46th University of Pennsylvania Tournament
2021 — Philadelphia / Online, PA/US
LD JV Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hi! I have judged over 70 rounds of debate this season alone, & am familiar with whichever topic you give me. I did speech in high school & help with debate now. I am familiar with most frameworks but most comfortable with Kant & Util, more Util than anything else. I hate Ks, not because I don't understand them, but because I think they are bad for debate education. I have the same stance on spreading, I see no point if both debaters speak at a conversational pace. It is anti-educational. I am a flow judge, but I attach a stipulation of your argument has to be logical. It doesn't matter if you are winning nuke war if your link chain is ridiculous.
Average Speaks: 28.0279412 Lowest- 26, Highest- 29.8. I have never given a 30 but you can change that.
Pref Cheat Sheet
Traditional Debate- 1
Slow, Policy-Style debate- 2
Complex Phil- 4
Friv Theory- 4
I have never sat on a panel if that matters to you.
I would like there to be an email chain, especially for virtual debates. add me to it- email@example.com
I like a good, reasonable argument
Not a huge fan of theory, don't run a super frivolous shell. If your opponent is running a frivolous shell make a good argument for reasonability & you should be fine. BUT, absolutely use theory to check REAL abuse.
Spreading- Don't like it. I'll say clear twice & then stop flowing & dock your speaks. It is better to err on the side of caution. If it is a big problem you will be dropped.
Kritiks- I don't like them. I would say don't run them.
Flowing- I flow the round, but if you speak too quickly, the quality of this will significantly deteriorate.
Speaks- Speaker points tend to be "low". Being nice = higher speaks, Being mean/rude = lower speaks. I judge speaker points mostly as if you were in a speech event. If you spread, you will have VERY LOW speaks (think 26). I do believe in low point wins if the tournament allows.
- telling me you won the debate (that is my decision)
- in a similar vein, "this is why we win" or "we win this" (I understand how dropped arguments work)
- "we should just try" (no, if your opponent is proving active harms, we should not just try.)
- being rude to your opponent
- forcing progressive debate on traditional opponents, if your opponent asks for traditional, please do a traditional round.
Overall, you should run what you are comfortable with. It is better to run a case you know & are comfortable with than a case you don't know just to appease a judge. Just make sure everything is well warranted & linked, & we should be good!
Hi, I am a parent judge with no high school debate experience. Please stick to traditional LD layout (no theory) and no spreading please. Try to maintain clarity. Thanks!
I have done Lincoln Douglas debate for 4 years in high school, both circuit and traditional, with a scatter of PF and some European formats. I debated for Penn State for years competing in NFA-LD. I have also done BP and NPDA Parli, so I'm fairly well versed in different interpretations of debate.
There is no argument I won't vote for on face, excluding outright racism and bigotry. Give me a reason to vote for it and I will. You must extend your arguments through the last speech for me to vote on it. In the absences of an extension in the last speech, I will vote on your opponent's extension. I'm okay with spreading but will call clear if it becomes a problem; if you're opponent is not okay with it, don't do it.
Impact calculus wins rounds. Please do it.
Address the value debate, LD is not PF.
For LD: I am well versed in in most contemporary philosophers that relate to political or social theory. I'll vote on top half over bottom half of the case if you give me an articulated argument on why.
For PF: The event is pretty clear cut. I like clean extensions and strong impact calculus. I prefer collapsing down to main arguments over hitting every argument. I keep a keen eye on new arguments in the final focuses so I'll try my hardest not to vote on them. I don't flow cross, bring it up in your speech.
Other positions: Topicality is a voting issue for me; I'm not insanely well versed on kirtikal authors so try to explain the work.
I am a parent judge and not comfortable with spreading. I prefer traditional LD structure (no progressive arguments please) with audible, well-written arguments with supporting evidence. No need for unnecessarily convoluted phrases. Please present clearly and audibly. Don’t be over-aggressive or rude. And most importantly have fun!
I competed a year of Varsity LD in high school at Germantown Academy. Currently, I'm a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.
As for your arguments, I like to keep an open mind as long as you can explain your arguments well and illustrate its impacts effectively. I am familiar with a lot of philosophy, so feel free to run interesting frameworks if you can successfully relate them to the resolution. That being said, don't be overly reliant on philosophical or debate jargon, your arguments must have substance.
As for debating style, the number one rule is to be respectful. Besides that, please refrain from spreading. Make sure you make all of your arguments clear to me so I can fairly evaluate them.
If you have any questions before the round, feel free to ask!! Good luck!!
Lay parent judge, please try not to spread.
I can be best described as "lay judge".
I have no debate experience however my child has participated in both public forum and lincoln douglas style of debate. I will try to take notes and will vote for whoever provides the more compelling argument.
I am still new to judging so please do not speak too fast and most definitely do NOT spread - I will not be able to understand what you are saying and it is the fastest way to lose points. Please time yourselves.
To increase speaker points, have your docs/cases ready to be sent asap. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, remember to be respectful during debates and have fun!
Last Update: Stanford 2021
Background & Introduction
Add me to the email chain for speech docs: email@example.com
Facebook to contact me for questions: Thomas Ik-Hyun Kim
Discord for some online tournaments: thomasihkim#5616
I competed in LD for 4 years and PF for 3 years primarily on the national circuit. Currently, I am an undergrad at Johns Hopkins University where I am an Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Computer Science triple major along with a Philosophy and Computational Medicine double minor. I currently coach circuit PF and LD, conflicts mentioned below.
Conflict(s) for LD: Bergen County Academies EK, Bergen County Academies IK, and Northern Valley Regional HS at Old Tappan AK
Conflict(s) for PF: Potomac Debate Academy Li & Chowdhury
I'll have a short and long version of my paradigm which encompasses thoughts on both LD and PF, pick your poison after you do the cost-benefit analysis. For both paradigms, I will bold everything that is important like a card.
EDIT FOR ALL ONLINE TOURNAMENTS: For online tournaments, please try to be considerate for both me and your opponent (along with yourself really since if we don't understand what you're saying then it ain't going to be on the flow) and cap yourself at about 70% of your top speed - this post from SunHee Simon-Mbong sums up my thoughts pretty well:
"I don't think we've been thinking about the *judges* much as we've moved online. Please slow down on analytics ESPECIALLY as the day progresses. Zoom fatigue is REAL (anyone doing virtual learning knows this) and judges want to be present but we are not robots. Judges - normalizing being honest and saying "I did not get that" should be a thing. Yes, tech issues happen. Yes, recordings should exist. Yes, docs should be sent. But we should not be re-listening to and reconstructing speeches after the fact. Bring back judge adaptation, please. We all have to adjust. Otherwise, we might as well just have asynchronous debates and send out recordings/docs separately - which would obviously suck." Please slow down more than you normally would. I try my best to get every argument, but online debate has made this much more difficult. Ultimately, if it isn't on my flow, it won't be in my RFD. I WILL NOT FLOW OFF OF YOUR SPEECH DOC.
Please be understanding of the fact that I am judging from Korea which means that when round starts at 03:00PM EST for you, that is 04:00/05:00AM (depending on daylight savings) for me. I will be awake, but do not expect me to catch everything when you spread past 70% max speed (which I pray is not over 300 wpm).
This also means that my RFDs may not sound super organized or cohesive at times, but I promise to either email you or put in the comments on Tabroom a well-organized, cohesive version of the RFD with no extra thoughts put in other than what I had to make my original decision. Please refrain from grilling me, I promise that I'm doing my best for you. I also promise that my RFD will make sense or at least you'll understand my train of thought once it's actually written out.
I'm a flow judge, feel free to make any arguments that aren't offensive. I'm fine with speed, but please don't start off at full speed and be clear.
(The following part of the short paradigm is largely taken from Raul Larsen's paradigm as I could not articulate it any better)
I flow on paper. This means I will NOT:
• Flow your overview and or underview verbatim.
• Flow your tags verbatim.
But I WILL:
• Follow the speech doc for author name spelling (don't worry, I don't flow off the speech doc, I actually listen to y'all).
• Have no issues jumping around sheets; just please signpost clearly.
• Write in multiple colors for individual speakers and notes.
I will keep the speech doc open on my laptop, but it is YOUR job to COMMUNICATE to me the most important parts of your speech. In other words, DO the following:
• SLOW DOWN to emphasize big picture ideas that you use to contextualize multiple parts of the round. Let me know that you know it’s important. That level of awareness is persuasive.
• TELL A STORY of the debate round. Don't just point on the flow what I should extend for you, but tell me why these extensions matter in the context of how they interact with your opponent's arguments and why therefore you win the round.
• WEIGH IMPACTS. Time frame, magnitude, probability are just a few examples of round-winning words.
• PRIORITIZE ARGUMENTS. You don’t need to win all the arguments to win the debate. If you go for all the arguments, you will often lose a debate you could have won.
As long as both debaters are fine with it, I'm fine granting flex prep. For those who don't know what this is, this means that you have an opportunity to ask further questions, but know that it is not a clear obligation for your opponent to answer them. I also think it’s pretty fair that prep time can be used to just…prep.
PLEASE sIgNpOsT!! >:(
For PF teams, I am comfortable with "progressive" AC/NC speeches including Ks, Theory, etc.
K = 1
LARP = 1
T/Theory = 2
Phil = 2
Tricks = 4
Hopefully this isn't too long. If it is, then I'm sorry but I told you earlier to do the cost-benefit analysis...just sayin'
Though I prefer fast, progressive/circuit debate, feel free to debate comfortably in your style while speaking at any speed as it won't affect speaks. But, I ask that no matter what pace you go at, that you maintain clarity and, if possible, organization (please sIgNpOsT). I'm fine with yelling “clear” or "slow" as many times as necessary, but after two times your speaks will start to suffer. I'm also fine with debaters doing this as long as they are reasonable about it (please don't be obnoxious else your speaks may suffer and who knows your opponent may run theory on you).
I believe that arguments universally can be structurally generalized to have a claim, one or more warrants, and one or more impacts. If any of these parts are missing, then it's hard for me to understand why what you're saying is an argument and thus why I should consider it when deliberating. The strength of the warrants does not matter for an argument to count as an argument on the flow, it just needs to exist on the flow. If your claim does not have a warrant or an impact, do know that you're making my life difficult and I will have a low threshold for the amount of work your opponent has to do to beat the "argument" if not just be disincentivized to consider it when voting.
Now given that you get what an argument is, know that I am willing to vote on any type of argument that satisfies the following criteria including Ks, DAs, T, Theory, etc.:
1.) The argument is respectful for your opponent and everyone else who may be in the room with respect to both substance and delivery. It should be obvious that this means homophobic, racist, sexist, and any other innately offensive/dangerous form of argumentation or performances are not welcome in the round and I will drop you for them. BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY, PLEASE GIVE CONTENT WARNINGS AS NECESSARY. This MUST be done BEFORE THE SPEECH so that either myself, your opponent, or any possible spectators may respond. If you aren't sure about whether something should have a content warning, give it to be safe and respect the content warnings your opponent may want. Respect any forms of accommodations your opponent may need in order for your speech to become accessible. Not doing this, even if unintentional, will drastically affect your speaks if not my RFD.
2.) The argument is clearly explained. If I don't understand the claim, warrant, and impact when you first articulate it, then I will struggle to find any reason to vote on the argument. Do note that while I will do my best for you, my threshold for understanding an argument is whether I can explain it back to you based on your explanation for it rather than deriving from my prior knowledge and understanding of the topic/literature.
This is how I'll adjudicate the flow unless to do so differently (treat this like a default):
1st: Arguments that debaters HAVE ARTICULATED as sequenced before any framing mechanism
2nd: Evaluate and utilize the winning weighing/framing mechanism, whether that’s the ROB/ROJ/ROS, standard, etc. Make sure to articulate how I should sequence the framing mechanisms presented in the round WITH WARRANTING.
3rd: Evaluate WARRANTED arguments that have been IMPACTED with LINKS to the winning framework from (2) and arguments that either serve to nullify or alter the direction of the offense on the flow.
4th: Weigh between competing offense found in (3). The method for this is a combination of (2) along with any paradigm considerations that are applicable. If no weighing is done, I will weigh based on my defaults.
Though this gives a general idea of how I judge, in the following sections I'll mention some specific things which may be of interest
• I default to semantics > pragmatics as I believe it to generally be more consistent with my default to truth-testing. However, as is true with all other defaults, I can be convinced otherwise.
• I default to epistemic modesty but I don't mind using epistemic confidence just warrant why I should.
• I default to competing interps. Feel free to run RVIs when deemed appropriate but warrant why I should err towards accepting the RVI. However, please don't run frivolous theory on me. If the round becomes messy because of it, then your speaks will suffer.
Comments on Particular Styles of Debate
• I find that this style of debate is the most interesting to judge, albeit not necessarily the easiest to judge. However, I am comfortable doing so and love to listen to these types of cases so go for it!
• I'm fine with "non-T" affs including (very often) performance affs and identity politics, just make sure you explain how it functions in the round and explain why it's important through a clearly articulated ROB/J/S. That said, while I'm willing to listen to non-T affs but explain why we should reject/interpret the resolution differently. In all due honesty, I find that most debaters fail to do this effectively and often find these rounds to get messy so do not pref me high unless you trust that you can do this effectively.
• Aff, please respond to TVA as too many rounds with these types of affs have been lost because of a dropped interp or dropped TVA. Conversely, neg, please run TVA on these types of cases and it will make your work a lot easier if you win it. However, TVA is not enough for you to win the round so please read my section on FW where I clarify what needs to be done to win the round in front of me.
• Remember how I mentioned CX is binding for me? These types of debates are quite literally why this is the case as I do believe that you can garner links/DAs off of the performance of either you and or your opponent even if your evidence says something else. That said, I'd like to emphasize that for these debates that the form of the evidence presented becomes far less restricted and there isn't some inherent of hierarchy between them on face so don't disregard them.
• The permutation tends to be more awkward to both understand and evaluate in these debates so I'd suggest that you overexplain the perm to make it clear. This includes how you sequence the perm.
• If you're running a non-traditional aff, please have a non-arbitrary role of the ballot else I will likely struggle in terms of framing the debate on both sides.
• I am most familiar with this style of debate and still enjoy listening to Ks as a whole. I particularly enjoy listening to psychoanalysis, techno-orientalism, cap/semiocap, and critical race theory. I am comfortable with pretty much all mainstream Ks.
• If you read a K and give me an alt, I ask that you make it clear who the agent is and what they ought to do when you first present the alt. If not, then realize you're making my life a lot more difficult
• Ks that only link to the aff’s FW and not to their the advocacy feel awkward to me, so take that with a grain of salt.
• The ROB/J/S is extremely critical (hehe get it?) towards directing offense. Construct, frame, and use it accordingly to the nature of your K w.r.t. the AC. Please be clear and explain how your ROB/J/S contextualizes what is offense within the flow and thus the scope of the ballot.
• I default to perms being a test of competition rather than advocacy. You can try to change this, but you'll have to overexplain to me what it means for a perm to function as an advocacy and clearly characterize the advocacy of the perm.
• I think that my threshold for T/theory debates has lowered significantly after seeing so many really messy ones with frivolous shells. That said, I do think that a quality T/theory debate is really interesting!
• I don’t have defaults w.r.t. to voter questions such as DTD vs DTA, fairness/education being a voter, etc. It is YOUR job to tell me why your shell is a voting issue.
• I don’t particularly have an issue with RVIs. Feel free to go for an RVI, but I will need convincing on why you get them in the first place, characterize/construct it for me, etc.
• Disclosure theory can be strategic, but I genuinely feel disincentivized to believe the abuse story if there isn't evidence for it.
• I have plenty of experience as a debater with LARP strategies and still enjoy listening to them!
• I generally am not a fan of conditional counterplans especially since I feel like the neg time skew arguments can be really strong. That said, I am fine with listening to them and will vote on them just please don't be dodgy by not clearly answering whether the counterplan is conditional or not.
• If the neg is running a conditional counterplan, I won't kick it unless it's clear that the counterplan is kicked. This means that just because squo is better than aff doesn't mean I default to voting neg if it wasn't made clear that the conditional counterplan is kicked.
• My position on perms is the same in LARP strategies as it is for Ks.
• I loved doing phil debate when I was in high school and still love phil debate! If you are comfortable doing so, feel free to message me on FaceBook or email me if you want to ask if I know your philosopher well. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb with any judge is just don't assume that me or any other judge knows/am well-read up on the specific philosophy that you're reading and do the work of walking me through with it.
• Given the above, I highly discourage you from blitzing through your blocks at max speed, especially if the round is being conducted online. I want and need to be able to understand what you're saying and I won't look at the speech doc to catch warrants that I may have missed.
• I think utilizing phil as a means of establishing burdens is very strategic and am a huge fan of it (more than a prioris)! Just make sure that you either a.) establish the lack of bidirectionality (as in, why the burden MUST be unique towards one side and not the other) and or b.) are prepared to answer claims towards bidirectionality and why you don't even meet the burdens you establish.
• I love me some good framework debate!
• I mentioned this earlier when I talked about non-traditional cases, but I really feel the need to emphasize this: neg, if you are facing a non-T aff, please read a TVA in front of me. However, do realize that winning the TVA alone is insufficient, as winning TVA ≠ beating the thesis of the aff. If the thesis of the aff is claiming that a topical engagement of substance is still more problematic, then you need to beat that as well.
• I don’t assume any framework is inherently sexist/racist/exclusionary/etc. However, I am open to voting for arguments that claim that it is. If you do make these types of arguments, please make sure there is an impact and extend said impacts.
• While I'm willing to listen to tricks, I can't say I'm a fan. I also am not the best at adjudicating tricks (pref accordingly!) so you may have to do more work in explaining to me how they function in the scope of the flow and the ballot.
• I find that most articulations of tricks I have heard fall under the category of arguments which have a big claim, a big impact, but extremely weak warranting. If yours are as well, then my threshold for responses to them generally are very low.
• Given the point before, I'd highly discourage using tricks to establish burdens. There are plenty of other methods that actually allow you to very convincingly establish burdens.
• I'd heavily prefer that you don't read a heavy underview if it's going to be a massive minefield full of tricks or skep triggers.
• I will vote on frivolous tricks if they have warrants (reluctantly).
If you're still curious about my views about specific arguments types, then feel free to ask me via social media or email which I provided at the top of this paradigm.
Other Points of Interest
• If both sides are fine with it, I’m fine with granting flex prep. Don’t be rude about it, else your speaks may suffer. Don’t take too long flashing prep unless you want your prep docked along with your speaks.
• Affirmative/Pro should have a speech doc ready to be emailed by round start time. Flight 2 should enter the room at Flight 2 start time.
• I'm fine voting on defense as long as you explain why I should do so. Do note that this also extends to voting on permissibility or presumption that functionally depends on defense.
• Engaging with the tagline alone ≠ engaging with the argument or the card. This is a huge pet peeve of mine so please don't just engage with the tagline but engage with the internal warranting of the cards being presented. Cards don't exist simply to back up the claims made by taglines but they have within them their own layers of argumentation which is centralized by a thesis that links to the tagline. TL;DR respect what the authors are actually saying especially given that probably over 80% of your speech is their words verbatim.
• I know that in PF, Ks and other forms of "progressive" arguments such as theory are heavily discouraged. I for one, am one of the lonely voices that are supporters of progressive arguments in PF and am completely willing to vote on them so teams should feel free to run them as seen fit.
• If either side intends to spread it'd be greatly appreciated if both sides can ensure before the round starts that the opposing side is okay with spreading so that we can make the round as substantive and educational as possible and reduce the chances of having to engage in a round with speed theory.
• If your speech includes abbreviations or acronyms, please explain them first. Never assume that I know what they mean.
• While I recognize there's no obligation to share your analytics, the practice serves a good pedagogical benefit for those who process information in different ways. I will award +.3 speaker points for those speeches including all/nearly all analytics in the speech doc AND that are organized in a coherent manner.
• I tend to make facial expressions that reflect how well I am processing an argument when it's being read i.e. if I am confused then I'll look confused and if I think the argument is good then my face will show this. Referring back to how I mentioned that it's important that you make sure I understand an argument the first time you explained it, please use this to your advantage. I apologize in advance if my expressions confuse you; feel free to strike me if this is an issue.
• I see debate as both a platform for individuals to exercise their freedom of speech in expressing their views on particular issues whilst also being an intellectual forum where individuals come to advocate for some course of action. Regardless of how you utilize the debate space, make sure that you are defending something (even if it is nothing).
• If something’s not on my flow then it’s not an argument. I WILL NOT flow off of the speech doc for anything I missed and the onus is on you to have articulated it clearly for me the first time. If the round is online, consider going at around 70% of your max speed at most.
• Recall how I defined an argument in the "General Thoughts" section. An argument includes BOTH a claim AND a warrant – dropped claims are NOT dropped arguments – dropped ARGUMENTS are true and you should avoid dropping ARGUMENTS – my understanding of rejoinder is that claims can sufficiently be answered by claims.
• Debate should strive to be a safe space. There is a fine line between a politics of discomfort (which can be productive) and being violent toward another individual. This fine line is up to subjective determination by a “know it when I see it” test which may result in affecting speaks and my decision without a doubt.
• I do believe that arguments about a judge/debater’s actions or choices outside of the current round can have a place in the debate. My biggest problem is that most of these arguments are non-falsifiable and really impossible to prove. I think that it is important to be genuine, but do know that debate is also a strategic game where strategy can conflict with genuine advocacy.
On Ethical Violations
The procedure for an ethics challenge is as follows: If you believe the other team is guilty of an ethics violation and I am notified, the debate will stop there and I will determine if you are correct.
If I notice an ethics violation, I will not necessarily stop the round unless it was egregiously bad (i.e. offending or triggering someone). Note that just because the round wasn't stopped doesn't mean that the violation won't affect my decision nor does it mean that you won't hear an earful from me after the round.
Do note that video or audio recordings are a necessity if you want to pose a challenge about card clipping.
1.) Card Clipping/Cross Reading: I consider this to be by definition any form of misrepresenting the amount or meaning of the evidence you have read. Although to clarify, anything that is 3 words or less that does not completely change the meaning of the card does not count.
If you intend to audibly mark a speech, please make sure to explicitly say the words “mark it at [insert specific location]”. I will be extremely inclined to drop based on not immediately having marked speeches available when prompted.
Also, while I hate to sound like a dick, even though I understand if you were ignorant or didn’t intend on card clipping/cross reading, just suck it up and take the loss to make sure you learn from it.
2.) Evidence Fabrication = auto loss: I shouldn't have to explain this, don't do it.
Also, even though this isn't necessarily an ethics violation, do note that if I catch prep time being stolen, the side that does so will have their prep time halved.
If you have any questions for me before the round starts about my paradigm, please ask after all the debaters are in the room so I don't have to repeat myself. Quick shoutouts/other paradigms that may be worth your time looking at of those who have influenced me as a debater, judge, and as a person include Anne-Marie Hwang, Adam Tomasi, Raul Larsen, Sim Guerrero-Low, Chris Theis, Michael Koo, Martin Sigalow, and Joseph Clancy. I am more than happy to explain my decision whether it be in person after the round or through email/social media. Thanks for reading, good luck and have fun!
General - I graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2018 with majors in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Math/Stats and a minor in Africana Studies. I am currently a student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (Class of 2024) for my M.D. degree.
Competitive - 5 years of circuit policy (2009-2014) at Centennial High School being coached by Daryl Burch. I debated 4 years of American parliamentary (APDA) and British parliamentary (BP) at Johns Hopkins University (2014-2018).
Coaching - KIS, Morrison, McDonogh, Capitol Debate (Centennial, Atholton, Reservoir, River Hill, basically Howard County high schools). The 90% of my coaching done in circuit policy and LD in a private basis for small (2-4) squads of students. I usually judge 2-4 tournaments/season combined in circuit LD/policy (2014-2020) and have not worked at a summer camp since 2014.
Philosophy (updated 2/13/21)
If there is a chain I want to be on it - firstname.lastname@example.org
In 90% of rounds, I submit my ballot within 3 minutes of the final speech ending. Here are the major implications:
- My substantive preferences are very fluid. I have debated and judged almost every type of substantive arguments at the highest levels of high school competition so my real preference is to do what you think you do best. But as nobody is truly a blank slate, I have some explicit preferences and substantive decision-making quirks clarified below for both LD and policy (ex - tricks type argument is not my cup of tea)
- Clarity (in speaking, organization, and explanation) is my first priority. The team who communicated their story into my head while I am listening to their speech usually prevails over the team who may have had a warrant that I barely flowed while struggling to keep up with their communication.
- Cards are only read when their quality/warranting are explicitly contested. The corollary to this is that warranting explained during the speeches will always trump the existence of a card that may answer those warrants in my decision-making process.
- I put a heavier emphasis onto the final rebuttals in my decision-making process.
- Please don't take it personally if my decision is made quickly, it's not a testament to your lack of skill or the quality of the round. 90% of my decisions are submitted within 3 minutes of the final speech ending. It is just a product of valuing communication during the round as I age in the debate world.
I am a STICKLER for timeliness during rounds
- Efficient and proactive conduct in evidence exchange and round preparation will be rewarded with speaker points.
- Flight 2 - I expect the first speech to be sent and ready to spoken, immediately after my RFD from flight 1 ends. I encourage/expect you to set up in the room as soon as the final speech ends (or even before in between speeches) and will not perceive the disturbance as rude.
- For LD especially - specifying which parts of speech docs your opponents did/didn't read requires prep time and is NOT a courtesy I am willing to allow during dead time. Please do not flow off the speech doc and flow the speech proper. However I will be sympathetic to clarifications after unclear speeches.
LD specific preferences
- Please disclose immediately when requested if the pairing is out, EVEN if you are in flight 2. I think pre-round disclosure is educational and think the "30-minutes before the round" standard is arbitrary and silly. Getting me to vote on this is highly unlikely (more on this below) but I will happily reward/punish teams who point out this happened with speaker points (+0.2/-0.2 respectively).
- I am not a fan of theory/tricks/phil arguments. This is primarily due to the incomprehensible speed/clarity at which these arguments are usually deployed. I do not open the speech doc while flowing and will not refer to it to flow warrants I missed. I also find reasonability to be an extremely persuasive argument for most theory/tricks arguments (don't disclose cites, you wore shoes, etc). Arguments this does not apply to are theory arguments common in policy (conditionality bad, aff didn't disclose at ALL, 50-state fiat, PICs bad, international fiat, etc).
- I think the existence of a time skew biased in favor of the neg to be a persuasive argument in LD (take advantage of this in theory debates!!). Due to this, I find myself being more lenient to the 1AR/2AR in terms of tech (ie, not being super strict on dropped args, focusing more on the story than minute tech details). In high level debates, aff teams NEED to collapse in the 2AR to be able to win.
- Conditionality bad much more persuasive to me in LD comparatively to how I view it in policy. 2 or less in policy and 1 or less in LD are usually easily defensible to me.
General Substantive Preferences (both LD and policy)
- Impact comparison/explanation/tangibility is the first thing I sort through when making an RFD.
- Tech>truth - protection must be WARRANTED or probably won't be evaluated.
- If the best arguments are deployed on both sides, I lean neg (55-45) on whether a K aff gets a perm - the best arguments are usually nowhere close to being deployed.
- If you're going to go for the K, you better talk about the case and explain the implications for winning framework in the 2NR.
- I consider framework and the alternative to be 2 sides of the same coin. I think either can make up for a weakness in the other.
- Solvency advocates for CPs will make me neg leaning on theory/competition. If the solvency advocate is in the context of the aff, it will make it very hard to persuade me that the CP is theoretically illegitimate as I think the value of research/education incentivized by these kinds of CPs vastly outweigh any fairness concerns.
- For policy, very neg leaning on conditionality (up to 2), barely aff leaning on 50-state, international, and object fiat, really don't care about anything else.
- If you believe the other team is guilty of an ethics violation and I am notified, the debate will end there and I will determine if you are correct. If I notice an ethics violation, I will not stop the round but decide the round based on it after it ends if I believe it was sufficiently egregious. If there is an easy way for me to access speech docs, I will follow along at random moments during the debate.
- Card clipping/cross reading – Any form of misrepresenting the amount of evidence you have read is considered card clipping. It is your opponents’ burden to ask for a marked copy of your speech but it is yours to make sure that is ready IMMEDIATELY. This means if you forget to physically mark during a speech, you better have a crystal clear memory because you will lose if you mis-mark evidence. Audibly marking during a speech is acceptable as long as you explicitly say the words “mark it at ‘x’”. Intention does not matter. I understand if you were ignorant or didn’t mean to but you should have to take the loss to make sure you are MUCH MORE careful in future. Video or audio recordings are a necessity if you want to pose a challenge about card clipping. Anything that is 3 words or less (no more than twice a speech) I am willing to grant as a minor mistake and will drop the accusing team for being petty. Double highlighting is not card clipping, just make sure your opponents know which color you are reading, a simple clarification question can resolve this.
- Evidence fabrication – it is hard to prove this distinctively from evidence that cannot be accessed – if a team is caught fabricating (making it up) evidence they will lose.
Problematic not an ethics violation (these can be persuasive arguments to win my ballot)
- Evidence that cannot be accessed – this is necessary for teams to be able to successfully refute your research. If this is proved, I will ignore the evidence and treat arguments related to it as merely claims in my decisionmaking
- Out of context cards – this will seriously hurt your ethos and your opponents will probably definitively win their competing claim
- Misdisclosure – the only reason why this isn’t above is because there is almost no falsifiable method to prove that a disclosure wasn’t honest – this is probably the most serious of this category and can garner you major leeway in my decision making if you can successfully prove how it has impacted your ability to debate this round.
- If I catch you stealing prep (talking during dead time to your partner about the round, messing around on your computer, etc), I will dock half of your remaining prep time
Long ramble (this is the first draft of my judge policy I wrote when I was a young first year out that I just didn't want to delete because it's fun to keep. Only read this if you're bored or have too much time on your hands, a lot of it is probably outdated)
- The most influential aspect of determining how to pref a relatively new judge was seeing how they debated, talk to people who’ve judged/watched me (if they still remember)before to see what I rolled with in debates.
- I always enjoyed/found much more helpful the longer/thorough judge philosophies so be prepared to read a lot of my thoughts/rants that are coming
- Daryl Burch (coach) is the single biggest influential figure in my development as a debater. Srinidhi Muppalla (partner for 2 years) would probably come second. Go look at their philosophies.
- I was a 2A for 3 years and then a 2N for my senior year – I have read affirmatives all over the spectrum (complete performance, 10 impact policy affs, k affs that defended a plan) – and went for whatever on the neg (at one point my senior year, some team asked me past 2NR’s and I answered: T-economic engagement, give back the land K, black feminism K, asian counteradvocacy, warming good + geoenginnering CP, mexico politics DA, process CP, dedev, afropessimism K, warming good + politics DA, warming good + politics DA, framework)
Top Level Thoughts
- I see debate as an intellectual forum where individuals come to advocate for some course of action – the type of action desired is for the debaters to choose and discuss and for me to evaluate whether it’s a good or bad idea – note, this means you MUST defend SOMETHING (even if it’s nothing)
- Ethos is underrated – most judges know which why they will decide right after the round ends and spend the time after justifying and double checking his/her choice. Your persuasive appeal in every way you conduct yourself throughout the round is a massive factor in this. Know what you’re talking about, but more importantly, sound like you know what you’re talking about and show that you EXPECT to win.
- Speak clearly – if you can’t you should be doing a LOT of drills (trust me I was there too) – Judges who didn’t let me know they couldn’t understand me assuming that was my burden annoyed me to no end – I will be very explicit in letting you know if I can’t understand you – after the second time I call clear, I will not evaluate any cards/arguments I call clear on afterwards – I'll flow the next of your cards if I can understand them, this would be strategic as then the other team is responsible for answering them
- Speed = arguments I THINK the other team is responsible for answering – if it’s not on my flow then it’s not an argument so do your best to make sure it gets there
- I am awful at keeping a straight face while judging – use this to your advantage
- Set in stone – speech times, only one team will win – everything else is up for debate
- An argument is a claim and a warrant – dropped claims are NOT dropped arguments – dropped ARGUMENTS are true and you should avoid dropping ARGUMENTS – my understanding of rejoinder is that claims can sufficiently be answered by claims
- Conceding an opponent’s argument makes it the truest argument in the round – use this to your advantage
- I don’t protect the 2NR unless explicitly asked to – specific brightlines and warranted calls for protections (anytime) will be zealously adhered to
- Being aggressive = good. Being aggressive and wrong = bad. Being mean = worst. Debate should strive to be a safe space. There is a fine line between a politics of discomfort (which can be productive) and being violent toward another individual. This fine line is up to subjective determination by a “know it when I see it” test.
- I do believe that arguments about a debater’s actions/choices outside of the current round do have a place in some forms of debate. My biggest problem is that most of these arguments are non falsifiable and really impossible to prove. I think that it is important to be genuine but do know that debate is also a strategic game where strategy can conflict with genuine advocacy. Once again I’ll employ a subjective “know it when I see it test” and will update my thoughts on this issue as I judge more debates.
- I think all debaters should play an proactive role in doing their own prefs as soon as possible – it is quite the rewarding learning experience that helps you learn your judges
- Cards can undisputedly settle factual questions – analysis (including analysis about cards) settles everything else
- I will only call for a piece of evidence if there is an explicit cite referenced during the explanation of the argument – If I am asking questions like “Can you give me the piece of evidence you think says ‘x’,” then I am either doing annoyed or the debate is way too close for me not to double check.
- Debate's a technical game - do line by line and answer arguments - don't be surprised if I make decisions that seem debatable based upon technical concessions
- Assuming all positions are well prepared and executed close to as well as possible this would probably be my favorite to least favorite 2NR's - DA + case, DA + CP, advantage CP + DA, topic K, any strat with generic impact turns, any strat with politics, any strat with a process CP, generic K, topicality
- Cheap shots will only be voting issues if you give me no other option - what I mean about this is you better go HARD or go home, anything under 1 minute of explanation/warrants/asking for protection will probably be dismissed as a rule of thumb - cheap shots are not good arguments that were dropped, those don't apply to this section, but argument that are sufficiently stupid that they can only be won because they were dropped
- I'm super lenient on paperless rules - as long as you don't take forever and I don't catch you stealing prep you'll be fine - if your computer crashes mid speech just let me know
- I honestly feel like this section determines a lot about how people pref judges these days
- I will start off by saying that I am a firm believer in ideological reflexivity – people go a long way in trying to understand each other’s arguments and even embrace them instead of crying exclusion/trying to exclude.
- But yes, if you win the tech battle I will vote for framework
- Flipping neg greatly hurts your ability to go for ANY arguments based upon procedural fairness
- Real world examples from the debate community go a long way in proving points in these types of debates – use them to your advantage
- I think debate is most educational when it is about the topic – however I think there are multiple ways to defend the topic
- Arguments about procedural fairness are the most strategic/true in my opinion – however impacting them with just fairness is unpersuasive and you should couch your impacts upon the education (or lack of) from debates with little clash
- It is worth noting that I have stopped running procedural based framework arguments by the end of my senior year – however this was mainly due to the fact that I was very bad at going for framework and instead found much more strategic to engage affirmatives on the substance of their arguments (because I had a genius coach who was very good at thinking of ways to do that)
- If an aff defends a plan I will be EXTREMELY unpersuaded by framework arguments that say the aff can only garner advantages off the instrumental affirmation of the plan
- If you know me at all you should know that I am completely fine with these
- CX makes or breaks these debates – yes I do believe that you can garner links/DA’s off of things you say and the way you defend your advocacy even if your evidence says something else
- Always and forever I will prefer that you substantive engage your opponent’s advocacy, you’ll get higher points and the debate will be more educational, fun, and rewarding – however I do understand when there are cases you need to run framework and shiftiness in the way an advocacy is defended can be persuasive to me
- Watch out for contradictions – not only can it make a persuasive theory/substantive argument but I find it devastating when the aff team can concede portions of neg arguments they don’t link to and use it as offense for the other neg arguments
- The permutation is a tricky subject in these debates – I do believe that if the best arguments are made by both sides the negative will probably win that the aff team should not be able to garner a permutation – arguments couched upon opportunity cost and neg ground are the neg pushes I find most persuasive – however the aff arguments I always found persuasive are the substantive benefits that a strategy involving the permutation can accomplish
- Aff teams should have a clear non-arbitrary role of the ballot – these questions can go a long way in framing the debate for both sides
- Evidence can come in many forms whether it be music, personal narratives, poetry, academics, etc – all of it is equally as legit on face so you should not disregard it
- I need to be able to understand your argument – I always had a weakness for understanding high theory based arguments so if that is your mojo just know how to defend it clearly – most rounds you will know your argument the best so you’ll sound good and I’ll know it better than the other team so you should still be fine with running these and picking up my ballot
- Alternative styles of debate is not an excuse for actually debating, do line-by-line, have organized speeches, and answer arguments, I am very flow oriented when judging any type of debate, even if the general thesis of your argument may be superior and all-encompassing, YOU need to be the one to draw connections and explain why the other team's technicalities don't matter
- Add ons are HELLA underrate - PLEASE utilize them
- 2AC’s and 1AR’s get away with blippy arguments, punish them in the block for them
- K affs with a plan in my opinion were some of the most strategic and fun affs to utilize
- If the neg has an internal link takeout but didn’t answer the terminal impact, that does NOT mean you dropped an impact, logical internal link takeouts can single handidly undermine advantages even without evidence
- Make sure your advantages are reverse casual, many affirmatives fail at this and negative teams should expoit that
- Super specific internal links that get to weird places were always intriguing and show you are a good researcher, they make me happy
- Contrary to popular belief, I only went for the K v. a traditional policy aff three times my senior year. I lost 1/3 of those rounds but never lost a round when the 2NR involved a CP/DA/impact turn. Take that how you will
- Explaining a tangible external impact (not only just turns case args, although those are also necessary) is key to winning on the neg, most teams don't do this
- As a debater I’ve always had trouble conceptualizing high theory criticisms, maybe I’m just illiterate but I will have trouble voting for something I can’t explain in my own words
- Don't drop the aff, 90% of K 2NR's that don't directly disprove the aff in some way will probably lose.
- Permutations are pretty strategic, phrase perms as link defense to some of the more totalizing k impacts and defend the speaking of the aff and you should be fine
- Framework and the alt are usually 2 sides of the same coin, please please impact what winning framework means
- I am most familiar with kritiks based in critical race theory, mainstream k’s (neolib, security, cap, etc.) I can also easily understand
- Death good is not a strategic (or true) K in my opinion at all, however there is a BIG difference between death good and fear of death bad
- Probably more a fan of competing interpretations
- Reasonability is a reason why the aff could win without offense – It means that the aff is topical to the point that topicality debates should not be preferred over the substantive debate and education that could’ve been had by debating the aff
- Big fan of reject the argument not the team
- I think the T-it's debate on the topic this year is very interesting and could go both ways based on evidence/execution on both sides
- more persuaded by T-miiltary means structures not actions
- effects T is underrated on this topic - try and directly increase exploration/development not some regulation or be prepared to defend that regulation as exploration/development
- I’m on team link determines the direction of uniqueness
- Politics theory arguments are meh in front of me, I personally never went for them, I just found substantive arguments more strategic
- Short contrived DA’s are strategic but ONLY because aff teams don’t call them out for their bad internal links and only read terminal impact defense to them – fix that and they should go away
- I always loved good impact turn debates, warming good, de-dev, anything
- Turns case arguments are awesome – use them to your advantage and don’t drop them
- Big fan of advantage CP’s – plank them all you want (but kicking planks is probably abusive because every permutation of the diff planks are now another conditional option)
- Solvency advocates go a long way in helping you with theory – I firmly believe that they are good for debate
- I’m an agnostic on the theory of CP’s that compete off of immediacy and certainty
- Agnostic about almost every theory question, more persuaded by the aff on 50 state fiat, international fiat, and object fiat
- Interpretations are good – you should always have one (even if its self serving)
- In my last 3 years of debate, I have NEVER been on a team that went for conditionality for 5 minutes in the 2AR, 2 or less conditional options will be an uphill battle for the aff
Points are based on two things: content and style. Content is simple, the more your argumentation helps you win a ballot, the better your points. Content includes things like warrant explanation, strategic execution, and strategic vision. Style is as important if not moreso than content. These are all the intangible parts of your debating that garner my respect. This would include organization (very very very VERY important), presence, clarity in delivery, and respect for the activity and your opponents. I also have a horrible sense of humor, by that I mean anything that isn't violently offensive is ok under my book and I'll probably find it funny (this includes awful jokes and bad puns) - take advantage of that
I will shamelessly admit that I was that debater who obsessed over points because I liked to calculate things/wanted to know where in the bracket I was. Ask me afterwards and I’d probably tell you what I gave you
Random bonus like things that would boost your points –
- Successful and badass risks (impact turn an aff for 8 minutes, kicking the case, all-in’s on strategic blunders, etc)
- Making fun of my friends (It has to be funny)
- Make fun of Simon Park or Gabe (It doesn't have to be funny)
- Memes, pokemon references, mainstream anime references, etc
- Leftover speech/prep time (although if you deliver poorly that shows false arrogance which will hurt you more)
I am a lay judge and I've judged several JVLD tournaments this year. I value people who can communicate clearly, be persuasive, support arguments with data or facts, ask good questions, and provide strong answers that defend your point of view.
I have a low tolerance for fast speed. I can handle normal speed. If you start to speak too quickly, I probably won’t be able to flow your arguments very well. Personally, I believe that LD debate is about the clash of ideas, and it should not be about how quickly you can spray your points out.
As I mentioned earlier, I like people who can speak clearly. In addition, do not mumble, or speak too softly. If I can’t hear your point no matter how good it is, I won’t be able to flow it.
Be respectful at all times to your opponent, judges, or anyone else in the debate. No inappropriate behavior will be tolerated. I will deduct points if you behave poorly, are hostile, attack your opponent, call them names, etc.
I like to see a clear clash of important ideas. I will attempt to flow the debate, and judge the winner based on the quality of the points you’ve made in your speeches, as well as how well you led CX or answered your opponent’s CX.
I will judge the winner based on who has persuaded me the best, so be persuasive!
I'm currently a sophomore in college. I did debate all four years of high school for Lexington High School. I debated LD for 3 years and PF for 1, so I'm pretty familiar with any type of argument. That being said, I do have some preferences that'll be helpful for me and you in terms of evaluating a round.
SCROLL DOWN FOR LD PARADIGM. (command f LD)
- Weigh. Clash is SO important and is too often avoided. All your arguments should be connected and should flow in a way that I can directly compare one to another. If both teams are talking about separate topics that don't interact, that's a pretty unsuccessful round, and I won't know where to vote.
- Extend. If something is dropped in any speech, I won't evaluate it, even if it's brought up again later. Make sure anything you want to factor into the decision is mentioned in every speech, and is especially emphasized in final focus. If its not brought all the way into your last speech, I'll consider it conceded, and won't vote on it.
- Sign post. If I don't know what you're talking about, I won't factor it into my decision.
- Be polite to your opponents. If you're rude, definitely expect me to lower speaks. It doesn't help you in any way to ruin what should otherwise be a good round with a bad attitude. Have fun and be nice and you'll have no problems.
- Most importantly - and what I'll be paying most attention to - use your last two speeches (especially final focus) to CLEARLY tell me why you should win the round over your opponent. The clearer you are, the easier it will be for me to make my decision, and the happier you'll be with the outcome. I vote off both offense and defense so make sure to maximize your voters.
Some little things:
- I'm fine w speed
- Time your own speeches and prep
- I don't flow/vote off cross. Anything you want me to remember should be brought up during speeches
- I love unconventional arguments
- DON'T have a loud conversation while I'm filling out my ballot omg i cannot express how much this irritates me
- If you're funny and make me laugh, +0.2 speaks
- If you try too hard to be funny and you're not, -0.1 speaks because you disrupted the round
- TIK TOK REFERENCES, +0.3 speaks. I love tik tok.
The debate is about you so have fun! I'm chill with anything as long as you do everything listed above:)
Feel free to ask any other questions before the round!
FEB TOURNAMENTS** This is my first time judging LD since I debated LD junior year of high school (I'm a sophomore in college now). Keep that in mind! Since I've been hearing only PF recently, I might not be really familiar with your super out there args.
- I love K's. I ran K's.
- I also love disads/counterplans.
- I'm not thattt into phil but I'll def vote on it if it's explained well. Make sure it is and that you actually understand it. If you barely understand the lit how am I supposed to figure it out from you ya kno.
- I don't like frive theory, tricks, rvis, nibs, and any other underdeveloped sketchy argument. If you really can't go without it, a few spikes or NECESSARY T/theory is alright and I'll vote on it... prob reluctantly.
- WEIGH AND WARRANT. If there's no clash, I probably won't know where to vote and you probably won't be happy with my decision. The easier your arguments are to understand, the easier it is for me to vote you up, so just explain everything clearly and you'll be set:)
- FOR ONLINE DEBATES: slow down! It's almost impossible to understand when either my or your computer's slow. I'm fine with speed otherwise though if you're CLEAR!! If i can't understand you though, I'll dock your speaks.
I am a lay parent judge and have been judging LD for the past two years. I prefer a slower debate style, so I can grasp all the arguments that are important to you. It is up to you to speak clearly and persuade me on your viewpoint. I will outline the important arguments of each debater's case and take notes throughout the round.
I usually choose the winner based on three factors:
1. Most articulate
2. Who won the most arguments in the round
3. Remains respectable throughout the debate to their opponent
I also enjoy a great cross-examination round and the ability for debaters to think on their feet.
In the end just have a good time and I enjoying watching debaters in their element!
I am a Judge Mom and I like to judge LD and PF. As a judge, I am looking for a persuasive, logical argument with clear evidence. Pace and delivery are also important. Be respectful and enjoy the debate !
I am a parent volunteer. I've completed online training and watched several demo videos, I am a new judge.
Speed: I okay with speed, however I prefer moderately fast (and not too fast) speed. I really like an articulate, eloquent speaker. It's nearly impossible to show me you're the better speaker at 300 words per minute. Prioritize clarity, be sure to signpost, don't spread, and you'll be fine.
Framework: Please make your Value and Value Criterion clear at the beginning, weave them into your case, and tell me explicitly why your input is better than your opponent's.
Finish strong and on time. Be specific. Support your arguments and disprove opposite arguments with data, evidences and clear points.
I am a parent judge. I understand most arguments if they are well explained.
I am a flayish judge (more on the lay side). No theory or Ks. Tell me why I should evaluate each argument.
Speak clearly! While extending turns or any offense, impact it out well.
Extend warranting and impact in every speech of the round.
My name is Michaela Ward, and this is my first year judging LD and PF. I am excited to hear how you craft your arguments!
Please keep your delivery slow and clear. I appreciate clear analysis of why you should win in the final rebuttals.
If you'd like, feel free to send me your case to read along: email email@example.com