OSSAA East 6A 5A Regional Tournament
2021 — NSDA Campus, OK/US
CX Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Schools/Affiliations: Program Manager - Tulsa Debate League, Assistant Coach = Riverfield Country Day School - Tulsa
I competed in policy debate in high school for 4 years, advancing to late rounds at nationals
I’ve coached, in one role or another, for 22 years
Left to my own devices, I’d approach the round from a policymaking point of view, but I know that few rounds boil down to such a paradigm. In light of that, debate is a game of sorts and I’m willing to let the debaters decide how it should be played. I can’t see myself voting against an affirmative on a stock issue like inherency.
Clarity, of course, is key. If I can’t understand you, then I can’t flow you and I likely won’t be inclined to vote for you or the position(s) I don’t understand. Look for cues (not flowing, a blank look on my face).
Line by Line
I prefer line by line debate. I believe you need to flow and I don’t think a team is obligated to share analytical arguments in a flash/speech doc. If the debate becomes disorganized because of your inability to stay on the flow, that’ll likely cost you in some way. Debate, at its essence, is about a clash of ideas...therefore clash is an essential ingredient to a good debate round. A round between two teams who neither extend their own arguments, nor address the specific attacks made on these arguments, is not a debate round, and such a round begs for intervention on my part.
I am loathe to intervene in a round, but will do so if neither team presents a clear comparative analysis of the issues in the round. You need to tell my why I should vote for you and make that clear in the final rebuttals.
I’ll start with my paradigm, you tell me where to move to, and convince me of why I should do so, if you’d like to change the framework. Any framework should make it possible for both sides to win and shouldn’t be rooted in a rejection of debate as an activity (though it’s possible I could be convinced otherwise).
Topicality (or any other procedural/theory argument)
I will vote on topicality. I think the negative has to construct a fully formed argument to convince me I should do so, complete with a reason that the violation committed by the affirmative is worthy of giving them the loss. I’m not as inclined to be convinced by a reverse voter argument in t, but affirmatives can defend themselves by attacking one or all of the components of a typical T argument and win the issue. Other procedurals tend to get decided based on actual, rather than, potential abuse.
I debated before kritiks were a thing, so that’s fair warning. Having said that, I’ve voted on them many times, but profess a lack of deep knowledge on some of the more theoretical positions. Deep theory, you’ll have to tell me what to do. Despite my knowledge about some of the authors and their positions, I’m usually able to discern when the student speaking knows as little or less than I do. I prefer that if you’re going to make the k an issue, that you know it inside and out, and be aware of the inherent dangers in speaking quickly to a judge who may know less than you do, and who you are trying to convince. Real world alts are pretty much a requirement.
Do what you will, I’ll listen. Prefer they be relevant to topic.
I am good with counterplans, conditional is fine, but don’t get too feisty in this regard. Deep counterplan and pic theory give me headaches, so slow down and talk me through it.
No thanks...multiple conditional positions are fine, but not contradictory advocacy. Can’t be convinced otherwise on the matter so save your time.
3NRs and My Decision
I will give an oral critique if time allows and reveal decision if permitted by tourney expectations, but I will not enter into an argument with either team about my decision. I can handle a question or two, but make sure it’s a question. Look, I am always going to do my best, but I’m sure I’ve gotten the decision wrong a time or two, and I hate it when I do. That being said, my usual answer when teams argue why they lost is: I’d feel the same way if I were you, but next time debate better. Then I mark their speaker points down for being rude. Live to fight another day, and be aware that you might see your judge again down the road.
i will be lenient as we learn the online format, but that being said, I’m losing patience with the time taken up by flashing files even during in-person debates. Be efficient.
Denslow, Keith Edit 0 3… Judging Philosophy
Skiatook High School,
I have taught academic debate for 28 years. I have coached both policy debate and value debate on the high school level plus NDT and CEDA for 2 years on the college level. I have coached regional, district, and state champions.
I give up. I embrace the absurdity which is post-modern debate.
Topicality is an outdated mode of thought with tries to put up fences in our brain about what we can and can not talk about. It harms education and the marketplace of ideas.
Style issues: Civility is important. Open CX is okay. Clarity must accompany speed. Numbering your arguments is better than “next” signposting. Detailed roadmaps are better than “I have 5 off” and prep time doesn’t continue for 2 minutes after you say “stop prep” Flash evidence faster!
(at least that's my general inclination)
I will listen to all arguments or strategy, though, if it's well-argued and defended in the round.
Updated Last: 3.14.19
Affiliation: Director of Forensics at Union Public Schools in Tulsa, OK (2011-present)
Email: christian.d.jones[at]gmail.com (yes, I would like to be on the chain)
Experience: This is my 12th year coaching.
My General Paradigm
In my view debate is a game. The game must be fair, but debaters may argue what is and is not fair. Debaters may try to convince me which particular instance of the game will be played in each round. I will try to have an open mind, but I do have likes and dislikes.
I prefer debaters to ensure clarity before trying to accelerate. I can handle speed, but if I can't understand it, it doesn't get flowed. If I am being honest, I would estimate that I can catch almost every argument at about 85% of top speed for the national circuit. But if you brake for taglines and present them in a unique vocal inflection, top speed is not a problem.
I prefer line by line debate, but I don't have a problem resetting the flow if the new organization makes sense. Overviews are helpful, but please apply your arguments. A dangling overview is just an introduction. If you don't apply overview arguments to the flow, don't expect me to. Also, please do not machine gun your theory arguments. They should have a warrant and enough explanation to give me time to flow effectively. 2-3 complete sentences will usually get the job done.
I will only intervene if I feel I absolutely have to. I prefer that debaters to help me decide the debate. Comparative arguments will usually accomplish this. Extrapolations in rebuttals are acceptable if they are grounded in arguments already on the flow. I view truth vs. tech to be a false dichotomy; truth and tech are two different aspects of a debate and both weigh in my decision. Arguments that are extremely offensive or outright false may be rejected on face.
I enjoy and find value in a variety of argumentation styles as long as they do not preclude a debate from taking place. A debate must have clash.
Speaker Points (Oklahoma ballots in parenthesis)
30 (6) = Best speaker I expect to see at the tournament
29.9>29.5 (5) = Deserves a speaker award at the tournament
29.4>29 (4) = Excellent speaker, but has a few things to improve on
28.9>28.5 (4) = Great speaker, but has several things to improve on
28.4>28 (3) = Made some small mistakes, but was still enjoyable to listen to
28>27 (3) = Made large mistakes
27>26 (2) = Made several large mistakes that probably cost the round
26>0 (1) = Generally reserved for people who make direct insults toward a person or group of people or do not give their full effort in the debate
The most effective 1NC strategy is 8 minutes of case. If you can win case turns take out the 1AC impacts, you will win my ballot every time. I know this is an unlikely strategy for multiple reasons, but the importance of case debate can't be understated. Every negative should attack the affirmative case, even if it is only a handful of analytics. By the same token, if you are affirmative, don't forget about the 1AC. You read that stuff for a reason. Extend it.
The 1AC presents their argument to a blank slate. If you want to change this, you will need an interpretation and to be clear on the criteria for winning the round. This criteria should offer both sides the possibility of winning the debate. What you call it (role of the ballot, voting issue, impact framing, etc.) is not that important.
Topicality (or any other procedural/theory argument)
If you want me to vote on a proposed rule violation, then you need to win the complete argument. You must win that you have the best interpretation, that the other team has violated your interpretation, that your interpretation is good for debate, and that the offense is a voting issue. If you want to argue that the other team is breaking the rules, then you have the burden of proof. Procedural arguments may also urge a lesser punishment, such as, excluding the consideration of an argument.
I do not want to proscribe specifics when it comes to kritiks, but I do want to see clash and comparative argumentation in any debate. I prefer Ks that are germane to the topic or affirmative case in some way. Specific links are preferable to generic ones. I like kritiks that have a clearly defined alternative. Alternatives that propose something are preferable to 'reject' or 'do nothing' type alts. I am not a fan of ontological arguments, especially nihilistic ones. If you choose to enter the debate space, you have already ceded certain assumptions about reality.
I have no problem with this either, all of the kritik stuff applys here too. Performance rounds can be quite entertaining and enlightening. They can also be the opposite. I am open to forms of communication other than the default language of power that most debaters engage in.
I am open to any type of counterplan, but all arguments are subject to the standard of fairness determined in the debate round (see Framework/Topicality). That said, if you are going to read a counterplan, it should probably have a solvency card. Conditionality is okay, but let's not get carried away (see Multiple Worlds below).
I do not like it when a team defends contradictory positions. I would prefer each side to have a consistent advocacy. A team may defend multiple actions (plan planks, counterplans, kritiks, etc.), but they should be consistent or at least not contradictory.
Other forms of debate
My expertise is in policy debate. I will do my best to consider whatever arguments you choose to present. I do not appreciate sandbagging/trickery and will punish debaters who are egregious in this respect.
Tab rasa etc
Lost brain cells are exchanged with speaks
Edit 3/18 - this was way too long, so I shortened and simplified as much as I could.
I mostly judge policy - PF / LD considerations are at the bottom.
Ryanpmorgan1@gmail.com for the email chain.
I did policy debate in college and high school (03-08) for Auburn HS in WA and Augustana/UNLV. I ran big stick policy affs, soft-left affs, and a performance argument or two.
What you can run in front of me
You can run just about whatever you want in front of me. Ks, DAs, CPs, T, plan flaw, and custom theory arguments are all fine.
Though I largely did "policy" debate, I try to avoid any ideological lean.
That means I won't reject the crime DA as inherently racist (unless you make and win that argument), and I'll entertain "heg good" as a DA to a K aff. On the other hand, it means I'm willing to vote for non-topical affs, including those that critique the practices of debate itself.
Speed / online debate
If this is a local or regional tournament, you can probably safely go as fast as you want as long as it is clear.
If this is an elim of a major and you're going for theory, you should probably slow down a little in the block, and then even more in the 1AR/2NR/2AR.
I'm far more likely to have a hard time following you because your tech/microphone set up isn't super clear, than not being able to follow you because you actually went too fast. So its always good to do a check with your partner or coach and make sure your microphone allows you to be heard clearly.
The things that will earn you better points in front of me include:
- Outstanding research / preparation - if you're reading a well-researched case-specific K or CP, you're on your way to good points. I will give you the W if you read cap or set col and win the debate, but don't expect more than 29.3. However, if you deploy 3 case-specific PICs and a dump of incredible case turns, or went out and did a ton of research to justify a plan flaw arg, that's where I'm going to award a 29.5 or higher.
- Being a good citizen of the debate community - don't be rude, and if you're crushing the other team, slow down and make the debate a learning experience for them.
- Making big strategic decisions, as opposing to trying to just out-tech your opponent or win on cheap tricks.
There is an epidemic of bad, lazy, and/or vague text writing in debate. That includes plans, counterplans, K alts, advocacy statements, and so on.
I think it was probably always this way, but anyways, I'll happily vote on plan flaw, as well as smart vagueness arguments, to try to correct this trend.
You shouldn't need to read any further.
The sections below are just me trying to cover the debates I see most often. If a section doesn't apply to the debate you are going to have in front of me, move on.
As explained above, I'll vote for these and have done so in the past.
Non-topical affs that lose in front of me usually make one of the following mistakes:
- Their argument just isn't very interesting, unique, or cohesive. I tend to dislike affs that just retread some generic criticisms of debate, talk about identity, and then fail to unify any of that into an interesting or effective piece of activism.
- They fail to offer any kind of alternative vision for debate to resolve the issues they are criticizing
- They get beat on the line by line of T, typically because they are either just out-teched or do a worse job of weighing impacts.
- Their argument either falls apart or mutates radically when scrutinized with basic questions about its internal logic
Winning non-topical affs usually offer me something interesting and unique I'll think about after the debate, and don't do the above.
Neg teams should feel free to engage these affs however they want. I'll vote for T. I'll vote for smart indicts, PICs (language ones are fine), case turns, alternative advocacies, etc.
I normally view framework as a very binary thing against these affs. If the aff isn't topical, and responds with framework along the lines of "we're impact turning T, sorry" - I usually tend to think framework doesn't matter a whole lot.
But I judged a debate recently where the neg went for extinction impacts, but didn't go for framework, and I don't blame them because I'm not sure they needed to, because of how the debate shook out.
I think in those sort of situations, impact analysis is super helpful. Like, we've all agreed that all in and out-of-round impacts count and matter, but how do I evaluate the neg's extinction impact against the aff's in-round impacts of exclusion/topicality is bad.
Soft-left affs vs. generic Ks (cap, set col, etc.)
I keep seeing these debates, and think that between two great teams, the aff should usually win, barring a huge mistake in the 1AR like dropping the perm.
That's not to say I haven't voted neg in these debates, I have. I just think that the neg usually has a hard time explaining why their link arguments matter in the context of the perm. I don't think I'm alone on this - seems like basically every great elim fitting this description I've judged this year ended in a 3-0 for the aff on the perm.
I have noticed that 2ACs these days sandbag a lot of theory arguments in the hopes that they'll be missed. I really dislike that, honestly, but that doesn't mean I'll reject your argument by any means.
What it does mean is that I endeavor to err neg on theory questions if the aff waits until the 2AR to actually develop the argument. If you think you're going to go for theory in the 2AR, it will help you to just pull the trigger in the 1AR.
Some other thoughts:
- Functional and textual competition are both good and bad, but it depends on the context of the specific counterplan.
- Counterplans like delay or consult shouldn't be competitive, but I find myself voting on them when the aff simply fails to execute and make the common-sense args that drive these debates.
I do NOT have any particularly well-developed opinions on disclosure theory. I've voted on it, and I've laughed it off as ridiculous, depending on the context.
"Stock issues" DA / Case / CP debates
I've been seeing a lot of debates where the negative goes for a strategy right out of the 1980s - 1 generic DA, an agent CP, and lots of defense on the advantages and solvency.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this strategy, but you should be aware that absent some other framework argument, I will evaluate the debate in an "offense/defense" paradigm.
That means even if I think the case only has a 1% chance of solving, I'll vote aff unless there is an offensive (e.g. turn or DA) reason not to.
Related to this, if the CP solves the entire aff, even a 1% risk of the DA is enough for me to vote negative.
Important to keep this in mind in the 2NR/2AR - I've seen teams go for arguments that probably win the debate in front of a more traditional judge, but not for me.
Because I usually judge policy debate, I'm generally open as far as argument selection and speed are concerned. In the five public forum debates I have judged, I voted on a disclosure theory argument in one of them.
I will flow the debate similarly to how I would flow a policy debate.
I've noticed that my persistent feedback, even after watching a fantastic PF debate, is "both teams need more impact analysis." Tell me which impacts come first, and why, ideally in terms of magnitude, timeframe, and probability. It's ok to go for one impact in the final focus, if you've got a compelling reason why none of the other impacts can match it.
I've judged 1 LD debate in the last decade. I will have more familiarity with the general conventions of the event if you filter the debate down to the question of two competing value-criterion chains.
But if you want to run a K, theory, CP, or something like that, I'm certainly open to it. I just won't know the "LD" way to evaluate these sort of arguments, so you should expect a decision that comes in more "policy" terms.
I do remember when I last judged LD, I often got lost in very technical "burden" discussions - so if your argument hinges on a very specific interpretation of the resolution, make sure to slow down so I understand it.
Head Coach of Jenks High School, Oklahoma 6th year
Head Coach of Manhattan, Kansas 13 years
FOR THE OSSSAA STATE TOURNAMENT
Don't go fast, read a plan, tell me what you want me to vote on in the 2nr and 2ar
I think debate is a game, and tend to be more policy oriented. That said, I am not a fan of judge adaptation, I think you should run what you want, and I will do my best to follow.
Please slow down on tags and theory if you want them on my flow.
I will probably make a decision rather quickly. It doesn't mean that I am not paying attention or evaluating your arguments, I usually just don't need a long time to sort things out.
If you want to read something like Bataille or Baudrillard, etc. I might not be the best judge for you. I don't read the lit, and I think debate is ultimately good, so you might have more mileage if you pref someone else.
An ideal round for me would be a topical affirmative versus a counterplan with a net benefit. That said, I have voted for the K, win the framework debate.
Yes put me on the email chain email@example.com
Now I will quote a much better judge about somethings that I would like you to think about when I judge you
Will Katz's Grumpy Man Rants
Don’t shrink the text of your cards to 2 pt font. 8 point font is plenty fine. If I ever judge someone who shrinks their text down that much, I’m going to shrink down the highlighted parts that much too and then just not read the card because its too small.
Death good just signals to me that I should kill your points and your chance of winning
If your argument is that debate is always bad, I'm likely to agree with you that your debating is always bad, and as such I'll likely vote for the other team.
If you think you can win with only offense and no defense, then you'll probably have a better time playing on the Cleveland Cavaliers than winning a debate in front of me.
If you sit down in cx, it makes it seem like you don't want me to listen attentively. Who am I to argue with you on that?
If you go top speed all the time, I'd recommend NASCAR over debate. In debate, there is definitely a time to go slow. Although even in NASCAR they don't start out at top speed
I am a former Oklahoma Speech Theater Communications Association State Policy Debate Champion (1998) I also debated in CEDA in college and went on to coach in the Southern Oklahoma Jr. High and High School competitive speech teams.
Stock Issues: Legal Model – Topicality – Significance of Harm – Inherency – Solvency – Advantage Over Disadvantage
Policy Making: Legislative Model – Weigh advantages versus disadvantages
Hypothesis Testing: Social Science Model – Each negative position (some of which may be contradictory) tests the truth of the affirmative; it must stand good against all tests to be true.
Tabula Rasa: Democracy/Anarchy Model – Whatever basis for decision the debaters can agree on will be used as a judging standard.
Game Player: Gaming Model – Debate is a rule-governed game; you play by (and are judged by) the rules.
I am familiar with all of these judging paradigms. If you believe I should follow one then present an argument for it and support it with evidence. Without evidence and analysis, I default to being a stock issues judge.
For additional insight on how I judge individual issues please see the following link: https://www.nfhs.org/media/869102/cx-paradigms.pdf
I am Tabula Rasa and extremely non-interventionist. I am open to any arguments but I will not connect the dots for you. You need to make the argument and demonstrate, not just claim, that your opponents' arguments are weak. I will vote on Topicality if it is run well. I also like impact calculus. I expect good evidence and often call for evidence after the round. I appreciate good rhetorical skills. I have a Stock Issues background, but will only judge that way if you debate that way.
I did CX for 3 years in High School. I went to AFA Nationals in Impromptu Speaking during College. I have judged often since College with @1000 rounds under my belt. I coached in Oklahoma for 16 years. I have also judged in Texas and Nebraska. I have judged college tournaments. I was Senior Staff at Cameron University Summer CX Camp for six years.