Tim Averill Invitational online
2020 — NSDA Campus, MA/US
PF Novice Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am a parent PF judge, and a practicing attorney with more than 25 years of experience.
I believe a sound debate is about a fair, intelligible and intelligent dialogue. Speed reading off a computer screen or spreading is incompatible with such a process. Fast speakers assume the risk that I could miss some arguments/points/evidence. Additionally, if in my view you've spoken at a fast clip, I will not view unfavorably your opponent failing to respond to an argument that you have advanced.
Do not resort to speech docs. Make your case orally.
I flow arguments and strictly rely on my flowsheet. While I do not take note of points made/unmade in crossfire, I pay careful attention to astute questions and answers. Please bring up crossfire points that you would like me to flow in a subsequent speech. I am persuaded by well-structured, logical and linked arguments that are honestly supported by key pieces of evidence.
In addition to making your case, you must meaningfully engage with your opponents' case. The team advancing a contention must rejoin the issue and tell me why the opposing team's rebuttal/counter/block does not work.
In crossfire, please avoid questions with long preambles.
While, for the most part, I don't get into the weeds with cards and evidence, I may on occasion call for a piece. Teams should feel free to assail each other's evidence during the debate.
Please do not use debate jargon.
I do not like theory and K's. Hew to the topic of the day.
Keep the discourse civil. Incivility in any form will hurt your cause.
Enthusiasm for, intensity, and passion regarding the proposition you are espousing is welcome. Discourtesy or aggression against your opponents is not.
Tactical and strategic thinking in arguing, rebutting, and in crossfire is always delightful.
I appreciate clear analysis of why your contention should win the day in the summary and final focus. Further, the final focus should have all that you would like me to vote on (akin to writing my RFD for me - pros of your case and cons of your opponent's.) Lastly, all arguments and evidence that are in the final focus must have been in the summary and no new arguments in the summary speech - it is a matter of fairness.
Background: I am a junior at LS, third-year debater. I understand all PF terminology, so feel free to use it. Don't worry about me when it comes to speed, however, you should be considerate of your opponents, and not make this a Policy round.
Since this is the novice division, I am less tech over truth than I normally would be. This is the first or second tournament for a lot of debaters, so please be considerate of your opponents during the round.
In rebuttal, make sure to respond to all contentions/arguments that your opponent makes. If you don't respond to something in rebuttal, consider it dropped. The same goes for summary and final focus.
Weighing and writing the ballot are the two things that I often see novices forgetting to do. In Summary and Final Focus, tell me exactly why your arguments outweigh your opponents, and what I should vote off of.
Finally, please be respectful during cross. I have seen many rounds go downhill because of people being too aggressive, and not letting their opponents respond.
Be nice please. A lot of people think perceptual domination in debate is incredibly important, but in my eyes it is not nearly as important as being respectful and kind.
I have debated pf for 3 years, so I understand how a flow works, and I can handle speed to an extent(I will let you know if you are going too fast).
That being said, I tend to prefer arguments that I believe over speeches that are technically dazzling. I will not be willing to vote off of theory, so please do not try it. I feel like most of the time it is poorly done and unintentionally insensitive, so rather than subject myself to that dice roll of doom, I would rather you just not run theory.
I love good warranting, and will not vote for a point if the warrant is not extended throughout the round. Going for fewer arguments with great explanation and weighing is probably the easiest way to win my ballot.
d.c. Jay Garg <3
I am a parent lay judge, and I have judged five tournaments. I did not have experience participating in debate prior to being a judge. I would appreciate slower speech in order to allow me to make note of your contentions and evidence. I request that debaters time themselves.
email me for questions/add me to the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Me: "Do you know why I'm such a laid-back judge?"
Me: "I go with the flow"
(creds to @Debate Memes on Facebook haha)
- yes I will vote off the flow
- honestly just debate well enough to make me care enough about the round (which means focus on the bolded text below)
- warrant, extend your full link story and impact, and weigh and you're doing really well
- I don't think most debaters truly spend time explaining warrants or weighing
- things you want me to vote on have to be in every speech after first rebuttal
- I want the round to be chill and educational and fun so please make that happen
i'm now old and grumpy and care a bit less about debate than i used to so please don't assume i have extensive topic knowledge
it's so cool that you're trying out this activity even though it's probably kind of scary. If you don't understand some of my preferences in the long version, the tl;dr should be fine. Just know that you're probably doing great and that you got this :)
feel free to ask me any questions before/after the round.
hi! I did 2 years of Public Forum at Lexington but I started out my debate career in policy which influences how I judge!
- i'm more tech than the average tech judge so please clash to avoid judge intervention, or at the very least weigh a lot on both link and impact levels :)
- in later speeches, please give quick narrative style overviews at the top of your own case then frontline/line by line (i still don't know what frontline means but just don't drop stuff) if u want me to vote on your contentions otherwise dropped defense will mitigate your impacts. this also means u should frontline in second rebuttal and extend defense in first summary.
- i will vote off most arguments including theory/k if they are debated well (my threshold for these being run well is pretty high lmao so try at your risk) and not used just to be exclusionary (check the bottom of my paradigm)
- do a lot of weighing/impact calc and logical analysis (not just for me, it is also strategic if you're lost/confused and I would know first hand oops)
- once again please weigh weigh weigh. really make the force of gravity a lot here (i'm sorry i'm a physics nerd)
- start collapsing by first summary because depth>breadth in terms of giving quality arguments in short PF speech times
- crossfire shouldn't be three minutes of extra debating please ask and answer questions in a non-aggressive and CIVIL manner or I will be frustrated, get a headache and probably dock speaks.
- if you want to take off a jacket or shoes in round feel free to do so because i almost never debated with shoes. this will not affect speaks or the result :)
- feel free to ask me questions about my decision if you're confused, I will not dock speaks and I feel like it usually helps you learn how you can improve in the future
- i am fine w speed if you do all of the following: prioritize clarity, make sure your opponents are ok too, slow down on tags, authors, and analytics, signpost clearly, offer speech docs if necessary
- lastly, debate is a game: this means that you should not be exclusionary, follow the rules or warrant why you shouldn't, and let me know if there is anything I can personally do to make the debate more accessible to you, and HAVE FUN!!!!!
- fist-bump instead of shaking hands haha
- I'll default to a slightly above a 28 if it's by 0.1 and 28.5 if it's by 0.5
- i am also happy to talk after round, show you my flows, and answer questions about either debate or life :)
LD (MSDL States 2022):
i am fairly confident in my ability to flow a debate and understand arguments that are clearly explained to me, however, I also understand there are certain thing specific to LD that I am not familiar with.
- focus on weighing your arguments against your components, basic frameworks (util, structural violence) I am familiar with and are good for providing that comparison
- not sure about other "value criterion" that's a term i've heard but i don't know what that means so just explain to me clearly
- not super used to nat circuit LD speed anymore, but a little speed is fine
- rest of the paradigm applies
I will vote off of the cleanest extension and link chain. Please do not yell during cross or be too aggressive and if you fail to interact with peoples' responses I will notice. Other than that, do not run theory or a k unless it is funny.
I am a 4 year PF debater at Manchester-Essex Regional High School. I have debated LD but have limited experience with it. I value clear and slow presentation of evidence and arguments.
If you spread a lot, I will try my best to keep up with you, but at anything faster than 200 wpm I will probably miss points in my flow and anything above 225 wpm will cause me to miss significant chunks of your argument.
Please, please, please do not drop evidence without any warrants or logic.
If an opponent makes a point and you are the first speaking team, you have until the end of the next round to address it (not in cross). If you are the second speaking team, you can address it in your next speech or leave it to the next round (ie address T1 rebuttal in your rebuttal or in summary). Anything dropped will be considered true for the whole debate as long as it is extended correctly through each round, but anything dropped and unextended will be a wash. Do not bring up dropped points that you didn't extend, I am not going to weigh them so you are just wasting your time.
Make voters clear in FF
Don't waste time on contentions of little significance in later speeches.
PLEASE SIGNPOST FREQUENTLY. I won't make a decision based on signposting frequency, but I will find it much harder to follow your argument if you don't signpost. I will also mark you down in speaks if you don't signpost.
Safest way to save your speaks is to not be condescending. However, if you are condescending and you are funny, I won't take off points. If you are just being an asshole though, I will definitely take off points.
**If there are conflicting pieces of evidence presented in the round, I will buy the evidence that has the most logical explanation accompanying it. It is not enough to tell me that some expert said something, you have to explain logically why that thing will happen/has happened.
Debated PF throughout high school, now a freshman in college. I'm pretty out of the loop since stopping and definitely not up to date on jargon/topics.
1. Include lots of analysis with your evidence (i.e. don't just read a card I want to know why it matters)
2. Voters! Please give me clear voters, it will make it easier for me to weigh the debate and more inclined to give you the win if you neatly lay your points out.
3. Please do not spread.
4. I used to be tech > truth but it's been a little bit so take that with a grain of salt.
I am a lay judge, and this is my second tournament judging.
I do not understand progressive arguments such as theory, K, counterplans, etc. Similarly, please do not spread—I will not understand. However, I will do my best to follow along and take notes.
Please give big picture overviews that explain how the arguments in the round interact, and clash with your opponent’s arguments.
Taken from Tommy Barone:
I am a senior at Regis High School who has competed with moderate success (a few bids, a lot of elims) in PF (and infrequently in LD) on the National Circuit.
TLDR: I want a civil, unmuddled, honest, inoffensive, and accessible round with comprehensive weighing, persuasive warranting, and sufficient empirics to bear out the argumentation. Make your best effort to follow through on that wish and you're in good shape (but don't feel compelled to abandon your style in so doing; I will adapt as best I can)!
Basic judging philosophy: I view flow norms of debate as useful and ascribe to them only insofar as they are most paradigmatically conducive to rigorous analysis and thorough argumentative engagement. Debate in whatever fashion you believe best meets those two criteria, but I believe that a warrant-focused debate with lots of good comparative analysis and an overarching narrative does so most effectively (and does not require superfluous speed or overuse of jargon).
Long, non-exhaustive, and entirely unstructured set of preferences:
Warrant warrant warrant. I couldn't care less about your evidence if it's not warranted.
Tell me to call evidence and I will; misconstrue it and you're getting horrible speaks.
Spewing debate jargon isn't a rhetorical technique. If it's misused or excessive it's reductive to the intellectual level of the round and it will guarantee you bad speaks.
Weigh early, often, and in a way that interacts with your opponent's weighing. Saying buzz words like "scope" or "magnitude" isn't really compelling if I don't know how your arguments actually interact.
Collapse on your best offense and build a coherent narrative that adequately frontlines major responses. Beyond being poor strategy that massively dilutes your weighing (I'm not going to think multiple pieces of offense important!), I think it's borderline abusive and torpedoes the overall quality of the round because it creates a super reductive burden on the other side to extend and implicate adequate responses for 2+ arguments.
It's fine to read a lot of responses in rebuttal, but if they're not sufficiently explained/implicated or warrantless, I'm going to have trouble evaluating them even if they make it to the end of the round. In final focus and summary, try to collapse on just a few responses and implicate them well.
I'm truly fine flowing fairly fast PF speech, but I will be very annoyed if you don't enunciate and signpost well in so doing.
If you're going to run a turn, please implicate the overall effect thereof. So many people read a "turn" that actually just recognizes one negative effect of something and concludes that it must therefore be net negative. Effects are almost always multidirectional, so, unless you're implicating why something is net your way, I'm probably going to presume that the net effect is whatever the original offense was, or I'll at least avoid voting on the issue. Regardless, unless the turn is well weighed and impacted, I'm really not inclined to vote for it.
In second rebuttal, ideally frontline everything you're going to go for in the back-half speeches. I think it's problematic to only respond to turns in second rebuttal because that leaves first final focus responding anew, which I think creates an unfavorable time skew. I understand this puts pressure on second rebuttal, but you can deal with that by collapsing early (which I would actually appreciate regardless--it makes the weighing nicer). That being said, I won't regard defense as conceded if not frontlined in second rebuttal, I'll probably just dock speaks (note: turns DO need to be frontlined in second rebuttal).
Both summaries need to have defense, offense, and weighing (definitely with a focus on the latter two).
If you read off of your computer for the entire round from prewritten text, you're getting very low speaks because that isn't what debate is.
If you say something was conceded, it better be conceded. Probably my biggest pet peeve in debate is when people say a very clearly responded-to argument was dropped, and I will definitely drop speaks substantially for doing so.
You will lose the round with awful speaks if you run arguments that are inaccessible or argue in an inaccessible way (theory, Ks, spreading, anything from LD/policy). The only theory I'd even consider evaluating would be in response to a genuinely very abusive in-round strategy (examples include: spreading, second rebuttal disads, absurd response dumping, turn dumping).
I will be so mad if your style of argumentation is about muddling up the round with high volumes of non-responsive information.
I am the weakest possible version of tech over truth. The only time I'll vote on a flagrantly untrue argument is if it's totally conceded. While I think good critical-thinkers should always be able to deal with outrageous arguments, running them wastes a team's time, throws them off, and is rarely intellectually honest.
If you run disads, I literally might just not evaluate them because I think they're so abusive (in second rebuttal, I absolutely won't). If you run a disad and call it a turn, I'll be furious (an M4A example: neg differential pricing is not a turn on aff access).
In general, I tend to think that a super turn-heavy strategy by the first-speaking team fringes on abusive and is really reductive to the intellectual quality of the round, so, while I won't intervene because of it, I will a) have a lower standard for how much frontlining needs to be done in second rebuttal and b) have a higher standard for the quality of the extension/weighing of the turn.
I am a senoir at Waring school and have been debating since the beginning of my freshman year. I vote based on responsiveness to the opponents' argument and the ability to support claims through strong evidence or reasoning, though a strong and understandable presentation also reflects well. New evidence brought up in grand cross and final focus speeches won't be considered. Additionally, when it comes to cross, what is said during cross with only affect my decision if points are brought into speeches. Also, I'll make sure to include plenty of comments relating both to speaking and your actual points in on the ballot
Also some preferences:
1. I'm ok with fast speeches, as long as both I and your opponents can understand what is being said. Annunciate well when you're speaking and you'll be fine.
2. Don't yell during crossfire
3. Overall be respectful to your opponents. I am ok with you interrupting your opponent during crossfire if they have been speaking for a while and not responding directly/directly asking a question; just do this in a way that is assertive but not rude.
I am a former PF debater that has judged tournaments for 2+ years.
I expect all varsity debaters to be able to run their own round (i.e. keep track of opponent's speech and prep time, carding).
Don't spread because I judge based on the arguments I hear and understand.
I will occasionally ask for cards after the round if there has been a clash of evidence.
Hi, I'm Emma McRedmond. I'm a Junior at Lexington High School. I've done one year of Policy and one year of PF. Like everyone I don't allow bigotry in a round and I will vote you down. For actual debating, I can listen to spreading but it is not preferable. And make sure to weigh in ff and have fun!
I am an occasional debate judge and a parent of Concord-Carlisle students in the classes of '24 and '27.
I am your average flow judge. Please be clear and speak at a reasonable pace. I think it's a good idea to focus on reading and explaining a few arguments instead of dumping a lot of unwarranted arguments. If you make a JJBA reference I might bump up your speaks a bit :)
I am a senior debater on the Manchester Essex High School Debate Team. I expect nothing but respect from all debaters, towards both me, opponents, and others involved in any given debate, regarding language, gender, race, and ethnicity, and do not appreciate condescending tones or attempts to make opponents look bad on the basis of their speaking or accent.
Preferably, you will speak clearly, make eye contact, and really focus on convincing me, the judge, to buy your arguments. I am not as interested in seeing who can recite the most cards in the allotted time. Therefore, try speaking more slowly and calming down. It is also harder to understand you when you speak very quickly.
Thank you for taking my preferences into consideration while debating with me as your judge.
I am a senior debater and student judge from Phillips Academy Andover. A few quick things to note about my judging:
1. Be polite and respect the rules of the debate. Overly-aggressive, rude, or otherwise disruptive behavior can and will affect speaker points.
2. Meme cases are welcome, but I will NEVER buy disclosure theory and shells are strongly discouraged.
3. I'm truth over tech, but I'll buy most arguments if they're argued well enough.
4. DO. NOT. SPREAD.
5. Carry your arguments through summary and directly weigh impacts in final focus. If there is a framework or definition debate, I want to know why you win it or how you still win under your opponent's framework and definitions.
6. Crossfire should be respectful but substantive. Anything said in crossfire MUST be carried to summary or final focus for it to affect the result of the debate.
7. Keep track of prep time and speech time. Going over time will be penalized.
8. If there is a technical issue, do your best to communicate it quickly and clearly.
9. Any case that is racist/homophobic/sexist/etc. will get you dropped immediately and result in minimum speaker points.
Above all, have fun!
Hi! I'm a sophomore in college and debated 4 years at Newton South High School in MA. I'm really excited to judge your round!
There are 4 main things you may want to know, and the rest is flexible/ordinary.
I think warranting is the most important part of any argument. Consequently, if a point isn't warranted through every speech, I won't evaluate it in my decision. This doesn't mean just reading off contention taglines, but extending the reasoning and evidence behind both your link and impact in summary and ff. I'm generally tech over truth, but I'll give less credence to arguments that are asking a lot from me.
I don't require second rebuttal to frontline, but if they do, the first speaking team should extend their defense in summary or I'll consider it dropped. Regardless, both of these things are strategically advantageous in terms of convincing me, because the more times I hear your argument, the more likely I am to evaluate it.
I'm fairly competent when it comes to flowing PF speed, but I don't love it. If you read super fast just to cram in an extra argument, your speaks will be lower, and my comprehension will be poorer too. Instead, I suggest you take time to explain each of your responses/arguments in-depth: it has lot more persuasive power.
I'm incredibly inexperienced with theory and K debates, so I don't suggest you run them in front of me. That being said, if you truly, strongly feel it's necessary to address something critical in the round, I'll try my best.
I'll call for round-deciding evidence (but you should definitely tell me to call evidence if you think it's being misconstrued). I really like weighing (not just yelling out buzzwords like magnitude and probably, but real comparatives between arguments). Lastly, don't be mean in cross and your speaks will decreases if you 3FF me. iykyk.
At the end of the round, I'll give you my decision, the rationale behind my decision, and feedback as to what each team can do better. Please please please ask all the questions you have; learning judges' decision making processes was instrumental in my development as a debater.
I am new to judging. I will look for believable arguments and clear communication. Please present specific and current evidence if possible.
Hi! I'm a senior at Newton South and a third-year PF debater. My most distinguished accomplishment is placing last out of (I think) 8 teams at a local Big Questions Debate event.
The most important thing is to be nice and respectful to each other. If you're mean, I'll be sad.
I appreciate smart debating. For example, don't read 10 responses to a contention that's 100 words. Also, if you're word efficient but speak slowly, I value that more than speaking really quickly but having a lot of filler words.
Example of smart debating: implicating a dropped response on one contention as terminal defense on another contention later in the round. Do things like that!
IMPLICATE RESPONSES AND WEIGH TURNS
Lay [----------*-] Flow
Tech [---*--------] Truth
My least favorite thing is unwarranted claims. Do not abandon logic. Even if you extend a warrant in rebuttal in summary, it must be in final focus too. Don't make assertions without warranting them.
The flow is still important to me, so make sure you don't drop anything important.
Make sure you implicate arguments the way you want to me understand them. If you don't make a connection for me, I won't make it for you.
Make sure you have a narrative that you extend through summary and final focus (second rebuttal is a good place to explain your narrative too).
Paraphrasing is fine, and I will only call for evidence if someone tells me to.
**I also think that you can find evidence for a lot of things that aren't true, so when you read evidence you must warrant it**.
I'm good with speed, but that doesn't mean you should speak quickly. I value the quality of argument over the quantity of them, so if you're speaking quickly to get a lot down on the flow, it's better to speak slower and go for fewer but more fleshed out argument.
Please do it. At the end of the round, you probably won't be winning every single argument, so weighing makes my job easier and will probably make you happier with my decision.
Frontline all offense (link+impact turns, dis-ads, offensive overviews). You don't need to respond to defense, but it can be very strategic to do so in rebuttal.
Collapse in summary and convince me why that argument is the most important one. Final focus should mirror summary, with the only exception being that first final focus can have defense from rebuttal that wasn't extended in first summary.
Ask questions and don't steamroll over each other. I will listen to cross, and if you're all speaking over each other I can't understand.
If you're rude in cross, personally attack your opponents, or say anything racist, sexist, homophobic, or anything else offensive, I'll give you low speaks.
I think that running theory in PF is extremely exclusive. Not everyone has the resources to learn about these arguments and how to respond to them.
If you want to run it, you must extend it throughout all speeches or else I will think that you are just running the theory to win rounds. You also must define the terms you use, like "role of the ballot" or "permutation." This is not only helpful to your opponents, who may not know what these terms mean, but it's also helpful for me to understand what you're saying.
I am a senior at Manchester Essex Regional High School, and I am currently in my fourth year of debate. I have attended national tournaments such as Princeton and Harvard.
I like it better when you speak coherently and normally, and not as fast as you possibly can. If you speak super fast, I'll have more trouble understanding you, which could negatively affect you during the debate. Please, I beg you, don't speak super fast. I'm not going to mark off points for not being able to finish your thoughts. You speak more than once, so you can always wrap up in the next section, if it's that important.
Sorry if I sound super condescending and annoying, I don't mean to be like that, I'm actually pretty chill and epic. I just have a hard time understanding people who speak really fast.