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 first-year 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.
Also wish me Happy Birthday on January 17th. It will be greatly appreciated.
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 email@example.com*
LD- I'm fine with speed, as long as you aren't spitting across the room. I'm fine with progressive args, run whatever you want but everything needs to be extended through your 2 rebuttals for me to use it as a weighing mechanism. (If you are a non-traditional LD'er ... refer to my policy paradigm for more potential tips)
PF- Steps to getting my vote: extend all cards you intend on using through round through to summary (no sticky defense), line by line rebuttal, if you don't address a turn made on case I will consider it a drop, collapse in summary, if you're speaking second then I expect your summary to address attacks made in last rebuttal. Also: weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh in EVERY SPEECH.
Policy: I am a tab judge
Here are some of my personal preferences: Don't go for too much. I'd like if you collapsed down to one position in your 2NR. Never finish a speech early, use that time to clarify arguments or bring down your opponents. I tend to be partial to K as long as it is very well done (it's fun..ner?). I need clear impact and link stories, the flow should be immaculate, and you should be able to signpost well enough for me to easily vote without rummaging through my sheets. 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. Two most important things in the round: IMPACT CALC & SPLIT THE BLOCK.
GENERAL: don't be unnecessarily rude to your opponents, it doesn't make you look cool. I WILL dock points for any mean or snide behavior, as well as asking circular questions in cross that don't allow your opponent to generate an answer. If your opponent is noticeably less experienced then you, do NOT take that as an opportunity to patronize them.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Stockdale High School Policy Debate Coach 2019-Present
Coached by: Lee Thach, LaToya Green, Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Max Bugrov, and Anthony Joseph
If there is an email chain I would like to be on it: email@example.com
If you have any questions feel free to email me if you have any question
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 now I debate for Cal State Fullerton.
Notes on CJR Topic: Came into the year knowing that I was going to coach a team that was flex on the neg so spent researching policy arguments while also researching K things. So now the prep I do for the high school topic is cutting new disads and uq updates, recutting and cutting new counterplans, and K links - I would say I have a pretty decent grasp on the topic.
Rounds judged on the CJR topic: 53
K: Love the K, its where I spend most of my energy now in college, I think I have an understanding of generally every K, in college, I have mostly read Afro-Pessimism/Gillespie, 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.
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.
K affs VS Framework: You have to win the counterinterpretation, to me, this is the best way to beat fw in front of me. If you go the route of impact turning fw that is fine it is a little less persuasive, but I still find it strategically valuable.
Traditional Affirmatives: Traditional affirmatives were my bread and butter in HS and for like half a year in college, so these are fun and interesting.
Framework: I think that in my later years of college now, I have become somewhat of a fw hack, I am much persuaded by ground and limits arguments, than procedural fairness arguments.
DA: Love disad debates, the more specific the better, I should not have to say this, but tell me the story of the disad, not just generic shadow extensions of the disad, I need a literal story.
CP: These are cool, you know read them if you want to.
Politics: I feel as if I have the same opinion as Parker Coon on politics: "I really need a stalemate associate to resolve this one for me. On one hand, I think the Politics DA is super valuable because it teaches us about current events and a lot about how the political system functions both theoretically and actually. On the other hand, I think a lot of Politics DAs have boiled down to "plan unpopular, makes people mad, something does/doesn't happen, vote neg" without a clear story as to what's going on. I generally detest the strategy of the neg block reading a slew of cards to answer the 2ACs arguments, but that seems to be the norm with the Politics DA. You'll do much better in front of me if you point to the nuances of what your card is saying, and develop a scenario that I can assign risk to. A lot of this can be applied to other arguments as well." By the way, I do enjoy politics debates.
1. Clash of Civs are my favorite type of debates.
2. I will vote on death good
3Counterplan 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. Offense/defense vs reasonability - I think a little bit of both is good - but is different in different debates - both in K v K and straight up debates
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. The resolution is a means of testing different forms of literature, but also a means to have some type of governmental action
10. Speaker Points: I try to stay in the 28-29.9 range, better debate obviously better speaker points.
Email chains, please: firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently a coach at Mason (2016-Present)
Debate is a game. Have fun.
If my camera is off, I am not ready.
Top Level Things:
If a paradigm is not provided for me to evaluate the round, I will default to util.
Tech > truth.
Depth > breadth.
I won't take prep for flashing/emailing, just don't steal it.
Claims alone are not arguments. I will not evaluate them without warrants.
I don't keep track of speech time/prep. Please keep your own.
I've started flowing CX.
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) that cannot be verified.
I very much dislike the trend towards 1Ns only reading tags on half the case cards for things that need evidence to substantiate.
Slow down on tags/analytics and in T or Theory debates. Make sure to occasionally check the screen when speaking to make sure we aren't frozen/showing you we cant hear you. I will be understanding of the inevitable tech failures that happen.
It seems like everyone has gotten much less clear this year. Maybe it's just me. Please be clear.
I believe that the most educational and beneficial template for the topic is one determined by the literature. I default to competing interpretations. If you are reading a policy aff that has little relevance to the topic, or a very small portion of it, you should have a great defense of that area.
Slow down while reading CP texts, I'm going to read it from the doc when you do and want to take the time to fully understand it.
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. I'm fine with giving the neg 3 conditional worlds and the squo, and I’m very understanding of more.
I thoroughly enjoy many counterplans and think they are crucial for testing aff solvency/internal. However, delay & consult CPs are almost always theoretically abusive in my opinion.
Conditionality Bad-----------------------X---Hard Debates Good
PICs Good------------X-----------PICs Bad
Process CPs Good-----------X----------Process CPs Bad
Love them. There can be 0 percent risk of a link. Bad DAs can be beaten with analytics + an impact defense card.
I miss judging politics debates. Please make that happen again.
Case debates are good. Impact defense is more important than anything else. Presumption can sometimes be a thing. Disads on case are fun. So are impact turns.
I prefer line by line debates and very much dislike lengthy overview and convoluted alt explanations. I will not do the work making cross applications for you.
Aff gets to weigh the aff unless the 2AC doesn't make that arg.
PLEASE avoid tag-line extension, especially with your alternative. 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.
Outside of something that was blatantly offensive, I personally 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.
I have an incredibly high threshold for “do nothing” Ks, because I would prefer to believe that my ballot at least affirms something.
Framework is a good option. I think that the aff should at minimum be tangentially tied to the resolution. I think that novices should read a plan during at least the first semester. I like fairness and limits.
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:
-Clarity should never be sacrificed for speed. I understand if you're short on time and you need to squeeze in a card, but unless you absolutely have to, prioritize clarity. If you notice I'm not flowing constructives, or have a very confused look on my face, you're likely incomprehensible.
-Confidence gets you a long way.
-Be respectful to other debaters and to me. I encourage humor and small quips, but there is a fine line between sarcasm and being a jerk. Don't cross it.
-Cross ex is pretty important. It's one of the most vulnerable areas when it comes to knowledge of your evidence. It's also binding.
-If you prevent your opponent from answering in cross ex, that won't bode well for speaks and I will be annoyed. (!!)
-I like to give Seniors a points boost at their last tournament. You work hard for this activity and it's the least I can do to reward you for your effort in debate.
-If I'm not flowing something, and you see me staring at you (without the aforementioned confused look), you are being redundant and should move on.
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.
I want to give you a sense of my decision making process, which I think is especially important for high school debaters since I am judging many more of those this year. I begin processing the debate with link/uniqueness in most cases. I do this because it is typically the more complex aspect of the debate and needs to be debated with the most care and detail. Ultimately I don't think this influences the outcome a ton but it does mean that I do not just compare the impacts and then vote. There are many features of any given argument that also influence how those impacts may or not play out. A lot of 2NR/2AR's start with impact comparison and that is awesome and I am not asking you to change that. Just make sure this does not trade off with robust explanation/comparison/synthesis of the other parts of the argument.
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. I am typically more persuaded by arguments about limits and fairness but I do think the CJR topic presents the opportunity for more persuasive arguments about topic education. That being said, there still would need to be a "this is how our interp effects the negative" part of the strategy.
Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to T-USFG arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC. I would feel much better if your specific critique was clear from the very beginning.
I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of T-USFG/Framework debates. 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 I don't think the negative is under any obligation to provide a way to solve the aff.
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 is important but it is one of a number of arguments that can and should be made.
-CJR specific: I am aware the DA's aren't all great. I don't think that's a reason to give up on them. It just means you need a CP or a lot of really good case arguments.
I really enjoy a sold 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 3+ different bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions.
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. Done well, I do think aff fw arguments can be really useful.
I see the utility in core topic counterplans. 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 complicated and convoluted counterplans.
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.
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.
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.
-Let's just try to have grace with each other. Sometimes online debates are smooth and other times they are not.
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.
to win my ballot beat the other persons arguements.
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.
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
e. framework and the time of trump - im pretty sure trump is showing why political has always been about how to make america white again. so take that with a grain of salt. In addition to this things that should be known, Im pretty sure I default K affs are a net postive thing in debate, and iterations of arguements of why they should be excluded will 100% not win my ballot espically against K's talking about racial violence, gendered violence, colonialism. Honestly anything that is not post-modernism this statement is 100% truth.
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.
I debated at Missouri State for three years and had moderate success. I am now a graduate student studying communications.
I tend to read policy args more often than others. I want to refrain from intervening in the debate as much as possible. Extinction is probably bad but I am willing to hear otherwise. 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 on impacts and not enough of the debate on the link story, this is where you should start.
-I like impact turns that still consider norms of morality.
-Condo is good.
-Fairness is not an impact within itself but might be an internal link to something.
-Kritiks are interesting. Explain your stuff.
-I usually start at 28.5 and go up or down based on performance. Weighing impacts, evidence comparison, strategic decisions, and judge instruction goes 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.
Currently a sophomore 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
Who are you affiliated with?
I coach for Harvard. I attended UMKC.
Email for chain?
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.
Ask a question if you desire an answer not covered by the above statements.
Last Updated - pre-TOC '21
Good job surviving eDebate. This has been an incredibly hard season for us all as both competitors and people. Be proud of yourself, because I'm genuinely proud of all of you.
You'd think I wouldn't have to say this, but apparently I do: if opponents make reasonable requests for accommodations regarding personal trauma, disabilities, identities, etc before the round starts and you do not meet those accommodations, I absolutely can and will vote against you on principle. The same goes for doing things in the round that actively makes debate as a space unsafe for people. You cannot change this stance and I will lose zero sleep over it.
This is at the top because I know it's why you're here - the tier list for framework 2NR tricks/impacts is:
S: “Clash turns and outweighs the case because persuasion and complex thinking/research skills”
A: “Procedural fairness means no incentive to research the aff or play the game” (not my personal 2NR but I'll happily hear this done well if its your thing)
B: Skills/topic ed, I guess
C: Literally anything else, shouting random buzzwords about third/fourth level testing without explanation of the impact
FF: “Fairness means you can't evaluate the aff because it hasn't been tested yet,” “small schools” (I will almost certainly not vote on the latter and will loathe you for making me vote on the former)
"Trill recognize trill shalt be the whole of the law." - me
VERY IMPORTANT: Before the debate, both teams/debaters can give me recommendations for a song/s to listen to during prep time, which I will do, and if I vibe with it I may bump speaks.
Because everyone seems to have one of these sections these days - will update as time goes on.
Policy 2020-21 - CJR - This topic sucks. Please, god, can we have some innovation from my K team buddies? Getting tired of Coppell DR knockoffs. My usual "topic ed is the worst framework impact" stance is still in effect, but it is far better on this topic than others. Topicality questions I don't have many hardline stances on, mainly because nothing in this topic is a real term of art which sucks, but abolition affs are probably T.
LD JF21 - LAWs - Good research and good mastery of that research will be rewarded with a bump in speaks, because this is legitimately the best topic LD has had in years for good debates grounded in robust literature (even though the division of ground fucking sucks). Love arms control debates. (Still) questioning whether or not single state affs are T, mainly because to me "bans" in arms control usually means international laws/externally imposed - did South Africa "ban" itself from having a nuke? Haven't entirely made up my mind, mostly just think those affs are cheaty/too good. Phil stuff seems wacky good on this topic.
"Who is this guy?"
Jack C Hays '19
UH Debate '23
Conflicts 2020-21 -
I am a consultant for Westside High School's policy team, mainly working with Westside SK and Westside RY.
In addition, I currently coach Trinity Valley KK, Coppell VS, Plano West DJ, Garland LY, Live Oak RS, Westlake AK, *inhale* Perry JA, Cooper City NR, Los Altos BF, and Cardinal Gibbons RS in LD.
I have previously coached Lovejoy KC, George Ranch NS, Lindale PP, Newsome DB (before he quit lol), Princeton TK (very briefly) and Memorial DX.
I have a personal friendship with Plano East NG, so I conflict him too.
I graduated from Jack C Hays HS in 2019.
Don't call me "judge" or any other honorific please. Patrick is fine. Fox is fine if you don't wanna call me Patrick.
"What does he think debate is?"
Debate is a competitive activity centered around research, argumentation, and persuasion. I am an educator who's job it is to adjudicate the competitive aspect of the activity and enable growth and progression of the students in all the others. There are two teams (or two debaters), and they are the only people taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on the arguments made by the debaters, with regards to both what the arguments they make are as well as how they tell me to evaluate them within the constraints of my ability to do so and meeting the threshold for a complete argument. The debate will take place within the constraints of the tournament set speech and prep times, and at the end I will submit a decision with one winner and loser. If you try and tell me that anything outside of this set of statements is "binding" on my "jurisdiction" as a judge, you are simply blatantly incorrect and I will deeply resent you trying to tell me how to do my job.
"So how should I pref him?"
While its kind of a cop-out, the most honest answer is "it depends." That being said, overall I tend to be mostly tech over truth, in that my threshold for a complete/coherent argument is very rigid (and probably higher than the current LD meta, lol), but if what you say meets it, go off. Robust explanation of good arguments and explicit comparison is a safer bet with me than blippy nonsense that relies on stuff going unanswered.
I'm very expressive. Read my non-verbals.
"Okay well, should I pref him..."
"...if I'm a policy kid?"
Yeah, sure. I'm a journalist external to debate, so I genuinely enjoy dense, technical research and value good evidence highly, but none of that matters if you can't do the work to explain it. I will most likely read key cards after the round (although it's ideally because I'm just confirming the 2N/AR's explanation of evidence, not just to figure out what it said for myself).
- My ideal policy 1AC is two well constructed advantages with robust internal link evidence to 3-4 different impact scenarios. Fewer big impacts with better internal links > shotgunned extinction scenarios with 5 second cards. I expect case debate as I expect the sun to rise - 0% risk probably isn't a thing but I still think that if there's negligible risk of the aff vs the DA I'm inclined to just not vote for you. Good impact turns are underutilized, as debaters are cowards. Courage will be rewarded.
- My ideal 2AC/1AR/2AR to the K gives concise, technical arguments and contextualizes offense to the aff's internal links - you may not know the K better than the 2N, but you should definitely know your aff; use it. Some evidence is probably essential, but moderate cards + aff explanation and spin > The Dump (TM). Impact framing/comparison is often lost - the 2AR solely on Framework + case o/w + link defense is not only welcome, but appreciated.
- My ideal 2NR on a DA articulates a clear warrant for turns case as well as an external impact, and does a lot of work on comparative risk. Politics is fine and dandy, but the Rider DA is a godless abomination. Uniqueness > link, because nothing else makes sense. Not much to say here. Do it.
- CPs are very cool and well-researched process CPs in particular are literally my favorite args (which means ConCon and consult don't count, lol). Default to sufficiency framing because why wouldn't I? Condo and negation theory are good and probably infinite (LD: its still good but less infinite, after like 4 condo I become more sympathetic), but I think judge kick is godless and will very much try not to kick the CP for you (basically unless the 2AR straight drops judge kick, don't count on it).
"...if I'm a K person?"
Absolutely. These are the debates I think about the most these days, and I do a lot of reading and research in this area both inside and outside of debate. Outside of debate, I'm a disabled Marxist. I say this not to discourage you from reading non-disability/Marxist/etc positions, but to let you know this is where I come from - I've researched and coached more or less every K in this activity. Good K debaters are (imo), no matter what their background, organized and technical, with lots of contextual and specific explanations/examples.
- K affs should defend a shift from the status quo to solve an impact - if I do not think this is the case by the end of the 2AR, I will err super heavily negative because, shockingly, affs should defend things. Presumption is underexploited by the negative, but most presumption args should be less about the ballot and more about solvency (or lack thereof). Explaining why debating your aff is valuable is crucial. Overviews are fine but as time goes on, returns diminish. Case debate is essential, and I'm pretty good for the impact turn - I think the aff should be able to explain to me what it does and why it's good, which means saying those things are actually bad is obvious fair game. Wanna restate - the less 2As defend the more annoyed I get.
- Neg blocks/2NRs vs policy affs should be highly organized, overviews kept to a minumum, and most explanation done on the lbl. Organizing your 2NC/1NRs to mirror the 2AC order is good. Link debate on the permutation, framework on framework, etc. Framework should be a model of debate, so "reps first" isn't really an argument. Links should be contextualized to disprove why I should vote for the aff (whether the aff is a policy or a research object - tell me which!), and should be impacted out to some sort of turns case or external piece of offense. Examples - lines from aff ev, references to CX, etc - do them. If I don't know what the alt does by the end of the 2NR my threshold for the 2AR goes way down. Impact framing and comparison is often forgotten in these debates, and should be present in the block/2NR. Floating PIKs should be set up explicitly in the block (LD: if it's not set up in the 1NC, the 2AR gets new responses - you don't have a block! When does it "float?"), and if I miss it, that's your fault for trying to cheat. 2NRs that go for the PIK that don't robustly explain what the PIK actually looks like tend to lose to the perm, so explicitly re-contextualizing the alternative is probably in your interest - the one policy panel I've sat on was because of this.
- K v K debates - stuff gets muddled very fast in these debates, so examples + organization + clear impacting out of arguments is the winning move. I could be convinced "no perms in a method debate" may be a good argument in the abstract, but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of one in most debates. Read Marxism at your own risk - perversions of the immortal and revolutionary science and revisionist nonsense like "socialism is when healthcare" or "talking about racism is neoliberal" will make me more annoyed and I'd rather you just go for framework than be an annoying socdem.
- Gonna be transparent - I haven't been in many performance debates. That being said, I like it, I coach this more and I'm actively working to think about it more. If this is your thing, don't be deterred from doing it, just be aware this isn't my background.
"...if I expect clash debates?"
Most definitely. I am very far from both "Framework is genocide" and "no plan no ballot" types, which makes me a pretty ideal mutual pref for these rounds imo. I think on a capital-T truth level I err slightly aff for reasonability reasons, but my actual voting record errs slightly neg - do with this what you will.
- Affs - I think some form of dialogue/role for negation is good and there should be a general telos and stasis for discussions - my ideal affirmative articulates a model of debate that has both but impact turns the negative's specific stasis point/telos i.e: not "debate is bad" but "their model of debate is bad, ours is better." There is a value to debate and I intuitively think it's important to be able to preserve and explain it, even if there's disagreement over what said value is.
- Negatives - TVAs and SSD don't need to solve the content of the aff, but debating them needs to solve the aff impact turns/offense (or at least most of it - I think of this stuff through sufficiency framing). 2NRs lose when they don't collapse and explain a terminal impact or comparative i/l work on limits/ground. They also lose when they don't mention the aff at all. They win by doing all of the above. Hanging out/working with Evan Alexis has made me more convinced fairness is an external impact, but it rarely gets explained enough to be one - "sure, debate is a competition, but why do I care?" is common in my RFDs. I like game theory research, and if you wanna get good at framework you should too.
- All of the above can be changed by good enough (or bad enough) debating. I've voted aff on impact turns to debate itself with no counterinterp (cringe), and voted neg on "topic debating is good because we all should be lawyers someday" (also cringe). To me, Framework (and good 2ACs to it) are about the process of debate over the course of a topic/season rather than the content of individual rounds/arguments. As such, "state good/bad" or even "topic good/bad" doesn't really make sense as a response to/argument for Framework.
"...if I'm a phil debater?"
Maybe. Not the most well versed in these debates (although I do coach them a lot more lately), and there are just better judges for these rounds you could pref, but I genuinely enjoy them and find them interesting, and I think I historically give pretty alright decisions in these rounds.
- Clear explanation and explicit interactions are good. I find these debates are simultaneously too blippy and also too top-heavy, and making sure you avoid both will help your chances a lot.
- I'm well versed in certain philosophies of ethics, but my issue is explaining how that translates to an impact metric in a debate round, so explain this stuff like I'm a well-read non-debater I guess?
- If you're going for phil affs vs the K, pref me a bit higher - I find these interactions interesting and actually do like these debates, provided they don't devolve into blippy nonsense and there's genuinely robust contestation.
"...if I'm a tricks machine?"
Please god no. I despise these debates and my threshold for these arguments is gonna be substantially higher. I will (begrudgingly) vote on them if a clear claim/warrant/impact is asserted and won (which is rare, but happens), but these debates are legitimately emotionally exhausting for me to judge because of how banal and infuriating I find them and I'm seriously gonna start tanking speaks moving forward for a prioris/TT/skep/logcon/etc. Also not voting on condo logic/tacit conditonals.
"...if I'm a theory debater?"
At your own risk. Lower for tons of spammy shells, higher for more policy-esque topicality debates, between the two for Nebel. I've been told my evaluation of these debates is erratic when interactions aren't very clear in very dense 2NRs, but I also did coach Aditya, so it's not like I know nothing. The wonkier the shell, the greater my threshold for winning it is.
- Topicality is a question of predictable models of the topic, which I believe is determined by research and literature. As such, I value evidence with intent to define terms of art more than good limits in the abstract. LDers: This doesn't mean semantics, it's actually the opposite - I care much more about topic literature consensus than grammar, because the latter has much less to do with how topics play out. You can go for semantics, but tread carefully. Offense/defense because why wouldn't I. Reasonability and competing interps could go either way in these debates, but reasonability is a question of the aff's interpretation, not what the aff did. Saying "the aff is/n't reasonably T" makes no sense to me, because it's about whether their model of debate is reasonable. Linguistic descriptivism > prescriptivism.
- Paragraph theory good, RVIs bad, disclosure good. These are predispositions I have (along with the condo stuff above) that are quite difficult (but not impossible) to debate out of.
- LDers: The universe is not infinitely expanding - nobody in theoretical physics has thought this was a thing since about the late 2000s - expansion is finite and constrained by the total amount of matter/energy that exists, so it'll eventually stop. This is where theories about the heat death of the universe comes from. Nick Bostrom is a moron and I'll never forgive him for popularizing this (and other) nonsense. Big pet peeve.
- LDers: Not voting on any sort of shell about clothes or people's behavior. It's worthless and annoying at best and violent at worst. Stop it.
- LDers: 2NRs on shells should focus less on lots of blips and more on sitting down and explaining internal links with explicit comparison. Treat it like a topicality 2NR in that regard and your chances of winning go way up, otherwise I may intervene to resolve unclear parts of the debate in ways you dislike.
- LDers: 1AR theory is fine, but again, impact out stuff very explicitly and don't leave it in my hands to decide.
- LDers: I'm evaluating every part of the debate after the 2AR. Trying to change this loses you 0.1 speaks for every speech you exclude.
"What about the weird pet peeves and thoughts every judge has but always forget to put in their paradigms?"
This will be updated over time, but...
Deeply uncomfortable voting on "this person did this thing and that's bad" unless I literally see it. I don't feel comfortable evaluating the conduct of minors who I don't know outside of these very limited interactions.
"Perm, do both" isn't an argument by itself and if this is all you say I will treat it as a new argument in your next speech when you explain it.
People who say "winning X means u auto-affirm/negate" annoy me because its never that simple or clean.
Inserting re-highlighting of opponent's cards? Fine and dandy. Inserting whole cards from different parts of the article? Gotta read it.
Not okay with cards about debate written by active debaters at the time of authorship. Non-negotiable. Won't flow them. Sorry.
My debaters have pointed out when people go for indexicals, if I decide under my index that these arguments aren't real and I don't need to flow them it's impossible to deny this. Will be thinking about this moving forward.
The best way to make me want to claw my eyes out is overly semantic debates over Role of the Ballot/Judge. I vote for who wins. These arguments are cop-outs for actual framing arguments 9/10 debates. No clue why people pretend these arguments are magically above any other framing argument in the debate because you used a cheeky four-word phrase.
Mich KM hasn't been funny for years (if they ever were) and I only recommend showing me your shitty Will Morgan impression if you want a 27. Glorify predators if you want, but don't expect me to vibe with it.
That being said, debaters who display the true Poster's Spirit will be rewarded handsomely.
If me and Ali Abdulla are on a panel together there's like a 90% chance we vote the same way.
Stealing prep time annoys the hell out of me. Don't.
Most of you don't understand Lacan well enough to go for it.
I will protect the 2NR like a mother protecting her firstborn.
Might give extra points for authors/args and cards I haven't seen before in K debates - I like rewarding original research over backfile recycling.
Long "framing contentions" alone are not good ways to answer DAs, but using them in conjunction with smart i/l defense is cool.
I decide most debates very fast. Like sub two minutes for a decision. Even in close rounds. Don't take it personally.
I enjoy small talk, actually.
"Wow, that was certainly, uh, thorough. Anything else?"
Debate should be a safe space for everyone. Respect pronouns, respect people's personhood, etc.
Debate should also be fun! Jokes, charisma, and being interesting to judge (even if it includes some pandering, lol) will all boost speaks.
Stolen from 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.
Finally, a wager, as I am a gambling man at heart - if the 2AR/2NR sits down early, +0.3 speaks for every 30s saved if you win, but -0.3 speaks for every 30s if you lose. Your move.
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 my pronouns are she/her/hers. I'm a freshman in college, and this is my seventh year in debate, consisting of two years in middle school and four years in high school with Heights. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 7/10. However, as I've not judged much this year, it might be smart to start at a 5 or 6 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 is 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- Framework 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 | email@example.com
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 8/1/19):
The End of the World
Everything is telling me
it’s the end of the world:
the deadly new viruses,
the ozone layer,
the ant cavorting with the grasshopper,
and his message, cold and curt.
But other things change my mind:
the clouds that always know their way,
the seashell that hasn’t quite disclosed all,
the wishes tossed with coins into the fountain,
and the flower, waiting to happen.
Affiliation: University of Houston
I’ve been judging since 2011. As of the start of the Space topic I had judged the second most College Policy rounds in the era of tabroom of any judge. Jackie Poapst was the only person ahead of me, close behind me were Armands Revelins and Daniel Stout. 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.
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 has begun to ooze its way out of High School debate and into College Debate. I think 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, please make an email chain. Even in LD and PF. All you need to include are cut cards, but calling for evidence wastes so much time.
Short version: Don’t adapt too much to me. Do what you do best and I’ll adjudicate it. I like fast debates, I view things through an offense-defense lens, and I think good final rebuttals write the ballot for me.
Who am I? I debated 1 year of LD and 3 years of Policy at Fox Chapel AHS in Pittsburgh. I have read all styles of argumentation. In my junior and senior years, I read mostly Policy arguments, while as a sophomore, I was a one-off K debater. Also, I was a 2N. I will tend to have a high level of Policy topic knowledge. I cut cards for other events, so I have peripheral knowledge of those.
Note for LD
I have a much higher threshold for theory than most judges, so if you choose to go for theory, you need to be winning a high risk of offense from your standards. I have a great deal of sympathy for reasonability arguments against theory that isn't Topicality. Also, for prefs, LARP>K>phil>trad>>>theory>tricks.
Note for PF
First, please don't see my paradigm and debate in a way that you're uncomfortable with. Second, on the burden of rejoinder. I'll leave it up to the debaters to read theory if they want me to do something else, but I'll otherwise default to thinking that starting in rebuttal, any argument from the previous speech that isn't answered in the current speech will be considered dropped. Case doesn't need to be extended until summary, but if an argument isn't in summary, it can't be in final focus. Hopefully, this leads to strategic concessions and argument choice (just going for your strongest contention or strongest internal link or whatnot), but it remains to be seen.
Policy v Policy: My bread and butter. Don’t make me sad by having blippy debates. Impact turns are dope.
CP’s: I strongly believe that infinite conditionality is good. I probably lean neg on most other CP theory issues, except plainly stupid ones like Delay and sometimes Consult. For cheating CP’s, the Aff is much better suited to go for Perm: do the CP in front of me (if they win that their interpretation of competition is more debatable). As the Aff, it also might be worth it to try tricky perms (severance, intrinsic) to beat tricky CPs.
My favorite CP’s are highly specific to the Aff and potentially rehighlight Aff evidence.
DA’s: Love them. Read them. More specific = better. Neg blocks that extend varied warrants at each level of the debate make 1AR’s hard. When appropriate, 1AR’s that go for UQ overwhelms the link make me happy.
T (vs. plans): I default to Competing Interps. Very familiar with Policy topic interps and their nuances. I’ll evaluate them like a DA most of the time. Unless the Aff wins reasonability, they need offense to win T. I think overlimiting is a thing.
K lit? I’ve read a variety of it. As a debater, I mostly read things like Cap, Biopower, Security, Psychoanalysis. I’m also somewhat familiar with the literature surrounding K's of SetCol and Anti-Blackness. I'm less familiar with other K's relating to identity and high theory, but that just means you need to contextualize your explanations a little more.
K Affs v T: I've been on both sides of these debates. I’m sympathetic to the idea that offense from the Aff is offense against T, but I’m also sympathetic to arguments about clash and limits. If equally debated (which never happens btw), I lean neg in these debates. TVA's as CP's make little sense to me.
K v K: This should be fun. I think saying “no perms in a method debate” is vacuous absent substantiation of the claim. Root cause debates are probably important. The more specific links are to the Aff, the more likely I am to give negs all of their offense. The more that your links sound like a cede-the-political shell, the more I cry.
Policy Affs v. K: I love these debates and have had a lot of them (on both sides). If your style as the negative is more oriented towards treating K’s like a DA and CP, stick to that, but I think K’s are most powerful when aspects of framework are involved. Bonus points if the links create some uniqueness and you kick the alt. I'm less sympathetic to negative frameworks that tell me to ignore the Aff and more sympathetic to frameworks that implicate the truth claims of the Aff.
Assistant Debate Coach: Baton Rouge Magnet
Former Coach: Omaha Westside, Lindenwood University, Southern Methodist University
Debated at KCKCC and Millard South High SchoolTop Level
Not gonna lie... kind of a wild card situation.
One year I got to judge finals of CEDA, that was really cool! I sat though...
For some reason I find myself in a lot of 7 off type debates, I think it's an archaic model of debate, but, nonetheless, I am capable of making a sound decision.
I very seldom read evidence unless there is a dispute about the meaning of evidence in the round, or it is an absolute tie breaker situation
THE LINK RULES THE GAME - LINK DIRECTION ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY DETERMINES HOW I EVALUATE AND COMPARE IMPACTS
I evaluate Offense before Defense
I don't believe in topicality; I'll vote for it (I'm Lying) and my teams might run it on occasion, but I don't believe in the idea that we should limit knowledge production to a certain side of the library...
The Framework debate for me is won by Topical Version of the aff solving enough of the aff's impacts to resolve the limits DA... I'll also vote for your framework if you win that it fosters better skills.
Frankly, I just don't care what topic the aff talks about, I only care that the aff does something that changes the way things are... with that being said I am a lot more negative oriented when it comes to theory debates... I don't think the aff should get to tell the negative what to do... none of this is universal... but I just find myself lost in most technical theory debates.Being Negative is Hard
I think the negative has to win a reason why the aff is BAD or WORSE in order to win my ballot... they don't do x is not a link, and in my mind when you rest your hat on that argument the aff has enough room in the debate to say "at least we did something else that's still good"
Your alt/cp does nothing for me without a link... even if the 2ac drops it.. i don't care unless there is reason I can tell the aff that they make the world worse. If it is dropped i still need to understand what i am voting for... i will 100 percent not assume any impact or link that is not explained or understood by me on the flow and from a previous speech.
I have voted on no aff solvency many times but it involved shutting a lot of doors on the aff's flexibility and winning that solving x was key to every advantage the aff can claim.
I like plan flaws, i like pics... i love being negative and a lot of the teams I coach win about equal to or more neg rounds... i just think the negative has to assume predictable pivot points the aff can take via winning an advantage or an external net benefit.
After Grapevine 2020 i've decided to change the way I do speaker points... My base will now be a 28 (previously 27.5) I realized i've been doing a disservice to people who are really good speakers.
Fairness is not an Impact
TVAs are just floating PICS and i find the permutation very persuasive
I vote against my personal beliefs a lot
I think it's a shame
Truth > Tech
BOTTOM LINE IS - I WANNA BE CONVINCED OF SOMETHING IN A DEBATE... I WANNA FEEL ENGAGED... I WANNA SEE A DEBATE WHERE PEOPLE ARE LESS AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING RADICALLY DIFFERENT...
Updated Before GDI Tournament
jgriff22 at nd dot edu
Debate alum from Jesuit (2015-2019, surveillance topic to immigration topic, always a 2A/1N). Part-time assistant for Jesuit (2020-present). Assistant at GDI (2021).
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.
Virtual Debate Notes
Slow down more than usual. If you have significant tech issues, please 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.
K Affs and Framework/T-USfg
I haven’t judged too many of these debates and don’t have a significant bias towards either side. 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. 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.
"call me water because i vote by following the path of least resistance." - edmond wen
i’m studying biology and africana studies at johns hopkins. my debate philosophy is profoundly influenced by michael koo and joseph barquin.
active affiliations: colleyville cz, little rock lp, baltimore city college, beacon high school
people seem to not take this part of my paradigm seriously, but i mean it – the speed at which y’all debate at is unnecessary or detrimental. take your time, be purposeful with your speed, and slow down. do not go at lightspeed just because you can. i promise you can deliver warrants and implications at a slower pace; you do not need to card dump at 500wpm.
pf toc: dumping a bunch of cards on me and then not implicating them to show the effect on the link chains in this round, but tagline extending instead, is not debating. do not expect speaks above a 27.5 if you do this – clash and warrant. this is true even if you’re going for something cold conceded.
^ also, start setting up the email chain shortly before the official start time so we can get going. thanks!
tech determines truth – this is my general principle except for oppressive positions such as “x-ism good” or “the usfg should bomb (anywhere in the global south)” – do not read anything in this vein in front of me lest you risk a swift loss and the lowest speaks i can give.
i like k debate, i hate american hegemony.
but really – i can judge other strategies and styles, and i’ve thought “the 2nr should’ve been framework” too much for me to believe i hack against it. although i sincerely believe we can all do better than arguing for american hegemony, i’m technical enough to vote for it… but the impact turn is very persuasive c:
at the end of the day, just collapse on the path of least resistance (said it twice, so you know this is important to me). this lets me know how sharp your round vision is and it will be well rewarded in speaks. please warrant and implicate your arguments. be comparative in rebuttals – layer, frame, and filter the arguments! if you leave me with unresolved issues, you will likely hate the assumptions i make, so fill in the gaps for me.
tidbits: (1) do not read tricks in front of me, i am not a kid. (2) when asked to look at cards, i will only check to see whose articulation of the evidence is more accurate, so you still need to have evidence spin. (3) engage case – hard to vote neg when you let the aff run away with the 1ac. (4) implicate the ontology debate!! why do you win the round if your thesis is true? (5) topicality and theory debates are the hardest for me to resolve – you need to be extremely clear with robust explanations. (6) if this applies -- please have a screenshot of the violation ready in the doc/email chain before you start your speech. (7) evidence should be cards -- this is especially a problem in pf -- if you send ev in a format where i cannot verify its integrity, your speaks will drop and i may discount the ev and the argument it serves entirely.
do not post-round me in bad faith. it's extremely... ironic, how some of y'all will read arguments about racial equity, even within debate, and then yell at a femme of color once the round is over. either write me off as a bad judge and move on, or learn from it.
Put me on the email chain please! email@example.com
A little about myself: I debated until my graduation in 2018 at College Prep (qualified to the TOC in policy). I'm currently a junior 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, and currently working in Chicago with the wonderful people at Lane Tech. I cut a lot of cards for Lane Tech, and the TOC will be my 9th official tournament judged this year, so I'm pretty familiar with the topic.
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 suggest that people read the section of James Mollison's paradigm beginning "Many of the debates that I judge are what I call “a double loss.”" Here's a link to it.
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 havw 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.
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 where everyone goes fast and is borderline incomprehensible, 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 the real world 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 (which I expect will be fairly common given it's the TOC), my point range will be from [28.8, 29.5]. From coaching Sam & Cam this year and working at a school that has very minimal policy debate resources, I understand debaters work incredibly hard to get to the Tournament of Champions. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 do Policy Debate (CX) at Elkins High School in Missouri City,TX for 3 years.
Add me on the chain - email@example.com
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 "Passing criminal justice reform means Trump 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).
Overall: This sounds simple but it can be difficult, at the end of the round my ballot should sound like the begining of the 2AR or the 2NR. I would like you to explicitly implicate your arguments and form for me the basic idea of why I should vote for you. The best debaters tend to do this at the begining of every 2NR and 2AR.
Disadvantages: I don't like DA's with uniqueness counter-plans, other than that almost any disadvantage is acceptable.
Counter-plans: the legitimacy of counter-plans should always be called into question. why would you just let a team steal most your offense? I normally don't buy X type of counter-plan is a voter, however, I am more likely to vote for it as a reason to disallow the counter-plan. The burden of proof in those situations is much different, to win it is a voter you have to argue that debate is fundamentally impossible to do when X type of counter-plan is introduced. (an example might be Consult Counter-plans don't test the means or necessity of plan action makes it impossible to garner offense without conceding a DA, makes any choice the aff makes a bad choice.) However with rejecting the argument as the standard, I'd be willing to ask the question "Does this Counter-plan make the debate more or less educational, more or less fair. If it makes debate less educational and less fair then that is a sufficient reason to reject the counter-plan.
Kritiks: Theory wise sees counter-plans. Floating PIKS theory needs a Link. Clear and precise (Link-Impact-AltSolves-Perm doesn't) analysis is the quickest way for me to the pull the trigger on the kritik. If you can explain that full chain and I buy your analysis you're in a good place on the kritik (assuming you're not losing framework/theory/impact weighing. )
Framework: I think it's generally accepted that Affs should read frameworks that let them weigh their impacts against any kritik, also I generally think the aff is right they should be able to defend the fiat of the 1AC i.e. their impact claims shouldn't be wished away. Note to aff teams just because you win framework does not mean that you have answered the various impact framing arguments in the round, I've heard several times "but on framework they conceded we get to weigh our impacts." my response is then "Sure, but you don't win that we have any Value to Life in that world/that these threats are constructed and not real/that/etc. I don't think this is controversial at all.
Role of the Ballot: so unlike some people I don't think you have to explicitly state "our Role of the ballot is" while helpful sometimes one could also say "this debate round should be about x" or the "Role of the Judge is X" all of these are competing claims on how I should approach my ballot how I should vote, what my ballot means etc.
Kritik AFFs: I prefer affs that defend a topical plan for a kritikal reason i.e. we shouldn't surveil African Americans, followed by claims about how surveillance of black bodies is bad. versus just standing up and saying "Black bodies are surveilled that's terrible you have some kind of ethical decision making to vote aff, here's Memimi." This is a prefrence and doesn't mean i stop listening when an alternative debate style is defended its just what i find is the best solution to winning in front of me on a kritikal affirmative.
Framework (NEG): Framework can be a viable option for teams debating affs without plan text etc, as long as you answer and deal with the larger education/Fairness claims the aff is inevitably going to lob your way. You could win debate would be awesome with just policy affs but if you concede that this is a form of white settlerism that dominates and erases Native Americans from existence you tend to lose rounds on framework.
Components: need a clear and precise interp that allows you to skirt the offense of the aff, need a clear and precise "topical version of the aff", need to win switch-side debating is in fact good, need to win it's possible for X or Y type of people to enter into the political, do political actions, embrace politics or some other variant of "X type of people can do policy debate", finally need to win an impact. Do those have a solid shot of winning my ballot.
A couple of thoughts before I address specific arguments
not a good idea to read disclosure theory in front of me unless some shenanigans happened before the round that you can prove, I will vote on it, but it will not be an enjoyable round for me.
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.
I would like to be on the email chain, email@example.com
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: Not my speciality, 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, my threshold for framework/T arguments will go down if you can't defend how you are directionally related, that's not to say though 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 opponents 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.
I would like to be included in any email chains.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 studying law at the University of Houston. I'm fine with any argument. 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 am trying to substantially cut down on the amount of evidence I read. I've been leaning more towards the idea that my decision should mostly be based on what is said in round, as opposed to what the evidence says. That doesn't mean I won't read your evidence if you specifically point me towards a certain card, or that I won't read your opponents evidence if you tell me it contradicts what they are claiming. What it does mean is you have to point those things out to me, and that I'm not going to go back after the debate and read through your evidence to find all the warrants supporting your arguments. Those should be made in your speech, and my new focus on reading that evidence is mostly to make sure that the warrant is actually there.
I'm not too familiar with a lot of the kritikal literature bases besides Virilio, 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'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.
Hey y'all! I'm Kiran, I debated LD for 2 years at Cypress Woods High School, and I now do policy debate at the University of Houston.
For docs, my email is email@example.com
I'm good with spreading, but please be clear and concise. Slow down for tags and analytics
PLEASE WEIGH and compare evidence, this is the best way to win rounds
I will evaluate the round how you tell me to, so please directly engage with your opponent's arguments instead of just piling your arguments on top of theirs
Please sign-post and compartmentalize arguments, so for example on a DA, be specific with moving between the uq, link, and impact debate.
Please provide short overviews, and tell me where to flow them
Theory is fine as an actual strategy or a time suck, but there should be A LOT of work done in the block in order for you to go for it in the 2nr
I mostly like topical debates, and I really enjoy a thorough case debate! However, this needs clear explanations and weighing rather than just throwing evidence at me.
I've read a few Ks before, not my favorite, so please explain this in detail, and I will have an easier time evaluating them
Speaks: A smart cross-ex, clear sign posting, and clean technical debating will increase your speaks
Feel free to send me questions, and have fun y'all! :)
New Note - I'm totally uninterested in adjudicating arguments that endorse self harm, suicide, or purposeful death. 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 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].
I am a coach at the University of Texas-Austin and Westwood High School. Conflicts: Texas, Westwood, Polytechnic, St Vincent de Paul, Bakersfield High School
Email Chain: yes, firstname.lastname@example.org
I judge around 100 debates a year or so, [I've been told I'm 126 so far this year as of Heart of Texas] I'll do my best to adapt to you and your style, whatever that might be.
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.
Everyone seems to have intense clashphobia these days - this isn't about policy or k debate, its across the board and going for the least covered option seems to be everyone's mantra. I get why you think that's strategic, but typically it results in shallow rebuttals, frustrating decisions, 1-1-1 panels and lower points. Specific AFF/NEG research that demonstrate the third and fourth level testing everyone seems to think is important wil be rewarded with higher points. All in on "not our ___" will not.
I flow CX, unless its some random clarification question you forgot I will stop flowing CX after 3 minutes. The "I'm going to ask a million questions while my partner preps their 2NC" has gotten ridiculous.
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. 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.
I'm a lot better for framework that sounds closer to T with a limits and clash as the primary impacts then the soliloquy on the most superior model for debate. Clash as the most important internal link to education/fairness/skills/game etc. is usually more persuasive to me than other arguments on T.
-If your CP competes based on the certainty or immediacy of the plan, it doesn't take a ton on theory for me to reject the counter plan.
-I won't kick it for you unless you tell me to. Judge kick makes more sense to me than it used to, but I still think the AFF can win it shouldn't be allowed.
-"perm do both" or "perm do cp" with no explanation isn't a complete argument. I get that given negative off-case prolif sometimes this feels inevitable, but I'm confident results will improve if you give warrants for any permutation that you think it's likely will find its way into the 2AR.
-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
Current affiliations: Leland || he series || Rounds on CJR topic: 44
Yes, put me on email chains: email@example.com
1. Do what you do best... Although I've never had a big name or the most experience in debate, I've engaged a lot of the literature bases it 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 grand 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 in your favor.
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 twice per speech and then stop flowing if it remains unclear.
4. On CX: I'll flow portions I think are important. Tag-team is fine, but monopolization is not. Asking if your opponent did/did not read a piece of evidence is definitionally a cross-examination question and must be done during CX or prep.
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; why should I vote for you on T when I don't understand why your model of debate is better? Be creative with your interpretations!
I find myself about 60-40 partial to competing interpretations.
CPs - The block/2NR should hammer home a convincing internal/external net benefit(s) and, preferably, specific Solvency deficits to the Aff that the CP resolves. The threshold for me voting for a CP decreases based on how well it competes and the presence of detailed reasoning as to why I should prefer it to the plan and perms. Generally, however, 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 here. These biases are far from absolute, but you should be aware of them.
Two smaller things: 1) I think Aff teams let Neg teams get away with too much with sufficiency framing and should aggressively defend alternatives like competing advocacies, and 2) I tend not to judge kick, you need to win condo and flag otherwise if needed.
DAs - I dig go-ham 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.
The K - Explain the link and alt story well. The least meaningful debates here are when one side goes on and on about the intricacies of their lit base without ever meaningfully engaging the Aff; you're debating, not writing a dissertation. I appreciate 2NCs that demonstrate in-depth understanding of their literature base AND do a good job connecting it directly to the form/content of the Aff; to this end, I'm a big fan of references to/direct quotes from Affirmative speeches and CX to contextualize the link debate. You can ask me before the round/email me on my familiarity with specific literature bases.
Be honest about how long your overview is (don't be afraid to ask for another sheet for it), and if your overview is any longer than three minutes, I'd highly recommend checking if you could move some of the analytical work to the line-by-line.
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 vs. K Affs - Despite what I said above might imply, I love FW debates, especially those that come down to comparing models of education. I think I'm a better judge for skills and SSD-based impacts than for procedural ones like fairness, partly because these procedural impacts are almost always described as vague "intrinsic goods" that I have a more difficult time evaluating than tangible shifts in what debaters get out of the activity. Collapse to a couple of your best external net benefits in the 2NR and do comparative impact work between these and the 1AR, e.g. by impacting out advocacy skills as giving debaters the tools to create movements in the direction of the Aff. Don't get too defensive no matter how hard they push you.
Not all rounds have to have a TVA. Know when you should have one and when you should not.
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 the condo debate. 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 is also not the best way to make a first impression for your shell.
Specific arguments I dislike - New Affs bad, non-falsifiable arguments that cite something from outside the round, Idso, arguments based on personal insults/xenophobia (racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQIA+ language, etc.)
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. Offense-defense is probably easier for Affirmatives, and stock issues are probably easier for Negatives.
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 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 ran psycho and afropess in these debates.
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.
Don't email me after round about anything because I probably won't care enough to respond back.
I have voted neg all year and this is making me sad.
Policy debater at UH.
I do not have strong preferences for any type of argument as long as you give me a reason why you should get my ballot.
I am generally a flow judge. I am generally tech over truth.
HOWEVER, if an argument is absolutely nonsense, I think pointing that out to me will often be enough for me to give you that flow.
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
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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I enjoy Kritiks the most but only with thorough links. My judgement comes from your explanation, not my prior knowledge about the literature.
There's a difference between being assertive and being aggressively rude.
Never concede your time and do not end your speeches before the timer ends.
I welcome every debater to crack jokes, funny rounds are great!
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
I think debate is a game with ways to use the game as a means of reaping external values/impacts. 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 will say 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.
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. Well developed links that are specific and turn case, and a well explained alternative method that resolves the aff links 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.
- 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 an asshole; there's a difference between being rude and being sharp
2020 Virtual Debate Update:
Anyone whose known me for a while in this community can tell you that I resisted the move to paperless debate years ago harder than anyone. However I have resolved to not fall behind on the move to virtual debate. Now with that being said this was the first summer I did not work at a camp and therefore have judged far less virtual debates than I feel I should have going into the season. Until I think I am fully acclimated to the audio differences of virtual debate I would prefer students to go at 85% of top speed. I know people hate hearing they gotta slow down but I think this will help me give the best RFD possible and will reduce me saying "not sure I got that down."
Put me on the chain: email@example.com, typically do not look at the documents other than some cursory glances during prep time. I still may ask for a card doc at the end of the debate to maximize decision time, 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, which means I would appreciate yall slowing down and giving me pen time on counterplan texts and theory arguments. If there is a specific way you would like me to flow give me that instruction and I will do my best to follow it.
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.
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.
Prep time ends when the email has been sent (if 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 my 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.
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)
Assistant Coaching-- Jenks (2012-2015) Reagan (2015-2017) University of Texas (2017-2020) Churchill (2019-Present)
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I am originally from the Greater Los Angeles, California area. I participated in debate in high school, mainly focused on Lincoln-Douglass Debates.
Currently, I am on the University of Houston Debate team, focusing primarily on policy debate. Outside of debate, I am a Political Science and Philosophy Double Major with an interest in going into law school.
My number one thing is please be respectful and kind. We all here to learn and have fun. Especially during these difficult times, please be welcoming. I do not want anyone to feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed.
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.
3. The Aff should have a direct relation to the topic and it should be addressed from the beginning.
4. Please respond to the other team! Do not just simply continue your team's argument. There needs to be a balance between responding to the other team's arguments and then elaborating on yours.
5. With DA's, please be clear and direct about its impact. The impact should be evident and clearly stated. The better the impact, the higher probability that the DA serves its purpose.
6. Counter Plans should specify how doing the CP would be better than just doing the Aff. Just introducing the CP will probably not be enough.
7. I am quite fascinated by Kritiks, they can be extremely fun. Although, do not forget to keep linking it to the original topic. It is easy to continue reading Kritiks and forget to remind the others of its relevance. Please continue articulating on its topicality.
8. 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, so I may be the perfect person to ask!
Good luck, everyone!
email@example.com - 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 debate all 4 years. Read K affs/negs sophomore-senior year. 2A Soph, 2N Junior, 2A Senior.
Debate at UT Austin. FYO.
Coach novices at Westwood HS.
Spreading - Yes
Open CX - Yes
No Plan Text (Varsity/JV)- Yes
No Plan Text (Novice) - No
Kritiks - Yes
Topicality - 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. Anything more, and you put it 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 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. K, DA, CP, T, Impact turns, theory, etc. My debate history was entirely Ks, but don't over adapt to me. Do what you do best.
Reconcile what impacts come first or how to weigh them relative to your opponent's.
Framing pages are really boring. Spark is entertaining. Give me more spark or dedev.
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 actually fiat anything real so it doesn't solve anything" and that will be sufficient for the aff to win the CP.
I don't judge kick unless you tell me to.
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, and Black Nihilism. However, I also have worked with Ks like Agamben, Baudrillard, Foucault, Security, Queer Theory, Psychoanalysis, etc. Pretty much, I won't be scared of whatever you decide to run. That does not mean I will do the work to fill in the analysis for you, though - explain your stuff.
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, then put the work in and win FW by answering their stuff and not just extending yours.
I'm generally quite willing to vote on all the cheaty K tricks like floating PIKS or all in on FW. With being willing to vote on small techy tricks, I'm also fine with voting on the hard right approaches to answering Ks, whether that means going all-in on heg good/impact turning the K.
Identity K's Warning--- I'm not against people reading kritiks outside of their subject position. However, I think that debaters who choose to run these Kritiks are obligated to do the maximum amount of research and practice necessary to make sure they do not bastardize the literature or make a mockery of the argument. You don't get just to pick up the argument, know like 45% of the buzzwords, and call it a day.
Root cause arguments are not links. If your only link is just a root cause then I probably won't give it much weight.
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 in and of itself. On the Wilderson/Warren side -- you need to be justifying your theory of the world way more than just the surface level claims. Saying "Jim crow to prison industrial complex" over and over again does not make a full argument. Ideally, for Wilderson, 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". To me, the "Jim Crow to PIC" explanation requires the thesis level explanation to precede it for it to be true. For both teams -- I've found that most debates are decided 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 far fewer scenarios where that's true.
University K's that claim to PIK out of the university or debate make very little sense to me. If you go for the University K, you would be better off focusing on executing the K differently than the PIK approach.
For the negative - I'm not the best judge for fairness as a terminal impact. I think it's tough to evaluate fairness versus K impacts, 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 a large amount of case mitigation to vote on it. BUT - fairness is a great controlling IL to filter things, so definitely leverage it as a part of other impacts if you go that route.
The one caveat to the above fairness stuff -- hyper-personal affs that don't defend a "strategy" or "theory of power" make me more open to fairness as an impact because I genuinely can't see a role for the negative there. Note: this is not the same thing as like "Warren/Onto Terror - endurance strategies good." Affs of that nature are possible to negate.
Ks are often a great strategy versus a K aff if you do your HW to learn it. 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.
Impacts turns are great and underutilized. Feel free just to drop a rack of offense and challenge the fundamental assumptions of the 1AC. A great debate here will likely get you more speaks than I would normally give just because it's interesting, and the very nature of the argument is that the clash between the teams is more robust.
DAs -- if a K team is trying to be tricky and give you topic DAs. Feel free to call them out on it and drop CP/DAs in the 1NC and GO FOR THEM (but have case answers) A) I think it's disingenuous when the Neg goes for FW and acts like there was zero way to engage when CX of the 1AC explains the aff as in line with the topic, just without a plan text (debate to be had, of course) and B) how many speeches do you think the Aff team has given versus FW and versus a DA?
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, so do that work for me.
Be ready to defend your solvency mechanism. I'm not necessarily holding you to an absurdly high burden, but I need a coherent story if pushed back against, 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 really don't want to have to make a decision on something like that, especially since it doesn't follow traditional understandings of flowing and offense/defense and it effectively requires judge intervention.
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.
Weird and Random Technical Things:
Speech times are a rule, while things like topicality are a norm. What that means is that 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 don't like the awkward moments where people give the 2AC roadmap, and there's a silence or argument while the 2A tries to name the off-case themselves.
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.
I have never judged a trix round and I barely know what trix are. Do with that information as you will.
In order of args Im best suited to judge (best to worst) -- K, LARP, Phil, Trix.
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. This summer, I was a lab leader at the 3-Week Jayhawk Debate Institute. I currently debate for 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 sophomore at the University of Oklahoma. I am studying economics. 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.
--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 firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Be yourself and we will all be great
-- Also, if you are funny (like actually funny), make some jokes (if you can make me laugh, I will give you +.5 speaks)
-- Finally, if you can make some movie references in your speech that are not forced, I will also give you +.5 speaks
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. 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.
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: email@example.com
You know, last year I had this joke where I told people to listen to the main theme of the video game Arms while listening to my paradigm (*arms* sales), but I haven't really thought of an equivalent for this year's topic yet.
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.
[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 honestly didn't end up liking it very much in the end, but 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. Don't have sex at camp. 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, not n u d e s. I mean both parts of that sentence, though I recognize one of the parts is typically relevant only *during* debate rounds.
The only thing I absolutely 100% won't vote for are teams that lose the round. (jk i'm not actually that cocky.)
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]. 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 but like that was their move not *yours*.)
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*.
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]
If you make any references to the Persona franchise, I like cannot give you points because this is varsity but just like please still do. I don't know just say like, "perception shapes reality" instead of "discourse shapes reality," or throw my name into the jingle bells or something idk.
And look I mean on this topic you really shouldn't have too hard of a time making a Persona 5 reference. Just look at the topic: criminal, justice, and reform - all words I associate with Persona 5 albeit not when taken together.
Also sorry for being overly sarcastic and snarky in this judge paradigm. If I’m honest with myself, this might not reflect the true me.
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!
Yes, I want to be on the email chain. Codymorrowtx1@gmail.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Email chain: email@example.com
- Current policy debater at the University of Kansas (2017-present, Healthcare, Executive Authority, Space, Alliances). In university I study mathematics and Russian.
- 4 years of high school policy debate at Shawnee Mission Northwest (2013-2017, Latin America, Oceans, Surveillance, China)
- Please don't call me "judge." It's tacky. My name is Lily.
- 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 will give you a 29 if you show me that you’re smart. I might give you a 30 if I think you're the best debater at the tournament.
- Luv clash debates. I've been on both sides, but recently I only do policy things. 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 if you explain yourself well, but I think in a lot of circumstances 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.
- If you're aff and going for reasonability, "race to the bottom" isn't super compelling. Make arguments about debatability instead.
- 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.
- 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 if there's an argument made about it.
- 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
- I like politics disads a lot. This isn't ideological- I just think they're fun. Make arguments about the math behind polls.
- Explain how the alt solves the links and why the perm doesn't.
- Affs should explain why "moots 1AC" is a bad model. Negs should explain why the links justify mooting the aff.
- Case outweighs 2ARs are 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.
- If there is no net benefit to a counterplan, presumption flips aff. This is a community standard. 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 do not make sense. Topicality is never a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Please put me on the email chain - email@example.com
Preferred pronouns he/him
Barstow 19 — (debated for four years)
Kansas 23 – (I am a sophomore at KU, but have decided to take a break from debate. I debated my freshman year and broke at multiple college tournaments.)
1. Debate what you know best. Demonstrate that knowledge with comparative work on the line by line. I will do my best to leave my own argument preferences at the door and judge to the best of my ability.
2. Judge instruction – The more the better. The last two rebuttals should put the nexus question at the top, explain why you are ahead there and let that frame the rest of the ballot.
3. COVID-19 related – COVID and this year writ large sucks. I have immense respect for everyone, especially this year’s seniors, that have decided to continue with debate. In order to expedite the debate, please try to send emails as efficiently as possible.
1. Policy—I have recently started reading more policy args, but please LOWER your debate theory explanations. 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 analytical work done.
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 on fairness and other standards. I am not asking for you to reinvent the wheel, but please reapply your arguments to the language of the AFF. For example, instead of just stating your education block, tell me why the loss of education is uniquely worse for the AFF’s discussion. Whatever you do, don’t throw away the case 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.
- DA’s and CP’s – I am by all means capable of judging a policy v policy debate but again 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 it.
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!
Post Berkeley 2021 Update:
I feel compelled to call out the blatant misogyny I've witnessed judging rounds recently. Those debaters who are outwardly presenting as male and being a jerk to your opponents, or partner, must stop. I've seen absolutely fantastic speakers who try their hardest to tool outwardly presenting females in debate, and I'm not here for it. I struggle with how to handle these situations when it's your partner and am likely to default to NOT dropping you but can make no promises. I default this way because it punishes your partner as much as it punishes you. I CERTAINLY am going to give you extremely low speaker points up to and including a zero. If you have issues with this activity being inclusive I would strongly encourage you to strike me. If you are doing this to another team we can call it a day, I'm not voting for you. When I see these things happen in round I'm going to call them out during the Oral RFD and put it on the ballot to ensure your coach sees it as well.
Add me to your email chain, but I don't plan to read what there unless evidence is debated or called into question during the round. I will post my email in the chat when I check in for the round.
If I am judging you there is a near certainty that I am volunteering to do this. I am not being financially compensated for my time. I am doing this because I genuinely like to judge. What I like is giving back to an activity that has given me everything and enabled the success I have in The Corporate World. I don't have a team/argument style/agenda that I am pushing. I am here to adjudicate a debate round, and hopefully offer some points of view about how you get better moving forward. Depending on where we are in the year I may offer topic-specific insights OR more general notions of things to try to do differently. I want to have fun judging, I want you to have fun debating, and I want to hear smart arguments.
When I debated my favorite judges were those that were straight forward about preferences and how they would ultimately adjudicate rounds when it was time to fill the ballot out. That being said, I am equally comfortable hearing your 6-minute politics link wall in the block as hearing your extrapolation about why reforming CJR props up The State and re-entrenches The State's agenda and movements within will be co-opted.
I am comfortable with you making arguments at the speed with which you are comfortable, as long as you are clear. My preference is to watch a debate at a high velocity of speaking to ensure the most high-quality arguments are made in the round. Given the fact that we are virtual please ensure that you are not moving at your fastest when reading procedural arguments including voters or high volume theory. Additionally, please ensure a clear transition between arguments as I will be switching to a different sheet of paper.
Tech over truth in the most macro sense of the concept; however, there are exceptions, and pointing those exceptions out without needing to cite an author to back you up is reasonable. If your parent knows the truth over tech in this micro argument then you are very likely good questioning it, disagreeing and moving on with your life. I haven't heard a lot of rounds on the CJR topic where this has come into question but is worth mentioning.
If my camera is off, I'm not listening, unless otherwise noted due to technical issues.
Please have your camera on unless you have extenuating circumstances which prevents that from happening.
Update post ASU: after doing some deep dives on speaker points in the current debate world in high school I have greatly recalibrated how I award speaker points. When I see a great debater give a great constructive and rebuttal I need that debater to be rewarded for that. The zeitgeist has changed, I've adapted. The below is true again on speaker points.
I likely have a lower threshold for high speaker points than other judges. I tend to view debate rounds in a silo and am not weighing your speech against the speech I heard Team X give at Blake last year. You don't need to give an all-time speech to get a 30 from me, you need to give flawless speeches to receive a 30 from me. You can do it, I believe in you. I have no concerns giving out a low point win and don't consider who won a debate round when determining speaker points. You earn bonus points for the following: Clearly having fun, being funny, making smart case arguments, not making generic link arguments (unless it's really just to make a T fairness/education question better), employing tact during CX with your opponents, and framing things consistently throughout the debate round.
Do what you are most comfortable doing in order to win a debate round. Do speak clearly, Do sign-post, Do be fair, Do have fun, Do make the kind of arguments that you have the most fun making that you believe will lead you to a win, Do tell me why you are winning as frequently as possible, Do tell me why the other team is not winning as frequently as possible, Do leverage Impact analysis- Probability and Magnitude are most compelling to me- as frequently as possible, and Do emphasize the important points by referencing back to them or even going as far as to tell me that this point/argument is what this debate round will be decided on at the end of the round!
I tend to view a debate round by every single line on the flow and find arguments about not responding to an argument that represents a line on the flow quite compelling assuming that it is explained why it is unique and why there is an impact. Additionally, each of those lines is likely to be offense or defense at the end of the day. I don't see Defense as things that tend to win many rounds but do tend to lose many rounds when not handled properly.
I am going to flow, I am going to read evidence that is called into question/debated and that argument is not settled during the round. On this note, I would encourage you to do the work for me. There is a good chance that you understand your evidence better than I do and clearly understand the framing of the intention of the author. If I am the one doing the work at the end of the round by needing to read evidence I am likely coming from a less authoritative position on the question at hand than you are. This should be a compelling reason enough for you to articulate why your evidence is better than the other team's evidence, why the context is more relevant, etc.
Things to know for Aff:
If you defend a plan it should be topical. The debate round should be where you decide what topical means; however, I generally do not find spending a disproportionate amount of time on a topicality argument as a compelling reason to vote negative. This means if the Neg goes for T in the 2nr and spends 30 seconds on it then it is not likely that you need to spend half of your 2ar telling me why I should not vote for T.
If you do not defend a plan you should put into context why you are not, or at the very least be prepared for the other team to make that argument. You are going to need to defend uniqueness and impact as to why Aff sans plan is good/preferable to a world where there is a plan.
I appreciate a 2A who leverages the 1AC as answers to arguments from the 1NC, the same for the 1AR, etc. Don't let the 1ac be the only time that you talk about your affirmative. That seems like a losing strategy.
If your plan/framework is not clear do not be surprised when the negative team makes a fairly unclear link to whatever you are advocating for and I find it compelling.
Performance and Project Affs- cool. Everything I explain here is applicable to you. It's your obligation to ensure I know what I am voting for, the role of the ballot in the round, is this an advocacy for the round proper and I should adjudicate only on the discourse in the round, or is your performance/project a grassroots movement that I should view as the start of something greater. And on and on. I'm using these are extremely rudimentary examples to help you understand what you need to do in order to compel me to vote for your aff.
Don't group and extend- Do offer clear impacts to the arguments that were dropped.
Things to know for Neg:
When I debated if I was going for T it isn't likely that I was going for much else if anything.
I can't recall a debate round where I gave a 2NR that only included a Disad, though I suppose it's a strategy.
I view K's and CP's fairly similarly as that they are each competing for my vote as an alternative to the affirmative. With this understanding I believe your CP and K need to be textually competitive, there should be a text no different than an aff plan text. Similar to an aff plan text, if you don't read one be prepared to engage in a theory debate around why. I'm happy to hear these rounds and adjudicate them.
I find Case arguments to be quite compelling though would prefer those arguments to tell an entire story. If the Aff is implementing a plan to double the funding for forensic science in the US and you are making an inherency argument.... you need to also be making an impact argument. What is the impact of this plan not being inherent and the Affirmative advocating for said plan?
When reading multiple off and you throw a PIC/K in somewhere please ensure that you give me a moment to process going from your second CP to the PIC to the Disad. Like, I get the advantage you may be trying to gain by throwing something in there and it literally being Text with no cards or Voters; however, I haven't found myself voting for blippy stuff in a long time. If you find yourself winning rounds with blippy theory, independent voting issues, or quick PICs often then I am likely not the right judge for your team.
You don't need to tell me to kick a CP/K, I am only voting aff is the advocacy/plan is better than the SQUO AND/OR the CP/K. Ultimately, if the debate round is not about a theory argument then you get the SQUO plus whatever other alternative world you are arguing for and the AFF gets their advocacy.
Don't group and extend-
DO NOT be mean/hateful/crass/disrespectful.
I do not have preconceived notions about debate rules with one exception noted below. Debate is generally a Finite Game with defined players and a defined outcome (win/loss) but I could be compelled in a round to view debate as an Infinite Game without identified players or outcomes. The meta concept of debate is an Infinite Game and as such I encourage you to think about moving beyond the box and not just thinking outside of the box.
EXCEPTION: I think that everything said in a debate round when a timer is running, aside from prep time, is binding and something I am going to flow. Feel free to make an argument and convince me otherwise.
Theory is something that should be treated like any other argument in that there should be some uniqueness, some linkage, and impacts. There needs to be impact calculus for my decision-making process. Conditionality is probably fine, plan-plan is probably..., but I can be convinced of almost anything in a debate round.
*Note on language criticisms* If you are going to make an argument in a debate round that leveraging a particular word, let's say "abuse" is bad and that I should use the ballot to punish the other team by voting against them for making this argument then you are going to need some evidence to articulate why. I don't find ad hoc blips about voting against a team for saying the word abuse very compelling, make this a position in the debate round. That being said, if you use language that is blatantly offensive in all manners of conversation there is a good chance I am not going to listen to anything else that you say- this means homophobic, genderphobic, racist, xenophobic, sexist, etc.
Given all of the above, you are going to be best served by doing the work for me. When the round is over you are going to have won the round if you told me why you won the round and why the other team did not. Write my ballot for me.
Yes I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't steal prep
An argument is claim and warrant minimum.
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 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.
I've discovered throughout the CJR season that I vote neg much more often than aff in these debates and I think that's usually due to sloppy 1AR coverage or bad evidence.
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 - email@example.com
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
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org (yes I know).
TLDR I debate at Wichita State in college. I am a junior. I'm more of a policy person. I will vote on framework, I will vote for an aff without a plan. Probably more willing than most to listen to cheating neg strategies but I don't like process counterplans.
CFL/ NSDA notes. I went to both of these tournaments when I was in high school and realize there are good odds you, the other team, me, and the other judge(s) all have different opinions on how debate works. I will be receptive to whatever you want to do but I will always be flowing and make my decisions off of my flow. If you wanna make this a stock issues debate do it but I am gonna need you to outline how I should evaluate the debate because it won't be my default. The least helpful paradigm statement of "you do you but do it well" applies.
I ended up judging a lot of CJR debates and all I can really say is that the big affs are really cool and I think soft left affs are getting really boring. I tend to render decisions quickly and talk a lot after. Interrupt me if you have a question or I made you mad.
I debated at Kapaun Mt. Carmel (2018) in high school. I've been a 2n my whole career. I primarily research and read policy stuff.
- I try to hold myself to the same standard I expect out of judges when I am debating. I care a lot about debate and think it's an amazing activity. I cannot promise that I will always make the best decision, but I can promise that I will put as much effort as possible into that decision. Debates are hard and stressful and I don't think that asking a lot of questions constitutes "charging the mound." I get frustrated with decisions too and will do my best to help you work through that but at some point you just end up burning a lot of your own energy on something you cannot change. I won't take a post round personally.
- Read your framing page, but please answer the DA too. You can ignore the whole framing/ case mess that inevitably arises in the 2ar if you just strait turn the disad.
- If you clip you lose. If I catch it and the other team doesn't say anything I will still vote against you.
-Politics - Big fan. These debates, at their best, are usually about evidence quality. Strait turns are underrated - this goes for all DAs
- Mixed thoughts about judge kick. It’s probably fine but just please say it in the block
- Not a huge fan of T debates. I am not saying don’t go for it but I get very bored of judging the same T cards all year that no one agrees on the meaning of. Good debates are still good
- Anything but condo is a reason to reject the argument. I think condo is good but 2nrs get away with murder when “answering” condo
Ks vs policy affs
- I think 80% of the time when I vote for the K it is because I think it turns case.
- Really blippy framework debates bother me and if it’s a wash I usually just let the aff have the aff.
- perms are an aff argument. They can solve a lot of links.
- fairness is an argument and it can win debates. More of a clash person and not really a big “learning about the government good” person. I think we should learn about the government but I find it strategically underwhelming as an argument – it usually requires you to have already won case.
- I really do think about these debates in terms of competing interpretations. I like an idea of what the aff model looks like. This means that both teams should constantly be trying to illustrate what happens under their model AND their opponent's. I have certainly voted aff when they don’t extend a counter interp but I think that it will still increase the odds you lose tremendously.
K v K
- Not a great judge for these debates. I might know about both of your literature bases but probably will be clueless about how they interact. Obviously going for cap is fine.
- Framework arguments are always helpful
Assistant Director of Debate at George Mason University.
I know you work hard at debate so I will work hard to be your judge. I know the rest of this is long, but I really hated when judges didn’t have in depth philosophies when I was a debater.
I vote neg more than aff.
Paperless or questions: email@example.com
Top level Alliance Topic/Online Debating thoughts:
-More people should pref Tyler Wiseman
-I'm going into this topic with the assumption that limit the conditions means anything is topical.
-Asking "is anyone not ready" before an online speech is silly, because if someone's computer is glitching how will they tell you they aren't ready. 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.
-Email threads for evidence is required. I will not read any cards that are sent via the zoom call.
-I do not consent to being recorded.
-If you are a "audience member" in a debate, do not type in the chat. The chat is for members of the debate.
-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.
Random Things that Annoy me:
1. Cards in the body of the email.
2. Yelling over each other in cx - everyone will lose speaks.
3. 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.
4. 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.
I love topicality debates. My voting record leans much more neg than aff in topicality debates. Couple framing issues for me on topicality debates:
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. One or two conditional options is probably good for negative flexibility, anymore more is probably pushing it a little. Granted, conditionality theory is all debateable.
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.
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.
Wonderful. Disadvantages versus case debates are probably my favorite debates (pretty much every 2NR my partner and I had). I love politics disads (RIP the trump administration ruining the best DA strat), I think they are educational in many ways. 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. Offense is always preferred against da’s, but I think that there is such a thing as 100% no link (LOVE thumpers btw). Like elections DA's - not a huge fan of impact scenarios relying on the democratic candidate doing something once they get in office. Think shorter term impact scenarios are necessary.
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.
Update: due to dissertation research monopolizing a large portion of my scholarly reading time, I have been unable to keep up with the newest writings of afro-pessimist/indigenous scholars. If you are reading anything from 2018-2020, assume I have not read it.
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 but is responsible for defending their rhetoric/epistemology. I think that is a happy middle ground.
Alliances notes: I think the affirmative should *at least* defend that one of the defense pacts in the resolution should be reduced. An affirmative argument on framework that they will defend topic disadvantages would be a very persuasive middle ground argument for me.
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.
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.
Your aff must do something. Deferral is not a strategy for me. I am not a fan of teams that just wait to get links until the 1NC occurs. I find performance debates some of the most fun rounds that I have debated in/seen, but I do like when critical affs engage the topic somehow. I find that interesting and usually a happy medium. Don’t get me wrong, I vote on who wins the argument so framework v. critical aff that engages the topic is still an option for the negative. Look at my Kritik views to get more ideas, but once again go slower on the tags so I can get what you are talking about. There is nothing worse than figuring out what the affirmative does in the 1AR-2AR.
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 now flow straight down in columns in an excel document, and have found it has made my decisions much more cohesive. I do my best to transcribe verbatim what you say in your speech so I can quote portions in my RFD. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
Please ask questions before round if you have them. I’m probably forgetting something.
-Moderate experience with the topic
-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
-I have no preconceived notions of topicality beyond a slight suspicion that immigration area affirmatives aren’t topical.
-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.
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.
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.
I haven’t judged enough to say something concrete on this. Clarity, using specific strategies, kindness, and strength of analysis are all likely to increase points for me. I’ll probably be too kind with them. I will also attempt to adapt my speaker point scale to the relative skill level of the tournament.
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 2020-21 topic marks my 25th. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cliff's Notes Version:
- 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 am a high school coach but I do work in a circuit that has a lot of lay judges. 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. The one area where this is not true is regarding sexist/ racist language. Don't have phrases in your vocabulary like "postman", "fireman," or "congressman." This doesn't mean that I will automatically vote on anything that is contrived to be offensive though. 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. 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.
Director of Debate at Westside High School (he/him or they/them)
Top Level (Please Read Carefully)
I start from the assumption that debate is fundamentally performative, so feel free to do your thing. I will do my best to evaluate your performance with minimal interference; alas, I am only human and am as subject to bias as the next person. Part of your job is to help minimize that interference. You can do that by making arguments that are contextual to those of your opponent, identifying central questions that should appear in the RFD, supporting claims with warrants, doing comparative analysis between you and your opponents’ arguments, and providing me with clear judge instruction. Finally, don’t assume that I know things based off arguments my students make or feedback I have given you in previous rounds.
Speed and technical argumentation are more than welcome so long as they are not functioning to exclude people. Remember: Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate. Regardless of speed and techne, I appreciate debaters who flag important stuff as such using verbal and non-verbal cues. Slowing down, changing your voice and repeating things are powerful methods of communicating that something is important which you should take advantage of. Jargon can enable precision, but it usually functions to make bad debaters think they are making good arguments when they are barely saying anything. You should simplify when possible to prevent me from misunderstanding you or thinking you are using jargon as a crutch.
Please be efficient when sending documents, giving road maps, and other basic things that typically slow down rounds. Cross-x and prep time are yours. As far as I am concerned all cross-x is open and all prep time is flex prep, just make sure that when the cross-x timer goes off you start prep time before you continue. If you try to steal prep I will stop you until a timer is running again.
eDebate has been horrible for clarity. You should be speaking at about 80% of your normal speed if you spread. Do your best to resolve audio issues before the round. I will miss things if I can’t understand you. Please record your speeches in case you cut out. I’d hate for you to wear your voice out giving speeches a second time. Send remaining prep in chat.
Thoughts on Arguments by Genre (Don't read too much into these)
I tend to think that initial conditions determine how events play out, so uniqueness generally controls the direction of the link. That said, I am receptive to arguments that it does not in a particular instance so long as there is evidentiary basis. The more specific the links, the better. The link story should be articulated in terms of risk, not causality. One makes you sound like a reasonable person giving a measured explanation of how the likelihood of an event becomes intolerable if we alter existing conditions, the other makes you sound alarmist.
Case specific counterplans are better than generics. I lean affirmative on multi-actor fiat, consult, and condition. I lean negative on PICs. Presumption flips aff if the 2NR goes for the CP. Judge kicks aren’t a thing.
The likelihood that I will find the kritik persuasive diminishes with each additional off case position that gets extended in the block. I’m a big fan of the one to three off K strategy, but again do you. If you aren’t winning the thesis/theory of power, there is very little chance I will think your links make sense. You need to explain to me how the link is an independent DA to the affirmative if you want me to evaluate it as such. Examples are key at the link level. As with CPs, judge kicks of the alt are not a thing. Be sure to explain how links are DAs to the perm, even if you aren’t going for it in the 2NR. I’m much more sympathetic to a “no link” argument extended in the 2AR if you have not boxed out the possibility of a world where they don’t link.
I'm not too particular about how the aff relates to the topic, just be sure that relationship is clear. How you do on the thesis/theory of power level determines how well you access offense. You would be well served to have thought through a case list justified by your counter-interp against framework so that you can talk about actual debates that would play out under you model. If you play music or include other elements that get classified under “performance debate” (again, all debate is performative) you should ask yourself what it does for you argumentatively. Having a cool vibe is not a reason to vote aff.
You need to focus on how the affs interp does not provide a stable locus point for clash but your interp does since this question is key to a lot of the other offense you plan to go for. K teams can switch sides, engage iterative testing, develop advocacy skills, etc, so you need to explain to me why your model is the best at those things rather than pretending that it is the only model that cares about them. Fairness can be an impact, but you cannot just warrantlessly assert that the procedural sort is good. Targeting ways in which they assume fairness is generally pretty persuasive to me. I tend to think of TVAs as counterplans to the Affs interp. Thinking through caselists here is beneficial.
The more specific to the topic the interpretation is the better off you are. I default to competing interps as I think that the aff has a burden of proof regarding stock issues. Reasonability is an argument for the counter-interpretation, not the aff itself. The limits debate typically determines how I feel about the reasonability of the aff. Precision standards are underutilized and can give you access to all sorts of interesting education impacts that can be cross applied as solvency deficits on case.
I enjoy thinking about procedural questions and norm setting but you’ll probably want to handhold me a bit more on these debates than you would other judges. I have voted on RVIs before, but I most likely will not. I have a high threshold for rejecting the team/debater rather than just the argument. You need to focus on how the ballot functions as a corrective measure, not just how bad the norm they set is.
Note for LD: I'm probably good for most of the things you want to do, just take it easy with theory arguments and no "tricks". I'll be good for you if you like phil, Ks, and policy. If there is LD jargon that you know policy people think is weird, it's a safe bet that I am one of those people.
Hey! I'm Hannah and debated CX and LD at Kinkaid. Please add me to the email chain; my email is email@example.com
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
please don't call me judge it makes me feel old and uncomfy, call me cat :)
yes i wanna be on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
lindblom msa '20
wake forest university '24
20-21 Szn Things:
I think this topic has tons of potential and is probably one of the better topics in recent years. I do think it's super broad and leaves tons of room for AFF and NEG creativity so I'm super excited to see what y'all bring to the table.
Online Debate Specifics:
1. Slow down a little! With online debate comes the potential for lagging and connectivity issues. Going 600 wpm definitely sounds a lot different online than in person.
2. Tech difficulties are inevitable, and I don't think it's fair to punish people by taking prep for technical issues. That being said, please don't use tech issues as an excuse to steal prep. I shouldn't have to explain why that's unfair.
3. Invest in a headset or a mic, if possible! I've found that resolves a lot of issues with clarity/sound and makes everyone's lives a bit easier.
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:
- tech over truth. this doesn’t mean i won’t evaluate truth claims! just win your truth claims on the tech level :)
- although i prefer judging k v k debates i'm perfectly capable of judging a policy oriented round. i did policy for 3/6 years I've been debating - I promise I can judge fairly lol.
- I make a lot of facial expressions, I can't help it. They aren't always reflective of whether or not I like or dislike an argument, sometimes I just look confused lol.
- I don't mind sass in cx/speeches, especially when y'all are funny. but, I'm getting super tired of watching white ppl talk over black ppl/poc/queer ppl in cx, especially when it escalates to y'all yelling over each other. sassiness =/= being disrespectful. once it gets to that point i'll probably stop caring about what's being said.
- dont be anti-black. (any other -ist/-isms will result in the lowest speaks tab will let me give you and an L. yes, calling black people "blacks" and making arguments like "police brutality is a media myth and doesn't exist" falls under the umbrella of racism.) I reserve the right to end the round and vote you down for engaging in any of the above :)
- I think TVAs should resolve the AFF and have a solvency mechanism/prove it's within the literature base
- fairness isn't an impact, it’s an internal link. education generally outweighs fairness but i've found myself voting both ways on framework. clash is also very persuasive.
- i like it when y'all 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!
- **borrowed from Asya Taylor's paradigm** To incentivize better debate practices, I'll add .2 speaks if you opensource AND post cites, tell me before I submit the ballot. Just opensourcing is bad practice for small schools and we all know it.
- 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 -- email@example.com
Cabot High School ‘18
I mostly did K things in high school and continue to do so in college. 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.
Brief update pre-Houston
This will be my first tournament on the high school topic, I lead a lab at the jdi over the summer so I have some experience but don’t assume I’m familiar with acronyms or very topic specific arguments.
Remember that explanation and narrative are key for me regardless if it is a kvk debate or a policy v policy debate the teams that explain and do more explicit framing/instruction always do better than the teams that just focus on winning arguments but do not tell me what to do with them.
Similarly 2ars/2nrs that go for fewer arguments and use those few arguments to answer the rest through comparison and impact calc do much better than 2n/2ars that try to win every argument and make me construct the ballot for them
Full Philosophy Below
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org I do want to be on the email chain, I don't usually read along during the round, but it makes post-round evidence collection much easier.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions or accessibility related issues
Debated at Binghamton for 2.5 years, coached there for a year, coached two years at Baylor as a GTA, Currently a second year PhD student at Kansas
First and foremost do what you are comfortable with, everything below is a personal preference, but I do my best to adapt to the debaters in front of me.
Online Debate: I'll echo what I imagine most people are saying, you should slow down a bit for online debate, probably to around 60/70 percent. Please be as clear as possible with things like cp text, alts etc.
Framing arguments are really important: I place a really high value on arguments that explicitly articulate as to how I should think about the round. Be clear about the implications of winning specific arguments. IE what does it mean if you win the TVA, how should I think of myself as a judge? I think that every debate involving a K, be it against policy or against other Ks, should have explicit framework sections that articulate what the role of debate is, how I should think of competition etc. If there is one consistent theme across my judging it is that teams that make more framing arguments and spend more time explaining the debate at the meta level do well.
Less focus on concessions, more on comparative impact calculus: My biggest issue with debates last year was that I found a lot of final rebuttals just became contests of telling me which team conceded more. I generally think that the term conceded should be eliminated from rebuttal vocabulary, it costs time in which you could be doing actual comparisons of what you are winning versus what they are winning and what the implications of those arguments are. Additionally, the arguments that people claim are conceded often are not, and even when they are, those concessions only matter as far as you implicate them. Answer the best version of the argument, explain how you win even if I give them their arguments, It will go a lot better for you.
I really value explanation: I try to judge almost exclusivity based on what the debaters say. That doesn't mean I don't care about evidence (especially if you make framing arguments as to why I should care) but my default position is to care about evidence to the point debaters are able to articulate it. I often feel like debaters debate to an imaginary person in the room and treat the judge as though they are an detached observer who will pick out arguments. You should avoid this, talk to me, explain to me how you want me to understand arguments and think about the debate. Its more persuasive and just generally makes debate makes debate make more sense to me. All of this also means you should be aware of your speed, I can generally keep up with fast debate, but the more clear you are, the more explanation I get and the better it is for you. Try to find a balance.
Framework Debates I do enjoy these debates, last year I found myself voting neg a lot because I think negatives were better at framing what they think debate should be and thus setting up their impacts more effectively.
For Affirmative Teams
AFF teams need to explain to me what debate is, how does it interact with all the neg claims of debate being a game. If you do not do that you start off way behind in these debates.
I also found that affirmative teams often did a poor job of using their 1ac as a base for their answers to framework. Think about how your aff interacts with the idea of debate as a game, and with how we think about the activity as a whole. If I feel like I could have heard your framework 2ac with other affs you are in a bad position.
I don't think enough teams question the relationship between games fairness and competition. Debate might be a game, but there are a lot of great games that don't really care about fairness or that value things more than competition and deeply influence society.
I find myself persuaded by args about the value of kvk debate and the way framework debate forgets about those conversations. I also think affs only articulate this arg in a defensive context, when there are strong offensive arguments to gain.
For negative teams, I tend to think that negative teams often fail to make their framework arguments contextual to the aff, your explanations of unpredictability or fairness, or whatever "link" you are going for should be specifically tied to the aff you are debating (think of it as an in-round abuse discussion) Similarly your impacts should also be discussed in relation to both the affirmative and what you think the game should be. Good framework debating is good case debating, the more you are talking about the aff, the better you are doing..
Not really a fan of fairness as an impact, but good debating and framing has convinced me in round. I generally think of TVAs as a permutation. I'm more interested in teams that avoid the trend of getting increasingly smaller in their claims (ie debate has no impact on subjectivity, doesn't teach skills etc) and actually defend the possibilities of what they think plan debate could be. I think there are good arguments that negative teams don't have to be wed to current policy debate practices and instead defend the version of policy debate they think should exist. However, I also understand the strategic value of purely procedural framework args so go with what you think is best.
Policy aff V K
Not too many specific thoughts. I usually feel like neither team makes enough framing arguments. I think affs under utilize their cases, particularly the way a k teams under coverage of the case implicates the framework/education debate. I think K teams are often not explicit enough in relating their arguments to the meta questions of debate. IE what does it mean if we win our theory of power at the level of my evaluation. I also think K teams often fail to connect their alternative with the framework they are defending
So many of my decisions in this debate come down to which team packages their args better. Both teams should talk about what they think the role of debate is, what competition is etc. I think establishing framework esq arguments is very helpful in gaining links and making competition clear. I am far more open than most to debates as to whether aff should get permutations in the world of planless debate, as well as other weird permutation things such as counterperms.
Sidenote: In terms of K familiarity, I'm very familiar with ableism literature and Spanos style criticisms. I also have a decent working knowledge of most of the structuralist Ks read in debate. I'm cool with high theory stuff as well, but you should know that high theory really does not come naturally to me, so the more explanation you can do to break down these theoretical Ks will be immensely valuable.
I'm also generally very receptive to criticisms that challenge the form of debate in various ways, but you do need to be explicit as to my role and how you think I should evaluate these rounds.
policy v policy
i have very little experience judging or competing in these rounds. My biggest advice is to keep in mind my discussions of explanation and speaking to judges at the beginning of the philosophy. Also make sure you are implicating your arguments on the meta level of what they mean for the debate even if they seem exceedingly obvious to you. They certainly aren’t for me and laying it out as plainly as possible helps a lot. If your strategy relies on very complicated/technical tricks to confuse the other team, keep in mind you need to make sure you don't lose me as well
Having judged a few more of these debates, I'm finding that I'm really not good for policy T debates because I'm not deep in the literature or the type of debating and I find it difficult to keep up with moving parts of the argument and how they interact as I'm trying to flow quick blocks. If you want to go for T against a policy team, I really recommend that you slow down a bit and focus on creating a clear narrative both at the level of substance and in terms of how I should be technically evaluating the round.
Recent experience watching some debates has taught me that my concerns with t v policy teams are even more pronounced in the context of counter plan competition debates. I have basically zero experience with these and should I ever end up judging one there needs to be instruction/explanation as to why you are making the choices you are making (ie the definitions you’re reading) and using narrative to explain how my ballot should come together because I won’t really be able to fill in any of the gaps that occur in these debates.
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.
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 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"
- 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 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 am most familiar with Identity Politics kritiks. I've ran Anti-blackness, Afropessimism, Disability Studies, Settler Colonialism, Give Back the Land, Redness, Queer Theory, and Femme. I've also read Bataille (I kind of think he can be right sometimes), Biopolitics (Foucault), Kafka, Agamben, Lacan, D&G, just D, Baudrillard, and I've debated/read most other bizarre kritikal theory out there. I primarily run kritiks (if you look at my neg page on the case wiki you can get an idea).
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 deffers 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.
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
Preferred pronouns: they/them
I debated policy for three years at aubrey high school. I currently coach there and do some other policy oriented work. I am a first year out - I have judged about 50 rounds. My sole focus is pretty much policy debate - I debate NFA- LD at UNT but it is nothing like policy or high school LD, beyond the titles of the arguments.
if You are going for T and theory- or spreading through some other paragraph sized bullet points- you need to do a couple things for me- give me space between arguments and make it really clear that you are making a new argument and what it is supposed to answer i.e "they said 'x' I have three answers 1. 'answer' 2.'answer' 3. 'answer.'" If you don't do this for me and I miss something- or I think i missed something- I will err towards the side that cleaned up the debate for me.
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.”
Unlike Yao Yao tho- I prefer one off K debates. And I won’t say go as fast as you want- you probably should give me more pen time then you usually would for other folks on taglines, CP texts, theory, perm texts etc. although I do not really care how fast you go through the evidence itself.
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.
I’m not sure if I have developed a routine for evaluating rounds- it is very important that both teams tell me what they won, why they won, and what that means for the round/ for what my ballot should look like. I’ll try to defer to what is on my flow to the best of my abilities.
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
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.
This is my least favorite kind of debate- but mostly because I have never gone for T. I am slowly growing to appreciate T debates.
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.
I usually vote for the team that does the better weighing- if an aff wins that there is some sort of external disad to framework but then doesn’t do the work to weigh that impact versus the impacts the neg goes for then It becomes very difficult to vote aff.
Similarly when the negative wins risk of offense but then doesn’t sufficiently weigh that offense against that of the affirmative it is very hard to vote negative.
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 have voted negative on framework one time- and there wasn’t a TVA- but I will still say that I think the TVA makes the neg’s life a lot easier.
I think that negative teams should make more arguments about how a good stasis point is necessary to resolving the impacts of the aff.
I think that too many teams get stuck into defending their model - instead of comparing models- good affs are able to make arguments that they generate better education or have better access to procedural fairness- good negative teams are able to explain why the aff interp bites the link and what their model does better and why I should prefer it.
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.
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.
It is not hard to convince me that affs shouldn’t get a perm in method debates- but it is also not hard to convince me they should get perms.
Kevin Hirn said a couple things I really agree with:
“Role of the ballot/judge claims are obviously somewhat self-serving, but in debates in which they're well-explained (or repeatedly dropped), they can be useful guidelines for crafting a reasonable decision (especially when the ballot theorizes a reasonable way for both teams to win if they successfully defend core thesis positions)”.
“Most permutation/framework debates are really asking the question: "Is the part of the aff that the neg disagreed with important enough to decide an entire debate about?" (this is true in CP competition debates too, for what it's worth). Much of the substantive debating elsewhere subsequently determines the outcome of these sub-debates far more than debaters seem to assume.”
I think that PICS are probably good
I think that process debates are interesting.
I judged a prelim at stanford this year where a kid may have won the debate in an overview- and then got mad that I didn’t evaluate their blippy cross extension onto the CP solvency flow- so this is my warning- I am not a good judge for super fast overviews explaining counterplan solvency- I would much rather you do that on the lbl- i.e explain CP solvency while answering solvency deficits to the CP.
I usually give the neg a risk of the disad- but i can be convinced there is zero risk.
I think you have a better shot of convincing me that there is 0 risk of a link than you do convincing me that there is zero risk of an impact.
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.
Tricks : (this section was written with LD in mind)
I am not a good judge for one line arguments that aren’t explained thoroughly- and I am an even worse judge for teams whose apparent goal is for the aff to concede “3a. Determinism means util auto negates”
I guess I am down to have debates where the neg strategy is 4 minutes on one line from the nc but I have a couple stipulations.
I think the argument should be complete when it is introduced- if it isnt then the aff should be able to get away with saying- that’s not an argument and moving on.
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 didnt give me the pen time or because you sent paragraph form theory blocks instead of numbering each separate arg- then I will not vote it
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.
If you say anything about "evidence theft" I'm going to actually scream- it's not offense, and if y'all go to a big school (larger than 100 graduating class) you need to check ur privilege, paywalls are a thing, and not everyone has hours to spend getting around them.
Trigger warnings are super important- descriptions of violence should probably have a trigger warning, you never know who has experienced the problems you're talking about first hand. No highlighting around descriptions of violence does change that, Idk about y'all but sometimes I just be reading the other teams cards so I can cut CP's or what have you.
Experienced teams need to be nicer to novices, I get that y'all are stressed about breaking so you can get your TOC/TFA qual, but like.... U shud know when ur winning a round. Don't make debate an exclusive activity.
Extra speaker points if you make good jokes.
I will love you if your overview does more than just "lemme describe my case to you again... Just in case you forgot"
If you misgender ppl consistently, I'll probably vote you down.
Absolutely no racist, sexist, or anti Queer rhetoric- I’ll probably slash your speaks and may drop you depending on how egregious i find the offense.
If you clip in front of me- I will destroy your speaks.
I reserve the right to end the debate due to anti-blackness
Name: Jefferey Yan
Affiliation: Stuyvesant High School ’15
Binghamton University '19
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. My senior year, my partner and I got Binghamton's first first-round bid to the NDT ever. We also got to CEDA semis.
I have not been actively coaching at any level for the ongoing season, so I have little familiarity with the alliances/criminal justice topics outside of the few rounds I’ve judged so far. This also means I don’t really know the current “meta” of debate, so it would be very helpful for all of us if you took a little bit of extra time to explain acronyms/topic specific jargon when applicable.
TLDR: Line by line good. Little experience on topic, please explain. I can judge pretty much anything, just do what you do best.
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.