The Longhorn Classic Online
2020 — Austin, TX/US
Lincoln-Douglas Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I try to be as close to a Tab judge as possible. I will listen and vote on any argument or style of debate as long as it is well developed and given clear voters in your speeches.
Style and Presentation:
Maintaining a collegial atmosphere is very important to me. Try to keep hyperbolic and sarcastic comments to a minimum. Don’t expect me to disregard an argument because a debater says it’s stupid or wrong. Explain why it’s wrong and engage the warrant and evidence.
Speed is fine as long as it’s clear and consistent. The tags and analytical arguments NEED to be slower so they are easy to differentiate. I will say “CLEAR” if it gets too muddled.
Impact Calculus and Weighing will be a key factor in my decision-making. Debaters should state what they think the most important thing in the round is, why they think it’s important and why they think I should vote for it. I would also like debaters to include analysis of what the role of the ballot should be.
While overviews are sometimes useful, they are often overwrought and I ask that they be short and sweet. I would prefer most of the debate to occur on the line-by-line next to the evidence that makes the arguments to keep the flow tight and encourage clash.
I don’t like judge kicks. Debaters should have a clear and firm defense of the arguments they wish to the present in the rebuttals.
I don’t count flashing or e-mailing as prep but don’t steal prep please! If you’re talking, writing or typing, prep should be running. I do request to be on the e-mail chain if there is one. ( email@example.com ).
Tech vs. Truth – I would say that I am more for Tech over Truth. I try to allow the flow and the debaters to shape and lead the round in order to intervene as little as possible. Make sure to extend arguments to keep them on the flow. I don’t like whole advantages just showing back up in the 2AR after being absent since the 1AC. I will vote on weaker arguments if they were not properly answered in the constructive speeches but debaters should do extra work to build them up and explode on them in order to make them reasonable voting issues.
K – I am familiar with most common critical debate arguments and will vote on them. I greatly prefer specific links and love it when you take the time out to pick out in the evidence where it specifically talks about the opponents’ position. Debate is ultimately about education therefore don’t try to be squirrely when explaining the philosophical underpinning of your K. You should strive to give a straightforward and intellectually honest explanation that will help your opponents understand what your arguments mean. Explain what the alt does and tell me what the world of the alt looks like in comparison to the world of the aff and the status quo. I don’t like alts that are tagged simply as “Reject” because it doesn’t tell me anything about your advocacy.
Topicality & Theory – While I will vote on these arguments in a vacuum if they are properly argued and given independent voters, pointing out specific abuse in the round that relates to your violation is the best way to get me to vote on them. Don’t go crazy with a flurry of Ts or random theory args sprinkled through your speeches as time sucks.
CP – I prefer your counterplans to have an actual CP text that’s written down so it can be reviewed by both teams just as a plan text would be. PICs are fine as long as you can defend the theory and do well explaining why it gets a net-benefit against the aff’s specific plan.
Tab judge so run anything you’d like as long as its nothing offensive ie impact turns to oppression. I don’t default to anything so all arguments must be communicated clearly in the round including the implications of those arguments. Spreading is fine but slow down and be extra clear on tag lines and author names. If you have any specific questions just ask me before the round.
fourth year at UT. Currently debate policy for the Texas Debate team, and did 3 years of LD in high school, reaching bid rounds at various national debate tournaments. please refer to kris kaya's paradigm to get an idea of how I think/judge, and ask if you have any questions! put me on the chain please at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi I debated LD throughout high school at Westwood (2018), earned two career bids and qualified to the TOC. pls flash email@example.com
~ last edited 11/21 ~
2021 Longhorn classic stuff
1. I am probably going to be late to the room, PLEASE have an email doc ready to go before I get there
2. I have not done anything debate related in the past 7 months BUT I still follow politics and current events very closely and watch lectures on 4x speed so the only issues I will have are topic specific items (jargon, common link chains) and clarity
3. UT's campus can be very confusing, please feel free to ask me for directions or food recs. It has also not been particularly safe recently so I will strongly encourage you to not stray past Guadalupe street.
4. once the round is over i'll finish typing feedback on my ballot and then give an rfd. it really disrupts my thought process if you interrupt me until I'm done with my rfd, please hold off on questions until then (write them down if you have to). I promise I will provide some feedback on speeches but if u have specific questions (after I am done) fire away!
5. I think my paradigm is still mostly true but I am less patient/less willing to gloss over things that annoy me. Yes, my paradigm is too long but I think I've conveyed my thought process well enough that you will hopefully know what you're getting when you debate in front of me.
I coached Westwood from 2018-2021, I have not been very involved with debate in the 2021 fall season.
I was coached by Rodrigo Paramo and I think I share similar views with Bennett Eckert, Travis Fife, and Aaron Timmons.
If you're lazy some pref shortcuts:
LARP - 1
Theory/T - 1-3 (depending on the frivolity of the position)
Kritiks - 2
Phil - 2-4
Tricks - strike
My general disposition towards debate is that it's a competitive arena that has educational potential, because of that I really believe in providing feedback on the debate so please feel free to ask questions!
--- a byproduct of this is that if I believe you are doing something that excludes your opponent from learning anything i will be very annoyed. Things like reading kritiks/theory or spreading against traditional or novice opponents just to cheese a ballot irritate me deeply, please treat your opponent with respect. i would hate to judge a round where a debater did not learn a single thing.
I am NOT tabula rasa and I don't think anyone actually is.
I will ONLY say slow/clear TWICE and after that I'll stop flowing.
My favorite kind of debate was a simple plan/disad/cp debate because I think those brought about the most clash and in-depth evidence comparison at the high school level. That said, I don't want to hear you failing to go for a disad when you've never read one before.
I will not vote for anything I don't understand - I think I have a good grasp of the "generic K's" and Kant but beyond that some explanation might be necessary given I haven't read all of the literature. I think this is especially true for links and alternatives.
I am a very expressive person - I will constantly be making faces in round, think of them as you would like, but I would recommend just ignoring them.
I have become increasingly cynical with k debate in LD the longer I've been judging. It is not fun to judge debates with no clash since no one knows what their position says including the ones reading it. I urge you not to read it unless you're CONFIDENT in your ability to explain it.
I love a good case debate - challenge the aff's home turf.
I STRONGLY believe in disclosure - The only exception is if you are unaware of what the wiki is. Screenshots MUST be provided including TIME STAMPS.
I have a HIGH threshold for good evidence - I think it should be about your scenario and as specific as possible. If it's a politics disad or a time sensitive argument newer evidence from reliable sources prevails.
In the case of cheating (evidence ethics, clipping, etc) I'll vote against the debater in question but will continue the debate. Speaks will be awarded based on the round and I'll subtract 2 points for the cheating. See Rodrigo's paradigm for more specific details for things I agree with.
I largely agree with Rodrigo regarding trigger warnings.
I treat theory/T as a kind of disad/cp debate with the standards being disads to the aff's interp. Please WEIGH! I need impact calc on the net benefits or I will probably throw out the shell.
If you intend to read 5+ cards on case, tell me to get another page for them. I haven't quite learned how to copy paste while flowing on paper.
I will wait until AFTER postrounding to give speaks - if you and/or your coach is rude then your speaks will suffer.
I don't recall anyone being too fast for me to understand (I watch school lectures on 4.5x speed) on evidence but for short analytics like theory standards you HAVE to go slower bc I can't write at light speed.
Clarity is a MUST, and debaters almost always think they're clearer than they actually are so maybe go slower.
I will award speaks based on what I think your propensity to win the tournament is, based on the round I judged. If I'm confident you can win, you get a thirty, and it'll go down from there. My perception for this might be skewed and I will usually end up giving you lower than what your final record will end up being.
Efficiency and good strategy will bump u up.
Try not to 100% BS facts. If you say xyz is polling at 80% when they're actually polling at 40 you will lose speaks.
I WILL dock speaks for being rude and award speaks for being kind.
I appreciate numbering arguments (1. no link, 2. link turn, 3. perm) and labeling offs (next off - econ disad).
Reading interesting and good arguments will also bump up your speaks. I love unique and specific plans or disads but if the evidence is trash I'm not gonna like it.
I think potential abuse exists and can be an effective argument even if you have aff specific offense.
I think most theory shells that are based on CX are frivolous (ex. must list perms, must spec k over T, etc)
Counter interps and interps must be flashed before read.
I'm persuaded by disclosure, open source, and brackets - but they still need a warrant - I won't hack. Round reports is silly tho, i've never been convinced there's any real abuse
If the 2n is literally 6 mins of theory/T I think the aff implicitly gets an rvi, since the 2n has conceded substance. I see no benefit to forcing the aff extend the 1ac for ten seconds.
I really LOVE specific and in-depth interps but try and make sure it still makes sense as a universal rule and as a sentence.
Dislike semantics first (nebel) and generally think it's a floor not a ceiling but will still vote on it. That said, I still don't know what grammar is and the argument must be coherently explained. If I don't get your violation or understand the warrant for the definition, I can't vote on it.
Developed standards and voters are important and weigh between them if you want to have a good debate
I don't think a dictionary definition is mandatory but in T debates it will go a long ways - the more specific the definition the better. However, I am compelled by arguments saying that a counter interp is incomplete without them.
Interps and counter interps need to be complete statements. I treat them like plan texts since they are an attempt at defining a norm, so things like "Counter interp: let this aff in" are not real counter interps. I think paragraph theory like "conditionality is a voter" is fine.
I strongly believe they should have solvency advocates
frameworks are a must
I'm not a fan of underviews filled with analytics but if you're going to read that 1ar theory paradigm PLEASE SLOW DOWN.
For whatever reason I'm more lenient on the existence of a solvency advocate here, that said having one could be relevant to theory debates
One condo is chill
Not a fan of judge kick and will only evaluate the arg if it's made in the 1NC
I think these are some of the most strategic arguments in debate but I am persuaded by well crafted theory shells saying they're cheating.
The way I've always thought about philosophical frameworks is the same as Kritiks. There should be a way of explaining the world, a link to the topic, and some sort of impact.
I love util but in my senior year I branched out to deontologists like Kant and Hobbes.
Miss me with your justice v morality args - I don't care
Not a fan of Floating PIKs - I think they're cheating but if your opponent doesn't ask it's fair game if your evidence justifies it
I was a big fan of the security, anthro, and cap K's but specific links make a world of difference.
Unwarranted evidence is far too common in kritik debates. I find it frustrating when the NC is basically just 5 minutes of glorified impact cards.
I have a high threshold for afropessimism based arguments. I think they're often read poorly in LD and commodified, therefore I'm persuaded by the argument that white people shouldn't be advocating for it.
NOT a fan of generic links like the state is anti-black - the more specific the better
Kritik's must have SOME form of framing and I believe that the ROTB might precede case but this must be clearly justified. No, a card listing all the reasons why capitalism is bad and therefore should be stopped is not a ROTB, it needs to talk about education or activism or something related to debate.
Big fan of framework against kritiks done similarly to how Policy does it.
go for it as long as it isn't something that could potentially endanger someone
I do think all of your actions must be justified
I'm strongly compelled by T-Framework, and think plans are good for debate
no. A burden will result in an almost instant loss. I'm more than happy to discuss this with you outside of round but I think practices that focus on winning from blippy analytics are bad for debate.
I define a "trick" as a preempt that prohibits an action, like the neg can't read counter plans. Things like aff gets rvis or allow 1ar theory are ok, but annoying.
I am open to all arguments and will do my best to adapt to you. I am very focused on my flow so be mindful when moving from one card/argument to the next to leave a gap or say "and" to clearly indicate motion. Slow down on authors and dates please.
CX: I'm a policy maker but am always open to other arguments. My main concern is whether or not you've proven the resolution is true or false.
Topicality/theory: I default competing interp. If there aren't good extensions or if it's a wash I probably won't vote here.
K: If the lit is obscure you'll need to explain it to me a little more than popular Ks. Feel free to ask.
Case: I want the aff to extend in every speech. I will likely not vote exclusively on case defense, so negs please have another voter.
LD: I'm very line-by-line driven, and focus on the flow. Be very specific with voters.
Value/criterion: Not a must-have, and in many rounds I judge I find debaters will spend time on this without ever impacting it as a voter. If you go for this, that is totally fine, but give a clear reason why it matters in determining the resolution's truth.
Pre-standards/observations: Fine with these, but I feel the more outlandish ones need a little more work to actually matter. In any case, it is important that these are answered and not dropped.
Off-case: totally fine and love to see it, so long as whoever runs any off has an understanding of how to run that argument.
NC: I tend to be less persuaded by strats that try to spread the aff thin and just go for whatever they drop/undercover, and while I won't stop you from doing that, I begin to err heavily in the aff's favor when they have four minutes to answer 4 off, respond to your case, and defend their own. In my opinion, it's better for debate for you to demonstrate your skills by thoroughly arguing a really good voter rather than throwing half-hearted args at your opponent to see what sticks.
Aff: The most frustrating part of judging LD is watching 1ARs that try to do line-by-lines on everything and drop part of the flow. I want to see a 1AR identify the reason the 1AC theoretically wins, extend that and respond to attacks against that premise, identify why the neg would theoretically win, and respond to that. The aff does not have to win every single argument in round to prove the resolution true, so show your skill by covering what you absolutely must in this small period of time. Too often I see 2ARs make good arguments that are too little too late, so do whatever it takes to give a 1AR that doesn't drop anything important (only drops stuff that isn't important) be it taking extra prep, going with opposing framework, etc.
I don't have much previous experience judging.
Here are some things to take into consideration:
1. Speak clearly and slowly. I am not okay with spreading, as it will be more difficult for me understand your arguments. I want to be able to actually process what you say.
2. Explain your values/value criterions or any complex term well. As I said earlier, I'm new to this and am unfamiliar with the meaning of most terms.
3. I need to understand the argument to vote on it. I will judge based off the arguments and your defense.
I have some judging experience but I would suggest treating me as a lay judge. That means going for complex theory arguments is a risky move if not very well communicated.
I would like to be added to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some things to consider during round:
1. I prefer logical arguments overall. Whoever has a more persuasive, fluent, and substantial argument has a higher chance of winning, though nothing is guaranteed.
2. Being aggressive is fine, just as long as you are not offensive in any nature
3. I am ok with speed but it's been a while so I suggest starting off a little slower before ramping it up. I will yell slow if you're going too fast and if I have to yell 3 or more times you're getting 27.5 speaks max. I also don't like cramming in extreme amounts of arguments; quality over quantity always.
4. Theory is fine, but do not depend on it for the whole argument. As mentioned before, I still prefer substance over anything else. I wouldn't suggest complex philosophies because, as I said, my experience is limited so try to refrain. If you do decide to go with any complex debate rhetoric, make sure to explain them fully or I might not understand and will ignore the argument during my decision.
Finally, just have fun with the debate. This is in my opinion one of the most enjoyable educational extracurriculars and so I want the debate to be fun and well-spirited.
Aight this’ll probably change throughout the course of my like judging career but yeah, here we go for now.
edit for grapevine: pls don't go at ur top speed, school is already scrambling my brain and its the first tournament of the year. 70-90% is good but above that I'm def gonna miss arguments
ADD ME TO THE CHAIN: email@example.com
***If you're addressing me call me X. I will doc your speaks by 0.5 if you call me anything else but judge or X***
I’m X, aka Newark Science SB (she/they), i’ve done LD debate since I was a freshman and policy debate a couple of times since I was a junior. I qualled twice to the TOC (2019 & 2020) and took two tourneys my junior year, Byram Hills and Ridge, and got to bid rounds of policy tournaments with 3 different partners. I almost exclusively read identity-based arguments from the time I was a sophomore until my senior year. My literature base consists of Alexis P. Gumbs, Saidiya Hartman, Nadia Brown, Lisa Young, etc. This should tell you a little bit about my stance towards Ks
A few paradigm issues (aka TLDR):
1. Ks/K affs/Performance/Non-T>K Theory>T>Theory>Policy>Tricks
2. YOUR 2NR/2AR SHOULD BE WRITING MY BALLOT FOR ME- The best way to get high speaks/my ballot is for my RFD to sound damn near like those 2 speeches. closing the debate is reallllly important, especially in close rounds. I won't do the work for you.
Things I default to-
1. Truth > Tech: Techy arguments make it so that important conversations about race, sex, positionality, etc. get drown out by things that don’t matter like a debater dropping subpoint A8 of impact 35. By truth I mean, big picture debate, not claims that are literally true. Ex: The aff says that black women should sacrifice themselves to save the entire world. The neg should engage with this idea, it’s clearly a bad one. The way tech is used against K debaters is unable to hold them accountable for the ways in which they add to a violent debate space. That brings me to my second point.
2. Debate is not a game. Debate has material impacts for those who engage in it, especially POC. Please be mindful that debate is sometimes some debater’s only option when it comes to funding college or having a platform to speak freely. Also it’s just not unreasonable to consider how it can be a game for some and not for others. You have a high threshold to prove to me why it is (hint: maybe find better, more strategic T shells, friend)
3. Word PICs against K affs are not a good look whatsoever. Unless they do something OVERTLY wrong, like saying the N-word without being black, etc. don’t read it infront of me. It’s violent and abstracts from infinite violence against the group of people they’re talking about. So you’re telling me changing the ‘e’ to an ‘x’ in women will change discourse about black women in gender studies? Yeah aight. Anyways, it’s a form of infinite policing and promotes a bad model of debate. But if you feel like there’s a legit reason to read a PIC go for it! I exclusively read PIKs in the latter half of my senior year.
4. Util framing is kinda ridiculous and anti-black. Not saying I won’t evaluate it, but if your opponent warrants why it is, given that the claim is literally just true, you’re gonna be held at a higher threshold to prove why it’s not. Just saying.
Now the fun stuff:
Ks/Ks affs/Performance: This is what I LIVE for. But only if you know what you’re talking about. If you’re just doing just to do it or for my ballot and execute it poorly, I won’t hack for you. K debate takes work, dedication and reading. If you think that you can override all three layers, read some K off the Wake backfiles and get my ballot, it’s gon be a sad day for you.
Theory/Tricks: Friv theory belongs with tricks, don’t like it, it’s violent, will not even flow it. Disclosure theory is fine EXCEPT when you are debating a black person or you are one. 1. Niggas don’t have to disclose to you 2. Disclose to niggas. Besides that, theory can be really creative and fun and actually substantive/responsive.
T: Traumatizing, mentally exhausting and often times whiney. Fairness isn’t a voter, read it and I will not flow it as an impact. T is often used against black debaters to get out of hard convos. Also like if we being REAL right now, I think theres probably like one or two completely untopical affs per year. Y’all like to run T against K affs to silence their relation to the topic because it’s “too hard to engage with”. Boo-Hoo for you. Ask your coach how to engage. It’s what they’re paid for.
***EDIT AS OF 1/1/2021: I do like a good T debate but please please please don’t read from some K aff block. make it nuanced. make it relevant. make it meaningful.
Policy: This is lowkey an unknown for me if i’m being honest. Never debated in a policy way, it’s towards the bottom because I don’t trust myself to judge policy, but if you do, hey, go off.
*Speaker points for me aren’t based off of aesthetics of debate norms, but big picture debate. Meaning if I vote you up on T USFG or something like it, it’ll be a low point win.
Benjamin Brody (He/Him)
First Year out of Winston Churchill HS
I did policy for 4 years, but have judged/coached/debated in LD.
Email chain pls - firstname.lastname@example.org
Topicality is about competing interpretations unless I’m told otherwise and I think that the lit base determines reasonability. T interps should define both what IS and ISN’T topical. Intent to define is cool. Why is ur interp/counter-interp better for debate? Substantial is usually unpersuasive because I think it’s relatively arbitrary.
If you’re not cheating you’re not trying hard enough <3
Probably better if you have a solvency advocate for each part of the counterplan though.
Recut their evidence. I promise there's a counterplan hidden in their solvency advocate. Counterplans that are super specific to the aff are way more persuasive to me. Actor counterplans are boring.
I will judge kick the counterplan unless told not to.
I love good counterplan debates.
Some of my favorite 2NRs were on the China disad so I really enjoy disad/case + disad/counterplan debates. I don’t think I’ve judged enough debates to know if winning a 0% risk is possible, but I won’t believe it till I see it. PLEASE do the framing debate (UTIL/structural violence/urgent bodies/whatever you want to call it), it is SO hard to judge a debate I don’t know how to evaluate.
Just as you would with a K, the block should be making more than one link argument.
Turns case arguments are underutilized (including link turns the case args).
SPECIFIC LINKS. I don’t enjoy K debates when they’re not about the aff. Explain your theory of power to me. I went for biopolitics a lot my junior year but I’m not gonna lie to y’all, I never read the lit, only the cards that we had in the file. In other words, explain to me either on the line by line or in an overview that does not require a different sheet of paper. The less I understand your theory, the less I want to vote for you, and the more persuaded I am by simple no link arguments. Make sure that before you initiate a big framework debate, that you actually need to do so. Like if you’re gonna let them weigh the aff and just impact turn it anyway, why do all the framework magic?
You don’t always need an alternative. But usually you do.
For aff teams: KNOW YOUR AFF AND DON’T MAKE EASY MISTAKES. Do they have a LINK? Did they extend an ALTERNATIVE? Have they explained an IMPACT? Did you remember to extend a PERM?
Almost every single time we debated the K my senior year, we went for framework and the aff outweighs. I will have a lot of respect for you if you have defense of your epistomology and a defense of what you do materially. You don’t have to defend that the state is GOOD, or even that it’s redeemable. Just win that it is an infrastructural unit capable of rectifying the issues that it creates. You’re never gonna win that the state doesn’t have a history or that the state is free from violence. But all the aff does is recognize violence (or the potential for it) in its most unmediated form, and use the state’s ability to regulate itself to unwrite that violence.
All that being said, sometimes going for framework is not the move. So answer specific links, turns case, disads to the perm, and severance. I find those arguments persuasive insofar as they are reasons to reject the permutation or as independent reasons to reject the aff.
Simple no link arguments will help you greatly.
I will vote for framework. I will vote for the impact turn to framework. I feel like that's all you needed to hear.
Like most things, I enjoy judging these debates when they're done well. I prefer it when it's in the direction of the resolution, but also understand that sometimes that is not an option/not strategic. In any event, I think both the aff and negative team should have a reason why I give you my ballot. If you are the aff team, please explain what I am voting for/what your theory is/how you understand the world/the meaning of the 1AC. I prefer it if you can explain why my ballot actually has a causal influence as well. TVAs are underutilized. I probably think fairness is more of an internal link than a terminal impact but could be persuaded otherwise. What does your model of debate look like? Why is your model good not just for debates but also what we do once we leave debates?
(This is mostly for the LD folks) I did 4 years of policy. I have a hard time buying a lot of the theory stuff that y’all do in LD. I guess if you think you have a reason why you think that other team has made it structurally more difficult for you to win the round, then make the arg. Just make sure to explain it.
-Things I've Noticed About My Own Judging-
I find myself not voting for conceded arguments if they're not explained. Very cool that they dropped the counterplan in the 2AC, but "don't make me reinvent the wheel" is not an explanation as to why that conceded counterplan solves the aff.
I reward well thought out strategies.
-Things I Hate-
Needing a new page for the overview
Being excessively rude/offensive
Intro: Hi I'm Austin. I mainly debated LD in high school, but I'm familiar with most other event formats. I graduated from Northland Christian HS in 2020 and UT Austin in 2022 with a psych major phil minor. I'm currently a 1L at Texas Law. I competed on the local and national circuit all four years of high school (and have been judging/coaching consistently since graduating), so I like to think I'm pretty up to date on the technical nuances of LD. Things that are bolded in my paradigm are things I think people are generally looking for or I think are worth noting about my preferences. Add me to the chain at email@example.com. Feel free to email me with specific questions before the round or thoughts on how I could improve my paradigm!
TLDR paradigm: Read the bottom for my speaks paradigm; I don't gut check "bad" arguments; I really love highly technical debates especially on a theoretical layer but I'm good with evaluating policy, kritik-al debate, etc.; I feel like this goes without saying but I will not vote on something I don't understand; by nature (even outside of debate) I default erring on the side of the person who is most logically consistent which means I will not vote for you unless you are ahead on a technical level (absent someone proposing an alternative method for me to evaluate by); I enjoy analytics more than empirics; I love tricks, but I think they're only pedagogically valuable for their ability to boost critical thinking other than that they're generally just for funzies and potentially bad for debate; due to the nature of my paradigm and the debates I typically judge because of it please read the fourth point in the general section as well; lastly my opinion on anything in this paradigm can change, just make the proper arg.
- I default comparative worlds but love truth testing
- I presume neg unless the neg reads an alternative that is farther from the squo than the aff's plan/advocacy (or presume aff/neg args are made, same for permissibility)
- I will vote on literally anything given the proper framing metric and justification
- I will NOT make arguments for you because I believe judge intervention is the worst for the activity; consequently if your opponent does something that propels a model of debate that is sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/abelist or something similar I will not drop them unless you mention it. It can be as simple as "they said/did x and that makes debate less accessible so they should lose." Otherwise the only thing I have jurisdiction to do is give them god awful speaks. To clarify if you don't say that they should lose for their discriminatory actions and they are ahead on the tech debate I will vote for them and be very very very sad about it. Please do not make me do this and call them out for being unethical. It's an easy ballot and better for debate.
- you don't have to ask me to flow by ear; I promise I'm both listening and reading your doc (to clarify, I'll catch extemporized blippy analytics)
- I probably default more T>K but that's really up to you
- Weighing makes me happy, as well as a strong fw tie/explanation
- For ethics challenges/evidence ethics calls reference the NSDA guidelines for this year; if the guidebook doesn't make a speaks claim I will either evaluate them myself given the speeches read (if any) or default normal round evaluation (meaning speaks spikes are viable)
- I don't have a default on disclosure at the moment but in debate I defaulted disclosure bad; regardless of my default it doesn't affect my ability to listen to either stance and adjudicate accordingly
- My ability to understand spread/speed is pretty good; feel free to go as fast as you want but please be clear
- Please please please ask your opponent if your practices are accessible before the round so you are 1. not exclusionary and 2. not susceptible to an easily avoidable independent voter; if you don't ask and end up doing something inaccessible you'll probably lose (provided they make it a voting issue); this includes giving trigger warnings
- flex prep is cool
- if you don't read a fw/fw is a wash I'll presume neg (same for voters on t/theory)
- there are only a few norms I think are pretty true; among them are judge intervention bad, no new 2ar arguments, and normal speech times (although these can easily change and I'm coming around to new 2ar args as the default; idk it's complicated)
- you don't have to ask if I am ready for you to speak; I am probably paying attention (to clarify, default I am ready unless I say something that suggests otherwise)
Pt. 1 Pref Shortcuts (by my confidence in my ability to adjudicate and 1 being most confident 5 being least):
Theory/T/Tricks- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
Phil/High Theory- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
K- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
LARP- 1 to 3 (depending on density)
Pt. 2 Pref Shortcuts (by my desire to see them in round and 1 being most desirable 5 being least):
Phil/High Theory- 1
note: I will be happy to adjudicate LARP it's just not my highest preference
- Love these please know what your own plan says though
- I default plans are abusive mainly because I never read one for its PeDaGOgiCaL VaLUe it was always for strategy but don't let this discourage you from reading a plan seriously they're fine
- Honestly severance is cool with me but if they point it out and make a theoretical reason to drop it could be hard to beat back; if they read a condo or dispo CP, however, it becomes a little easier to get out of
- the solvency section is important for plans, if you don't have one it's gonna be rough
- please have an advocate just for the sake of an easier theory debate
- These are cool but better if they're actually competitive; read as many as you want just know anything more than 1 is hard to justify theoretically especially if it's not uncondo (although I love multiple cp debates)
- Any cp is cool (including actor, process, etc.) just make sure the 2nr extension is sufficient to vote on
- I default condo bad but don't let that discourage you from utilizing it as I think condo is super strategic (which is good for speaks), you just have to be technically ahead on the theory debate; feel free to read like 8 condo cps just know it's an uphill theoretical battle (but certainly not impossible)
- I default perms as an advocacy because they always seem to be extended as such but it is really up to you
- Probably my least favorite position because they all seem to go down the same path towards the 2nr, but a good explanation and coupling with a competitive cp makes this position much better
- the more unique the da the more I'll like listening to it (please don't make me listen to a basic three card econ disad unless you don't plan on going for it)
- Please do notttt confuse this with basic fw debate
- I used to read a few high theory positions but that doesn't mean my threshold for explanation on those positions is lower/higher than any other argument
- Kant is kool but I'm not a hack
- If the aff doesn't have a fw and the neg strategically reads a fw the aff can't link into, aff is probably losing
- If no one reads a fw I will probably not evaluate any post-fiat implications of either side and just vote on strength of link weighing (if justified)/presumption or a higher layer (i.e. I will NOT default util or sv for you this isn't pf)
- I'm hesitant to say this but I did read a decent amount of Baudrillard just know there is a reason why I stopped lol feel free to still read it though I love hearing it as well as any other high theory author
- I especially love hearing new philosophies that are either obscure or that I just haven't heard of yet; phil debate is one of my favorite parts of ld
- I am more likely to vote on presumption than I am to evaluate strength of link to fw in the instance I cannot decide which model to evaluate under
- K Affs are fun but I am more inclined to err on the side of t-fw as that's what I mostly read and it seems intuitively true; it really depends on the framing metric though and I will definitely vote on a k aff vs t-fw as long as there is sufficient tech offense
- KvK is cool
- poems/music/art/performance is offense and if you don't respond to it your opponent can extend it as conceded (I have no problem voting on conceded performance offense with the proper framing mech)
- should have a ROB and/or ROJ (and the best ones are not blatantly inaccessible to one side)
- if your opponent asks you a specific question about the framing of your kritik and you cannot give them a cohesive answer it's gonna look bad
- if the distinction is unclear between the method the k evaluates by and the aff's you will have a hard time winning
- please don't read links that you yourself link into
- Having specific rhetoric from the aff itself or your opponent is great and much better than just topic/omission links
- I love seeing the extrapolation of these as linear das in the 2nr
- I am comfortable voting off state/omission links they're just boring
- you must have them and they must be unique; please do weighing as well because k impacts don't always contextualize themselves
- explain plz; It doesn't have to be explained super well if your opponent doesn't press the issue but I need to have a basic understanding of what I'm voting on i.e. what the world of the alt looks like (unless a set col type arg is made about imagining the alt being a move to settlerism)
- Please don't make the alt condo/dispo if your k is about some sort of oppression it looks bad
- do not read two contradictory alts in front of me you will probably lose; if they work well together that's cool
- I LOVE these they make it easier to evaluate the line by line because all the big picture issues are out of the way
- Please make sure the overview is not just line by line in disguise (I was guilty of this) but is instead framing the ways I need to evaluate offense
- literally my fav the more you read the more I'll enjoy the debate as long as you know what you're doing
- friv is fantastic
- please make them positively worded
- be careful of your wording; poor wording leaves you susceptible to easy i meets
- have them and extend them in the next speech
- screenshots/photos are the best
- there are really only like four good standards that the rest fall under categorically but it's whatever
- the more the merrier
- if you do fairness and education linkage inside the standard block I'll be happier
- I default rvi's good and competing interps unless otherwise specified
- I tend to default fairness first but am VERY easily able to be persuaded otherwise
- you must justify voters independently of the standards section (i.e. explain why fairness, education, fun, etc. matter)
- I evaluate these arguments like any other (if they have a claim/warrant/impact you're good)
- I think a block of text is funny but definitely annoying as far as the organization of your spikes/tricks so preference is at least numbering but it's really not a big deal if you can explain them well
- These arguments are generally so bad but if you don't respond or spend too much time messing with them the round becomes significantly more difficult for you
- I can be persuaded by some sort of spikes k so be wary
- I'm unsure if afc/acc are tricks, but know I'll listen to both and any other pseudo-trick
- aprioris and eval after the 1ac are the a-strat
- I'm fine with indexicals, condo logic, log con, etc. (idk how else to say i'll vote on literally any trick/arg generally)
- I am persuaded by a 30 speaks spike (i.e. give both/one of the debaters 30 speaks for x reason) as long as it is extended throughout
- I generally give speaks based on strategic decision making (and will try to justify the deductions if asked, although ultimately they're always on some level arbitrary)
- Anything that you do that purposefully makes your opponent uncomfortable, expresses discrimination/oppression, or generally makes the debate space unsafe will result in your top speaks being a 25 and more likely will result in a 0 or whatever the lowest allowed speaks value is
- for locals I generally give 28-30 and for nat circuit 27-30 unless the tournament has a specified structure; occasionally if the round is super underwhelming I'll evaluate like I would a nat circuit for a local
- If you make me laugh you're definitely getting a speaks inflation but this is rare and it has to be genuine
- I'll clear twice without a speaks deduction and definitely have more lenience in the online format
Experience- This will be my fourth year coaching at Northview High School. Before moving to Georgia, I coached for 7 years at Marquette High in Milwaukee, WI.
Yes, add me to the email chain. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
As I have gained more coaching and judging experience, I find that I highly value teams who respect their opponents who might not have the same experience as them. This includes watching how you come across in CX, prep time, and your general comportment towards your opponent. In some local circuits, circuit-style policy debate is dwindling and we all have a responsibility to be respectful of the experience of everyone involved in policy debate.
I recommend that you go to the bathroom and fill your water bottles before the debate rather than before a speech.
LD Folks, please read the addendum at the end of my paradigm.
1. Debates are rarely won or lost on technical concessions or truth claims alone. In other words, I think the “tech vs. truth” distinction is a little silly. Technical concessions make it more complicated to win a debate, but rarely do they make wins impossible. Keeping your arguments closer to “truer” forms of an argument make it easier to overcome technical concessions because your arguments are easier to identify, and they’re more explicitly supported by your evidence (or at least should be). That being said, using truth alone as a metric of which of y’all to pick up incentivizes my intervention at some degree.
2. Evidence quality matters a bunch to me- it’s evidence that you have spent time and effort on your positions, it’s a way to determine the relative truth level of your claims, and it helps overcome some of the time constraints of the activity in a way that allows you to raise the level of complexity of your position in a shorter amount of time. I will read your evidence throughout the debate, especially if it is on a position with which I’m less familiar. I won’t vote on evidence comparison claims unless it becomes a question of the debate raised by either team, but I will think about how your evidence could have been used more effectively by the end of the debate. I enjoy rewarding teams for evidence quality.
3. Every debate could benefit from more comparative work particularly in terms of the relative quality of arguments/the interactions between arguments by the end of the round. Teams should ask "Why?", such as "If I win this argument, WHY is this important?", "If I lose this argument WHY does this matter?". Strategically explaining the implications of winning or losing an argument is the difference between being a middle of the road team and a team advancing to elims.
4. Debating off the cuff and "live" in debates is always going to be better than canned, pre-written blocks. Your arguments will be more contextualized to the specific debate, it will be easier to flow because you're going to deliver it more naturally and, in general, it is more persuasive to know the arguments you making are happening in this specific debate instead of some argument factory prior to the debate. This is super important in framework and theory debates that I tend to see a bunch of so thanks in advance for keeping this in mind. I reward the least robotic teams.
5. Some expectations for what should be present in arguments that seem to have disappeared in the last few years:
-For me to vote on a single argument, it must have a claim, warrant, impact, and impact comparison.
-A DA is not a full DA until a uniqueness, link, internal link and impact argument is presented. Too many teams are getting away with 2 card DA shells in the 1NC and then reading uniqueness walls in the block. I will generally allow for new 1AR answers.
-Similarly, CP's should have a solvency advocate read in the 1NC. I'll be flexible on allowing 1AR arguments in a world where the aff makes an argument about the lack of a solvency advocate.
- Yes, terminal defense exists and I will not default to offense-defense. I will not always evaluate the round through a lens of offense-defense, but going for terminal defense means explaining why you think you're accessing a piece of terminal defense.
Case- Debates are won or lost in the case debate. By this, I mean that proving whether or not the aff successfully accesses all, some or none of the case advantages has implications on every flow of the debate and should be a fundamental question of most 2NRs and 2ARs. I think that blocks that are heavy in case defense or impact turns are incredibly advantageous for the neg because they enable you to win any CP (by proving the case defense as a response to the solvency deficit), K (see below) or DA (pretty obvious). I'm also more likely than others to write a presumption ballot or vote neg on inherency arguments. If the status quo solves your aff or you're not a big enough divergence, then you probably need to reconsider your approach to the topic.
Most affs can be divided into two categories: affs with a lot of impacts but poor internal links and affs with very solid internal links but questionable impacts. Acknowledging in which of these two categories the aff you are debating falls should shape how you approach the case debate. I find myself growing increasingly disappointed by negative teams that do not test weak affirmatives. Where's your internal link defense?? I also miss judging impact turn debates, but don't think that spark or wipeout are persuasive arguments. A high level de-dev debate or heg debate, on the other hand, love it.
DA- DAs are questions of probability. Your job as the aff team when debating a DA is to use your defensive arguments to question the probability of the internal links to the DA. Affirmative teams should take more advantage of terminal defense against disads. I'll probably also have a lower threshold for your theory arguments on the disad. Likewise, the neg should use turns case arguments as a reason why your DA calls into question the probability of the aff's internal links. Don't usually find "____ controls the direction of the link" arguments very persuasive. You need to warrant out that claim more if you're going to go for it. Make more rollback-style turns case arguments or more creative turns case arguments to lower the threshold for winning the debate on the disad alone.
CP- CP debates are about the relative weight of a solvency deficit versus the relative weight of the net benefit. The team that is more comparative when discussing the solvency level of these debates usually wins the debate. While, when it is a focus of the debate, I tend to err affirmative on questions of counterplan competiton, I have grown to be more persuaded by a well-executed counterplan strategy even if the counterplan is a process counterplan. The best counterplans have a solvency advocate who is, at least, specific to the topic, and, best, specific to the affirmative. I do not default to judge kicking the counterplan and will be easily persuaded by an affirmative argument about why I should not default to that kind of in-round conditionality. Not a huge fan of the NGA CP and I've voted three out of four times on intrinsic permutations against this counterplan so just be warned. Aff teams should take advantage of presumption arguments against the CP.
After y’all saw the school that I coach, I’m sure this is where you scrolled to first which is fair enough given how long it takes to fill out pref sheets. I will say, if you told me 10 years ago when I began coaching that I’d be coaching a team that primarily reads the K on the aff and on the neg, I probably would have found that absurd because that wasn’t my entry point into the activity so keep that in mind as you work with some of the thoughts below. If you're a policy team that doesn't traditionally go for the K, I'll be able to see the difference between how you go for the K and teams with a more complete engagement with K lit so, if you are a policy team that doesn't normally flex for the K, please don't go out of your way to try and go for the K just to try and win my ballot. I'll be able to hang with you on the policy front and would rather meet you with where you're best. I've been too close to dropping good policy teams who decided to experiment on the K with me in the back instead of just going for their tried and true.
That being said, my focus the last two years has been thinking through how high-level K debate interacts with high-level policy debate with a focus on the K side of the question. This has meant that I've approached some conclusions about where I think the K is in the right direction and I've equally paused on questions where policy positions have the K beat. I've outlined some of my ideas below to give you a sense of my approach to these questions.
The best debates on the K are debates over the explanatory power of the negative’s theory of power relative to the affirmative’s specific example of liberalism, realism, etc. Put another way, the best K debaters are familiar enough with their theory of power AND the affirmative’s specific impact scenarios that they use their theory to explain the dangers of the aff. By the end of the 2NR I should have a very clear idea of what the affirmative does and how your theory explains why doing the affirmative won’t resolve the aff’s impacts or results in a bad thing. This does not necessarily mean that you need to have links to the affirmative’s mechanism (that’s probably a bit high of a research burden), but your link explanations need to be specific to the aff and should be bolstered by specific quotes from 1AC evidence or CX. The specificity of your link explanation should be sufficient to overcome questions of link-uniqueness or I’ll be comfortable voting on “your links only link to the status quo.”
On the flipside, aff teams need to explain why their contingency or specific example of policy action cannot be explained by the negative’s theory of power or that, even if some aspects can be, that the specificity of the aff’s claims justifies voting aff anyway because there’s some offense against the alternative or to the FW ballot. Affirmative teams that use the specificity of the affirmative to generate offense or push back against general link claims will win more debates than those that just default to generic “extinction is irreversible” ballots.
Case Page when going for the K- My biggest pet peeve with the current meta on the K is the role of the case page. Neither the affirmative nor the negative take enough advantage of this page to really stretch out their opponents on this question. For the negative, you need to be challenging the affirmative’s internal links with defense that can bolster some of your thesis level claims. Remember, you are trying to DISPROVE the affirmative’s contingent/specific policy which means that the more specificity you have the better off you will be. This means that just throwing your generic K links onto the case page probably isn’t the move. 9/10 the alternative doesn’t resolve them and you don’t have an explanation of how voting neg resolves the offense. K teams so frequently let policy affs get away with some really poor evidence quality and weak internal links. Please help the community and deter policy teams from reading one bad internal link to their heg aff against your [INSERT THEORY HERE] K.
On that note, policy teams, why are you removing your best internal links when debating the K? Your generic framework cards are giving the neg more things to impact turn and your explanation of the internal link level of the aff is lowered when you do that. Read your normal aff against the K and just square up.
Framework debates (with the K on the neg) For better or worse, so much of contemporary K debate is resolved in the framework debate. The contemporary dependence on framework ballots means a couple of things:
1.) Both teams need to do more work here- treat this like a DA and a CP. Compare the relative strength of internal link claims and impact out the terminal impacts. Why does procedural fairness matter? What is the terminal impact to clash? How do we access your skills claims? What does/does not the ballot resolve? To what extent does the ballot resolve those things? The team that usually answers more of these questions usually wins these debates. K teams need to do more to push back against “ballot can solve procedural fairness” claims and aff teams need to do more than just “schools, family, culture, etc.” outweigh subject formation. Many of you all spend more time at debate tournaments or doing debate work than you do at school or doing schoolwork.
2.) I do think it’s possible for the aff to win education claims, but you need to do more comparative impact calculus. What does scenario planning do for subject formation that is more ethical than whatever the impact scenario is to the K? If you can’t explain your education claims at that level, just go for fairness and explain why the ballot can resolve it.
3.) Risk of the link- Explain what winning framework does for how much of a risk of a link that I need to justify a ballot either way. Usually, neg teams will want to say that winning framework means they get a very narrow risk of a link to outweigh. I don’t usually like defaulting to this but affirmative teams very rarely push back on this risk calculus in a world where they lose framework. If you don’t win that you can weigh the aff against the K, aff teams need to think about how they can use their scenarios as offense against the educational claims of the K. This can be done as answers to the link arguments as well, though you’ll probably need to win more pieces of defense elsewhere on the flow to make this viable.
Do I go for the alternative? I don’t think that you need to go for the alternative if you have a solid enough framework push in the 2NR. However, few things to keep in mind here:
1.) I won’t judge kick the alternative for you unless you explicitly tell me to do it and include a theoretical justification for why that’s possible.
2.) The framework debate should include some arguments about how voting negative resolves the links- i.e. what is the kind of ethical subject position endorsed on the framework page that pushes us towards research projects that avoid the links to the critique? How does this position resolve those links?
3.) Depending on the alternative and the framework interpretation, some of your disads to the alternative will still link to the framework ballot. Smart teams will cross apply these arguments and explain why that complicates voting negative.
K affs (Generic)
Yes, I’m comfortable evaluating debates involving the K on the aff and think that I’ve reached a point where I’m pretty good for either side of this debate. Affirmative teams need to justify an affirmative ballot that beats presumption, especially if you’re defending status quo movements as examples of the aff’s method. Both teams benefit from clarifying early in the round whether or not the affirmative team spills up, whether or not in-round performances specific to this debate resolve any of the affirmative offense, and whatever the accumulation of ballots does or does not do for the aff. Affirmative teams that are not the Louisville project often get away with way too much by just reading a DSRB card and claiming their ballots function the same way. Aff teams should differentiate their ballot claims and negatives should make arguments about the aff’s homogenizing ballot claims. All that being said, like I discussed above, these debates are won and lost on the case page like any other debate. As the K becomes more normalized and standardized to a few specific schools of thought, I have a harder and harder time separating the case and framework pages on generic “we couldn’t truth test your arguments” because I think that shifts a bit too strongly to the negative. That said, I can be persuaded to separate the two if there’s decent time spent in the final rebuttals on this question.
Framework vs. the K Aff
Framework debates are best when both teams spend time comparing the realities of debate in the status quo and the idealized form of debate proposed in model v. model rounds. In that light, both teams need to be thinking about what proposing framework in a status quo where the K is probably going to stick around means for those teams that currently read the K and for those teams that prefer to directly engage the resolution. In a world where the affirmative defends the counter interpretation, the affirmative should have an explanation of what happens when team don’t read an affirmative that meets their model. Most of the counter interpretations are arbitrary or equivalent to “no counter interpretation”, but an interp being arbitrary is just defense that you can still outweigh depending on the offense you’re winning.
In impact turn debates, both teams need to be much clearer about the terminal impacts to their offense while providing an explanation as to why voting in either direction resolves them. After sitting in so many of these debates, I tend to think that the ballot doesn’t do much for either team but that means that teams who have a better explanation of what it means to win the ballot will usually pick up my decision. You can’t just assert that voting negative resolves procedural fairness without warranting that out just like you can’t assert that the aff resolves all forms of violence in debate through a single debate. Both teams need to grapple with how the competitive incentives for debate establish offense for either side. The competitive incentive to read the K is strong and might counteract some of the aff’s access to offense, but the competitive incentives towards framework also have their same issues. Neither sides hands are clean on that question and those that are willing to admit it are usually better off. I have a hard time setting aside clash as an external impact due to the fact that I’m just not sure what the terminal impact is. I like teams that go for clash and think that it usually is an important part of negative strategy vs. the K, but I think this strategy is best when the clash warrants are explained as internal link turns to the aff’s education claims. Some of this has to do with the competitive incentives arguments that I’ve explained above. Both teams need to do more work explaining whether or not fairness or education claims come first. It’s introductory-level impact analysis I find lacking in many of these debates.
Other things to think about-
1.) These debates are at their worst when either team is dependent on blocks. Framework teams should be particularly cautious about this because they’ve had less of these debates over the course of the season, however, K teams are just as bad at just reading their blocks through the 1AR. I will try to draw a clean line between the 1AR and the 2AR and will hold a pretty strict one in debates where the 1AR is just screaming through blocks. Live debating contextualized to this round far outweighs robots with pre-written everything.
2.) I have a hard time pulling the trigger on arguments with “quitting the activity” as a terminal impact. Any evidence on either side of this question is usually anecdotal and that’s not enough to justify a ballot in either direction. There are also a bunch of alternative causes to numbers decline like the lack of coaches, the increased technical rigor of high-level policy debate, budgets, the pandemic, etc. that I think thump most of these impacts for either side. More often than not, the people that are going to stick with debate are already here but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences to the kinds of harms to the activity/teams as teams on either side of the clash question learn to coexist.
K vs. K Debates (Overview)
I’ll be perfectly honest, unless this is a K vs. Cap debate, these are the debates that I’m least comfortable evaluating because I feel like they end up being some of the messiest and “gooiest” debates possible. That being said, I think that high level K vs. K debates can be some of the most interesting to evaluate if both teams have a clear understanding of the distinctions between their positions, are able to base their theoretical distinctions in specific, grounded examples that demonstrate potential tradeoffs between each position, and can demonstrate mutual exclusivity outside of the artificial boundary of “no permutations in a method debate.” At their best, these debates require teams to meet a high research burden which is something that I like to reward so if your strat is specific or you can explain it in a nuanced way, go for it. That said, I’m not the greatest for teams whose generic position in these debates are to read “post-truth”/pomo arguments against identity positions and I feel uncomfortable resolving competing ontology claims in debates around identity unless they are specific and grounded. I feel like most debates are too time constrained to meaningfully resolve these positions. Similarly, teams that read framework should be cautious about reading conditional critiques with ontology claims- i.e. conditional pessimism with framework. I’m persuaded by theoretical arguments about conditional ontology claims regarding social death and cross apps to framework in these debates.
I won’t default to “no perms in a methods debate”, though I am sympathetic to the theoretical arguments about why affs not grounded in the resolution are too shifty if they are allowed to defend the permutation. What gets me in these debates is that I think that the affirmative will make the “test of competition”-style permutation arguments anyway like “no link” or the aff is a disad/prereq to the alt regardless of whether or not there’s a permutation. I can’t just magically wave a theory wand here and make those kinds of distinctions go away. It lowers the burden way too much for the negative and creates shallow debates. Let’s have a fleshed out theory argument and you can persuade me otherwise. The aff still needs to win access to the permutation, but if you lose the theory argument still make the same kinds of arguments if you had the permutation. Just do the defensive work to thump the links.
Cap vs. K- I get the strategic utility of these debates, but this debate is becoming pretty stale for me. Teams that go for state-good style capitalism arguments need to explain the process of organization, accountability measures, the kind of party leadership, etc. Aff teams should generate offense off of these questions. Teams that defend Dean should have to defend psychoanalysis answers. Teams that defend Escalante should have specific historical examples of dual power working or not in 1917 or in post-Bolshevik organization elsewhere. Aff teams should force Dean teams to defend psycho and force Escalante teams to defend historical examples of dual power. State crackdown arguments should be specific. I fear that state crackdown arguments will apply to both the alternative and the aff and the team that does a better job describing the comparative risk of crackdown ends up winning my argument. Either team should make more of a push about what it means to shift our research practices towards or away from communist organizing. There are so many debates where we have come to the conclusion that the arguments we make in debate don’t spill out or up and, yet, I find debates where we are talking about politically organizing communist parties are still stuck in some universe where we are doing the actual organizing in a debate round. Tell me what a step towards the party means for our research praxis or provide disads to shifting the research praxis. All the thoughts on the permutation debate are above. I’m less likely to say no permutation in these debates because there is plenty of clash in the literature between, at least, anti-capitalism and postcapitalism that there can be a robust debate even if you don’t have specifics. That being said, the more you can make ground your theory in specific examples the better off you’ll be.
T- Sitting through a bunch of framework debates has made me a better judge for topicality than I used to be. Comparative impact calculus alongside the use of strategic defensive arguments will make it easier for me to vote in a particular direction. Certain interps have a stronger internal link to limits claims and certain affs have better arguments for overlimiting. Being specific about what kind of offense you access, how it comes first, and the relative strength of your internal links in these debates will make it more likely that you win my ballot. I’m not a huge fan of tickytacky topicality claims but, if there’s substantial contestation in the literature, these can be good debates.
Theory- I debated on a team that engaged in a lot of theory debates in high school but that was ages ago where it was still something teams went full send on. There were multiple tournaments where most of our debates boiled down to theory questions, so I would like to think that I am a good judge for theory debates. I think that teams forget that theory debates are structured like a disadvantage. Again, comparative impact calculus is important to win my ballots in these debates. I will say that I tend to err aff on most theory questions. For example, I think that it is probably problematic for there to be more than one conditional advocacy in a round (and that it is equally problematic for your counter interpretation to be dispositionality) and I think that counterplans that compete off of certainty are bad for education and unfair to the aff. Again, portable skills are the most important to me in terms of my predispositions so you will need to do work in round to explain your arguments in this context.
Notes for the Blue Key RR/Other LD Judging Obligations
Local Circuit-Thank you for debating. I really enjoy seeing local circuit debates because it reminds me of a lot of debates that I either was in or have judged growing up in a mixed circuit like Wisconsin. I do have a couple of specific thoughts to help us out adjusting to different expectations.
1.) While I prefer cases that are composed of cards with tags, I'm more than willing to listen to your paraphrased cases. Please make all evidence from your cases available to your opponent and I if anyone were to ask for it. I am always suspicious when someone doesn't want to share the work they've done because of the risk of academic dishonesty. You should want to show off your prep even if it's just showing me your computer after the debate when asked.
2.) Please justify how resolving the debate through your criterions is sufficient to win you the debate- If I value justice and am using proportionality to do so, how does that corner out your opponent's route(s) to the ballot?
Biggest shift for me in judging LD debates is the following: No tricks or intuitively false arguments. I'll vote on dropped arguments, but those arguments need a claim, data, warrant and an impact for me to vote on them. If I can't explain the argument back to you and the implications of that argument on the rest of the debate, I'm not voting for you.
I guess this wasn't clear enough the first time around- I don't flow off the document and your walls of framework and theory analytics are really hard to flow when you don't put any breaks in between them.
Similarly, phil debates are always difficult for me to analyze. I tend to think affirmative's should defend implementation particularly when the resolution specifies an actor. Outside of my general desire to see some debates about implementation, I don't have any kind of background in the phil literature bases and so will have a harder time picturing the implications of you winning specific arguments. If you want me to understand how your argumets interact, you will have to do a lot of explanation.
Theory debates- Yes, I said that I enjoy theory debates in my paradigm above and that is largely still true, but CX theory debates are a lot less technical than LD debates. I also think there are a lot of silly theory arguments in LD and I tend to have a higher threshold for those sorts of arguments. I also don't have much of a reference for norm setting in LD or what the norms actually are. Take that into account if you choose to go for theory and probably don't because I won't award you with high enough speaks for your liking.
K debates- Yes, I enjoy K debates but I tend to think that their LD variant is very shallow. You need to do more specific work in linking to the affirmative and developing the implications of your theory of power claims. While I enjoy good LD debates on the K, I always feel like I have to do a lot of work to justify a ballot in either direction. This is magnified
*UDNC Note: It's the end of the season and there's no prefs. At minimum, I promise to work hard to evaluate whatever argument you decide to read, independent of ideological bias. My strongest preferences these days are that teams know their evidence, do quality line-by-line work, and make strategic choices. Don't overadapt, and do what you're good at.
Coach at Heights High School (TX)
Separately conflicted with: Carnegie Vanguard KF, Challenge Early JA, Challenge Early KU, Eastwood Academy JS, Langham Creek ML
Set up the email chain before the round starts and add me. I would strongly prefer email over NSDA Classroom fileshare, and please title the chain as so: "Tournament Year + Name - Round # - _____ vs. _____ (Judge)"
If I'm judging you in LD: email@example.com
If I'm judging you in policy: 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. My views on debate are heavily influenced by Kris Wright via the Texas Debate Collective Teachers Institute. Most of the sections below are relevant for both policy and LD; see the very bottom for policy/PF-specific thoughts, although policy teams might also want to review the sections for LARP/T/K.
- LARP/Policy: 1
- T/Theory: 1-2
- Phil: 2*
- Kritik (identity): 2-3*
- Kritik (pomo): 3-4*
- Tricks: Strike; I can and will cap your speaks at a 27, and if I'm on a panel I will be looking for a way to vote against you.
*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 a competing worlds paradigm.
- Tech > Truth
- I'm colorblind so speech docs that are highlighted in light blue/gray are 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.
- 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 3 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.
- 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 a conditional advocacy makes it into the 2NR and you want me to kick it, 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" or "is a voting issue" 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 - it's just that my threshold for voting for underdeveloped independent voters is higher.
- 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, clearly label the shell, and number the arguments or I will likely miss something.
- Disclosure is good. However, I do coach both sides of this debate. Read it if you'd like, just don't be mean about it and be prepared to defend your performance 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.
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.
- I have a decent conceptual understanding of k debate, especially after teaching it to students every year, but don't presume that I'll recognize the vocabulary from your specific literature base. I am not especially well-read in kritikal literature so explain well. 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 debates, but I've also coached both non-T performative and pure policy teams and so I do not have strong ideological leanings here.
- Too many Role of the Ballots are impact-justified; if you're reading one you should warrant it more substantively.
- Speed is generally fine, so long as its clear. I'd place my threshold for speed at a 8.5 out of 10 where a 10 is the fastest debater on the circuit, although that varies (+/- 1) 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 on different flows without pausing 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 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 the round is bad and 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 optimal 2NR/2AR is. Give a different version of the speech than my prediction and convince me that my original projection was strategically inferior. 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 review the specific argumentative sections above (ex. LARP, Theory, K), depending on what you're planning to read.
- 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.
- 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.
If Judging PF
- I rarely judge PF and I avoid it when I can. I won't know what your topic is and I probably had to google the speech times beforehand.
- If you're paraphrasing cards I will evaluate them as glorified analytics. Alternatively, if you're one of the rare teams that actually reads cards and doesn't paraphrase, say so and I will reward you with speaks. Just don't commit to reading cards and then paraphrase; that's clipping.
- 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 will deduct speaks if this comes up.
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
Hello, I am Daniella and I have been debating since 2015. I debated LD in my first year of high school and competed in many rigorous tournaments. I competed as a CX debater my last three years of high school and was district champion in my region and went to compete at the state tournament from 2017-2019. I used to be a college debater for the University of Texas at Austin. I work as a judge for UIL, TFA, and Great Communicator. I plan to attend law school after I earn my bachelor's degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
Add me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Paradigms for Policy Debate:
I am a policymaker judge and I tend to take the theoretical viewpoint of a "policymaker," and as such, I will vote on which side presents the best policy option. I vote heavily on disadvantages and counter-plans, and on kritiks. The basic policy of this paradigm is the weighing of the affirmative's advantages versus the negative's disadvantages. I will essentially vote on which world is better to theoretically live in, so impact analysis is a must for me to evaluate which team will win.
Theory: Theory args are unacceptable for me to vote on unless you can CLEARLY articulate a scenario for abuse. Otherwise, I probably won't flow it because I'll just feel like one of the teams is using theory as a last resort.
T: T debates are fine, if a good case could be made on a T argument I will vote on it. I would like an emphasis on standards and voters.
Counterplans: Counterplans are cool, make sure they’re competitive, make sure there’s a net benefit. However, counter plans like word PICs aren’t my favorite arguments to vote on, but I’ll vote on them if you articulate a net benefit.
Disadvantages: This is my favorite negative argument in the debate, make sure your disads are either net benefits to the CP or are packaged with some case turns/impact defense.
THE KRITIK: If K’s are run by the negative team they MUST prove how the alt will solve with a good link story. I competed in high school as a cap debater, so if the neg decides to run it they should be warned that I get extremely critical on it because of my familiarity and experience. Nonetheless of a K is run, the neg team must make sure the alternative can resolve the impacts of the case.
Case: Case debates are really underrated, but do what you have to do for your negative strategies. I like to hear teams read on impact defense. This is the traditional aspect of the debate and I really like it when debaters show me the flaws of another card.
Impacts: I really like comparative impact calc because it makes resolving debates much easier for me. Questions of magnitude, timeframe, and probability are important and you should talk about those, but take it to the next level and talk about how your impacts interact with each other.
My Paradigms for LD Debate:
I can follow complex philosophical arguments well, but it's probably best to assume that I don't know the lit for everyone's benefit. Frameworks that use util/deontological norms of LD are my favorite, but I would love to see the debaters challenge themselves with other unconventional values. Make sure you actually know how the value works before you use them in the round.
Ks: Ks are decent when they're done well, but I wouldn't recommend running one of them if it won't be clear for everyone. Don't assume I know the literature, explaining is everything! I might know it, I might have run it, but I still want you to explain the theory anyway in a way that someone who is less acquainted can understand. Make sure you do the necessary work on the link and alt level. I want to know exactly what the link is and how it applies to the aff (where applicable) and I want to know exactly what the alt does and what it looks like.
Theory: Not a fan, but if run well I am more than willing to listen and vote on it.
Plans/CPs: Love them, but make sure counterplans are competitive. Perms are a test of competition.
I'm usually okay with spreading but since we are online and there's bound to be a slow connection, I am less tolerant of it so please be fair to the other team and speak at a pace everyone can understand. Accommodate for virtual debate. If you think something is important, slow down. Please don't be rude during cross-examination or points will be docked off, to an extent, it includes repetitive interrupting but the person in question also can't speak forever on an answer because I will recognize they're just trying to waste the time of their opponent. Nonetheless, have fun and be kind! :)
Any pronouns - referring to me using feminine descriptors is fine, though any are accepted. I have no strong feelings about my gender.
***Apparently to search my paradigm, you need to type "Sophia Dal" instead of "Sophia Dal Pra" - just a heads up***
Background: Wooster HS '20, Kentucky '??.
Conflicts: Wooster High School, Reagan High School, Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Canyon Crest Academy, Chatahoochee High School.
Put me on the email chain - email@example.com
2/22/23 - Some things in debate that others may view as non-negotiables (i.e. flowing, speech-times, etc.) are things I lean towards as being so, but I can be persuaded by framing arguments that these are things I should disregard.
I think that debate is amazing and unique because of the diversity of positions and stances that we can take, from typical substance debate to debates about the rules to debates about debate. I think that debate is a competition at its foundation and that the educational benefits we gain are shaped from its research benefits. I also think that debate as an activity or as an institution is not shielded from critique.
Feel free to ask me about anything below or any thoughts you have in the pre-round!
My RFDs - are scripted as best I can to organize my thoughts. I have pretty bad ADHD and I tend to have a lot of external thoughts about arguments in any given debate, so I do this to stay organized. It's also how I verify that my decision can be delivered in a sensical manner. My decision on any given debate is usually made at a relatively normal pace, but writing out the decision, (and sometime a separate decision for the other team/over another argument in close debates) usually takes me to d-time in elim debates. I will sometimes read them to myself aloud as well for good measure. I would want my judges to care about the decisions in my debates, so this is my way of returning the favor.
General Argument Preferences - I prefer well-crafted strategies over all else. I do have a soft spot for specificity, but I understand when that is not an option because of new affs, team resources, or miscellaneous reasons. Linearly, the more thought you have put into the strategy, the more I will probably like it.
I have found that I am increasingly annoyed by debates that do not have a substantial portion of them dedicated to answering the aff in some way. This does not have to be with a specific strategy; it can be with making the most with what you have. This can be through generic impact defense, deconstructing a poorly-constructed aff, citing 1AC lines when explaining how the K links, creative counterplanning, etc. Policy debate is plan-focused, and your strategy should be to address it, not to empty your box in the least appealing way possible.
This does not mean that I have apprehensions about the amount of offcase that you read. I think that thought can go into a 12-off strategy as much as a no off/only case turns strategy.
Evidence - Evidence comparison is a great way to get me to like you. Recency isn't everything when it comes to ev comparison. Give me author indicts, prodicts, think-tank biases, etc. The best skill that debaters take from debate is the ability to critically process large amounts of information, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the analysis of the evidences' sources is important to that processing in our day-to-day lives. If you would be embarassed to read the qualifications of an author aloud during a debate, don't include that piece of evidence and find a better one.
Another point of contestation that should make its way into more debates is the way that authors make their arguments, or the way that debaters have highlighted these claims. Is the author making this claim based on one case study or based on a peer-reviewed, time-series cross sectional statistical analysis? Does the card itself not provide any warrants? Is the highlighting of the edvidence not able to lend itself to a claim and a warrant, or even a complete sentence? Point these issues out during your debating.
I believe the highlighting of your evidence should be coherent enough to read as a public speech, and not phrased like Rupi Kaur's new poetry anthology.
You can "insert the re-highlighting" if you need to discuss the quality of your opponents evidence. I think that having debaters re-read bad evidence means that there is a disincentive to do this type of evidence comparison because of the time it takes out of a speech.
I love evidence-based debates and will want a card doc at the end of the debate. My evaluation of these card docs will be in a way in which I feel I have done the least amount of intervention. To me, this means that cards/arguments that are referenced heavily by the debaters in the final rebuttals, even if they aren't by name, will be read and I'll adjust my thoughts on them accordingly. I will assign the meaning to the evidence that the debaters give it, so, for example, if the 1NC has a highlighted link argument within a card on the kritik, and the 2NR doesn't go for that link argument but goes for another claim in the card, I will not evaluate the extraneous link argument as meaning anything. The evidence you read does not give your argument more weight than you gave it. If you read stellar evidence but can't interpret it for me or move your analysis beyond tagline extensions, then I will not rely on the fact that that card is better than your opponent's.
CX is binding, but that doesn't mean you can read evidence in CX or finish cards in CX. There is a reason that CX is denoted as separate from speech time, and I still hold folks to the threshold of bringing those arguments into speeches, which means that you will just be wasting a lot of time.
Even if someone else cut the evidence you are reading, you are responsible for any issues of academic integrity that arise when you read that evidence, even if you weren't aware of the issue beforehand.
This is not to say I will not vote for teams that don't read evidence. I vote for teams that win debates.
Flowing - I only flow what I catch you saying. Please try to recognize communication break-downs and adjust. I will be following along in the speech document as you read, but I want to be able to understand you.
One of the biggest negative impacts of online debate along with a drop in participation is the increasing card-doc-ification of debates. I am not a fan. Make arguments, do line-by-line, know what evidence they read, FLOW THE DEBATE YOURSELF!
ADAPTATION: I have an auditory processing disorder that makes it especially difficult to flow unclear, online speeches. I can flow top speeds and follow along, but you do not understand how big of a difference clarity makes.
I have recently been attempting to learn how to type with more than my pointer fingers, and am a good flow on my computer but still, please don't let that be a substitute for your own communication.
When flowing debates, I will attempt to line up arguments next to each other, and I would appreciate it if line-by-line is clear as to facilitate this. If I can't do this, I will flow straight down and match arguments and their responses together at a later point, though, this may extend my already egregious use of time post-debate to deliberate.
Absent a defense of splitting up speaking times, the partner that is supposed to be speaking in that speech based on their speaker position is the one I will flow. I will not flow arguments that are being fed to another debater by their partner.
Tech and Truth - I am a "tech" judge. The arguments from the debate that make it on my flow and their implications will be compared based on the connections and the argument resolution that debaters have made.
Above all, when technically evaluating arguments, I value the way that debaters have characterized specific arguments rather than relying solely on evidence to make those comparisons or connecting the dots for them. Cross-applications still need explanation as to how they apply to the new argument. Debates are won and lost through small link distinctions, and especially in buzzword-heavy theory debates, this nuance is lost and leaves me in no way ready to vote on them without explanation.
I have a low threshold for "out-teching" stupid arguments. Stupid arguments can have just as stupid responses. However, if an argument is factually incorrect or incomplete, I'll disregard it. This includes, but is not limited to, voting issues without warranted standards and anything that I can easily google.
(Former) Argument Non-Starters
While rewriting my paradigm, I critically thought about my previous argument inhibitions and realized that they were just based on what I thought were accepted community norms, left over from when I created my paradigm when I was first introduced to national circuit debate. That was stupid of me, and I think that I should be able to defend to myself why I completely exclude an argument from evaluation. Other than, obviously, arguments that are on-face violent, I am fair game for any position.
My previous nonstarters that are now on the table include
- Death Good
- "No perms in a method debate"
There are two arguments that are difficult for me as a judge:
1. A very pessimistically-read "Debate Bad" argument. Without a way to resolve the offense, I am left wondering why this doesn't link to every debater participating in the debate.
2. This is more of a brand of argument than a specific argument, but any personal arguments that I cannot verify within the current debate. This includes previous debates against this team or incidents between the teams. Debate competition is not the best accountability method for interpersonal violence, you should take these issues to tab, coaches, or relevant authorities to resolve it, not me.
All of my dispositions can be overcame through outdebating the other team. There is always the chance that you could be the debater who makes me enjoy judging issues that I once disliked.
If your strategy involve humiliating the other debaters in the round you should strike me. I am fine with passion about arguments and the way that people communicate them, I do not want harm to come in personal attacks against debaters and their unique positionality in debate.
Online Debate - PLEASE BE MORE CLEAR. I cannot stress this enough. In some of the rounds I have judged, I was very close to losing the argumentation to mumbling or a lack of clarity of speech. Start off slower please. I can flow at fast speeds, but high schooler's laptops are usually not the best, so please be as clear as possible.
The timer stops for medical issues and tech issues.
Lay Debate/Non-Circuit Styles - I debated on a semi-lay circuit for my high-school career, so if your debate style is more stock issues, traditional, or slow, go for it! I will not penalize you for sticking with a local style that you have no control over, just know that I am still a "flow" judge. I'm not a lay judge or blind to circuit norms by any means, I just think that it is not a team's fault where they begin debating, and will not penalize a different style that does not match progressive debate norms.
Speaker Points - are based on skill, respectfulness to the judge and your opponents, clarity, roadmapping, and how you execute your strategy. I do not give you higher speaks based on you telling me to. If you ask for speaker points, I will give you the tournament minimum.
Procedural issues always come before substance.
I like T debates. I especially enjoy T debates where a substantial amount of evidence is read, epecially evidence about caselists and interpretations with intent to define and exclude. Please explain to me your visions of the topic and why that should frame my decision. Impacting out these debates is important. T is always a voting issue. Some things that I think you should focus on:
1. What is the distinction between the interpretation and the counter-interpretation? I find that debaters oftentimes lose the forest for the trees and dive into the violation debates without solidifying what makes each team's views of what should be included in the topic distinct. A great way to do this for me is with caselists, from both teams, prodicting their interpretations and indicting the opposing interpretation.
2. In what way does the aff violate the interpretation? This seems like a basic portion of T debate, but I see so many high school shells being whitled down so much so that the violation doesn't make it in. If the violation is poorly written or non-existent, point that out to me. I have judged way too many T debates where the violation hinges on an assertion from the negative that the aff is not a thing, when they probably are that thing. I give affirmatives the benefit of the doubt when explaining intriciacies of their plan. This is an area where neg T evidence can really help.
I default to rejecting the argument on theory except for conditionality. If you want me to reject the team on anything else, impact out why. I think that you shouldn't rely heavily on blocks in these debates, or at least make those blocks responsive. Impacts to theory should be clear and articulate; the less buzzwords, the better. The offense of your interpretation or your counter-interpretation should be intrinsic to the interpretation/counter-interpretation.
My leanings on conditionality are that it's good, but I'm not opposed to pulling the trigger on condo bad by any means. I think going for conditionality when mishandled by the negative is perfectly viable and more aff teams should do it. I don't necessarily have a lower limit if you want to pull the trigger. As long as your standards are intrinsic to your interpretation, I'm fine with it. I find that the general practice of conditionality can be argued against and potential-abuse based arguments that come along with it are pretty compelling in these debates.
Please do more of this, as per my rant above. I seriously love a good case debate. Have good 1NC answers to the advantages and good explanations and clash on the aff, and we'll have a good day. I think that advantages can be beaten by zero risk arguments. I will vote on presumption if the aff has a ridiculous, completely misconstrued scenario with 0% risk of any of it being a thing.
I think that I can vote negative on presumption if a CP has no net benefit but the neg team proves that presumption lies with them.
I prefer framing pages that are specific to the aff. Debate tends to be extremely reductive of ethics and moral philosophy. Conflating consequentialism and utilitarianism, conflating deontology and structural violence, etc. Pointing out discrepancies in a team's framing and the way they view arguments in the debate is very convincing to me, i.e. a team advocating deontology making a consequential claim, etc.
I love impact turn debates. Please be nuanced with the uniqueness question - I need a very good unsustainability argument to weigh against their impact, otherwise I will still give their impact risk.
Please read a full shell in the 1NC. The link is the most important part of the DA, please explain it well. I think the Aff team can beat a DA with zero risk arguments. Please have a reason why it turns the advantages.
Neg must prove competition and that the CP is net-beneficial to the aff. I think process CPs are fine, more so if they are topic-relevant. CP and Perm texts should be specific. "Do Both" or others mean nothing unless the aff explains how the perm functions.
Multi-plank CPs should be broken down for me; please explain how each plank functions and solves the advantages. If planks can be kicked, and the CP is egregiously long, then each plank functions as a conditional advocacy
I think that judge kick needs to be flagged in the debate. This can be through saying "judge kick" explicitly or "The status quo is always a logical option", which I take as meaning "judge kick + conditional".
CPs - Novice and JV Debate: Please y'all, you need a net benefit to your CP. I will not vote on a CP that "just solves better". This has happened in almost all of the JV/Novice debates I have judged this year. Please be a stand-out and don't do this.
---Kritiks on the Negative---
Disclaimer: Though the common theme of this section is that you should explain your thing, this is because I am a perfectionist when it comes to how literature is represented, not because I think teams that read kritiks need to break down their stuff more than policy teams. I recognize that teams that read "policy" style arguments get away with the most blippy characterizations of their arguments too often, and this is a practice that I would like to stop in any style of debate I judge. Both teams will be held to the same standard of explanation of any argument. I despise 5-word theory arguments, framework standards, etc. All arguments have to have a claim and a warrant.
I am familiar with a hodgepodge of kritikal arguments, but I would appreciate it if you assumed I wasn't. Explain the link and the impact of the K in the context of the advocacy you are criticizing.
High theory is fine and welcomed.
Framework is very important; you need to win that I view the round through the way you want me to before I can do any weighing of the implications of your argument.
I need a lot of alternative explanation. What is it and how is it distinct from the aff? Does it capture the aff? Why is it mutually exclusive to the aff? Most importantly, how doe the alternative resolve the links to the K? I think a very convincing way the aff can beat the alt is a defense of your method and DAs to the way the alternative explains the case, if at all. Alts should have a consistent text throughout the debate.
I think Ks should have an alternative or something external that resolves the offense (framework, CP with the K as a net benefit, etc.) I don't like evaluating linear DAs based on K impacts and links if the status quo does not resolve the offense.
In K v. K debates, I need the debaters to explain to me the distinction between the methods. What impacts do each of the methods access? What does the perm look like OR Why does the perm ruin the alt? How does the aff's method resolve the K's links?
Debaters should decide for me whether there are perms in a method debate, but I tend to lean neg on this question. See below.
---Framework/T-USFG v. K Affs---
After the first semester on the water topic, I maintain an exactly 50/50 voting record for for or against framework.
I think that the way that most people evaluate fairness impacts writ large is based on personal preconceptions and biases about what it good. I want to make mine as clear as possible here, while also emphasizing that any framework impact to me is fair game. However, the most convincing genre of impacts for me in framework debates are clash, argument refinement, and iterative testing in relation to how they affect advocacy skills.
I like affs that have creative counter-interpretations that include your method and creative impact turns. I think that I tend to lean neg on these debates for no reason other than I am more familiar with the negative's thesis about why debating the resolution is good, but this does not mean that I have an ideological block against K affs. If you articulate to me why the aff should be included in the topic better than the neg does, you win. This is best done for me through an indict of the neg's interpretation and the research it creates, not by reading a linear DA against debate norms as a whole.
My only caveat is that I believe that there should be limits on the topic of debate, and I think that the aff will always have a more expansive view of the topic (unless only the aff is topical/some explanations I have yet to find convincing). However, placing at least some defined limits on the aff's interpretation mitigates the offense the neg gets and puts me in a good spot to weigh your impacts against however-better limits the neg's interpretation provides.
I don't think that the reading of framework constitutes violence. Arguments that are loose metaphorizations of debate norms to real-world violence are difficult to win in front of me, and I would be keen to vote on arguments from the negative that that metaphorization is bad. However, more nuanced versions of the "policing/exlusion" DA that involve connections to the aff's lit base and academia as a whole and have an impact that is focused more around your research and education are more convincing.
---K Affs (General/K v. K)---
I'm fine with K affs as long as you have both (A) some sort of advocacy statement and (B) a reason why you shouldn't defend this year's topic. This seems intuitive, but in some K debates I have judged, the affirmative is focused more on the community as a whole rather than
I'm not a great judge for K affs that don't have a robust method defense in the 1AC. I think there is a common trend for these types of affs to defend as little as possible in the 1AC and then shift their explanations to defend whatever suits their fancy in the 2AC and beyond after the neg lays down their core offense.
Because of this, I feel as if, in direct opposition to my previous opinions, I am leaning neg on "no perms in a method debate". It is easy for me to buy that the ability for the aff to permute the K incentivizes writing affirmatives with vague theses to eliminate competition, which hurts kritikal clash, education, advocacy, etc. I think that the negative can do a better job convincing me of this when they read literature-specific offense. Aff, you should have a hearty defense of your method. A specific perm text or hearty explanation, coupled with answers to "no perms" should be enough for you to argue and win that "this perm is good and we should get it". Cards for perms are especially helpful when deciding whether you get a perm or not.
I am not a person who spends much their time doing deep dives into kritkal literature for fun, which is probably why I never see these debates. I am familiar with the basics of many areas and their key authors, and I have done some assitant coaching for teams that primarily read kritkal positions, but am not an expert on the latest stuff. Therefore, while I would love to judge more of these debates, I understand that I may not be the best for you in terms of pre-existing knowledge.
Performance - Fine with it as long as it's educationally appropriate. I have PTSD and multiple different types of anxiety, so if your performance describes graphic violence, I would appreciate it if (A) there is a trigger warning and (B) the goal of the performance is not solely for affect. Please tell me the reason why your performance is necessary in this forum.
Judging LD is something I don't commonly do, but you can translate a lot of the above here.
ATTN: My standard for what is a complete argument is high for current norms in LD. Claim, Warrant, Implication. Make less arguments and use that time to make better quality arguments.
I am best for policy debates, quality T/Theory debates, and Policy v. K debates.
I am ok for K v. K debates simply because I have not been in too many.
I am less ok for dense phil. I need a lot of explanation and impacting.
I am not good for frivolous theory or tricks.
Behavior - Being rude/obnoxious gets speaks taken away.
Please be humble and considerate if you win and patient if you lose. As long as I'm in the room, no comments should be made about the skill of your opponents or their knowledge on certain subjects. Post-rounding is welcomed until it crosses the line from picking my brain to being angry at me for not seeing that you are so obviously right. If you have a habit of postrounding aggressively, break it. I have PTSD and will not spare a second going to tab if you react in a way that may trigger an anxiety attack.
I will intervene and stop a round if I think that there is violence, physical or verbal, that endangers those participating in that round. Those who perpetuate the violence will receive an instant loss, 0 speaks, and coaches will be contacted. I will fight tab to give you 0 speaks or have you ejected.
Evidence Ethics Violations - Clipping, Paraphrasing without reading the evidence, and cutting evidence out of context is what I define as academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty mean an instant loss and I will award you the lowest amount of speaks that the tournament allows.
I understand the novelty of the activity for novices, but I hold JV and Varsity debaters to the standard of being able to properly read a card.
To quote Ryan McFarland, “Clipping is cheating no matter the intent."
year 9 of debate
coach at wake
former LRCH and Kansas Debater
When it comes to evaluating debates, two things are the most important for me:
1. Clear judge instructions in the rebuttals of how I should filter offense and arguments made in the round. Impact and Link framing are a must. if I can't explain the argument myself, I probably can't vote on it.
2. Impact comparison and clear reason why I should prioritize impacts in the round between the neg and aff. Each argument should have a claim - warrant - impact for me to evaluate it as such.
Use these to filter the rest of my paradigm and general in round perception.
I consider myself to be pretty flexible when it comes to arguments that teams want to read. I debated more critically but you should read whatever arguments that you are comfortable with. Any racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc will be met with speaker points that reflect, so don't be an assho|e.
Most of my debate experience was in critical debates on both the aff and neg (I was a 1A/2N), but I’m not unfamiliar with the technical aspects of policy debates.
I’m probably not the best for Topicality debates in general when it comes to plan-based policy debates and less likely to vote on Framework vs plan-less affs if going for impacts such as fairness/competitive equity or predictability. I generally lean more into truth over tech in most debates, but tech is important for impact comparison.
for college: still formulating how I understand and evaluate as a judge, so making sure I clearly understand what I should evaluate without intervention from me comes down to how you go for your arguments. The less judge intervention I feel like I have to do, the happier we are all in the post-round RFD.
Truth over tech/Tech over truth? - Depends, i view myself evaluating truth before tech concessions but that isn’t always the case. I think technical concession are important for evaluating impact debates, so utilize both these to your advantage.
Framework on the Neg? - I’ll evaluate any negative arguments about the meta of debate. If you win your model of debate is good and the aff in question doesn’t access it then generally I’m pretty neutral on Framework arguments. Same for K’s with framing questions, the way you want me to evaluate a prior question should be framed as such.
10 off? I’d prefer if you didn’t, gish galloping is a fascist tactic.
Theory arguments? I believe theory arguments are heavily underutilized in high school debates. I evaluate conditionality and presumption debates as much as I evaluate K vs Framework. I have a certain threshold for certain arguments that I will vote on in theory debates, I think condo is a definite aff/neg ballot if it gets dropped in the neg block or rebuttals. I tend to vote neg on presumption, in those debates I think a lot of the perm debate and solvency portions of both sides are important to those rounds. CP contextual theory, perm text theory, textual severance, etc im all game for theory. i think theory debates get underutilized a lot
I read them, I think that you should read whatever you read on the aff. I will vote for them, but I at least think they should be in the direction of the topic and a reason why the topical version doesn't solve.
If performance is your thing - go ahead go for it.
FW on the neg
I will vote on a neg FW but I think that there are certain arguments that I'm gonna have a harder time pulling the trigger on, i.e. fairness. I don't think fairness is something I would absolutely vote on but of course that all depends on the round. I also think the neg should be doing a lot of work why the state/usfg is worth it, why the aff isnt good for a model of debate, or why the judge should care. Generic args on framework aren't gonna cut it for me tbh, i need a concise way of why i should view the debate through the neg and why the aff doesnt solve etc etc.
Pretty versed in most of the lit but you shouldn't use a lot of buzzwords in front of me. I think you should say why the aff is uniquely bad and how the alternative can resolve its impacts and the squo. Why perms don't solve, links are disads, etc etc. I find alternative debates to be the most shallow, I think even if you are winning reason the links are disads you still need a reason the alt isn't the squo. Role of the ballot arguments are self-serving but it makes is a lot easier to evaluate them when they are dropped or not contested by the aff. Aff teams: FW on Ks is underutilized, I think you should make arguments about why you should get to weigh your impacts vs the K.
Any other questions just ask before the round, "If you can't dazzle me with excellence, baffle me with bullshit."
speed is fine as long as you make an email chain/speech drop - email is firstname.lastname@example.org
im fine with all types of debate. i love critical arguments/case positions that engage with various types of philosophy. k debate is my favorite. cool with everything else.
one note on theory: i do not like frivolous theory (i.e. down my opponent since they are wearing socks - yes, i have seen this shell). if your opponent gets up in the next speech and says this is stupid and don't pay attention to it. i will discard it and i will not see it as a voting issues. that being said, if there is actual abuse in the round, theory is not only fine but welcomed. competing interps over reasonability.
please feel free to ask any questions before the round. ill be more than happy to answer them
I am a PhD student in philosophy at MIT.
I coached actively from 2016-2021, but have done almost no meaningful coaching or judging since then. Explain jargon, slow down, etc.
Here is a slightly older + longer version of my paradigm. Everything on the longer version remains true.
Short version: If you are aff, you should read a well-researched affirmative that defends someone doing something. If you are neg, you should read something that meaningfully engages with the aff.
Here are some things that it will be useful to know if I am judging you.
 I don’t flow author names.
 Please slow down on analytics, probably more than you think you need to.
 I am best suited to judge well-researched debates about a clear point of contestation in which both sides are clear about what they’re defending. Policy-style, K, T, and many theory debates are all fine.
 I will not vote for exceptionally bad theory arguments. Exceptionally bad arguments include but are not limited to: so-called "role of the ballot spec," "neg may only make 2 arguments," "must spec CP status in speech," "must read an explicit standard text," "must contest the aff framework," and "must spec what you meant when you said 'competing interps.'" By contrast, arguments that are fair game are CP theory, plans good/bad, stuff like that.
If you’re unsure whether an argument counts as exceptionally bad, err on the side of caution. You should err on the side of caution on very specific / demanding disclosure theory arguments.
 Other theory predispositions:
I think it's good to keep topics fairly small, which makes me good for the neg in many T debates.
It's pretty hard to convince me that 1 condo is bad. 2 starts to push it, and I think 3+ is probably bad. I'm increasingly convinced PICs should have a solvency advocate. And I'm pretty in the middle with respect to whether process counterplans & the like are good.
 No tricks. I won't vote on them. If you think your argument might count as a trick, don't read it. If you do go for tricks, you will not win and your speaks will not exceed 26.
 I value explanation a lot. I vote aff in a lot of debates in which the neg goes for a ton of arguments, each of which could be a winning 2NR but end up getting very under-explained. I have also voted for a lot of debaters whose evidence is not amazing but who give very good explanations/spin for that evidence.
 I am unlikely to be convinced that something categorically outweighs something else (e.g. extinction outweighs regardless of probability, tiny unfairness outweighs all education no matter what, etc.). Weighing arguments should be contextual and comparative.
 No "inserting highlighting" or inserting a list of what the aff defends. You have to read it.
 Debaters should disclose, and the aff should tell the neg what aff they’re reading before the debate unless it is new. No one should lie when disclosing. It is very hard to convince me that disclosure isn’t good.
 Clipping and reading miscut evidence will result in an automatic loss, regardless of whether your opponent notices / mentions it. More on that here.
 I will not vote on: tricks (broadly construed), "paradox" tricks (e.g. Zeno's Paradox, the "Good Samaritan" Paradox), a prioris, oppression good (if you concede that your position entails that oppression is good, then your position is that oppression is good), skepticism ("both frameworks are wrong; therefore, 'permissibility'" is skep), trivialism, arguments that the other side cannot make arguments / that I should evaluate (any part of) the debate at the end of a speech other than the 2AR, or awful theory arguments. These arguments are bad for debate.
TLDR: I am pretty tab and will vote on anything so long as its not morally repugnant and you tell me why it matters.
I would like to be on the email chain; Katyaaehresman@gmail.com . please time yourselves, flashing isnt prep unless its egregious. Let me know what pronouns you use & pls abide be your opponents pronouns.
Extensions of an aff arent 'overviews to the 1ar'.. they are just on case.. you prob want me to extend them n the flow not in a clump... idk why this is a trend
on this - i tend to haave a higher threshold for extensions, you need a warrant and impact for me to vote on it.
If things get uncomfortable, you need to leave because of mental health/personal safety reasons etc. just message me or knock on the table & give me some look and you will be allowed to go get water/we can stop the round/whatever is best in that situation. Debate should be safe & accessible in order to get these ~portable skillz~ all the kids are talking about.
Short version: Give me some sort of framework to weigh offense under or tell me why the impacts that you are winning are the top layer and I will be happy. I try to do as little work for you as possible so if you didn’t do big picture analysis or weighing the I’ll have to cipher through flows to make a more arbitrary decision and then we are all sadbois. You can read anything you want, though I am probably better at evaluating K/Larp debates and worse at evaluating dense Phil/friv theory debates ~~~ do with that what you will. I care about how you treat one another in round so if you are being obnoxious or problematic in anyway to your opponent, I will start dropping your speaks and if its irredeemable then I won’t vote for you. *shrug emoji* If you are worried about your behavior then… err on the side of being nice?????
I think paradigms are supposed to be more like what sorts of strategies I like to see on each type of flow to help you W30 in front of me so these are things that make me very happy:
- Great, love them
- Pls win some sort of link or a reason why me voting for you matters & WARRANT it - I will probably call you on just regurgitating tags if that’s all you do for extensions.. do work please
- Performance is fine, the resolution isn’t always necessary as a stasis point if you tell me why - but I don’t have a default on this.
- PIKs are fine, be clear on what exactly you (my ballot) is solving for
- Subsequently I can be persuaded by PIKs bad, again just warrant it and do top level weighing
- Again, love these! Read a wide spectrum of them myself.
- Apply strategy/framing issues from the K section here too
- Win why either talking about the topic is bad, your approach to talking about the topic is better, why your method or approach is good etc. and importantly what happens when I sign aff on the ballot.
- Don’t shy away from your off in the 1AR - a big pet peeve of mine is when debaters invest a lot of work into a solid K aff that has warrants about why your pedagogy or performance comes first and then you kick it and go for theory or barely extend it and the round comes down to the neg flows… don’t be like this
- This is great, I love this - go for whatever you feel like/want, make the round your own - again just warrant why its important and importantly what my role in endorsing your performance is/why the round is important for this medium.
- Great, some of my favorite debates are really good topical, substantive larpy rounds
- Give me clear impact calculus/ an internal link story
- I don’t think there are really many paradigm issues surrounding DAs normally… ask me whatever
- Great and super strategic
- CP/Pic theory also viable - I don’t really have a default on pics good/bad but am probably persuaded that its good to test the policy of the aff from different angles
- Analytic, actor, delay etc. Cps are fine - just warrant solvency & competitiveness and give me some sort of net benefit to your world
- This is true with DAs too but try to give me some comparative worlds weighing, again - tell me where & why to vote
- Have a low threshold for frivolous theory, would prefer people to just have substantive debate but I am very receptive to engagement and in round abuse preventing topical clash
- Just warrant an abuse story
- Go slow on interps
- very open to this
- If you’re hitting a k aff then try to weigh offense from the shell under the k fw - do interactions or clear layering, these debates get v messy v quick
- Slow down a bit on long analytic dumps
- Err towards over-explaining phil warrants
- Go as fast as you want but emphasize clarity
- I give speaks based off of strategy not speaking quality but strategy requires me to flow it and so clarity is somewhat necessary for that
- I will tank your speaks if you are rude, aggressive, say something morally repugnant, demeaning to your opponent etc. so pls don’t do this
I judge many different formats, see the bottom of my paradigm for more details of my specific judging preferences in different formats. I debated for five years in NPDA and three years in NFA-LD, and I've judged HS policy, parli, LD, and PF. Tell me where to vote and why you are winning - I am less likely to vote for you if you make me do work. I enjoy technical/progressive/circuit-style debates and don't care about delivery style. I love theory and T and I'll vote on anything.
Please include me on the email chain if there is one. email@example.com.
Also, speechdrop.net is even better than email chains if you are comfortable using it, it is much faster and more efficient.
CARDED DEBATE: Please send the texts of interps, plans, counterplans, and unusually long or complicated counterinterps in the speech doc or the Zoom chat. Slow down a little on analytics not in the doc though. Also, while I am fine with tricks and spikes, I think you should put them in the doc for the sake of accessibility.
TL:DR for Parli: Tech over truth. I prefer policy and kritikal debate to traditional fact and value debate and don't believe in the trichotomy, please read a plan or other stable advocacy text if you can. Plans and CP's are just as legitimate in "value" or "fact" rounds as in "policy" rounds. I prefer theory, K's, and disads with big-stick or critically framed impacts to traditional debate, but I'll listen to whatever debate you want to have.
TL:DR for IPDA: I judge it just like parli. I don't believe in the IPDA rules and I refuse to evaluate your delivery. Try to win the debate on the flow, and don't treat it like a speech/IE event.
TL:DR for NFA-LD - I don't like the rules but I will vote on them if you give if you give me a reason why they're good. I give equal weight to rules bad arguments, and I will be happiest if you treat the event like one-person policy or HS circuit LD. I prefer T, theory, DA's, and K's to stock issues debate, and I will rarely vote on solvency defense unless the neg has some offense of their own to weigh against it. Also, I love good vagueness shells but I am tired of the generic vagueness shell that cites the rules and doesn't say how specific the aff needs to be - if you run vagueness, give me a brightline.
TL:DR for High School LD: 1 - Theory, 2 - LARP, 3 - K, 4 - Tricks, 5 - Phil, 99 - Trad. I enjoy highly technical and creative argumentation. I try to evaluate the round objectively from a tech over truth perspective. I am more used to LARP and policy-style arguments but I have no problem voting on phil. I love circuit-style debate and I appreciate good weighing/uplayering. I enjoy seeing strategies that combine normal and "weird" arguments in creative and strategic ways
CASE/DA: Be sure to signpost well and explain how the argument functions in the debate. I like strong terminalized impacts - don't just say that you help the economy, tell me why it matters. I think generic disads are great as long as you have good links to the aff. I believe in risk of solvency/risk of the disad and I rarely vote on terminal defense if the other team has an answer to show that there is still some risk of offense. I do not particularly like deciding the debate on solvency alone. Uniqueness controls the direction of the link.
SPEED: I can handle spreading and I like fast debates. I mostly follow Lila Lavender's position on speed theory, which means that if I am to vote on speed theory, you should have a genuine accessibility need for your opponents to slow down (such as having a disability that impacts auditory processing or being entered in novice at a tournament with collapsed divisions) and you should be able to prove objectively that engagement is not possible. Otherwise I am very likely to vote on the we meet. I think that while there are instances where speed theory is necessary, there are also times when it is weaponized and commodified to win ballots by people who could engage with speed. However, I do think you should slow down when asked, I would really prefer if I don't have to evaluate speed theory
THEORY/T: I love theory debates - I will vote on any theory position if you win the argument even if it seems frivolous or unnecessary - I do vote on the flow and try not to intervene. I will even vote on PMR/2AR theory if there is an egregious violation in the MOC/NR that did not happen in the LOC/NC. I default to fairness over education in non-K rounds but I have voted on critical impact turns to fairness before. Be sure to signpost your We Meet and Counter Interpretation.
I do care a lot about the specific text of interps, especially if you point out why I should. For example, I love spec shells with good brightlines but I am likely to buy a we meet if you say the plan shouldn't be vague but don't define how specific it should be. RVI's are fine as long as you can justify them, and I will not intervene against an RVI if you win it on the flow. I do not need reasons why fairness and education matter unless you are comparing them to something else or to one another.
I default to competing interpretations with no RVI's but I'm fine with reasonability if I hear arguments for it in the round. However, I would like a definition of reasonability because if you don't define it, I think it just collapses back to competing interps. I default to drop the debater on shell theory and drop the argument on paragraph theory. I am perfectly willing to vote on potential abuse - I think competing interps implies potential abuse should be weighed in the round. I think extra-T should be drop the debater.
Rules are NOT a voter by themselves, and I rarely read the rules of events that I judge. If I am going to vote on the rules rather than on fairness and education, tell me why following rules in general or following this particular rule is good. I will enforce speaking times but any rule as to what you can actually say in the round is potentially up for debate.
COUNTERPLANS: I am willing to vote for cheater CP's (like delay or object fiat) unless theory is read against them. PIC's are fine as long as you can win that they are theoretically legitimate, at least in this particular instance. I believe that whether a PIC is abusive depends on how much of the plan it severs out of, whether there is only one topical aff, and whether that part of the plan is ethically defensible ground for the aff. I think that condo is good but I try to be neutral if I evaluate a condo bad shell. I hate dispo and I think all CP's should be either condo or uncondo. I will not judge kick unless you ask me to. Perms are tests of competition, not advocacies, and they are also good at making your hair look curly.
IMPACT CALCULUS: I default to magnitude because it is the least interventionist way to compare impacts, but I'm very open to arguments about why probability is more important, particularly if you argue that favoring magnitude perpetuates oppression. Timeframe is more of a tiebreaker to me - unless you show how the timeframe of your impact prevents the other impact from mattering. In debates over pre fiat or a priori issues, I prefer preclusive weighing (what comes first) to comparative weighing (magnitude/probability).
KRITIKS: I’m fine with kritiks of any type on either the AFF or the NEG. The K's I'm most familiar with include security, ableism, Baudrillard, rhetoric K's, and cap/neolib. I am fine with letting arguments that you win on the K dictate how I should view the round. I think that the framework of the K informs which impacts are allowed in the debate, and "no link" or "no solvency" arguments are generally not very effective for answering the K - the aff needs some sort of offense. Whether K or T comes first is up to the debaters to decide, but if you want me to care more about your theory shell than about the oppression the K is trying to solve I want to hear something better than the lack of fairness collapsing debate, such as arguments about why fairness skews evaluation. If you want to read theory successfully against a K regardless of what side of the debate you are on, I need reasons why it comes first or matters more than the impacts of the K.
IDENTITY/PERFORMANCE: I understand why people read these arguments, but at the same time debate is a competitive activity with the burden of rejoinder, so if you set up the debate in such a way that the other team can't negate your argument without negating your identity or lived experience, I will be more willing to vote on theory. The only way I know how to evaluate the debate is the flow of what happens in round, and I have trouble evaluating frameworks that ask me to look at something other than the flow.
REBUTTALS: Give me reasons to vote for you. Be sure to explain how the different arguments in the debate relate to one another and show that the arguments you are winning are more important. I would rather hear about why you win than why the other team doesn't win. In parli, I do not protect the flow except in online debate (and even then, I appreciate POO's when possible). I also like to see a good collapse in both the NEG block and the PMR. I think it is important that the LOR and the MOC agree on what arguments to go for.
PRESUMPTION: I rarely vote on presumption if it is not deliberately triggered because I think terminal defense is rare. If I do vote on presumption, I will always presume neg unless the aff gives me a reason to flip presumption. I am definitely willing to vote on the argument that reading a counterplan or a K flips presumption, but the aff has to make that argument in order for me to consider it. Also, I enjoy presumption triggers and paradoxes and I do not mind voting for them if you win them.
SPEAKER POINTS: I give speaker points based on technical skill not delivery, and will reduce speaks if someone uses language that is discriminatory towards a marginalized group.
If you have any questions about my judging philosophy that are not covered here, feel free to ask me before the round.
If there is no flex time you should take one POI per constructive speech - I don't think multiple POI's are necessary and if you use POI's to make arguments I will not only refuse to flow the argument I will take away a speaker point. If there is flex, don't ask POI's except to ask the status of an advocacy, ask where they are on the flow, or ask the other team to slow down.
I believe trichotomy should just be a T shell. I don't think there are clear cut boundaries between "fact", "value", and "policy" rounds, but I think most of the arguments we think of as trichot work fine as a T or extra-T shell.
PUBLIC FORUM ONLY:
I judge PF on the flow. I do acknowledge that the second constructive doesn't have to refute the first constructive directly though. Dropped arguments are still true arguments. I care as much about delivery in PF as I do in parli (which means I don't care at all). I DO allow technical parli/policy style arguments like plans, counterplans, topicality, and kritiks. I think there are good arguments for why these arguments should not be in PF, but I won't make them for you - you have to say it in round.
Speed is totally fine with me in PF, unless you are using it to exclude the other team. However, if you do choose to go fast (especially in an online round) please send a speech doc to me and your opponents if you are reading evidence, for the sake of accessibility. If you want a theory argument or an argument about the rules being a voting issue, please tell me. Just saying "they are cheating" or "you can't do this in PF" is not enough.
I think policy is an excellent format of debate but I am more familiar with parli and LD and I rarely judge policy, so I am not aware of all policy norms. Therefore, when evaluating theory arguments I do not take into account what is generally considered theoretically legitimate in policy. I am okay with any level of speed, but I do appreciate speech docs. Please be sure to remind me of norms that are specific to what is or isn't allowed in a particular speech
I am not fond of the rules or stock issues and it would make me happiest if you pretend they don’t know exist and act like you are in one-person policy or high school circuit LD. However, I will adjudicate arguments based on the rules and I won’t intervene against them if you win that following the rules is good. However, "it's a rule" is not an impact I can vote on unless you say why following the rules is an internal link to some other impact like fairness and education. Also, if you threaten to report me to tab for not enforcing the rules, I will automatically vote you down, whether or not I think the rules were broken.
I think the wording of the speed rule is very problematic and is not about accessibility but about forcing people to talk a certain way, so while I will vote on speed theory if you win it, I'd prefer you not use the rules as a justification for it. Do not threaten to report to tab for allowing speed, I'll vote you down instantly if you do. I also don't like the rule that is often interpreted as prohibiting K's, I think it's arbitrary and I think there are much better ways to argue that K's are bad.
I am very open to theory arguments that go beyond the rules, and while I do like spec arguments, I do not like the vague vagueness shell a lot of people read - any vagueness/spec shell should have a brightline for how much the aff should specify.
Also, while solvency presses are great in combination with offense, I will rarely vote on solvency alone because if the aff has a risk of solvency and there's no DA to the aff, then they are net beneficial. Even if you do win that I should operate in a stock issues paradigm, I am really not sure how much solvency the aff needs to meet that stock issue, so I default to "greater than zero risk of solvency".
I personally don't think IPDA should exist and if I have to judge it I will not vote on your delivery even if the rules say I should, and I will ignore all IPDA rules except for speech times. Please debate like it is LD without cards or one-person parli. I am happy to vote on theory and K's and I think most IPDA topics are so bad that we get more education from K's and theory anyway. I'll even let debaters debate a topic not on the IPDA topic list if they both agree.
For WSD I like clear argument engagement that includes thoughtful weighing and impact analysis. I prefer debates that have colonial and imperial powers recon with their history (if its germane to the topic). When it comes down to relevancy and impacts/harms, I prefer debates that show how their resolution (whether we're going for opp or prop) will benefit or improve black and brown communities, or the global south.
Interp overall: I pay real close attention to the introduction of each piece, I look for the lens of analysis and the central thesis that will be advanced during the interpretation of literature. When the performance is happening, I'm checking to see if they have dug down deep enough into an understanding of their literature through that intro and have given me a way to contextualize the events that are happening during the performance
POI: I look for clean transitions and characterization (if doing multiple voices)
DI: I look for the small human elements that come from acting. Big and loud gestures are not always the way to convey the point, sometimes something smaller gets the point more powerfully.
HI: I'm not a good HI judge, please do not let me judge you in HI. I don't like the event and I do my best to avoid judging it. If that fails, I look for clean character transitions, distinct voices, and strong energy in the movements. Please don't be racist/homophobic in your humor.
INFO: I'm looking for a well research speech that has a strong message to deliver. Regardless of the genre of info you're presenting, I think that showing you've been exhaustive with your understanding is a good way to win my ballot. I'm not wow'd by flashy visuals that add little substance, and I'm put off by speeches that misrepresent intellectual concepts, even unintentionally. I like speeches that have a conclusion, and if the end of your speech is "and we still don't know" then I think you might want to reassess the overall direction you are taking, with obvious exceptions being that we might literally not know something, because its still being researched (but that is a different we don't know than say, "and we don't know why people act this way :( ")
FX/DX: When I'm evaluating an extemp speech, I'm continually thinking "did they answer the question? or did they answer something that sounded similar?" So keep that in your mind. Are you directly answering the question? When you present information that could be removed without affecting the overall quality of the speech, that is a sign that there wasn't enough research done by the speaker. What I vote up in terms of content are speeches that show a depth of understanding of the topic by evaluating the wider implications that a topic has for the area/region/politics/etc.
1. Be nice and respectful. If you are highly offensive or disrespectful, I reserve the right to vote you down.
2. Speed is fine, but be clear and slow down in rebuttals. If you go top speed in rebuttals, I will miss arguments.
3. I prefer interesting and creative arguments. I will usually prefer truth over tech and decide on the most cohesive weighed argument. If I don't clearly understand, I don't vote. Tell me how to vote please.
4. If you do what makes you comfortable and throw a voter on it, you'll be fine.
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 [REDACTED]
Rob Glass (he lives on tabroom.com)
Obinna Dennar [REDACTED]
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.
For the most part I am lay, but I there are some priorities for me:
Establishing framework is very important and who can most utilize their value as tool against their opponent. I want debaters to argue why the value should weigh more and/or why it can even solve for their opponents case. I have judged LD before, and I get disappointed when framework arguments fade from the center of the debate because they should be focus of LD.
Impact debate is important and will ultimately decide the round. I need to know why I should not vote for the opponent and why I need to vote for your case. If there is an impact to not voting your case, let me know. Or vice versa tell me there is an impact to voting for your opponent. Impact debate can be won by using impact calculus and using the framework to tell me what why yours is more important.
I will listen and vote for K debate, just make sure the argument presented has a clear link and not just an overall generic link to resolution.
Any questions, you can ask me.
I am typically oriented around policy maker as a judge. The best negative offense for me, are a couple of DAs and a good CP. I expect the DAs to have non-generic strong links. I will mostly evaluate a DA base around the link debate. My only standards for the CPs is that they are creative and can solve for the entirety of the Affirmative case, with a net benefit.
T args: I will only vote for T if it is pretty obvious that the affirmative is not topical, otherwise if they are presenting a common case then T is a time waster for me.
Theory: I do not flow on theory, I think it does not take the debate anywhere.
K debate: I am familiar with Ks, especially Cap, and I would be willing to vote on Ks, as long as they are well represented and are not generically linked to the affirmative case.
Case: Aff just make sure your entire case is defended and upheld.
Impact: A big chunk of my decision will be based on impact debate. So each side please provide an Impact Cal, and I am willing to listen to big and small stick impacts. However, I will have a higher standard for probability for big stick impacts.
If you have any other questions then please just ask me before a round starts.
I am 4 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, as a judge, I don't prefer any particular type of argument over another.
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.
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 someone who isn't as well versed in the position. I am pretty rusty.
I'm not really good at evaluating theory, but I will listen if you slow down and have a very clear ballot story.
If there is a massive skill gap between you and your opponent and you completely steamroll them in a way that is not conducive to their education or betterment (ex: you read 5 off @ 400 wpm vs. a traditional debater who doesn't use cards), expect lower speaks.
First, and most importantly, I am a Black man. I competed in policy for three years in high school at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School; I did an additional year at the University of Kentucky. I am now on the coaching staff at Little Rock Central High School. I have a bachelor's and a master's in Communication Studies and a master's in Secondary Education. I said that not to sound pompous but so that you will understand that my lack of exposure to an argument will not preclude me from evaluating it; I know how to analyze argumentation. I have represented Arkansas at the Debate Topic Selection for the past few years (I authored the Middle East paper in 2018 and the Criminal Justice paper in 2019) and that has altered how I view both the topic process and debates, in a good way. I think this makes me a more informed, balanced judge. Summer '22 I chaired the Wording Committee for NFHS Policy Debate Topic Selection; do with this information what you want.
Include me on all email chains, at firstname.lastname@example.org@gmail.com,please and thank you
I find that many teams are rude and obnoxious in round and don’t see the need to treat their opponents with dignity. I find this mode of thinking offensive and disrespectful to the activity as a whole
I consider myself an open slate person but that doesn’t mean that you can pull the most obscure argument from your backfiles and run it in front of me. Debate is an intellectual game. Because of this I find it offensive when debaters run arguments just run them.
I don’t mind speed and consider myself an exceptional flower. That being said, I think that it helps us judges when debaters slow down on important things like plan/CP texts, perms, theory arguments, and anything else that will require me to get what you said verbatim. I flow on a computer so I need typing time. Your speed will always outpace my ability to type; please be conscious of this.
Intentionally saying anything remotely racist, ableist, transphobic, etc will get you an auto loss in front of me. If that means you need to strike me then do us both a favor and strike me. That being said, I’m sure most people would prefer to win straight up and not because a person was rhetorically problematic, in round.
Update for Online Debate
Asking "is anyone not ready" before an online speech an excise in futility; if someone's computer is glitching they have no way of telling you they aren’t ready. Wait for verbal/nonverbal confirmation that all individuals are ready before beginning your speech, please. If my camera is off, I am not ready for your speech. Online debate makes speed a problem for all of us. Anything above 75% of your top speed ensures I will miss something; govern yourselves accordingly.
Please make sure I can see your face/mouth when you are speaking if at all possible. I would really prefer that you kept your camera on. I understand how invasive of an ask this is. If you CANNOT for reasons (tech, personal reasons, etc.) I am completely ok with going on with the camera off. Debate is inherently an exclusive activity, if the camera on is a problem I would rather not even broach the issue.
I would strongly suggest recording your own speeches in case someone's internet cuts out. When this issue arises, a local recording is a life saver. Do not record other people's speeches without their consent; that is a quick way to earn a one-way trip to L town sponsored by my ballot.
Lastly, if the round is scheduled to start at 2, don’t show up to the room asking for my email at 1:58. Be in the room by tech time (it’s there for a reason) so that you can take care of everything in preparation for the round. 2 o’clock start time means the 1ac is being read at 2, not the email chain being set up at 2. Timeliness, or lack thereof, is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. Too often debaters are too cavalier with time. Two things to keep in mind: 1) it shortens my decision time and 2) it’s a quick way to short yourself on speaks (I’m real get-off-my-lawn about this).
My previous paradigm had a thorough explanation of how I evaluate most arguments. For the sake of prefs and pre round prep I have decided to amend it. When I debated, I was mostly a T/CP/DA debater. That being said, I am open to just about any form of argumentation you want to make. If it is a high theory argument don’t take for granted that I understand most of the terminology your author(s) use.
I will prioritize my ballot around what the 2NR/2AR highlights as the key issues in the debate. I try to start with the last two speeches and work my way back through the debate evaluating the arguments that the debaters are making. I don’t have to personally agree with an argument to vote for it.
Yes I coach primarily K teams but I have voted for T/framework quite often; win the argument and you have won my ballot. Too often debaters read a lot of blocks and don’t do enough engaging in these kinds of debates. The “Role of the Ballot” needs to be explicit and there needs to be a discussion of how your ROB is accessible by both teams. If you want to skirt the issue of accessibility then you need to articulate why the impact(s) of the aff outweigh whatever arguments the neg is going for.
I am less and less persuaded by fairness arguments; I think fairness is more of an internal link to a more concrete impact (e.g., truth testing, argument refinement). Affs should be able to articulate what the role of the negative is under their model. If the aff is in the direction of the topic, I tend to give them some leeway in responding to a lot of the neg claims. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. The aff should spend time on impact turning framework while simultaneously using their aff to short circuit some of the impact claims advanced by the neg.
When aff teams lose my ballot in these debates it’s often because they neglect to articulate why the claims they make in the 1ac implicate/inform the neg’s interp and impacts here. A lot of times they go for a poorly explained, barely extended impact turn without doing the necessary work of using the aff to implicate the neg’s standards.
When neg teams lose my ballot in these debates it’s often because they don’t engage the aff. Often times, I find myself having a low bar for presumption when the aff is poorly explained (both in speeches and CX) yet neg teams rarely use this to their advantage. A good framework-centered 2NR versus most k affs involves some type of engagement on case (solvency deficit, presumption, case turn, etc.) and your framework claims; I think too often the neg gives the aff full risk of their aff and solvency which gives them more weight on impact turns than they should have. If you don’t answer the aff AT ALL in the 2NR I will have a hard time voting for you; 2AR’s would be smart to point this out and leverage this on the impact debate.
If you want toread a kritik of debate,I have no problems with that. While, in a vacuum, I think debate is an intrinsic good, we too often forget we exist in a bubble. We must be introspective (as an activity) about the part(s) we like and the part(s) we don't like; if that starts with this prelim round or elim debate then so be it. As structured, debate is super exclusionary if we don't allow internal criticism, we risk extinction in such a fragile world.
If you don't read a "plan" then all the neg has to do is win a link to the resolution. For instance, if you read an aff that's 6 minutes of “whole rez” but you don't defend a specific action then the neg just needs to win a link based on the resolution OR your impact scenario(s). If you don't like it then write better affs that FORCE the neg to get more creative on the link debate.
If theory is your go-to strategy, on either side, please strike me. I am sick and tired debaters refusing to engage substance and only read frivolous theory arguments you barely understand. If you spend your time in the 1AR going for theory don’t you dare fix your lips to go for substance over theory and expect my ballot in the 2AR. LD, in its current state, is violent, racist, and upholds white supremacy; if you disagree do us both a favor and strike me (see above). Always expecting people to open source disclose is what is driving a lot of non-white people from the activity. I spend most of my time judging policy so an LD round that mimics a policy debate is what I would prefer to hear.
I’m sick of debaters not flowing then thinking they can ask what was read “before” CX starts. Once you start asking questions, THAT IS CX TIME. I have gotten to the point that I WILL DOCK YOUR SPEAKS if you do this; I keep an exceptional flow and you should as well. If you go over time, I will stop you and your opponent will not be required to answer questions. You are eating into decision time but not only that it shows a blatant lack of respect for the "rules" of activity. If this happens and you go for some kind of "fairness good" claim I'm not voting for it; enjoy your Hot L (shoutout to Chris Randall and Shunta Jordan). Lastly, most of these philosophers y’all love quoting were violently racist to minorities. If you want me (a black man) to pick you up while you defend a racist you be better be very compelling and leave no room for misunderstandings.
I came into this activity as a fierce competitor, at this juncture in my life I’m in it solely for the education of the debaters involved; I am less concerned with who I am judging and more concerned with the content of what I debate. I am an educator and a lover of learning things; what I say is how I view debate and not a roadmap to my ballot. Don’t manipulate what you are best at to fit into my paradigm of viewing debate. Do what you do best and I will do what I do best in evaluating the debate.
I am a 2009 honors graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, and received my bachelor's degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. I am a former attorney, and have worked in many cutting-edge fields. I am also a father of two and enjoy gardening and listening to the music in my spare time. I believe that debate is a forum for open communication and dialogue, and that today's debating participants are tomorrow's leaders! I will evaluate your points based upon my personalized system of detailed note-taking, which I have developed during my time as an educator. Also, I'm autistic. I wish you all the best of luck!
Current affiliation: head debate coach at LC Anderson in Austin, TX, Director of PF at NSD-Texas
Prior: John B. Connally High School, TDC, UTNIF LD
Email chain email@example.com; please share all speech docs with everyone who wants them
Quick guide to prefs
Share ALL new evidence with me and your opponents before the speech during which it is read. Strike me if this is a problem. A paraphrased narrative with no cards in the doc does not count. This is an accommodation I need and a norm that makes debate better. I have needed copies of case since I was a high school debater. Even with me complaining about this, it often doesn't seem to make a difference. The maximum amount of speaks you can get if you don't share your constructive with me is 28.4 and that's if you are perfect.
Tech > truth unless it's bigoted or something
Unconventional arguments: fine, must be coherent and developed (K, spec advocacies, etc)
Framing/weighing mechanism: love impact framing that makes sense; at the very least do meta-weighing. "Cost-benefit analysis" is not a real framework. Must be read in constructive or top of rebuttal
Evidence sharing/disclosure: absolutely necessary but i won't ever vote for a disclosure shell that would out queer debaters. I will err toward reasonability on disclosure if there is contact info on the wiki and/or the case is freely shared a reasonable time before round.
Theory: I am gooder than most at evaluating theory but don't read it if you don't know how. Evidence ethics is very very very very very important
Speed: Fine. Share speech docs
Problematic PF bro culture: ew no
Weighing: wins the majority of PF debates, especially link weighing
Default: offense/defense if there's no framing comparison or reason to prefer one method of weighing
Flow: yes, i flow
Sticky defense: no
LARP/topicality/MEXICAN STUFF: 1+
1-off ap, setcol, cap/1nc non-friv theory: 1-2
kant without tricks: 1-2
deleuze/softleft/psycho/non-pess black studies: 2
most other k/nt aff: 3
rawls/non-kant phil/heavy fw: 3-4
queer pess: probably strike
disability pess/tricks: strike if you don't want to lose
TLDR: Share speech docs. I don't default one way or another on most arguments. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Debate is a game, but winning is not the only objective. Line by line debate is important. No new case extensions in 2AR or final focus. Don't insult my (admittedly limited) intelligence. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. Tricks will make me vote against you. I don't disclose speaks, sorry :). I promise I'm trying my best to be nice. LD and policy-specific stuff at the bottom of this doc. I love Star Wars. I will listen to SPARK and most impact turns but I generally believe that physical death is not good. Pronouns he/him/his.
Speaks range: usually between 27 and 29.8. 28.5 is average/adequate. I usually only give 30s to good novices or people who go out of their way to make the space better. If you are a man and are sexist in the space I will hack your speaks.
Note on ableism: It is upsetting for me personally to hear positions advocating unipolar pessimism, hopelessness, or the radical rejection of potential futures or social engagement/productivity by the disabled or especially the neurodivergent subject. Read disability pessimism/abjection get dropped. Read pandering arguments about autism to get me to vote for you get dropped
Post-rounding: If you or your coach are a person who post-rounds after losses, please assume in advance that I am an extreme lay judge and strike me forever. This includes post-rounding in email after rounds. I am autistic and it is psychologically and behaviorally triggering for me. I'll take the blame that I can't handle it, just please don't. I'm fine with you thinking my decision was incorrect; it probably was.
Afropessimism: I will vote you down regardless of any arguments made in the round if you or your partner aren't Black and you read afropess. Watch me I'll do it
I have the lowest threshold you can possibly imagine for well-structured theory argument based on the refusal to share evidence not just with me but with your opponents.
Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. I don't like to intervene, but blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, please notify your opponent. Also see mental health stuff below, which is personally tough to hear sometimes. You do not need to throw trigger warnings onto every argument under the sun, it can be trivializing to lived experience of the people you're talking about. Blatant evidence ethics violations such as clipping are an auto-voter. Try not to yell, please; my misophonia makes unexpected volume changes difficult.
Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I am moody and can be a total jerk sometimes, and I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.
Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, panic, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for me. I am not flexible on this and will absolutely use my ballot to enforce this expectation.
PF: Speed is fine. Framing is great (actually, to the extent that any weighing mechanism counts as framework, I desire and enthusiastically encourage it). Framing should be read in constructive or at the TOP of rebuttal. Nontraditional PF arguments (K, theory, spec advocacies) are fine.
PF Theory: I agree with the thesis behind disclosure theory, though I am less likely to vote on it at a local or buy an abuse story if the offending case is straightforward/common. Disclosure needs to be read in constructive. Don't read theory against novices. I will have a low threshold for paraphrasing theory if the violation is about the constructive and if the evidence isn't shared before the speech. Given speech times, I think it's harder to win on a rebuttal-paraphrasing shell. Don't be afraid to make something a paragraph shell or independent voter (rather than a structured shell) so long as the voter is implicated.
I will always prefer evidence that is properly cut and warranted in the evidence rather than in a tag or paraphrase of it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence and am just *waiting* for some hero to make it an independent voter.. So nice, I’ll say it twice: Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold - if you're shady and there's a shell or implication I am very inclined to vote on it.
DO NOT PERPETUATE THE TOXIC, PRIVILEGED MALE PF ARCHETYPE. You know *exactly* what I’m talking about, or should. Call that stuff out, and your speaks will automatically go up. If you make the PF space unwelcoming to women or gender minorities, expect L25 and don’t expect me to feel bad about it.
I absolutely expect frontlining in second rebuttal, and will consider conceded turns true. I will not vote on new arguments or arguments not gone for in summary in final focus. No sticky defense.
"It's not allowed in PF" is not by itself a warranted argument.
Crossfire: If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I am not flowing crossfire; I am listening but probably also playing 2048 or looking at animal pictures. I don't really care if you skip Grand, but I won't let you use that practice as an excuse to frontload your prep use then award yourselves extra prep time.
Speed: Most rates of delivery are usually fine, though I love clarity. If you are not clear, I will say "clear" once. Slow down on tags and analytics for my sake and for your opponent's sake, especially if you don’t include your analytics in the doc. For online debates, the more arguments that are in the doc the better. I will listen to well-developed theoretical or critical indictments of spreading, but it will take some convincing.
Kritik: I have a basic understanding of much of the literature. Explain very clearly why I should vote and why your opponent should lose. For me, "strength of link" is not an argument applicable to most kritik rounds - I ask whether there is a risk of link (on both sides). Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned. "Don't weigh the case" is not a warranted argument by itself - I tend to believe in methodological pluralism and need to be convinced that the K method should be prioritized. A link is *not* enough for a ballot. Just because I like watching policy-oriented rounds doesn't mean I don't understand the kritik or will hack against them. If you link to your own criticism, you are very unlikely to win. I believe the K is more convincing with both an alternative and a ballot implication (like most, I find the distinction between ROB and ROJ somewhat confusing).Please be mindful and kind about reading complicated stuff against novices. It is violent and pushes kids out of debate.
Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument. My abuse threshold on friv shells is much higher. I will not ever vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless their appearance is itself violent). I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff and am more likely than not to hold the line on allowing US/big-ticket affs in most Nebel debates. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious. Don't abuse theory against inexperienced debaters. A particularly egregious example would be to read shells in the 1AC, kick them, and read multiple new shells in the 1AR. Underviews and common spikes are fine. No tricks.
Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy, phil, K, performance, but see my pref guide above for what I am most comfortable evaluating. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing absent a distinct strategic reason to do so. I think TJF debates are interesting, but I seldom meet frameworks that *can't* be theoretically justified. Not sure if there's a bright line other than "you need to read the justifications in your constructive," and I'm not sure how good that argument is. I don't enjoy permissibility triggers, but I understand them and will vote on them.
LARP: My personal favorite and most comfortable debate to evaluate. Plans, counterplans, PICs, disads, solvency dumps, case turns, etc. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm very skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced - my threshold for voting on severance bad is very low. Impact turns are underutilized, but don't think that means I want you to be bigoted or fascist. Cap/heg good are fine. I'm very skeptical of warming good but will vote for it. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and no one should ever pref me under any circumstances, LARPers ought to consider preffing me highly.
Condo: Fine. Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter. I am more likely to entertain condo bad if there are multiple conditional advocacies. More likely to vote on condo bad in LD than policy because of time/strat skew. One conditional advocacy is generally ok to me and I need a clear abuse story - I almost never vote for condo bad if it's one conditional counterplan.
Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Reading disclosure at locals is silly. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped with 25 speaks; I don't care if it's part of the method of your advocacy. If you're super experienced, please consider not being terrible about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. I won't vote on disclosure theory against a queer debater for whom disclosure would potentially out them. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I listen to theory about it. In my opinion, the best form of disclosure is open-source speech docs combined with the wiki drop-down list. Please include me on email chains. Even if you don't typically share docs, please share me on speech docs - I can get lost trying to listen to even everyday conversation if I'm not able to follow along with written words. Seriously, I have cognitive stuff, please send me a speech doc.
Flex prep: Fine in any event. More clarity is good.
Performative issues: If you're a white person debating critical race issues, or a man advocating feminism against a woman, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea. "Perf con good" arguments had better make a metric ton of sense.
I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks. If the framing debate is absolutely impossible to evaluate (sadly, it happens), I will try to figure out who won by weighing offense and defense under both mechanisms.
I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing. Ido like interp flaw arguments as defensive theory responses in the 1ar
I don't vote against a "traditional" value debater because they're "less progressive" or "less cool" or whatever. Every person in our community has value. PUN INTENDED! That said, I am what you’d call a “technical” judge and if a debater concedes something terminal to the ballot, it’s probably game over. If you’re a traditional debater and the field is largely circuit debaters, your best bet to win in front of me is probably to go hard on the framework debate and either straight-turn or creatively group your opponent’s arguments.
Warrant all arguments in both constructives and rebuttals. An extended argument means nothing to me if it isn't explained. “They conceded it” is not a warranted argument.
New for 2022: I'm getting older and I don't judge policy regularly anymore; I need you to slow down just a tick
I was a 2A-1N in the 90s, and began my judging/coaching career strictly in policy debate. Most of this doc is LD-specific, because that's the pool to which I'll generally be assigned. Most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. I am most comfortable evaluating topical affirmatives and their implications, but I am a very flexible judge and critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate and I will happily vote for TFW if it's well-argued and won. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate (meaning overarching framing mechanisms, not T-Framework) is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it. Excessive prompting/feeding during speeches may affect speaks, and I get that it's a thing sometimes, but I don't believe it's particularly educational and I expect whomever is giving the speech to articulate the argument. I am not flowing the words of the feeder, just the speaker.
Everyone: please ask questions if I can clarify anything. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.
Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust sets me off. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.
Eric He -
Better than most for cp theory
Slightly neg on condo when equally debated
Kritiks are ok
Affs should probably be topical but will still vote for affs that do not have a plan text - I belive fairness is an impact
Wipeout and/or spark is :(
for LD -
really quickly - CP/DA or DA or CP+some net benefit = good, K = good, T/Condo = good, phil = eh, tricks = bad
I am a policy debater. That means I am ok with speed, and I much prefer progressive debate over traditional LD. Bad theory arguments are :( - that means stuff like no neg fiat
Offense defense risk analysis will be used
solvency is necessary
T is not a rvi
yes zero risk is a thing
please be clear
please do line by line
stop asking if i disclose speaks
also speed reading blocks at blazing speed will get you low speaker points, debating off your flow will get you good speaker points
if i have to decide another round on disclosure theory i will scream
EMAIL CHAIN: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do not call me judge - Henderson - no Mr/Ms just Henderson. This is what I am most comfortable with.
Please share speech docs with me, your opponent in a timely manner. If it get long, your speaks drop. I've been saying for a couple years now that I cannot physical handle the top debaters speed any longer. I will not backflow or flow from doc. This is an oral activity so adjust. I am very expressive in round and you should have no issue discerning if I am with you or not. For me it is definitely that my pen times needs more time, so look periodically and you should be fine.
The older I get the more triggered I find I am when someone spreads unnecessarily. If you using speed to increase clash - awesome! If you are using it outspread your opponent then I am not your ideal judge. I can understand for the AC but I think a pre-round conversation with your opponent is both helpful and something as a community we should attempt to do at all time.
If you do not adjust or adapt accordingly I will give you the lowest speech possible. If this is a local, I am likely to vote against you - TOC/State - you will likely get the ballot but again lowest speaks possible.
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 not considerate of their opponents prep will irritate me quickly (read: very bad speaks).
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 debated very well and should only be used after you sought to have an actual conversation with your opponent prior to the debate. I am very persuaded by contact info at national tournaments - put up contact info and any accomodations you need - it makes for a safer space.
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. Access trumps all! If you do not make the method clear you are not doing well. 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 I truly love a good method debate, I do not enjoy people who present methods that are not explicit and full of nothing but buzzwords.
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 how to explain your philosophical basis, awesome. If that is uncomfortable language default to larp. 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 fields 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 that come with justification.
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 a 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 it 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 as described above these are other notes of clarity.
I’m very resistant to 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.
UPDATE FOR GREENHILL: I have not done any topic research so any arguments that rely on a deep understanding of the topic would most likely not work in front of me. That being said, if you explain the logical syllogism and properly articulate your arguments, I should be able to flow them as you would like.
Hi my name is Kartik and I debated for McNeil high school in Austin and competed in LD regularly on the TOC circuit from 2016-2020. I taught at TDC last summer.
I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
I have been coached by Dominic Henderson and Cameron McConway so a good amount of my opinions will be similar to theirs but that being said my 4 years of debating is nowhere near the amount of experience that they have so not everything you read or say will be understandable to me like it would to them
Conflicted for McNeil HS, Westwood AP, and Westwood PM
Short Version for Prefs:
My senior year I dabbled more into this style of debate and I really like Policy Aff v K debates and similar types.
I really like the idea of K-Affs even though I actually only went for one a couple of times but I typically think they're ok. If there is a T-debate, I think having an expectation of theoretically justifying your practice is not too high of a bar and I should see you doing that but that does not mean that things like impact turning theory are not going to be evaluated but I think coupled with a proper counter interp, it leads to a more fun debate.
All this being said, the ROB is one of the biggest parts of the debate, if I don't have a proper justification for why the K ROB comes before a different framing you make the debate shitty so don't do that.
Literature that I am familiar with: Deleuze, Saldanha, Warren, Wilderson, Set Col, Butler, Ableism, Yancy (a bit)
Literature that I am not familiar with: Foucault, Weheliye, Anthro, Bataille, Glissant
Literature that I will have a very hard time evaluating: Baudrillard, Psychoanalysis literature (my teammate has fully convinced me that psychoanalysis debates get very convoluted in LD debate and has interactions on the top-level rather than creating nuanced debate like it would in policy debate so trying to explain psychoanalysis to me during round will be an uphill battle but I will be open to it)
If what you plan on reading isn't here, then just ask me before round
I went for 1ar theory a lot as a sophomore and junior and probably collapsed to T in 75% of my 2nrs in those 2 years and went for T/FW quite a few times my senior year. There is a very clear and distinct line between frivolous theory and actual theory, I will obviously be as TAB as possible but I will be more lenient towards minimal responses and will probably err on the side of reasonability if the justifications for it are won.
I think disclosure theory is true and I will probably vote on it if it is read. There are a multitude of reasons for why disclosure are good that I think are true that the aff/neg could go for. I do expect that the person who is reading disclosure theory discloses to the level that they want the other debater to do as well i.e. if you're reading open-source disclosure then you should be open-sourcing all your docs. If the debater answering disclosure brings up the fact that you don't disclose but has no screenshots, I will look on the wiki.
This is the style of debate that I was taught by my policy-oriented coach so things like CPs, DAs, and Plan Affs are things that I am very familiar with and went for in most of my rounds so please feel free and don't hold back with these types of arguments.
Please explain the offense that the performance generates for you in round, i.e. why does things like playing a song matter in the round, are things that should be extrapolated if you are going to go for them as offensive reasons to vote for you. If you are reading a performative aff and I do not vote for you, please don't take it as me not caring about your experiences but rather that in the game of debate, your opponent did the better debating and that's just the reality of the activity.
Phil is fine, Rawls and Kant are the phil arguments that I'm the most familiar with and will have a better time evaluating. Regardless of what phil argument you go for, always err on the side of overexplaining just so you make the debate more clear and so I can properly understand what your intended articulation of the argument is.
Tricks are a different story completely, I don't think they're the worst but please make sure you're not just speeding through 15 different spikes with absolutely no warrants.
Things like clipping cards and misrepresenting the evidence are things that are probably problematic and would raise questions but these claims would not be a reason for me to stop the round but rather a reason for me to look at them after the round has finished to see if the way in which the cards were structured have a large implication on the round.
Speed is fine, please be clear and slow down on tags and cites
I default to competing interps, no RVIs, drop the debater, and comparative worlds
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. I have ADHD and will lose focus if the debate has 5+ shells and every single sentence refers to a specific line by line argument. Extremely dense theory debates are not good for me and I will vote on overviews and voting issues, ignoring line by line concerns sometimes. I would not recommend you debate like this infront of me.
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 ton of leeway. If the aff makes a bad 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 (but "Must disclose plantext/framework" is fine)
6) Arguments that exclusively link to your opponents/your identity without structural warrants- 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 fine
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.
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 crap: +.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 did LD at Westwood High School for four years. Put me on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Affiliations: Westwood ('19-'22), DebateDrills Club Team ('21-'22)
I've shortened this paradigm because it was very lengthy, but the full one from the 2021-2022 season can be found here.
1] I am comfortable judging policy-style debates and T/theory debates, though the worse the shell gets, the more unhappy I am. I am comfortable judging phil and kritik debates if they don't get too advanced for my brain (pomo, Baudrillard, existentialism, etc.). I am not comfortable judging tricks debates, and though I will still evaluate those debates, I have great distaste in that debate and my threshold for answering those arguments is much lower than other arguments.
2] I agree with Rodrigo Paramo on evidence ethics and trigger warnings. Detailed specifics for ev ethics is below as well.
3] I think tricks args operate on a sliding scale; I think some tricks are worse than others. For example, calc indicts are fine whereas "evaluate the debate after the 1AC" is horrendous. Likewise I also think indexicals and tacit ballot conditional are horrendous arguments for debate. If you're not sure whether an argument is too tricky to read in front of me, err on the side of caution, or just email me pre-round.
4] I believe in open-source disclosure. I think most disclosure arguments that go beyond this are bad (contact info, round reports, actual tournament name, etc.).
5] I give speaks based on how far I believe your performance would get you at the tournament I'm judging at. I tend to average around a 28.5. Yes I will disclose speaks if requested.
6] I require much more explanation for arguments than you think I do. Many 2AR's that I've judged go for a 3-second argument in the 1AR that I did not catch/have an understanding for, and many 2NR's that I've judged blitz through overviews of the theory of power/philosophical position that I cannot keep up with. Either slow down or be clearer in explanations.
7] Slow down please, especially in online debates. You will not be happy with my RFD if I don't catch something because you're blitzing too fast.
8] I am extremely visually expressive. I know it's hard during online debate to see my face when you're reading through a doc, but you should almost always be able to tell if I like something/find something confusing.
9] I don't know anything about this topic. Err towards overexplaining and try not to use too many acronyms.
I perceive the following to be cheating (or check Rodrigo's paradigm):
- Cards starting or ending in the middle of a paragraph, or leaving paragraphs out (yes this includes the "they continue" stuff
- Miscutting evidence
- Misrepresenting the date of evidence
I would much prefer debaters stake the round on evidence ethics claims. I will notice clipping without debaters pointing it out, though you should still do so to make it easier for me. If there is an evidence ethics violation, it will result in the offending debater getting an L 25. If there is not a violation, the accusing debater will get an L 25.
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. Make sure you address all parts of the T should your opponent decide to run it.
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.
Been involved with the game in some way since 2008, do as you wish and I shall evaluate it in the way that I feel requires the least interference from myself.
Put me on the chain please: email@example.com, for the most part I do not look at the documents other than some cursory glances during prep time if a card intrigues me. I still may ask for specific cards at the end of the debate so I do not need to sort through each document, I appreciate it in advance.
I believe that debate is a communication activity with an emphasis on persuasion. If you are not clear or have not extended all components of an argument (claim/warrant/implication) it will not factor into my decision.
I flow on paper, it is how I was taught and I think it helps me retain more information and be more present in debates. Given that I would appreciate yall slowing down and giving me pen time on counterplan texts and theory arguments (as well as permutations).
The most important thing in debates for me is to establish a framework for how (and why) I should evaluate impacts. I am often left with two distinct impacts/scenarios at the end of the debate without any instruction on how to assess their validity vis-à-vis one another or which one to prioritize. The team that sets this up early in the debate and filtering the rebuttals through it often gets my ballot. I believe that this is not just true of “clash” debates but is (if not even more) an important component of debates where terminal impacts are the same but their scenarios are not (ie two different pathways to nuclear war/extinction).
While I think that debate is best when the affirmative is interacting with the resolution in some way I have no sentiment about how this interaction need to happen nor a dogmatic stance that 1AC’s have a relation to the resolution. I have voted for procedural fairness and have also voted for the impact turns. Despite finding myself voting more and more for procedural fairness I am much more persuaded by fairness as an internal link rather than terminal impact. Affirmative’s often beat around the bush and have trouble deciding if they want to go for the impact turn or the middle ground, I think picking a strategy and going for it will serve you best. A lot of 2NRs squander very good block arguments by not spending enough time (or any) at the terminal impact level, please don’t be those people. I also feel as if most negative teams spend much time reading definitions in the 1NC and do not utilize them later in the debate even absent aff counter definitions which seems like wasted 1NC time. While it does not impact how I evaluate the flow I do reward teams with better speaker points when they have unique and substantive framework takes beyond the prewritten impact turn or clash good blocks that have proliferated the game (this is also something you should be doing to counter the blocktastic nature of modern framework debates).
It would behove many teams and debaters to extend their evidence by author name in the 2NR/2AR. I tend to not read a large amount of evidence and think the trend of sending out half the 1AC/1NC in the card document is robbing teams of a fair decision, so narrowing in and extending the truly relevant pieces of evidence by author name increases both my willingness to read those cards and my confidence that you have a solid piece of evidence for a claim rather than me being asked to piece together an argument from a multitude of different cards.
Prep time ends when the email has been sent (if for some reason you still use flash drives then when the drive leaves the computer). In the past few years so much time is being spent saving documents, gathering flows, setting up a stand etc. that it has become egregious and ultimately feel limits both decision time and my ability to deliver criticism after the round. Limited prep is a huge part of what makes the activity both enjoyable and competitive. I said in my old philosophy that policing this is difficult and I would not go out of my way to do it, however I will now take the extra time beyond roadmaps/speech time into account when I determine speaker points.
I find myself frustrated in debates where the final rebuttals are only about theory. I do not judge many of these debates and the ones I have feel like there is an inevitable modicum of judge intervention. While I have voted for conditonality bad several times, personally my thought on condo is "don't care get better."
Plan-text writing has become a lost art and should invite negative advocacy attrition and/or substantive topicality debates.
Feel free to email or ask any questions before or after the debate. Above all else enjoy the game you get to play and have fun.
Competitor-- Winston Churchill (2008-2012)
Past: Jenks (2012-2015) Reagan (2015-2017)
Currently: Texas (2017-present) Winston Churchill (2018-Present)
I debated LD for Strake Jesuit for 4 years and broke at the TOC my senior year.
1 - LARP/Phil/Theory
2 - Tricks
3 - Everything else
I mainly read LARP, Phil, and theory when I debated.
I debated a lot of Ks but I didn't read many Ks and am not familiar with the lit, so if u want to read one make sure u explain things well.
I'll try to be as tab as possible and will evaluate any arguments. Tech > truth. If ur spreading, please be clear.
If you know you won the round already, please end the speech.
If u want to add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debated for Winston Churchill High School in LD and some policy. Debate at UT Austin in policy. Camps worked at: VBI, Baylor, UTNIF.
Please have the email chain ready as soon as both opponents meet before the round.
I'm pretty open to whatever you want to do and am very open to questions considering my paradigm.
A few thoughts:
- I like debates that are about the topic. Even if it is slightly tangential to the topic, I'm open to it. Find debates filled with vacuous theory arguments or paragraphs of spikes/preempts are not in my interest.
- Don't look much at the doc unless necessary. I'm only flowing the words that you speak.
- Please slow down when reading analytics. Many speed through them and I am unable to catch every word.
- I'm pretty expressive. My face is probably a good indicator of where the debate is going.
- If I'm absolutely unsure of what is going on/no arguments have been made, I'm most likely going to err neg.
- It may not seem like it, but I pay close attention to CX and auto to CX being binding.
PF/LD in HS, now a UT policy debater (2A/1N).
PSHS '20, UT '24
Conflicts: Plano Senior HS (Plano, TX), Jasper HS (Plano, TX), Clark HS (Plano, TX)
email@example.com (Email for email chain)
Judges who I largely agree with:
Pref Sheet for all Events (1 is highest, 5 is lowest)
1 - LARP/theory
2 - K
3 - phil
4 - tricks
5 - K aff, performance
Theory - DtA, Reasonability, RVIs*
Presumption/Permissibility flows neg
Policymaking in the absence of a RotB and Utilitarianism in absence of an alternative framework
Note that these are just what I default to in the absence of arguments made for any of these issues, if any arguments are made on these I will obviously evaluate them.
*Check theory section if you do CX Debate
As a general note, my favorite rounds to judge are really solid LARP/theory/K rounds, but don't worry if that's not your strat because I'm fine with anything as long as you do a really good job of it. Good flow-oriented debate will always beat grandstanding and not flow-oriented debate.
TLDR if you are pressed for time: Debated policy style (CP, DA) and a little bit of K. Do your strat and I will do my best to evaluate it.
- +0.5 speaks for disclosure on the NDCA wiki before round with proof
- just because you have a piece of evidence doesn't mean it has a warrant - make sure each card you provide in any speech has sufficient warranting
- second rebuttal should frontline offense in the first rebuttal
- defense isn't sticky in summary
- summary and final should ideally mirror each other
- weigh, weigh, weigh! good weighing will reward you in round
LARP - favorite style of debate. I really like smaller affs and specific case debate. I think 2+ CPs are pushing it on condo in LD. I don't really have a predisposition to any DA so run them all. Good weighing in the 2NR/2AR is a good way to get my ballot in a LARP round. Finally, please extend case in the 2AR if you want me to evaluate it at the end of the round. If case was conceded in the 2NR, a small 2AR extension at the top of the 2AR will suffice.
Theory - I prefer more fleshed out arguments rather than blips. I would also like you to go a little slower through analytics and on the interp text/counterinterp text. I will vote on disclosure theory but I think there is a difference between someone not disclosing at all and someone not adhering to every single little interp you have. I also probably won't evaluate disclosure on novices, people who clearly don't know what it is or people who can prove in a verifiable way that their school policy prevents it. Other than that, I don't have any strong preferences on theory but I will say the bar to responding to friv theory is much lower. Good standard weighing and clear abuse stories are easy ways to get my ballot in a theory round. *CX Specific - theory/T are not RVIs, so don't try it.*
T - I only really ask that you have a TVA/caselist with any topicality argument or I will err more on the aff side of topicality. Other than that, anything is fine.
Tricks - I mean, I guess you can but I won't be too thrilled about it. Just delineate them, err on the side of overexplaining the arguments (like don't be blippy) and be up front in CX. Also, reading them on a novice or trad debater will cap your speaks at 27. I will not vote off condo logic - its a terrible argument (tbf all tricks are terrible but this one just is worse than the rest).
Phil - I'm familiar with Kant, Rawls, Hobbes and virtue ethics at a basic level but assume I don't know your lit and err on the side of overexplaining what the framework is and how the offense links under it.
K - I've only really read cap and security as a debater so assume I don't know your lit so err on the side of overexplaining the theory of power in the 2NR. I really like well done K debates, so please don't forgo the line-by-line for overarching overview answers and shallow explanations of the arguments that regurgitate buzzwords, that will make me sad. Including examples to explain the theory of power and/or alternative are also good. I also like specific links to the 1AC, generic links are fine but specificity will always better your chances of winning and/or getting good speaks.
K affs/performance - I don't really know the ins-and-outs of this style of debate too well because I never really debated in this style, but I will say I tend to lean on the neg side of T-framework just because I ended up on that side in a lot of debates.
History: Debated for Reagan HS for 4 years in LD. Ran a lot of Ks, mostly setcol/coloniamlism/coloniality based towards the end of my career.
Cool with: Most things! Ks, DAs/As, CPs, PICs, performance, critical (kritikal?) affs, or good old case debate. Not a K-hack, will not be biased in your favor just because you run a K.
Not cool with: Spreading all the way through a theory shell. I honestly didn't run a lot of theory as a debater, so if you are planning to win solely on a shell, please do not go spreading through your competing interp and violations. I also haven't heard a Kant NC run in a viable competitive manner yet and I'm slightly confused that it seems to be gaining more popularity in HS debate (not the traditional case with a deontology-oriented value/criterion). Also, don't be toxic, don't be rude, make sure your opponent is fine with spreading, etc.
Zoomer tings: My mic is a little feedbacky, and I'm sorry about that. For the sake of connectivity, I will probably be videoless, and might ask you to repeat something if the audio completely dips. If the latter is the case, it will be on you and your opponent to verify that when I ask someone to repeat something, they do not read new information. Also, minor, but I do flow on paper and like to have overviews and signposting occurring.
Timing: I'll keep track of prep (I'm cool with flex prep if both parties are comfortable), but knowing me, that may not be the case for speeches and CX. Please be sure to time yourself and your opponents to ensure no timehogging.
Speaks: My baseline is a 28, and I subtract half-points thereafter for clarity of speech/args and/or misbehavior. I award higher than a 28 for clever arguments and analytics. Overall, I tend to prefer quality of arguments more than the optics of debate, such as clarity of speaking, vocal tone, etc.
Most importantly, have fun! The goal in debate is often phrased as winning the round and getting points, but the educational impacts of the activity, the discussions you have in the space, and the people you meet are what stick with you long-term. I know that sounds slightly basic, but so am I, sadly.
TLDR (im judging you and you have no idea who I am)
put me on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln Park (CDL) 2016-2020
University of Kentucky 2020-present
I do not tolerate card clipping
i have a processing disorder, I can keep up but its in your best interest to reduce your speed by about 10-15% and/or send analytics in the speech document. You won't lose for not doing these things, but I can't vote for you if I don't know what you said.
IF MY CAMERA IS OFF I AM NOT READY - ALWAYS CHECK TO MAKE SURE I AM PRESENT BEFORE YOU START
decrease your speed by like 15-25% to account for the inevitable unreliability of online stuff.
Experience on the NATO topic: I judged some debates at camp and debated on the college topic. I would not say that I am familiar with a lot of acronyms though.
Read whatever you want to read - i'll do my best to evaluate all arguments without bias.
I do K debate now but I read a plan for 4 years in high school so I know whats going on.
Tech > truth (mostly) My threshold for truth rises when a debater is even marginally racist/sexist/homophobic -- if you do something messed up but not drop worthy i'll inevitably have a bias against you and I won't feel like keeping it in check.
T is good, theory is good, disads are good, counterplans are good, abusive counterplans are good, saying abusive counterplans are bad is good, Ks are good, K affs are good, framework is good. Everything that is not racist/sexist/ableist/and/or homophobic is probably good.
my voting record on framework is split 50/50. im biased towards the aff on fairness - i have a hard time believing the aff makes debates procedurally unfair. best aff strat --- nuanced counter interp that solves limits and ground or just straight impact turns. best neg strat --- tva + switch side.
K v K debates are cool and you should probably still make a framework argument about how to evaluate the round. i do not care if perms exist or not in a methods debate. convince me.
I AM A VERY BAD JUDGE FOR TRICKS --- READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
i'm a particularly good judge for you if you're a "larp" debater
send your case or 'disclose' as you may say. if you dont i will make you use your prep time to send evidence.
i operate on a offense defense paradigm
do you, but remember to tell me why i should care about what you're saying as opposed to ur opponent.
do line by line, respond to all arguments, and extend all parts of your arguments, split the block on the neg, and narrow down what you go for in the final speeches and you will be golden.
I will only read evidence that has been implicated in the 2nr and 2ar IF the debate is close. Other than that, I think the debating should be left to the debaters in the room, not authors or coaches who cut the cards.
If you read a great piece of evidence but can't explain the warrants and your opponent reads a mediocre piece of evidence and can, I'm more likely to side with your opponent.
Most points I give are in the 28.3-29 range. I don't give below a 28 unless you barely made arguments and I will never give below a 27.5 unless you've done something egregious. If you get above a 29 i was impressed.
Card clipping = -.5 for every offense
being overly rude or threatening = -1 for every offense
the phrase "cold conceded" = probably will lose like -.2
"judge" = MASSIVE REDUCTION (wont actually affect speaks but pls call me lauren, judge is too formal & makes me uncomf)
it is perfectly fine if you disagree with my decision, there are times when the debate is close and i end up writing multiple ballots before I decide and I pick the one that makes the most sense to me.
I am okay with questions and statements of disagreement, (ie -- but lauren what about this argument? but if you look at it this way doesn't it warrant an x ballot?) but I draw the line when it gets to the point where I've repeatedly explained my reasoning and you still do not give up. No matter how compelling of a post round argument you make for why I am wrong, I likely won't run to tab to get the ballot changed because I trust my own judgement. If it gets to that point, I will simply ignore you and if the other team has finished asking questions I will leave.
Preferred chain title: Tournament Name R# [aff team name] vs [neg team name] Ex -- Gonzaga R4 Kentucky MW vs NU DF
If you only have one card to send, I actually prefer that you send it in the body. 3 or more cards should have a doc.
i make a lot of faces while judging, sorry if that bothers you, but you can tell a lot about what I think of your argument by watching me.
Jenn (Jennifer) Miller-Melin, Jenn Miller, Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Melin, or some variation thereof. :)
Email for email chains:
If you walk into a round and ask me some vague question like, "Do you have any paradigms?", I will be annoyed. If you have a question about something contained in this document that is unclear to you, please do not hesitate to ask that question.
-Formerly assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate at Hockaday, Marcus, Colleyville, and Grapevine. Currently assisting at Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School.
I was a four year debater who split time between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage High Schools. During my career, I was active on the national circuit and qualified for both TOC and NFL Nationals. Since graduating in 2004, I have taught at the Capitol Debate Institute, UNT Mean Green Debate Workshops, TDC, and the University of Texas Debate Institute, the National Symposium for Debate, and Victory Briefs Institute. I have served as Curriculum Director at both UTNIF and VBI.
In terms of debate, I need some sort standard to evaluate the round. I have no preference as to what kind of standard you use (traditional value/criterion, an independent standard, burdens, etc.). The most important thing is that your standard explains why it is the mechanism I use to decide if the resolution is true or false. As a side note on the traditional structure, I don't think that the value is of any great importance and will continue to think this unless you have some well warranted reason as to why I should be particularly concerned with it. My reason is that the value doesn't do the above stated, and thus, generally is of no aid to my decision making process.
That said, debates often happen on multiple levels. It is not uncommon for debaters to introduce a standard and a burden or set of burdens. This is fine with me as long as there is a decision calculus; by which I mean, you should tell me to resolve this issue first (maybe the burden) and that issue next (maybe the standard). Every level of analysis should include a reason as to why I look to it in the order that you ask me to and why this is or is not a sufficient place for me to sign my ballot. Be very specific. There is nothing about calling something a "burden" that suddenly makes it more important than the framework your opponent is proposing. This is especially true in rounds where it is never explained why this is the burden that the resolution or a certain case position prescribes.
Another issue relevant to the standard is the idea of theory and/or off-case/ "pre-standard" arguments. All of the above are fine but the same things still apply. Tell me why these arguments ought to come first in my decision calculus. The theory debate is a place where this is usually done very poorly. Things like "education" or "fairness" are standards and I expect debaters to spend effort developing the framework that transforms into such.
l try to listen to any argument, but making the space unsafe for other bodies is unacceptable. I reserve the right to dock speaks or, if the situation warrants it, refuse to vote on arguments that commit violence against other bodies in the space.
I hold all arguments to the same standard of development regardless of if they are "traditional" or "progressive". An argument has a structure (claim, warrant, and impact) and that should not be forgotten when debaterI ws choose to run something "critical". Warrants should always be well explained. Certain cards, especially philosophical cards, need a context or further information to make sense. You should be very specific in trying to facilitate my understanding. This is true for things you think I have read/should have read (ie. "traditional" LD philosophy like Locke, Nozick, and Rawls) as well as things that I may/may not have read (ie. things like Nietzsche, Foucault, and Zizek). A lot of the arguments that are currently en vogue use extremely specialized rhetoric. Debaters who run these authors should give context to the card which helps to explain what the rhetoric means.
One final note, I can flow speed and have absolutely no problem with it. You should do your best to slow down on author names and tags. Also, making a delineation between when a card is finished and your own analysis begins is appreciated. I will not yell "clear" so you should make sure you know how to speak clearly and quickly before attempting it in round.
I will always disclose unless instructed not to do so by a tournament official. I encourage debaters to ask questions about the round to further their understanding and education. I will not be happy if I feel the debater is being hostile towards me and any debater who does such should expect their speaker points to reflect their behavior.
I am a truth tester at heart but am very open to evaluating the resolution under a different paradigm if it is justified and well explained. That said, I do not understand the offense/defense paradigm and am increasingly annoyed with a standard of "net benefits", "consequentialism", etc. Did we take a step back about 20 years?!? These seem to beg the question of what a standard is supposed to do (clarify what counts as a benefit). About the only part of this paradigm that makes sense to me is weighing based on "risk of offense". It is true that arguments with some risk of offense ought to be preferred over arguments where there is no risk but, lets face it, this is about the worst type of weighing you could be doing. How is that compelling? "I might be winning something". This seems to only be useful in a round that is already giving everyone involved a headache. So, while the offense/defense has effectively opened us up to a different kind of weighing, it should be used with caution given its inherently defensive nature.
Theory seems to be here to stay. I seem to have a reputation as not liking theory, but that is really the sound bite version of my view. I think that theory has a place in debate when it is used to combat abuse. I am annoyed when theory is used as a tactic because a debater feels she is better at theory than her opponent. I really like to talk about the topic more than I like to wax ecstatic about what debate would look like in the world of flowers, rainbows, and neat flows. That said, I will vote on theory even when I am annoyed by it. I tend to look at theory more as an issue of reasonabilty than competing interpretations. As with the paradigm discussion above, I am willing to listen to and adjust my view in round if competing interpretations is justified as how I should look at theory. Over the last few years I have become a lot more willing to pull the trigger on theory than I used to be. That said, with the emergence of theory as a tactic utilized almost every round I have also become more sympathetic to the RVI (especially on the aff). I think the Aff is unlikely to be able to beat back a theory violation, a disad, and a CP and then extend from the AC in 4 minutes. This seems to be even more true in a world where the aff must read a counter-interp and debate on the original interp. All of this makes me MUCH more likely to buy an RVI than I used to be. Also, I will vote on theory violations that justify practices that I generally disagree with if you do not explain why those practices are not good things. It has happened a lot in the last couple of years that a debater has berated me after losing because X theory shell would justify Y practice, and don't I think Y practice would be really bad for debate? I probably do, but if that isn't in the round I don't know how I would be expected to evaluate it.
Finally, I can't stress how much I appreciate a well developed standards debate. Its fine if you choose to disregard that piece of advice, but I hope that you are making up for the loss of a strategic opportunity on the standards debate with some really good decisions elsewhere. You can win without this, but you don't look very impressive if I can't identify the strategy behind not developing and debating the standard.
I cannot stress enough how tired I am of people running away from debates. This is probably the biggest tip I can give you for getting better speaker points in front of me, please engage each other. There is a disturbing trend (especially on Sept/Oct 2015) to forget about the 1AC after it is read. This makes me feel like I wasted 6 minutes of my life, and I happen to value my time. If your strategy is to continuously up-layer the debate in an attempt to avoid engaging your opponent, I am probably not going to enjoy the round. This is not to say that I don't appreciate layering. I just don't appreciate strategies, especially negative ones, that seek to render the 1AC irrelevant to the discussion and/or that do not ever actually respond to the AC.
Debate has major representation issues (gender, race, etc.). I have spent years committed to these issues so you should be aware that I am perhaps hypersensitive to them. We should all be mindful of how we can increase inclusion in the debate space. If you do things that are specifically exclusive to certain voices, that is a voting issue.
Being nice matters. I enjoy humor, but I don't enjoy meanness. At a certain point, the attitude with which you engage in debate is a reason why I should choose to promote you to the next outround, etc.
You should not spread analytics and/or in depth analysis of argument interaction/implications at your top speed. These are probably things that you want me to catch word for word. Help me do that.
Theory is an issue of reasonability. Let's face it, we are in a disgusting place with the theory debate as a community. We have forgotten its proper place as a check on abuse. "Reasonability invites a race to the bottom?" Please, we are already there. I have long felt that theory was an issue of reasonability, but I have said that I would listen to you make arguments for competing interps. I am no longer listening. I am pretty sure that the paradigm of competing interps is largely to blame with for the abysmal state of the theory debate, and the only thing that I have power to do is to take back my power as a judge and stop voting on interps that have only a marginal net advantage. The notion that reasonability invites judge intervention is one of the great debate lies. You've trusted me to make decisions elsewhere, I don't know why I can't be trusted to decide how bad abuse is. Listen, if there is only a marginal impact coming off the DA I am probably going to weigh that against the impact coming off the aff. If there is only a marginal advantage to your interp, I am probably going to weigh that against other things that have happened in the round.
Grammar probably matters to interpretations of topicality. If one reading of the sentence makes sense grammatically, and the other doesn't that is a constraint on "debatability". To say the opposite is to misunderstand language in some pretty fundamental ways.
Truth testing is still true, but it's chill that most of you don't understand what that means anymore. It doesn't mean that I am insane, and won't listen to the kind of debate you were expecting to have. Sorry, that interp is just wrong.
Framework is still totally a thing. Impact justifying it is still silly. That doesn't change just because you call something a "Role of the Ballot" instead of a criterion.
Util allows you to be lazy on the framework level, but it requires that you are very good at weighing. If you are lazy on both levels, you will not make me happy.
Flashing is out of control. You need to decide prior to the round what the expectations for flashing/emailing are. What will/won't be done during prep time, what is expected to be flashed, etc. The amount of time it takes to flash is extending rounds by an unacceptable amount. If you aren't efficient at flashing, that is fine. Paper is still totally a thing. Email also works.
Eric Mueller Judging Philosophy
I debated in college and was a collegiate debate coach for 15 years. I was research assistant at Guyer High School for five years.
Generally I like you to tell me how I vote. I have no natural hatreds for any argument although I am not high on tricky theory or standards debates. Otherwise I see myself as about as tabula rasa as you can get. I mean that. Tell me how to vote and on what argument and I will genuinely evaluate it. And I am willing to vote on almost anything.
I like evidence debates where people pull out warrants from cards and I like the last speaker to explain why the other side loses and they win. Think offense. I like debaters who demonstrate their intelligence by understanding their arguments. I like to have fun too. So enjoy yourself.
I give pretty good speaks I think. 29s and above in solid debates. I always disclose.
That's the short form.
I can be convinced to be a policy maker with some exceptions. Default mode of policy making is policy advantages weighed against risks of disadvantages and consideration given for counterplans and possible solvency deficits. Multiple CPs can be irritating but also at times strategic. Obviously advantage CPs can be an exception.
I read evidence. I like comparisons of the quality of evidence compared to the other team. Not just qualifications, but unanswered warrants in the evidence. Take the time to pull warrants out of the cards and explain them. It will go a long way here. Explain why your evidence should be preferred.
I also like you to take the time to explain specifically how you think you win. Put the whole round together in a quick "story." How do you want me to view it? Compare it the other team's "story." Tell me how this is taken out and that outweighs this. It makes it easier for me to frame your approach as I decide. Give me some "big picture analysis." Don't just get mired down in line by line. I don't need 4 minutes of overview or "canned" overviews. Make specific to what is occurring in this debate round. Otherwise, it's boring.
Put me on your email chain. My email address is email@example.com
I also often break with the conventional format. I am willing to vote for kritikal negative and affirmative arguments. So, yes. I will vote for your kritikal affirmative. In fact, I would prefer the negative debate about the offense the affirmative advocates rather than a constant resort to framework debate. That said, I will also vote negative on framework against kritikal cases. However it often comes down to an impact debate that many negatives are not very prepared for and the affirmative is usually very prepared to debate. I am always looking for something new.
It is the job of the negative to explain how K functions with respect to affirmative solvency. I think that needs to be hashed out in more specific ways than I often see occur. How do advantages with short time-frames factor into the question of whether to vote on K first? It is more clear for me with things like settler colonialism than it is with Marxism, for example. But don't assume. Take the time to explain. Make the reason it comes first very clear. How does the K undercut their turns? Be specific. Use examples. Don't make it just a non-unique disadvantage with a floating pic alternative. Sell it.
I also think there are reasons why there might be advantages left for the affirmative even given the criticism provided by the K. I think sometimes more specific affirmative evidence proves the plan can still have advantages to weigh vs. K impacts (as in Marxism) especially when the time frames are quick. Why does K come first? Has that been explored?
Framework against critical cases:
I also believe that it is necessary to answer clearly case claims by critical affirmatives that answer the voting criteria on framework. Think of framework as the disad, and case arguments as solvency that allows the framework disad to outweigh the case. Framing matters. I think "competitive equity" as a standard against critical affirmatives is often untenable for the negative. Focus more on the nature of voices and representational aspects of the need for grammar. Think semiotics. That makes voting negative on T easier in these cases. You need offense, not just terminal defense. T must be framed as offense against the case.
Quickly worded "Do both" or "Do plan and K" sometimes leave me confused as to what the world of the perm really looks like. Take the time to frame your perm for me clearly. How does it take out CP/K? How does it interact with the link to any net benefit? On the negative, hold the affirmative to clearer explanations of how the perm functions. Confusion for me usually breaks negative in the presence of a net benefit.
I’m not a big theory guy. I understand theory but I don’t like voting on it. I will if necessary.
All in all, I’m a quality of argument person. Focus more on making quality arguments rather than quantity. Kick out of stupid things early and focus on what you want to win in the block. I have a tendency to allow new explanations of old arguments in the rebuttals and love a crafty 2AR.
i competed in policy debate for 4 years and debated on the national circuit.
put me on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
***i flow on paper. when reading topicality, theory, or framework arguments, please slow down. if i don't flow an argument, it's because you did not articulate it clearly.***
-- topicality --
i generally default to competing interpretations, but most certainly can be persuaded otherwise. have thorough explanations of the internal link and impact - repeating the phrase "they explode limits" 5 times tells me nothing.
-- counterplans --
good counterplan debates are great to watch. explain why the counterplan is distinct from the affirmative and why it solves. aff specific counterplans are always better than generic ones.
-- disadvantages --
have impact analysis and comparison of internal links. turn case arguments are important and underutilized. always answer the framing debate. there should be comparison between models of decision making. surface level, tag-line phrases about extinction being irreversible aren't enough to persuade me to value extinction first, especially when aff teams have well warranted framing args - the 2nr needs a clear, warranted link story, particularly true with politics disads because the evidence is notoriously shallow
-- kritiks --
for neg teams reading the k: no large overviews, i'd rather have that explanation done on the line by line. regarding framework, i generally default to weighing the aff. framework on the kritik is a link-framing argument. i need warrants why your interpretation/model of debate/role of the ballot is preferable and/or resolves the affirmative's offense. why should i utilize your framing as the lens through which i make my decision?
have specific links to the aff. even if you read a generic piece of link evidence, you can still utilize the warrants in that evidence and contextualize it to rhetoric or action of the 1ac. if you're making an ontology claim, i won't just vote on ontology - you still need a link to the aff. you should make arguments as to why the links turn the case.
i'm not familiar with a majority of kritik literature, so don't assume that i know what you're talking about. please explain your theory/thesis. buzzwords are vague and don't actually articulate the implication of your argument. i need to know what the alternative is, what it does, and why is the ballot necessary. arguments about why the alternative resolves the impact of the affirmative are always useful. generally i think you need an alternative in the 2nr, but can be convinced that you don't - just explain why
***no death good/death inevitable args -- i don't find those arguments persuasive at all***
aff teams debating the k: far too often i think affirmative teams are too defensive and aren't prepared to defend why the aff is good. have reasons why discussions about the 1ac and its content are good for debate. framework interpretations along the lines of "neg should read a competitive policy option" are not that strategic or compelling. make sure you're responding to the negative's specific framework standards.
the 2ac should line by line each link argument; waiting till the 1ar will put you behind in the debate. don't group the all of links. saying "their ev is not specific to the affirmative" is also no a sufficient response. you should address the argument made by their evidence and explain why the aff doesn't say/do that. please explain what the permutation is and how it functions. have warranted analysis as to why the permutation resolves the negative's offense.
-- k affs/performance/framework --
i'm more inclined to vote for framework but can definitely be persuaded to vote against it. i need to know what your model of debate looks like and how that compares to their model of debate.
neg teams: just like with topicality, have a well-developed internal link and impact explanation. fairness is probably more of an internal link to education than its own impact, but you should make the argument that fairness is an intrinsic good. you'll likely need a tva otherwise aff arguments about why you exclude their education become more convincing.
aff teams: i'd prefer that the 1ac would have a close connection to the topic. i need to know what the 1ac means and what it does. if the speech act of the 1ac is significant, why? why does the ballot have a causal influence on that?
-- theory --
what specifically did your opponent do? why did that make it structurally more difficult for you to debate? new affs bad and aspec are 2 arguments in debate i never want to vote for. please slow down when you're reading theory.
-- for LD debaters --
everything i said above about how i evaluate policy debates applies to LD too.
i don't like a lot of the theory stuff that y'all do. if you must go for theory, like any other procedural argument, have a well-developed internal link and impact explanation. i won't vote on an RVIs. they don't make sense, and you shouldn't be punished for reading a theory argument.
-- for PF debaters --
at the beginning of the round, the team speaking first should start an email chain. both teams should email out your entire case before your first constructive speech. in speeches after the first constructive, send out all the evidence you read *again before the speech* -- the amount of time wasted after/in between speeches asking for and sending evidence is ridiculous -- if you don't flash evidence, that will be reflected in your speaker points
-- last updated for the Longhorn Classic 2022 --
I debated at Lake Travis High School for 4 years (2015-2019). I did mostly LD, but have some experience in PF, Policy, and even Congress. I debated TFA, UIL, NSDA, and TOC circuits. I ran a lot of queer theory, ableism, and LatCrit.
Put me on the email chain email@example.com
You can run whatever you want but don't think that because I'm an LD judge I will hack for theory or other progressive arguments. If anything it is a strong uphill battle because you will have so little time to flesh out a shell. If you think genuine abuse occurred you are better off just saying that on case than trying to read a full shell.
I need the summary and final focus to write my ballot for me. Tell me what you are winning and why it outweighs. If you don't do these things then I will have to try to figure it out myself and you are less likely to like my conclusion than if you just tell me how stuff breaks down.
You can go moderately fast but if you are just trying to go fast to scare/keep your opponent from engaging you won't get good speaks.
Refer to the speaker point scale and procedural things below, most of it still applies to PF.
Be nice and have fun!
I will vote on anything as long as I get a clear explanation of it, but frivolous theory/tricks will be a steep uphill battle for you. I did mostly K debate, but I am well experienced in LARP, Theory, and traditional stuff as well. I won’t hack for you just because you read a K. Impact everything to a framing mechanism. I like to have a very clear explanation of what argument operates on what layer of the debate. If you go over 350 wpm you run the risk of me missing arguments. I’ll say slow/clear/fast/loud twice before it affects your speaks. I give speaks based on strategy, but being polite is a side constraint. Be nice and have fun!
I did circuit debate, so I have a decent understanding of speed, that being said slow down on important texts, analytics, and dense T/Theory analysis. If you flash me evidence I don’t care how fast you read the evidence as long as you aren’t clipping. I probably cap out around 350-400 wpm, so I might miss things over that. If you make a winning argument at that speed and I miss it, that’s your fault, not mine.
Note: I’m ok with 1AR K’s, but for convenience I will use neg speech titles
This was my favorite kind of argument to read in high school, but for that reason it is wise to ensure you are familiar with any K lit before you read it in front of me. I will judge based on how you articulate the argument, but I might look frustrated when you say incorrect things. I have a MUCH better understanding of identity K’s than high theory stuff, but both need to be clearly explained by the end of the 2N. I feel iffy about PIKs in general, if you want to read a PIK in front of me make it clear why perm doesn’t solve in the NC. To vote on K’s I need a clear link, impact to a framing mechanism, and a thorough explanation of the alt. If you wind up kicking the alt and going for the K as a linear DA, I will hold the link explanation to a higher standard.
Note: I’m ok with 1AR theory, but for convenience I will use neg speech titles
I have a strong understanding of how T/Theory functions, but I didn’t read it much, so if you are going for nuanced/ specific offense make your analysis twice as clear as you normally would. I will definitely vote if I see clear abuse, but frivolous theory will likely get an eye roll and higher expectations of what your analysis has to accomplish. I think in-round abuse outweighs potential abuse. If you go for norm-setting arguments it will be harder or you to win the theory flow (You need to win why you winning this particular round will set a norm). I will always look to paradigm issues before I analyze what happened on the T/Theory flow proper, so don’t waste your time going for a shell if you are gonna concede drop the argument. I DO NOT like a 1AR collapse to RVIs. If this is your best option in a round, go for it but I will be bored and sad.
I have a complicated relationship with tricks. I guess I would vote for them if they are conceded, but you won’t get very high speaks because I don’t think that there is much educational value to debates that come down to “They conceded the B subpoint of the second justification of the 5th presumption spike.” That’s gross.
Basically if you want me to vote for tricks that are piffy and serve no purpose other than to confuse your opponent, I’m not down. If you supplement tricks with something more in depth go for it.
The only scenario in which I will drop you for tricks is if your opponent has a disability that is explained and you STILL go for tricks after that explanation is made.
If I am going to vote on a DA with no advocacy associated I need a strong explanation of a solid link and an impact to a framing mechanism with reasons why it outweighs. I don’t think there is much else to say here.
I like interesting counterplan debates, meaning that the more nuanced/fleshed out your CP the better. I think it is important that the CP text itself makes sense and isn’t a paragraph long. PICs are ok but please make them distinct enough from the affirmative to keep the debate interesting (like actor changes are fine but delay/consult Cps make me sad). I need a net benefit, solvency advocate, and an extended CP text to vote on it. A conceded perm is damning so don’t concede perms please.
My understanding of philosophical frameworks is pretty average. I have a good grasp on Kant, Hobbes, Butler, and other common stuff, but if you are going beyond the normal stuff, that’s fine but PLEASE explain it clearly. Regurgitating buzzwords will make me go “>:( .” As long as I can use your framework as an impact filter, you’re good. I do, however have an ethical problem with tricky framework for the sake of being tricky for the same reason I think Tricks debates aren’t educational. To clarify, if you can’t explain the framework to a fifth grader in the time of cx, it’s too tricky. Also, if your framework justifies morally reprehensible things and you defend those things, I won’t vote for you and your speaks will suffer.
Although I did a lot of circuit debate, I still really appreciate a good value/criterion traditional debate. Framework analysis is much more important in traditional debates, but I don’t think reading a counter framework is necessary. However, I want every impact to be contextualized in terms of some criterion/standard. If you don’t articulate why your impact outweighs your opponent, I will have to intervene and then no one will be happy.
30-29 Seriously impressed
29-28 Pretty good, you should break
27-28 Some glaring strategy issues
27-25 Your strat was DOA or you said something overtly problematic or mean
25-0 You were so rude/ problematic that it made the debate feel unsafe
- If you make me think about the debate space/society in a different/enlightening way I will slightly inflate your speaks
Here are my defaults, the lower on the list they are the less time it needs to change my mind
- Role of the ballot is the highest layer of framework
- Case can be cross applied to T/Theory
- No RVIs
- Drop the argument
I do NOT have a default for layering offs (K before T, etc) so you NEED to do this analysis in front of me
I am generally tech/truth unless you are just lying (like saying that global warming isn’t real)
I will be disappointed/drop speaks if you do this
- Not clearly answering cx questions (especially status of advocacies and what layer comes first)
- Are occasionally rude (sass is ok, but teasing is not)
- Not giving content warnings before possibly triggering arguments are made
I will drop you if you do this
- Say or do anything explicitly exclusionary
- Act egregiously rude or blatantly mean towards your opponent (if you don’t know if what you do is ‘egregious’ or not it probably is)
i debated LD and policy in high school, graduating in '13. this is my 5th year coaching @ greenhill, and my first year as a full time debate teacher.
- i coached independent debaters from: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18);
- team coach for: westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now);
- program director for dallas urban debate alliance ('21-'22)]
i would like there to be an email chain and I would like to be on it: firstname.lastname@example.org. would love for the chain name to be specific and descriptive - perhaps something like "Tournament Name, Round # - __ vs __"
I have coached debaters whose interests ranged from util + policy args & dense critical literature (anthropocentrism, afropessimism, settler colonialism, psychoanalysis, irigaray, borderlands, the cap + security ks), to trickier args (i-law, polls, monism) & theory heavy strategies.
That said, I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, and thoroughly enjoy 6 minutes of topicality or framework 2nrs [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell.
I am a bad judge for highly evasive tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not think about analytic philosophy / tricks outside of debate tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace for me to process and understand all the moving parts. This is true for all styles of debates - the rounds i remember most fondly are one where a cap k or t-fwk were delivered conversationally and i got almost every word down and was able to really think through the arguments.
i think the word "unsafe" means something and I am uncomfortable when it is deployed cavalierly - it is a meaningful accusation to suggest that an opponent has made a space unsafe (vs uncomfortable), and i think students/coaches/judges should be mindful of that distinction. this applies to things like “evidence ethics,” “independent voters,” "psychological violence," etc., though in different ways for each. If you believe that the debate has become unsafe, we should likely pause the round and reach out to tournament officials, as the ballot is an insufficient mechanism with which to resolve issues of safety. similarly, it will take a lot for me to feel comfortable concluding that a round has been psychologically violent and thus decide the round on that conclusion, or to sign a ballot that accuses a student of cheating without robust, clear evidence to support that. i have judged a lot of debates, and it is very difficult for me to think of many that have been *unsafe* in any meaningful way.
7 things to know:
- Evidence Ethics: In previous years, I have seen a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence. My longer thoughts on that are available on the archived version of this paradigm, including what kinds of violations will trigger this, etc. If you are uncertain if your evidence is miscut, perhaps spend some time perusing those standards, or better yet, resolve the miscutting. Similarly, I will vote against debaters clipping if i notice it. If you would like me to vote on evidence ethics, i would prefer that you lay out the challenge, and then stake the round on it. i do not think accusations of evidence ethics should be risk-less for any team, and if you point out a mis-cutting but are not willing to stake the round on it, I am hesitant to entertain that argument in my decision-making process. if an ev ethics challenge occurs, it is drop the debater. do not make them lightly.
i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.
- I do not believe you can "insert" re-highlightings that you do not read verbally.
please do not split your 2nrs! you will be far likelier to win if you develop one flow for the 2nr, and will be served poorly by the attempt to go for every 1nc arg in the 2nr. In principle, this is also true for your 2ARs. if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it i think that likely means the 1nc arg is underdeveloped.
Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if a card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. I think you should highlight your evidence to make claims the author has made, and that those claims should make sense if read at conversational speed outside of the context of a high school debate round.
i do not enjoy being in the back of disclosure debates where the violation is difficult to verify or where a team has taken actions to help a team engage, even if that action does not take the form of open sourcing docs, nor do i enjoy watching disclosure theory be weaponized against less experienced debaters - i will likely not vote on it. if a team refuses to tell you what the aff will be, or is familiar with circuit norms but nothing on their wiki, I will be more receptive to disclosure, but again, verifiability is key.
topicality arguments will make interpretive claims about the meaning or proper interpretation of words or phrases in the resolution. interpretations that are not grounded in the text of the resolution are theoretical objections - the same is true for counter-interpretations.i will use this threshold for all topicality/theory arguments.
Finally, I am not particularly good for the following buckets of debates:
Warming good & other impact turn heavy strategies that play out as a dump on the case page
IR heavy debates - i encourage you to slow down and be very clear in the claims you want me to evaluate in these debates.
Bad theory arguments / theory debates w/ very marginal offense (it is unlikely i will vote for theory debates where i can not identify meaningful offense / where the abuse story is very difficult for me to comprehend)
Identity ks that appropriate the form and language of antiblackness literature
affs/nc's that have entirely analytic frameworks (even if it is util!) - i think this is often right on the line of plagiarism, and my brain simply cannot process / flow it at high speeds.
tldr: I will evaluate every argument and attempt to be as impartial as possible. I am fine with speed, theory, Kritiks(although I haven't read much lit other than antiblackness/afropess), and virtually any other argument. I am a firm believer that debate is a game so if an argument brought by your opponent is morally repugnant you will have to prove why this is the case as I will not intervene.
T: I love good T debates, don't go for blip T args please. If your gonna read T explain why the definitions are important to the context of the round and give me reasons to prefer. I also evaluate T before K but can change if you tell me why.
Util: read a lot of this in high school. am cool with util and LARP args, will default to extinction outweighs unless told otherwise.
Theory: went for this a lot in high school. I will vote on pretty much any theory arg as long as it is well warranted. I am a firm believer in disclosure, but will vote against disclosure theory if provided with reason to do so.
RVIs - default to RVIs
Default to CIs, can do reasonability if convinced otherwise.
Ks - am fine with them, although the only Ks I'm really familiar with are cap and antiblackness/afropess. Please explain what the alt means and how it solves the aff if it does, often times debaters through buzzwords and hope that I know what the alt means. I am fine with alts that require a rejection of the aff as long as there is a pedagogical reason to do so.
Please add me to the email chain. My email is email@example.com.
I have been judging on the national circuit intermittently for the last 3 years for my daughters. In the last two years I have judged VLD (most often prelims and once a bid round) and VPF rounds, primarily the LD. I am a parent judge. Please go slowly, be persuasive, and avoid using debate-jargon.
I really enjoy cross examination and have been known to vote off of it. Be sure to make eye contact. I appreciate professionalism (being on time, being respectful, etc). I award speaker points based off of communication skills.
I do not fully understand high level arguments (kritiks, theory etc). I would prefer if you had more arguments rather than focusing on one idea. This doesn't mean just read several random cards, but 2-3 contentions or advantages will be much better than 1 off K.
Have fun and be nice! Thanks!
Anya, Lynbrook '18 Alum and Second Year @ Cal Poly SLO
*updated for CPS new*
^ add me to the email chain. Flashing isn't prep.
Hi! I'm Anya. Currently a second year undergrad @ Cal Poly SLO. Debated VLD at Lynbrook for three years and competed a lot / coached younger debaters and went to camp for three years and all that lol.
But to be frank though, since I'm in college it's been a few years since I've judged varsity LD rounds. So this means if there's new jargon in the VLD community or new progressions that have happened in the last couple of years, i probably don't know them lol so pls don't assume i do. i'm a bit rusty with stuff since like i said it's been a while (just putting it out there to be transparent) but it doesn't mean i won't know wat you're talking about -- as long as you're clear
this also means maybe talk a bit slower especially at the beginning as I get used to spreading / flowing at a decent pace. like i will mention below i'll yell clear a few times like 3 but then stop flowing if you're being obnoxiously fast so plsss dont xd
In general I'll vote off anything as long as you explain it and win it well.
also, I'm comfortable with evaluating both lay and progressive debate (if this wasn't clear!)
PLEASE slow down on tags and author names. My biggest pet peeve is when people spread way too fast and expect me to catch all of it - I'll yell clear three times and then stop flowing. I also personally like when people really explain or emphasize more important arguments rather than just rush through everything.
I'll give higher speaks for impact calc / weighing / smart arguments / strategy / good overviews and really making the round easy for me to decide. I'm not great at flowing so all this would be super helpful :) I try not to tank speaks so DON'T be offensive and be respectful, esp if you're debating a novice or something - I'll tank your speaks if you're gonna be an ass. Don't do it.
I presume neg if squo, if you defend advocacy i'll presume aff. Permissibility flows neg (although you can convince me otherwise)
I will not vote off tricks (especially since i haven't done VLD for a few years lol pls pls pls don't assume i'll be down for some werid tricky debate) + i'll vote off spikes in 1ac only if they're super warranted & well explained and clear!!!
semi strong threshold on extensions. less so if they conceded it, you can just kind of extend / explain if its not that imp, but spend a good amount of time on it if it IS important. just kinda common sense stuff + i give some leeway to the aff bc on the timeskew
I also will increase your speaks if you engage really well with the aff - dont just read 4 off and dont respond or explain links well
i default offense defense and voting on strength of link
disclose! :) and flash pls
By far my favorite type of debate :) I don't believe you have to win uniqueness for a link turn.
Please read CPs with a DA or turns to the aff at least....
you NEED to weigh in these types of debates and i really like evidence comparison / even line by line! I won't vote off defense or terminal defense but i think it does make debates more compelling when people interact with args rather than just read read read :)
really make good extensions and explain the importance of evidence esp in these types of debates. for instance if ur extending a confusing da pls explain it!! dont just say 'extend the link'.
anyway i really like these debates so if you go for them in front of me pls do it well! :)
Theory / T
I think TVA claims on T are really persuasive - give examples of ground you lose and pls make the abuse clear. I default drop the debater, no rvis, and competing interpretations on both T and theory. Going for an RVI on T might be hard in front of me but once again if you think you can convince me otherwise go for it! If you're gonna read a non topical aff be ready to defend it well against T in front of me!
in terms of theory, i think 1ar theory is a super good strat :) tbh i dont love friv theory and i find the abuse really hard to figure out for a lot of these shells ( like spec status, etc) but once again if you think u can explain it go ahead.. just dont expect me to vote for something bc u assume i see the abuse. basically, impact ur args!
also theory / T debates get really messy and i will dock ur speaks if u dont sign post and weigh clearly... pls dont leave me with a CI vs interp debate with no weighing and a bunch of dropped args :( i will not be happy
I really like these types of arguments! Alt and link explanation in the 2nr is super important - especially explain WHAT the link is and how the alternative solves case. I think a lot of K lit is super cool and I def go for these arguments but things like high theory or really dense lit really has to be explained well. I don't feel comfortable voting off things I DON'T understand, so if you read these things you have to make sure you know what you're talking about! don't just read a weird K and don't explain it well especially in the 2nr! I will say though i'm more comfortable with larpy debate than this kind of debate but that being said if you wanna go for this just do it well!!
Phil / FW
I honestly go for util most of the time, so reading things like dense phil is probably not a good idea. aka probably dont do this / dont assume i understand what you're talking about - however, once again, if you can explain it and answer util well go for it. Just don't confuse me. Pls impact and compare offense / warrants and tell me what the aff / neg world looks like!
I did Parli and PF in high school for 3 years. I am a Software Engineer and studied Software Engineering at San Jose State University.
Add me to the email chain before the round starts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Before I begin, I want to credit my friend and debate partner, Vishnu for a very articulate and concise paradigm.
Don't spread. That would be ideal.
It will serve you best to think of me as a deeply experienced flay judge rather than a circuit judge.
Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
I will NOT entertain post-rounding from coaches. This is absolutely embarrassing and if it is egregious I will report you to tab. Postrounding from competitors must be respectful and brief.
I do not view debate as a game, I view it almost like math class or science class as it carries tremendous educational value. I generally dislike how gamified debate has become, especially LD. There are a lot of inequities in debate and treating it like a game deepens those inequities. Progressive argumentation is a practice that big schools utilize to extend the prep gap between them and small schools. Hence, I believe that traditional debate is the MOST educational way to go about this activity.
Your job as a competitor is to make my job AS EASY as possible. The easier you make it, the greater the likelihood of getting my ballot. The less truthful the argument, the more work you have to do to convince me that your argument is true. I am tech over truth generally but I cannot buy egregiously unreasonable arguments. Good warrants and link chains are key to convincing me that your arguments are indeed reasonable.
I'll accept theory on the condition that there's real demonstrated abuse in the round. Norms are fake and breaking norms in most cases is not abuse. I'll go by what is in the explicit CHSSA/NSDA rules. Besides, how do you expect a debater to know about these norms at their first invitational?
I generally dislike theory shells like Nebel or hyperspecific stuff. Like I said earlier, you have to do a lot of work to convince me in these shells that there was abuse so you're better off not going down that route. Not a big fan of disclosure either. I think performance Ks, K Affs, RVIs and tricks are a byproduct of debaters seeking to win this "game" of debate. You win not by utilizing ridiculous strategies but by genuinely convincing me of your argument. You're better off not even going down this route. If you are running a K, explain your author and phil thoroughly. You can't expect me to know your author and what your K is.
Thus, my threshold for progressive debate is high.
Generally in LD, the arguments in which you will have to do the least work to convince me are substance debate and policy debate. I also like how traditional debaters debate philosophy as well. Framework debate is good but I'm not a huge fan of value/VC debate.
In all events, I don't really care about cross since it's an opportunity for you to set up future arguments. I usually know who's won by the second to last speech (1NR in LD and negative summary) so unless the round is particularly close I don’t flow the last speech.
Houston Memorial ’20
Andrewqin02@gmail.com for sdocs
Update for Harvard RR and Harvard: Haven't thought about debate in a really long time; go a LOT slower and explain topic jargon more. I will probably flow using the doc so might miss stuff if you try to randomly extemp tricks or something. To be clear, I do not know this topic in the slightest, nor the core arguments. EXPLAIN WELL!
I competed on the national circuit for three years, qualifying to TOC my junior and senior years. I try to be relatively tab – I will attempt to fully consider any argument that has a warrant as long as the argument doesn’t exclude debaters from the activity (No oppression good). However, I have debate preferences, though I will try not to let those preferences influence my decision-making.
Quick Pref Sheet:
Theory – 1
LARP – 2
Phil – 2
K – 3
Tricks – 4 (I can judge it, but the warranting on these arguments is just atrocious enough that it makes bad decisions much more likely)
· CX is binding – If you say something is Uncondo in CX and kick out of it in the 2NR, if the 2AR points it out, it’s an auto-loss with few exceptions.
· Evidence Ethics Claims (Clipping, Miscutting, etc.) stop the round and the challenging debater must agree to stake the round on it. Whoever loses the challenge gets an L-0.
· I have a higher threshold of warranting on independent voters. You can’t just say something is an “independent voter” for three seconds and collapse to it for 6 minutes in the 2NR. An independent voter needs clear warrants as well as clear reasons why it’s a reason to drop the debater. I am willing to not vote on a dropped independent voter if it had basically no warrant for why it’s a voter in the last speech.
· Lower threshold for 1AR extensions, though I’m a tad skeptical of straight-up new 2AR weighing. Case outweighs and theory vs K weighing should generally be in the 1AR.
· AD HOMS: I really really really don’t like ad hominem arguments that call out x debater for being a bad person out of round. If it’s won, I’ll grudgingly vote on it, but speaks WILL suffer, and I have a low threshold for responses.
· High speaks are received for technical efficiency, strategy, and clarity in spreading.
· Be nice to novices and traditional debaters.
· I don’t consider arguments about speaker points or double wins or going beyond the time given. Any argument past the timer is disregarded, and if you keep going, it’s an L-0.
· Defaults: C/I, Drop the Arg, Fairness/Education are voters, No RVIs
· Friv theory and theory purely for strategy = 100% fine. I heavily prefer theory centered on round and disclosure abuse (spec status, AFC, CSA, disclose round reports, etc) as opposed to theory on clothing or Zoom styles (shoes theory).
· PLEASE WEIGH BETWEEN THEORY SHELLS AND STANDARDS! If there’s no weighing, I’ll default to evaluating on strength of link. I don’t know what it means for the “theory debate to be a wash” if both sides have offense, which means I do not default to presumption or substance if both sides have theory shells that aren’t weighed between.
· I do not default to judge kick if it’s condo.
· Understand most of the traditional LD canon – Rawls, Kant, Hobbes, Locke, Levinas (somewhat), I-Law, Constitution, etc.
· I think I’d be fine in the back of most phil debates, but be sure to explain the phil well. If I don’t understand it, I won’t vote on it.
· Postmodern and critical phil like Semiocap – I probably am not the best at adjudicating these, but I’ll try my best.
· Default epistemic confidence.
· SLOW DOWN ON ANALYTICS AND INFLECT! If I don’t catch a trick, I won’t backflow for you.
· Default: Truth Testing, Presumption/Permiss Negate.
· Explain and weigh the tricks well – The sillier the argument, the lower the threshold for the response. Not a huge fan of blippy aprioris and the like, but if it’s won, I suppose I’ll vote on it.
· Prefer you to be straight-up in CX with tricks.
· I’m familiar with a decent amount of Ks: Queerpess, Afropess, Settcol, some Weheliye, Warren, some Deleuze, etc.
· Overviews are helpful, but please do good line by line work – I won’t cross-apply your overview to every possible argument for you.
· Never really understood these very much but I’ll try my best.
· I prioritize technical ability – This means even if the 1AR and 2AR have good overviews explaining your position, you need to explain how it directly interacts with 2NR arguments.
· If it’s a K v K (anything other than cap) debate, I will probably be lost unless the ballot story is very clear.
I debated at Winston Churchill (SATX) from 2014-2018 in LD and policy.
If you and your opponent are both waiting outside of the room between flights or waiting for me to get to the room etc., please have the email chain ready to send out the 1AC ASAP.
Few important things:
Tech over truth: Technical debaters do all of the work for me and understand how to evaluate arguments as opposed to leaving it up to the truth of an argument which largely relies on my own personal bias.
Don’t try to spread too fast. I was pretty fast in high school. But I also heard a lot of double breathing, gasps for air, wiggling around and not standing still. Overall looks funny and doesn’t make you sound persuasive. Your speaks will suffer.
I am ~generally~ open to whatever and want you to actually be into the debate and not sound robotic or just be reading blocks throughout every rebuttal. Do what you know and are good at. With that being said, here is how I view most arguments.
K affs: I read k affs sometimes. I enjoy them sometimes. That being said, if the 1AC is a riddle of buzzwords with no topic cards I’ll probably just stop flowing. I’m not going to vote on an aff I think you explain poorly. For instance, if your answer to every cx question sounds like “we solve by deconstructing subjectivities” (or something like that idk lol) I’m not going to be compelled to buy your solvency. Additionally, your aff should talk about the resolution, AFFIRM it, and have a methodology that is in line with what the resolution is doing. I’m fine with performances just please make sure it’s relevant to the resolution.
T/Theory: I personally default to evaluating competing interps because reasonability seems arbitrary unless you substantially explain to me why I should prefer reasonability and why that is good. I really like T and think teams need to be going for it way more often. As far as theory goes: condo, vague alts bad, floating piks bad, pics bad are all fair game in front of me. Where I will literally stop flowing are theory shells like: any spike ever, that shell that’s like “the solvency advocate of the k or cp must be the same actor as the aff” etc. Not convinced by RVI's.
Phil: I don’t know anything about phil and feel that high school debaters are very bad at explaining it. The frameworks confuse me and I always feel like there’s literally no offense whatsoever so if you want to read it in front of me you need to be explaining it and impacting out in the same way that a policy aff would be explained. Just because you have some framework from like 1822 that your opponent doesn’t understand doesn’t mean you can just extend that and weird anecdotes without ever talking about the advantages/contentions.
CP’s: You really can’t go wrong with a solid counterplan in front of me. Please slow down on the cp text. Do a good job of explaining how it solves the aff. Clearly explain and articulate how it doesn’t link to the DA. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this but I do: make sure there’s a net benefit to the counterplan.
Disads: Have solid internal links and know how to articulate them clearly so I feel comfortable voting on a risk of the disad. Please get in the habit of doing a substantial amount of impact calc.
K’s: I enjoy them. While I’d rather hear a solid cap debate you can read whatever you’d like in front of me. That being said, there are a few areas where my prior knowledge is pretty limited. I probably don’t know about your new pomo strat. While I get the general theories behind big name authors I won’t be as caught up on the vocabulary of the alternative and stuff like that. So please make sure you are doing a good job of explaining things and NOT RELYING ON BUZZWORDS. Other than that, do whatever.
-Make sure you have good topic links that apply to the aff. I probably won’t vote on your Wilderson 10 card that was cut 4 years ago and is being recycled on every topic. However, if you’re reading older link evidence I will buy it if you know how to extrapolate on how it links to the aff in new creative ways whether it be specific instances of the language in the 1ac or particular moments in the debate.
-You really need to be doing a good job on the framing debate. I think the framing debate is something that is often under covered but it one of the easiest routes to the ballot.
-As far as permutations go, please slow down on the text of them so I am actually able to flow them and keep track of which ones are answered etc. If your opponent “dropped” one of your ten perms I need to have it on my flow before I can vote on it. As for the affirmative, spend your time in the 2ar explaining what the permutation functions as and what the net benefits are. I’m very convinced by policy affs that leverage their access to solving immediate tangible impacts which creates a sequencing question. Use that to your advantage.
-I don’t have any opinion on types of k’s that certain people can read. Just remember to be respectful and as a rule of thumb: read arguments that you actually care about and preferably the ones that you’ve actually read the lit for.
Other: Don’t be condescending to your opponents. I know it gets intense but make sure you maintain a level of civility. Actually answer questions in CX. Don’t just say things like “why not” in response to “why vote aff?” If you’re debating someone that is more traditional or much younger than you be nice and don’t spread at your top speed because that isn’t enjoyable for anyone involved. Other than that have fun!
I am a second year Supply Chain and Iberian Languages and Cultures major at UT Austin. I plan to go to Law School afterwards.
Since I was coached by a traditional coach, I consider myself a traditional judge. For LD I am all about VC. I did progressive debate camps, so I understand Counter plans, theories, etc. I do vote base on my flow.
I am a parent judge and would like debaters to take the following into consideration:
* I will only make decisions on arguments that are understandable to me. So if presenting complex arguments, please try to break them down and explain clearly.
* Please do not speak too fast as it will be harder for me to follow and process your arguments. Speak at a normal conversation pace and keep arguments clear and concise.
I'm essentially a tabula rasa judge in that I will listen to justifications for any paradigm that you can convince me to hold That isn't to say I don't have biases, but I can be convinced to vote against them if you set up standards, win them, and meet them. One bias that I do hold (and it can be overcome) is that I default to seeing myself as judging the resolution up or down. That is to say, if you affirm the resolution, I vote affirmative. So, if you want to, say, run a topical PIC from the negative, you need to tell me why I should write "negative" on my ballot for something that is affirming the resolution.
Speed is fine so long as you are not skipping syllables or slurring your speech. Too many debaters have a tendency do this to gain speed. If you want to go faster than you can anunciate, you do so at the risk of losing me. Slowing down on taglines and citations is always a plus, because I tend to organize my flow around cards (unless you get very theoretical, in which case, I'll switch to line numbers...so number your arguments in this case). It's also a good idea to get louder (and clearer) on phrases within the card that you especially want me to hear. Doing this will ensure your argument gets on the flow in context. Most judges like to hear cards and not just taglines, so we can evaluate source indictments.
I'm evolving on flashing. I once disliked it because I noticed that it made teams stop flowing, and resulted in less line-by-line rebutting. This is an unfortunate habit. I still allowed it because were some teams who managed to handle it just fine. I think reading clarity is also sacrificed when flashing, because there is not the added pressure of having to be understood by your opponent. But you still have to be understood by your judge! Email chains are no better than flashing, by the way, and differ only in that judges are sometimes included in the chain. I tried this once, and I realized that *I* stopped flowing! It's not to say that I don't like being in on an email chain (so I can look at it during prep), but if you send me briefs, I will still not flow with them.
On the other hand, teams who flash look more critically at their opponents' evidence and are less likely to accept the tagline as an accurate description of what the card says. Even though all of the above problems are real, this new critical way of assessing evidence makes it worth it to flash. So, flash away, but don't let that stop you from flowing!
This paradigm works for CX, LD and PF, but I should add that
1) in LD, I am sympathetic to suggested paradigms that flow from the resolution. For instance, if a resolution includes a call to action, a plan makes more sense. If it doesn't, then not so much. I can be convinced to shift this bias, but you must tell me why.
2) in PF, I tend to think more like a lay judge, since that is the spirit of the event. I will be evaluating speaking skills and your ability to make logical arguments more broadly persuasive to a reasonable (but lay) audience. That isn't to say I won't follow the flow if you get technical, but I will give you some lattitude to use grouping to buy time for more pathos and ethos.
My email address is email@example.com
Ferris & UM
This paradigm contains plagiarism but is mostly original.
Tech over everything. Debate is a game and so competition has a privileged status among other reasons to participate. That said, feel free to make arguments about how we should treat debate differently. After about 200 debates, my voting record has me as right leaning in clash debates. (I no longer have a massive neg bias.)
I will do my best to be technical. I’ll flow and decide the debate through an offense/defense paradigm. I'm extremely unlikely to abandon the conventions of technical debating (concessions are true, new arguments are illegitimate, and so on). That said, I am willing to give generous berth to sweeping judge instruction arguments, provided they have a clear algorithm and at least some normative defense. This goes for flagging arguments as new, voting issues, whether or not I should read evidence, how strict I should be in evaluating a claim, etc. I am not invested in how any particular debate goes down and when I read other paradigms emoting about how some practice or another is unacceptable, I get weirded out. I would enjoy a debate where teams stipulate unusual things for the sake of novelty.
Technical debate is procedural and therefore content-agnostic. Any qualification to "tech over truth" is a violation of that maxim, because either the facet in question is a part of the flow, in which case it is not actually a caveat, or it is not, in which case voting on it is indefensible IMO. (Evidence quality is not intrinsically part of the debate if I can't hear the internals of the card, but spin is.) That is an idealization: I am not the best flow (which I know takes the ethos out of my aggressiveness about 'tech over truth,' but it is our unfortunate reality), although I try hard. But my aspiration is technical judging, and ideally error will be uncorrelated. Some arguments are better than others (and so will tend to win when given equal treatment, hence all that follows), but that is different from giving myself leeway to vote or not on things that flatter my whims. This principle is most relevant for arguments that are disreputable or inconvenient--I always find it funny (deflating) when a paradigm asserts something like "the sole determinant of my ballot is the tech"--immediately followed by priggish obstinance to some of the only cases where whether or not a judge is technical actually matters.
Related: I will never be proud that I don't understand an argument. There are right and wrong decisions in varsity debates, and judges can & do fail to deliver the right ones. Elite debaters often have a better understanding of the round than their judges. This is a regrettable but inevitable part of the game. There might be times when I vote for the wrong team b/c I failed to understand, but that's something that I will be embarrassed about (I will not smugly report to you that you "failed to explain," let alone "persuade," although in fairness it is true that sometimes a debater's idea of what happened is too optimistic). And I will always develop at least a working interpretation of what an argument is--I sincerely will try my best.
It is not always possible to recover from an error (i.e., dropping a crucial argument), assuming your opponent does everything serviceably after. Of course, if I miss something that's a problem, and things that are genuinely garbled/obscure do justify answers once they're made transparent.
The rationalizations that judges use to dismiss arguments they don't like are bad: It cannot be that all arguments require a 'claim and a warrant'-- that results in an infinite regress, because all warrants are themselves claims which need warrants, and deciding which claims are brute and do not need justification is supposed to be the point of the standard. A minimum time investment is also arbitrary, in addition to being purely hypothetical (who is timing the splits of anyone's speech?). I am not going to arbitrarily refuse to vote on cheap shots. 'Complete argument,' although it may supposedly refer to claim and a warrant, usually actually doesn't, because usually even blips have warrants. ("ASPEC they didn't voting issue vagueness is unfair" is clearly a 'complete' argument, though anemic.) These sorts of criteria serve only to give judges more degrees of freedom voting for whom they like, which I view as an existential threat to the activity. Instead: An argument is admissible if I understand it. Often implicit warrants are OK ("rising sea levels will cause instability in coastal regions" is technically just a claim) but sometimes explicit warrants themselves need warrants ("ontology is true because of the three pillars"). That's how communication works, and the innate faculty for language is far more accurate than anything post hoc. This is also my standard for whether or not a cross-application is new. Anyway, unwarranted arguments are easily answered by new contextualization, cross-applications, or equally unwarranted arguments.
Recently I've found myself advising losing teams in the post round that they should have gone for extremely bad, dropped blips. An argument being 'bad' ALONE does not mean that I will have a 'high threshold' for voting on it (again, these are weasel words that allow judges to get away w/ voting as is convenient for them, or as they please). Teams still must answer an argument satisfactorily. It is true that practically, 'bad' arguments should be unstrategic b/c they can swiftly be beaten w/ the right arguments, but the other team only benefits if they know the right answers (which they often do, but sometimes do not, especially for arguments w/ a bad reputation). But that's not about thresholds, exactly.... Ineffective arguments do not suddenly become better because I want one argument to win or lose--logically, that is bizarre, and practically, it is a violation of giving each team their due. That said, you should basically never opt to go for some blip/mishandled thing unless you're losing everything else, because they increase variance. If it's not a headshot and the other team complicates it smartly then the round becomes closer to a tossup, which you should only want if the probability that you would win otherwise is really low.
Critical Affs and Framework:
Aff teams should go for impact turns. There are no sacred cows--I am far less likely to agree with aff arguments than the average clash judge, but far more willing to vote for things like "debate bad means it's good that we destroy it" or "no models of debate" or terminal defense to the topic having any value or for such extreme skepticism that I disregard the case or "fairness is bad" for XYZ etc. Cynical and tricky K teams should reach near-competitive-parity with policy teams because of the tactics they have at their disposal--but they must be willing to use those tactics. I am unlikely to be 'moved' or to suspend evaluation of some part of the debate by sincerity or pathos. The 2AC should be a shotgun of things that the neg must answer, and ideally have arguments that are hard to prepare for in advance. Most framework 2NCs literally can ignore most 2ACs and still win, because 2NCs are often very refined and the 2AC generally has few viable arguments (although they could, and this is my point, have enough to make it hard for the neg). The point being that a lot of 2AC arguments that are just wordplay or obfuscation go to 0 very quickly if the neg mumbles the right keywords.
The neg should go for fairness. K teams worth their salt should be able to link turn skills arguments I feel like. I put little stock in the concept of education, and even less in the idea that preparation for a tournament causes it. (That might be a moot point though, b/c few teams are willing to be that extreme). Clash is anti-inevitable because of competitive incentives, which is OK. It is not clear to me that participation in debate is better than what students would do with their time otherwise (same with basketball or reading Stephen King), and I think that if K teams pretend not to care immensely about winning, they are lying. Of course, I have no opposition to arguments made in 'bad faith'--I think I might prefer them.
Straight up policy debate does not resemble the activism (e.g.) Lakey and Heller talk about in any meaningful way. Never understood that one.
Most ways that affs try to 'access' fairness don't make sense--most persuasive is a more radical and bold argument about why competition is bad/irrelevant/should be suspended. It really doesn't feel that hard to zero (or impact turn) neg framework standards, or to have some new creative set of tricks. (That's what excites me about these debates). Or trying to win 'no models' or something a priori. Similarly, middle-of-the-road strategies don't make sense to me. Anyway, if the aff chooses to counter-define words (rather than some meta-interpretation), they must counterdefine or meet all of the words the neg has, or they should lose on jurisdiction. (Of course, the neg never extends this argument.)
DAs don't link to these K affs unless the aff catastrophically fails in CX/admits to them. The neg should probably go for T, or some sort of PIC or PIK. If you can win a link (or competition), then by all means, but I'm not gonna pretend an aff that does nothing somehow collapses US hegemony... (Going for a K is higher variance, but also much better than the heg DA. High theory Ks of common K affs I suspect would be devastating, and mostly lose now for ideological rather than substantive reasons, which I likely will not replicate. I mention PICs b/c they're the sort of thing that should clearly win easily--will the K team competently go for for PDCP?)
Critiques on the Neg:
The best critiques are framework arguments that moot the plan. Second best is some sort of philosophical competition argument. Critiques make little sense when they use the language of causation or are debated like counterplans. Then, arguments like ‘link non-unique’ or ‘perm: doublebind’ becomes unbeatable. I am much better for frameworks that exclude the case (or, alternatively, exclude the K) than most. I will decide the FW debate in favor of one side’s interpretation, not attempt to divine some arbitrary middle ground that splits the difference. Of course, you are free to advocate a middle ground interpretation. Because I think about the K in a competition-centric way, I think that the aff should invest more time in framework, earlier, and I don't mind policy teams going aggressively for "no Ks" from the get go. It's usually at the expense of 2AC cards that are irrelevant anyway.
Again, the K should be a vehicle for tricks. I don't like saying that "the aff probably gets the aff," because really that's just an admission of overt ideological blindness, and clearly false when the neg wins a reason why plan focus is bad while the aff murmurs only about predictability. But it is true that the neg has to find some way of dealing with the case, whether it be an aggressive framework interpretation, or philosophical competition and an alt that fiats everything, or some sort of floating PIK, or link reasons why I should assume the aff is false, or reasons why I should vote for a team independent of whether or not they're winning the flow, etc. Traditional case defense alone probably will not work unless you also deal w/ the uniqueness problem for the links.
I was a K debater in HS (high theory, anthro, Buddhism, also things like cap and security).
Links to the plan do not make sense to me and are impact turned by the aff winning aff outweighs. Links are either something that establishes philosophical competition for an alt that fiats everything, or they are a minimum bar that the neg must clear as it relates to their framework argument. The CLOSER a link is to a DA, the WORSE it is, because it will never be unique. If you are evaluating whether or not an action is good or bad, both its negative (the neg's stuff) and the positive (the aff's advantages) consequences count, which means that you have to win something on extinction o/w. The K needs to be about stuff other than the plan. That is, the aff will basically certainly win if they get the case and the perm.
Aff: If the plan prevents extinction, that's all that needs to be said. Long case overviews against an uncontested extinction impact are unnecessary and therefore a poor use of time. If they don't have anything against the case, I don't even really think you need to go there, at some point on the K you will mention that XOW.
I judge topicality like any other position---offense/defense and competing interpretations. Reasonability is winnable but requires substantial time investment. Reasonability is just the argument that the neg needs to win more offense than the aff does because permitting the neg to win with low margins incentivizes teams to go for T at a higher rate than is desirable (because T is ""substance" "crowdout""). Personally, I don't think T is a worse debate to be had, so the neg should be perfectly willing to impact turn that reason why reasonability would be a desirable standard.... Which particular plan is presented is not relevant (e.g., is it a popular aff). Unless someone makes a robust argument about why I shouldn't be comparing models of debate, things like "we're predictable/core of the topic" are irrelevant and start at zero. Reasonability itself isn't even an argument that we shouldn't use models of debate, just that we should be stricter before resolving in favor of a usurping model.
I don't regard my decision as norm-setting, and it matters little what the 'community consensus' on an interpretation is--both teams must simply be able to articulate why an interpretation is good or not. (I think I am an outlier here?)
I find that it is far easier to win a big limits DA than to win that 'predictability' outweighs it. At the high level, predictable limits should win, but I am usually not impressed by the execution of that argument. It's simply easier to win a big limits DA than explaining why predictable limits outweigh. This is true in other areas too, but debaters seem to overestimate how bad it is to be 'arbitrary.' Interpretations that are best adapted to the idiosyncrasies of debate are hard to find (which makes them few, and therefore predictable) and warrant departure from strict lexical analysis.
Plan text in a vacuum is obviously true. What else would topicality be about, if not the plan? (That is a serious question.) Scare-mongering examples of "[Resolution] by [unrelated mechanism]" lose immediately to counterplanning the unrelated mechanism and reading DAs to the topic as it's been defined. Most critics of PTIV seem not to understand it. The only thing that trumps that is cross-ex. If the aff says in cross-ex "we're the Courts," then clearly I would grant the violation for T-No Courts. The aff should simply say that the most likely implementation is the Courts (or whatever). Relatedly: Normal means is a factual question--if the aff declares that the plan happens in an unrealistic way, the neg has legitimate grounds to disagree, and win how the plan is, in fact, likeliest to happen.
My default is limitless condo. This is a strong default as far as the 1NC and a moderate default for the block. I can be persuaded some egregious behavior--like counterplanning out of a straight turn in the 2NC---is illegitimate, but I’m inclined to lean negative there as well. New affs justify terrorism. Violations are a reason to reject the argument and not the team--provided they're answered minimally...
...That said, I would be receptive to a team going for theory in a technical way, and that team would likely have decent success in many debates, because theory is often answered haphazardly and badly. And when theory is answered especially poorly, the aff can obviously go for the clean kill if they please. At least, doing so will not result in lower points. But in elite, fast policy debates, I'd be surprised if the aff won very frequently by complaining.
7 condo clearly links more to aff offense than 2. One of the most enigmatic opinions I have heard in all of debate, that people at least report to believe, is that the number doesn't matter. It might not matter that much, but are you kidding me?
I would prefer if we default to inserting ev rather than reading it. Although I have now seen it abused, and it probably is unfair to the aff if it's for 1AC cards....
RVIs: Are dumb but also don't warrant random suspension of the law of tech over truth. Losing to an RVI would represent a catastrophic technical collapse by any competent team. Just answer the blip and move on... if you fail that, my sympathy is expensive...
Much better for process and competition-based strategies than most. I don’t share the sanctimonious distaste that many do for plan inclusive or process counterplans. I won’t think a net benefit is bad just because it’s ‘artificial’ and I don’t think a DA/Case 2NR is necessarily better than a counterplan that steals the aff. The neg should go for the argument that maximizes their chance of victory.
If the aff wins PDCP, then my default is that that's how the aff is being done (I won't say "the aff might be this, but it might not be, so I've decided one way"). I won't judge kick it in that case. It's not clear to me if this is controversial or not.
Similar: Vagueness in their text is good to the extent the neg can get away with it, which will probably be completely--debate is a strategy game played to win. I don't really have a satisfactory test in mind for what's too vague or how to handle this stuff, but I'm not going to go rogue and have an irritating self-righteous reaction...
Textual competition alone is a bad standard, but functional alone may or may not be worse than functional & textual.
Judge kick is truthfully obviously OK, and my default. Of course the aff can start a debate about it, but I doubt competent teams will struggle for the right responses.
I don’t understand the moral panic about politics, ‘generic’ DAs, or links to fiat. A disadvantage is just some negative consequence the plan brings about. The nature of that consequence is entirely irrelevant except to the extent it affects the substantive magnitude of the impact. The neg should go for the argument that maximizes their chance of victory. Debate is not about scholarship or learning, and so I do not care if your DA represents "innovative" "research" or not.
Zero risk will probably only be achieved through judge instruction--"below X% risk, you should treat it as 0, for blah blah blah," or else from something similarly mechanical--expired uniqueness or the wrong legal concept or something. Dropped impact defense I guess, but if it's like "warming is not existential," what am I supposed to do w/ that?
Impact Turns/Misc. arguments:
Impact turns--teams going for them, and teams successfully beating them back--are my favorite. This goes for conventional policy impact turns, up to and including those that become reliant on sci-fi and futurism, and it also goes for arguments that are more philosophical in nature (the value of life, etc.). I have (and cherish) a very old-school sensibility about debate, where I want the most outrageous and counterintuitive positions possible vigorously debated. Arguments that will result in a point tax from a lot of judges I will treat as no different than topic mainstays, if not better (in varsity). In virtue of debate being a voluntary competition centered on disagreement, there ought be a much higher premium placed on composure in the face of unpleasant ideas or the entertainment of strange ones, even relative to school classrooms or other extracurriculars, and an expectation that no argument is above refutation. None. It is the procedure of refutation that insures us against and leaves us vulnerable to bad arguments--nothing more or less would be appropriate.
Unconventional arguments are probably an unusually good strategy in front of me: Groupthink within debate (and real life) often stops students & judges from actually understanding positions outside of a very narrow worldview, and so being vulnerable to them. Tricks cause discontent often because teams collapse at answering them and then, like villainous financiers, need to be bailed out by the establishment. Clearly, I am not going to bail them out. That said, I will absolutely lavish points on students who can defend the more traditional positions--that is far more impressive and ultimately, bad arguments cry out for refutation.
Debate suffers from pervasive ideological rot, so much so that rounds have at times begun to verge on surreal. People will treat something as obviously stupid or false meanwhile I feel indifferent and vaguely curious; things taken for granted I often find extremely controversial, and so on. Calling an argument conservative does not answer it (except maybe in some K debates where the impact to being "counter-revolutionary" is already floating around). Scoffing at an argument doesn't answer it, is a waste of time, is at odds w/ what debate should be, disappoints me, etc. Hostility at having to answer an argument IMO is usually b/c you can't, or not nearly as well as you think you should be able to. If you're of one persuasion, you might say that the reason people might argue with you on things you consider obvious or foundational is because they're ignorant, or evil, or are merely pretending. I guess I felt that way when I was 16 too. Nowadays I don't find it hard to fathom whatsoever that smart people have very serious and profound disagreements with me. Anyway, that how hard things are to answer is a function of the the knowledge and preparation and skill of debaters, which is what I am here to assess, so, um, no mercy there.
You don’t need to extend impacts in the 2AC if the 1NC dropped them. Just briefly reference the concession and move on. The same applies to the 1AR, although you should give a quick explanatory sentence that demonstrates you identified the concession and are extending your scenario.
Presumption: Is the procedure for adjudicating a tie. The statement of the plan can be semantically analyzed: "should" refers to there being a reason for action. If the aff is at 0, then there isn't a reason (even if the neg has also failed). Same for why the aff wins if the counterplan is identical to the aff--the government should do the plan in that case (but they shouldn't if there's an opportunity cost.) "Less change" doesn't make sense--there's no reason to assume that change is intrinsically bad, rather than good. This is my default.
What ‘fiat’ means should be debated like any other argument. My default is to assume that fiat entails durable, good-faith passage and implementation of the plan. Willing to hear circumvention tricks.
Plan vagueness: Another thing subject to overheated moral panic. Affs should try to get away w/ everything the neg won't successfully call them on. This is basic strategy.
Stopping a debate will result in either a win or a loss, and if the accusing team fails to produce a PLAUSIBLY MALICIOUS infraction, they lose. So the issue area needs to be something where it's possible to imagine the offending team doing it on purpose, that is, the altered evidence is conceivably an improvement on the original which might confer competitive advantage (missing a paragraph that says something important, fudging dates in situations where that matters, etc.). You don't need to establish that it was purposeful in fact, but trifling concerns (missing a single author, missing ending punctuation, a date being a few years off on a random AT: Nietzsche card) will result in a loss for the accuser. Unless you get to something that you think will clear that standard, the proper remedy is arguing in round (reject the card, etc.) I'm not going to take some affected manner about it unless a team really may've actually cheated, not just miscut a card/been unclear.
I will not unilaterally enforce rules against clipping, but teams proved doing it will lose.
Points & personality:
I like students that care, and care about winning. Kindness is a virtue, it's true, but so is drive, and the nerve to win.
Strake Jesuit Class of 2020 | Texas A&M Class of 2024
If there’s an email chain add firstname.lastname@example.org but if you can, use the file share (it's a lot quicker) and share a PDF instead of a .docx file.
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 fast if the tournament is held online.
-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.
I debated LD for three years for Strake Jesuit (after a brief period in PF). I qualified for TFA State and TOC in LD, and I have instructed at TDC and NSD. I am conflicted with Strake Jesuit. Contact me/add me to docs at email@example.com
You can call me "JP." "James," "Mr. Stuckert" or "judge" are fine but weird to me.
For online rounds:
1. Keeping local recordings of speeches is good. You should do it.
2. If I or another judge call “clear” video chat systems often cut your audio for a second. This means (a) you should prioritize clarity to avoid this and (b) even repeat yourself when “clear” is called if it’s a particularly important argument.
3. I don’t like to read off docs, but if there's an audio problem in an online round, I will glance to make sure I at least know where you are. I would really prefer not to be asked to backflow from a doc if there's a tech issue, hence local recordings above.
4. You should probably be at like 70% of your normal speed while online.
· I aim to be a neutral party minimizing intervention while evaluating arguments made within the speech times/structure set by the tournament or activity to pick one winner and loser for myself. Some implications:
o The speech structure of LD includes CX. Don't take it as prep and don't go back on something you commit to in CX (unless it's a quick correction when you misspeak, or is something ambiguous). I generally flow cx and factor it into speaker points, but arguments must still be made in other speeches.
o The speech structure also precludes overt newness. Arguments which are new in later speeches should be implications, refutations, weighing or extensions of already existing arguments. Whether 2N or 2AR weighing is allowable is up for debate and probably contextual. Reversing a stance you have already taken is newness -- e.g. you can't kick out of weighing you made if your opponent didn't answer it. (Obviously you can kick condo advocacies unless you lose theory.)
o I won't listen to double-win or double-loss arguments or anything of the sort. You also can't argue that you should be allowed to go over your speech time.
o Being a neutral party means my decision shouldn't involve anything about you or your opponent that would render me a conflict. If I were involved in your prefs, I would consider myself to essentially be a coach, so I won't listen to pref/strike Ks. If other types of out-of-round conduct impact the round, I will evaluate it (e.g. disclosure).
o Judge instruction and standards of justification on the flow are very important, and if they are not explicit, I look to see if they are implicit before bringing to bear my out-of-round inclinations. If two debaters implicitly agree on some framing issue, I treat it as a given.
o Evidence ethics: I will allow a debater to ask to stake the round on an evidence ethics issue if it involves: (1) brackets/cutting that changes the meaning of a card; (2) outright miss-attribution including lying about an author's name, qualifications, or their actual position; (3) alterations to the text being quoted including ellipses, mid-paragraph cutting, and changing words without brackets. Besides these issues, you can challenge evidence with theory or to make a point on the line-by-line. For me, you should resolve the following on the flow: (1) brackets that don't change meaning; (2) taking an author's argument as a premise for a larger position they might not totally endorse; (3) cases where block quotes or odd formatting makes it unclear if something is a mid-paragraph cut; (4) not being able to produce a digital copy of a source in-round. If another judge on a panel has a broader view on what the round can be staked on, I'll just default to agreeing it is a round-staking issue.
· Despite my intention to avoid intervention, I am probably biased in the following ways:
o On things like T framework and disclosure I think there is an under-discussed gap between "voting on theory can set norms" to "your vote will promote no more and no less than the text of my interp in this activity."
o I will be strongly biased against overtly offensive things (arguments which directly contravene the basic humanity of a marginalized group). I don’t think it’s prima facie offensive to read moral philosophy that denies some acts are intrinsically evil (like skep or strict ends-based ethical theories) or which denies that consequences are morally relevant (like skep or strict means-based theories). I also don't think generic impact turns against big stick impacts are innately offensive. But I will certainly listen to Ks or independent voters indicting any of those things.
o Speaks: each speech counts, including CX. Strategy and well-warranted arguments are the two biggest factors. My range typically doesn't go outside 28 to 29.5. I adjust based on how competitive the tournament is. I don't disclose them.
o Be polite to novices, even if you can win a round in 20 seconds it’s not always kind to do so. Just be aware of how your actions might make them feel.
o I am usually unpersuaded by rhetorical appeals that take it for granted that some debate styles (K, LARP, phil, theory, tricks) are worse than others, but you can and should make warranted arguments comparing models of debate.
For PF: Speaks capped at 27.5 if you don't read cut cards (with tags) and send speech docs via email chain prior to your speech of cards to be read (in constructives, rebuttal, summary, or any speech where you have a new card to read). I'm done with paraphrasing and pf rounds taking almost as long as my policy rounds to complete. Speaks will start at 28.5 for teams that do read cut cards and do send speech docs via email chain prior to speech. In elims, since I can't give points, it will be a overall tiebreaker.
For Policy: Speaks capped at 28 if I don't understand each and every word you say while spreading (including cards read). I will not follow along on the speech doc, I will not read cards after the debate (unless contested or required to render a decision), and, thus, I will not reconstruct the debate for you but will just go off my flow. I can handle speed, but I need clarity not a speechdoc to understand warrants. Speaks will start at 28.5 for teams that are completely flowable.
2018 update: College policy debaters should look to who I judged at my last college judging spree (69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa) to get a feeling of who will and will not pref me. I also like Buntin's new judge philosophy (agree roughly 90%).
It's Fall 2015. I judge all types of debate, from policy-v-policy to non-policy-v-non-policy. I think what separates me as a judge is style, not substance.
I debated for Texas for 5 years (2003-2008), 4 years in Texas during high school (1999-2003). I was twice a top 20 speaker at the NDT. I've coached on and off for highschool and college teams during that time and since. I've ran or coached an extremely wide diversity of arguments. Some favorite memories include "china is evil and that outweighs the security k", to "human extinction is good", to "predictions must specify strong data", to "let's consult the chinese, china is awesome", to "housing discrimination based on race causes school segregation based on race", to "factory farms are biopolitical murder", to “free trade good performance”, to "let's reg. neg. the plan to make businesses confident", to “CO2 fertilization, SO2 Screw, or Ice Age DAs”, to "let the Makah whale", etc. Basically, I've been around.
After it was pointed out that I don't do a great job delineating debatable versus non-debatable preferences, I've decided to style-code bold all parts of my philosophy that are not up for debate. Everything else is merely a preference, and can be debated.
I strongly prefer to let the debaters do the debating, and I'll reward depth (the "author+claim + warrant + data+impact" model) over breadth (the "author+claim + impact" model) any day.
When evaluating probabilistic predictions, I start from the assumption everyone begins at 0%, and you persuade me to increase that number (w/ claims + warrants + data). Rarely do teams get me past 5%. A conceeded claim (or even claim + another claim disguised as the warrant) will not start at 100%, but remains at 0%.
Combining those first two essential stylistic criteria means, in practice, many times I discount entirely even conceded, well impacted claims because the debaters failed to provide a warrant and/or data to support their claim. It's analogous to failing a basic "laugh" test. I may not be perfect at this rubric yet, but I still think it's better than the alternative (e.g. rebuttals filled with 20+ uses of the word “conceded” and a stack of 60 cards).
I'll try to minimize the amount of evidence I read to only evidence that is either (A) up for dispute/interpretation between the teams or (B) required to render a decision (due to lack of clash amongst the debaters). In short: don't let the evidence do the debating for you.
Humor is also well rewarded, and it is hard (but not impossible) to offend me.
I'd also strongly prefer if teams would slow down 15-20% so that I can hear and understand every word you say (including cards read). While I won't explicitly punish you if you don't, it does go a mile to have me already understand the evidence while you're debating so I don't have to sort through it at the end (especially since I likely won't call for that card anyway).
- Defense can win a debate (there is such as thing as a 100% no link), but offense helps more times than not.
I'm a big believer in open disclosure practices, and would vote on reasoned arguments about poor disclosure practices. In the perfect world, everything would be open-source (including highlighting and analytics, including 2NR/2AR blocks), and all teams would ultimately share one evidence set. You could cut new evidence, but once read, everyone would have it. We're nowhere near that world. Some performance teams think a few half-citations work when it makes up at best 45 seconds of a 9 minute speech. Some policy teams think offering cards without highlighting for only the first constructive works. I don't think either model works, and would be happy to vote to encourage more open disclosure practices. It's hard to be angry that the other side doesn't engage you when, pre-round, you didn't offer them anything to engage.
You (or your partner) must physically mark cards if you do not finish them. Orally saying "mark here" (and expecting your opponents or the judge to do it for you) doesn't count. After your speech (and before cross-ex), you should resend a marked copy to the other team. If pointed out by the other team, failure to do means you must mark prior to cross-ex. I will count it as prep time times two to deter sloppy debate.
By default, I will not “follow along” and read evidence during a debate. I find that it incentivizes unclear and shallow debates. However, I realize that some people are better visual than auditory learners and I would classify myself as strongly visual. If both teams would prefer and communicate to me that preference before the round, I will “follow along” and read evidence during the debate speeches, cross-exs, and maybe even prep.
I like competing interpretations, the more evidence the better, and clearly delineated and impacted/weighed standards on topicality.
Abuse makes it all the better, but is not required (doesn't unpredictability inherently abuse?).
Treat it like a disad, and go from there. In my opinion, topicality is a dying art, so I'll be sure to reward debaters that show talent.
For the aff – think offense/defense and weigh the standards you're winning against what you're losing rather than say "at least we're reasonable". You'll sound way better.
The exception to the above is the "framework debate". I find it to be an uphill battle for the neg in these debates (usually because that's the only thing the aff has blocked out for 5 minutes, and they debate it 3 out of 4 aff rounds).
If you want to win framework in front of me, spent time delineating your interpretation of debate in a way that doesn't make it seem arbitrary. For example "they're not policy debate" begs the question what exactly policy debate is. I'm not Justice Steward, and this isn't pornography. I don't know when I've seen it. I'm old school in that I conceptualize framework along “predictability”; "topic education", “policymaking education”, and “aff education” (topical version, switch sides, etc) lines.
“We're in the direction of the topic” or “we discuss the topic rather than a topical discussion” is a pretty laughable counter-interpretation.
For the aff, "we agree with the neg's interp of framework but still get to weigh our case" borders on incomprehensible if the framework is the least bit not arbitrary.
Depth in explanation over breadth in coverage. One well explained warrant will do more damage to the 1AR than 5 cards that say the same claim.
Well-developed impact calculus must begin no later than the 1AR for the Aff and Negative Block for the Neg.
I enjoy large indepth case debates. I was 2A who wrote my own community unique affs usually with only 1 advantage and no external add-ons. These type of debates, if properly researched and executed, can be quite fun for all parties.
Intrinsic perms are silly. Normal means arguments are less so.
From an offense/defense paradigm, conceded uniqueness can control the direction of the link. Conceded links can control the direction of uniqueness. The in round application of "why" is important.
A story / spin is usually more important (and harder for the 1AR to deal with) than 5 cards that say the same thing.
I generally prefer functionally competitive counterplans with solvency advocates delineating the counterplan versus the plan (or close) (as opposed to the counterplan versus the topic), but a good case for textual competition can be made with a language K netbenefit.
Conditionality (1 CP, SQ, and 1 K) is a fact of life, and anything less is the negative feeling sorry for you (or themselves). However, I do not like 2NR conditionality (i.e., “judge kick”) ever. Make a decision.
Perms and theory always remain a test of competition (and not a voter) until proven otherwise by the negative by argument (see above), a near impossible standard for arguments that don't interfere substantially with other parts of the debate (e.g. conditionality).
Perm "do the aff" is not a perm. Debatable perms are "do both" and "do cp/alt"(and "do aff and part of the CP" for multi-plank CPs). Others are usually intrinsic.
I think of the critique as a (usually linear) disad and the alt as a cp.
Be sure to clearly impact your critique in the context of what it means/does to the aff case (does the alt solve it, does the critique turn it, make harms inevitable, does it disprove their solvency). Latch on to an external impact (be it "ethics", or biopower causes super-viruses), and weigh it against case.
Use your alternative to either "fiat uniqueness" or create a rubric by which I don't evaluate uniqueness, and to solve case in other ways.
I will say upfront the two types of critique routes I find least persuasive are simplistic versions of "economics", "science", and "militarism" bad (mostly because I have an econ degree and am part of an extensive military family). While good critiques exist out there of both, most of what debaters use are not that, so plan accordingly.
For the aff, figure out how to solve your case absent fiat (education about aff good?), and weigh it against the alternative, which you should reduce to as close as the status quo as possible. Make uniqueness indicts to control the direction of link, and question the timeframe/inevitability/plausability of their impacts.
Perms generally check clearly uncompetitive alternative jive, but don't work too well against "vote neg". A good link turn generally does way more than “perm solves the link”.
Aff Framework doesn't ever make the critique disappear, it just changes how I evaluate/weigh the alternative.
Role of the Ballot - I vote for the team that did the better debating. What is "better" is based on my stylistic criteria. End of story. Don't let "Role of the Ballot" be used as an excuse to avoid impact calculus.
Performance (the other critique):
Empirically, I do judge these debate and end up about 50-50 on them. I neither bandwagon around nor discount the validity of arguments critical of the pedagogy of debate. I'll let you make the case or defense (preferably with data). The team that usually wins my ballot is the team that made an effort to intelligently clash with the other team (whether it's aff or neg) and meet my stylistic criteria. To me, it's just another form of debate.
However, I do have some trouble in some of these debates in that I feel most of what is said is usually non-falsifiable, a little too personal for comfort, and devolves 2 out of 3 times into a chest-beating contest with competition limited to some archaic version of "plan-plan". I do recognize that this isn't always the case, but if you find yourselves banking on "the counterplan/critique doesn't solve" because "you did it first", or "it's not genuine", or "their skin is white"; you're already on the path to a loss.
If you are debating performance teams, the two main takeaways are that you'll probably lose framework unless you win topical version, and I hate judging "X" identity outweighs "Y" identity debates. I suggest, empirically, a critique of their identity politics coupled with some specific case cards is more likely to get my ballot than a strategy based around "Framework" and the "Rev". Not saying it's the only way, just offering some empirical observations of how I vote.
add me to the email chain pls: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winston Churchill High School '20 UT '24
In high school, I primarily read K’s so I’m a better judge for k v. k and policy v. k debates. policy v. policy debates are great if that's what you do best!
Tell me how I should evaluate arguments/impacts
K v. K - These debates can get messy so make sure you have aff specific links and solid strat. If you're going to go for the perm, explain why your two theories are compatible.
Policy v. K - Aff specific links are good and give you a much better chance of winning the debate. I’m familiar with a lot of different K literature but make sure your arguments are clear and theories are well explained. The framework debate is extremely important, don’t forget about it.
K aff v. FW/T - Aff should go for whatever arg they feel is best whether that's the impact turn or w/m. Explain why your interp/counter interp is the best for debate. I’m have/will vote on FW/T.
Policy v. Policy - I engaged in these types of debates the least in high school but I know how to evaluate them fine. If this is what you're most comfortable with go for it.
don’t make arguments/comments that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, etc.
do what you do best
My name is Petra (Pay-truh). I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Sociology with a focus in Criminology and have worked in financial crime detection and investigating. Should you feel the need to know my qualifications, I have 9 years of experience with Policy/CX and 7 of PF & LD. I competed in CX in high school, qualified to NSDA 2x, had a TOC bid, placed 3rd at state in CX, was a state quarterfinalist in LD, and have coached CX, LD, PF, and Congress. Affiliations: Cheyenne East (my alma mater) '12-'16, Edmond Santa Fe (individuals) '16-'17, Norman North '18 - present. I have been lucky enough to coach students who have advanced to semi-finals in Congressional Debate at nationals, late out-rounds in LD and PF at nationals, and late out-rounds in LD, PF, and CX at the state level.
That being said - I have had about 8 months off from debate, so bear with me as I may not be not familiar with the literature on current topics. My brain and ears aren't back in debate mode yet :)
I tend to default to policymaking, but my primary evaluation and if no debater has clearly won or told me where and why to vote, I will default to stock issues. If the aff hasn't upheld their obligation of affirming the resolution (or providing a solid case why they shouldn't), I will presume negative. I’m not a fan of vulgarity in-round. Please time yourself. Open Cross is okay, but if you don't engage or talk over your partner your points will reflect that. If you bring spectators, they must be respectful of all competitors and judges.
Speed is fine, I prefer slow on plan/advocacy statements and tags/authors. Use an indicator when switching between tags and arguments. Clarity is key to getting on the flow. I will say clear once, and if I can't decipher you after that your arguments aren't making it on my flow.
In the era of online debate, I suggest recording your speeches just in case of tech difficulties. I will adhere to all tournament guidelines regarding competition and tech issues. Slow down for the sake of mic processing. You probably don't need all 10 DAs. Please try your best to keep your cameras on, I understand this is not always possible.
Policy - My background is in traditional policy debate. I am well-versed in topicality and straight policy, but I will listen to just about anything you can and want to run. I appreciate creativity in debate. Cool with Ks and theory, but I have a high threshold for in-round abuse. Not a fan of plan+ / plan inclusive anything. Tell me where to vote and why.
Cross:It's probably binding, and often underutilized. Make it strategic - analyze the links, perms, make your opponents prove their solvency. If you’re being shifty and don't know what you're talking about, your opponent doesn't know what you're talking about, and I definitely don't know what you're talking about. For the love of all things sacred, don't be a jerk.
CPs: You must have a plan text and a net benefit. Tell me why it's competitive. You should probably have a really good solvency advocate. Full disclosure, I think I have only ever voted for one PIC, I think that a perm makes this a pretty easy win for Aff. I don't believe States CP gets to fiat all 50 states + relevant US territories (unless you have a decent theory shell, in which case go for it).
DAs: I love me some case-specific DA's. Do the impact analysis!! Aff too. For the love of all things holy, please make it a complete argument. I don't love seeing a 10-off 1NC with severely underdeveloped DAs that lack links and UQ.
Kritiks: I have a solid technical understanding of K's but don’t know all theory/philosophy. I'm not a philosophy hack; I won't do the work for you. It's critical that you understand what your advocacy is. If you don't know/understand, I don't want to vote for it. PLEASE don't read a K because you think I want to hear one. I would much rather hear a good, in-depth debate about what you're good at. If your K is about debate being irredeemable and a black hole...consider who your audience is. I've dedicated almost half my life to the activity and understand that it can be made better, so let's put in the work to make it better.
Topicality: Good. Great. I typically default to competing interpretations. It's not (usually) a RVI. Just like anything, read it only if you understand which violation you're reading and if there is clear abuse. You need standards. I have a higher threshold for FXT and XT because of how policymaking typically operates in the real world, but if you feel there is clear in-round abuse, knock yourself out.
Theory: Most of the theory debates I see are bad. That makes me sad - I like theory. I will listen to some well-thought-out theory any day of the week. I will consider any discourse args on reasons to reject a team, so long as their impacted out. Don't be racist/sexist, etc. Not a huge fan of framework debates because I see very few that are good. I tend to vote for world v world and real-world impacts anyway. Neg worlds should probably be cohesive, unless you have a theory shell to backup why not.
Misc: Don't be mean. Don't cheat. I'll call you on stealing prep. If you do it after I call you on it I have no issue auto-dropping you. I don't want to have to read the evidence - you should be explaining it. Post-rounding (asking questions is fine - I will be more than happy to explain my thought process - I'm talking about arguing or bringing up things you should have used to answer but didn't) won't change my ballot but will guarantee you'll get the lowest speaks possible. If you run wipeout, you better have a dang good warrant and dang good framework shell to run with it.
LD:- I did traditional LD in high school. I look for lots of work on the framework debate and framework/case interaction. If you're about progressive debate, that's cool too - but incorporate some semblance of framework or a role of the ballot. I don't want to see a CP, DA or K read with zero interaction with the resolution or aff. Again, don't run a K because you think that's what I want to hear.
PF: See: LD, Policy. Theory is cool, and welcomed, here too. Disclosure/paraphrasing theory - I have a high threshold of abuse here as well. Progressive/fast is cool. Traditional is cool too.
TLDR; If there is no clear reason given for me to vote on either side, I will default to stock issues because it is what I know the best. Does aff meet their minimum requirements of affirmation? Does the negative do their job of negating the resolution/the aff? Do the off-case arguments link? Are alternatives mutually exclusive? Do the alternatives solve the aff? Impact it out. In-round, fiated implementation, and on the flow. For everything. Don't steal prep. If you have any specific questions, please ask! my email for chains and questions: email@example.com
Most importantly, have fun, and be kind to one another! Happy debating! - P :)
Online: In line with many other judges, here are guidelines for how I will deal with connection issues for online rounds.
- Both debaters should record their speeches on a separate device. If this isn't possible for some reason, contact me before the round and we'll work something out. Please don't delete any recordings until AFTER I make a decision.
- You should send this recording if either your opponent or I request it. If you don't have a recording for some reason and we haven't worked out something pre-round, then I will not (and cannot) evaluate any of those arguments.
- If I catch an argument but your opponent doesn't, AND you didn't make a recording, there's no good way of resolving this but I will operate on good faith and be lenient. You should not try to take advantage of this because you have no idea how good my internet connection is.
- In the case where either debater needs to listen to a recording after a speech, I will grant both debaters a total of 1 extra minute of prep time to listen. If this is never an issue then prep time stays as it is.
- Let's be flexible!!! I won't stand for post-rounding over how I handled connection issues.
Lynbrook '18 Columbia '22
I competed in LD for 4 years in high school and qualified to the TOC twice. I did parli for a year at Columbia.
Basic rule is that you should do whatever you want in front of me. In high school I changed styles all the time -- I've gone for heavy LARPing, framework, theory, phil, high theory, performance, you name it. That being said, I won't necessarily understand the particular argument you're reading, so just assume I don't have any background knowledge of anything.
- I will stop the round if either debater makes clear that they are uncomfortable
- I will not look at speech docs unless evidence is called into question, take that as you will
- prep time stops when the doc leaves your computer (send the email, flash drive, whatever)
- tech > truth generally, but I will not vote for something that is categorically false (racism good, 1+1=3, etc)
- I will not vote on an argument thats dropped if there is no warrant or if I didn't flow it
- I am not a fan of tricks because I usually miss them, but I will vote for it if it's on the flow and warranted
- card clipping and other evidence ethics violations (including: not indicating where/when you marked a card) are a loss-20; if you believe your opponent has violated evidence ethics, stop the round for an ethics challenge
Anything is fine, but you should probably lose if your aff doesn't include at least a short util framework. I am more persuaded by a fleshed out impact scenario than a very tenuous disad. The same comments I make below for the K apply here as well. I do not really understand why a "judge kick" makes sense but feel free to explain.
I would like to say I have a decent grasp on most analytic phil and would like to hear something interesting (something interesting ≠ your logical consequence aff with tricks). In general, I find that "moral repugnance" claims hold water, although I do not enjoy it when debaters make dozens of "independent voter" arguments with this idea (a few are okay).
Love good Ks but strongly dislike poorly written ones, although I will vote on it if you win. Know your literature. Give concrete examples of what your impact/alt looks like. If you read a ROB/ROJ, explain why it precludes a normal standard. I don't like it when the debate turns into two people claiming opposing things with no real comparison to back it up. I'm most familiar with Marxist, psychoanalytic, and queer/feminist literature.
I will vote on any theory interp, although your speaker points will suffer and I have a lower threshold for responses if your shell is really silly. Justify why competing interps implies I vote on a risk of offense. I will gut check against bad theory if you win reasonability and have some defense on the shell. Paragraph theory is fine, but you should explicitly state things like fairness/education, competing interps/reasonability, and drop the arg/drop the debater. If no arg is made, I default reasonability, drop the arg, no RVIs.
I will not vote for arguments of the form "Evaluate the round/theory/this argument after X speech." At best it's a weighing argument for why 2NR/2AR arguments should be given less leeway. Tricks in general are fine if they are real arguments and fully warranted as such, but I find most tricks to be fundamentally poor logic. I do not enjoy (but will still vote for) tricks-heavy strategies, especially ones that have been recycled many times over the last decade.
"The optimist boldly claims, 'this is the best possible world' the pessimist retorts, 'that is exactly the problem.'"
About me: I am a senior and a former debater for Baylor University. Debated with Alec "Sicko Mode" Ramsey.
"Specialties": Afropessimism, Baudrillard (non-war/will to transparency/information = dissuasive), Set Col, Deleuzian Racial Studies (Alexander Weheliye, Massumi, etc), Humanism Studies, traditional Marx and Semiocap, Academy critiques (Moten & *sigh* anarchist news), critiques of liberalism, Queerness and Gender critiques. This is (1) not a comprehensive list and (2) does not mean that I am non-receptive to any literature that falls outside of these categories. I am open to exploring new theoretical terrains.
The "Gist": I am a man of simplicity. With that being said, here is a synopsis of my outlook on debate as an activity.
[If you don't have time to delve into the bulky paragraphs below, end your reading with this quick summary: policy v policy = no-no. Ks = heart emoji. If you out-frame the other team, you get the dub. Skip to the bottom for LD-specific comments].
Debates you DO want me in: "Clash of Civilizations" debates (FW vs. Kritikal Affirmative), K v. K debates, Policy Aff v. K.
Debates you DO NOT want me in: debates involving a robust 8-off strategy against an aff with 5 different extinction scenarios. I was a policy debater for approximately 20% of my 8 year debate career so let's just say these debates are "not on my frequency" per say. Put me in the back of these debates at your own risk.
Will you actually vote for a policy aff or framework?: absolutely. Just because my primary exposure has been to critical literature does not mean that I will auto-vote against you if you defend a plan or argue that a team should subscribe to the resolution's parameters. In all honesty, because of this exposure, I have a lower threshold for pulling the trigger on framework because I personally hold a higher standard for what counts as a good K aff and what sufficient answers to framework are (for example, args like "reasonability", "your interpretation plus our aff", or "but the state is unethical" are juvenile and would probably end up pushing me towards framework instead of away from it).
What are your views on the meaning of debate: debate is a book comprised of empty pages. In other words, what debate means is completely an open question. It can be a site for spotlighting and rejecting racism in all its manifestations. It can be a training apparatus that teaches us the technical skills we need to alter institutions for the better. It can be a game. It can be a microcosm of violent superstructures. The onus is on you to tell me what you think debate is and why I should prefer that reading of the activity over others.
For Ks vs. Policy Affs: some things it will be really difficult to get my ballot without include impact calculus, thoroughly developed link stories (i.e. pulling lines from 1AC evidence and making new link articulations from 2AC evidence and discourse), a strong, responsive framework push, and robust alternative explanations (i.e. how does the alternative solve the links? How does it solve the aff? If it accomplishes neither of these things, why?). If you think I will just simply vote on buzzwords or pieces of evidence because they have "gz" or "ERW" tacked on in the cites, you are mistaken. Overviews = time traps, just jump right into the framework and link debate.
For Policy Affs vs. Ks: I am really entertained by teams who buckle-down and clown K teams who think they are smarter than they actually are. Here are a couple of things that will make me lean towards a policy aff: using the K teams buzzwords against them, explaining how your impact scenarios magnify theirs, painting a picture of a world without the aff compared to the world of the alternative, teasing out unique double-turns and slippages that complicate the kritik as a whole, and taking advantage of uniqueness. Don't just say "the 2NR concede our x evidence from our 30 card 2AC", sit down and explain to me why that piece of evidence devastates their entire position. Don't just say "no link" and sit down. Thats cowardice. Explain why your impacts outweigh the risk of a link, or, even better, impact turn it (within reason). Explain to me why the neg's strategy is just one big hyperbole and why the aff is good, even if its imperfect.
For Ks vs. K Affs: for the love of all that is holy have a presumption press. You can win some abstract theory of power. That's fine, but 90% of the time kritikal affs don't do anything. Emphasize this and explain why it should frame my ballot. In front of me, the smartest/most well-read teams will lose if they do not frame and filter the debate through one or a few major overarching questions. The less well read teams will win if they do frame and filter effectively. Since these debate's tend to float off into the stratosphere of philosophical jargon, I will reward whoever brings the debate back down to earth by organizing and compartmentalizing it.
For Framework vs. K Affs: I am down for any and every flavor of framework (the classic procedural fairness press, the iterative testing/clash as an internal link to political advocacy style, etc.). My only recommendation is that I don't recommend for going for framework "potluck" style, i.e. as a little mix of everything. Pick one style that you think is relevant to the debate at hand, pick one impact, and go for it. I won't auto-vote against you on silly assertions like "fairness isn't an impact, its an internal link". Anything can be an impact if you frame it as such.
For K Affs vs. Framework: I personally prefer a nuanced counter-model that provides a new template for agonism to occur outside of the resolution's parameters. However, if you choose to say "forget it, we don't need a robust counter-model, we are just going to impact turn their position so hard there is no way you can vote against us", I will also be persuaded by that too (I would probably award higher speaks because this strategy is more difficult to execute). Here are some questions you should have good answers to: why does your impact turn or outweigh their net benefits? What model of subjectivity does their model promote? What new understanding of subjectivity does your countermodel introduce? Why is the ballot more than a decision on who did the better debating? What is the purpose of debate writ large? Does you counter-model have defense to their net-benefits? If so, how? Do the authors the neg read in the 1NC prove your offense? If so, in what way (pull quotes)? Are there moments in cx that prove your offense? If so, how? Also, make sure to BE RESPONSIVE. The most annoying thing to watch is a 2AC get up and read pre-typed fairness blocks when the 1NC went for a clash/education net benefit.
If the neg concedes the case, punish them for it as if they just conceded three extinction scenarios. Why does that concession matter? How should it change the way I approach the 2NR and the resolution itself?
Speaking: clarity > speed. Word economy is crucial. Don't read a paragraph if it can be a sentence. Don't forget periods are a thing. Not against using big words, you just have to explain them so you should consider the following question (should I invest time in explaining "the code" or should I skip the buzzword entirely and make links to the Aff). Examples are killer and will be applauded.
P.S.: points will be awarded for wholesome Attack on Titan references. If you don't watch the show, don't try googling it before round and coming up with something. I can spot a phony very easily.
My approach to LD is generally the same as policy. Debates you want me in: policy v k or k v k. Put me in the back of a 5-off round at your own risk (I am competent in this domain but this is not where my talents reside).
1) Clarity over speed: I feel like LDers in particular are some of the most unclear debaters I've judged, largely because of how hard they press themselves to speak quickly. The easier I can flow what you are saying, the higher your speaks will generally be.
2) Kant is stupid: don't try to flex with purposefully perplexing chunks of philosophical word vomit. I will sigh loudly. It doesn't make you look cool. Save that for a seminar in college or something.
3) Tricks = no. Just no.
4) Not too well-versed in theory. It would be wise to not put me in a situation where I would have to ponder it a lot.
Updated February 2023
I debated policy and LD for four years at Winston Churchill HS and qualified to the TOC senior year.
I have been judging debate (mostly policy and LD) for over 5 years.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions before or after rounds.
I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments. 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. I think link and perm analysis is good, 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 but will probably result in higher speaks.
Speech Drop is great, please use it. https://speechdrop.net/
You should always follow the NSDA evidence rules: https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/Debate-Evidence-Guide.pdf
You should do your best to be honest with your evidence and not misconstrue evidence to say something that it clearly does not say.
Theory interpretations and violations, plan texts, and alternative advocacy statements should all be included in the speech document.
If you are reading a card and need to cut it short, you should clearly state that you are cutting the card and put a mark on your document so that you can easily find where you stopped reading that card. If you are skipping cards in the speech document, make sure to mention that and/or sign post where you are going. This should avoid the need to send a marked copy of your document after your speech if you do these things, unless you read cards that were not included in your original speech document.
Prep Time Standards:
Prep time begins after the preceding speech/cross-examination ends.
If you have not transferred your speech document to your opponent, then you are still taking prep time. Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves your computer. Prep time ends when the document is uploaded onto speech drop. Prep time ends when the email has been sent. Once the team taking prep time says they are done with prep, then both teams need to stop typing, writing, talking, etc. The speech document should then be automatically delivered to the opponents and judge as fast as technologically possible.
Speaker points: average = 27.5, I generally adjust relative to the pool when considering how I rank speakers.
-Things that will earn you speaker points: politeness, being organized, confidence, well-placed humor, well executed strategies/arguments, efficiency.
-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, mumbling insults about myself or other judges who saw the round differently from you.
-Truth v Tech: I more frequently decide close debates based on questions of truth/solid evidence rather than purely technical skills. Super tech-y teams probably should be paying attention to overviews/nebulous arguments when debating teams who like to use a big overview to answer lots of arguments. I still vote on technical concessions/drops but am lenient to 2AR/2NR extrapolation of an argument made elsewhere on the flow answering a 'drop'. This also bleeds into policy v policy debates, I am 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 will read evidence if said evidence is contested and/or if compared/contrasted to the oppositions evidence. I will first read it through the lens of the debater’s spin but if it is apparent that the evidence has been mis-characterized spin becomes largely irrelevant. This can be easily rectified by combining good evidence with good spin. I often find this to be the case with politics, internal link, and affirmative permutation evidence for kritiks, pointing this out gets you speaks. That being said, there is always a point in which reading more evidence should take a backseat to detailed analysis, I do not need to listen to you read 10 cards about political capital being low.
-Speed vs Clarity: If I have never judged you or it is an early morning/late evening round you should probably start slower and speed up through the speech so I can get used to you speaking. When in doubt err on the side of clarity over speed. If you think things like theory or topicality will be options in the final rebuttals give me pen time so I am able to flow more than just the 'taglines' of your theory blocks.
-Permutation/Link Analysis: this is 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. This does not mean that the 2AC needs an detailed permutation analysis but you should be able to explain your permutations if asked to in cross-x and there definitely should be analysis for whatever permutations make their way into the 1AR. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation throughout the debate 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. That being said, well explained/specific permutations will earn you speaker points and often times the ballot. In the same way it benefits affirmatives to obtain alt/CP texts, it would behoove the negative to ask for permutation texts to prevent affirmatives shifting what the permutation means later in the debate.
The same goes for link/link-turn analysis I expect debaters to be able to explain the arguments that they are making beyond the taglines in their blocks. This ultimately means that on questions of permutations/links the team who is better explaining the warrants behind their argument will usually get more leeway than teams who spew multiple arguments but do not explain them.
Topicality/Theory: I tend to lean towards a competing interpretations framework for evaluating T, this does not mean I won't vote on reasonability but I DO think you need to have an interpretation of what is 'reasonable' otherwise it just becomes another competing interp debate. Aff teams should try and have some offense on the T flow, but I don't mean you should go for RVIs. I generally believe that affirmatives should try and be about the topic, this also applies to K affs, I think some of the best education in debate comes from learning to apply your favorite literature to the topic. This also means that I generally think that T is more strategic than FW when debating K affs. I've learned that I have a relatively high threshold for theory and that only goes up with "cheapshot" theory violations, especially in LD. Winning theory debates in front of me means picking a few solid arguments in the last rebuttal and doing some comparative analysis with the other teams arguments; a super tech-y condo 2AR where you go for 15 arguments is going to be a harder sell for me. Other default settings include: Topicality before theory, T before Aff impacts, T is probably not genocidal. These can be changed by a team making arguments, but in an effort for transparency, this is where my predispositions sit.
Kritiks: I have no problems with K's. I've read a decent amount of critical literature, there is also LOTS that I haven't read, it would be wise to not make assumptions and take the time to explain your argument; in general you should always err towards better explanation in front of me. I do not enjoy having to sift through unexplained cards after K v K rounds to find out where the actual tension is (you should be doing this work), as such I am more comfortable with not caring that I may not have understood whatever argument you were trying to go for, that lack of understanding is 9/10 times the debater's fault. Feel free to ask before the round how much I know about whatever author you may be reading, I'm generally pretty honest. I generally think that critical debates are more effective when I feel like things are explained clearly and in an academic way, blippy extensions or lack of warrants/explanation often results in me voting affirmative on permutations, framing, etc.
CP: I have no problems with counterplans, run whatever you want. I think that most counterplans are legitimate however I am pre-dispositioned to think that CP's like steal the funding, delay, and other sketchy counterplans are more suspect to theory debates. I have no preference on the textual/functional competition debate. On CP theory make sure to give me some pen time. If you are reading a multi-plank counterplan you need to either slow down or spend time in the block explaining exactly what the cp does.
DA: I dont have much to say here, disads are fine just give me a clear story on what's going on.
Performance/Other: I'm fine with these debates, I think my best advice is probably for those trying to answer these strats since those reading them already generally know whats up. I am very persuaded by two things 1) affs need to be intersectional with the topic (if we're talking about China your aff better be related to the conversation). 2) affirmatives need to be an affirmation of something, "affirming the negation of the resolution" is not what I mean by that either. These are not hard and fast rules but if you meet both of these things I will be less persuaded by framework/T arguments, if you do not meet these suggestions I will be much more persuaded by framework and topicality arguments. If you make a bunch of case arguments based on misreadings of their authors/theories I'm generally not super persuaded by those arguments.
Public Forum: Be polite and courteous during cross fire. Make sure to utilize your evidence and author qualifications. I am open to whatever arguments you would like to make (obviously avoid racist, sexist, etc. arguments). I am open to all styles and speeds of delivery, but if your opponent is not speed reading, it would help your speaker points if you can avoid speed reading too. Everything else above is more relevant to policy and LD debate, but you may find it useful for PF too.
Debate is a game, but the way in which we conduct it is also important.
History in Forensics
I used to compete for Vines/Plano Senior High School in LD, PF, FX, DX, OO, INFO. I am currently on the UT Debate Team.
Paradigm - LD, CX
I will vote for anything presented in the round - K, T, Theory, etc. Go as fast as you want, and I will flow accordingly. Please send me ALL speech docs throughout the round. I mainly did policy LD in HS, but I still dabbled in Aff K debates.
Paradigm - PF, WS
Consider me lay.
My email: email@example.com
add me pls: firstname.lastname@example.org
I did LD for 3 years and policy my senior year for a pretty irrelevant school in Washington. I have a pretty good grasp on progressive LD/policy stuff from my (albeit not super extensive) natcirc experience and camps but I grew up on the WA local circuit so take with that what you wish.
Idk who you are lol. That’s a good thing
Tl;dr: I’ll vote on pretty much anything (I suck at evaluating tricks though), just weigh your impacts and tell me a coherent ballot story in the 2nr/2ar and you’ll be fine. Please be nice to each other, debate is hard and stressful af, especially for small-school and/or coachless debaters. Also if you’re the type to post round judges for extended periods of time I’d prefer if you didn’t pref me.
- Tech>truth but truth still matters to an extent
- Spin is underutilized but so so great
- Extend your warrants thanks—strategic analytics are better than sketchy empirics
- I def reward slower but efficient speakers—in general don’t go at your top speed, I’m only voting on what makes it on my flow
- Default drop the argument and reasonability, but justify C/I well-enough and I’m fine voting on it
- Epistemic modesty
- Please avoid reading friv theory as ur default strat
- If you’re a tricks debater, PLEASE strike me
- Will only judge kick if told explicitly
- unless ur satire aff actually makes me giggle I’ll just presume neg
- Object fiat is bad
- Nibs are bad
- Spec is fine
- Condo is ok
- I dislike perf con, I won’t auto drop u but I’m pretty persuaded by theoretical justifications against it and will prob deck ur speaks
- Disclosure is a good norm
- Presume neg unless the aff gives me a good reason to flip
- Aff flex is true lol
Ks: My go-to aff and neg strat throughout high school. In terms of familiarity, I’m most well-versed in security, cap, fem ir, setcol, militarism, spanos, Foucault, Agamben, Baudrillard, d&g, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still have to explain your claims well
Overviews can be really effective, but please don’t forget the line by line
The most important thing is to provide a clear, well fleshed-out link story. Rez or generic links are ok, but specific links to the aff are fucking amazing, especially if you literally pick lines out from the 1ac. *chefs kiss*
Links of omission are not very persuasive.
Ks should outweigh and turn case, but also case outweighs can be very well-developed and convincing as well
You don’t need to win alt solvency necessarily, but then u have to win that the links are linear DAs + the aff is uniquely bad and worse than the squo. Don’t make me vote on a floating PIK also but I’m pretty lenient towards other K tricks
Impact turns against the K in certain circumstances are underutilized and honestly pretty strategic
Perms are great, but justify and explain them well. I also prefer if you say them all at once or else there’s a good chance I won’t catch one.
K affs: p much all my affs involved identity politics (the asian american experience), or like pomo lol
I know we all hate “what does the aff do” but fr please answer this question or else I won’t know what I’m voting for
I fw performance, just make it mean something in the context of the round, don’t just do it to do it. Also PLEASE do not do something overly triggering—it’s harmful and unnecessary.
defend your model of debate, win prior question claims. One thing I see too often however is K aff teams literally dropping case/not extending critical warrants that can be crossapplied to framework or the neg K, which is really frustrating—leverage the aff!!
Framework: 1-off FW is actually a really good strat. well-fleshed out, carded TVAs are super persuasive. Procedural fairness isn’t necessarily an impact, but I expect the aff to defend structural fairness/impact turns really well. PLEASE engage with case!!!
I don’t think debate is merely a game. like i am a detached af person but debate has undoubtedly shaped my worldview in so many ways
KvK debates are fun but also please make things easier for me by defending your theory of power well and weighing. I think K affs get a perm.
Phil: I ADORE when debaters actually meticulously hijack warrants in their opponent’s framing—basically explaining to me the incorrect assumptions that the other framework relies on. I prefer that WAY over “my epistemology precludes theirs.” Compare your warrants, leverage case turns and defense instead of strictly relying on framing
LARP: WEIGH WAY MORE!!
I’m not gonna kick something for you unless you tell me to. Really good teams do a great job of knowing when to strategically leverage the CP vs when to kick it which I enjoy seeing. Advantage CPs are great.
Condo is fine BUT reading more than 6 blippy off case positions vs 3 really well developed one usually won’t serve you.
Well-crafted and extended plan flaw arguments are actually really cool and underrated.
I highkey dislike PTX disads
Evidence comparison is SO underrated and important.
T: limits are great, caselists are super convinvcing. I also think precision and textuality are important.
Theory: I enjoy these debates when the abuse story is well-explained. I’ll prob weigh actual abuse>>potential abuse. Read a voter.
- Clipping cards is cheating—you must explicitly say “mark the card at x” during your speech, and you should prepare a marked version of the doc for your opponent
- Misdisclosure and stealing prep are also serious violations
- Saying anything racist/homophobic/sexist/ableist/xenophobic in round is completely unacceptable
27 is an average performance, 28 is pretty solid, 29 and above= impressive. Being clever, creative, and/or efficient will help your speaks a lot.
Experience: I have taught at NSD, VBI, TDC. I've been coaching since I graduated in 2015 and I am the former director of debate at the Woodlands High School. My main experience is in LD, but I competed in/coached in NSDA nationals WSD (lonestar district), judge policy and PF somewhat irregularly at locals and TFA State. Across events, the way I understand how things work in LD applies. (WSD Paradigm at end)
Update for series online:
1. I have not judged any circuit-y debate since Grapevine, go slightly slower especially since it is over zoom. I do not like relying on speech docs to catch your arguments, but this is somewhat inevitable in zoom land. If you do go off doc or skip around you need to tell me.
2. Do whatever your heart desires. The paradigm below is merely an explanation of how I resolve debates, not a judgment on what kind of debate you like/have fun with. You can read pretty much whatever you want in front of me (with caveats mentioned below).
LD Paradigm (sorry this is long)
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."
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). Give me a 3 if you read Baudrillard unless you're good at explaining it
A bunch of theory: 2. I have been judging a lot of this lately, so do what you will. More specific theory stuff below.
Tricks: 2-3 I like good tricks but please have the spikes clearly delineated. There have been a couple rounds recently where I started to believe negating was in fact harder due to the affs that were being read. This kind of debate makes my head explode sometimes so collapsing in this form of debate is essential to me.
Policy/LARP: 3 (I guess?) I understand all of the technical stuff when it comes to this style, but I am not the judge for you if you're hoping that I would give you the leg up against things like phil or Ks. I vote on extinction outweighs a lot though (just bc I think LD has made a larger ideological shift towards policy args)
The trick to win my ballot regardless of the style/content: Crystallize!!!! Weigh!!!! Your 2nr/2ar should practically write my ballot.
I know that all of these have me in the 1-3 range, just consider me 'debate style agnostic'
I am familiar with most kinds of K lit, but do not use that as a crutch in close rounds. Underdeveloped 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.
Overview extensions are fine, people forget to interact them with the line by line which makes me sad. If there are unclear implications to specific line by line arguments I tend to err against you
Non-black people should not read afro pess in front of me. You will not get higher than a 27.5 from me if you read it, I am very convinced by arguments saying that you should lose the round for it.
I vote on these relatively consistently, the only issue that I have seen is an explanation of why the aff needs the ballot -- I rarely vote on presumption arguments (e.g. "the aff does nothing so negate!") but that is usually because the negative makes the worst possible version of these arguments
I am just as likely to vote on Framework as I am a K aff -- to win this debate, I need a decent counter-interp, some weighing, and/or impact turns. Recently, I have seen K Affs forget to defend a robust counter-interp and weigh it which ends up losing them the round. Maybe I have just become too "tech-y" on T/Theory debates
Also, generally, a lot of ppl against Ks have just straight up not responded to their thesis claims -- that is a very quick way to lose in front of me -- I sort of evaluate these thesis claims similar to normative frameworks (e.g. if they win them, it tends to exclude a lot of your offense)
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 studied philosophy so I probably know whats happening
Make all FW arguments comparative
Unless otherwise articulated, I probs default truth testing over comparative worlds when it comes to substantive debates
Phil debaters: stop conceding extinction outweighs. It is my least favorite framework argument and it makes me sad every time I vote on it
If you are reading theory against a K aff/K's then you need to weigh why procedurals come first and vice versa. If the K does not indict models of debate/form then I presume that procedurals come first (e.g. if the neg just reads a cap k about how the plan perpetuates capitalism, then I presume that theory arguments come first if there is no weighing at all)
You should justify paradigm issues, but I default competing interps and no RVIs. Reasonability arguments need a specific/justified brightline or at least a good enough reason to 'gut check' the shell. I think people go for reasonability too little against shells with marginal abuse
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. So, if the I meet does not seem to resolve the abuse, then I likely will not vote on it absent weighing
aff/neg flex standards: need to be specific 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
If there are multiple shells, I NEED weighing when you collapse in the 2nr/2ar otherwise the round will be irresolvable and I will be sad
Really, just weighing generally.
Shells I consider frivolous and won't vote on: meme shells, shoe theory, etc
Shells I consider frivolous and will vote on: spec status (and various other spec shells beyond specifying a plan text/implementation), counter solvency advocate, role of the ballot spec (please do not call it 'colt peacemaker')
Combo shells are good but please be sure that your standards support all planks of the interp
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.
Sometimes these debates make my brain explode a little bit, so crystallization is key -- obvi it is hard to be super pathosy on 'evaluate the debate after the 1ac' but overviews and ballot instruction is key here
Also, I likely will never vote on evaluate the debate after "x" speech that is not the 2ar. So if that is a core part of your strategy I suggest trying to win a different spike. I probably voted on this once at the NSD camp tournament, which was funny, but not an argument I like voting on. Similarly, I will evaluate the theory debate after the 2ar; you can argue for no 1ar theory or no 2nr paradigm issues however.
Against Ks, I will likely not vote on tricks that justify something abhorrent. I think 'induction fails takes out the K' is also a silly argument (again, I voted on it like once but I just think its a terrible argument)
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.
Perms need a text, explanation of how the advocacies are combined, and how it is net beneficial (or just not mutually exclusive)
I do not really have any theoretical assumptions for policy style arguments, I can be convinced either way re:condo and specific CP theory (PICs, consult, etc)
Extinction outweighs: least favorite argument, usually the most strategic argument to collapse to against phil and K debaters
Unsure what else to say here, do what you want
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 mean to other debaters (esp novices/less experienced debaters). Nowadays, I tend to start you off at a 28 and move you up or down based on your performance. The thing I value most highly when giving speaks is overall strategy and arg gen. If I think you win in a clever way or you debate in a way that makes it seem that you read my paradigm before round, then the higher speaks you will get. I think I have only given out perfect 30s a handful of times. At local tournaments, my standards for speaks are a lot lower given that the technical skill involved is usually lower.
Things I like (generally) that ensure better speaks: overviews that clear up messy debates and/or outline the strat in the 1ar/2nr/2ar, effective collapsing, making the debate easy to evaluate (about 7 times out of 10, if I take a long time to make a decision it is due to a really messy round which means you should fear for your speaks; the other 3/10 times it is because it is a close round).
If you are hitting a novice, please don't read like 5 off and make the round less of a learning experience and more of a public beat down. It just is not 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 26 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
Style: To score high in this category, I not only consider how one speaks but the way arguments are presented and characterized. To some extent, I do think WS is a bit more 'performative' than other debate events and is much more conversational. As such, I think being a bit creative in the way you present arguments wins you some extra points here. This is not to say that your speech should be all flowery and substanceless; style is a supplement to content and not a replacement. Good organization of speeches also helps you score higher (e.g clash points, the speech has a certain flow to it, etc).
Content: The way I evaluate other forms of debate sort of applies here. The main thing I care about is 1. Have you provided an adequate explanation of causes/incentives/links etc? 2. Have you clearly linked this analysis to some kind of impact and explained why I care comparatively more about your impacts relative to your opponents? Most of the time, teams that lose lack one of these characteristics of arguments. The best second speeches add a new sub that puts a somewhat unique spin on the topic - get creative.
Models v. Counter-Models: The prop has the right to specify a reasonable interpretation of a motion to both narrow the debate and make more concrete what the prop defends on more practical/policy oriented motions. To some extent, I think it is almost necessary on these kinds of motions because while focusing on 'big ideas' is good, talking about them in a vacuum is not. Likewise, the opp can specify a reasonable counter-model in response/independent of the prop. I try my best not to view these debates in an LD/Policy way, but if it is unclear to me what the unique net benefit of your model is (and how the counter-model is mutually exclusive), then you are likely behind. On value based motions, I think models are relatively silly in the sense that these motions are not about practical actions, but principles. On regrets/narrative motions, I need a clear illustration of the world of the prop and opp (a counter-factual should be presented e.g. in a world without this narrative/idea, what would society have looked like instead?).
Strategy: Most important thing to me in terms of strategy is collapsing/crystallizing and argument coverage. Like other formats of debate, the side that gives me the most clear and concise ballot story is the one that will win. The less I have to think, the better. Obviously, line by lining every single argument is not practical nor necessary; however, if you are going to concede something, I need to know why it should not factor in my decision as soon as possible. Do not pretend an argument just doesn't exist. I also do not evaluate new arguments in the 3rd speeches and reply. For the 3rd speech, you can offer new examples to build on the analysis of the earlier speech, which I will not consider new.
Also, creative burden structures that help narrow the debate in your favor is something I would categorize as strategic. The best burdens lower your win conditions and subsequently increase the burden on the opposing side. Obviously, needs to be somewhat within reason or a common interp of the motion but I think this area of framing debates is under-utilized.
(sorry if the above is somewhat lengthy, I figured that I should write a more comprehensive paradigm given that I am judging WS more often now)
ld @ cypress woods high school '20, parli @ harvard '24.5. dabbled in worlds (usa dev '19)!
please time yourself
ask me anything before round!
i qualled to the toc my senior year and taught at nsd flagship & tdc. if you have questions / for sdocs: email@example.com
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. i also enjoy interesting paradigm issue interactions on theory
2 - tricks/larp. i’m not familiar with the topic though, nor do i know what the principle of explosion is - you still need to explain things!
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.
- have the doc ready to send ahead of time
- i enjoy a good cx
- 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 is an ick - i have no idea what, for example, hapticality is.
- postrounding / being aggressive (esp against trad/novices/minorities) makes me sad
- you have to provide evi to your opponent/judge. that does not mean you have to disclose (you can have that debate) 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 obvs an L. however, the validity of death good, trigger warnings, etc. are debatable (at least in front of me)
- online rounds - 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.
- send any relevant screenshot for violations
i don't want to use defaults but here they are for accountability:
- 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