OSSAA East 6A 5A Regional Tournament
2021 — NSDA Campus, OK/US
Extemp Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I will be looking for which team can best identify the key points of clash in the round and demonstrate why they have won those points. Consequently, I would prefer to see quality of argument and depth of evidence and analysis on the key points rather than trying to drag all points through the round. (That doesn't mean drop things like crazy! It just means get clear on what's actually important to the debate and related to the resolution). I particularly dislike spreading; again, quality over quantity will win the round for me. I will also closely examine the wording of the resolution, so arguments that are not adequately linked to the resolution will not be considered.
LD- I’d like to see a value and a criterion
The better policy/plan/values arguments are favored. With that said, stock issues with reliable, balanced evidence are needed in support.
Also, I follow with a flow, so don’t drop key issues/arguments.
And spreading … I get it that it allows for more on-the-record points, but if I cannot understand you, I cannot flow. At least verbalize the outline topic so that I understand it and have time to write it down.
By the end of your presentation, I should have a clear understanding of where you stand on your topic, supported by evidence, logic, and persuasion.
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Topicality is an outdated mode of thought with tries to put up fences in our brain about what we can and can not talk about.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!
A little about me:
I have been a debate coach for seven years now, but a debater for a lot longer. I grew up and taught in Kansas as a Policy debater, so nothing scares me.
As far as my judging preferences:
Spreading - If I can't hear at least your tag lines, I can't judge you.
I value clash overall. That's the whole point of this sport! With that being said, I'm not a huge fan of K's in any style of debate.
I will not call for evidence unless told to by your team
I will not decide if a teams argument is factually based on my own knowledge of the topic that is up for you to prove to me
I will not ask clarifying questions after the round
my job as the judge is to simply observer all information presented to me and the way you want me to interpret it so please tell me how
Yes I want you to include me in the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLIC FORUM AND LD
Public Forum is an evidence-based debate.
Do not rant during speeches, be absolutely clear and precise.
The basics of every round and the way I am going to judge, the AFF must prove a net gain, the NEG must prove a net loss, unless offered a framework or observation this is how i will judge your round.
There is a difference between being assertive and rude.
I will assume you to be well versed in the rules in the style of debate you are participating in, understand I will mark it on your ballot if you do not follow them.
I will assume if you drop an argument or contention whether it be offense or defense you agree with it and will flow it to your opponent's side.
If you would like me to understand exactly what your doing, please give some format of an off-time road map before each speech after case reading. basically PLEASE SIGNPOST
If you don't offer a framework of what you need to prove to win or the opponent needs to prove, I will hold your opponent's framework in the round, If neither of the teams offers one I will decide the round over arguments and drops.
Crossfire- unlike many flow judges I do flow cross x as I believe it holds value to the debate or you wouldn't be doing it.
Impacts- Do not give me anything scalar without explaining why it matters.
Weighting- If you have dropped the arg or lost access to it don't use it as a weighing mechanism. weighting is an action, not a word to be used for fill.
drops/concede- I am a flow judge I promise I caught the drop/conceded arg, so if your going to tell me that something was dropped or conceded tell me why it's important rather than "this went cold conceded!!!"
I am perfectly fine with you keeping your own time, just know that I will keep time as well.
Overall - If you have any questions, ask before 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.
About Me: I'm the Director of Communications at a local nonprofit fighting for equitable education opportunities for Tulsa-area students. I competed in LD and PF debate for 4 years of high school (Bishop Kelley) and debated 3 years in college (University of Arkansas). I also competed in DEX, FEX, and all drama categories at some point in that time. I went to Nationals in Student Congress. I was the 2007 Oklahoma LD State Champion and Top 6 in DEX.
FOR ALL DEBATES: UNLESS IT IS CX, I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ARGUMENT ABOUT YOUR CARDS. YOU COULD LITERALLY BE MAKING THEM UP FOR ALL I KNOW, SO PLEASE FOCUS ON BIG PICTURE/PHILOSOPHY/THE WHY OF YOUR POINT, RATHER THAN HOW MANY CARDS YOU STACKED UP AGAINST ONE ANOTHER.
FOR LD DEBATES:
I prefer traditional framework, with clear contentions and sign posting throughout the round. Remember that LD is value-based, so I will be looking for you to carry your Value/Criterion through the entire round and link all arguments back to this value. Your argument should have a solid framework to support it and it should be topical. I am looking for big picture arguments, so please don't get lost in the minute details or you will lose me. Explain, support, and defend each of your arguments. Show me how your argument applies to the topic, your position, your opponent's position and the impacts (and please name these clearly). Please speak at a reasonable speed for me to flow by hand--if you go too fast, I will miss your argument and can't consider it in my final decision.
FOR PF DEBATES:
Public Forum debate should be conversational, respectful and engaging. I'm looking for strong initial arguments that will be crystallized as the round goes on, and will flow through anything that is not addressed by Summary. I am looking for big picture arguments, so please don't get lost in the minute details or you will lose me. Explain, support, and defend each of your arguments. Show me how your argument applies to the topic, your position, your opponent's position and the impacts (and please name these clearly). Please speak at a reasonable speed for me to flow by hand--if you go too fast, I will miss your argument and can't consider it in my final decision.
LD: I'm pretty traditional. I like values and criteria and evidence and clash. If you read a K or a bedtime narrative, I will stop flowing the round and take a nap. I have a speed threshold of "don't" and if you could please keep the jargon to a minimum, that would be great. Theory is cool, in theory, but it shouldn't be an entire framework. I like long walks on the beach, and a good tennis match. Also, don't shake my hand at the end of the round.
PF: Um....win more arguments than the other team. Go. Fight. Win.
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.
Do not spread!
Updated 3/21/2021 after Arizona District National Qualifying Tournament.
As the season winds down I have had the opportunity to judge outstanding speakers and debaters at national qualifying tournaments across the US.
What has distinguished IE speakers has been the ability to convey authenticity and a sense of spontaneity in their performances.
Extempers who are able to maintain direct eye contact throughout their speeches have been rewarded.
Congressional debaters who have extended the debate and engaged in cross-examination linked to later speeches have distinguished themselves.
Finally LD and PF debaters who have argued at a conversational pace and focused on warranting and analysis over evidence have advanced. I have had the opportunity to see LD cases which are deeply focused on values and ethics and not policy. These LD teams have advanced.
Speech and Congressional participants can scroll down to see my comments on judging IEs and Congress.
I am a lay judge. All debaters should speak at a conversational pace, DO NOT spread. Leave your camera on!
I repeat, all debaters, please DO NOT SPREAD!
I completely support the efforts for inclusiveness in the debate and speech community. As you will see below that commitment to inclusiveness in debate means your presentation and argumentation should include the broadest audience. Therefore NO speed k, progressive debate or theory. My experience this season has been that consistently in rounds I judge conversational paced traditional debate advances.
Please be at the round as instructed in the tournament directions. In order verify functioning technology, to respect the entire community and not delay the tournament I strongly urge you to be early.
I have judged PF, LD, Congressional Debate, Extemp and IE during 2020 and now 2021 in Zoom ( NASD campus) and over the past ten years. See below for preferences in all these events. Congressional Debaters should scroll to the bottom and read my comments!
I will first say I admire and appreciate the ability of high school speech and debaters to adjust to this new world of zoom. This year I have seen amazing IE performances and extremely high level debate.
You should consider me a parent, lay judge. Most of the following paradigm will relate to debate. I trust that the comments outlining my PF and LD philosophy will provide sufficient information for Congressional debaters.
You may choose whether to stand or sit during your performance. There are pros and cons to each strategy. Please remember that the camera will exaggerate all of your gestures and facial expressions. Prior to the round be certain that you have the camera and microphone set at the appropriate levels and you have marked your performing space so that you will always be with them the camera. It is my preference that you end your performance without a thank you. Your performance is thanks enough.
Do not leave the frame of your camera. both extempers and impromptu speakers should note this direction.
On Zoom less is more, the broadness of gestures traditionally used does not translate well to the camera. Likewise consider your volume. You should critically evaluate your recorded performance, this is a great opportunity for you to see if your intent is conveyed.
As an IE judge I am open to and admire all types of material. My focus will be on your performance. I will try to provide an engaged audience for your performance. I am particularly interested in your ability to convey emotional depth and authenticity through your use of physical gesture and vocal variety and intensity.
I am much more impressed by warranting with clear analysis than a recitation of evidence. While many extempers have advanced ability to retain up to a dozen pieces of evidence that's far too much for a 7 minute speech. I would imagine that three or even four pieces of evidence from diverse sources would be sufficient.
That said give a full citation for your evidence particularly if you obtained it off the internet that is if on the day of the tournament you accessed a 2000 article I would think you would give me both the data the original article and the fact you accessed at the day of the tournament.
Extempers maintain consistent eye contact with your audience into the camera. This may be due to any number of factors but advancing extempers always maintain consistent eye contact.
Don't be afraid in your presentation to show your pleasure in giving the speech. Appropriate use of humor either in your intro, in the conclusion or in the body of the speech is always welcome. Note that humor should be appropriate. Also carefully consider your use of personal reference or example in your speech.
I have become concerned with evidence, evidence ethics and evidence exchange in addition to spreading.
You should exchange evidence within one minute.
I work from the assumption that you have cut your evidence ethically. I do not place a great deal of my decision on conflicting evidence. Just give me a warrant. If a debater provides me with an analytic or comparison on a card I will accept it if not rebutted. However if I call for one of your cards you should be concerned. If I find you have cut the card out of context or in a misleading manner that will impact my decision.
Evidence exchange should be quick. Recent debates have had extended time periods of clarifying what evidence is to be exchanged. Know your evidence have it immediately available to send in the chat or document file. it should take less than 30 seconds for you to request evidence and less than 30 seconds to send.
In PF, LD and Congress I will flow the debate and consider both the speeches and cx as the basis for my ultimate decision. Varsity debaters should consider me a parent judge. I do not handle speed - DO NOT spread. If you are unsure about your speed SLOW DOWN - you are talking too fast. If I cannot flow your argument I cannot evaluate it for decision.
I am a traditionalist so debate the topic. What I mean by this is we come together to explore a topic. Not a theory or an alternative view of the world. Therefore let's debate the topic - no progressive debate in the round and no k. I always vote against theory, k and progressive cases.
For those of you still reading. Clearly do not spread. Let me be very clear. If one debater spreads and the other debater argues at a conversational rate I ballot traditional debater who speaks at conversational speed. As I've indicated in this paradigm if I cannot flow I cannot evaluate. Please try to walk the walk that our community is advocating for in terms of inclusiveness and diversity and include me in your argumentation for traditional debate at conversational pace.
How I'll evaluate the round:
With my flow.
Please frame the debate for me.
Clearly make links
To win my ballot make a clear traditional framework analysis.
Warrants: I need to understand why and how a claim creates specific impacts. If I don't understand your warrant or if it just doesn't follow, the only way I'll vote on it is if your opponent drops it entirely. Remember reading evidence is not a warrant.
Finally debaters should be respectful to each other and have fun. There is no reason to ever be disrespectful. In the unlikely event this happens it will be reflected in reduce speaker points and a note on the ballot for your coach.
Do not spread.
I don't believe that theory or kritiks should be a part of Public Forum of LD debate. If you run either, you will almost certainly lose my ballot. If you encounter kritik or theory in a round and I am your judge, all you need to say for me to dismiss that argument is that PF and LD debate is intended to be accessible to all people and should directly address the topic of the resolution, and then continue to debate the resolution.
I am among the most traditional, perhaps old-fashioned PF and LD judges you are likely to encounter. I believe that PF and LD should remain true to its original purpose which was to be a debate event that is accessible to everyone, including the ordinary person off the street. So I am opposed to everything that substantively or symbolically makes PF and LD a more exclusive and inaccessible event.
Quality over quantity.
CX: Ask questions and give answers. Don't make speeches. Try not to interrupt, talk over, and steam-roll your opponent. Let your opponents talk.
If you persuade me of your narrative and make your narrative more significant than your opponent's, you will win my ballot - regardless of how many minor points you drop. On the other hand, if you debate with perfect technique and don't drop anything, but you don't present and sell a clear narrative, it's highly unlikely that you will win my ballot.
This is also important. in summary please collapse the debate. In final focus give voters and way. Do not run the flow in either one of these speeches. You want to simplify the round for me and give me clear voters for your position.
Moreover be certain that you warrant your arguments. Repeating a card or evidence is not a warrant. A warrant is a logical argument for your claim. I will disregard claims that lack a warrant in my decision. Remember a warrant is not evidence
VALUE AND VALUE CRITERION: I think that the value and the value criterion are essential components of Lincoln-Douglas debate. They are what most distinguish LD from policy and public forum. If your advocacy is NOT explicitly directed toward upholding/promoting/achieving a fundamental value and your opponent does present a value and a case that shows how affirming/negating will fulfill that value, your opponent will win the round – because in my view your opponent is properly playing the game of LD debate while you are not.
It’s your job as a debater not just to say stuff, but to speak in the manner necessary for your judge to receive and thoughtfully consider what you are saying. If your judge doesn’t actually take in something that you say, you might as well not have said it to begin with.
Because I prioritize quality over quantity in evaluating the arguments that are presented, I am not overly concerned about “drops.” If a debater “drops” an argument, that doesn’t necessarily mean he/she loses.
As a round progresses, I really hope to hear deeper and clearer thinking, not just restating of your contentions. If you have to sacrifice covering every point on the flow in order to take an important issue to a higher level and present a truly insightful point, then so be it. That’s a sacrifice well worth making. On the other hand, if you sacrifice insightful thinking in order to cover the flow, that’s not a wise decision in my view.
If you present a ton of evidence for a contention, but you don’t explain in your own words why the contention is true and how it links back to your value, I am not likely to be persuaded by it. On the other hand, if you present some brilliant, original analysis in support of a contention, but don’t present any expert testimony or statistical evidence for it, I will probably still find your contention compelling.
front of me as your judge is a forfeit of the round to your opponent.
PROFESSIONALISM: Please be polite and respectful as you debate your opponent. A moderate amount of passion and emphasis as you speak is good. However, a hostile, angry tone of voice is not good. Be confident and assertive, but not arrogant and aggressive. Your job is to attack your opponent’s ideas, not to attack your opponent on a personal level.
See above comments as well.
I consistently rank the PO. If the PO does an exceptional job I will rank the PO first in the round. I say this to encourage Congressional debaters to take on this vital function. I have been impressed with a number of Arizona Congressional debaters who PO. I admire beginning or novice Congressional debaters who take on the challenge to PO. Please do this! When completing my overall ranking if two debaters a PO and a member of the House or Senate are close I typically favor the PO.
To experienced Congressional debaters it is my view that it is your responsibility to the event and to our overall debate community to give back and PO.
Do not stand up and speak just to give a speech. As a judge and a parliamentarian I routinely rank highly one quality speech over three speeches which contribute nothing to the debate.
The smaller chambers in the zoom environment this year guarantee that every member who wishes to deal and has an argument to make will have the chance. So rather than strategic, I appreciate speaking order that advances the actual debate rather than a pre round prepped speech or reading of evidence. I value warranting and analysis over paraphrasing evidence.
If you are speaking second or third on a side on a bill and present no extensions no new arguments or no summary you should not be speaking. I will routinely rank you below someone who doesn't speak because this type of presentation later in the debate contributes nothing therefore is negative rather than neutral.
If the PO conducts themselves and the debate with precision and clarity I routinely rank them in the top three and during this debate season in over 15 rounds of congressional debate I have ranked the PO first five times.
At a recent debate a four-year Congressional debater was in a room with novices. The debater convinced a novice to PO the round because the experienced thought they would be ranked higher as a speaker rather than PO. I admired the novice for taking on this daunting challenge and ranked him above the experience debater.
simplify your arguments: please don't force me to think.
speak slow: i'm alright with speed, but I'll stop flowing when it sounds like you're wheezing and maybe call for help if you actually are. in other words, speak slowly and clearly if you want to be certain that i'm flowing what you're saying.
make it make sense: one of the most notable traits of mastery is the ability to teach your subject in various (and effective) ways. make sure to explain the logic or coherency of your argument in different ways just in case it doesn't translate well the first time. not only will you avoid sounding like a broken rambling record, but you can also use it to reinforce and emphasize your arg.
weigh: love to see it. don't just tell me that your argument or impact outweighs your opponents. explain how through different mechanisms (scope, time-frame, reversibility, probability, magnitude, etc) and if do it well, you'll incorporate more than one.
This is my first year judging. As such, I really appreciate when the flow of the debate or forum is clearly called out (i.e. contentions, subpoints, voting issues). If I have to guess whether or not a competitor clearly rebutted a contention, or clearly stated a voting issue, then I often have to assume it was not addressed.
I vote for the team that debates the best. That's my paradigm.
If forced to pick a point of view I would call myself a policy maker. I debated for 8 years in high school and college (NDT style) and am open to just about any argument so long as it is debated well. This includes critical arguments, performance, theory, etc.
Other points that may help you adapt to me:
Speed. You can go as fast as you can read, but be clear. Most debaters try to sound fast without actually being fast. Be clear. You get more points if I can understand you, less if I don't. Did I mention to be clear?
Make arguments: Provide a claim, warrant and evidence for each argument. Number them. Explain why I should prefer yours to theirs. Help me evaluate competing claims, show me how they interrelate and how your version of the world is preferred over theirs. Help me write my ballot.
Show me you understand the chess match: Explain cross applications, contradictions, interrelationships, etc. Indict evidence and explain why yours is preferred. ARGUE THE INTERNAL LINKS. Kick out arguments you are losing to spend time on arguments you are winning (and know the difference). Grant arguments that help you. Be strategic.
Evaluate scenarios and explain how yours is more probable, happens first, or has a bigger impact than theirs. Explain the thesis of your critical or policy scenarios, and why they force a choice for you. If you are running a critical argument be able to clearly explain the philosophy and why this is a reason to reject your opponent's worldview. I consider this activity policy debate, so even if you are making a critical argument it is best to explain its impact as if I am a policy maker.
CX: Be nice. I'm OK with open CX, but I get annoyed when the two debaters who aren't supposed to be doing the CX are the only ones talking. Let your partner try to answer before you jump in. A solid CX can get you better speaker points and earns credibility, especially if it is used strategically to set up your upcoming arguments.
T: It is a voting issue and I like good T debates. Most of them are not good. If you plan to go for T on the negative you have to commit. Explain why your interpretation is better (abuse is not a reason unless you can show how they are actually abusing in this round). I like to hear examples of cases that meet/don't meet or examples of how the interpretation impacts limits specifically.
CP: I guess I'm a dinosaur but I believe a CP needs to be a reason to reject the topic and not just the plan (i.e. it should be non-topical and competitive). I could be convinced otherwise if argued well, but that's where I start. You also better have a solvency advocate if you want me to take the CP seriously.
Theory: If you are just reading a brief don't waste your time. If you want me to vote on theory you need to explain why the other team's abuse is a reason to reject. I probably won't vote on this unless you really commit and explain why the abuse in this round justifies voting on the theory argument.
I did PF for three years, becoming a state champion my senior year. I'm currently a sophomore at Princeton.
Just some general rules
Don't be mean. There's a difference between being aggressive in cross-fire and being mean, don't be mean.
Don't lie or misconstrue your evidence. I'll probably read evidence if you ask me to, and if I feel like you're stretching something then I'll probably call for the card at the end of the round.
About cross-fire: I generally don't flow cross-fire, but if something spicy is mentioned I'll jot it down. If you're witty you'll get some speaker points, but there's a big difference between being witty and being mean. Mean bad, Witty good.
Truth over Tech any day of the week, especially in PF. Something that will really help in clarifying how you win in that regard is by weighing your arguments in the context of magnitude, probability, and time-frame. I loooove impact calculus, really gets me up in the morning. That being said, don't just tell me that your argument is more probable, rather tell me why it is more probable.
I think PF is at its best whenever it is focused. Don't bring up some argument that has been ignored the whole round back up again in final focus. If it really is an important point then bring it up continuously in your speeches.
There's a lot of value in telling me why your evidence is better than your opponents, especially whenever they say opposite things. Also if you have a DOPE piece of evidence tell me why its a goldmine.
Overall I think debate is a fun time where we should learn a lot from. If I walk out of a round and don't learn anything, then there's a problem. If you can provide some unique analysis that provides an impact that makes me really care about the topic, then you've done a fantastic job.