 2017
Cal State Fullerton Class of 2021
2x NDT Qualifier
NDT Quarterfinalist - 2021
CEDA Semifinalist - 2021
Damien HS Assistant Debate Coach Fall 2022-Present
Cal State Fullerton Assistant Debate Coach Fall 2021-Present
Previously Coached by: Lee Thach, LaToya Green, Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Max Bugrov, Anthony Joseph, and Travis Cochran
If there is an email chain I would like to be on it: (if you could put both of these emails on the email chain)
College: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
HS: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
If you have any questions feel free to email me
Dont call me judge I feel weird about it, feel free to call me Jared
I did four years of policy debate in high school mostly debating on a regional circuit and did not compete nationally till my junior and senior year, debated at Cal State Fullerton (2017-2021)
New for 2022-2023:
NATO Rounds Judged: 61 (end of prelims TOC)
Legal Personhood: 4
Mostly going to be in the HS scene this year, my senior year topic was alliances and I am coaching for Damien this year so I have a broad range of topic knowledge from both debating and coaching as well that being said my topic knowledge is includes a wide range of both policy and K so pref me how you see fit.
I have gotten increasingly irritated of Ks not making a specific link because most 1NC cards yall read are ok and most 2NCs don't know how to make a link arg, so I have been defaulting aff more on a link level vs the K
As I am a full year removed from debating I have increasingly voted for fw more and more often and for me its just because the 2AC doesn't have the best answers and 1ARs miss important pieces of offense that are difficult to come back from, and most of the ground and clash args to me have some of the time just became true.
K: Love the K, this is where i spent more of the time in my debate and now coaching career, I think I have an understanding of generally every K, in college, I mostly read Afro-Pessimism/Gillespie, but other areas of literature I am familiar with cap, cybernetics, baudrillard, psychoanalysis, Moten/Afro-Optimism, Afro-Futurism, arguments in queer and gender studies, whatever the K is I should have somewhat a basic understanding of it. I think that to sufficiently win the K, I often think that it is won and lost on the link debate, because smart 2Ns that rehiglight 1AC cards and use their link to impact turn of internal link turn the aff will 9/10 win my ballot. Most def uping your speaker points if you rehighlight the other teams cards.
For Critical Affirmatives: I like them, in college and in high school I have read them if you're going to read them though I need a clear understanding of the method that is the most important to me. I find that most K affs lose their method throughout the debate and most times I usually end up voting on presumption because I am not sure what the aff does. I think as ive gotten older this is really true and I really hate it when the aff doesn't have any tangible examples of what their method looks like to hang my hat on which is how i feel that alt/aff methods are won.
K affs VS Framework: I think that the aff in these debates always needs to have a role of the negative, because a lot of you K affs out their solve all of these things and its written really well but you say something most times that is non-controversal and that gets you in trouble which means its tough for you to win a fw debate when there is no role for the negative. In terms of like counter interp vs impact turn style of 2AC vs fw I dont really have a preference but i think you at some point need to have a decent counter interp to solve your impact turns to fw. If you go for the like w/m kind of business i think you can def win this but i think fw teams are prepared for this debate more than the impact turn debate
Plan Based Affirmatives: For teams in HS, some of you are not reading a different aff against K teams and I think you should, it puts you in a good place to beat the K, I have seen some teams do it on the water topic but for the most part you are just reading your big stick policy aff against K teams. I enjoy judging the heg good aff vs 7 off debate, policy aff you do you.
Framework: Yall need to go for what is the role of the negative (RotN) to me I think this is more persuasive than like any type of fairness argument because really RotN is the internal link to any impact argument you are going to make and it means that all of their offense that they are going to go for about their education being better and why your model is bad its all internal link turned by making the arg that they dont have a role for the negative so their revolutionary testing doesnt matter with out a RotN
DA: 1NR on disads have become card dumps and i hate it, explanation is better than just reading a ton of cards like yes read your uq cards on politics but use your link evidence to have a deep explanation of the link. The more specific the disad the better which is not to say i hate the politics disad brovero was my lab leader and drilled me on the ptx disad but I do enjoy the politics throwdown
CP: kind of the same notes for disads the more specific the better, planks are not conditional, condo most of the times is probably good, unless is like 4 or more
1. Clash of Civs are my favorite type of debates.
2. I will vote on death good
3. Counterplan should not have conditional planks -theory debates are good when people are not just reading blocks - that being said - theory cheap shots are not always persuasive to me but given they are warranted and isolate a clear violation then it means you probably win the debate
4. Who controls uniqueness - that come 1st
5. on T most times default to reasonability
6. Clash of Civs - (K vs FW) - These are fun debates, 2ACs need the standard meta DAs to policy making and policy debate of course counter interpretations and other specific offense vs their standards. FW teams yall always have these long overviews at the top of the 2NC which I do enjoy but yall need to do more work on the line by line in some of these debates because simply cross-applying from the overview does not answer the 2ACs args.
7. No plan no perm is not an argument
8. FW teams need a TVA - this is not necessary but affs need to have some type of framing question on the TVA
9. Speaker Points: I try to stay in the 28-29.9 range, better debate obviously better speaker points.
Ideal 2NR strategies
1. Topic K Generic
2. Politics Process CP
3. Impact Trun all advantages
4. PIC w/ internal net beneift
5. Topic T argument
Rounds Judged: 6
Been judging some LD recently just, a lot of the stuff still applies from above here are some more specific stuff - I was a K debater so take that as you will
1 - Larp/K
2. K affs
4-5. I do not like tricks or Phil
Email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach at Mason (2016-Present)
If my camera is off, I am not ready. Please do not start your speech yet or I will likely miss things. Thanks!
Top Level Things:
Tech > truth (most of the time)
Depth > breadth
Strategic thinking/arg development/framing of args > 10 cards that say X
I won't take prep for flashing/emailing, just don't steal it.
If a paradigm is not provided for me to evaluate the round, I will default to util.
I don't keep track of speech time/prep. Please keep your own.
Unless I am told not to judge kick by the 2AR, I will default to judge-kicking the CP or alt (in open).
I won't vote on things that have occurred outside of the round (ie pre-round misdisclosure).
Do not include cards in the card doc if they were not referenced in the 2NR/2AR but they do answer arguments your opponents made in their speech. If you didn't make the arg, I'm not going to read the card.
2:15 judge time is the bane of my existence. I apologize in advance for going to decision time in nearly every open debate. I like being thorough.
Please. Please. Please. Start slow for the first 5 seconds of each speech. It is sometimes so hard to comprehend online debate, especially if you are even slightly unclear in person.
Make sure to occasionally check the screen when speaking to make sure we aren't frozen/showing you we can't hear you.
I am very understanding of inevitable online tech failures.
Main things I end up looking to cards for:
- To clarify questions I have about my flow based on arguments made in the 2NR/2AR.
- To compare the quality of evidence on well-debated arguments. If both teams have done a good job responding to warrants from opponent ev + explaining their own ev, I will look to evidence quality as a tie breaker for those arguments.
- To determine if I should discount a card entirely. If a card is bad, say that. I will then validate if the ev is bad, and if it just doesn't make arguments I will not evaluate it in my decision. If I'm not told a card is bad and the arg is dropped, I'll give the other team full weight of it regardless of ev quality to preserve 2NR/2AR arg choice on arguments dropped by the other team.
- I will NOT use evidence to create applications that were not made by debaters to answer the other team's arguments.
2021 update: I'm fine with unlimited condo. I am very unlikely to vote on condo but will if it is certainly won.
Other theory stuff:
If theory comes down to reasons that the specific CP is a voter, I view it as a reason to reject the arg and not the team. To be clear, I will not vote someone down for reading a certain type of CP or alt based on theory args alone. Independent CP theory args are highly dependent on whether there is quality evidence to substantiate the CP.
There can be 0 percent risk of a link.
Bad DAs can be beaten with analytics + an impact defense card.
Uniqueness isn't given enough credit in a lot of 2NRs/2ARs.
Link typically precedes uniqueness. You should do framing for these things.
DA turns case/case turns DA gets dropped A LOT. Try not to do that.
I miss judging politics debates.
Ks v Policy Affs:
I prefer line-by-line debates and very much dislike lengthy overviews and convoluted alt explanations. I will not make cross-applications for you.
I prefer Ks that have specific links to the topic or plan action significantly more than Ks that have state or omission links.
It is important for you to win root cause claims in relation to the specifics of the aff rather than sweeping generalizations about war. This is especially true when the aff has arguments about a certain countries' motives/geopolitical interests or reasons behind corporate/governmental actions.
Outside of something that was blatantly offensive, I believe that all language is contextual and words only mean as much as the meaning attached to them. Thus, args like "we didn't use it in that context" are convincing to me. I can be persuaded to vote them down, but I am going to be more biased the other way.
Some of the below section is also relevant for these debates.
K affs v Policy Team:
The aff should at minimum be tied to the resolution. Novices should read a plan during their first semester.
Honestly, I would just prefer to resolve a debate that is aff v. case defense + offense specific to the aff (reform CP w/ net benefit, etc) over framework. If you go for framework/if you're giving a 2AR v it, below are some random things I think about clash debates. This is not exhaustive, nor does it mean I will automatically vote on these arguments. I will vote for who I think wins the flow, but in close debates, these are my leanings:
- I dislike judging debates that solely come down to structural v procedural fairness. I find them nearly impossible to resolve without judge intervention.
- Fairness is an internal link. There are multiple impacts that come from it.
- K affs are inevitable and we should be able to effectively engage with them in ways other than fw/t when they are based in discussions of the resolution.
- Ground and stasis points in debate are important for testing and arg refinement.
- Arg refinement can still occur over the process of the aff even w/o a plan if it's in the area of the resolution. Everyone should have X topic reform good cards to answer these affs/go against the K.
- Being topical is not the end of debate.
- Affs that are directly bidirectional are not a good idea in front of me and T should be the 2NR.
- Creativity can exist with plan texts and is not precluded by defending one.
- Affs garnering solid offense from sequencing questions is one of the best ways to win my ballot in these debates.
- Debate itself is good. Gaming is good. W/L inevitable. The goal of a debate is to win.
K v K:
If you happen to find me here, give me very clear judge instruction.
They're arbitrary. I've given up trying to adapt to a scale but I do try to give speaks based on the division and tournament. Here's some important things to note:
- Confidence gets you a long way.
- If you prevent your opponent from answering in cross ex, that won't bode well for speaks and I will be annoyed.
- I will not give you a 30 because you ask for one. Though I will give birthday and Senior last tournament boosts.
- If I'm not flowing something, and you notice I am staring at you, you are being redundant and should move on.
Associate Director of Debate @ Greenhill
Still helping KU in my free time
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I love debate and I will do my absolute best to make a decision that makes sense and give a helpful RFD.
Competing interpretations are easier to evaluate than reasonability. You need to explain to me how we determine what is reasonable if you are going for reasonability.
Having said that if your intep is so obscure that there isn't a logical CI to it, perhaps it is not a good interpretation.
T debates this year (water topic) have gotten too impact heavy for their own good. I've judged a number of rounds with long overviews about how hard it is to be negative that never get to explaining what affirmatives would be topical under their interp or why the aff interp links to a limits DA and that's hard for me because I think much more about the latter when I think about topicality.
Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to topicality arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC.
I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of this debate. Phrases like "third and fourth level testing" and "rev v rev debates are better" are kind of meaningless absent robust explanation. Fairness is an impact that I will vote on. Like any other impact, it needs to be explained and compared to the other team's impact. I have also voted on arguments about ethics, education, and pedagogy. I will try my best to decide who wins an impact and which impact matters more based on the debate that happens.
I do not think the neg has to win a TVA to win topicality; it can be helpful if it happens to make a lot of sense but a forced TVA is generally a waste of time.
If the aff is going for an impact turn about debate, it would be helpful to have a CI that solves that impact.
I would love to see you go for a disad and case in the 2NR. I do not find it persuasive when an affirmative team's only answer to a DA is impact framing. Impact framing can be important but it is one of a number of arguments that should be made.
I am aware the DA's aren't all great lately. I don't think that's a reason to give up on them. It just means you need a CP or really good case arguments.
I really enjoy an old-fashioned k vs the aff debate. I think there are lots of interesting nuances available for the neg and the aff in this type of debate. Here are some specific thoughts that might be helpful when constructing your strategy:
1. Links of omission are not links. Links of “commission” will take a lot of explaining.
2. Debating the case matters unless there is a compelling framework argument for why I should not evaluate the case.
3. If you are reading a critique that pulls from a variety of literature bases, make sure I understand how they all tie to together. I am persuaded by aff arguments about how it's very difficult to answer the foundation of multiple bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions. Also, how does one alt solve all of that??
4. Aff v. K: I have noticed affirmative teams saying "it's bad to die twice" on k's and I have no idea what that means. Aff framework arguments tend to be a statement that is said in the 2AC and repeated in the 1AR and 2AR - if you want fw to influence how I vote, you need to do more than this. Explain how it implicates how I assess the link and/or alternative solvency.
5. When ontology is relevant - I feel like these debates have devolved into lists of things (both sides do this) and that's tough because what if the things on the list don't resonate?
Generic counterplans are necessary and good. I think specific counterplans are even better. Counterplans that read evidence from the 1AC or an aff author - excellent! I don't have patience for overly convoluted counterplans supported by barely highlighted ev.
I do not subscribe to (often camp-driven) groupthink about which cp's "definitely solve" which aff's. I strongly disagree with this approach to debate and will think through the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is what debate is about.
Solvency deficits are a thing and will be accounted for and weighed along with the risk of a DA, the size of the DA impact, the size of the solvency deficit, and other relevant factors. If you are fiating through solvency deficits you should come prepared with a theoretical justification for that.
I am generally neg leaning on cp theory but if you want to make an argument about why a certain cp is illegitimate (cough, con con) I will do my best to objectively evaluate that argument.
Some people think it is auto-true that politics disads and certain cp's are terrible for debate. I don't agree with that. I think there are benefits/drawbacks to most arguments. This matters for framework debates. A plan-less aff saying "their model results in politics DA's which is obviously the worst" will not persuade absent a warrant for that claim.
Love a good case debate. It's super under-utilized. I think it's really impressive when a 2N knows more about the aff evidence than the aff does.
Please don't be nasty to each other; don't be surprised if I interrupt you if you are.
I don't flow the 1AC and 1NC because I am reading your evidence. I have to do this because if I don't I won't get to read the evidence before decision time in a close debate.
If the debate is happening later than 9PM you might consider slowing down and avoiding especially complicated arguments.
There was once a team who lost an "ethics challenge" because they capitalized a letter in a 1AC that had not been capitalized in the previous version of the 1AC -- that is not actually an ethics challenge. If you make a frivolous or convoluted ethics challenge in a debate that I judge I will ask you to move on and be annoyed for the rest of the round. Legitimate ethics challenges exist and should/will be taken seriously but ethics challenges are not something we should play fast and loose with.
For debating online:
-If you think clarity could even possibly be an issue, slow down a ton. More than ever clarity and quality are more important than quantity.
-If my camera is off, I am not there, I am not flowing your speech, I probably can't even hear you. If you give the 1AR and I'm not there, there is not a whole lot I can do for you.
Paradigm: Tabula Rasa, default to offense/defense
I would like to be on the email chain
Last substantive edit on my paradigm would be like late 2018.
Experience: I debated for Neenah High School for four years and UMKC for three years. For a year I served as assistant coach at Lee A Tolbert Community Academy. I also did forensics, kudos to you if you can make a group discussion reference. I've judged a lot of middle school rounds, a good number of high school, and the occasional college tournament (including the NDT). Just about all of my competitive and judging experience is in policy / CX debate.
I will flow whatever I hear in a speech, I have no objections to spreading. That being said, if I cannot hear you, I cannot flow you. Slow down on tags/authors or key points if you want to ensure I get them.
I want to hear good substantive clash in a round - that can occur with any argument type. Analysis wins rounds. Make comparative claims.
To me, there are two clear cut strategies to win a round - go further in depth or have a wider breadth. Either of these are fine for me. To win a depth round you need to do lots of analysis. To win a breadth round you need to capitalize on your opponents concessions. Either way you should be explaining why you winning a certain argument is important to the round.
Flows interact more than most teams acknowledge. Cross applying an argument your opponent made on one flow to another is a very viable strategy.
I have no objections to any argument type, whether it be K's, performance, T, theory, etc. That being said, I'm not super familiar with a lot of wild K literature; explain your thesis and you should be fine. I generally find myself leaning towards and inclined to vote for well explained kritiks over policy teams.
Theory should have an interpretation, standards, and voters just like topicality. I enjoy a good topicality or theory debate and I think that these arguments are underutilized in debate today. However, the ways teams are deploying topicality have drifted from the time/space I debated, I find it increasingly difficult to evaluate a round decided on topicality - make it easier for me. Tell a story, don't make me piece together the abuse claim.
Tech > Truth. But truth still has a lot of value, particularly on theory flows.
I aim to be as neutral as I can be going into a round. I think judge intervention is one of the worst things a debater can experience. This informs my philosophy towards me calling for cards at the end of a round. I will not call for cards unless there is a clear disagreement over the substance/text of a piece of evidence. I highly value good evidence, but if your evidence is better it should be articulated in round. I will not do work for you after the round. On the subject of evidence quality, I will give you significantly more weight on a claim/argument if you extend the warrants in a card rather than just saying extending the author or even the tag.
In some rounds judge intervention is inevitable depending on how the debaters performed. Eliminate the risk of judge intervention by doing my work for me. Tell me exactly why I should vote for you and why that's preferable to voting for the other team. Comparative analysis and warrant explanation does wonders here.
I'm serious when I say I'm a tabs judge. If you win that I should evaluate a round a certain way I will do so.
That being said, there are a few rules of debate that I would be very uncomfortable writing off. These include: uninterrupted speech, speech times, and speech order (I don't really care so much as to who on a team is speaking, especially if the identity of the speaker is relevant to the argument). From my perspective right now, these 'rules' are inviolable and necessary for a debate round to even occur, but if you argue against these rules I will evaluate it, I'll just need some real persuasion.
Pizza is my favorite food.
I'd be happy to answer any questions you have at any time! Good luck and have fun!
Hi i'm jared
Lane Tech 2016
- i help coached at wheeler hs in georgia alittle this year and rufus king here and there this year so topic knowledge is there. As I have judged the water topic a bit more here is some more articulated opnions:
Framework: You need to prove to me why an aff is not debatable, things like the industry da's, or the interstate compacts cp's seems like what the core neg ground is looking like whats its more the be. I need somewhat of a conversation of why an Aff makes it impossible. One off framework is probably not the best in front of me. Y'all need to probs look into like ivory tower args at least, how would the group of people you advocate for understand the args you are goin for, and how thats probs academic elitism and resinscribes the impacts you talk about .
K aff's : I need to understand what your aff does, and how it solves what it says you solve by the end of the debate. I ran these mostly while I debated, but I need to understand some relation to the topic, or why I should not care about the topic. But if it is the should not care about the topic route, you probs need to give give a ground list on the framework debate.
Theory: Alot of CP's are prolly cheating , once you hit 3+ condo that has some perf-con thats prolly bad.
to win my ballot beat the other persons arguments.
Quick Metaview to better understand how I view things.
1. K's/K aff's: Was my own bread and butter while I debated, will understand most literature basis but do not expect me to the work for you.
2. T's/Impact Turns': Underappreciated in debate , and I think are enjoyable debates if done well.
3. Politics DA : They are the intresting toxic thing that could go either way.
4. Policy Affs : If your aff relies on more intricate knowledge such as like a random court case more explanation the better.
5. Process CP's are probably cheating, but im more inclined to reject the arg than the team.
larger meta-framing issues :
a. dont be racist
b. aff prove why the status quo is bad - neg says its good or run your k or cp
c. ill dig a cp and impact turn strat with your 8 off strat or one off performance - ill listen to your arguements and look at it.
d. anything is probably could be voted on if not racist
f.I am probably truth is higher value than tech ,I'm not the most familiar with more techy policy args where slow down more of my knowledge is the K I'll try buy if im confused and look lost that means you are going over my head
g. theory : please just for the love of god do not read more than 5 or 6 condo, at this point its a question of yes reasonability but at the same time I need to be able to figure out what your warrants are. More often that not if CP's are specfic they'll avoid most of the theory questions.
h. With topicality it'll always be an interesting debate that with good framing its good.
i. In a round where I have to be answering questions It probably goes more towards the K, and how I think the Ontology Debate works out.
Non-Policy Debate Section:
You do you, and I look at flows. alot of my views on arguements in debate are summed up below, but I am open to any non-traditional forms of any of the other types of debate as long as you are not racist. I tend to vote purely off the flow as long as something is not just a straight up lie(i.e "Trump was Good"). On theory issues i tend to default to whatever means the least amount of judge intervention.
I debated at Missouri State for three years and had moderate success. I am now a graduate student studying communication.
I slightly prefer policy arguments more than critical ones. I want to refrain from intervening in the debate as much as possible. Extinction is probably bad. I think debate is good and has had a positive impact on my life. Both teams worked hard and deserve to be respected.
-Aff needs a clear internal link to the impact. Teams often focus too much time on impacts and not enough on the link story, this is where you should start.
-I like impact turns that don't deviate from norms of morality.
-Condo is good.
-Fairness is not an impact within itself but could be an internal link to something.
-Kritiks are interesting. Explain your stuff.
-Weighing impacts, evidence comparison, strategic decisions, and judge instruction can go a long way.
-Any argument that disproportionately targets minority populations will result in an automatic loss, conclusion of the debate, and a reporting to tabroom as well as your coaches.
Former debater at the University of Southern California. Debated in high school for the Barstow School.
Quick Note on getting easy Speaker Points from me and Spreading;
1) If both teams agree to NOT spread before the round and tell me so, then everyone gets +1 speaks. If any team breaks this agreement, then that team will lose the round.
2) If one team does NOT spread throughout the round, while the other team does, the team that did not spread will get +1.5 speaks
3) If the non-spreading team beats the spreading team, the non-spreading team will receive 30s.
If you want me to flow an important analytic or theory arguments, then you should SUBSTANTIALLY slow down. The same is true of tags. I have a relatively high bar for clarity, and if it doesn't get on my flow, then it didn't happen. I'm NOT saying you shouldn't spread, but you should spread with a mind for being relatively clear. This is ESPECIALLY true of permutations and theory args.
Summary of Paradigm;
I've debated mostly policy arguments throughout my debate career, but I do understand the basics of kritiks and will vote on them. For the AFF, I've only ever read policy AFFs, but this doesn't mean that I won't vote for a K-AFF as long as you defend how debate would be like under your vision. I really value teams that can write my ballot for me in the 2NR/2AR.
I've really only defended policy affirmatives throughout my career, so this is where I feel most comfortable. By the 2AR (or even the 1AR), there really should be only a single story/impact scenario that you're going for. I don't have a preference for extinction or structural violence impacts, so both sides will have to settle this issue for me.
For K-AFFs, I think that if you can defend your model of debate, than you will win. I think both education and fairness are equally viable impacts for the NEG (or even the AFF depending on how you contextualize your impacts). K-AFF v K debates are something that I haven't really done or judged in before, so if you're NEG, Id recommend either going for T/FW or a simple kritik like Cap.
I'm down for most CP stuff, even if you don't have a specific solvency advocate (obviously, its better if you do). This being said, if you're gonna read a CP without any solvency ev, you'd better extrapolate in the 1NC how you solve the AFF, rather than explain it all in the 2NC. If you can do that, I'm more likely to view the argument favorably than a generic CP.
I have debated and gone for a few kritiks, so I am familiar with the basic structure of a K. If you're going for a K, I think you need to clearly explain the thesis of your kritik and in what way it indicts the logic of the AFF. The less buzzwords you use, the better. If you're defending against a K, I think you should first win the AFF is correct and defend your assumptions and how they're made.
Additionally, I prefer links that are not descriptive of the status quo, and would like the explanation of the link to be pertinent to what the AFF does, i.e. "The AFF does X or says Y, which is representative of Z", rather than "The AFF uses the United States federal government, which is bad for A, B, or C reasons"
I am not familiar with the structure of this topic or any popular definitions, so if you debate it well enough, you can probably win any interpretation in front of me.
On condo, I largely think that the NEG should hold themselves to no more than 3 conditional off (arbitrary preference). I think the NEG can defend more conditional advocacies and the AFF can say 3 or fewer condo is bad.
I hate getting into more complex theory debates like textual/functional competition, so the NEG should really try to keep their CPs as theoretically kosher as possible
I default to theory args are a reason to reject the argument and not the team, unless specified by the AFF.
- Please don't read new off in the block unless the 2N justifies it
Name: Connor Ferguson
Yes, I would like to be included on the email chain.
Affiliation: Langham Creek High School
*Current for the 2020-21 Season*
Policy Debate Paradigm
I debated at Langham Creek from (2017-2020) this year I am currently helping out my alma mater by helping judging and coaching since corona has sent almost everything virtual.
Some things to know about me: I love when debaters find new angles or ways to access arguments in the debate. I also think that an old argument or backfile check strat is viable if run properly and can be quite fun. I'm a pretty easy-going judge who doesn't dislike any argument, if it makes sense and is relevant it's good in my book and I'm willing to evaluate it.
Critical Affirmatives – I think your aff should be related to the topic; we have one for a reason and I think there is value in doing research and debating on the terms that were set by the topic committee. I think having a text that you will defend helps you out plenty. Framework is definitely a viable strategy in front of me. I will say that the burden for a K aff is set slightly higher than a regular Aff in my opinion.
Disadvantages – Go for it. I like intuitive turns case arguments and I love when you can implicate the aff’s internal links and solvency using other parts of the disad.
Counterplans – I think that PICs can be an interesting avenue for debate, especially if they have a nuanced or critical net benefit. PICs bad etc. are not reasons to reject the team but just to reject the argument. I also generally err neg on these questions, but it isn’t impossible to win that argument in front of me. Condo debates are fair game.
Kritiks - I enjoy a good K debate. Although I feel as if Debaters make K's unnecessarily complicated and tend to trip themselves up in an attempt to trip up the opponent. If you run a K you should easily be able to tell me what the world of the K looks like and be able to explain it during cx.
"Method Debate" - Many debates are unnecessarily complicated because of this phrase. If you are reading an argument that necessitates a change in how a permutation works (or doesn't), then naturally you should set up and explain a new model of competition. Likewise, the affirmative ought to defend their model of competition.
Vagueness - Strangely enough, we begin the debate with two very different positions, but as the debate goes on the explanation of these positions change, and it all becomes oddly amorphous - whether it be the aff or neg. I feel like "Vagueness" arguments can be tactfully deployed and make a lot of sense in those debates (in the absence of it).
We all need to be able to understand what the alternative is, what it does in relation to the affirmative and how does it resolve the link+impact you have read. I will not vote for something that I can't explain back to you.
Case Debate – I think that even when reading a 1-off K strategy, case debate can and should be perused. I think this is probably the most undervalued aspect of debate. I can be persuaded to vote on 0% risk of the aff or specific advantages. Likewise, I can be convinced there is 0 risk of a DA being triggered.
Topicality - I'm down to listen to a good T debate. Having a topical version of the aff with an explanation behind it goes a long way in painting the broader picture of debate that you want to create with your interpretation. Likewise being able to produce a reasonable case list is also a great addition to your strategy that I value.
"Strange" Arguments / Backfile Checks - I love it when debate becomes fun. Sometimes we need a break from the monotony of nuclear armageddon. The so-called classics like wipeout, the pic, etc. I think are a viable strategy.
Theory: I truly love a well-executed Theory shell, honestly theory can go a long way for me. I feel as if people tend to see theory as a time suck, but theory can be an advantageous path for both teams.
Evidence - If you are starting an email chain - prep ends as soon as you open your email to send the document. I would like to be on your email chain as well - Connor.firstname.lastname@example.org
High Speaks? - The best way to get high speaks in front of me is in-depth comparative analysis. Whether this be on a theory debate or a disad/case debate, in depth comparative analysis between author qualification, warrants and impact comparison will always be rewarded with higher speaker points. The more you contextualize your arguments, the better. If you are negative, don't take prep for the 1NR unless you're cleaning up a 2NC disaster. The best way to loose speaker points is being blatantly rude and offensive. My least favorite phrase is: "Judge I'm sorry my opponents made you suffer through this round" - you dont know how I feel about a round so don't assume, assuming only makes an ass out of you and me. If you have read this far then good on you. Lighthearted and funny moments are always good to relieve stress. German accents and Zizek impressions are always acceptable.
Any other questions, please ask in person or email – email@example.com
*Updates for NDT 2022
Who are you affiliated with?
I coach for Harvard. I attended UMKC.
Email for chain?
firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
Do I care what you do?
I do not personally care about what you do stylistically.
Should I pref you?/How do you vote in clash debates? (Because thats honestly the section of paradigms people care about these days)
Whatever the debaters at hand find important in regards to framing, I will decide the debate through that lens. If the debaters happen to disagree on what lens I should prefer (because that never happens), then I will compare the pros and cons of both lenses and make a decision on which is preferable and thus filter the debate through that lens. In helping me make that decision in a way that benefits you, levy significant offense against the opposing team's lens, while supplementing your own with some defense and net-benefits. I'll give you a hint; education is the impact/net-benefit/tie-breaker. For me, It will rarely be fairness, ground, truth-testing, etc. I have and will likely always see those as internal-links to a much larger discussion about education. Which begs the question, "how do I view debate?" Debate is clearly a game. But this game grounds itself in a degree of realism that finds its value tethered to its capacity for us to maneuver within the world the game is set to reflect. Basically, debate is a game, life is a game, and we play this debate game because we think it can inform how we go about playing the life game. So yeah, sounds like education to me.
I flow. I won't be convinced not to. How I flow is up for debate.
Line-by-line is important but I find myself pondering the big issues often. Comprehensive overviews/argument framing with embedded clash can honestly do a lot for me. But the key word is comprehensive. In many rounds, debaters lose me when they prioritize checking off arguments on the flow and not paying particular attention to what arguments matter to a decision.
I value evidence comparison deeply. On important questions that have not been adequately resolved by debaters, I will read the evidence, including the un-underlined components to come to a greater understanding/receive necessary context for the writers intent. This has often shaded my evaluation of arguments made in relation to evidence read, moreso negatively for the reader. To insure this doesn't negatively affect you, be sure to flesh out that card...give me the context, give your interpretation of its impact on the topic at hand, and put it in conversation with the other team's evidence beyond the simple "they said, we said" formula. Display an understanding of why your evidence says what it says, its qualities, etc, and I will be more inclined to accept your description of things. I want to evaluate your arguments, not read cards at the end of the round to fill-in what your arguments are. This also means in my mind the less cards read, the better this is achieved.
I realize my points have been categorically low, and will attempt to rectify this by sitting closer to the perceived average. That said, points I give are based on my evaluation of things only. Points are the few things I have control over in a round, and reserve the right to assign them as I see fit.
Ask a question if you desire an answer not covered by the above statements.
tl;dr - "negative terrorist, but very amenable to aff counterterror", primarily K coach who secretly likes policy stuff a whole lot. technical, but not to the point of stupidity. reasonably adept judging everything, would prefer an in-depth K v K or counterplan/DA/impact turn debate, but I accept the nightmare of clash debates as penance for the sin of debate centrism. likes lots of evidence, likes lots of explanation, dislikes stupidity hiding behind abstractions and posturing. yes, you can read a planless aff, and yes, you can read framework. very expressive, generally grumpy about everything, but don't take it personally. if you can't be funny without being a dick, you aren't funny. please be funny. less posturing, more arguing. Please don't call me "judge", "Mr.", or "sir", pat or p.fox is fine.
the top-level stuff
Policy debate: University of Houston and Dulles HS (formerly Westside HS). LD debate: all over the place.
More robust debate CV here.
email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Format subject lines for email chains be "Tournament Round - Aff Entry vs Neg Entry" (e.g: "NDT 2019 Octos - Wake EF vs Bing AY")
I have hearing damage in my left ear, so try and position yourself to my right. I also sometimes get sensory overload, so I close my eyes during speeches/put my head down during prep - I promise I'm not sleeping, I can literally flow with my eyes closed.
Debate is a competitive activity centered around research and persuasion. I adjudicate the competitive aspect and enable progression of students in research and persuasion.
The safety of students is my utmost concern above the content of any debate. This is the only way you, as a debater, can genuinely make me mad. Avoid it for both our sakes. Racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and I am more willing to act on this than most judges - I have literally stopped flowing and submitted my ballot in the middle of a 1AR before because I couldn't justify letting the debate play out "impartially", and I will lose no sleep over doing it again.
Two teams are the only entities taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on arguments made within tournament set speech and prep times, and will submit a decision with one winner and loser or possibly a double-loss.
You are high school students, so I do not want to see or perceive anything NSFW. PG-13 is your upper limit.
If you try and tell me that anything outside of this is "binding" on my "jurisdiction" as a judge, you are incorrect. Furthermore, I will resent you telling me how to do my job.
Condo is good, RVIs are bad. I put this in the non-negotiables section because they are far and away the convictions I will have the hardest time to be dissuaded of.
I try to be a good judge for any content-heavy strategy, and I find the best rounds to be small debates over a central controversy and driven by research. I know many judges say they have no ideological investment , but have only ever lived on one half of the weird K/cheaty counterplans dualism - I have gone for and coached both. I personally enjoy T throwdowns, impact turns and a CP/DA, framework vs K aff, policy vs K and rev v rev rounds equally, and I have no qualms judging any of them. This being said, I care above everything else that whatever you do, you defend it (and if it's indefensible, don't do it).
For what it's worth, historically I am probably a bit higher preferred by K teams than policy teams, but my voting record in clash debates was always pretty even, and I find that in the last year or so the gap seems to have narrowed. I used to say I had more practice judging K v policy and K v K rounds than policy/policy rounds - I no longer think this is true, given my judging record as of late. LD phil people - I judge less of your stuff these days, but once upon a time I was thought to be pretty decent for it.
I'm very expressive. Comically so, in fact. I shake my head and scowl at arguments I dislike (I do this with condo a lot), I grin and nod when I think you're doing the right thing, I make eye contact and raise my eyebrows if I am confused, and I will chuckle if you make reference to any of these reactions in the speech, which I am fine with, if not actively encouraging of - I think if you have a read on me, it makes judge instruction easier, which makes everything better.
I worked with JD Sanford and Aimun Khan in high school, and work with Richard Garner (whom I am ideologically aligned with most of anyone), James Allan, Rob Glass, and Michael Wimsatt in college. I like debating in front of David Kilpatrick, Alex McVey, Phillip DiPiazza, Devane Murphy, Reed van Schenck, Jesse Smith, Doug Husic, and DML. Some former students and/or close friends of mine are Dylan Jones, Z Clough, Townes Schultz, Elliott Cook, Ali Abdulla, Holden Bukowsky, and Avery Wilson. I have debated in college with Gabby Lea and Brett Cryan. I have worked extensively with Eric Schwertfeger the past few years. There is probably some overlap between me and all these people as a judge.
2022-23 Hall of Fame: Favorite debaters I have judged this year are Sam Church, Wyeth Renwick, Elizabeth Elliott, Justin Wen, and Neil Choudhary. Debate like them and I will probably enjoy judging you too.
I find most judge paradigms unhelpful, because they’re almost all some variant of “Tech over truth, good for anything, mostly read policy stuff/xyz Ks though, I swear I’m smart and cool, I definitely have no biases” which is completely useless to me, a debater, for understanding how you make decisions and what you view as good debating. As such, this paradigm is kinda long. That being said, this paradigm used to be even longer, with many more specific thoughts on specific args - you can find those longer and specific thoughts here, for the purposes of more informed prefs. This includes my thoughts on specific arguments (i.e: the K, counterplans, etc) topic metas, and miscellaneous quirks about my judging habits and procedure.
Stolen from Jake Lee: "You have the doc in front and all you have to do is listen. If I can flow without looking at the doc, you can too!" I am increasingly appalled by the standard of flowing among high school debaters, and aside from asking for a marked doc, questions such as "did you read X card/arg in the doc" are for CX or prep time. If you ask this and you haven't started a timer for one or the other yet, I will start one for you. If you ask "can you send a doc without all the cards you didn't read", the other team does not have to do that, because that is not what a marked doc is. The obvious exception to this is if you have some sort of hearing problem or a similar issue with audio processing that requires accommodation - feel free to tell me if that's the case, and I will enforce those accommodations for you with the same vigor that I forbid them for anyone who doesn't actually need them.
here's what I think is most important to know about me as a judge:
- I judge a lot, schedule allowing - usually ~80 debates a season. This is because of three things:
1. I think judging is a skill, and it is valuable for the community to have a surplus. You can't give a good 2NR if you haven't given a speech in three months, and I can't give a good RFD if I haven't judged all season. Many judges suck because they don't think about judging as something to be practiced and refined, and have never tried to improve. I try to think about this a lot.
2. I think judging is interesting, because I like debate. Knowing what the best teams are going for both helps my own debaters and keeps me awake - the way the activity iterates and (mostly) improves over time, both in content and form, is the fun part.
3. Rent isn't free, and judging pays bills. Interpret all this as you will, but I think you can be confident I am reasonably aware of community norms and have decent experience with the techne of judging, and I most enjoy debates at the bleeding edge of the meta - push boundaries or show me something new, and you'll be rewarded. This being said, I'm an old man at heart, so good renditions of classics also get rewarded. Just focus on executing, and don't be afraid to take risks - I am a big fan of scrappy debating.
- Some judges admit they are not the best flows. I consider myself a very good one. I flow in shorthand on my computer, and I can get down basically every word of all but the very fastest (or most unclear) debaters. It deeply frames how I view the debate, and I do not think there is any real alternative to judge by. My primary reference for the decision I make is what you tell me it is, not what your doc said or how good your cards are. If you want me to pay attention to those things, put it on my flow. Regardless of content or style, I value debaters who are organized and easy to follow - debate like Dartmouth, number args. My ideal speech structure is minimal (if not zero) overview, with arguments answered in the order they were presented in the previous speeches, and explaining the parts of your argument in the context of being responses to your opponents (i.e: putting the link debate on the permutation and explaining it in that context). I am certainly open to adopting alternative models of evaluating the debate beyond technical refutation, but I am loathe to reject it outright without having a pretty good idea what I should do instead beforehand.
- Tech over truth. However, the way debaters have come to conceptualize what that means is an atrocity. I do not think this implies that any dropped assertion, no matter how stupid, becomes true by nature of being dropped - it means that technical execution can overcome the truth of an argument. When claims are equally warranted and impacted out by both sides, tech determines the winner, but unwarranted or non-impacted tech doesn't get you far with me. This also means that in technically close debates, truth often tiebreaks. I am interested in watching you technically execute an argument that you have invested meaningful preparation and strategizing into - many styles and arguments can satisfy this, but some clearly do not. A better way to frame my philosophy here is that the burden of proof precedes the burden of rejoinder - if you have not warranted an argument to justify it's truth, I do not care if it is "dropped", as there was never a full argument to answer. Will happily say "didn't understand this, sucks" in my RFD, even if "technically" won. This is why, while I do apply a very strict standard of organized refutation and keep a very tight flow, I am sometimes persuaded to vote for the team that was being "out-teched" because I find the opposing team to be spamming ink instead of making a comparative response to big thesis claims (this matters a lot in Framework debates I judge, and I find both sides equally often guilty here). To simplify, techy arguments beat non-techy arguments, but techy non-arguments don't beat anything. Be wary of the distinction.
- I think that debate is best when debaters are comparative, and speak in relative risk rather than absolutes. Very few pieces of evidence support as clean cut yes/no conclusions as debaters want them to, and recognizing that will make you much more persuasive. Example: "No China war now, but plan guarantees it - outweighs because zero impact to the prolif scenario" sets a very high threshold for me to vote neg, as you've left no room for anything less than absolute certainty at the uniqueness and link level, as well as perfect case defense. By contrast, "likelihood of US-China escalation is low now even with tensions because disputes are being managed, but the plan is a massive shift towards offensive posturing which incentivizes Xi to retaliate, which would draw in the US and allies because we have too much to lose - it's significantly higher risk than the case because multiple external factors check escalation from prolif, but their ev only assumes worst-case scenarios" is certainly a longer argument, but still probably a lot truer, and leaves more leeway for me to conclude in your favor even if I have some doubts. I think debaters are almost never winning anything as decisively as they think they are, and so couching 2N/AR offense in this frame (i.e: "even if" statements) helps a lot.
- Many judges give atrocious RFDs. I try not to. I'm definitely long-winded, but being thorough and going through every moving part of the debate is better than a 2 sentence non-decision that hand-waves details. I ask myself what would be most confusing about losing if I was the 2A/2N, and try to answer that question in advance. The best way to make my decision sound like the one in your head is to tell me what it should be - please take this literally, as I coach my debaters to start the 2N/AR off with "your RFD is..." Judge instruction is an essential skill that is nonetheless deeply lacking from many debates.
- I am deeply unsympathetic to strategies that attempt to avoid clash/engagement, and my threshold for answering patent nonsense is low. You know who you are and you know what this means. Debate is valuable because it encourages content mastery, and I am most impressed by debaters who can show me they've done their homework. That means that I find arguments that attempt to circumvent this pretty clearly less valuable from a pedagogical standpoint, and as such I will be loathe to reward such strategies with the ballot - the stupider or more in bad faith your argument is, the harder I will look for an excuse to not vote for it, and therefore the lower my threshold for answering it will be.
Barring connection issues, I have my camera on at all times during speeches and CX. I will turn my camera off after the 2AR while making my decision and turn it back on once I'm in. You don't have to have your camera on and don't have to ask me to turn it on/off. I'm okay with being recorded if (and only if) everyone else in the room is also okay with it.
COVID things: I am vaccinated and boosted. If anyone else in the room is wearing a mask, I will also be wearing a mask. If the tournament has a mask mandate, I will be following it. If anyone asks me to put on a mask, I will put on a mask. I will hold all of you to the same standards. If you do not have a mask, I will have extra. If you refuse to abide by these very simple and reasonable standards, I will happily give you an L25.
I like music and will listen to it during prep time. I enjoy most music (I almost went to school for jazz composition, and regularly listen to hip hop, punk, blues, and metal, as well as lots in between). Any debater can suggest a song for me to listen to during prep, and if I like it, I will bump everyone's speaks by 0.1 (there's no penalty if I decide I dislike it, I promise).
Speaks start at 28.5 for a team I'd expect to go 3-3. I try and keep it relative to the pool - a 30 at TFA State is easier to get than a 30 at GBX (although I don't give out many 30s). Below 28 and I think you are legitimately in the wrong division i.e: you should go mess around in JV for a bit, below 27.5 and you have done something profoundly bad. I tend to reward organized speeches, smart and gutsy strategic choices, and debating with character. Not a big believer in low-point wins - if the 2NR makes a stupendously dumb decision, but the 2AR doesn't effectively capitalize on it and loses anyways, why wouldn't I punish the 2AR harder for fumbling the bag harder?
Debate should be a safe space for everyone. Respect pronouns, respect people's personhood, etc.
A casual approach is welcome and appreciated. I'm a wacky guy at heart. Mess around a bit. Have some fun. Its the weekend. Show me you wanna be here.
I will make minimal eye contact during any given debate. It's not you, it's my autism.
I decide most debates very fast, even in close rounds. Don't take it personally.
Yao-Yao: "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck." You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that.
Big DC comics nerd. Favorite heroes are Green Lantern and Red Hood (and Batman, obviously). References always welcome, may be rewarded with speaks. Marvel movie jokes will get speaks penalized though.
Good luck, and see you in round!
The optimist boldly claims, "this is the best possible world". The pessimist retorts, "that is exactly the problem."
I'm a former varsity debater from Heights High School. I go by "Tavia" or "Via", and I use she/her pronouns. I'm a junior in college, and this is my ninth year in debate, consisting of two years in middle school, four years in high school with Heights, and three years occasionally judging debates in college. I debated exclusively Policy (CX) in high school, so I will likely recognize those arguments more often than those from other forms of debate. I have some knowledge of LD and can typically follow LD rounds well, but be careful with LD-specific arguments and shorthand, as I likely don't know them all. As long as you elaborate and explain well, you should be fine. The same goes for those debating PF. When it comes to worlds, I have very little experience. I've judged worlds before, but I likely won't know the topic.
I'm Tab. You can read just about anything. Non-traditional affs are fine. Explain Ks well and don't use buzzwords. DAs are fine. If you read T or Theory, have all parts of the shell, including the implication. I won't know LD specific shorthand, including the common arguments in most RVI debates, but you can run RVIs as long as you explain well. CPs and alts should be competitive. PLEASE weigh and do the work on framing. For anything more specific look below.
Rounds you want me judging
- rounds with performative, narrative, and/or identity affs (including good, CLEAR K v K and K v T-FW debates)
- policy rounds
- clear/basic or well-explained K rounds
Rounds you probably don't want me judging
- heavy/uncomprehensible/convoluted K lit without explanations and with a lot of buzzwords
- Mach 10 (faster than the speed of light) RVI heavy theory rounds
- K v K rounds that are dense and require extensive previous knowledge about the literature
Yes, I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Speechdrop is fine too. I prefer these two methods to flash, but if all you have is a flash, then that's fine.
In a world where debate is virtual and technological discrepancies exist, having a speech doc is more important than usual. Please make your speech docs organized and easy to navigate. Don't forget to signpost either. Great docs + great signposting = anywhere from .2 to .5 extra speaks.
I'm okay with both Open CX and Flex Prep, but if CX is open, I'd like to see everyone participate throughout all of the CXs. The 60-40 rule is probably a good threshold for the involvement of the assigned speaker. Both partners should ask and answer questions. Also, if you choose to use flex prep, the other team doesn't have to answer your question; it's up to that team or debater.
I don't count flashing (or emailing) as prep, but don't steal prep time by prepping while flashing. If you try to steal prep, I'll likely start running your time until you stop prepping. Also, if you're taking too long to email or flash a file (over 1-2 minutes) and you aren't having technical difficulties, I'll likely start prep until you finish.
I'm a tab judge. I won't hack against any arguments, and I don't really have any argument preferences. I can be either truth over tech or tech over truth, depending on the situation, but I tend to lean towards tech > truth, so be aware of that. Which one SHOULD I be? Idk. You tell me. With that said, analytics STILL have to be answered. They are arguments, and they should be warranted.
"My partner will answer that in the next speech" is NOT a CX answer, and if you use it I'll doc you .1 speaks.
Maybe let's try not to read difficult Ks against first-years/novices early in the season. If you do, explain it VERY well. If you're rude about it, I'll doc anywhere from .5 to 1 speaks.
My range is typically 27-30. Speaks in the 26-26.9 range will be awarded very rarely and only if the above standards are met. Anything below 26 means you did something problematic, and it's possible I will end the round there if it is extreme enough. I will not tolerate rhetoric that is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, islamophobic, etc. If you justify racism good, sexism good, etc., your speaks will reflect that, and so will the ballot. So don't.
Speed is fine. My speed threshold is probably around 6/10. However, as I've not judged much this year, it might be smart to start at a 5 and work your way up. If you're spreading, SLOW DOWN AND ENUNCIATE FOR TAGS AND AUTHOR NAMES. You don't need to drop to a conversational speed, but I should have no trouble understanding either of these things. I will call clear, slow, or louder only if I think it's necessary, so don't ignore them if you hear them. I will only call them twice. I won't call them beyond that because you clearly aren't listening. Your response, or lack thereof, will be reflected in your speaks. If I can't hear or understand you, then your speaks will show that.
Signpost what flow you're on and where on the flow you are. Smart strategic choices and efficiency will be rewarded. Speed and efficiency are NOT the same thing, so be aware of that. If you choose to spread, don't use that as an excuse to sacrifice efficiency.
DAs- I have no problems with disadvantages, and I use them myself when I find them useful. It will help you if the DA has specific links and/or if the link is contextualized well. If you want to debate only disads as the neg, then you do you. But, please weigh and make impact calc arguments so I know why I should vote for the DA, and avoid DAs with unnecessarily long link chains because probability decreases as the link chain increases. Tell me why the DA is a voting issue, and why I vote neg.
CPs- Tell me why the CP is competitive (explain how the CP is better than the aff AND the perm). I have no reason to vote on a non-competitive CP. If a DA gives the CP a net benefit, then defend the DA. If you don't go for the DA but go for the CP, and the net benefit of the DA provides the CP competition, then the CP is no longer competitive. Be aware of whether or not your CP generates competition on its own. Know your CP well enough to know if it's competitive against the aff or not.
T- I'm okay with topicality. Please include all parts of the shell (interpretation, violation, standards, voters, and IMPLICATION). Why isn't the aff topical? What does an untopical aff mean for the round and/or for debate in general? (Why is topicality important?) Don't just read standards, justify them. What ground do you lose? How many possible affs are there in the world of the aff? All of these questions should be answered in your shell.
Theory- Most of this is the same as T, so look at that if what you need isn't here. I'm fine with theory, just make sure to include all parts of the shell (interpretation, violation, standards, voters, and IMPLICATION). If there's no implication, and it's pointed out, then I have no reason to vote on Theory. Tell me what the shell means and what effect it should have on the round. To my LDers out there: RVIs are fine. I don't have a predisposition to vote for or against them. So, if you want to read an RVI, then go for it. Just make sure you warrant the arguments you're making. Also, be aware that I may not know the usual arguments surrounding an RVI debate, so warrants are probably more important than usual. If your RVI arguments aren't in the doc, then it would be useful to slow down when you get there on the flow.
Framework/T-Framework- This is useful when determining which types of offense I need to evaluate. Which model of debate is best? Why should I only evaluate the offense that fits under your framework? If using T-FW against a K aff, tell me WHY I care about the topic, your interp of the topic, or your interp of debate. If the K aff says they can't access the education under your interp, tell me why/how they can. TVAs or alternatives to the aff never hurt. Why does the TVA solve the aff?
Framing- Framing is helpful when evaluating offense and weighing arguments. Overall, just make sure to justify the arguments you make here, and tell me how I should use it in the round. Why should I evaluate structural violence over nuke war? Why is generational violence weighed over extinction? Is util good? I don't know, you tell me.
Kritiks- I typically enjoy Ks. I think they have the capacity to be a lot of fun and address new, abstract ideas. Here's the catch: if you don't understand a K, DON'T RUN IT. And on a general note, if a K is bad, it probably shouldn't be run either. If you're using a generic link, contextualize it and explain to me why it links to the plan. Always explain your Ks, especially the alt. How am I supposed to know what the alt does and vote on it if you don't? If you're running a K, you probably know the literature, but I may not. In fact, I likely don't. Assume when running a K that I've never read or discussed the literature you're mentioning. This will improve the discussion within the round. If you're running convoluted Ks with complicated literature, I'm probably not the best judge for you. Ks that address changes in how we interact in the debate space are Ks that I rather enjoy, especially those that address issues (such as sexism, racism, patriarchy, transphobia, etc.) that are not only visible in the "real world" but are visible in the debate space as well. It's both fun and important to interact with others in this way and exchange experiences. I default to thinking the aff probably gets to weigh case unless you can provide a really good reason why they can't.
K Affs- Go for it. I will say, however, that it would be useful to read the K section above for general notes and such. I'm telling you now, I probably won't know the lit, and buzzwords won't change that. Be prepared to answer T-FW and neg Ks. Why is the education of the aff more important than that of the topic or the K?
Performance Affs- Yes, run it. I read performance during my senior year in high school debate, and I loved it. I especially enjoy performance affs that address the debate space as a whole. Debate bad affs are fine, but you should probably tell me how you plan to make it better. Justify why the performance matters and be ready to answer T, FW, Theory, etc. Prove why your model of debate is better and tell me why and how to vote for you. Utilize and weaponize your performance.
Other Non-traditional Affs- Sure, you do you. Debate bad affs are fine, but you should probably tell me how you plan to make it better. Planless and untopical affs are fine, but be prepared to answer whatever T, FW, or Theory the neg runs. Aff probably has to win their version of debate is better.
Richard A. Garner | Director of Debate | University of Houston | firstname.lastname@example.org
Framework: Neg: topical version is very helpful; aff: probably okay if you defend the government doing a topical thing. One should be able to defend their model of debate. I put this issue first because it’s probably what you really care about. Everything else is alphabetical.
Case debate: Turning the case is my favorite thing to judge. Uniqueness is good here, but not always necessary with comparative evidence.
CPs/Competition/Theory: Comparisons win theory debates, along with impacts. I’m not sure that states or international CPs compete, but no one has ever put this to the test in front of me so it’s hard to say. No strong feelings about consultation or conditioning either way. K affs probably shift competition questions that rely on FIAT. Won't kick the CP unless you tell me to. Non-arbitrary interpretations are ideal.
Critiques: I understand these and am fine with them (understatement). From both the aff and neg, I enjoy narrative coherence, specific application, and alternative debates. New things under the sun are wonderful to see, but so too the old, artisanal ways upon occasion.
Disadvantages: I tend to think risk probability is never 100% absent drops, and that each internal link might reduce certainty. Can have zero risk (though if the CP solves 100% of the case … probably need offense). Don’t tend to think that impacts automatically/100% turn case, or vice versa; instead, comparisons are evaluating risk probability bubbles/multiple competing worlds.
Judge Space: Judges are human beings, not argument processing machines; enjoyable debates matter. Evidence comparison is the highest art. Debaters’ flowing/line-by-line is generally terrible; embedded clash is nice, but at its root it depends on an organized approach to the flow. Drops: before the burden of rejoinder attains, there must be a full argument (claim/warrant/implication). I am displeased by a) subpoints with no b) subpoints, and by "Is anyone not ready?" because it is a linguistic abomination (see: bit.ly/yea-nay). I read a lot of cards, but, paradoxically, only in proportion to the quality of evidence comparison. Highlighting: needs to make grammatical sense; don’t use debate-abbreviation highlighting (ok: United States; not: neoliberalism). If I cannot understand the highlighting, I will not read the rest of the card for context.
Logistics: Add me to the email chain. Prep should stop when you send email. I don’t read speech docs during the debate.
*Principles: Without getting too philosophical, I try to evaluate the round via the concepts the debaters in the round deploy (immanent construction) and I try to check my personal beliefs at the door (impersonality). These principles structure all other positions herein.
Speaker Points: I approximate community norms, like re: Regnier breakdown or Wake scale.
Topicality: I evaluate it first. I enjoy T debates, and lean more towards ‘better interpretation for debate’ than ‘we have the most evidence’.
(Nota bene: There are much more extensive thoughts behind all of these tendencies, so if you want a medieval dissertation on impersonality or disquisition on probability bubbles, by all means ask.)
Brief Debate CV:
South Garland (competitor): 1995-1999
NYU (competitor): 1999-2003
Random Poem (updated 3/30/23):
Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.
downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I’ve been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph
the rhythm the rhythm—and your memory in my head three years after—And read Adonais’ last triumphant stanzas aloud—wept, realizing how we suffer—
And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember, prophesy as in the Hebrew Anthem, or the Buddhist Book of Answers—and my own imagination of a withered leaf—at dawn—
Dreaming back thru life, Your time—and mine accelerating toward Apocalypse,
the final moment—the flower burning in the Day—and what comes after,
looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city
a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed—
like a poem in the dark—escaped back to Oblivion—
No more to say, and nothing to weep for but the Beings in the Dream, trapped in its disappearance,
sighing, screaming with it, buying and selling pieces of phantom, worshipping each other,
worshipping the God included in it all—longing or inevitability?—while it lasts, a Vision—anything more?
Dunya Mikhail, "The End of the World," The Iraqi Nights (3/30/23)
Sakutaro Hagiwara, "A Useless Book" (8/1/19)
e.e. cummings, "O sweet spontaneous" (1/4/18)
Affiliation: University of Houston
I’ve been judging since 2011. As of January 2nd, 2022 I am the third most prolific college policy judge in the era of Tabroom. Ahead of me are Jackie Poapst and Armands Revelins, behind me are Kurt Fifelski and Becca Steiner. Take this how you will.
Yes, I want to be on the E-mail chain. Send docs to: robglassdebate [at] the google mail service . I don’t read the docs during the round except in unusual circumstances or when I think someone is clipping cards.
The short version of my philosophy, or “My Coach preffed this Rando, what do I need to know five minutes before the round starts?”:
1. Debate should be a welcoming and open space to all who would try to participate. If you are a debater with accessibility (or other) concerns please feel free to reach out to me ahead of the round and I will work with you to make the space as hospitable as possible.
2. Have a fundamental respect for the other team and the activity. Insulting either or both, or making a debater feel uncomfortable, is not acceptable.
3. Debate is for the debaters. My job, in total, is to watch what you do and act according to how y’all want me. So do you and I’ll follow along.
4. Respond to the other team. If you ignore the other team or try to set the bounds so that their thoughts and ideas can have no access to debate I will be very leery of endorsing you. Find an argument, be a better debater.
5. Offense over Defense. I tend to prefer substantive impacts. That said I will explicitly state here that I am more and more comfortable voting on terminal defense, especially complete solvency takeouts. If I am reasonably convinced your aff does nothing I'm not voting for it.
6. With full credit to Justin Green: When the debate is over I'm going to applaud. I love debate and I love debaters and I plan on enjoying the round.
Online Debate Update:
1. Please slow down a little. I will have high quality headsets, but microphone compression, online compression, and then decompression on my end will almost certainly effect just how much I hear of your speeches. I do not open speech docs and will not flow off of them which means I need to be able to understand what you’re saying, so please slow down. Not much, ~80% of top speed will probably be enough. If a team tries to outspread a team that has slowed down per this paradigm I will penalize the team that tried for said advantage.
1A. If you're going too fast and/or I cannot understand you due to microphone quality I will shout 'clear'. If after multiple calls of clear you do nothing I will simply stop flowing. If you try to adapt I will do the best I can to work with you to make sure I get every argument you're trying to make.
2. I come from the era of debate when we debated paper but flowed on computers, which means when I’m judging I will have the majority of my screen dominated by an excel sheet. If you need me to see a performance please flag it for me and I’ll rearrange my screen to account for your performance.
3. This is an echo of point 1, but it's touchy and I think bears repeating. The series of audio compressions (and decompressions) that online debate imposes on us has the consequence of distorting the high and low ends of human speech. This means that clarity will be lost for people with particularly high and low pitches when they spread. There is, realistically speaking, no way around this until we're all back in rooms with each other. I will work as hard as I can to infer and fill in the gaps to make it so that loss is minimized as much as possible, but there is a limit to what I can do. If you think this could affect you please make sure you are slowing down like I asked in point 1 or try to adapt in another way.
4. E-mail chains, please. Not only does this mean we don't have to delay by futzing around with other forms of technology but it also gives us a way to contact participants if (when) connections splutter out.
5. The Fluffy Tax. If during prep or time between speeches a non-human animal should make an appearance on your webcam and I see it, time will stop, they will be introduced to the debaters and myself, and we shall marvel at their existence and cuteness together. In the world of online debate we must find and make the joy that we can. Number of times the fluffy tax has been imposed: 3.
6. Be kind. This year is unbelievably tiring, and it is so easy to both get frustrated with opponents and lose an empathetic connection towards our peers when our only point of contact is a Brady Bunch screen of faces. All I ask is that you make a conscious effort to be kind to others in the activity. We are part of an odd, cloistered, community and in it all we have is our shared love of the activity. Love is an active process, we must choose to make it happen. Try to make it happen a little when you are in front of me.
Politics - If you're running politics in a post-January 6th world you better have a really good uniqueness and internal link story. Internal links should assume the direction of the impact.
Terminal Defense - Most Disads (FTC, DOJ, etc.) do not link. Most counter-plans on this topic are built around paper thin solvency claims that would be laughed out of real world discussions of antitrust and would not realistically avoid the tenuous link claims made by the net benefit. I am very comfortable looking at these arguments and declaring "No." if a 2A makes that push.
States Counterplan - Frankly speaking, the barriers to the States CP on this topic are overwhelming in my mind. I do not know how the States CP overcomes the commerce clause, the supremacy clause combined with the doctrine of preemption, or the dormant commerce clause. If you read a States CP without cards explicitly discussing this in the context of the 1AC plan my threshold for rejecting the CP for lacking solvency will be incredibly low. (The educationally bankrupt view of "fiat solves" will get no play unless you have cards that say A. overturning basic constitutional doctrine is good and B. that those actions overturning it will be enforced by the courts.) If you think you have the cards for this, run the counterplan. If you don't then maybe you should rethink whether or not this should be in any 1NC you run.
The standard argumentative thoughts list:
Debate is for the debaters - Everything below is up for debate, and I will adapt to what the debaters want me to do in the round.
Aff relationship to the topic - I think affirmatives should have a positive relationship to the topic. The topic remains a center point of debate, and I am disinclined to think it should be completely disregarded.
"USFG" framework: Is an argument I will vote on, but I am not inclined to think it is a model that best suits all debates, and I think overly rigid visions of debate are both ahistorical and unstrategic. I tend to think these arguments are better deployed as methodological case turns. TVAs are very helpful.
Counter-plan theory: Condo is like alcohol, alright if used in moderation but excess necessitates appropriate timing. Consultation is usually suspect in my book, alternative international actors more so, alternative USFG actors much less so. Beyond that, flesh out your vision of debate. My only particularly strong feeling about this is judge kick, which is explained at the bottom of this paradigm.
Disads: I have historically been loathe to ascribe 0% risk of a link, and tended to fall very hard into the cult of offense. I am self-consciously trying to check back more against this inclination. Impact comparison is a must.
PTX DAs: For years I beat my chest about my disdain for them, but I have softened since. I still don't like them, and think intrinsicness theory and basic questions of inherency loom large over their legitimacy as argumentation, but I also recognize the role they play in debate rounds and will shelve my personal beliefs on them when making my decision. That said, I do not think "we lose politics DAs" is a compelling ground argument on framework or T.
Critiques: I find myself yearning for more methodological explanation of alternatives these days. In a related thought, I also think Neg teams have been too shy about kicking alts and going for the "link" and "impact" (if that DA based terminology ought be applied one-to-one to the K) as independent reasons to reject the Affirmative advocacy. One of the most common ways that other judges and I dissent in round is that I tend to give more credit to perm solvency in a messy perm debate.
Case debate: Please. They are some of my favorite debates to watch, and I particularly enjoy when two teams go really deep on a nerdish question of either policy analysis or critical theory. If you're going down a particularly deep esoteric rabbit hole it is useful to slow down and explain the nuance to me, especially when using chains of acronyms that I may or may not have been exposed to.
Policy T: I spend a fair chunk of my free time thinking about T and the limits of the topic. I used to be very concerned with notions of lost ground, my views now are almost the opposite. Statistical analysis of round results leads me to believe that good negative teams will usually find someway to win on substance, and I think overly dramatic concerns about lost ground somewhat fly in the face of the cut-throat ethos of Policy Debate re: research, namely that innovative teams should be competitively rewarded. While framework debates are very much about visions of the debate world if both teams accept that debate rounds should be mediated through a relationship to policy action the more important questions for me is how well does debate actually embody and then educate students (and judges) about the real world questions of policy. Put differently, my impulse is that Framework debates should be inward facing whereas T debates should be outward facing. All of that should be taken with the gigantic caveat that is "you do you," whatever my beliefs I will still evaluate warranted ground arguments and Affirmative teams cannot simply point at this paradigm to get out of answering them.
Judge Kick: Judge kick is an abomination and forces 2ARs to debate multiple worlds based on their interpretation of how the judge will understand the 2NR and then intervene in the debate. It produces a dearth of depth, and makes all of the '70s-'80s hand-wringing about Condo come true. My compromise with judge kick is this: If the 2NR advocates for judge kick the 2A at the start of 2AR prep is allowed to call for a flip. I will then flip a coin. If it comes up heads the advocacy is kicked, if it comes up tails it isn't. I will announce the result of the flip and then 2AR prep will commence. If the 2A does this I will not vote on any theoretical issues regarding judge kick. If the 2A does not call for a flip I will listen and evaluate theory arguments about judge kick as is appropriate.
Yes, put me on the email chain: email@example.com.
Short version: Don’t adapt too much to me. Do what you do best and I’ll adjudicate it. Full speed is fine as long as every syllable is clear. Frame and weigh your offense and write my ballot.
I was a 2N/1A who started as a K debater and moved towards policy arguments in my last two years. I debated from 2016-2020. I don't debate anymore, and study Computer Science and Math.
I'm genuinely fine judging any kind of debate. I am pretty agnostic about most issues and can be persuaded of most things. That being said, here is a shortlist of my biggest predispositions:
1) I lean Neg on most (CP) theory issues. This includes me strongly believing infinite conditionality is good. In general, non-T theory is rarely a reason to reject the team.
2) For T (vs. a plan), I default to competing interps and evaluate T like a DA.
3) I'm probably familiar with your K lit. But it's still 100% your burden to explain it in the context of the round like I didn't. The relevant part is that you can assume I'm familiar with the project of critical theory.
4) I've been on both sides of framework debates. Framework is not genocide, rape, etc. Your K Aff is offense against framework most of the time. Competitive activities should probably have procedurally fair adjudication.
5) Default to yes perms in a method debate, but K v K often leads to complex interactions that I'm fine throwing that out the window for.
P.S. I am very much on the bring back intrinsicness arguments against DAs train, so if you're Aff and I'm in the back of the room, just try it, what's the worst that could happen? :D
Former Assistant Coach at Baton Rouge Magnet, now I mostly work with Millard West and Village Debate
Honestly kind of a wildcard, I find myself voting in ways I never would’ve thought of quite often. At one point in time, I was a well-known policy debater, now I might as well be anyone they just picked up on the way to the tournament.
I’ve judged everything from the finals of CEDA Nationals to pf finals at NSDA. Debate and music pays my rent and puts food on my table, this is a job for me, so take that seriously when trying to make something relatable to me. I am a member of the Cherokee Nation, I grew up in a suburban Chicano/Filipino American Household… I say this because Debates that most capture my heart occur in a similar fashion to the arguments we make at the dinner table.
POLICY: There aren’t a lot of arguments I haven’t seen/heard/smelled… I like clear-cut offense in policy debates. It’s very rare that I vote for anything along the lines of “gotta have a plan” or Topicality in general. I’ve coached both high school and college teams on the explicit premise that the topic and or community engaging the topic is flawed in some way. Ideal debates for me will be more about performance and method, I’m more intrigued by what you did/do than the hypothetical. Even when doing fiat style debate, you need to defend it like it has benefits. If heg/cap is good you gotta sell me on a unique enough reason why in THIS instance I NEED/HAVE NO CHOICE OTHER THAN vote for you. Uniqueness absolutely determines the direction of the link for me in more traditional debates. Although I believe in my heart that conditionality is bad, it's hard for me to vote for condo bad when it is debated so nebulously, I generally believe that the negative should have access to everything under the sun to negate the affirmative.
LD: The best LD debates for me are not some mutant reproduction of old policy arguments and styles. I’m a great judge for you if you read a plan text and go multiple off, but in the back of my mind, I wish more LDers would push arguments against fiat, against this way of debating. My ideal form of debate is based on evaluating performance and method… I.e. I think what you do/did is more important than what could potentially happen if x hypothetical policy were passed. Also after judging a significant amount of y’all on the national circuit I’d like to know who is “we”…A lot of top-level LDers are getting away with regurgitating policy arguments to the point where they don’t even think or change up the blocks. I can’t be the only one slightly concerned at the implications of debaters mindlessly reading whatever is on the page right?
PF: I want a copy of your evidence so I can look at it for myself, preferably a speech doc too… other than that these debates are all about uniqueness and terminal impacts for me. I want a clear and cut disadvantage to your opponents' case… it can’t just be a “here’s our side, here’s their side” type of thing. Challenge sources, challenge privilege, and bias. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
--Updated Before Conway Classic 2022--
jack9riff AT gmail DOT com
Debater (2A) for Jesuit (2015-2019)
Assistant at Gonzaga Debate Institute (2021)
Part-Time Assistant at Jesuit (2020-present)
Clarity > speed. Dropped arguments should still be extended with warrants and impacted out. I’ll only evaluate arguments from the person who’s supposed to be speaking during a given speech. I prefer closed CXs. In the final speeches, I really appreciate judge instruction to help me evaluate my flows after the debate, so make sure you frame your arguments around a well-articulated victory path. Special note: I haven't judged a debate or done work on this topic since September, so I'm very behind on new developments, and you should make extra effort to explain your acronyms, solvency mechanisms, etc. and not assume I will know about everything you're talking about.
Virtual Debate Notes
Slow down more than usual. Please make absolutely sure everyone is good to go before starting your speech. If you have significant tech issues, I will try to help within reason but you need to let me know immediately if you need to stop the debate to fix them. I keep my camera on during speeches, CXs, and the post-round discussion. I prefer that debaters keep theirs on during the entire debate and while I’m giving the RFD, but if there’s a legitimate reason why someone can’t have the camera on then that’s fine as long as you explain it to me. I will not evaluate any procedural arguments about what debaters are doing in terms of COVID protocol (e.g. "other team should lose because they have two debaters in the same room").
K Affs and Framework/T-USfg
I haven't judged a whole lot of these debates, but I have judged enough of them to generate some thoughts. In what I've seen, negative teams reading T or framework tend to cede too much offense from the case flow(s), and they also don't always do the best job of doing concrete impact calculus for why things like fairness outweigh the aff's offense. So if you're neg in these debates, please do a better job of actually engaging the aff rather than spending 8 minutes in the 2NC saying that fairness is good.
Now, onto my general predispositions regarding K aff debates. A K aff can interpret and critique the resolution in interesting ways but should still, at its core, be about the general concept of water protection. Teams reading T or Framework should have some “CP-like” argument about some way they can access the affirmative’s offense (e.g. a TVA, switch-side debate solves, etc.). Research, clash, and topic education impacts are generally more compelling to me than procedural fairness (but I can still vote on procedural fairness if articulated well).
Not a huge fan but I’ll listen. Slow down more so I can hear the compressed analytics. Contextualized and specific theory arguments are better (e.g. “conditional consult CPs without solvency advocates are bad” is likely more compelling than just “conditionality bad”). I won’t vote on new affs bad.
T Debates with Policy Affs
I don’t think anyone has gone for T in the 2NR (or even that often in the block) against a policy aff in front of me in a long time, and as a result I generally don’t have strong feelings about which affs are or aren’t topical. Also, like I said at the top, I have limited knowledge on how the topic has developed at this point in the season. So to persuade me to vote on a T violation, you should construct narratives—use specific examples of affs they allow and explain concretely what the inclusion of these affs would do to the topic. Reasonability is strictly about the counter interpretation. I default to competing interpretations if the affirmative doesn’t make any reasonability argument.
They’re a lot of fun if done right. Rely on specific link narratives and pertinent historical examples, not on “K-tricks” or enthymemes. A lot of teams reading Ks forget to do some external impact explanation, so please make sure your K is more than just a glorified case turn/"no solvency" argument. Not super familiar with high theory so I would advise against reading those types of Ks in front of me.
Need a solvency advocate (specific to the aff is even better but not always necessary). I’m not a huge fan of process unless it’s specific to the aff. Amendments in the block are probably bad, especially if they're in the 1NR. If your CP text is incoherent (like if you literally said "The 50 states should do the plan" word-for-word in the 1NC), it'll be tough for me to vote for it.
Zero risk is possible if the affirmative’s defensive arguments are very compelling, there’s conceded defensive arguments that are extended, and/or the disad is just that bad on its own.
Hi, I am a Finance and Supply Chain Management major at University of Houston. Yes, I do want to be added onto the email chain. I believe that debate should be a fun activity for everyone involved. I will not appreciate any one team being dismissive or disregarding of the other team.
Put me on the email chain please! firstname.lastname@example.org
A little about myself: I debated until my graduation in 2018 at College Prep (qualified to the TOC in policy). I'm currently a senior at the University of Chicago, studying data science economics and public policy. I've continued to be involved in high school debate, first coaching with College Prep, then with the wonderful people at Lane Tech. I am not familiar with this topic - explain acronyms and core topic controversies.
When I debated, I went for primarily: Politics DAs, Topic DAs, cheaty CPs, T, Impact Turns with Advantage CPs (bonus points if you execute this cleanly in front of me), and security/neolib/setcol/antiblackness. My tendencies did tend to be slightly more policy-leaning.
First, I was a flex debater in high school, and am a strong believer in debater flexibility and adaptation. My favorite teams to judge are ones that feel comfortable doing a host of things, like executing the K, going for framework, reading a variety of affs situationally, going for a core-of-the-topic CP and DA, committing to a T argument, or whatever else the round demands. When I debated, I made sure to always stick to this paradigm, and enjoy judging teams that do the same; reading a breadth of arguments in high school has helped me feel comfortable judging various styles of debate. Do whatever you do best and I'll listen.
Second, if you are a team that writes case negs to specific affirmatives at the tournament, and has nuanced aff-specific off-case and case arguments ... <3
My coach, John Hines, taught me two fundamental beliefs about what great debate looks like; these are the two things you should take away from this paradigm:
1) Line-by-line debating is not optional. I will be :( if you don't do/attempt line-by-line debating. Please try your best!
2) I like when debaters write my ballot for me, present nexus questions/framing issues, and do detailed impact calculus. Impact calculus doesn't just mean Mag/TF/Prob, but rather, instruct me how to understand the interaction between arguments. Tell me, why is this argument important? Use "even if" statements, weigh the quality of evidence/qualifications, and have an understanding of how different parts of the debate mesh with each other.
I vote on dropped arguments I don't believe in, speed is fine, use cross-x in your speeches, yes your opponent's cards are "terrible" but why are they terrible, evidence quality matters but I'm not going to read cards and interpret them myself.
I want to be judging: I will put in the same energy in listening and engaging with you as you did preparing for the tournament. However, I do not take kindly to rude debaters. There's been a trend in debate towards teams thinking that it's edgy to be rude/dismissive, curse excessively during the round, laugh at your opponents, or be generally hostile. "Respect is non-negotiable for me." (Ed Lee)
Case: I know this isn't usually a part of judge philosophies, but I wanted to include it because it's by far the most underutilized part of negative strategy. I am a sucker for teams that have specific prepped-out strategies to affirmatives, and use the case page strategically. If you're a K team, use the case page to leverage your kritik offense. Please please please impact turn.
DA: Great. The politics DA is a very strategic tool, and I love topic DAs. I have yet to see a very compelling topic DA debate on the CJR topic, and will reward teams that go for this strategy. Don't turn the 1NR into the 5 mins of cards, and instead explain your good evidence with nuance. As for the "link exists of a spectrum" thing, I think that you need to qualify your chance of a link and incorporate it into the risk assessment component of impact calculus. Solid defense against a terrible DA can be enough to create zero risk of a DA, but the same goes the other way. I will evaluate the disad holistically. For 2N's, think about how you're allocating 2NR time if you're deciding to go for a CP and a DA as a net benefit, make sure you're making (preferably) carded turns case/solves card arguments, and do good impact calculus.
CP: Amazing. Be tricky, solve the case. I lean heavily negative on CP theory. 2NC CP's are underrated. I think a CP should probably have a solvency advocate, but it need not be specific to the aff. Well-written advantage CP's and process CP's will exploit weaknesses in generic affirmative link/internal link chains and FIAT out of aff solvency deficits. You need to articulate sufficiency framing and offense/defense arguments in your speeches even though they're pretty intuitive concepts. For the aff, make smart theory arguments, have good, specific, solvency deficits and weigh them well against the risk of the net benefit.
T: T debates are great if done right. I hate it when T debates turn into scattered concepts thrown around without clear explanation. Answer questions that you think are intuitive: What's the line you draw about how big of a topic should be allowed (caselists are a solid way to answer this question)? Why are limits good? What's the relationship between neg clash and aff predictability? Why is your I or C/I undoubtedly reasonable, and what does reasonable even mean? One thing I love is when reasonability is articulated as an 'aff predictability' argument. Ask me what this means if you're confused by it. Evidence evidence evidence. The block and the 1AR should be full of quality definitional evidence, and I will be much more likely to persuaded by solid topicality evidence than weak topicality reasoning. Lastly, please don't read your blocks like the text of a card!!
Theory: These debates are definitely winnable, but they're often late-breaking and shallow. I agree with Ian Beier that teams are really bad at answering theory, so even if I believe that the neg should be able to do what they want, affs should consider theory if there's some level of neg abuse.
K: I'm familiar with the theories and basics of most core K's read on the debate circuit, like security, neoliberalism/capitalism, settler colonialism, afropessimism, and feminism. I need explanations that extend pass buzzwords, and I want you to contextualize the debate in terms of a specific link, a fleshed-out alternative, and a reason why it resolve the aff impacts; a good specific link debate will make your argument much more persuasive. If I have to pull out a new sheet of paper called "K overview" after the neg block, the 2N needs to do some serious re-evaluation of the way they're doing line-by-line debating on the K. I think that framework is extremely important in these debates, and I will always decide it first: I don't understand how I'm supposed to evaluate hypothetical extinction against a bad methodology. I have found myself in the back of the room for a lot of K debates this year, and I work with a lot of critical literature over the course of my research for Lane Tech, but my forte is more policy-oriented arguments.
K Affs/FW: While I lean negative on framework, I have seen a lot of solid no-plan affs on this topic, and understand the value of K affs in debate. In my voting record this year, I've actually voted against framework more times than I've voted for it, mostly because teams don't have good enough answers to impact turns. If you're reading a K aff you should: have a tangible link to the resolution, a good answer against TVA's, articulation of impact turns, defense of your method, and "a reason why you've chosen the debate space as the site for your epistemological project" (Maya Mundada). Work to really delve into your best two or three pieces of central offense -- I find that impact turns are more persuasive than a weak counter-interpretation and link turns. I'm equally convinced by both fairness and skills framework impacts. I aim to judge these debates as technically as possible - if you have a storytelling element to your 1AC, how can you contextualize it in terms of the sequencing questions of the affirmative? And finally, don't forget your aff solvency/method! For the negative, use smart defensive tactics like switch-side debating and TVA's, explain the flaws in the counter-interpretation (unlimited topic, links to aff offense, creates bad debates), and making smart arguments about limits, predictability, mechanism education, or clash. I would like to see more teams go for impact turns against K affs, or change up the way they're approaching clash.
1. I used to flow on paper, but I am flowing on computer for virtual debates so I can maximize the amount of content I am able to process.
2. I think folks underestimate how mic quality and connection issues impact an activity where people are speaking extremely fast. Please try and go slower during your speeches, especially on tags and analytics. There's a trend in policy debate towards incomprehensibility, but everyone just pretends they understand every word in speeches. I will miss things if you're going too fast, and I would be very content if we lived in a world where both teams would simply jointly agree to go slower as a collective. I understand this is somewhat unreasonable to expect in a competitive debate round lol.
3. Please turn on your cameras. I will always have my camera on during debates even when I'm not at my computer. (Message me for accommodations)
4. I give higher speaker points than most. If it's a good debate, my point range will be from [28.5, 29.5]. I want to reward you for the hard work you put in to succeed and be well-prepared. As such, I will put in a lot of effort to be a fair critic, since debaters deserve well-engaged judges for their most important debates.
Any other questions you have I'd be more than happy to answer before the round, or email/FB message me! Good luck y’all!
I debated for 4 years at Jesuit Dallas. I was the 2N/1A my first two years and the 2A/1N my second two years.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Be nice, don't steal prep, clip, etc.
Well warranted extensions of qualified, warranted evidence = best way to win debates, no matter the argument.
Topic specific > generic.
Do the basics: get competition (I feel I could be persuaded that textual, functional, or both is the best standard), have a net benefit that links to the aff, explain how it solves the aff and/or mitigates the impact to the solvency deficit, etc.
If you do not have a net benefit that is a disad to the aff, smart permutations that prove the net benefit isn't an opportunity cost to the aff will be easier to vote on.
Read them, have specific link analysis to the aff, make turns case arguments.
Simple aff analytics like can significantly mitigate the disad - don't forget about them (either side).
I do think there can be zero risk of a disad.
Probably 50% of my 1NRs my last year were going for T. If you do it well, I'll be happy.
Have a caselist, maybe a TVA (especially if their offense is "education about our aff area is important"), and compare what the topic looks like under the aff's interp to what the topic looks like under your interp.
The more arbitrary the T violation, the more persuasive reasonability is.
Be sure to explain clearly an alt or a framework (or both). I can't stress this enough. Either demonstrate how the alt solves the links and all or part of the aff, or explain why the aff doesn't matter. The more clear your interp on framework, the easier it will be to distance from the aff's disads. If you are unclear about your interp, I will probably assume that it is "you don't get to weigh the aff;" you don't want that to happen. That means you should tell me how the aff wins the debate and how you win the debate, what I should consider as a link, etc.
Specific links to the aff are better than generic ones. I'll be particularly impressed if you can incorporate lines from their evidence or their explanation of the aff into the link.
Please, please, please, don't have a 4 minute overview then make cross applications all down the line by line. Please don't break my flow.
I did Policy Debate (CX) for 3 years.
Add me on the chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Debated for Bronx Science for 4 years (2015-2019) and been judging for three years in college; polsci and public policy major at Hunter College
DISCLAIMER FOR CAT NATS: I am completely new to the water topic (haven't researched, coached it, etc.), keep this in mind while debating in terms of technical terms and knowledge of topic Ks, CPs, etc. I have also not judged policy in over a year so chill with the spreading
Feel free to run any argument in front of me. I want you to tell me how to vote and how I should view the round. Besides that, I'm down for anything.
Quarantine edition edit: My connection isn't the best so please send the analytics and/or spread like 5% slower so I can flow it, if the argument isn't on my flow I can't evaluate it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Feel free to add me to the email chain: email@example.com
tl;dr: run what you want
I decide rounds pretty quickly so I usually disclose right after the 2AR.
This is more for policy rounds but don't just card-dump, I hate it when teams just spew a bunch of cards at each other and expect me to do all the work.
If I’m on a panel with Eugene Toth there is a literal 100% chance that we will vote the same way.
My paradigm has been greatly influenced by my god-tier debate partner in high school so if you want to give it a look: https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=46818
TKO: If you think you 100% won the round at any point in the debate (i.e. other has no path to a ballot bc of conceded off case, etc.) then you can call a TKO and the round will stop. If I buy that the opponents have no path to the ballot, I will give you the win and 30s. If you are wrong, you will get an L and 25s.
DA should at least have a aff-specific link and not just "Protecting water resources means Biden loses political capital". Make sure impact calc is tight, and good evidence comparison will notch up your speaker points. I want you to tell me a story of how the aff actually triggers the impacts.
Haven't gone for that many CPs, not really my favorite argument. Please slow down for the CP text, especially if it's one of those really long ones. Whatever you run, make sure that you have a clear net-benefit.
Unless its not even in the direction of the topic, I won't automatically vote down an aff because it violates your interpretation of framework and the resolution. If there is no significant impact and there is sufficient response from aff, I will weigh education over fairness.
I like to hear cleverly thought out T arguments against K affs that aren't just USFG, but an explanation, again, is necessary.
I run Ks very often and love a good K debate but I also hate it when the links for the Ks are not explained well or are just generic. Most of the K debate is rooted in the link debate and you have to be able to do this well in order for me to understand how the kritik functions in terms of the affirmative.
A side note: I am not a judge who thinks you need to win the alternative debate in order to win the round. As long as you can prove that each link is a non unique disad to the aff, and those disads outweigh, I will gladly vote neg. However, winning the alternative debate definitely makes your job a LOT easier. If you do go for the alt, I need to know what the alt is supposed to do, how it is supposed to do it, and why what it does matters. You have to be able to explain the alt well, a lot of debaters do not read the literature behind their kritik and this means they cannot explain their alternatives well or just summarize the tags of the cards when explaining the alt.
Love creative K args, topic-specific Ks are really cool too and I've been finding myself voting for more eccentric and high theory Ks so take that as you will
Ks I've ran: Cap (almost every variant of it: logistics, Dean, historical materialism, etc.), academia (Moten and Harney, Tuck and Yang, etc.), ID stuff (set col, queer theory), psychoanalysis.
I have read K affs the majority of my debate career. Love them, they great. But if it is a nontraditional aff, an EXPLANATION is necessary. If I don't understand what the aff is, what it does, or why it's good, then I will absolutely default neg
Have judged a fair amount of theory debates at this point and have voted for condo and ASPEC, so I'm down w it just make sure you have interpretation, violation, and standards esp in the last speech
Been there done that, just don't be reading random files you found in the backfiles or online without knowing what they mean
Last updated: 10/4/20
Summary - Read basically anything you want, go for what you're good at, try new things if you want, Don't be rude.
About me - I debated at Crosby highschool and middle school for a collective 6 years and I debated policy at University of Houston for 3 years. I used to help as an assistant coach for The Kinkaid School for about 3 years.
I am fine with almost any argument, so if you want to read it I'll listen, unless it's things like racism or patriarchy good.
Speed - Go for it. I will not say clear if you're partially unclear, unless its egregious.
Edit for online: remember, not all microphones are created equal, so make sure your microphone can adequately pick up how fast you’re going (maybe record you practicing a block to test it), because your mic may only be able to pick up about half of the syllables you say if you’re going too fast for it.
Cx: (LD is below this)
On topicality and theory, I default reasonability if there is no discussion of this in the debate because it's much less of a risk for the neg. Make sure to make it very clear what your interpretation is and exactly what portion of the plan violates that and explicitly apply what ground/predictability/education/etc you lose from their specific interp compared to yours. A lot of T debates get lost in the impacts of standards/voters and don't contextualize it vs the counterinterp.
On kritiks, You HAVE TO explain the alternative, in debate people get away with not doing that too much, which is annoying as a judge. The only exception to "not explaining the alt" is when you kick it and go for just the k as a k of policy framework/policy debate itself (I don't think is applicable to every kritik, but it is to some). I like when the link is contextualized to the aff (give specific analysis about how the aff makes the system of oppression worse or prevents it from changing).
On Counterplans, I love good counterplans, as long as your story on the world of the cp is clear and you're winning a net benefit that you solve, you should be fine. Do clear solvency/net benefit comparison.
On Disads, have a logical story as to why the aff links and how that causes the impact. Do impact comparison.
Non-traditional Affs - I will evaluate any affirmative even if it's non-policy, just make sure if you're untopical, you have a reason to be untopical.
Framework – I am not afraid to vote on this, I think there are benefits and disadvantages to policy debate and benefits and disadvantages to kritik aff debates. Make sure you weigh the Interp vs the counter Interp because a lot of people weigh the debate in terms of there being no counterinterp.
I’ve judged a lot of LD debates. I have coached a few students in LD as well. I am a CX coach/judge/debater normally so do what you want with that info.
I will evaluate almost any argument, I tend to think of the debate round on the bigger picture focus (mainly because the 1ar I feel is rough and it allows better debates for LD), although I have no real predisposition against technical debate, the debaters should tell me how to frame the debate in the context they desire.
Framework: I'm fine with policy, whole resolutional or k debates, just debate out how I should evaluate who wins.
Topicality: I will evaluate T, I default to reasonability if no arguments are made but I will evaluate it either way. Make sure to make it very clear what your interpretation is and exactly what portion of the plan violates that and explicitly apply what ground/predictability/education/etc you lose from their specific interp compared to yours. A lot of T debates get lost in the impacts of standards/voters and don't contextualize it vs the counterinterp.
Theory: I will evaluate most theory, but it has to make sense and I tend to have a higher threshold on what I think is a voter, meaning most theory I've seen in LD doesn't rise past the level of reject the argument, while some LD judges would reject the team. I will not vote on RVIs. I also probably won't vote on frivolous theory (which I think is a very subjective term), which all I really mean is make sure theory has a legitimate reason to reject the team. I default to reasonability if no arguments are made but I will evaluate it either way.
CP: I think CPs make the most sense vs plans and I can be convinced Topical Cps are illegit if you’re winning whole rez should be the focus of the debate (all up to debate).
K: On kritiks, You HAVE TO explain the alternative, in debate people get away with not doing that too much, which is annoying as a judge. The only exception to "not explaining the alt" is when you kick it and go for just the k as a k of policy framework/policy debate itself (I don't think is applicable to every kritik, but it is to some). I like when the link is contextualized to the aff (give specific analysis about how the aff makes the system of oppression worse or prevents it from changing).
It is the end of the TOC 2023. 4/17/2023 and a year of watch, coaching and interacting with other coaches and students has shifted my opinions on some core issues that I will attempt to clarify in this year's paradigm.
Coached debate at HAIS (1), Crosby (3.5), Dulles (3.5), and Niles West (1.)
Debated policy for 4 years at Crosby (2004-2008), In College at UMKC (Fall 2009), and Houston (Spring 2009, 2012-2015)
- If you use sexually explicit language or engage in sexually explicit performances in high school debates, you should strike me.
- If you think the appropriate response to other people explaining how they need to be included in debate is to say "West is best" or "Violence towards people like you is good" please strike me.
- Purposeful or dismissive acts of misgendering will result in a full speaker point loss and if the other team makes it an argument the possible loss of a ballot.
What is Debate?
I think that we need to understand we are a community of people responsible for the activity, We are responsible for teaching and guiding students to make decisions that are descriptive
Disadvantages are the core of all aspects of debating. Make sure you extend all three components when going for a DA. This includes when going for Disadvantages from any perspective.
Calling into question the legitimacy of many different types of counter-plans should be a portion of your strategy. Too many affirmatives allow the negative to get away with a lot of abuse on the counter-plan that they shouldn't. CP must have a text, a clear solvency mechanism and a net benefit. Please make sure you extend each if you go for the argument.
Theoretical rejections of the team have an incredibly high burden in my mind. Theoretical rejections of the argument have a much lower burden. For me to vote for a team entirely on theory they must prove that the debate was borderline impossible. Contrarily to win reject them argument you only have to prove the debate would be better without the argument. To me using theory to force a condensing of the round is a sound strategy.
Framework within the K debate is of crucial importance. I am highly sympathetic that the Aff should be able to weigh their impacts. I think framework can do a lot of work to determine what the word "impacts" dictates. For instance, we obviously know very little besides our skills and education leaves the round. However, I'm willing to acknowledge that political rationalization and scenario planning are crucial policy-making tools that are crucial to decision-making processes. My introduction informs how I deal with framework debates.
The easiest ballot for me is Link (particular instance of X), impact (of the instance), alternative (way to resolve the instance), and permutation (combination doesn't resolve the instance)
The kritik needs an alternative that mitigates or alleviates the links. They need an impact that is either linear or proves a direct harm caused by the affirmative. This makes links of omissions hard for me to vote for. I think showing how the aff is a particular instance of your ism and a particular impact that it would cause is the quickest ballot for me. I do not think you have to prove several instances of this. If the aff is anti-black and will cause a particular form of Anti-black violence then it's bad. The difficulty is proving those statements as particular to the aff and not to the world writ large. I don't find the argument everything is Anti-black to be compelling for a voter, but rather vote against particular instances of anti-blackness.
For those of you debating various other critiques that statement is equally valid just replace anti-black with whichever form of violence you critique and the statement remains the same. So in some ways, I'm very good for the negative one particular instance is the standard. In other ways, I can be really bad for the negative if no particular instance exists or if you don't access your theoretical framework, or prevent that particular instance.
There are in my opinion two very different and distinct types of critical affirmatives.
Directionally affirming affs:These affs take a critical take on the resolution but still attempt to prove the resolution true. They may reject or redefine different words the most common of which is USFG. This year likely also excluding NATO to some degree but they will defend some for of cooperation around AI, Biotech or Cybersecurity. The affs will be about those core topic areas.
This is my preference for critical affirmatives and the one I believe is most equipped to answer framework, and other critiques. That being said it's not the only type of critical affirmative.
Rejections of the Topic:These affirmative critique every aspect of the resolution and will largely be focused this year on the idea we should ever do security cooperation. They will likely have nothing to do with AI, Cyber security or Biotech. These affs tend to have a much harder time against framework in rounds with me because they lack any form of stasis point, or grounding. They also typically are solved by switching sides, and tend to lack a direct relation to the resolution. This type of affirmative tends to be better positioned to answer critiques than any other which is likely why people choose to read them.
I would estimate nearly 60% of my debate rounds judged are on framework. I have a very similar win rate on both sides of this argument. Before continuing please read my introduction.
Framework is a question of what and why are we debating. That being said the generic answer we are playing a game largely misses the point of this discussion. That is a what but not a why. If we are just a game then 95% of the justifications for our activity is false. It is not that debate isn't in some way a game. Debate however is not only a game, it's also educational, and embeds skills we develop through practice. The skills we choose to practice are the ones we develop and one of the best parts of debate is that we can gain a diverse skill set. I value one persons advocacy skills the same as someone's policy making skills. The question of what we should do when we leave debate to me is an important but personal choice. The ways we engage debate should be determined by the debaters. In short, having framework debates is important, diverse skill sets are important, and getting better at advocating for either our own or other identity groupings are important.
SSD, TVA are typically game-changing arguments if they are won by the negative. They take out a lot of affirmative offense and give the negative a really good chance of winning.
Decision-making processes: the defense of a particular for of decision-making is important for both sides. The team that does a better job of defending their iterative decision-making process is at an advantage in rounds.
Skills are important and should be weighed. How do we weigh one person's policy-making skills versus another person's advocacy skills. What is the uniqueness to these skill procurements?
Education is very important are we creating bad policymakers or bad advocates? If so we should probably not do that.
Fairness to me tends to simply be an impact if you've won that debate is a game. But if you've won the debate is a game you've probably already won the round anyways.
To me, ground is an internal link to skills and education, not an impact itself.
Finally, INCLUSION IS AN IMPACT if we create awesome skills and education but then refuse accessibility to other groups of people then we definitely link to the impact turn. Lack of inclusion is a major impact on framework. It can control the way I view your skills debating.
Coach for the University of Houston, Langham Creek High School, and Memorial High School
A couple of thoughts before I address specific arguments
for Wake/UT - I haven't judged very much this year and don't know what the norms/args are yet
If it’s important say it more than once, I don’t necessarily mean that you should just repeat yourself, but make the argument in more than one place with more than one application.
Highlighting should be able to be read - I think that your evidence should be highlighted in a way that makes at least some grammatical sense - this is kind of subjective but if its a true abomination of words slapped together I won't read around your highlighting to understand what you're trying to say.
please time yourselves
I would like to be on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org
T debates (and theory debates) are already very blippy, if you want me to evaluate it, slow down. I like it when teams use T strategically in other areas of the debate.
DA's: good spin > sepcific ev > generic ev. I like intuitive turns case arguments and I love when you can implicate the aff’s internal links and solvency using other parts of the disad. I think that
CP's: These are fine, if you want to know my thoughts on judge kick see Rob Glass's paradigm.
K’s: As long as you approach the debate assuming I won’t understand your version of baudrillard we’ll probably be fine. 2nr (and 2nc to some extent) explanation of what the alt world would look like, how the alt solves the links to the aff, and how the alt solves the impacts are important to me, I find myself to be much more persuaded by neg teams that can do this well.
K affs v fw: I think your aff should in some way be related to the topic, that's not to say that you have to be, just that it will make it easier for you to win those debates.
K affs v k's: this is by far the debate that I have the least experience with, something that's really important to me in these debates is clarity of how the alt/aff functions and how it interacts with the links to your opponent's argument, I tend to find myself being persuaded by detailed alt analysis.
if you’ve noticed a common theme here, it’s that I think the alt debate is important
Theory: Default neg and reject the argument, you should give me reasons to do otherwise, don't expect me to vote on it if you don't slow down and explain your argument, most debaters spread blippy blocks that make it difficult to flow and evaluate, if the 2nr or 2ar want to go for theory in some form or fashion you're going to have to do a modicum of work, saying severance perms bad for 10 seconds at the top of your 2nr is not enough to get me to vote on it as long as the 2ar makes any sort of response.
Counterplans bad is probably not a reason to vote aff
I don’t judge this event as often so I may lack a more nuanced understanding of how things function in LD compared to policy, but with that being said I’m open to however you want to do it, be it traditional or progressive. Your phil and theory debates are a little alien to me coming from how we approach similar arguments in policy, so if that’s what you think you’ll be going for in your 2ar or nr be super clear. Most of my thoughts about args in cx will color my analysis of the arguments you make in LD.
I dont consider the time it takes for your opponents to provide you their evidence as prep time, and I don't think you need to take cx time for it either. If you can’t tell, I am primarily a policy judge and as such I probably have a higher standard for evidence quality and access than your average judge.
other than that I don't have strong opinions when it comes to what arguments you want to read as long as you justify them (read: impacts matter!)
im not familiar with pf norms when it comes to whether you should or shouldn’t answer opponents args in summary or 2nd constructive. And sometimes I feel like I’m inconsistent in trying to figure out and apply what they are in my rounds judging it. As such I will treat it as I would a cx round unless you tell me otherwise - new args can be made in first two speeches, summary should not be new args (but can if they are answering a new argument, ie 1st speaking team makes an argument that directly answers a new arg made by 2nd speakers in the last constructive speech) in terms of extensions through to ff I don't think that saying something in grand is enough for me to weigh it at the end of the debate if you dont extend it through your last speech.
I will probably call for evidence. If you paraphrase, expect me to not treat your evidence with the same level of veracity as someone citing specific parts of their cards.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me before the round starts.
I would like to be on the email chain if there is one. my email is email@example.com
Every time I try and cut down my paradigm it gets longer. So here's a brief summary:
I haven't judged much on the Personhood topic, so keep that in mind
Spread full-speed through your blocks and all their wonderful sub-points at your own risk
Tell me why it matters that you won an argument (even a conceded one)
I don't have strong argument preferences, do whatever you want. I've put my general proclivities for each argument below
An author name (alone) is not an extension
I'm not well-read on most kritikal literature these days, so if your argument has a lot of terms of art I probably don't know them. That being said I'm used to not being well-read and generally can figure it out from context, but the more specific, concrete examples you can give of how your impact manifests itself, the better off you will be.
Don't take my paradigm to heart, use it as a general reference. You can see how long it is and I've probably already forgotten half of it
I am not the fastest flow-er in the world. Slow down a bit or enunciate your tags/ argument names so that I know they are special, and it shouldn't be too much of a problem. As long as I have enough of your argument flowed down to jog my memory, you should be fine.
I debated at UT and debated for 4 years at Grapevine in highschool. I'm currently a lawyer (not an expert on personhood). I really like well-researched PICs.
Try to be clear on what arguments you are winning and why you are winning the round because of it. What this means is that when you make an argument, make sure you explain the larger implications it has on the debate. This doesn't mean make everything a voting issue, but rather that your arguments should all fit together in a neat and understandable way. If I have to do a lot of this analysis myself, you might not like how I end up evaluating your arguments.
An author name is not an extension, and I think debaters tend to breeze over conceded arguments without impacting them out in the way I talked about above. If you think an argument is conceded or mishandled, it still needs to be explained in the final speeches.
I'm not too familiar with a lot of the kritikal literature bases besides Virilio and anthropocentrism (and somewhat Buddhism. Daoism because I've been on a mindfullness binge recently), so keep that in mind when explaining your arguments. I still love hearing kritiks, just be sure to make your arguments as clear as possible.
I haven't heard a lot of debates on this topic, so try and keep that in mind if you were planning on throwing around a lot of acronyms at a fast pace. Making your arguments clearer can only be good for your speaker points.
I like hearing specific disads, generic ones are fine too if you can contextualize the link to your argument to the affirmative. Same thing with kritiks.
I'll be glad to answer any more specific questions you have before the round.
I prefer specific disads, but of course that's not always possible. I find that disad links can be pretty awful, and think that it can be a great place for an aff to gain some ground against the disad. However, I think that disads with strong and well-explained links can be extremely convincing. Politics disads can either be underwhelming if extremely generic, or very solid arguments if your link story is a bit more nuanced then "some people in congress hate the plan, so congress will suddenly decide they hate immigration reform.".
I did mainly kritikal debate in college, but in highschool I was more policy oriented, so don't be afraid to lean more policy infront of me. I actually find 8-off debates to be pretty interesting sometimes; I think that they force interesting strategic decisions and require a certain skill to both answer and execute well.
I am not a fan of conditions counterplans, or any other counterplan that causes a very small change in the process the aff goes through (consult counterplans also fall under this category). I tend to think that they form boring and repetitive debates. I will still vote on them if you are winning the argument, but I find the theoretical objections to them to be pretty convincing. I am a huge fan of specific pics. Any well-researched and well debated pic will likely give your speaker points a boost. I am not a fan of generic pics, or some of the old-fashioned word pics, such as the "the" pic. I think advantage counterplans can be extremely strategic, especially when paired with a strong disad.
Kritiks are great, but I am not very familiar with a lot of the more complex kritikal literature. This means you have to make your explanation of the argument clear to me, or I'll have a hard time voting on it. I have no problem with affirmatives that don't defend government action as long as they are relevant to the topic or have a convincing reason not to be, but at the same time I have no problem voting for framework if the negative gives me convincing reasons why debates about government action are more useful than what the affirmative performance is trying to do. I would prefer negatives use well thought-out counter-advocacies over framework as those debates tend to be more interesting, but I do believe that framework has its place in debate.
I generally prefer that your link arguments prove that the aff makes the world a worse place in some way, rather than only prove that they are complicit in certain structures. I think that really talented kritikal debaters are proficient at framing their link arguments in offensive ways that show how an aff replicates problems in the world, rather than just claiming that the aff doesn't acknowledge a problem. The exception to this is if you can win substantial framing arguments that mean I should ignore the aff entirely.
I find anthro to be one of the most persuasive arguments in debate, and mourn its disappearance.
I'd generally prefer a DA or K, but I think that topicality debates can be interesting in their own way. I think that high school debaters tend to expand the topic a little bit too far, and get away with affs that might not necessarily be topical. Running topicality against a clearly topical aff will most likely not get you anywhere, and should probably be replaced with more viable arguments.
I decided to make a separate section for this, since I've been judging it a bit more and have more thoughts about it now. I think that sometimes teams forget that when i vote on framework, I'm voting on an interpretation of how debate should be, rather than voting on whether a team broke some "rule" of debate or not. Your argument could of course be that I should vote them down because they broke a rule, but I find this less convincing than arguments about what debate ought to be. I think that ways of mitigating the other team's offense is vital in these debates. For the neg, those would be SS args, TVA args, or any other argument about how your interpretation doesn't exclude their education. For the aff, this usually takes the form of criticisms of the neg's ideas of education.
A lot of the framework debates I've judged seem to focus on the aff alone, rather than the entire interpretation. I think that this is a mistake, and I would like to see teams tying their arguments back to their interpretations rather than just ignoring the interpretation after extending it and proceeding to talk about how unfair the specific aff is. I find a lot of aff interpretations to be very vague, take advantage of this when you make your predictability and limits arguments.
As a final note on framework, I think that novel and strategic aff interpretations could get you further than just "teams have to talk about the topic".
I find that there are certain arguments in debate that seem polarizing, as far as if they are beneficial arguments that should be used in debate or not. For these arguments that do seem to spur disagreement, I think that theory can be a fantastic argument against them, and would enjoy seeing an in-depth theory debate about them. On the other hand, theory arguments arguing that you shouldn't speed read, that counterplans are bad for debate, or that kritiks belong in LD, I do not find convincing. You're not likely to win on these arguments unless the other team severely mishandles them, so you might as well actually engage in their arguments instead of trying to just ignore them. A questionable argument that has been well-researched and has specific evidence is much more likely to look legitimate to me than a generic counterplan that just pushes the aff back a year and claims a politics net benefit. I think that clash is one of the most important parts of debate, and that if an argument disagrees with the actual content of the 1AC in a substantial matter, it should be permitted in debate. If an argument tries to avoid clash in unhealthy ways (mostly in ways that don't promote topic-specific research), then I am more likely to decide that these arguments are illegitimate.
I think that more than two conditional arguments is pushing it, but I do not think there is much merit to saying that the negative cannot get even 1 conditional argument. If there's one conditional argument your time is probably better spent on debating the substance of the debate. I also think that you should make your argument as nuanced as possible, for example instead of saying just conditionality is bad, say that multiple contradictory conditional worlds is bad.
Speaker Points - I haven't judged enough rounds to have a well though-out system of giving speaker points, but in general better arguments will get better speaker points, and more persuasive speakers will get better speaker points. I also enjoy hearing novel arguments, especially in areas of debate where you often hear the same arguments over and over again, such as theory debates.
I rarely judge this event. Assume I know nothing about the topic, but I am probably somewhat familiar with the critical literature base you're drawing from. I have a hard time voting aff in LD debates because of the huge time discrepancy that makes it seem as if there are a lot of dropped arguments. To get around this, I suggest grouping arguments often as the affirmative, and making it clear how your impacts outweigh any risk of what the negative is talking about, bringing up at least a few specific examples in the process.
Hello friends! I'm Kiran, I do policy debate at the University of Houston and help out Kinkaid in policy and PF when I can :)
I have a lot of sympathy for online debaters, tech issues happen, so don't worry about it, but please don't steal prep.
Also, please be nice and a good human being during rounds (and outside of them!) Asking for the bare minimum here.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do whatever, but do it well. I judge based on what's on my flow, follow along in docs during the round, but I'm not reading for meaning that isn't articulated in the speeches.
I'm good with speed, but slow down to about 85% for online debate- at least at the beginning until I get used to your voice. It would also help if you used a headset
I remember arguments by name, not author
Tech>truth, and use smart cross-applications to your benefit
More judge instruction and comparison = more likely wins
More specific thoughts:
CP/DA/Case Debate: Great, I love it! These are the debates I understand the best. For the neg, explain to me how the cp sufficiently solves for the aff and why the DA ow and (preferably) turns case. For aff, I can be persuaded that there's no link to the DA, or that the risk of the impact is significantly mitigated by weak internal links. Explain solvency deficits in relation to the DA, so I know which one outweighs.
Topicality: One of my new favorite arguments. I'll default to competing interpretations, and winning reasonability requires a counter interpretation with some net benefits. Having a TVA and a case-list under your interp helps a lot. Definitions grounded in the literature>any other definition, (unless ofc there are several downsides to debating with a certain interp).
Policy v Ks: For aff, focus on and clearly explain education impacts under framework, and I'll probably let you weigh the aff. I need a clear explanation of the alt throughout the entirety of the debate, and having specific case links is a good strat. Aff tell me why case ow or the perm solves, neg tell me the opposite and why your alt is the right way to go. I'll vote on the "you link, you lose" strat, but 1)make sure links are specific to case and 2)extinction ow is a threat to your argument, so you need to close that door in the 2nr
K Affs v Framework: Whoever does more/better impact debating will most likely win. Affs need a counterinterp that explains why your model of debate is good, please no super long overviews, and if I don't know what the aff does, I will not be voting on it. Negs, explain why your impacts outweigh, TVAs help, and explain how your interp resolves aff's impact turns
K v K: This is probably where my debate knowledge starts to fall apart. These rounds require a lot more explanation on both sides for me, especially with the alt. Organization, clear examples, and good impact debating will help a lot.
Speaks: A smart cross-ex, clear sign posting, and clean technical debating will increase your speaks
I started judging PF this year, and I evaluate PF rounds in the same exact way I think about policy rounds ie care a lot about the flow, only evaluating args with warrants attached to them, and looking for good ev/arg comparison. The speeches are way too short for you to say buzzwords from every argument you had earlier, so please please please pick the args you think you are winning and go in depth on explanation/warrant comparison.
Feel free to send me questions, and have fun y'all! :)
New Note - I'm totally uninterested in adjudicating arguments that endorse self harm. I won't auto-vote against you but if someone you're debating asks me to stop the debate I will. If I end up voting for you, you will not like your points.
Things like wipeout/spark/other impact turns or like "death k" are a little different than this category for me and you can still read those types of hypothetical impact turns as they don't feel the same as [self harm good].
In person thing - its easier to flow your speeches if you face towards me when you give them - giving speeches with your back to me is :c
I am a coach at the University of Texas-Austin, Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy and The Harker School. Other conflicts: Westwood, St Vincent de Paul, Bakersfield High School
Email Chain: yes, email@example.com
Debate is an activity about persuasion and communication. If I can't understand what you are saying because you are unclear, haven't coherently explained it, or developed it into a full argument-claim, warrant, impact, it likely won't factor in my decision.
While there are some exceptions, most debaters I've judged the last few years are pretty unclear, so its likely I will miss some arguments. Zoom has magnified this issue for me (not necessarily the debaters fault). Final rebuttals offer you a space to retrace the part(s) of the debate you think are most relevant to the decision. This both makes it much more likely I will understand your argument and will likely improve your speaker points.
The winner will nearly always be the team able to identify the central question of the debate first and most clearly trace how the development of their argument means they're ahead on that central question.
Virtually nothing you can possibly say or do will offend me [with the new above caveat] if you can't beat a terrible argument you probably deserve to lose.
Another new thing - my favorite debates are ones where the affirmative defends a topical example of the resolution (how you interpret the words in the resolution are up to you, but in this scenario you would defend a change from the status quo and defend the implications of your change w/either a traditionally topical plan or a well thought out and carded counter-interpretation) - the negative then criticizes the representations, justifications, philosophy, ethics, or method of the plan and make arguments about whether I should weigh the plan or prioritize something else first. Obviously you shouldn't try to over-adapt and do this if its not your thing, but well executed policy v K debates with lots of research, examples, and high quality evidence will be rewarded with extremely high points for all four participants.
newer - I don't judge many non-framework debates anymore. I tend to vote neg when the neg wins clash is the biggest/most portable impact + explanation for how it improves over the year as a result of their interp and access aff offense via TVA or SSD. I tend to vote AFF when they win an impact turn to the end result of clash alongside robust answers to the NEG ballot can't access that offense args. I think 2NCs that lack an explanation of how 2nd and 3rd level testing occurs under their interp and changes over the year, with examples, lacks credibility when going for only clash matters (you can maybe win the debate on a different terminal impact, but lately I haven't really voted on other ones). Fairness is both an internal link and an impact. Debate is a game but its also so much more. You can persuade me to think one way or the other in any given debate and I've learned to love judging these debates because I often learn new things about the activity and its potential.
older - but not un-true
I find myself voting negative a lot on procedural fairness a lot, even though I don't think this is the most persuasive version of T. The reason is that K affs seem to have a lot of trouble deciding if they want to go for the middle ground or just impact turn--pick a strategy and stick to it 1AC-2AR and you're more likely to be in a good place. The block is almost always great on T, the 2NR almost always forgets to do terminal impact calculus. Testing arguments become much more persuasive to me when you give specific examples for how those would occur. What neg args would you be able to read against a potential TVA? Why is it good for the 2AC to research those positions, how would you researching answers to their answers be beneficial? A lot of this stuff just gets assumed and I think that a lot of repetitiveness from most framework 2NCs can be substituted for this kind of depth early in the debate. 2NRs sometimes seem to spend so much time on why they access AFF lit base/impacts that they don't end up extending a terminal impact or external offense at all. I think it's difficult to win a debate when you basically go for a CP w/o a net benefit.
-spamming permutations, particular ones that are intrinsic, without a text and with no explanation isn't a complete argument. [insert perm text fine, insert counter plan text is not fine]
-I'm becoming increasingly poor for conditionality bad as a reason to reject the team. This doesn't mean you shouldn't say in the 2ac why its bad but I've yet to see a speech where the 2AR convinced me the debate has been made irredeemably unfair or un-educational due to the status of counter plans. I think its possible I'd be more convinced by the argument that winning condo is bad means that the neg is stuck with all their counter plans and therefore responsible for answering any aff offense to those positions. This can be difficult to execute/annoying to do, but do with that what you will.
-affs usually lose these by forgetting about the case, negs usually lose these when they don't contextualize links to the 1ac. If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs.
-link specificity is important - I don't think this is necessarily an evidence thing, but an explanation thing - lines from 1AC, examples, specific scenarios are all things that will go a long way
-they should be intrinsic to the plan, with enough time investment affs can potentially win that agenda politics disads are not a logical opportunity cost.
-uniqueness controls the direction of the link typically makes the most sense to me, but you can probably convince me otherwise
I have been judging LD for a year now. The policy section all applies here.
Tech over truth but, there's a limit - likely quite bad for tricks - arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete. Dropped arguments are important if you explain how they implicate my decision. Dropped arguments are much less important when you fail to explain the impact/relevance of said argument.
RVIs - no, never, literally don't. 27 ceiling. Scenario: 1ar is 4 minutes of an RVI, nr drops the rvi, I will vote negative within seconds of the timer ending.
Policy/K - both great - see above for details.
Phil - haven't judged much of this yet, this seems interesting and fine, but again, arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete arguments.
Arguments communicated and understood by the judge per minute>>>>words mumbled nearly incomprehensibly per minute.
Unlikely you'll convince me the aff doesn't get to read a plan for topicality reasons. K framework is a separate from this and open to debate, see policy section for details.
If you read cards they must be sent out via email chain with me attached or through file share prior to the speech. If you reference a piece of evidence that you haven't sent out prior to your speech, fine, but I won't count it as being evidence. You should never take time outside of your prep time to exchange evidence - it should already have been done.
"Paraphrasing" as a substitute for quotation or reading evidence is a bad norm. I won't vote on it as an ethics violation, but I will cap your speaker points at a 27.5.
I realize some of you have started going fast now, if everyone is doing that, fine. However, adapting to the norms of your opponents circuit - i.e. if they're debating slowly and traditionally and you do so as well, will be rewarded with much higher points then if you spread somebody out of the room, which will be awarded with very low points even if you win.
Yes, put me on email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Do what you do best... Although my personal debate career was nothing to write home about, I've engaged in a lot of the literature bases the activity has to offer, from reading exclusively Policy Affs at the start of high school to performing Asian identity Affs towards the end of high school/in college and giving lectures on pomo stuff as a coach. At a bare minimum, I will be able to follow a majority of debates.
2. ...but write my ballot for me. Judge intervention is annoying for everyone; the best debaters in my opinion are those that identify the nexus questions of the debate early on and use where they are ahead to tell me how to resolve those points in their favor. That involves smart comparative work, persuasive overviews, incorporation of warrants, etc. that I can use as direct quotes for a RFD.
3. Speed is fine, but in the words of Jarrod Atchison, spreading is the number of ideas, not words, communicated per minute. I will say clear once per speech and then stop flowing if it remains unclear.
4. CX: I'll flow portions I think are important. Tag-team is fine, but monopolization is not. I would prefer that questions about whether your opponent did/did not read a piece of evidence happen during CX/prep, but this practice seems to have been normalized during online debate—which I am begrudgingly okay with.
5. The only particularly strong argumentative preference that I have (other than obvious aversions to strategies involving harassment or personal attacks) is that I will not vote for warming good. I won't immediately DQ you for reading it, but I will not sign my ballot for you on it. My research concerns how to work against climate denialism in the American public, which I find difficult to reconcile with voting for authors like Idso. I'd like to see the debate community phase out this "scholarship" as soon as possible, and I definitely don't want to have to listen to it.
Policy Affs - Great. I love a detailed case debate and will reward teams that engage in one.
T vs. Policy Affs - Love it, but if it's obvious you read your generic T shell solely as an effort to sap time, it loses most of its persuasive value for me. Specific and well explained violations and standards are key; to vote for you, I need to understand why your model of debate is preferable, not just why your interp evidence is better. I find myself about 60-40 partial to competing interpretations.
CPs - Two quirks: first, I prefer when the block elaborates on Solvency deficits to the Aff that the CP resolves instead of just relying on a large internal/external net benefit to make the CP preferable. I believe it's strategic to do so because if the Aff wins a low risk of the net benefit, the desirability of the CP vis-à-vis the plan gets thrown into flux—paired with the reality that most good 2ACs will include analytical reasons why the CP doesn't solve the Aff. Second, I think that CPs that could result in the implementation of the plan (i.e. consult, delay, process) are probably abusive, which makes me more conducive to theory arguments against them. These biases are far from absolute, but you should be aware of them.
Given no other instruction, I will not judge kick the CP.
DAs - I dig grandiloquent OVs with smart, in-depth sequencing/turns case arguments that decisively win that the DA outweighs the case (and vice versa). The link story and the internal link chain are the most important for me; the more specific your link evidence, the better. Zero risk is possible.
I'd love if more Aff teams were bold enough to link/impact turn DAs, it certainly makes for more interesting debates than four minute UQ walls.
Ks - The best 2NCs/blocks I have seen here typically involve 1) extensive contextualization of the links to the 1AC or the Aff speech acts, and 2) more generally, a high degree of organization that strategically chooses specific areas of the debate to extend/answer certain arguments. On the first: while evidence quality obviously matters a lot in terms of the analysis you can do, I'm also a big fan of references to/direct quotes from Affirmative speeches and CX to analytically develop the link debate. On the second: I think many speeches on the kritik get overwhelmed by the intensive burdens of both explaining their own positions and answering the 2AC and end up putting everything everywhere. In contrast, well-structured speeches that do things like explaining the links under the perm or putting the alt explanation before the line-by-line to 2AC alt fails arguments provide a great deal of clarity to my adjudication of the page.
The two points above also demonstrate that I am not the best judge for particularly long overviews. In most scenarios, having substance on the line-by-line where I can directly identify where you want each argument to be considered is much better for me than putting it all at the top and expecting me to apply it on the flow for you.
Lit base wise, I'm less experienced with "high theory" arguments (e.g. Baudrillard), so pref me accordingly. The Leland teams I've worked with have mainly gone for cap/setcol/race-based Ks, so that's where my personal familiarity lies as well.
K Affs - Ambivalence is a good word to describe my thoughts here. I think that debate is a game with pedagogical benefits and epistemological consequences, and that Affirmatives should be in the direction of the resolution/provide a reasonable window for Negative engagement. What that means or where the bright-lines are, I'm not entirely sure. Subjects of the resolution and even debate itself may have insidious underpinnings, but I need to understand what voting for the advocacy/performance (if applicable) does about the state of those issues. As a judge, I find myself asking more questions than before about what my ballot actually does; providing the answers through ROB analysis and explanations of the Aff's theory will serve you well.
FW - Both 2NRs and 2ARs are most likely to win my ballot if they collapse to 1-2 pieces of offense that subsume/turn what the other 2nd rebuttal goes for and are ahead on a risk of defense. For example, a 2NR could win a strong risk of a limits DA to the Aff's counter-interpretation with a well-articulated predictability push that it's a priori to any educational/discursive benefits of the 1AC, paired with a sufficient switch-side debate solves component to reduce the gravity of exclusion-based offense. A 2AR could win large impact turns to the subject formation of the 1NC's interpretation of debate that implicate the desirability of fairness/skills, followed by an articulation of the types of Neg ground that would be available under their interpretation that resolves residual fairness offense. There are many different ways in which this type of 2NR/2AR can materialize, and I believe I'm an equally good judge for fairness/skills/movements—so do what you're best at!
I place very high importance on the 2AC counter-interpretation. This stems from a belief that framework is ultimately a clash between two models of debate, and the counter-interpretation is the first point in these debates where I'm given explicit constructions and comparisons of them. Negatives should capitalize on poorly worded counter-interpretations, using their language to create compelling limits/predictability offense and articulating reasons why they link to the Aff's own offense. Affirmatives should aggressively defend the debatability of the counter-interpretation, outlining a clear role of the Negative and being transparent about the types of Affs that they would exclude to push back against predictability.
Theory - In general, I have a relatively high threshold for rejecting the team; this doesn't mean I won't vote on theory, it just means that I want you to do the work. There should be be ample analysis on how they justify an unnecessarily abusive model of debate with examples/impacted out standards.
I don't have any specific biases either way on condo. I'd strongly prefer if interpretations were not obviously self-serving (e.g. "we get five condo" because you read five conditional off this particular round); while I understand this is at times an inevitability, it's also not the best way to make a first impression for your shell.
Lay - If judging at a California league tournament/a lay tournament of equivalence, I'll do my best to judge debates from a parent judge perspective unless both teams agree to a circuit-style debate.
If you get me on a panel and some of the other judges are parents/inexperienced, PLEASE don’t go full speed with a super complicated "circuit" strategy. It’s important that all the judges are able to engage in the debate and render decisions for themselves based on the arguments presented; if they miss those arguments because you’re going 700 WPM or because they don’t know who this Deleuze person is, you are deliberately excluding them from the debate, which is disrespectful no matter how inexperienced they may be. I’ll still be able to make decisions based off your impact framing and explanations, so cater to the judges who may not understand rather than me.
Last thing: please be respectful of one another. I hate having to watch debates where CX devolves into pettiness and debaters are just being toxic. I will reward good humor and general maturity. Have fun :)
If your name is Hannah Lee and you are reading this, you are amazing, have a nice day
I debated at Kamiak for 4 years as a 2A and enjoyed the activity during my high school years. However, I am not into debate at all anymore and may require slightly more explanation than most judges you are used to.
I haven't judged at all this year so any acronyms you say will go right over my head. Just say the full thing.
Tell me a funny joke before the round and I might boost your speaker points.
I hate judge intervention and will do everything strictly by the flow. It always confuses me when some people say tech over truth but reject arguments on the basis of principles. I will go strictly by the flow and if an opponent drops the argument that "grass is blue" I will presume that "grass is blue" until the end of the round.
I went policy on affirmative and "flex" on negative that ranged from reading 1 off Ks to 10 offs.
Tech > Truth. Read whatever you want, but try to write my ballot for me. If left to my own devices, I'll lean on my defaults and that'll make people sad and sad people is not rad cause they all get mad. lol. I probably won't be the best judge for you if the debate comes down to a K aff vs framework or topicality.
An affirmative should have a plan, but I am not opposed to a planless aff.
I like them, but don't assume that I know your disad the moment you say the heading of it. Impact Calc is also pretty underrated.
I like them. They're cool. Also, explain what the perm would look like instead of saying perm
I like them. Links are important to me for Ks and Ks should have an alt.
I don't know much on this topic so you might have to slow down a bit for me to completely understand it. Also, I tend to lean on reasonability.
K aff vs framework:
I only ran framework once during my sophomore year against a K aff and never did it ever again. K aff vs framework rounds are slightly messy to me because it just feels like real genuine clash never happens and I've forgotten a lot of the vocabulary and tech that are commonly used in those rounds. If you do run fwk, I prefer it if you would slow down and do a bit more explanation.
K aff vs K:
I'm actually more comfortable with this because this is what a good chunk of my k aff debate rounds looked like. I prefer if there was genuine clash that happened. Many times throughout these debates it feels like there are a bunch of arguments made by both teams that go unanswered by both teams and thus it puts me in a point where I have to intervene.
Have an interp and impact. I am willing to vote on "complete" cheap theory shots if they are dropped (it always confuses me when people say they are tech over truth but aren't willing to buy dropped arguments) BUT if the sole reason why you got my ballot was because of that theory arg, I will also drop your speaks :).
I think speaker points are dumb, but I'll start with a 28.7 and work my way up or down.
In your final rebuttal speech, please write out my ballot for me. Start with an overview and explain to me why you won and how I should frame the debate.
I have voted neg all year and this is making me sad.
former debater at UH, now judge/coach there.
You do you. I have few predispositions about how the round ought be. I have no real preference between policy and K arguments, but I am significantly more experienced with the policy side of things. I won't be as familiar as you with your specific lit base.
Judge instruction is important and I take it seriously. It is better for you as debaters and me as the judge when you explain a clear path to the ballot rather than having me do unguided forensic analysis on the flow.
I love case debate. I think it is underutilized. The 2ac is often allowed to get away with far too much. I am not unwilling to zero solvency when affs are missing key pieces. I take evidence quality seriously when it is made an issue in round.
Almost certainly won't vote on condo or new affs bad, won't default to judge kick but can be swayed.
Be kind, have fun.
Former College Debater @ UM-Kansas City
ToC Qualifier, 2nd @ NSDA Nationals, NDT Qualifier
I read and tend to prefer critical arguments, but I am generally tech>truth so will vote for most debate arguments. I think debate is a space for knowledge production, and I tend to reward teams who use the debate space to educate themselves and others on important social issues. That said, if you win that Heg is good I'll vote for you even though Heg is objectively awful. I don't like framework vs K affs, but I'll give it fair and equal treatment when making my rfd because I recognize it's importance to negative strategies. Theory arguments are cool, but if you want me to reject the team and not just the argument you have to spend considerable time in the 1AR and the entirety of the 2AR going for the argument.
Hi! I'm Carolyn! I use she/her pronouns
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Paradigm inspired by Kai Daniels, Niko Battle, and Larry Dang
tldr- Tech > Truth. Read whatever you want. When left to my own devices, I lean on my defaults, but prefer to be persuaded on how I should view the debate. CX is binding. Flow-oriented and speed should be dictated by clarity. Ending Speeches: Write My Ballot for Me. Start with overview with offense on top.
LD specific: Did policy debate in high school, so LARP/Policy judging is best. I'm not great for traditional or tricks debates. Most of my policy paradigm should apply. Let me know if you have any questions!
- T > Theory
- fairness is an impact
- will vote on cheap theory shots when dropped unless it's a reverse voting issue
- should be able to run a line between any arg in the 2ar to the 1ar
- Flex prep is okay
- Speaks start at 28.5 and I'll move that up and down. 29+ is reserved for people that I think will break or at least make the bubble.
- Be super clear when reading the plan text
- Don't enjoy affs with a bunch of scenarios that aren't developed
- Affs should have good, well-warranted i/l evidence
- I'm willing to vote on presumption
- Don't enjoy plan flaw debates but willing to vote on it if answered incorrectly
Since I’m not super familiar with the topic, I would advise going a bit slower so I can digest the jargon easier.
- T is about the model of debate. I don't care about in-round abuse.
- competing interps > reasonability 60% of the time
- impact debate > procedurals
- For aff - please have a counterinterp and a clear defense of reasonability. Reasonability is your best friend in t debates in front of me, but winning reasonability is not an autowin. It just lowers your threshold on the standards debate (by how much? you tell me).
- For neg - please have (1) clear impact calc on the standards debate AND (2) a case list. I lean aff on most standards but having those two thing outlined will provide a clear ballot if done well. fx and extra-t are underutilized
- I tend to believe the weakest part of a DA is the internal link(s), so the aff should try to pick at it if true and the neg should be ready to defend it.
- Clear throwaway da's that barely link to the aff will likely cause a slight drop in speaks
- For aff - willing to vote on conceded or solid defense on DA
- For neg - please have offense (i.e turns case). Generics das w/ specific links are great if ran well:)
- Theory can go either way with good ev/better tech/sound education args
- For aff - you should prop ask about judge kick, need to win some offense against the cp AND why that outweighs the net benefit
- For neg - won’t judge kick unless specifically told to (at least by the 2nr). Smart CPs that question/use the aff's mechanism make me :) You should probably have a solvency advocate but don't have a problem with a CP without one unless it's brought up by the aff. Then, both sides have to resolve that.
- Familiar with cap, foucault, antiblackness, queer theory, asian id, and imperialism/set col, but overall have a limited knowledge base of kritiks.
- I tend to vote for k's, because the aff reads generic answers without indicting anything the neg is saying. In general, I think aff teams SHOULD win k debates, since the neg tends to read a bunch of blocks with throwaway jargon words and can't explain the k/alt in CX
- If you can't explain the K in CX in your own words, your speaks will not be great.
- Lean towards aff fw 80% of the time, since most fw debates seem to be a wash anyway. You're not likely going to win that Ks should not be allowed in debate. However, when neg wins fw, all the neg has to do is win a risk of a link
- Both sides but esp the neg need to have historical examples (the more recent the better) that prove their methodology/praxis true. The team with the most convincing real-world examples of their impacts/impact turns/links/link turns is likely going to win the debate.
- For aff - don’t lose your aff (the best form of offense) in most of these debates when you explain why your impacts outweigh or why it's just a good departure from the squo. Don’t be afraid to engage the K and their thesis claims. Please have a coherent strategy. Impact turns are underutilized, but don’t contradict your case. While I don't condone sexism/racism/etc. good, but cap good, fem ir bad, etc is gg. Perm with link turns and alt solvency deficits as net benefits is a cool strat too. Will vote on theoretical voting issues to reject the alt
- For neg - Don't love big overviews. Line by line is key. Ideal: have specific link(s) to the aff, have external impacts for each link, and why each link turns case. At the very least, have a link contextualized to the aff. Find specific lines in the aff. Don’t necessary need to win the alt if the link is debated well enough to be a da on its own. You can kick the alt if you tell me where on the flow you're gonna get offense and win. Treating the K like a da/cp with case push will be rewarded.
Neutral on whether kaffs should get perms and like these debates
- Ending speeches: whoever simplifies the round the best with concrete arguments is likely gonna win the round.
- FW: While I believe "framework makes the game work", I see myself voting against fw because the neg reads a big shell in the 1nc and block and can't write my ballot with clear voters and standards in the 2nr. However, if you're prepared to read framework beyond your blocks, fw is a very powerful argument.
- TVAs: They don't have to solve the aff, but "Carded TVAs with proper extensions are pretty damning for the aff and your good research/engagement will likely be rewarded (either with speaks or the ballot)"- Niko Battle.
- K v K debates are very enjoyable when both teams indict the problematic aspects of the other's scholarship. I genuinely find these debates one of the most educational parts of debate.
For aff - Your aff should have a tie to the topic and a competing model of debate, but what that means is debatable. I should clearly know what the aff is doing by the 2ac, especially if it's based on lit I'm not familiar with. Enjoy k affs w/ a performative aspect. Huge overviews are not ideal. Prefer most work done on the line by line.
- For neg - Please answer the case (don’t need to read cards- analytically poking holes in the aff’s methodology or solvency is great too. I will vote on presumption. Don't be afraid to engage the aff. Also, be creative- in the way Kai Daniels says it: “k affs some of the time can be unfair - so you should be too. read 6 off, 3 counterplans, make them go for condo and then go for t and say it outweighs. read their own cards back at them as piks and take advantage of the fact that they invited a debate that is ~unpredictable~."
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please keep your camera on (unless there's a good reason)
k affs are cool
framework vs k affs cool too
spreading is fine
will vote on technicalities or tricky args (theory, weird T shells, obscure framing args)
generally well versed in policy intricacies but less familiar with courts debates
i will reread your advocacy text to figure out what it does
i will take your advocacy text literally absent a consistent and reasonably extrapolated explanation
i debated policy at Garfield 2016-2020
consistently gave 1nr's on T (so run it)
cut and ran hard policy, soft left, and performative k affs
i will like it if you read a cool process cp (even vs k affs) and number arguments/use author names
generally understand common debate k lit but ask me about specific authors/fields
speaks are 25-30 but depend on tourney; 29.5 at washington locals is a 28 at nats
hi friends, i'm a current debater at the university of houston!
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please time your own speeches/cx
i enjoy k debates the most. one thing that makes my heart leap is clear link articulation, rather than "the aff doesn't do this, which means they link and they're bad!"
the same can be said for disads: debaters love to throw around nuclear war impacts without explaining how the plan triggers it.
that being said, i will vote on anything. my judgement comes from your explanation, not my prior knowledge about the literature.
i love funny debaters, please flood the round with jokes! on another note, i adore animals and will temporarily stop the round to coo at your pets
have lots of fun and i will too (i love judging) ^__^
Updated March 2021
Affiliation - Dallas Jesuit.
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CJR topic - Very interesting topic. I have pretty good exposure to the topic. Yet, this still does not justify teams in speaking jargons. Personally, I find DA and CP literature on this topic quite disappointing (unless the link narrative can be specific to the aff). So I believe this perhaps is a good opportunity for some teams to engage in critical literature deeper than before.
- Speed is fine. But clarity >>> speed. Especially given the virtual-ness of debating, I would suggest going a bit slower.
- Please line by line. If you don't even at least attempt to line by line, your speaks will suffer.
- Depth outweighs breadth. One well-warranted argument beats numerous poorly explained/constructed arguments. This applies to the cards too. Poorly and disjointedly highlighted cards are bad. Call them out on it.
- No I don't take prep for emailing/flashing unless it's excessive.
- Usually, it is tech > truth but not all the time.
- Stop being a jerk. There is a fine line between being passionate/competitive vs. being a total jerk.
- I am totally fine with any style of argument. You do you. I am here to listen. Obviously, this excludes arguments like racism or sexism good :)
- This is probably obvious but I think it's important. For me to vote on an argument, it has to make sense in my head. While I will probably understand the general thesis for most of your arguments myself, every argument (K, DA, CP, T, K aff, etc.) requires a nuanced explanation that is different, depending on the circumstances of the round. So, spend some time doing that in the round.
Love them if done well. Personally think they are very underutilized in this topic. Will default to competing interpretations if not convinced otherwise. T is all about weighing your interpretation versus theirs. Specificity (i.e. examples of how the aff would explode limits or gut grounds) is good. Just saying meaningless phrases like 'they explode limits' won't be convincing at all.
Most of my 2NRs were CP+DA or DA alone. More specific your evidence (solvency advocate or link) is to the aff, the better. I think solvency advocate for the CP should be a thing most of the time. If you don't, it's not really a theoretical reason to lose but rather a solvency question. Impact calculus on DAs usually is really really really important. Use the impact debate to frame the ballot and be comparative (especially if you are going for the DA without the CP with only the case defense, which by the way is heavily under-utilized). Good link narratives on DAs will be awarded. Smart analytics will be awarded as well.
Love them. But, if you start to talk in disjointed vocabularies without contextualizing the K to the aff, then the K is not so loving. I think that aff should generally get to weigh the action of the plan, though I can be convinced otherwise in many ways - so put in the work.
Winning a general explanation of the world is not enough. Use the specific link and internal link narratives to prove why the aff would make X worse. To do that, I think real-world manifestations or examples help a ton. Way too many teams just assume "if I win a link, then the impact happens" - welp, a good internal link work will be awarded. Long overviews are mostly useless. Line by line is good.
Personally, I find these affs way more interesting than listening to generic process CP debates per say. Clarity on what the aff does (i.e. the mechanism of the aff) is the single most important thing to explain to me. Personal narrative, music, poetry - anything is fine with me. Just have a particular reason why you included those parts in 1AC. You need to have at least some relations to the topic, and some reason why you don't use governmental institutions. You still need a reason why your ROB is good, and for the neg teams going for FW, that must be challenged. As always, impact debates on FW must be comparative.
Chill for a second and SLOW DOWN
Don't run New Affs bad in front of me - I'm not gonna vote on it.
Conditionality is usually good - unless multiple conditional contradictory world is a thing (but is it a theoretical reason to reject the team? Eh - though I think it would benefit you substantive-wise if used well)
Other theory arguments (generally) probably are a reason to reject the argument, not the team UNLESS I'm convinced otherwise. If they drop theory, then the story is quite different (assuming that you invest some time into it).
I really love this activity. There probably is a reason why I keep in touch with debate and the community even though I decided not to debate in college. If I happen to judge you, know that I will judge debates as fairly as I can Please respect each other and have fun.
Also, for more nitty-gritty judging philosophies on the style of arguments, look into these judges’ philosophies: Tracy McFarland, Ryan Gorman, and Dan Lingel. They introduced/influenced me a lot (like debate + life) that we almost have a similar "view of debate" if that makes sense. If three judges contradict in their judging philosophy, it would be on my therapy list.
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Katy Taylor '19
Updates per Online debating: Because of the nature of online debating, I am often times having a hard time understanding/taking in visual cues. Please take this into consideration when debating and prioritize clarity to an extent. Also appreciate analytics, although I guess it's ultimately up to you - if I didn't get it on my flow, it's probably net worse lol
Also feel free to email me with questions if any are unanswered, both before and post round.
I think debate is an activity formatted as a game, but ultimately should be used to reap external values/impacts. It also definitely is more than a game to most of us involved; debate is in fact a consuming activity. What I prioritize in evaluation will vary by round, based on the progression of the debate, and I will leave the strategizing for a ballot up to you.
Do what you do best. I’m open to all types of argument as long as it is well executed- I was not a big K debater through HS, but if you do your job I should have no problem understanding the round/the literature. I would much rather judge a nuanced and engaging debate that I am unfamiliar with over a poorly executed round. Likewise, Ks should not be read in the hopes of simply reading the K getting a ballot.
Proper showcasing of your knowledge in the subject, clever strategy, and some courtesy in round make judging easier, more enjoyable, and will work in your favor.
Both teams should have a defense of the model provided by their interpretation. I think Affs should have some relation/link to the topic (not necessarily with a plan text)-I don't think it's easy to win a round with an aff that has no relation whatsoever, but if this is the case, I would expect VERY good reasons to buy that. Offense is key to win FW debates- how well these arguments apply/interact in round are important for a decision. Along with offense, there needs to be well explained impacts by both teams. (i.e. explain what “destroying fairness” does to debate, etc.)
I'm usually not a heavy voter on T, because a) most times T debates feel like nothing more than a time suck and b)I do think that debate is a space that has the capacity in which a variety of dialogues can and should take place, but that doesn't mean I won't vote on it and/or this is the cue to read whatever you want w zero correlation. Both teams need to defend their interp of the topic with well-extrapolated standards and impacts. Mentioning the words “limits”, “fairness”, and “predictability” doesn't mean much until you explain why that matters. Impact comparison and substantive clash over models of the topic via definitions and standards make T debates much easier and more enjoyable to evaluate.
Despite the fact I wasn't much of a K debater, I feel they are very enjoyable to judge when executed well, and can very well be the opposite if not done so. I have found myself finding K arguments very compelling because I buy that the problematic ideologies that shaped the fundamentals of our society are violent/pose a threat constantly. Well-developed links that are specific and turn case are essential. I believe the framework debate is generally underutilized by the negative, usually those debates end up with the affirmative getting to weigh the Aff. If you read external impacts, you must explain the internal link to that impact. As mentioned above, I was not a big K debater through high school, so I'm probably super close to an actual blank slate- With that said explanation within your speeches and CX will be rewarded, and essential for me to evaluate. A clear explanation of the argument should be a requirement anyway; just know that you will not gain much if not lose expecting me to know each K inside out. The affirmative should have a combination of offensive and defensive arguments. A purely defensive strategy against a K will probably not get you a win.
They need to have a clear and preferably nuanced method that can solve the impacts of the Aff. I think the major pitfall of K Affs is having generic or vague methods that open the doors to a lot of persuasive presumption arguments. There needs to be a defense of why debate is a key space to read the Aff. The 1AR and 2AR should have both components on some level or else I’m left to guess as to how the Aff/aff offense functions against the negative's position. As explained in the K section above, do not assume I’m well versed in the literature you are defending.
Be specific. A robust explanation of the link to the Aff and impact calculus supplemented with embedded turns case analysis makes these debates very enjoyable to judge. The Affirmative should try to find holes in the DA, whether that’s through internal links not lining up or through their evidence. I think a combination of offensive and defensive arguments is smart and will make it harder for the negative to hedge their offense.
They need to have a clear plan text and an external net benefit. Make sure the CP is competitive- as simple as it is I feel like people forget and then I have to vote down on perm. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better. The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement. It's probably helpful for the aff to have some offense- just defense is in most cases not sufficient to beat the CP.
- Strategizing the round is up to you, but I do find myself not loving the timesuck-16 off- strats
- I think case debating is very under-utilized
- recutting evidence from the opposing team is rewarded
- Flashing/Emailing isn’t prep but be efficient
- If you still have questions, ask them before the round
-Don't be rude; there's a difference between that and being sharp
Been involved with the game in some way since 2008, do as you wish and I shall evaluate it in the way that I feel requires the least interference from myself.
Put me on the chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org, for the most part I do not look at the documents other than some cursory glances during prep time if a card intrigues me. I still may ask for specific cards at the end of the debate so I do not need to sort through each document, I appreciate it in advance.
I believe that debate is a communication activity with an emphasis on persuasion. If you are not clear or have not extended all components of an argument (claim/warrant/implication) it will not factor into my decision.
I flow on paper, it is how I was taught and I think it helps me retain more information and be more present in debates. Given that I would appreciate yall slowing down and giving me pen time on counterplan texts and theory arguments (as well as permutations).
The most important thing in debates for me is to establish a framework for how (and why) I should evaluate impacts. I am often left with two distinct impacts/scenarios at the end of the debate without any instruction on how to assess their validity vis-à-vis one another or which one to prioritize. The team that sets this up early in the debate and filtering the rebuttals through it often gets my ballot. I believe that this is not just true of “clash” debates but is (if not even more) an important component of debates where terminal impacts are the same but their scenarios are not (ie two different pathways to nuclear war/extinction).
While I think that debate is best when the affirmative is interacting with the resolution in some way I have no sentiment about how this interaction need to happen nor a dogmatic stance that 1AC’s have a relation to the resolution. I have voted for procedural fairness and have also voted for the impact turns. Despite finding myself voting more and more for procedural fairness I am much more persuaded by fairness as an internal link rather than terminal impact. Affirmative’s often beat around the bush and have trouble deciding if they want to go for the impact turn or the middle ground, I think picking a strategy and going for it will serve you best. A lot of 2NRs squander very good block arguments by not spending enough time (or any) at the terminal impact level, please don’t be those people. I also feel as if most negative teams spend much time reading definitions in the 1NC and do not utilize them later in the debate even absent aff counter definitions which seems like wasted 1NC time. While it does not impact how I evaluate the flow I do reward teams with better speaker points when they have unique and substantive framework takes beyond the prewritten impact turn or clash good blocks that have proliferated the game (this is also something you should be doing to counter the blocktastic nature of modern framework debates).
It would behove many teams and debaters to extend their evidence by author name in the 2NR/2AR. I tend to not read a large amount of evidence and think the trend of sending out half the 1AC/1NC in the card document is robbing teams of a fair decision, so narrowing in and extending the truly relevant pieces of evidence by author name increases both my willingness to read those cards and my confidence that you have a solid piece of evidence for a claim rather than me being asked to piece together an argument from a multitude of different cards.
Prep time ends when the email has been sent (if for some reason you still use flash drives then when the drive leaves the computer). In the past few years so much time is being spent saving documents, gathering flows, setting up a stand etc. that it has become egregious and ultimately feel limits both decision time and my ability to deliver criticism after the round. Limited prep is a huge part of what makes the activity both enjoyable and competitive. I said in my old philosophy that policing this is difficult and I would not go out of my way to do it, however I will now take the extra time beyond roadmaps/speech time into account when I determine speaker points.
I find myself frustrated in debates where the final rebuttals are only about theory. I do not judge many of these debates and the ones I have feel like there is an inevitable modicum of judge intervention. While I have voted for conditonality bad several times, personally my thought on condo is "don't care get better."
Plan-text writing has become a lost art and should invite negative advocacy attrition and/or substantive topicality debates.
Feel free to email or ask any questions before or after the debate. Above all else enjoy the game you get to play and have fun.
Competitor-- Winston Churchill (2008-2012)
Past: Jenks (2012-2015) Reagan (2015-2017)
Currently: Texas (2017-present) Winston Churchill (2018-Present)
***Please include me in the email chain: email@example.com
I am originally from the Greater Los Angeles, California area. I participated in debate in high school, mainly focusing on Lincoln-Douglass Debates.
Almost 3 years ago, though, I moved to Houston in order to pursue higher education. Currently, I am on the University of Houston Debate team. I am extremely fascinated by debate and I keep learning new things daily. I am a Philosophy and Political Science Double Major with an interest in going into law school. After that, I have no idea.
A little about me (besides education): In my free time, I like to read and write. I mainly read philosophy, history, and historical fiction. I love a good philosophical debate. I would consider myself to be good-humored and easygoing, although my sister might say the opposite. I am bilingual, with both of my parents being born and raised in Spain.
Onto my furry family, in my house, we have 3 cats and a dog, who ironically thinks she is a cat. You may see them on the screen. The cats consist of Picobit, a small grey tabby that is the embodiment of social anxiety, Smores a maincoon mix calico who's unsure of everything, and Gigabyte, a shorthaired calico who mainly sleeps. I then have a rescue Australian Shepherd who is also very anxious, yet hyper and acts like a cat. She even tries to climb the cat tree. I understand if you get interrupted by a bit, it's totally fine. I completely understand.
On to debate:
My number one thing is to please be respectful and kind. We are all here to learn and have fun. Especially during these difficult times, please be welcoming.
2. Since, everything is virtual, please ask if everyone is ready before speaking. Also, I am very understanding of technical issues, if you have a technical issue, please just let me know. We can even take a short tech break if needed.
3. I really enjoy link turns, they make me think. Either way, explain them to me. Do not simply state "Link Turn", please elaborate. I will be extremely grateful and probably will make my flow clearer.
4. Counter Plans should specify how doing the CP would be better than just doing the Aff. Also, when perming the CP, please explain how you can perm. It would be a lot stronger than simply saying "Perm do both"
5. I am quite fascinated by Kritiks, they can be extremely fun. Although, remember those link cards! Also, pretend like I have the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to kritiks, so when you continue it in the next speech, please give me an overview, then develop it.
By now, you may have gotten the impression that I like to think. That assumption is correct. I love a good challenge, especially with it developed in a clear, interesting manner.
6. Feel free to ask questions at the end! There are no dumb questions! If you believe there are dumb questions do exist, believe me, I have asked thousands of "dumb" questions, then, so I may be the perfect person to ask!
Good luck, everyone!
Wearing masks in common spaces like the cafeteria and hallways is a considerate and safe thing to do. Ask me if you need one and please correct me if you see me without one. I am alright with not masking in the debate round, but feel free to request we wear one if you’d like.
Please call me Sim, you can use any pronouns. I am a student at Johns Hopkins University studying Public Health and Africana Studies. I’m also a researcher in Asian American studies. My policy debate competitive experience was solely on a local circuit for a tiny program. I have accomplished nothing notable, and I learned debate entirely by flowing rounds online – this does mean I trust my ear and keep a neat flow. I am currently the head coach at Georgetown Day School.
Add [firstname.lastname@example.org] to the email chain. You can direct other inquiries to [email@example.com]. Do not contact either email for speech documents. If you are a student, please do not reach out to me on my social media.
The Asian Debate Collective is a working group of Asian debaters across all formats that studies Asian-based critical theory and collaborates on arguments. We have active programming during the summer (practice rounds, lecture series with guests, etc.) and work throughout the season together. If you are an Asian student that would like to join our community, apply here [tinyurl.com/aidwg23] by 4/30/23. You can view the program's roster here.
I will vote for anything that is justified with good debating. I’m an ideologically opinionated person, not so much as a judge. Read strategies that you are confident in and enjoy. You will win my ballot with clear warranting and superior strategy, not by reading the content you think I agree with.
Debate is a communication activity, not a document compilation race. Besides ensuring that you are not cheating and have ethical evidence, I will not care for your speech document. This means you cannot insert things – you must read them out loud. I will always prefer specific analytics and judge instruction over uncontextualized cards. I think many arguments are silly and can be beaten without evidence. This is something I think most debaters are not brave enough to do, but it is a style I reward and greatly enjoy watching.
Being a technical judge does not mean that I am algorithmic and just look at the most conceded thing to vote on. Concessions are not inherently meaningful – if there is a damning drop and you only speak a sentence on it, I will be disappointed. Exploit these mistakes and implicate them well. You should be building a world in rebuttals and comparing your worlds. If I don’t know what your world looks like, I’m not voting for it. If I don’t know what the link story is, what your impact is, and how you resolve anything, I cannot vote for you. Is this arbitrary? Sort of. I think I’ve made my expectations for worldbuilding clear, and I just won’t vote for something that isn’t comprehensible to me.
I used to have something along the lines of “I will not vote for racism, sexism, etc.” in this paradigm, but I have grown to realize that is not particularly useful. You will not know what I find problematic or what my boundaries are. You do not need to know. I will put it in your hands to explain what is x-ist, debate it out, and tell me what I should do about it. There are many silly and outrageous arguments, they should be easy to beat. If you cannot do so, I will not feel comfortable giving you the ballot. This is an obligatory announcement that I reserve the right to stop the round for any reason – I have never had to do so, please do not be the first to make me.
The vast majority of rounds I’m in are clash rounds. Second to that are kritikal debates. I have been in a few policy throwdowns and some rounds that collapsed to theory. I don’t know if this means anything.
Kritikal debate has gotten wildly reductive, and I feel like these rounds are where you see the most judge intervention. I am getting the impression that judges do work for the identity-based kritik to soothe racial guilt. That is not me. I need a reason to vote for you that is not just the fact that you are an oppressed identity. Reading the kritik in a way that essentially devolves to “vote for me because I am a part of x-identity group” will induce an eye roll from me. I also need a reason to vote for the kritik that is more than the status quo is fucked up – there needs to be a link to your opponent’s strategies and content. I will not reward you for being the first person in the round to inform me of the reality that the world is messed up. Do not read any of the above as me being a hater of the kritik or identity-based arguments, I just think that recently they have not been deployed in great ways. The kritik is a beautiful argument that brings some of my favorite literature into debate. Read the literature and I think that you will find a lot of it has been misrepresented, go against that wave.
K v K rounds get frustrating when they devolve into which oppression is worse/came first/etc. Have a clear theory of power and if you are the neg, you should explain the tensions between your thesis and theirs. You should have a link to their thesis or mechanisms – winning a root cause claim and then saying their starting point is wrong is not necessarily offensive. If you win the root cause claim, you must explain how it implicates affirmative solvency. Your method explanation needs to be more than throwing the words ‘sociality’ or ‘relationality’ at me like that means anything. Tell me what you do and how you solve anything – the more specific you can be, the better. Method explanations are sorely lacking which makes me easily persuaded by presumption.
I find myself voting for framework against k affs when the aff cannot give me a workable model of debate. Not extending an interpretation or any sort of model and purely going for impact turns in the 2ar is unlikely a winning strategy. If you choose to do so anyway, you need to be clear about why I can vote for your thesis even though it was not testable or debatable. You cannot just assert their framework is x-ist just because it does not include your 1ac as is, you should offer more specific problematizations of their case list and the ideology behind the interpretations. Clash is an intrinsic good. Tell me why you have a better form of engagement. I have no preferences for impacts, just explain and weigh.
Maybe it is just the NATO topic (yucky), but I find myself clueless about how these affirmatives operate and their mechanisms. Solvency explanations are lacking, do better! Make sure you have good and updated internal links. A lot of the time it feels as though they can be beaten with just analytics.
I like case turns the K/DA moves.
Zero risk is a thing. Like with policy affs, a lot of the cards here are just bad and can be smacked down with analytics. Have a clear evidence comparison and tell me why yours should be preferred over theirs.
I _love_ politics disads.
I will judge kick if you do not tell me otherwise. I think the status quo is always an option and the affirmative is expected to prove itself preferable to the status quo.
A winning counterplan needs to be specific on how it resolves the aff and affs need to do a better job of telling me what nuances in the 1ac the counterplan just misses.
Counterplan and competition theory are confusing and hard to resolve. Please just have a clear model and explanation of what positions your interpretation defends and weigh why those debates are good.
Topicality and Theory
I do not have very many preferences here and not a lot of my rounds come down to these arguments. Please flag the violation clearly and extend it throughout speeches, otherwise, I’ll vote on a shoddily explained but extended ‘we meet.’
Extend and warrant if I should reject the team or the argument. This is very important.
Your format is so quirky. I do not know what truth testing, permissibility, paradoxes, or tricks are. I do not know what Kant has written. I do not want to know. Stick to straight policy or kritikal arguments. If not, explain like I am a parent judge and I will adjudicate with that lens. I am not going to go back and read your documents to teach myself your stuff.
Public Forum Debate
Sorry, you’re unlucky enough to get me. I think this format needs to be abolished. If you want to read “progressive arguments” and debate rigorously, switch formats.
If you do not have cards with proper citations, you paraphrase, or you do not send a speech document that contains all evidence you are about to read before the speech, I will immediately vote for your opponents and tank your speaker points. If both teams are cheaters, I will pretend I am a parent judge and evaluate the round like it is a speech event since none of you want to act like debaters. None of this is a joke. I have done it before; I will do it again.
If you opt for an inefficient form of evidence exchange where you call for a card after a speech and make everyone wait until their hair has turned grey for you to find it and send it, I will be running everyone’s prep time. At once.
You’re not speed-reading robots. Make jokes, show your personality, and have good vibes. Toss in League of Legends references if you play the game. GLHF.
firstname.lastname@example.org - Yes, I want to be on the email chain. -- please format the subject as "Tournament Name -- Round # -- Aff School AF vs. Neg School NG." Example: "TOC -- Finals -- MBA BM vs. WY MM."
If you have any questions before the round starts, please don't hesitate to ask.
LD specific stuff is at the very bottom.
Hebron '20. Did CX all 4 years. Read K affs/negs sophomore-senior year. 2A Soph, 2N Junior, 2A Senior.
UT Austin '24
Spreading - Yes
Open CX - Yes
No Plan Text (Varsity/JV)- Yes
No Plan Text (Novice) - No
Kritiks - Yes
Disclosure Theory -- Ideally, you'll have some proof of mis/lack of disclosure to make things easier, but I'm willing to vote on it.
Cards in Body of the Email - You get 1 per speech given. If there are more cards than that, then you put them in a document.
If you open-source and do round reports with the details of the 1AC, 1NC, and 2NR, tell me right when the round ends, and I'll increase your speaks by .2 after checking.
I do not keep track of your prep unless you explicitly ask me to and there's some reason you can't do it.
I conceptualize much of debate as who is winning the "framing issue." How do I evaluate offense, what do I prioritize, post fiat or pre-fiat? Answer this question of debate for me, and it'll give you a strong cushion to supercharge your line by line and gives me very simple ways to conceptualize my RFD.
I'll vote on anything, but some things I'm more comfortable evaluating than others. My debate history was entirely Ks, but don't over-adapt to me.
Reconcile what impacts come first or how to weigh them relative to your opponent's.
Speed: In online debate, I simply can not understand unclear spreading as I can in person. This is specifically towards all my 1As out there trying to blitz as much as possible. Sometimes my RFD will just be a very disappointing "sorry, I couldn't hear what was said in [insert speech] because it was too unclear, so I couldn't evaluate the next speech's central argument push" It sucks. I really hate giving that RFD. If you hate listening to it, then be more cognizant of your clarity and slow down before it's an issue. Better I hear a few clear arguments than almost none of a lot of arguments.
If you say *anything* that is construable as racist, I reserve the right to drop you and go on about my day.
Look, it's a DA; just extend it properly, please.
Ideally, do not read a soft left DA versus a plan text aff.
Clever counter-plans and PICS are fun. Generics are also fun if run well. I probably lean neg on most CP theory except for consult and solvency advocate.
If a CP text just has "do the aff" or something similar instead of explicitly saying the portion of the aff that the CP is doing, the Aff team can just say "They don't know how to write a plan text. They don't fiat an action - textuality matters so they don't get the part of the CP that claims to do the aff" and that will be sufficient for the aff to win that portion of the CP, or maybe all of it depending on the context.
4-minute overviews make me cry. Case-specific links are great. Generic links are fine and can definitely be won.
I have the most experience with Settler Colonialism, Afropess, Virilio, Heidegger, Cap, and Black Nihilism. However, I also have worked with Ks like Agamben, Baudrillard, Foucault, Security, Queer Theory, Psychoanalysis, etc. That does not mean I will do the work to fill in the analysis for you.
Unfortunately, most framework debates in the 2NR/2AR often become meaningless with a lack of clash. At that point, I functionally default to weigh the aff, but the K gets its links in whatever form they are. If this isn't strategic for you, put the work in and win FW by answering their stuff and not just extending yours.
I'll vote on all the cheaty K tricks like floating PIKS or all in on FW. Similarly, I'll vote on hard right approaches to answering Ks, whether that means going all-in on heg good/impact turning the K.
Root cause arguments are not links. If your only link is just a root cause, then I won't be voting negative.
I seem to judge a fair amount of Wilderson/Warren debates, so here are a few things.
On the state good side -- just winning a list of reforms isn't enough for me. I need to hear a clear counter-theorization of how the world operates and comparative claims to take out social death/equivalent claims. Reforms prove that counter-theorization but don't make a theory itself. This doesn't require reinventing the wheel. Think "progress is possible. institutions are malleable tools of humanity and biases can be overcome."
On the Wilderson/Warren side -- you need to justify your theory of the world rather than rehashing debate's greatest hits. Saying "Jim crow to prison industrial complex" repeatedly does not make a full argument. Ideally, I'll hear some thesis-level explanation, like a few seconds on social death or what the libidinal economy is, rather than just "extend the conceded libidinal economy." The "Jim Crow to PIC" explanation requires the thesis-level explanation to be true.
For both teams -- I've found that I decide most debates by who undercovers ontology/libidinal economy the most. Many arguments on the flow come secondary to winning this and applying it to those other things, so identify what you can afford to give up to make my decision easier. You can still win ontology/metaphysics and lose the debate, but there are fewer scenarios where that's true.
University K's that PIK out of the university or debate suck. Do with that information as you will.
For the negative - I am a bad judge for going for fairness as a terminal impact. So, I'll probably need some external benefit to fairness like clash. Don't read this as me being dogmatically against voting on fairness. Instead, I need an incredibly robust explanation of fairness with significant case mitigation to vote on it. A couple of conditions that the neg ideally meets at least one of for me to vote on fairness as the 2NR terminal impact include:
1. Dropped TVA/Neg is clearly ahead on TVA that solves all of the Aff's offense.
2. The aff has failed to explain a counter-model for what debate is/should be and concedes that debate is only a game with no implication past that.
3. Significant explanation for how fairness implicates and turns aff offense at the level of the aff's explanation, not just generic claims.
4. External offense not within that framework flow that impact turns the Aff's value claims and implicates the Aff's fw offense.
Independent of all that, fairness is a great controlling IL to filter things, so definitely leverage it as a part of other impacts if you go that route.
Ks vs the K aff are cool. A good debate here is realistically one of the top places I'll give high speaks along with impact turns. I default to the aff gets a perm, but feel free to win they don't. Just winning your theory of power isn't sufficient for me to vote negative, but it definitely supercharges link arguments.
Impact turns are great. Feel free just to drop 10 scenarios and challenge the fundamental assumptions of the 1AC.
DAs -- if a K team is trying to be tricky and give you topic DAs. Feel free to go for the DA and CP, but make sure you have case mitigation or some framing device.
For the aff -
You need to either win a) your model is better than theirs or b) their model is really, really bad if you don't have a c/i.
I find myself voting negative in these debates when the Aff fails to give me a framing argument to filter negative offense.
Be ready to defend your solvency mechanism if it is attacked. I need a coherent story about what my voting aff does. Do I signify a good political strategy, does my ballot literally break the system (lol), does it change mindsets, etc. Presumption is persuasive, so don't disrespect it by under-covering it.
I'm not the judge for rounds where you and the opponent agree to have a "discussion" and talk about important issues outside the traditional speech times of debate. These things are likely important, but I don't want to have to decide on something like that. It requires too much judge intervention for my liking. Strike me if this is something you plan on doing. If you do not strike me and this type of round happens, then I am flipping a coin. Heads for the aff. Tails for the neg.
I am not anywhere near the best judge for T. If your A strat is Topicality, then I'd recommend striking me or having me hover around a 4. If you are forced to go for T in the 2NR/answering it the 2AR, then hold my hand through the RFD and explain how things should interact.
If you're put in a position where T is your only option, don't worry and keep the things below in mind.
I default to competing interpretations.
Give me a case list, especially if it's a weirder interp.
Go slower than you would with a DA/K/CP. I find it harder to flow T than other off-cases at high speed.
Make sure you tell me why I should vote for you rather than just have floating offense.
Weird and Random Technical Things:
Speech times are a rule, while things like topicality are a norm. That means I'm willing to entertain a debate about the benefits of topicality/FW vs. a K aff. If you speak over the timer, I will not flow or evaluate what you are saying, even if it is a part of your argumentation.
No, the neg will never get a 3NR.
I greatly dislike completely new 1AR cards if the argument was made in the 1NC and dropped in the 2AC. There is a big gray area here for what it means to be "dropped," but you should be able to realize what is abusive or not.
Off-case positions should be clearly labeled in the 1NC.
I'll generally evaluate inserted rehighlighting of the opponent's evidence. There is obviously a point where a team could abuse this -- don't do that. But, I think that teams should be punished for under highlighting/mis highlighting their evidence. Due to time trade-offs/competitive incentives, I think that forcing you to verbally re-read the evidence punishes you more. Essentially, one or two key inserted rehighlightings is fine, but if you're inserting the entire 1ac re-highlighted, that's not ok.
Don't say "brief off-time roadmap." Just say roadmap, please.
The only thing I want to hear in your roadmap is the name of off-case positions and specific case pages. If there's a large overview, then maybe add that to the roadmap. "Impact calculus" happens within one of those flows, so just signpost in speech rather than making it a part of the roadmap.
Please don't send pdfs. Verbatim > Unverbatimized Word > Google Docs > Pdfs.
I am not evaluating tricks.
In order of args I'm best suited to judge (best to worst) -- K, LARP, Phil, Tricks.
Almost everything in the policy section applies to LD, so go for clarification there.
A little bit about me - Hi! I am Miles Luce, I debated for the Barstow School on the national circuit for four years from 2016-2020. Prior, I debated at the Debate Kansas City UDL for two years in Middle School. I have been a lab leader at the 3-Week Jayhawk Debate Institute for two consecutive years. I debated for one year at the University of Kansas. I am an undergraduate at KU studying Art History, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Philosophy. My pronouns are they/them.
My Background - My argumentative history mostly consists of kritiks and planless affs. I am most familiar with Queer Theory and Poststructuralism. Some of my favorite authors are Jasbir Puar, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, David V. Ruffalo, and Jack Halberstam. I love all debates and would be more than willing to judge a technical policy debate. I hope people do not interpret my paradigm to read as a bias for or against a certain style of debate. As a judge, I understand that my role is to determine which team won the debate.
Why I Love Debate - I believe one of high school debate's greatest functions is exposing students to fields of thought they would not otherwise discover. I really value debaters' investment in research. I know that without debate's exposing me to Queer Theory, I wouldn't have some of the texts that are foundational to my identity as a queer person. Debate was that refuge of self-discovery for me in a restricted home and school environment. It allowed me to express myself in a welcoming environment, in squad meetings, and camps where I found my chosen family. I do not know where I'd be without it.
Evaluating Debates - In evaluating debates, I first prioritize impact calculus. Framing your impact is the most important thing a team can do. Regardless of whether your aff solves X, if you cannot win that X matters, then it is incredibly difficult for me as a judge to endorse your position. In order of priority, I would evaluate turns case, ethics/impact framing, then case outweighs. In debates with equivalent levels of impact calculus, I then prioritize solvency. Given, I do believe the ethicality of an impact might outweigh the question of whether the aff does or does not solve.
Determining Speaks - To me, a good speaker is articulate, persuasive, confident, respectful, and kind. I allocate speaker points based on a debater's skill. However, even if someone is a "good debater" in a skill sense, if they are rude or dismissive to their opponents, their ability as a debater matters much less because they have failed to be a good person. Good speakers should be good people first.
Hello, I'm Jack Madden and I am currently a senior at the University of Oklahoma. I am currently getting my masters in cybersecurity, but I did my undergrad in economics with a focus on trade. I am no longer currently debating, but I debated for 4 years at Jesuit Dallas. My speaker position in high school 2n/1a, but I also spent time as a 2a/1n (if that helps shed some light on some of my argument preferences). In general, apart from arguments like racism/sexism/etc good, I will evaluate everything if it is argued well, but below are some of my predispositions and biases. (and if you are pressed on time, read just the general information and the short version at the bottom).
- Read what you are most comfortable with-excluding things like -isms good, I will listen to basically anything and while some arguments frustrate me more than others, I still think that people should read what they are most comfortable with running in debate.
- I will keep time for both sides and I don't count flashing/emailing as prep
--CX is open, but try and let the person whose CX it is speak
-- Prompting is allowed, but try and keep it at a minimum
--Please please please flow and base your arguments off of the flow...It makes the debate much more organized and easier to follow. In fact, if you show me your flows after the debate and I can observe that you did a good job with utilizing them to give your speeches and basing your speeches off of the clash in the debate (not the speech docs), I will add an additional .5 speaker points to your total.
--I generally default to tech over truth, but that doesn't excuse running "throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks" strategies (i.e. the generic 9-off strategies, affs with 20 impacts and shoddy internal links). I will say, however, that I am probably more truth level than most people and will prioritize 5 smart arguments over 25 nonsensical argument.
--Clarity > speed
--Evidence quality is very important--so important that it can be a deciding factor between two relatively evenly matched teams. This means that one well-warranted card can easily defeat several under qualified/out of date/poorly highlighted cards. However, in most cases, you need to initiate the comparisons yourself -- that way it'll be clearer precisely which pieces of evidence I need to take a closer look at after the debate, as I don't enjoy intervening too much.
--Don't resort to offensive language or hostility towards your opponents or others. There is a line between being persuasive and being malignant. I understand that people get passionate, but I also think that debate is a game (that has a few educational benefits) and you should maintain a certain level of decorum. I will drop you a lot of speaks if you are abusive, since I think that's far more important than whatever you are arguing about. The caveat to this is that I am a big believer in matching energy. This means that if someone is being rude or abusive to you first, I think that it is more than fair to be a bit rude back (they probably have it coming)
--Call me whatever you want to, but I would prefer you don't call me judge because it makes me feel like I am an authority figure, which I definitely am not.
--I prefer email chains (flash drives and pocketbox take too long to execute/set up); my email is email@example.com
-- Be yourself and we will all be great
-- I feel kind of weird about abuse language. Terms like gaslighting, abusive relationship, etc have very specific meanings and I feel like some teams (mainly K ones) throw them around a lot and I will admit, I am not the biggest fan of that/would prefer if you avoid using those terms while I am in the room. I think that given that you will not know where everyone in the room is coming from, it is better to be safe than sorry and avoid mentioning those terms (this also extends to graphic terms describing things like sexual assault, etc).
-- Also, if you are funny (like actually funny), make some jokes (if you can make me laugh, I will give you +.5 speaks)
-- Finally, for online debates, it is probably a good idea to have your camera on while you are giving a speech, but it is honestly your call (unless the tournament has specific rules)
I'd probably be hard pressed to reject the team unless the argument goes completely conceded or if the other team reads something that is extremely abusive, but I will evaluate it on a case by case basis. Slowing down and doing comparison rather than perpetually reading your blocks is key.
Debates I'm willing to hear: multiple conditional (contradictory) worlds, PICs bad, process CPs bad, Consult CPs bad, Conditions CPs bad, 50 states, solvency advocate theory (for both affs and CPs)
Please don't run in front of me: new affs bad, whole rez, disclosure/wiki theory, uncondo bad, no aff/neg fiat. I'll really only vote on these arguments if they're never answered, but even so you will not make me happy, which will definitely impact your speaker points. All the other team in my mind needs to do is say "that's silly."
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT STEALING EVIDENCE: If a team copies and pastes evidence cut by another school that was acquired in a previous debate round into their own speech docs in a later debate, your speaks will be heavily cut, and it constitutes a theory argument that the other team can win on if you stole their cards (unless the other team says it's ok). To be clear, I'm not saying you can't re-cut articles that other teams read because you think the articles could be useful, or read cards that were cut and open-sourced during summer camps by other people, but there's a difference between that and straight up copying and pasting other teams' evidence into your speech docs.
I love DAs and try and reward good policy debates, since that is what I enjoy the most. However, I find politics DAs that are a mismatch of out of context paragraphs from random articles that never actually mention the aff outside of the tags to be extremely frustrating and if you chose to read one, know that I will probably give the other side leeway with their answers. So, to basically make my thoughts clear, I love DAs, feel like I am typically well versed with what they are talking about and they are what I typically go for used to go for before politics became nonsense, but I also think that you should read a specific link (or at the very least make good link contextualization) and do good impact calculus. (and if you are good at DAs, go for them because you will be rewarded).
I will listen to them, will vote for them, find them fun to watch for the most part and even probably agree with a lot of them on a thesis level. However, I feel like most K teams have a couple of issues. First, I feel like they rely on big words that don't actually mean anything just to sound smart. I totally understand that complex issues require a complex vocabulary, but please, for the love of god, DO NOT JUST THROW OUT A BUNCH OF BIG WORDS THAT YOU NEVER EXPLAIN. I am a big believer in the idea that the best and smartest arguments are those that can be explained to anyone, so while I don't think that you need to provide a list of definitions, I do think that you shouldn't just use a bunch of obfuscating language to spook the other team. I think that their second issue is that they are increasing looking for academic niches that only one person writes about so that they have something that no one else has heard of. This issue is more of just an observation and won't really affect my vote, but I just thought I should note that. Third, I think that too many K teams rely on generic links basically amount to aff is bad. I think that if you are going for a K in front of me, you should try and read a specific link and if you don't have one, you should try your best to contextualize the link to the aff. Fourth, I think that a lot of K teams have issues with the alt level as well. I need you to explain the alt to me besides just the tag line because I am not an aff links= aff loses guy and I need a competing option to vote for. Finally, I don't think that it is a link just because someone gave you an answer to an extremely vague CX question (think "What is death?" or "What is structural violence?").
I also think that I should note a couple of things. First, very few things in debate get me more frustrated and less likely to vote for you than if you read "death good", read suicide as your alt or endorse school shootings or anything of the like. I find these arguments to be extremely toxic for the debate community, to be mocking the suffering of others for the ballot and that people who read them think that they are a lot smarter and more edgy than they actually are. If you do decide to read one of these in front of me, I will evaluate it, but I will probably not be giving super high speaker points. Next, while I do think that debate is a valid form of expression and narratives about personal experience are good and cool, I do not think that teams reading things like D & G or Baudrillard should be saying that it is violent for your K to be excluded. Third, I'm not the biggest fan of ontology focused debates. I think that a smart way to beat this is just have some counter-examples, so if you do that, you will be rewarded. Fourth, I really hate the giant overviews. To me, they just show that you have a fancy overview you prepped out, not that you are actually engaging with the debate. This has two implications. First, I will try my best to flow these, but I know I will probably drop one of the 17 links you hide up there and if I do, I guess that's a bummer. I am going to give the other team some leeway when answering stuff here though, since they are honestly just a lot. Second, if you read this and still decide to read your 4 minute overview, more power to you, but know that I will probably give you a 28.5 at max (and will honestly probably give you less). I just want to be the change I want to see in the community by discouraging these things, because they are honestly miserable for everyone in the room to listen too (and if you ask me to get a separate sheet to flow your overview, I will, but I am giving you a 28). Finally, if you skipped the rest of this and just want to know what Ks that I really like, here is a mostly complete list: Berlant, discourse-based Ks, Cap, fun post-modernism, not Bifo, really wild stuff like Posadism or the dolphin K, etc.
Also something that I really like, to the point where they are probably my second favorite part of being negative. I really like the specific counterplans that have unified solvency advocates. I am not as big of a fan of the multi-plank disjointed CPs, but I still think that if they are well explained, then they are fine. I think one thing that the aff does not utilize as much as they should is solvency specific deficits to the CPs. I do think that there are some dumb CPs that should not be read (think consult Jesus, Ashtar) and while I will laugh when you read these, I will also probably not evaluate them.
Topicality is about competing interpretations for me, unless you tell me otherwise. There should be a specific explanation in the 1NC of what word or phrase the affirmative violates. Negatives should explain what allowing the affirmative in the topic would allow— ie what other affirmatives would be allowed and what specific ground or arguments you have lost out on. Affirmatives should, in addition to making counter-interpretations, explain why those counter-interpretations are good for the topic and/or better than the Negatives. Case lists are underutilized in these debates – both about what they exclude and realistically justify on both sides of the topic. Topical version of the aff is an important but not a must have – especially if you are partially trying to say that they are SOOOO bad I shouldn’t want them to be a part of the topic. I believe that limits and fairness are really the only impacts, but I will vote on education. Finally, please, for the love of God, EXPLAIN WHY YOUR IMPACTS MATTER. Do not just say, they dropped it, explain why it matters.
More seriously, I get that debate causes anxiety for some people and if it gets to be too much, I'm chill with you stopping your speech and taking a breather. Your personal mental health is far more important than this game and I will not dock you speaker points for this/run the clock while you are doing this.
I am skeptical of the idea of debate being a place of revolutionary change where people's subjectivities and stuff are morphed. Rather, like I said above, I think that debate is a game which is good at teaching some very high level concepts, but can actually be rather bad at teaching you details about topics (ie: I think that 95% of things said about economics are not only wrong, but like aggressively wrong to the point where they might count as misinformation [looking at you cap K and big econ advantages]). I WILL still listen to this arguments and will evaluate them, this is just how I view the real world.
Speaker Point Scale
I start at 28.5 and will adjust accordingly depending on how I feel you did ; more than decent gets more points. You can gain more points by having proper line by line, clash, good evidence with warrants, good impact comparison. You can lose points by not doing those aforementioned things AND if you are snarky, condescending, etc.
I love clash, line by line and good evidence that has warrants. I honestly prefer DAs and CPs to Ks, but will listen to almost everything. Rule #1 is to have a good time because at the end of the day, debate is a game where you learn useful information, but are not changing the world. Just enjoy your rounds, be yourself, read what you are best at, try your best and don't be a jerk and everyone will be great.
Name: Isabella Mandell
Affiliation: Langham Creek High School
*Current for the 2020-21 Season*
Policy Debate Paradigm
I debated for Langham Creek all from 2016-2020. I did all debate events but CX will always be number 1.
I think AFF should relate to topic but if you have some weird and good argument that you can defend against T i'll respect and judge fairly. When I debated in CX we should always go for strong weird arguments so if you can pull it off, do it.
Good with spread as long as you speak clearly.
Disadvantages – DA + CP or case in the 2NR are good regular NEGs to me and easy to follow, even in V you can with regular debates. Specific turns case analysis that is contextualized to the affirmative (not blanket, heg solves for war, vote neg analysis) will always be rewarded with high speaker points. Comparative analysis between time frame, magnitude and probability makes my decisions all the easier.
Counterplans – I think that PICs can be an interesting avenue for debate, especially if they have a nuanced or critical net benefit. PICs bad etc. are not reasons to reject the team but just to reject the argument. I also generally err neg on these questions, but it isn’t impossible to win that argument in front of me. Condo debates are fair game – you’ll need to invest a substantial portion of the 1AR and 2AR on this question though.
Kritiks - K debate are always interesting, the wilder the better. Just make sure you can defend it.
Topicality - T debated are always interested and good to me. AFF should be help to the topic of debate, but if you can defend it that makes it an even better AFF. Even if the NEG argument is stupid AFF can't drop T in flow, you'll lose to a T argument if you do.
"Strange" Arguments / Backfile Checks - I love it when debate becomes fun and interesting! I ran them all the time, favorite is still Wipe-Out, so feel free to run them
If you want to have a email chain use PuppyMandell@gmail.com or to contact me.
[Names of schools, years of graduation]
I debated for [number] years and made it to [a hotel ballroom nobody cares about].
Have fun always, try your best always. Like really I put it at the top for a reason. Don't insult your opponents. Don't be mean to your partner. The more you think you're better than them the more I'm gonna want you to be wrong.
Put me on the email chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org
I wanted to try and come up with a good song for you to listen to as you read my paradigm like I do with every topic. It's kinda hard to hit all three areas of the topic at once, maybe try like this (although it's definitely not long enough). I feel like this might be the closest I can get since it involves like resurrection which I guess is like biotechnology.
(Disclaimer: I like to think I judged decently actively on arms sales and cjr (a combined 75 rounds if I'm counting correctly), but the only judging I did on water was a single season opener. On top of that, I've gotten a lot further into my computer science education since the last time I judged - I'm now officially an incoming software engineer - which I'm sure has radically altered the way I think about things, and probably mostly in ways I'm yet to realize. I wrote this paradigm like 3 years ago and it hasn't changed at all (beyond me removing cynical comments about the debate community that I'm no longer qualified to make 3 yrs out of debate), whereas I myself probably have changed somewhat.)
I know jack-squat about [topic], both in terms of the actual issue as well as how people have been debating it this year. So, I can’t wait for you to teach me! What I can assure you of though is that I’ll never go on facebook or anything during either speeches or cross-ex, and frankly that’s more than some judges can say.
Short version: Tech over truth. Long version: Remember that I am mortal. I would say evaluate my argument preferences under the assumption that those arguments have not been dropped/critically under-covered. Everybody says and understands that the judge votes for whoever best persuaded them, and that's true. But, I think what people often miss is that the judge isn't being persuaded in terms of which team they think is "right," but rather which team they think won the round.
Debaters have been telling me that the K has become more popular as judges and debaters have become more familiar with it. I have like, not judged enough at a high enough level to be part of that shift.
[Statements that amount to "Make good arguments"]
Getting the sense defense has become severely underrated.
I get annoyed when judge paradigms tell you to "act like you care," because I think what they're really saying is "act like you care about winning." In reality, all you should be caring about is just debate itself - and that's distinct. So, I'll tell you to care about debate. I'd maintain that policy debate is a very, uh...heuristic environment, and I stuck with it (kinda?) and am better off for it. But if you still don't care, just stop going to debate tournaments if you can. There's nothing wrong with not liking debate or not caring about it, and you don't owe it to anybody to participate if you really just don't wanna. But on a intra-tournament, round-to-round basis, not putting in full effort is probably bad.
Don't read suicide good. Don't read extinction good. Don't read warming good. Don't read racism good. Don't read sexism good. etc.
Boo to the Schlaang super seat and AntoniNO. I'm gonna suggest you don't read Baudrillard (I hope I spelled that incorrectly), both in front of me and in front of all your other judges.
Don't say "no neg fiat." If you read troll arguments like consult asgard or like time triangular pyramid I'll dock the 2N's speaks.
S e n d a n a l y t i c s.
I'm not calling them "planless affs" or "performance affs" or wutevr so that might already give you some indication.
The point of debate is to gain critical thinking skills by repeatedly practicing the comparative analysis of theoretical worlds (counting the squo as one) by framing facts and deductions as uniqueness, links, impacts, etc as a means of trying to understand the implication of those facts upon the imagined theoretical worlds. Critical thinking skills =/= the skill of criticizing things - that's just a coincidence in their spelling. Though, it also isn't at all as though those two concepts are just completely decoupled.
You can win without reading a plan, but you're going to have a rough time unless you have some reason why reading your aff and receiving a ballot improves the status quo. There are many ways to accomplish this and I really want you do at least one of them.
I'd say I find many of the framework arguments both neg and aff teams make to be pretty unconvincing and unoriginal. Neg teams, I'd love for you to think about why k affs would be hard to debate against even if they were predictable. Aff teams, I'd love to hear about why an inability to engage institutions irl means it's bad to debate [topic] in theory/as an educational exercise to practice critical thinking. I could write a million of those requests.
This is gonna sound silly, but I honestly don't find fairness or predictability to be that convincing, at least not in the way I often saw them deployed. Like personally, never once have I heard of a high school debater or coach putting in the time to cut a case neg to an aff unless they already knew for a fact that that aff was being read by a team they were particularly afraid of. Yet at the same time, I do not at all think "predictability" is pointless to talk about. For fairness, I guess I'll just say "fairness is an internal link". I encourage you to really think about what people can get out of debate and what things like fairness and predictability really look like and what their implications are.
*Run framework*. Otherwise, I will be sad and not like the round very much so like just please do. If you think running framework is unethical or wutevr please strike me. Lol I had to have at least one of those in here.
Get creative with your 1NCs. Think about what new opportunities unconventional affs might afford you, both in terms of positions and args within flows. If a center-left layperson wouldn't think it's "unethical" to read, I probably won't either.
I feel like a lot of times when aff teams say "debate isn't a game," they still treat it like it is one.
I'll definitely vote for some Ks, but if your link is only "you use the state" or "you use the [topic]” you're gonna have a tough time getting me to vote for the K.
I didn't even actually debate the [topic] topic I'm sorry I was just trying to look edgy.
But seriously, links are the most important part of K debates and DA debates alike because they, and they alone, are the root for any comparative analysis you can do. They are the only direct way for *you* to illustrate a distinction between the world you're advocating for and the world your opponents are advocating. All of your internal links and impacts are just arguments for why that discrepancy matters. (Okay yeah if they're running a CP differences between worlds are more obvious.)
Number one tip I would say - both to the aff and the neg - is just impact out your args. Never assume I know why you auto-win if you "win the ontology debate." Similarly, you need to explain, impact and probably persuade me of things like "fiat isn't real" and "social death." It is likely that your "tricks" are - in my eyes - actually just bad arguments. Don't get me wrong: a dropped arg is a dropped arg, but a prerequisite to something being a dropped arg is it *being an arg*.
Also just like generally about "dropped arguments" - an argument being dropped means that it is substantially easier to extend, not that you no longer have to extend it. If you wanna go for a "dropped argument" in front of me then you should make sure to mention that argument's claim and warrant (and, in rebuttals, its implications for how the round should be decided) in every speech from when you first read it until the debate ends.
I default to assuming that the K has to have an alt that solves impacts and is mutually exclusive with the aff. If the impacts the k solves aren't as important as the one the aff solves, I'll vote aff.
"Extinction already 'happens, happened, or will have had happened' for x ppl bc social death" is a hard sell for me, especially if you're trying to argue that it means nuclear war isn't bad.
Go to case. Like with *defense*.
Go to case. Seriously.
Have as many planks as you want. You can read new planks. You can probably amend existing planks, too.
Having a good solvency advocate (so like one from a source actually written in the context of [topic]) usually makes me think a counter-plan is more theoretically legit.
Love an intelligent counter-plan. I don't like process CPs but they definitely are a thing people read.
Theory and T
Honestly, refer to K aff section.
Probably won't win on T unless the aff really isn't T and there's some concrete, specific abuse. The abuse is less of an internal link to a fairness based-RoB and more just really strong evidence for why their model of debate is bad.
I'm much more likely to vote on theory and T when I'm convinced there was in-round abuse. I lean neg on condo but definitely do not think infinite condo is okay.
[Irrelevant opinions] (I mean to be fair that's like most of this paradigm but)
[Relevant opinions immediately made irrelevant by a barrage of qualifiers]
[Encouraging you to make jokes even though in reality that always plays out really awkwardly in round]
I have degrees in international affairs, public policy, and law. I have worked for a DC think tank, on Capitol Hill, for a Texas state agency, and have now practiced law for 25 years. You will not impress me with clever or woke theories, and you need to win your stock issues. You need to signpost and not spread.
My name is Josh. I am a college Debater at the University of Missouri Kansas City and previously at Johnson County Community College. I have been to the NDT and as far as Octafinals at CEDA.
Debate is a game. Everything else is up to interpretation. I had a heavy inclination towards Kritikal arguments and specifically antiblackness arguments.
Impact turning framework is not only alright but probably a smart move if you are clearly not topical.
If you have that spicy shit in your back pocket that you haven’t broken yet but think is low-key genius or you think it is too trolly to read then I am the judge for you. I will vote on anything as long as you win the argument.
I don’t default to reasonability or competing interpretations. Debate it out.
I will vote on theory if you impact it out correctly and persuasively.
I am looking to be persuaded. I think persuasion is a art that is being lost in debate and shouldn’t be ignored from the position of the critic as much as it is.
Don't read the crime DA it's anti-black.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain, please put both emails on the chain.
I attempted to resist the point inflation that seems to happen everywhere these days, but I decided that was not fair to the teams/debaters that performed impressively in front of me.
27.7 to 28.2 - Average
28.3 to 28.6 - Good job
28.7 to 29.2 - Well above average
29.3 to 29.7 - Great job/ impressive job
29.8 to 29.9 - Outstanding performance, better than I have seen in a long time. Zero mistakes and you excelled in every facet of the debate.
30 - I have not given a 30 in years and years, true perfection.
I am willing to listen to most arguments. There are very few debates where one team wins all of the arguments so each of you must identify what you are winning and make the necessary comparisons between your arguments and the other team's arguments/positions. Speed is not a problem although clarity is essential. If I think that you are unclear I will say clearer and if you don't clear up I will assign speaker points accordingly. Try to be nice to each other and enjoy yourself. Good cross-examinations are enjoyable and typically illuminates particular arguments that are relevant throughout the debate. Please, don't steal prep time. I do not consider e-mailing evidence as part of your prep time nonetheless use e-mailing time efficiently.
I enjoy substantive debates as well as debates of a critical tint. If you run a critical affirmative you should still be able to demonstrate that you are Topical/predictable. I hold Topicality debates to a high standard so please be aware that you need to isolate well-developed reasons as to why you should win the debate (ground, education, predictability, fairness, etc.). If you are engaged in a substantive debate, then well-developed impact comparisons are essential (things like magnitude, time frame, probability, etc.). Also, identifying solvency deficits on counter-plans is typically very important.
Theory debates need to be well developed including numerous reasons a particular argument/position is illegitimate. I have judged many debates where the 2NR or 2AR are filled with new reasons an argument is illegitimate. I will do my best to protect teams from new arguments, however, you can further insulate yourself from this risk by identifying the arguments extended/dropped in the 1AR or Negative Bloc.
GOOD LUCK! HAVE FUN!
LD June 13, 2022
A few clarifications... As long as you are clear you can debate at any pace you choose. Any style is fine, although if you are both advancing different approaches then it is incumbent upon each of you to compare and contrast the two approaches and demonstrate why I should prioritize/default to your approach. If you only read cards without some explanation and application, do not expect me to read your evidence and apply the arguments in the evidence for you. Be nice to each other. I pay attention during cx. I will not say clearer so that I don't influence or bother the other judge. If you are unclear, you can look at me and you will be able to see that there is an issue. I might not have my pen in my hand or look annoyed. I keep a comprehensive flow and my flow will play a key role in my decision. With that being said, being the fastest in the round in no way means that you will win my ballot. Concise well explained arguments will surely impact the way I resolve who wins, an argument advanced in one place on the flow can surely apply to other arguments, however the debater should at least reference where those arguments are relevant. CONGRATULATIONS & GOOD LUCK!!!
LD Paradigm from May 1, 2022
I will update this more by May 22, 2022
I am not going to dictate the way in which you debate. I hope this will serve as a guide for the type of arguments and presentation related issues that I tend to hear and vote on. I competed in LD in the early 1990's and was somewhat successful. From 1995 until present I have primarily coached policy debate and judged CX rounds, but please don't assume that I prefer policy based arguments or prefer/accept CX presentation styles. I expect to hear clearly every single word you say during speeches. This does not mean that you have to go slow but it does mean incomprehensibility is unacceptable. If you are unclear I will reduce your speaker points accordingly. Going faster is fine, but remember this is LD Debate.
Despite coaching and judging policy debate the majority of time every year I still judge 50+ LD rounds and 30+ extemp. rounds. I have judged 35+ LD rounds on the 2022 spring UIL LD Topic so I am very familiar with the arguments and positions related to the topic.
I am very comfortable judging and evaluating value/criteria focused debates. I have also judged many LD rounds that are more focused on evidence and impacts in the round including arguments such as DA's/CP's/K's. I am not here to dictate how you choose to debate, but it is very important that each of you compare and contrast the arguments you are advancing and the related arguments that your opponent is advancing. It is important that each of you respond to your opponents arguments as well as extend your own positions. If someone drops an argument it does not mean you have won debate. If an argument is dropped then you still need to extend the conceded argument and elucidate why that argument/position means you should win the round. In most debates both sides will be ahead on different arguments and it is your responsibility to explain why the arguments you are ahead on come first/turns/disproves/outweighs the argument(s) your opponent is ahead on or extending. Please be nice to each other. Flowing is very important so that you ensure you understand your opponents arguments and organizationally see where and in what order arguments occur or are presented. Flowing will ensure that you don't drop arguments or forget where you have made your own arguments. I do for the most part evaluate arguments from the perspective that tech comes before truth (dropped arguments are true arguments), however in LD that is not always true. It is possible that your arguments might outweigh or come before the dropped argument or that you can articulate why arguments on other parts of the flow answer the conceded argument. I pay attention to cross-examinations so please take them seriously. CONGRATULATIONS for making it to state!!! Each of you should be proud of yourselves! Please, be nice in debates and treat everyone with respect just as I promise to be nice to each of you and do my absolute best to be predictable and fair in my decision making. GOOD LUCK!
My name is Maideh Orangi, and I'm a first-year policy debater at the University of Houston. I previously debated Public Forum in high school.
I don't have any particular argument preferences, but I appreciate a good impact calculus. However, please don't speak too quickly, or I won't be able to understand you or keep my flow organized. Be careful of your characterization of other debaters and groups of people you bring up in the rounds.
My email for the chain is email@example.com
UPDATE FOR TPDSA MENTORS: I will dock speaker points if you aren't flowing. Mentors, please set a good example for the kids! Even a simple flow on one sheet of paper is enough.
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Currently based in Taiwan and coaching debate for the ADL.
- Debated in college at the University of Kansas, 2017-2022 (Healthcare, Executive Authority, Space, Alliances, Antitrust). I majored in math and minored in Russian if that matters.
- Debated in high school at Shawnee Mission Northwest, 2013-2017 (Latin America, Oceans, Surveillance, China).
- If I can tell that you are not even trying to flow (eg you never take out a piece of paper the entire debate, you stand up to give your 2NC with just your laptop and no paper) your speaks are capped at 27.
- Please don't call me "judge." It's tacky. My name is Lily. Note that this does not apply to saying "the role of the judge."
- Cross-x isn't "closed," nobody ever "closed" it... BUT each debater should be a primary participant in 2 cross-xes if your goal is to avoid speaker point penalties.
- I would prefer to not judge death/suffering/extinction good arguments or arguments about something that happened outside the debate.
- I might give you a 30 if I think you're the best debater at the tournament.
- Swearing makes me cringe.
- Don't just say words for no reason - not in cross-x and certainly not in speeches.
- If you are asking questions like "was x read?" a timer should be running. Flowing is part of getting good speaker points.
- The word "nuclear" is not pronounced "nuke-yoo-ler." If you say this it makes you sound like George Bush.
- Shady disclosure practices are a scourge on the activity.
- I judge a lot of clash debates. I'm more likely to vote aff on impact turns than most policy judges, but I do see a lot of value in the preservation of competition. Procedural fairness can be an impact but it takes a lot of work to explain it as such. Sometimes a clash impact is a cleaner kill.
- TVAs don't have to solve the whole aff. I like TVAs with solvency advocates. I think it's beneficial when the 2NC lays out some examples of neg strategies that could be read against the TVA, and why those strategies produce educational debates.
Topicality vs policy affs:
- Speaker point boost if your 2NC has a grammar argument (conditional on the argument making sense of course).
- If you're aff and going for reasonability, "race to the bottom" isn't a catch-all. Make arguments about debatability.
- Case lists are good.
- The presence of other negative positions is not defense to a ground argument. The aff being disclosed is not defense to a limits argument. This also goes for T-USFG.
- When people refer to counterplans by saying the letters "CP" out loud it makes me wish I were dead.
- As a human I think counterplans that advocate immediate, indefinite, non-plan action by the USFG are legit, but as a judge I'm chaotic neutral on all theory questions.
- Conditionality- again, chaotic neutral. I'll give you a speaker point boost if you can tell me how many 2NRs are possible given the number of counterplan planks in the 1NC.
- Read them
- Politics DAs are fun. Make arguments about the math behind polls.
- I feel like I have a higher threshold for Ks on the neg than some. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hack and I will vote for your K if you do the better debating, but I don't harbor any illusions about the meaning of my ballot.
- I dislike lazy link debating immensely, primarily because it makes my life harder. Affs hoping to capitalize on this REALLY ought to include a perm/link defense in the 2AR. Obviously, if you want to concede the link and agree to throw down on the impact turn that's cool too.
- Explain how the alt solves the links and why the perm doesn't.
- Affs should explain why mooting the 1AC means that the neg's framework is anti-educational. Negs should explain why the links justify mooting the aff.
- Case outweighs 2ARs can be very persuasive. The neg can beat this with discrete impacts to specific links+impact framing+framework.
- Speaker point penalty if the 1AR drops fiat is illusory - the answer doesn't even have to be explicit, but at the very least your framework extension needs an education impact.
- If there is no net benefit to a counterplan, presumption flips aff automatically. If you want the debate evaluated differently, make an argument about why.
- I do not think permutations are cheating.
- An argument is a claim and a warrant. If you say something that does not contain a warrant, I will not necessarily vote on it even if it's dropped. In the interest of preventing judge intervention, please say things that have warrants.
- Most neg theory arguments I've watched would go away instantly if affs said "counter interpretation: we have to be topical."
- RVIs are not very persuasive in my opinion. Being topical is never an independent reason to vote affirmative. The fact that a counterplan is conditional is never offense for the negative.
Debated policy for Brooklyn Technical High School (2013-2016) and for Binghamton University (2016-2020). You can add me to the email chain at email@example.com
TLDR been out of debate for a while, have very little familiarity with the topic so please explain acronyms, topic specific knowledge, etc... You can probably run anything (nothing offensive) and I'll evaluate it. While I enjoy K debates more, I'm not particularly against debates about policies as I started out as a non-K debater. I prefer depth over breath and think line-by-line is important. Since debate is now on Zoom, please be very clear using changes in tone, inflection, etc to ensure that I am evaluating the arguments you want me to evaluate.
I'm just going to copy and paste a portion of Lee Thach's paradigm here because it basically summarizes how I evaluate debates:
"1. Clarity > Loudness > Speed.
2. Framing > Impact > Solvency. Framing is a prior question. Don’t let me interpret the debate, interpret the debate for me.
3. Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate.
4. Offense vs Defense: Defense supports offense, though it's possible to win on pure defense.
5. Try or Die vs Neg on Presumption: I vote on case turns & solvency takeouts. AFF needs sufficient offense and defense for me to vote on Try or Die."
Here are some of my other thoughts:
Kritiks: I mostly ran critical arguments including ones about anti-blackness and biopower. I like Ks and when good K debates happen. One thing that has changed for me in terms of Ks is that I want to hear that the K does "something" whatever that "something" is. Whether in round or external to the debate, please explain what that "something" is, why I should evaluate whatever the K does as "something," and how exactly the K does that thing.
FW: I would say that I'm probably 51/49 against framework. I think that it is sometimes valuable to discuss non-traditional affirmatives especially when the affirmative has given me reasons why their AFF is valuable to this year's resolution. I do enjoy framework for certain AFFs that are abusive/irrelevant. That said, my bias can be overcome with good debating (i.e. when standards/violations are super nuanced and when there are clear articulations/comparisons of each side's model of debate and why they're good/bad)
CPs/Piks: I love them. Flex your creativity as much as possible. I can also be convinced why particular CPs/Piks can be abusive.
DAs: I will evaluate all types of DA but just please have uniqueness and be very clear about your internal links. Contrary to popular opinion, I like politics DAs.
Miscellaneous: I like jokes and the like that make debates entertaining and enjoyable so if you can make me laugh I'll probably boost your speaks. Troll debates are cool too but only when the arguments actually apply and can sorta make sense.
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Preferred pronouns he/him
Barstow 19 — (debated for four years)
Kansas 23 – (I am a junior at KU and debated my freshman year.)
1. Debate what you know best - Demonstrate that knowledge with comparative work on the line by line.
2. Judge instruction – The more the better. The last two rebuttals should consolidate arguments and begin with identifying the nexus question of the debate. Explain why you are ahead there and let that frame the rest of your rebuttal.
3. Topic notes – I have taken a class on Environmental Law but other than that I have very little knowledge of this year’s HS topic. Although it is likely I will have some background info for arguments on this topic, don’t assume I will be familiar with the technical terms housed in any Aff or Neg strategy.
1. Policy—Towards the end of my career, I started reading more policy args. Cards and smart analytics should be a 50/50 balance. In a policy Aff vs k debate, there is a tendency to card dump in the 2AC and then go for whatever conceded card comes out of the block. I understand this is strategic and often works. But in an ideal debate, it should be the opposite, with considerably more analytics.
2. K Aff’s – I have read a wide range of K Aff’s, mostly relating to critical Asian scholarship. I don’t think there is a cookie-cutter structure to an Aff or to answering arguments like FW. I am all here for the creative Aff strats but draw the line at you must have a topic link. I find that K teams often have a very good understanding of their Aff but struggle with recontextualizing the theory into a diverse and technical set of arguments. Rely less on your blocks and trust in your ability to debate the line by line.
- FW— I have no problem voting for fairness and other standards. I am not asking for you to reinvent the wheel, but please reframe your arguments to the language of the Aff. For example, modify your education block to explain why the loss of education is uniquely worse for the Aff’s discussion. Just to be safe, don’t throw away case in the 2nr and at least extend some form of defense or presumption argument.
- K’s— I will most likely be familiar or have run whatever K, you read in front of me. Less is more in these rounds. More arguments do not equate to a better block. It just results in a more spread-out speech with less time on the line by line. Alt’s need to solve either the links or the Aff.
- Policy – I am by all means capable of judging a policy v policy debate but please bring your level of analysis down. Again, I will take analytics over a ton of cards any day.
- Theory – I have a high threshold for voting on theory arguments. But if you think it’s the path to victory, I am all for it. Just know that the more ridiculous, the more time you are going to have to spend on the argument.
Hello. My name is Akil Patel. I am a beginner parent lay judge. Please slow down when you are speaking. My understanding of debate jargon is limited. My winning decision will be based on presenting the more convincing argument in an organized effective manner. Constantly using judge direction will not help your cause. Just stick to presenting your case. Good luck!
Yes I want to be on the email chain. email@example.com.
Don't steal prep
I have not done research or judged a lot this year so at least for the first few tournaments keep that in mind.
I like flex debating and enjoy diverse strategies, so you do you and I will try to judge you with as little argumentative biases as possible. That being said, I am a human and I do have preferences.
I think the aff should read a plan text and defend it. At worst, I think the aff should have a strong resolutional basis. Probably related to that, I'm likely not the greatest judge for super K-oriented strategies. This is not to say I do not enjoy these debates or won't vote for Ks, but that you will have to do more work explaining the theory and its relationship to the aff than average.
I feel much more qualified in "policy" debates. I like wonky and technically intensive stuff so do something interesting.
Isolate what impacts you think you have a chance of winning and compare it to the impacts you think the other team has a chance of winning.
I'm good with it but don't sacrifice clarity. Slow down on theory arguments, give me pen time.
*For online tournaments: Maybe slow down a bit to compensate for mic quality so I can still understand what you're saying.
Tech vs. Truth:
Tech> Truth. Being on the side of truth is obviously a good thing and I'm hesitant to consider arguments that are objectively false, but if you can't answer an argument that's really really bad, then you should lose anyways.
Evidence vs. Spin:
I think research is the most important aspect of debate and should be rewarded. I will read every card that I think I need to at the end of the round, so isolate evidence you think is really good or important. That being said, cards are support for larger arguments, meaning that I will default to your explanation of an argument or card whenever it makes sense.
In technical debates, have a card doc for the end of the round so I don't have to look around for relevant cards.
Specific argument preferences:
I went for T a lot in both high school and college and think a lot of debaters just aren't as good at debating it or as willing to go for it as a lot of other argument categories. Well executed T debates are really fun for me, but poorly executed T debates are the least enjoyable type of debate to judge. Limits and ground aren't impacts, they're internal links to things like education, fairness, research models, etc. I default to competing interpretations but reasonability is a winnable argument.
RVI's are bad arguments.
T comes before theory.
Case lists are good and necessary.
Actually engage with the other teams arguments, most T debates I've judged at this point have felt like ships passing in the night and forced me to resolve a lot of stuff on my own which should never be what you want. Statistically I lean neg in these debates, but I think that's because a lot of 2Ns only go for T if it's very clear cut which is unfortunate.
Cool. Aff specific DAs are much cooler (and usually easier to win).
There is such thing as zero risk and I think the link usually controls the direction of uniqueness.
Do a lot of turns case analysis that's actually contextualized to the internal links of the 1AC. Not much else to say.
Good, not much else to say. I will say that I like advantage CP + Impact turn debates a lot.
Word PICs should be based on a word in the plantext, anything other than that is meh.
Read a solvency advocate, each plank should be based on evidence or something the other team said.
I will not kick the counterplan for you unless you tell me to.
Material> High theory
I have a high threshold for the link portion of the debate. Root cause claims are not links but they can be solvency deficits. Fiat not being real is not an argument. Links of omission are the worst arguments in debate.
If I don't feel like I can explain your K to someone else by the end of the round then I will not feel comfortable voting for you.
Ks that advocate for death or suicide are not only bad arguments in the context of debate, but also morally objectionable and I will not vote for them.
I am not the best judge for this. I prefer debates focused around a plan, and in nearly all of the clash debates I have judged at this point I have voted for FW.
I don't know that my ballot has the potential to do anything beside designate a winner or loser, and debate isn't meant to come to a final decision on the truth of any given statement but come to a determination on subjective truth so I don't think subject formation arguments are very persuasive.
The aff should at a minimum be related to the topic. You should also have some clear advocacy statement that you defend consistently. The CI should be predictable and res grounded with definitions. USFG = "the people" is intellectually dishonest and just not a good argument.
FW vs. K Affs:
Go for it, it's the most strategic 2NR available.
I'm more likely to vote on procedural fairness than I think the community at large is. Structural fairness disparities are inevitable but procedural fairness disparities aren't.
FW is not violent or policing and saying so is insulting to people that have dealt with those issues.
Usually a reason to reject the argument not the team. 3 conditional advocacies are probably ok but more is iffy. Consult, delay, and condition counter-plans are sketchy. Each conditional plank is its own world if you can kick them individually. I have been both a 2A and 2N, so I don't have any strong protectionist feelings for either team, and sometimes cheating is pretty fun to watch. Also I think the impact of some theory arguments should sometimes just be that you should get to cheat too.
They're entirely subjective. That being said, I do understand that context (tournament size, quality, etc.) should influence my scale. Speaker points are a holistic reflection of how I think you did. I used to have a scale here but with speaker point inflation I don't think it really matters anymore. My average hovers around 28.5-28.6.
I have shortened my paradigm over time to make it easier to read, if you have questions for prefs just email me.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR: I care deeply about my role as a judge and will do my best to make a decision that makes sense and give feedback that is helpful. This paradigm isn't long, so don't hesitate to send me an email if you have any questions.
I have done some research on the criminal justice topic, but haven't judged much so lean on the side of more explanation for intricate topicality/counterplan arguments.
Tech over truth but arguments must be warranted. I will almost always read evidence on the important issues, but judge instruction is extremely important to frame my ballot.
I am a better judge for traditional policy strategies, but that does not mean I will not evaluate critical ones. I appreciate judges who are willing to listen to all arguments, so I am trying to be one of those judges. Death good, blatantly racist arguments, etc. are an exception.
DAs - Politics is my favorite argument, turns case is good.
CPs - Not good for process counterplans, generally think conditionality is good.
T - usually a question of competing interpretations. I think topicality is an under-utilized strategy on this topic.
Ks - negs should have links to the aff, I am good for abolition, capitalism and international relations critiques. Other literature bases need more explanation
Framework - Impact weighing and comparisons are extremely important. Affs should have a clear relationship to the topic and some sort of mechanism to resolve impacts
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TLDR I debate at Wichita State in college. I am a senior. I debated at Kapaun Mt. Carmel (2018) in high school. I mostly judge clash and policy debates. I do policy stuff in college.
I enjoy people who enjoy what they are doing in debate. Do whatever you want but do it well. I won't place any strict limits on what the content of your arguments can be. I will certainly listen to arguments about what the content of your arguments can be. If you don't want to read a plan, defend it. If you want to read Co2 ag then defend it.
It is the TOC so bring everything you got. I love to see some weird stuff if it is clear that time, effort, and care was put into making it.
I feel like clarity in speaking has dropped A LOT since the return from online. I am more likely than most to clear you because the other team deserves to hear what you are saying.
This is both a research and a communicative activity. I will reward well executed rhetoric and good research. I will probably read most cards over the course of the debate but will likely care about specific pieces of evidence only as much as I am instructed to by you all. I think voting X or Y way simply because someone's cards are better is a cop-out decision and I want to hear you all debate about the cards you have read. Judge instruction above everything else.
Be bold and make decisions in the debate. Confidence is valuable. Being mean for no reason/bullying people is usually not the move. Strait turning things is highly underrated.
- Aff offense is usually really helpful on disads and can get you out of a jam. Trying to diminish the risk of a disad with a bunch of small arguments is usually less effective than a big defensive argument in the 2ar. Obviously the 2ac should have some diversity
- Love cool and interested reasons that the disad interacts with the case at the link or internal link level. "x war scenario turns case" is about as useful as saying extinction causes extinction most of the time.
- Now I am just going to default to judge kick, but can certainly be convinced its bad if the 1ar says it.
- "they have conceded sufficiency framing" grandstanding in the 2nr is about as useful as saying that they have conceded the neg gets fiat.
- I tend to care more than most about what cards in T debates actually say. Reading cards that actually make an argument is pretty important to get me to vote on T. I feel like 80% of the time that a T card is good, I have to read a lot of the unhighlighted parts for it to make sense. Your shell usually has a single card in it and it's probably short anyway - make it say something. All this is to say that I tend to care more about evidence quality on T than most other pages.
Ks vs policy affs
- Most of these debates become hard when the 2nr or 2ar don't just pick a strategy and sit on it. Is the neg's angle just a framework argument to zero the aff and a bit of link debating? That's fine. So is a big link turns case argument. I feel like way too many people sit on trying to go for anything and everything in the 2nr. The 2ar should have the same plan. If you want to go for the perm then get knee deep in the link debate. If you want to go for extinction outweighs then do that but doing both is kind of useless.
- the only stylistic thing I will say is if the 2nc is just gonna be strait down and reading text you are gonna have to slow down, even if you are pretty clear.
- I like the comfort of evaluating competing models of debate but I won't say its the ONLY way to answer framework. Just impact turning everything is fine. My only real hold up with big impact turn strategies is that while your impact might intuitively answer a lot of little ticky tacky neg arguments, people have a tendency to miss specifics. It still takes a good 2nr to make little arguments matter in my decision.
K v K
- Hard to give any concrete advice because this could mean all sorts of things. Offense is always important but at a premium when the disagreements between the aff and the neg get even more narrow. Just give me lots of judge instruction in these debates because I will have less generic dispositions about how to weigh certain arguments.
- I will not consider inserted re-highlighting of the other team's evidence. Text must actually be READ if you want it to matter. If you read a line of a card in CX and then send it out in the next speech doc, this seems reasonable. If a 1nc on case is just inserting rehighlighting I will be very unhappy.
- Quick note about speaks. I try to give points that will reflect the outcomes you deserve and I adjust based on the tournament I am judging. I try to consider if the quality of the speeches you gave was what I would expect of a team that was in elimination rounds or an individual that I thought was worthy of a speaker award and adjust to what I think would be required for that outcome. Speaker points are somewhat subjective but I try to give points that are somewhat reflective of how everyone else does them.
Director of Debate at George Mason University.
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Top level Personhood Topic/Online Debating thoughts:
-I have done everything possible to avoid thinking about AI for this season. I almost definitely am not in "the lit" for the AI area.
-T "All" is silly in all its forms. Being aff is so hard on this topic, I am going to be incredibly aff leaning on T questions this year.
-I think the tva's on this topic are quite good. AFF K teams that do not defend legal personhood should keep this in mind on framework debates and not blaze over the TVA debate.
-Asking "is anyone not ready" before an online speech is silly. Wait for verbal/nonverbal confirmation that all individuals are ready before beginning your speech.
-If my camera is off, I am not ready for your speech.
-I do not consent to being recorded.
-For accessibility reasons, please make sure I can see your face/mouth when you are speaking if at all possible.
-Please do not begin the speech at your fastest speed. Makes it very difficult to begin flowing in the online environment.
5+ Random Things that Annoy me:
1. Hostility - I am too old, too cranky, and too tired to hear undergraduate students treating opponents, partners, or me like trash. I literally can't handle the levels of aggression some rounds have anymore. Please just stop. Be community minded. You are debating another person with feelings, remember that. Opponents are friends on the intellectual journey you are having in debate, not enemy combatants. Give people the benefit of the doubt and try to practice grace in rounds.
2. Cards in the body of the email.
3. Yelling over each other in cx - everyone will lose speaks.
4. Interrupting your partner in cx - I am seriously close to saying I want closed cx, I am so annoyed at how egregious this is becoming. I will deduct speaks from both partners.
5. Extending Cross ex past 3 minutes. I will actively stop listening in protest/leave the room. Anything past the 3 minutes should be for clarification purposes only.
6. Wipeout, Baudrillard, Malthus, Con Con CPs, Strike 'x' country CPs, trivializing the holocaust, reading re-prints of books from 1995 but citing it as the reprint date, fiating mindset shifts.
Competing Interpretations > Reasonability
Predictable Limits > Ground/Education
Debate-ability > Framer's Intent (I'm okay with voting that certain parts of the topic should not have been included if the topic committee just messed up the wording)
If cross ex actually checked for specification questions (i.e. "who is the actor" - and they tell you "Congress") - that is the only argument the 2ac needs to make against a 1NC spec argument.
NOVICE NOTE: I think it is ridiculous when novices read no plan affs - do whatever you want in other divisions, but these kids are just learning how to debate, so providing some structure and predictability is something I think is necessary. I err heavily on framework in those debates for the negative in the first semester.
Besides conditionality, theory is a reason to reject the argument and not the team. Anything else is an unwinnable position for me. I genuinely do not know how I lean in condo debates. Some rounds I feel like the amount of conditional positions we are encouraging in debates is ridiculous, others I wish there were more. Open to being convinced in either direction.
Are awesome. The trickier, the better. I’m okay with most of them, but believe that the action of the CP must be clearly explained at least in the 2NC. I don’t vote on something if I don’t know what my ballot would be advocating. I shouldn’t have to pull the CP text at the end of the round to determine what it does. I err to process/agent/consult cp’s being unfair for the aff (if you can defend theory though, this doesn’t mean don’t read them). Also, I think that perm do the cp on CPs that result in the plan can be rather persuasive, and a more robust textual/functional cp debate is probably necessary on the negative's part.
**Delay and consultation cp’s are illegit unless you have a specific solvency advocate for them. Agenda DA Uniqueness cp’s are too – I’m sorry that the political climate means you can’t read your politics strat on the negative, but that doesn’t mean you should be able to screw the aff’s strategy like that. Have other options.
Important CP Judge Kick Note: I always judge kick if the negative would win the debate on the net benefit alone. However, I will not judge kick to vote on presumption. Going for a CP forfeits the negative's right to presumption.
Wonderful. Disadvantages versus case debates are probably my favorite debates (pretty much every 2NR my partner and I had). I love politics disads, I think they are educational in many ways and you cannot convince me that they are not good for debate. However, I can be very persuaded by no backlash/spillover answers on the internal link – in so many situations the internal link just makes NO sense. I think there is such a thing as 100% no link and love thumper strategies. Like elections DA's - not a huge fan of impact scenarios relying on a certain party/candidate doing something once they get in office. Think shorter term impact scenarios are necessary.
2022 update: For the past several years my work with Mason Debate has primarily focused on research and coaching of our varsity policy teams and novices. I am not keeping up with the K lit as I was a few years ago. Please keep this in mind. Everything below is from a few years ago.
I wrote my thesis on queer rage and my research now focuses on a Derridian/Althusserian analysis of Supreme Court rhetoric - but that does not mean I will automatically get whatever random critical theory you are using. Due to who I coach and what I research for academics, I am most familiar with identity theories, biopower, Marxism, any other cultural studies scholarship, Baudrillard, Derrida, and Deleuze. If your K isn't one of those - hold my hand. I think the most persuasive kritik debaters are those who read less cards and make more analysis. The best way to debate a kritik in front of me is to read slower and shorter tags in the 1NC and to shorten the overviews. I find most overviews too long and complicated. Most of that work should be done on the line-by-line/tied into the case debate. Also, debating a kritik like you would a disad with an alternative is pretty effective in front of me. Keep it clean. Unless your kritik concerns form/content - be organized.
Note for policy v K regarding the "weigh the affirmative or nah" framework question - basically no matter how much debating occurs on this question, unless the affirmative or negative completely drops the oppositions' arguments, I find myself normally deciding that the affirmative gets to weigh their aff but is responsible for defending their rhetoric/epistemology. I think that is a happy middle ground.
Antitrust note: I think the affirmative should *at least* defend that corporations as they stand should not exist as such. Some type of critique in the direction of the resolution. Inserting the word "monopoly" into your aff is not enough of a topic relevant claim imo. In general, I believe affirmatives should defend some universalized praxis/method and that deferral is not a debatable strategy.
Overall Framework update: Procedural fairness IS an impact, but I prefer clash key to education. I find it difficult to vote for impacts that preserve the game when the affirmative is going for an impact turn of how that game operates.
Generic Case Update: I find myself voting neg on presumption often when this is a large portion of the 2nr strategy. I recommend affirmatives take this into account to ensure they are explaining the mechanism of the aff.
I find judging non-black teams reading afro-pessimism affirmatives against black debaters an uncomfortable debate to decide, and my threshold for a ballot commodification style argument low.
Individual survival strategies are not predictable or necessarily debatable in my opinion (i.e. "This 1AC is good for the affirmative team, but not necessarily a method that is generalizable). I enjoy critical methods debates that attempt to develop a praxis for a certain theory that can be broadly operationalized. For example, if you are debating "fem rage" - you should have to defend writ large adoption of that process to give the negative something to debate. It is pretty difficult for a negative to engage in a debate over what is "good for you" without sounding incredibly paternalistic.
I am partially deaf in my left ear. It makes it difficult to decipher multiple sounds happening at the same time (i.e. people talking at the same time/music being played loudly in the background when you are speaking). I would recommend reducing the sound level of background music to make sure I can still hear you. Also means you just have to be a smidge louder. I'll let you know if sound level is an issue in the debate, so unless I say something don't let it worry you.
I love flowing. I do my best to transcribe verbatim what you say in your speech so I can quote portions in my RFD. I do NOT flow straight down, I match arguments. I most definitely WILL be grumpy if speeches are disorganized/don't follow order of prior speeches. If you ask me not to flow, the amount I pay attention in the debate probably goes down to 20% and I will have mild anxiety during the round.
Debate should be fun - don't be jerks or rhetorically violent. This includes anything from ad homs like calling your opponent stupid to super aggressive behavior to your opponents or partner. Speaker points are a thing, and I love using them to punish jerks.
I am extremely expressive during round and you should use this to your advantage. I nod my head when I agree and I get a weird/confused/annoyed face when I disagree.
Put me on your email chains: email@example.com
I am done with trying to use your speech docs to fill in tags. You need to recognize that there is an expectation of clarity, even when we're debating remotely.
Early thoughts on the criminal justice reform topic, or at least K affs on the criminal justice reform topic:
I find myself much less persuaded by the claim to need to read an aff that refuses to directly engage with the topic than in previous years. The argument that you must refuse to engage with the state as a survival strategy/mode of alternative political organization seems to me to be subject to a higher degree of scrutiny when the topic allows you to abolish prisons or police. This leads me to presume much more that affirmatives that rely on the carceral or policing as metaphor, or just say that policing/prisons are a product of modernity and thus modernity must be abolished because the state/civil society are always bad are much more about the strategic advantage to be gained in the debate activity than a discussion of a model of engagement/activism/thinking. I'm predisposed to be persuaded that the aff getting to abolish prisons/police/etc. is probably good enough aff ground. Does this mean that I think teams have to defend the process of implementation in a traditional fashion? Debateable. It does, however, mean that I should think the 1AC should be willing to commit to defending a reform in policing or sentencing. But seriously, this isn't the arms control topic. Prison abolition or eliminating policing is the topical version of the affirmative. I feel like I will hold your inevitable "but reforms are always bad" claims to a higher standard this year.
This likely may cause me to alter my position on the nature of T/Framework as concerns the fairness/model of debate question. I find it far less compelling that a metaphorical interpretation of the topic language, or some pessimism, or a connection to an analogous logic is part of a strategy of activism/critical thinking rather than an attempt to gain advantage in a debate on this topic (as opposed to other topics). My thoughts on this will likely develop more throughout the year.
And if the Baudrillard aff is still your thing, and you refuse to change that on this topic for whatever reason (I have my theories) please reconsider. I've been generous to you in the past, but come on.
Previous random thoughts and rants:
Debate is better when claims come from some form of evidence. This expanding trend of taking the K in the 2NC, not reading any cards (or 1-2 max) and asserting claims like "the state is always bad" and "humanism is always bad" is not really appealing to me. I don't start the debate with a predisposition to think those arguments are already decided, and I don't find your assertion persuasive. You need some evidence to back up those claims. That being said, I'm pretty open to alternative forms of evidence and will do my best to evaluate them, but there has to be something there.
I've been coaching debate for quite a while now, and I've coached teams that run just about everything. I've judged debates about most things as well, so the odds are that you won't be doing anything that I'm not somewhat familiar with. That being said, I find myself less willing than I used to be to unpack your buzzword-laden cryptic statements about continental philosophy or psychoanalytic concepts. If your strategy revolves around obfuscation or deferral, I am not the most sympathetic judge for you. If you are talking about Lacan, I have a higher burden of explanation than you are probably meeting. I also find rejection as an isolated concept to be a generally uncompelling alternative absent some development.
Debate is a game, but it is a game that needs to have some value. Therefore, any good debate practice should be both fair and educational, but the content of such education and the neutrality claims of procedural fairness become internal links, not terminal impacts, once contested. In other words, be able to defend the value of your model of debate, and you'll have a much better chance in front of me when the opponent offers a different model of debate.
Most of you would be better off slowing down, especially on tags and analytics and overviews. Seriously, most of you read them like they're cards, which just makes them unflowable. Typing time and mental processing time are real things that judges need. I know you are just flowing the speech doc, but please don't make me do that too. Be slow enough that you can be clear.
Now to the stuff you actually care about:
Can I read the K? Yes. But please have a better link than the state or civil society. The more germane you are to the topic, the better.
Can I read a K aff? Yes
Does that K aff have to be about the resolution? It should be. I've been persuaded that it doesn't matter in some debates, but I am going to be skeptical about aff claims about that on this topic, see the initial rant above. Questions of process or implementation are generally up for debate.
Will you vote on framework/T against K affs? Yes. However, you probably need to make inroads against the aff's structural fairness claims about the world to have a shot. I am generally more persuaded by engagement/institutions arguments than fairness arguments, but have voted for both. I think the value of fairness in debate often begs a larger question about the value of the model of debate that particular claims to procedural fairness would preserve, and I'm open to hearing that debate. I think debates about the merits of ending mass incarceration, abolishing prisons, or defunding police are much better and more educational debates than debates about the negative struggling to find a link because the aff refuses to defend abolition.
Can I read a "traditional" policy aff and not automatically lose to the K? Yes. I don't think that because you said the word "reform" that the permutation debate is always already over.
Conditionality? It's good. Contradictory conditional advocacies, however, are probably not. Note that a K that links to the CP as well as the plan probably does not meet this threshold of being a contradiction in this sense. Your 3-4 counterplans in the 1NC are probably not complete arguments, and likely haven't made a solvency argument worth comparing to the case, so those might be better arguments than conditionality. Conditionality only allows you to jettison an advocacy statement and default to the status quo or another advocacy, not the series of truth claims made on a page. Losing that conditionality is bad means at a minimum that the 2NR is stuck with the CP. Rejecting the argument makes it de facto conditional, thus rewarding teams for losing conditionality debates.
Theory arguments? Be clear when you present them. Everything other than conditionality bad is probably a reason to reject the argument, not the team.
Judge kick? Not by default. If you make the argument and win it, sure I'll kick the CP for you. Otherwise, you made your choice and I won't default to giving you a second 2NR in my judging.
I like smart, strategic debate and quality evidence. I give pretty clear nonverbals when I can't understand you, either because of clarity or comprehension. I'm not above yelling clear if I have to. Policy teams, your highlighting is bad. K teams, your tags are unflowable.
Despite our best efforts to avoid it, sometimes clash accidentally occurs and a debate breaks out. Be prepared.
Hi y'all! I did four years of policy debate in highschool, 2 as the 2n, 2 as the 2a. I'm not debating in college now, so the extent of my connection to the activity is periodic judging and chatting with current debaters.
For the purposes of email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ask questions before round if you have them. I’m probably forgetting something.
-Less is more—I’ll evaluate a lot of offcase arguments but I will be sad if i have to use a lot of sheets of paper that get tossed in the block
-I flow on paper--I can understand you speaking fast, but I can only write down so many arguments so quickly
-You can run generic arguments, but I'm generally not a fan of entirely plan inclusive counterplans.
-NATO topic is weird. Don't know much of the consensus so far, but I spent a fair amount of time over the summer hearing people complain about lack of ground on both sides.
-K framework that takes away the plan is fine. Probably more receptive to it than most.
-I'll default to offense/defense framing, but you can persuade me out of that. Zero risk is hard but possible.
-Conditionality’s fine. 2 is probably a good limit, but I'm open to hearing both sides debate it out.
-Tech>truth, but if I can't explain the argument and its warrants it's not going into my consideration
-I don't take prep for flashing.
-I'll shout clear twice. For online debating, this is especially relevant. You are not going to be as clear as you are in an in person debate, so slow down.
My goal as a judge is to let the debaters do what they do, and judge accordingly based on who most persuaded me that they are correct. "Persuasion" here may be a bit of a misnomer because debaters oftentimes think that their only goal is to sound pretty when the judge wants to be persuaded. Let me be clear: you should sound pretty, but I will be flowing and taking into account technical concessions as well. But the effect that technical concessions have on my decision will be dependent on how well you persuade me to vote in a direction. I am human, I have biases, and you should use your ability as a debater to make rhetorically strong arguments that make me vote for you.
As a I 2n, I went for mainly very basic kritiks (as I was a younger debater at the time) such as capitalism and security. As I got older, my partner and I experimented with psychoanalysis, gender, and nietzsche. I have a strong familiarity with all of those kritiks, but my ability to understand them in the context of debate has declined over time without the frequency that competing with them brought. I have a passing familiarity with other kritiks, and will depend highly upon strong negative explanation on both the framework and alternative level to give you a win.
I have found as I have judged that I have oftentimes voted for kritiks that I don't think were very strong. I think this is a symptom of affirmative teams that struggle to explain why state policymaking is valuable and why their affirmative is good. I also think that negative teams have moved towards a "meta" of going for framework really hard, which has turned out to be quite effective for me. Framework really is the central question of the round, and I generally find myself not doing what most judges seem to be doing and kind of evaluating it on their own as "aff gets a plan and neg gets discursive DAs." I really will just let you completely void the plan or completely say Ks aren't allowed. But you need to work for it.
Do more impact work. Teams don't do enough impact work on the K. Aff teams should impact turn more. Neg teams should explain more impact work in general.
Sure. I've read a few in my time. I strongly prefer them to be related to the topic, and generally look down upon affs that are critiques of debate in general. I think that having a predictable topic is good, and K affs that are closer to a traditional model of topicality will get more leeway with me.
I don't think it makes sense just to impact turn framework. How can you win if you don't have a counter interpretation? Defend a counter interpretation of the topic and explain its standards in relation to the neg's interp if you want my ballot.
Sure. It should exist for a reason, otherwise you're just handing links to your opponent.
I prefer advantage counter plans and PICs that remove something from the plan. Not a fan of entirely plan inclusive counter plans, such as consult, reg neg, delay, or any other procedural counter plan. Agent counter plans only make sense to me when the aff has a clearly defined agent other than "the USfg". I haven’t made up my mind on 50 states. Not a fan of word pics that don't change the function of the counter plan (No "The" PICs please).
If you feel up to it, you can still run all those counter plans I don't view favorably. Just know that I'll probably align closer to aff theory arguments against them if the affirmative decides to go for theory against you.
I don’t default to judge kick, but I will if you tell me.
Judging DA and Case 2NRs is difficult when people don’t do impact calculus. Please do impact calculus.
I’m alright with generic politics DAs. I understand that you might not have a specific strategy for every affirmative. But please, try to get specific with the link if you can.
Cheap shots make me sad. If you want to go for one, shame me into voting for you because I will likely feel like I shouldn’t. I’ll default to reject the argument.
I went for topicality a lot, both in my 2NRs and my 1NRs. Predictability/precision standards are probably the most persuasive to me, followed by generic limits and generic ground. Remember to connect them to education (I mostly view fairness as an internal link to education) or I won’t know why to vote for it.
I default to competing interps, but I'm not very strong on that. Affs can win reasonability if they work to.
For the neg: I'm somewhat receptive to dubious T interps. Feel free to explain why your interpretation of the topic is so obviously true, even if the aff is also probably pretty easy to predict generally. It's about the interpretations, not the aff specifically.
I am more amenable to skills based/“State policymaking is really great actually” arguments than I am fairness based arguments.
I also think limits as necessary for effective topic education is a good argument. I like smaller topics.
I've found that I'm very kind with speaker points. I'll try to turn it down a notch but I'll probably still be above average. Be kind, rhetorically effective, make good arguments, and make strategic decisions if you want to get high points.
Everything above is true. If you’re doing LD in front of me, you’ll have an easier time persuading me if you treat it like mini-policy. I have preliminary knowledge of Kant, Rawls, Hobbes, and some other weird philosophers but I don’t know anything about how they’re used in LD. LARPing is a good idea. I’m much more likely than any given LD judge to wave away theory arguments as a reason to reject the arg. RVIs are not my thing.
PF evidence standards are atrocious. Paraphrasing is technically allowed in my book but you need to be very careful about it. Don't say the evidence says something it doesn't, or your speaker points will be bad. You should have quick and easy mechanisms by which your opponent can read the evidence you bring up in your speech. Arguments supported by evidence your opponent can't read will be understood as made without evidence.
______________________ WRITTEN LAST YEAR, MIGHT BE USEFUL FOR PREFS OR SEEING HOW I CHANGE
In general, I try to be as much of a blank slate as possible. However, I would be remiss if I did not admit that I had many personal biases and arguments that appeal to me more than others, as well as arguments that I view unfavorably. It may be possible to persuade me away from these biases, or simply win these arguments on a technical level, but you should know that I have these biases.
As a 2n, I went for mainly security and capitalism kritiks. As a 2a, I was the partner for someone who went for psychoanalysis, gender, and nietzsche kritiks. I have a pretty good familiarity with psychoanalysis and gender, and less so with Nietzsche. Other than those, I understand the generic Ks pretty well, but you’ll have to spend more time on explanation for Ks like Baudrillard and Virillio. I have a fair understanding of pessimist kritiks, but not enough that I would feel comfortable going for one myself.
The weakest part of the kritik is usually the alternative. I think teams should address that by either A) having a robustly defended material alternative that addresses the links and impacts or B) focusing on the educational aspect of the kritik, emphasizing the framework debate and the education impacts rather than comparing solvency. I'm probably more receptive to negating the aff through framework than most, but I also think that aff solvency can be used as net benefits to their framework arguments.
Responding to Ks:
While I do like seeing affirmatives explain the permutation and compatibility, I think that impact turns are underutilized here. Certainly, explain why the perm solves the links. But if you can't, try to think of impact turns to those links. Explain why capitalism is good. Explain why the state is good. Challenge the thesis of the kritik. A lot of K teams aren't as versed in their literature as they might want you to think, and if you call them out on it you can often do very well. Soft left affs especially should use impact turns to their benefit, since it's often easy for K teams to get away with "our K solves+links destroy the aff."
I'm good for K affs. The way they answer framework is usually what can trip me up. I think you should have a clear delineation of what affirmatives are allowed to exist and what affirmatives are excluded. Use that interpretation to neutralize neg framework offense. Running impact turns to T/FW without a clear counter interpretation is not very persuasive to me.
While I enjoy a good kritikal aff, I also think that aff should relate to the topic. If the affirmative has nothing to do with the topic, I'm not likely to view it very positively. If your aff is related to the topic but is clearly an aff that can be run in any year by switching out a single card, I will likely give the negative a lot of leeway in claims about topic education and limits.
See below on what I think makes a good neg framework argument.
Sure. Make sure there’s a reason the performance was there. If I’m not hearing about it in every speech you give from there on out, it didn’t need to be there.
I prefer advantage counter plans and PICs that remove something from the plan. Not a fan of entirely plan inclusive counter plans, such as consult, reg neg, delay, or any other procedural counter plan. Agent counter plans only make sense to me when the aff has a clearly defined agent other than "the USfg". I haven’t made up my mind on 50 states. Not a fan of word pics that don't change the function of the counter plan (No "The" PICs please).
If you feel up to it, you can still run all those counter plans I don't view favorably. Just know that I'll probably align closer to aff theory arguments against them if the affirmative decides to go for theory against you.
I don’t default to judge kick, but I will if you tell me.
Judging DA and Case 2NRs is difficult when people don’t do impact calculus. Please do impact calculus.
I’m alright with generic politics DAs. I understand that you might not have a specific strategy for every affirmative. But please, try to get specific with the link if you can.
Cheap shots make me sad. If you want to go for one, shame me into voting for you because I will likely feel like I shouldn’t. I’ll default to reject the argument.
I went for topicality a lot, both in my 2NRs and my 1NRs. Predictability/precision standards are probably the most persuasive to me, followed by generic limits and generic ground. Remember to connect them to education (I mostly view fairness as an internal link to education) or I won’t know why to vote for it.
I default to competing interps, but I'm not very strong on that. Affs can win reasonability if they work to.
For the neg: I'm somewhat receptive to dubious T interps. Feel free to explain why your interpretation of the topic is so obviously true, even if the aff is also probably pretty easy to predict generally. It's about the interpretations, not the aff specifically.
I am more amenable to skills based/“State policymaking is really great actually” arguments than I am fairness based arguments.
I also think limits as necessary for effective topic education is a good argument. I like smaller topics.
- As a UIL judge, I prefer people not to spread. I will give one clear call. After that I will stop flowing and I usually tune you out if you spread.
- I do not like hypotheticals. If you cannot link it in a logical way, I will not be persuaded by your argument.
- I am a TABS judge. I flow and base my decision on if you hit harms, topicality, etc.
- I value impact. When you debate, remember I look at impact calcs when making my decision.
Mix of stock issues judge and tabla rasa- prefer a clear, traditional debate but don’t mind if teams run a kritike or counterplan with sufficient evidence and clear argumentation to back it up
Speech style- I prefer speech clarity over speed reading. A succinct argument that doesn't spread is preferred.
Argument- No preference for argument as long as it is backed by evidence and fits within status quo of possibility.
Sources- Credit will be given for most contemporary and credible sources presented in argument. Repetition of sources and linking to argument is preferred method of citation.
Looking for a good, clean, and respectable debate. Courtesy and good sportsmanship matter towards overall scoring.
Please include the following emails in email chains: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org - sometimes my spsmail account is really slow in receiving emails. I honestly prefer speechdrop, but email is ok if that's your norm or what your coach prefers. My least favorite option is the file share.
I am the debate coach at Kickapoo High School in Missouri. I have been involved in policy debate since 1994 as a student and/ or coach. The 2022-23 topic marks my 27th. I have coached in very critical circuits (one round with a plan read by any team in an entire year), very community judge oriented circuits (that don't allow CPs or Ks), TOC qualifying circuit, ELL circuits, and combinations of all circuits. If you have questions, please email email@example.com
Update - 1/20 - a note about prepping your speech before you speak
My expectation is that you send out a doc BEFORE you speak that includes the evidence AND analytics that you intend to read in the speech if they are typed up. They should also be in the order that you are going to speak them. It is an accessibility issue. If you type them up in the round, that's one thing - but if they are your blocks (or your team blocks) they should be sent. This includes AT A MINIMUM the text of perms, the texts of counterplans, the text of interpretations of why you reject a team, etc. Also, if you choose to just randomly jump around in a document please know that it will dramatically impact your speaks. Nobody is as good at flowing in online debates as we are in person, having the doc and reading it in order helps improve the activity.
Important norms to keep tournaments running on time
Please show up to the room to establish email chains/ speechdrop, disclose the 1ac/ past 2nrs, do tech checks, etc. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after pairings have been released (read at least 20 minutes prior assuming pairings come out 30 minutes prior to round). The 1ac should start when the pairing says unless there is a tournament related reason. Once you get to the room and do tech check, feel free to use the rest of the time to prep, etc. If it's an in person tournament, please show up when the pairings get released, set up an email chain or speechdrop, disclose the 1ac/ past 2nrs, and then go prep - just come back to the room before the round is supposed to start. If you can't get to the room for some reason, it is your responsibility to email me and the other team to let us know.
Please know that if you don't do this, it will negatively effect your speaker points by .5. Choosing to show up late makes tournaments run behind and gives unfair advantages to teams with multiple coaches (I have to be here to judge and coach my team - if you choose to be late, I assume it's because you're getting extra coaching which gives you an unfair advantage over teams whose coaches are judging).
Cliff's Notes Version (things to do in the 10 minutes before the round):
- As long as we are online, please make sure you are adding intentional breaks between arguments. These can be verbal or non-verbal but they are necessary to make sure flowing is happening from the oral arguments instead of just from the speech doc. As an example, clearly say the word "next" or "and" after each card/ subpoint/ etc. or slow down for the tags to where there is a noticeable difference between the card or warrants and the next tag. This is one of those things that the technology just isn't as good as being face-to-face, but it may make debate better down the line.
- Disclose on the wiki pre-round unless you are breaking a new case. I can be persuaded, relatively easily, that this is a voting issue (this is not about small details in the case, but overall picture). Once a case is broken, please put it up as soon as possible. If you read it at last tournament and haven't found time to put it up, that's a problem. Also, at a minimum, the negative should be posting their main off case positions. Before the round, the aff and neg should both know what the opponent is reading as a case and what positions they have gone for at the end of debates on the negative. Having coached at a small and economically disprivileged school most of my life, the arguments against disclosure literally make no sense to me.
- I like politics a lot more than Ks - My perfect generic 2NR is politics and an agent CP. The best way to win a K in front of me is to argue that it turns case and makes case impossible to solve.
- I don't like cheap shots - I think plan flaws are a reason to ask questions in the CX or pre-round. Make debate better.
- K Framework - I prefer to do policy making. However, you need to answer the project if they run it.
- Cheating CPs - I don't like backfile check type CPs (veto cheato) or "I wrote this for fun" CPs (consult Harry Potter/ Jesus). I do like topic agent CPs (like have China do the plan, have the private sector do the plan).
- Link vs Uniqueness - Uniqueness determines the direction of the link - if it is not gonna pass now, there is no way the link can make it pass less.
- Cross-ex is always open unless another judge objects.
- Be Nice and FLOW!
High School Policy Specifics:
- I know that the last couple of topics don't have core stable offense for the neg. This definitely makes the neg more intuitively persuasive to me on questions of topicality and on the threshold that I need for the negative to win some kind of a link. I don't like CPs that aren't tied to topic specific literature. This includes, but is not limited to, contrived fiat tricks designed to garner net-benefits. This includes NGA, ConCon, etc. It doesn't mean I won't vote for it, it just means my threshold for aff theory, etc. is really low. If you are choosing between a CP that I have listed above and a disad with a less than ideal link (not no link, just less than ideal), it would be more persuasive to me to read the disad.
Here is a crystalized version of this stolen from Will Katz but it explains what I think about contrived CPs - "I am over contrived process cp's. If you don't have aff/topic specific evidence for your cp, I probably won't care if the aff's perm is intrinsic. If you don't have evidence about the plan, why does the aff's perm only have to be about the plan?"
I am a high school coach who tends to be at TOC tournaments about 3/4 of the time and local tournaments (with community judges) the other 1/4. However, I do cut a lot of cards, coach at camps, and think about the topic a lot which means that I have a pretty good grip on the topic. This means I may not know the intricacies of how your particular argument may functions in the high school environment you are competing in right now.
High School LD Specifics:
My default is that I don't need a value and value crit. in order to vote for you. However, I can be persuaded that it is needed. If the affirmative reads a particular interpretation of the topic (i.e. they read a plan) then, absent theory arguments about why that's bad, that becomes the focus of the debate. If the affirmative does not read a plan then the negative can still read disadvantages and PICs against the entirety of the topic. I don't terribly love NRs and 2ARs that end with a series of voting issues. Most of the time you are better off using that time to explain why the impacts to your case outweigh your opponent's case as opposed to describing them as voting issues. If you are going to make an argument in the NC that there is a different framework for the debate than what the affirmative explains in the AC, you need to make sure you fully develop that position. Framework functions very differently in LD compared to policy so make sure your blocks are written out for that reason.
I'm not a big fan of a big theory pre-empt at the end of the 1ac. I think the aff case is the time when you should be making most of your offensive arguments and most of the time theory is set up to be defensive. This is particularly silly to me when the aff has more time in rebuttals than the neg does anyway.
NFA LD Specifics:
I am relatively new to this format of debate but I like it a lot. I think debate should be viewed through a policy framework in this style of debate, but I can be persuaded out of this belief. However, if your main strategy is to say that the rules of NFA are problematic or that you shouldn't have to weigh the case and the DA, then I think you fighting an uphill battle.
Also, given the limited number of speeches, I tend to err on the side of starting aff framework as early as possible (probably the AC). This is mostly to protect the aff since if it's not brought up until the 2ac/ 1ar it is possible for the NR to straight turn it and leave the 2ar in an unwinnable position.
In Depth Stuff:
I tend to prefer policy oriented discussions over kritikal debates but I will be happy to evaluate whatever you want to run. My favorite debates come down to a clash between specific arguments on the flow of the advantages and disadvantages. On theory you should number or slow down your tags so that I get the clash. I can flow your speed if it is clear, but if you want me to get the 19 reasons why conditionality is a bad practice you should slow down to a speed I can flow the blips. That said, I tend to prefer fast debate to slow debates that ultimately don't point to the resolution of the topic.
Read warrants in your evidence. Full sentences are how people speak. They have things like nouns, verbs, and prepositions. Please make sure that your evidence would make sense if you were reading it slowly.
If the round is close, I tend to read a decent amount of evidence after the round if there is a reason to do so. If you want me to call for a specific card please remind me in the 2nr/ 2ar.
Also please give reasons why your offense turns their offense besides "war causes x."
Disclosure theory note:
I have a VERY low threshold on this argument. Having schools disclose their arguments pre-round is important if the activity is going to grow / sustain itself. Having coached almost exclusively at small, underfunded, new, or international schools, I can say that disclosure (specifically disclosure on the wiki if you are a paperless debater) is a game changer. It allows small schools to compete and makes the activity more inclusive. There are three specific ways that this influences how ballots will be given from me:
1) I will err negative on the impact level of "disclosure theory" arguments in the debate. If you're reading an aff that was broken at a previous tournament or on a previous day and is not on the wiki (assuming you have access to a laptop and the tournament provides wifi), you will likely lose if this theory is read. There are two ways for the aff to "we meet" this in the 2ac - either disclose on the wiki ahead of time or post the full copy of the 1ac in the wiki as a part of your speech. Obviously, some grace will be extended when wifi isn't available or due to other extenuating circumstances. However, arguments like "it's just too much work," "I don't like disclosure," etc. won't get you a ballot.
2) The neg still needs to engage in the rest of the debate. Read other off case positions and use their "no link" argument as a reason that disclosure is important. Read case cards and when they say they don't apply or they aren't specific enough, use that as a reason for me to see in round problems. This is not a "cheap shot" win. You are not going to "out-tech" your opponent on disclosure theory. To me, this is a question of truth. Along that line, I probably won't vote on this argument in novice, especially if the aff is reading something that a varsity debater also reads.
3) If you realize your opponent's aff is not on the wiki, you should make every possible attempt before the round to ask them about the aff, see if they will put it on the wiki, etc. I understand that, sometimes, one teammate puts all the cases for a squad on the wiki and they may have just put it under a different name. To me, that's a sufficient example of transparency (at least the first time it happens). If the aff says it's a new aff, that means (to me) that the plan text and/ or advantages are different enough that a previous strategy cut against the aff would be irrelevant. This would mean that if you completely change the agent of the plan text or have them do a different action it is new; adding a word like "substantially" or "enforcement through normal means" is not. Likewise, adding a new "econ collapse causes war" card is not different enough; changing from a Russia advantage to a China, kritikal, climate change, etc. type of advantage is. Even if it is new, if you are still reading some of the same solvency cards, I think it is better to disclose your previous versions of the aff at a minimum.
4) At tournaments that don't have wifi, this should be handled by the affirmative handing over a copy of their plan text before the round.
5) If you or your opponent honestly comes from a circuit that does not use the wiki (e.g. some UDLs, some local circuits, etc.), I will likely give some leeway. However, a great use of post-round time while I am making a decision is to talk to the opponent about how to upload on the wiki. If the argument is in the round due to a lack of disclosure and the teams make honest efforts to get things on the wiki while I'm finishing up my decision, I'm likely to bump speaks for all 4 speakers by .2 or .5 depending on how the tournament speaks go.
Topicality- I believe the affirmative should affirm the topic and the negative should negate the plan. It is fairly difficult to convince me that this is not the appropriate paradigm for the affirmative to operate under. The best way to think about topicality in front of me is to think about it as drawing lines or a fence. What does debate look like for a season when the negative wins the topicality argument vs. what does it look like when the affirmative wins. Affirmatives that push the bounds of the topic tend to be run more as the season progresses so the negative should be thinking through what the affirmative justifies if their interpretation because the standard for the community. This also means that there is no real need to prove real or potential *problems in the debate.
If the affirmative wants to win reasonability then they should be articulating how I determine what is reasonable. Is it that they meet at least one of the standards of the neg's T shell? Is it that there is a qualified source with an intent to define that thinks they are reasonable? Is it that there is a key part of the topic literature that won't get talked about for the season unless they are a topical affirmative?
If you want me to vote on Topicality the 2nr (or NR in LD) should be that. Spending less than the entire 2nr on a theoretical issue and expecting me to vote on it is absurd. I would only vote neg in that world if the affirmative is also badly handling it.
Counterplans- I love counterplans. I typically believe the negative should be able to have conditional, non-contradicting advocacies but I can be persuaded as to why this is bad. Typically this will need to be proven through some type of specific in round problem besides time skew. I think that the permutations should be more than "perm: do both, perm: do the plan, perm: do the CP."
Kritiks- I am not as deep on some of this literature as you are. You should take the time in CX or a block overview to explain the story of the K. Performance style debate is interesting to me but you will have to explain your framework from the beginning. I probably tend to be more easily swayed by the framework arguments about clash compared to exclusion. I will tend to default to preferring traditional types of debate.
Politics- I like good politics debates better than probably any other argument. I like interesting stories about specific senators, specific demographics for elections d/as, etc. With this being said, I would rather see a fully developed debate about the issue. I tend to evaluate this debate as a debate about uniqueness. Teams that do the work tend to get rewarded.
My perfect debate- Without a doubt the perfect round is a 2nr that goes for a pic (or advantage cp with case neg) and a politics d/a as a net benefit.
*Questions of "abuse" - This is a soapbox issue for me. In a world of significant actual abuse (domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, bullying, etc.), the use of the word to describe something as trivial as reading a topical counterplan, going over cross-x time by 3 seconds, or even not disclosing seems incredibly problematic. There are alternative words like problematic, anti-educational, etc. that can adequately describe what you perceive to be the issue with the argument. Part of this frustration is also due to the number of times I have heard debaters frustrate community judges by saying they were abused when the other team read an argument they didn't like. Please don't use this phrase. You can help make debate better.
Paperless and speaker point stuff-
I used to debate in a world where most people had their evidence on paper and the one thing that I believe has been lost through that is that people tend to look more at the speech doc than listening to the debate. I love paperless debate, just make sure that you are focusing on the speech itself and not relying exclusively on the document that the other team has sent you. Flowing well will often result in improved speaker points.
If you are using an online format to share evidence (e.g. speechdrop or an email chain), please include me in the loop. If you are using a flashdrive, I don't need to see it.
I don't expect teams to have analytics on the speech document (but if you are asked by your opponent for equity or accessibility reasons to have them there, please do so). I do expect teams to have every card, in order, on the speech document. If you need to add an additional card (because you've been doing speed drills), that's fine - just do it at the end of the speech.
If you let me know that your wiki is up to date including this round (both aff and neg) and send me the link, I'll also bump speaker points by .2.
Masks stuff for in person (last updated 4/7/23)
COVID and other diseases are still real. If I'm feeling at all under the weather, I will wear a mask. I ask you to do the same. All other things being equal, you are free to debate with or without a mask. However, if you are asked to wear a mask by an opponent or judge who is also wearing a mask, and you choose not to, it is an auto-loss with the lowest speaker points that I am allowed to give. This is a safety issue.
Along those lines, with the experiences that many have gone through in the last year, please don't make arguments like "death good," "disease good," etc. While there may be cards on those things, they very violent for many people right now. Please help make debate a safe space for people who are coming out of a very difficult time.
Please email - Will add back later.
Subject Line: Tournament name and round number: aff team vs neg team. (Example: NDT 2019 Doubles: Rutgers AH vs Wake HV)
I am a full time classroom teacher who oversees a large team and judges a lot. As a result, I can be a bit of a grumpy gus, but I promise that I care. I'm glad that you're choosing to be here and hope that you continue to make that choice. If you require accommodation or are uncomfortable with something that is happening and I'm not picking up on it, please let me know either verbally or by email. If you have any questions, just ask.
Non-Negotiables - The lightest consequence for a violation of these is me tanking your speaks. The harshest is stopping the round, reporting you to the tabroom, and contacting your coach. Anything between these two is on the table.
Safety, inclusivity, and accessibility are preconditions for us having an activity worth doing. Don’t be a bully, make threats, advocate/threaten self-harm, or engage in harassment. Don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist. Respect people’s pronoun preferences, provide accommodation upon request, and be kind to novices. Wheaton's law is always in effect.
Content/trigger warnings should be given if you have reasonable suspicion that the material you are discussing could be triggering. The onus is on you to ask the room to read the position. Observers are free to leave, but if any of the people who have to be there (competitors or judges) objects, read something else.
Debate tournaments are long, difficult, and overstimulating for everyone involved, often due to factors beyond your control. That said, debaters regularly behave in ways contribute to delays and stress. Do your best not to do that. To elaborate: Get to round on time, have the email chain ready to go, clean up after yourself, and don't be obnoxiously loud and in the way.
- Do not clip cards (cutting them in such a way that omits/distorts the author's original meaning, such as omitting sentences where the author contradicts your tag; complete cards are comprised of whole paragraphs; bracketing out offensive language does not constitute clipping) or steal prep (preparing materials or strategizing with your partner outside of prep, speech, or CX time). If you decide to stake the round on ev ethics you will win if you are right and lose if you are wrong.
Two teams are the only entities taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on arguments made within tournament set speech times and will submit a decision with one winner and one loser. I will not be making decisions about behaviors that occurred outside of the round or prior disclosure period.
I try to be a good judge for research driven, content heavy strategies and find the best debates to be focused on central controversies rather than edge cases. I will privilege technical execution in most instances; however, in close debates, truth is usually the deciding factor. My threshold for answering nonsense is low. Judge instruction on central questions you want the ballot to consider is super important. I want you to explicitly tell me what is important and why it is more important than other issues, but you should also show me that it’s important via choice, sequencing, and time allocation.
Evidence quality matters a lot, but you need to be the one doing the comparison in your speeches. If the spin is good and you don't challenge it, I'm not going to be checking for you. Liberal use of rehilights are encouraged since they help to adjudicate between competing interpretations of what a piece of evidence says.
I am attentive to cross x but will not flow it. It is your job to incorporate cross x moments into your speeches if you want me to flow it.
Speaker points start at 28.5 and move up or down from there based on a subjective, holistic evaluation of your performance. Will not disclose speaks.
This is a research and communication activity, so you should be doing research and trying to communicate effectively. Too many debaters do neither, and I'm not a fan. Being well read, having a personality beyond doc botting debate bro, and trying to be persuasive will go a long way.
The documents you send during the debate are a reflection of how seriously you take your pre-tournament/round preparation. They should look good. Your cards should include author quals within the citation and you should highlight in comprehensible sentences.
I enjoy fast debates, but clarity, efficiency, and smart argument choices are way more important to me than speed. Please leave pen time when spreading, even if I am flowing on my laptop. If I can't understand or flow it, it won't factor into my decision.
Make complete arguments, meaning claim + warrant + implication. I would also suggest labeling, numbering, or otherwise compartmentalizing your arguments. Blippy and/or disorganized arguments are bad and I will not waste time or mental energy trying to parse them for you.
Have a strategy and execute it well. I love creative and innovative approaches, so don't be afraid to experiment; however, if your strategy is to bamboozle your opponent, you run the risk of bamboozling me too.
Gish-Galloping is bad. I will privilege quality and specificity of argument over quantity.
Clash is good. I am deeply unsympathetic to strategies that try to avoid engagement.
Line by line is preferable to long overviews. 30-45 seconds is the max overview l think has any sort of utility, provided that the focus is judge instruction or impact comparison. There has never been an instance where a separate sheet for an overview has been necessary or helpful.
Please, I am begging you, learn to flow. If you have to waste cx flow checking, speaks will drop.
Beyond these preferences, don’t overadapt. Debate is for debaters, so do your thing, do it well, and have fun.
You should have a clearly articulated relationship to the current topic, identify a significant harm or set of harms that is inherent to the status quo, and propose a method that solves or starts to solve the problem(s) you’ve identified. I am open to various approaches to satisfying these burdens but if I vote for you I should be able to explain my ballot in those terms.
Regardless of style, consistent and compelling narratives are key if you want to win while affirming.
Neg Case Debating
More case 2NRs, please. Your case pushes should include more than just impact turns/defense and cross applications from other pages. You should read cards/analytics that contest theoretical assumptions, claims of solvency, and causal claims. If the negative answers to the case are only cross applications from other sheets (I'm looking at you K debaters), I will be annoyed.
Both sides should have a clear model of debate (interpretation/counter interpretation) that they think is desirable. Creative approaches are welcome, but whatever you choose to do, you need to be prepared to defend your performance. Your model should account for the role of both the affirmative and the negative. Thinking about this through case lists that would be allowed for both sides under your model is a good practice.
I find the Limits + SSD + TVA = better clash/education/skills model of FW the most persuasive. Negative teams who make their explanation of this reasoning contextual to the outcomes the aff desires (better radicals, less gender/racial bias, etc.) will have an easier time than teams that go for fairness oriented models in most instances; however, I'm happy to vote for those as well. Again, do your thing and do it well.
Aff teams should be aware that I generally think that discussions about the object of the resolution are probably important. I do not think that USFG policy on that object is necessarily the best starting point. As such, you will have an easier time winning if you contextualize debates about the resolution within your theory of power and identify the better starting point prescribed by that theory. If I don't know how your model of debate solves/mitigates the impact turn to theirs, I'm probably not going to vote for it.
I am most excited to be in the back of debates featuring kritiks that are specific to the topic/aff you are challenging. I would prefer fewer offs so you have time to explain the K, as these arguments are often counterintuitive. Know the literature base well, explain it simply rather than using jargon as a crutch. Show me that you understand what you are talking about. I am a stickler for thesis level argumentation. If you're not winning your thesis, it is unlikely I will think that you are winning anything else on the K page absent really good arguments to the contrary.
Thesis arguments contextualize the link and link arguments support the thesis. They’re mutually reinforcing. When developing links, you should name them, theorize, link your theorization to the aff with a quote from the aff, and impact that out. Lazy link debating loses debates. If a link functions independently of your thesis, you should make that explicit. Don’t rely on me to implicitly follow your reasoning.
Examples are important at every level of these debates. Don’t just name check people, movements, and events. Explain their relationship to the argument. The earlier they show up the better.
Methods/Alternatives should do something that solves or starts to solve the impacts from the link debate. You should tell me what that something is and how it solves. I do not think this must necessarily be material change, a new paradigm or mode of relation is fine; however, it should make sense with regard to solvency claims.
The pre/post fiat distinction people try to draw is silly. Talk about your scholarship/research practices and weigh.
I default to competing interpretations because affirmative teams should have to justify their choices. Reasonability is an argument for the counter interpretation, not your aff. Your interpretations and counter interpretations should be topic specific rather than generic. They should intend to define and include/exclude a given aff or set of affs.
Disadvantages and Counterplans
Policy throwdowns are the kinds of debates where I am most likely to read cards, as I am far from a topic expert. Please be ready to send a card doc including all evidence referenced in the 2NR/2AR. Know what you are talking about and explain your arguments simply.
Disads, ideally, are intrinsic to the action of the plan. Please have a cogent link story and do impact comparison. Uniqueness generally controls the direction of the link.
Case specific counterplans are better than generics. I lean aff on multi-actor fiat, consult, and condition. I lean neg on PICs. There is strategic utility to not including a solvency advocate, but literature should probably inform the ground for both sides.
Condo is good. You'll have to do a lot of work to get me to believe otherwise. Aff gets "unlimited" prep, permutations, and intrinsicness tests to balance against neg flex.
Counterplans v K affs don't make sense given my understanding of how counterplan competition works.
LD Specific Stuff
Everything above applies to LD. Slow down on analytics, please.
Substantive phil debates are fun and I'd like to judge more of them. Syllogisms should be clear with an explicit relationship to how I weigh impacts.
I can't believe that I am giving this note to people outside a Debate 1 class, but plan texts must have actors.
Debates are evaluated at the conclusion of the 2AR or when I conclude that a winning NR/2AR is no longer possible.
Everything is open to contestation. I will not be evaluating AFC. If you want to include theoretical justifications for your framework, those are not good arguments, but they are acceptable since they don't insist that there exists an obligation to concede things. I think the distinction matters.
I will not evaluate theory of the frivolous variety. You will lose if you make theory arguments pertaining to your opponent’s appearance or mode of dress.
I’m agnostic on 1AR theory and RVIs.
IVIs are K links that function independently of the thesis being true because they also have procedural implications (ie use of exclusionary language). Anything else is just a lazy theory shell.
If you must read tricks, I am okay for substantive tricks with a developed ballot story; however, I would prefer not to judge these debates.
Hey! I'm Hannah and debated CX and LD at Kinkaid. Please add me to the email chain; my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm pretty much okay with anything -- but here are some more specifics:
CP/DAs - good
Ks - good but don't assume I fully understand your k lit so be sure you explain really well and make good link arguments that are specific to the aff - also make sure u explain the world of ur alt clearly
T - love t debates and I default competing interps and no RVIs
theory - good but don't read frivolous shells and tricks in front of me
phil - meh you don't want me judging these debates. it's a good idea to not run in front of me
impact turns - really like a good impact turn debate
other just general things -
don't be an asshole to your opponents or I really won't want to vote for you. if your a really experienced debater and debating a novice please try to make the debate more educational for them; i'll like you better for it
if u clip cards i'll warn you once, and then if you continue you'll be voted down with low speaks
please time yourself. don't steal prep time. flex prep is fine.
if you want more details feel free to email me
My preferred pronouns are they/them.
I debated in the NDT-CEDA policy circuit for 4 years.
I believe the topic is always being negotiated, not static. Much like a German Shepherd, framework is not always policing, but it may lend itself to such a service. Debates come equipped with norms, but those are not law.
High School 2020-21
Speed is fine, but go only as fast as you can handle. Conditionality is generally okay. Everyone in the debate should be timing. I have ADHD so I am terrible at remembering to press start. Rely on my timer at your own peril.
I like to hear critiques explained through history and current events. Examples are the easiest way to make a complex concept simple enough to evaluate in the short span of time we have together.
Police apologists whose arguments rely on the fear of the criminal will gain little traction on my ballot. Discussion of crime requires nuance as it easily becomes anti-black very quickly given the history of politicians using thinly veiled "tough on crime" platforms to wrestle over power. Read the links below and avoid an automatic L.
The Willie Horton Ad
yes i wanna be on the email chain email@example.com
wake forest university '24
If looking right before the round:
In most debates I've found that my ballot is mostly decided on impact calculus and impact framing. If you're winning that your interpretation of the world is true then the easiest way to turn that into a ballot in front of me is to turn that into how I should be framing the impacts and my ballots. Creative argumentation (specific PICs/PIKs, theory args like pre-empt bad or language PIKs, etc) are super fun debates to judge and will probably reward you with high speaks. To that same degree seeing AFF teams find super creative ways to spike out of those arguments will also probably reward you some good speaks. Here's some top level TLDR stances to make your life easier:
- truth>tech. framing matters
- dont be anti-black.
- I think TVAs should resolve the AFF and have a solvency mechanism/prove it's within the literature base
- fairness isn't an impact.
- write my ballot for me in the 2nr/2ar.
- the rest of my paradigm doesn't really matter b/c regardless of my individual preferences in debates i'm willing to vote on any argument off the flow so long as it isn't blatantly racist/sexist/homophobic/etc!
- go for what you're comfortable with! GLHF
Theory debates are fun here. AFF should probably focus on taking out the net benefit bc it makes the perm much easier. CPs should probably have a solvency advocate. I'm not judge kicking the CP - either go for it or don't go for it but don't make me do extra work if you know you might lose that flow.
They're okay. As a society we have progressed past the need for the Politics DA. Let it go. I think impact turns and framing make or break the debate here. Tell me why your impact comes first and why it outweighs the other team's impacts. I have a pretty high threshold for extinction scenarios because y'alls internal link chain never makes sense.
K v K
I think I've become a lot more skeptical of the role of the permutation in K v K debates. Yes, the perm is a test of competition, but in method v method debates weighing the consequences of the plan versus the consequences of the alternative might be a better educational model and provides more clash in rounds. But, to that same degree, in a world where there isn't a strong link to the AFF there's no reason why doing both the plan and the alternative wouldn't be able to function together. I'm willing to be swayed in either direction.
I have a pretty high threshold for AFF solvency. I think very often most K AFFs are written to generate offense against FW and are generally just Ks of the rez and tend to be a bit lackluster in explaining what it is the AFF does or how it resolves the impacts. If AFF solvency is just the conversation generated in round or if the debate is an example of AFF solvency, that's fine, but you need to prove why that model is specifically good and how it does anything to solve/address/create a method of survivability for the impacts of the 1AC.
I think the role of the negative in these debates is usually to either prove that the AFF is bad (whether that be because of the 1AC's rhetoric, scholarship, method, etc) or to provide an alternative method to resolve the impacts of the 1AC. With that being said, I still don't think neg teams necessarily need to win that the alternative solves to win the debate. Proving the AFF is bad is sufficient. I don't go into debates with a role - I evaluate the debate however you tell me to based on the role of the judge/role of the ballot presented in the debate.
K v Plan Affs
Framework: Framework on the K is a question of what both teams justify, not what both teams do. I think "weigh the aff" usually doesn't make sense as a response to the FW on the K because you would be able to do that under both interpretations. The negative doesn't have the burden of meeting the resolutional question, it has the burden of proving the AFF is a bad idea or that they present an alternative method to solve the impacts of the 1AC. Education & clash > fairness.
Link: I think links can be generated both off the rhetoric in the 1AC and the specific action of the plan. The presentation of the 1AC and what the plan justifies are all parts of the "plan's actions" so I see no reason why negative teams shouldn't be able to criticize your scholarship/actions and why you've chosen to bring those things to the debate space. BUT I do still have a relatively high link threshold. I think links of omission are okay, but links to performance, scholarship, rhetoric, impact scenarios, specific lines to the aff etc create more substantiative debates that are generally easier to adjudicate and much more interesting to watch. I don't think the AFF takes advantage of the potential for link turns.
Perm: Perm do both is not a perm text. The AFF needs to isolate what a world of the permutation looks like and how exactly it resolves the impacts of the K and overcomes the links. Perm "you do you, we do us" is also not a permutation, it is just the status quo and makes literally no sense. I'm torn on "all other instances". I think if you win that the AFF isn't a significant enough contributor to the link scenarios presented and therefore your specific engagement isn't enough to trigger the impact I might be willing to vote on it. This usually requires winning the impact framing and link debate, though.
Alt: Alts should probably solve the aff. If they don't I'm also willing to judge kick the alt and evaluate the links as case turns. Alts generally suck so I have a high threshold for alt explanation if you go for it in the 2NR, especially in Cap and high theory debates. If I can't imagine what the world of the alternative looks like then I'll probably have a really hard time voting on it.
Progress/Reform: **Specifically in the context of the ontology debate** Y'all have GOT to stop using Loving V Virginia as an example of progress. The legal fetishization of black bodies is not progress but rather proves black bodies as fungible beings for white consumption - this argument makes me ridiculously uncomfortable. I think the AFF has to win that an ontological framing is bad and have specific warrants as to why ontology fails to explain anti-black violence. I generally have a pretty high threshold on this question because you would have to win that even if reform can solve material violence that reform can do something to shift the metaphysical violence black people face. It'll be hard to prove to me that black folks don't experience psychic violence from anti-blackness. **In all other instances** I think the neg just needs to prove that the state is probably bad as an actor (even when t's negative state action) and that reform won't solve the impacts of the K and the AFF just needs to defend that their specific engagement with the state is good rather than winning the state is good in the vacuum.
K v FW/T
I'm pretty torn on this debate. I think framework is generally a tool used by uncreative policy debaters to prevent having to have discussions about race/identity/anything not standard util debates, but I do think there are some cases in which it's probably true that there is potentially substantial NEG grounds lost so idk. I think the NEG has to win that the 1ACs model creates a poor stasis point for debates, and the AFF has to win that their stasis point creates stable neg grounds and educational debates, as well as having warranted reasons as to why the resolution is a bad starting point. I'm usually bought by arguments that T is arbitrary and incentivizes races to the margin, and that it's possible to be topical and not meet the resolutional question. I promise I don't have side bias, even if I dislike framework debates.
Plan AFFs v T
I actually really enjoy topicality against policy affs. You've chosen to engage the resolution in a normative fashion so I would hope you'd do it right considering you probably read framework against K affs. I think clash and grounds are probably the best internal link to education in these rounds. I think reasonability probably isn't a good stasis for T debates because there's no brightline for what "reasonably topical" is.
email me any other questions!
Collin Smith -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of my argumentation has been on the K side of things in debate. My research interests, however, are very broad, and I do not really care what form your arguments take. As a judge, I value specificity, evidence comparison, and in-depth explanation. I generally decide debates by identifying key points of offense and sifting through the evaluative mechanisms set up by either team to discern whose impact matters more, and how I should conceive of solvency.
Affs – do what you want, read a plan or not, talk about the topic or not – I don’t care. Aff’s with plans – don’t assume I know your acronyms (I judged at a camp, but I have not done a lot of topic research), and I do not think your impact or k framing contention helps. Affs without plans – be sure to explain your method early in the debate and use impact/solvency examples or have an explanation of why traditional notions of solvency don't apply.
Framework – I will vote for it, I will vote against it. I think neg teams win these debates when they win clash/debate-ability as an internal link turn to aff and some type of procedural impact, but I see the utility in switch-side or topic education arguments in some contexts. Neg’s also need to win a framework comes first/case doesn’t matter argument. I think the aff is set to win these debates when they win an impact they can solve, an impact turn to the neg’s interp, and apply that disad to the 2nr’s arguments. I do not think a counter-interpretation is necessary, though often it is quite useful.
Kritiks – here for it, do it well.
DA – I think uniqueness is more likely to overwhelm the link than for the link to determine the direction of the uniqueness.
Theory - It is hard for me to vote on condo bad without explicit examples of in-round abuse, but I can definitely be persuaded as to why other theory arguments are reasons for me to reject an argument or give the other team some type of flexibility.
Tech v Truth – If an argument is conceded, it is probably true but needs to be explained again in your next speech. I think the best 2NRs and 2ARs tell the judge what the most important aspect of the debate is and why, then win that issue. These framing questions tend to implicate how I evaluate technical concessions, or at lease to what extent I should care about them with regards to broader framing questions.
LD - St. Marks 2021 update - All the above applies here. I do not judge a lot of LD but I do have a little experience judging and debating here. I'm not too up to date on specific argumentative or theoretical trends in LD. I know time-constraints make in-depth explanation of dense concepts difficult, so I am a bit less concerned with explanation and care more about your ability to apply and contextualize your arguments of choice. Super specific theory arguments and AC theory preempts are not too persuasive to me, but I am willing to listen to anything.
2022 Legal Personhood Rewrite
Please add me to the chain, I do not usually read along during speeches, but I like to able to check things during cx/prep and it makes post-round evidence collection easier.
Debated at Binghamton for 2.5 years (college novice), coached at Baylor for two, and am now in my 4th year as a coach/gta for the University of Kansas.
I love debate and promise to put my full effort into the rounds I judge.
First and foremost, do what you do best, everything below is a preference but I try my hardest to adapt to the debate in front of me.
I think I'm generally in line with most of the community in the sense that I think specific debate is better than generic debate, clarity is really important but undervalued, and most rebuttal speeches could use more comparative impact calculus.
In terms of areas where I might differ a little/require stylistic adaptation, the most important is that I tend to really value/give significant weight to spin and the explanation of arguments. Part of my goal as a judge is to base a decision as much as I can on the words of the debaters in the 2NR/2AR. That means that I'm looking to things you are saying specifically and the framing arguments you are making and I tend to focus less on the cards you've read/extended outside of the frame you gave them.
Functionally, my focus on explanation and spin means that I am not a great judge for 2nr 2ar's that attempt to identify everything each team conceded and ask me to construct a ballot from those concessions. Teams that do more work to explain how I should write my ballot and how their arguments operate at the meta-level of the debate do better in front of me than teams that focus just on winning arguments but ask me to put together that meta-analysis of the debate. As a side note, generally, I'm of the opinion that the word conceded should be used minimally in 2nr/2ars because it ends up serving as a placeholder for comparison and actual debating.
Because of my emphasis on explanation, I am a great judge for teams that focus on constructing narratives and those that think about how multiple levels of their arguments interact. For example, I tend to think that K teams debating policy teams often fail to think through the interaction between their framework arguments, their links, and their alternative resulting in disconnected stories that make it hard for me to vote.
I also give a lot of leeway in terms of how teams apply and expand on evidence which means that I think I'm a pretty good judge for teams going for non-t strats against Ks because I will give you a lot of room to elaborate on 1nc arguments.
None of this is to say that I do not care about evidence quality, especially if you make arguments as to why evidence quality matters in your particular debate but that I think I am more willing then a lot of judges to give credence to analytics and explanation
This preference means that clarity is really important, I can keep up with fast debate, but the more explanation I get/words I understand the better it will be for you, so try to find a balance. I'm also not the most technical flow, even though I tend to be very tech over truth in how I evaluate rounds, so be aware of giving me time and being clear with transitions and packaging especially.
One other theme that shapes a lot of my decisions in clash and kvk debates especially is that I place a huge value on uniqueness claims, by which I mean claims as to how the world works and how that influences other elements of my decision. For example, a lot of my decisions start with the theory of power debate because in my mind the question of how power operates shapes almost all the other questions in the debate and how those arguments are approached. Another example might be, if a team makes a uniqueness argument about the way that academic knowledge production might favor a particular dominant ideology that will shape my reading of the evidence and the teams scholarly project. I often find these broader uniqueness questions serving as tie-breakers in my decision calculus in close debates, so controlling those narrative/structural questions is fundamental for getting my ballot
Framework v K affs
My record in these debates has increasingly shifted towards the neg, I think that is less of an ideological question and more of how the meta of these debates has played out. I often think negative teams do a better job of framing a lot of important central questions. Affs often struggle against arguments like "debate is a game so that means fairness is the most important impact" or the affs offense is non-unique because it is a criticism of the content of the resolution but says nothing about the form of debate. I personally think there are good answers and shifts against all these arguments but feel that k affs might be a little behind
You need an argument about the purpose of debate and the question of "what we are doing here". Ideally that argument needs to be based in your 1ac and you need to leverage it against the neg claims that debate is just a game or that subject formation does not happen in these spaces. I'm very persuaded by the argument that if the activity is unethical then who cares if it is fair, but I think affs often struggle to have an explanation that actually implicates the activity/form of debate.
I'm a good judge for arguments that draw on the utility of kvk debate and the conversations that are had there. I think fw teams often pretend those debates don't exist or devalue those arguments in ways that could generate significant offense for the affirmative but affs sometimes fail to take advantage of those arguments.
You need to focus on gaining access to weighing your case/aff in front of me which requires a case-specific explanation as to how you relate to framework and how your aff interacts with those arguments.
I think overall I'm better competitively for more impact turn styles of answering framework because those have been increasingly the meta and I'm more use to them. However, I do really enjoy teams that articulate alternative relationships to the resolution that are more nuanced then 'res bad/unethical" and discuss indepth alternative models of debate .
When I vote aff, it is frequently because the aff won the case page, which made structural claims as to how debate, contestation language, etc operate and those claims shape how I view the framework page. Thus, for me, you must engage the case, either by isolating fw from it, or with various case defense arguments.
Good fw debating is good case debating, if you are not talking about the aff, on both pages, (ie how fw relates to the affs impacts and structural claims) you are losing the debate. I think the question of how specific the fw is to the aff is what differentiates great fw debaters from good fw debaters
I understand the strategic utility of more procedural based arguments and impacts. However, I will say I enjoy fw debates where the neg defends the possibility of what plan based debate can do or why it is educationally valuable far more then the current trend of making neg claims as small as possible. However, in the end do what you have to do.
Policy aff v K
The fw debate is incredibly important for me.
I do not like the trend of kind of deciding that the fw debate is a wash and constructing some weird compromise outside of what the interpretations/views of the debate actually were.
I think fw interps/arguments should be as explicit as possible in terms of instructing judges as to what you think the implication of winning your frame work is. I often think teams are very unclear on this question and leave it to judges to fill in blanks. I think that is particularly true for aff fw interps that often stop at "weigh the plan" with very little explanation of what that means or how the K prevents weighing the aff/the plan. Similarly you have to tell me how the neg moots the 1ac and not just assert that it occurs.
Neg teams need to recognize that winning framework is not game over, but a way of shaping how the rest of the debate plays out. As such your links and even alternative should be contextualized to the framework interpretation you are going for/winning. If your framework is about research practices, then your links better explicitly explain why the aff research practices are bad. If your framework is about competing poltitical imaginaries your criticism of the aff should use that language.
Generally, the team that is able to package their arguments into a clearer narrative/story wins the debate. That goes beyond just being right about the content of the arguments but focusing on explaining how that content converts into a ballot
I'm not great for aff teams that just try to permute everything because I tend to think more structural Ks will always find a link. You are better of challenging the neg's view of the world and defending how your aff approaches politics.
I'm pretty willing to listen to arguments about what competition should look like in kvk debates, i.e. how much of the aff should one have to disagree with to earn a ballot is often a relevant question in a lot of these debates since both teams often agree on a lot of premises. That means I'm also better than a lot of judges for arguments about whether the aff should get a perm.
In terms of K familiarity, I'm very familiar with the ableism literature used in debate. I also very comfortable with the cap arguments generally read in debate, though I often think teams deploy them pretty poorly, especially against K teams. I have a working knowledge of the more structural ks in debate though I'm not particularly well-read. I do not feel very confident in my knowledge of the more "high theory" arguments deployed in debate. So those require more explanation and examples with an emphasis on explaining the applicable elements of those critcisisms.
Policy v Policy
I don't judge too many of these debates, and I still probably judge more than I should. The biggest thing to think about is my discussion of explanation at the top. In policy v policy debates there is a tendency to forgo that storytelling element of debate in the name of efficiency because it is assumed that judges will somewhat fill in those gaps. That ends up being difficult for me because my lack of experience with these debates makes it hard to fill in the gaps and I just generally don't like doing so. That means the team that focuses more on explicitly instructing me as to how I should understand the debate at the meta-level will do better.
That is especially true for counter plan competition debates and topicality debates because I have virtually no experience in either and can struggle to process what is going on as I attempt to keep up with the block spewing. The more work you can do to make me understand, even if you feel like you are overexplaining the better you will do.
Random side notes
I think I'm a decent judge for arguments that challenge the form of debate (think spades, coloring etc) as long as you are being explicit in explaining why you are doing what you are doing, you have an actual argumentative backing for what you are doing and you are trying to win the round.
I don't really know where I fall on most theory issues because I judge them so rarely, I would say that I'm fairly agnostic on conditionality in general, but I do think there is an increasing prevalence of a style of run and gun argumentation that I really dislike. In my mind, the style of reading like 8 bad arguments, going for the last covered one in the block (or just kicking all of them in the 1nr and talking about t for 9 minutes against k teams) creates shallow antieducational debates. I don't think that practice is intrinsically tied to conditional argumentation but that it does seem to go hand in hand that I could probably be convinced condo is bad for this reason. Read this as you are better off constructing 1ncs with arguments you will actually go for/discuss and not trying to just outspread the aff with random nonsense.
I have an absurdly awful poker face while judging debates. You will see me react to things. I will say that if push comes to shove you should always prioritize your view of an argument/the round over what you perceive my reaction to be, because I might be reacting to something totally different then what you think. Furthermore, I vote for arguments that I dislike all the time and vote against arguments I do like as well, so my reaction might not be tied at all to the competitive element of the debate.
If you are some one who finds facial expressions/reactions distracting and unhelpful feel free to let me know and I will do my best to limit them and help keep the round accessible for you.
There are very few arguments that I will refuse to consider on face but please do remember if you are the type of team that enjoys the wipeout, spark, death good, other nonsense, genre of argumentation, that debate is ultimately a persuasive activity and the burden of work you will have to do to win/be persuasive for those arguments will likely be higher than normal.
I am a graduate from the University of Houston!
My degrees are in Political Science and Philosophy, with a focus on Public Health and Bioethics respectively.
I've been debating since 2010 and I've been doing CX since 2012. I really enjoy public speaking as a whole.
Non-debate stuff about me (that debate got me doing): I'm the treasurer for the Houston Tenants Union and also a certified Community Health Worker. So if you need help accessing a tenant's rights/housing organizations near you, or healthcare resources, feel free to reach out via e-mail and I will send what I can :)
You can probably find my rounds/old wiki's if you want.
I want to be on the e-mail chain: JCSpiehler@gmail.com
COVID-19 2021 Digital Debate Update:
- Please make sure everyone gives a thumbs up or something before you start your speech :,) if my audio is broken, I won't respond to "Is anyone not ready". So please don't say "Is anyone NOT ready?" I will deduct .25 of a speaker point off of what I was originally going to give every time I hear you say this.
- I don't think spreading has translated super well to online debate. I don't know exactly what it is, but the sound quality varies from debater to debater and (more often than not) the words become super muddled together and tinny through my microphone. That said, I have nothing against it and I will evaluate arguments about "speed reading" wholistically. But, if I can't hear what you're saying clearly through my average laptop and headphones then I can't flow the arguments you're making. You might just need to read just a little slower than you would in person.
I <3 Debate.
Framework/T: Just because I group these together in my paradigm doesn't mean you get to do it in your debate. There are distinctions between Fw/T. I actually find that these debates can be enjoyable if you use less jargon and more explanation. If the aff does a governmental thing you probably want to be running a variation of T.
DA's: I don't regularly go for DA's but I've (obviously) encountered them often in debate. I remember the first time I really appreciated the 'art of the DisAd' was while watching an outround at Wake. That said, the best thing you can do for me as a judge, is break down the narrative of the DA in relation to the aff. I find it easy to be skeptical of most internal link stories (lazy card cutting?) so make sure you can adequately explain how your politics scenario reasonably leads to your catastrophic impact.
CP's/Pic's: I love tricky Pic's. Counterplans are alright. I think all forms of CP's are a great way to force the aff into defending their methodologies.
Theory: Just because I like Pic's doesn't mean I don't buy that they can be bad. Severance Perms are probably bad. You can pretty much sell me on most theory. But, if it sounds like you're reading backfiles and blocks back and forth to eachother don't expect me to be sufficiently persuaded. If you expect me to vote on theory then treat it like you would any other winning argument.
K aff's: I love a well executed K affs. Anything from a middle of the road affirmatives (also see Policy Affs) to performance. I have voted against these kind of affirmatives on framework (and T) before - so make sure you can defend the pre-fiat implications of the affirmative and why they matter.
Policy Affs: The more detailed the better. Personally, I don't run policy affirmatives - but I do respect people that do. The time and effort put into these arguments really can show. I actually do want to hear about what the world would be like if your plan was passed. You don't have to be hyperbolic about everything.
K's: I love a good kritik. I am persuaded by access arguments made by the affirmative. I've debated/read/seen a lot of the kritikal theory out there. I primarily ran kritiks (if you look at my neg page on the case wiki you can get an idea - although not sure if it's still up now, so feel free to ask).
Speaker Points: I try not to, but I give higher-than-average speaker points. I don't mind sharing CX, but don't answer questions your partner is capable of answering. Wait until your partner defers to you. Don't interject for them. Also, please don't be rude. You are all human. I am a person, you are all people. We all have feelings, we are all here to learn, we all (hopefully) love debate. Friendly competition is good competition.
Feel free to ask me any questions you might have before the round starts.
No spreading or I will drop the team.
Other than that, basically anything is fair game, just don't be mean to me or your opponents.
And include me in the email chain: email@example.com
Add me to the e-mail chain! firstname.lastname@example.org
Treat me like a lay judge. If I can't hear/understand what you're saying, I will not weigh it.
Hi, I'm Natalie! I currently do policy debate at the University of Houston. All I ask for is debaters to be cordial and to have fun! Please do not introduce identity politics especially if it is not your place to speak on it.
I thoroughly enjoy listening to Kritiks, but please make sure to link your args! Also note that I will place my judgement on how well you explain your Kritik, so please do not assume that I will automatically understand what you are talking about.
CP - Prove that your counterplan is net better than the plan.
DA - Definitely should have good impact.
Please signpost! Flowing is difficult as it is, and it would really help me as a judge.
Hi, my name is Sarah Whiteley and I am a policy debater for the University of Houston. I've been debating for 2 years now.
I like speeches that are organized and give me the line-by-line. I think it is important that debaters are respectful to their partners and opponents during rounds. I do not like it when debaters cut off the opponent too much or are rude during cross-ex. Please be respectful to everyone in the round.
Spreading is okay as long as it is not too fast - I will let you know if you are speaking too quickly.
Any type of argument is okay with me as long as you explain it well.
Wylie High School '17
University of Houston '21
Please put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Policy Debate Thoughts:
I'll listen to anything you want to read but be sure to explain denser critical literature bases or more complex policy scenarios. I default to competing interps and am a really big fan of well researched and prepared positions, whether that's critical or policy.
On some more minutia:
I'll vote for the politics disad as I lean tech over truth but I generally believe the politics DA as its often constructed isn't true and can be defeated by some good analytics or evidence comparison in the 2AC in many cases.
I will vote on presumption I think lots of 1ACs are bad and more time should be spent on case in the block. I really love a good case debate. Having good cards against their aff is good but so is reading their evidence and making good analytical arguments.
I think generally on framework debates that the aff's should have some relation to the topic or a good defense of why that is bad. I think clash is very good and the more the better.
Generic arguments like topic disads and kritiks made specific to the aff through evidence rehighlightings and comparison will be rewarded.
Don't just read your arguments at each other and let me figure it out at the end because it may not come out the way you want. Tell me how your arguments interact and apply to one another. Close doors and tell me why to sign my ballot for you.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me or ask before the round.
Public Forum Thoughts:
I competed for a year in public forum in high school but have done policy ever since. I am comfortable with speed but I've noticed in PF especially the shorter speech times means debaters can get kind of blippy when responding to arguments. Clearly marking new arguments or slowing down slightly when you have multiple warrants or arguments you want me to flow in a row would be helpful and will be rewarded.
Having lots of impacts at the beginning of the debate can be a good thing but I find I'm voting for teams at the end of the debate with one or two impacts that are clearly articulated with strong internal link stories and explanations of how they turn the other sides impacts. Most of the debates I've judged have come down to one or two impacts both teams claim to solve and so warranted internal link analysis will be heavily rewarded.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me or ask before the round.
Top level// TLDR
If your strategy includes a bunch of short spikes they should be on the doc and you should slow down.
Yao Yao Chen said something a lot of people quote for good reason - “If you have little time before a debate, here’s all you need to know: do what you do best… I would rather listen to you debating your strongest argument than you adapting to my preferences.”
I really appreciate judge direction- it is probably the best thing you can do for yourself in front of me- I often find myself at the end of debates where both sides have won certain arguments- but have failed to explain what the implications of those arguments are for how I should resolve the other sub debates.
an ideal rebuttal tells me 1. what arguments I am looking at 2. why and how i am looking at them 3. why they won the arguments I am looking at and 4. what that means for the way I should evaluate other arguments in the round. if you are consistently doing these things then I am pretty comfortable evaluating pretty much any kind of debate.
I enjoy answering questions after the round. I don’t enjoy rude people, if we all treat each other kindly then I will answer questions till I am blue in the face. And everyone should feel free to email me at any point with any questions.
My email (which you should put on the chain) is: firstname.lastname@example.org
for your pref sheets:
1: Kvk, clash of civs, kvlarp,
2: T and well warranted/organized procedurals and theory. (more on what I consider well warranted in the theory section), LARP
4 or strike- phil and trad (I really wanna see good phil debates but I often find myself confused about what my ballot is doing in these debates, Am i affirming that the resolution is good/bad through the lens of a certain framework? or am I affirming that the resolution is good because a particular philosophical orientation towards the world is good?)
Online debate stuff:
I like email chains over other kinds of sharing methods- it lets us get in contact with ppl in case of technical difficulties.
I think Jackie Poapst said this first, but I absolutely hate “is any one not ready” because if someone is having a tech problem then they may not be able to indicate they are not ready. It is the equivalent of “if you aren’t here raise your hand.”
There have been several times when debaters have asked “is everybody ready” and then proceeded to give their speech without a response from me- I missed several seconds of those debaters’ speeches. Please wait for me to respond I’ll usually say that “i’m good” verbally. If I see that the debater about to give a speech can see their camera- i may just give a thumbs up. If I have not done either of those things- I AM NOT READY.
I used to say that I did not like T debates- I changed my mind- I enjoy T.
T is a debate about competing models- the less specific the negative is the more likely I am to vote on reasonability.
I think that fairness is probably an internal link to an impact- but not an impact in it’s own right, but I can definitely be convinced otherwise.
I think that reasonablity is an argument that begs the question of whether or not the counter interpretation is reasonable- not whether the aff is reasonably topical.
I think impact calculus is really important for me here- you should err on the side of overexplanation of your impact and weighing for me.
teams need to make arguments about why their model is better- not just arguments about why the other team's is bad.
the more specific and contextual your arguments are to your opponents' the more likely I am to vote for you
I do not think that you need a TVA to win the debate round, but I think it is a powerful argument in most rounds.
I think that affirmative teams that give ground lists are strategic.
I don’t think that the TVA has to resolve the entirety of the aff- but I do think that it is important that it captures some of the affirmative offense.
I will vote on impact turns. I will also vote on procedural fairness- I think that I tend to vote aff more often in these debates, but I find myself voting neg more lately.
A lot of debaters win the internal link but forget to weigh their impacts don't do that.
Just like every other judge- I think that specificity is key- the more specific your link evidence is to the aff the more I will be persuaded by the kritik
however - I think that contextualization can be just as good as specificity- all I am looking for is language that emphasizes what the aff does to trigger an impact- and why the aff is a really bad iteration of that.
the above point about contextualization applies to affirmative answers to the kritik as well- I think your generic psychoanalysis bad cards can be really useful even if the source isn't explicitly about the negative's author, contextualization and spin go a long way.
A lot of teams contextualization devolves into descriptions of the status quo- which, while these descriptions are often frightening, and enlightening, they fail to explain what the affs specific relation to their kritik is.
I don’t think debate should happen in the overview- you should do as much work as possible to describe your kritik on the line by line- it makes it so much easier for me to flow.
I am a sucker for link turns case arguments- I just ask that they be thoroughly explained if you want to go for them.
I don’t think that you necessarily need to win an alternative to win the debate- but you do have to win a reason why the link/impact debate necessitates my ballot absent one.
see the judge kick section in the counterplan section.
I think that process debates are interesting.
some counterplan theory seems less like a reason to reject the argument/team and more like a reason to err aff when deciding how to evaluate solvency debates- like need a solvency advocate theory or the standard on consult/conditions CP theory that is like "but what if they said no"
I think that most theory is a reason to reject the arg not the team but I could be convinced otherwise.
PIC's are probably good,
I think all competitive counterplans are "process CP's," and so i think that "Process CP's bad theory" is dumb.
test case fiat is a dumb argument,
I am pretty ambivalent towards most other CP theory.
If you have a solvency advocate that justifies what the CP does I err neg on CP theory.
affs let negatives get away with "Grouping the perm" too often- you should understand the distinctions between different perms and punish them for this.
I will judge kick if I am told to (provided that the aff doesn't make an argument that I should not)- I am convinced by the argument that the negative's role is to win prove the plan is a bad idea, and that losing the counterplan solvency debate doesn't mean that the negative hasn't won that argument. The exception to this is if the neg loses links to net benefit.
I usually give the neg a risk of the disad- but i can be convinced there is zero risk.
Comparative impact calculus is key for my ballot- you have to tell me why your thing happens- why its worse etc,
You should definitely be doing the work to tell me how to evaluate impacts at some point- i,e probability first and why etc.
I evaluate theory debates assuming the team making the argument is incorrect. this means that I err neg on most counterplan/alt theory but that affirmatives can get away with more questionable permutations.
I think that disclosure as a community norm is dope and will vote on disclosure theory. However I am convinced by arguments about exceptions to that rule (i.e small schools shouldn't have to disclose or Queer debaters shouldn't have to disclose)
I will vote on arguments about things that happened outside the round assuming they meet two criteria. 1. that the violation is verifiable. 2. that there is an argument about how the violation implicates what is happening inside the round.
I will not vote on arguments about what your opponent is wearing or looks like.
I am an ok judge for frivolous theory violations but the more unpredictable the interp is the more likely I am to vote on reasonability.
I used to say that I thought tricks were bad, I have changed my mind I think that they make for some interesting debates. a couple stipulations-
I think the argument should be complete when it is introduced- if it isnt then the other team should be able to get away with saying- that’s not an argument and moving on.(I will provide an example of one complete and one incomplete argument. an incomplete argument: "condo bad- strat skew, multiple CP's prevent the aff from reading their best answers." A complete argument: "condo bad- strat skew- being unable to stick the negative with a CP disincentivizes affirmatives from doing in depth research on the CP because substantive arguments take too long to read."
I have to have that argument on my flow before the final speech- i,e if i missed it in the first speech because you didn't give me the pen time or because you sent paragraph form theory blocks instead of numbering each separate arg- then I will not vote on them
I reserve the right to end the debate due to anti-blackness
Name: Jefferey Yan
Affiliations: Stuyvesant High School ’15
Binghamton University '19
Currently working as an assistant coach w/ GMU for 2021-22
Please put me on the chain: email@example.com
I debated for 8 years, in HS for Stuyvesant and in college at Binghamton. I read a plan for a majority of my time in HS, and various K arguments on the neg. In college, I read an affirmative about Asian-Americans every year with a variety of flavors and a few about disability. On the neg, we primarily went for K arguments with themes of biopower, capitalism, and resiliency.
I think line by line is an effective way to both record and evaluate clash that happens in debate. I like to judge debates that are heavily invested in line-by-line refutation because I think it requires the least amount of intervention and the largest amount of me pointing to what you said.
That being said, I think rebuttals require less line-by-line and more framing arguments. The biggest problem for me when evaluating debates is there is often little explanation of how I should treat the rest of debate if you win x argument. In other words, you need to impact your arguments not just on the line by line, but also in the broader context of the debate. The ability to do both in a round is primarily what modulates the speaking points I give.
Framework/T-USFG: I like to think of framework as an all-or-nothing strategy that can either be utilized effectively and persuasively, or poorly and as an excuse to avoid engagement. My ideal block on FW is where you spend time articulating specific abuse and why it implicates your ability to debate with examples. I think specificity is what makes the difference between framework as a strategy for engagement versus framework as a strategy for ignoring the aff. I think a lot of the delineation here is most apparent in the 2NR and whether or not the neg explicitly acknowledges/goes to the case page.
Generally speaking, I think ties to the topic are good. I think topical versions of the aff are something people need to be going for in the 2NR and are lowkey kind of broken given the time tradeoff vs amount of defense generated ratio. I am unpersuaded by fairness as an intrinsic good or impact in itself, and relying heavily on it in the 2nr is not a great spot to be in. For example, I am relatively easily persuaded by the argument that if a current form of the game produces bad outcomes, then whether it’s fair or not is ultimately a secondary to concern when compared to re-thinking the content of the game itself. I think arguments regarding the quality of clash are the most persuasive to me as they can implicate both fairness and education impact arguments fairly intuitively.
I default to competing interps, but I think that aff teams tend to read awful C/Is without realizing it, mostly because they fail to really think through what their counter-model of debate looks like. I think a strong counter-interp really sets aff FW strategies apart, because being able to access the neg’s offense does a lot for you in terms of explaining the specificity of your own impact turns.
T: Like I said, I have very little topic specific knowledge and am a bit out of the loop in regards to the meta. This means I’m probably more willing to vote on a stupid T argument than other judges. This could be good or bad for you.
DA: I like stories. DAs are opportunities to tell good stories. Not much else to say about this.
CP: I wish people slowed down when reading CP texts because it makes it so god damn hard to flow them. I think judge-kick is stupid. If the debate becomes theoretical, please adhere to some kind of line-by-line format.
K: I am most familiar with structural kritiks. Link specificity makes life good. I think framework is incredibly important for both sides to win to win the debate. I think the neg should defend an alternative most of the time. I think the neg should generally pick and choose one or two specific link arguments in the 2NR.
K but on the aff: These debates are largely framework debates, and the winner of that debate gets to decide what happens with the judge and the ballot. I think it’s important to make clear what the aff advocates early on, because often times these affs have too many moving parts, which gets you into trouble vs link debates/presumption arguments. I think ties to the topic are generally good. I usually really like judging these types of affs.