Mount Vernon Invitational and NIETOC Qualifier
2021 — CascadeCommons.org Online, WA/US
Synchronous Speech Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
If I am your judge, please put me on your email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I prefer Aff to be topical. I prefer a traditional Value/Criterion debate. I like clear signposting, that opponents refer to when refuting each other. I also require evidence to uphold your warrants and link to your personal analysis. All affirmatives should have some kind of standard that they try to win, value/criterion. The negative is not necessarily tied to the same obligation. The affirmative generally has the obligation to state a case construction that generally affirms the truth of the resolution, and the negative can take whatever route they want to show how the affirmative is not doing that sufficiently.
When I see a traditional debate that clashes on fundamental issues involving framework, impacts, and what either side thinks, really matters in my weighing of the round, it makes deciding on who was the better debater during the round an easier process. I like debate that gets to the substantive heart of whatever the issue is. There are very few arguments I would actually consider a priori. My favorite debates are the kind where one side clearly wins standards, whichever one they decide to go for, and has a compelling round story. Voters are crucial in rebuttals, and a clear link story, with warrants and weighted impacts, are the best route for my ballot.
I will listen to a Kritik but you must link it to the debate in the room, related to the resolution in some way, for me to more likely to vote for it. I am biased toward topicality.
I hold theory to higher bar. I will most likely vote reasonability instead of competing interpretations. However, if I am given a clearly phrased justification for why I should accept a competing interpretation and it is insufficiently contested, there is a better chance that I will vote for a competing interpretation. You will need to emphasize this by slowing down, if you are spreading, slow down, speak a little louder, or tell me “this is paramount, flow this”.
Reasonability. I believe that theory is intervention and my threshold for voting on theory is high. I prefer engagement and clash with your opponent. If I feel like negative has spoken too quickly for an Affirmative to adequately respond during the round, or a Neg runs 2+ independent disadvantages that are likely impossible for a "think tank" to answer in a 4 minute 1AR, and the Affirmative runs abuse theory, and gives direct examples from Neg, I'll probably vote Affirmative. Common sense counts. You do not need a card to tell me that the Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.
I default Affirmative framework for establishing ground, I default Kritiks if there are clear pre-fiat/post-fiat justifications for a K debate instead of on-case debate. I do not flow cross examination. If there are any concessions in CX, you need to point them out in your next speech, for me to weigh them.
Sitting or standing, whatever you are comfortable with. I'm fine with flex prep. I think debaters should be respectful and polite. Cross examination concessions are binding, if your opponent calls them out in their next speech.
If I do not understand what you are saying, don’t expect to receive anything higher than a 28. You will lose speaker points if your actions are disrespectful to either myself or to your opponent. I believe in decorum and will vote you down if you are rude or condescending toward your opponent. I do not flow “super spreading”. I need to understand what you are saying, so that I can flow it. I will say “slow” and “clear” once. If there is no discernable change, I will not bother to repeat myself. If you respond, slow down, then speed up again, I will say “slow” and/or “clear” again. For my ballot, clarity over quantity. Word economy over quantity. I reward debaters who try to focus on persuasive styles of speaking over debaters who speak at the same tone, pitch, cadence, the entire debate.
If something is factually untrue, and your opponent points it out, do not expect to win it as an argument.
Please give me articulate voters at the end of the NR and 2AR.
I disclose if it is the tournament norm.
If you are unclear about my paradigm, please ask before the round begins.
Public Forum Paradigm
RESPECT and DECORUM
1. Show respect to your opponent. No shouting down. Just a "thank you" to stop their answer. When finished with answer, ask your opponent "Do you have a question?" Please ask direct questions. Also, advocate for yourself, do not let your opponent "walk all over you in Crossfire".
2. Do not be sexist/racist/transphobic/homophobic/etc.... in round. Respect all humans.
I expect PF to be a contention level debate. There may be a weighing mechanism like "cost-benefit analysis" that will help show why your side has won the debate on magnitude. (Some call this a framework)
I really like signposting of all of your contentions. I really like short taglines for your contentions. If you have long contentions, I really like them broken down into segments, A, B, C, etc. I really appreciate you signposting your direct refutations of your opponents contentions.
I like direct clash.
All evidence used in your constructed cases should be readily available to your opponent, upon request. If you slow down the debate looking for evidence that is in your constructed case, that will weigh against you when I am deciding my ballot.
I do not give automatic losses for dropped contentions or not extending every argument. I let the debaters decide the important contentions by what they decide to debate.
In your summary speech, please let me know specifically why your opponents are loosing the debate.
In your final focus speech, please let me know specifically why you are winning the debate.
I have a PuFo background, but I have spent the year judging policy rounds so I’m familiar with the topic and many of the arguments. A few things to know about me:
1. Critiques are fine with me.
2. Spreading is fine, but slow down on your tags. If your are going too fast I will raise my hand to let you know to slow down.
3. I like clash during CX, but don’t be rude. If you are rude, it will count against you.
Communication is Key!!
I also vote on Stock Issues.
Tag Teaming and arguments based on T are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED!
So, I WILL NOT, emphasis on the NOT, judge a piece that has, or should have, a trigger warning in it. I will leave the round immediately if someone tries to run one in my round. Pieces can be very good without getting to the point where there needs to be a trigger warning. You should be able to perform a good speech without having to shock and awe me through graphic depictions.
I have been involved in speech and debate for 28 years. I did policy in High School and debated Parli in College. I have head or assistant coached for the past 22 years.
**I don't hold CX as binding (don't need to ask if I'm ready for...I'm not flowing it).
**I start running prep when you sit down from cross and stop it when you are up to speak again. Helps keeps rounds on time. The increase in prep was to accommodate filesharing, so you should be doing that during prep, not in addition to prep.
**Aff/Pro on my left (facing me your right)
I consider myself a Communication/Stock Issues judge with strong policy maker tendencies. I like to see REALISTIC impact calc and am likely to vote for the Aff if there is no risk of a disadvantage. Theory/K: I have only voted for 1 K. I think they are a great tool in college debate and usually high school students run them as a generic, underdeveloped off case. If you didn't personally cut the cards and write the K and if you can't explain the premise to your mom in 30 seconds...you probably won't win my ballot with it. CP: need to be able to prove mutual exclusivity and net benefit. IMO CP MUST be NON-TOPICAL. DAs: I really don't buy into ridiculous impacts like extinction and nuclear war and I hate moral obligation arguments. Risk of extinction is not something I weigh. Delivery: I can flow quickly and follow fast argumentation. HOWEVER--communication is important. Abnormal breathing will lose you points as will shotgun-style spreading. Develop deep arguments with claim, data, warrant. Tag Teaming: Don't make your partner look dumb. Time: Aside from the 10 second roadmap, the clock is running. Jump/file drop during prep or CX.
Curtesy and Ethics are a BIG DEAL!
I am a traditional LD judge. I do NOT think Plans, CP, or K belong in LD. Keep to the V/C debate. Weigh your arguments. Should be more rhetorical (more your words, fewer cards) than policy. Judged heavily on presentation, argumentation and persuasion.
Please wait to be seated until after coin toss. I need pro on my left and con on my right to help ensure the ballot is filled out in favor of the intended team. PF was made for LAY judges and I don't believe it needs a paradigm.
Yes...I have a congress paradigm...I like to see structured speeches that present NEW arguments or REFUTE arguments on the floor. Source Citation is important. Treat it like a good extemp. Presentation is important as is overall participation in the chamber. I have judged/parli at nationals for several years. I expect professionalism and good argumentation.
I debated for four years in high school--two years in LD and two years in CX. I moved on to compete for WWU in Parli, while taking on a coaching role for the Bellingham United Debate Team (Sehome, Bellingham, and Squalicum High Schools). I was an assistant coach for four years before taking over the team in 2019 as the head coach.
In terms of arguments, you can run anything you want---I've seen it all, done most of it, you can't scare me! That said, there are a few things to be aware of:
1) I do not have the quickest ear. (I haven't had any problems flowing PF and LD rounds yet, but some CX rounds have been SPEEDY.) However, I understand that you have a lot to say and not a lot of time to say it. Slow down on your tags, pull out your warrants later.
2) You can run K's, but I am not well-versed in some of the new K literature (i.e. theories, philosophies, etc.). This means that you need to have some sort of thesis/overview/underview that explains exactly what this K is trying to accomplish. The structure and argumentation of a K (and subsequent rebuttal arguments) are no issue for me.
3) I look to my flow for my decision. Watch out for dropped arguments. If things are new, I will not evaluate them.
4) Everyone gets the same speaker points (usually around 28). It is my fundamental belief that speaker points tend to be sexist, racist, and ableist, even with the best of intentions. I don't care how you sound, I care about what you say. (That said, if you choose to be rude, disrespectful, or make arguments that fundamentally threaten the identities of those in our community, you will be given the lowest speaker points possible---and you'll probably lose.)
I like a cordial debate, and I weigh the content slightly more than the framework, but they're fairly close. Proper analysis matters and every contention should be thoroughly analyzed – not just stated, and then you move on, (a surprising number of competitors do this, so don't just count yourself out like, "that's not me"). Make sure that analysis is backed up by good evidence. I try my best to weigh each round with only the information you give me (table rasa) but you know no judge is truly a blank slate.
Pragmatic over Philosophical.
Debate coach at Sedro Woolley, 3 years.
Kamiak High School 2007
University of WA BA Political Science 2011
Cross Examination Debate Paradigm
I'm a tabula rasa judge with respect to the arguments that I will listen to.
It is important to me that I see an obvious progression on the flow within the round given the arguments made during constructive speeches and questions asked and answers given during cross examination.
Having clear voting issues articulated during rebuttal speeches is more advantageous than not, and having clear ways to comparatively weigh various arguments within the round will help to narrow the bounds for how I arrive at my reason for decision.
I flow the round the best I can, if the speaking is unclear then I will say clear. If I have to say clear a second time speaks will be reduced by a half point. If I have to say clear a third time (this is very rare) then I will grant one less speaker point.
If you have any questions for further clarification of my paradigm it's important that you ask those questions prior to the beginning of the first constructive speech. After that point it is unlikely that I will answer any further questions with respect to my paradigm.
Anything that I do not understand with respect to clarity will not count as an argument on my flow, so it is advantageous to consider slowing down to such a degree that it is clear to me should I state the word clear during a speech.
UPDATED LD Paradigm for the 2021 Season.
I was 4A State Champion in LD(WA) in 2006 and a 4A Semi-finalist for LD at State 2007. Most of my experience as a competitor was with Lincoln Douglas debate although I did compete as a policy debater for a year and so I am familiar with policy debate jargon.
Summary of my paradigm:
Speaking quickly is fine, I will say clear if you are not clear to me.
Theory is fine, I default reasonability instead of competing interpretations. However, if I am given an articulated justification for why I should accept a competing interpretation that is insufficiently contested, then that increases the likelihood I will vote for a competing interpretation. Unique frameworks and cases are fine (policy maker, etcetera), debate is ultimately your game.
I default Affirmative framework for establishing ground, I default Kritiks if there are clear pre-fiat/post-fiat justifications for a K debate instead of on-case debate. Cross examination IS important, and I do reward concessions made in cross examination as arguments that a debater can't just avoid having said.
I disclose if the tournament says I have to, or if both debaters are fine with disclosure and the tournament allows disclosure. I generally do not disclose if the tournament asks judges not to disclose.
The key to my paradigm is that the more specific your questions about what my paradigm is, the better my answers that I can provide for how I'll adjudicate the round.
The longer version:
Speaking: Clarity over quantity. Quality over quantity. Speed is just fine if you are clear, but I reward debaters who try to focus on persuasive styles of speaking over debaters who speak at the same tone, pitch, etc the entire debate. Pitch matters, if I can't hear you I can't flow you. Excessive swearing will result in lower speaker points.
Reasonability. I believe that theory is intervention and my threshold for voting on theory is pretty high. If I feel like a negative has spoken too quickly for an Affirmative to adequately respond during the round, or a Neg runs 3 independent disadvantages that are likely impossible for a team of people with PhD's to answer in a 4 minute 1AR, and the Affirmative runs abuse theory on it, I'll probably vote Affirmative.
I'm fine with flex prep. Cross examination should be fair. Cross examination concessions are binding, so own what you say in cross examination and play the game fairly.
--- Speaking: The same rules for clarity always apply- if I don’t understand what you are saying, don’t expect to receive anything higher than a 28.
You will lose speaker points if you:
1. Use an excess of swearing. If swearing is in a card, that’s allowed within reason. I understand some Kritiks require its use as a matter of discourse, but outside of carded evidence I absolutely do not condone the use of language that would be considered offensive speaking in public considering debate is an academic and public speaking competition.
2. Are found to be generally disrespectful to either myself as the judge or to your opponent. This will be very obvious, as I will tell you that you were extremely disrespectful after round.
You can generally run any type of argument you want in front of me. I generally believe that for traditional LD debate that all affirmatives should have some kind of standard that they try to win (value/criterion), and that the negative is not necessarily tied to the same obligation- the burden on either side is different. The affirmative generally has the obligation to state a case construction that generally affirms the truth of the resolution, and the negative can take whatever route they want to show how the affirmative is not doing that sufficiently. I’ll listen to a Kritik. The worse the Kritik, the more susceptible I’ll be to good theory on why Ks are bad for debate.
Kritiks that in some way are related to the resolution (instead of a kritik you could run on any topic) are definitely the kind I would be more sympathetic to listening to and potentially voting for.
When I see a good standards debate that clashes on fundamental issues involving framework, impacts, and what either side thinks really matters in my adjudication of the round, it makes deciding on who was the better debater during the round an easier process. I don’t like blippy debate. I like debate that gets to the substantive heart of whatever the issue is. In terms of priorities, there are very few arguments I would actually consider a priori. My favorite debates are the kind where one side clearly wins standards (whichever one they decide to go for), and has a compelling round story. Voters are crucial in rebuttals, and a clear link story, replete with warrants and weighted impacts, is the best route to take for my ballot.
I approach judging like a job, and to that end I am very thorough for how I will judge the debate round. I will flow everything that goes on in round, I make notations on my flows and I keep a very good record of rounds.
If something is just straight up factually untrue, and your opponent points it out, don’t expect to win it as an argument.
I'll clarify my paradigm upon request, my default this season has generally been tabula rasa. It's also important to have articulated voting issues during rebuttals.
Congressional Debate Paradigm
I look to several factors to determine what are the best speeches for Congressional Debate when I am adjudicating this event.
To decide the best competitor with respect to speeches I look to speech quality and I consider total number of speeches with respect to if recency is utilized strategically to deliver speeches when there is an opportunity to speak. The more speeches given that are consistently of high quality the more likely that I rank that competitor higher overall.
With respect to speech quality the speeches I tend to give 5 or 6 to have a few important elements. First is the use of evidence. For evidence I am listening closely to if it is primary or secondary evidence, and I'm also carefully listening for citation of evidence to qualify the importance of the evidence with respect to the chosen topic of discussion.
Second is speaking delivery. I'm carefully listening to see if speaking time is used to effectively communicate with the audience. Specifically I'm listening for the use of the word uh, um, overuse of the word like, and also if there's significant amounts of unnecessary pausing during speeches (3-5 seconds). I'm also carefully listening for if there's unnecessary repetition of words. In terms of more advanced speaking delivery things I'm carefully listening for, there's word choice, syntax, metaphor and simile and whether there's an effort being made with respect to vocal dynamics. A speech that is good but monotonous might be ranked 5 while a speech that is of similar quality and employs the use of vocal dynamics to effectively communicate with the audience would likely be ranked 6 instead, for example.
Third is organization. I'm carefully listening to see if the speech is organized in such a way that it effectively advocates for the chosen side to speak on. A speech organized well generally has an introduction or thesis to explain what the speech is discussing, has several distinct arguments, and some kind of conclusion to establish why the speech is being given to affirm or negate the legislation.
For evaluating questions with respect to deciding the best competitor there's two areas of decision happening when I judge Congressional Debate.
Question asking. For question asking I'm carefully listening to see if the question is a clarifying question or if it is one that advances the debate for the chosen side of the questioner or challenges arguments that were made by the questioned. I'm also making an effort to consider volume of questions with respect to participation for the competition. Meaning that if a competitor gives good speeches and consistently asks effective questions when the opportunity is afforded to them to do so then that competitor will likely rank higher than competitors that give good speeches but ask a lot less or no questions.
Question answering. For question answering the important things I'm carefully listening for is if there's an actual answer given or a declination to give an answer. I'm also listening to see if the answer advocates for the chosen side to speak on with respect to the legislation, and if it effectively responds to the question asked.
I have been a coach since 1993. I have coached & judged Cross-X; L-D; and Public Forum. I have also worked with all of the individual events and Congress.
Here is the basic philosophy by which I judge the debate events:
For all debate events - you think about this information a lot, I don't. I'm an educator with over 25 years in schools. I like reasonable arguments and understanding your arguments and evidence.
C-X: I weigh the round based on the evidence given and explained. To simply read a card(s) with an author and expect that I know all about him/her, is not reasonable. You must explain why this is important and why this author has a superior analysis. Also, I won't intervene unless you give me no options. I flow - speed is not a problem. If I stop writing, you may want to slow down a little. Flashing is irritating, so keep it quick and clean. Technology problems are yours and I won't stop the round/prep/speech time if you are having tech problems.
L-D: I am old school. I look for a great value/criterion debate and a reason why your interpretation of the resolution and the evidence you provide is superior to your opponents.
P-F: I just want each team to explain why they have the superior position on the resolution. Be nice to each other, as I will deduct speaker points if you seem aggressive. I will only judge on a framework if and only if both teams agree to the framework. There is no room for rudeness.
Congress: I like to see the debate advanced. I don't want a lot of evidence, just a few pieces explained well. Civility - this is huge. I've found Congress in the 2019-20 season to be rude and unkind. This will play in my speech scores and rankings. You can be passionate, just don't be mean/rude/harsh in your tone. Be clear in your questions.
Lay judge debate paradigm.
Thank you for reading my paradigm. Taking the additional time to study and adapt to these suggestions will increase your odds of picking up my ballot, though doing so does not *guarantee* the result you are looking for.
I have organized my paradigm into blocks, depending on the event I'm judging, as follows:
All Debate Events:
1) Decorum is the ultimate a priori voting issue. I expect you to treat one another, the audience, the facilities, and the judge(s) in your round with respect at all times. In turn, you will receive my full respect as well. We've all invested time into this contest, and to disrespect it with rude, discriminatory, bigoted, intolerant, or other disruptive behavior is an insult not only to those who sacrificed to be here to support you, but to all the people who came before you to give you this opportunity.
2) Speed is NOT your friend. In order for me to understand and apply your argument to the flow, I must first be able to understand it. If I've stopped typing (or put my pen down if using paper flows), I'm probably not following your argument. If I didn't flow it, it never happened.
3) Jargon is Speed's twin... also not your friend. Dropping a bunch of debate jargon in your speech isn't effective with me. Shorthand speak is lazy debate. Don't assume I know all the meaning behind your words. If I look confused, I probably am. So, take a second and explain things.
4) Sources must be cited properly. “Jones, '22” means nothing to me if I don't know which Jones and which article you are referencing.
5) For events that allow for prep time: Prep time begins within 5 seconds of the end of the previous speech. There is no stopping prep because your tech malfunctioned, or because you need to swap thumb drive evidence. Prep ends when you start speaking.
6) If you offer a roadmap, follow it.
7) After the round: Gather your things quietly and leave so the tournament can run on time. I do not shake hands (it's a germs thing). Do not comment on the round after it's over.
8) I do not disclose results in prelim rounds. Period. Full stop. Even if the tournament requires it. I'll take the fine/punishment. I don't believe it is beneficial to anyone. I will give oral feedback IF the tournament is running on time and if I feel the teams are in a proper mental state to listen to it objectively and accept it. Oral critique, if offered is UNIDIRECTIONAL. It is not a time for you to argue your case further. Doing so will be considered a decorum violation (see #1 above). I reserve the right to change my vote in the event of a post-round decorum violation.
1) I'm a Registered Parliamentarian, as in I do this professionally as a paid gig. If you're thinking of challenging my knowledge of Robert's Rules, the local rules for your tournament, etc., just don't. I always study in advance and ask for complete rules lists for your Congress.
2) As a Parli, I am looking for these things in order descending order of importance: Decorum, Participation, Appropriate Use of Procedures, Advancement of Debate, Good Analysis, and Solid Speaking Skills. You scorers are judging your speeches. I can't focus on the procedures and listen to every aspect of your speech or the flow of debate.
3) Conversely, as a scorer, I am going to actually flow the debate in round, tracking the arguments Pro and Opp and looking for you to advance the debate, not merely rehash what others have said. After the argumentation, I look to style and speech quality as a secondary voter.
4) I know many of you are being taught that 30-seconds of questioning is about getting in as many questions as possible. Please resist that urge,. You'll score more points with me by letting the speaker address one or two questions fully than by blasting 5 rapid fire questions.
5) Be engaged during the session. Side-talk, playing on your phone/computer, ignoring the speaker... I notice these things and they're frowned upon.
Overview: If you read nothing else, read this: I will most likely vote for the team who gives me the easiest path to vote for them. (By the way, this is true of just about every judge on the circuit, no matter their paradigm). Give me an unambiguous, articulate, simple way to pick your team up, and the ballot is yours.
1) By default, I am a Stock Issues judge - I debated Oxford (a slightly different form of what you do today), NDT, and CEDA formats in HS and College, all of which used these time-honored and tested frameworks. Topicality, Inherency, Significance, Solvency, Ads/Disads. Aff must win all 5. Neg needs only win one issue decisively. (Assuming a priori voters don’t come into play, which is rare).
2) I give VASTLY more weight to on-case arguments. Inherency and Solvency are my most common reasons for voting NEG. I consider Topicality a time suck unless the case is grossly non-topical. I despise debates that become pure T or just K's (or only these 2 things), and the team I feel is most to blame for creating that problem will lose my ballot every time. Significance and Inherency are the two most overlooked issues in debate today - I won over 80% of my negatives on these 2 issues as a young debater, and I miss hearing those arguments. I LOVE a good counterplan that gives a clear, net-competitive alternative to the Aff case.
3) The sole exception to #1 & 2 above is that I accept Theory arguments IF they are clearly communicated, carried all the way to the 2AR/2NR, and have DIRECT link to the round. Example: I voted once at National-level outrounds on a performative K because it dealt directly with something that occurred during prep time between the 1AC and 1NC and had a clear impact on Neg's ability to debate the round. This is a rare strategy - risky unless you can prove both the immediate root cause was the opponent and the clear impact to the round. Additionally, Presumption belongs to the Neg. Aff has a burden to present a complete Prima Facie case in the 1AC or the round is over at that point.
4) I do not read evidence unless challenged directly under the NSDA rules of evidence, and then only to determine the validity of the challenge. If I didn't hear it clearly, it didn't happen. If you think it's critical to your case, make absolutely sure I hear it.
Overview: If you read nothing else, read this: I will most likely vote for the side who gives me the easiest path to vote for them. (By the way, this is true of just about every judge on the circuit, no matter their paradigm). Give me an unambiguous, articulate, simple way to pick your side up, and the ballot is yours.
1) I learned LD from Minh Luong. My camp study partner/roommate was Victor Jih (founder of Victory Briefs). I finished 3rd at NFA Nationals in college. I am likely what you would call "old school." I've also coached TOC outrounders more than a dozen times in my career. I understand TOC-circuit style, even if I disagree with most (or all) of it.
2) LD is Values Debate. It was created expressly as a counterpoint to Policy. I will reject plan text in LD. Period.
3) A Value is (I can't believe I have to write this) something that has inherent, intrinsic, or physical value to you or others. Morality is not a value. We can be moral beings because we value X and valuing X is moral according to Y framework. But we cannot value morality by itself. If you read this, and your case has "morality" as its value, take 5 minutes of pre-round time to think of something valuable that applies to your case and value that, please. I guarantee your case has something in it you can use this way.
4) A Criterion is the philosophical or logical approach/framework that, when applied to the resolution, establishes a hierarchy of values. If you choose not to offer one, then you agree to be measured by the standard your opponent offers. If neither offers one, then you're subject to my chosen criterion for the round in front of me.
5) In the end, I will vote for the case that establishes, in the context of the resolution, their value to be superior by whatever criterion is the best choice within the round, supported by the arguments in the contentions offered.
6) Kritiks in LD have to be directly linked to the cases offered, or the events in round. Tenuously linked arguments will be given little or no weight in round.
7) Theory arguments are rare in LD. Presumption exists, and I have voted on it when the AC is clearly not valid prima facie. Beyond that, you'll probably spend more time convincing me that your specific theory argument is a priori than you could spend on case in direct clash.
Public Forum Debate:
Overview: I was coaching when PuFo was created (Ted Turner Debate was its original name). It was patterned after a TV show called Crossfire... a 30-minute show around a single topic where 4 guests debate the merits of a single issue. It was intended explicitly to be an event judged by laypersons... a default audience sitting at home on the couch watching the show. My paradigm is strongly influenced by this framing of event intent.
1) I do not keep a rigorous flow of PF rounds. I will make notes about the performance of the debaters and their key arguments during the round. But since I don't flow debates on TV talk shows at home, why would I do so here? Frankly, if I can't track 3-4 main arguments per side in my head, with a few memory notes, then I shouldn't be judging debate. And if you are making more than 3-4 main arguments per PF round, then either you're going too fast for PF or not going deep enough into each line of argument you're making. Either way... flowing is not needed in this event. It's just way too short a round for that.
2) Because I'm not flowing, clarity and simplicity in your argumentation are key (as it should be in an event designed to appeal to a lay audience). The more complex your argumentation, the more likely you're going to lose me. And my ballot. Keep it simple.
3) This isn't "Policy light." Even topics that appear policy framed (i.e. - "The US Federal Government should...") are intended to be debated point-counterpoint. Not in a plan-counterplan format.
4) Theory, policy, jargon, frameworks, etc. have no place in this event. Again, this is point-counterpoint debate. There is no presumption. The burden of proof is on whomever is raising the point. The burden of refutation is on the opposing side. And you don't automatically win by your opponent dropping an argument. If an argument is dropped, you must prove how dropping it proves fatal to your opponents’ position, or benefits yours. It could be they dropped it in favor of a stronger response on another point that wins the round.
5) Clash is required. Because there is no presumption, you don't just get to win on Con if Pro doesn't make their case. "Two ships passing" debates end up being decided on my ballot by coin flip. I've decided PF rounds on the mere appearance of clash on a single otherwise irrelevant point because neither team wanted to engage the other. Make a good debate. Engage your opponent with direct clash please.
6) Crossfire is a freely flowing exchange. It is not cross-examination with an examiner and a respondent. Statements are not only allowed, but expected, especially in Grand Crossfire. Show off your discussion skills in these periods.
Make it easier for me to vote for you than your opponent, and you'll have my ballot. Be clear. Be concise. Focus on case-related arguments. Engage with your opponent and clash. Be polite and courteous. Respect me, my position, and my decisions. Respect your opponent(s). If you have a question about my work in round, feel free to ask. I'm happy to explain. But don't argue with me - in round or afterward. Accept the explanation and move on.
Most of all, have fun. Nothing in our round is worth stressing out about. Someone will win. Someone will lose. Do what you can and be satisfied with your effort, if not the result.
I am a parent who volunteered to judge debate while one of my children was involved. Now that they have graduated I still help most weekends when I am able.
I am also a teacher; I have higher expectations of students who debate, simply because they are trying to improve. I am not a trained debate coach but I have been learning about debate for the last 7 years.
What I usually tell students who ask for my paradigm:
If I can't understand your words I can't judge your arguments. You have practiced your speeches, you know them, so help me understand what you have to say.
I like to hear a clear argument, so tell me what your points are, then offer your evidence. Be honest.
I like the occasional clever pun-but don't overdo it unless you can absolutely nail it!
The most important thing to keep in mind is: You are working hard and I respect that work. You are doing something that matters, thank you for learning about our world and refining your ability to discuss and make decisions about important issues.
Hello! I'm Peri (she/her) and I debated for Mount Vernon HS in Washington doing LD for 3 years in high school. I am also a part-time, de-facto assistant coach for the Mount Vernon team, and I'm starting my own at the school I currently teach at-- I've never really left the debate community, so I know a bit of the norms and I know what's going on. I have my Bachelor's in International Studies focused on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East and North Africa, and my Master's in International Relations (meaning I know more about the Middle East than the average person) Here is my email if you need it... email@example.com
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
Substance > Style
Don't rehash, bring up new points prevalent to the debate. I love to see refutation particularly after the first two speeches. Please, lets move on if we are just going to say the same thing over and over.
Every time you speak in a session, it gives me more reasons to rank you at the end of the round. Fight to give those speeches and use questions! Don't let any of that direct questioning time go to waste!!!
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
I did traditional LD in high school. I am a traditional LD judge. You can run some arguments but disguise them as more traditional and focus on that style to keep me a happy judge. Take that into account. Don't spread I won't understand. Explain your arguments clearly and you'll be fine. No Meta-Ethics or trix.
Side note: Please make sure you are educated on the 2024 Jan/Feb LD topic... I don't want to hear arguments that are factually untrue, and I'm excited for well-informed debates that get into the depths of this subject! I've written articles on this topic that you could use as a card-- I know it well.
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
I'm judging more and more pufo these days. I like clear, well organized constructives. Don't just read everything one note. I appreciate that public forum is supposed to be different than LD and Policy. Keep it that way.
Random framework arguments about the intent of the topic aren't going to work for me. If things change in the status quo, you need to be prepared to discuss them.
Background for Bill Lemonovich
Extemp,Oratory ,Poetry and DI were all HS areas of competition I pursued during while in High School as well as American Legion Oratory
I was a policy debater for 4 years at Cal State University and enjoyed the State and National Tournaments;happy to have been inducted into the Debate /Speech fraternity :Pi Kappa Delta. Competing at this time was an incredible experience.defeating Harvard University was an Honor.
High School teacher in New York, Montgomery County,Md.and Pennsylvania :German.Russian,World History and Psychology and Debate.
I have coached 10 HS teams in several states and have been a Tournament Director with 30 schools competing as well as organizing the Cal State University tournament a few years ago..Treasurer of the MCFL ( Montgomery County, Md. ) National NSDA tournments have included Kansas City,Las Vegas, Ft.Lauderdale, Dallas and Birmingham.Presently moving towards my Second Diamond status in NSDA.
Judging preferences :Clear, direct presentation of contentions including a clear statement of the R and a definition of key terms
~~ Impact arguments by both the Aff/Neg should be clear stressed,extended and REITERATED ..if you feel you have the winning arguments,it's worth repeating and stressing !
~~ Spreading is not clear communication...if you gasp and moan while delivering your speech I will not be pleased !
~~ Clash is imperative..you must convince me that your arguments outweigh those of your opponents !
~~ In PF and CX..teamwork is a must..your partnership should be smooth in in sync or it will likely be confusing
~~ I am not a fan of 'trick cases' or some variant of a 'Counterplan'..Make your case clear,logical and 'persuasive'
~ There is often a very 'thin line' between Ranking 1-5 in IE events..I look for Topicalty,a strong intro,2-3 major points and a
'Call to Action' when you speak..a little humor can go a long way...ENGAGE your audience..I want to be informed,enlightened and entertained..doesn't everyone ?
I am a new judge to PF. Speak slowly. If I don't understand you, I will unfortunately not be able to evaluate you accurately and that could impact your scores.
Clearly articulate your contentions and sub points. Please interact with each other's arguments.
Hold yourself and your opponents accountable on timing.
Impact analysis- tell me why you win and why it matters. Okay with light speed, but make sure your tag lines are clear. Signposting is essential- if you do not tell me where it belongs on the flow, I will not find it for you. Don't buy into definition debates easily; the definition difference must be significant into your case. I approach each round with an open mind- you can make this round whatever you want it to be. Explain to me why you win and why I should care.
I was a first speaker in PF for 4 years in high school in addition to World Schools Debate, so I have a lot of experience listening to all types of arguments and speaking styles.
My judging philosophy is simple…I expect you to make it easy for me to vote for you:
Signpost your arguments. If you have several contentions, it is important that you let me know which contention you are on so I can keep track of it in my flow. If you are in a subpoint, please let me know this. With each piece of evidence, tell me the source and year so I know its relevance to the case. Most importantly, TELL ME THE SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACTS OF YOUR EVIDENCE. If you do not tell me why the evidence is important, I cannot weigh it more heavily than other pieces of evidence that has impacts.
Note 1: I am fine with any argument, but please make sure that you tell me why it is important (significance and impact), if not I will think it is an irrational argument that has no merit.
Note 2: ENUNCIATE YOUR WORDS. If you are speaking fast, slow, or anywhere in between, and I cannot understand you, I stop taking notes. If I am nodding my head, I am following your argument, if I am looking at you (or in this day and age at the screen) and not down at my paper, you have done something wrong and it is up to you to fix it.
Do not ask clarifying questions, it give the opponent endless time to restate their case and make it stronger. You should be asking questions that help your partner in their refutation so they have the proper ammunition to deliver a strong hit against the opposing team.
I am fine if you speak over one another, and I will not intervene unless there is a blatant disrespect going on. Please be civil, don't be condescending.
Signpost your blocks. You should tell me which contention, which subpoint, and which piece of evidence is being refuted. If you have several blocks for one argument, tell me prior to listing them off, then proceed to tell me which block number you are on so I can keep track of it in my flow. If your team is speaking second, please frontline the refutations provided by the other team. Most importantly, IF YOU DO NOT REFUTE THE ARGUMENT, I CARRY IT THROUGH TO SUMMARY SPEECHES, do not make me do that.
Again, no clarifying questions. Here you should be asking questions that will help your partner in their summary so they can then proceed to tell me why your team has won the round.
This is the speech I pay closest attention to in round, since I was a first speaker I have mounds of experience giving these speeches. In this speech, you should be doing several things: 1. Tell me which arguments still stand on both sides, 2. Weigh the impacts of each remaining argument, 3. Tell me why your team has won this round. Most important, IF YOU DO NOT CARRY IMPORTANT EVIDENCE OR CONTENTIONS THROUGH THIS ROUND I CROSS IT OFF MY FLOW, make sure that everything you want me to judge at the end of the entire round is mentioned in this speech.
Note: If I notice that one team has no more remaining contentions/subpoints/evidence and the other team calls this out, I will cast my ballot in this part of the round. Make sure your summary is good.
If you are asking a clarifying question you have probably recognized that you have lost the round. Here you should be asking questions about the fragments of evidence and subpoints still standing in the round.
Here you should be crystalizing the round, putting everything in a nice bow. The goal of your final focus should be for me to be confident in my decision. Normally, I have a clear sense of who won prior to this part of the round. If you have any doubt that I will vote against you prior to this speech, make sure that by the end of it I have to reconsider my thinking.
As someone who did Extemp and Oratory for 3 years, delivery is also important:
This is where presentation matters. On ballots we are asked if wins are "low point wins", don't make me do this. If you have a good argument, you should be presenting it well (especially if you are a first speaker presenting your team's case).
For tiebreaks at tournaments, speaker scores matter, so ensure that your presentation is good so that you are not that single 4-2 team not breaking because of low speaker scores.
Most Important Note for the Round:
If you are in anyway Anti-Semitic, Racist, Homophobic, Sexist/Misogynistic, Islamophobic, or display any other form of hatred, I will drop my pencil, give you AND your partner the LOWEST possible speaker score, YOU WILL LOSE THE ROUND, and will be reported to the tournament director for further punishment.
Debate is supposed to be an inclusive setting for people of all backgrounds (religious, gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, etc...) please don't be the reason someone quits debate.
-First-time Parent Judge
-Prefer clarity and extending impacts
Don't spread and don't make excessive evidence calls.
I'm a traditional LD judge - I prefer a traditional V/VC framework, and like a philosophical debate that substantively engages the resolution.
I have very limited tolerance for speed / lack of clarity.
I've been in Speech and Debate for three years in high school, so I kinda know how it works. I've mostly done LD and PF debate, but I've not done much speech mostly because I can't memorize a speech to save my life.
Try not to spread too fast. I can understand a pretty fast rate of speech, but there's no point in debating if I can't understand your contentions.
If you bring me a Kit-Kat, or give me a controversial soccer or basketball opinion, I'll give you full speaker points.