Jack Howe Memorial Tournament 2021
2021 — Online, CA/US
World Schools Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I competed in college parliamentary debate, and have 5 years coaching public forum debate in Beijing, Taipei, and now back in the United States. Under my tenure in Beijing, we won the NSDA China National Championship two years in a row.
I am a flow judge. I expect debaters to provide evidence for their arguments and responses, but if they do not, it is the responsibility of their opponents to highlight a lack of warrants.
I do not flow crossfire, so any significant information gained in crossfire should be brought up in later speeches.
I am focused on content over style, but do believe there is a necessity to communicate major issues clearly and convincingly when the debate is coming to a close.
I am okay with spreading, as long as the debaters are speaking clearly.
-Paradigm for Ash-
updated February 18th, 2022
As a competitive debater, judge and coach of 8 years, I have experience with:
British Parliamentary, Canadian Parliamentary, Australian Parliamentary, Public Forum, World Schools. I prioritize clear mechanization in case above all else. Explain your links/ mechs and give as much context as you can.
> Off Time Roadmaps are encouraged
> You do not need to make any kind of eye contact
> I may be asking for cards
> I do flow cross fire
>I prioritize substantive rebuttal over metadebate/ tech responses.
> I do not require friendly introductions
> Using your opponents name or speaker position is fine, avoid referring to your opponents in the third person (gendered pronouns are messy!). This includes me. You can refer to me as judge, chair, panel- but do not refer to me as Madame Speaker. I will not reduce any speaker points for this, I'm just not personally comfortable with this.
> I may give low point wins.
On Theory, I value theory to be limited to a K or a potential a priori lens, akin to a model or critique. Theory is a priori, but does not proceed the value of case. It merely is a lens for me to view and understand case, rebuttal, and the rest of the debate. Run theory alongside contentions with arguments.
On Prog, contentions should. a) identify structural inequality, b) explain how it manifests vis-a-vis the debated topic, and c) how policy change meaningfully deconstructs and combats structural inequality in this instance. To merely recognize it is not enough in providing solvency against pillars of institutuionalized violence. If conditions b and c are not met, I will not count this as a Prog case.
TLDR: I am not a tech judge. Spending the second half of a PF round using condensed referential metadebate on tech is a waste of time with me. Comparative analysis should use reference to substance and not floating PF norms as I do not adhere to or even agree to all of these 'norms'. Norms can be made up by students on the fly to their advantage on unsuspecting judges, or be norms in some schools and regions and not others. Debate is not fun when you want to make up rules on the fly in order to gatekeep wins/loses. Just convince me. That's what this sport is about- persuasion- not hidden rules. I don't adhere to any norm you could throw at me in speech. Most judges don't. Most judges in JV don't know what you are talking about. Debate is a worse sport for meta-debate/ tech prioritization.
Please avoid appealing to dogwhistling and overly euphemistic language that demonizes groups of people or other ideological camps.
I openly welcome argumenation or sourcing that may use Marxist critical theory, Libertarian, Socially Conservative, Neoliberal, logic and understandings. Please do not assume my politics or preferences simply based on my education, appearance, gender, or age and try to appeal to them. I find this practice uncomfortable.
I will deduct speaker points for:
> -.5 speak for: "Good morning/ Good afternoon/ Good evening" as an introduction.
TL;DR: I can hang. Warrant and collapse! Probably don't expect high speaks with psychoanalysis, don't be mean with theory, don’t be a bad person. Debate how you want to, I’ll evaluate the flow (cross isn't the flow). If you have questions about my paradigm before the round that can be answered by reading my paradigm, I'll be sad.
Is debate a game? Yes. Is debate a game that matters outside the scope of in round competition? Also yes. Be respectful and don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. Off time roadmaps/orders are preferred, don’t thank me before you speak, don’t shake my hand. If disclosure is not the norm I am willing to disclose. Pronouns: he/him/his.
I debated circuit policy for 4 years in high school and did NPDA at Univerisity of Oregon for 4 years. I won NPTE top speaker my sophomore year and my partner Gabe and I won the NRR and the NPTE senior year. Don’t assume I have a prior understanding of any specific lit base (I will list positions I went for but arguments evolve). Warrant and collapse! Taglines are not arguments unless there’s a warrant and you don't need to win 7 different ways - one is enough. Slow down on texts and interps. Arguments themselves are also not devoid of meaning. Do not make exclusionary or violent arguments that seek to exclude debaters in or from this space. You will be dropped with prejudice.
Arguments I collapsed to the most during college on the aff: Marx (and Mao), policy affs (lots of heg and as much science heavy content as a I could muster), set col, and Nietzsche. Arguments I collapsed to the most during college on the neg: Marx, 1 off framework, disads (again heg and science), and occasionally a hail mary case turn.
Case: I don’t have a lot of thoughts about case debates, except to have warranted solvency and a good terminal impact. The neg doesn’t need to win an alternate advocacy if the aff loses case. I will vote on terminal solvency takeouts, but I don’t want to so it’ll be a tough debate to win. If you want to go all in for case please win some offense to make my job easier. No off-case, 8 minutes (or however long it is in your format) of case is my favorite neg strat of all time (although as per usual don't pigeonhole yourself into a bad strategy because you read my paradigm).
Disads: Disads are my favorite offcase position (I am very partial to a good heg/IR/science heavy debates) and it was our primary neg strat in the back half of college. I love a well warranted and specific disad. Do impact weighing and contextualize your arguments to the aff. Contextualize your links as well and make your story clear. I will have a hard time voting for your disad if your link doesn’t explicate your impact.
Counterplans: I love a good counterplan and I enjoy creativity. I'm partial to advantage CPs, process counterplans (actor, delay, consult, etc.) are okay, I have no qualms for voting for them. PICs are probably legit unless there is only 1 topical aff plan, then I'm more receptive to theory. I do think theory can and should be used but I am more likely to vote for aff teams that answer counterplans substantively. Perms are not advocacies unless otherwise stated (but if they are, they are probably severance and that is another debate).
Kritiks: Ks are cool (probably not as cool as a sick unique disad and a counterplan but cool enough). The rest of this section is just me airing grievances about bad k debates. Have all the parts, win what is necessary (please extend an alt). Don’t go for everything if you don’t need everything – if your impacts operate under the aff framework and you don’t need a discrete framework, you don’t need to spend time on it. Kritiks are not an excuse to not read warrants, don’t just shadow extend tags in the 2NR and pretend it means something. Contextualize your links to the aff (the more generic the k, the more I am receptive to aff frameworks) and win your solvency. As for lit specifics, I’ve read and answered most things but don’t assume I (or your opponent) know what you’re talking about. I am not a fan of psychoanalysis, I think it is founded on many problematic ideologies and is often used as the justification for racism and transphobia. I'm not saying you are transphobic if you read psychoanalysis; I’ll vote for your Lacan aff but I won’t be over the moon about it. Lit I have the most experience with (this list is not comprehensive nor complete so take this as you will): Marx and its derivatives (specifically Mao, and yes I know that everything is derivative of Marx, if you know what I mean you know what I mean), settler colonialism (specifically Fanon), Nietzsche.
Aff Ks: Aff ks are great, but extensions should be clean and you will not auto win against framework. For reference, probably the 2nd highest winrate strategy in my last 2 years of competition was Marx out of the aff. This is second only to 1 off framework against k affs on the neg. This means I'm a fan of k affs and have a lot of experience with them, but a very good framework shell is a very viable strategy. K vs k is usually not my favorite round to judge because it tends to be messy (very good k vs k rounds are wonderful). I am game for k vs k rounds, just be very clear in weighing and don't beat around the bush in k vs k rounds. Read and defend an advocacy or a method; the more grounded your advocacy is in some sort of lit base the easier it will be to get my ballot. Someone out there has thought about what you came up with in the shower and your arguments will be better if at least 1 other person agrees with you.
T/Theory: Theory is fine and good when deployed correctly and strategically. I will not assume that theory is a priori (please read a priori warrants). Interps are the most important part of theory. Spirit of the interp is not real, write better interps. If you write a bad interp (your interp doesn't solve your standards or is a solvency claim with theoretical voters slapped on top etc.), and you get clowned on it, you probably won't win the sheet. "Frivolous" theory is fine as a time suck most of the time, but I have a high threshold in the collapse. Extremely firvolous theory like "read the plan within 30 seconds" and other pedantic interps of that nature are not winning strategies. I think conditionality is okay for the activity but I will vote on a well developed condo shell. Theory that attempts to exclude the neg's access to the squo or disads alone (i.e. the neg must read a competitive policy option as an interp) will not win my ballot. I don’t like RVIs, please don’t make me vote for one, but I will if I have to. Also theory is not substance and the proliferation of reading theory instead of substance is not fun to judge at any level. I like thinking about theory a lot more than I like hearing bad theory debates; personally the most interesting theory discussions I've ever had have been over a beer and not in round. Also also you aren't being clever by reading 9 interps in the PMC, read a real argument.
HS Parli specific:
Spread if you can; don't spread if you can't (or can't be clear when you do) or don't need to (I'd rather listen to a fast-ish 8 minute speech than a hypersonic 6 minute speech with 2 minutes of wheel spinning). Don't deliberately outspread your competitors or your judge(s). Chances are you won't be able to outspread me. If you can and do, congrats but I will slow you.
I will protect, but call POOs when you think necessary - it will at worst make me flag an argument on my flow and scrutinize it more. I like plans in parli; run them (unless you want to debate trichotomy in which case full steam ahead). New sheets in the MG are strategic and good, but I have a fairly high threshold for PMRs going for MG theory. Disclosure is a bad argument in parli (especially HS parli). Definitions are unnecessary at the top of the PMC, I prefer warranted and impacted topicality debates over messy and not terminal definitions debates. Discrete thesis sections are not necessary for ks and I will not flow a k on 5 sheets. In absence of flex or prep, please take POIs. On the other hand, don't be obnoxious with your POIs (3 per speech is pushing it). If there is flex, questions should occur during flex.
A pet peeve of mine is arguments about germaneness with no warrants or impacts (this is in the parli section because I most often see this in local circuit parli). These arguments are winnable, but often have little or nothing to do with the argument it attempts to answer. I will not vote on and explain why something "germane" to the topic wins over something "not germane" to the topic absent an argument on the flow. I evaluate what is germane to the debate, not what is germane to the resolution. Moreover, if an impact stems from the action of an advocacy or the resolution (however wacky it might seem), it is probably germane.
HS LD specific:
Most of the LD collapses I see that are framework based are not frameouts, but vacuous extensions of the value/criterion/framework. If you don't tell me that your value and criterion are voters, I will use them as impact framing. The strategic value of the framework debate only makes sense if you can win your impacts, which means while I will evaluate the value criterion debate, it is not sufficient to win my ballot unless you explicitly state and warrant that argument. Please terminalize your impacts. Even if your contention or advantage "meets" your value criterion, this does not mean you don't need to read impacts on said positions. Just because you are good for morality (or whatever value you read), if I don't have a reason why I should evaluate morality in the first place, I probably don't care. If you do want me to slog through the framework debate, explain why your criterion comes first and why that matters to make my life easier please.
I will now rant about technical debate:
Regarding divisions of pedagogical styles in debate, I am partial to the technicality of high level and fast debates and I am of the firm belief that stock issues debate (lay, traditional, non kritikal, whatever you want to call it) is better judged through the framework of technical evaluation of the offense defense paradigm. What this means in practice is that if you aren't experienced in (or refuse to engage within) the established technicalities of debate, you should approach the path to my ballot by weighing your arguments and explaining very succinctly why certain things in the round matter more than other things. Delivery and speaking style does not factor into my ballot for 2 reasons. 1) Productive norms for percieved confidence and useful delivery style are gendered and racialized. Debate is a game and my goal in evaluating winning arguments does not prioritize developing your professional career according to these norms. 2) The ability to win a link turn is not predicated on how emphatically you say it or if you're looking at me when you say it. If you want to use this space to practice interviews and cross examining witnesses, all the power to you. I will not view the round as a trial. I do not inherently prefer probability or magnitude, "apocalyptic" impacts are totally fine. Climate change and nuclear powers are real and existentially relevant. As for speed, go as fast as you want and can. Speed might not be relevant to day to day life, but neither is perm theory; not everything in competitive debate needs to be applicable to dunking on grandma at Thanksgiving. Debate formats without predetermined limits will always become faster, more efficient, jargon heavy, and more technical. Thus, to gatekeep speed as a judge is to deny the natural evolution of the activity as a competitive game. The quality of a debate should not be constrained by the judge's skill, the round should always be contrained by the skill of the debaters. On a more personal (and pedantic) note, to pretend that nobody can understand speed and it is impossible to be an effective communicator while going fast is intentionally lazy and reductive.
Any questions about either my philosophy or my decision email me at email@example.com
My name is Min Liu. I was a computer engineer for 10 years before I co-founded Able2Shine, a soft skills training company.I’ve only judged a few debates this year but I’ve grown to love this activity. Events I’ve judged so far are Public Forum, Parli and SPAR, and I can’t wait to try Policy and LD.
I prefer clear communication over speed, and honestly if you speak too fast I might not remember much when you’re done talking.
I enjoy the nuance of facts and subtlety of logic, and am excited to learn from all the debaters.
Presentation matters because in the real world you have to win hearts of minds of people. So when the debate gets close, the team with better speaking skills wins my vote.
I have a lot of experience competing in debate as a high school and college student (30 years), so you can expect me to be passionate about the issues you are speaking for and against but I will not bring personal preferences into debate like some other judges. I judge various events so here is a general outline of what I am looking for in a speech:
1. Passion - no matter what I want to see that you care about what you are speaking about. If this is lacking you can expect a poor ballot.
2. Good Arguments - when I have a tie between two capable and passionate debaters, this is where I go to break the tie. If you repeat arguments expect a poor ballot. Also note for formats like WSD and LD, I will try my best to flow the round, but you need to tell me arguments are dropped. I look for sound reasoning and logic flow in all of the debates and in LD, PF and other evidence based debates I will be asking you to read all of your cards.
3. Inflection and Voice - If I lose interest during your speech you are doing something wrong. Keep me engaged throughout. If you lose me when you are describing an argument you will not be on my flow and I will drop that argument completely.
4. Any type of rudeness and any chance at cutting other competitors speaking time (especially for POs in congress) will result in the lowest rank possible. RESPECT PRONOUNS and POI choices.
Debated at Notre Dame for 4 years in policy
2n/1a (I was a 2a/1n for my first 2 years of debate, but I probably have a more 2n mindset than I do as a 2a)
I went for both policy and K arguments so I'm pretty middle of the road - my fav strat in HS was to perf con the 1nc and go for the better argument in the block depending on the 2ac
tech > truth BUT true analytic > bad evidence
I read what I think is the important pieces of evidence after the round, if your evidence is not saying what you're tag/arg is saying it's going to be difficult to convince me BUT spins around what your evidence is saying is smart and you should 100% do that
**SPEECH/WSD PARADIGM AT BOTTOM
- I know it's hard on everyone, so as long as you explain your situation don't worry that I'll dock any speaks
- I won't be following the speech docs during your speech, so be clear when you're speaking
- If I can't hear you or if my wifi is bad, I'll verbally let you know
- my camera will be on when I'm on my computer, if my camera is off that means I went to the bathroom or I went to get a glass of water, but I'll also let you know in the chat that I'm leaving
I will dock your speaks if:
- you are rude/insulting to your partner, opponents, and anyone else
- you are racist/sexist or anything similar
Some trends I found when I gave high speaks:
- great impact calculus
- judge direction (written ballots in your speeches)
- warrant comparison
- tricky spins
- gutsy decisions
I'll evaluate the debate on what is said in the debate rather than my own preferences. When faced with opposing arguments, I'll look to the cards that you extend in the rebuttal speeches and read through them. However, when I'm unable to resolve anything in the debate, I'll default to my personal preferences listed below. Judge direction is always good and helps me evaluate the debate much easier. Have fun!
*Everyone asks this but I'm fine with tag-team cross-x, as long as you give the person who's supposed to question and/or answer the chance to do so
*Also if an argument is dropped, I won't give it weight unless you extend the argument answering it. Don't just point out it's dropped
This is my personal opinion, but I think a lot of affirmatives don't really use their aff. You have 8 minutes of offense from the 1AC. Use it!
Framing is important it tells which impact I should prefer more, so even if you win aff solvency or the disad story, I'll vote on the impact linking to the framing story that's winning.
I really like gutsy and risky arguments (i.e. if the negative reads a new impact in the block and you impact turn it, and that's what you go all-in for in the 2AR) I'm all in and will probably give you high speaks.
I love a good impact story with some impact calculus and turns case. I give a DA more weight if the links are more specific to the aff
I like to see an explanation of both in-round abuse and how it destroys debate outside of rounds. I think that makes a strong and compelling argument.
debatability is the impact - limits, ground, fairness, education are all internal links UNLESS you give me a reason on why [xyz] should be an impact
case lists and TVAs are really persuasive to me
competing interpretations > reasonability BUT if you're going to tell me that a topic aff (i.e. fracking) is unreasonable I will simply just look at you and internally laugh.
As a 2N, I love a good cheaty and shifty counterplan, so I'll consider it more than the average judge. Every counterplan needs a good overview though so I understand how the CP functions and what are the mechanisms behind it
*Ks I am familiar with -- Antiblackness, Set Col, Fem IR, Security, Queer Theory, Psychoanalysis
Honestly, you can read any K in front of me as long as you explain the story well
If you win framework, you don't automatically win the debate, BUT it gives you an extra 3 steps ahead. I evaluate all the arguments underneath the K by the framework given.
I'm fine with floating piks but make sure you answer theory if given.
the aff [cumulative]
- i'm fine with them - the closer you are to the topic the better
- usfg is bad shouldn't be the only argument, I want more creativity and spin if you are reading a k-aff
- you get a perm
- debatability is the impact - limits, ground, fairness, education are all internal links UNLESS you give me a reason on why [xyz] should be an impact
- past voting history states that I'm easily convinced that procedural fairness is an impact
k v k
- love this - it's such a power move
- make sure you explain everything to me because these debates can get really confusing
- similar to topicality paradigm
- basically, if dropped and exploded, I'll give it weight
- *perf con is a reason why you could sever your reps*
wsd & extemp
I've judged only some wsd & speech, BUT I have done some debates in wsd and know a bit about speech and understand the structure. Honestly, just debate, argue, and convince well and I will judge to the best of my abilities.