Harvard Round Robin
2021 — Online, MA/US
Lincoln Douglas RR Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
TOC UPDATE: in an effort to provide full transparency, I want to make clear that there are certain debates I feel not confident adjudicating:
1. Really messy substance debates (that lack weighing and clarity and rely on my ability to catch every analytic against every card) & or anything that requires me to have in-depth knowledge of the topic.
-please provide clarity and overviews & tell me why you are winning
-weighing impacts and between other weighing standards
-if you want to win on a turn, answer the aff & explain defense
2. Blippy 1ar theory that is collapsed to in the 2ar (I’m biased against 15 second shells unless the 1n is 5+ offs)
-imbedded weighing in the standards is ideal!
3. K debate (I’m pretty confident in this but I have a hot take that makes me vote against k’s more often than I would like to)
-I need to be convinced that a cap or security k (or other variant) exists on a pre-fiat level or somehow the aff cannot be leveraged against it. If the impacts are post fiat, so is the k in my opinion. Pre fiat Ks are about reps that influence the real world! This seems kinda obvious but just to clarify.
4. tricks vs ableism/other ks- I will 9 times out of 10 vote on the k
5. Performance affs that stray from message after the 1ac. Do not forget your message by the 1ar and don’t drop case in the 2ar! I will vote against you if you want to win on the aff.
1.OK Y'ALL IF YOU DO NOT EXTEND YOUR CASE, I CANNOT VOTE ON IT. If they concede your case, tell me they conceded your case and extend your arguments and weigh them, don't just say "They conceded my case, now let's move on" I will NOT VOTE FOR YOU on this argument.
2. no new in the 2 args- I STOP FLOWING. IF I AM NOT FLOWING IT, I AM NOT EVALUATING IT.
3. Also, when the timer goes off my pen is down, I am not flowing unfinished args/cards.
I want to be on the email chain- email@example.com
TLDR: Run anything! How to pref me:
T/Theory: 2 (Lower if you are going to spread through all your analytics)
Hi y'all! A lil background on me: I debated for Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, AZ for 4 years from 2015-2019. I currently attend the University of Pennsylvania. I at-larged to the TOC my Senior year and debated almost entirely locally my freshman and sophomore year so I am comfortable with more traditional style debating as well as progressive. I have run every type of argument that exists in LD debate so I will try my best to adjudicate rounds as tab as possible but I will provide a disclaimer to you that I tend to give more weight to Reps than most judges because I very often ran Reps myself as a debater- that does not mean reading reps is an auto win so just make good args.
Things to keep in mind: I have not been involved in debate since April of 2019 so I advise you not to go full speed. I will let you know by saying "Clear" 3 times before I start docking speaks. Also when switching between flows: say 1, 2, .., etc so I can keep my flows separate. I am generally a messy flow-er and I do not think that will change. If I miss something because you didn't listen to me when I cleared you, that is on you. Also if something is really important, SLOW DOWN. You do not want me to miss your ballot story.
General thoughts on Progressive vs Traditional debates: I do not think you should have to go out of your comfort zone to try to match a traditional debater. If they ask you to slow down, please do. If they ask you to explain your arguments, please do. I will not hurt your speaks for your strategy but being a dick warrants at the highest a 27. If you both explain and maintain a slower pace, I will be a points fairy.
How I view rounds:
Layers of debate (obviously negotiable- but my defaults- pls do weighing and change my mind)
My defaults on theory: They don't exist. Read paradigm issues, if you don't I can't evaluate your shell.
Phil: I did this a lot in high school but if you are running a less well-known philosopher in debate, please take time to slow down and explain how the framework operates. I ran a lot of tricky framework args in high school to auto-win framework so I fairly well versed in how these debates run. Default epistemic confidence.
Aff K's: I ran these but also debated them so I have no default opinion. I have both read and responded to T against these but if it is the type of debate you are most comfortable with or feel like you have a strong message, please read them. Just make sure to give me a ballot story or I don't know how to evaluate your AC.
K: I love the K but pls if you don't understand your K and cannot give a 2N on it, do not run it. Your speaks will be very disappointed in you. Other than that, give me a ROTB and prove that the alt solves the impacts you read and I will evaluate your K. Pretty well versed on almost every K- legit all reps, Cap, Anthro, Antiblackness (mostly ran Wilderson), Set col, Nietzsche (wouldn't suggest running it unless you are very confident because I have pretty low threshold for responses to it), Fem, Security, Baudrillard (but really just who on hell is Baudrillard), etc. K's I don't know much about: Psychoanalysis (tried to avoid these debates by uplayering) and Bataille.
T: I love T and imbedding reps into it-- Shoutout to the OG Sai Karavadi for being an icon at doing this. That being said, I would run 3 T shells if the aff violated so I love these debates. 2N should collapse and weigh. I don't have any defaults but Nebel T is kinda funny although I ran it all the time so I think it's a legit arg (or time suck). RVIs are great, go for them.
Theory: I mean go for it. I will vote on bad args if they win. Just pls read paradigm issues. RVIs are great, go for them.
1AR theory: I do not like the 5 second condo bad shells, please read something that you can grandstand on in the 2AR without making a ton of new args. That being said, please read 1AR theory because I will vote on it if you win it and win weighing.
DISCLOSURE: PLEASE DISCLOSE. I have been both pro and anti disclosure through my debate career but by the end of my senior year, I can say that I am a very strong advocate of disclosure. If your opponent does not have a wiki, find them on facebook or in person and ask for their case. If they are a traditional debater, they are still required to give it to you. I think disclosure theory is always valid if you have asked and they have declined to give it to you (Esp if they know what the wiki is). However, if you could not find your opponent and their case is very traditional and you have blocks to it, please read those instead.
Tricks: No pls no. If you do read them, I believe in new in the 2 responses and will provide a very low threshold to responses. Auto 25 speaks if you ask, "What's an a priori?" to someone asking if you have any a prioris.
Larp: Go for it! I love love love when debaters make it easy with weighing (prob, mag, duration, tf, etc) and also if you weigh between them (Prob vs mag) I will love you and your speaks will notice.
CP: I default condo and I do not judge kick.
Long U/V: Go for it.
Speaker Points Scale (I tend to evaluate this more on strat than how you speak because I would never dock points for a stutter or speech impediment).
30: You'll win the tournament IMO
29.5-29.9: Clear win, my ballot was written in 3 seconds, thank you for your service.
29-29.4: Great strategy, you won, but it wasn't crystal clear at the end of the round.
28.5-28.9: More muddled but I knew what you were going for.
28-28.4: Round was messy and it was hard to evaluate.
27.5-27.9: You really had no idea what your strat was but pulled something together.
27-27.4: I wanted to rip my hair out writing this ballot.
25: You are a dick
Hello there! I’m Ishan.
Background: I did Lincoln-Douglas in high school + one year of world schools. In college, I did a year of policy, but I mostly thought about limited prep events like British Parliamentary. I’ve generally stopped competing now. I was on the 2020-21 LD topic committee.
Affiliations: I coach Greenhill and the USA Debate Team. I debated for St. Andrew's Episcopal in high school.
Paradigm: Be nice or leave.
You should treat me as a layperson who is interested and generally knowledgeable in politics, philosophy, economics, etc but carries no knowledge or preference for debate technique other than the fact that the burden of proof and rejoinder apply. I do not recommend excessive use of debate jargon. I will carry some bias towards liberal principles, like free speech, democracy, believing that we have an obligation to alleviate unnecessary suffering, etc.
I will actively assess the quality of the proof you supply to your arguments. An argument begins at the risk that the justification for it implies. In non-evidence based formats, I listen carefully to the robustness of your justification and weigh argument quality heavily in my decision.
In evidence based formats, this means I want to hear the qualifications of your authors and (at minimum) the year in which the evidence was written. Having qualified evidence to back up your argument substantially increases its credibility. However, having a “card” does not matter unless the warrant that you read from the evidence is both (a) read in your speech (b) convincing. Therefore, saying that some person from some blog made an assertion is equivalent to wasting your speech time. You must go through the reasoning in the evidence. Be warned, I will automatically vote against a team if I determine they are misrepresenting the evidence they are citing.
I debated Lincoln Douglas at Walt Whitman High School from 2014 to 2018 on the national and local circuits. I qualified to the Tournament of Champions in 2017 and 2018. I am currently a junior at Harvard College and a member of the Harvard College Debating Union.
I debated a bit of everything, but I have the most experience with theory, topicality, and framework debate.
The debates I enjoyed the most involved semi-topical affs about identity and/or oppression. Tricks were also fun. I love good (read: creative, well-researched) disads or counterplans, but I also love hearing k debates.
I need to hear clear, explicit extensions and weighing on every layer of the debate. Tell me where to vote and why I should vote there. Simple is better.
Basically, read anything in front of me, try not to be boring, definitely don’t be a jerk (be extra nice, because I am sensitive), and don’t spread too fast — I only judge at Harvard, so assume I haven't heard speed in 12 months.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook with questions, cases, etc. (Yes, I want to be on email chains!)
Panicked Afterthought: I don't understand high theory/post-modern philosophy so maybe don't read that in front of me? I will do the absolute best I can to sift though it but no promises.
I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during prep. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
Experience- This will be my third year coaching at Northview High School. Before moving to Georgia, I coached for 7 years at Marquette High in Milwaukee, WI and I debated there for four years.
Yes, add me to the email chain. My email is email@example.com
*As I have gained more coaching and judging experience, I find that I highly value teams who respect their opponents who might not have the same experience as them. This includes watching how you come across in CX, prep time, and your general comportment towards your opponent. In some local circuits, circuit-style policy debate is dwindling and we all have a responsibility to be respectful of the experience of everyone involved in policy debate.*
*Clarity in online debates- I do not flow off the document that you send me. This means that you must take extra precautions to be clear in online debates. I haven't found a good way to communicate with debaters that they are too unclear to flow, because it's difficult to demonstrate frustration over video calls and the alternative is interrupting the call. I will say clear once or twice. Please keep an eye on your clarity.*
LD Folks at the Blue Key RR, please read the addendum at the end of my paradigm.
Big picture “ideologies”
-I believe that rounds often lack comparative claims about the relative quality of arguments and how this impacts the interactions of arguments. Put another way, impact calculus does not only pertain to weighing the magnitude, timeframe and probability of impacts against each other but also pertains to comparing the way in which defensive arguments, claims about qualifications, evidence quality or other similar arguments impact how I should evaluate certain arguments within the round. When debating, always ask the question "Why?", such as "If I win this argument, WHY is this important?", "If I lose this argument WHY does this matter?". If you start thinking in these terms and can explain each level of this analysis to me, then you will get closer to winning the round. In general, the more often this happens and the earlier this happens it will be easier for me to understand where you are going with certain arguments. This type of analysis definitely warrants higher speaker points from me and it helps you as a debater eliminate my predispositions from the debate.
-For me to vote on a single argument, it must have a claim, warrant, impact, and impact comparison. This also applies to how I judge DA an CP debates.
A DA is not a full DA until a uniqueness, link, internal link and impact argument is presented. Too many teams are getting away with 2 card DA shells in the 1NC and then reading uniqueness walls in the block. I will generally allow for new 1AR answers.
Similarly, CP's should have a solvency advocate read in the 1NC. I'll be flexible on allowing 1AR arguments in a world where the aff makes an argument about the lack of a solvency advocate.
- Yes, terminal defense exists, however, I do not think that teams take enough advantage of this kind of argument in front of me. I will not always evaluate the round through a lens of offense-defense, but you still need to make arguments as to why I shouldn’t by at least explaining why your argument functions as termainal defense. Again this plays into evidence questions and the relative impacts of arguments claims made above.
With those three main paradigmatic questions out of the way, here are my thoughts on particular arguments. This list is by no means exhaustive and if you have any questions about specifics, feel free to ask. Again, these are just predispositions that I would like to eliminate as much as possible while judging but I cannot shy away from the fact that they exist and will impact the way I think about rounds.
Case- Debates are won or lost in the case debate. By this, I mean that proving whether or not the aff successfully accesses all, some or none of the case advantages has implications on every flow of the debate and should be a fundamental question of most 2NRs and 2ARs. I think that blocks that are heavy in case defense or impact turns are incredibly advantageous for the neg because they enable you to win any CP (by proving the case defense as a response to the solvency deficit), K (see below) or DA (pretty obvious). I think that most affs can be divided into two categories: affs with a lot of impacts but poor internal links and affs with very solid internal links but questionable impacts. Acknowledging in which of these two categories the aff you are debating falls should shape how you approach the case debate. I find myself growing increasingly disappointed by negative teams that do not test weak affirmatives. I miss judging impact turn debate, but don't think that spark or wipeout are persuasive arguments.
DA- I most often evaluate the DA through a lens of probability. Your job as the aff team when debating a DA is to use your defensive arguments to question the probability of the internal links to the aff. Likewise, the neg should use turns case arguments as a reason why your DA calls into question the probability of the aff's internal link. I think that an interesting argument that is often not taken advantage of by the neg is DA is the prerequisite for the aff argument.
CP- While, when it is a focus of the debate, I tend to err affirmative on questions of counterplan competiton, I have grown to be more persuaded by a well-executed counterplan strategy even if the counterplan is a process counterplan. The best counterplans have a solvency advocate who is, at least, specific to the topic, and, best, specific to the affirmative. I do not default to judge kicking the counterplan and will be easily persuaded by an affirmative argument about why I should not default to that kind of in-round conditionality.
K- I think that the best critiques are critiques that directly engage the action of the affirmative, however, criticisms or the representations of the aff are also fair. Most rounds on the K are won in front of me when the 2N explains how the K turns the case or is somehow a prerequisite for the aff. I do find permutations persuasive when this sort of analysis is lacking, however. I also find that I will give higher speaker points to the team that explains links to specific lines in their opponents' evidence or to the logic within cross-x answers etc.
I will say that I think the strategy of going for the K with case defense is an argument combination that is not utilized enough. I think that case defense allows you to provide substantive ways in which I can call into question the assumptions of the aff. I think that it is very difficult in high school debate for an aff team to come back from a block that consists of the K and case defense exclusively. By case debate, I do not just mean your generic K links put on the case page. Sure, there's some advantages to this strategy, but making smart arguments that disprove the thesis of their aff is always a good idea. K teams so frequently let policy affs get away with some really poor evidence quality and weak internal links. Please help the community and deter policy teams from reading one bad internal link to their heg aff against your [INSERT THEORY HERE] K. (NOTE: This is not me encouraging you to exclusively debate like this in front of me, I just think that it is an under used strategy).
More familiar bodies of literature: Queerness, security, Lacan, capitalism, anthro
Somewhat familiar: settler colonialism, afropessimism, cybernetics
Less familiar: Baudrillard, Bataille, Deleuze
K affs- After having judged an increasing amount of debates between plan-less affs and framework, I have started to realize that my thoughts on this question are changing.
1.) Topicality is winning more debates in front of me- While I think that it is possible for teams to win debates vs. plan-less affirmatives without reading topicality, my thoughts on T as an effective strategy against these affs have changed to the point where I think this is a strategic position.
2.) The form vs. content distinction is persuasive- Teams that make arguments that distinguish between the content of the affirmative and the form of policy debate are generally persuasive to me. I think that the evolution in TVA and negative state action arguments have persuaded me that the content of the affirmative can be accessed through "topical" action. This, of course, does not mean that there isn't room for discussion here. Aff teams should be specific when making these arguments.
3.) Case in T debates- Regardless of the side you're on in one of these debates, I think that a lot of the debate comes down to whether or not the aff can access the affirmative and if this gives them offense on the T debate. I have been persuaded by "aff comes first" arguments in the past, particularly when the case is conceded. Negatives need to have arguments (preferably specific ones) about why the aff can't access their offense.
4.) I do think there are situations in which it is a fair expectation that the negative should have a specific answer to the affirmative that does not rely on a generic T, cap or disad shell. In particular, I tend to be persuaded by arguments about the predictability of “debate about debate” being a round for which the negative should have been prepared.
For reference, here is what I used to say about K affs (circa 2016-17):
I want to start out this section of my paradigm by saying that I have not judged many debates in which the affirmative has not read a plan text. I have openly coached teams that do not read plan texts and am open to the idea, however, I am not an experienced judge in this area of the debate. This means that if you are a team that does not defend resolutional action or does not read a plan text you must be clear as to how your advocacy statement or performative impact rectifies the impacts isolated in the 1AC.
I think that strong negative offense against these positions stems from kritiks or disads to the performative action/mechanism of the affirmative. In other words, I think the best answers to these affirmatives directly answer the thesis of the affirmative. I do not think that framework/T debates are the best answers to these arguments. Again, if framework is your response, that's fine but you will need to be making portable skills arguments that are contextualized to lack of access in debate, otherization in the debate space etc., to win my ballot in framework debates.
T- While I used to say that T is not necessarily my strong suit, I think that this has changed in the last year particularly given the lack of affirmative creativity on the arms sales topic. I think that portable skills are the best impact teams can make when they are engaged in T or theory debates. Comparative impact calculus and a discussion of how each team accesses their impacts will be important in winning my ballot in T debates. I find it incredibly problematic when there are multiple T interpretations in the round, especially when there are multiple definitions of the same word. However, as mentioned above, I think that an affirmative team can persuasively make arguments about why aff creativity outweighs predictability, particularly on this topic.
Theory- I debated on a team that engaged in a lot of theory debates in high school. There were multiple tournaments where most of our debates boiled down to theory questions, so I would like to think that I am a good judge for theory debates. I think that teams forget that theory debates are structured like a disadvantage. Again, comparative impact calculus is important to win my ballots in these debates. I will say that I tend to err aff on most theory questions. For example, I think that it is probably problematic for there to be more than one conditional advocacy in a round (and that it is equally problematic for your counter interpretation to be dispositionality) and I think that counterplans that compete off of certainty are bad for education and unfair to the aff. Again, portable skills are the most important to me in terms of my predispositions so you will need to do work in round to explain your arguments in this context.
Individuals who have most influenced my thoughts about debate/who's decision making calculus was (at least at one point) similar to mine: Tyler Thur (former partner), Ben Schultz (former coach).
Speaker point range on CJR (for post-round reference):
Average- 28.2 (though teams I've judged that have cleared at circuit tournaments average ~28.7)
I recommend that you go to the bathroom and fill your water bottles before the debate rather than before a speech.
Notes for the Blue Key RR/Other LD Judging Obligations
Biggest shift for me in judging LD debates is the following: No tricks or intuitively false arguments. I'll vote on dropped arguments, but those arguments need a claim, data, warrant and an impact for me to vote on them. If I can't explain the argument back to you and the implications of that argument on the rest of the debate, I'm not voting for you.
I guess this wasn't clear enough the first time around- I don't flow off the document and your walls of framework and theory analytics are really hard to flow when you don't put any breaks in between them.
Similarly, phil debates are always difficult for me to analyze. I tend to think affirmative's should defend implementation particularly when the resolution specifies an actor. Outside of my general desire to see some debates about implementation, I don't have any kind of background in the phil literature bases and so will have a harder time picturing the implications of you winning specific arguments. If you want me to understand how your argumets interact, you will have to do a lot of explanation.
Theory debates- Yes, I said that I enjoy theory debates in my paradigm above and that is largely still true, but CX theory debates are a lot less technical than LD debates. I also think there are a lot of silly theory arguments in LD and I tend to have a higher threshold for those sorts of arguments. I also don't have much of a reference for norm setting in LD or what the norms actually are. Take that into account if you choose to go for theory and probably don't because I won't award you with high enough speaks for your liking.
K debates- Yes, I enjoy K debates but I tend to think that their LD variant is very shallow. You need to do more specific work in linking to the affirmative and developing the implications of your theory of power claims. While I enjoy good LD debates on the K, I always feel like I have to do a lot of work to justify a ballot in either direction. This is magnified
Thoughts from the arms sales topic that I don't expect anyone to even see:
Judging debates on the arms sales topic is most difficult for me when the negative strategy relies on winning an internal link or link turn to affirmative strategies in order to win an off-case position. Absent specific link or comparative sequencing analysis, I find it difficult to evaluate the distinctions between the China War advantage and the Deterrence DA, for example. I believe these debates are most successful at the highest level, but teams that are slower or might not have the strongest strategic vision often fail to win these negative strategies.
I debated LD for Lexington (MA) and graduated in 2015. I now coach LD at Walt Whitman (MD).
Speed is fine as long as you are clear. I will say clear as many times as necessary but I will get frustrated if you don’t slow down and make an actual effort to be clear. Don’t start your speech at full speed because it can take me a few seconds to get used to your voice and be able to understand you spreading. I don’t read your speech docs while I flow, so be clear on advocacy texts, interpretations, tags, and author names.
I am very comfortable not voting for an argument because I could not understand it in the first speech even if it is crystal clear in your final speech. I am also very comfortable not voting for nonsense arguments, even if they are dropped.
If you are sharing docs, prep time stops when you save the document. Email only one compiled document. Don't compile speech docs or pull up files outside of prep time.
I went mostly for policy-type arguments in high school so I believe they are the debates that I am best at evaluating.
I am not the most well-read judge for a lot of philosophical debates. That said, I think that I can understand most frameworks as long as you present them clearly.
I enjoy good theory debates, but I think most of the theory debates I have ever seen are a form of argument avoidance. A lot of generic shells frustrate and bore me. I like when debaters read cards to support T standards. I think RVIs are logical. I don’t think textuality make any sense as a voter on topicality because as long as both debaters have a definition, they both are textual. From there, topicality is a question of whose interpretation is best for fairness, education, or advocacy skills. I won’t vote off of an offensive counterinterpretation unless you provide an RVI or have standards that justify the offensive plank of the interpretation.
I like kritikal debates and encourage you to read Ks in front of me. I don’t care if your aff is topical or not. I am, however, comfortable voting on T against non-topical affs.
In the absence of any arguments otherwise, this is how I will evaluate debates. This, however, is not an indication of preferences.
-Theory is an issue of reasonability.
-Aff does not get an RVI on theory.
-Theory is a reason to drop the argument.
-Theory is a question of norm setting.
-I will evaluate debates through comparative worlds.
-Neg defends the status quo.
-Counterplans are conditional and judge can kick the counterplan for the neg.
Arguments that I am not a fan of (but I will still vote on):
-Presumption and permissibility triggers
-Affirmative framework choice and affirmative contention choice
-Theoretically justified frameworks
-Theory about case order (ethical frameworks first, role of the ballot first, etc.)
-Most a prioris
Arguments I won’t vote on (even if dropped):
-All neg theory arguments are counterinterps
-Evaluate the round after the 1AR or 2NR
-Resolved a priori
Here are the things you can do to get higher speaks:
-Provide a clear ballot story
-Use all 3 minutes of CX asking questions. I’m okay with using prep time to continue CX, but I prefer that you don’t use CX time to prep.
-2NR and 2AR overviews
-Proper prioritization of flows
-Don't go for too many arguments in rebuttals.
-Don’t read obviously frivolous theory.
I don’t like disclosing your speaks while your opponent is present, but if you find me individually or email me (email given below) I will tell you what your speaks were.
The round stops when an accusation of evidence ethics is made. This includes card clipping and misrepresenting evidence. I will evaluate the accusation to the best of my ability. If I find that a debater has cheated they will be given a loss and zero speaker points. If a debater makes a false accusation, they will lose. I have not yet figured out what to do for speaks in that scenario.
Jack C Hays High School – 2019
Wake Forest University – 2023
Paradigm Last Updated – 9.20.21
Conflicts: Anderson AR and BC, Jack C Hays
Add me to the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated for Jack C Hays in Austin, TX. I was in CX for 3 years and LD my senior year. i also have experience in college policy debate.
this paradigm will be tailored to LD because thats what i've been judging the most, much of it also applies to policy.
if harm has occurred in the round, i will generally let the debater that has been harmed decide whether they would like the debate to continue or not. in egregious instances, i reserve the right to end the debate and contact tabroom.
in light of frequent instances of transphobia, i have a lower tolerance for it. everyone is learning, however, if you are struggling to adopt different pronouns etc, it is your responsibility to remove yourself from situations where you may cause harm. likewise, it is your responsibility to read pronouns on tabroom blasts, the wiki, etc and abide by them. this is a hard line. being transphobic may result in an L25.
fewer specific arguments > a lot of generic arguments
I am most comfortable with k and larp debates, but I would much rather that you debate the way you do best.
you should always be recording locally in case of a tech issue
More specific arguments
This is the most underutilized part of debate and it makes me sad. My favorite part of debate is the case page. I love lots of clash here; solvency and impact cards are almost never as good as they should be.
Good evidence > good spin - things like methodology comparison and statistical analysis coupled with good weighing of warrants will be rewarded with higher speaks and probably the ballot
I like big 1ACs with super tight internal link chains - good articulation of your specific scenarios are fantastic
I have read huge affs with econ and heg advantages and performance affs with one card in them and everything in between. Whatever you read, have fun with it!
I love k affs. please understand your lit base and how the aff operates in the round
Link work vital to winning or losing a k debate. on the neg, you need to contextualize your links to the aff. specificity is key.
I have a medium threshold for alternative/method solvency - unless contested I'll believe that it solves the links + impacts. But I do need an explanation of what the alt is and how to engage in the alt to vote on it.
nonblack debaters should not read afropessimism. respect the wishes of black debaters.
i hold similar opinions to reading qt pess or disability pess without being queer/trans/disabled.
please give material examples of the alternative.
Given my background, I am persuaded by impact turning theory/topicality/theory. The issue that I tend to find with k teams is that they rely too much on the top level arguments and neglect the line by line, so please be cognizant of both on the affirmative.
For the neg - i do not particularly like framework. do not expect an easy ballot by reading college blocks for the entire 2nr. your framework shell must interact with the aff at some level to be persuasive. that being said, the further from the resolution the aff is, the more persuaded i am by fw. A TVA is terminal defense to your model of debate, you still have to win that your model is good. Additionally, as a former k aff debater, I am less persuaded by a framework 2nr that relies on calling all k affs unfair and ineffective, and I am more persuaded by a 2nr that is more contextual to the affirmative specifically. the overarching theme here is interaction with the aff pls. expect lower speaks if you read framework.
To me, framework is a less persuasive option against k affs. Use your coaches, talk to your friends in the community, and learn how to engage in the specifics of k affs instead of relying on framework to get the W.
Not sure what you need to know here lol, ask me specific questions if you need to
I will not vote on theory that is commonly regarded as frivolous. use your discretion on what you consider friv.
I will vote on disclosure theory. disclosure is good.
Condo is fine, the amount of conditional off case positions/planks is directly related to how persuaded I am by condo as a 2ar option. it will be very difficult to win condo vs 1 condo off, but it will be very easy to win condo vs 6 condo off.
please make the interactions between your arguments and your opponents arguments clear on this flow ie. if there are 2 competing theory shells and substance in the debate, tell me which comes first and why. even theory debates need warrants
Other than that, I default competing interpretations over reasonability and drop the debater over drop the argument, however I can easily be persuaded otherwise.
i am not persuaded by theory arguments that don't have an in round abuse story
Don't particularly care for it. This is what I was least confident on as an LD debater.
Explain - If you understand it well enough to explain it to me I will understand it well enough to evaluate it fairly.
I only did LD for a year and I debated the k for the entire time - so I don't know a lot of the terms that maybe you think I should know. Please explain things such as infinite regress, constitutivism, etc to a higher standard than you normally would
"Trill recognize trill shalt be the whole of the law." - me
Last Updated - NANO NAGLE CLASSIC '21
This is at the top because I know it's why you're here - the tier list for framework 2NR tricks/impacts follows:
S: “Clash turns and outweighs the case because persuasion and complex thinking/research skills” - nothing beats the truth.
A: “Procedural fairness means no incentive to research the aff or play the game” - almost as true as the above, but not quite imo.
B: Skills/topic ed, I guess.
C: Literally anything else, shouting random buzzwords about third/fourth level testing without explanation of what that means.
FF: “Fairness means you can't evaluate the aff because it hasn't been tested yet,” “small schools” (I will almost certainly not vote on either)
VERY IMPORTANT: Before the debate, all teams/debaters can give me recommendations for a song/s to listen to during debater prep time, which I will do, and if I vibe with it I may bump speaks for everyone in the room (+0.2). Surprise me. For reference, my favorite album is a tie between The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Appetite for Destruction, with The Shape of Jazz to Come close behind.
Policy 2021-22 - Water - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-4KiszXxHM first 16 seconds.
LD SO21 - WTO - None of you deserve a topic this good. My policy teams weep. Hell, I weep. Competition law is boring.
who the hell is patrick
Jack C Hays '19, UH Debate '23 - I debate with Gabby and was part of the first UH team to qualify to the NDT in a while ('21).
I have hearing damage in one ear. Try and position yourself to my right.
Conflicts of Interest
Consultant for Westside High School's policy team, mainly working with Westside KS. Currently coach Garland LY, Westlake AK, Perry JA, Cooper City NR, Los Altos BF, Dutchtown/DTHS HV and Northern Valley JS in LD. Previously coached Princeton TK (very briefly) and Memorial DX. Graduated from Jack C Hays HS in 2019.
Don't call me "judge" or any other honorific please. Patrick is fine. Fox is fine if you don't wanna call me Patrick.
Debate is a competitive activity centered around research and persuasion. I am an educator who's job it is to adjudicate the competitive aspect of the activity and enable progression of the students in all the other aspects. There are two teams (or debaters), and they are the only people taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on the arguments made by the debaters within tournament set speech and prep times, and I will submit a decision with one winner and loser. If you try and tell me that anything outside of this is "binding" on my "jurisdiction" as a judge, you are blatantly incorrect and I will deeply resent you trying to tell me how to do my job.
Prior to all of this, as an educator (in both the subjective and legal sense), the safety of students is my utmost concern above the content of any given debate. I have been said to get rather angry when these sort of issues arise - what has been said is absolutely true. This is about the only way you as a debater can actually piss me off. Would recommend avoiding it. Racism, sexism, etc. will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and will be penalized with speaker points, the ballot, and possibly a visit to Tabroom or your coach. Which of these it is is entirely up to my discretion based on the severity of the offense - let it be known, however, I have historically been much more lenient on the specific issue of misgendering competitors. This stance was a mistake which I will not replicate in the future, and I will be harshly penalizing it in the future.
You are high school students. I do not want to see or perceive anything NSFW. Keep it PG-13(ish).
tl;dr: do what you want if you're good at it.
Tech over truth, but I exceedingly find that in technically close debates, truth tiebreaks my decision - I'd rather hear one good argument than five terrible ones. If I can't explain all three parts of an argument back to you (claim, warrant, impact) based on the debate, its not part of my decision.
I'm very expressive. Read my non-verbals.
I worked with JD Sanford and Aimun Khan in HS, and work with Rob Glass, James Allan, and Richard Garner in college. I like(d) debating in front of Scott Harris, Philip DiPiazza, and Arun Sharma. I like judging with Eric Schwertfeger, who happens to also be my boss.
I have a background in journalism so I love dense, technical research and value good evidence, but if your cards are really good you should tell me why and not expect me to pick up on it - I will read lots of cards after the round, but ideally only to confirm the 2N/AR's explanation of evidence (not to figure out what it said for myself). Yes, I will want a 2NR/2AR card doc.
0% risk isn't a thing but if there's negligible risk of the aff vs the DA I'm inclined to just not vote for you - defense is good (but turning case is better). Impact turns are underutilized, as debaters are cowards. Courage will be rewarded.
Ideal 2NR on a DA articulates a clear warrant for turns case as well as an external impact, and does a lot of work on comparative risk. Uniqueness > link, because nothing else makes sense.
The Rider DA is an abomination. Anything else in politics world is fair play.
Well-researched (so ConCon and consult don't count) process CPs are literally my favorite args. I'm serious.
Broadly speaking, in CP debates I err heavily neg on theory questions (condo, pics good, process CPs good, etc) but probably err aff on substance questions (namely, competition and the threshold for sufficiency). One exception - judge kick is godless, and for judging purposes you can consider me devoutly Catholic.
I've researched and coached more or less every K in this activity, from Wilderson to Marxism to a Blade Runner aff (good times). Good K debaters are organized and technical, with lots of contextual and specific explanations/examples. General rule - less overview, more line by line.
K affs should defend a shift from the status quo to solve an impact or lose to presumption - shockingly, affs should defend things. Case debate is essential, and I'm pretty good for the impact turn - I think the aff should be able to explain to me what it does and why it's good, which means saying those things are actually bad is obvious fair game. Wanna restate - the less 2As defend the more annoyed I get.
Organizing your 2NC/1NRs to mirror the 2AC order is good. Link debate on the permutation, framework on framework, etc. Links should be contextualized to disprove why I should vote for the aff, impacted out to some sort of turns case or external piece of offense. Examples - lines from aff ev, references to CX, etc - do them. If I don't know what the alt does by the end of the 2NR my threshold for the 2AR goes way down. Floating PIKs should be set up explicitly in the block and if I miss it, it's your fault, cheater.
K v K debates - stuff gets muddled very fast, so lots of examples + organization + clear impacting out of arguments is the winning move. I dislike the "two ships passing in the night" analogy, but I most often find it applying to these debates. I could be convinced "no perms in a method debate" may be a good argument in the abstract, but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of one in most debates.
Read Marxism at your own risk - perversions of the immortal and revolutionary science and revisionist nonsense like "socialism is when healthcare" or "talking about racism is always neoliberal" will make me more annoyed and I'd rather you just go for framework than be an annoying socdem to try and pander to me. However, a good 2NR demonstrating a good conceptual handle on what Marxism actually is might earn some extra speaks (this is probably the hardest way to earn them though).
Clash of Racist Metaphor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Civilizations/)
Very far from "Framework is genocide" and "no plan no ballot" types - the only time I'll unironically call myself a centrist is these debates. Capital-T truth I ideologically err slightly aff, but my actual voting record errs slightly neg. Interpret this as you will. Some role for negation is good and there should be a general telos and stasis for discussions - ideal affirmative articulates a model with both but impact turns the negative's specific stasis point/telos i.e: not "debate is bad" but "their model of debate is bad, ours is better." TVAs and SSD don't need to solve the content of the aff, but debating them needs to solve the aff impact turns/offense. 2NRs lose when they don't collapse and explain a terminal impact or fail to do comparative i/l work on limits/ground. Hanging out/working with Evan Alexis and Ali Abdulla has made me more convinced fairness is an external impact, but it rarely gets explained enough to be one. 2NRs should probably have some inroad to turning/defense to the case if they wanna win, but this can come from anywhere (clash, fairness, the TVA, going to case after framework, etc).
Topicality is a question of predictable models of the topic, determined by research and literature, ergo intent to define terms of art > good limits in the abstract. I think more 2NRs should be T, and I think the quality of evidence in T debates is in steep decline - I still remember when people's core answer to affs that cheated was going for T instead of equally cheaty counterplans, and miss it greatly.
Reasonability is a question of the aff's interpretation, not what the aff actually did - I don't know why anyone thinks this isn't how it works.
Theory (mostly LD)
Condo is good and RVIs are bad. Consider these the strongest convictions in this paradigm.
Broadly speaking, the wonkier the shell, the greater my threshold for winning it is. If this sounds like your a strat, I'm not the judge for it.
Not voting on any sort of shell about clothes or people's behavior. I used to find this funny. Don't anymore.
I'm evaluating every part of the debate after the 2AR. Trying to change this loses you 0.1 speaks for every speech you exclude. I also am not flowing "no neg arguments," "no neg analytics," "no neg cards," anything particularly similar, or their inverses. If you are unironically asking yourself "is X argument similar to that?" as a way to get around this, it probably is, so there's your answer.
All of this can be changed by good (or bad) enough debating.
Clear explanation and explicit interactions are good. I find these debates are simultaneously too blippy and also too top-heavy, somehow. Better for substantive syllogisms and unified normative justifications for ethics, worse for spamming calc fails and then a burden structure.
I like these rounds, actually. I read a lot of European moral philosophy. Consider me better than average for these ballots, but certainly not as good as your ordinal 1 - I'm getting these ballots more lately, and I don't exactly hate it (but I have yet to enjoy one as much as a good K or policy throwdown) so I suppose I am decent for these rounds.
Nick Bostrom is a moron and nobody in philosophy takes him very seriously - phil debaters that indict the absurd substance of his position well (beyond just "calc fails lol") might get extra speaks. I do not like that guy.
I was gonna write a joke about "silly rabbit, tricks are for kids!" but I'm just too tired of these debates to care. Please don't pref me for this.
Stolen from my boss - "Jargon can enable precision, but it usually functions to make bad debaters think they are making good arguments when they are barely saying anything."
Uncomfortable voting on "this person did a bad" unless I literally see it. Dislike evaluating the character of minors who I don't know outside of these very limited interactions. If something happened between the debaters that is morally reprehensible and genuinely serious enough to merit my concern as a judge and coach, it probably merits getting the bureaucracy involved. Do not consider this me saying I am unwilling to do that. If you have safety concerns about being around your opponent, please and absolutely discreetly tell me via email or Facebook Messenger and I will get you the hell out and in a room with someone who can better handle it.
Inserting re-highlightings of their cards = go for it. Inserting cards from different parts of their article = gotta read it.
Not flowing cards about debate written by active debaters. Sorry.
"Role of the Ballot/Judge" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pql0__Ii67A
Mich KM were never funny and Will Morgan is a groomer. Stop trying to imitate them.
Being funny or taking a casual approach to the debate is welcome and appreciated.
I decide most debates very fast. Like, sub-four minutes for an elim. Even in close rounds. Don't take it personally.
God, this kinda sucks. I will make sure that, barring connection issues, I have my camera on at all times during speeches and CX. I will turn my camera off after the 2AR while making my decision and turn it back on once I'm in. You don't have to have your camera on and don't have to ask me to turn it on/off. I'm okay with being recorded if (and only if) everyone else in the room is also okay with it.
Debate should be a safe space for everyone. Respect pronouns, respect people's personhood, etc.
Debate should also be enjoyable! Mess around a bit. Have some fun. Its the weekend. Enjoy yourselves.
Yao-Yao: "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck." You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that.
Finally, a wager - if the 2AR/2NR sits down early, +0.2 speaks for every 30s saved if you win, but -0.2 speaks for every 30s if you lose - tell me if you do this, because I'm not timing you. Your move.
Good luck, and see you in round!
TL;DR: don't speak quickly; read fewer, better-explained positions; I'll try not to intervene much. Also, I'm far worse at flowing than you might think.
I debated national circuit LD for Cambridge Rindge and Latin, qualifying to the TOC twice. My email is email@example.com -- feel free to email me before or after a round if you need help or have questions, and I'll be happy to help!
I aim to be as tab as possible as long as the round remains safe for the debaters. I'll try to assume whatever the debaters assume so that I minimize intervention. If both debaters assume fairness is a voter, then I'll assume that it's a voter, even if it's not explicitly justified. As a debater, I ran philosophical frameworks, theory, some policy positions, and the occasional K. Because of my experience as a debater, I will be more familiar with some positions than with others. That said, I will try my best to understand your arguments and evaluate them fairly.
Please speak relatively slowly and place emphasis on your words! (Update for Harvard: this is especially important because I haven't judged LD in a while and this tournament will be online.) I do not flow off speech docs. I am terrible at flowing and listening, and I will likely miss a lot of your arguments if you're too fast, unclear, monotonous, or quiet. Moreover, I think that slowing down improves people's efficiency greatly, so there's little tradeoff between speed and number of arguments. If you slow to a fast conversational pace, I will be grateful and reward you with higher speaks. Given all this, if you're going fast, don't get upset at me for missing some of your arguments. Update, mid-Harvard: People don't seem to understand how bad I am at flowing. I miss sooooo many arguments. I'm probably much, much worse at flowing than you think. I am confused most of the time.
Update for Harvard: I also think that I should be less receptive to arguments I really don't get. (To clarify, I mean positions that were ill-explained. For example, I know something about Kantian moral philosophy, but explain it to me as though I don't.) Debaters often cut cards from dense or poorly written sources (e.g., Kant, Baudrillard... really most K and phil authors fall under here) and then specifically cut the cards so as to be as information-dense as possible, making the arguments extremely hard to follow. I will probably from now on be more receptive to just not evaluating these arguments or at least having a low threshold for responses. (By the way, all of this does not mean that if you debate policy or theory positions then you're off the hook -- these arguments are often the most inane.) I'd prefer that you read fewer positions, better explained.
I will try to average 28 speaks, but who knows if that'll happen -- I bet I'll inflate. You can get higher speaks by being persuasive, clear, efficient, creative, and strategic. You can get lower speaks by doing the opposite, or by being an asshole. Update, mid-Harvard: Lucky for you, I have amended the above! I will start giving debaters much higher speaks. I might continue to inflate throughout the tournament. I'm sorry to the debaters I judged at the RR and R1-2.
If you are debating against someone with clearly less knowledge about debate than you have (e.g., you're varsity debating a novice or a circuit debater debating a lay debater), please make the round as accessible to both debaters as possible. If you can only win with obscure positions and debate jargon, then debate has failed you; you're not good at debating, you're just good at playing inside baseball. (For the same reason, I would prefer that debaters read arguments that I can understand without being an expert in the relevant area of academia/public policy/whatever the current debate trend is. My role is not to be an educator, but nonetheless I would prefer that debaters have rounds that are fun to judge and educational.)
That concludes the important part of my paradigm. Here are some random paradigmatic thoughts (although this list is tentative and incomplete):
- I don't need voters on a theory shell to be extended unless contested.
- I default truth testing.
- I default epistemic/ethical confidence rather than epistemic/ethical modesty.
- On theory, I default drop the arg, reasonability (sufficient defense is enough to reject the shell), and no RVIs. The threshold for sufficient defense depends on the strength of the arguments for reasonability. For example, if you say that theory is almost always bad, substance is amazing, and only the most extreme circumstances make the round such that the judge can't vote for the better debater, then my threshold for sufficient defense will be low (i.e., my threshold for what counts as sufficient offense for voting on the shell will be high). If I have to default to reasonability or if there are not many arguments for reasonability, then I will assume a fairly high threshold for sufficient defense.
- I will not judge kick positions.
- I don't evaluate arguments that tell me to change speaks (e.g., "give me a 30").
- I think that debaters should justify something like drop the debater if they want to make an independent voter. I am unlikely to vote on independent voters unless such a warrant is present (see above: I default drop the arg). If it's the 2NR or 2AR and you're answering an independent voter without a drop the debater warrant, quickly pointing out that the voter lacks drop the debater and providing a quick reason to drop the argument instead of the debater should be more than enough.
- I am still a bit confused about how I should evaluate 2AR weighing. Right now, I tend to think that if 1ARs have impacts to weigh against NC impacts, then they should weigh in the 1AR rather than in the 2AR. I have so far erred neg on debates where the aff could have weighed in the 1AR but waited until the 2AR to do so. I think that the same should apply to NCs against impacts from the AC. But this is probably the least certain part of my paradigm.
- Here's another thing that annoys me: people who try to spread, but they're basically going at a fast conversational speed while changing their pitch of voice so that it sounds kind of like they're spreading. Spreading doesn't help you here.
Updated Jan 2020
I'm tab and will vote on anything.
I debated for four years in high school and continued onto 4 years of college debate. I don't frequently judge on the circuit, so I'd appreciate if you'd slow down. That being said, if I say “louder”, that means speak louder, not slow down. I won’t feel comfortable voting on something that I’m not sure if I heard.
I'm open to a wide variety of argumentative styles and approaches.
I’m tab. I’ll listen to almost anything you tell me, but if I genuinely feel uncomfortable (because you’re saying something racist/sexist/etc.) I’ll stop flowing.
I have an exceedingly low threshhold for extensions.
If something is dropped, I’ll grant you it if you just explicitly point it out.
I’m amenable to voting off of tricks, but if I don’t think the argument was flowable the first time, I’ll listen to responses in the NR/2AR. That being said, I think most arguments are flowable most of the time.
Framework and Ks:
I’m familiar with framework and I studied Philosophy at Harvard. Since leaving high school, I’ve become convinced by Sophia Caldera’s stance on comparing frameworks:
- The round runs into an obvious problem when both debaters tell me some framework warrant "precludes everything." Please give me specific comparison or weighing between framework arguments instead of relying on concessions of overhyped analytics.
I’m interested in well-fleshed out framework debates between framework and the K, as well as well-warranted theory interactions.
I don't know what "link harder into the K" means. Do you mean that your opponent has done or said something that indicates that there is a second, independently sufficient way in which they link into the K? Or do you mean that they're repeating the action that caused them to link into it in the first place? Am I supposed to judge differently if someone links "hard" into the K as opposed to "a moderate amount" or "just a little bit"? Be clear and specific.
Slow down on interps. Please make clear arguments for whatever paradigm issues you want me to use on theory.
I have no preconceptions about whether fairness or education is more important.
For some reason, someone runs disclosure theory in front of me in probably half the rounds I judge. I don't really like disclosure theory, but I find that I often pick it up and speak it well. If it's well-executed and wins the round, I'll pick it up and speak it well. But I still don't like it. That probably tells you something about the kind of judge that I am.
I don’t like passive aggression in the CX. If you’re gonna critical of your opponent’s arguments, be open about it. If you are passive aggressive, it won’t affect your speaks or whether or not you win or lose, but I might be sarcastic during my RFD.
I do not care about your attire, accent, or school. Be respectful. But also feel free to indict or challenge what exactly "being respectful" means.
I pay attention during CX.
Speech times are probably the only "rule" I'll always enforce. I can be flexible on other things that other judges might take to be unchangeable. For example, you could convince me that you should be allowed to bring up something from the AC in the 2AR even if it wasn't extended in the 1AR, if it's well explained (in the AC, or maybe even the 1AR).
Have questions? Ask me.
There’s a rumor going around (started by me, here) that I’ll give you slightly higher speaks for referencing RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Overall: You should probably recognize that my background is in policy debate and it largely informs most of my viewpoints on LD debate. That being said I have been judging a large number of LD rounds and will likely continue to do so. Thus we need to have a paradigm for you all.
Friv Theory: if you read a 2 paragraph block that has 6 IVI's in it? I'm only going to flow what I flow I'm not going to go read your 2 paragraphs to figure out if you read the 4th point of the IVI or not. If it's not flowed it didn't happen. If you have a well-warranted and clear shell you have no real worries about if I will vote for theory assuming you win it. I would definitely say I'm truth over tech tho so keep that in mind.
Traditional formats: you can read this but for the most part LD has moved beyond this style. I don't have any issues with this strategy. I however normally think it lacks strategic depth.
Kritikal Formats: these are fine I'm pretty well versed in most critical literature, I prefer debates that clearly articulate the format, focus, and purpose of the round, or debate or the ballot even. I'm probably not the best judge for debaters who like to use buzzwords and pretend they are arguments. If you cannot clearly explain your theory of power, link and alternative I'm a bad judge for you.
LARPing: obviously I understand 99.9% of the strategies you will go for, but also realize that I've judged a tremendous number of K versus larp debates. I don't have a great record for affs versus kritiks in LD, I think this is because of two issues I've seen repeat.
1) You do not clearly identify and defend your stasis point maybe that's humanism, statism, or pragmatism. You let the negative simply attack you on the level of "Antihumanism, or Antistatism"
2) You lose track of your case, you just debate the kritik instead of explaining why your case is comparatively better pedagogy than the kritik, or how you could solve a real problem versus functionally doing nothing.
High Theory/Phil Theory: So I've seen these rounds, and I feel they tend to be strategically unsound and rely on a huge smokescreen of friv theory (see my above about friv theory). I've voted for these things before, it's not unwinnable but do not rely on technical drops especially if there is an obvious way the other flows interact. The idea that I put a blinder on and ignore arguments because of the physical location on the flow seems nonsensical to me.Policy Debate
Overall: This sounds simple but it can be difficult, at the end of the round my ballot should sound like the beginning of the 2AR or the 2NR. I would like you to explicitly implicate your arguments and form for me the basic idea of why I should vote for you. The best debaters tend to do this at the beginning of every 2NR and 2AR.
Disadvantages: I don't like DA's with uniqueness counter-plans, other than that almost any disadvantage is acceptable.
Counter-plans: the legitimacy of counter-plans should always be called into question. why would you just let a team steal most of your offense? I normally don't buy X type of counter-plan is a voter, however, I am more likely to vote for it as a reason to disallow the counter-plan. The burden of proof in those situations is much different, to win it is a voter you have to argue that debate is fundamentally impossible to do when X type of counter-plan is introduced. (an example might be Consult Counter-plans don't test the means or necessity of plan action makes it impossible to garner offense without conceding a DA, makes any choice the aff makes a bad choice.) However with rejecting the argument as the standard, I'd be willing to ask the question "Does this Counter-plan make the debate more or less educational, more or less fair. If it makes debate less educational and less fair then that is a sufficient reason to reject the counter-plan.
Kritiks: Theory wise sees counter-plans. Floating PIKS theory needs a Link. Clear and precise (Link-Impact-AltSolves-Perm doesn't) analysis is the quickest way for me to the pull the trigger on the kritik. If you can explain that full chain and I buy your analysis you're in a good place on the kritik (assuming you're not losing framework/theory/impact weighing. )
Framework: I think it's generally accepted that Affs should read frameworks that let them weigh their impacts against any kritik, also I generally think the aff is right they should be able to defend the fiat of the 1AC i.e. their impact claims shouldn't be wished away. Note to aff teams just because you win framework does not mean that you have answered the various impact framing arguments in the round, I've heard several times "but on the framework they conceded we get to weigh our impacts." my response is then "Sure, but you don't win that we have any Value to Life in that world/that these threats are constructed and not real/that/etc. I don't think this is controversial at all.
Role of the Ballot: so unlike some people, I don't think you have to explicitly state "our Role of the ballot is" while helpful sometimes one could also say "this debate round should be about x" or the "Role of the Judge is X" all of these are competing for claims on how I should approach my ballot how I should vote, what my ballot means etc.
Kritik AFFs: I prefer affs that defend a topical plan for a kritikal reason i.e. we shouldn't surveil African Americans, followed by claims about how surveillance of black bodies is bad. versus just standing up and saying "Black bodies are surveilled that's terrible you have some kind of ethical decision making to vote aff, here's Memimi." This is a preference and doesn't mean I stop listening when an alternative debate style is defended it's just what I find is the best solution to winning in front of me on a kritikal affirmative.
Framework (NEG): Framework can be a viable option for teams debating affs without plan text etc, as long as you answer and deal with the larger education/Fairness claims the aff is inevitably going to lob your way. You could win debate would be awesome with just policy affs but if you concede that this is a form of white settlerism that dominates and erases Native Americans from existence you tend to lose rounds on framework.
Components: need a clear and precise interp that allows you to skirt the offense of the aff, need a clear and precise "topical version of the aff", need to win switch-side debating is in fact good, need to win it's possible for X or Y type of people to enter into the political, do political actions, embrace politics or some other variant of "X type of people can do policy debate", finally need to win an impact. Do those have a solid shot of winning my ballot.
I did LD for American heritage '18 for three-ish years. I cleared at the TOC, got 7 career bids, and taught at NSD. I go to Duke university. Debate is awesome and I love judging.
TL;DR I like all arguments and will do my best to evaluate whatever debate you want to have
I think that judge paradigms that list out specific likes/dislikes for certain arguments and strategies create unnecessary stress for debaters — particularly on out-round panels — and distort their in-round decision-making process. I always hated those situations as a debater.
I believe that my role is to make the best decision possible. It would be cool if you made the round interesting but you should prioritize your own strategy above everything else. I almost want you to come into the round without even thinking about how to cater to my debate preferences
I do not like voting for arguments that I have to warrant using my background knowledge unless it becomes apparent to me that I am intervening. This applies to more than just K debates. I will try not to vote on an argument if I do not think a warrant was made in the initial speech.
There is a low probability that I catch every single argument and I doubt I will understand the warrant/impact of an argument as well as you do. Please help me make the least interventionist decision I can by emphasizing what arguments are relevant and guiding me through the way you see the debate round. This is especially true for phil or theory debates.
please put me on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
I think all cards and pre-written analytics should be send in docs — even case extensions and overviews. If you send a card after a speech I don't think ur opponent needs to take prep for that. I won't enforce this but it certainly does annoy me when debaters are slimy w their analytics.
I find myself often not being able to hear interp/counter-interp texts especially when they have multiple planks. I never went slow for interp texts as a debater lmao. unless you send it in chat or email please be slow on interp texts for your own sake.
You can be super quick on extensions of conceded arguments
Good weighing is good
I think using CX as prep is fine lmao
I have more experience with theory, phil, and tricks. I study literature in school so much more familiar with K lit now. Again, I have no preference for a particular style of debate. Just want to be honest about my background.
I did LD for 3 years at Cambridge Rindge and Latin (MA), graduating in 2016. I almost exclusively competed on the national circuit, and qualled to TOC senior year.
HARVARD 2021 UPDATE: I will not be judging probably any prelims, but I will be in the elim pool. I haven't judged on this topic, so please explain any topic-specific references. I also truly cannot flow anymore, so pref accordingly.
I used to have a fair number of preferences & thoughts about this activity, but I'm far enough out that most of those preferences have faded. I will listen to anything that is not horribly messed up and try to intervene as little as possible. Please be nice to each other!
Extraneous things that may/may not be relevant to you:
- My flowing ability has significantly regressed over time, which means I'm probably not the judge for a very fast tricks debate (though a slow one is fine). Similarly, you should significantly slow down for theory interps and other important analytics.
- I won’t call for cards unless 1) there’s a genuine dispute over what the card says or 2) I fell asleep/experienced a comparable loss of consciousness and missed it
- I read a fair number of Ks back in the day, but you should not take that to mean (a) I know what you're talking about or (b) you do not need to explain your arguments
- The fastest way to lose my ballot is to concede a bunch of preempts in favor of reading a few cards that "implicitly answer" those preempts. Please just make implicit comparisons explicit, so I don't have to drop you on a silly argument because you didn't pay lip service to it. This is particularly relevant to topicality debates.
- I was fairly flex as a debater, and appreciate well-designed neg strategies that capitalize on a variety of styles.
- If you say "game over" in your speech, it's "game over" for your speaks! :)
Have fun, be nice to each other, and feel free to ask me any extra questions before round.
Conflicts: Lexington, Hunter, Hamilton RM
Send docs: email@example.com
I did LD and PF at Lexington HS (MA) 2015-2019.
Hello! This is ZOOM debate which means it is GLITCHY and GROSS pls SLOW down!
Used to be Yale, now 2020 in general: I'm tired, I have a ton of homework, and I get very bored listening to badly explained Baudrillard Ks multiple rounds in a row. If you do pref me, know that double flighted tournaments make my eyes *burn* and I will be flowing on paper for most rounds if it's a double flighted tournament. I used to care a lot about the things listed below. To some extent I still do, but I didn't teach this summer and barely coach anymore so at the moment I'm not very invested in specific types of arguments or up to speed with whatever is trendy this season. Judging over Zoom is exhausting and it's honestly pretty hard for me to flow that well with little voices screaming out of my laptop. Please, please, please, for the love of all things good, SLOW DOWN. At least for tags. I'm begging.
PLEASE TRIGGER WARN APPROPRIATELY!!! If you don't know how please ask!
Postrounding is a no <3. Questions about strats are fine, but I have things to do and you won't change my ballot.
Ks we love. LARP/policy is solid. Traditional is also good. Phil is kinda meh, you'd need to explain it very well. Please leave your tricks, skep, and frivolous theory at home, I don't trust myself to evaluate them. Probably okay at evaluating T/theory if there is a persuasive abuse story. If you read T/theory the shell needs to have an impact. Disclosure and email chains are good. When you extend or make new arguments don't forget to implicate them! Tell me what comes first and why.
I used to vibe p hard with Mina's paradigm and I share a lot of her views on debate. I was also heavily influenced by Paloma O'Connor, CQ, and David Asafu-Adjaye. As a result, I'm not a fan of the whole "debate is a game" mindset and doing whatever it takes to win a round. Debate is about education, not about your record. Also -- I'm sorry, fairness is not a voter.
Kritiks/Non-T K affs/Performance
I mostly ran these as a debater so these are my favorite arguments. I really like hearing performance affs but you also need to be able to point to something the aff actually does.
That being said, don't read random Ks in front of me just because of my paradigm. I need to see a clear link and know what the alt does. Links of omission are ~questionable~ and I'm sympathetic to args against them. I'm also extremely picky when it comes to people reading and other kritiks relating to indigenous scholarship. I think a lot of authors are bastardized and commodified in debate and I see this the most with indigenous scholarship. Not uber familiar with all K lit, especially newer pessimism arguments.
New microaggression independent voter args that seem to be trendy and function on some sort of level between theory and K, but probably above policy?
Impact these out if you're reading them. I'm not going to vote off of a blippy one line claiming something is an "independent voter" or a "voting issue" and no implication of the argument. Also, don't just drop all the other flows because you think something is an independent voter -- I don't think this is very strategic; explain how it interacts with the other flows and which layer of the round it should be evaluated on. I don't really enjoy voting off these arguments...tbh they make me kinda uncomf, but if they're warranted and impacted I will.
Plans/CPs/DAs/LARPy policy stuff
These are cool, low key would like to judge more of them. Just be wary of super long link chains. I default to comparative worlds in most debates (esp when framing becomes murky) so this is probably the type of debate best equipped for that.
I did not like these arguments as a debater and I generally do not enjoy judging them. I'm also not very good at judging them so PLEASE make the abuse story very clear and SLOW DOWN A LOT.
Post Big Lex 2020 edit: I'm honestly starting to hate these arguments less. I'm not completely opposed to T and would probably be down to judge more non-T K affs vs T rather than bad/awkward K v Ks.
Yale 2020: Idk if this is a new thing but y'all aren't impacting your shells. Like great you just spent a minute reading T, but didn't tell me what to do about it. DTD or DTA, but if not idk what I'm supposed to do with the shell lol.
Blake 2020: If you read disclosure against a trad/small school debater who is not familiar with the wiki I will probably not vote on the shell,,, like bruh why?
T v K
I went for K over T a lot as a debater but I'm gonna try to be tab about this and say both sides are gonna need hella warrants and hella weighing when making these arguments.
Tricks/a prioris/friv theory/other bullshit
just no <3.
I start at a 28.5 and then move up or down depending on what y'all do. Go slow at first and let me get used to you before you go full speed. I'll say clear 2-3 times but if nothing changes don't expect my flow to be that great and I'm not gonna check the speech doc to play catch up. Be strategic and don't be a dick and you'll probably be happy with your speaks. Read: adapt to your opponent if they have considerably less experience than you. I am not afraid of giving a mean debater with a good strat a 26.
I didn't do a ton of PF cuz I think it's hella white and cutesy. Biases aside, just make good extensions, do a good amount of weighing and READ ACTUAL CARDS.
I debated at Pines Charter on both the local and national circuit and went to TOC my senior year. My email for speech docs is: Stevescopa23@gmail.com
General: I am very much a tech > truth person who will vote for any argument you make no matter how seemingly ridiculous or bizarre, all I need is a warrant. I also have a low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments but they need to be extended in each speech. My goal is to evaluate rounds with as little intervention as possible. Judges have become too dogmatic in my opinion, so everything that follows is merely a preference or a default, nothing but the arguments you make will factor into my decision.
- I default to truth testing if no other RoB is read in the round.
- I am not exactly the best at flowing, so when you are making analytic arguments you should label them and sign post as clear as possible. Also maybe take half a second after author names.
- I don’t evaluate embedded clash unless there is an argument as to why I should or the round is irresolvable without it.
- I do not believe you get new 2n responses to AC arguments unless an argument is made for why you get those arguments in the NC- making an argument in the 2n that says something like “this was just a dumb blippy argument” is not sufficient. This goes for 2ar responses to NC arguments as well.
- Believe it or not, I will vote on disclosure theory. I’m more open to it these days than I have been in the past, but I still think frivolous disclosure theory is super annoying. Not disclosing period is one thing, not cohering to every aspect of whatever you think is good is another. Also don’t read it against novices or people who clearly don’t know what it is. I also won’t evaluate it if it becomes clear/verifiable the debater’s team won’t allow it or other similar circumstances.
- Don’t need to flash analytics to your opponent but I would like them
- Even if something is labeled an independent voter, if there is no warrant for why it is one, I won’t evaluate it as such. This is becoming slightly annoying norm. I also don’t really think “x author is sexist/racist/etc so you should lose” makes much sense. I’ll vote on it if you win it but it’s an uphill battle.
- I consider myself pretty much agnostic in terms of arguments, obviously every judge has their preferences but content has 0 effect on my decision.
- I don’t mind you “grilling” me, I think judges learn sometimes too and it can be good to keep judges accountable. Just be aware that if you are aggressive I will be sassy too.
- If your offense is conceded but you don’t extend it, it doesn’t exist. Too many affs take for granted the offense is conceded and don’t even mention it in the 2ar. Literally all you have to do is say “extend the offense, it was conceded” but apparently that is even too much for some people.
- Explaining why a card doesn’t have a warrant is terminal defense if you can’t answer with a clear articulation of a warrant.
- Saying “the aff is a good idea” doesn’t mean anything. You have to win arguments to prove this.
- I really like a good CX. People trying to be edgy without the personality for it is cringe, but people with the personality for it can be dominant. I won’t vote on arguments made it in CX, but I getting concessions or making people look silly will boost your speaks.
- This is just a preference but like... Reading T probably isn't violence. False equivalencies from K debaters are kinda whack and I'll vote on conceded arguments but if it's pointed out that it's a false equivalency I probably won't.
- If an argument is conceded it's conceded. Too often I feel like the 2ar is treating me like a lay judge over-explaining things. Be tech, I know what arguments are conceded. Obviously you should still weigh and implicate the argument if that's crucial to the 2ar/2nr strategy, but often that's not what is happening.
Theory: Go for it - this is probably one of the easier things for me to judge, and I really enjoy judging nuanced theory debates. Slow down on the interpretation a bit if it’s something more nuanced. I don’t “gut check” frivolous shells but obviously if you are winning reasonability then I will evaluate through whatever your brightline is. If neither debater makes arguments I default to the following:
- There is no impact to a shell without drop the arg or drop the debater warrants so I will just eval substance
- Competing interps
- Norms creation model
- RVIs good
- Fairness is a voter
- Education not a voter
Also, for counter interps “converse of the interp” is not sufficient, if your opponent says “idk what the converse is so I can’t be held to the norm” I will buy that argument, just actually come up with a counter interp.
I also hate the spamming of affirming/negating is harder and will probably hurt your speaks a lil for it.
I really like RVIs and think they are underutilized so if you successfully go for one I will be happy.
T: I don’t like it quite as much as theory but it’s still fun to judge. T debates weren’t nearly as nuanced when I debated so you may have to explain some of the particulars more than you may be used to. I am also a sucker for semantics.
T “framework”: To be honest I am sort of agnostic as to whether affs should be T. I probably lean yes, but I also find non-T affs pretty interesting and fun to judge. I don’t consider an aff that doesn’t defend fiat but does defend the principle of the resolution non-T, and I am less persuaded by T in that sense.
Tricks: This was my favorite style of debate when I competed and clever tricks are entertaining but that doesn’t mean I will instantly vote for you if you read them without winning why they are relevant (aka you are winning truth testing). The more clever your arguments are, the higher your speaks will be. Despite my old love for them, I usually have a low threshold for responses since the arguments are usually fairly weak. If you obviously just included an a priori because I am judging you and don’t extend a conceded one, your speaks will probably suffer. I also prefer you be more up front with them in CX if your opponent catches them, I have a lot more respect for people who are straight up about their sketchiness. If you are not the best at answering these arguments I wouldn’t worry too much, I will be more than happy to disregard them if you are winning a role of the ballot that excludes them or a shell that indicts them. Also, calling something a trick doesn’t mean anything to me -- tell me what the implication of the argument is. It also bothers me how tricks debaters have become reliant on the same resolved a priori every debate - I'd much rather listen to an interesting phil or K round than watch u extend the same a priori people have been reading for years. Think of new and clever arguments. Also, reading 16 spikes with a Kant framework isn’t a tricks aff and I really don’t like it. I judge these constantly cause I’m probably one of the few that will listen, and that hasn’t changed but don’t expect high speaks or for me to be impressed.
Ks: I feel like this is the section that needs the most updating because I do a lot of reading and coaching for the K these days. I really enjoy a good K debate. Despite my reputation, I’m a big fan of K’s and am fairly well versed in the literature. I really enjoy high theory and find good K affs super fun. I have read Deleuze, Butler, Wilderson/Warren, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Edelman, etc so I definitely think Ks like these are interesting and strategic. I occasionally enjoy judging these debates the most because of how interesting and unique the arguments are. However, I cannot stand unwarranted “this is just another link” arguments, you need to explain or give a warrant as to why what you say is a link actually is one. I also am not a huge fan of identity K's, and I may vote on some responses you disagree with, just as a fair warning. Additionally, I prefer to see line by line debate, and it seems as though a lot of Ks begin/consist of long overviews without much specific reference to arguments in previous speeches, which can be difficult to flow, so you may want to consider this when going for the K in the 2n/1ar/2ar. I also am very open to you kicking the alt and going for disads, and would almost advise this in front of me cause winning the alt can be a pain. The one K I am really not liking these days is set col, cause I think almost every response is just true and most debaters I’ve seen aren’t the best at handling them, but obviously I’ll still vote on it if you win it. Ultimately if this is your favorite/ best style of debate, you should go for it.
My favorite K’s: Baudrillard, Nietzsche, Psychoanalysis
Larp: I was never a larper, never judged a high level larp round, and am probably not qualified to judge a really good DA v Util AC debate. I don’t particularly enjoy these debates, and you most likely will not enjoy me judging you but I will do my best to evaluate the round. If you can’t defend util against a dump or well justified framework you shouldn’t pref me, because “the aff is a good idea” will not get my ballot. (Update: For some reason people still stand up and larp and read disads in front of me so PLS don’t pref me or change up the strat, trust me it is best for both of us). (Update for JF20: I find this topic pretty interesting and am more open to listening to some cool plans/advantages. I would also really enjoy some larp innovation like rule util or some other more nuanced framework/new util warrants).
Fwk: This is my favorite type of debate and really want it to make a comeback. I enjoy a good framework debate, and it is probably my favorite thing to judge, but it can become fairly difficult to follow at times. As long as you clearly label arguments and make sure to weigh I feel very comfortable evaluating these rounds. However, these debates can often become muddled and devolve into a chicken and egg debate, which makes it near impossible to resolve so be careful of that. My major has given me a new passion for interesting frameworks so I would love to hear whatever unique positions you got. Also extra speaks for meta-ethics that aren’t practical reason – let’s be creative people.
Favorite phil positions: Existentialism, Levinas, any interesting meta-ethic
Speaks: I average probably a 28.5. I assign them based on mostly strategy/execution with a little bit of content, but content can only improve your speaks not make them worse really (with the exception of disclosure probably). I like unique and clever arguments and well executed strategy - I would not advise you to go for a tricks aff if you are a larp debater just because I am judging you, do what you do well to get good speaks. I am also somewhat expressive when I think about how arguments interact so don’t mind my face. Also, if I can tell your 1ar/2n/2ar is pre-written your speaks will probably suffer.
How do I get a 30?
I won’t guarantee a 30 based on these strategies but it will definitely increase your chances of getting one if you can successfully pull off any of the following:
1) Going NC, AC really well with a phil NC
2) A trick I haven’t heard before (THAT IS NOT TERRIBLE)
3) A good analytic PIC
4) Any unique fwk/K/RoB that I haven’t heard before or think is really interesting
5) A true theory shell or one I haven’t heard before
6) Execute a Skep trigger/contingent standard well
7) Really good CX
8) Successfully going for an RVI
9) Making the round super clear
Lay debates: If you are clearly better than your opponent and it is obvious that you are winning the round, please, dear lord, do not use all of your speech time just because you have the time- win the round and sit down so we can have a discussion and make it more educational than just you repeating conceded arguments for 13 minutes.
I debated LD for three years for Strake Jesuit (after a brief period in PF). I qualified for TFA State and TOC in LD, and I have instructed at TDC and NSD. I am conflicted with Strake Jesuit and Walt Whitman. Contact me/add me to docs at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can call me "JP" -- calling me "James," "Mr. Stuckert" or "judge" is fine but weird to me.
For online rounds:
1. Keeping local recordings of speeches is good. You should do it.
2. If I or another judge call “clear” video chat systems often cut your audio for a second. This means (a) you should prioritize clarity to avoid this and (b) even repeat yourself when “clear” is called if it’s a particularly important argument.
3. I don’t like to read off docs, but if there's an audio problem in an online round I will glance to make sure I at least know where you are. I would really prefer not to be asked to backflow from a doc if there's a tech issue, hence local recordings above.
4. You should probably be at like 70% of your normal speed while online.
· I aim to be a neutral party minimizing intervention while evaluating arguments made within the speech times/structure set by the tournament or activity to pick one winner and loser for myself. Some implications:
o The speech structure of LD includes CX. Don't take it as prep and don't go back on something you commit to in CX (unless it's a quick correction when you misspeak, or is something ambiguous). I generally flow cx and factor it into speaker points, but arguments must still be made in other speeches.
o The speech structure also precludes overt newness. Arguments which are new in later speeches should be implications, refutations, weighing or extensions of already existing arguments. Whether 2N or 2AR weighing is allowable is up for debate and probably contextual. Reversing a stance you have already taken is newness -- e.g. you can't kick out of weighing you made if your opponent didn't answer it. (Obviously you can kick condo advocacies unless you lose theory.)
o I won't listen to double-win or double-loss arguments or anything of the sort. You also can't argue that you should be allowed to go over your speech time.
o Being a neutral party means my decision shouldn't involve anything about you or your opponent that would render me a conflict. If I were involved in your prefs, I would consider myself to essentially be a coach so I won't listen to pref/strike Ks. If other types of out-of-round conduct impact the round, I will evaluate it (e.g. disclosure).
o Judge instruction and standards of justification on the flow are very important, and if they are not explicit I look to see if they are implicit before bringing to bear my out-of-round inclinations. If two debaters implicitly agree on some framing issue I treat it as a given.
o Evidence ethics: I will allow a debater to ask to stake the round on an evidence ethics issue if it involves: (1) brackets/cutting that changes the meaning of a card; (2) outright miss-attribution including lying about an author's name, qualifications, or their actual position; (3) alterations to the text being quoted including ellipses, mid-paragraph cutting, and changing words without brackets. Besides these issues, you can challenge evidence with theory or to make a point on the line-by-line. For me, you should resolve the following as theory debates: (1) brackets that don't change meaning; (2) taking an author's argument as a premise for a larger position they might not totally endorse; (3) cases where block quotes or odd formatting makes it unclear if something is a mid-paragraph cut. If another judge on a panel has a broader view on what the round can be staked on, I'll just default to agreeing it is a round-staking issue.
· Despite my intention to avoid intervention, I am probably biased in the following ways:
o All else equal, I think topicality is good. That being said, I think I actually vote against T framework a bit more frequently than I do for it.
o I'm not actually sure if disclosure has been a good thing for debate, but now that it is a norm it's hard for an individual debater to justify not disclosing. However, I am slightly sympathetic to "don't vote on out of round violations" as a strategy.
o I will be strongly biased against overtly offensive things (arguments which directly contravene the basic humanity of a marginalized group). I don’t think it’s prima facie offensive to read moral philosophy that denies some acts are intrinsically evil (like skep or strict ends-based ethical theories) or which denies that consequences are morally relevant (like skep or strict means-based theories). I also don't think generic impact turns against big stick impacts are innately offensive. But I will certainly listen to Ks or independent voters indicting any of those things.
o Speaks: each speech counts, including CX. Strategy and well-warranted arguments are the two biggest factors. My range typically doesn't go outside 28 to 29.5. I adjust based on how competitive the tournament is.
o Be polite to novices, even if you can win a round in 20 seconds it’s not always kind to do so. Just be aware of how your actions might make them feel.
o I am usually unpersuaded by rhetorical appeals that take it for granted that some debate styles (K, LARP, phil, theory, tricks) are worse than others, but you can and should make warranted arguments comparing models of debate.
Facebook: Neville Tom
Hi! My name’s Neville. I debated for four years at Strake Jesuit (got a few bid rounds during my career if that makes any difference), and I’m currently a freshman at UH. I’m still kinda working out the whole judging thing, so there’ll probably be some edits to this as time goes on. As such, please feel free to ask me any questions prior to round if you need any clarification about my judging style or my paradigm.
How to Win (the TL;DR version):
You do you – just do it well. Tell me very clearly how to evaluate the round and why you’re winning compared to your opponent and that’ll probably be what I decide on. I liked to read a little of everything in my rounds, so don’t be afraid to try out some obscure strategy in front of me – just know how to explain it well enough for the win.
How to Greatly Improve Your Chances at Winning & Boost Speaks:
- Weigh: Do it. A lot. As much as you POSSIBLY can manage. It doesn't matter to me if you're winning 99% of the arguments on the flow; if your opponent wins just that 1% and does a better job at explaining WHY that 1% matters more in terms of the entire debate, you will probably lose that debate.
- Crystallize: Don't go for every possible argument that you're winning. You should take time to provide me a very clear ballot story so that I know why I should vote for you. It might even behoove you to explicitly say: "Look. Here's the thesis of the aff/neg: (insert story of the aff/neg). Here's what we do that they can't solve for: (insert reason(s) to vote aff/neg). Insofar as we're winning this/these argument(s), we should win the round."
- Use Overviews: I find that debaters who use overviews effectively tend to win more rounds. It will definitely help me evaluate if you start off your rebuttal speeches with an overview, so... *shrug*. A good overview will have these three components: (1) explain which issues matter most in the debate, (2) explain why those issues matter most (why I should care about them most), (3) why you're winning those issues. After that, feel free to go to the line-by-line to do the grunt work. This will help clarify the round and will help me to focus on the issues that matter.
- Warrant your Arguments: When making arguments, be sure to provide clear WARRANTS that prove WHY your argument is true. Highlight these warrants for me and make sure to extend them for the arguments that you're going for in later speeches - if done strategically and well, I will probably vote for you.
- Signpost: Make very clear to me where you are on the flow and where you want me to put your responses. This will help to prevent any disambiguities that might affect my decision.
- Creatively Interpret Your Arguments: Feel free (in fact I encourage you) to provide your own unique spin to your arguments by providing implications that may not be explicit on first glance. Just make sure your original argument is open-ended enough to allow for your new interpretation. For example, if you win a Hobbesian framework and claim that the sovereign should settle ethical dilemmas, then feel free to make the implication that theory is illegitimate because it is not a rule that the sovereign has proposed.
How to Greatly Improve Your Chances at Losing & Lower Speaks (Borrowed from Chris Castillo's paradigm):
1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too).
2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand, so don't just read some dense phil or K and expect me to understand it.
3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters.
4. Don't steal prep.
5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip. If I get conclusive evidence that you are purposely clipping, then I will down you.
I’m fine with it – make sure to start off slow and ramp up to your higher speeds so that I can get used to it. I flow on my computer and will say slow or clear several times if necessary – that being said, if you still continue to be incoherent, I will not get your arguments on my flow and will not be able to evaluate them.
That being said, there are things I will DEFINITELY want you to slow down for to make sure that I catch them.
Slow down on:
1. Advocacy/CP Texts
2. Text of Evaluative Mechanism (This can include the text of your ROB, your standard/value criterion, etc.)
3. Theory Interps
5. Author Names
6. After Signposting (Just pause for a second so that I can navigate to that part of my flow)
7. Analytics (in rebuttals)
**NOTE: I'm not asking to talk at a snail's pace when making analytical responses to arguments. However, if you blitz out ten 1-sentence analytics in the space of 5 seconds, I will not be able to catch all of them, so it would be to your betterment to slow down a bit. Additionally, it would help me flow analytics if you provide a verbal short 2-word tag prior to making your argument. For example, "A-point, no warrant: (insert argument here). B-point, missing internal link: (insert argument here). C-point, turn: (insert argument here). D-point, turn (insert argument) here." etc., etc. Feel free to be creative with your tags.
I will assign speaks based on your strategical decisions in round, but sounding pretty doesn’t hurt. I’ll start at a 28 and go up or down based on how you do.
- Tech > Truth: Technical proficiency outweighs the actual truth value of an argument. Even if I do not personally agree with your argument, the onus is on the opponent to prove why the argument is false or shouldn't be evaluated. If your opponent fails to do this, then I will view the argument as legitimate and will evaluate the argument accordingly.
- Talk to me prior to the round if you need any accommodations. If you have a legitimate problem with a specific argument that impedes you from debating at your best, then please, by all means, let me know before the round starts. In order to avoid any mishaps, please provide a trigger warning prior to reading any (possibly) sensitive issue. If you are doubtful on whether you should give a trigger warning, then provide one anyway to be safe.
- Have Fun with the Activity: feel free to make jokes/references/meme (a bit) in round. Debate is admittedly a stressful activity and so is school and basically the rest of life, so feel free to relax. Make sure that your humor is in good taste, however; there is a very fine line between humor and arrogance/insults and I do not want to have to deal with a situation where "fun goes wrong".
- Disclosure is probably good: I find myself compelled by the argument. This does not mean that I will auto-hack for Disclosure Good or any of its variants - I believe that it is a legitimate debate to be had and if you conclusively win that disclosure is bad, then I will vote for you. That being said, do NOT run it on someone that is clearly novice level/just started circuit debate. If you win the argument, I will vote for you, but I will not be giving you higher speaks.
- Strength of link is a great weighing argument. Use it.
- People I Share Similar Judge Philosophies With: Chris Castillo, Matthew Chen, Tom Evnen, Erik Legried, Etc.
*Edit - Here’s my wikis from senior year so that you can get an idea of the type of debater that I was:
edit: I haven't judged/coached since harvard so pls slow down a bit//take note that im not familiar w/ new strats
hi! I debated LD for Bronx Science(NY) for 4 yrs, qualled to the TOC Senior year. I am an assistant coach for Bronx Science right now. I'm also currently a Sophomore studying economics and philosophy at Johns Hopkins University.
email chain: email@example.com
pomo ks/performance ks: 1
ir/security ks: 6/STRIKE
defaults (obv subj to change depending on the round)
truth testing>comparative worlds
presumption affirm, permissibility negates
drop the arg
might be a surprise to most: but i'm a strong believer in topical ks! i think the TVA/SSD arg is super strong otherwise and is really difficult to beat back. Will boost speaks for creatively topical ks :)
though i have basic understandings of most ks/pomo ks, dont assume i know everything, my threshold of explanation might be lower for the below stated authors but there should still be sufficient explanation that your opponent is able to have a basic understanding of your theory of power and method.
topic/method links>>>generic links
short ov then techy lbl k debate is super cool, but im okay with longer ov and big picture stuff too, just utilize the big picture to do the lbl work
please win a framing/impact filtering mechanism
i love k tricks pls go for them just don't be sus in cx (i.e. if they ask if the alt is a floating PIK don't be afraid to admit it)
if you don't usually run ks pls don't run a k for sake of adapting to me just do your thing
i read a lot of pomo ks my senior yr, the ones i'm most familiar with: deleuze, lacan, kristeva, baudrillard, warren, nietzsche, cap, edelman, wilderson
otherwise pls explain with lots of examples (will boost speaks for good/creative/funny examples)
id pol/performance ks
i think positionally comes into q a lot in these cases, please rethink your relationally to the identity group you are reading abt// the relationally between that identity group and other marginalized groups.
framing mechanism is important! you dont have to win/justify oppression bad but you do have to win claims such as why i have the responsibility to be an educator//whatever
method debate is super super important- weigh lots (i.e. coalition(whether it be good or bad), ruse of solvency, intersectionality etc.)
i think a lot of performance debaters give up technicality for the sake of big picture and then they lose "because they are not tech enough" i think a balance between the two is really important!
remember your mental health comes first so don't read a piece of performance if you think it might cause psychological violence due to debate!
not the biggest fan of them BUT if you do go for them please have specific links though! rep ks are usually easy to answer because of how vague links are
edit: in specific scenarios, i am truth>tech for reps ks, especially if the card is miscut/misrepresented.
i dont really understand ir/security ks well, nor have i ever really debated them, i highly prefer you read anything else unless you're confident in your ability to explain crystal clear
love a good 2nr collapse on semantics/jurisdiction
don't just say t>k bc its a procedural, find better reasons
tvas and ssd are really underutilized in t-fw shells, ill boost speaks for creative ones!
not as familiar with theory than t but they r structural similar
1 shell w/ good abuse story >>> many shells
case specific standards instead of generic ones are really cool
im familiar with: kant, virtue ethics, hobbes, plato, rawls and mills
i like a well explained phil debate, examples really help! i'll boost speaks for creative/funny examples
slow down on analytics please
smart hijacks are super strategic and underutilized!
i think phil burden/tricks ncs are wayyyyyyy more interesting than a prioris
im not amazing at flowing, especially blippy exempted 10 point underviews so if i miss something rip
phil and k tricks >>>>>>>>> paradoxes and a prioris
i can judge a techy evi comparison// impact weighing but i'm really not knowledgeable on topic litt stuff
i do love politics das tho just have a really strong link chain and explain it well :)
things i wont vote on
1. evaluate the round after x speech
2. "vote for me b/c i'm x identity group"
3. anything non-verifiable/occurred outside the round
4. anything that polices what people wear
1. will yell clear for as many times as needed, will probably not dock speaks but if i miss an arg its on you
2. compiling doc is prep, sending is not, pls don't steal prep
3. the less warranted an arg the lower my threshold is for answering it
4. open source is prob good! don't be afraid of prep outs :))
+.2 speaks if you show me ur wiki BEFORE i submit decision (osource, first 3 last 3 text box and round reports)
5. a good cx gets higher speaks
please don't be super rude to your opponent, you can be assertive but not aggressive
6. should go w/out saying, pls dont be racist, homophobic, sexist, etc.
7. i don't judge kick :(
8. if you take cards from the wiki, didn't recut it, but put credit for yourself for cutting it, docking .5 speaker point.
like its ok to take cards from wiki but pls don't take credit for something you didn't cut- thats plagiarism
Experience: I have taught at NSD, VBI, TDC. This is my 9th year of being in debate both as a competitor and a coach.
TL;DR: Use TWs, do not be rude, I am truly agnostic about what kind of debate happens in front of me. If you do not want to read through my whole paradigm check pref shortcuts and "things that will get your speaks tanked/I won't vote on." Also, LARPing is fine, I know my paradigm sounds particularly derogatory to LARPing, but do whatever you want.
update for e-debate tournaments and more recent uncategorized thoughts 12/17:
1. Please do not go full speed over zoom. I try my best to flow off the doc, but lately I've been relying more and more on the doc just to catch arguments which I do not like to do. I also do my best to pay attention to what is going on and am usually pretty engaged in the round (out of fear of messing up) but I do tend to get pretty distracted during lackluster CXs. If there is an important concession you want me to pay attention to then make it clear both in CX and in speech. Also if my laptop camera is at a weird angle/pointing straight up at the ceiling, I am still paying attention my laptop is just broken to the point that my screen flashes whenever it is not open to the widest position (I also do not have a desk/workspace in my apartment).
2. If you are going to speedily read through a million analytics then I need them in the doc if you want to ensure that it is relevant in my decision making. Even prior to zoom, I was bad at flowing theory arguments and underviews so if you extemp them going full speed then you will also need to take responsibility for losing if I did not catch one of them.
3. I just want to hammer home one core idea that zoom debate has revealed to me as somewhat of a lost art to a lot of debaters: crystallizing. If you throw a bunch of shit out there and do nothing in the 2nr or 2ar to tell me what matters then it increases the likelihood that I just straight up have to intervene on some area of the flow. The 2NR and 2AR needs to collapse. Whoever can present me the simplest and most coherent ballot story tends to win.
4. Independent Voting Issues: I am starting to hate the version of these which is becoming more popular which is making a one line argument, then saying "it is an independent voter" mention the word accessibility and then moving on. I feel extremely uncomfortable voting on these when they are not clearly implicated and impacted in the first speech it is flagged as an independent voting issue. For this reason, you need to fully warrant, label, and impact out this argument in the first speech that goes beyond "util justifies atrocities which makes debate unsafe bc accessibility, next." When these are made on the framework and are not clearly impacted then I just view them as framework defense.
5. Non-black debaters reading afro-pessimism, black nihilism, etc: Idk I do not really feel that comfortable with it, I will probably say that if you are non-black and reading it then your speaks probably will not be higher than a 27 and I do tend to err on the side of a decent 1ar explaining why you cannot get access to positions such as these. This does not mean that I will just intervene against you because there are ways to answer that 1ar, but it will reflect in your speaks.
some random uncategorized thoughts
I think it is extremely important for trigger warnings to be included on cases that will discuss particularly triggering issues (i.e. sexual violence, suicide, strong depictions of violence against any marginalized group). I will say that TWs are especially important for me regarding issues of mental illness/suicide. This is a particularly triggering issue for me and it would be nice if you at least gave me a warning if that is what we are about to delve into. If your opponent (or myself) makes a request that you not read a certain position because it is personally triggering for them then please accommodate them. If you do not you will get a L and 20 speaks. Similarly, if your opponent makes a reasonable request for other accommodations (i.e. if they have some form of disability or if there are some language barriers) and you refuse then you will also get a L 20.
Another thing: I will not vote on things like shoe theory, water bottle theory, laptop charger theory. Really anything that involves frivolous aspects of people's clothing choice or dumb little things. If you read theory akin to any of these things you are instantly getting 25 speaks.
I, unfortunately, may have helped that argument spread by a particularly awful decision of mine at Emory. I can no longer have this rep.
In terms of my debate preferences it probably goes:
This is only a ranking of my favorite kinds of debate, not how comfortable I am. On the left is most intriguing and moves to the right which is most boring.
Also I think I have a higher threshold for extensions than some judges, so err towards the side of over explaining.
NEW: While I think overview extensions are fine, you should not substitute these extensions for actual argument interaction. If there is an argument that is unclear to me that you spread through in an overview and expect me to evaluate it then you MUST must MUST make that argument clear to me. y'know. clash.
PLEASE ASK FOR PPL'S PRONOUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS SO IMPORTANT. IF YOU CONTINUOUSLY MISGENDER SOMEONE IN ROUND I HAVE NO QUALMS VOTING YOU DOWN. DEBATE IS SUPPOSED TO BE SAFE FOR EVERYONE AND I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY BS.
Also, I probably will ask for everyone's pronouns at the beginning of the round. If I forget, and if I make a mistake, please let me know.
hi i am alex, yoaks, xander, xanderyoaks, yo; i have various nicknames idc what you call me.
Pronouns: any pronouns are fine, I have no direct preference I do tend to refer to myself using gender neutral pronouns however
K: 1-2 (more comfortable with identity Ks like queer theory, critical race theory, etc. I know some post-structuralist like Derrida, some Deleuze, Butler, Foucault, Anthro). I think I finally figured out what an assemblage is
Give me a 3 if you read Baudrillard unless you re good at explaining it
A bunch of theory: 2-3, I am not the best at evaluating very technical theory debates but I do it relatively often. I am also bad at flowing theory so slow down on interps in particular, and slower generally. My hearing is not as good as it once was.
New view on theory: it is pretty cool. I end up judging a lot of theory debates (and clash of civ debates bc yay Ks) and I also have coached it a lot more. Feel free to pref me a bit higher. However, the difficulties in flowing theory still applies. Go a bit slower when reading Theory or T generally, but have at it (with the caveats in the uncategorized thoughts section).
Tricks: 2-3 I like good tricks but please have the spikes clearly delineated (don't hide stuff in between cards or any other sketchy business). I will not vote on an a priori unless it is explained and impacted well. I.e. I am not going to vote on something like "also extend the resolved a priori you affirm." Pls Explain
Also, I really really really dislike lazy a prioris that are super generic. I likely will find an excuse to vote somewhere else on the flow, whether that be good or bad for you.
LARP: 3 I understand everything technically when it comes to LARP, I just find it a pretty boring style of debate (even though I end up teaching/coaching it lmao)
I know that all of these have me in the 1-3 range, it isn't because I am conceited and think I am an amazing judge it is more like I have no real preference for any type of debate and I have pretty much judged every kind of debate by the end of prelims of every tournament I judge. I usually get caught up in clash of civilizations debates for some reason, and I don't think I have consistently chosen one side of the clash over another (if I have, lmk and I will edit paradigm). If you are really pressed about my rankings, then put me lower on your prefs.
I am familiar with most kinds of critical literature since that is pretty much what I am majoring in. This does not mean, however, that you do not have to explain it/extend it as much as you would for the uninitiated. Blippy K extensions suck equally as much as blippy theory extensions. Here are some other things I care about:
1. Make sure the K links back to some framing mechanism, whether it is a normative framework or a role of the ballot. You can't win me over on the K debate if you don't clearly impact it back to a framing mechanism. The text of the role of the ballot/role of the judge must be clearly delineated.
2. Point out specific areas on the flow where your opponent links. I'm not going to do the work for you. Contextualize those links!
3. If the round devolves into a huge K debate, you must weigh. Sifting through confusing K debates where there isn't any weighing is almost as bad as a terrible theory debate.
4. I don't have any presumptions regarding whether or not K or T comes first. While I do like K debates, I am equally as likely to vote on T or theory with weighing. As you can tell, weighing is really important to me.
This is the type of debate I did way back when, so I am probably most comfortable evaluating these kinds of debates (but I only get to rarely). I also study philosophy so I am relatively hip with philosophical slang.
Make all FW arguments comparative
Unless otherwise articulated, I probs default truth testing over comparative worlds when it comes to substantive debates
Good theory debates are fun, bad theory debates suck
I don't default on any particular paradigm issue. IF you aren't justifying paradigm issues at this point, who are you
I don't presume theory/T or K first, make it easy for me as a judge and win some args why one or the other comes first.
PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO SOME WEIGHING. THEORY DEBATES WITHOUT WEIGHING MAKES ME CRY EVERY TIME.
If you are going for reasonability, you also need to justify and set a bright line
I tend not to vote on silly semantic I meets unless you impact them well (e.g. text>spirit) my implicit assumption is that an I meet needs to at least resolve some of the offense of the shell
aff/neg flex standards: need to be specific as opposed to generic e.g. you cant just say "negating is harder for xyz therefore let me do this thing" rather, you should explain how aff/neg is harder and then granting you access to that practice helps check back against a structural disadvantage in some specific way
Alright, so you roll up into the room and you got this really tricked out case with 100 different a prioris, so many theory spikes that they are literally jumping off the page to fight for fairness, and the classic incontestable descriptive offense, and you are ready to win. I just have a couple of requests:
1. I want the spikes clearly delineated. None of that hidden theory spikes between substantive offense bs. I won't catch it, your opponent won't catch it, so it probably doesn't exist (like absolute moral truths).
2. Slow down a little for theory spikes. I was and continue to be terrible at flowing, so help me out a little by starting out slower in the underview section.
3. If you extend an a priori, lean more towards the side of over explanation rather than under explanation. I have a high standard for extensions, so I need to understand a) why the a priori means you affirm/negate b)the claim, warrant, impact of the arg
Unsure why I have to say this but DAs are not an advocacy and if I hear the phrase "perm the disad" you immediately drop down to a 28. If you extend "perm the disad" then you will drop to a 27. I'm not kidding.
I am kind of ambivalent towards the whole "are perms advocacies or tests of competition" debate. Regardless, you must articulate either why a perm is net beneficial or how the CP is not mutually exclusive from the aff (or, ideally, both). I WILL NOT VOTE ON A PERM THAT IS NOT EXPLAINED OR DOES NOT DELINEATE HOW THE PLAN AND CP ADVOCACIES ARE COMBINED. If you read a billion perms and its like: 1. perm do both 2. perm do the aff then the CP 3. here is an intrinsic perm, then I probs won't vote on any of them unless you EXPLAIN
Pls for the love of god weigh
Speaker points are relatively arbitrary anyways, but I tend to give higher speaks to people who make good strategic decisions, who I think should make it to out rounds, who keep me engaged (good humor is a plus) and who aren't assholes to other debaters (esp novices/less experienced debaters).
NEW: Ok so, I have been told by many at this point that I give "absolutely garbage speaks" and that I am the worst because my speaks contribute to the 4-2 screw, or whatever idk. So, for Greenhill, I am going to try to be a little nicer with speaks. What that looks like, I am not quite sure, but I am going to try my best to give better speaks.
If you are hitting a novice, please don't read like 5 off and making the round less of a learning experience and more of a public beat down. It just isnt necessary. I will give you higher speaks if you make the round somewhat more accessible (ie going slower, reading positions that they can attempt to engage in, etc).
Things that will get your speaks tanked and that I will not vote on:
1. Shoe theory, or anything of the like. I won't vote on it, instant 25.
2. Being rude to novices, trying to outspread them and making it a public beatdown. Probs a 27 or under depending on the strength of the violation. What this means is that you should make the round accessible to novices; do not read some really really dense K (unless you are good at explaining it to a novice so that they can at least make some responses), nor should you read several theory shells and sketchy/abusive arguments to win the ballot. Not making the round accessible is a rip, and I think it is important for tournaments to be used as a learning experience, especially if it is one of their first tournaments in VLD.
3. If you are making people physically uncomfortable in the space, and depending on the strength of the violation, you can expect your speaks to be 27 or lower. If you are saying explicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc things then probs an auto-loss 25.
4. Consistently misgendering people. L 25
5. I will not vote on the generic Nietzsche "suffering good" K anymore, I just think that it is a terrible argument and people need to stop going to bad policy back files, listen to some Kelly Clarkson if you want that type of education. L 25
if you have questions / for sdocs: firstname.lastname@example.org
*have the doc ready to send ahead of time or speaks will drop : ( please time yourself.
ld @ cypress woods high school '20, parli @ harvard '24. dabbled in worlds (usa dev '19!) i qualled to the toc my senior year.
you can go on my past neg wiki to see what sorts of positions i read if you care.
1 - phil/theory. i probably give more weight to k v phil interactions, phil v theory interactions, and k interactions in a truth testing paradigm than the average tx judge.
2 - tricks/larp. i’m not familiar with the topic though.
3 - k unless they're reps ks, which i read a lot of. i prefer lbl to floating overviews that im not sure what to do with.
to decrease speaks : (
- i'll call slow and clear as many times as i need to but speaks will drop. im fine w ur opponent calling slow/clear too as long as it's not malicious
- scripting the entire speech and/or big words without explanation - i have no idea what hapticality is. please lbl the other debater's warrants instead of just reading dumps!
- postrounding / being aggressive (esp against trad/novices/minorities)
- i enjoy a good cx
- you have to provide evi to your opponent/judge. that does not mean you have to disclose but should show them, if requested. evi contestation (clipping, miscutting, etc.) is evaluated however the debaters decide: theory shell, stopping the round, etc.
- reading problematic args (eg racism good) is an L. the validity of death good, trigger warnings, etc. are debatable (at least in front of me)
- record your speeches in case internet gets funky
- i think the ability to spin evi should be rewarded; having good evi helps but "call for the card" puts me in a weird position. do that weighing for me.
- if the advocacy is uncondo and the 2n goes for a higher layer, i don't consider that kicking the advocacy. to me, kicking the k means kicking the alt unless otherwise justified which means aff turns on the link/impact/rotb should still apply (but may not have uniqueness).
- send the screenshot on disclosure; telling judges to check the wiki seems a little interventionist. this applies any arguments in a similar vein.
i don't want to use defaults and can be persuaded either way but here they are in case you care:
- comparative worlds
- permissibility negates, the side with less of a change from the status quo under comparative worlds gets presumption
- epistemic confidence
- dta on theory, dtd on t, competing interps, no rvis
- no judge kick