Harvard Round Robin
2021 — Online, MA/US
Public Forum RR Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am a Senior at Harvard. My debate experience consists of World Schools and British/American Parliamentary; I am an international student and have no experience debating Public Forum. Please don’t speak at an unreasonable pace, and please do be civil. I like evidence and warrants to be used and extended in the final summary.
I do not like teams who run kays. I do not know what kays are. But I have been told I do not like them.
How I Judge
I am receptive to most kinds of arguments, but this post captures my judging philosophy well: http://trolleyproblem.blogspot.in/2012/11/what-does-good-judge-believe.html. tl;dr: I like hearing novel and interesting arguments, but I have "a defeasible presumption in favour of a moderate liberal position on most ethical issues... By "defeasible", I mean that the presumption could in principle be overcome by a persuasive argument, [and if so, I will listen to such] arguments with an open mind." I love weighing, and I don't think your argument being dropped (however coldly so) constitutes a winning weight.
My speaks reflect the quality of warranting and impacting-weighing. But, just saying "scope, clarity, and probability" isn't enough. Spend time on weighing and do interesting weighing on actor or scope or principle or whatever else. I don't care for rhetoric or style.
I also hold the belief that human extinction is unlikely.
Warranting vs Evidence
I always prefer better-explained mechanisms and logical warrants over evidence. I care about evidence only when a claim isn't intuitive to believe just based on warrants. Do use evidence to make counter-intuitive warrants/claims stronger but don't use it when it doesn't contribute to the believability or power of your logic.
Choose your evidence well: suss sources are just that—suss.
Line-by-line is good but so is contention by contention; I'm quite friendly to broader responses as long as they're good responses. I don't mind if you're not too exact on the flow, will assemble clashes myself if I have to, and am happy to cross-apply warrants/weights.
I do not look favourably on most Ks. I will listen to theory but I'll only care if it was relevant to the round itself and the framing/conceptualization of it.
Don't spread but speed is alright.
If you pronounce my full name (Hemanth Bharatha Chakravarthy) right in the first try, I'll bump you up by 1 point. Alternatively, if you cite evidence about something that happened in the Tamil community in India, I'll give you +1.
My background is primarily in parliamentary debate.
I am a Debate Coach at Charlotte Latin. Have been coaching all types of debate (except Policy), but most specifically Public Forum.
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Judge and Coach mostly Traditional styles.
2. Am ok with speed/spreading but should only be used for depth of coverage really.
3. LARP/Trad/Topical Ks/T > Theory/Tricks/Non-topical Ks
4. The rest is largely similar to PF judging:
- "Flow” judge I guess, can follow the fastest PF debater but dont use speed unless you have too.**
- I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that, with some humor and panache.
- I have a high threshold for theory arguments to be valid in PF. Unless there is in round abuse, I probably won’t vote for a frivolous shell. So I would avoid reading most of the trendy theory arguments in PF.
5 Things to Remember…
Sign Post/Road Maps (this does not include “I will be going over my opponent’s case and if time permits I will address our case”)
After constructive speeches, every speech should have organized narratives and each response should either be attacking entire contention level arguments or specific warrants/analysis. Please tell me where to place arguments otherwise they get lost in limbo. If you tell me you are going to do something and then don’t in a speech, I do not like that.
I will evaluate arguments under frameworks that are consistently extended and should be established as early as possible. If there are two frameworks, please decide which I should prefer and why. If neither team provides any, I default evaluate all arguments under a cost/benefit analysis.
Don’t just extend card authors and tag-lines of arguments, give me the how/why of your warrants and flesh out the importance of why your impacts matter. Summary extensions must be present for Final Focus extension evaluation. Defense to Final Focus ok if you are first speaking team, but you should be discussing the most important issues in every speech which may include early defense extensions.
I would prefer if you DO NOT paraphrase; you can, but you leave your evidence interpretation up to me. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round.
Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to the key contention-level impact story or how your strategy presents cohesion and some key answers on your opponents’ contentions/case.
SPEAKER POINT BREAKDOWNS
"30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior."
***Speaker Points break down borrowed from Mollie Clark.***
Hi! I come from a Karl Popper (obscure Central European format) and World Schools high school background. I'm currently in college, debating parliamentary. I prefer consistent, standardized judging over niche paradigms, but here are a couple of basic principles:
Harvard Tournament 2021 (Public Forum):
1) Warrants over evidence. Sure, research is great and evidence can make your argument stronger, but you need to explain the mechanisms behind your argument first. I will vote for a well-explained argument without evidence over a data dump anytime.
2) Weighing is important. Debaters tend to be smart people and motions tend to be controversial. This means that both teams are usually saying something that makes sense. This is why it is crucial to weigh. If you don't explain why your argument is more important than your opponents' points and they do, you will likely lose. If neither side weighs explicitly, you're relying on my intuition. This is unpredictable. I am moody. You'll likely dislike my call. Don't do this.
3) Be realistic with impacts. I won't vote off of cataclysmic, low-probability impacts like nuclear war unless you explain them really well. I think you're better off spending time on something else than showing that the resolution increases the risk of WW3 by one-millionth of a percent.
4) Please don't spread. I've never done fast-talking debate. I won't understand you. I won't be able to flow. I can't vote on arguments that I couldn't write down. You'll likely lose, and it won't be a great experience for any of us.
5) Please don't use theory unless you feel like it's absolutely necessary. Every second spent on theory is one less second left for a debate about the actual resolution. If you do end up reading theory, make sure to explain every concept thoroughly - it is likely that I don't know them by name.
6) Be civil.
I competed on the public forum national circuit for four years at Lakeville South High School and graduated in 2019. I am now the head PF coach for Lakeville South and Lakeville North in Minnesota, and I teach middle school novice for Potomac Debate. I also compete in NPDA (kinda like policy without cards) for the University of Minnesota.
Updated for Septober 2021:
A general overview of how I judge debate: I will vote on anything on the flow as long as you give me a warrant, an impact, and solid weighing against the other arguments in the round. As long as everyone is respectful and inclusive, I won't consider outside forces.
Evidence ethics in PF are atrocious and we waste way too much time on evidence exchanges. For this reason, I want to be on the email chain and everyone should send full speech docs for case and rebuttal (and any other cards read in the round). My email is email@example.com.
- Don’t be offensive. I have dropped teams for saying offensive things in round or being blatantly rude to opponents.
- Evidence ethics are really important to me. It shouldn’t take you more than 30 seconds to locate a card and if it takes more than 2 minutes, I’ll strike it from the flow. I also really don’t like paraphrasing.
- I expect a trigger warning for any potentially triggering content, specifically any content related to sexual violence or self-harm.
- Speed is generally fine as long as you’re explaining your arguments instead of just rattling off claims.
- I vote on impacts so please extend them.
- Frontline in second rebuttal. Dropped arguments in second rebuttal are conceded in the round.
- Defense isn’t sticky. Anything you want to matter in the round needs to be in summary and final focus. I’m usually okay with new weighing in first final focus though.
- Weigh as soon as possible.
- Theory is cool with me if there’s a real abuse, but frivolous theory is bad.
- I have a high threshold for critical arguments in PF because I just don’t think there’s enough time to fully flesh it out, but if you win it, I’ll vote on it.
- I don’t flow anything over time and I’ll be pretty annoyed if your speeches go more than 5 or so seconds over.
- I take away speaker points if you’re late to round.
- Make jokes and have some fun!
One of the kids I coach told me to include my favorite impact scenarios, so here’s that. I’m a big fan of good structural violence impacts and war scenarios. I hate econ debates and I’ll probably need a little bit more explanation on them than other impact scenarios, but I’ll obviously listen to them.
If you have additional questions, ask before the round, find me on Facebook, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If both teams agree, i am willing to turn prep into 4 extra minutes of GCX.
Jay Garg has a really good paradigm (esp the part about Jackie's paradigm). Can we just pretend I copy and pasted it here? Jeremy Lee also has a good paradigm. If you are confused / unsure about how I evaluate anything or just want to shoot the breeze, please ask before the round to clarify.
Hello! Quick background on me, I did PF all four years of high school and now do APDA/BP on the Harvard College Debating Union.
I'm a pretty standard judge, but here are some of my preferences:
1) Summary/Final Focus
i. I generally will only vote off offense that is included in summary AND final focus.
ii. Turns that you want me to vote off of must be in first summary.
iii. Defensive responses for the second speaking team need to be in both summary/final focus.
2) Please warrant the cards you care about. Otherwise, they generally don't matter.
3) YOU MUST TERMINALIZE AND WEIGH YOUR IMPACTS! If you do not do this, it will be up to my judgment what matters most in the round. (My judgment will likely not be what you like, so PLEASE collapse and weigh your voters).
4) I am not super familiar with Ks and theory. That said, I am open to voting on it, but I need to understand your argument.
Email Cayman1@gmail.com if you have questions. If the questions are about a specific flow, please mention the round/flight/tournament.
N-TOCvid-19 Update (Judging on Zoom™)
Given the new evidence rules on evidence exchange this year, everyone needs to be on the Email chain. I'll still read evidence sparingly unless asked to, but it's important that everyone is on the chain to verify what evidence gets sent when (and that it was sent to all participants instead of accidentally choosing 'reply' vs 'reply all'.) Because these rules and norms are new to everyone, I'm inclined by default to drop the card and not the team if one side can't fully/correctly comply with an evidence request.
I probably won't be looking at Zoom very much during speeches. My ballot/comments, timer, flow, and any relevant evidence are already competing for screen space.
Since we'll be beta-testing the new coin flip functionality, if/when something goes wrong, I'm fine with holding the round as if everything is normal and straightening out the ballot with tab after the fact. Since flips are time-sensitive and inflexible, if you have any questions for me that may influence how you flip, I'll try to get into the Zoom room early with time to spare. If you're in Zoom and don't see me there, Email me. Normally, I try to avoid answering questions about specific hypotheticals where one team can hear me and the other can't, but I'll make an exception under this ruleset if one team needs to know before their coin flip timer expires and then I'll make an effort to fill the other team in as similarly as I can before the round starts. Also before the round starts, I'll verbally confirm who won the flip and which choice each side made, both because this is a new system and in case it becomes relevant to mid-round arguments.
However fast y'all think you can go without sacrificing clarity is modified by your microphone and your opponents' speakers. I'll let you know if you're unclear to me; if your opponents are unclear to you, either clarify in cross or err on the side of asking for more evidence from the last speech.
If you're waiting for a card to start prep, please don't mute yourselves until prep starts. Prep starts when the requested cards (if any) arrive in the Email chain (or when debaters are obviously prepping) and stops when someone from the prepping team un-mutes and says to stop prep. If your opponents gave you the wrong card, I'll reset prep to where it was when you started, but if you just want to ask for more cards, please do so all at once rather than constantly trying to pause and un-pause prep.
Should you feel compelled to run a full theory argument, please make sure that the interpretation and standards take the current online format into account.
If y'all want to ask your opponents clarifying questions during your own prep time, you're welcome to do so, but it's up to them whether to answer.
Grand cross can get especially messy when feedback and dueling microphones are involved. Please be mindful of the technical issues that talking over each other can cause and interrupt sparingly.
- Policy and LD since 1998
- Parli and PF since 2002
- WSDC and WUDC since 2009
- Big Questions since it became a non-meme event*
- Coach for Howard County, MD teams (Atholton, Centennial, Marriotts Ridge, Mt Hebron, Oakland Mills, River Hill, etc.) 2007-present
- Capitol Debate camps & travel team from 2008-2013
- James Logan Forensics Institute from 2012-2013
- SNFI Public Forum 2010-2019
J-V, NCFLs, NJFL, Round Robins, etc.:
- If I'm judging you in a format where you don't get prefs or strikes and judge assignments are random, it's more my job to adapt to you than your job to adapt to me. Issues with stylistic choices or execution are more likely to find their way into the ballot comments than into the speaker points.
- Do what you do best; don't second-guess yourselves and do what you think I want to hear if it's not what you're good at.
- Don't take your norms for granted. If you and your opponent have different ideas of what debate should be or how it should be evaluated, tell me why the way that you do it is superior, the same way you would with any other argument.
- If you have a panel, do what you have to do to win the panel. If the easiest way to win is to pick up the two lay parent-judges sitting on either side of me and doodling on their ballots while trying to look attentive, so be it. I won't hold panel adaptation against teams. Making me feel engaged and useful is not why you're here.
- Some leagues ban disclosure. Some leagues ban verbal feedback. Those rules are bad for education and bad for debate. If you have questions about your round, find me after the round and we'll talk about what happened.
- I don't like calling for cards. If I do, it's either because of a factual/ethical dispute between teams about what the author actually says, because the round had a total absence of weighing outside of the quoted impact cards, or for educational reasons that aren't going to affect my RFD. How teams spin the cards matters, as does how well teams seem to know their cards.
- I assume ignorance over malfeasance. If you think the other team is being unethical, be able to prove it. Otherwise, correct/educate them by going after the evidence or citation instead of the people.
- Smart analytics beat un-smart cards every time.
- If you haven't read the article or chapter or study that your evidence is quoting, you probably shouldn't be using that evidence yet. When I'm evaluating impacts, it does you no favors to add a second sub-level of probability where I have to wonder "But do they know that the evidence actually says that? If so, did they make X argument on purpose?"
- Saying the word "Extend" is not extending evidence. You're extending arguments, not authors, which means there should be some explanation and some development. Repetition is not argumentation.
- If you're using digital evidence, it's your responsibility to be able to show the other team. It is not your opponents' responsibility to own laptops or to bring you a flash drive. I'm fine with teams using Email to share evidence - with the notable caveat that if I catch you using internet access to do anything outside tournament rules, your coach and the tab room are both going to hear about it. "Can I Email this so I don't risk getting viruses on my USB?" is a reasonable question most of the time. "Can I get on Messenger so my assistant coaches can type up theory extensions for me?" is NOT an acceptable interpretation of that question.
- Prep stops when you stop working with the evidence: either when the flash drive leaves the computer or when you send the Email and stop typing or when you stand up with the evidence in hand.
- I care more about clarity than speed. If I can't understand you, I'll let you know.
- If you can't understand your opponents, let them know in CX/CF/Prep. Deliberately maintaining an incomprehensible speed to stop your opponents from refuting arguments they can't comprehend is probably not a winning strategy especially in Parli and PF, where speech documents and wikis don't check.
- Quality > quantity. "Spreading" isn't some arbitrary brightline of WPM; it's when you're talking faster than you can think. Doesn't matter which event. Don't get discouraged just because your opponents are faster than you.
- Check the judge philosophies Wiki.
- If your strategy relies on preffing only judges like me and then telling other teams they can't read their arguments in front of the judges that you've preffed, then please rethink your strategy.
- I've coached and run a wide variety of arguments. One of the easiest ways to lose my ballot is to be dogmatic and assume that because I've coached it, I like it, or that I think it's intrinsically true. If you have guessed an argument that I actually enjoy running and/or believe in, that still doesn't mean you'll be held to a lower standard on it.
- With the (hopefully obvious) exception of status theory, I'd prefer to be able to reject the argument instead of the team. You probably want to hedge your bets by telling me how the round changes if the argument is(n't) rejected.
- Kick your own arguments; don't leave it up to me to decide what should or shouldn't be kicked unless you're actually ok with either option.
- The majority of L-D I've judged in recent years has been fairly traditional/local; it's probably the event I judge least at bid tournaments on the national circuit, so it's probably best to treat me as a recovering policy judge.
- I try not to intervene on theory. If you're winning it, I'll vote for it, even if doing so makes me feel dirty, as long as it's warranted/impacted/developed like any other winnable argument. That said, my theory norms have been largely calibrated by the arguments' CX analogues., so if you think there's something L-D specific I should be aware of (no 2NC's role in disclosure, the absence of a second CX when determining whether answers are binding/whether clarifications are sufficient, the difference between neg block and NR in creating side bias, etc.) be explicit about it.
- In-round discourse probably comes before theory, T/FW probably come before other theory.
- I'm not convinced there's such a thing as a "pre-standard" argument. An argument might operate on a higher level of standards than anything else currently in the round, or on a mutually conceded standard, but it still needs to be fully developed.
- I strongly prefer for the second-speaking team to adapt their definitions/burdens in their OS and their time allocation in 2RB to create clash. I won't auto-drop you for using the 2RB the same as you would have the 1RB, but you're not doing your partner's SM any favors.
- Deliberate concessions early in the round can get you a long way. Just know and explain where and why they're strategic.
- Cite authors when possible. The university your author went to / was published by / taught at / is not your author. The way to get around a dearth of source diversity is to find more sources, not to find as many different ways as possible to cite the same source.
- Teams that start weighing in RB typically have an easier time getting my ballot than teams that just spit out a bunch of constructive arguments and wait for reductive speeches to weigh anything.
- CF should be focused on asking actual questions, not repeating speeches or fitting in arguments you didn't have time for. "Do you agree", "Isn't it true that", "How would you respond to", and "Are you aware" are rarely ingredients of genuine questions. Good CFs will clarify and focus the round by finding where common ground exists and where clash matters.
- SM cannot go line-by-line. There's literally not enough time. There are more and less technical ways of looking at the big picture, but you do need to look at the big picture.
- GCF is a hard place to win the round but an easy place to lose the round. Make sure that you and your partner are presenting a unified front; make sure that you're investing time in places that deserve it, make sure that if you're trying to introduce something new-ish here that you tie it into what's already happened this round.
- FF shouldn't be a notable departure from SM. Offense matters, especially if you're speaking first.
- Naming arguments is not the same as making arguments. I can't easily vote on something that you haven't demonstrated intellectual ownership of.
- My threshold for beating arguments is inversely proportional to the silliness of the argument.
- "but [authority figure] says X" is not an argument. Especially in an event where you can't directly quote said person. I don't want to know whether Paul Krugman says the economy is recovering. I don't want to know whether Nietzsche says suffering is valuable. I want to know why they are right. Your warrants are your own responsibility.
- Intelligently asking and taking POIs is a big factor in speaker points.
- Most rounds come down to how well the PMR answers the Opp block. If the Opp block was much better done than the MG, there might be no PMR that could answer well enough, but that's rare. Parli seems to have much more potential for teams that are behind to come back than most other events.
- I'm generally tech > truth. In Parli, however, depending on how common knowledge the topic is and whether internet prep is allowed, a little more truth can beat a lot more tech. Don't be afraid to stake the round on a question of fact if you're sure it's actually a question of fact.
- I should not have to say this, but given the current state of HS Parli, if I am confident a team is lying and I already intend to drop them for it, I may double-check the relevant fact online just to make 100% sure. This is not me "accessing the internet on behalf of" the team I'm voting for; this is me going the extra mile for the team that I was already intending to vote against anyway. Suggesting that the losing team should be given a win because I gave them a second chance before I signed my ballot is asinine.
- If you have a collection of 2 or 3 Ks that you read against every opponent, I don't think that aligns with the intention of the format, but I can certainly be convinced that fidelity to that intent is overrated. That said, you should make an extra effort to engage with your opponents and show how your criticism creates clash rather than sidesteps clash.
- Extemp - Source diversity matters. I will look ev up online if it sounds sketchy. I do care that you give a direct answer to the actual question you drew, but not every question is written in a way that deserves a definite yes or no answer: if you don't, your speech should still contain elements of nuance and advocacy beyond "...well, yes and no" and should show me why all the simple answers would have been wrong.
- Impromptu - I don't have a strong preference for one structure over another, but some prompts lend themselves more to certain structures. Not everything needs to be forced into a 3x1 or a 2x2 if it doesn't fit the procrustean bill. Recycled anecdotes and tropes are somewhat inevitable, but canned speeches defeat the purpose of the event.
- How did you end up with me as a judge? I'm so sorry. You're probably sorry too. Someone probably desperately needed a judge to stop the tournament from running grossly overtime, and all the other potential volunteers either ran faster or hid better than I did. We'll both make it through this somehow. It'll be a learning experience.
I debated PF for three years on local and national circuit.
I also did LD and Parli a couple times, am a novice in APDA, and can greatly appreciate big picture/philosophical arguments.
PFers- I don’t flow cross ex (so if it’s important mention it in your speech)
I look for a few things in a successful round:
- Clear speaking: I believe one of the most important aspects to strong debating is developing oratorical skills. That being said, I want to see clear, concise argumentation. Additionally, although I flow all rounds, I am not a “tech judge”. I do not buy arguments said while spreading and I certainly will not extend things on the flow just because you say “extend this.”
- Narrative building: By this I mean paralleling summary and final focus to enhance consistency and establishing a cohesive links around an issue you choose to crystallize. I need to know what the ramifications of what you are talking about mean in the big world AKA I want to see all your Impacts extended and clearly contextualized in the final speeches.
- Weighing on impacts AND links: While weighing on impacts is the most intuitive portion, I really want to know why your link into the impact is more significant than your opponents link into theirs. Especially if you are impacting to the same thing, this is probably going to be the most crucial portion to my decision.
All of this said: I will not stand for sexist/racist/intolerant views in round. Please be respectful, be rational, be clear, be assertive, and enjoy yourself!
Please ask before the round to clarify if you are confused / unsure about how I evaluate anything.
I generally like argumentation and warranting over anything else. Let me buy your argument and frame your case in a way that makes it easy for me to vote for you if you want me to vote on your side. Refer to Aditya Dhar's paradigm :)
Be respectful during the crossfire.
No preferred speaking style.
Try to send evidence asked for during crossfire in the chat after crossfire/during prep time, let's not waste time searching for cards during questions.
Provide trigger warnings for topics your fellow debaters may find sensitive.
If you're worried about time mid-sentence just complete your thought, I will stop you when I have to.
Hey guys! Really excited to be judging you this round. I have a background in debating American/British Parliamentary and Extemp Policy, and I've coached World Schools and Public Forum extensively. A few brief things to know about my judging style:
1. I'm okay with people speaking moderately quickly, meaning 1.5-2x conversational speed. If you are spreading too quickly for me to flow, I will use the policy norm of saying "clear" and expect you to slow down after that.
2. Weigh. Impact. Otherwise, I will evaluate the importance of your arguments for you, and 50% of the time it won't be in the way you want me to.
3. Even if you're in a research-based format, give some logic to back up your evidence. You will not win based on a single, unsupported statistic or quote from some old guy.
4. All POIs/crossfire must be incorporated into later speeches in order for me to count it as substantive. Explain to me why the answer you got from your opponents matters in the context of the round.
Harvard 2021 Update: I used to tell debaters that I liked KitKats so they could gain my favor. Due to the inability to deliver snacks online, I'll mention instead that I'll like you infinitely more if you mention Bulgaria in your speech :)
Hi y'all! I'm a first-year out who debated (well tried to) at Newton South for four years.
I'm flow enough, but extremely high speed or techiness risks me missing it completely. "Uniqueness determines the direction of a link" or something is a term I never got while debating, and you'd have to really explain it to me now.
New arguments will be thrown out in summary and any new points are thrown out in final focus (if you're the other team, you can shake your head vigorously and look incredulous to help me notice that it's new).
If some evidence is wack, let me know and I'll look at it. REALLY bad evidence may drop speaks and make me throw out the point.
Uncontested defense flows through first summary. I've forgotten all the other rules of PF, but I'm almost definitely chill with them, so if you want any clarification just ask.
Please signpost! I've realized that in my old age my listening comprehension has deteoriated. Without really clear signposting any kind of speed is wasted on me.
WAYS FOR MORE SPEAKER POINTS:
Weighing: but good weighing. It needs to be warranted, it should be comparative, and I would appreciate link weighing as well. If both sides weigh but don't say why their weighing analysis is better, we're back to square one. This is a really easy way to win the round. By default, I prioritize links over impacts.
Calmness: this is a really fun tournament! Enjoying the act of debating is hard when things get tense, but it makes everyone's day better.
Humor: if you make me laugh in any way I'll give you 1 speaker point. Please don't go overboard for this one.
It's really important to read paradigms so I'll give you 0.5 speaker points just by telling me you read my paradigm.
I am an Australian judge (currently an active member of the Harvard College Debate Team) most familiar with the Australs/World Schools format and spent 8 years over the course of my adolescence debating in this format. I will pick you up if you are reasonable and warrant well, and will drop you if you run a case that is very inaccessible or technical.
Note here that I WILL intervene if I think that something has been said in the context of the debate that is so unreasonably far-fetched that it is clearly empirically incorrect, and drop it (regardless of whether or not this has been refuted --> applies mostly to formats lenient toward intervention such as World Schools and less to APDA unless that is your collapse).
I will always buy practical arguments over principle.
Do not assume that I am an expert on the topic you are discussing, and spell it all out for me, including specific weighing.
Finally, don't be rude. It's against the spirit of debate generally and doesn't do much in the way of creating an environment conducive to making everybody feel comfortable.
if there is 0 offense left in the round, I will presume for the team that was more polite in crossfire. If both teams were pretty polite, I'll presume neg. However if you want to convince me that i should presume first i am happy to listen to that
I'm a novice college debater and did not do debate in high school so I can't give very useful RFDs but won't be very strict giving out speaks either, especially to teams that seem inexperienced.
Please don't speak too quickly and try to signpost whenever possible, it will only hurt you if I can't understand your arguments!
Hi! I did PF for 4 years in high school. I graduated from high school in 2017 and I do parli now at Harvard.
- I haven't prepped the topic. Please explain things
- I try to only vote off of offense that's in final focus and summary. This is to encourage you to collapse on arguments and weigh
- No need for defense in 1st summary
- I don't care if you have a card for something if you can explain why it's logically true
- I love warrants. Please don't justify something by just saying its "empirically true"
- I'm rarely receptive to progressive arguments (Ks/theory) unless there's a real instance of abuse in the round
- I don't flow cross
I debated PF at Stuyvesant High School for 4 years and now do APDA at Harvard.
If you are going to read an argument about a sensitive topic, please include a content warning. Give a phone number for participants to anonymously report any concerns, and if there are any, you must have an alternative case ready to read.
TLDR: Treat me like a lay judge. I will evaluate rounds with a technical standard, but I dislike fast, blippy "tech" debate. As tech as I try to be, your persuasive ability will inevitably skew me one way or another, so please don't throw away presentational skills for the sake of spewing jargon. Every argument needs a clearly-explained warrant for me to consider it. I will vote for the team with the least mitigated link to the greatest impact.
- Cross will not impact my evaluation of the round. Use it for your own benefit to clarify arguments.
- First summary doesn't need defense.
- I care little about numbers and number comparisons in weighing. Most of the time, impact quantifications in PF are over exaggerated because impacts that happen on margins are extremely difficult if not impossible to quantify.
- Weigh turns & disads (If you don't, I won't know whether to evaluate your response or your opponents' case first. This means I can still vote for a team with a dropped turn on their flow.)
- Compare your weighing to your opponents. If this is not done, know that I weigh primarily on the link level because I think it is the key factor in determining the marginality of your impact (or if it happens at all). If you don’t want an unexpected decision, do the weighing yourself. Side-note: Link ins don’t count as weighing unless you show that your link is stronger than theirs.
- It is my belief that weighing fundamentally comes down to two things: how large your impact is and how probable your impact is. I take both things into account so if you weigh on probability and your opponent weighs on magnitude (and you both don't interact with each other's weighing), I will intervene to determine which argument is more important.
- I won't vote off of dropped defense if it is not extended
- Paragraph theory is good with me and is probably more accessible. However, this does not mean you do not read blippy theory for the sake of throwing your opponent off. Still give me a clear interpretation, violation, standard, and voter. [Note: I am not very familiar with progressive argumentation and would prefer it not to be run unless there is real abuse in the round. If you do choose to run it, I will evaluate it as logically as I can, but I cannot guarantee that I will evaluate it the same way your typical "tech" judge would.]
- No CPs or Ks.
- Weighing in first FF is okay, but it's better if done earlier (not in second FF though)
- No new arguments in FF. This applies to extensions. If there isn't a clean link and impact extension in summary, I won't evaluate it even if it is in FF.
- Second rebuttal must respond to turns (I count as dropped otherwise)
- No offensive OVs in second rebuttal. I just won't vote on it
- Tech>truth most times, but the crazier an argument gets, the lower my threshold for responses to that argument is.
- Extensions of offense need to be in summary and final focus. You need to always link the argument back to the resolution and draw it out to an impact. If this isn't done, you will 90% of the time lose the round because you have no offense. I have a relatively high threshold for what counts as a clear extension because it is essential for transparent collapsing.
- Please don't use the abusive strategy of kicking out of all of your opponent's responses to your case just to read a new link to your impact. If your opponents do this, call them out for it in speech.
- If no offense is left by the end of the round, I presume the team that lost the coin flip. If the round is side-locked, I presume the first speaking team because I believe it is at a structural disadvantage in the round.
Etiquette (how to get high speaks)
- Don't spread. I flow on my computer, so I can follow speed, but the faster you go, the more likely I am to miss something on the flow. Additionally, I find that 99% of the time, you do not need to go fast to cover the flow; you simply need to improve your word economy. Finally, I believe that spreading is bad for the activity. It excludes so many people from being able to comprehend and learn from the round, making the activity overall less accessible. If you can speak at a moderate speed while still covering the flow efficiently, you will be rewarded with high speaks.
- Signpost. If I am not writing on my flow, there is a good chance that I just don't know where you are on the flow.
- Do not be rude to your opponent. This includes making faces while your opponent is speaking, speaking over your opponent in cross, and making jokes at the expense of your opponents. Excessive rudeness that makes the activity inaccessible to marginalized groups will result in me dropping the debater. My threshold for this is not that high because I despise this behavior in an activity that is meant to be fun and educational for all participants.
- I will give you high speaks if you speak pretty and are smart on the flow.
- Do not read 30 speaks theory.
- Please don't call for every piece of evidence your opponents read. I understand if you think the card is super important to win the round, but in 99% of rounds, I do not even consider evidence in my decision. I instead look at logic and argument quality, so call for evidence sparingly.
- I think evidence is overrated and warrants matter much more. This means you need to attach warrants to evidence and also should discourage the misconstruction of evidence. Your insane card won't win you the round. Read your evidence ethically and then explain its role in the round.
(Guide) Warranted analytics + evidence > warranted analytics > unwarranted evidence > assertions.
- At the minimum, last name and year
- I am fairly lenient with paraphrased cards because I understand that when all evidence is taken word for word from the source, word economy suffers and many debaters resort to speaking faster. However, this is on the condition that evidence is NOT misconstrued. If you are to paraphrase evidence, make sure to fully understand the source and maintain the source's intention; do NOT paraphrase evidence for the sake of getting it to say what you want it to say.
- I will only call for evidence if you tell me during a speech or if I find it relevant to my decision at the end of the round.
- To discourage cheating, if you blatantly misrepresent evidence, I will drop the entire arg/contention.
- I expect all exchanges of evidence to take no longer than 2 minutes. If you delay the debate significantly while looking for a specific card, I may dock your speaker points for being disorganized and wasting time. If someone requests to see your evidence, you should hand it to them as soon as possible; don't say "I need my computer to prep."
- Please don't try to shake my hand after the round.
- Wear whatever you want, I don't really care.
- Feel free to ask questions about the decision after the round. I won't feel offended if you disagree with my decision, and I am happy to discuss it after the round.
If you have any other questions, ask before the round.
Auto 30s if both teams agree to skip all crossfires and prep time. Auto 29s if both teams agree to skip all crossfires, or if you offer + the other team refuses. Otherwise I cap speaks at 28. If you want lots of time to write your speech, do policy.
I have a short attention span, and I probably have psets to do. If you make the round unnecessarily long I will be in a bad mood.
I debated for hunter college hs ('20) in nyc and broke at gtoc, coached bronx science '20-'21. I do some apda for harvard ('24).
1. All 1st rebuttal to 1ff extensions are fine, including offense. I don't need you to frontline in 2nd rebuttal, or extend turns or defense in 1st summary. No new 2ff weighing. I presume 1st speaking team. I have a high bar for not presuming - if it takes longer than 120 seconds for me to decide the round, I will presume. This includes when both teams are winning offense but neither weighs, even if the weighing is obvious.
2. "If I have the choice between voting for an impact that’s weighed as the biggest in the round but is muddled versus a less important but clean impact, I will resolve the muddled impact every time."
Speed is fine, I will clear you if necessary, send me the doc if going 300+. Don't interrupt women in cx.
Theory: Paraphasing is good for debate. In general, I default reasonability. Running theory asks me to intervene, by not evaluating substance, because the in-round abuse supposedly outweighs. You have to make me actually believe that the abuse was significant and outweighs substance, or else I won't intervene. If in doubt, ask before the round.
All online tournaments: Disclosure theory is a TKO. You must send all your case evidence in card form with reasonable context and proper cites to the email chain before you read case.
I care very little about what your evidence says, and I won't read ev unless you tell me to. In fact, I would love a round in which neither team reads any evidence. However, teams seem to be obsessive about evidence-calling, and in this online format, in-round evidence exchange is incredibly clunky and results in a colossal waste of time. Just get it over with before the round. I don't particularly care if you post it on the wiki, and it's fine if you paraphrase your cards in the speech, but the other team needs to be able to read your evidence quickly and readily without wasting everyone else's time while stealing prep time and pretending the email hasn't arrived.
TL;DR — Tech > truth. Please don't make me do work. Be nice :)
Background: I debated in public forum for Harker for 4 years. If you have any questions about my preferences listed below, please don't hesitate to ask before the round.
How I vote:
1. I look at the framework debate and consider the offense under the winning framework. Please settle this early in the round if possible.
2. I evaluate the easiest paths to the ballot first. This is where it helps to (1) have a smart strategy throughout the round that makes the narrative easier, and (2) explain warrants well.
3. Weigh. Do as much of this as you can. Clear up the clash on important issues and weigh your impacts, because I will do neither of these for you. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for me to locate your best path to the ballot, and to essentially write my RFD for me through your weighing analysis. I'll be upset if you make me clear up clash or do my own weighing analysis, and your speaks will decrease even if I vote for you.
4. If the debate is a complete wash, I default to the first-speaking team (not con/squo) because I believe in the structural advantage of the second team.
- Speed. Go for it — I'll be able to follow, but I'll let you know if you aren't clear. If I feel that you're abusing this (think borderline spreading), then I'll lower your speaks but I won't vote against you for it. Clarity and quality of argumentation are always the most important.
- Arguments. Any type of argument is fine as long as it's topical and not blatantly offensive. I try to be tabula rasa, and I might bump up your speaks if you run creative arguments that fit a well-warranted narrative.
- Extensions. All offense you want me to evaluate must be in the summary and the final focus. You can extend terminal defense from rebuttal straight into the final focus and I'll evaluate it, but I still prefer it being in the summary as well. Every extension should include (1) evidence, (2) explanation of warrant, (3) impact, and (4) how I should weigh the argument (especially in the final focus). Clear signposting is critical.
- Evidence. Minimum citation is author and date (institution is also nice). I dislike calling for evidence, but I'll do it if (1) something seems suspicious, or (2) you explicitly tell me to call for the other team's evidence. I'll drop any team with a blatant evidence violation, but if it's something like sketchy debate-math then it's better to just point it out in speech. Have your cards ready: I'll drop a card and lower your speaks if you can't produce it within 2 minutes. Don't call for cards that you won't use. When exchanging evidence, do it right away and don't say "I need my computer to prep."
- Crossfire. I don't evaluate it, so you need to extend concessions in later speeches. Ask real questions and keep answers brief if possible; don't try to fit a new speech or I'll lower speaks.
- Theory. I don't have a nuanced familiarity with theory debates, but I will evaluate it if you overexplain how I should weigh the argument in the round. Generally, all arguments are fair game unless blatantly offensive. If you think an argument is abusive, it's better to explain this to me as a response and I'll weigh the argument less, but I lean away from voting directly off of theory arguments. In short, only run it if you really know what you're doing, and even then, use it with caution.
How to get good speaks (in order):
1. WEIGH. The easier my vote is, the higher your speaks are.
2. Signpost. Make flowing as easy as possible.
3. Have a strong narrative / strategy throughout the round.
4. Bonus: creative arguments, making me laugh.
How to get bad speaks (in order):
1. Be mean to the other team.
2. Do something sketchy with evidence.
3. Abuse crossfire with long speeches instead of questions.
4. Speak quickly to the point of spreading.
Hello! I am Esme. I debated PF for Durham for 4 years and I’m attending Duke Uni. I use she/her pronouns. really dislike blippy arguments, but I guess I'll evaluate them, I'll just give them a LOT less weight. no warrant = VERY LOW CHANCE OF ME VOTING OFF IT. like near 0.
QUICK NOTE- i live in the UK so im 5 hours ahead of EST (8 hours ahead of PST) and if i'm judging after 8PM EST, i might be kind of tired but i'll do my best!! just so ur aware
Ask me questions before round, I don't mind (I know sometimes there's not enough time to read paradigms). Also, please let me know (send me an email/ tell me in round) how I can accommodate this round to make you the most comfortable!
Also please include both members of a partnership. Talking about "carries" and excluding someone who has taken their time to put work into and be somewhere sucks a lot and often hits people already left out of debate the hardest. In round and out, make sure you're acknowledging and supporting work put in from everyone and reaching out to everyone as well. <3
Also don't call speeches "bad" ex: "their summary was really bad" just point out the flaws in it. ex: "they don't extend a warrant/ they never weigh..." etcetcetc
Sexism/ racism/ homophobia/ harassment/ etc. isn't cool. I will drop you and you will get low speaks.
Specifically for the debate, though, here are my preferences:
1. WARRANT AND IMPLICATE ARGUMENTS - by this I mean go one step further to explain your arguments -- tell me why A leads to B and B leads to C and WHY IT MATTERS. IF AN ARG HAS NO WARRANT, I PROBABLY WILL NOT VOTE OFF IT Don't just say "Medicare for All equals less money for pharma companies", explain why (and why it matters) : warranting ex - "under Medicare for All, the government negotiates down the prices of drugs with pharma companies, cutting into their profits". Implication might be - "pharma has less cash for R&D". It doesn't even have to be wordy lol just tell me why your arg is happening and why it matters. I also love warranting for uniqueness in case (People seem to forget to do this often). Essentially, the more you can give me earlier in the round, the stronger your arg will be.
2. WEIGH YOUR ARGUMENTS - even if you're losing 2/3 of your arguments, if your 1/3 is more important than theirs', the round is not lost! Tell me why I ought to care about that 1/3 and why it's more important than anything else. I will evaluate what you tell me, so if you tell me poverty is more important than climate change and give me sound reasons why and it doesn't go touched/ responded to with warrants, then I will buy it no matter my personal beliefs. You don't want to take a chance and let me do the weighing for you. You have control over where I vote, you just have to do the work and tell me why. On the other side, even if you're winning your arguments, WEIGH! You can tell me that your argument is more probable or has more warranting or has a larger impact, etc. just do the work.
Also, don't just say "we outweigh on magnitude" go further -- explain how, and (preferably) tell me why it matters
Also metaweigh pleaseeeee (if they're talking about their argument being more probable and you're talking about yours being having a larger magnitude tell me why magnitude matters more than probability!!). I LOVE good metaweighing, it makes me so so happy. I also love pre-emptive metaweighing, so tbh as soon as you introduce weighing, ideally I'd love for it to be metaweighed. (i reward hella for it - check the speaks stuff at the end)
If you haven't ever heard about weighing, I will teach you before round, just ask me please. I'd much rather take 5-10 mins to explain it and have a good round than dive into a messy round with no weighing
i'm happy as long as you let me know when you're moving on to different parts of the arg. ex: "on their link" suffices for signposting.
4. CALLING FOR CARDS AND EVIDENCE ETHICS - Call for cards if something feels sketchy if u want, I don't care how many you call for, it's your prep time. If you find something, point it out in the next speech. I'll call for contested evidence later on if it's relevant, but feel free to remind me. If you don't call for something sketchy, then that's on you (oof), I'll have to consider it even if I don't want to. Sometimes I'll call for a card after the round just because I'm curious, but that shouldn't factor into my decision and usually I only call for ev that's disputed.
As for evidence ethics, I'm totally fine with paraphrasing, but if you powertag or misconstrue evidence, I'm going to be really upset and you will know in your speaks. As a debater, I took evi ethics really seriously. Ev exists for anything, you just have to find it. Also indicts don't mean game over, they're like any other arg, respond, weigh, etc.
5. COLLAPSE - This is SO underrated. You start with 2x 4 minute speeches of args on the topic, then get 4 more minutes. The round can't contain all these args in a 2 minute final focus. I don't want it to. I don't want it to in summary, and often even in second rebuttal! I want you to collapse! Pick strategic arguments and (frontline any offense on them first obviously/ weigh against) but drop the ones that aren't as strategic. Just do the weighing and don't forget/ abandon an arg you drop.
Ultimately, you get control over the ballot, I want to do the least amount of intervention possible as your judge so it is on you to make this a clean round!:)
6. EXTEND - uh this should maybe be obvious but here are my thoughts on this. Obv you can drop case, but if you do make sure you weigh against / frontline offense they put on it and have some sorta independent offense/ default neg/aff strat
IF YOU EXTEND YOU NEED THESE PARTS OF THE ARG FOR IT TO BE A FULL EXTENSION - UNIQUENESS/ LINK/ INTERNAL LINK(S)/ IMPACT (TERMINALISED) if parts of your arg are missing, I will be MUCH less likely to vote on it. If both teams don't have parts of their args, then,,, uh,,,, i'll be uncomfy and stress out about my decision lots and probably look for the path of least resistance. Please don't put me in that situation
You DON'T NEED TO EXTEND CARD NAMES, I'm fine with analysis as long as all the parts of the arg are there. Of course, you're welcome to extend cards, but I find it takes a lot longer and doesn't add much unless you're doing specific evidence weighing. Also, please weigh your extensions! Including turns, like why does your link overpower theirs?
ON PROGRESSIVE ARGS
I believe that prog args are a way to change the debate space and make it a better place for us. This means a) I'm really uncomfortable voting off "friv theory", especially run on opponents who don't know how to handle it, so if it feels like your theory is an EZ path to the ballot to trip up an opponent, I'll usually try not to evaluate it as much as other arguments. basically, the more friv the theory is, the more u need to make sure ur opponents are ok with it. i know that sounds super objective, i'm sorry, but rounds where high level varsity teams who have the privilege of going to camp and resources run theory on teams who don't have those resources are unfair and make me uncomfortable. BUT WITH THAT BEING SAID - b) if there's something that makes the space unsafe/ a violation of something u think is important and you explain that in your theory, progressive args are fine with me. I never ran Ks/ theory as a debater, but I get how they work and can evaluate them, just explain them well ofc. if you're unsure if the thing u wanna read theory on is friv or not, feel free to ask me, i really dont mind.
i dont like tricks much
I'll evaluate RVIs if you want to read them, but u have to warrant why im evaluating them ofc. I'll eval competing interps and responses to "must have competing interps". I'll eval paraphrase theory LMAO but I don't like it! I disagree!!! Paraphrasing good. Anyway.
I think every debater should watch this video.
If you're reading an argument about a sensitive topic, please read a content warning. Personally, I'd prefer if these were done anonymously thru a google form or another anon method so you don't have to put the burden on your opponents to ~expose~ themselves if that makes sense.
Put me on the email chain please! You don't have to shake my hand. Please preflow before the round. You can flip without me. Pls give me an offtime roadmap if you can!! won't penalise u if u don't tho! Wear what ur comfortable in.
I presume neg, I guess, but if default neg is part of your strat, prolly include a line of warranting cuz i will be uncomfy otherwise
Analysis> ev if there's an unresolved clash.
Defense isn't sticky, but I give some leniency to first summary speakers, cuz obviously it's impossible to have perfect coverage otherwise.
Second rebuttal should frontline offense, and I'd PREFER it if it frontlined defense, but like,, it's up to u. The later things come, the less weight I give them.
I am tech > truth but obv no one is tabula rasa. I'll vote off what's on the flow like nuke war or LONG link chains if you win them. I wanna evaluate what you give me with as little intervention as possible, so I'll try and stay out of how I feel about it lol unless it's really problematic. idk what then.
I'm okkkkkkk with second rebuttal offensive overviews but i don't love them and if you wanna call it abusive, I'll evaluate that too. Although, ngl I'd like it if you actually respond to it as well. Grouping responses is excellent. I'll give you some leniency, sure cuz time skew.
I hateeee blippy and unwarranted responses. Like, yeah, I'll flow and eval them, but I will give them a LOT less weight. You can go fast I'm down and cool with that, that doesn't mean you get to leave out parts of an arg though:( that makes me v sad. Don't go fast without explaining/ implicating pls.
calling me "judge" is annoying
Please send me a speech doc @ email@example.com if you want to spread. I can handle most pf-speed ok, but I might miss something. If I miss something, I'll probably just ask you to clarify when you're done speaking or ask for a doc, but that's not an invite for you to go really fast and hope that I'll do the clarifying.
I won't time you, but I'll stop flowing after a bit if your opponents hold up their timer and it's obvious you're over time. Don't abuse it.
Pls don't postround me, but please do ask me questions if you have any!!
I will give extra speaks (+.2 each) if you
- call turns "no you"s (+.1 per signposted "no you")
- Make me laugh (especially with puns, especially spontaneous ones)
- Reference Beyond Resolved
- Auto 30 if you make a Minecraft arg. Like not an analogy, a full blown Minecraft-based argument.
- auto 29.7 if u metaweigh decently with warrants and i'll boost it if ur phenomenal
- +.4 If you tell me your Subway Surfer's high score and it's higher than mine
- Reference Nick Miller from New Girl/ any1 from BBC's Merlin/ kate bush (I LOVE HERRRR)
- If our star signs are compatible - just tell me urs before round and i'll KNOW.
- Auto 30 if you rhyme your entire case
- Auto-boost to a 29.5 + if you Rhyme 25 seconds or so of your speech?
Don't worry, though. I'm pretty easy on speaks and usually give around a 28+. I'm personally not the prettiest speaker, so I totally get it and that shouldn't be a point of stress. More importantly, people get marginalised by the speaks system in ableist/ xenophobic / etc. ways.
I will take off speaks (-.1) for
- Unnecessary obnoxiousness (basically, if you're very mean. Joking around is totally fine lol)
- If our star signs are incompatible
- If your Subway Surfers score is lower than mine, I'll take off .1 points and I will automatically lose all respect for you.
I love debate this makes me happy. Have fun. Ask me if you have questions before or after the round!!
Hello! This paradigm is for the 2021 Harvard PF tournament.
I'm a first-year in Harvard College and compete a ton on the American and British Parliamentary debate circuits. In high school, I practiced East Coast American Parli for three years, though I'm also familiar with West Coast Parli and Worlds Schools. I've watched PF rounds online and have read judging guides, though I've never competed in the format.
1. Perceptual dominance and performative anger/sarcasm are good if they match your style, but remember to direct that anger/sarcasm toward your opponents' arguments and not your opponents themselves. Please trigger-warn arguments too: when in doubt, trigger-warn it, even if it seems mildly controversial to you. Read the room and don't be offensive, otherwise I will tank you and, in severe cases, end the round early.
2. I strongly dislike spreading and borderline consider it an equity issue. I also don't see the educational/rhetorical/etc. value in ever speaking that fast. If I clear you and you don't slow down, I will tank your speaks. That said, I can flow reasonably brisk speaking.
3. Please do not cherry-pick or intentionally misquote cards to confirm your arguments—it's academically disingenuous. When you read cards, explain the logic/warrant/mechanism/internal link/etc. for the finding/statistic. If you don't tell me why an outcome is true, I cannot credit it.
4. I love weighing. Amazing advice I hear not often enough: you should weigh in every speech, even in your constructives. Preemptive weighing cuts to the key issues in rounds and significantly improves clash. No weighing means judging is significantly more difficult for me, which makes my decision slightly more interventionist. To be clear, saying the word "scope" without a thorough explanation on why you outweigh on scope does not constitute weighing, that's just naming a weighing technique. Be very explicit when weighing.
5. Low-probability, high-impact arguments are silly and thoroughly unconvincing. Like, please don't make outlandish claims. I strongly prefer two arguments with clever, well-developed links to five blippy arguments which require me to make many assumptions. Showing why an argument is true is just as important as showing why an argument matters: the best debaters do both. To that end, I am not entirely a tabula rasa judge: if you say the sky is red and your opponent doesn't contest it, and your collapse is that they dropped this obviously false assertion, I will not vote on it. Otherwise, I intervene as little as possible.
6. You don't have to use a utilitarian framework! I love when debaters break the utilitarian bubble (just weigh your framework against utilitarianism).
7. I have no preference for speaking styles as long as you're organized: some debaters are content-heavy, others are speech-y, focus on maximizing what works best for you and experimenting with different styles. Eloquence does not mean you will get higher speaks, hence I don't believe in low-point wins.
8. Theory and kritik are fine when necessary, but make them clear and intuitive, otherwise they're exclusionary and I might tank you.
9. If any offense or defense is not in your summary speeches, I cannot vote on it if you say it in your final focus. When responding to arguments, be charitable and beat the best case. It's better to build up your opponent's argument for them and beat that version than it is to waste time responding to a sillier version of that argument.
10. If anything in my RFD is unclear, please ask for clarification. Don't be afraid to "post-round" as long you're respectful. It's a lot more educational to understand the RFD than it is to agonize about it later. I promise I won't be offended.
11. As long as you're nice and make fair arguments, I am a speaks fairy—don't stress about the break :)
Have fun, and good luck!
TL;DR clean extensions, weighed impacts, and warrant comparison are the easiest way to win my ballot.
I debated for 2 years in the UDL at Clara Barton and 4 years in PF at Blake (both in MN). Please don't mistake me for a policy judge, I was only a novice and didn't do any progressive argumentation.
My judging style is tech but persuasion is still important. I prefer a team that goes deeper on key issues (in the 2nd half of the debate) rather than going for all offense on the flow. There can/ should be a lot on the flow in the 1st half of the debate but not narrowing it down in summ and FF is extremely unstrategic and trades off with time to weigh your arguments and compare warrants.
Use evidence, quote evidence, and we won't have a problem. Don't paraphrase and don't bracket. Bad evidence ethics increases the probability that I will intervene against you, especially in messy debates.
I don't require it but I do think that 2nd rebuttal should rebuild. Now with the 3 min summary, I think a rebuild in rebuttal is crucial. I am very reluctant to accept a lot of new evidence in the 2nd summary because it pushes the debate back too much. (Note: I still accept a warrant clarification or deepening of a warrant/ analysis because that is separate from brand new evidence.)
Defense needs to be in first summary. With 3 minutes, summaries don't have an excuse anymore to be mediocre. Bottom Line: If it is not in summary then it cannot be in final focus. If it is not in final focus then I will not vote on it.
In order to win, you gotta weigh. The earlier you start the weighing, the better. I don't like new mechanisms in 2nd FF (1st FF is still a bit sketch. I am fine with timeframe, magnitude, probability new in the 1st FF but prereque should probably come sooner). The 2nd speaking summary has a big advantage so I don't accept that there is no time to weigh. It is fine if the summary speaker introduces quick weighing and the final focus elaborates on it in final focus (especially for 1st summary). If both teams are weighing, tell me which is the preferable weighing mechanism. Same for framework. Competing frameworks with no warrant for why to prefer either one becomes useless and I will pick the framework that is either cleanly extended or that I like better.
I vote on warrants and CLEAN extensions. A proper extension in the 2nd half of the round is the card name, the content of the card and the implication of the card. Anything short of this is a blippy extension, meaning I give it less weight during my evaluation of the flow. Name of the card is the least important part of the extension for me so don't get too caught up on that, it will just help me find the card on the flow.
I vote on the path of least resistance, if possible. That means that I am more inclined to vote on a dropped turn than messy case offense. But turns need to be implicated, I won't vote on a turn with no impact. Additionally, a link without an impact is useless. So is an impact without a link. Even if your opponent drops something, you still have to do a full extension (it can be quicker still but I don't accept blippy extensions).
You can speak fast, but I would like a warning. If you plan on going REALLY fast, any participant in the room can say "slow" or "clear" because speed is fine but fairness is more important. Also, the faster you speak, the less I will get on the flow. Just because I am a tech judge, does not mean I am able to type at godly speeds. Don't sacrifice persuasion, clarity, or argumentation for speed otherwise, it will be counterproductive for the debate and (possibly) your speaker points. With the new online format, sending a speech doc (before or after the speech) does not mean that you can be incomprehensible. I still need to be able to understand you verbally, I will not follow the speech doc during your speech.
I am still learning when it comes to judging/ evaluating theory and Ks. I am more familiar with ROB but still need a slower debate with clear warranting. I am more familiar with Ks than theory but never debated either so the concepts are taking me longer to internalize. You can run it in front of me but combining it with speed makes me even more confused. In short, theory is a bit of a gamble with me. I understand a lot of basic ideas when it comes to theory argumentation but your warranting and extensions will have to be even more explicit for me to keep up.
Also, be nice to each other (but a little sass never hurt anyone). Still, be cognizant of how much leeway you have with sass based on power dynamics and the trajectory of the round/ tone of the room. Sass does not mean bullying.
Sometimes messy rounds will come down to nitpicky things so here are some clarifications:
Warranted Cards > warranted analytics > unwarranted cards > unwarranted analytics
Qualified source and author > qualified source only> qualified author only > no qualified author or source
Link +impact extension > Link with no impact > impact with no link
Comparative weighing > weighing that is only about your impact > weighing that is about opponents impact only
I only have this list because some rounds have come down to each team doing one of these things so this list explains where/ how I intervene when I need to resolve a clash of arguments that were not resolved in the debate.
If the tournament allows, I like to disclose and have a discussion about the round after I submit my ballot. Ask me any questions before or after the round.
Hello! I'm a sophomore in college and have been a part of the Harvard College Debating Union for 2 years. I did 4 years of PF in high school.
I will flow your rounds, but please do not spread or speak quickly to try and cram things into your speeches. Quality over quantity, my friends. If you speak at a pace where your opponents and I simply can't understand you, it's a bad time for everyone involved.
Just because an article was published more recently or in a "more reputable journal/source" than another does not necessarily mean that it is more true or should be weighed more in my decision. If you revert to this as your sole rebuttal to dismiss your opponents' evidence, it makes me think you don't understand the evidence you're using.
On that note, just saying something is "empirically true" is not a rebuttal. Please elaborate if you're going to say this or I will be very sad.
Arguments must be present in both summary and final focus for me to vote on them.
Remember to have fun! Bonus points if you can make me laugh during your round. :)
tabs judge. be nice, please :)
did LD for 2 years, PF for one. Currently debate for the Harvard College Debate Union
This is all for PF.
Harvard 2021 update:
I find online debate harder to flow so slow down a little.
I'll take 1 speaker point off every time you say:
i. Something false about the world
ii. That you outweigh on "clarity."
iii. A roadmap that's just "I'll respond to my opponent's case and if time allows I'll go back to my own."
Paradigm: Did 4 years of PF, currently do college parli (BP and APDA). I'm probably a bit more interventionist than I used to be - this mostly means I'm skeptical of low-probability, high-impact arguments. I'll adapt to you, ask me specific stuff before round.
Tech > truth but cards w/ logical warrants > logic only > cards only. I really don't care about evidence unless you're saying something unintuitive.
I can probably keep up with your speed, but don't spread.
Don't read new contentions in rebuttal.
Second rebuttal must frontline. I won't flow new responses to turns in second summary.
Progressive args are ok but I'll be worse at evaluating them than substance. No disclosure theory pls.
Dropped defense is sticky (so rebuttal --> FF defense extensions are OK) but you have to explain how it affects the argument (i.e., is defense terminal or not, etc.).
I will give you a 30 if you win the round with only analytical arguments.
If both teams agree I'll adjudicate the round by coinflip and give you all 30s.
If both teams agree to skip cross and prep time I will give you all 29.5+.
Tech over truth, but there's a line. Warrant your arguments well. I won't default, ever. 30s if you run a politics scenario well.
Second rebuttal does not need to respond to defense from first rebuttal, but must respond to turns. First summary does not need to extend defense that isn’t frontlined in the first rebuttal. Defense is sticky. Extensions need to have a clear citation, and short crystallization of the warrant AND impact before I can vote on it. I'll give you marginal offense with a poorly extended impact, but no offense from a poorly extended warrant.
The first time you warrant an argument, I'll take that as your warrant. This doesn't mean that I will vote for an argument with poor warrant extension, but if the first time you provide/explain the warrant is not in the first speech you read the argument, I won't consider it.
I have a VERY high standard for offs if they're run against novice/inexperienced teams.
I have been judging for 2 years. I am an experienced parent judge, but please speak slowly and clearly because I am still learning how to flow. If you would like me to consider an argument or defense in my decision, make sure to bring it up again in final focus.
Jokes are appreciated.
You can either spread flow or spread happiness. I like only one of them.
**Updated Aug 2021**
I have experience competing and judging in both PF and WS, as well as a bit of coaching/judging experience in CT parli. I am now a senior in college. For the first three years of college (and last year, when I was on leave) I competed mostly in APDA for Yale. I've coached for Blake since my high school graduation.
Feel free to message me for feedback, if you have questions about maybe doing APDA in college, for moral support, or anything else. I'm happy to help!
This paradigm is for PF, though some things apply across events (eg: the decorum section).
Is this section even necessary anymore? Everyone frontlines now. That's nice.
I can flow speed, but I have my limits, so proceed at your own risk. You can "clear" your opponents but do this sparingly. I don't use speech docs to fill in things I could not catch/understand.
Types of arguments
You are the debater, and I want you to enjoy debating things that interest you. There are few things I refuse to hear.
Progressive arguments are important. I'll do my best to evaluate them fairly. I am not super well versed in K lit so while I will try and understand whatever you read, there's a risk I just miss something.
I really don't like when teams run squirrelly arguments just to throw off their opponents. Your points may suffer even if I vote for you and my threshold for responses will be lower.
If you're on a topic where people tend to run "advocacies" (eg the military spending topic) please prove there's a probability of your advocacy occurring.
I am not amenable to speaks theory. Please don't even bother.
The only other args I refuse to listen to are linguistic and moral skep – I have yet to hear them in PF, but don't even try lol
please read them lol
I very strongly prefer cards > paraphrasing, but it isn't a hard rule. I will punish you for misrepresenting evidence or knowingly reading authors that are fraudulent or very clearly unreliable.
Know where your evidence is. If you can't find it, it's getting kicked. Do not cut cards in round.
Bracketing is bad. No debater math pls.
Summary and Final Focus
Now that summary has three minutes, please extend defense. For the love of god, don't go for everything. Args needs to be in summary to be counted in FF. Also, weigh.
Being funny or witty is fine as long as it isn't mean. I am not afraid to tank your speaks if you are rude.
keep track of it i don't want to
don't delink your own case to escape turns just frontline them
You can enter the room and flip before I get there (when we're back in person that is).
If you want to take off your jacket/change your shoes/wear pajamas, go ahead!
If you're trying to get perfect speaks, strike me. I don't think I've ever given a 30. A lot of my speaks end up in the 27.5-29 range.
As a judge, I will adapt to you too. Do what you do best!
That said, I am a pretty standard PF tech judge, with a couple of specific preferences, outlined below:
(1) I only vote off offense that is in both summary and final focus – if it’s in one but not the other, I probably won’t consider it in my decision. If you’re the first speaking team, defensive responses to your opponent’s case do not need to be in summary – I’ll still evaluate them if they’re in final focus. Turns that you want to win off of must be in 1st summary. If you’re the second speaking team, defensive responses need to be in both summary/final focus for me to evaluate them. If you have questions on this, please ask!
(2) If I have the choice between voting for an impact that’s weighed as the biggest in the round but is muddled versus a less important but clean impact, I will resolve the muddled impact every time. I hope this encourages y’all to collapse, develop, and weigh arguments instead of going for like 4 different voters (unless you weigh all four of them :) ).
(3) I care very little about what your cards say. I care a lot more about the warranting behind them. I will never vote on the idea that something is just "empirically true," although empirics do help when you're doing warrant comparisons/maybe a probability weighing analysis.
(4) I rarely receptive to progressive arguments (Ks/theory) unless there's a real instance of abuse in the round. I strongly dislike disclosure theory. If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it.
(5) In case it's helpful, I did nat circuit PF 2013-2017.
- and don't forget to have fun!
For the most part I have debated and judged in parlimentary debates.
Fewer points with solid explanations will probably take the round.
I can vote of theory but it needs to be clearly explained why it is more important than everything else in the round.
This is so short because I think I am fairly generic. If you have any questions about how I evaluate things ask before the round.
I did not do debate in high school or college.
I have been coaching speech and debate for nearly 20 years. I focus on speech events and PF. I rarely judge LD (some years I have gone the entire year without judging LD), so if I am your judge in LD, please go slowly. I will attempt to evaluate every argument you provide in the round, but your ability to clearly explain the argument dictates whether or not it will actually impact my decision/be the argument that I vote off of in the round. When it comes to theory or other progressive arguments (basically arguments that may not directly link to the resolution) please do not assume that I understand completely how these arguments function in the round. You will need to explain to me why and how you are winning and why these arguments are important. When it comes to explanation, do not take anything for granted. Additionally, if you are speaking too quickly, I will simply put my pen down and say "clear."
In terms of PF, although I am not a fan of labels for judges ("tech," "lay," "flay") I would probably best be described as traditional. I really like it when debaters discuss the resolution and issues related to the resolution, rather than getting "lost in the sauce." What I mean by "lost in the sauce" is that sometimes debaters end up talking more about how the debate is going down rather than the actual issues at hand. Try your best to avoid debating debate and debate the resolution.
Argument selection is a skill. Based on the time restrictions in PF debate, you should focus on the most important arguments in the summary and final focus speeches. I believe that PF rounds function like a funnel. You should only be discussing a few arguments at the end of the round. If you are discussing a lot of arguments, you are probably speaking really quickly, and you are also probably sacrificing thoroughness of explanation. Go slowly and explain completely, please.
In cross, please be nice. Don't talk over one another. I will dock your speaks if you are rude or condescending. Also, every competitor needs to participate in grand cross. I will dock your speaks if one of the speakers does not participate.
If you have any questions, please let me know after I provide my RFD. I am here to help you learn.
Please add both emails to the chain.
I will not read the email chain unless I need it for evidence after round. It should not be a crutch for you to rely on. If I don’t catch it, the argument isn’t on my flow.
Assistant Debate Coach, The Blake School – 2014-Present
Assistant Debate Coach, Blaine High School – 2013-14
I see debate as a research oriented activity with elements of persuasion and communication built in. The “logic” of a student’s argument should always start grounded in literature and research done by experts and any analysis done should stem from it. Otherwise, I’m just listening to teenagers make things up and that sounds like a waste of my time. I am not the judge for your rounds especially if you plan on reading through three word clips followed by an author name and no date.
The inability to produce a piece of evidence that you have introduced into the round ends the round in an L-25 for your team.
I expect that the second speaking team interacts in some fashion with the arguments made by the first rebuttal. I don’t need a perfect 2-2 split, but I should at least hear you respond to offensive arguments made in order to stay relevant in the round.
All defense needs to be extended in the following speech if you want me to consider it. The final focus cannot go for anything that wasn't included in the summary.
I don’t think that an argument needs a number next to it to necessarily matter in the round. In fact, I find arguments that are a string of “x number leads to y, y is equivocal to z points…” and the like to be unpersuasive. I do not know what inputs exists for this haphazardly thrown together equation nor do I think cross-applying studies in this fashion takes into account differences in how the research was conducted and on what groups.
I think observations/frameworks that provide actor obligations/requirements are interesting and underutilized. They provide me a neat set of rules for the round to be evaluated.
My speaker points average 27.7 these days if that’s important to you.
On theory, kritiks, and whatever else “progressive” argumentation you would like to read:
I default to a position of reasonability > competing interps.
RVIs are silly, you shouldn’t be able to score points for following rules. Paraphrasing is bad, and disclosure is good.
Good is good enough. On most theory questions in PF, the decision is a binary one. Is disclosure good, is paraphrasing bad, etc. are easy to decide. I’m not a fan of rather arbitrary differences post the initial question(open source vs first-three-last-three as an example).
Introduction of theory arguments should happen in the speech directly following the violation. Out of round violations should be introduced in constructives.
Frivolous theory such as shoes or whatever else people have made up at this point is a pretty quick intervention by me. Whatever you’re reading, you should fully believe that the norm makes debate rounds more educational, and fair.
Kritiks are fair game, give me specific links please. Discourse oriented alts I don’t find that compelling and are usually missing a pretty detailed framing debate to win.
I got put into the LD outround pool. I do not normally judge LD -- please be nice to me. I will probably not understand any jargon, but I do debate a lot in other formats so make it clear to me what you're referring to. Don't be too fast. Thanks :)
I'm currently a sophomore at Harvard College debating in APDA and British Parliamentary. I did not do PF in high school – jargon is blegh to me.
Harvard HST 2021 (Public Forum / Zoomrum):
TL;DR: Generally tab, focus on weighing and warranting. Frontline in 2R. Don't be a dick.
1. Be nice, and please don't argue. If you are a male speaker who keeps interrupting female competitors in cross-ex, I will probably tank you.
2. Speak clearly. The best way to get something onto the flow is if I can understand what you're saying, and I vote off of my flow. Even though I'm used to people speaking fast, I cannot guarantee I will flow everything if you spread.
3. Auto 30s for a round of interpretive dances.
1. I'm tab unless there's something truly uncomfortable for me to listen to, at which point I will stop flowing. If this happens, you have most likely lost the round.
2. Please weigh, and weigh as much as possible. If weighing goes uncontested, I will pick it up even if it doesn't have fully fleshed-out warranting. If I'm not given weighing by either side, I will have to evaluate that through my own intuition. Similarly, if an impact is muddled, I will resolve it through my intuition. My own intuition is almost exclusively bad (I chose of my own accord, for example, to be a philosophy major). My bad intuition makes it very hard to win the round.
3. Please frontline in 2R. If you don't, I'll discount future responses significantly. If it's not in final focus, it probably means you didn't think it was important enough to bring up. That means it's not important enough for me to vote off of. No new warrants in Summary / FF.
4. I don't really care what some old white economist from MIT has to say on an issue; bring me the warranting and logic that makes it relevant to the debate.
5. I don't judge often, so I have no idea what a kay is. I also didn't prep this topic ahead of time. But I do like cities.
6. If you are one of the debaters trying to argue that increased rates of cholera or higher death rates are good, just please don't. I will be embarrassed on your behalf, not as a debater, but as a human.
I debated PF all through high school, coached all through college, and am now coaching at Walt Whitman High School in Maryland. My role in the round is to interpret the world you aim to create, and to that end you should tell me explicitly what it is you are trying to do. I stick to the flow as well as I can.
common question answers:
1. Anything that needs to be on the ballot, needs to be in Final Focus, and anything in final needs to be in summary.
2. The first speaking team should be predicting the offense in first summary that needs to be responded to, and putting defense on it then. This ALSO means that the second speaking team has to frontline in the rebuttal. Any arguments/defense that are not in the First Summary are dropped, and any arguments that are not frontlined in the second rebuttal are dropped.
3. Summary to Final Focus consistency is key, especially in terms of the relevance of arguments, if something is going to be a huge deal, it should be so in both speeches.
4. I will call for cards that I think are important, and I will throw them out if they are bad or misrepresented, regardless of if they are challenged in the round. sometimes when two arguments are clashing with little to no analysis, this is the only way to settle it.
Speed is fine, I'll evaluate critical arguments if they have a solid link.
I evaluate theory if it's needed, but I'm semi-skeptical of how often that really is.
Feel free to ask for anything else you need to know.
You should also probably pre-flow before the start time of the round, that will help your speaks!
World Schools + British Parliamentary background