2021 — NSDA Campus,
Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am an ex-three year NCFLs/NSDA debater and State Quarterfinalist. Did mostly Public Forum, dabbled in LD for a time. I will primarily be judging off of what I see on the flow, but don't expect to be able to win a round off of an obscure rule or technicality. It's fairly simple, You out-argue your opponent, and you'll most likely win the round. I also keep crossfire in mind.
Speaker points: I'll award speaker points as most judges would, but I'll be paying attention as well to general behavior during the round. If you are arguing with your partner, or scolding them, expect to lose some points unless it is justified.
Pacing: Feel free to speak as fast as you wish. If you are too fast for me, You'll know.
PF: I will be watching the flow. I am fine with "unique" argumentation, but let me know beforehand to mentally prepare. My default framing is likely to be cost benefit analysis unless a different framework is laid out during the round.
LD: I am not as familiar with LD, I have done it before though. So, if you are going to use a highly technical argument (which I am not opposed to), you are going to have to work a little to explain it. Otherwise, same deal as PF, focus on keeping your flow consistent throughout the round and focus on your voters. I favor any impacting that gives me a clear way to weigh against your opponent.
Policy: N.A. Wanted to do policy, never got the opportunity.
Atmosphere/Tips: Debate is intended to be an educational experience for all parties involved. This has a couple implications.
1. If you are openly rude or talk down to your opponents, it will detract from all of our ability to understand your case and argumentation. A good debater doesn't need to belittle his competition. Keep this in mind.
2. Oftentimes laughter can be a great tool to break the monotony of a debate. While not needed, adding personality to your speeches helps all involved retain your information and make the debate flow smoothly.
3. Keep in mind that everyone is human. Don't go for the throat if your opponent happens to misword/misquote in their speech. It won't get you very far.
I was a PF debater in high school, have been judging for years and have recently started coaching.
PF: I am a flow judge and like to see a clean line-by-line in rebuttal. Be sure you are not only responding to the argument your opponents' present but also the impact. Tell me why they can't access their impact in rebuttal. In summary, you should begin tying up any loose ends and begin to weigh. Tell me why your opponents can't access their impacts or why your impacts are bigger and better. Lives are a good default impact that is easy to compare. Final focus should be almost entirely voters. Give me 2 or 3 good reasons why I should vote for you. Don't make final focus a mini rebuttal. A good final focus does go over the entire round or every argument. Only focus on what you think you're winning. In terms of framework, unless one is proposed by either team I will default to util. In summary and final focus, tell me how your arguments/impacts align with the framework and why your opponents aren't meeting the framework.
LD: I have less experience in LD but will be able to follow more complex arguments. Be sure to talk about impacts explicitly and how they align to your value and criterion. Focus on the topic at hand, not the nature of debate or how your opponent is debating, except if they are being discriminatory. I am a flow judge through and through. Spend time developing clear answers to values and impacts that your opponent brings up and counter any arguments brough up against your case. A lot of LD arguments can become convoluted so take time to be clear so I have a clear understanding of what you are trying to say.
Speed: I can understand speed, but the faster you talk the less I will write down. As a flow judge, talking incomprehensibly or too fast could be detrimental to your success in the round.
Roadmaps: I won't time your roadmaps as long as you identify them as roadmaps before you start talking. Keep them brief. Don't waste time by saying that the order will be con then pro during first rebuttal. If you are going to talk about specific arguments identify those in your roadmap.
Also if it sounds like you can't breath, you're talking too fast.
Overall: Be civil. Don't yell at your opponents, partner or me.
Notes about all format paradigms:This round is absolutely NOT all about you. Those judges are not doing you any favors because that is NOT how the world works. This activity is all about adapting to the judge. So read the below if you want to win. Also, I'll get right to it instead of any ego-driven list of where I debated or what I won or who coached me. That's either arrogant or lazy or an inside privileged allusion to some natcircut elitism. You'll have to read actual things.
PF Paradigm: I grew up debating and coaching policy. Now, I've been coaching and judging PF debate for many years now, so I'm not a policy judge out of water, so to speak. I just probably have policy tendencies in the back of my head and I think it's only fair to admit that. Regardless of whether the PF topic is a policy-like topic or one that is an "on balance" issue, I'm looking at teams to show "two worlds". What does the world of the pro look like vs the world of the con? That kind of comparison is very influential in my decisions.
BUT - I was always a dinosaur in the policy pool. So take almost nothing else from that. For example, my policy background also tends to make some PF debaters believe I love counterplans in PF. I have to say I struggle with them here. Showing me an example of what the world you're defending looks like is great. Adopting a limited plan that means you're not really defending the entire resolution? I have a hard time justifying that in this division of debate. Ethical/kritikal ground is fine and some resolutions lend themselves to it more than others; just keep in mind some K ground requires so much depth to win that you're going to be hard pressed for time in this format.
I'm 100% fine with frameworks. I don't want to see the debate get to a super-technical policy debate fight on this, but it's often a very influential part of the round.
I am aware that PF speed exists. It shouldn't. The core of PF was that it could be judged by the "average educated citizen" and I love that about this division. Policy speed killed policy debate in my area. I left the division for a reason.
Source indicts are valid; I'm not sure why judges dismiss them so quickly. Clearly they work best when opposed with a quality source of your own.
Truth > Tech because we already live in a society where truth means far too little. I'm not contributing to that.
I will time you. I seriously cannot comprehend judges that are too lazy or claim they just can't be bothered to do so. It's my job and I'm doing it. Feel free to time along, but mine are right.
Ethics? Important. Theory run to get a cheap win? Offensive. If you don't even know the difference between content and trigger warnings (and only know the sadly underinformed circuit norm)...don't. Happy to discuss this to educate those who are interested.
Don't lie. Claiming "they dropped X" when I have multiple responses on my sheet is at minimum a drop in speaker points. Likely you lose that argument entirely.
Did you read the part about speed earlier? Do so.
Finally, I like a good, competitive round, but debate should never be obnoxious or rude.
Policy Paradigm -I profess to have a n old-school PURE policy paradigm. What the heck does that mean? Look up the strict definition of policy paradigm from awhile back, and you will read that policy meant a judge sat in the back and voted for what he/she felt was the best policy for the United States. In other words, they used the voting lense of the president. EVERYTHING you do in my round should be argued under that approach; I am a president. Not specifically any president, just a hypothetical president. I am NOT asking you to perform and call me the president or anything like that. I'm just so old now that I have to define the paradigm of policymaking or people don't know what it means anymore. Enough of the overview; below is the line by line. (Oh, and failure to adapt is a huge reason teams lose. I mean what I say.)
Speed - Don't. Yes, because you have time constraints, you'll have to speak faster than you really would in front of the president. I'll bend that much. You still wouldn't argue auctioneer-style. Go with this guide - if you think you might be too fast, you are. Depth, not amount, is going to sway my decision. No amount of "but they didn't counter the six T-blips we fired off in the first two minutes of our 1NC" is going to help you...because I am not going to get them all down. You respect the office or you don't get an audience with the president. And this is a speaking competition; I won't read the speech doc and do your work for you.
Topicality - You might think this can't be argued, but it can. If, as president, I hired two teams of advisors to debate what I should do on a topic, and one of them did something besides what I hired them to argue, I'd fire them. In the case of the round, I drop them. It also means that if the other side isn't really non-topical, resist just showing off your silly squirrel definition. I am by far more of a "story T" judge than a "technical T" judge. Tell me the abuse story (in-round or potential) and explain a small number of good theory points. More is not better.
DAs and advantages - Clearly, the president has to be concerned about nuclear war. But to suggest to him that everything leads there? You'd be quickly dismissed and given an ambassadorship to someplace not so nice. This goes for both sides. Go there and all the other team has to do is spend 20 seconds showing how poor the logic is and your impact goes away. I like real impacts because I am trying to (fictitiously) decide real policy. On politics DAs, don't worry about am I this president or xo=bad or anything like that. I'm not delusional. I know I'm not the president, and I'm not trying to artificially limit your ground. Run the Trump good or Trump bad or whatever. The only thing I will not allow is a DA that destroys affirmative fiat. So, no “you spend capital to pass plan” DAs. However, “reaction” DAs, even those that involve political capital, are obviously very important.
CPs - Absolutely, within the framework. Tell me we should let China do it; we should consult the EU first, etc. You must keep the CP non-topical and competitive however. I hired two teams of COMPETING advisors, not lobbyists who will each sell me their own aff plan.
K - Be selective. Kritiks that function in the real world with policy alternatives are great. The president absolutely should care about the moral underpinnings of the Aff case or neg counterplan. They don't always, but I will. On the other hand, if the American people will laugh me out of office for rejecting a good idea because of some bizarre solipsistic construction a strung-out philosopher dreamed up, I'm not voting on it.
"Performance" I'm trying to do what's best for our country ON THE RESOLUTION. If your performance makes the resolution tangential, it isn't going to get my ballot. If you're creative, you can show how the president could be helpful in nearly any kritikal affirmative, even one about the debate round itself. You just need to tie it to the paradigm. Also see the comments on non-realistic K above.
Things I'm frustrated about currently: 1.Teams that just say "On the X Flow" and then read a card. I have seven cards on that flow. Where do you want me to put it? I'm not going to do your work for you. 2. Perms. You don't just get to throw out one-sentence perms, do nothing else, then make them a 5 minute rebuttal. If I don't understand how the perm functions after the 2AC, I'm not voting on it. It's the same with a K alt - fair ground, folks.
Finally, the president is a busy man. You do your arguing and don't expect me to do it for you by calling for all your cards at the end of the round. If you didn't make it clear enough, I guess you didn't consider it a very important point for me to consider. I'll only call for cards that are disputed in the round if I need to see them to make a decision.
I did PF, Congress, and Extemp at Madison West HS in Wisconsin. Since then I have been debating in college and judging for three years.
If you have any questions or have any problems with my paradigm, please tell me before the round or after the round at email@example.com. If you want additional feedback or advice, don’t be afraid to email me after the round.
I’m a flow judge but treat me lay for speed. Slow down. Never spread.
I like fewer pieces of quality offense, a strong narrative, and strong weighing in Final Focus.
No entirely new arguments after Rebuttal, no new supporting evidence or entirely new responses after first summary. Cards should only be used when they offer unique expertise, data, or examples to an argument, and I accept and encourage uncarded arguments.
Citation is author, source, date said once and then probably never again.
Don’t use authors, or sources as taglines.
I default to a utilitarian cost-benefit analysis framework. This means you need to provide arguments to prefer your framework over this default and your opponents can defend the default framework. I believe having a default allows for a wide range of arguments and forces debaters to actually engage with their frameworks rather than just try to sneak it in on fiat.
Use realistic impacts with smaller magnitudes and probability weighing over just pretending like everything causes World War 3 or financial crisis.
Please no Debate Theory unless its to address in-round unfair behavior, most especially discrimination. If your opponents, myself, or another judge discriminates against you in-round you should tell your coach and tournament organizers. I may drop you for discriminatory behavior, being excessively rude, or obviously and intentionally lying.
Speaker Points: Unless the tournament offers some sort of scale for judges to use for speaker points, I will award a 28-29 on average and will rarely go below 27 unless you were rude in round.
I have been coaching Policy Debate full time since 2014. Arms sales is my 7th year of coaching.
I view my primary objective in evaluating the round to be coming to a decision that requires the least “judge intervention.”
If debaters do not give me instructions on how to evaluate the debate, and/or leave portions of the debate unresolved, they should not expect to get my ballot. My decision will end up being arbitrary, and (while I will likely still try to make my arbitrary decision less arbitrary than not) I will not feel bad.
In the final rebuttals, debaters should be giving me a “big picture” assessment of what’s going on in the debate to give them the best chance to get my ballot. Extending 25 arguments in the rebuttals doesn’t do much for me if you’re not explaining how they interact with the other team’s arguments and/or why they mean you win the round. In my ideal debate round, both 2NR and 2AR have given me at least a 45 second overview explaining why they’ve won the debate where they dictate the first paragraph of my ballot for me.
Important things to note:
-I don’t ever think Topicality is an RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
-If you don’t signpost AND slow down for tags, assume that I am missing at least 50% of your tags. This means saying a number or a letter or “AND” or “NEXT” prior to the tag of your card, and preferably telling me which of your opponents arguments I should flow it next to. Speech docs are not substitutes for clarity and signposting.
-I'm probably a 7 on speed, but please see above ^^^^
-High-theory will be an uphill battle.
-I would prefer not to call for cards, I believe it’s the debaters job to clearly communicate their arguments; if you tell me they’re misrepresenting their cards – I will probably call for them. But if I call for it and they’re not misrepresenting their evidence you’ll lose a lot of credibility with me and my cognitive biases will likely run amuck. Don’t let this deter you from calling out bad evidence.
-You can win the line-by-line debate in the 2AR but still lose the debate if you fail to explain what any of it means and especially how it interacts with the 2NR's args.
-Don’t assume I have any familiarity with your Acronyms, Aff, or K literature
-Swearing is probably word inefficient
-You’re in a bad spot if you’re reading new cards in the final rebuttals, very low propensity for me to evaluate them
-CPs that result in the aff are typically going to be a very hard sell, so are most other artificially competitive CPs. Perms are cool, so are time tradeoffs for the aff when this happens. If you really think you've got a sick techy CP make sure to go out of your way to win questions of competition/superior solvency / a specific link to the aff plan alone for your NB
-I think debate is a competition.
-the best “framework” arguments are probably “Topicality” arguments and almost probably don’t rely on cards from debate coaches and definitely don’t rely on me reading them after the round
-Impact everything out... Offense and Defense... I want to hear you telling me why your argument is more pressing and important than the other team's. I hate having to intervene... "Magnitude," "Probability," and "Timeframe" are not obscenities, please use them.
Arguments you shouldn’t waste your time on with me:
-Topicality = RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
I am going to have the easiest time evaluating rounds where:
-warrant and evidence comparison is made
-weighing mechanisms and impact calculus guiding how I evaluate micro & macro level args are utilized
-the aff advocates a topical plan
-the DA turns and Outweighs the Case, or the CP solves most of the case and there's a clear net benefit that the perm doesn't solve for
-the negative has a well-researched neg strategy
-I am not expected to sort through high-theory
-the 2NR/2AR doesn't go for everything and makes strategic argument selection
Presumptions I bring into the round that probably cannot be changed:
-I’m voting Neg on presumption until the aff reads the 1AC
-Topicality is never an RVI (*this is distinct from kritiks of the neg’s interp/use of topicality*)
-There is no 3NR
-Oppression of humans = bad (note: I do not know how this compares to the end of the planet/human race, debaters are going to have to provide weighing mechanisms for me.)
-Earth existing = good (note: I do not know how this compares to other impacts like oppression of humans, debaters are going to have to provide some weighing mechanisms for me.)
-I will have a very difficult time bringing myself to vote for any sort of Consult CP if the aff even mumbles some type of “PERM”
-Once the 2AC perms, presumption goes to the neg to prove the perm unworkable or undesirable if the CP/Alt is not textually/functionally competitive
Unimportant things to note:
-Plz read your plan before you read solvency – I will be annoyed and lost if you don’t
-I really enjoy author indicts if/when they’re specific – it shows a team has worked hard and done their research
-I really enjoy case specific strategies – I enjoy it when a team can demonstrate that they've worked hard to prepare a case specific strategy
-I enjoy GOOD topicality debates
-I’ve been involved in policy debate in some capacity for 11 years now – Education is my 5th topic coaching.
-I put my heart and soul into policy debate for four years on high school. I worked tirelessly to put out specific strategies for specific affirmatives and I like to see debaters who I can tell have done the same and are having fun. So, show me you know your case better than anyone else if you're affirmative, or on the neg, show me specific links and answers to the affirmative... I tend to reward this in speaker points. ...That being said, generics are fun, fine, and essential for the negative team. Feel free to run them, you will not be penalized in any way.
I'm good for just about anything that is well debated: T, Theory, DAs, CPs, Ks... I can even be persuaded to vote solely on inherency if it is well debated - if the plan has literally already happened, for the love of god please punish the aff.
That being said, I enjoy seeing a strategy in argument selection, and appreciate when arguments don't blatantly contradict each other (i.e. the DA linking to the CP, or Cap Bad and an Econ Impact on politics). Especially in the 2NR.
I am pretty tab when it comes to LD. My goal is to reach a decision that requires the least amount of judge intervention.
Signpost and slow down on tags. Slow down even more for theory args. Spreading through tags and theory interps is absolutely not the move if you want me to be flowing your speech. I will not be flowing from the doc.
Slow down. No, you don’t have to be slow and you should certainly feel free to read the body of your cards at whatever max speed you are comprehensible at. If you’ve used signposting, slowed down on tags and pre-written analytics, you’re golden. It's inexcusable and unforgivable to not have signposting in the 1ac.
I come into the round presuming:
-the aff should be defending the resolution
-the aff is defending the entirety of the resolution
-my ballot answers the resolutional question
-debate is a game
These presumptions can likely be changed.
Stylistically agnostic, but probably not your best judge for:
-dense phil that you’re spreading through
-undisclosed affs that don’t defend the entirety of the resolution
-process CPs that result in the aff
-more than 2 condo
-friv theory - I ❤️ substance
-Probably not interested in hearing condo if it’s just 2 condo positions
-theory interps that require me to ignore other speeches
I think that I have a low propensity to vote for most arguments regarding things that happen outside of the round or prior to the 1ac. I am not interested in adjudicating arguments that rely on screenshots of chats, wikis, or discord servers.
Questions, or interested in my thoughts on particular subjects not covered in my LD paradigm? Check out my POLICY PARADIGM above!
Public Forum Paradigm:
First speakers get to ask the first question in crossfire. If you ask about the status of this in round, expect to get one less speakerpoint than you would have otherwise.
File Share > e-mail chain.
Depth > Breadth. You only have four minutes to construct your position, would far prefer to hear 2 well-developed contentions rather than 3-4 blippy ones unless they are incredibly straight-forward. Much less interested in adjudicating “argument checkers” than most.
I have been a high school debater in the past, back in the days when we pushed around dollies of totes packed with paper evidence. While I have experience with debate I have only been back into judging for the past 2 or 3 years. At this point I feel comfortable with all the changes.
My background as a debater is in Policy debate. My teammates and I thought that tabula rasa was the coolest paradigm, so that's probably still influencing my decisions to this day. It's pretty much, I have no predispositions so you tell me how to vote.
I try to flow every argument and evidence card as thoroughly as I can but I need your help. Please speak clearly and keep your arguments in a coherent order. I can handle speed if you have a lot to cover in your speech. However, weigh that with the fact that if it was too fast for me to follow you will need to clarify your arguments as soon as possible. If you wait too long to make your arguments clear to me then it will be too late for me to fairly weigh them against others in the round.
"Since time is so limited, keep it simple and straightforward. Direct refutation, line by line responses and precise attacks are easiest for me to weigh, so why not do that?" Sage advice I nabbed from another judge.
In crossfire I like to see that you are paying attention. Ask lots of questions and don't leave room for awkward pauses.
Experience: I started Neenah's Public Forum team and debated at a passing level for 1 year. I have a working knowledge of debate terms.
Philosophy: Education is in many ways descended from Socrates and his teaching through questioning. Debate as an activity is directly descended from the sophistic tradition, the same sophistic tradition that killed Socrates. In order for this activity to continue to exist everyone who partakes in it must commit to valuing truth and discussion above winning an argument. Without such an acceptance debate loses its educational value and becomes nothing more than head-to-head forensics. As such I am very inclined to vote against an argument that I feel has been intentionally and deliberately deceitful. In my experience in PF I ran realllly sketchy cards so I will pull them. I will give the benefit of the doubt but do not try to twist evidence to say what you want it to. In line with this value of truth don't try to sneak in arguments, make your position clear and allow the opposition to respond, more valuation will be given to strong arguments that are adequately defended than weak arguments that sneak through unnoticed.
Chillout. I get it you are the smartest person in the room and you need to prove it to everyone but that doesn't mean you can be a jerk and talk down to your opposition or teammates.
Speed is fine, I can spread and listen to spreading and understand it. That said this is public forum not policy you should be trying to win me to your side not bombard me with information and force me to agree with you. If the other team can't understand you clash can't happen and then the activity loses its value.
Impact calc and weighing of final arguments will give you the most control over what I think about when making a decision.
Don't steal prep, if I feel like you are stealing prep I will have to guess how much has been stolen and that isn't fun for anyone. Just tell me when you are taking prep and it'll work fine.
I did PF debate for 4 years, forensics for 3, and graduated in 2021. I am now going to college at UW-Green Bay Sheboygan Campus.
There are two big caveats to my judging. First, speak at a pace that is suitable for a Walmart cashier or bus driver. I prefer you are slow and clear as opposed to being fast and jumbled. Second, make your arguments make sense. Don't overuse the debate jargon and be clear in the narrative of the round. Do these two things well and at the very least your speaks will be a bit higher.
I will listen to most arguments but keep in mind if you think your argument is too weird, I probably do too. As long as you both take yourselves seriously, I will (probably) take you seriously as well.
I know it also probably doesn't need to be said, but be civil. I can assure you that I will be making weird faces at all of the crazy stuff you guys say, but I can do that because my camera will be off (if we are online). Don't do it to the other team (unless your camera is also off of course). As for debating in person, try not to make faces at all because it is just rude and kind of lame.
Post-round feedback will be kept at a minimum as we all have lives outside listening to a judge babble about nothing. I will try to be as clear, concise, and thorough as possible in my written ballot.
If you want verbal feedback on the round beyond what I put on the ballot, let me know after the round and we can work something over another video call or something between rounds. I really want to avoid giving this feedback after the round because it will hold up the entire tournament.
As for the virtual stuff, I will have my camera on only when I am speaking at length and keep it (and my mic obviously) off otherwise. I do not mind what you do with your camera. Having it off or on will not affect whether you win the round or your speaks.
Tl;DR: I've done debate, be human, be nice, I won't give verbal feedback unless you ask, do whatever you want with your camera.
General: I am a past debater with 3 years spent debating public forum. Overall I strongly prefer quality over quantity when it comes to arguments and evidence. Please keep in mind that I know very little about this debate topic, you must explain to me what your evidence and arguments are saying. Evidence is great, but remember you need to convince me, so make sure to construct a narrative for your evidence and arguments as to why you provide the best "world."
Theory/Counter plans: Please debate either for the resolution or against it, do not pull in any separate plans that are not already part of the resolution or status quo.
Speed: Please speak calmly and clearly. If you speak at a speed I cannot understand, I will not flow your argument or evidence.
Citing Evidence: If you refer to evidence you have previously brought up, please summarize the evidence. If you just say a name and a date I will not remember what evidence you are referring to.
Final Focus: Final focus needs to be spent weighing the round for me. I would like for you to emphasize specifically on my flow what points I should be voting for and why I should care about them.
Framework: If a framework is provided, WITH GOOD ARGUMENTATION, I will use it in the round. If no framework is provided or the framework debate becomes gridlocked, I will use my own utilitarian calculus for judging.