Louisiana District Tournament
2021 — LA/US
Congress (Congress) Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Public Forum paradigm
I now coach speech, but I have also coached Congress and have judged PF and LD for the past 15 years in Ohio, Louisiana, and the national circuit. I never competed, but you know what they say about those who can’t (or don't).
I like to hear a well organized case—I value clarity and consistency. I prefer depth of analysis of one or two contentions rather than superficial treatment of a long list. Supporting evidence is important, but not as important as logical argumentation. Be sure that evidence actually supports or refutes and is not just thrown in to provide a source. I tend to vote on the arguments that involve impact and scope.
Clash is essential—nothing more deadly than listening to dueling evidence with no actual interaction. Do as much damage as you can to your opponent’s case and defend you own—sounds really basic, but that’s what I like to hear.
Crossfire is a time to ask questions—please do not use it to advance or restate your case (unless, of course, it pertains to a question you’ve been asked). I like to see teamwork in grand cross—please do not monopolize and let your partner get a word in edgewise.
I enjoy a nice extemporaneous delivery that demonstrates some real (or feigned) enthusiasm for your argument. Please do not spread—it is not impressive, and if I can’t follow you, the quality of your argument suffers.
And finally I value civility, courtesy, and respect—please don’t disappoint.
Lincoln Douglas paradigm
Similar to my PF standards, I am pretty traditional. I like a case that is well organized, clear, and consistent. Supporting evidence and depth of analysis are important, but logical arguments are essential. I really enjoy a good framework debate, and I appreciate hearing voting issues--tell me why I should vote for you. Why are your impacts more important?
I like an extemporaneous and conversational delivery. I am okay with some speed, but no spreading, please--if I can't follow you, I can't vote for you.
Civility, courtesy, and respect--always important.
Congress rankings are based on content (structure, evidence, clarity, analysis, clash) and delivery (articulation, fluency, vocal and physical expression, confidence/poise). Most importantly who advanced the debate and contributed the most through the quality (not necessarily the quantity) of his/her/their speeches and questions?
Civility, courtesy, and respect apply here as well.
Policy Debate Paradigm:
The things you are probably looking for:
Speed: I’m fine with whatever you are comfortable with--no need to try to impress me.
Performance: I do not mind a performance but make sure the performance is tied directly to the case and purpose of the debate. I am NOT some old fart, but I am a bit old school with a blend of progressive ideology.
Pre-dispositions: Please do not make arguments that you do not understand/cannot explain in order to fill the time or to confuse the opponent—I will definitely take notice and probably will not vote for you. Keep things well researched and logical and everything should be fine.
Sportsmanship: Please always be respectful of your opponents. Mean-spiritedness is not a way to show me you’re winning. Even though I will always vote for the better arguments, if you display signs of cruelty towards your opponent, your speaker points will suffer.
****Make sure you have great links…nothing worse than sitting through a round where no one understands how any of the arguments relate to the topic*********
Disadvantages: Unless if your strategy is extremely sophisticated/well thought out/well-rehearsed (I have encountered quite a few when I competed), I think you should always run at least 1 DA.
· The Counterplan: If done well, and the strategy around them is logical and thought-out, these are generally winners. If done poorly and you just inserted one to fill the time, I will be sad and bored.
· Procedurals/Topicality: I love a good meta-debate, and I am open to these if you guys have a solid strategy around these arguments (for example: if your opponents are illogical/made mistakes, point that out to me). However, I usually see T’s used as generic fillers, and I will not vote for a generic filler.
· The Kritik: Love Ks if done well and showcases your knowledge of the topic and argument. However, if I can sense that you don’t know what you’re talking about, running a K might hurt you.
Overall, have fun ( I understand how stressful this event can be), show me you're prepared, and always try to learn something.
Lincoln-Douglas, Big Questions Debate, and Public Forum Debate Paradigm:
My job as a judge is to be a blank slate; your job as a debater is to tell me how and why to vote and decide what the resolution/debate means to you. This includes not just topic analysis but also types of arguments and the rules of debate if you would like. If you do not provide me with voters and impacts I will use my own reasoning. I'm open all arguments but they need to be well explained.
My preference is for debates with a warranted, clearly explained analysis. I do not think tagline extensions or simply reading a card is an argument that will win you the debate. In the last speech, make it easy for me to vote for you by giving and clearly weighing voting issues- these are summaries of the debate, not simply repeating your contentions! You will have the most impact with me if you discuss magnitude, scope, etc. and also tell me why I look to your voting issues before your opponents. In terms of case debate, please consider how your two cases interact with each other to create more class; I find turns especially effective. I do listen closely during cross (even if I don't flow), so that is a place to make attacks, but if you want them to be fully considered please include them during your speeches.
I have NO TIME FOR HATE. Any comments that are offensive, racist, bigoted, transphobic, misogynistic, etc will result in an automatic drop. This includes: speaking down to opponents, using improper pronouns/misgendering, using offensive terminology, etc. Speech and debate is about respectfully allowing our arguments to shine through, not attacking one another; therefore, I will not tolerate it.
I am an old-fashioned LD judge. No spreading. If I cannot hear an argument, I do not judge that argument. It is not my job as the judge to figure out your arguments; it is YOUR job as the debater to tell me what they are.
I want to see framework debate. LD is NOT Policy! 99% of the time I'm not interested in solvency. I also usually drop counterplans, because that's subverting the intention of LD.
Also, personal pet-peeve: poorly cut cards. Cards should not be cut stringing disparate words together to change the intention of the writer of the card. If you can't pull a clean quote out of it, choose a new card.
I am a firm believer in the idea that an LD round ought to be understandable by anyone off the street.
I reward active speakers who participate and advance debate. Rehashing in a late-cycle or giving speeches just to give a speech and not to advance debate will NOT be rewarded. I do notice who is just giving speeches and who is giving speeches, proposing motions, asking questions, etc.
Please weigh impacts and give voters. Otherwise, I will create my own voters, and you don't want that.
If it is not on the flow, I will not look to it. That being said, I will not extend things for you. If you want it to be important, it needs to be extended all the way through all speeches you give.
I don't adore speed, but I can listen to it and flow it. Be strategic about it.
If it seems a little out of the box as an argument, please break it down for me.
Also, unnecessary yelling is not really something I vibe with. I get it, passion good, but if It's the first round of the day and you make a conscious effort to not give me a headache, I will be much nicer on speaks and ballot comments.
If you want to run theory, either put it in a shell or make sure that you talk about all the important parts of the theory. If it isn't impacted or accompanied by how I should change my vote, it has wasted round time
I have judged debate since 2001. From 2014-2021 I coached Public Forum and Speech events. I retired after 8 years as the Co-Director of Speech and Debate at Cary Academy in North Carolina in 2021.
DEBATE: In debate (LD/PF) I look for clear claims, evidence and links to logical, clear impacts showing contextual analysis. I flow each round and look for you to bring your arguments through the round, tell me the clash and how I should weigh.
I judge as if this activity is preparing you for the real world. I won't flow what I have to work too hard to follow or translate (read speed). Asking for evidence for common sense issues won't count either. You can use flow jargon, but tell me why. You want me to flow across the round? cross apply? for instance, tell me why. Don't exaggerate your evidence. Finally - I'm not here to show you how smart or clever I am by pretending to understand some sesquipedalian or sophomoric arguments (see what I did there?)- that means. 1.) do a kritik and you are going to lose because you failed to acknowledge that ideas can conflict and are worthy of discussion; 2.) "the tech over truthers" and other silly judging paradigms don't make you a more articulate conveyor of ideas once you have to "adult". I will know the topic, but judge like a lay judge. Convince me. Have fun and enjoy the activity!
CONGRESS: Well researched unique takes on a resolution are important. Simple stock arguments and analysis is easy. I look for you to look deeper into the consequences/outcome of passage. Don't rehash, not only is it boring but it suggests you needed to listen more closely. Refutation of previous speeches shows careful analysis in the moment and it shows you have more than the case you wrote the night before (even if you did :)). Presentation is also important. I don't like BS for the sake of being a good presenter but a balance of solid research, thoughtful analysis, ambitious and relevant refutation from a persuasive speaker will get high marks!
I am the Director of Forensics and head LD coach at Cary Academy. I would describe myself as a neo-traditionalist. I follow a traditional approach to LD with some notable exceptions. I am a typical traditionalist in that I prefer a debate centered on a common sense, reasonable, good faith interpretation of the resolution; and I believe speakers should emphasize effective communication and practice the habits of fine public speaking during the debate. I differ from many traditionalists in that I am not a fan of the value premise and criterion, and that I do not believe that LD arguments have to be based on broad philosophical concepts, but rather should be as specific to the particular resolution as possible. If you want to win my ballot you should focus on developing a clear position and showing how it is superior to the position put forth by your opponent. You should not attempt to make more arguments than your opponent can respond to so that you can extend them in rebuttal. In my opinion most rounds are not resolved by appeals to authority. The original analysis and synthesis of the debater is vastly more important to me than cards. For further insight on my views please consult these following articles I have written for the Rostrum:
firstname.lastname@example.org for cases/cards
Traditional judge, I prefer no spreading or Ks. I won't take off for them, but I encourage you not to!
- The easiest way to earn speaks is to clarify the voting issues and prove how and why you outweigh. I'll weigh the round based on the criteria you give me, so be sure to give me a metaphorical rubric!
- I'm a tabula rasa, so I'll vote exactly how you tell me. Hit your framework/V/VCs early and often.
- I like to see claim-warrant-impact. I flow what you say, not what I think you mean.
- Spreading doesn't scare me and will not affect your speaks, but I prefer conversational speed and good delivery.
- Cards should be clearly cited and available for review should there be a conflict over source validity or context. Clipping will not be tolerated.
- Signpost - reference the contention # or subpoint in speeches and CX.
- CX is for questions, not rebuttals.
I am a traditional LD debater and judge. I can flow. I can follow spreading to a point but if you lose me that's on the debater. I don't care for the critiques and counter plans that have influenced LD in recent years. Give me values, a criteria to judge the value and solid philosophy to underpin your arguments.
Thank you for taking the time to read this A little about me: I debated LD for 4 years in high school and competed in IPDA in college. I also coached speech and debate for 3 years while I was in undergrad. While each form of debate has its nuances, clash, impacting out your arguments, and overing weighing in round will win my ballot.
I want to give you two important notes about me:
Speed: I don't think getting out as much information as possible is the best strategy in all debate. I think that a few quality points that are impacted out are much better tools. However, if you choose to spread, please send me cards (if possible). I would also appreciate you slowing down on tags, authors, and impacts.
Framework: I think frameworks are a hugely important part of LD. It is part of what makes LD its own category of debate. Please don't just list a value and a criterion. Explain them. Impact them out in your contentions. Weigh them. Show me you understand them. If it is clear that you don't understand your own framework, that will factor into your speaking points.
Voting: I'm also a sucker for voting issues! If you don't tell me why I should vote a certain way, you're leaving the ball 100% in my court to decide how I should decide the round.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask away!
Last Edited for 2022 NSDA
I did speech in high school at local tournaments and competed nationally in college. I made it to finals in Impromptu 2x and Extemporaneous Speaking 1x. I also competed in After Dinner Speaking, Prose Interpretation, Persuasive Speaking, Rhetorical Criticism, and Informative Speaking.
I care about arguments and refutation. Your delivery should have varied tonalities and emphasis. Intros do not make your point about the legislation any stronger. SIGNPOST, tell me the tags of your args before you do it, or tell me to expect refutation. I care about quality evidence that strengthens your points, do not claim causality when your evidence does not either.
If you're a PO, I expect you to run a tight ship.
email@example.com Put me on the email chain or on the speech drop!
My paradigm used to be long and extra, I've lost a lot of these opinions.
Background: I did LD at Cy-Fair High School in Houston, TX for 4 years (2014-2018). I did TFA 4x, TOC x2, UIL x2, and broke at every bid tournament attended except 1. I got 5 career bids and 3 bid rounds. I graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2022 as the National Forensics Association Runner Up and Second Speaker.
I don't think any judge is truly tabula rasa, but I do my best to not push a certain form of debate. I'm comfortable with LARP, T/theory, framework, and some K debate. Don't be a jerk or offensive. Make sure you pause in between arguments or signal transitions. Signpost and extend your arguments. Frame theory for me.
I'm not the best flower. Analytics need to be slower and have pauses in between them and flashing them would do me good if you don't want to slow down on them.
If you are reading something of a sensitive nature, please give a trigger warning to the room. I have triggers and you don't know if your opponent/ any audience member does too. A trigger warning should be delivered as “I’m reading arguments about X, is everyone okay/comfortable with that?” If someone is not comfortable with arguments of that nature, you must read something else.
//Don't Be Offensive\\
Please do not say things offensive – racism good won’t persuade me, and if you get called out for saying something morally reprehensible, you’re likely to lose. I reserve the right to give the lowest speaks tab will let me and drop debaters for this.
I like it. If you don't like it, explain why your arguments come first. If you are collapsing to it, I want an overview of what you think is necessary for me to vote for you. EX "Competing interps is conceded which means all I need is to win a risk of offense on the shell and you negate." If not contested, I default competing interps, drop the debater, semantics before pragmatics, and fairness and education are voters.
I like innovative arguments as well - I often read theory shells in the bottom of my affs and I need an extension of the interp, a standard, and voter to vote on something conceded.
I think disclosure is good and I think people should disclose first and last three words of positions read, except those that involve personal narratives. Debates that are about disclosure practices that go above and beyond first and last three are fine but are not as egregious.
I don't mind tricks debates. But I'm not the best flower which means I need you to slow down through heavy tricks analytics.
K's are fun, but using buzzwords with no explanation means you aren't saying anything. Please read arguments you understand and can explain. I place the burden on you to explain what your literature talks about.
I like non-T K affs but most don't have a good defense against framework.
I love framework, but I don't assume I know what you're talking about. Explain each step and what the syllogism means.
*If you are reading an analytic framework, PLEASE number the steps and subpoints, rather than blocks of text. I have difficulty flowing a block of text.*
**You should also have verbal separations from the steps and subpoints**
Please say "and" or "next" or do something whenever ending a card and starting a new tag.
I will say clear, slow, or loud as many times as needed at no punishment to the debater as long as there is a change in clarity, pace, and volume.
I base speaks off of arguments and strategy and view the round as a way for you to prove to me how you should do. The below list is how I approach speaks and they're adjusted for the type of tournament and competition.
30 - should be able to beat all of the competitors
29.5 - should be able to beat most of the competitors and be in late elims
29 - should be able to get a positive record and break
28.5 - likely to get a positive record and high speaks
28 - should have a close or even record
27.5 - showed improvement is necessary, struggled to make strategic decisions likely to win a couple of rounds
27 - showed a lack of understanding of concepts or made very poor strategic decisions.
anything below that means something egregious happened - ie 6 shells in the 1ar and trying to go for all of them in the 2ar or being racist, sexist, ableist....
I've debated extensively at the collegiate level, coached, and have well-rounded experience with IPDA, NPDA, CEDA, PF, and LD formats. One of the biggest things I will evaluate in a round is the amount of developed clash and refutation. Make sure to break down the round and explain it. I may know what you're getting at, but explicitly inform me of why I am voting for you. I will ultimately weigh the arguments presented in making a decision.
Make sure to add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org . I want to have access to all of the cards prior to a round starting.
A couple other notes:
1. Speed: I am perfectly fine with spreading; HOWEVER, it is always better to slow down and enunciate rather than to provide as much information as possible. Clarity is key.
2. Theory: I am not a fan of theory and RVI debates. I will follow along if you run theory, but please keep the focus on what the actual resolution provides. Kritiks are always welcome.
3. Dropped arguments: Unless it is a major drop, dropped arguments do not weigh as heavily with me. I don't like the semantics of getting caught up on dropped lines of argumentation, especially if there are more prevalent lines to follow.
4. Etiquette: This is huge for me. Please keep it clean and you'll have nothing to worry about. If for some reason there is inappropriate behavior, there is a definite possibility it could influence my decision.