The Cougar Classic at the University of Houston
2021 — Online, TX/US
Lincoln-Douglas Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I prefer you that you spend time on framing the arguments in the debate at the top of your speech. I'm not a line by line heavy judge and judge based on Big issues. First, I evaluate the framework for the debate to determine which impacts I should prioritize. Second, I evaluate Impacts and determine which are more important based on the Framework. Third, I evaluate the resolutional statement, Plan, Counter-plan, Kritik Alternative, based on which best solves for in round impacts.
If you want my ballot, check all those boxes and I will most likely vote for you over your opponent if they are missing those parts.
If you really want to win a impact debate in front of me against impacts that aren't logically coherent just take out the internal link you will be more likely to win.
As a former debater, I am qualified and will give feedback not only on your speech but also in ways you can improve your case. Be sure that you offer well developed arguments that show that you understand the topic, as well as your case. In debate, it is important to make sure that you have enough evidence to back up your theories, but also enough commentary to tie everything back to the case as a whole. Make sure your case is not just a bunch of cards after another, I want to know why and how things relate.
To convince me that you have won, framework and your speeches are extremely important. Your framework should have relevance and be upheld throughout all aspects of your case. If you can prove to my why your framework is stronger than your opponents, you more than likely have won the round. No only that, but your speech should be convincing and not unclear. Speed is fine, but make sure that your value and criteria, warrants, authors, or anything you want me to remember is understandable.
Updated 5/16/21 for TOC
Hi, I’m Holden (He/They)!
Jack C. Hays ‘20
The University of North Texas ’24 (Go Mean Green!)
Put me on the email chain please: email@example.com
Worlds, Policy and PF Paradigm is Near the End
Random Thoughts (Updated as Thunk):
- I didn’t know I had to say this but please don’t say the n-word in ANY form if you aren’t black, this is your one and only warning. Yes this includes if the word is inside a piece of evidence, just bracket something in, or just don’t say it please
Who is Holden?
I did debate for 4 years at Jack C. Hays. Two of those were in policy, the other two in LD. Even though I don't think competitive success equates to being a good judge, I had some success on the circuit, and got pretty far at some bid tournaments. I now attend the University of North Texas, where I study psychology, philosophy, and political science, and will be doing NFA-LD in the fall.
You can refer to me as Holden (what I prefer most), or judge. However, I would very much like it if you left anything more formal (Mr. Bukowsky, sir, etc.) as it makes me very uncomfortable and is rather impersonal in my opinion (Update: For the future, I will be docking .1 speaks every time you say that in reference to me because it a. reflects that you haven't read my paradigm or b. you have and just don't respect my opinion).
Conflicts: Jack C. Hays (my alma mater). I currently coach Carmel CS, Midlothian AC, Perry JA, Sandra Day O'Connor WW, Sidwell SW, and Westlake AK.
I have previously been affiliated with/have coached, or have been contracted by Lynbrook, Evergreen Valley (on a team based level), and then McMillen AW, and Ayala AM (who I worked with on an individual level).
People I agree with/have influenced my views on debate if you'd like to use them as somewhat as a reference -
Nate Galang (my former coach), and Patrick Fox (my colleague, mentor, and former teammate).
TLDR: You do you, just be able to have a coherent argument, don't be violent, and have the ability to explain it.
Strike Guide, this is not a list of what I prefer to see, rather what I think I could adjudicate most fairly (ideally I would like to be a one for all of these, but I have yet to explore all of these forms of debate to the extent that I would like):
K - 1
LARP - 1
Clash Debates (phil v k, policy v k, policy v phil, etc.) - 1
Theory/Topicality - 1/2
Phil - 2
Tricks - 2/3
Trad - 4/Strike
Triggers – please refrain from reading anything with in depth discussions of anxiety, depression, or suicide that way I can adequately access and evaluate the round. Please give trigger warnings so that debate remains a place in which everyone can participate :)
I flow on my laptop, but am not the fastest typer, so I would put me at a 7.5 or 8/10 in terms of speed. Just be clear, slow down on tags and analytics please
Respect your opponents pronouns or I won't respect your speaks (I have given out 20's because of this, seriously just respect people)
I flow spark on a separate page, this may not matter to you, but it matters to me. Sign post accordingly
How has he voted?
- I've judged approximately 185 rounds so far this season on the TOC circuit (213 rounds overall)
- I have voted aff approximately 55.86% percent of the time, this is mostly because 1. skill difference between competitors, or 2. the 2NR most of the time lacks weighing or catching all of the 1AR argument
- I have sat three times (technically four times but one was on an evidence ethics challenge which isn't a tell of my judging ability but rather a paradigmatic evaluation) out of 49 paneled debates that I have been a part of.
- I average a 28.45 in speaks
What is debate to him?
I take debate very seriously insofar as I contain a genuine enjoyment from it. I enjoyed competing, but I especially enjoy being on the other side of a ballot, and I also enjoy teaching. That being said, debate is an educational game in which my role is to evaluate the arguments as presented in the least interventionist way possible, I'm probably a lot less ideological than most judges and that's because I do not think it is my place to deem arguments valid or invalid. That means that at the end of the day, you do you to the full extent. If you do what you do best, I will do my best to evaluate those arguments fairly (granted that the exceptions are arguments that are problematic and arguments with no warrant). There are two concrete rules of debate - 1. There is always a winner and a loser, and 2. speech times are set in stone. None of my preferences should matter because you should be making those arguments for me.
What does he like?
I like debates that require little to no intervention. The way you can achieve that is weighing and making your arguments easy to flow (so label them like 1, 2, 3 a-point, b-point, c-point). I am agonistic about content, so do what it takes to get the dub. Warranted arguments are key to the dub though, that means that I only evaluate arguments that are complete (claim, warrant, impact). Collapsing in your speeches is how you get the ability to make good arguments, it shows room for explanation and proficiency that the game known as debate.
A framing mechanism to help me filter the round, whether that be a standard, role of the ballot, impact calc, or fairness v education weighing. All of them help me decide the debate and what should be preferred.
To summarize the way I feel about judging, I think Yao Yao Chen does a excellent job at it, "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment."
What does he dislike?
The opposite of above.
Being exclusionary to novices, reading K's, CP's, and DA's is fine but if there's any kind of situation where you ask them about any sort of theory spikes and they ask "what's a theory spike," don't read spikes such as "evaluate the debate after the 1NC" or "no aff analytics." That extremely upsets me and your speaks WILL get tanked
Not weighing, if you can't tell by now, weighing is how you win in front of me
When people go "my time will start in 3, 2, 1"
What will he never vote on?
Arguments that involve the appearance of a debater in the room (yes, that means shoes theory is a no go).
Arguments that say a form of oppression is good, this is the one that will get you downed with a 25.
Arguments that contradict what was said in CX (it is binding folks, just be a good person and don’t lie).
Arguments warranted by out of round occurrences are cool if they don’t devolve into ad homs (see the strikes K read by Greenhill SK in 2017 NDCA finals).
Self-serving role of the ballots are cool, if you can’t beat them then just get better at answering them.
Cheezits are better than goldfish.
Tricks debates is a legitimate form of debate.
Now onto more specific things argument wise-
Impact turns to T are absolutely fine, T can be violent in certain instances.
Love them. Read them, debated them, have judged several of them. They're healthy for the debate space, and don't necessary have to be constrained on relation to the resolution. People running these need to explain what the aff does or else presumption looks pretty good, explanation and implicating your affirmative is how you can easily win these in front of me. For people negating these, don't concede the aff, thats just bad practice and gives them too much wiggle room. Innovative and refreshing strategies are wonderful, especially if they're strategic.
Yes I will and have voted on this (several times). I'd say I'm ideologically aff leaning on this question, but that literally means nothing if you do the work for me. Affirmatives win in front of me in these debate because the negative most often concedes key framing issues (a role of the ballot, an impact turn), or just don't reads off the doc. Negatives win in front of me because the aff doesn't do enough layering, or engage in the framing debate (for affirmatives, line by lining ALL of the arguments is near impossible, so weighing is how you win), or just weigh. Fairness isn't a terminal impact, but could possibly be impacted out to such. TVA’s are important to me, make sure that they’re well-explained on how they access the aff’s framing. I view these as counterplans in the sense that they try and resolve the offense coming off of the counter-interp and the affirmative method, please conceptualize them as such in the round.
Here are my defaults, but are not set in stone at all -
- Competing interps > reasonability
- Drop the debater > drop the argument
- No RVI > RVI
Topicality is fine, and some of my favorite debates to judge. Definitions quality matters, and having a definition with the intent to define is even better. Unlike theory, arbitrary interpretations probably don't resolve their offense, you need a grounded vision of the topic, not something like "your interp plus my aff." Reasonability most definitely needs a brightline please. Going for the impact turn to T when able to is really underrated, and a valuable strategy if employed correctly. Slowing down a bit on these debates is key, otherwise I will most likely miss something. Weighing in these debates will help everyone, especially me when deciding the round. Condo is good probably, but can be easily convince otherwise (leniency switches with >2 condo advocacies). I lean neg on most counterplan theory as well (that flips if there is not a solvency advocate).
Up in the air on Nebel, just be able to explain your semantics warrants and contextualize them to the topic. Otherwise just go for the limits standard.
Go for whatever shell you want, I will evaluate it, barring these exceptions:
- Theory that includes the appearance/clothing of another debater (so no shoes theory)
- Shells where the interp was checked before round, and there is verifiable evidence that it was checked
- Disclosure in the case in which a debater has said that they can't disclose certain positions for safety reasons, this is especially non-negotiable
Really cool with this, clear argument interaction and weighing is key in these debates. Evidence quality also matters in these debates more so than others (namely because of the causality that is associated with this style). I default yes judgekick, you just need to tell me to do so in the 2NR. Explanation of link chains is important because often times teams have poor explanation of them. If a link chain is conceded, then extend it briefly (meaning I want at least a condensed version of the impact story) and implicate it, saying "extend x it was conceded" is not sufficient. Counterplans are viewed through sufficiency framing until told otherwise. I need to know what the world of the permutation looks like at least a little bit in the first speech it is introduced. A few good, robust internal links into 2-3 impacts > a lot of bad internal links into 7 different impacts. The DA turning case and it's analysis matters a lot to me, do the work and make it make sense.
I tend to read evidence more in these debates, I use your interpretation of the evidence to frame how I look at it, do with that as you will
This is where most of my debate experience has been, and the type of debate I am most comfortable judging, I went for the K a lot. My ideal K 1NC (if it's one off) would have 2-3 links to the aff (one of which is a topic link), an alternative, and a role of the ballot (along with weighing on the aff page as to why it's a prior question). Having links contextual to the aff, whether that be to the resolution, the reps, or the framing, is good and helps with strength of link. Winning framing for both sides is a crucial part of strategy, and controls the direction of the debate (but does not guarantee the dub). I may know the buzzwords you’re using but always be able to explain what the heck you’re saying. Don’t run a k in front of me just because you think I’ll like it, because bad k debate makes me sad and will make your speaks reflect such. Explain the perm in the first responsive speech please.
Here’s a list of literature bases I am read up on and know quite well:
- Deleuze and Guattari
- Hardt and Negri
- Stock K’s (cap, security, etc.)
- Reps K’s
Here’s a list of literature bases I know somewhat/am learning:
These are fine, and can be quite enjoyable if executed correctly (that doesn't mean that you have the right to just extend arguments without implications or warrants). I tend to think that when done well that these debates are some of the most technical and clean rounds to judge. This doesn’t mean do it because you think I’ll like you more, because these debates can also be extremely messy. Messy tricks debates make me sad, clean and efficient tricks debates make me happy. Please slow down on your 27 point underviews, yes I think they're interesting, but I need to be able to flow them and I can't do that if you're blitzing through them. That doesn't mean go at like regular talking speed, but go at like 70% speed when you're blitzing through those aprioris please. Being straight up, delineating them as easily identifiable, and making these rounds clean is how you get my ballot in these debates.
My threshold for these arguments also depends on you being straight up about them. If you lie about a version of an aff during disclosure and I have proof of this, my threshold for answering these tricks goes down, and so does my threshold for answering a misdisclosure shell.
After coaching several students that go for phil, and judging phil debates frequently I am happier to say that I'm good for these debates. Syllogisms should be warranted and implicated in a way that shows their impact in the first speech (yes, saying solves skep for a skep trigger is enough for this threshold). Going for and impacting out a certain the 1-2 justifications needs to involve weighing (this also means collapse in these debates too!).
In phil v util debates, I think that util debaters often undercover the line by line, or just don't really layer enough in these debates, phil debaters often concede a crucial justification or undercover extinction first, so both sides be warned.
In phil v phil debates, both sides need to be able to explain their ethic more. These debates can either be super informational, or super messy, and I would prefer that they be the former rather than the latter. Explanation, clear engagement, and weighing is the way to my ballot in these debates
Hijacks that are shorter than 15 seconds are often unwarranted, and blippy, call them out as such.
Blitzing through the line by line in these debates is annoying and will inevitably make me miss a warrant. Im not asking you to go at a conversational pace but be a LITTLE bit reasonable
I am studying philosophy in college as well, which means I am reading a lot about authors that you might be reading. This means that I am antiquated with a variety of philosophy literature.
Here’s a list of literature bases I know confidently:
- Moral Particularism
Here’s a list of literature bases I know somewhat:
- Comparative worlds > truth testing
- Permissibility negates > affirms
- Presumption negates > affirms
- Epistemic confidence > epistemic modesty
Since these are becoming increasingly read in front of me, and are becoming a separate argument in debate, I thought they deserved their own section. I think that these are good arguments when executed well. That being said, I think that for these to be won, you need to win either some meta level framing (such as accessibility first) or linking it to an ethical framework. I often have to ask myself “should I abandon the flow if I think that this is violent” and here is the litmus test for how I will determine to abandon the flow, I will:
1. See if you won the flow proper to see if I can avoid intervening
2. If you did not win the flow proper, I will see if the action in question is a legitimate question of violence in the debate space, your explanation may help, your explanation may not. As much as your 2AR ethos may be good, if I do not think that this situation is an act of violence with reasonable malicious intent, then I will not abandon the flow. A few instances in which I will abandon the flow can be: misgendering, dead-naming, some sort of maliciously intended argument meant to exclude individuals from debate
This is not to say I won’t abandon the flow, but I feel like there has to be some outline for how I can reconcile this, or else this would justify me becoming increasingly interventionist for littler reasons which I think is a horrible model of debate.
Yes, I can judge this. But I often time find these debates to be boring, and most definitely not my cup of tea. I think that given the people that pref me most of the time, it will be in your best interest to pref me low or strike me, both for your sake and mine.
I would much prefer these debates be executed as a shell rather than having the round staked on them. I hate adjudicating these debates because a. They deprive me of a substantive round and b. Are normally a cheap shot by an opposing debater. As such, if you stake the round on evidence ethics this will be the procedure for which things will go down: 1. I will look into the evidence that is in question 2. Compare it to the claim/violation that is being presented 3. Utilize the rules for which the tournament is using (NSDA, NDCA, etc.) to determine whether or not it is a violation 4. Check with the debater if they are sure they want this to be a drop the debater issue, or to drop the evidence. If it is a violation, then I will drop the person who committed such with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then I will not evaluate the evidence and we can debate as normal. If it is not a violation, then I will drop the accuser with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then your speaks will be capped at a 28.
Here is what I consider evidence ethics violations in the absence of guidance: 1. If the author concludes in opposition of what is cited 2. If worlds are deleted or inserted in the middle of a sentence 3. If a debater misrepresented what the author says
For the policy kids-
- I judge circuit LD a lot (and I mean A LOT), on there I judge nothing but T, cp/da, and k debates. I can handle speed, and I will understand the intricacies of whatever argument you want to run
- Sign post please
- Weighing early is how you get my ballot (best case scenario is starting in the 2AC)
- Yes open cross
- Yes K-Aff's
- Yes T-FW
For the World Schools Kids-
- I don't have TOO much experience in this, but that being said, when I did worlds I was somewhat successful (15th speaker and dubs at the 2020 NSDA tournament, went undefeated in prelims)
- Countermodels are ok, but need to be contextualized about how they a. compete with the proposition, b. solve the props impacts
- I still think that tech > truth, but this becomes muddled a bit in worlds given the nature of the activity. I think that warranting is still important, but if an argument is conceded, the threshold for explanation becomes a lot lower, BUT it needs to be implicated and impacted out
- 3rd speakers need to collapse and weigh a BUNCH. I was the 3rd speaker all of my rounds, so this is arguably one of the more important speeches to me
- Spreading can be ok? I don't know how it would work given worlds structure and nature but I'm definitely down for spreading
- Overall, do what you do best and I will do my best to evaluate the round accordingly
For the PF Kids-
- Never did pf in high school, but am somewhat familiar with the event
- Defense is not sticky, extend your arguments please
- It makes the most sense for proper refutations to be saved for the summary's but at the same time the policy mind in me says to respond to them, so I will leave that up to judge instruction
- Yes theory is fine, just be clear on the abuse story
- Yes your progressive arguments are also fine, just explain them in an efficient manner
- Yes speed is fine, just be clear P L E A S E
Across over 100+ prelims at bid tournaments, I have averaged at a 28.45 in terms of speaks, which means I'm not necessarily a speaks fairy or stingy
A 30 is very hard to achieve in front of me, and the only ones (which has been 10 out of the 312 debaters) I have given out is because of the utilization of the challenges
I don't evaluate "give me x amount of speaks" arguments, if you want it so bad utilize the ways to get extra speaks I have below
They're adjusted according to the tournament, but here's a general scale -
29.6+ Great round, you should be in late elims or win the tournament
29.1-29.5 Great round, you should be in mid to late elims
28.6-29 You should break or make the bubble at least
28.1-28.5 About middle of the pool
27.6-28 You got some stuff to work on
27-27.5 You got a lot of stuff to work on
Anything below a 27: You did something really horrible and I will be having a word with tab and your coach about it
Challenges (Max up to 1 point):
- Bring me coffee with cream and sugar = +.5
- Come into the room and shout "rev up those fryers" loud enough for people outside the room to hear = +.5
- If you send pictures of your cute pets in the doc, +.1-.5 depending on how cute I deem them (no snakes please, I have a phobia of them and this will get your speaks docked half a point)
Other ways to just boost your speaks:
- Be pleasant (not in the artificial "hi judge how are you doing" way, but like just be vibey i guess??)
- Humor inserted into your speeches in an organic way
- Good strategic choices that make my job easier
If you have anymore questions about my paradigm, please don't be afraid to email me or ask me in the room.
I am a lay judge who does not understand jargon (e.g. words such as solvency, counterplan, kritik, disad). Treat the debate like a performance. Do not spread or use progressive arguments. I do flow. I prefer truth over tech. I like when you do impact calculus and make my decision easier for me. I do not care what you wear. Please do not run theory. If you have written a storytelling version of your AC or NC, you should read that instead of reading a traditional LD case with all your cards cut. I listen to cross-ex, but I do not pay much attention. You should set up a big picture that is easy for me to follow in your later speeches.
*NSDA Nats Update: Teams have clipped in front of me on three separate occasions this tournament. Maybe stop doing that.*
Coach at Heights High School (TX)
Set up the email chain before the round starts and add me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated LD for Timothy Christian School in New Jersey for four years. I graduated from Rice University, am currently a teacher at Heights, and predominately coach policy: my program competes through the Houston Urban Debate League and the Texas Forensic Association so I judge regularly. My ideas on debate are heavily influenced by Kris Wright via the Texas Debate Collective Teacher's Institute. Most of the sections below are relevant for both policy and LD; see the very bottom for policy-specific thoughts, although policy teams might also want to review the sections for LARP/T/K. Also added a section for PF.
- LARP/Policy: 1
- T/Theory: 1-2
- Phil: 2*
- Kritik: 2-3*
- Tricks: Just strike me and we'll spare everyone some pain and suffering
*Ratings vary as function of what you're reading and whether I'm familiar with it. It's not that I will refuse to evaluate an author or position that I haven't seen before - rather, it'll just be more challenging for me to adjudicate. Feel free to ask me before round about a specific author.
- I will try to be tab and dislike intervening so please weigh arguments and compare evidence. It is in your advantage to write my ballot for me by explaining why you win which layers and why those layers come first.
- I won't vote on anything that's not on my flow. I also won't vote on any arguments that I can't explain back to your opponent in the oral.
- I default to competing worlds
- Tech > Truth
- I'm colorblind so speech docs that are highlighted in light blue/gray can be difficult for me to read; yellow would be ideal because it's easiest for me to see. Also, if you're re-highlighting your opponent's evidence and the two colors are in the same area of the color wheel, I probably won't be able to differentiate between them. Don't read a shell on your opponent if they don't follow these instructions though - it's not that serious.
- Prep time ends when you've finished compiling the document. I won't count emailing but please don't steal prep.
- Signpost please. I prefer debaters to be explicit about where to flow things and I appreciate pen time. If you're giving a speech and I'm looking around the different sheets of paper instead of writing, I'm likely trying to find the argument and will probably miss something.
- Not fond of embedded clash; it's a recipe for judge intervention. I'll flow overviews and you should read them when you're extending a position, but long (0:30+) overviews that trade-off against substantive line-by-line work increase the probability that I'll either forget about an argument or misunderstand its implication in relation to arguments elsewhere.
- I presume aff in LD: neg side bias exists so in the absence of offense from either side the aff did the better debating. It is unlikely, however, that I will try to justify a ballot in this way; I almost always err towards voting on risk of offense rather than presumption in the absence of presumption arguments made by debaters.
- Debaters should time every speech and should always count down on their timer for their own speeches. That way, it'll go off when your time runs out, which will keep you honest and ensure that you don't accidentally go over. I might not cut you off if your time runs out, but I'll stop flowing and deduct 0.1 speaks for every 5 seconds you go over if your timer doesn't ring.
- Given that I predominately coach policy, I am probably most comfortable adjudicating these debates, but this is your space so you should make the arguments that you want to make in the style that you prefer.
- You should have be cutting updates and the more specific the counterplan and the links on the disad the happier I'll be. The size/probability of the impact is a function of the strength/specificity of the link.
- Politics disads are generally stupid/unrealistic, but you do you.
- Terminal defense is possible and more common than people seem to think.
- I think impact turns (dedev, cap good/bad, heg good/bad, wipeout, etc.) are underutilized and can make for interesting strategies.
- Perms are tests of competition, not shifts of advocacy.
- If you want to kick a conditional advocacy you have to tell me. Also, I will not judge kick unless the negative wins an argument for why I should, and it will not be difficult for the affirmative to convince me otherwise.
- A 1NC strategy that doesn't include a substantial investment on case is generally sub-par.
- I default to competing interpretations. I'll evaluate shells via reasonability if you ask me to but I'd prefer an explicit brightline for determining what constitutes a reasonable vs. unreasonable practice rather than drawing upon my intuitions for debate. If you just ask me to intuitively evaluate the shell without an explanation of what that constitutes, my aversion to intervention will likely lead me to gut check to competing interpretations.
- I default to no RVIs (and that you need to win a counterinterp to win with an RVI).
- You need to give me an impact/ballot story when you read a procedural, and the blippier/less-developed the argument is, the higher my threshold is for fleshing this out. Labeling something an "independent voter" is rarely sufficient. These arguments generally implicate into an unjustified, background framework and don't magically operate at a higher layer absent an explicit warrant explaining why. You still have to answer these arguments if your opponent reads them though.
- Because I am not a particularly good flower, theory rounds in my experience are challenging to follow because of the quantity of blippy analytical arguments. Please slow down for these debates and clearly label the shell - the interp especially - and number the arguments to hedge against the possibility that I miss something.
- I am relatively ambivalent these days on disclosure, since I proactively coach both some of my teams to read it at every opportunity and other of my teams to go for an offensive counter-interpretation on the shell. Read it if you'd like, just don't be mean about it and be prepared to defend it if your opponent is clever.
- "If you read theory against someone who is obviously a novice or a traditional debater who doesn't know how to answer it, I will not evaluate it under competing interps."
- I will not evaluate the debate after any speech that is not the 2AR.
- A note on Nebel: I'm good for a semantics vs. pragmatics debate, but if your 2NR block is super deep in the weeds on semantics you might lose me. I've only skimmed the Nebel article(s) because it's highkey boring and I don't care enough. I may have known at some point what the upward entailment test meant but can't say that I remember anymore~
Framework (as distinct from T-FW)
- I believe that impacts are relevant insofar as they implicate to a framework, preferably one which is syllogistically warranted. My typical decision calculus, then, goes through the steps of a. determining which layer is the highest/most significant, b. identifying the framework through which offense is funneled through on that layer, and c. adjudicating the pieces of legitimate offense to that framework.
- You should assume if you're reading a philosophically dense position that I do not have a deep familiarity with your topic literature; as such, you should probably moderate your speed and over-explain rather than under. Especially if your framework is complex or obscure, a brief summary of how it functions (i.e. how it sifts between legitimate and illegitimate offense) would be helpful.
- Read them if you'd like; I've read very little of the literature, however, so explain well. I would say that I have a decent conceptual understanding of k debate, especially after teaching it to students over the course of many years, but don't presume that I'll recognize the vocabulary from your specific literature base. It is in your best interests to keep your speeches well-structured so they are easy to follow.
- I especially appreciate kritikal debates which are heavy on case-specific link analysis paired with a comprehensive explanation of the alternative. Good K debates typically include quotes from lines in your opponent's evidence/advocacy with an explanation of why those are additional links.
- I don't judge a terribly large number of clash of civ debates, but I've also coached both non-T performative and policy teams so read what you want.
- If your alternative is just a string of buzz words, I probably won't think it makes sense and will be receptive to responses from your opponent arguing the same.
- Never understood why perms are illegitimate in a methods debate so if you defend a counter method it should probably be competitive.
- Too many Role of the Ballots are impact-justified; if you're reading one you should probably warrant it.
- Speed is generally fine. I'd place my threshold for speed at a 9 out of 10 where a 10 is the fastest debater on the circuit, although that varies depending on the type of argument being read.
- Slow down for and enunciate short analytics, taglines, and card authors; it would be especially helpful if you say "and" or "next" as you switch from one card to the next. I am not a particularly good flower so take that into account if you're reading a lot of analytical arguments. If you're reading at top-speed through a dump of blippy uncarded arguments I'll almost certainly miss some. I won't backflow for you, so spread through blips without pausing on different flows at your own risk.
- If you push me after the RFD with "but how did you evaluate THIS random analytic embedded in my 10-point 2NR dump?" I have no problem telling you that I a. forgot about it, b. missed it, or c. didn't have enough of an implication flowed/understood to draw lines to other flows for you.
- My flowing limitations are a contributing factor to why I'm probably not a great judge for you if tricks are your A-strat. If you're reading tricks one of three things is likely to happen: I'll miss it, I won't understand it, or I'll think it's stupid. Additionally, I won't hold your opponent to a higher standard than I hold myself to, so if I didn't understand the implication of an argument (especially a blippy/shady one) in a prior speech, I'll give them leeway on answering it in a later one.
- I'll yell "clear" or "slow" once but that means I already missed something. Honestly though, it's not uncommon for me to be so preoccupied with trying to keep up that I forget to call clear or slow.
- A 28.5 or above means I think you're good enough to clear. I generally won't give below a 27; lower means I think you did something offensive, unless it's at a local and the round is so bad it makes me want to go home.
- I award speaks based on quality of argumentation and strategic decision-making.
- I won't disclose speaks so don't bother asking.
- I give out approximately one 30 a season, so it's probably not going to be you. If you're looking for a speaks fairy, pref someone else. Here are a few ways to get high speaks in front of me, however:
- I routinely make mental predictions during prep time about what the 2NR/2AR will go for and what's the optimal speech. Give a different version of the speech than my prediction and convince me that my original prediction was wrong. Or, seamlessly execute on my prediction.
- Read a case-specific CP/Disad/PIC that I haven't seen before.
- Teach me something new that doesn't make me want to go home.
- Be kind to an opponent that you are more experienced then.
- If you have a speech impediment, please feel free to tell me. I debated with a lisp and am very sympathetic to debaters who have challenges with clarity. In this context, I will do my best to avoid awarding speaks on the basis of clarity.
- As a teacher and coach, I am committed to the value of debate as an educational activity. Please don't be rude, particularly if you're clearly better than your opponent. I won't hack against you if you go 5-off against someone you're substantively better than, but I don't have any objections to tanking your speaks if you intentionally exclude your opponent in this way. As a former competitor from a school with very limited competitive infrastructure, most of what I know about debate I had to learn myself absent formal instruction. This makes me very sympathetic to debaters from small schools or under-resourced programs who might not be familiar with the technical jargon of the activity but who, nevertheless, make good arguments. It behooves you, if you've had access to more privileged instruction, to debate in a way that keeps the round accessible for everyone.
If Judging Policy
- Please keep in mind that although I coach policy now, the entirety of my competitive experience and the bulk of my training, judging and thinking about debate has been funneled through the lens of LD. If you're a policy debater, it's probably still useful for you to read the specific argumentative sections above (ex. LARP, Theory, K), depending on what you're planning to read.
- Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves your computer or, if you're using an email chain, once you've finished compiling the document. I won't count attaching and emailing as prep time, but please don't steal prep.
- I presume neg in policy because in the absence of offense in either direction, I am compelled by the Change Disad to the plan. However, presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a counter-advocacy that is a greater change from the status quo than the aff.
- I frequently see teams read half a T-shell in the 1NC (unwarranted standards/voters/implication/paradigm issues, or missing those pieces altogether) and then blow it up in the block. I think that if you read a disad in the 1NC it should probably contain the core parts (uniqueness/link/impact), even if you read additional evidence in the block, and I hold T to the same standard. Otherwise, I'm receptive to efficient 2AC responses along the lines of "that's not a complete argument; lack of warranted standards means there's no offense to the interp and you should reject the shell" and will allow new responses in the 1AR in response to developments in the block.
- If your counterplan is 8 seconds long with no cards, the 2AC probably needs no more than 0:15 answering it and I'll be super lenient with 1AR responses if you blow it up in the block. Neg teams are getting away with murder for some of these counterplans, and I'm just waiting for the 2AC to read a "must not read conditional counterplans without a solvency advocate" combo shell.
- Smart, analytical arguments (particularly as no-links on a kritik or an improbable impact chain) are heavily underutilized in policy. My ideal 1NCs/2ACs incorporate analytics as a component of a layered response strategy. I see too many policy debaters who are just card bots, including reading cards that don't actually contain warrants and reading additional cards in a later speech instead of going for preexisting evidence (which might actually require some evidence-comparison...).
If Judging PF
- I rarely judge PF; I probably won't know what your topic is, and I probably had to google the speech times beforehand.
- I don't know what it is with PF debaters either stealing prep or stealing speech time, but I'm not here for your shenanigans. There should not be more than a 0:10 difference between your timer and mine, and I stop flowing at the timer.
I am a parent volunteer judge with children doing debate for many years. I have been judging debate for a few times already. I judge the debate based on who persuades me of their side more with facts and logic. With speed, I am comfortable with slower and clear speaking. In LD I understand the importance of value and criterion so please make sure you have both and that your arguments center around them.
I did PF debate throughout middle school, some Congress but mainly Lincoln Douglass throughout high school. I evaluate all debates pretty fairly. Although I favor more critical race based and “progressive” arguments, I’m open to anything. Faith warning, overt disrespect or discrimination of any sort will result in a tanking of speaker scores.
Other than that, be yourself, debate as you please. Make sure every word is intentional and meaningful.
I'm a second year out from Montgomery HS. I primarily did K debate, but I also read larp, phil, and theory on the circuit so I'm comfortable with pretty much anything you want to read. I'd say I'm least comfortable judging tricks so if that's your A strat I probably wouldn't pref me. Other than that, I want to see good clash in round and courtesy between opponents so don't be rude. You can get high speaks if you read something interesting, debate well, or make me laugh. Feel free to ask me questions before the round and please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Jack C Hays High School – 2019
Wake Forest University – 2023
Paradigm Last Updated – 3.26.21
Conflicts: Anderson AR and BC, Jack C Hays
Add me to the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated for Jack C Hays in Austin, TX. I was in CX for 3 years and LD my senior year. i also have experience in college policy debate.
this paradigm will be tailored to LD because thats what i've been judging the most, much of it also applies to policy.
if harm has occurred in the round, i will generally let the debater that has been harmed decide whether they would like the debate to continue or not. in egregious instances, i reserve the right to end the debate and contact tabroom.
fewer specific arguments > a lot of generic arguments
I am most comfortable with k and larp debates, but I would much rather that you debate the way you do best.
even if an argument is dropped, there needs to be an extended warrant for me to vote on it.
you should always be recording locally in case of a tech issue
More specific arguments
This is the most underutilized part of debate and it makes me sad. My favorite part of debate is the case page. I love lots of clash here; solvency and impact cards are almost never as good as they should be.
Good evidence > good spin - things like methodology comparison and statistical analysis coupled with good weighing of warrants will be rewarded with higher speaks and probably the ballot
I like big 1ACs with super tight internal link chains - good articulation of your specific scenarios are fantastic
I have read huge affs with econ and heg advantages and performance affs with one card in them and everything in between. Whatever you read, have fun with it!
I love k affs. please understand your lit base and how the aff operates in the round
Link work vital to winning or losing a k debate. on the neg, you need to contextualize your links to the aff. specificity is key.
I have a medium threshold for alternative/method solvency - unless contested I'll believe that it solves the links + impacts. But I do need an explanation of what the alt is and how to engage in the alt to vote on it.
nonblack debaters should not read afropessimism. respect the wishes of black debaters.
i hold similar opinions to reading qt pess or disability pess without being queer/trans/disabled.
please give material examples of the alternative.
Given my background, I am persuaded by impact turning theory/topicality/theory. The issue that I tend to find with k teams is that they rely too much on the top level arguments and neglect the line by line, so please be cognizant of both on the affirmative.
For the neg - i do not particularly like framework. do not expect an easy ballot by reading college blocks for the entire 2nr. your framework shell must interact with the aff at some level to be persuasive. that being said, the further from the resolution the aff is, the more persuaded i am by fw. A TVA is terminal defense to your model of debate, you still have to win that your model is good. Additionally, as a former k aff debater, I am less persuaded by a framework 2nr that relies on calling all k affs unfair and ineffective, and I am more persuaded by a 2nr that is more contextual to the affirmative specifically. the overarching theme here is interaction with the aff pls. expect lower speaks if you read framework.
To me, framework is a less persuasive option against k affs. Use your coaches, talk to your friends in the community, and learn how to engage in the specifics of k affs instead of relying on framework to get the W.
Not sure what you need to know here lol, ask me specific questions if you need to
I will not vote on theory that is commonly regarded as frivolous. use your discretion on what you consider friv.
I will vote on disclosure theory. disclosure is good.
Condo is fine, the amount of conditional off case positions/planks is directly related to how persuaded I am by condo as a 2ar option. it will be very difficult to win condo vs 1 condo off, but it will be very easy to win condo vs 6 condo off.
please make the interactions between your arguments and your opponents arguments clear on this flow ie. if there are 2 competing theory shells and substance in the debate, tell me which comes first and why. even theory debates need warrants
Other than that, I default competing interpretations over reasonability and drop the debater over drop the argument, however I can easily be persuaded otherwise.
i am not persuaded by theory arguments that don't have an in round abuse story
Don't particularly care for it. This is what I was least confident on as an LD debater.
Explain - If you understand it well enough to explain it to me I will understand it well enough to evaluate it fairly.
I only did LD for a year and I debated the k for the entire time - so I don't know a lot of the terms that maybe you think I should know. Things like infinite regress, constitutivism, etc literally mean nothing to me. So you will need to explain your phil lingo.
i went through high school debate, i know that it's grueling. i have a lot of respect for y'all, and i will work hard as a judge to give you the time that you deserve and a rfd that respects the work that has been put in to get you to this moment.
Yes email chain email@example.com
My paradigm is long but still a work in progress, email me if you have any paradigm questions.
I have lots of thoughts. I bolded the things that will mostly matter when prefing or judging LD, the rest only applies to 1-0.1% of rounds I judge. In most rounds I will have an easy ballot on the technical level, these opinions only come in when I am forced to resolve two competing truths that are relatively equal on the tech, they can all be overcome by giving better speeches. (The exception is in-round violence)
Why did I put them in then?
One of the most frustrating things to me as a debater was judges telling me per opinions on arguments in the rfd that could have been in the paradigm, if I judge you and you think I should add something from my rfd to my paradigm please tell me. This way we can avoid people losing on affs because I just don’t feel the aff’s don’t clear the presumption burden even though the aff did great debating etc.
How much I like the args/how much in favor of you I would unconsciously err in close debates probably
0- 0 off, the order is case.
1 – Good Ks, Good/Topic specific Phil, Great theory
2- Good Theory args (condo good/bad, pics good/bad), Good unique LARP (new politics scenario), Good unique tricks (I found Alphabet spec funny the first time I saw it, I didn't the fifth time. Be creative) , Generic Ks (cap k with generic links)
3- Tricky Phil, (your tricky northeast Kant frameworks from 7 years ago), Bad Larp
4- Bad Theory (shoes theory)
5- Bad Tricks (resolved apriori)
Biggest Influences in Debate: NEEDS WORK
Organized my paradigm based on yours, which is perhaps unsurprising since I helped with it.
I attended both Victory Briefs Institute and RKS at Wake Forest, and both shaped my perspective and education in debate.
CMC 2024, yes I’m a first year out, but I coached and judged a lot in high school and worked with camps such as interning at the Victory Briefs Institute. I would not recommend ordinal 1ing me even if you agree with my views, since I’m still learning.
My name is Zachary Davis. I did Circuit LD for 3 years and qualified to the Junior and Senior Year Tocs, with an even 3-3 record junior year, and Coronavirus ending TOC senior year (2020 generation). Before LD I did both Public Forum and Parli for two years. I also dipped into policy occasionally mostly in my freshmen and senior years. I’m choosing to coach rather than debate in college.
I mostly read Ks, but went for theory and larp positions as well. My ideal neg strats were one off k or nc, 2 off k + t, and 5 off k, t, theory, cp, da.
I’m a technical debater/judge, in most cases I’d rather judge a theory debate than a traditional debate. Despite this, many debaters don’t realize how incoherent pers are too spectators, so err on the side of overexplanation, especially in the 2nr and 2ar, if there’s no warrant I won’t vote on it. Concessions mean I evaluate warrants/arguments as true, but if there is no warrant, than there is functionally nothing to vote on and nothing conceded.
Despite this I think the broader community trend to emphasize an ideal position as a tabula rasa judge is both an impossible goal and a false ideal.
What do I mean by this? 1. It’s impossible for judges to leave past experience and argument biases at the door. 2. Tech matters but truth does too, just because I agree technical debate is important, I disagree with only tech mattering which incentivizes debaters to read blatantly false arguments that have good time trade-offs ranging from spikes to incorrect das, because pointing out the fallacies takes longer than reading. 3. However I do think the judge should attempt to leave all past opinions surrounding the topic at the door i.e. even if I think nuclear arsenals are really bad, I shouldn’t let that convince me to vote aff if the debate becomes a stalemate.
Why do I, the debater, care? It’s likely that this won’t impact 99% of rounds I judge since I will usually act as a tech based tab judge, and I won’t actively intervene i.e. reading articles of the cards you read, unless asked too. However this means I am more persuaded that the reading of false arguments doesn’t just mean those argument are wrong and go away, but can be won as a drop the debater voting issue. I won’t intervene and make those arguments voting issues though, and I think there are degrees of wrongness.
1. Don't be sexist, ableist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, or a classist jerk in the round.
2. I strongly believe in trigger/content warnings, if you think there’s a chance your arguments would benefit from them, read them before your first speech, or the speech in which the content begins. Be prepared to read different args.
3. Do not misgender your opponents or judges, intentional or otherwise. I would generally recommend defaulting to "per" if you do not know someone's pronouns and to use "my opponent" “aff/neg” “person” etc. They/them isn’t gender neutral. I don’t want to debate or explain pronouns in this space either, post-rounding me on this issue specifically is unwise. I’ll publish a follow up at some point that you can check for my reasons.
4. Debate however makes you the most comfortable. I have zero preferences whether you sit or stand etc. I don’t care whether you ware shoes etc. My only clothes opinion is that schools should not force debaters to wear formal clothes. I don’t care what individual debaters choose to wear, and think policing debaters presentations is bad and as such want to work against schools doing so. I’m conflicted about punishing individual debaters because it’s not the fault of the debaters because of the school policy (so I’m not the judge for reading friv formal clothes theory against trad debaters), but I hope I along with other judges (such as Alan Fishman) help shift schools to change this opinion.
5. Don’t read identity positions if you aren’t of that identity. I will easily vote on arguments such as non-black debaters should not read afro-pessimism.
Usual Evaluation Flow chart looks like this:
1- Figure out the winning framing, use that framing to isolate which impacts matter.
2- Look through independent voters/arguments that attempt to uplayer the framing
3- Find Offense with warrants/full articulated arguments under the framing
4- (Take into account turns to see which way the offense flows)
5- Weighing between arguments, conceded arguments have full weight and often therefore outweigh, weighing arguments defense etc come in here.
6- If I can’t evaluate the debate on the above both debaters messed up and I start to account for implicit clash followed by my preferences/background understanding to fill in the gaps.
Do what you are good at, I’ll adapt to you, more than you should need to adapt to me.
I value framing more than average judge.
In round articulation is important, I’m going to evaluate your evidence how you explain it to me, if you explain it poorly I won’t grant you additional implications that weren’t made explicitly. Similarly don’t attempt to morph implications that weren’t there, every conceded argument in the 1ar is not a potential drop the debater 2ar (unless set up in the 1ar), so if you want me to vote on the 7. On the k it should have an implication in the 1ar.
I won’t vote on new offense in the 2ar and have a low threshold for 2ar responses to new 2nr offense absent circumstances in which I feel I must intervene i.e. slurs.
Risk of Offense>presumption, if your last speech only has defense you will probably lose the round. I will only vote on presumption if it is a major strategy, there is no offense in the round, or the round is a mess/I have no idea what’s going on anymore.
Cards vs Analytics, I value analytics and low author qualification evidence higher than average. I think unless your argument needs scientific evidence, or polling data etc. i.e. whether nuclear winter would cause extinction or whether Trump is predicted to win the 2020 election, it can be analytic. I don’t inherently value cards more than analytics in the way many judges view author qualifications meaning their opinions are somehow more legitimate. You don’t need to find cards to say every thing you want to say, you just need a warranted argument. In most cases analytic = card.
Offense>Defense, but defense matters it helps the weighing debate.
I default Epistemic confidence (aka I only evaluate impacts through the winning framework, not a mix of frameworks) , I have not heard a brightline that makes sense or a way too evaluate epistemic modesty that’s not just use my framework even if I lose, usually I think you would be better off spending your time winning framing or making arguments as to why your offense links under the opponent’s framework than going for epistemic modesty, but hey if you win a good brightline that makes sense I’ll use it.
Applying framing when responding or going for high layer issues i.e. ks, theory, and independent voters is good and makes decisions cleaner.
Weighing is great especially when it goes beyond impacts. Weigh between links and internal links, do evidence analysis and comparison, weigh between layers etc. Weighing clash is often what separates good debaters from great debaters.
People’s understanding of fiat is bad this article explains many of my thoughts https://www.vbriefly.com/2019/12/28/two-dogmas-of-fiat-by-jacob-nails/
Case first because case on top, and I value case more than average. Against an aff with 2 advantages, if the 1ar concedes two carded case turns one for each advantage, and the 2nr does a good job extending and warranting both of them, absent a higher layer I will be voting neg. The aff must win more offense on case then the neg, otherwise I have an easy neg ballot on case.
Specific case is always better.
Pick and choose what to contest well.
Terminal defense is a thing, but risk of offense is compelling when I don’t know the brightline.
Default reasonability, but I prefer Competiting interps, I only default reasonability because debaters who don’t establish paradigm issues usually aren’t reading reasonable interpretations, or generate offense. If you want to win reasonability>competing interps you need a brightline.
Default Drop the argument>Drop the debater
RVIs are winnable but default no RVIs, I never went for RVIs as a debater and ld is getting more and more influence from policy so these seem to be on the outs, but 1AR is short and probably deserves a tool to beat back neg friv theory, if you’re going for this in the 2AR/2NR I think it’s strategic too commit hard and not just throw one in for 10 seconds.
I don’t evaluate intent that can’t be proven one way or another. I default that debaters intend to have good-will and be educational unless proven otherwise.
Paragraph theory – you can do it, it’s not an excuse to not have paradigm issues, I think having an explicit interp can be good for more complicated theory, but like condo bad is condo bad. I also only really think it makes sense in the 1AR, I think 1nc or 2nr should probably use shells, but do what you want.
Collapsing too one standard can sometimes moot most other responses on the theory flow, but sometimes it can’t, especially when debaters read two standards that relie on the same warranting i.e. if we have a condo bad shell with clash and time skew, clash relies on the assumption of time skew that the aff could not have engaged sufficiently in the neg positions, going for clash and assuming responses to time skew don’t apply can be dangerous. Generally I think if you are going for theory pay attention to every response on the flow, because conceding a one line response can often be damning in these debates.
I think condo’s bad I’m probably 60-40 aff on this debate, but also think condo bad theory time skews the neg. I also think both sides of this debate would benefit from innovation.
Default Drop the debater, all other defaults same as theory.
I think some larp affs are more non-t than many k-affs
I find the Limits concerns of Nebel T compelling (like 70-30 neg) and the semantics also flow neg but I don’t value semantics highly.
I don’t want to incentivize debaters learning how to beat back tricks, I don’t think it’s an educational skill
I probably know your literature but explain it to me like I don’t, you can use jargon to refer to concepts that would take hours to explain, but do so at your own risk I recommend being able to win any round without relying on them.
Not a fan of root cause at the impact level, sequencing and prior question type arguments can be compelling when well warranted.
Links of omission can be links, they are the worst type of links but I’ll vote on them, especially if I have a good card or reason why these things are specifically omitted from discussions.
Specific links are good, but having a solid generic link with specific analysis is underrated.
Severence bad is a good arg, I’ll vote on it.
Aff vs the K
Default perms are tests of competition not advocacies, can be persuaded otherwise.
Please give a perm text
Put offense on the k and respond to framing and the k tricks.
Do whatever you want, reject the res or debate if you want or don’t. I mainly defended my affs as whole res general principle, and think those are the most topical versions of these affs.
T-fw vs K affs
Need a text
Not a fan of pics and word pics, but obviously will vote on them.
Trad Debate and Debating vs Trad Debaters:
Trad debate and trad debaters are repeatedly disrespected by circuit debate elitism. Don’t be an elitist prick, most everyone starts out as a trad debater, those who don’t are lucky enough to be exposed via an older sibling or teammate. Circuit debaters should be open and encouraging to trad debaters at circuit tournaments, especially relating to issues like disclosure.
For trad debaters if you pull up to an octos bid in varsity, I expect you to be able to beat opponents who can spread, I will not force circuit debaters to trad debate trad debaters, because that denies the hundreds of hours those debaters spend to develop circuit skills. That’s not to say trad debaters just should take the L, I think trad debaters can win these debates by focusing on their arguments and doing good comparative analysis and making intuitive responses. One of the best substantive debates I had on my Da Bomb psychoanalysis aff was against a traditional debater at Berkeley who made great intuitive analytic responses which were difficult to deal with.
In my own career and as a judge I highly value pushing new arguments, types of debate, and reorienting both the form and content of debate, and reward clever innovative argumentation with higher speaks. This is usually done by performance and kritikal debaters, but this can be new da tricks with politics, or creating new voters on theory shells etc. At the same time, don’t expect me to vote on it because it’s new, please tell me how to evaluate it.
Collapse the debate to 2 flows max, when crossapplying tell me from what flow you are taking the arg and slow down if you want me to catch it well.
Make the most strategic choices, missed opportunities will be punished less than strategic mistakes, but please don’t read shoes theory when the neg is defending condo advocacies, pick better strategies.
Number analytics and name your arguments (i.e. analytic Das)
Having fun and making debate fun for your opponent
Having the email chain ready to go when you enter the round
Lying and rude behavior will reduce your speaks.
Being sketch in cx is a cx strategy, but fumbling or avoiding questions results in worse speaks, good answers increases speaks.
If you are unclear I’ll yell clear twice (maybe more if I’m feeling generous) and then stop flowing if you don’t get clear/slow down. Your speaks won’t be docked initially, they will be docked based on your response. There are degrees to being unclear, some will just result in lower speaks.
More random thoughts
I’m more down with shadow extensions than most, I’m not gonna treat them like full arguments but like if your opponent concedes 3 das that should count for something and you should still collapse to one. You can shadow extend to basically get the offense from the previous speech, I’d vote on it before presumption but it likely won’t factor into my decision.
Personal beef between debaters is better solved out of round, and uncomfortable too evaluate, that being said I’ve been in and seen other debaters in powerless positions regarding top down support and needed to take charge through per’s only medium – debate. As such if there are screenshots etc. of an opponents harassment I’ll drop them and attempt to resolve the matter according to the wishes of the one who experienced the violence i.e. whether that involves a conversation between the two debaters, or me lecturing the debater etc. The Debate community needs to stop ignoring this stuff otherwise it spirals out of control out of sight.
Flex prep is okay, you can ask questions during your prep time, you can also use your cx time for prep but your speaks will probably take a hit.
TLDR: paradigm is mostly the same as LD, do what you want.
I know you're probably bummed you got an ld judge in the back, but it's not all bad, I unfortunately barely competed in policy at my school because I was the only one interested (therefore I initially did Lincoln Douglas because of the lack of the partner). However I was somewhat involved in the policy debate scene, and most notably attended RKS the Wake Forest Policy Camp and got to quarterfinals at the camp tournament there. Overall I'm going to evaluate these debates as close to policy as I can, but obviously I have some ld influences. You'll find I'm less open to frivilous theory than you may expect and some ld judges are, but have a lower bar for theory then you are probably used too. In general I probably have lower thresholds for warranting than most policy judges, although due to time I expect arguments to be better fleshed out in policy than in ld. Also you can still read traditional philosophy if you want too in front of me like Kant, but I doubt many policy teams will want to have those rounds.
For Public Forum
I'll evaluate these debates using my background, feel free to run progressive arguments in front of me, just don't spread against debaters who can't or try to actively make debate inaccessible. I did Public Forum for my first 2 years so I feel comfortable evaluating the more stock debates as well. Don't start a shouting match in cx or repeatedly cut off womxn.
I have been a local parent judge in 2 events in this school year, I do not prefer spreading. I vote based on mainly on evidence and cross. I also will consider theory in deciding who I vote for. I give more importance to cross as it gives me a chance to know how prepared both sides are.
Add me to the Email Chain: MD16@albion.edu
I debated in high school at CRSJ from 2018-20 through SVUDL. I debate Policy and LD.
I am currently attending Albion College in Michigan.
Currently I am a judge for SVUDL and DUDL. I was given the opportunity to debate from a UDL and I am more then willing to help any UDL students. I understand what it takes coming from a UDL, so I just want everyone to have fun and learn.
Speed: I am fine with speed but please make sure it's clear for me to understand. If I don't understand I will say clear three times and you'll have to hope for the best.
Kritiks: I am fine with Ks but I had limited exposure to Ks themselves. If you chose to run a K that is more complicated or nuanced please do the extra work of explaining it for me, I hate assume things and it might not always work in your favor.
Topicality: If your opponents run something unfair, call it out and run topicality. I will actually listen and it matters, I've had too many parents judges just dismiss it because they just like the other arguments my opponents where making.
Theory: Please make it clear and reasonable. It may be better to have a doc sent out as it would be easier for me to follow. I will probably vote on Education, access, or fairness. Sometimes you don't have the same opportunities so I just want everything to be fair for everyone. Now, I personally don't like frivolous theory but if you chose to run it I will do my best to put my bias aside.
CP: Okay Okay... my favorite cp of all time is the Canada counter-plan. My friends ran the Wakanda counter-plan on the 2019-20 topic and I always loved how passionate they were about it and how they knew every aspect about it. They put a lot of work into it and it helped our whole team understand it and to get a new perspective on it every time.
CX: I am fine with tag-team CX. I don't usually flow CX, if it's a definition then I'd probably write it down. When the time runs out, please wrap it up and be respectful to your opponents. If your opponent doesn't answer your question, call it out.
DA: I am fine with anything, make sure it makes sense. I would rather you run 2-3 solid DAs then 6 or 7 and then drop them.
If you made it this far then yess, this might help you see what I might like and probably will vote on.
Please Please Please make sure if you are running anything that is as clear as possible, I don't want to assume things because you work hard on your cases and if I have to assume something it might not help you.
I want a good informative debate, I want everyone to learn something new and have a good time. Everyone has a different perspective on the world and everyone's voice is valid. Do not discriminate against anyone, debate should be inclusive and accessible to everyone. With that if there is discrimination in the round I will take it to tab, I will definitely will not stand for racism or Ablism, everyone matter and every voice is important. Do not make something up too, that is just abusive and hurts every community.
My favorite Ks of all time is Anzaldua and Afro-futurism, learning these two really helped my debate team really grow and helped us understand our place in the world. I am chicano so Anzaldua hit on a personal note. I really care that everyone is represented in debate and if your argument are about structural issues then this space is for you because if we are educated then we can find solutions.
70 year old parent judge. I have extensive judging experience on the local circuit in Dallas, however our tournaments are not on tabroom so you cannot see my judging record. This will be my first time judging on the national circuit. I tried to format this like I saw other judges at the Mid America Cup doing it.
1 - Traditional
Strike - Anything else
- I am nearly deaf in both ears, so please make sure to speak loudly. For zoom tournaments I can turn your volume up locally however if we return to in-person tournaments I need both debaters to be loud and clear. I strongly dislike speed and will hold it against you if I cannot understand you. I would put my flowing at around a 2/10.
- Debate is a communication activity and it is your job to communicate with me. I value clarity and effective communication in speaking. My flow will not be super comprehensive, so I am bad for technical debates. If your goal is to overwhelm your opponent by talking quickly, strike me.
- Plans are okay, I will also understand a counter-plan however I will likely not evaluate these the way most judges on the circuit would want you to. I would rather listen to a good debate about the Affirmative instead of something else. Disads are good. Critiques and Theories are a no - I do not understand these and probably won't.
- Please have a value and criterion. I think this is the best way to debate in front of me and I will understand it the most.
- Clear voters at the end of the debate will always be a plus. It makes it easy for me to judge.
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!
Lately, I have not received my flowers from the debate community for my exemplary judging. As a result, I will be starting the All-Pro Panel. All-Pro Panel distinctions will be given to the best judges throughout the debate community. This year, I will be determining the honorees. In the future, we should have more voters in the pool. Now to the good stuff.
It is with great honor I would like to present the 2020 All-Pro Panels.
Rafael Acosta (first judge to judge 3+ tournaments in a weekend and first judge to judge three rounds at once)
Rob Glass (he lives on tabroom.com)
Obinna Dennar (second judge to judge 3+ tournaments in a weekend and second judge to judge three rounds at once)
George Lee (judging while lowkey tiktok famous)
Rafael Acosta (explained above)
Honorable Mentions (in the future this might be Third Panel)
Chris Castillo (voter fatigue)
Eric Emerson (most sits)
Jason Courville (voter bias)
Back in my day, I beat Abby Chapman (one of the best debaters of my generation) three times in a row. I'm serious business, kid.
Hello debate community,
I am sorry for my unbecoming comments posted above. Debaters should never gloat over victories. The truth is Abby Chapman has always been a sore spot for me. Abby Chapman ended my middle school debate career on a 2-1 decision (Jacob Nail's sat) at the Middle School national tournament. Seriously, I cried for two hours. My young heart was broken and my dreams shattered. Abby, I would like to extend a public apology for my rude comments posted above.
Some rounds I am the best judge at the tournament (rarely) sometimes I am the worst (often). hahahha kiddinngg or am I?
I do judge a lot, so I can usually give an rfd that would bring a tear to the eye of Shakespeare's modern reincarnation. This tear would christen their greatest most profound literature bending-binding-changing work, but I am not too special.
I will vote on anything that is justified as a ballot winning position.
My flow is poor. The faster you go the more arguments I will miss. I am truth over tech.
I subconsciously presume towards unique arguments/funny, nice, and/or like-able people. This doesn't mean you will win, but if the round becomes unadjudicatable more often than not I'll decide your way.
I don't believe in speaker points.
If you are oppressive, I reserve the right to not vote for you.
Please keep me entertained I have severe ADHD.
Please make jokes. I find terrible dad humor jokes that fall flat to be the funniest.
I have no debate competition experience, but I do regularly speak in my profession. I have experience with positioning an argument on both the pitch and receive side, and thus will recognize a strong, fact based and well supported argument.
General Expectations and Things for You to Consider
1. Do expect me to value appropriate appearance, being on-time and being respectful of all participants.
2. Do expect me to follow the tournament rules.
- If you miss a requirement, I will deduct the appropriate score regardless of how well you performed.
3. Do expect me to keep notes.
- Please do not assume I am not listening or disinterested if I am looking at my pad writing. This also means I may miss something if you rush through your points quickly.
4. Do expect I may lack foundational knowledge of the debate topic.
- If you are building a position based on an assumption of topic knowledge, the point may be missed. Explain your key points fully and give me the "why" it matters for your position.
5. Do expect me to not place any value on positions just because they may be popular belief.
- For example, "Everyone knows kids between 13 and 15 want to listen to Pop Music".
6. Consider your voice.
- Speak loud enough to be clearly heard without reaching shouting level. Watch your tone...if you are overly flat and have zero inflection on important points, I may miss them.
7. Consider your flow.
- Signpost or signal your key points within the framework so I clearly understand your argument key points and rules fulfilment. Do this as part of your natural flow and avoid awkwardly chopping up your argument. If you read the majority of your argument, you will not flow well and hence, not score well.
8. Consider your non verbals.
- Posture, confidence, eye contact with me and overall energy of you wanting to be in the room matter.
9. Consider your factual evidence.
- I will follow the framework of the Debate Forum, but if I believe any evidence put forth is actually an opinion presented as a fact, it will not be received well. If I believe evidence put forth as a fact is deceitful, I may challenge it in my review.
10. Consider your emotions.
- Passion is great and encouraged, but if your approach is to convince me primarily through an emotional plea, you will not score well.
11. Consider professional over slang or casual communication
- Humor may be your style, which is fine, but deliberate use of puns or silliness as a strategy will not score well.
12. Consider your personal politics to be kept to yourself unless it is relevant to the topic.
I am pretty much open to any argument that falls within the boundaries of the event that you are competing in. I will not use bias in the decisions that I make, so anything that can logically be explained and defended will show up on the flow. I am not picky regarding the way that you speak, I will flow whatever I can–although if it is hard to understand it may reflect in the speaker points.
I like for things to be explained and extended–I am not going to do the work for you. As such, I am going to leave the decision I have to make as a judge up to the round itself, whatever can be extended and defended will get the win. Framework is very important to me as a judge, I like to see a lot of clash in the round itself. I will take off speaker points if someone is rude/unprofessional. Essentially, I just expect that people present the information they want me to flow and I will not extend/drop arguments for you.
I am ~3 years removed from debate, and I did LD for most of my high school career. I read a lot of Deleuze and dabbled in authors like Baudrillard and Bataille but I will try to be as tab as possible.
Speed is fine. Just be clear on tags, author names, and any warrants in the cards you want me to focus on. Please do lots of weighing, it makes my job easier.
Tech > Truth and disclosure is a good norm for debate but I can be convinced otherwise (with the right warrants, of course).
Even if its a lit base I'm familiar with, I would like you to explain your K or Aff just as well as you would to a different judge. I am a bit rusty when it comes to the fine details of many positions.
I'm not really good at evaluating theory, but I will listen to your frivolous shells if you slow down and have a very clear ballot story.
I used to have a decent criteria for rewarding speaks but nowadays I'll generally give above a 26 unless you do something egregious (racism, sexism, etc.)
I was a high school debater and am now a junior Political Science major at Rhodes College. I'm pretty flexible about what you run in front of me as long as it is written well.
If you have questions about it feel free to ask me point blank before round I will not be offended. I would seriously rather you ask me very abrupt questions then you ask me something cryptic and we misunderstand each other and then the round isn't judged the way you want it to go.
Framing is literally so important. YOU get to decide how the round is judged if you so choose. Anything you run should have AT LEAST a sentence or two about how to frame the round (ex: "This round should be judged based on breaks down cap the best, etc.). If you get questions/arguments about how to frame the round, you should be prepared for it. If you do not give me a way to judge the round, then I have to make one up, and that sucks for everyone.
If there is only one framing mechanism presented in the round, I will default to that.
Speed- Spreading is fine, but be clear. I'll say clear 2x, but after that if I cannot understand you I'll stop flowing. I do generally prefer you either flash/email me your cases if you are going to spread because it makes both of our lives easier.
LARP Debate- Cool.
K's- I freaking LOVE a well run K. Make sure you understand the philosophy you're running though, at least well enough to cover anything that might be asked in the round.
Easiest way to my heart is anti-cap lit.
Traditional- Trad is like, super boring, but its fine to run. Imo this has the highest standard of execution because you as a debater don't really have anything to hide behind, so when its bad it is BAD.
Racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, etc. comments= loss 20; being respectful is cool and stuff.
If you're running against a debater who clearly has less experience than you and maybe does not understand what you're doing, you should not be hammering that home to me or being rude/condescending towards them, be respectful, teach them something, don't be a jerk.
If you have any more specific questions feel free to ask me before round/if you see me.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org (for email chains, questions, etc.)
updated Dec 2020
I have been a parent judge for two years and am familiar with LD to an extent. I view debate as the ultimate game of strategy and persuasion. Creativity is encouraged. Regardless of whatever argument you're going to run, it ought to be run clearly. Ks and Theory need to be explained thoroughly. If I can’t follow you, I won’t vote on them.
Speed is okay, but if you’re spreading, I would like to be on the email chain. However, If you do spread, it will impact your speaker points. Debate is about communication. The more effectively you communicate, the higher your speaks will be.
I am tech over truth. I evaluate strictly on what is presented in the round. I will inevitably have to choose one argument over the other but I will base those interpretations on warrants and analysis presented in the round—not outside information.
If you want me to vote on a certain argument, it should be explained in a clear manner and your impacts should be extended. Weighing your argument and impacts against your opponent's argument and impacts will make your path to the ballot easier. I will try not to intervene, but please weigh arguments comparatively to make my job easier as a judge. If not, I will have to decide which arguments are more important.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
Updated for Glenbrooks :)
Email chains: email@example.com
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about this paradigm. Please at least read the tl;dr and the section about online debate.
I did LD for 4 years in high school on various circuits, and for various schools, including as an independent. I graduated in 2015. I also competed in policy at the University of North Texas. I coached a few students to TOC quals and bid tournament wins as a first and second year-out, and have judged at the TOC, NSDA Nationals, late outrounds of quite a few bid tourneys and round robins, and soooo many locals. I'm not coaching anyone this semester so I am not actively engaged with the lit. Don't assume I know your authors bc I probably don't.
Also, I judged during a time when joyoftournaments was still more popular than tabroom, so a lot of my judging history isn't listed here. If you are someone who cares to know, in general I think I've voted affirmative slightly more than negative (probably a 55-45 split), and you can totally read that against aff side bias arguments if you're negative in front of me. This is not to say I hack for the 2A, I've just seen a lot of 2N's go for wayyyy too much only to be immediately followed by a well-consolidated 2A that collapses to something winnable.
tl;dr Debate however you're comfortable. I have run, coached, and/or answered virtually every type of argument. It's not my job as the judge to tell you how I think you should go for the ballot. I will vote for any type of argument, at any speed. You must give a trigger warning if you're going to discuss a sensitive topic. If you're not sure if it needs one, err on the side of caution. In general, as the affirmative, you need to establish an evaluative mechanism for the round, and generate offense under it. Whatever that looks like to you is fine with me; from the simplest V/C structure to the wildest performance 1AC, I'm down for it. I prefer the affirmative to discuss the topic in some way, but that's not necessarily a hard requirement. The negative just needs to be winning a reason why I shouldn't vote aff (absent a theoretical reason why the neg needs to read an advocacy text/presumption args or whatever the kool kidz are doing these days). A lot of my preferences are just that: preferences. There aren't a lot of ways to get auto-downed by me, and the exceptions are outlined below. Have fun and be kind! Here's some more elaborate thoughts on debate if you care:
Good debate starts with good research. Cheesy but true. You should feel confident walking into the round that you know more than anyone else in the room about the topic. Getting caught off guard is no fun. Being able to make awesome, carded, responsive arguments on the fly because you know your stuff is super fun. And a super topic-centric, contentious round is far more fun to judge than a super generic one. Choose wisely. If I feel like you know a ton about the topic you're discussing (ie you explain it super well, don't have to constantly refer to evidence or quote it to explain warrants, etc), your speaks will be really high.
In general, I think that most contemporary structures of power are bad. I read a lot of critical arguments as a debater and coached even more of them. This is not to say I won't adopt a policymaking lens if that's where the round goes or you justify my role as a judge as such. If that's your A strat please full send, it's not going to impact my voting or your speaks. If you read util I generally prefer that you have a plantext with a policy advocate. Under any framing mechanism, I still prefer the affirmative to defend a specific advocacy text, even if it's just "do the res". I have a distaste for super broad, "do the res" style plan-affs in util debates. I don't like Nebel T and I think it's bad for debate. No I don't want to hear you shouting about "bare plurals" through two rebuttals, read better T or do better prep. I like Plan v CP debates, especially involving really strategic PIC's, and plan v. k debates a lot. Perm: do both is not a real argument absent actual justifications/net benefits, even if perms are a test of competition. If you perm a disad you lose 2 speaks. If you're reading policy args in general I expect the components to be there; I have a lot of policy experience and I will know if you're bullshitting and just dropping jargon.
I feel like this goes without saying, but arguments in bad taste or that justify bad things (racism good, genocide good), or use of rhetoric that I feel violates the safety of others (hate speech, slurs, sexism, etc), will cause me to immediately stop the round and have a serious, coach-involved discussion after I vote you down with 0 speaks. Rhetoric matters. No one has ever put me in this position; please do not be the first. I'm not talking about things like triggering skep or other strategic decisions, which can be morally questionable but also strategic if used correctly; I don't think anything in that regard de facto justifies atrocity. But if your opponent goes for that argument and wins a link (ex. your arg justifies atrocities), it will be a voting issue independent of FW. Racism, sexism, ableism, etc are intrinsically bad, and as an educator, I could not justifiably vote for a position that is determined in-round to be oppressive. I still need you to weigh and win a VERY clear link story if this is the argument you're going for. Read this article by the legendary Chris Vincent if any of this is unclear (I'm sure you've already read the Vincent 13 evidence but the whole article is really good and applicable here)
Be clear and concise. I'll say clear as many times as I have to. I don't think it's fair of me as a judge to stop trying to understand you just because I'm having to work a little harder at it. However, you're liable for anything I don't get the first time. If you're trying to extend an argument in the 1AR and I have no idea what you're talking about because the 1AC was 6 minutes of garbled tags and authors, that's on you. The speech doc will not save you in this regard; I'm only going to open it during CX to follow along and potentially after the round if I need to review evidence. I feel like I've developed a pretty fair briteline over time for how clear and expounded upon I require an argument to be in order for me to vote on it.
However, being clear and concise doesn't just apply to spreading. Word economy and time allocation are super important. One of the biggest pitfalls plaguing debaters is reiterating the same argument 10 different times, at various points during their rebuttal, simply to make sure that the judge understands how key of a voting issue it is. Please don't do this. You'll be amazed at how much more time you have in your rebuttal if you weigh and do argument interaction concisely, while telling a good ballot story. Organization is crucial; consistently good debaters are not sloppy.
Please weigh. Please. If you don't I have to do it for you, and nobody likes judge intervention. Avoid that situation entirely and do good weighing.
Please stop reading pre-written overviews in front of me. Your speaks will suffer. I have not judged a single round this year where the rebuttal overviews did any work whatsoever. If you tell a good ballot story an overview is not necessary. It literally is a waste of your time and it irritates me. A short overview at the end of your rebuttal is fine (ie explain how I'm voting and why after you've gone for substance) but why would you do it before I'm just confused tbh.
Speaker points: You'll start at a 28, and move in increments of .1. Speaks are obviously pretty subjective, and I tried not to read too far into them as a debater. Good strategic decisions, conciseness, clarity, and confidence are all important to me. Pretty much everything I discuss here will affect your speaks. I don't think I've ever given a 30 at a bid tournament, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. I have given a few out at locals for extremely impressive performances. At a bid tournament, 28.5 or above generally means I think you deserve a shot to break, above a ~29 means I think you deserve a speaker award too. If the maximum increment set by the tournament is .5, I will round up and let you know that in the RFD.
Do not be mean to less skilled debaters. If there is a clear skill gap in the round, and you're a total dick, spread them out of the room, intentionally make super complex args that they cannot engage with (basically doing anything to exclude them from even participating in the round in any way), you'll get the win but I will bomb your speaks. Debate should be inclusive, fun, and educational for everyone. Nothing is more demoralizing than getting dunked on while you have no idea what's happening. The flip side of this is that being kind, educational, helpful, mature, and still decisively winning a round against a significantly less skilled debater/novice will be a quick W30 from me, even at a bid tournament. We have to prioritize fostering an atmosphere in this community that will make people want to stay and get better, not quit. Relatedly, if your opponent asks you not to spread, and you do it anyway, I'm not going to vote for you. I don't care what their reason is. If you ask your opponent not to spread and then get up and spread the 1NC (why would you even try this lmao), I'm going to down you too. It's mean and probably cheating.
Theory Specific Stuff: I default to competing interps, no RVI's, drop the arg. I ran a lot of theory in high school. Although my views on the subject have changed significantly since then, I understand that theory is an important part of debate strategy, and I will vote for pretty much any theory arg. I will not vote for "wifi bad", "shoe theory" (what the fuck is this), or really any shell that isn't about something that happened in-round. I generally think shells should be structured Interp-->Violation-->Standards-->Voters-->Implications (drop the arg v. debater). Justify why you should get an RVI if you're going for one. My threshold is pretty low on CI/I meet's for the 1A and 2A; the negative needs to do a lot more work to prove why the aff shouldn't get an RVI than the aff needs to prove why they should. I feel like this offsets the time burden placed on the aff should the neg choose to go theory-heavy in the 1N and 2N, but again, you've still gotta win why the RVI is a voting issue in both the 1A and 2A. I despise messy theory debates so pls don't be that person. I am okay with theory preempt-heavy 1AC's, however:
Tricks: I ran a few egregious tricks AC's in my day. Not my cup of tea anymore, but I understand that they can be fun to run from time to time, especially if both debaters can throw down. I also believe that being able to answer them makes you a much better debater. If you're going to read stuff like this, don't be shady. I expect you to number, or signpost in some way, every single spike in the 1AC. I will bomb your speaks if your strategy involves your opponent missing a tiny blip that you blazed through in the first speech, and if they missed it, it's probable that I did too. That is not good tricks debate.
Do not clip cards. It's easy to do it by accident, but I will hold you accountable regardless. If you're not 100% sure what I mean, https://the3nr.com/2014/08/20/how-to-never-clip-cards-a-guide-for-debaters/
If you follow those guidelines, you should not have any issues with clipping.
CX is binding. I don't usually flow or take general notes during CX but I pay close attention. Flex prep is fine, but you may not use CX time as prep time. Any questions asked and answered doing prep will also be binding. You must answer any question asked in CX, and if you and your opponent agree that flex prep is cool, any that they ask you during prep as well. If you are not okay with flex prep, please make that clear before the round begins.
The case that you send in the email chain must be formatted identically to the one you're ready out loud. Same font size, highlights, stylization, everything. Don't be that person that sends their case in all caps or with the cards uncut or all highlighted or whatever. That's not cool and if you need to do that to get a leg up you're probably not very good at debate.
I think disclosure is a good norm. I obviously can't require you to do this, but I am pretty persuaded by disclosure theory as a result.
Time yourself and your opponent. This is something I shouldn't have to say, but apparently it's becoming more of an issue. I'm not going to have a timer. Time prep and tell me how much you have left, and write it down yourself too. If you ask me "how much prep do I have left?", I'm going to take a speaker point away.
You must flow. Again, something I shouldn't have to say. Reading off the speech doc doesn't count. If you don't flow, I'm going to assume you're bad at debate, and I'm probably not going to be very impressed with what you have to say, unless you're a literal human computer who can remember everything and generate perfect responses. Which you're not. So flow please.
You should compile your speech doc during prep. I don't count flashing/emailing as prep but please do not abuse this; if it takes you longer than 20-30 seconds to get it done, I'm going to assume you're stealing prep and I'm going to remove the excess from your remaining prep time, or dock your speaks if you have no prep left.
Online debate-specific stuff:
a.) You MUST make local recordings of your speeches as you give them in the round. If you or I or your opponent drops off the call, please complete the speech without stopping, and immediately email the copy in the email chain. Failure to do this will result in any missed arguments not being considered. After reviewing community discussions on this issue, this seems like the best norm going forward.
b.) Pls don't steal prep, I don't think this has been an issue so far this year so please don't be the first.
c.) DO NOT GO FULL SPEED YOU WILL PROBABLY LOSE!!!! Go 70% of your top speed max. Spreading is HARD to follow online. I'm tired of flowing off speech docs, if I miss an argument completely I literally will not even flow the extension and that's on you. Also, I often mishear/misspell the author names, and sometimes I'm wayyyy off, so it would behoove you to say "extend [warrant]" as opposed to "extend [author name]." This is a good habit to get into regardless, some judges don't even flow author names and it's usually more convincing if you don't need to tell me the name of the card for me to know what you're talking about.
d.) Email chains are required, if you're flight B please set it up before the round. Yes I would like to be added, my email address is at the top.
e.) Try to find a way to see both me and your opponent during speeches. Body language is important, and I'm pretty expressive as a judge, so you'll probably want to see me while you're reading to keep your finger on the pulse relative to my receptiveness to your args.
f.) I will allow debaters to tell each other "clear" or "slow" (please do not abuse this) during speeches. Other than that please make sure your mic is muted while your opponent is giving a speech.
If you have any questions for me before the round, please don't be shy. I try to be as approachable as possible at tournaments, so if you have any questions about the decision or things you could've done better, please ask as many questions as necessary after the round or in the downtime between rounds. This is a weird time in life for everyone, and we're all having to adjust in our own way. If you're ever feeling down, struggling, or need to talk, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or at least some responsible adult at the tournament. Debate can be stressful, and life is stressful enough right now as is. You should always feel safe and cared for in the debate community, and if you don't, please speak up; there are always people listening. Good luck, and most importantly, have fun!
EMAIL CHAIN: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have ever had me as a judge you know I pace and move around the room during prep. I am hyper-mobile. My learning necessitates movement. In the virtual world sometime I pace and go back and forth off screen, but I am never more than a couple feet away and always listening and ready to go when you say you are ready. Just don't want anything thinking I bailed on them.
I was a policy debate in the 1800s. This means debate is about the flow although I am old so your speed should be at 80-90% of what you think is appropriate. I currently coach LD and PF, although I mostly have LDers. I tend to have more of a policy oriented views on issues given my history and given where I coach tends to push those formats more often than not. In terms of judging, I judge almost exclusively LD. Personally, I am a classic liberal. This means, I will listen to anything, but argument from those place will have language that is more understood by me. I have personal experience with violence. This means you should be very considerate and understanding when it comes to warnings so that I can prepare myself mentally.
I am an educator first. This means that I am concerned about the what happens in the debate more than I do about what the debate claims to achieve. This does not lessen my focus on argumentation, rather it is to say that I am sensitive to the issues that concern the debaters as individuals before I am my concern about various claimed link stories. Be honest, fair and considerate to each other. This manifests itself in my judging when I pay particular attention to the division of prep time. Debater who try to steal prep or are simply not consider of opponents prep will irritate me quickly (read: very bad speaks). Also, debaters who attempt to spread out an opponent because they are a newer or lesser debater will quickly lead me to give them the lowest possible speaks. Let me be clear, I do not have a probable with speed. I have a probably when debaters use it to exclude others. Foster an inclusive community. In general, treat your opponent in a considerate manner and if choose not to my brain starts to find reasons to vote against you. I will never back-flow, this is a oral activity.
This is a common question given I tend to be critical on points. Basically, If you deserve to break then you should be getting no less than a 28.5. Speaker points are about speaking up to the point that I can understand your spread/read. Beyond that there are mostly about argumentation. Argumentation includes strategy, crystallization, and structuring of speeches. If you have a creative strat you will do well. If you are reading generics you will do less well. If you tell a full story on the implication of your strat you will do well. If I have to read cards to figure out what you are advocating you will not. If you collapse well and convene the method and meaning of your approach you will do well. If you go for everything (neg) or a small trick you will not. Finally, if you ask specific questions about how I might feel about your strat you will do well. If you ask, "What's your paradigm?" because you did not take the time to look you will not. Previously, I had a no speaker point disclosure rule. I have changed. So ask, if you care to talk about why; not if you do not want to discuss the reasoning, but only want the number.
I truly like a good theory debate. I went for T often as a debater and typically ran quasi topical cases so that I could engage in theory debates. This being said, what you read should be related to the topic. If the words of the topic do not occur in what you read you are in an uphill battle, unless you have a true justification as to why. I am very persuaded that we should learn about certain topics outside of the debate topic, but that just means you should create a forum or propose a topic to the NSDA, or create a book club. Typical theory questions: Reasonability is defense, competing interps are offense. Some spec is generally encouraged to increase clash and more nuance, too much should be debated. Disclosure theory is not very persuasive too me, unless debate very well and should only be used when you are had an actual conversation with your opponent prior to the debate.
I was a policy debater, so disads and counterplans are perfectly acceptable and generally denote good strat (read: better speaks). This does not means a solid NC is not just as acceptable, but an NC that you read every debate for every case that does not offer real clash or nuance will make me want to take a nap. PIC are debatable, but I default to say they are acceptable. Utopian fiat is generally not without a clear method story. Politics disad seem mostly silly in LD without an explicit agent announcement by the AC. If you do not read a perm against a counterplan I will be very confused (read: bad speaks). If you do not read uniqueness then your link turns are just defense.
A kritik is a disad with a counterplan, typically to me. This means I should understand the link, the impact and the alternative as much as I would if you read a disad and counterplan. I vote against kritik most often because I have no idea what the alt does. This happens when the aff fails to engage and you think that you now just need to extend tags on the alt and assume that is enough. I need a clear picture of the link and the alt most importantly regardless of how much the aff has engaged or not. Gut check is a real thing. If your kritik is death good, skep, determinism you are working uphill. If you are reading "high theory" know that I have not read the literature, but I will do my best. In the 1890s, when I debated, I was really into Cap and Gender based positions. My debaters like Deleuze and Cap (probably my influence, if I possession such).
If you are trying to convince me that what you are doing matters and can change people in some way I really need to know how. If your claim is simply that this method is more approachable, well that is generally not true to me and given there is only audiences beyond me in elim.s you are really working up hill. If it is more approachable for you, then make that clear and then go for it. Access trumps all! You are definitely behind if your argument is simply that you are the one to introduce this concept into the debate space. If your method somehow interrogates something, what does it interrogate? how does that change things for us and why is that meaningful? And most important you should be initiating this interrogation in round. Tell me that people outside the debate space should do this is not an interrogation. That is just a plan with a specific mechanism. Pre-fiat claims are fine, but again I need to understand the implication. Telling me that I read gender discrimination arguments and thus that is a pre-fiat voter is not only not persuasive it is not an argument at all. Please know that my debaters have read narratives and this approach can be very effective, but when not developed well it is frustrating to me.
I really enjoy good framework debate, but I really despise bad framework debate. If you know what a normative ethic is and how to explain it and then how to explain your philosophical basis, awesome. If that is uncomfortable language then read bad. Please, avoid cliche descriptors. I like good framework debate but I am not as versed on every philosophy that you might be and there is inevitable coded language within those scholarship that might be unfamiliar to me. Most importantly, if you are into phil debating do it well. Bad phil debates are painful to me (read: bad speaks). Finally, a traditional framework should have a value (something awesome) and a value criteria/standard (something to weigh or test the achievement of the value). Values do not have much function, whereas standards/criterion have a significant function and place. These should be far more than a single word or phrase.
I have very frustrated feeling about PF as a form of debate. Thus, I see my judging position as one of two things.
If this is a debate event then I will evaluate the requirements of clash and the burden of rejoinder. Arguments must have a claim and warrant as a minimum, otherwise it is just an assertion and equal to any other assertion. If it is an argument then evidence based proof where evidence is read from qualified sources is ideal. Unqualified but published evidence would follow and a summary of someone's words without reading from them would be equal to you saying it. When any of these presentation of arguments fails to have a warrant in the final focus would again be an assertion and equal to all other assertions.
If neither debate team adheres to any discernible standard of argumentation then I will evaluate the round as a speaking event similar to extemp. The content of what you say is important in the sense that it should be on face logical and follow basic rules of logic, but equally your poise, vocal variation and rhetorical skills will be considered. To be clear, sharing doc.s would allow me to obviously discern your approach. Beyond this clear discernible moment I will do my best to continue to consider the round in my manners until I reach the point where I realize that both teams are assume that their claims, summaries etc... are equally important as any substantiated evidence read. The team that distinguishes that they are taking one approach and the opponent is not is always best. I will always to default to evaluate the round as debate in these situation as that is were I have the capacity to be a better critic and could provide the best educational feedback.
If you adhering to a debate model a could other notes.
I’m very resistant of theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD, I default to reasonability in PF.
I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default utilitarianism.
Finally Word for All
I am sure this is filled with error, as I am. I am sure this leaves more questions than answers, life has. I will do my best, as like you I care.
Updated for Langham Creek -
I don't like embedded clash when judging, I still pay attention to how your lit interacts with your opponents, but if you want to win don't rely on implicit or shadow offense, explicitly make the argument for me to evaluate it.
Important defaults that I discovered about my judging philosophy:
Solvency is VERY important! In the case where there are two competing advocacies - solvency will be a huge factor in framing my ballot. So do solid solvency comparison - paint a picture of what your advocacy does and what your opponents don't.
It will be very difficult to convince me that material conditions/material impacts don't matter at least a little a bit, you can win that debate if I judge you, just know it will be an uphill battle.
I debated LD for Westside High School for four years, went to a few National Tournaments, and got a state qual my senior year. Make me laugh +.5 speaks for good memes and puns.
Short Paradigms - if you're lazy, but you should read my longer paradigm.
If you're going to read anything graphic, include a trigger warning.
T and Theory - 3
Phil - 1
Ks - 2
Policy/Larp - 2
Tricks - 4 or 5*
*If you're one of those people whose primary strat is to hide a bunch of un-flagged a-prioris and tricks in the 1AC or 1NC and blow one up in the 2NR or 2AR. Strike me and pray to the GCB that you never have me in the back of the room. If you want to read a-prioris highlight or label them in your first speech.
Long Paradigm -
My paradigms are a guideline for debaters but can change depending on how you tell me to evaluate the round, if you have any questions email me:
CX IS BINDING - DO NOT FEIGN IGNORANCE OR LIE IN CX.
T - The violation should not be generic, you should point out how they violate in the shell, and your offense on the shell should be contextualized specifically to that instance of abuse. Describe how that abuse uniquely harms the standards you have set for the round and how that ruins the round and/or is a bad interp. of the topic.
(Non-T Affs) - I'll vote for them, but I'll admit that I am biased towards TVAs and that non-topical affs turn the debate into a monologue. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go for them, just either outweigh or have intuitive responses to those arguments.
Theory - I have a gripe against frivolous theory, reading theory is smart when (1.) the abuse is legit: ex. pics, or (2.) when it's smarter to read theory than to engage on the substance level. However, I don't like when debaters bait theory as a primary strat, I'll still vote on a frivolous shell, but it's going to be an uphill battle for you. I assume reasonability unless you tell me otherwise.
If you don't weigh between the different interpretations of debate in the round and tell me why yours is better when running a counter-interp. It will be very hard to evaluate theory.
I am also becoming increasingly suspicious of the claim "it's not what you do it's what you justify", I'll still vote on theory shells hinging on that argument, but in my 5 years of debate I have never once seen theory change someone's strat or debate meta in general.
Phil - When I say phil I mean like modernism and age of enlightenment type stuff, utilitarianism, Kant, Locke, etc. Whether it takes the form of traditional value criterion debate or you're just setting a standard, I have a soft spot for phil args, so going for these args in front of me is super chill. Don't slack off on the flow though (phil debate doesn't mean sloppy debate), winning framework doesn't necessarily mean you win the debate, you must prove that voting aff or neg is better for your respective framework.
Kritiks - I've read cap, ableism Ks, settler-colonialism, security, dabbled in Deleuze, and I'm familiar with Wilderson (never ran Afropess though). Yet, don't assume I've read your lit base. If I try to contextualize the kritik to the aff or try to conceptualize it for you because you don't explain it to me, 1. that's judge intervention, and 2. I might make a conceptual error because I'm human. Try not to drop the alt, but if you do, explain to me why I should still vote for the kritik. Know your lit, it's super cringe if you don't. If you read a bunch of jargon with 0 explanatory power and shift what the kritik does throughout the debate, I will not be kind to you or your speaks. Also please do work on the line by line instead of shadow extending everything in the overview.
Kritikal affs are cool. Try to be topical, if you're not, be prepared for good T debate or defend why that shouldn't matter or whatever.
Policy/Larp - I love a good plan, I appreciate a good solvency advocate, stay up to date with your uniqueness evidence, weigh really well, know your evidence, all that cool stuff. Please don't make policy debates a race to extinction. Do solid impact weighing.
Tricks - I never ran them, if they're funny I'll tolerate them. If it's generic and lazy, I won't be as amused.
You're one of the best debaters here you did everything I was expecting of you.
29.5 - 29:
You're a great debater, you did really well, absent 1 or 2 critical elements.
28.5 - 28:
You did okay, made a few mistakes on the flow, but whatever.
27.5 - 25:
You did something that was considered taboo like reading a K AFF against a novice from a small school. Exercise some reasonability when considering what is taboo. It's not anything inherently problematic, but...why? Depending on how severe the integrity of debate was compromised and other context-dependent stuff, you could be on either side of this sliding scale.
You did something really bad like (racism, sexism, etc.) and depending on the severity I might give you 0 speaks. If you make it on here. The highest you can get is 25 speaks, and that's assuming that you are a novice, you didn't know any better, that you didn't mean to, that you tried your best to be ethical, etc.
(I go by Sai)
Quarry Lane 19
UPDATE FOR NDCA AND TOC 21:
Don't read tricks/friv theory and treat me like a techy policy judge. I am tired and I'm really only tryna listen to policy args, kritikal args, and/or topicality args. This does not apply to substantive phil/framework args, kritikal theory arguments, or kritikal "topicality"/framework shells (I'm only trying to differentiate between substantive and theoretical frameworks by using "topicality" sry) -- I am very open to hearing those, but this does apply to everything from indexicals to shoes theory. I can still evaluate everything, but you will not be happy with your speaks and neither will I.
Very serious about trigger/content warnings -- please give me them -- it's not very hard, please do it. If you're reading arguments that graphically describe violence, I am very unlikely to be persuaded that it was necessary to get your argument across or that you were somehow unable to provide a trigger/content warning. I am likely to vote for arguments that you should provide trigger warnings for graphic depictions of violence -- I don't think this applies to most arguments, but things like sexual violence, mental health stigmatization, etc., can be extremely traumatic to listen to someone talk about graphically. An aff being new doesn't mean you don't have an obligation to do this, but please still warn me if you want me to be able to flow. This does not mean you cannot read arguments about these topics, but just please try your best to avoid being graphic because we all come into the debate round from different places and people deserve a warning to at least be able to prepare to have the serious discussion you want.
Good luck and do ur best
Yes, put me on the email chain — email@example.com — have this set up before the round because I'm not waiting around here for you to get your wifi working and table up and shtuff -- the 1AC should start at the tab start time and if you have the speech doc already set up and sent by the tab start time, I'll boost your speaks -- just tell me
SLOW DOWN on tags and DIFFERENTIATE between tags, cards, and analytics -- do NOT spread through taglines for the love of christ -- I cannot type or write as fast as you can speak :,(
You do you and I'll do my best — I’d much rather you read your tricks aff than try to please me with a horrid k round (especially because I don't care what you read as long as you win it and you're not actively violent). I'll aim to be as tab as I can -- I appreciate judge instruction, clarity > speed, and clear framing -- but regardless, tech > truth and I will not do work for you. I also have a ton of appreciation for almost every form/style of debate in LD and policy so just go for it and make sure you impact things out and write a ballot story.
I didn't really think I needed to say this to prevent it from happening, but I feel strongly about it, especially after judging a round so I wanted to make sure to put it on my paradigm -- non-black people who read antiblackness against black debaters in rounds will lose in front of me -- sorry about it
Go to the bottom for stuff about speaks and some random shtuff I care about (also influences speaks tho)
Independent voters are real -- you lose if you're racist, sorry
My approach to rounds has always been who do I need to do the least work for. That means you’re always better off with more judge instruction, clear weighing, impact comparison, and strong line by line as well as overview analysis. That’s obviously a lot and LD rounds are short af, so prioritize issues and collapse in later speeches. I am more than willing to vote on a priori’s, impact turns, independent voting issues, etc. — just make them clear, warrant them, and don’t leave me with a ton of questions at the end of the round. I also think that, because of my background and how I’ve thought about debate, that I default comparative worlds. Given that, I will err tech > truth — I think I probably have a relatively high threshold for warrants, which means quality > quantity. I don’t see myself really reading through evidence or revisiting your docs to find args — it’s your job to do that work for me.
Also, I don’t know why I have to say this, but please have some way to filter impacts or frame the round — this can be anything from a starting point, a ROTB, a standard, a value criterion, or whatever you wanna call it — just tell me how to evaluate the round and/or do lots of weighing.
I find myself increasingly enjoying tricks because these arguments are useful in writing a clean ballot story and controlling various layers of the debate from framing to substance -- but you can do this with any flow -- I don't particularly like or dislike tricks, but I love impacting, weighing, and warranting -- don't just say "neolib" or yell "ontology" and move on because you think I will vote for you since I was a k debater -- do the work for me because I'm way more down to drop you than tell the other debater how much I intervened to fill in gaps and vote for you
If you are debating a traditional debater, be nice -- disclosure or pomo k's or spreading them out will either cost you speaks or the round altogether in front of me -- I think debate is a space for education and I personally understand how terrible it feels to be the less experienced or traditional debater in those rounds -- it is not educational and is not worth anyone's time for you to feel justified or pleasure out of doing that and I also find it makes the space uniquely exclusionary for people -- this is not very negotiable and I am not stupid, so don't think I won't know what's up lol -- do NOT spread and do NOT read theory or T, I find it far more unfair that you spread or read theory against someone who is unable to debate it effectively -- you can still call things unfair and read your larp strategies -- just be slow and clear, and don't be shifty in CX -- again, if you want to talk to me about this, feel free to, but I'm not budging as of now -- and I will boost your speaks as an incentive
I don't know how much this matters, but I've also done debate for 6 years now, had 9 career TOC bids in LD in high school, championed a college policy tournament, and coached multiple LD debaters who earned bids. I've also judged almost 150 LD and policy rounds at bid tournament across the country and I have experience competing in or judging every style of debate, as well as many individual events.
For Policy/CX Debate:
There's not a lot I think I really need to say -- I'm a college policy debater at NYU and I went to RKS 2018 -- I judged a couple tournaments through early elims last year, coached some policy debaters before, and I'm pretty familiar with criminal justice lit from both the policy and k perspective -- I also read a ton of performative args from cardless aff's about throwing a party to queer bombs, tons of K's (queer theory, gender studies, critical race theory, indigenous studies, disability studies, and pomo), but also read a ton of straight up strats from a Bahrain aff to a Xi DA -- I have been on both sides of most issues, but I don't really care about my opinions (except when it comes to accessibility and safety in rounds) -- so you do you and just make sure you know everything is debatable (within reason of course)
My approach to rounds is typically to vote for the team that I need to do less work for to determine a ballot -- I have a somewhat high threshhold for warrants regardless of what you read -- meaning, you need to make sure you warrant everything because I will feel uncomfortable voting for something I cannot adequately explain without intervening to do work for you
I think framing is important -- doesn't mean you have to win util or a ROTB, but just do weighing, impact comparison, and draw me a ballot story by telling me what matters most in the round
Everything else is pretty straight forward -- tech > truth, judge instruction, and you do you
Feel free to hit me up and ask me any questions if you have em on either FB or my email
I don’t think there’s much of an issue here since this is my initial foundation, I defended plan aff's and DA's throughout my career, I was a west coast debater, I read policy strategies in college with my partner, coached a couple policy and LD kids who read topical plan aff's, and I love policy debate. Debate as you do and I doubt there’s gonna be a problem for me. I'm a sucker for weighing and warrant comparison.
Don't be afraid to defend a policy aff against k's or phil -- I don't mind voting aff on Zanotti 14, but I'd rather you have a coherent justification for the aff being a good idea and a developed link turn strategy. Compare between the aff and the alt. Do framework comparisons if there's an NC and don't pretend Bostrom is enough. Also, adding in an impact that applies to marginalized populations could really help in debates where you want to go for a DA against a K aff, which shouldn't be hard to find since shtuff like climate change, war, and poverty affect those groups the most and also first.
DA's and CP's are fine and I have no problem here. I really like specific links and very specific politics scenarios, from like specific bills in Congress to international relations (I love IR). I think 2 condo CP's might be starting to push it, but that just means you should be ready to defend that you get them because I don't care as long as you answer any potential theory args.
I’m mostly familiar with Kantian Ethics, and a little with Virtue Ethics, Pragmatism, Particularism, Agonism, and Social Contract Theories. I've read and/or defended all of these, but am still not the most well read or experienced with them since I didn't have to deal with them as much in my career -- I haven't had trouble judging them and actually enjoying hearing them, so just do your best and you should be fine.
I find Phil vs. K interactions really interesting, but both sides could benefit from specific warranting when it comes to this rather than just winning your own framework or theory of power, but I am just as willing to vote on Kant as I am to vote on a k.
I am not very persuaded by author indicts of philosophers, but can be convinced if it is argued well -- BUT I have a higher threshhold for this than a turn to the framework itself. For example, I won't vote on Kant is racist, unless someone proves that his theory is and does the work of proving the aff is as well, OR is able to prove to me why I should not evaluate any of the work that someone who is a racist philosopher/writer has done -- which is a very valid argument to make, but you can't just end it at Kant is racist -- explain to me why that's a voting issue/reason to drop the debater/argument. And if you're defending a framework against these objections, stand your ground and defend your aff without being repugnant -- impact turning racism is not ok.
HOWEVER, this is a different story if they actually read cards/cite the author you are calling out -- i.e., if someone read a Kant card and you read Kant is racist, I don't see a way for the affirmative to win a no link argument or prove why their reading of Kant is uniquely necessary -- at which point, the Kant is racist voter issue becomes very very persuasive to me.
I default epistemic confidence, but am open to hearing epistemic modesty and/or other framing mechanisms for evaluating competing ethical theories -- but that's up to you to justify and win.
Yes I can evaluate these debates proficiently, but I implore you to avoid it in front of me -- I will not drop you for reading it or ignore the flow, so you may still win these rounds a lot in front of me, but I will not be very happy and neither will you with your speaks -- that being said, give me judge instruction, collapse, and do weighing if you want my ballot
This does not apply to what people like to call "k tricks" or substantively justified preclusionary/sequencing arguments like action theory on Kant or a bindingness claim on a framework, but definitely applies to things like permissibility and paradoxes -- if you don't know the difference, you can always reach out to me before or it's up to you to take the gamble -- not gonna lie, these are not substantive strategies and they do not require topic-specific prep in 95% of situations, so I will not empathize with the choice to pursue this style of debate because I find that even the debaters who read them seem to lack the philosophical background to understand these, let alone the other high schoolers running around reading induction fails without knowing who Hume is
Go for it. I read everything from solvency advocate theory to disclosure to body politics, so I as long as it’s not actively violent (look at the bottom of my paradigm for more on that) and you're not being too frivolous -- it's fine with me -- the more frivolous it gets, the lower my threshhold for responses gets ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
My defaults: competing interps, drop the debater, no RVI’s — this is just how I will evaluate the theory debate if you don't give me paradigm issues, but please do and I'm more than willing to vote on reasonability or grant an RVI if it's won
Impact turns are not RVI's and I still haven't heard a single persuasive or compelling reason I shouldn't vote on an impact turn -- feel free to read your no impact turns dump, but I recommend just cleaning up the flow by answering them instead -- a lot of impact turns to both T and theory are just cross-apps of case or huge conflations of arguments -- point that out, make it a link, put offense on that too -- however you deal with it, deal with it
I read topicality against most k aff’s that I hit my senior year, both just defend the topic and framework itself, and I read spec bad against like every larp aff my last topic too. However, I have no biases here and can be persuaded to vote either way.
I have no issues with you going for 1-off T-FW against K aff’s and I’m more than willing to vote on it, but I do think there are ways to win my ballot easier. Having a clear TVA is always persuasive, but what I mean by this is not just like a literal plan text that mentions the identity group the aff talks about — take it further and explicitly explain to me why that TVA is a much better model for debate than the version of the aff that was the 1AC.
I think having either offense on the case page or doing clear interactions between the aff offense and the T flow is persuasive and useful when I write my ballot. I’d prefer you tell me a story in the 2NR and really sell your model of debate to me. In other words, it is not sufficient to win that debate is solely a competitive game for me, I want you to really explain the implications of that to me because that’s a pretty bold claim considering all that this activity has been for a ton of people.
When debating T — have a clear counter-interp and defend your model of debate. I am more than willing to vote on an impact turn and am down for all the drama of various T strategies. Regardless, have a strong and robust defense of whatever model you choose to defend. I have been on both sides of this issue and I love debating from both sides of the issue (to some extent -- some language y'all be using in both your topicality extensions and your topicality answers are very iffy), and I find these to be some of the best and worst rounds. However, I am here for it.
Quick side note on Nebel -- I have not read much into Nebel, but it's not very persuasive to me that I should determine the topic by conventional grammar rules in a language that has been so deeply tied to colonialism -- I don't think this means I will auto-vote on grammar/textuality is racist, but I can be very strongly persuaded to and I think negatives need to have a robust defense prepared against this -- as in, take it serious and engage the argument by explaining to me why Nebel is not racist/answering the aff arguments, but don't assume I will vote on fairness outweighs or semantics first in a scenario where you are losing on that argument. That being said, a simple spec bad shell with a limits standard gets the job done and is a very great strat in front of me.
Yes. This is what I’m most comfortable evaluating. I’m most comfortable with identity politics, especially Critical Race Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Queer Theory, Queer of Color Studies, Asian Studies, and Performance Studies. If there’s a high theory k or some other area of literature that you enjoy reading or want to try out — go for it. However, I will hold you to really knowing your lit.
Also, please be aware of your own privilege -- have a strong and robust defense of why you should be able to read the k, what your relationship is to the literature, and how I should evaluate the round given all that.
Leverage the K against other flows and put offense on different layers — if you’re winning a case turn, implicate it both through the thesis of the K and independently.
Engage the thesis claims and answer the links in the 1AR.
Perms should probably have a text, but I'm open to the 2AR having leeway to explain them. But if you just yell "perm -- do the aff and graffiti the alt" -- I'm not gonna be very inclined to vote aff if I have no explanation of why that does anything. Have a relatively clear warrant and explanation of the perm that you can develop in the 2AR if you collapse to it.
Kicking the alt is fine — win the links and warrant presumption. I’m also fine with all your k tricks, but I’m not gonna stake the round on the 2AR dropping that fiat is illusory absent some clear warranting and judge instruction with it, as well as some comparison between your claim and a 1AR/2AR arg about the value of simulating policymaking or whatnot.
Yes. These are my favorite aff’s and I find them super interesting. I read them almost every round for 5 years now, I coached them for 2 years now, and I've debated/judged them for that whole time as well -- I got you LOL. I don’t care if you defend the topic or not, but be prepared to defend your aff and all the choices you made in it.
Presumption is fine, but I’m probably not gonna be persuaded by the classic arg that the aff does not affect how I view the world, feel, etc. This is not to say that I will not vote on a ballot presumption argument if it is argued well and won, but don't expect me to bank the round on a 5 second shadow extension that lacks clear warrants or weighing. I did read and go for presumption against a lot of these aff’s, but I prefer these to be reasons for why the performance of the aff is inconsistent with the method or other parts of the 1AC somehow, lack of solvency, vagueness, etc., and make sure the turns are impacted out effectively and weighed against affirmative's.
Be creative. Have fun. Express yourself. The best kritikal and performative aff’s that I have seen are a result of how they are presented, written, and defended — I think these can be some of the best or some of the worst rounds, but the only thing I’ll hold you to is defending something clear, whether a method, advocacy statement, praxis, or whatnot. Just be clear and tell me how to evaluate the round, considering most of these aff’s ask for a shift in how to evaluate and view debate itself.
Do NOT read these in front of me just because it’s what I did. I will definitely hold you to a higher threshold. Also, feel free to ask me any questions — I’d be more than happy to help you figure out some aspects of how you wanna explore reading this and I know I definitely benefitted from judges who did that for me, so I got u. With that being said, here's some cool things I'd love to see.
Something I loved doing was impact turning presumption args though — 1AR’s and 2AR’s that can effectively do this and collapse to it are dope and I’m here for it.
I think CX is a place to perform too -- I love performances that somehow extend beyond just the 1AC because they bring so much more of the drama of debate into question. However, I have also seen many people do this in ways that aren't very tasteful and end up either confusing me or triggering me. On the other hand, I've also found that these can be some of the most brutal CX strategies when employed well.
Regardless, don't feel shy about testing the waters in front of me, within reason. However, fire hazards are real, flashing lights are a no-no, and I would like to be warned, if possible. In other words -- sure, go off, but don't get me (or yourself) in trouble or do anything hazardous/risky. Also, I don't think it's ok for you to infringe on someone else's literal ability to debate, in terms of doing anything to their flows or picking up their computer for whatever reason -- please don't, I won't be happy and your coaches/school won't be happy.
I loved getting speaker awards, so just do you and I got you, but here's some incentives + random things LOL
- + speaks for everyone if you have the email chain set up before I walk into the room
- Clarity and enunciation > speed please
- Passion and ethos are dope — I don’t care what form this is in, but really sell whatever you read to me
- I will try to average a 28.5, but to be continued
Some qualms of mine (these will affect speaks):
- Please please slow down on tags and give me something to differentiate between args (i.e., “and”)
- I like tags — not just for evidence, but for links and overviews, etc. (i.e., “Liberalism Link”)
- Judge instruction please — write my ballot for me, I’m lazy
- There’s a difference between asking questions and post-rounding — I’m all for telling you how to win my ballot next time and to discuss things you might disagree with, but I’m not about to sit here while you talk down to me — not saying you can’t be loud about it or anything, but there’s a respectful way to do this
- Respect one another — sass and petty are dope, I live for it, but there’s a line and if you don’t know how to draw it, don’t try to push it
- Pronouns are important — egregious misgendering is not cool w me, but try your best and I understand — I recommend defaulting to “they”
- Trigger and content warnings are important to me as an educator in the activity, but also as a participant in the round — if you’re going to be talking about sensitive topics, please give me (and everyone in the room) a heads up
- I will not vote on anything that polices what clothing other debaters are wearing — this is not negotiable sorry and yes, that means I will not vote on shoes theory or formal clothing theory — you can @ me if you want
- If you are reading a card with more than one color highlighted in it, please remove the highlights -- it really messes with me and I personally have issues processing that, which that will make the round a lot more difficult for me to adjudicate
- I think y'all rely on tech way too much sometimes and forget that as important as being techy and being ahead on the flow is for judges, including me, you also need to prioritize issues in rounds that are the most persuasive and collapse harder. When judges tell you to write a ballot story, that doesn't just mean to win a perm or really hammer home a link, but preach to me, not your opponent.
- I'm also tired and am going to give no leeway at all to debaters who aren't extending impacts or warrants with their arguments, which has happened way too much.
- Evidence ethics is actually quite important to me -- just cite stuff and use EasyBib if you are unsure how -- that means I have very low tolerance for lack of citations (the minimum is the author name, name of the book/article, and the date it was published), clipping, and more
- I am also not gonna hang around wasting everyone's time so you can send docs -- of course, I understand there are things such as technical difficulties and it takes time to send an email -- what I am not ok with is waiting 10 minutes for you to send a goddamn doc -- so after like let's say 5 minutes of grace time, it comes out of your prep -- push it and you will not be happy with your speaks -- I ofc won't be unreasonable, but if the wifi's down and it's taking too long, I'm not holdin back my time or everyone at the tournament for it, so just speak slowly and let your opponent look at your computer during the speech and during prep and debate -- speed enhances rounds, but you can also both be slower and clearer instead if that means we actually get the round done LOL
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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! :)
I am a parent/lay judge.
I will vote for whoever presents high quality arguments in a clear and coherent way and is best able to persuade me. I will evaluate arguments based on how true I think they actually are, and overall presentation will be crucial in my decision. I appreciate debaters who emphasize important points and use persuasive techniques. My decision is also heavily influenced by performance during the cross-examination period.
If you want me to vote for you, please go slow (conversational pace). If you are rushing through the debate, it will reduce my chances of voting for you and hurt your speaker points.
I will take notes, but they will be brief and only consist of things which are clearly emphasized to me and points which I thought were very good.
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.
Hello! My name is Michael Kurian and I did Natcircuit LD for 2 years at Dulles High School in Houston, TX.
I had 5 career bids and qualled to the TOC as a junior and senior. I also did a bit of policy as a senior and qualled to NSDA in CX.
Yes, email chain me friends:
Do whatever you want, some things tho
1. I will say clear and slow if you're incoherent
2. I dislike theory when frivolous (you know what "frivolous" means) but will vote on it. This means yes, I will vote on it, but I give the opposing side a shit ton of leeway. If the aff makes a shitty I meet or has marginal offense on a really dumb shell like "Link chains bad" I will err that way. I like theory when strategic, but LOVE it when there is legit especially if you use creative interps or good combo shells. My favorite theory shell is O-Spec :)
3. Lets say you read a dump of some kind and you don't flash the arguments to the room. If your opponent asks you to flash them during CX or prep, you will do so. Otherwise, I will eviscerate your speaks.
4. You're allowed to be a jerk proportionally to the amount of foolery going on in the debate
ex. If the aff has 3 NIBS, you can be a little mad. If the 1NC is racism good, you can be furious etc.
5. I dislike partial disclosure shells ie. "Must disclose Plan Text of new aff, must open source, etc."; Disclosure is simple - if you've read it, disclose it. All of it. If you haven't broken it yet, you don't owe your opponent jack. You can give them the ROB text or the plan text if you're feeling benevolent.
*****I will NOT vote on ****
1) Brackets theory
2) Font theory
3) Arguments that are explicitly homophobic, racist, or otherwise bigoted.
4) Evaluate the debate at X speech (no - I will eval the whole debate regardless)
5) New affs bad
6) Arguments that exclusively link to your opponents/your identity without structural warrents- ex. "White ppl should lose", "vote for me cuz im X minority group"
7) Must Disclose Round Reports
This is the form of debate that I did the most in high school. I will probably understand your insane postmodern nonsense as long as you understand it enough to explain the application back to me. Race and Id pol Ks are cool - ive changed my mind on them - i actively like them now.
1) Link work - really important.
2) Alternative explanation - I have a somewhat low threshold; I'll assume it solves case and the K's links unless that is contested by the Affirmative
3) WEIGH with the ROLE of the BALLOT - tell me why your pedagogy is important, why it belongs in debate, and how we can use it to derive the best form of praxis. If you aren't doing these things, you will probably lose to a more intuitive RoB.
Things I don't like but will still vote on:
1) Kritikal presumption arguments
2) Links of Ommission
3) Lazy, overused link arguments
4) edgy jargon that stays edgy jargon (explain ur stuff at SOME point at least)
Love it, think its cool and underused.
Do lots of weighing and explain why your framework resolves meta-ethical problems -- Infinite regress, Constitutivism, Actor spec. etc. If not, tell me why it should be preferred over another framework. I don't like particularism (or rather I like it as an ethical theory, but think it is weird when used in debate); my favorite frameworks to hear are Pragmatism and Virtue Ethics.
I prob went for a DA 2 times in my entire career lol. Just do weighing and warrant comparison. It's a relatively intuitive debate style and if it doesn't seem so, I'm not one to say, but you might be doing it wrong. I'm a sucker for good IR analysis. If you understand how States function in relation to eachother and can use concrete examples in explanations I'll be persuaded and also boost your speaks.
Weigh. Make good arguments or make really creative bad arguments. Failure to do either will make me sad.
On the Theory vs K debate:
1. If the AC references the topic heavily, is strongly in the direction of the topic, defends implementation, and/or in some other way grants you your topic ground, don't whine and call me a K-hack when I err aff against whatever shell you read. If they're doing everything within reason to grant you your prep, and I still hear 9+ mins of crying in the 1NC and 2N about how you have LITERALLY ZERO GROUND™ I'm going to be much more likely to vote the other way. That being said, if you genuinely feel like the aff is out of the range of the topic or is straight up non-T, go for T, or T - Framework, and go as hard as you want.
2. Reading disclosure against K affs is a good strat.
3. This shit is so boring literally everyone hates this debate, so make it interesting. Have good TVAs, and do actual analysis; policy-good dumps are dry af.
4. The "small schools can't access Ks" argument is objectively false and one of the dumbest args to ever become popular - don't make it in front of me unless you have a spectacular warrant.
5. SPECIAL NOTE ON TVAs - I have a very high threshhold for TVAs because I think 99% of the time, the position that the neg argues is a TVA is actually very different from the aff. In other words, I usually have a hard time understanding why a TVA is actually a TVA instead of a topical aff that somewhat resembles the actual 1AC. If you're reading the K aff, just make arguments for why the TVA misses out on a benefit that the aff proper possesses, and if you're negating and going for the TVA make arguments for why the TVA subsumes the aff or has other benefits which outweigh.
I just evaluate it the same way I would a bs-heavy theory or framework debate, which lets be honest, is what this is.
Paradoxes, Aprioris, and presumption/skep triggers are all fine.
Things I'll boost your speaks for:
Naruto Reference in speech: +.1
Dressing like you don't give a shit: +.1
Cool Affirmatives: +.3
Solid Collapsing: +.5
Creative arguments: +.2
30: straight fire
29.5-29.9: ur fire
28.6 - 29.4: You good
26.1-27: big oof
25.1-26: go to church dude lol
25: f you
Hi, I’m Gabby! (they/them)
I debated for 4 years at All Saints in Tyler. Please put me on the email chain. My email is email@example.com
I go to the University of Houston now where I do policy debate with Patrick and am majoring in biomedical engineering.
UPDATE FOR E-DEBATE: I kinda suck at flowing lol. Maybe it's something about that 420p mic quality that really makes my ears scream. Please keep a local recording of your speeches in case of tech issues. Also, make it clear where and when you’re extending arguments. PREP TIME ENDS WHEN YOU SEND THE DOC. DON'T FINISH COMPILING, THEN STOP PREP TO SEND THE DOC. I am impatient :(
In general tech>truth, run what you want, but I will not vote on an argument that I don’t understand. I don’t like doc-botting (not the same as having some pre-written extensions). Please contextualize arguments. Voters are greatly appreciated. Don’t call me ma’am. Judge is awkward but fine. Just call me Gabby or something. Feel free to email or Facebook message me after the round with any more questions. If I find that you're clipping in your speech you get an automatic L20 and I'm telling tab >:(
I have a horrible poker face. Watch my non-verbals. I have hearing problems so you should be clear, start slowwwww then speed up but don’t go more than 80%. S I G N P O S T. I will not cross apply arguments for you. Tell me where to flow things. I’ll vote on almost anything as long as it’s warranted/impacted well and isn’t morally repugnant. I’ll vote on like cap or death (not in a personal sense) good but not any oppression good args. Presumption goes to the side with the least change. CX is binding. Don’t try to convince me it isn’t. Stop telling me to judge kick arguments please it's too much thinking and my brain is small.
Overall: S U B S T A N C E P L S. If you’re going to run something you think I won’t understand then err on the side of over-explaining or else I probably won’t vote for it. EXTEND WARRANTS. I WON'T EXTEND ARGUMENTS FOR YOU. I generally don't vote on new arguments made after the 1AR but I can be convinced to make exceptions.
Phil: oOooOoo. I mostly did this. Don’t assume I know what the white guy you’re talking about is saying. I probably understand Kant the most. Always loved me some Mouffe. Rawls is cool but kinda cringe. You should put turns on the contention. Independent voters (Kant is Racist!) need warrants and implications. Please don't make me vote on "induction fails" because I will if you reallllly sell it but you'll probably end up with an LPW.
LARP/Policy: Did a lot of this debate and I think you should too. Use normal/simple jargon (uq, links, etc.) I still don't understand sufficiency framing tho lol. Zero risk is possible especially if you don’t read a complete link chain. Can you even quantify this stuff otherwise? Idk. If you say uniqueness controls the directionality of the link I will laugh at you. Be efficient. Wacky impact d (mushrooms, bubbles, etc) on case is funny and I like it. Reading it will probably bump your speaks. Smart analytic advantage counterplans are cool. Solvency advocates are cooler.
T/Theory: UPDATE- Please don't make me have to sort through more than 3 shells in a single round. I have a high threshold for voting on "new affs bad" and I EVALUATE DEBATES AT THE END OF THE ROUND GOD DAMNIT. I'm dropping speaks if you read "eval the debate after x speech that isn't the 2ar." Make the abuse story clear. Spikes are fine. Tricks are less fine. If indexicals are true then I evaluate debates under the index that they're not real arguments that can win you the round. I'll vote on frivolous theory but I DO NOT WANT TO. I will not vote on theory args about your opponent’s appearance or clothing. I’ll end up going truth>tech if you annoy me with too many shells. I default competing interps and drop the argument, but if you warrant reasonability and/or drop the debater better than your opponent, then that’s the way I’ll evaluate the shell. I'll vote on paragraph theory if you're clear enough for me to flow it.
Mini Note on Framework/Clash Debates: Being topical is probably good I guess. Negation theory is true. I like "semi-topical" K affs that show how much you've researched/worked. All these debates I’ve judged have been hella boring. Make it funky, make it fresh PLS. I’m not good at flowing lots of little arguments in these types of debates so you have to be very clear/slow down and sometimes you really just gotta persuade me. I usually think you have a better shot going for K/case in these debates if you're a 2+ off team, but you do you.
K: Tasty. Pat and I are a K team now but he’s the 2N so uhhh let that guide your decisions. Don’t have a 4 min long overview and then explain again on the line by line. Pick one, preferably the second. Don’t use big words to explain big words. Use little words. I’m dummy. From what I’ve gathered, affect is the ~vibes~ so maybe I’m not the best for the gooey-est of pomo debates. Role of the ballot debates feel more like a role of the buzzword competition. These debates tend to be incredibly irresolvable and still don't give me much of a direction in terms of how the ballot functions (is it an endorsement of a research model? why do you want the ballot?) I will be highly skeptical of you reading an identity-based K and not being that identity. I won’t auto drop you but I probably won’t think it’s a very good debate if you say self abolition 20 times. Make sure the alt resolves the link or I’ll vote aff on presumption. Floating PIKs don’t make that much sense outside of technical offense but if you really sell it I’ll vote on it. Don’t be sketchy about them in CX. Tell me why the link being a disad to the aff even matters. Perms need warrants and implications/net benefits. Low key most Ks are just CPs with multi-actor fiat but that’s just my hot take.
Performances: I think these are pretty neat. Please contact me if the content might be triggering in any way or talk explicitly about queer/trans experiences. Have a theory of power. Explain your method. If you’re playing music or have background noises make sure it’s not too loud.
Tech>Truth. Be nice to your opponents. Being rude in cross will hurt your speaks. I really don’t feel a need for you to be spreading in PF. I don’t mind if you say "clear" or "slow" to your opponents if they spreading in round and you are not comfortable with it. Giving me a framework will only help your case. No framework/standards mean that I default to a cost-benefit analysis. Observations need a warrant, and I will not vote on them alone. Don’t run sketchy/abusive/messed up arguments. Please terminalize/contextualize your impacts (e.g. don’t make your impact “bees will die” without telling me why bees dying should matter). Give good voters (no, the framework is not a voter) and an impact calc (comparing your impacts with theirs and why yours will matter more).
A note on Speaker points (ALL EVENTS)
rule of thumb: happy Gabby = higher speaks!
I determine speaker points based on a mix of strategic choices, persuasion, and vibes. IF YOU ASK FOR A 30 YOU GET A 25! Speaks will start at a 28 and go up or down from there. Speed is fine. I’ll say clear 3 times before I dock speaks. Slow down on tags and analytics. Please be nice to your opponent. Snark and sarcasm are fine. Being outright rude will result in lower speaks. If you fail to read content warnings and your opponent ends up feeling unsafe in round, you won't get automatically dropped but you’ll get 25. If you purposely misgender your opponent you will get no higher than a 25 and I will find and talk to your coach and school sponsor. Doing the listed things might get you some extra points. Kind of important: I will be very very unhappy if you take more than 20 seconds to send out your doc. More than a minute and you're capped at 29. More than 2 and you're capped at 28.
- for every silly spec shell you add (shoes, internet spec, etc.) - minus a full point
- clown Patrick Fox for not having a life outside of debate (in a way that makes sense in the round) +.2
- read an argument that has to do with space/aliens/frogs and win it +.4
- outspreading someone you know can’t keep up or being an ass to novices/lay debaters - 27 max
- ask for a 30 or other speaks theory = 25 max for not reading my paradigm
Last note- have fun!
I default policy maker.
Summary: I debated policy for 3 ½ years in highschool and attended a 5A school. I also judged some novice rounds in highschool. I have an associates degree in criminal justice and am currently studying criminal justice and political science at university.
Speed is fine so long as I can understand you. If I am not flowing (holding my pen), it is likely that I cannot understand you. Roadmaps and signposting are preferred. If you cannot read quickly without gasping for air, screaming at me, or rocking back and forth, then you should probably slow down. A moderate amount of eye contact is preferred (you don’t have to look at me the whole time, but you also shouldn’t only look at your evidence).
Open cross-examination is fine on the TFA circuit, but one student should not dominate the cross-x period, especially if it was not theirs to begin with. Do not speak over one another and do not be rude. I do not flow questioning periods.
Affirmative can claim “fiat,” under the guise that the plan “should” be done, not that it is being done or will be done. Presented frameworks must be adequately supported; a flimsy explanation of the framework will not suffice.
Generally, theory arguments are fine as long as they apply to the round and are not used to waste time.
Quality vs. Quantity-
I prefer quality of arguments over quantity. It does not matter if you have 15 pieces of evidence against your opponent if they do not flow well and are not well delivered. Additionally, explain why each piece of evidence is important! If you want me to flag evidence, call for it in your rebuttals.
These are fine as long as they are not generic. I do not consider a rejection of the affirmative plan to be an alternative. That said, if you are going to run a kritik, it MUST be complete! Do NOT run a kritik without links or an alternative.
This is fine as long as it is not used to waste time. If your opponent is reasonably topical, you need not read a topicality shell. If you do not provide standards and voters, I will default on reasonability. If you can provide a list of cases that fall under your definition of topicality, this will provide you with more leverage on T.
This is my favorite negative strategy :-). Counterplans do not have to be topical. Plan inclusive CPs are accepted. Please indicate whether the CP is conditional, unconditional, or dispositional in the 1NC. Net benefits are strongly encouraged.
I will vote for the team with better impact calculus. I prefer that you don’t use big stick impacts, but that does not mean I will vote you down for it. Just know, if you read a nuclear war impact, I will be screaming internally. However, I have voted on it before.
Be clear about what arguments you are going to kick. Try not to kick arguments unless it is absolutely necessary. That said, do not run arguments you know you aren’t going to stick with; that wastes time. Remind me which arguments you have kicked in your rebuttals. If I don’t flow it in the rebuttals, it counts as a drop :-).
As far as value and criterion are concerned, your value must be measurable. While this is not my primary mechanism for deciding the round, it can be a factor depending on how you use it.
-It is important to generate clash and imperative that your plan solves!
-Be civil with your opponents! I will dock speaker points if you are disrespectful of your opponent! Snide comments are unacceptable. Debate is supposed to facilitate education and understanding; this cannot be done if your opponents feel uncomfortable or isolated.
-I will not include roadmaps in your speech time, or flashing in your prep time, unless it becomes excessive.
-I will not disclose; don’t ask.
-If there is an email chain, I would like to be included.
-Ask for pronouns before the round starts.
*TOC 2021 running update*
(copied from megan wu's paradigm)
"given that toc is often the last tournament of the year/debaters’ last tournament, and also an unusually stressful tournament, i am happy to honor the wishes you may have about my rfd—i am happy to do anything from giving compliments instead of critique, to only sharing the decision with your opponent, etc. if you want me to do this, please communicate this to me before i begin with the rfd!
enjoy the toc experience—you deserve it!"
I work for the government--better explanations of inter-governmental processes or policymaking would be much appreciated.
R1, F2: Voted for Scarsdale ZS on their moral non-naturalism, intuitions good aff
R3, F1: Voted for Immaculate Heart BC on 1 condo bad.
R4, F1: Voted for American Heritage Broward EM on their contracts/internalism NC.
Yes I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflicts: Garland (TX), Lindale PP, Westlake (TX)
Pref Shortcut: K: 1-2; LARP: 1-2, Phil: 2-4, T/Theory: 3-4, Tricks: Strike
If you'd like to see what rounds/who I've judged, how I voted, my side bias, average speak stats and what kinds of args I've judged, here's a spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vs4kAHB-mdhbm7QInTPOX-Jp8KAZeO1s7WsGGX1m3fs/edit?usp=sharing
Past 2NRs that I've voted for this year (2020-21):
jan-feb: sgr-a1 PIC w/ korea NB, terror DA + case defense, queer pess k
sep-oct: T-"a", prison abolition k, disability pess k, anti-blackness kritiks [4 times], sortition cp and elections da, a multi-plank voting improvement cp and case turns, presumption
Past 2AR's that I've voted for this year (2020-21):
jan-feb: the aff itself [3 times]
sep-oct: AFC [:(], multiple dispo bad, vague alts bad, ableism independent voting issue on a spec shell, the aff itself [only once though *shockingly*]
I'm going back to (in an attempt to be a better listener in round): a) flowing on paper b) flowing what you say, not the doc c) re-tracing the round using relevant parts of the doc only after the round.
Speaks: I'll default to the tournament's speaker point scale if given, otherwise I'll start at a 28.6 and go up/down from there.
Things that will get you extra speaks:
---Writing my ballot in the 2NR/2AR.
---K 2NR's that have aff-specific links, use specific in-round issues to evaluate the debate, and generally explain the K well.
---Executing an aff-specific LARP strategy with robust argumentation.
---Explaining philosophy well. (I'll be super impressed with this specifically)
---A well-researched and well constructed aff.
---Strategic choices and concessions that get you ahead in the debate.
---An all or nothing strategy and winning it. Examples: a) the 2NR goes all-in on impact turns to the aff and nothing else b) the 1AR straight turns the 1nc's disads c) the 2AR only goes for their Kant framing and precluding all the neg's offense d) the 2AR goes for a 1AR discourse K
Things that will make me unhappy and likely lose you speaks:
---Poorly explaining arguments or reading bad evidence.
---Making me yell clear multiple times
---Going for everything in the 2NR or 2AR
---Making me vote on tricks, a random truth-testing argument, an RVI, or on a theory shell that doesn't pass the common sense test.
---Being mean or saying something awful in-round. [I reserve the right to intervene if what you said is truly awful]
---Long 2NR K overviews.
---Being overly reliant on blocks, or not utilizing the flow/issues that happened in-round.
Some thoughts I have on debate that reflect my thinking and may affect how I judge the round:
1] I prefer to hear smart, well-researched, good quality arguments. The bright line for this is whether or not a school administrator/sponsor would view debate positively after seeing/hearing the argument. This matters because all too often people are willing to vote on illogical, poor quality, or dumb arguments that reduce the value of debate as an activity. I would prefer that debate becomes a stronger and more vibrant activity, and to that end, I will strive as a judge to promote that goal.
2] At the end of the round, I want to only vote for arguments that I can explain back to the debaters. As a judge, I feel that this is only fair so that I can give a coherent RFD and not leave one or both debaters confused and/or angry. That means that in your 2NR or 2AR, you should explain the position/argument that you're going for well, in addition to winning the position/argument on a technical level.
3] Defaults I will use (in the absence of argumentation or being told otherwise):
Competing Worlds > Truth Testing
Theory paradigm issues: 1AR theory is legitimate, No RVI's, Reasonability, Drop the Argument
T paradigm issues: No RVI's, Competing Interps, Drop the Debater
Role of the Ballot: Vote for the debater who did the better debating.
Role of the Judge: To decide a winner, a loser, and assign speaker points if this is prelims.
4] While the 1AR or 2NR might be time-compressed or skewed strategy-wise, I believe that granting an RVI is not the right correction to make. Instead, reasonability and/or drop the argument make way more sense to me to correct the abuse incurred by skews or frivolous theory shells.
5] I find that unless there is substantial demonstrated in-round abuse, I'm skeptical of voting on theory and tend to think that it's a reason to reject the argument, not the debater.
6] Evidence ethics is a stop the round issue. If a challenge is initiated, I will evaluate it and nothing else in the debate. A successful challenge will result in an L20 for the evidence offender, and an unsuccessful challenge will result in an L20 for the challenge initiator.
Old paradigm (that's still true, but was scrapped for length and being overly complicated): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bxnud-Adkse3iBuHL3LW6WOx-tPHHxUHGVLSLpjTSO0/edit?usp=sharing
Houston Memorial '19
The last time I judged a round was in December 2020 and it was a policy round.
It has been well over two years since I judged an LD round so take that as you will.
I tend to prefer LARP debates over traditional debates. I never liked traditional LD and was never the best with PHIL. I was never a theory debater but if the theory flow is very cleanly explained, ill vote on it. I haven't been in the LD scene in a while and have no topic knowledge.
Yeah I want the docs -- email@example.com
I did policy for 3 years and had some success
Policy Affs > K affs
Soft left policy affs> Big stick generic Affs
Sucker for a good framing contention
While I have these notions, I will listen to a K aff etc and not be biased against it.
I haven't been in a round in about 7 months and know zero about the topic so take that as you will
you're prolly gonna wanna slow down in front of me
sucker for a good politics da
I think a solid case page debate is the most underutilized tool in debate
you can go for the k, don't expect me to know your high theory beforehand though, again its been a while and i was never really into high theory anyways
This is a new tabroom account so please excuse the lack of judging history.
I have participated in PF, LD and Policy within the 8 years of me being in the debate community.
Please email me if you have any questions as I continue to update my paradigm thank you.
OR - If you have any immediate question for PREFS you can always find me on facebook Heaven Montague
Tech or Truth?
I am a technical judge BUT I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY ARGUMENTS THAT MAKE STATEMENTS SUCH AS RACISM GOOD AND ETC.
Competed in LD and WS at Plano East for four years mainly in TFA but also at some NatCircuit tournaments.
firstname.lastname@example.org put me on chains
These are all just preferences, TL;DR debate how you want to I might give the wrong rfd if I'm in the back of a tricks or phil round.
I should be able to make a decision looking only at your 2nr/2ar flows.
Be CIVIL and strategic and you will get high speaks -- online debate especially makes it difficult to differentiate between being funny and rude so please be respectful.
+.5 speaks for wearing war room drip.
Shouldn't have to explain much here. Just do good weighing explaining how the DA turns case or case turns DA.
CP Theory is cool.
Give me some pen time between flows -- 1-2 seconds is enough if I have sheets in order.
Nebel is a meme but sure.
I'm good for this. I tended to go for 1ar theory a lot when I debated and I tend to think it's a good thing but that doesn't mean you don't have to answer the hedge if the 1nc has one.
Theory is not just a tool for norm-setting and can be used strategically
Friv theory doesn't exist b/c it forces intervention -- if you win an abuse story it obviously isn't 'frivolous'
Hate it and love it. Almost every 1ar I gave had a few of these arguments in it and I understand why it's needed especially considering how skewed the 1ar is. If you plan on going for it, it should still have a warrant and impact (i.e: condo is a voting issue vs it splits the 1ar destroying engagement key to fairness.)
Policy AFF vs K:
1. AFFs should make arguments as to why they get to weigh the case.
2. Alt solvency needs to be explained in the 2nr unless you are going for the K as a disad to the 1ac. Explain very clearly why they don't get the perm.
3. Assume I don't know the K lit, this is most likely a safe assumption as I've never gone further than reading Harney, and a little bit of Wilderson. I probably will be able to understand debates over more common arguments like afropess, setcol, cap, Puar, etc. But you need to err towards over-explaining anything complicated. (edit: sorta hate pomo)
K AFF vs T-FW:
I've been on both sides of this debate, very rarely read big-stick extinction AFFs alternated between egregiously non-t affs and soft-left affs. However, I went for framework a lot and think it is correct on a truth level, often find myself voting for it because very few teams have a good defense against framework.
1. Explain why voting AFF is a good idea non-contextual to FW. Having a nuanced defense against presumption can also be leveraged against
2. Impact Turns don't need a CI but it's strategic to have a competing model of debate that sets some limit or new stasis point for debate that is able to resolve some (if not all) of the offense coming off of T.
1. Don't spend much time on individual standards (Limits, prep, clash, etc) because let's be honest most K teams will just impact turn.
2. Spend more on explaining the terminal impact of your model. You should approach the round as a question "Why does fairness matter in a world of the affirmative? How do more fair debates solve the AFF?"
3. I don't think the TVA is a CP but it can be good to frame the TVA as advocacy that solves all their offense with the net benefit of clash/testing/engagement/fairness, etc. Think of it as a CP+DA 2NR, makes the offense you have to win so much less when you win the TVA.
4. Turning framework into a state good/bad debate on the case and leveraging that state good offense on T is a very good strategy and will be rewarded with higher speaker points.
I read almost exclusively Util and a Kant NC once or twice every topic. I find Phil debate very fun and engaging but I hate how they have died. Kant in the 1nc too often ends up as condo logic or skep in the 2nr which makes me sad but I end up having to vote on it.
Having a strong defense for your framing mechanism is much more useful than extending 6-7 blips to their method, just use the blip storm as a time suck so that you can spend more time on your own flow.
Welp. I will vote for these but I am kinda awful at flowing through them.
This covers exclusively substance or LARP debates, anything else will be in the LD section of my paradigm. Here is a short version if you don't have much time to read through everything before the round: (all the LD paradigm applies here too)
ill evaluate anything and evaluate arguments however you tell me to in round. These are just my preferences/defaults as to what I believe is good for debate.
Defense has to be extended through speeches
2nd rebuttal needs to frontline everything you want to go for, this doesn't mean you can't kick out of arguments, you just need to
Weighing is never new
New offense past rebuttal is kinda sus.
I have done PF as a middle schooler and occasionally at some locals. I didn't go for the K much when I did LD and almost exclusively LARPed so I feel pretty comfortable judging this event. However, there are definitely a lot of 'procedurals' that PF messes up pretty badly and you need to be mindful of if I'm in the back:
a. Sticky arguments are stupid. You can not make arguments in the last two speeches that weren't extended the speech prior. There is no logical justification for this except that it forces you to extend a bunch of different conceded arguments in which case you can just extend one of them quickly and since it's conceded and explained it is true.
b. Second Rebuttal should frontline everything. Obviously you can concede defense to answer turns on arguments you aren't going for but if you want me to vote on an argument later on, you need to answer everything.
c. Link turns aren't offense w/o UQS. Obviously, this isn't the case for Linear DA's without uniqueness but just keep in mind that if you don't straight turn an argument then your opponents can just say UQS overwhelms the link (insert explanation) and kick the argument which makes your link turn a glorified piece of defense. If you are going for an impact turn this isn't a problem.
d. Weigh. PF'ers spend too much time weighing in the wrong ways. "my impact is bigger" and "My impact has a fast timeframe" isn't weighing. Weighing should be comparative, and not just at the impact level because from what I have seen most PF rounds will end up with the same impact level and no external impact like extinction. Internal link arguments (i.e: CC = crop shortage = ag industry collapses = recession) and x turns y arguments are much better allocations of your time and will be rewarded with high speaks. Remember you only need one good weighing argument, not seven bad ones.
Torrey Pines '19
*conflicts: Torrey Pines HS, Advanced Tech Acad
- I’ll vote for almost anything as long as it isn’t morally abhorrent
- go a bit slower bc of online debate, thanks :)
- Read whatever you want as long as you can explain it
- If you have any questions just ask before round or you can msg me on fb/email me
Defaults (can be changed if you make the args)
- Neg on presumption
- Drop the debater, competing interps, no rvi
CP - Should solve the case or part of it, have a solvency advocate, and be competitive with the aff. PIC’s are fine, 1-2 condo is fine, also open to aff theory against them.
DA – Disads are great, higher quality disads > higher quantity of disads.
Kritiks – My knowledge is mostly towards more basic k’s like cap, security, setcol, etc. It’s your job to articulate the k to make sure I understand - I'm not well read on a lot of lit bases and I might not know the jargon you use. Contextualize the k/links to the aff. High theory – really interesting but the extent of my knowledge is a 30 min lecture from Ronak and a bit of source reading so probably not a good idea.
K Affs – I like them and read them, but I don’t favor either side of the debate more than the other. Make sure you explain what the aff actually does.
Topicality – Convince me that your model/interp of debate is better than theirs.
T/FW - TVA arguments and case lists help me visualize the interpretation.
Theory – Good theory for me includes things like 50 state fiat bad, floating piks bad, disclosure, etc. Friv theory - I’ll still vote on it but the threshold for responding lowers the more friv it is.
Phil – I find philosophy interesting but I only have base level understanding of anything not util.
Tricks – 0 experience
Speaking Scale (Stolen from Mihir)
30 - Your debate will most likely be one of the best I’ve seen. Execution was flawless and strategy was unique and executed correctly.
29.5 and Up – You're one of the top debaters at the tournament and debated as one of the top debaters at the tournament.
29 and Up – Above average debate and minor errors. I expect you’ll be in elims
28.5 and Up – Mediocre debate where you made some flaws but found a way to get the W
28 and Up – This round was fairly disappointing, had several mistakes, and missed opportunities to win
Below 28 – There are several issues with this round that made it hard to watch
Below 27 – You have engaged in some problematic practice that should not appear in another debate that was either offensive or cheating.
I'm flow/tech until you are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. I can handle spreading, just send a speech doc that includes anything you read so I don’t accidentally miss something, I'd hate to vote someone down because audio cut out or my hearing failed me. If you're gonna read primarily analytics or logic include bullet points.
If you want more details read below. If you want the most up to date info, ask me in round.
Important Note: I will not look at any evidence unless it is asked of me to do so in round, once you ask me to examine the evidence I assume you give me full discretion to read the entire article or study and make judgements based on its contents.
I have 4 years of experience in PF, Congress, and LD. I have no exposure to Ks, but I do have experience with and enjoy judging theory debate. I am currently studying economics at Tufts University and have familiarity with urbanization and healthcare. This will not affect decision making, but I believe in the spirit of fairness I should disclose my familiarities with related subjects.
Speaker Point System:
Here's a rudimentary point system
24: You broke a rule or were racist
27: Worst you can get normally, your speeches were messy and impossible to understand.
28: Mediocre, you gave your speech monotone or had several issues with clarity
29: Good, you gave your speeches clearly most of the time and had few issues during cross.
30: Great, you didn't have any noticeable issues
This is what will lose you points
1. Interrupting during crossfire or trying to turn it into another speech instead of asking a question
2. Not speaking clearly(I give a lot of leeway on this)
4. Being rude or disrespectful
How I judge debate:
I vote almost solely on what happens in the round with framework being the first thing I consider and speaking and strategy being the last. So if you impact to only economic downfall but forget to attack the framework that says we should focus on saving lives then that’s an L for you.
While I am a flow/tech judge, if you run blatantly untrue or abusive arguments I will step in because then I see you as just being an awful human being. This hasn't ever happened, but I want it to be known that I reserve the right to intervene in order to be transparent as a judge. This shouldn't ever happen unless you run "racism is good" like that one kid in Oklahoma.
If you hold your opponents to a standard in round you must meet that standard too.
What I like:
1. Thorough and well done weighing
2. Collapsing of arguments
3. Clearing extensions through till final focus
4. Clear and quantified impacts
5. Well written theory
How to annoy me:
Here are a few ways you can annoy me in the round: lying, not giving your opponents the evidence they call for in a timely manner, defining every word in the resolution, acting arrogant, expecting me to weigh for you, running arguments that are immature and demeaning such as racism good or that sexism doesn't exist.
Debate is meant to be inclusive and any attempts to undermine that will lose you speaker points very quickly.
Occasionally I will have suggestions for evidence, cases, or arguments that I do not have the materials on standby for, if you ever want to follow up on an RFD and ask for a clarification you can email me at email@example.com.
How I judge extemp:
To me, extemp is just as much about being a charismatic speaker as it is having good arguments. If I’m not interested in what you’re telling them you’re not doing a great job. There are several ways to get my attention including being humorous or having a good introduction. I’ve had people win rounds despite having weaker arguments because it actually became painful to listen to the other speakers' monotone performances. Your speaking abilities makes up half your ranking.
Strake Jesuit Class of 2020 | Texas A&M Class of 2024
If there’s an email chain add firstname.lastname@example.org
At Strake I debated PF for 2 years and LD for roughly 2 years, predominantly on a local level.
TL;DR, I strongly prefer traditional/LARP debates, and I will judge rounds based on the flow. Don't speak too fast if the tournament is held online.
I'm not good with things like Kritiks or uncommon frameworks like Kant or Deleuze, and I will not evaluate a framework (or argument) I can't understand over one I do. Just try to avoid making overly complicated philosophical or technical arguments.
I'm not the best with evaluating theory, so try to avoid running it.
-I won’t extend evidence if you don’t mention its ***author name and date***. Give a warrant’s implications and extend them throughout the round.
- It’s good to give off-the-clock roadmaps and signpost (i.e. where you are or what you are attacking) during the speech.
-Weigh arguments with metrics like magnitude, scope, timeframe, etc.
How to get good speaker points:
- Being polite (also being aggressive isn’t mutually exclusive).
- Being articulate and I can understand what you're saying.
- Don’t go over your allotted speech and prep time by much. Note that I keep track of speech times (but not prep time).
- Don't use filler words like "uh" or "um" and avoid speaking in a monotone.
Affiliation: Winston Churchill HS
if I have judged you in the past/if I judge you, feel free to fill out this form and I will post responses at the bottom.
TLDR version: no strong ideological debate dispositions, link/perm analysis is good, tech > truth, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. Everything below is insight into how I view/adjudicate debates, its questionably useful and certainly malleable.
**prep time stops when the email is sent, too many teams steal prep while 'saving the doc'**
*If you are an LD debater, this should give you a good idea of how to debate in front of me. Feel free to ask more specific questions before the round.*
Do what you do well: I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments these days. Sure, some debates I may find more interesting than others, but honestly the most interesting rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy.
This being said, if I am judging you in LD, here are a few things I've realized about myself that you should know: I find myself seeing most 'traditional/phil' strategies to be lacking in offense and largely ill explained; I think bad theory arguments are wildly unpersuasive and generally default to drop the arg; I think 'spikes' (especially when undisclosed) are not arguments and generally give the neg decent amount of leeway to make responses once they actually become warranted arguments.
-Truth v Tech: I find myself more frequently deciding close debates based on questions of truth/solid evidence rather than purely technical skills. This also bleeds into policy v policy debates, as I get older I find myself much more willing to vote on probability/link analysis than magnitude/timeframe; taking claims of "policy discussions good" seriously also means we need to give probability of impacts/solvency more weight.
-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I often find this to be the biggest issue with with politics, internal link, and permutation evidence for kritiks.
-Speed vs Clarity: I don't flow off the speech document, I don't even open them until either after the debate or if a particular piece of evidence is called into question. If I don't hear it/can't figure out the argument from the text of your cards, it probably won't make it to my flow. If I say clear it is because I cannot hear/flow you and you probably want me to have your arguments, if you hear me say clear and your opponent doesnt get more clear, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be able to ask me before CX what arguments I did/did not get on my flow because I don't see why you should have to answer arguments that I didn't even have flowed. this seems to be a problem that is especially true in LD.
-Permutation/Link Analysis: this is becoming an increasingly important issue that I am noticing with kritik debates. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation as the debate progresses leaves the door wide open for the negative to justify strategic cross applications and the grouping of permutations since said grouping will still probably contain more analysis than the 1AR/2AR.
Speaker points: average = 28, I generally adjust relative to the pool when considering how I rank speakers.
-Things that will earn you speaker points: being organized, confidence, well-placed humor, politeness, well executed strategies/arguments.
-Things that will lose you speaker points: arrogance, rudeness, humor at the expense of your opponent, stealing prep, pointless cross examination, running things you don’t understand/just reading blocks
Prep time stops when the email is sent
If you had to give advice to a team who had this judge in the back of the room, what would you tell them?
--Do whatever you’re good at, he’ll be down for it.
--Read your normal arguments, but make sure you explain them correctly and are able to connect your arguments to the 2nr/2ar explanation.
--read what you feel comfortable explaining and is most strategic in your eyes
--Focus on providing a lens/framing for the judge to view the debate through--if you're making an argument, be sure to explain why that argument (or groups of arguments) are relevant given the context of other arguments. For instance, explain why x section of the case debate is important to y section of the K debate (or something similar).
On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the least similar and 10 being the most similar, rate how you thought the round went down matched up to this judge's assessment of the round based on the RFD
What was the quality of this judge's RFD?
What was the quality of this judge's post-round comments?
What areas of scholarship do you feel this judge is familiar with?
--I feel like he has a wide base of knowledge over a broad range of literature, which helps a lot in both Policy v Policy debates and Policy v K debates.
--Topic specific literature of policy affs/DA's and mostly familiar with the literature in the round
--Policy and Kritik
What areas of scholarship do you feel this judge is unfamiliar with?
--Maybe the pomo bs people have are reading (baudrillard, bataille, etc.)
--This was only for a specific post-round question, but the judge wasn't 100% sure about ontology cards to read when aff vs settler colonialism.
--LD Moral Frameworks/LD Analytic Philosophy debates
Do you have any additional comments?
--Very thorough and helpful RFD!
--Make sure to be explicit in not allowing judge intervention, ie "dont kick this for them"
I debated for two years at Strake Jesuit High school in Houston, Tx. I've competed at TFA, Nationals, and the TOC. I worked five weeks over the summer with NSD and coach a handful of kids independently. I agree with my old coach Chris Castillo on most things so I'm just going to paste his paradigm below (Matthew Chen's paradigm is another good jumping off point). My email is email@example.com, feel free to email me any questions and include me on the email chain.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments. D
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during cx. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
Facebook: Neville Tom
Hi! My name’s Neville. I debated for four years at Strake Jesuit (got a few bid rounds during my career if that makes any difference), and I’m currently a freshman at UH. I’m still kinda working out the whole judging thing, so there’ll probably be some edits to this as time goes on. As such, please feel free to ask me any questions prior to round if you need any clarification about my judging style or my paradigm.
How to Win (the TL;DR version):
You do you – just do it well. Tell me very clearly how to evaluate the round and why you’re winning compared to your opponent and that’ll probably be what I decide on. I liked to read a little of everything in my rounds, so don’t be afraid to try out some obscure strategy in front of me – just know how to explain it well enough for the win.
How to Greatly Improve Your Chances at Winning & Boost Speaks:
- Weigh: Do it. A lot. As much as you POSSIBLY can manage. It doesn't matter to me if you're winning 99% of the arguments on the flow; if your opponent wins just that 1% and does a better job at explaining WHY that 1% matters more in terms of the entire debate, you will probably lose that debate.
- Crystallize: Don't go for every possible argument that you're winning. You should take time to provide me a very clear ballot story so that I know why I should vote for you. It might even behoove you to explicitly say: "Look. Here's the thesis of the aff/neg: (insert story of the aff/neg). Here's what we do that they can't solve for: (insert reason(s) to vote aff/neg). Insofar as we're winning this/these argument(s), we should win the round."
- Use Overviews: I find that debaters who use overviews effectively tend to win more rounds. It will definitely help me evaluate if you start off your rebuttal speeches with an overview, so... *shrug*. A good overview will have these three components: (1) explain which issues matter most in the debate, (2) explain why those issues matter most (why I should care about them most), (3) why you're winning those issues. After that, feel free to go to the line-by-line to do the grunt work. This will help clarify the round and will help me to focus on the issues that matter.
- Warrant your Arguments: When making arguments, be sure to provide clear WARRANTS that prove WHY your argument is true. Highlight these warrants for me and make sure to extend them for the arguments that you're going for in later speeches - if done strategically and well, I will probably vote for you.
- Signpost: Make very clear to me where you are on the flow and where you want me to put your responses. This will help to prevent any disambiguities that might affect my decision.
- Creatively Interpret Your Arguments: Feel free (in fact I encourage you) to provide your own unique spin to your arguments by providing implications that may not be explicit on first glance. Just make sure your original argument is open-ended enough to allow for your new interpretation. For example, if you win a Hobbesian framework and claim that the sovereign should settle ethical dilemmas, then feel free to make the implication that theory is illegitimate because it is not a rule that the sovereign has proposed.
How to Greatly Improve Your Chances at Losing & Lower Speaks (Borrowed from Chris Castillo's paradigm):
1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too).
2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand, so don't just read some dense phil or K and expect me to understand it.
3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters.
4. Don't steal prep.
5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip. If I get conclusive evidence that you are purposely clipping, then I will down you.
I’m fine with it – make sure to start off slow and ramp up to your higher speeds so that I can get used to it. I flow on my computer and will say slow or clear several times if necessary – that being said, if you still continue to be incoherent, I will not get your arguments on my flow and will not be able to evaluate them.
That being said, there are things I will DEFINITELY want you to slow down for to make sure that I catch them.
Slow down on:
1. Advocacy/CP Texts
2. Text of Evaluative Mechanism (This can include the text of your ROB, your standard/value criterion, etc.)
3. Theory Interps
5. Author Names
6. After Signposting (Just pause for a second so that I can navigate to that part of my flow)
7. Analytics (in rebuttals)
**NOTE: I'm not asking to talk at a snail's pace when making analytical responses to arguments. However, if you blitz out ten 1-sentence analytics in the space of 5 seconds, I will not be able to catch all of them, so it would be to your betterment to slow down a bit. Additionally, it would help me flow analytics if you provide a verbal short 2-word tag prior to making your argument. For example, "A-point, no warrant: (insert argument here). B-point, missing internal link: (insert argument here). C-point, turn: (insert argument here). D-point, turn (insert argument) here." etc., etc. Feel free to be creative with your tags.
I will assign speaks based on your strategical decisions in round, but sounding pretty doesn’t hurt. I’ll start at a 28 and go up or down based on how you do.
- Tech > Truth: Technical proficiency outweighs the actual truth value of an argument. Even if I do not personally agree with your argument, the onus is on the opponent to prove why the argument is false or shouldn't be evaluated. If your opponent fails to do this, then I will view the argument as legitimate and will evaluate the argument accordingly.
- Talk to me prior to the round if you need any accommodations. If you have a legitimate problem with a specific argument that impedes you from debating at your best, then please, by all means, let me know before the round starts. In order to avoid any mishaps, please provide a trigger warning prior to reading any (possibly) sensitive issue. If you are doubtful on whether you should give a trigger warning, then provide one anyway to be safe.
- Have Fun with the Activity: feel free to make jokes/references/meme (a bit) in round. Debate is admittedly a stressful activity and so is school and basically the rest of life, so feel free to relax. Make sure that your humor is in good taste, however; there is a very fine line between humor and arrogance/insults and I do not want to have to deal with a situation where "fun goes wrong".
- Disclosure is probably good: I find myself compelled by the argument. This does not mean that I will auto-hack for Disclosure Good or any of its variants - I believe that it is a legitimate debate to be had and if you conclusively win that disclosure is bad, then I will vote for you. That being said, do NOT run it on someone that is clearly novice level/just started circuit debate. If you win the argument, I will vote for you, but I will not be giving you higher speaks.
- Strength of link is a great weighing argument. Use it.
- People I Share Similar Judge Philosophies With: Chris Castillo, Matthew Chen, Tom Evnen, Erik Legried, Etc.
*Edit - Here’s my wikis from senior year so that you can get an idea of the type of debater that I was:
I wish every debater and team the best of luck!
Background: I've participated in LD since the eighth grade. In high school I qualified for the TX state tournament two years in a row. I have volunteered as a judge for a handful of local tournaments in Houston.
Paradigm: I flow every round and will keep a copy of the flow until after the tournament, should any questions arise.
I subscribe to a more traditional style of LD. You may use policy(CX) language, but I ask the debaters to NOT "spread". I believe it makes for stronger cases when contentions all coherently support a criterion and value. However, I do not believe winning the value debate without successfully engaging in the contention debate is a thorough method from which to approach a round, and is rarely sufficient to win a debate.
Time signals: I can provide time signals for 1 minute remaining and 30 seconds remaining if asked. Otherwise I will just call time.
Three main things I evaluate
1) Framework and pre-fiat arguments
2) Evidence Comparison: give me reasons to prefer your evidence especially to set the record straight about something.
3) Impact Calculus
Topicality is something I will vote on
Kritiks must have an alt. it must be clear through Cross X and Speech what the world of the alt looks like.
I debated at Katy Taylor HS in Houston from 2014-2018 and went to TOC senior year. I taught at NSD and TDC during the summer. My debate style was primarily util, Ks, and theory. For the email chain, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm most comfortable with judging
But do whatever you like doing- I'll do my best to be tab and vote on whatever is warranted and won.
-Fine with K affs, also fine with T answering K affs
-I'm unfamiliar with a lot of phil lit and tricks bc I rarely went for these as a debater so give good explanations of it and how they interact with other layers if you go this route
-I have no biases towards any positions just be clear with explanations, interactions, and weighing
If you have any questions you can message me on Facebook or email me!
****Last Updated: TOC 2021****
· I’m a third year pre-med student at Purdue University. I aspire to attend medical school in a couple years. I competed in LD for duPont Manual High School (Louisville, Kentucky) from 2014-2018. I cleared at almost every bid tournament I attended and reached bid rounds at Emory and UPenn. I mostly LARPed, but I enjoyed reading Ks and T/Theory too during my time on the circuit.
· Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
· I’ll vote on any argument that meets the minimum requirements of having a claim, warrant, and impact. The more arcane aspects of debate don’t matter to me (for example, I don’t have an opinion on whether PICs are bad or 3 condo CPs are good) because it’s the debaters’ responsibilities to generate arguments and defend their positions. I’ll evaluate the flow as technically as I can because I care more about the debating than the ultimate truth of your arguments, so tech > truth. I do, however, believe that debate is designed to be a competitive research game.
· Maintain a local recording of each of your speeches. If there’s a disconnect, finish your speech and promptly send out the recording.
· Feel free to ask me questions about my preferences before the round via email or Facebook. Good luck and don’t forget to have fun!
· Speed is good, but do NOT use your top speed in online debates. If you have analytics typed out in the doc, I’ll have a higher threshold for “too fast.” Efficient and well enunciated speeches tend to trump fast and unclear speeches: I can’t vote on arguments I didn’t hear. I’ll yell clear as much as I need to. Please pop tags and author names.
· Prep ends when the doc is compiled. Sending the doc isn’t prep, but don’t steal prep. I’ll lower your speaks if I feel that you’re being disingenuous.
· I’ll disclose speaks if you ask and if both debaters are ok with it. Speaks are adjusted according to the tournament’s difficulty. They reflect how well I expect you to do.
· TOC Update: If you make a high quality reference to One Piece, I’ll boost your speaks by +0.5. This anime is probably the greatest form of storytelling, drama, and action I have ever seen. Go watch it this summer.
· If you make a Star Wars reference I’ll add +0.2 to whatever your speaks were supposed to be. I’ll add +0.4 if it's a Darth Vader or Yoda quote. Don’t be afraid to “do it.” Add it to the speech doc and make it stand out, so I don’t miss it!
· weighing that is contextualized to your opponent’s arguments
· good overviews
· fast and efficient tech skills
· good case debate—I appreciate negs that actually read carded arguments and analytics against the aff and I am impressed by affs that are very techy when responding to case dumps
· numbered arguments
· good evidence comparison
· impact turns—bonus speaks if you can end the debate with these
· being funny (making me laugh will get you bonus speaks)
· saying your opponent conceded something even though it wasn’t conceded
· saying the word “extend” a ton or trying to extend every author name—just make the argument and tell me its warrant and impact in the round
· jumping around different parts of the flow
· power tagging
· going for everything in your last speech (although this is justified sometimes)
· Extinction scenarios are very entertaining—these positions were my favorite strategies in debate. I find these debates easier to adjudicate when debaters have high quality evidence.
· Impact calc and comparative weighing are imperative.
· Evidence comparison could be make it or break it. This includes reading cards: I like it when 1ARs and 2NRs strategically read cards to extend their scenarios, but they better be relevant and well-explained!
· Extensions need to have warrants—even in the 1AR/2AR. All I need is an overview of the advantage, but your extension of the aff should match the degree to which its warrants have been contested. You don’t need to say every card name. Just tell me what the aff does, what it solves, and how it does so.
· I think CPs are some of the best neg args. All types of CPs are cool, but don't blame me if your opponent reads theory.
· CPs should avoid a DA or turn to the aff, so just saying “CP solves better” isn’t a DA to the perm.
· DAs are great. The best DAs have a “DA turns case” component. 2NR impact calc is critical: probability and magnitude are important, but strength of link and evidence specificity need to be articulated as well.
· Some of my favorite debates to witness have been phil debates. In fact, some of the best speaks I’ve given have been a result of good phill debate (and the frameworks weren’t util—surprise!).
· Err on the side of overexplaining. I’m good on most framework authors.
· DON’T extend every card and go for every justification—give an overview of your framework’s thesis and go from there.
· The best phil debaters are able to contextualize real world examples that illustrate their ethical theory.
· You have to contextualize why the justification you go for matters in the context of your opponent’s framework. Too many phil debates end up being two ships sailing past each other in the middle of the night.
· I enjoy judging T/Theory debates. They demonstrate whether debaters have good tech skills and whether they know how to defend their personal convictions about debate as an activity. If you’re willing to be persuasive and you’re serious about defending your interp, then go for it.
· I “default” to the norms of the activity, which seem to be drop the debater, no RVIs, and competing interps (unless justified by debaters that I should do otherwise).
· Not all theory arguments need to be in a shell format.
· I adjudicate on a strength of link style on various layers of the theory debate (i.e. if you have a ton of offense to education, and they have a tiny amount to fairness, the fact that fairness slightly outweighs is probably not sufficient to vote for their shell).
· I’ll probably have a basic understanding of whatever K you read, but I will not vote for you unless YOU explain your theory.
· SHORTER TAGS ARE EASIER TO FLOW. PLEASE.
· Aff specific links paired with generic links are preferable to solely relying on generic links: negs should use lines directly from the aff to make the links more robust.
· I don’t believe there is a significant distinction between “post-fiat” and “pre-fiat.” The most important facet of the debate is that you defend your arguments and prove why the aff or neg is good/bad/correct/incorrect/etc. It is a fact that nothing truly happens after the round—the only thing we take away from the round is the knowledge derived from the arguments that were made by the debaters. You should stray away from using the terms “post-fiat” and “pre-fiat.”
· I expect detailed explanations for the interaction between the K and the aff. Use the appropriate K tricks and explain why the K outweighs/turns the case/perm fails/is a prior question/solves the aff/etc.
· Your aff doesn’t need to be topical, but I expect good 1AR and 2AR explanations of your offense. Buzzwords will only get you so far.
· Honestly, I’d rather listen to a beautiful 2NR that goes for a K that is meaningful to the debater or a strategic 2AR that goes for an advantage and does amazing impact calc. I empathize with debaters who have committed hours and hours to research/prep about the topic or literature of choice because I believe in hard work. This is what I did back in the day, so I want to reward students who are going through the same thing; however, strategy and winning ballots is important, so I’ll listen to and vote on your arguments. Just be prepared to receive the appropriate speaks.
· In high school I had a great time with debate. I was fortunate to never have any serious drama or traumatic experiences during my time in the activity and I think that everyone should be able to say the same. I hold my peers to a high standard, and I hope you all help each other to do that as well. As someone who is now out of the activity, I cherish the years that I debated. It was a major part of my life and I learned a lot from the activity and the people around me. You all should make the most of every moment and do your best so that you don’t have any regrets.
· An atrocious AP Physics teacher I had in high school once told me that you can only be unhappy about an outcome if you’ve truly put in every ounce of effort and you still don’t reach your goal.
· Disclaimer: Parts of this paradigm were borrowed from Kieran Cavanagh, Alan George, and Adam Tomasi. Shout out to them for letting me borrow their content.
· May the force be with you!
· TOC Update: My only positive takeaway from the pandemic was the digitalization of debate. I had been out of debate for over 2 years, but this past October Alan George, a friend and prepmate from high school, reached out and asked if I could judge at Yale’s online tournament. This jump started an entire season of judging. Since the fall semester, I’ve judged about 130 LD rounds at many major tournaments. I’m certainly not the same judge as I was in October, but I have gained judging experience in the past 6 months that normally takes years to obtain—and this has benefitted both debaters and myself. I’ve truly enjoyed providing written and oral feedback and I would not have judged to this extent if I wasn’t learning something myself. Debate takes up exorbitant amounts of time for both competitors and judges, so I really try to make it worthwhile. Judging has taken me back to my old high school LD days, which I so enjoyed and miss dearly. This has been the only way for me to give back to a community that once gave so much to me. Despite the success of online debates, competitions will likely revert to the normal in-person medium, which I find to be unfortunate. Not only are online debates more accessible to people of all backgrounds, but the regression to in-person tournaments also means TOC may be the last tournament I ever judge (I myself am unable to travel for judging due to time and resource constraints). Some part of me hopes that the debate community will consider how online debates have drastically increased accessibility for students. If debates were online when I was in high school, you can bet that I would’ve attended EVERY single tournament that was willing to take me off the waitlist. Instead, time and money made bid tournaments a special occasion for my former high school. Judging has been one of the highlights of my year despite all the misfortune from the pandemic, so I applaud all the tournament directors, coaches, and students (especially seniors who are ending their careers through a zoom screen) who have been diligent and patient throughout this year. It seems the debate community has a bright future based on all the great debaters I’ve witnessed, so I’m looking forward to this year’s TOC. Cheers!
Experience: I have taught at NSD, VBI, TDC. This is my 9th year of being in debate both as a competitor and a coach.
TL;DR: Use TWs, do not be rude, I am truly agnostic about what kind of debate happens in front of me. If you do not want to read through my whole paradigm check pref shortcuts and "things that will get your speaks tanked/I won't vote on." Also, LARPing is fine, I know my paradigm sounds particularly derogatory to LARPing, but do whatever you want.
update for e-debate tournaments and more recent uncategorized thoughts 12/17:
1. Please do not go full speed over zoom. I try my best to flow off the doc, but lately I've been relying more and more on the doc just to catch arguments which I do not like to do. I also do my best to pay attention to what is going on and am usually pretty engaged in the round (out of fear of messing up) but I do tend to get pretty distracted during lackluster CXs. If there is an important concession you want me to pay attention to then make it clear both in CX and in speech. Also if my laptop camera is at a weird angle/pointing straight up at the ceiling, I am still paying attention my laptop is just broken to the point that my screen flashes whenever it is not open to the widest position (I also do not have a desk/workspace in my apartment).
2. If you are going to speedily read through a million analytics then I need them in the doc if you want to ensure that it is relevant in my decision making. Even prior to zoom, I was bad at flowing theory arguments and underviews so if you extemp them going full speed then you will also need to take responsibility for losing if I did not catch one of them.
3. I just want to hammer home one core idea that zoom debate has revealed to me as somewhat of a lost art to a lot of debaters: crystallizing. If you throw a bunch of shit out there and do nothing in the 2nr or 2ar to tell me what matters then it increases the likelihood that I just straight up have to intervene on some area of the flow. The 2NR and 2AR needs to collapse. Whoever can present me the simplest and most coherent ballot story tends to win.
4. Independent Voting Issues: I am starting to hate the version of these which is becoming more popular which is making a one line argument, then saying "it is an independent voter" mention the word accessibility and then moving on. I feel extremely uncomfortable voting on these when they are not clearly implicated and impacted in the first speech it is flagged as an independent voting issue. For this reason, you need to fully warrant, label, and impact out this argument in the first speech that goes beyond "util justifies atrocities which makes debate unsafe bc accessibility, next." When these are made on the framework and are not clearly impacted then I just view them as framework defense.
5. Non-black debaters reading afro-pessimism, black nihilism, etc: Idk I do not really feel that comfortable with it, I will probably say that if you are non-black and reading it then your speaks probably will not be higher than a 27 and I do tend to err on the side of a decent 1ar explaining why you cannot get access to positions such as these. This does not mean that I will just intervene against you because there are ways to answer that 1ar, but it will reflect in your speaks.
some random uncategorized thoughts
I think it is extremely important for trigger warnings to be included on cases that will discuss particularly triggering issues (i.e. sexual violence, suicide, strong depictions of violence against any marginalized group). I will say that TWs are especially important for me regarding issues of mental illness/suicide. This is a particularly triggering issue for me and it would be nice if you at least gave me a warning if that is what we are about to delve into. If your opponent (or myself) makes a request that you not read a certain position because it is personally triggering for them then please accommodate them. If you do not you will get a L and 20 speaks. Similarly, if your opponent makes a reasonable request for other accommodations (i.e. if they have some form of disability or if there are some language barriers) and you refuse then you will also get a L 20.
Another thing: I will not vote on things like shoe theory, water bottle theory, laptop charger theory. Really anything that involves frivolous aspects of people's clothing choice or dumb little things. If you read theory akin to any of these things you are instantly getting 25 speaks.
I, unfortunately, may have helped that argument spread by a particularly awful decision of mine at Emory. I can no longer have this rep.
In terms of my debate preferences it probably goes:
This is only a ranking of my favorite kinds of debate, not how comfortable I am. On the left is most intriguing and moves to the right which is most boring.
Also I think I have a higher threshold for extensions than some judges, so err towards the side of over explaining.
NEW: While I think overview extensions are fine, you should not substitute these extensions for actual argument interaction. If there is an argument that is unclear to me that you spread through in an overview and expect me to evaluate it then you MUST must MUST make that argument clear to me. y'know. clash.
PLEASE ASK FOR PPL'S PRONOUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS SO IMPORTANT. IF YOU CONTINUOUSLY MISGENDER SOMEONE IN ROUND I HAVE NO QUALMS VOTING YOU DOWN. DEBATE IS SUPPOSED TO BE SAFE FOR EVERYONE AND I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY BS.
Also, I probably will ask for everyone's pronouns at the beginning of the round. If I forget, and if I make a mistake, please let me know.
hi i am alex, yoaks, xander, xanderyoaks, yo; i have various nicknames idc what you call me.
Pronouns: any pronouns are fine, I have no direct preference I do tend to refer to myself using gender neutral pronouns however
K: 1-2 (more comfortable with identity Ks like queer theory, critical race theory, etc. I know some post-structuralist like Derrida, some Deleuze, Butler, Foucault, Anthro). I think I finally figured out what an assemblage is
Give me a 3 if you read Baudrillard unless you re good at explaining it
A bunch of theory: 2-3, I am not the best at evaluating very technical theory debates but I do it relatively often. I am also bad at flowing theory so slow down on interps in particular, and slower generally. My hearing is not as good as it once was.
New view on theory: it is pretty cool. I end up judging a lot of theory debates (and clash of civ debates bc yay Ks) and I also have coached it a lot more. Feel free to pref me a bit higher. However, the difficulties in flowing theory still applies. Go a bit slower when reading Theory or T generally, but have at it (with the caveats in the uncategorized thoughts section).
Tricks: 2-3 I like good tricks but please have the spikes clearly delineated (don't hide stuff in between cards or any other sketchy business). I will not vote on an a priori unless it is explained and impacted well. I.e. I am not going to vote on something like "also extend the resolved a priori you affirm." Pls Explain
Also, I really really really dislike lazy a prioris that are super generic. I likely will find an excuse to vote somewhere else on the flow, whether that be good or bad for you.
LARP: 3 I understand everything technically when it comes to LARP, I just find it a pretty boring style of debate (even though I end up teaching/coaching it lmao)
I know that all of these have me in the 1-3 range, it isn't because I am conceited and think I am an amazing judge it is more like I have no real preference for any type of debate and I have pretty much judged every kind of debate by the end of prelims of every tournament I judge. I usually get caught up in clash of civilizations debates for some reason, and I don't think I have consistently chosen one side of the clash over another (if I have, lmk and I will edit paradigm). If you are really pressed about my rankings, then put me lower on your prefs.
I am familiar with most kinds of critical literature since that is pretty much what I am majoring in. This does not mean, however, that you do not have to explain it/extend it as much as you would for the uninitiated. Blippy K extensions suck equally as much as blippy theory extensions. Here are some other things I care about:
1. Make sure the K links back to some framing mechanism, whether it is a normative framework or a role of the ballot. You can't win me over on the K debate if you don't clearly impact it back to a framing mechanism. The text of the role of the ballot/role of the judge must be clearly delineated.
2. Point out specific areas on the flow where your opponent links. I'm not going to do the work for you. Contextualize those links!
3. If the round devolves into a huge K debate, you must weigh. Sifting through confusing K debates where there isn't any weighing is almost as bad as a terrible theory debate.
4. I don't have any presumptions regarding whether or not K or T comes first. While I do like K debates, I am equally as likely to vote on T or theory with weighing. As you can tell, weighing is really important to me.
This is the type of debate I did way back when, so I am probably most comfortable evaluating these kinds of debates (but I only get to rarely). I also study philosophy so I am relatively hip with philosophical slang.
Make all FW arguments comparative
Unless otherwise articulated, I probs default truth testing over comparative worlds when it comes to substantive debates
Good theory debates are fun, bad theory debates suck
I don't default on any particular paradigm issue. IF you aren't justifying paradigm issues at this point, who are you
I don't presume theory/T or K first, make it easy for me as a judge and win some args why one or the other comes first.
PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO SOME WEIGHING. THEORY DEBATES WITHOUT WEIGHING MAKES ME CRY EVERY TIME.
If you are going for reasonability, you also need to justify and set a bright line
I tend not to vote on silly semantic I meets unless you impact them well (e.g. text>spirit) my implicit assumption is that an I meet needs to at least resolve some of the offense of the shell
aff/neg flex standards: need to be specific as opposed to generic e.g. you cant just say "negating is harder for xyz therefore let me do this thing" rather, you should explain how aff/neg is harder and then granting you access to that practice helps check back against a structural disadvantage in some specific way
Alright, so you roll up into the room and you got this really tricked out case with 100 different a prioris, so many theory spikes that they are literally jumping off the page to fight for fairness, and the classic incontestable descriptive offense, and you are ready to win. I just have a couple of requests:
1. I want the spikes clearly delineated. None of that hidden theory spikes between substantive offense bs. I won't catch it, your opponent won't catch it, so it probably doesn't exist (like absolute moral truths).
2. Slow down a little for theory spikes. I was and continue to be terrible at flowing, so help me out a little by starting out slower in the underview section.
3. If you extend an a priori, lean more towards the side of over explanation rather than under explanation. I have a high standard for extensions, so I need to understand a) why the a priori means you affirm/negate b)the claim, warrant, impact of the arg
Unsure why I have to say this but DAs are not an advocacy and if I hear the phrase "perm the disad" you immediately drop down to a 28. If you extend "perm the disad" then you will drop to a 27. I'm not kidding.
I am kind of ambivalent towards the whole "are perms advocacies or tests of competition" debate. Regardless, you must articulate either why a perm is net beneficial or how the CP is not mutually exclusive from the aff (or, ideally, both). I WILL NOT VOTE ON A PERM THAT IS NOT EXPLAINED OR DOES NOT DELINEATE HOW THE PLAN AND CP ADVOCACIES ARE COMBINED. If you read a billion perms and its like: 1. perm do both 2. perm do the aff then the CP 3. here is an intrinsic perm, then I probs won't vote on any of them unless you EXPLAIN
Pls for the love of god weigh
Speaker points are relatively arbitrary anyways, but I tend to give higher speaks to people who make good strategic decisions, who I think should make it to out rounds, who keep me engaged (good humor is a plus) and who aren't assholes to other debaters (esp novices/less experienced debaters).
NEW: Ok so, I have been told by many at this point that I give "absolutely garbage speaks" and that I am the worst because my speaks contribute to the 4-2 screw, or whatever idk. So, for Greenhill, I am going to try to be a little nicer with speaks. What that looks like, I am not quite sure, but I am going to try my best to give better speaks.
If you are hitting a novice, please don't read like 5 off and making the round less of a learning experience and more of a public beat down. It just isnt necessary. I will give you higher speaks if you make the round somewhat more accessible (ie going slower, reading positions that they can attempt to engage in, etc).
Things that will get your speaks tanked and that I will not vote on:
1. Shoe theory, or anything of the like. I won't vote on it, instant 25.
2. Being rude to novices, trying to outspread them and making it a public beatdown. Probs a 27 or under depending on the strength of the violation. What this means is that you should make the round accessible to novices; do not read some really really dense K (unless you are good at explaining it to a novice so that they can at least make some responses), nor should you read several theory shells and sketchy/abusive arguments to win the ballot. Not making the round accessible is a rip, and I think it is important for tournaments to be used as a learning experience, especially if it is one of their first tournaments in VLD.
3. If you are making people physically uncomfortable in the space, and depending on the strength of the violation, you can expect your speaks to be 27 or lower. If you are saying explicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc things then probs an auto-loss 25.
4. Consistently misgendering people. L 25
5. I will not vote on the generic Nietzsche "suffering good" K anymore, I just think that it is a terrible argument and people need to stop going to bad policy back files, listen to some Kelly Clarkson if you want that type of education. L 25
I'm a parent judge and will vote on what I feel is the most persuasive. Please present your case in a comprehensible way. Please do not use debate jargon and please do not spread. If I don't understand you, I will not be able to vote for you.
if you have questions / for sdocs: firstname.lastname@example.org
*have the doc ready to send ahead of time or speaks will drop : ( please time yourself.
ld @ cypress woods high school '20, parli @ harvard '24. dabbled in worlds (usa dev '19!) i qualled to the toc my senior year.
you can go on my past neg wiki to see what sorts of positions i read if you care.
1 - phil/theory. i probably give more weight to k v phil interactions, phil v theory interactions, and k interactions in a truth testing paradigm than the average tx judge.
2 - tricks/larp. i’m not familiar with the topic though.
3 - k unless they're reps ks, which i read a lot of. i prefer lbl to floating overviews that im not sure what to do with.
to decrease speaks : (
- i'll call slow and clear as many times as i need to but speaks will drop. im fine w ur opponent calling slow/clear too as long as it's not malicious
- scripting the entire speech and/or big words without explanation - i have no idea what hapticality is. please lbl the other debater's warrants instead of just reading dumps!
- postrounding / being aggressive (esp against trad/novices/minorities)
- i enjoy a good cx
- you have to provide evi to your opponent/judge. that does not mean you have to disclose but should show them, if requested. evi contestation (clipping, miscutting, etc.) is evaluated however the debaters decide: theory shell, stopping the round, etc.
- reading problematic args (eg racism good) is an L. the validity of death good, trigger warnings, etc. are debatable (at least in front of me)
- record your speeches in case internet gets funky
- i think the ability to spin evi should be rewarded; having good evi helps but "call for the card" puts me in a weird position. do that weighing for me.
- if the advocacy is uncondo and the 2n goes for a higher layer, i don't consider that kicking the advocacy. to me, kicking the k means kicking the alt unless otherwise justified which means aff turns on the link/impact/rotb should still apply (but may not have uniqueness).
- send the screenshot on disclosure; telling judges to check the wiki seems a little interventionist. this applies any arguments in a similar vein.
i don't want to use defaults and can be persuaded either way but here they are in case you care:
- comparative worlds
- permissibility negates, the side with less of a change from the status quo under comparative worlds gets presumption
- epistemic confidence
- dta on theory, dtd on t, competing interps, no rvis
- no judge kick
I am a parent judge and prefer a traditional/lay style of debate.
Please do not spread or run progressive arguments-- a moderate or conversational speed with clarity works best and will get you higher speaker points.
At the end of the round I will vote for whichever side presents their arguments in a more persuasive and logical way.