Yale University Invitational 2021
2021 — NSDA Campus, US
Congress Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hi, I’m a first year out and did 4 years of PF, 2 years of Congress, and dabbled in some Worlds. Email me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Tech>Truth: All of us can pretty much agree, most of the arguments we read in PF are bs so I evaluate the round solely on what's presented in the round regardless of the truthfulness of the argument. But remember the more sophisticated your argument gets the lower threshold I have on evaluating responses.
Frameworks: I default to a cost/benefit analysis framework. If a team provides a framework for me to evaluate the round under it should be introduced as early as possible and extended throughout all speeches. If there are two frameworks please do the comparative for me and explain why I should pick one over the other.
Comparative Analysis: Please do the comparative for me with different arguments. If both teams are running similar arguments do the comparative and tell my why yours is better. If teams are running different arguments (ie one is an economic impact and one is a democracy impact) I need to know why I'm preferring your argument. Absent comparative analysis, I will have to interpret things on my own and you don't want that.
Extension: Extending only the authors and taglines of cards doesn't suffice for me. You need to extend the substance of the card as well and how they relate to your impact. If you want me evaluate something in FF is should be included in the summary speech. I usually allow first speaking teams to extend defense straight to final focus but in reality you should be mentioning important defense extensions in summary.
Progressive args: I don't have that much experience with progressive arguments. I really don't like theory debates but will tolerate them. Run these types of arguments with caution. If you run them with me explain them really well in round.
-I will not flow cross. If something important happened in cross mention it in speech.
- When time stops, I will stop flowing. Anything said over the time limit will not factor into my RFD
- Quality over Quantity; don't spread. If you plan on speaking fast please send a speech doc. If I can't understand you I'll say clear and after 3 times I'll stop flowing.
- Second rebuttal should respond to turns/disads.
- Please collapse on a few arguments in summary. I prefer quality over quantity and clear extensions.
- Weigh, weigh, weigh (as early as possible in the round)
- Implicate turns and defense
- Please don't miscut (I will drop you)
-There's nothing more I hate than long speeches in cross
Congressional Debate - I wholeheartedly believe in the DEBATE aspect of the event. This event isn't congressional oratory. It is expected to have good argumentation, refutation, and overall relevance on the flow. Pretty speaking is favored but will not make up for lackluster argumentation. Same goes with rhetoric. Speed is fine as long as I can understand you. However, nothing should be an excuse for not having good, relevant arguments. I like to see the legislation being debated, not merely the idea. Early speeches should layout the constructive arguments within the round. Don't be afraid to give an early constructive for fear of "losing relevance", I will remember a good speech. Mid-round speeches should be for extensions and refutations. Ref after the first constructive is expected. Speeches towards the end of an item should be crystallizations telling me what are the most important arguments to consider in the round. Don't bring up new arguments towards the end unless it is truly groundbreaking and completely shifts the direction of the debate.
For POs - Do not mess up and you will be ranked well. Don't make mistakes or it can be very easy to drop.
My Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Origin Story:
Hi! I'm Isaac. I am a freshman at The George Washington University in D.C. and I did Congressional Debate for four years as a student at Pennsbury High School in Pennsylvania. I competed extensively on the national circuit obtaining 11 bids to the TOC and placed/finaled at tournaments like Harvard, Princeton, Emory, Durham, UPenn, and Villiger.
Now that I've given some of my background as a competitor I can discuss what that means in terms of what I like to see as a judge. In my opinion, this can best be summarized like this;
stick to 2 points
don't speak too fast
try to get to 2:50-3 minutes
arguments flow in linear way and flow broad to narrow with a terminalized impact (human beings should be your impact)
use refutation after 1st cycle
I like well developed arguments
Stick to legislation what does the legislation do
cite good sources
present links clearly
use good sources
arguments flow in linear fashion
give me a human reason to vote for your side
no theory please
Having adjudicated a handful of congress speech debate competitions as a parent judge, here are a few factors I generally consider for evaluating participants:
* content and delivery (equal weightage)
* thoughtfully laid out and well researched arguments with strong analysis
* refutations in every speech after the first affirmative
* participation in CrossX and raise valid logical questions to challenge opposing arguments and strengthening their own argument.
Good luck and thank you for your time and effort!
I am an assistant coach at Saline High School. I coach congressional debate. I was also the speech coach for years before that. I have experience in judging PF, congress and speech events.
Here is what I am looking for in congress debate:
- A nice introduction to open your speech.
- Well thought out arguments that pertain to the clash of the round.
- Credible evidence stating the site and date.
- Vocal variation to express your passion on the topic.
- Clarity and clear links and transitions.
- Any speech after the first affirmation needs to references past senators in the round.
- Please do not use favorable questions. I want to hear valid questions that further the debate in the round.
- Please do not interrupt other senators during questioning, give them time to answer/ask.
- No rehashing of previous points, I want to hear your own unique points.
Here is what I am looking for in PF debate:
- I expect everyone in the round to be respectful and professional.
- Don’t talk too fast or too loud and definitely don’t talk over each other in crossfire.
- I want both teams to weigh their impacts.
- I also would like to hear clash between points from both cases in rebuttals and following speeches.
- And finally don’t wait until summary to cite sources, this should be done in constructive and in rebuttal speeches.
Good luck and do your best!
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Main and Past Affiliations: Iowa City West High (Policy Debate, 2011-2017, Coaching and Judging), Hawken (Policy Debate and Congressional Debate, 2021- , Judging)
It has been a hot sec since I wrote a paradigm (RIP wikispaces) so apologies if I missed anything (Feel free to ask any outstanding questions before the round). I debated in high school for 3 years and then judged in college for 2 years. I've been involved with the activity for a decade but on and off so I may be a bit rusty on the super technical details of policy these days but I will definitely know what's going on in any given round.
I don't know if I have any specific hang ups on DAs. Mostly the same for CPs, but please don't spread your plan text at me. Especially if you're reading more than one. Consult CPs are on thin ice in terms of legitimacy but that might just be 2012 talking.
I tend to default to reasonability but I will use a different framework if you ask me and win why that framework is better. Additionally, I do not know the meta for what is considered T, so winning T on edge case topical affs might be a bit harder in front of me for the foreseeable future. Potential abuse is a voter but actual abuse is a stronger VI.
I may be a product of early 2010's debate but I am down with the K, I've voted on some weird ones before. That being said, I haven't even started to read a lot of the literature so err on the side of over-explaining rather than under-explaining.
Condo becomes bad somewhere around 3 CPs. International Fiat is also bad, though I don't think that's relevant for this topic. 50 States Fiat is on thin-ish ice, fiating the NGA is on thinner ice. Please don't spread your blocks at me. Theory debates should not be at full speed.
Yes, this has its own heading. Please don't. I have never seen someone unironically, actually, full-heartedly go for ASPEC. Save time and just don't. The only way I could foresee myself voting on ASPEC is if it's like, at least, 7 minutes of the 1NC. But no one wants that. You don't, I don't, your speaker points don't. So just don't.
Odds & Ends:
1. I haven't looked into the topic all that much so if you have some sort of topic specific "inside baseball"-esque plan or argument, err on the side of over explanation
2. I feel like a well-crafted overview was an underutilized tool in my day and since I've been back judging. Don't cut your line-by-line for to do an overview but contextualization of your L-by-L is incredibly useful.
3. I flow on paper so signposting and clearly telling me where you are is incredibly important. Additionally, for neg teams, 11-off strats mean I waste a lot of paper so please don't. 11-off strats also lead to really bad debates. So, all-in-all, please don't.
4. Is a 28.5 still a pretty good score or is that the new 27.5? Have we moved entirely out of 27? If point inflation really is that bad, I apologize if I'm still in a 2014 mindset. I was by no means stingy with points back in the day (I probably averaged somewhere around like 28.2-4) but heck if I know what stingy even is these days. Back in the day, I had a point floor somewhere around 27.5 and a ceiling somewhere around 29.7. These weren't hard lines though.
Apparently I judge Congress now. If you're here because you're a congressional debater, you can ignore the above. Coming from a policy debate background I really like good and effective argumentation. However, I realize that the constraints of the Congressional Debate format can put up barriers to that. Recognizing that I try to weigh speaking skills along with argumentation skills somewhat equally but, good argumentation can help a speech with speaking issues while good speaking skills can't save a speech with flawed argumentation.
For Congressional Debate, my primary focus is on logical arguments that are well-constructed with quality evidence to support your claims. I appreciate rhetoric and impacts, but I will discount scores if these replace analysis and evidence. Refutations are essential to a strong score but require more than just a claim – give me the analysis and back it up with evidence.
I highly respect constitutional arguments and discount for affirmations of an unconstitutional bill.
It is essential to me that competitors remain in the role of a congressperson, showing respect to the chamber and following proper parliamentary procedure. I encourage everyone to remember to address their colleagues with the proper honorarium (Representative/Senator) at all times, and to avoid using Mr./Ms. personal titles as they both assume gender identify and may be considered dismissive at times.
I respect competitors who are active in the chamber and strongly disagree with the trend of some competitors to press for a base-2 model. Finally, while our U.S. congresspeople may lack persuasive speaking skills, I highly value presentation skills in congressional debate.
As a parliamentarian, I value a presiding officer who is, of course, familiar with both Roberts Rules and the rules set forth by the tournament. However, I do not mind if the PO asks questions to confirm procedures or tournament preferences. The PO should always strive to run a fast and fair chamber to allow everyone opportunities to speak. I prefer to remain as quiet as possible giving the PO the control of the chamber. I will intervene only if the PO makes an incorrect ruling that will impact the results of the session, makes an error in precedence/recency (though I will certainly give the chamber a chance to catch this first), or to insure fairness to everyone in the chamber. I encourage the PO to take charge of the chamber, to rule motions dilatory when appropriate, and to remind the congresspeople of proper procedures when needed. However, I do believe these corrections can be done with respect and kindness.
Though I strive to allow the chamber to function without my input, I will step in if I suspect there is bullying in play, or if I sense discrimination within the chamber, either intentional or unintentional.
Please speak at a conversational pace. If I can't understand your argument, I can't flow your argument.
When speaking, please introduce evidence with the author’s full name, qualifications (if any), publication, and publication date (month/year). This information is essential to evaluating the strength of your evidence. While last name/year may be necessary per NSDA rules, it is not sufficient to win the ballot. Each piece of evidence must be introduced with a brief pause or by saying “quote/unquote.” This is necessary to distinguish between evidence and analysis.
Please signpost with arguments, not authors.
Please ensure that your evidence supports the claims you are making. Disconnects between claims and evidence will seriously damage your credibility.
Important rules for reference:
“'Distortion'” exists when the textual evidence itself contains added and/or deleted word(s), which significantly alters the conclusion of the author (e.g., deleting ‘not’; adding the word ‘not’). Additionally, failure to bracket added words would be considered distortion of evidence." (NSDA 7.2.A)
"Debaters, even if they have acquired the evidence other than by original research, are responsible for the content and accuracy of all evidence they present and/or read." (NSDA 7.1.F.3)
"Distinguishing between which parts of each piece of evidence are and are not read in a particular round. In all debate events, debaters must mark their evidence in two ways: (1) Oral delivery of each piece of evidence must be identified by a clear oral pause or by saying phrases such as “quote/unquote” or “mark the card.” ... (2) The written text must be marked to clearly indicate the portions read or paraphrased in the debate." (NSDA 7.1.G)
"If the judge determines that an entry has violated one of the rules listed in 7.3.A. and 7.1.H. (oral citation, written citation, indication of parts of card read or not read, use of private communication), the judge may at their discretion disregard the evidence, diminish the credibility given to the evidence, take the violation into account (solely or partially) in deciding the winner of the debate, or take no action." (NSDA 7.4.A)
A little bit about me: I am the Head Coach of Millburn High School in New Jersey. In high school, I competed in Congressional Debate, Expository Speaking (now Informative), and Duo Interpretation (Congress was my main event). While in college, I competed in Extemporaneous Speaking and Parliamentary Debate. I have a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science and a master's degree in International Relations with a focus on International Law and Institutions. Professionally, I work in politics and government affairs, and own my own political consulting and corporate social responsibility consulting businesses in Nevada!
I do my very best to be as non-interventionist as possible, but I know some students like reading judges paradigms to get a better sense of what they're thinking. I hope that the below is helpful :).
Here are some things to consider if I'm your Parliamentarian/ Judge in Congressional Debate:
- I am a sucker for a well-executed authorship, so please don't be afraid to give the first speech! Just because you don't have refutation doesn't mean it isn't a good speech. I will be more inclined to giving you a better speech score if you stand up and give the speech when no one is willing to do so because it shows preparedness.
- Bouncing off of the above bullet point, one of the things I really dislike while at national circuit tournaments is having no one stand up to give the earlier speeches (particularly in out rounds). You should be prepared to speak on either side of the legislation. You're there to debate, so debate.
- Asking the same question over and over to different speakers isn't particularly impressive to me (only in extreme circumstances should this ever be done). Make sure that you are catering the questions to the actual arguments from the speech and not asking generic questions that could be asked of anyone.
- Make my job easy as the judge. I will not make any links for you; you need to make the links yourself.
- Warrants are so important! Don't forget them!
- If you are giving one of the final speeches on a piece of legislation, I expect you to weigh the arguments and impacts that we have heard throughout the debate. Unless there has been a gross negligence in not bringing up a particular argument that you think is revolutionary and changes the debate entirely, you shouldn't really be bringing up new arguments at this point. There are, of course, situations where this may be necessary, but this is the general rule of thumb. Use your best judgment :).
- Please do your best to not read off of your pad. Engage with the audience/ judges, and don't feel as though you have to have something written down verbatim. I'm not expecting a speech to be completely flawless when you are delivering it extemporaneously. I historically score speeches higher if delivered extemporaneously and have a couple of minor fluency lapses than a speech read off of a sheet of paper with perfect fluency.
- Be active in the chamber! Remember, the judges are not ranking students based upon who is giving the best speeches, but who are the best legislators overall. This combines a myriad of factors, including speeches, questioning, overall activity, leadership in the chamber, decorum, and active listening (i.e. not practicing your speech while others are speaking, paying attention, etc.) Keep this in mind before going into a session.
Let me know if you have any questions! :)
Here are some things to consider if I'm your judge in Public Forum:
- I am really open to hearing most any type of argument. Do your thing, be clear, and enjoy yourselves!
- It's important to me that you maintain clarity throughout the round.
- Take advantage of your final focus. Tell me why I should vote for you, don't solely focus on defensive arguments.
- Maintain organization throughout the round - your speeches should tell me what exact argument you are referring to the in the round. Sign posting is key! A messy debate is a poorly executed debate.
- I don't weigh one particular type of argument over another. I vote solely based on the flow, and will not impose my pre-existing beliefs and convictions on you. It's your show, not mine!
- I don't require front-lining in the summary, but if you feel as though it is necessary, do it.
- Be polite!
- Make my job easy. I should not have to (and will not) make any links for you. You have to make the link yourselves. There should be a clear connection to your impacts.
- Weighing impacts is critical to your success, so please do it!
Any questions, please feel free to ask!
To be ranked(and win) you will need to present warranted, evidenced, and relevant arguments while incorporating refutations of other arguments.
1) Warranted Arguments
Make arguments that are warranted(justified) and relevant to the bill/debate.
Evidence is the backbone of all debate. If an argument is not evidenced, I will drop it. If you knowingly fake, misconstrue, or exaggerate evidence, you will loose. Cite your evidence with the author, publisher, and date. Scholarly articles, journals, think tanks, and reputable publications are intrinsically better than a random or less credible source. If you do cite someone or something random, you will need to tell me why they are credible. Also keep in mind bias when sourcing evidence. I don't want anything from Buzzfeed or Mother Jones the same way I don't want anything from Brietbart or OAN.
Refutation is necessary for any speech after the first aff and neg. Make sure to be kind and courteous, but do not be scared to be aggressive in your analysis/refutation. During my time in debate I was a more aggressive speaker/questioner, so I can tell and understand the difference between being rude and aggressive.
This should be used to tear down your opponents arguments and set up your own. This is also a good time to question the credibility of your opponents evidence. Make sure not to talk over each other - the virtual format makes you both inaudible when you do. When in the single question format, be sure to avoid two-part or prefaced questions. Do note that that questioning is also an opportunity for the speaker to further their arguments; but be careful to not turn questioning into a second speech.
Presiding Officers start as a 1 on my ballot. Every major mistake will loose the PO a rank. An excellent PO will have complete control over the chamber while doing do with a light touch. A PO should have an exceptional knowledge of parliamentary procedure and be able to respond to and motion that is made. They should keep precedence and recency (so will I) and use it effectively; if you make a mistake here, I prefer you quickly(before anyone has started speaking) correct it rather than not speak up and allow the wrong person to speak.
7) Parliamentary Procedure
Outside of tournaments that rank competitors on parli pro, your use of it will not have a major impact on how you rank the room. That being said, parli pro is a part of your overall round involvement and participation, so I will reflect the effort of competitors who can use parli pro to keep the round fair, moving, and efficient in my rankings. Do not misinterpret this as if you make three unnecessary motions to look active I will rank you. Only make motions when they are appropriate and necessary.
To win the debate you will need to not only make warranted arguments with evidence, but also effectively refute your opponents arguments in your speeches and questioning/Cross Examination.
1) Warranted Arguments
Make arguments that are warranted(justified) and plausible. Make sure you are arguing in lieu of the provided weighing mechanism.
Evidence is the backbone of all debate. If an argument is not evidenced, I will drop it. If you knowingly fake, misconstrue, or exaggerate evidence, you will loose. Cite your evidence with the author, publisher, and date. Scholarly articles, journals, think tanks, and reputable publications are intrinsically better than a random or less credible source. If you do cite someone or something random, you will need to tell me why they are credible. Also keep in mind bias when sourcing evidence. I don't want anything from Buzzfeed or Mother Jones the same way I don't want anything from Brietbart or OAN.
Refute each and every contention your opponent makes. Your refutation needs to make sense, hopefully tie into one or more of your arguments, and get at the resolution and weighing mechanism.
5) Questioning/Cross Examination
This should be used to tear down your opponents arguments and set up your own. This is also a good time to question the credibility of your opponents evidence. Make sure not to talk over each other - the virtual format makes you both inaudible when you do.
Aff: Make sure to provide definitions and a weighing mechanism. If you forget to do either of these, you will be fighting an uphill battle to win.
General: Be kind. If you are rude (insults, ad hominen attacks, nasty comments, etc.) you will be dropped. Do not, however, be afraid to be aggressive; I can tell the difference.
Remember that debate is supposed to be fun, so enjoy it.
Spreading is fine, but if you go so fast I stop writing, that's because I can't understand you. Your points cannot be added to the flow if I do not understand them. This will not happen often, but if you see me put the pen down, you are going too fast.
Please refrain from abusing theory until it drops dead and needs its corpse moved around on a marionette. You will be penalized for shameless abuse of debate.
I did LD, some Policy/CX, and Congress in high school.
I am primarily a tabula rasa judge, adjudicating arguments as presented in the round. Theoretical arguments are fine as long as they contain the necessary standards and voting issue components. I am not a huge fan of the kritik in PF and tend to reside in that camp that believes such discussions violate the legitimacy of tournament competitions; that being said, I will entertain the argument as well as theoretical counter arguments that speak to its legitimacy. I am adept at flowing but cannot keep up with exceptionally fast-paced speaking and see this practice as minimizing the value of authentic communication. I will do my best but may not render everything on the flow to its fullest potential. Please remember that debate is both an exercise in argumentation as well as a communication enterprise. Recognizing the rationale behind the creation of public forum debate underscores this statement. As a result, I am an advocate for debate as an event that involves the cogent, persuasive communication of ideas. Debaters who can balance argumentation with persuasive appeal will earn high marks from me. Signposting, numbering of arguments, crystallization, and synthesis of important issues are critical practices toward winning my ballot, as are diction, clarity, and succinct argumentation. The rationality that supports an argument or a link chain will factor into my decision making paradigm.
RFD is usually based on a weighing calculus - I will look at a priori arguments first before considering other relevant voters in the round. On a side note: I am not fond of debaters engaging with me as I explain a decision; that being said, I am happy to entertain further discussion via email should a situation warrant.
Congressional Debate Paradigm:
I'm looking for the best legislator overall which means I am considering your holistic participation in the round including the types of speeches you have given and the questions you've asked.
Additionally, I value evidence based debate with credible sources. Please don't re-hash arguments--Know when it's time to move on. I flow the round and will know when you re-hash arguments and evidence. It's also important to know where/when you are speaking in the round in terms of what type of speech you are giving.
Be prepared to speak on either side of a bill.
You are also role playing as a legislator--remember this as well.
A successful debate performance is one that is easily intelligible and persuasive to a general audience, listeners who are not trained in the arcana of debate terminology, and does so with a rate of delivery that is spirited but does not draw attention to itself by its speed.
Persuasion comes from a Latin word meaning "thoroughly sweet". Being persuasive allows the speaker to challenge the opinions of an audience by a fusion of rigorous logic and an oratorical style that does not offend but which urges the listener to buy into the speaker's take on the great issues of our day..
Br. Anthony K. Cavet
Catholic Memorial School
West Roxbury MA
Nov 19, 2020
I am a parent judge whose son competes in Congressional debate. I have judged a few tournaments, specifically in congress.
Below are some things I want to see:
1. confidence and clarity when speaking
2. do not be rude to your fellow competitors
3. make your argument as clear and easy to understand as possible
I am a judge reasonably experienced at judging tournaments. I have 2 kids and both are in debate and speech each.
Here are few insights on how I judge:
Speak at whatever pace you feel most comfortable. I can keep up with your pace.
I do take notes. Let me know where you are in your arguments. I appreciate the source citation. I like clear, clean lines of logical thinking.
Engage with the round, have refutations and ask questions
Be respectful to everyone and have fun
Most basic things, like good sources, logical links, and cohesive speaking, are important to me. The most important thing is that you are authentic and genuinely care about the topics you are talking about. I really enjoy genuinely passionate speeches.
I like to see a variety of sources in extemp. Don't just throw it in there to have it, make sure it helps paint the picture.
I like to see some type of extemp walk to help me visualize the speech more.
Threads not the most important to have in extemp, but there should be some solid transitions going into each point.
Significance in all speech events are super important to me. I need to know why I should listen to you.
If using language it really needs to have it's purpose.
I enjoy role of the ballot and role of the judge you tell me how to vote on the round.
Run whatever as long as you can explain. Key word is EXPLAIN.
Don't be rude to one another or you will loose speaker points.
Written by her granddaughter, a senior in PF debate
She is a LAY judge. Do not speak fast, do not use debate jargon. Write her ballot for her and explain why you won the round. She has never judged Congress before.
Dr. Graciella holds a PhD in History, and was a college professor of World and Latin American History at the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University for 25+ years. She is also a Cuban exile. If you are going to say anything about Cuba or Latin America make sure it is 100% accurate or she will probably drop you/ even if she doesn't, it will definitely hurt you.
Don't say anything sexist/racist/rude...etc.
I am a former participant in speech & debate. I am currently in architecture school and have read up on the current topic for the Varsity State Tournament. These are some of the things you should do if I am judging you.
1. Speak clearly, do not speed. If you are used to speeding then learn to judge adaptation. If I can't get your arguments down and understand what you are saying then you have lost the round.
2. You will not win the round by trying to win an emotional argument - please make clear connections//links
3. I like a well-thought-out/planned case that makes sense logically - I like to be able to connect the dots.
4. I can flow but am not as good at flowing as someone who judges every weekend, it has been a while
5. Do not be rude. I can deal with assertive, but screaming, belittling opponents, eye-rolling, head shaking, and showing general contempt is not acceptable. You may win the round but it will be with 20 speaks.
My background as a debater is in parli, and that tells you a lot about my philosophy: evidence matters, but logic/reasoning/narrative is what I'll remember.
Speed isn't a problem if you're organized and your arguments are clear. If I know exactly where you are on the flow, it's ok to be fast (within reason). If your flow is a mess of arrows, mine probably is too, so slow down. If you're making a complicated or subtle argument, slow down for that argument. Signpost.
Collapse your arguments in summary/FF. Give me voters that bring out major themes. Weigh. Actually weigh; don't put it off until the last ten seconds of your FF! I love FFs that begin with, "Here are the three most important reasons you should return an aff ballot," instead of "I'll do their case and then our case."
I don't love jargon-heavy arguments. I do sincerely believe that PF rounds should be intelligible to an educated lay judge. I *love* a good progressive argument, though, as long as it's explained clearly. Love a good K, but it's high-risk, high-reward. Don't run them if you don't really know what you're doing.
If you're consistently interrupting your opponents in cross, I will ignore what you're saying when you interrupt them. Be courteous! Win on the strength of your arguments, not your aggressiveness.
World Schools: I really sincerely will base 40% of my decision on speaker style. Please don't give me a PF round! I also have a strong preference for non-US-centric arguments and will weigh them more heavily by default.
I have a tabula rasa approach and I evaluate every debate based on what is presented to me in round.
I am open to all styles of debate.
Former CX debater. Did both policy and K debate. Started high school doing LD.
Do as you wish, and at your own speed, just don't be offensive.
I tend to work tab at most tournaments. Don't waste your strike on me. :)
Before I get into my paradigm, let me give any readers a bit of a bio so they understand my background, and why I feel the way I do about certain forensics traditions.
I competed in the BQCFL all four years of high school, going from PF, to OO, back to PF, to Extemp, to Congress. I jumped around a bit, but I always felt I did well and had a good understanding of the events. My personal favorite accomplishment is winning impromptu at NY States 2015. I realize it's a consolation event, but I had so much fun. Regardless, I competed at NCFL's all four years of my career, and NY States all four years as well. In my senior year I also competed at Yale and Upenn in Extemp and Congress respectively. I now help coach the Xaverian team, and obviously, as you must know by now, come to judge tournaments.
Now, as for my thoughts on different events
I don't have much to say about PF, as judging is pretty streamlined. I heavily take framework and definitions into account, and I do not flow crossfire if you don't bring it back up in a speech. At the end of day, I want you to treat me like I know absolutely nothing. If you walk me through your arguments in a coherent fashion I am much more likely to give you the win.
When it comes to speed I don't do well with it. I struggle to flow effectively when someone is speaking too fast. So if you spread or go too quickly I will struggle to completely flow your case and that could hurt you on my flow.
I think I would define myself as a hybrid judge. My view of Public Forum is that someone who knows absolutely nothing should be able to walk into the room and understand what's happening. What this means is that if you do run K's or theory or anything to that effect, it needs to be outright explained in a way that even a completely stranger could understand.
If you happen to share your case with your opponents, feel free to add me in on the chain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lincoln Douglas & Policy
These are two events I have very little experience in judging, but have worked with teams in preparation for tournaments. If I ever must judge one of these events, I expect a real and lively debate. When it comes to kritiks and other forms of debate about the norms we have, I still expect a link back to the resolution or debate theory as a whole. For example, if the other team is gish galloping, it's not enough for you to point that fact out. You must point that fact out and explain why that norm is harmful to the debate itself and debate as a learning experience.
One of my favorite events to judge, and my third favorite to have competed in, judging Congress is always something different. In Congress, I obviously look for argumentation, but at a certain level, like at bigger national tournaments, argumentation hits a maximum. In such cases, where argumentation is equal, I will use rhetorical effectiveness as the tiebreaker. This takes all things into account: movement, vocal variety, and gestures. This is for speeches only, obviously, as I will also consider if you're active in the chamber.
As for presiding officers- Unless you are completely useless, you will most likely be ranked, but that rank can range anywhere from eighth to third, depending on you in relation to the room. PO's should not have to be forceful to keep control of a room. They should be thoughtful and even-tempered. They should think carefully about when they talk, and what they say. And most importantly, they should be FAIR. Most judges can get a good feel for who knows who in the room, and who are friends and who go to the same school, and if I'm your parlimentarian, you can be certain I know who your friends are. So, with that in mind, you should be fair to everyone in the room.
As for what I look for in speeches and questions- I love to see actual strategy employed, and by that, I mean a few things:
1- If you're speaking later, try to crystallize or refute others. Unless you have the most groundbreaking point ever, I don't recommend doing only a constructive speech.
2- Sometimes in Congress, you want to force people to ask the questions that you want. If you can bait out a question you already know the answer to, good on you.
3-When asking questions, please don't ask loaded questions or trap questions. If you're competing, you should have enough know-how and evidence to ask a fair question, get any answer, and be able to talk about why that answer is good or bad in a later speech. Forcing questions is smart, forcing answers is abusive.
Now, in Congress, the competitors have a lot more freedom to do what they want through motions. And as such, sometimes, Congresspeople will abuse this freedom. Motioning for ridiculously long recesses, previous question while multiple people still want to speak, overriding/impeaching the PO for no good reason, tabling a bill to disadvantage another speaker, and anything else that would fit in that category will result in my intervention, and my lowering of your rankings.
All in all, I try to be the best judge I can be, but if you break the rules, work to unfairly disadvantage others, or purposely act bigoted, I will drop the Gavel on you.
Please no ad hominems. I'm looking for clarity of thought and good presentation, so please prioritize impact over speed.
Heyoo and Howdy, Its Jomi,
I have been Competing, Coaching, and Judging for going on 8 years now and I'm 21 so that says a lot about my wild amount of commitment I have towards this activity.
Mainly competed and coached extemp and congress so that is where my best critiques would come from since those are the events that I know the most about, however, I am proficient in knowing PF and LD since I have judged tons of elimination rounds for those events and have friends in the events so they teach me the game.
I would say no matter the event it always comes down to three solid principles for me
Logic without evidence
Quality of evidence
Speaking and execution of rhetoric
Logic without evidence meaning how solid on a logic understands deductive or inductive reasoning is the argument, to the point that at the least from a basic philosophical level can I consider that argument valid but not being true because that would require evidence.
Quality of evidence is what sets an argument to being a good argument because if your evidence is timely, relevant, and flows within the speech or case then that sets you apart from the round. Good evidence balances arguments, Bad Evidence breaks arguments
Speaking and execution of Rhetoric meaning simply how well are you conveying your speech and case in your delivery, even in Policy debate, if you want the judge to hear something import and round defining then you slow down and say it with conviction. How well do your voice and your inflections convey your narrative especially on the impact analysis which to me is the most important parts of arguments especially;y on a human level is to be important
Most of all, be respectful and courteous to your judges and especially to your opponents because if you are rude, condescending, sexist, racist, you know the deal if it's bad and I catch it, expect the worst result from me and expect for me to back it up. So just be a respectful person and we will be all good.
Former military intelligence specialist. Political activist.
Competed nationally in Congressional debate
Also competed in:
In High School I competed on the National, State, and Local levels . Though my main events in High School were congress, extemp, and oratory, I've competed in every event and competed on the state level a few times in the "real debates".GENERAL PUBLIC SPEAKING:
BE YOURSELF, I don't like Bill Clintons, Richard Nixons, or Wolf Blitzers so talk like a normal human being. I don't trust robots.
Cite sources and give YOUR analysis of the information, don't regurgitate statistics, if I wanted to know what NPR had to say about the topic on January 15th of this year, I would have looked up the article myself.
Pretend I'm a little old lady that doesn't speak English. In High School I was known for my delivery largely because I view congress as a public forum/ town hall style debate where your job is to win my vote and be easily understood by 80% of people.
I value quality over quantity GENUINELY. I almost never take into account quantity unless you obviously passed up an opportunity to speak. As long as you speak as often as precedence allows, you're in the running. I appreciate Sponsors/ Authors but don't be the person who gives 3 sponsors and an author unless absolutely necessary.
That being said, my 1 will go to whoever has strong analysis, clash, and delivery on top of simple common sense explanations. Don't be a robot, have fun, and do your thing.
POs: I loved POing in High School and I view it as an art form. I have very high standards for POs so excel and I'll give you a 1 or 2, but anything less than above average will probably get you dropped.
As long as your speech has structure do whatever you want. I love a good performance, charisma, and unique speech structures so have fun.
you do you boo
DON'T make me do work for you. I will drop you before doing your job. I'm fine with whatever just give me proper framing and a ROB and you're golden.
Speaks: winner gets 30 loser gets 29 unless you made the round unenjoyable to judge.
I've debated traditional stock issue rounds and fast progressive rounds with Ks and 8 off cases, so tell me how I should evaluate the round and I'm good.
Speed: I don't care either way, just slow down on tags and add me to the email chain.
Critical Arguments: They're fine, but if your not running a common K like Cap, Afro Pec, Bio Power, etc don't expect me to know what your talking about, walk me through it because if you can't get me to understand it, your gonna get dropped.
Also, don't give me a half baked K you really don't understand because If I have to piece together what you're trying to say, I'm doing your job.
Same as Policy but use Ks at your own risk. I have nothing against Ks in LD but you don't have the same time as a Policy debater so don't think you can read half a sentence and "cut the card there" through your entire K and get it on my flow.
NOT the same as Policy and LD. I truly believe PF is a PUBLIC FORUM as in the general public should understand you. I'm not gonna evaluate any Ks or odd off cases unless your opponent engages with them, in which case I'm just not going to enjoy the round.
4-year debate parent. Argumentation heavy.
My name is Samik and I am currently a Freshman at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook 'em!) I competed in Congressional Debate for all four years of high school on the national circuit. Here's what I look for in a Congress round (Adapted from Divya Mehrotra's Paradigm):
Presiding Officers: Off the bat, you are top 5 in my ranks. However, that doesn't mean your rank at the end of the round will remain in my top 5. You are still expected to lead the chamber well and make minimal mistakes. There is no guarantee that you will rank by solely serving as a PO. My idea is that you've done a great job if I can't tell you were there in the first place. I will not penalize you for taking some extra time to be correct. Other things I look for are an organized PO Sheet I can easily follow. Also, I like funny and personable POs! A few occasional comments to liven up the round don't hurt!
Cross-Examination: Being ranked in my top 3 means constantly participating in cross-ex. No one is above cross-ex, so please be sure to participate whether it is before your speech or afterward. In terms of evaluation, cross-ex can be the deciding factor in my ranks. I'm not big on having to remain civil during cross-ex. This is one of the only instances where you can clash with others' arguments, so feel free to be more aggressive if that's your personality.
Indirect: Please ask questions that are not answerable with a yes/no. Point out flaws in their argument and force them to confront any loopholes or flaws in their argument.
Direct: Please do NOT talk over each other constantly if you can. However, if you need to cut someone off to continue your line of questioning or reclaim the ability to speak, that's all good. These questions need a strategy to them; please have a direction that you are trying to take the speaker in.
The Flow of Debate: I greatly value all types of speakers. Whether you are giving the authorship or the final crystallization speech, you are contributing to the flow of debate. PLEASE be sure to give the appropriate speech for the part of the debate that you are in. Nothing peeves me more than crystals in the 2nd & 3rd cycle or constructive in the last cycle.
Authorship/Sponsorship: The intro should be relevant to the bill & organic. Indicate the problem to me, how your bill solves the issue and the impact of passing this bill. The speech should set up affirmative advocacy. You need to address both the solvency and impact debates with this speech. If you set up a solid framework, I'll be incredibly happy!
First Negative: Intro should also be relevant to the bill & organic. Tell me why the aff doesn't solve the issue and what the general net harm of passing this bill is. You NEED to address both a lack of solvency and net harm; the absence of either will hurt you in my ranks. Be sure to either address the author's framework or CONTEST it.
Constructive: I don't mind the speech structure here. Just be clear about your impacts, include refutations, address solvency if you can, and add nuance to the debate. NO rehash- Congress is about ADAPTING so change your point if it is taken (you will be ranked higher if your points aren't rehashed). However, do not use arguments that are so nuanced that they are out of the realm of the legislation. Intros can be creative and organic here (I love humorous intros)! Overall, just do what you do best with these speeches. Everyone brings their own style to them, and they are valuable because of that.
Refutation Speeches: These can be more line-by-line refutations. That does not mean just namedropping someone and going into your completely different arguments. You need to fulfill the FULL requirements of a refutation: address their point with evidence or logic and tie it up with why your argument, therefore, wins (break down their argument). I would also LOVE it if you weigh impacts against each other. ADDITIONALLY, use your side's arguments to prove to me why y'all have refuted the opposing side in all aspects.
Crystallization Speeches (MY FAVORITE STYLE): First off, if you go up and give a SOLID crystal, you are top 3 on my ballot. I'm okay with canned intros here. I prefer the content in these speeches anyways. You should either categorize the round through general arguments that have been covered or through questions that the round has been centered on. This is NOT the speech to introduce new arguments. Weigh on what the round has been focused on & tell me which side wins and why they do. If you don't weigh impacts in this speech, I just won't consider it as meeting the requirements of a crystal. You can and should introduce evidence that you use to weigh impacts. For example, "the aff wins b/c we prevent the most number of lives from being lost by decreasing air pollution" can be followed by evidence that explains how many lives can be lost to air pollution. Other than that, be VERY clear about structure in this speech & try your best to explain the round to us. The best crystallization speakers know how to posit themselves as the clarifying voice in a very confusing round. SUPPORT YOUR SIDE-- meaning support your side's arguments as well as refuting.
Motions/Parliamentary Procedure: It honestly doesn't matter to me when ranking whether you were participating a lot in pre-round discussions or proposing motions a lot. What will positively influence my ballot is someone using parliamentary procedure to help include their fellow competitors. The use of the parliamentary procedure to shut out someone or to exclude someone WILL drop your rank regardless of how phenomenal your speeches were.
Content v. Presentation: 80% content v. 20% presentation --> I firmly believe that this is a debate event. I will judge you accordingly. Please have solid warranting, arguments, refutations, weighing, and clashes. Props to you for creative introductions & conclusions though (you'll definitely see me laugh if it's funny)! Though, you still need to value eye contact. I love speakers who can still maintain eye contact in an online format. It makes you all the more personable.
Do NOT create an unsafe space (no sexist, xenophobic, racist, homophobic, etc. language)! I will drop you in that scenario, and your speaker points will be quite low.
- Please reach out to me if you have any questions! I'm more than willing to clarify anything said above and to add additional information. My email: email@example.com
I'll be flowing!!! Also, I will be fact-checking!
Overall, have fun! I loved this activity as a competitor, and I hope that you enjoy it too!
School Affiliations: Dougherty Valley High School, CA
Judging/Event Types: I've only judged Congress and I am a parent to two seasoned Congressional debaters.
How many years have you been judging?: 6 years
What sorts of things help you to make a decision at the end of the debate?: Behave professionally and courteously, clear delivery, and breaking down arguments are essential.
Do you take a lot of notes or flow the debate?: No
How do you judge cross-examination? Ask thoughtful questions
I am a parent judge who has been judging in the local circuit since 2019. I have completed NFHS Adjudicating Speech and Debate training. While I primarily judge LD, I have experience judging Speech and PF as well.
My professional background is in Environmental Health and Safety and I hold a Master’s Degree in Public Health from New York Medical College.
No spreading please as I want to be able to understand your argument. Please don’t use fast talking to load in too many arguments, I am looking for clear, well-articulated and concise arguments. I am also not a fan of Progressive Theory arguments as I believe they are not in the spirit of the history or traditional style of the Lincoln-Douglas debate.
I like strongly warranted arguments. I enjoy when you tell me what to vote for as I believe it helps in a debater’s argument development. For me a good debater will use clear logic, well-paced speaking, have a consistent and thoughtful case and be respectful and courteous to their opponent. I do not tolerate rudeness to others.
Good luck and have fun!
I did Public Forum for 3 years at Brophy in Arizona and I debated on the national circuit.
Content: I will try my best to not intervene on any arguments, but if no weighing is done in the round then y'all brought this on yourselves. Additionally, I won't call for any evidence unless given a reason to do so. I am essentially incapable of flowing spreading as well as theory/k's/plans/any of that so don't do any of that in front of me, thanks. PLEASE SIGNPOST (tell me where you are during your speech eg. "moving to my second contention") because if you don't I'll get lost and lag behind your speech.
Make sure you extend the full argument and explain it - if you only tell me to "extend [card name]" or "extend [contention]" I will simply not do it. That is your job.
I want arguments not last names. I also hate blippy responses and arguments, so please warrant everything. I do not listen to cross, so if something happens that you think is important then bring it up in a speech.
Weighing is literally the most important thing y'all can do, so make sure you do it and do it as well as possible.
Please have clash, or else what's the point of a debate, and please collapse. Second rebuttal must respond to all opposing offense on their case, such as turns and DAs.
PLEASE have fun, speak confidently, and be respectful to your opponents and partners! Any sort of disrespectful behavior will have a massive effect on your speaks and possibly my decision, so just be nice :)
I will disclose if both teams want me to and I am open to answering questions for a bit after the round. Also, if you have any questions at ALL about my paradigm or something I didn't address, then PLEASE ask me before the round, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Email chain please! email@example.com
Pittsburgh Central Catholic '20
University of Pittsburgh '24 (not debating)
I debated for four years in high school, most of that time being a 1A/2N, and on these topics: China Relations, Education, Immigration, and Arms Sales.
Last updated for Bronx Science.
Please SLOW DOWN. I have not debated competitively since high school and have become more numb to spreading especially in a virtual environment. I cannot physically write down every argument that you make. With at least five people in a video call, odds are someone's Internet connection (even mine) may be bad. If the connection is bad, spreading will run together and sound like a bunch of nonsense. If I can't understand what you're saying, I'll stop the timer and we can try to fix the issue quickly. Try to go a little bit slower than you normally would. If you are zipping through your theory/T blocks, I will assume that you have not read this and I will be annoyed.
TL;DR: you do you and I'll judge accordingly. Run the arguments with which you are most comfortable.
I don't have a lot of predispositions on arguments that you run but I will not pretend that I am unbiased. So, here's a couple of important things to know when debating in front of me or for prefs:
1. Run T-USFG if you want. However, be careful if you run fairness as an impact. Fairness as an impact typically gets run in a very exclusionary/problematic way. I see fairness as an internal link at the very least.
2. My knowledge of critical literature does not extend far beyond capitalism, security, and afro-pessimism. So make sure to explain whatever you read thoroughly.
3. The link stories on disads tend to be the weakest, especially with politics disads, so please have a thorough explanation of the link story.
4. I'm not as upset by the idea of "cheating" counterplans, just have a good solvency story.
5. I'm pretty neutral on theory, but will usually be sad if that's the 2NR/2AR strat just because they can get real messy real quick. Some pre-dispositions I have: condo isn't a thing unless there's at least 3 advocacies; perf con gets under-utilized especially when a K and CP are in the block; I won't judge kick a CP unless the neg tells me to.
I am a former congressional debater so I have 2 things and 2 things only. Be respectful and do not re-hash. Do those things and you will be golden.
I have competed in various Speech and Debate events for all four years of high school. I am currently pursuing degrees in History and International Studies, and I am a member of my university’s Model United Nations team.
My preferences are somewhat traditional. I make sure to flow notes throughout the round, weighing and articulating both the good and the bad that happens while writing my critiques. I will not tolerate disrespectful behavior which includes but is not limited to talking while a competitor is speaking, interrupting competitors excessively while they are answering a question, as well as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, etc.Debate
Please assume that I know nothing about the topic when the round begins. Clearly state all definitions, clarify your framework, and elaborate on all progressive arguments with clarity as if I am not familiar with them (kritiks, theory, topicality, ect). I will only allow spreading as long as it is explicitly requested before the round begins, and the opponent(s) is/are comfortable with it as well. Here are a few more of my general preferences regarding debate events:
Keep crossfires and cross examination civil and remember to respect one another
When it comes to weighing, I like to focus on links and impacts. The strongest usually win the round.
Make sure links and impacts are clear. If a claim is introduced without this support, I will consider the argument dropped.
Disclosure depends on the tournament however I will only disclose if both parties are comfortable with me doing so.
I have competed in LD for two years in high school, and am familiar with most values/ criterion, theories, Ks ect that come along with it. Still, make sure to clearly state all definitions and framework as if me or your opponent is not familiar with it. A few more preferences:
Do not abuse your opponent
Can run Ks as long as they relate to the topic at hand
Assertiveness is fine in cross-examination, just don’t confuse it with aggression
If you want to win the round, make sure you’re crystallizing your arguments, weigh positions, and clearly state why your position should win
In between my two years of debate, I competed in PF for about a year as well, and have been judging the event for over three years. You can pretty much run whatever you want as long as it makes sense. A few more general preferences:
Make sure all cards and information is up to date, within the past five years is my allowance unless the reference of a historical event is necessary for the framework of the case
Anything mentioned in Summary and Final Focus has to be mentioned earlier on in debate or else it will be scratched from the record
For all speech and IEs, I generally rank based on creativity, performance, delivery, and passion for the subject at hand.
For Extemp and Oratory, I follow general guidelines but vote on cohesiveness and clarity of the arguments. Do not go up there and spout truisms without evidence; there needs to be a purpose to them. How you present the facts also matters. Make sure to distinguish some of these guidelines for Info. You can have a creative informative speech with meaning and without explicitly mentioning your argument.
As for Interp events, I lean heavily into creativity, strong structure/ story line, and blocking that is intentional. I need to see clear character development, and if I feel your performance is lacking in this area you lose structure. Feel free to go outside of the usual conventions for these events. If your performance is unlike anything that I’ve seen before, you’ll usually get the 1.
Thanks for your hard work. I appreciate the opportunity to judge what you will do today. How I grade should not discourage you from working harder and pursuing your goals. Winning or losing here, as cliché as it may sound, will not determine your chances of being a "better" (whatever that means) citizen of the world. I am not perfect and neither are you. Have fun. I am going to have fun, hope you also will.
Now, if you are reading a speech, I can tell and anyone can tell that you are doing so. This is a speech and debate competition, so speak and debate - don't just regurgitate. It takes away your credibility and ability to persuade, and if you just read, you will be marked down.
Generally, people listen to us if we add value, and not essentially repeat someone's argument with a minor variation. Try not be a what I and some would call a "parrot".
Don't be shy about bringing your own angle, your point of view about a topic. It may not be the consensus, but if it adds diversity to the discussion, it certainly adds value to the debate and everyone benefits. Think about the title of the radio show "All Things Considered".
So, how do I see you adding value?
1. Were you consistent in your line of reasoning?
2. Did you use "good" logic?
3. Did you take your source's information and weigh in if it carries credibility? Have you taken into account the source's objectivity? Is there a weakness or strength when taking that objectivity into account?
Keep in mind that "pathos", "logos" and "ethos", in no particular order, are of supreme importance.
Good luck. Remember that what you do here is valued, even if you are not in first place.
Personal Background/General Information:
My name is Murtaza Kazmi. I competed in Congressional Debate and International Extemp at Seven Lakes High School for four years.
I will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other form of prejudice or discrimination in round. If you or your partner display any of those characteristics, I will down you immediatley. I enjoy humor in round, but make jokes at your own risk. Debate is not a space for over-agressiveness. I understand sometimes speaking over each other, but do not be mean to your competitors - this will also lose points on my ballot.
Debate is a space to communicate, not to hate!
Congress is both a speaking and debate event in my view - successful representatives will show skills in both facets.
Rhetoric should be used effectively (not just to fill in time in a speech).
Each argument provided must have quantified/qualified evidence (with sufficient sourcing including date) along with a tangible impact.
AGD's should be unique (not canned) and have an effective tie-in to the topic.
Speeches should have succinct "action claims" (etc. this bill will fosters economic growth).
Mention the different sections/resolved clauses of the legislation in your speech.
Speeches without conclusions (or ending with pass/fail) are incomplete speeches and will be marked down.
Refutation is expected and speeches without ref (with the obvious exception of the author/sponsor) will be marked down
Any rehash will be marked down
Go for alternative speech structures at your own risk (unified analysis, defensive points, etc.), but speech without offense is not a good speech imo.
Authors/Sponsors can do well on my ballot if they do a good job:
1. Explaining the Problem (with quality evidence)
2. Discussing the solution that each part of the legislation provides (with quality evidence)
3. Elaborating on the human impact of both the problem and the solution.
Crystal Speeches can do well on my ballot if they do a good job:
1. Group arguments from both the Aff and Neg into logical and general claims
2. Show new evidence and explains logically why one side is correct
3. Explores the argumentative and human impacts of one side being correct
Presiding Officers can do well on my ballot if they do a good job:
1. attaining or nearly reaching the maximum number of both speeches and questions in a session
2. maintaining decorum and parliamentary procedure at all times (including accurately choosing questioners and speakers)
3. limiting fluency breaks or awkward phrasing
4. making humorous remarks from time to time (when appropriate)
Extemporaneous Speaking (IX/DX):
Similar to Congress, I weigh both speaking and content with a slight preference for better content over better speaking.
Each speech should have a MINIMUM of 7 sources (1 in the intro, 2 in each subsequent body point).
You can try alternative speech structures at your own risk (eg. two points), but it must make sense in the context of the topic.
Intro must include AGD, effective transition, background information and significance, state question and answer.
All body paragraphs must have succinct claims with dated and quality sources with significant analysis and IMPACT.
I will appreciate book sources and local newspapers sources (in IX) a lot!
If your point doesn't make logical sense without the quantified/qualified evidence, it is not a good point.
You have to restate the question and brief answer in your conclusion.
Speeches without conclusions are incomplete.
Speakers that use tonal and speed variation, effective hand gestures, eye contact will rank better than speakers who do not.
Public Forum/Lincoln Douglass:
I am flay, leaning towards content, but bad speaking will lose a lot of points on my ballot.
I'm not well versed in theory or other progressive arguments, but if violations (eg. racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.) are made that are grounds for a loss, then you can bring them up in round and if I agree then I will down the other debater.
I prefer substanatiative debate over progressive (theory, disads, K's, etc).
If you do run progressive arguments, there must be a clear and solid link to the resolution.
Teams that explain their link chains and show their impacts and impact calculus better than the other team will win my ballot.
Weighing impacts is necessary to win my ballot.
If you drop an argument, link, or card and try to bring it back up, I won't weigh it.
Weighing should begin no later than the Summary speeches.
I am tech over truth unless something is blatantly wrong (eg. we will be extinct from a squirrel takeover of Earth).
My average speaks will be a 28 (from 25-30) and can go up/down depending on your performance in round.
My name is Francis (Sae-Rom) Kim, an assistant coach at Valley Preparatory School in Redlands, CA.
I have been judging Congress for about 3 years now, and I am very excited to see all the amazing, talented speakers today.
As a judge, I evaluate the "Best Legislator" in the chamber based on a demonstration of various skills, not just speaking. I often use the congressional debate rubric chart. This means I evaluate basic skills as well as participation in setting the agenda, making motions, asking questions, as well as content, argumentation, refutation, and delivery. Most importantly, I'm looking for effort, passion, and consistent participation in the round. Just because you gave a good speech doesn't mean you get an automatic good rank. You need to show you are engaged with the chamber.
I will try to be as fair and just as possible, so enjoy the experience and be respectful during the round!!!
Carmen Kohn’s Paradigm
I have been judging speech and debate events since 2016. I am also currently the Director and Head Coach for Charlotte Catholic HS in NC.
Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum:
I enjoy both the ethical component of the discussions in LD and the current topicality of most PF topics. I appreciate the informative nature of these debates, especially in the current political climate.
I am a classic flow judge for both events and am looking for good clash between opponents. In LD, I place more emphasis on contentions rather than value, however, that evidence must clearly link back to the VC. I am also more interested in the impacts. A dropped contention is not automatic grounds for a win. It depends on the relevance of the argument. When rebutting, don't just extend the author's card. I am not writing down all of the authors. Please remind me of the evidence that was presented. I prefer the well-thought out, well-paced arguments. While debates are won based on evidence presented, I do find a direct correlation between technical speaking abilities and evidence offered. I also make a note of how professionally debaters present themselves and behave towards myself and each other.
I would classify myself as a advanced traditional lay judge. I am not a progressive judge. Do not run theory shells or any other "progressive" argument with me. While I do appreciate the occasional non-traditional argument, especially towards the end of the topic time frame, all cases should be realistic and applicable in the current environment in which we find ourselves. Please debate the current resolution.
Absolutely No Spreading!!! I cannot follow it, especially with online tournaments. You will lose the round. This is probably my biggest pet peeve. I feel there is no educational value to that in a competitive environment. You run the risk that I will not have caught all of your arguments and may miss a main point in my flow. Please keep technical jargon to a minimum also. Throwing around debate jargon and just cards identified by author gets too confusing to follow. And if you ask a question during cross-ex, please let your opponent answer and finish their sentences. It’s unprofessional to cut someone off. Signposts and taglines are always appreciated. I generally do not disclose or give oral RFD. I want time to review my notes. Debates where opponents respect each other and are having fun, arguing solid contentions, are the best ones to watch.
I've just started judging Congress. My "comments" are usually summaries of your speeches. Occasional commentary on the delivery and/or content. Please interact with previously given speeches (by Rep name also) and don't just rehash a "first speech". If you can bring a new point to the discussion 6 speeches in, that is awesome.
I will give points to POs. I appreciate what is involved in POing. During nomination speeches, it can be assumed that a PO will run a "fast and efficient" chamber. No need to state the obvious. However, if that actually doesn't take place, a lower rank will result.
Good luck to all!!
Fluent expression, logical structure, good rebuttal (if applicable) are important elements of a good debate/speech in my view.
I did Congress for four years at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in South Florida (C/O 2018), was good at it, and I now study linguistics and political science at the University of Florida and coach/judge (often) for Bronx Science in NYC.
I love POs and am looking for a reason to rank the PO high. If you mess up recency/precedence once it's not going to kill you, but if it's a consistent issue, or you mess up parliamentary procedure, you'll fall pretty quickly down my ballot.
Don't be cocky or rude (poking fun and jokes are totally cool and make things interesting). Make good arguments; if you don't have an impact, which means explaining the effect of the legislation and why it's good/bad, it doesn't count, no matter how pretty you sound. Just as importantly, you need to care about what you're saying. Finally, there needs to be some sort of clear speech structure. I'm totally cool with, and actually a fan of, speeches with alternative structures from the typical speech with two points, but you need to make that structure clear through signposting.
The most common feedback I give is about evidence. Remember, your job is to prove why a certain piece of legislation will do good or bad things for the world, so you not only need credible, relevant, and (ideally) recent data, but that data MUST be comprised of fact. Facts, as opposed to opinions, are a qualitative or quantitative assessment of either an ongoing process or something that happened. Facts may include numbers and statistics found in research, descriptions of an event or system/process, statements made by relevant government officials or organization leaders, existing/former laws or court decisions, etc. Facts are not unquantified descriptions of a numeric value; for example, statements saying something saw a "substantial increase" or was "significantly harmed" are relative and not factual. Those statements are an analysis of data rather than the data itself. If your whole speech is based on expert opinions and non-factual statements, I am left with no metric to actually weigh the importance of your impacts against those of other speakers.
Speaking well matters on my ballot, but only to the point that your presentation isn't distracting. I weigh speaking this way because a lot of metrics we traditionally use to assess speaking are pretty ableist and/or difficult for students for whom English isn't their first language or who use non-"standard" dialects.
If you say something blatantly problematic or harmful to any marginalized community, purposefully misgender someone (or continuously call them Mr./Ms. after being asked to not do so), or, as PO, clearly show bias toward any one group of people (that includes geographic prioritization, or prioritization of people from your school/district), you will be dropped.
also PLEASE refute oml
Regarding my background, I have served as a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State and have served in U.S. Embassies across the globe as well as in Washington, DC and at the United Nations. Prior to that, I initially began my career working on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs in corporate finance. I transitioned to consulting on international finance for Price Waterhouse, and then left to begin a career in government working for the CIA. All that to say, my background is heavy on foreign policy, economics, and finance. I have judged speech and debate for the past 15 years but most actively in the last 5 years. I have judged every speech and debate event on both the local and national circuits. Congress has become one of my favorite events to judge because almost every round there is an issue that I can relate to from real world experience and it is truly a joy to watch students delve into significant and strategic issues.
I tend to spend more time listening and evaluating your arguments than I do writing feedback, though I aim to give constructive comments. In general, I look for strong evidence to back up arguments and well constructed and articulated speeches. Coming from a diplomatic background, I like a courteous debate, although I appreciate, when appropriate, the need to be assertive and forward leaning in defending a position.
I am very objective when it comes to the issues. However, I will mark down for a speech that does not stand up in the status quo. While content and argumentation are at the forefront of my judging criteria, I do appreciate fluidity and strength in delivery. I frown on rehash and grandstanding. Speeches should also demonstrate strong impact. Questions should be relevant and purposeful. Lastly, I especially enjoy judging rounds where students are listening and creating good clash. Have fun and make it a true debate!
ABOUT ME -
I have been judging in Speech Events (HI, DI, DUO, EXT, OO), Debate Events (LD, PF, Policy) and Congressional Debate since 2018.
I enjoy judging Congressional Debates where I can see many debaters debate on numerous topics in the student chamber.
I favor to give points and rank high upon following skills even though congressional leaders need to be successful in passing legislation.
- Assertiveness – Standing up for one’s beliefs and being able to confidently take charge of difficult situations, making tough decisions despite opposition. In a politically charged environment where everyone is vying for their opinion to be heard, being assertive is key.
- Building Alliances – Earning trust and respect from others and taking the time to build effective working relationships with individuals.
- Commitment - Passionately and enthusiastically demonstrating a dedication to the causes and beliefs you espouse.
- Conflict Resolution - Effectively resolving misunderstandings, disagreements, and disputes with other individuals. Directly addressing issues with others in a non-threatening manner. Being willing to compromise in order to maintain effective working relationships.
- Influence - Using a variety of persuasion tactics, interpersonal skills, and communication and presentation strategies to convince others to make decisions that are mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
- Presentation Skills - Using effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills to clearly deliver information to a variety of audiences. Being confident and comfortable when speaking in front of groups. Making presentations that are clear, engaging and impactful.
- Barkley Forum for High Schools 1/29 - 1/31/2021
- Sunvite 2021
- Cavalier Invitational at Durham Academy 1/16 - 1/18/2021
- Florida Sunshine District Tournament 12/5
- FGCCFL December Tournament
- Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament 11/21 - 11/23/2020
- FGCCFL November Tournament
- Florida Blue Key 2020 10/30 -11/1 Congress Debate
- Duke Invitational 2020 9/19 -9/20 Congressional Debate
- National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK 2020 9/12 -9/14 Congressional Debate
- FGCCFL Grand Finals 2020 2/28 -2/29 Congress Debate
- FGCCFL February All Events 2020 2/8 IE & Congress Debate
- FGCCFL January All Events 2020 1/18 -1/18 IE & Congress Debate
- Florida Sunshine District Tournament 2019 12/14 -3/28 Congress Debate
- The Sunvitational 2020 1/10 -1/12 Congress Debate
- FGCCFL December All Events 2019 12/7 IE & Congress Debate
- Barkley Forum for High Schools 2020 1/24 -1/26
- Congressional Debate FGCCFL September All Events 2019 9/28 -9/28 IE & Congress Debate
- Florida Blue Key 2019 11/1 -11/3 Congress Debate
- Yale Invitational 2019 9/13 -9/15 Speech
- FGCCFL Grand Finals 2019 2/22 -2/23 Lincoln-Douglas
- Barkley Forum for High Schools 2019 1/25 -1/27
- Congressional Debate Florida Sunshine District Tournament 2018 12/8 -3/9
- Congressional Debate FGCCFL November All Events 2018 11/17 -11/17 IE and Congress Debate
- FGCCFL October All Events 2018 10/13 -10/13 Lincoln-Douglas
- FGCCFL September All Events 2018 9/22 -9/22 Public Forum Yale Invitational 2018 9/14 -9/16 Varsity Public Forum
- MBBS, University of Medicine, Yangon, Myanmar.
- MPH, London School of Hyigene and Tropical Medicine, University London, UK
- MSc. Computer Science, Western Illinois University
- Post Doc Medical Informatics Fellowship, Health Science Technology, Harvard-MIT
**Be kind. Have fun. Don’t be afraid of me! I was once you and I know what it’s like! When I award speaks, they are heavily influenced by the level of kindness and congeniality shown in round. I am judging because I love the activity as much as you, and I want to help you do better if I can!**
Current Affiliation: East Chapel Hill HS
Current Role at Institution: I'm currently the Associate Director for Digital Communications at the Yale School of Management, but dedicate my off-time to S&D!
Previous Affiliation(s) and Role(s)
The Bronx High School of Science (Bronx, NY)
I coached primarily Public Forum Debate and Legislative Debate (Congressional Debate) at the Bronx High School of Science from roughly 2011-2015. I judged across all events – speech included. I began my coaching career at Bronx as an extemp coach.
River Valley High School (Mohave Valley, AZ)
I have judged and coached (primarily Public Forum) throughout the years since graduating from this school.
River Valley High School (Mohave Valley, AZ)
I competed primarily in policy debate at River Valley High School in Mohave Valley, AZ. I also competed in other speech and debate events.
Columbia University in the City of New York (New York, NY)
I was a member of the Columbia Policy Debate team and competed for one year during my time in college.
Tell me what to do – i.e. ‘tabula rasa’ insofar as one might even exist, and insofar as it might be helpful to roughly describe my ‘paradigm’.
Please ask specific questions at the beginning of the round for further clarification. E.g. my threshold for buying a reasonability standard has significantly heightened with age.
Run whatever you’d like – hypotesting, retro theory, nothing at all! I can handle it!
Most importantly, this is an educational activity and I believe in Debater/Debate -- i.e. you are more important than the round, so please speak up if you feel uncomfortable and tell me/your coach/tab immediately if something bothers you. I believe in the platinum rule - treat others as they'd like to be treated. Be kind to each other and have fun!
Occupation: Hardware Engineering Manager
School affiliation: Dougherty Valley High School
Judged for 2 years, Congress and prepped speech
Speaker points are awarded based on delivery, clarity, confidence and hand gestures
My decision at the end of the debate is based on content in points, and more so comparison and refutational analysis
I do not flow
1- not at all 5-somewhat 10- weighed heavily
Clothing and appearance: 4
Use of evidence: 7
real world impacts: 9
cross x : 6
Debate skill over truthful arguments: 9
I'm a parent judge. Speak slowly and clearly and give me clear reasons like voting issues about why I should vote for you. I won't vote off an argument I don't understand.
As a judge, the most important component of any speech or debate to me is presentation. The way you speak and your clarity show me whether you understand what you're talking about and your confidence. Another thing, speak slowly. I'd love to evaluate what you're talking about, and the only way to do that is if I understand what you're saying.
Also, I just wanted to say that all you work so hard for this activity and it really shows. No matter what, keep practicing and doing speech and debate. You all rock!
That's all for now!
First-year assistant coach at Ridge High School.
I teach AP Government, Politics, & Economics, Global History, and AP Euro there as well. I will be able to follow any content/current event information you include.
Given that I am newer to debate, I prefer traditional debates that focus on the intent of the resolution/topic over technicalities. I've judged Parli, and I work closely with and have observed LD, PF, and Congress.
In my experience, the teams/debaters that perform the best are the ones who set out a clear framework and back up all contentions with evidence and weighing. Almost all resolutions/topics can be answered either way; that's why they are chosen. That means it is up to you to explain to me why it is your framework and evidence that outweighs your opponents.
I competed in PF and Congress (3 and 4 years respectively) at Durham Academy.
TL; DR:I will be flowing the round, so feel free to refer to the flow on points you would like to reintroduce. Don’t spread, this is not LD. You can speak quickly, so long as you are delivering your points clearly. The main focus of my judging is who is winning the debate. You provide the set of criteria that defines what winning means. Respect each other. No off-time roadmaps.
Constructive: This speech is the foundation for the entire debate. As such, all of your main points should stem from this speech. At the beginning of the speech, I expect that you will introduce a weighing mechanism or lens through which the debate ought to be judged*. Your impacts should lead into this mechanism or lens. All claims made during the constructive need to have warrants and each warrant should have a reputable source. With that being said, the constructive speech is a great time to provide depth to arguments. I would prefer a more robust explanation of points in two contentions to a list of numbers in a case with 4 contentions. Additionally, this speech is the only one that should be fully prepared ahead of each round and should be spoken clearly, articulately, and should end on at the appropriate time.
Rebuttal: This speech should focus on explaining why your opponent’s points are either wrong or outweighed by your own. You can certainly use the time to extend your constructive, but you should ensure that you leave time to address your opponent’s points.
Summary: The summary serves as a funnel for the debate. It should narrow the scope to the points that you see as the most important. These do not need to be your own points, but they should be weighed to explain why you’re winning on those points.
Final Focus: The final speech in the debate should focus on voters and weighing. I strongly dislike reaching back for points that were not extended through summary. I appreciate when the weighing mechanism or lens for the debate are brought back in for the final focus, especially when your opponents have accepted that weighing mechanism or lens.
Crossfire: Please be respectful of each other. Each side should have the opportunity to ask questions. Keep the focus on the topic and avoid ad hominem remarks.
*This isn't required, but if you don't provide a framework then I will assume you're running util.
· Use your prep time. There are no bonus points for leaving prep time on the board.
· Stay calm. It will help you maintain a reasonable speed and deliver points clearly.
· Avoid off-time roadmaps. Just signpost throughout your speech instead.
· Attire is not something I tend to worry about. I will not be counting it for or against you, but some judges might. I recommend professional attire.
Maintaining decorum during the round is important. Each competitor ought to be respectful of each other, regardless of what occurs during the round. I will be judging based on how each student operates as a legislator. Participating in cross-examination, presiding well, properly using points of order, and generally demonstrating a thorough understanding of the event will all be considered when I make my judgment. When giving a speech it is important that you support your points with evidence. Credible evidence should be clearly cited from a reputable source.
First and foremost, respect each other. Link your arguments back to the standard. When attacking your opponent's argument, make sure you use the standard established in the round.
Evidence: If you cannot produce evidence quickly when it is called by your opponent, I'll simply disregard that piece of evidence.
Spreading: Feel free to do so, but I value the quality of your arguments far more than the quantity.
Hey, I did PF for 2.5 yrs and Policy for 1.
Typical flow judge, debate however you want I will most likely be able to adapt to your style.
read bolded for a quick rundown if you're unwilling to go through the whole paradigm.
Speed is fine
Progressive arguments are fine but I would prefer traditional substance debates however that doesn't mean that a compelling theory arg won't win the ballot.
Rhetoric impacts are bad IE don't just tell me 'poverty bad' rather explain why poverty is bad and what poverty actually causes.
I intervene as minimally as possible - I would only do so in the case that something has become so muddy that a path forward isn't obvious and the ballot is contingent on this argument (ideally you don't put me in this position as it is your job to avoid that happening).
I will default to a utilitarian framework to weigh unless given an alternative by either team.
I don't flow crossfire - if anything happens during these speeches that you feel is relevant to winning the reference it in your next speech so it is on paper.
Summary and Final Focus should be aligned - whatever you extend in Final Focus should also have been present in Summary.
Don't be rude - there are more important things in life than winning while being mean to other people trying to enjoy something that they enjoy/makes them happy.
I walk into the round as a blank slate - I will learn about the topic as you guys read your cases to me (such is to say that stuff that happens in other rounds won't influence my decisions in your round). Even though I view debate as a game and expect you guys to play to the rules I lightly prefer for your arguments to be rooted in reality. I will totally buy zombie squirrels lead to nuke war just as long as the warrants for the arguments make a compelling argument. I'm 100% willing to vote on progressive arguments even in PF but I find that the event/space doesn't particularly promote that kind of angle. I would much rather you guys argue about the topic at hand than to run some sort of trick to pick up the ballot - that being said that doesn't mean I won't pick you up if you can/did win running prog. If there is any abuse in round you can most definitely present that arg without worry of it being considered prog because you can definitely highlight in rebuttal or an overview that your opponents are being abusive without running some sort of shell. Please weigh - properly warrant and extend impacts to me on the flow so I understand why you won on that specific argument according to any kind of weighing mechanism you choose to hold. In terms of defaulting to utilitarianism, unless a team in the round offers an alternative framework then this is generally what people would end up arguing so I'll just save us all the time and say it in my paradigm. You can lose the framework debate and still win the round for me - it is entirely possible to concede (or lose the framework debate) to your opponents framework and still operate better in their world than they did. Cross is really exciting and one of the best times to actually turn the round so don't discount the strength of this speech but that being said, I won't flow it and it is on you to apply things relevant to you winning the round in your next speech. Consistency in speeches in important, this included warrants and their impacts. Even if your opponents have not responded to something you still need to extend that specific argument. I won't for anything new in final focus (this includes shadow extensions). Most importantly, don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. It doesn't help to be a jerk in this or anywhere else in life.
firstname.lastname@example.org thats my email before you ask.
Experience: I am currently the head coach for Neenah high school and have been a coach for debate the last 5 years. This is my fifth year as a judge ('20-'21). I judge all categories, except varsity policy. I was not a debater in school, so I have a more basic understanding of the more obscure things that go on in debate.
"I have 5 minutes and wanted to check your paradigm quick, whats the headlines?"
I wasn't a debater- explain things clearly or I drop arguments I don't understand.
***note on that- I understand the terms of debate (link, turn, impact, etc), just not more niche philosophies and less popular arguments***
Be nice to each other- respect will get you far with me
Impact calc and weighing of final arguments is the best strat with me
Don't argue with me in rfd. If I drop you and you think you should have won, explain it better next time.
I can handle post-nov level speeds for spreading, but thats it.
Use a timer, and stick to it- I hate it when kids go over time. I stop flowing within 5 seconds of the end of your time.
See below for more in-depth explanations
Preferences: You are acting as a member of congress- keep that in mind in how you behave! Please make sure to respect the rules of your parli and PO. For the love all that is good, please pay attention to the round. This is far more fun when everyone participates! I tend to rank PO's high, as long as they are engaged and (well versed in the congress rules, or at least learning them!) if they are not engaged, they can expect a low ranking.
A few things I love to see: *actually* extemporaneous speeches. Please breathe some life into your words- you are trying to make your fellow congresspeople vote for or against the bill!
A few things I hate in rounds: Please don't just read off your screen in a monotone voice at a breakneck speed. Don't just turn off your camera and not listen until we get to the bill you want to talk about. It drives me insane to have a silent room for questions and no opposition to a bill.
Preferences: Please be clear and professional in round. I hate that the attitudes and behaviors seen in other styles is seeping into PF. As noted in other sections, I was not a debater, so don't expect me to know every single term you share. Generally, if I make a somewhat confused face, define your term.
A few things I love to see: Please, collapse arguments. It's so awesome to watch a veteran team (or even a novice team) weigh arguments and determine the largest impacts and points in the round and weigh them against each other, rather than slowly increase their speed in through the debate to try and get every single argument in to the last speech.
A few things I hate in rounds: Veteran debaters being overly hard on novices- we want to keep them in the activity, don't discourage them by running super dense over the top arguments- you will probably win if you just run a standard argument simply by being more experienced. "Stealing" prep- if you need prep take it, don't make me sit for 35 seconds and then tell me you're taking prep.
Preferences: I’m generally tabs. I will flow everything and I will say clear if necessary, but only once before I stop flowing you. I was not a debater, so my knowledge of progressive arguments is lacking. Let me say that again. I WAS NOT A DEBATER- EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN. I encourage you to run whatever you like, but explain it very well, especially if it is not something common. Err on the side of caution if you are not sure if it is common- like I said I am not well versed in most of the different arguments. In terms of speed I judge a lot of policy, so I would say I am comfortable with most speeds seen in LD- like a 6/10 if I had to rate it.
A few things I love to see in round: Impact calc- it is the most important thing to me; please weigh & please tell me how to vote so I don’t have to intervene in any capacity. I also like to see super high respect for your opponent. This is such an underrated part of PF that is not nearly as present in LD or Policy, and it totally should be.
A few things I hate in rounds: Swearing- This seems like an obvious one, but is lacks professionalism if it is not needed to actually make the points. "Stealing" prep- if you need prep take it, don't make me sit for 35 seconds and then tell me you're taking prep. Veteran debaters being overly hard on novices- we want to keep them in the activity, don't discourage them by running super dense over the top arguments- you will probably win if you just run a standard argument simply by being more experienced. Finally- straight theory arguments- its done to death, and isn't really making either debater better. I will still pick you up if it wins, but I would prefer to see more educational rounds. Last thing: if you run a "fairness" argument that you couldn't prep against your opponent and then you have a case against your opponent, expect me to completely drop your fairness argument. You just proved that you lied about the fairness.
Preferences: I do not like any tricks or unprofessional behavior in round. I prefer not to hear teams talking to each other while their opponents are presenting, as it is distracting to me as a judge. Open speeches are a no-go. If you don't have your own stuff ready, then take prep time. If you're out of prep time, organize yourself better next time.
I am fine with spreading, (probably a 6/10 for speed) however if you are not understandable, I will only tell you clear two times before I stop flowing you. Please be aware of your own speaking issues- for example, if you have braces and rubber bands, you probably should not spread, since you will be almost unintelligible. On the topic of spreading- I understand it is a strategy to get as many arguments in as possible, but be aware that a large breadth of arguments you do not understand is basically useless.
Impact calc is huge for me. If I don't clearly hear you explain why your impacts are bigger or more important, I judge completely by what is on my flow. DA's and CP's are fine in a round, and good experience for a novice/Post nov. I always flow cross x, and keep track of questions asked. I do not want to see a framework in novice policy.
Misc. Stuff for any style debate:
-I am not about speaker points- I think its a really biased system, but I do it because its required. I would not consider myself generous with points, but I try to be fair with the way the system is set up. That said, if you’re mean to your opponent I will substantially dock your speaks. If you can’t control your round without being disrespectful there is something wrong.
-I don't flow CX. I find it to be one of the more telling parts of any round about who has stronger arguments and better understands the content, but if you want it to weigh in to my decision, you need to bring it up in speeches.
-Please understand whatever you’re running before you run it in front of me- it is super frustrating to hear kids hem and haw about defining terms when they didn't take time to understand what they are saying.
-I dislike timing rounds and I've found I'm extremely inaccurate. I will keep time, but it is best if we have multiple timers going to ensure accuracy. Please time yourselves and hold your opponent accountable so that I don't have to.
pronouns: he/him/his // email@example.com - put me on the email chain // DOF at SLHS
I am the Director of Forensics at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas. I debated in high school and college in Wisconsin and Minnesota, doing PF, Congress, and NPDA Parliamentary Debate. This paradigm has been considerably pared down for clarity and simplicity.
Conflicts: University of Minnesota NPDA, James Madison Memorial (WI), Lakeville North (MN), Lakeville South (MN), Seven Lakes (TX)
PF: Updated 12/6/2021
· I flow very carefully.
· I am theoretically willing to vote on any argument, but worse arguments have a harder time getting my ballot, for obvious reasons.
· Second rebuttal should frontline your case completely and ideally begin condensing the debate.
· Second summary is too late to make any new arguments other than weighing or new argument comparison.
· I will make decisions based on what I’ve flowed.
· Arguments that are well-warranted with good evidence are more likely to win. I think that PF is generally bad at warranting arguments.
· You should not misrepresent your evidence. If you do and I or your opponents catch it, you will lose.
· If you are debating a team who is misrepresenting evidence, please tell me specifically 1) what evidence and 2) what they are misrepresenting.
· Paraphrasing is generally less strategic than reading from cut cards, because paraphrased arguments are in general more poorly constructed than those read from cut cards.
· The earlier you begin comparing and weighing arguments, the more compelling those arguments are by the final focus speeches.
· I dislike judging most contemporary theory debates in PF, but I am confident in my ability to evaluate them.
· I will use a reasonability framework to evaluate theory. This means that I might vote on terminal defense or gut-check style arguments. The more contrived or esoteric your theory shell, the lower my threshold will be for your opponents to prove that it is not a voting issue.
· I am very unlikely to vote on an RVI.
· I will not vote for arguments about the size of your school or arguments that complain about the presence of theory in the debate.
Congress: Updated 12/6/2021
· I value your content over your delivery, though both are important.
· I think most Congress speeches really, really need far more analysis and warranting.
· I highly value speakers who are prepared to debate and further debate on the item at issue. Rehash is the worst.
· Early round speeches should make constructive arguments, explain the bill’s solvency, and clear up any definitional issues with the terms of the bill.
· The later you speak on a bill, the more refutation and summarization your speech should include.
· In my opinion, it should be pretty rare that an item of debate has more than 5 or 6 speeches.
· Questioning is a factor in my ranks, but it’s rare that it makes more than a miniscule difference.
I was a high school and college debater and have been an active high school coach ever since. I am chair of my state league as well as an NSDA District Chair. Dating back to high school, I have over 35 years of experience in the activity. However, please don't consider me as "old school" or a strict traditionalist. Like any activity, speech and debate is constantly evolving and I am open to and embrace most changes. You'll clearly understand all of the rare exceptions to that as you read my paradigm.
It is very important to remember that debate is a communication activity. As such, I expect clear communication. Well articulated, supported and defended arguments, regardless of quantity, are far more important to me than who has the most cards that they can spout out in a speech. While I'm okay with a limited amount of speed, excessive speed beyond what you would use in the "real world" is not effective communication in my mind. Communicate to me effectively with well reasoned and fully supported arguments at a reasonable pace and you will win my ballot. I don't accept the "they dropped the argument so I automatically win the argument" claim. You must tell me why the dropped argument was critical in the first place and convince me that it mattered. I look at who had the most compelling arguments on balance and successfully defended them throughout the round while refuting the opponent's arguments on balance in making my decision.
Things to keep in mind about the various events I judge:
Policy debate is about policy. It has a plan. Plans have advantages and disadvantages as well as solvency or the lack thereof. Some plans also might warrant a counterplan from the negative if it is good, nontopical, and can gain solvency better than the affirmative plan.
Lincoln Douglas Debate is about values. I am interested much more in values in this type of debate than any sort of policy. However, I'm not a strict traditionalist in that I don't require both a value premise and a value criterion that is explicitly stated. But I do want to hear a value debate. That said, I also want to hear some pragmatic examples of how your value structure plays out within the context of the resolution. All in all, I balance my decision between the philosophical and the pragmatic. Persuade me of your position. However, please don't present a plan or counterplan. Switch to policy debate if you want to do that. Bottom line: debate the resolution and don't stray from it.
Public Forum Debate is about current events and was intended for the lay judge. Don't give me policy or LD arguments. Clear communication is important in all forms of debate, but is the most important in this one. I am not open to rapid fire spreading. That's not communication. Please don't give me a formal plan or counterplan. Again, reserve that for policy debate. Communicate and persuade with arguments backed up by solid research and your own analysis and do this better than your opponents and you will win my PF ballot. It's that simple. Debate the resolution without straying from it in a good communicative style where you defend your arguments and attack your opponent's and do this better than they do it. Then you win. Persuade me.
Congress Paradigm: (I'll be honest. It's my favorite event.)
Congressional Debate is designed to be like the real Congress when it functions as it was intended. Decorum is absolutely critical. While humor may have its place in this event, you should not do or say anything that a United States congressperson of integrity would not do or say. You should also follow Congressional decorum rules and address fellow competitors with their proper titles. When judging congress, I want to see clash/refutation of previous speakers (unless, of course, you are giving the first speech of the topic). Try to avoid "canned" speeches that are largely prewritten. This is not dueling oratories. It is still debate. I look for a combination of new arguments and clash/refutation of arguments already made. I do not like rehash. If it's been said already, don't say it unless you have a uniquely fresh perspective. I am not impressed by those who jump up to make the first obvious motion for previous question or for recess. Obvious motions score no points with me, as they are obvious and can be made by anyone. It's not a race to see who can be seen the most. I am, however, impressed by those who make great speeches, regularly ask strong cross examination questions and show true leadership in the chamber. Simply making great speeches alone is not enough. If you give three perfect speeches but never really ask good cross examination questions or rarely participate proceduraly in the chamber, you might not get the ranking you were hoping for. Although speeches are very important and a major factor in my decision, they are not the complete package that I expect from a competitor. I'm looking at your total constructive participation in the chamber (in a productive sense, not a "just to be seen" sense). Finally, to reiterate what I said at the beginning, I take decorum very seriously. You should too.
Congress Presiding Officers: Keep your wording as brief and concise as possible. Avoid the obvious. Please don't use phrases like "Seeing as how that was a negative speech, we are now in line for an affirmative speech." Here is a MUCH better option: "Affirmative speakers please rise" or "We are now in line for an affirmative speech." There is no need to tell anyone that the previous speech was negative. We should know that already. Just immediately call on the next side. It is acceptable and advisable to also very quickly give the time of the previous speech for the reference of the judges, but we do not need to be reminded of what side the previous speech was on. The phrase I dislike the most in Congress is "seeing as how . . ." So how do I judge you as a P.O. in relation to the speakers in the chamber? Most (but not all) presiding officers will make my top eight ballot if they are good with no major flaws. But how do you move up the ballot to get in "break" range? I place a great deal of weight on fairness and decorum, knowledge of parliamentary procedure and the efficiency in which the chamber is conducted. I reward presiding officers who are precise and have minimal downtime. And, as mentioned earlier, it does not require a great deal of language (especially jargon and phraseology) to be an excellent presiding officer. I'm not judging you on how much I hear you speak. I'm judging you on how efficient the chamber ran under your leadership. An excellent P.O. can run a highly efficient chamber without having to say much. Keep order, know and enforce the rules, and be respected by your peers. That said, you should also be prepared to step in and be assertive anytime the chamber or decorum gets out of hand. In fact, you should step in assertively at the first minute sign of it. Finally, while it is often difficult for a P.O. to be first on the ballot, it is also not impossible if your excellence is evident. And as a side note, while this is not a voting issue for me, it is worth noting. When giving your nomination speech, you don't need to tell me (or the rest of the chamber) that you will be "fast and efficient." That phrase is overused and heard from almost every candidate I've ever seen nominated. Everyone makes that claim, but a surprising number don't actually follow through on it. Come up with original (but relevant) reasons that you should be elected.
Things to avoid in any event I judge:
"Spreading" or rapid fire delivery.
Ad Hominem attacks of any kind. Stick to the issues, not the person. This is the first thing that will alienate me regardless of your position.
Kritiks - You must be extremely persuasive if you run them. I'll consider them and vote for them if they are excellent, but I'd rather hear other arguments. Very few kritiks are in that "excellent" category I just mentioned. These are mainly only appropriate for Policy debate. I'll reluctantly consider them in LD, but never in PF.
Debate that strays outside the resolutional area. Stick to the topic.
Lack of respect for your opponent or anyone else in the room. Disagreement and debate over that disagreement is great. That's what this activity is about. But we must always do it respectfully.
Condescending tone or delivery. Don't even try it with me. Trust me, I'll hear a condescending tone/delivery much louder than any argument you make, no matter how good the argument is. I'll make a condescending tone a voting issue that does not play in your favor. You don't want that.
For All Events
1) Be Nice (The people you meet in this organization are more important than a snarky comment or abusive tactic)
2) Be Honest (Don't misconstrue evidence)
3) Be Proud (Present like you believe in what you say, even if that goes against your personal beliefs, and remember you worked hard to get where you are)
What I want:
Link chains, strong evidence, nuanced reasoning, impact analysis, and direct clash.
Open to all argument types but make sure its topical.
I have ZERO TOLERANCE for racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, bigotry, and discrimination. You will lose, be reported to tab and your coach will be informed.
Presentation is also important, if I can't understand what you are saying your evidence and reasoning is irrelevant. Don't speak too fast and make sure to enunciate, warming up before rounds will rapidly improve this. Each speech type is important and has its place, showing mastery of all speech types will get you the 1.
PO should metaphorically "speak softly and carry a big stick" Do your job, maintain control, keep debate moving, and be expeditious.
I will call evidence and if told to call something I will. Don't get stuck fighting over what evidence says make your point on how it should read and I will read it.
I had a lot of competitive success in HS went to nats, placed on the circuit and the like but thats not that important.
I am a third year student double majoring in Behavioral Economic, Policy, and Organization and International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University. If you have any questions about any of that or college definitely ask.
I am happy to answer any questions after round and by email, just ask!
I am a lay judge. My scoring criteria are:
1) Arguments - how strong are arguments, how well they are developed and supported by evidence.
2) Delivery - how compelling, fluent and practiced it is vs. reading from a script.
3) Engagement - how engaged is a debater in taking and giving POIs, attacking weak points of opposition and defending own arguments.
Dougherty Valley High School
I will judge off good speaking style, energy, passion, comprehensibility, and overall presentation skills. Good points should still be incorporated.
Participation, as well as my overall feeling on how well I thought your speech went, how good were your points compared to others, and the way that I awarded points.
My notes will mostly consist of your speaking/presentation, as well as your performance against other competitors. Your rebuttal, to a tough question.
I am looking for the date, other than that as long as the source is something that I know is trustworthy, or isn’t fake you should be fine.
I look for the relatability, and which would have a better impact depending on what you have to say.
I will judge the cross examination by the speaking style of the examiner and speaker. I will also keep a mental note at good questionnaires and speakers. I will also pay attention to see if the speaker is avoiding the question.
I need to be able to understand the evidence in a well presented way. If your speaking and presentation is good and your cross is good as well, then you may have the upperhand.
I am a lay judge so make sure you don't speak too fast but I still deeply value good argumentation and logical reasoning. As long as the teams can make arguments that make sense and respond to their opponents case while defending their position is what I am mainly looking for and how confidently they present their case.
I judge multiple formats of debate, so I will try to provide a baseline for each of events. You can always reach out with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think LD's continual move to a poor version of 1 on 1 policy debate is probably not for the best, but we are where we are. If you want a traditional V/C framework, great. If you want to have a plan, that's fine too. My background is policy debate, so it's not that I'm unable to evaluate these arguments, it is that I find that there are too many tricks, RVIs, and barely warranted theory arguments that debaters want me to vote for. I will not vote for those arguments unless they have a clearly articulated interpretation, violation, standards, and a voting issue.
Really, I love debate, but I don't like blippy, unwarranted, "crafty" arguments. If your strategy is dependent on tricks or badly formulated theory arguments, strike me. I won't be offended.
I do believe the affirmative should affirm the resolution, but when you are negative you can do whatever you want that negates in whatever way that means to you.
Most importantly, have fun, say smart things, and I'll do the best to evaluate the debate you present to me.
Most important note: If it doesn't appear in summary, it won't be evaluated in final focus.
Having said that, I think the rate of speaking should be moderate to moderately fast. I'm not sure what you are accomplishing in PF with anything faster. If your opponent asks you to slow down, you should make reasonable accommodations to that request. You can look to me to see whether or not I think the team making the request is being ridiculous.
The pro should feel free to affirm the resolution in whatever way you'd like as long as you are actively talking about the resolution.
If you only have defense in the debate, it will be difficult to win my ballot. For example, on the Medicare for All topic, the negative has to prove that the affirmative makes the world worse in a world where it were to become law.
Other than that, be sure to start narrowing the debate in summary. I prefer more line by line until the Final Focus, but I understand that many people will start weighing in summary. That's fine, but your summary should NOT just be weighing.
POLICY: I'm fairly old school when it comes to this event. I think the affirmative should probably be an example of the actual resolution, although kritikal affs are welcome. I was more of a DA/CP debater, so take that for what it is worth. On the negative, feel free to do whatever you want because I think that's the freedom you get being negative. On specific arguments:
Topicality: I don't think you have to prove abuse to win. You can just prove that they aren't topical. Whoever wins the interpretation controls the direction of this debate.
CP: I think everything is conditional, but I can be persuaded otherwise. You can run multiple Cps if you'd like. Have fun.
K: I think if you are running on the aff that it should still be a discussion of the topic. On the neg, I think you should indicate and make as many links to the affirmative as possible and make those known in the most meaningful way possible.
Besides the affirmative being topical even when kritikal, I'm not quite the dinosaur I may appear. You should have fun and make arguments and I'll do my best to evaluate them.
In all debate events, especially Congress, I highly value clash. Please make sure that you are staying respectful, but that your argumentation is warrant-level rather than claim-level -- do not name drop. Please have sound structure and don't be afraid to show personality in your speeches. As per delivery, since we are now using an online format, do not read off of your computer for your whole speech. Otherwise, just adapt to the round and have a fun time.
In speech events, please make sure that you balance your content with your delivery. I am a 50/50 judge. Otherwise, have fun with your speeches and don't be afraid to drop in a joke or two.
Hey everyone, I debated on the national circuit for 4 years and am currently a first year out. My philosophy for Congress is that this is inherently a speech and debate event; your ability to argue is just as important as your public speaking skills. This isn’t to say that if you have the best arguments in the round but subpar speaking you’ll be at the bottom of my ballot. Rather, in order to win a round you need to have both. A few additional things I want to emphasize since these are the most common comments I give:
- CLASH: If you speak any time after the sponsorship, you MUST have some sort of clash. If someone before you gives an argument that directly challenges yours, you need to explain to me why they are wrong and you’re right. Otherwise, I won’t believe anything you tell me and likely won’t rank you. This also doesn't mean namedrop one person and call it a day; explain to me why the warranting in someone's argument is incorrect or why your impact is better than someone else's
- LEGISLATION CITATIONS: Actually tell me what the bill does and how it links into your argument. Remember, you researched this bill for hours while I did not. Cite the section of the bill that causes your argument and explain why it happens
- EVIDENCE: For me, evidence is a major deciding factor in ranks. All impacts must be quantified, studies and journals are always superior to op-eds, and anything that is not common knowledge or basic logic needs a citation. Due to the lack of evidence challenges in this event, people typically slack off on evidence. You will not get away with this if I’m judging you.
Last thing I will say is the presiding officer is always considered in my ranks. If you give me no reason to correct or say anything to you, you will be guaranteed top 3 on my ballot. Other than this, there’s nothing out of the ordinary in terms of what I’m looking for. Have good structure and arguments, stay active, be polite and you’ll be fine. Don’t stress too much, good luck and have fun :)
Wendy Rubas, (@hlawtech)
I've been a practicing attorney for 20+ years and have judged several competitions of Congressional Debate. I am always so impressed with all of you, and it is pleasure and privilege to judge these competitions! Every round is different, but over time, I've learned what makes a great debater.
- Preparation. Your preparation is more obvious than you realize. Good preparation affords you the ability to be nimble, to pivot, to respond to the room. Only through research and preparation can you get to the level of understanding to be able to respond to the room and deepen the debate.
- Evidence. Now more than ever before, it is important to base your positions on credible evidence and to tell the judges your source. It is always preferable to use a primary sources (law, regulation, or administrative manual) than an article in Business Insider. In addition, it is powerful to hear how various proposals worked in the real world examples (as in "see they tried it and it worked ").
- Style. Being persuasive counts even in real life. Don't be afraid of a well placed pause. A little flair - some drama. Your tone and pacing can be useful to judges - to help them catch up. Read the room. Judges see a lot of things happening - how people are responding to you. If you aren't looking up- you will miss this.
- Stay present. It is easy to get distracted during a round and this is more true now in the online competitions. One thing to know, judges can tell when you are not paying attention. Stay present in the room, use the Q/A section - pay attention to others.
Good luck to you!
I competed for 4 years in Congress for Newton South HS in Newton, MA, graduating in 2018. I also competed in Extemp, Public Forum, and World Schools at different times. Email me with any questions/comments/etc at email@example.com.
Worlds Schools Paradigm (Specific to 2020 Nationals)
I only competed in Worlds a couple times, and I mostly forget what it's like. I have far more experience with Parli, particularly APDA format, and I'm probably going to judge the rounds similar to how I judge APDA. This means that I am going to flow the round, decide who wins, and figure out speaker points accordingly after.
Worlds is supposed to be about "big ideas," while other forms of debate are about "winning on the flow." The judge guide tells me that it's okay for me to not "vote on arguments [I] think are poorly explained/justified or wildly implausible even if the other team doesn’t explicitly respond to them."
I remember a lot of frustration with judge inconsistency when I competed at 2018 Nationals, so I want to try to be somewhat clear how I view the WSD method of judging not directly off the flow. I will try my best to vote off of "big ideas" as opposed to dropped minor arguments, but it would take an extreme circumstance for me to intervene in the round and reject a main argument. For example, I will not heavily weigh an argument because Opp didn't respond to 1 Prop warrant in the opening speech that was dropped throughout the round, if Opp adequately engaged with the argument holistically. That being said, I can't imagine a (not offensive) contention that I would drop off the flow if a team was winning it, because I thought it was poorly warranted/explained/justified. This doesn't make sense to me -- if one team makes a poorly warranted argument, it should be super easy for the other team to respond to! And if the other team doesn't respond to a contention, then aren't they making just as big a mistake?
Things you SHOULD do in WSD:
--Above all else: WEIGH in the 4th speech (and throughout the round). Highly unlikely that I would vote off any argument not clearly weighed in the 4th speech. I am a pragmatic leaning guy - you want me to vote off of a principle argument, you need to explain and weigh it well in the context of the round.
--Signposting: tell me where to flow things.
--Extending major arguments through the round. Any constructive argument that you want me to vote off of to be substantively discussed (and weighed) in all 3 speeches (or 2nd and 3rd if you introduce it in the second speech). If the other team totally drops your argument just mention it again and you can weigh it. What I will NOT vote off of is if you go for two random bad warrants from your first speech that no one addresses throughout the round (because this is worlds, not parli).
--Model: Gov should give me a clear model that's both reasonable and strategic, and include clear burdens, and should be prepared to defend their model; Opp should contest the model if need be.
Things you should NOT to do in WSD:
--Off time road maps. If it's so important, use your time for it.
--Do not try to distract the other team's speaker by rising for a million POIs. I remember this from when I competed and it sucked. Also, I probably won't flow your POI, only the response from the speaker to it, so if you bring something up in a POI you need to mention it in your speech. Also there is no need for you use a POI to just remind me of the main argument in your speech because I flowed it.
--Don't be a terrible person: racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic etc
I'm looking for legislators who will advance debate. This means (generally in order of importance):
ABOVE ALL ELSE:
--Know your place in the round! Early speeches should focus on constructive arguments, mid-round speeches should focus on refutation and extending arguments, and late round speeches should crystalize and weigh the debate. Do not give me a 2 point constructive in the 8th cycle. Even though I ask for clash below, don’t be afraid of speaking early - I expect less clash and I understand the important role you’re playing in the debate. This is very important and something I've found the majority of competitors are not doing in prelims at nationals. If you don't reference other speakers' arguments in the 3th cycle or later, you are almost certainly not going to be ranked.
EVERYTHING ELSE IMPORTANT:
--Clash! Starting with the first negative, every speech should be refuting and building off of previous speeches. If you don't reference other speakers sometime after the third cycle, you will almost certainly not be ranked. It's not enough to contradict someone, say their name, and then say you're right. I need you to briefly explain the aspect of the argument, and then explain why it's wrong (actually clash).
-- Interpret the bill correctly: Way too many kids debate the bill based on the title, not the text of the bill (which is written incorrectly by the author), or misconstrue the bill to make it easier to debate. Often times everyone in the room accepts the misreading because it makes the debate easier. Don't do this! If you think people are reading the bill incorrectly, point this out! I'm talking blatant mischaracterizations - obviously, there are some cases where the bill is vague and you can and should make arguments as to why your interpretation is correct.
--Clear Warrants! You need to explain the link chain behind your evidence/argument and why it's true. This advances debate because it makes it easier for other legislators to engage with your arguments, which helps you. The best debaters can simplify complex arguments and explain them powerfully, clearly, and concisely.
--Impacts! Be detailed. Explain to me how the U.S. will be better if we vote on your side of the debate. Ideally quantified (dependent on bill topic). Over the top rhetoric is wasting your time, not a substitute for logic and evidence.
--Evidence! Your evidence should actually support your argument, not tangentially related prep from a bill you debated last year.
[ZOOM UPDATE] Don't speak fast, I won't be able to understand you at all. Also applies during questioning.
For normal in person, I'm fine with very fast speaking, provided that: 1) You enunciate well and are understandable. 2) Speed isn't your way of getting around having bad word economy. 3) You don't start yelling whenever you speed up.
--Sponsorships: I rank sponsorships very highly if they're actually a sponsorship style speech (ie. background information to introduce bill, explain problem, how bill solves, impacts), and I'll have lower expectations if no one wants to give it. I will not rank a typical affirmative constructive highly even if no one else volunteered to give it.
--Presiding: I presided a lot during my career — I'll rank you very very highly if you do a good job but I also know when you mess up.
--Ask Questions! Not gonna lie I'm usually focusing on writing speech feedback during questioning, so with indirect questioning, I care more about how the speaker answers than how you questioner asks, but I'll notice over time who is asking good questions and staying engaged.
--Decorum: Call out the PO if they mess up, but be nice about it. The PO is doing his/her best and I likely already noticed the error. Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. comments to legislators or arguments in round will not be tolerated.
Assume that I am up to date on widely-covered current events, but know nothing specific about the resolution.
Evidence isn't enough - explain it and give clear warrants. I'd rather a lot of good logical warranting than a card you don't explain well.
I don't care if you respond to first rebuttal in second rebuttal or if you do it in summary - just whenever you do it, signpost it clearly.
WEIGH!! - Summary and focus need weighing. Write my RFD. If no one weighs I will be very unhappy. Good weighing wins rounds and bad weighing usually beats no weighing.
Speed - fine with however fast you want as long as you enunciate and signpost.
Cross examination - don't be afraid to (politely) cut your opponent off if they're clearly spewing bs or trying to waste time, I will know they are too and be cool with it. Grand cross, don't speak over your partner.
Don't be racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic etc
Mr. P. J. Samorian
Mr. Samorian is the Speech and Debate Department Chair at American Heritage Schools Palm Beach Campus. His teams compete in Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, Congressional Debate and Individual Speech Events, Worlds School Debate with possible Policy Debate addition. AH Achievements: LD State Champion, Declamation State Champion, Sunvite PF Champion, Emory PF Champion, NSDA/NCFL Finalists in IE and Congress, Grapevine PF Champions, Bronx Congress RR Champion, Blue Key PF and LD Champions, GMU Congress Champion, Blue Key 3rd Place Sweepstakes, NSDA district champions. He is the former Director of Forensics at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. He was the Director of Forensics at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois for 18 years and before that was an Assistant IE Coach at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois under the direction of William (Mark) Ferguson. He coached the NFL Poetry Reading National Champion (1993), NFL Congress(Senate) Runner-Up (2000), ICDA State Congress Champions (2000), IHSA State Congressional Debate Runner-Up (2008), and his team won one of five NCFL Eleanor E. Wright Debate Awards (2009). He has coached finalists and champions at Wake Forest, Grapevine, The Glenbrooks, Blue Key, The Barkley Forum, U.C.Berkeley, Sunvite and Harvard. Mr. Samorian is an NSDA Triple Diamond coach. He holds a B.A. from Northern Illinois University and a M.Ed. from Loyola University Chicago. He attended Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois where he was involved with drama and music. He was involved with hosting five NCFL National Tournaments in Chicago, and was the President of the Chicago Catholic Forensic League and has served on both the Northern Illinois NFL District Committee as well as the IHSA State Debate Committee. He was the director of public forum for Millennial Speech and Debate (Georgetown and Boston College) and was the Co-Director for Public Forum Debate at the Harvard Summer Workshop. He has hosted NSDA webinars on different aspects of congressional debate. He has been the director of public forum at Georgetown as well as teaching and directing programs in Business, Stem, and Debate for Capitol Debate at Notre Dame Baltimore, American University Washington DC, Yale University, Babson College, Dartmouth College, The Hun School.
FOR ALL DEBATE EVENTS, the flow is so important. You have to listen and make note of what your opponents are saying. I am flowing, so you should be as well. Then it is important that you DO something with that information.
I am open to any argument you may make and then ask that you support that idea.
If you are going to spread, please sign post and accent key terms you want me to get down on my flow.
I work hard to not let any of my personal opinions have any place in the round.
I prefer that debaters be strong in their conviction but not be abusive in their treatment of others.
I also require you to be truthful. Present accurate evidence. I have been witness to false information and it really bothers me that you would just present it as though it is true and keep going until someone questions it.
Persuade me that you are right and your opponents are not.
I DO NOT SHAKE HANDS AT THE END OF A ROUND (Obviously in person debate) This was posted BEFORE Covid.
ONLINE SPEECH AND DEBATE - At first, I had enjoyed moving to online speech and debate. I was involved in rules development, ideas for communicating online and framing ideas. I worked all summer with online speech and debate and so understand glitching etc but you also need to make sure no other devices in your home are on and that your framing doesn't include anything moving, like a ceiling fan, as they will detract from the strength of your signal. FOR DEBATE EVENTS, I prefer that you present your speech seated. I think in person standing is fine, but when you stand online we often lose facial expression, gestures are hard to see, walking off camera isn't good, and your voice may drop off. FOR SPEECH EVENTS-For many, ok, most, events you must stand and that is perfectly fine. Have fun and enjoy that we are still able to keep our activity vibrant and growing. 2022 Update - I am tired of being online and I am crossing fingers we will soon return to in person speech and debate.
I prefer that contestants stick to the philosophical arguments in the round. It bothers me when LD turns to a plan of action. (With exception of a topic that requires a plan...) While topics are sometimes hard, I am looking for the theory that is supporting what you are saying. To this end, you may consider me "old school" when it comes to LD. Yes, I do think that Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau and others should provide foundation for the direction you are going. That doesn't mean I am not open to other theories and philosophies, however if you do run theory or other arguments, know why you are running them. Please don't run them because you do that at every tournament so you don't have to prep each topic!!! An entire round of arguments not related to the topic will not win my ballot. Ignoring a judge who says "clear" when you are spreading, will not win my ballot. Clear, persuasive arguments will win my ballot. Arguments that are constructed and carried through the debate will win my ballot. Weighing at the end or your final rebuttal could win my ballot. I do not shake hands at the end of a round.
I like the original intention of this event that it should be a debate that would take place in a public setting and would have ideas and delivery that any person off the street could understand. To this end, I don't want you to be a policy debater. While I do want structure to what you are saying and evidence to support your ideas, it is the PUBLIC approach that I prefer. Are you clear? Do your points make logical sense? Are you able to persuade me that your side is the side that is best for our current population? I have been extremely bothered in the past few years with students who are falsifying evidence. I judged a semi-final where one team built an entire case around one key piece of evidence. Their opponents called for the evidence during the round, but it was never produced. The judge next to me called for the evidence after the round and sure enough, they were blatantly misquoting the evidence. I have also researched evidence that simply does not exist. Have some integrity. Do the work needed to prepare yourself for the topic. I do not shake hands at the end of a round.
Yes, I was around when the event was called Student Congress and it has been an honor to have been a part of the evolution of the activity. I think there are many roles that congressional debaters play. To that end, there are many styles of speeches that I enjoy when judging a congress round. The authorship should explain the legislation and set the tone and standard for the round. The first con should be equally as strong. Both should have strong supportive evidence and equally strong explanations. Every speech after that should further debate with new evidence and should also extend or refute previous speakers. For me, politics are a waste of time. That being said, I also don't like it to be a speech competition. It should be a series of debate speeches on both sides so that at the end of debate on each piece of legislation, I have a better idea of the issues and in a sense; I have been persuaded to one side or the other. If you are speaking near the end of the debate, then a top-notch crystallization is in order and very much enjoyed when done well. If you are a presiding officer, I want it to run so smoothly and fairly that I never have to step in. A good PO brings energy to the room and fosters an atmosphere of healthy debate. I enjoy students who have their own unique style and don't just copy what everyone else is doing and saying. Play to your strengths. Recent developments in more complicated scenarios have been interesting as has the development of 30 second questioning periods (direct questioning). Congressional Debate is still evolving and I think we should enjoy the growth. Some styles work better than others, but I am not convinced there is just one way to speak or preside. I enjoy some of the regional and league differences. I serve on the TOC Congressional Debate Advisory Committee. I do not shake hands at the end of a round.
I don't think anyone checks the wiki for IE philosophy. LOL I mean, its not like you could change your cutting of speech because I am in the back of the room. IE was my first love and passion. Do well in performance. Be honest and true and you will win me every round. I often write an IE ballot as though I am coaching you. So, if I give you ideas and then see you a month later and have to just write the same exact ballot again, what did you learn and do my notes even matter at that point. IE students often try to read the judge. You can't really read me. I may be writing feverishly to give you as many suggestions for improvement as possible, I may be writing how much I am enjoying every moment, or a may stop writing because I don't have much to say because you are so amazing. I AM IN FAVOR of students who are finding creative ways to perform online and I am not in favor or adults making new online rules that limit creativity. (Ex: Moving toward or away from the camera for emphasis)
Speaker must have a well constructed, well flowing case/argument.
Presentation must be concise, and clear.
Refutation shows thought = points.
Good research of course.
I appreciate debate that is intellectually charged with substance and evidence from multiple viewpoints (social, economic, political, international, etc.). Most issues are multidimensional and I appreciate arguments that integrate more than one viewpoint. I also pay attention to your news sources when I think through where your argument is coming from.
I also appreciate it when debaters respond to points made by those who have come before them (e.g. refuting/clash). At the same time, rehash frustrates me, while crystallization helps me sort through the nuance of an argument at the end of a round.
Thank you, remember to have fun and I'm excited to help provide constructive feedback on your performances!
I'm Ojasvi. I competed in Congress for all four years in high school, and I'm currently a freshman in college.
My paradigm: Above all, be respectful. If you're not respectful - in your speech, in your questioning, etc - that's the easiest way for you to get dropped on my ballot. That being said, have fun with it. As long as you're not going on ad-hominem attacks or being racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist, if you want to make some jokes, I'll be chill with it and will probably laugh. Add some personality!
My judging is ~75:25 content to delivery ratio when it comes to my ballot. I should be able to understand all of the links in your speech. If I can't understand a link, then I probably won't look too highly at everything that came after it. Make sure to warrant well. If you're asserting that something is true, I need to understand why it's true; there should be nothing in your speech that is being asserted without a clear explanation of why that thing is true. Excellent delivery will help you, and bad delivery, especially if it's hurting my understanding of your argument, will hurt you. This paragraph applies to extemp speaking too - my biggest thing in all events is you should have very good logic + very good logic chain(s) throughout your speech.
Clash is needed if you are after the 1st AFF, and I do expect you to be performing your place in the round well – if you're giving what should be a crystal based on your place in the round, then I should be hearing a crystal. Anyone can get my 1 in the round (including the sponsor) so don't be afraid to sponsor – if no one is sponsoring/giving a speech and you offer to do it then I will take that into consideration.
I pay a lot of attention during questioning (especially direct questioning). While I was competing I thought questioning was the most fun part of the event! Ask good questions, and if you can poke some solid holes in your opponent's arguments (instead of just going like 'what about x argument' which has basically 0 connection to what their speech was on) that would be awesome. Really can not overstate how much I love direct questioning.
Have fun with it! The rounds where I did best were always when I was just having a blast.
I'll try to leave as many constructive comments as I can on your ballot - I know when I was competing, it was really annoying to get dropped with only an "excellent speech" written on my ballot so I'll do my best. Primary focus will still of course be on listening to and evaluating the round.
Tl;dr: Content is king, be respectful, ask good questions, and have fun. Good luck!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've been coaching and teaching Debate (as well as the AICE courses Global Perspectives & Thinking Skills) for the past 10 years. Out of all of the events, I’ve judged LD the most because of how much I enjoy the wide net it casts for an argument. The fact that cases can be built on a basis using philosophy, theory, empirical, etc...and there are abstract concepts like morality to substantiate - which all makes for an interesting hour.
Even though I have a plethora of experience on the circuit and enjoy different types of cases I am not proficiant at tech, so truth over tech is definitely my stance. I do believe that kritiks, theory, LARP, etc... are all beneficial to the event and to learning overall, so I will vote in favor of anything IF you are able to prove the link and case are strong enough in regards to what your opponent says.
So, to review - I DO NOT have a preference for framework/cases - I've heard almost every kind by now and all types have won and lost my vote...the only things I'm not a fan of are tricks and skep, but even those I've still accepted if argued well enough.
I can handle speed or "spreading" pretty well by now - if there is an issue with understanding or hearing I will say "clear" and will also check cards at the end for anything I missed...but please keep in mind that there are certain aspects in an LD construction that maintains well with speed and other areas that don't (i.e. - if you need me to understand how a philosophy or theory applies then allow me to absorb each part before rushing to the next because those are building block arguments, so missing one part can make the whole thing fall).
I am an experienced coach and judge. I have competed, coached and judged in all areas of speech & debate.
I am a 'tabula rasa' judge, which for me means that I will listen to any reasonable argument. I am always interested in hearing creative approaches to any resolution. However, I fully support the format, style and philosophy of each debate and speech event.
I am not adverse to rapid speaking, because debate time is limited. BUT I will not condone 'spreading' as a tactic. If you insist you win because the opponent did not address all of your issues, I may or may not accept your premise.
Evidence is primary to any good argument. You should be able to coherently present your evidence with citation in every instance. Referencing 'cards' in a case is ambiguous, since I will not have your case in front of me.
LISTEN to your opponent. Address their concerns and their rationale for opposing you. Be civil and understand they have as much a right to be here as you do.
I will not make your case for you. I may be very familiar with the resolution, strategy and line of reasoning you are using, but I will not assume you even know what you are talking about. You have to know your case and be able to defend it.
In Congress, competitors must listen to the line of argument and offer unique and relevant argument. Repeating points or delivering a prepared speech that does not advance the debate is poor practice and means you do not know the bill.
I do not rank POs particularly high. A competent PO will score near the middle of a typical Congress round.
In Extemp, I want to learn new things, hear unique ideas and understand my world better.
My email is email@example.com, I'd like to be included on any email chain. Don't hesitate to ask me before we begin if you have any questions I didn't address here.
I'll vote on anything in the flow as long as there's a warrant, impact, and solid weighing against your opponent's arguments. It'll make my job much easier if you are well organized, using signposts and using numbers/letters to to denote where you are in your arguments (and where I should be in the flow) and referencing these when you recall them later. I don't mind an off-time roadmap but make it quick.
For evidence, I would strongly prefer if you quote it rather than paraphrasing. When you extend your evidence, please give me more than just "extend NAME/DATE from our case," explain the impact.
No tolerance for discriminatory arguments or behaviors in round.
If anything really important comes out of CX make sure to tell it to me later in the round, I cant promise I will flow in CX but I will listen--it won't decide a round but it can impact your speaker points.
I can't handle spreading, it's too likely that I'll miss something on the flow. The ideal is the pace of a spirited conversation that's still accessible to the participants. I'd like access to your speech doc ***before you begin speaking*** to fill in any gaps I may have (and to account for lagging/glitching if that becomes an issue) but I mostly want to listen.
I don't have a ton of experience with progressive PF, so while I'm open to it if you're running Ks or theory you'll have to take more time to explain it to me clearly. I have a cursory knowledge but neither of us want me to misinterpret you.
I'll be as generous as I can with speaker points if you make my job easy by: being organized, weighing your arguments well, being respectful to your opponents and teammates.
I am sometimes asked prior to the beginning of a round if I might offer any additional insight into my paradigm or I might be asked a question pertaining to what I might identify as key voting issues. I do hope all of you take the time to read through all of the paradigms posted as they are for your benefit. I might argue that if you do that in advance it should help you determine what each of us is looking for. For the record, I do have an extensive background in the forensic world of debate at both the high school and college level. I debated for Bellaire High School from 1973 to 1976 where I learned to win quite often and for four plus years on a full debate scholarship at Houston Baptist University. I competed in high school and in college in policy debate (CX) and competed at a national level during my college years. Although it's been awhile since those days filled with stress and with competition, I have been judging off and on the past 12 years and I certainly have a few opinions to share with you perhaps best referred to as some friendly advice.
Like any good judge ought to insist upon during any round, my decision is based upon what the contestants themselves argue during the round, based upon extensions advanced to the flow and of course based upon what does persuade me or does appear most compelling at the end of the round. I do actively take down cites on most evidence read during a round and respectfully, I will not need a road map from you. That's probably helpful though for you guys to share between you. By now surely we all know that there should be no new arguments presented during rebuttals. I would also hope that debaters at all levels understand and fully embrace the notion that competition during a debate as a battle of wits ought to come down to winning arguments that can be proven and are linked quite reasonably. In my own mind, it ought to be fairly clear for me to see by the end of a round what the important voting issues are and why. I suggest trying to limit repeating what you have already said and instead focus upon extending your own case and or arguments as your key arguments. Any success during the round should be sought through purposeful and thoughtful clash with your opponents on the flow. I tend to look for and typically best follow teams that extend effectively in ways in which I can still flow where it belongs. I tend to defer to the team who best persuasively convinces me that their intended plan of action is much better than the other based upon evidence, reasoning and logic.
I am also asked if I can handle a fast speed or for that matter, the flow. I try never to be rude when I might retort in response that there is simply no way they or anyone else could ever be any faster than he and I were while debating the likes of Harvard, Georgetown etc. in that college setting I mentioned. Nevertheless, speed can still kill a good argument due to a lack of application, lack of explanation or simply because it was unintelligibly spit out. At high speed your killer evidence may indeed just become lost upon the deaf ears of a lay judge or even upon the perky ears of seemingly competent judges doing their very best to follow you. Your successes will be most often determined by you, your style and by your unique ability to fully connect the dots on the flow for all to see. You must be prepared to make your evidence and arguments count with great force in such a way that it sticks with your judge. I do accept most reasonable arguments as presented during a round especially those that are well defended with evidence, with logic and sound reasoning. I believe strongly in a professional courteous exchange at all times during a round, especially during crossfire. Cross fire is certainly not the time to keep on arguing with your opponent thinking they will agree that you are going to win. We all accept that you will probably never agree with the other side on this day of battle (until you must debate the opposite side of the flip), but use your CX time not to help set the record straight for everyone but instead to win. Utilize this precious time to seek out and gain needed clarification providing clarity for your own purposes. Responses given during cross fire are binding unless dropped or explained in context. If properly employed crossfire time can certainly make a difference in the result of the round.
Let me state it more clearly, if you are rude, obnoxious or loud during crossfire exchanges you do rub most judges the wrong way. Lastly, you might be surprised how many debaters do not do a very good job telling me as a judge why I should vote for them. Typically they insist that I must vote their way. Tell me why and keep telling me why. It begins with those first two constructive speeches in which clash is fully expected and undertaken. For the record, I do not give decisions or feedback at the end of a preliminary round, but of course I do during elimination rounds as allowed. My ballot will generally always make it crystal clear to both parties why I voted the way I did, agree or disagree. Debate is and always has been intended to be a fun, exciting activity and of course, highly competitive. Highly competitive though is not defined by talking over someone during cross fire or by being rude to another or by speaking much faster and much louder than others. I view forensic activities as a whole to be in large part preparation for your future endeavors in life with the potential to help one distinguish between what is true in theory and what might actually happen in the real world.
In terms of student Congress and Senate competition, I have judged those events often over the past 12 years and I do enjoy it immensely. It is still all about the numbers if you desire to win at a high level so naturally it does matter how many bills you are prepared to address with substance and it matters what you have to say about the subject. Your ability to effectively and respectfully question your peers effectively when called upon is critical to help garner a judges attention. It might help if you try and visualize Congress being in session and accept that you are literally debating a bill on the floor. Respect for each other, your demeanor and your own ability to participate is vital to making a great impression on your judge. Embrace that role and allow your efforts from the minute you walk into the room be dedicated to collaborating with others alongside representatives you hope might be persuaded to vote for the bill you choose to defend. If you go into a student congress event be prepared to participate, that is why you are in the session itself.
Individual events tend to be speeches or performances where you are on your own for the most part. It's important if you do want to place and compete that you make every effort to most effectively utilize the time you have been given to speak. A short speech is just that, it's short and often way too short. Proper use of mannerisms, natural body movements and practicing a deliberate and confident style used to deliver your piece is critical to success. Judges do tend to remember a genuine smile, a look or feel feel of sincerity and almost always naturally connect to the dynamic use of voice, dialog and diction patterns. It does not matter where you are in the speaking rotation. I can assure you, judges are waiting in earnest looking for you to stand right up their and knock their socks off so just do it.
I am a college debater at the University of Arkansas. I also debated for most of my high school career at Fayetteville High School. If you have any questions about the debate round or anything in general, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please add me to the email chain!
Have fun! Debate can be stressful and I want to make sure that above all, you at least have fun. I will give verbal critics as well as writing stuff down on the ballot. If you have questions about my comments please respectfully ask or email me. I am here to make sure YOU have a fun tournament experience and learn something!!
- Have your speeches be interesting and engaging ( I love creative intros)
-If you bring up the same points and arguments as everyone else don't expect to be well ranked
-if you use a prewritten speech late session that doesn't respond to anyone else don't expect to be well ranked
- Speeches should be at least 2:30
- please use logic and evidence in your speech
DO NOT BE HATEFUL IN ANY WAY!
A debate is a search for the truth. That's why along with voting it's at the heart of the American democratic process.
So don't lie.
* Intros that are actually directly about the topic always beat generic intros that could apply to any topic.
* Quotations always beat paraphrase.
* Fully-cited evidence I can hunt down always beats "The New York Times tells us that . . ." (Remember: NSDA-minimum is name or publication and year. That's a ridiculously low standard many Congress debaters still fail to meet.)
* Giving the right kind of speech (constructive, rebuttal, summative/"crystallization") at the right time always beats giving the kind of speech you're best at without thinking about what the debate needs
* Rehash is a venial, not a mortal, sin. And if you're a novice, just give the speech.
* The assumption that everyone is going to give two speeches in a round seems fair, but it has secret pernicious effects. It discourages folks from speaking early. That in turn results in several "please, someone give a speech" moments in the round. It discourages people from prepping the full agenda. I'd prefer you to strategize ruthlessly to give as many speeches as you can. Does the chamber need another negative speech on the second bill but you've already given yours? Give another. It's your opponents' own fault if they aren't prepped or only want "to crystal." I won't hold it against you. (No "base 2" agreement is enforceable because it's not in the NSDA rules.)
* POs start at 1 on my ballot and lose ranks from errors. They can be displaced by truly excellent speakers. (The more people there are who run for PO, the faster the winning PO loses ranks from errors, because you're claiming you're better than everyone else who wanted it.) The PO starts at 1 because the PO is the only indispensable contestant in the round. Can't have a round without the PO.
* Congress is speech *and* debate, so be sure you're listening and responding (debate) and keeping me focused on what you're saying (speech). Congress is getting too fast and burdened with jargon, and I'm opposed to those trends.
Way, way more than anyone could possibly want to know at thechairhighlyfrowns.blogspot.com
I'm a congress coach now, but did LD throughout high school (in state + nationally).
As long as you're clear/do the work for me, I have no preference for/against what you run/do in round. I'll vote off of what you give me.
That being said, in the realm of what you choose to run: If you're gonna go hard on FW debates, please have good reason to do so. Again: I'll vote off of what you tell me too, but dang near every debate I've judged since August kids are real messy with it.
I don't time roadmaps, but I stress you gotta be clear with that signposting (go down the flow, do voters, doesn't matter just tell me what you're doing when you're doing it).
Speed isn't an issue for me, but given we're online and there might be some connection issues I would prefer you don't spread to your fastest degree unless you have wicked WIFI.
Avoid flex prep.
Experienced judge, I have judged at local and national tournaments.
In a round I expect to hear well developed cases with strong and logical arguments as well as credible references.
It is always helpful to summarize your case at the end and convince me to give you the win.
Enúnciate and Project your voice so I can Clearly hear and understand you.
I debated for four years in the midwest competing in LD, Congress, and National Extemp. I then competed in two years of East Coast college debate in British Parliamentary and Policy (but not much Policy). All that background to say, my view of what debate should be is sculpted from a very traditional, accessible circuit, although I am able to understand spreading and non-traditional arguments.
Debate (of any kind)
The centerpiece of all debate is clash. Don't let the debate become two ships passing in the night. Throughout all of your speeches, but especially voting issues, make it very clear what the clash is and why you're winning the clash.
I don't care about evidence that much. Unless the use of a piece of evidence is contested (i.e. a debater is accused of completely misusing the evidence or being abusive), I don't care too much about reading it. I think it is your job as the debater to explain the piece of evidence and why it matters. I don't want to have to read your card to fully understand the debate - you should be making that clear for me. If you're going to extend a card, tell me why. I also will not kick an argument solely for lack of evidence if the debater has provided a well-linked logical argument (this is especially true in LD).
I can understand spreading but I don't prefer it because I believe it makes debate inaccessible to a larger audience. When I debated I tended to be a fast talker, but never speaking so fast I resorted to the wheezing/gasping for breath we've come to know in policy debate that has infiltrated other events as well (again, especially LD).
I will flow the entire round but I don't decide solely by going down the flow and seeing who won more arguments. Different arguments have different weight. That being said, weigh the arguments on the flow for me - don't make me do that work for you.
In line with my traditional background, I do not allow flex prep. CX is for CX.
Also, do not yell at your opponents. I will lower your speaks if you are condescending, rude, or mean to your opponents. Racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc. language will absolutely not be tolerated and an egregious offense will cost you the round.
I do give out low-point wins.
I'm a traditional LDer. I love well-developed frameworks and the value clash. I will use the value clash as the lens for evaluating the impacts of all of the contentions, as the value clash is supposed to set the "goal" for the round. I like to see the value clash addressed in all speeches, especially voters.
That being said, I think there should be a good balance between framework arguments and contention-level arguments. I will entertain and have seen good cases where the framework takes 5 minutes of the Constructive, but in general I prefer a balance of contentions and framework with diverse and unique points made in each one.
LD is not policy and I think that using policy-style arguments and strategies in LD detracts from the original intentions and accessibility of LD debate. If you are going to use policy arguments, please include why you think your argumentation style is accessible and reasonable within the scope of LD debate. I will not vote someone down just for running policy style arguments, but it will be an uphill battle to win my vote, especially if your opponent provides sufficient rebuttal to you and has a solid resolution-based case. I prefer when the debate focuses on the resolution that has been given.
As far as debates go, I have the least amount of experience in PF. I've judged some rounds in my day so I can follow the debate and flow the whole thing, but without the LD-style framework to evaluate the round, I really rely on each team to do the impact weighing for final round calculus.
Most Congress debates that I watch significantly lack clash. I am always on the lookout for clash; engage with other speakers in the room (not just by dropping their names, but actually responding to their arguments!). Big fan of extraneous and integrated rebuttal mixed in with constructive arguments. Not a big fan of 4th-Affirmative speakers and later simply repeating constructive arguments from earlier in the round as if there hasn't already been three rounds of debate on the topic. Later-round speakers must add something new: new analysis, new evidence (and explain why this evidence is more compelling), weighing, crystallization, etc. The more debate skills you use (except for spreading, topicality, kritiks, etc.), the better. I'm indifferent to cheeky introductions.
As with the other events, be kind to other speakers and have fun. There's a difference between having assertive questions and being aggressive/not letting others speak. Stay on the right side of that line!
I am currently the Assistant Coach for East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minnesota. I coach Congressional Debate and Public Forum.
High School Debate (Iowa): Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate, and Speech
College Debate (Loyola U): Parliamentary Debate
Coach/Mentoring: The Chicago Debate League, MN Urban Debate League
Retired Attorney – Business Law for pay and Constitutional Law for fun.
-Congressional Debate is not a Speech event; I am looking for argumentation skills that further the debate.
-I encourage signposting, great intros, and a quick summary conclusion. When appropriate, a joke or pun is always welcome.
-I expect clash, cited evidence, and rebuttal.
-I also appreciate students who immerse themselves in the debate and act as if their votes have importance to their constituents back home.
-The authorship speech should explain the legislation and set the tone and standard for the round. The first con should be equally as strong. Second round speeches and beyond should advance the debate – offer something new, clarify something that has been said, or refute something proffered.
-If you are speaking near the end of the debate, then a top-notch, crystallization speech is in order and very much enjoyed when done well.
-One amazing speech will always beat out three mediocre speeches.
-Refrain from the three Rs: Repeat, Rehash, Recycle.
-I expect you to treat your colleagues with respect and civility. I like questions that further debate and shore up the arguments. I frown upon unsportsmanlike shenanigans – no “gotcha” or snarky questions. My frown will extend to chamber rankings.
Presiding Officer: Please consider the job of PO ONLY if you are comfortable with Parliamentary Procedure, keeping track of recency and precedence, and running a controlled chamber. If you are a presiding officer, I want it to run so smoothly and fairly that I never have to step in. I do not mind some levity, but this is also a competition. As PO, please: explain your gaveling procedure, explain your understanding of recency and precedence, and explain how you call on representatives for questioning.
Public Forum Debate:
>>>SPEED: I am a PF Coach, but I still can't write as fast as I hear you. If it does not make it onto my flow, you never said it.
Off-time raodmaps work for me.
I am a fan of clear and smart frameworks.
I often call for cards - don't cherry-pick your evidence.
I want to hear debate on the NSDA PF resolution only. Run anything else at your own risk!
I really need narrative and great warranting - please extend them through the flow. Quantitative impacts mean nothing to me if I don't know how to weigh them.
Are you still terminally impacting to Nuclear War in 2021? If so, use caution because the probablity is about 1%. I know that, the academic literature know that, you know that.
I prefer line-by-line rebuttals.
Collapse as necessary to keep the debate sharp.
Please weigh in summary and final focus. If you want something to be a voting issue, put it in both the summary and final focus. If you don't weigh the round for me, I will, and I will use criteria that will definitely frustrate at least 50% of competitors in the round.
I believe that high school debate and forensics should be a learning and growing activity for students. Winning is fun but competitor growth is more important. With that being said here are some items that will give you more insight into how I judge:
*Signpost PLEASE - if you don't tell me where to apply your argument I will NOT be inferring.
*I would like a quick off the clock roadmap prior to your speech (not necessary for first speakers). This should be a brief overview of what you plan to cover. Example: I will be covering my opponents case and then my case.
**Theory debate - I don't like it. We are here to debate a topic not a theory - many of your are preparing for careers that will demand you provide argumentation and rebuttal and that can't happen if we aren't dealing with the topic.
*DO NOT SPREAD - it is not in your best interest for me not to be able to flow you - I am a flow judge - if I can't flow you can't win.
*Be Courteous - the round needs to be about the clash of claims not the clash of attitudes.
*If you provide a weighing mechanism or framework PLEASE use it during the debate. Don't bring it up in your first speech and not talk about it again until your last speech.
*If you are using a prepared speech PLEASE make sure you have practiced it before the round to ensure it is as fluid as possible.
*In Public Forum:
**If your case is one or two lengthy contentions with no subpoints and lots of evidence PLEASE make sure that you are tying these to the resolution.
**Please make sure you are using the summary and final focus speeches for what they are intended. I place a lot more weight on what happens in these four speeches than the first four. You are the one debating. You tell me what the major arguments are. Don't make me figure this out. Listen to each other during this time. I LOVE when Final Focus has clash!!!
**Crossfire is an important part of the debate. I don't flow it but I do listen. If you want something that occured during crossfire to be weighed in the round you MUST bring it up during one of the speeches.
*In Congressional Debate - please remember this is a speaking and debate activity. I want to see rebuttal arguments as well as new arguments for the side you are supporting. Prepared speeches are nice but if you are any speaker after the first aff/neg, please provide some argumentation with sound evidence. Make sure you have a good balance between old and new arguments.
I am a current engineer at Ordr Inc. I've judged for Dougherty Valley High School in multiple events, including Extemp, PuFo, and forms of prep speech for about 5 years.
I'm usually most interested in how well speakers respond to arguments and effectively communicate their ideas in a way that's easy to understand and that makes logical sense. The flow of debate is extremely important, and I will be docking points for rehash. Clothing and appearance do not influence my decisions too greatly, just be sure to remain respectful and composed throughout the round, and well as before and after. Make sure your warrants and evidence are solid and that you explain them effectively. Know your facts, express them properly, and you're good to go.
I generally favor evidence based debates with clear impacts, and much appreciate it when debaters can, at the end of the round, synthesize their voting issues and why I should go aff/neg. While I am alright with speed, I do also generally favor more traditional type Public Forum debate.
I have debated in some capacity at some point in my life. i'm a normal flay judge.
- WorldStar and TKO rules are in effect.
- tech > truth but there is a threshold of believability for your arguments. if you claim that the sky is neon orange, you better have some EXCELLENT evidence for it. also, if you're argument is straight up offensive i will not remain tabula rasa.
- I have never learned theory in my life, so I am not receptive to it. However, if you feel like running theory and get your opponent's ok to run it, you're welcome to run it at your own risk. Might make the round more interesting...
- light cussing is fine but full on spewing invective is not fine. It will not count toward your WorldStar status.
- I can generally flow relatively quickly but if you're gearing up to pull up speechdocs I will stop flowing. I will only flow what I comprehend.
- please don't be disrespectful. If you are disrespectful then I will be disrespectful to you :((. I don't care if you have fun or not, that's up to you. But don't make it unfun for other people.
- Weighing and warrants are important, they're what win rounds. Weigh before final focus and have a clear narrative. If no weighing is done throughout the round I will default to some stupid weighing mechanism like "who weaponizes the gay frogs". No one wants that. Also, I won't vote for an argument I don't understand.
- No independent offense in rebuttal.
- second rebuttal is required to at least frontline turns, otherwise they are considered dropped.
- Please signpost.
- Be as aggressive or passive as you want in cross, i'm usually not listening unless it starts to become whack. Aggressive =/= disrespectful. If both teams agree you can literally use cross as prep time if you want.
- Don't postround please, the round is over and you should have made it clear during round.
- If a card becomes heavily disputed in round, I will call it.
- If a warrant for an argument is not given, "this is not warranted" is a valid response.
- If the response is analytical and not empirical, "this is not carded" is not a valid response.
- speaks start from 27 and go up from there. If I give you a 27 I think you were kinda poopoo. A 28 means you were aight. 29 means you were very nice, and a 30 means you were very very nice. Anything below 27 means that I think you're a terrible person
- Don't go more than 10 seconds overtime. I'll stop listening to what you say after that. Abuse prep and your speaks will tank.