Gonzaga Debate Institute Tournament 2021
2021 — Online, WA/US
GDI Policy Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Director of Debate, University of Kentucky
21st year judging
Updated September 2017
Go ahead and put me on the doc chain email@example.com. Please be aware that I do not read along so clarity and explaining your evidence matters a lot. Many debates I will ask for a compiled document after the round. I reward clear line by line debating with mountains of points and wins.
Better team usually wins---X---------------------the rest of this
Team should adapt---------------X----------------judge should adapt
Hester-------------------------X---------------------Read all the cards
Conditionality bad-------------------------------X---debate should be hard
Nothing competes------------------------------X---counterplans are fun
States CP good--------X------------------------------States CP bad
UQ matters most----------------------X-------------Link matters most
Line by Line-X-----------------------------------------Flow Anarchy
Clarity-X------------------------------------------------Srsly who doesn't like clarity
Lots of evidence--------------------------------------X-lots of really good evidence
29 is the new 28---X-----------------------------------grumpy old guy (true for other reasons but less so on this)
Civility-X-------------------------------------------------My Dean would cancel our program if they saw this
Adrienne F. Brovero, Director of Debate, University of Mary Washington
25+ years coaching
Please label your email chain subject line with Team names, tourney, round.
Your prep time does not end until you have hit send on the email.
Clarity - Cannot emphasize enough how important clarity is, whether online or in-person.
Highlighting - Highlighting has become a disgrace. Highlighting should not result in anti-grammatical shards of arguments. Highlighting should not result in misrepresentation of the author's intent/ideas. Quite frankly, some highlighting is so bad, you would have been better served not reading the evidence. When highlighting, please put yourself in the judge's shoes for a moment and ask yourself if you would feel comfortable deciding a debate based on how you've highlighted that card. If the answer is no, reconsider your highlighting.
SERIOUSLY - LINE-BY-LINE. NUMBER.
If you like to say "I will do the link debate here" - I am probably not the best judge for you. I would prefer you clash with link arguments in each instance they happen, as opposed to all in one place. Same is true for every other component of an argument.
- Qualifications - read them. Debate them.
- Line-by-line involves directly referencing the other team's argument ("Off 2AC #3 - Winners Win, group"), then answering it. "Embedded" clash fails if you bury the clash part so deep I can't find the arg you are answering.
- Overviews - overrated. Kinda hate them. Think they are a poor substitute for debating the arguments where they belong on the line-by-line.
Things that are prep time:
- Any time after the official start time that is not a constructive (9 mins), CX (3 mins), rebuttal (6 mins), or a brief roadmap. Everything else is prep time.
- Putting your speech doc together - including saving doc, setting up email chain, putting doc on a jump drive, etc.
- Asking for cards outside of CX time.
- Setting up your podium/stand.
- Putting your flows in order.
- Finding pens, flows, timers.
Debate like this: http://vimeo.com/5464508
Communication: I like it. I appreciate teams that recognize communication failures and try to correct them. If I am not flowing, it usually means communication is breaking down. If I am confused or have missed an argument, I will frequently look up and give you a confused look – you should read this as an indication that the argument, at minimum, needs to be repeated, and may need to be re-explained. I am more than willing to discount a team’s arguments if I didn’t understand or get their arguments on my flow.
Speaker points: Points are influenced by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: Communication skills, speaking clarity, road-mapping, obnoxiousness, disrespectfulness, theft of prep time, quality of and sufficient participation in 2 cross-examinations and 2 speeches, the quality of the debate, the clarity of your arguments, the sophistication of your strategy, and your execution. I have grown uncomfortable with the amount of profanity used during debates – do not expect high points if you use profanity.
Paperless/Prep Time: Most tournaments have a strict decision time clock, and your paperless time cuts into decision time. Most of you would generally prefer the judges has the optimal amount of time to decide. Please be efficient. Prep runs until you are pulling the jump drive out of your computer or the email is sent. I will be understanding of tech fails, but not as much negligence or incompetence. Dealing with your laptop’s issues, finding your flows, looking for evidence, figuring out how to operate a timer, setting up stands, etc. – i.e. preparation – all come out of prep time.
In terms of viewing your evidence myself, I prefer email over flashing - my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, so please include me on speech doc emails.
• I flow.
• Unless both teams instruct me otherwise, I will flow both teams.
• I evaluate the debate based primarily on what I have flowed.
• I frequently flow CX. I carefully check the 2AR for new arguments, and will not hold the 2NR accountable for unpredictable explanations or cross applications.
• I try to get down some form of tag/cite/text for each card. This doesn’t mean I always do. I make more effort to get the arg than I do the cite or date, so do not expect me to always know what you’re talking about when you solely refer to your “Henry 4” evidence.
• I reward those who make flowing easier by reading in a flowable fashion (road-mapping & signposting, direct refutation/clash, clarity, reasonable pace, emphasis of key words, reading for meaning, no distractions like tapping on the tubs, etc.). If you are fond of saying things like "Now the link debate" or "Group the perm debate" during the constructives, and you do not very transparently embed the clash that follows, do not expect me to follow your arguments or connect dots for you. Nor should you expect spectacular points.
• I appreciate efforts to evaluate and compare claims and evidence in the debate.
• I pay attention to quals and prefer they are actually read in the debate. I am extremely dismayed by the decline in quality of evidence (thank you, Internets) and the lack of teams’ capitalization on questionable sources.
• I don’t like to read evidence if I don’t feel the argument it makes has been communicated to me (e.g. the card was mumbled in the 2AC, or only extended by cite, or accompanied by a warrantless explanation, etc.).
• I also don’t like reading the un-highlighted portions of evidence unless they are specifically challenged by the opposing team.
• I should not have to read the un-highlighted parts to understand your argument – the highlighted portion should be a complete argument and a coherent thought. If you only read a claim, you only have a claim – you don’t get credit for portions of the evidence you don’t reference or read. If you only read a non-grammatical fragment, you are running the risk of me deciding I can’t coherently interpret that as an arg.
• I don’t like anonymous pronouns or referents in evidence like “she says” without an identification of who “she” is – identify “she” in your speech or “she” won’t get much weight in my decision.
• If you hand me evidence to read, please make clear which portions were actually read.
Decision calculus: Procedural determinations usually precede substantive determinations. First, I evaluate fairness questions to determine if actions by either team fundamentally alter the playing field in favor of the aff or neg. Then, I evaluate substantive questions. Typically, the aff must prove their plan is net beneficial over the status quo and/or a counterplan in order to win.
Topicality & plan-related issues:
• The aff needs to have a written plan text.
• It should be topical.
• T is a voter. Criticisms of T are RVIs in sheep’s clothing.
• Anti-topical actions are neg ground.
• Have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation of how nontraditional advocacies or demands are meaningfully different from plans, other than they are usually either vague and/or non-topical.
• On a related note, I don’t get why calling one’s advocacy a performance or demand renders a team immune from being held responsible for the consequences of their advocacy.
• In relation to plans and permutations, I value specificity over vagueness – specificity is necessary for meaningful debate about policies. However, please do not consider this an invitation to run dumb spec arguments as voting issues – absent a glaring evasiveness/lack of specificity, these are typically more strategic as solvency args.
Adjudicating critique or performance debates is not my strong suit. Most of these debates take place at a level of abstraction beyond my comprehension. If you have a habit of referring to your arguments by the author’s name (e.g. “Next off – Lacan”), I am not a very good judge for you. I don’t read very much in the advanced political philosophy or performance studies areas. This means, most of the time, I don’t know what the terms used in these debates mean. I am much more the applied politics type, and tend to think pragmatically. This means if you want to go for a critical or performance argument in front of me, you need to explain your arguments in lay-speak, relying less on jargon and author names, and more on warrants, analogies, empirical examples, and specifics in relation to the policy you are critiquing/performing for/against – i.e. persuade me. It also helps to slow it down a notch. Ask yourself how quickly you could flow advanced nuclear physics – not so easy if you aren’t terribly familiar with the field, eh? Well, that’s me in relation to these arguments. Flowing them at a rapid rate hinders my ability to process the arguments. Additionally, make an effort to explain your evidence as I am not nearly as familiar with this literature as you are. Lastly, specifically explain the link and impact in relation to the specific aff you are debating or the status quo policy you are criticizing. Statements like "the critique turns the case” don't help me. As Russ Hubbard put it, in the context of defending his demining aff many years ago, “How does our plan result in more landmines in the ground? Why does the K turn the case?” I need to know why the critique means the plan’s solvency goes awry – in words that link the critique to the actions of the plan. For example: Which part of the harms does the critique indict, with what impact on those harms claims? What would the plan end up doing if the critique turns its solvency? In addition, I find it difficult to resolve philosophical questions and/or make definitive determinations about a team’s motives or intentions in the course of a couple of hours.
I strongly urge you to re-read my thoughts above on “Communication” before debating these arguments in front of me.
I generally lean negative on CP theory: topical, plan-inclusive, exclusion, conditional, international fiat, agent, etc. Aff teams should take more advantage of situations where the counterplan run is abusive at multiple levels – if the negative has to fend off multiple reasons the CP is abusive, their theory blocks may start to contradict. Both counterplan and permutation texts should be written out. “Do both” is typically meaningless to me – specify how. The status quo could remain a logical option, but growing convinced this should be debated. [NOTE THAT IS A FALL '18 CHANGE - DEBATE IT OUT] Additionally, another shout-out for communication - many theory debates are shallow and blippy - don't be that team. I like theory, but those type of debates give theory a bad name.
I like DAs. I’m willing to vote on stock issue arguments like inherency or “zero risk of solvency”.
IF PREP IS NOT RUNNING YOU SHOULD NOT BE MUTED. IF PREP IS NOT RUNNING YOUR CAMERA SHOULD BE ON. IF THE SPEECH HAS NOT STARTED YOU SHOULD NOT BE SCROLLING THROUGH THE DOCUMENT.
YOU CAN OBVIOUSLY MUTE YOURSELF TO PREP, THAT IS A-OKAY! MUTE YOUR CAMERA FOR ALL I CARE, WHAT I CARE ABOUT IS TIMES WHEN THERE IS DOWNTIME AND NO TIMER IS RUNNING.
THIS IS FOR PEOPLE WHO STOP PREP AND THEN TAKE A MINUTE TO SEND THE EMAIL, STOP PREP AND THEN MUTE THEIR CAMERA AND MIC, AND THOSE WHO BLANTANTLY STEAL PREP TIME. IF PREP TIME IS NOT RUNNING AND YOU ARE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND I WILL ASSUME YOU ARE STEALING PREP.
TL;DR: DON'T STEAL PREP, DON'T BE SUS.
YOU HAVE AN EQUAL PREP TIME TO SOLVE TECH ISSUES. IF YOU DO NOT FIX TECH ISSUES IN THE ALLOTTED TIME, I WILL START YOUR ACTUAL PREP TIMER, IF YOU USE UP ALL YOUR PREP TIME I WILL START YOUR SPEECH TIME.
CLARITY IS NOW MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. SPEAK CLEARLY. SPEAK AT A RATE OF SPEED THAT ALLOWS YOU TO MAINTAIN CLARITY.
Give an order, speak clearly, do not exceed the speed at which you can speak, do not whisper, do not interrupt your partner excessively, give warrants, talk about evidence, time yourself, use all your speech time, go in order, only go for one thing in the 2NR, make a tonal distinction between cards and tags, tell me when you go from one sheet of paper to another sheet of paper, go for dropped arguments and extend dropped arguments don't just say "they dropped ______."
You do you. I'm okay with any style of debate.
I will vote for any argument that is explained, warranted, and impacted.
If you are reading policy arguments explain them a bit more, I did critical debate for 6 years.
Clarity is important.
Clipping will result in a loss & lowest possible points.
If policy team vs policy team the one who does more explanation and judge instruction wins.
If clash, do what you do. Don't shy away from Cap K/FW; if it works run it. More than willing to vote on FW if it is won. Same goes for Aff vs K, if you win it I will vote for it.
If K team vs K team the one who does more explanation and judge instruction wins.
EMAIL CHAIN: email@example.com
ferris cm (21) -> west georgia cf (25)
firstname.lastname@example.org - put me on the chain.
conflicts: Leon Goldstein BE, Ferris MT, OES CP, Lane Tech MG, Damien A(?)
I update this basically whenever a debate forces me to intervene with a default I didn't realize I had or, obviously, when I change my mind about something which I had previously held as true (this happens often).
I debated for ferris high school in Spokane, Washington for 3 years (although only 2 nationally). My senior year I won WA state and attended the TOC. I now debate for the University of West Georgia with Robin Forsyth. I did K debate in High School and continue to do it in college, although I appreciate straight up policy debates more than I let on in my own choice of arguments. Notable people who influence me include, but are not limited to: Geoff Lundeen, Sarah Lundeen, Joe Skoog, David Sposito, Robin Forsyth, Campbell Nofsinger, and others.
I'll give you +.1 speaker points if you open source, tell me after the 2AR.
There are no rules in debate except speech times; anything else is fair game. Do whatever you think is fun, educational, or otherwise makes this activity meaningful to you. I'm as open to critical strategies as I am policy strategies, yet I reserve a special appreciation for positions which can only be described as the opposite of a strategy.
If your positions are counter-intuitive, "edgy", patently not topical, absurd, bold, or otherwise intriguing, I'll be more interested in them. If your positions are not defined by the following categories, I'll be more interested in the quality of the debating than your content, this isn't to say I don't enjoy predictable debates, I just enjoy them for different reasons. There is merit to all arguments, even bad ones. As such I will adapt to you.
Despite my love of bad arguments, I have a very strong disdain for bad evidence. I will read cards I'm told to read or cards I think I need to read to understand the debate. I'll default to your spin if it makes sense but if I'm left confused, your cards better say what you said they said or the RFD will likely be frustrating.
Highlighting has also become abysmal; if your highlighting lacks subjects/predicates/warrants I will be extremely unhappy. If someone tells me that you haven't highlighted a subject in an internal link card I will default to acting as if you have read an internal link card without a subject, zeroing the internal link. Obviously this doesn't mean everything has to be perfect English, but cards should have coherent phrases.
important defaults which will frame my evaluation if they are not challenged (pls challenge them)
Death/suffering are undesirable, terminal impacts. As are any impacts agreed to be impacts by all debaters.
Advocacies are dispositional unless articulated otherwise, you must explicitly tell me to judge kick.
I will flow the debate on paper and evaluate the positions within a tech over truth framework.
You can't use conditionality to get of of a legitimate double turn (RE: cap & biz con).
ALL affirmatives must explain how they resolve their impacts at some point in the debate.
Topicality is a prior, procedural question of competing interpretations about models of debate.
I've judged 17 rounds on the water topic: I've voted aff 5 times and neg 11 times.
-subpoint- formatted: [aff ballots]-[neg ballots]
plan v k debates: 2-4
policy v policy debates - 3-7
k v t debates - 0-0
k v k debates - 0-1
I'm doing minimal work on the water topic and as such you should err on the side of over-explaining.
I'm comfortable in these debates, I read a lot and went for a variety of critical positions in high school (mostly high theory, but obviously am familiar with other literature bases)
I'll default to your explanation of your argument rather than my reading of your authors; anyone who says they understand 100% of Baudrillard is lying. This does mean I want to hear a lot of explanation, I don't need definitions of terms, but I do need you to explain how the K interacts with your opponents arguments and how it's able to re-explain aspects of the world.
Line by line is good; overviews are for explaining things, not debating.
critical affirmatives (and reading topicality against them)
My aff right now does not defend a plan, nor does it read any cards in the 1AC. That should frame how you read this section. My takes here are often contradictory and not useful, but I've laid them out regardless.
Your aff should defend something. I do not care if it's about the topic or not. I do not care if you're really just saying debate is bad and want to impact turn framework. Just give me a reason why I shouldn't vote neg on presumption. If your aff claims to resolve impact scenarios, whatever level they may be on, you're fine.
I think that there's a lot of merit in predictable limits and the depth of clash policy debates produce, I also think there's a lot of good things various critical debates produce. I think impact turning is good but often not sufficient to win absent a reason why your model of debate is good in and of itself.
I don't think framework is a violent position. It is definitionally policing, but I need specific impacts to that policing which outweigh the kinds of debates produced by an orderly, predictable model.
Critical affirmatives need good counter interpretations (ideally based in a textual reading of the resolution, though textual interps are far from required) to supplement their impact turns and check back against negative offense. Absent a way to resolve impact turns, I find myself really confused as to why they matter in the first place.
critiques as a negative position (against both policy and critical affirmatives)
"creatively weave your off case positions together (especially for k teams not going for a one off strategy this can be a truly beautiful thing to watch, though I am definitely here for your one or zero off strats as well)" - Robin Forsyth.
I would prefer these to disprove part of the affirmative, the closer they come to being DA's to the implementation of the plan, the better, but disproving the affirmatives representations, worldview, ideology, etc. is usually sufficient when you're winning framework. I would prefer links be specific to the affirmative, but hey, if they use the state...
The alternative is needed in some debates and completely unnecessary in others; rarely do you need both the alternative and framework in the 2NR. Alternatives are best when they're used to generate link uniqueness, and worst when they just say the aff is bad (because that's what links are for).
As such, the aff should make framework pushes. I will decide between either interp, not some weird middle ground that too often is decided on. I forget who said this but "I prefer to vote on things actually said by debaters" is a good quote. Usually this means the aff either gets to weigh the plan or they don't. When the aff wins framework, I tend to vote aff, when the neg wins framework, I tend to vote neg. Teams should spend time here.
Case debate is necessary to beat extinction outweighs claims and also probably if you want to win a link that's not super generic. It's much easier to vote on a K when the aff is gone even absent winning your criticism of it.
Please tell me what your aff does in the 1AC - too many affs have short, non-specific tags which leave me confused as to what exactly I'm voting on. 2AC overviews should explain the solvency mechanism of the aff with warrants. If I don't understand the aff, I probably won't vote on it.
I like process counterplans when they're specific to the topic or the affirmative, however this is also mediated by a fundamental confusion about their operation when the aff doesn't specify a process. Winning that the counterplan is competitive won't be hard if it actually is competitive, but you will need to hold my hand through this strategy either way. On that note, affirmatives need deficits to counterplans. This is debate 101.
Politics seems destined to be the strategy on the water topic, which makes me sad, but I understand the necessity. If this is the strategy keep me engaged with a good story and specific link evidence, as I find myself tired of hearing the same politics shell across 5 different topics now.
Big case hits are awesome, please read them.
theory - slow down on it - i can only flow so fast.
Theory debates have devolved into block reading and that makes me sad. You should engage your opponents arguments, explain what their model of debate looks like, and explain why it's bad. Impact calc wins these debates.
Campbell Nofsinger (fiancé) and Robin Forsyth (debate partner) collectively convinced me that negative fiat is, in fact, bad and the death of debate. If the 2AR goes for 5 minutes of no neg fiat, the floor of your speaks is a 29. If you win, the floor is 29.5.
I have only a passing familiarity with this activity, I did it once as a sophomore to troll (got to outrounds on a heg aff and 1 off schlag lol) and am currently helping some of my friends. I am probably both better and worse than most for your on face silly arguments (not including tricks). I will enjoy judging counter-intuitive positions and I will vote on them, but if you're reading arguments about "god" or whatever, you should acknowledge that these are much more humorous than they are viable in the 2NR.
Tricks can be funny if the intent is to be funny. If they're just a bunch of unwarranted statements to get someone to drop something so you can avoid being good at this activity, I will find you much more annoying than funny.
I'd prefer for the debate to be as close to a policy round as possible, not necessarily "LARPing" but in terms of organization and form. I will flow on multiple sheets of paper and attempt to organize arguments in a way that makes sense to me.
ambivalent on everything else because this isn't my area of expertise, policy paradigm applies.
In all activities people should be having fun. Slack > Tech > Truth! If you are not having fun, feel free to talk to me whenever. Debate is awesome and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do.
University of West Georgia
First and foremost, I have been out of debate for a while (years). No, that doesn't mean that you need to speak painfully slow nor does it mean you have explain to me what framework or an alternative is. It just means that if something has become common practice in the last few years, you will do yourself some favors by making sure to explain your arguments.
I debated at UWG in college and did so running the full range of arguments from Politics to T to PICs to case debates to Cap to Normativity to etc. etc. I firmly believe that the debate isn't about me, it is about the participants. You do you...and if that means there are competing interpretations about how the debate should function, the role of the ballot, impact calculus, etc...you should probably be prepared to win those arguments instead of hoping that my pre-conceived notions will help you out.
I'm strict on the timer and get very and audibly annoyed when time is being wasted/prep is being stolen. When you say you are ready, be ready. When its time for cross-ex, start asking questions.
I do take notes during cross-ex partially to prevent nonsense about who said what about the status of counterplans/alternatives, but also because I think its an important part of the debate so use it wisely. Lay the foundation for your link arguments, point out the cards/arguments that are bad, use their words against them in speeches....make real use of the time. Otherwise it is a wasted opportunity.
Most theory debates are boring and nitpicky. I respect the need to make the arguments, but if you are going for them, make sure you tailor them to the specific debate/in-round abuse and not just reading a block. Those debates get messy and hard to follow and are rarely well-developed, so if you do it...do it well. That said, I am more sympathetic to clear cases of in-round abuse and I lean aff on Consult/Delay CP theory.
I don't call for a lot of cards and will not reconstruct debates for you. A speech doc is not the same as giving a speech. Debate is an oral activity, so communicate and argue well and I will be much happier than if you read 10 two sentence cards that make the same point badly.
New arguments in the 2NR/2AR are probably not okay and if you decide to go that route, you better have a good and articulated reason why I should take them into consideration
Case Debates - Love them of all stripes. There should be more of these...the more specific, the better. Using your specific case arguments to bolster your other positions gets me jazzed.
Topicality - I generally think the aff should have to affirm the resolution in some way. Once the aff is in that realm, I tend to find myself very much in the "being reasonably topical is good enough" camp. That said, well explained and impacted T arguments are awesome and I have no issue voting for them. The generic T or SPEC arguments will have a tougher time convincing me.
Framework - Again, I do feel like the aff should have to affirm the resolution in some way (I have been convinced otherwise on occasion, though). Beyond that, just impact your framework arguments and make sure you are answering the other team's arguments here and you will be fine.
Disads - Yep, they are good. Specific links are better. Specific links bolstered by good cross-ex questions are best. Most of the internal links are iffy at best, so debates about those are good, too.
Counterplans - See above thoughts on Delay/Consult theory. Creative/specific counterplans are sweet. Explain why your counterplan is competitive and have good solvency cards.
K's - Do your thing, but the further you head towards the high theory and/or performative end of the spectrum that basically all but ignores what the other team says, the more explanation you need to do. A lot of K debates are great, but a lot are painfully generic and under-developed. Explain and impact your arguments well and being very specific is even better.
One last note: be kind to one another. This is obviously a competition, but that isn't free reign to be jerks. Don't use sexist/racist/homophobic language. Make good arguments. After that, I will do my best to fairly decide who won..but doing the above will make that job a whole lot easier.
TL;DR - I will try very hard to adjudicate the debate based purely off the impact and value analysis constructed by debaters and leave my own preferences out of my decision calculous. I do this because I understand and respect the absurd amount of work folks put in. If you put effort into your arguments (in terms of any of these & more; presentation, research, theory, delivery, techne, narrative, history, strategy etc.) no matter what your approach to debate, I will reward you with higher speaker points and usually be more likely to vote for you.
Pronouns - him/he
Email - email@example.com
Here are some things to consider when deciding if you want to pref me;
- I am old at this point. I can't flow as well or quickly process macro level debate issues. As a result, I am a lot more careful in my judging than I used to be, but just know I am not the most proficient judge if you are planning on reading 11 off with 300 cards at 700 wpm. I will do my best to hang, but I feel much more comfortable when the 2nr/2ar centers on a good story as opposed to a card pile.
- Cross-x is my favorite part of the debate. It's the only time where you can make your opponents to account for the things they say. I flow it. I vote on it. On rare occasions I will participate in it. If you are good at it, I am the judge for you.
- I will not read your evidence to help you. If I read your evidence it is either to resolve a factual dispute over what a card says, or to see if it is worth getting the cite/liberating for a team I coach.
- I generally really enjoy judging and attempt to keep up with the literature and commonly read arguments.
UK, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Mamaroneck
--- any complaints? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
--- email title should provide useful information. Ex. Tournament---Round #---Team A v. Team B.
--- ***IMPORTANT*** I am not ready when my camera is off.
--- debating and judge instruction matter way more than personal preferences.
--- fine for the K, mediocre for K AFFs + framing/soft-left stuff.
--- generally good: more cards, predictability, conditionality, judge kick.
--- not a huge fan of T debates on this topic.
--- contrary to my statistics, I should be voting NEG more (ironic now).
--- I want a card doc unless I say otherwise. The team that presents the best set of cards after the round is typically in a pretty good place assuming relatively equal debating.
--- less dead time. Please and thanks ????
--- +.3 for opensource. Let me know BEFORE the debate.
--- I would prefer if everyone had their webcams on (though I understand if you cannot).
--- debates already move slow, let's pick up the pace with technology.
--- tech > truth but the less truth, the easier the argument is to answer. Meanwhile, the implication of concessions is only what you make it.
--- I will flow and vote on things said in the debate. Two important components to that statement. First, my ideological predispositions (about arguments) rarely influence my decisions. Debating well makes it even easier to never consider them. However, this paradigm does indicate arguments I am more/less likely to be persuaded by which can only benefit you. Second, always err towards more judge instruction. I constantly find myself reading evidence/evaluating arguments in the manner that was articulated to me by the debaters. That also means the frequency to which I make “logical” cross applications may vary or any other ambiguities that may arise such as the direction of presumption. Good execution could allow you to manipulate this process in your favor.
--- I am vetoing the new twilight zone of debate for clarification questions. It’s either CX or prep. If you start asking about what card was read (absent a tech or related issue), I’m liable to take it out of your prep.
--- relevant cards compiled and sent to me are expected every round absent me saying otherwise. Evidence quality is important, and the debating of that evidence is central to debate. The team that hands me the better set of evidence after the round is in a good place. A card doc that shows evidence of a well-researched strategy is likely to receive better speaker points. ALSO, its 2021, evidence should be neat and formatted (using Verbatim). The document of relevant cards should also be organized in a useful manner as opposed to just a collection of previous speech docs.
--- stop hiding ASPEC or other procedurals on any non-topicality flow. You'll lose speaker points.
--- I really don't care what happened outside this debate round.
--- the vaguer the AFF is about what and how it solves, the more leeway I give the NEG. Remedy this issue by being clear and the NEG should attempt to clarify early what the AFF does and hold them to it.
--- debate is a game. It might be more than just that, but that fact dictates a vast majority of what is done in debate and is significant.
--- AFF offense should say why the process of debate is bad, not just that the content of the resolution is bad.
--- the sole effect of my ballot is to decide who won the debate.
--- specific > backfile.
--- the more the K says the plan is bad, the more I’ll be receptive to it.
--- both teams rarely deploy mutually exclusive framework interpretations.
--- I could care less that fiat isn't real. "It could be an Italian car for all I care and I'm still letting them weigh the aff.” - Alex Gazmararian.
--- good case debating goes a long way.
--- competing interpretations > reasonability.
--- vagueness in any form is almost always not a voting issue but can implicate AFF solvency.
--- read lots of cards, especially on the negative. The more cards defending your interpretation, the more likely I think it's a better vision for the topic.
--- more clash at the impact level usually sways my decision here.
--- default is judge kick. Theory could convince me to be illogical, but probably an uphill battle.
--- solvency deficits need impacts at some point.
--- sufficiency framing seems intuitive based on cost-benefit analysis.
--- intrinsic perms are fine. Typically depends on the counterplan.
--- pretty NEG on most theory. The idea that "competition dictates legitimacy" seems like a normally fine guide for me, but not in every case.
--- ctrl + f word PICs are probably bad.
--- framing pages are mostly silly. Ks of things the NEG has said > “but the DA has internal links.”
--- politics DAs are good in most variations. I care far less about preconceived notions of fiat with respect to politics than others might.
--- impact turns are hilarious and amazing. I'm down for anything.
--- evidence ethics or anything else of a similar vein should typically be debated out. That's what I prefer but if there a clear violation consistent with tournament policy, the onus is on the debaters to clearly direct me to stop the round and address it.
--- "Being racist, sexist, violent, etc. in a way that is immediately and obviously hazardous to someone in the debate = L and 0. My role as educator > my role as any form of disciplinarian, so I will err on the side of letting stuff play out - i.e. if someone used gendered language and that gets brought up I will probably let the round happen and correct any ignorance after the fact. This ends when it begins to threaten the safety of round participants. Where that line is entirely up to me." – Truf.
--- don't name any argument by the name of the author.
--- asking for speaker points in any manner during a debate = -.5 points.
David Griffith (he/him)
Oak Park and River Forest '20
University of Kentucky '24
---Judge instruction and debating determine everything. I should never have to ask myself why you winning a given argument is important for my decision. Not doing that analysis is why judges intervene, so please explain why things matter.
---Do not assume that I will or will not vote for you based on what you think my opinion is on a particular argument. This is more of a warning against under-explanation than over-explanation or changing your strategy entirely.
---Send a card doc at the end of the round.
---Big overviews make me sad. Don't force judge intervention when you don't have to.
---Zero risk is real but rare. I probably consider zero risk more often than other judges.
--- +.2 speaker points for good open source practices. Show me after the 2AR or before the round.
---Please ask me questions about my decision if you have them. If you think I'm wrong about something, that is okay! I will explain my thinking to the best of my ability if you want me to. If you want feedback, I'd be happy to provide more of that too. I'm also glad to answer questions via email if you have them.
The Top Level
---Tech over truth. Stupid arguments are easily beaten. Smart arguments win debates.
---I try to divorce my own ideological preferences from by judging. This means that while I may be annoyed at what you have to say, I try not to let that cloud my judgement. However, this paradigm is meant to outline how I both view debates and the arguments that I may be more or less likely to be persuaded by. This is by no means a rulebook. If you debate well, you should have no problems separating me from my ideology.
---I am not a good judge for you if your strategy revolves around arguments that are only there because you think they are funny.
---I would prefer that every debater has their webcam on while speaking and that each speech sends analytics when possible, though I understand that the former is not always possible. I will be more liberal in calling "clear" than normal.
---I take too long to decide rounds. This is part being young, part overthinking things sometimes, and part being incoherent when speaking off the top of my head. Trust me, it is for your benefit.
---Asking question is CX or prep. Non-negotiable. Don't care that you weren't flowing and therefore don't know what card they got to.
---Hiding ASPEC or other procedural violations in the 1NC will cause your speaker points to plummet.
---Aff teams will do better in framework debates when they either forward a counter-interpretation justified with a predictability argument grounded in literature or they impact turn the negative standards. I am unlikely to be persuaded by counter-interpretations that are either unlimiting or lack a reason why we should be able to predict them before a tournament. Additionally, aff teams should not waste their breath on arguments about small/big schools. I do not care.
---Neg teams will do better in framework debates when they go for impacts specific to the act of debating over the course of an entire topic. This means less of a focus on fairness as an prior impact and more of a focus on fairness and predictability as internal links to the benefits of researching a limited topic. Accordingly, repeating the phrase "debate is a game" over and over again is not going to win you a debate. Cheaters win games all the time, and the best ones are never caught.
---TVAs are unbelievably overrated. Focus more on winning your model is good, and you'll be fine.
---More likely to enjoy watching teams who take up the topic disad/heg good challenge if provided to them.
---K v. K debates are definitely where I am most out of my element. This is not to say that I dislike them, but I expect clear reasons why the aff is a bad idea from the negative. Absent that, I suspect that I may intervene more than either side would like me to just because of my lack of familiarity with the way these arguments interact and their literature bases.
Ks on the Neg
---Framework determines what constitutes disproving the aff, not what the role of the affirmative is. This means that framework arguments about something the aff could have done better are unlikely to win my ballot.
---I am likely to evaluate links to the aff's representations. However, I am also likely to evaluate a risk of the affirmative's advantages and compare them to the link. This means that links should not serve as a substitute for impact calculus.
---Causality is extremely important to me. I'm unlikely to be compelled by arguments that say something the aff did then vaguely refer to an atrocity in the past, present, or future that is tangentially related to the aff. I default to the plan as the justification for a representation, not some secret motive, so in order to win these types of link arguments, the neg must phrase it in causal terms that I can explain after the debate.
---I don't care that fiat isn't real. I would, however, be interested in seeing an aff team try to justify the fiat as being real as a response. Maybe a Pascal's Wager-type argument? Don't take that too seriously.
---Better judge for extinction outweighs than I am for a no link/perm 2AR. I find the neg can win tricks with less resistance in the latter debate than the former.
---I tend to value framework less than maybe I ought to. This is more of a warning than a suggestion to not go for framework.
---Possibly above average for more trolly pomo Ks. This has yet to be tested and could end catastrophically if you try.
---I'm finding myself increasingly frustrated when teams going for the K have arguments that could serve as case defense that they then vaguely assert in the 2NR and don't apply them to the aff. If you have tricks (serial policy failure, case turns, floating PIKs, etc.) you need to apply them to the aff. I will not vote on "serial policy failure" if I don't know why the aff falls into the same category as past policies that failed.
---These are my favorite debates to judge when executed properly. I love talking about nonsensical details in language. I have been known to some friends as "grammar man" for a reason.
---Bad judge for vagueness as a procedural. Good judge for using the aff's vagueness to generate offense.
---I do not care that the neg read X amount of off-case arguments.
---Predictability and precision matter. I think that the more precise or predictable an interpretation is, the less it matters how good its limits are on the topic in a vacuum. If a "bad" definition is more precise or predictable, limits are solely a reason we should've written the resolution better. This also means that I believe that precision is possible. Certain people in debate have convinced themselves that one definition cannot be more "precise" than another. Tell that to a lexicographer, and they will laugh in your face. This is what T debates should be all about.
---I'm gonna kick them for you unless the 1AR and 2AR tell me not to.
---Conditionality is a strategy like any other argument. I just loath judging conditionality debates because they usually end up new in the last two rebuttals and lacking in argument engagement. This isn't to say you just shouldn't go for conditionality in front of me, but I won't be smiling during the RFD if you do.
---By the 2AR, solvency deficits should have impacts. Assertions about delays and signals don't matter if they are not connected to anything, and I will not fill gaps for you.
---Theory debates generally make me sad. Most aff theory arguments to me sound more like whining than substantive objections to the CP.
---2AC needs to send perm texts to anything more complicated than "do both" or "do the CP."
---Above average for the Process CP. Water topic seems tricky for making these competitive though.
---Framing pages are usually stupid.
---Impact calc matters a lot. By the end of the 2NR, your goal should be able to win the debate even if I give them the whole aff.
---Stop reading walls of cards that all say the same thing. Diversify your arguments!
Updated Before GDI Tournament
jgriff22 at nd dot edu
Debate alum from Jesuit (2015-2019, surveillance topic to immigration topic, always a 2A/1N). Part-time assistant for Jesuit (2020-present). Assistant at GDI (2021).
Clarity > speed. Dropped arguments should still be extended with warrants and impacted out. I’ll only evaluate arguments from the person who’s supposed to be speaking during a given speech. I prefer closed CXs. In the final speeches, I really appreciate judge instruction to help me evaluate my flows after the debate, so make sure you frame your arguments around a well-articulated victory path.
Virtual Debate Notes
Slow down more than usual. If you have significant tech issues, please let me know immediately if you need to stop the debate to fix them. I keep my camera on during speeches, CXs, and the post-round discussion. I prefer that debaters keep theirs on during the entire debate and while I’m giving the RFD, but if there’s a legitimate reason why someone can’t have the camera on then that’s fine as long as you explain it to me.
K Affs and Framework/T-USfg
I haven’t judged too many of these debates and don’t have a significant bias towards either side. A K aff can interpret and critique the resolution in interesting ways but should still, at its core, be about the general concept of water protection. Teams reading T or Framework should have some “CP-like” argument about some way they can access the affirmative’s offense (e.g. a TVA, switch-side debate solves, etc.). Research, clash, and topic education impacts are generally more compelling to me than procedural fairness (but I can still vote on procedural fairness if articulated well).
Not a huge fan but I’ll listen. Slow down more so I can hear the compressed analytics. Contextualized and specific theory arguments are better (e.g. “conditional consult CPs without solvency advocates are bad” is likely more compelling than just “conditionality bad”). I won’t vote on new affs bad.
T Debates with Policy Affs
I don’t think anyone has gone for T in the 2NR (or even that often in the block) against a policy aff in front of me in a long time, and as a result I generally don’t have strong feelings about which affs are or aren’t topical. So to persuade me to vote on a T violation, you should construct narratives—use specific examples of affs they allow and explain concretely what the inclusion of these affs would do to the topic. Reasonability is strictly about the counter interpretation. I default to competing interpretations if the affirmative doesn’t make any reasonability argument.
They’re a lot of fun if done right. Rely on specific link narratives and pertinent historical examples, not on “K-tricks” or enthymemes. A lot of teams reading Ks forget to do some external impact explanation, so please make sure your K is more than just a glorified case turn/"no solvency" argument. Not super familiar with high theory so I would advise against reading those types of Ks in front of me.
Need a solvency advocate (specific to the aff is even better but not always necessary). I’m not a huge fan of process unless it’s specific to the aff. Amendments in the block are probably bad, especially if they're in the 1NR. If your CP text is incoherent (like if you literally said "The 50 states should do the plan" word-for-word in the 1NC), it'll be tough for me to vote for it.
Zero risk is possible if the affirmative’s defensive arguments are very compelling, there’s conceded defensive arguments that are extended, and/or the disad is just that bad on its own.
Y'all know me, still the same O.G. but I been low-key
Hated on by most these nigg@s with no cheese, no deals and no G's
No wheels and no keys, no boats, no snowmobiles, and no skis
Mad at me cause I can finally afford to provide my family with groceries
Got a crib with a studio and it's all full of tracks to add to the wall
Full of plaques, hanging up in the office in back of my house like trophies
Did y'all think I'mma let my dough freeze, ho please
You better bow down on both knees, who you think taught you to smoke trees
Who you think brought you the oldies
Eazy-E's, Ice Cubes, and D.O.C's
The Snoop D-O-double-G's
And the group that said motherduck the police
Gave you a tape full of dope beats
To bump when you stroll through in your hood
And when your album sales wasn't doing too good
Who's the Doctor they told you to go see
Y'all better listen up closely, all you nigg@s that said that I turned pop
Or The Firm flopped, y'all are the reason that Dre ain't been getting no sleep
So duck y'all, all of y'all, if y'all don't like me, blow me
Y'all are gonna keep ducking around with me and turn me back to the old me
Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say
But nothing comes out when they move their lips
Just a bunch of gibberish
And motherduckers act like they forgot about Dre
Recently retired from the debate world but I still privately coach a few select debaters to keep a foot in the water. Experienced former debater. Previous coach for CK McClatchy, Rosemont, Davis Senior, and others. I am the former Executive Director and founder of the Sacramento Urban Debate League (SUDL). I've judged a ton of rounds on all levels of policy debate and feel in-depth and informative verbal RFD's are key to debate education.
I will adapt to you rather than you to me. It's not my place as a judge to exclude or marginalize any sort of argument or framework. On the neg, I will vote for K/K + case, T, CP + DA, DA + case, FW/FW + case, performance, theory.... whatever. I personally prefer hearing a good K or theory debate, not that I'm more inclined to vote on those genres of argumentation. I am down for the K, performance, or topical aff. Anything goes with me.
I'm big on organization. Hit the line by line hard. Don't just give me 3 min overviews or read a bunch of cards off the line, then expect me to conveniently find the best place on the flow for you. Do the work for me. I flow on paper OG style, so don't drop arguments. I don't flow off speech docs (neither should you), but put me on the email chain so I can read cards along with you and refer back to them. I can handle any level of speed, but please be clear and loud if possible.
I will work hard to make the debate accessible and a safe place for you and your arguments. If you have access needs during a debate, wish to inform me of your preferred gender pronoun, or if there is anything you wish to communicate privately, please let me know or send me an email.
My judging philosophy is very short for a reason. Its your debate, not mine. Do you. Just stay organized and tell me where and why to vote. Write my ballot in your 2NR/2AR.
quick background: I competed in highschool policy debate from 2017- to 2021 and also attended workshops such as SDI, GDI, and Wake Debate Institute. I ran mostly policy my freshman through junior year, but my senior year I ran pretty much exclusively kritiks. As far as Kritiks go I am most familiar with arguments related to blackness in debate and also black feminism. I can judge pretty much anything just explain your terminology and impact out your arguments and you should be good.
update for the GDI Camp Tournament: I have no topic knowledge so these will be my first debates on the water topic - making your arguments coherent and communicating effectively will help me the best!
add me to the email chain: email@example.com
pronunciation ( mah - yoh - wah ) and ( kah - zeem ). or like just ask lol.
I'll vote neg on presumption.
K Affs - I'll listen to a K aff - just have a method and it should be good. Be clear with your arguments explaining your impacts and how the aff solves them - which is what most K affs lose on.
Kritiks - Willing to listen to most kritiks just explain the alternative, and explain and impact out your links. The kritiks I'm most familiar with are: Afropess, Cap K, and Security K - however this does not mean you can't run other kritiks in front of me.
Topicality - Have a clear violation and impact it out. I will vote for T, however i'm not the judge for a round that becomes an extensive T debate that's highly technical.
Framework - I'll listen to framework - just make them specific to the K aff and don't just rattle off generic framework arguments. Clear reasons why the TVA solves their offense and also why switch side debate is key.
Policy Affs - Sure - I have the most experience with policy debate. Also, I like a really good case debate so please do that.
Theory - sure. I won't vote on RVIs though just letting you know.
CP/DA- Down for a good cp da debate - just like make sure you explain the counterplan, why it solves, extend the da hopefully and address perms. Make them really specific too - I like a specific disad debate with really good turns case analysis.
General Stuff - I value clarity, no identity targeted harassment or violence is allowed, please try and have fun and be respectful to your team mates and opponents.
- Flash analytics. Don't be mean and also sometimes I don't catch them in the speech documents. Also like it's probably nice respectful to your opponents and saves time ( creds to Bill Batterman ). You probs are not winning your round because you didn't flash the analytic you made on your disad.
- If you want my flow I'll give it to you.
Judd D. Kimball, Assistant Coach, University of Mary Washington
Article I. Communication Approach to Debate
Section 1.01 The following are brief explanation of what I envision when I think of the highest quality debate. These are items that can factor in both positively and negatively for you in my determination of who did the better debating.
(a) A primary goal should be to present your ideas and arguments in a communicative fashion. What factors influence the effectiveness of your communication?
(i) Rate of Delivery. You should not present ideas at a rate that interferes with the effectiveness of sharing those ideas with another human being. You must analyze your audience to determine the rate at which they can absorb ideas, and you must evaluate (fairly) your own abilities to speak rapidly which not losing clarity/enunciation or normal tone inflection that signals the beginning and ending of sentences, and is critical to judges understanding concepts and ideas, not just individual words.
(ii) Clarity/Enunciation. Each word should have a beginning and an ending. Each sound should be pronounced, and not mumbled through.
(iii) Interpretation/Tonal inflection. It is a personal belief that the way we normally communicate with other people involves a lot of vocal interpretation and tonal inflection. It’s a way to communicate phrases and ideas, rather than just leaving each word hanging out by itself, merely surrounded by other words. With interpretation the audience has an easier time comprehending, understanding the processing the idea, as they don’t have to put the sentence together from the individual words, and then discover the meaning of the phrase or sentence themselves. Interpretation, by my definition, is the attribute of communication that helps provide understanding to the audience of the ideas being presented through the way the ideas are presented. It has been my experience that most debaters are very interpretative speakers when they are not debating from prepared scripts. It is during this time that the communication skills you have honed since you began talking are on display. Yet when it is time to read evidence, or a prepped theory block, they shift communicative gears and start just reading each individual word, rather than presenting ideas for the consideration of the judge. I am very unlikely to read evidence after the debate if it was not read in a comprehensible manner, or the warrants and reasons of the evidence were not discussed as being important ideas.
(b) A primary focus of your speeches and cross-examination period should be information sharing. This goes beyond your personal motivation to communicate with the judges, and includes a responsibility to present your arguments in a fashion that facilitates your opponent’s comprehension of your position.
(c) Clash. You should seek to create class in your debates by interacting with not only your opponent’s tag lines, but with the warrants for those claims. In essence, clash is explaining to me why I should prefer/believe your arguments over your opponents. In order to effectively do that, you must be making comparisons that take your opponents argument into account. You must clash.
Section 1.02 Effective implementation of these points will most likely result in higher speaker points, and a greater understanding of your arguments by me as a judge. That will help you in winning the debate, as I will hold the other team responsible for answering your arguments, and if they fail toy,your superior communication will be a determining factor (as a process) of your victory.
Article II. Debate Evaluation
Section 2.01 I recognize objective standards and processes are probably impossible, as the subjective creeps into everything, I just desire and strive for objectivity.
(a) I have a default judging perspective, which evaluates the net benefits of a policy proposal, and answers the question of whether the government should take a particular course of action. I prefer a framework which strives to include as many voices and perspectives as possible, and provides a framework in which different perspectives can be compared, contrasted and weighed. I like my decision to be grounded in the arguments made in the debate. I strive not to bring in “baggage” with me, though I recognize the final futility of that effort, and I will make every effort to explain my decision by reference what was actually communicated in the debate
(b) If you wish the debate to be evaluated from an alternate perspective, you will need to provide a well-defined set of criteria for me to apply when evaluating and weighing arguments. The question of controversy needs to be defined, and discussed in order to provide me the necessary framework to avoid subjectively deciding the debate. Now mind you, I don’t mind subjectively deciding a debate, just be prepared to be frustrated by my statement that I can’t explain why I voted for a particular position, just that that was what I wanted to do at that moment of time, or frustrated by the fact that what I voted on wasn’t an argument or part of the debate that you had a chance to answer. That will happen when I find myself stalled out in the decision making, finding no way to decide other than adding in factors that were not included or discussed in the debate.
Section 2.02 I find questions of autonomous action and personal belief difficult to decide in the context of debate competition. I have found myself perplexed by arguments advanced on the basis of exercising personal autonomy, and then be expected to evaluate them without the inclusion of my opinions, my autonomy, in the process. This is difficult when I find that my personal approach to life contrasts with the approach to individual decision making advocated by one team. If the ballot is my endorsement of your idea, then I would be denying my own autonomous position by being constrained by debate conventions of judging (i.e., you did a better job against the opponents objections, but I wasn’t persuaded to change my personal beliefs). Defining your framework for debate evaluation with this in mind will ease my difficulty. I have been close to taking the action of including my position on the question, in the last few debates I’ve had when this situation arose. Questions of Autonomy and personal belief are difficult questions for me to resolve
Section 2.03 I will be very resistant to deciding debates where the character of the participants is the foundation for the decision. I do not like to cast judgments on people and their behavior without having gathered as much information as is possible. I do not feel that in the high pressure competition of debate is the best forum for investigating those issues, or in seeking to engage the other individual in a dialogue about their behavior. Am I totally unwilling to decide a debate on such a question? I’m not willing to say that either. But I would have to be convinced that not only was this an egregious act, but that malevolent intent was involved.
Article III. Other Issues:
Section 3.01 Topicality I think topicality debates hinge on the question of whose interpretation provides for a better debate topic/experience. If your violation and argumentation does not provide an answer to that question, then figure the answer out. You must also be sure to be complete in your argumentation about why the affirmative violates your interpretation. Do not leave issues of plan interpretation vague, or hinge your argument on a vague cross ex question or answer. Make clear and concise arguments about why the affirmative plan doesn’t meet your interpretation.
Section 3.02 Counterplans. I’ll evaluate any counterplan presented. I begin from a bias that "net benefits" is the most meaningful competition standard, and perhaps only standard. But you can argue other standards, and you only have to defeat your opponent’s arguments, not mine. As to other theory questions with counterplans, it will depend on who does the best job defending/indicting a particular theoretical practice used in the debate.
Section 3.03 Kritiks I need to understand what you are saying from the beginning on all arguments, but especially these. Please communicate your ideas to me when you present this type of argument. I won’t go back later and try to figure out what you were arguing about. I need to know what the affirmative does that is bad, and why it is bad enough that I should either vote negative, or not affirmative, or however I should vote.
Section 3.04 Debating and Evaluating Theory Issues. Theory issues are difficult to evaluate, because they are a yes/no question. If you wish to win a theory objection, you must deal with all of your opponent’s defenses, and provide reasoning explaining why a particular theory position is destructive to quality debate. This is not meant to scare you off of theory debates, just to encourage you to be thorough and complete when discussing this issue.
Dan Lingel Jesuit College Prep—Dallas
firstname.lastname@example.org for email chain purposes
email@example.com for school contact
Updated for 2020-2021 topic
27 years of high school coaching/6 years of college coaching
I will either judge or help in the tabroom at over 20+ tournaments
****read here first*****
I still really love to judge and I enjoy judging quick clear confident comparative passionate advocates that use qualified and structured argument and evidence to prove their arguments. I expect you to respect the game and the people that are playing it in every moment we are interacting.
***I believe that framing/labeling arguments and paper flowing is crucial to success in debate and maybe life so I will start your speaker points absurdly high and work my way up if you acknowledge and represent these elements: label your arguments (even use numbers and structure) and can demonstrate that you flowed the entire debate and that you used your flow to give your speeches and in particular demonstrate that you used your flow to actually clash with the other teams arguments directly.
Some things that influence my decision making process
1. Debate is first and foremost a persuasive activity that asks both teams to advocate something. Defend an advocacy/method and defend it with evidence and compare your advocacy/method to the advocacy of the other team. I understand that there are many ways to advocate and support your advocacy so be sure that you can defend your choices. I do prefer that the topic is an access point for your advocacy.
2. The negative should always have the option of defending the status quo (in other words, I assume the existence of some conditionality) unless argued otherwise.
3. The net benefits to a counterplan must be a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy (plan, both the plan and counterplan together, and/or the perm) not just be an advantage to the counterplan.
4. I enjoy a good link narrative since it is a critical component of all arguments in the arsenal—everything starts with the link. I think the negative should mention the specifics of the affirmative plan in their link narratives. A good link narrative is a combination of evidence, analytical arguments, and narrative.
5. Be sure to assess the uniqueness of offensive arguments using the arguments in the debate and the status quo. This is an area that is often left for judge intervention and I will.
6. I am not the biggest fan of topicality debates unless the interpretation is grounded by clear evidence and provides a version of the topic that will produce the best debates—those interpretations definitely exist this year. Generally speaking, I can be persuaded by potential for abuse arguments on topicality as they relate to other standards because I think in round abuse can be manufactured by a strategic negative team.
7. I believe that the links to the plan, the impact narratives, the interaction between the alternative and the affirmative harm, and/or the role of the ballot should be discussed more in most kritik debates. The more case and topic specific your kritik the more I enjoy the debate.
8. There has been a proliferation of theory arguments and decision rules, which has diluted the value of each. The impact to theory is rarely debating beyond trite phrases and catch words. My default is to reject the argument not the team on theory issues unless it is argued otherwise.
9. Speaker points--If you are not preferring me you are using old data and old perceptions. It is easy to get me to give very high points. Here is the method to my madness on this so do not be deterred just adapt. I award speaker points based on the following: strategic and argumentative decision-making, the challenge presented by the context of the debate, technical proficiency, persuasive personal and argumentative style, your use of the cross examination periods, and the overall enjoyment level of your speeches and the debate. If you devalue the nature of the game or its players or choose not to engage in either asking or answering questions, your speaker points will be impacted. If you turn me into a mere information processor then your points will be impacted. If you choose artificially created efficiency claims instead of making complete and persuasive arguments that relate to an actual victory path then your points will be impacted.
10. I believe in the value of debate as the greatest pedagogical tool on the planet. Reaching the highest levels of debate requires mastery of arguments from many disciplines including communication, argumentation, politics, philosophy, economics, and sociology to name a just a few. The organizational, research, persuasion and critical thinking skills are sought by every would-be admission counselor and employer. Throw in the competitive part and you have one wicked game. I have spent over twenty five years playing it at every level and from every angle and I try to make myself a better player everyday and through every interaction I have. I think that you can learn from everyone in the activity how to play the debate game better. The world needs debate and advocates/policymakers more now than at any other point in history. I believe that the debates that we have now can and will influence real people and institutions now and in the future—empirically it has happened. I believe that this passion influences how I coach and judge debates.
Logistical Notes--I prefer an email chain with me included whenever possible. I feel that each team should have accurate and equal access to the evidence that is read in the debate. I have noticed several things that worry me in debates. People have stopped flowing and paying attention to the flow and line-by-line which is really impacting my decision making; people are exchanging more evidence than is actually being read without concern for the other team, people are under highlighting their evidence and "making cards" out of large amounts of text, and the amount of prep time taken exchanging the information is becoming excessive. I reserve the right to request a copy of all things exchanged as verification. If three cards or less are being read in the speech then I prefer that the exchange in evidence occur after the speech. I don't understand why people exchange paperless speeches that do not contain evidence.
18 years judging
Philosophy last updated 1/28/17
If both teams opt not to hold a debate, I will award zero speaker points to all 4 debaters and either:
A. A double forfeit (if allowed by the tab room) OR
B. If forced to pick a winner, I will give the loss to the team who initially suggested not debating.
If you actively solicit outside participation in the debate, you will receive a loss and zero speaker points.
I will not read along with the speech doc during your speeches, but I would like to be included on any email chain.
The really important stuff:
I want to see you doing your best thing. I have a strong preference for debates centered on the resolution (i.e., the affirmative’s relationship to the resolution is negotiable via debate, but I’m very skeptical of affirmatives that are not a response to the resolutional prompt at all). I’m sometimes old-fashioned and grumpy about certain things (as listed below), but outside of the non-negotiables, I generally enjoy innovative arguments and I’m open to persuasion. I enjoy well-developed theory debates more than most, but I strongly dislike the “competitive blippy list making” approach to theory debates as well as proliferation of trivial voting issues. I like good cards. Most debaters should slow down and speak more clearly. “Do the counterplan” is not a permutation. Probably the biggest change from previous years: I’m making an effort this year to try to bring my speaker points up just a bit in order to keep pace with overall inflation.
Each debate will have one winner and one loser.
Constructives are 9 minutes long. Rebuttals are 6 minutes long. Cross-x is 3 minutes long. Somebody’s prep is running at all other times, within reason. To be very explicit: Your prep stops when you email your speech or remove the flash drive from your computer and give it to your opponents. While your opponent loads the document, you may set up your stand, give your order, etc.
Things that still count as prep: Marking cards (against the prep of the team that didn’t mark them ahead of time). Asking flow clarification questions. Saving/Sending the extra cards you didn’t give your opponent before the speech started. “Hold on, I just need to save it… Does anybody have a flash drive?”
Debates are for robust disagreement, but that does not extend to personal attacks.
There are a maximum of 2 debaters on each team. You should not solicit outside participation or assistance in your debate.
Failure to properly acknowledge your sources is plagiarism.
I generally lean affirmative against wholly plan inclusive counterplans (i.e. conditions, consult, commissions, etc.) in a theory debate that is equally well-developed on both sides.
My strong presumption is that a negative advocacy competes only if it is better than both the affirmative advocacy, and the hypothetical combination of all of the affirmative advocacy and all (or part) of the negative advocacy. I find that alternative theories of competition are usually poorly justified and tend to lead to silly debates (because you can assert that there are “no permutations,” but you can’t wish away the logic of opportunity cost).
I think topicality and framework have been unfortunately conflated with one another. I strongly believe in the proposition that some limits on the affirmative’s advocacy are important to adequate preparation and fair debate. I’m far less committed to the notions: 1. that this entails traditional understandings of fiat, 2. that there is only one universal standard of reasonableness, and 3. that only one model of debate gives the best training in deliberation. My starting presumption is that the affirmative team should affirm an example of the resolution, but I’ve been convinced to vote for affirmatives that either begin the debate by explicitly negating the resolution, or criticizing the way the resolution frames the controversy, etc. several times over the years. If you choose to do so, please show your work. In other words, be explicit and consistent regarding what you think your aff’s relationship to the resolution is (beginning in the 1ac), and you have a much better chance of winning my ballot in these debates.
Having a superficial reference to the topic or a metaphorical connection to a single word of it probably doesn’t meet my bar for debates centered on the resolution.
Both truth and tech matter.
I tend to dismiss evidence that has been highlighted down to word soup relatively quickly. One longer card with well explained warrants > multiple cards highlighted into one word “dots.”
What some other coaches and former students have to say about me:
On my aff bias against poorly explained K alts: “At the end of the day, he kinda thinks hungry people should be fed.”
On how I’ve been judging the basically the same debate for about 10 years: “He has a lot of T and framework experience… he’s also good for case debates including smart args (not always requiring cards).”
On my low tolerance for nonsense: “He has a low tolerance for nonsense.”
Fall 2015 TLDR version
Debate is great. At its best it teaches amazing critical thinking, research skills, teaches us to engage and clash with others ideas. I'm pretty flexible on what counts as debate arguments, but pretty persuaded that prepared opponents produce better debates. I think affs are best off defending a debatable proposition that responds to resolutional prompt and negs need to answer the aff.
Aside from technical drops in a round, I am have not yet been persuaded to abandon competiion so negs going for counterplans, alts, etc typically need to demonstrate forced choice or net benefits.
Role of the Ballot and Theory counterinterps are frequently arbitrary, self serving and not super hepful. Please develop these arguments.
The flow matters to me, even though I am worse at it now due to hand/wrist problems, probably still better than folks who rely too much on the speech doc. I expect you to answer major lines of argument from the other team at the first opportunity. I will take the speech docs but do not follow along during your speech and will not vote on arguments I can't understand/flow during your speech.
Debates have decision time limits and coutesy to your opponents and judge necessitate not wasting time. Aside from legitimate need for a break, there sin;t really down time in debate. It's basically speech, cx or prep time, this includes clarifying what card or part of card someone read. It also includes getting your speech doc ready, prep time ends when you are ready to give it to the other team.
I don't appreciate micro or maxcro aggressions in debates and will attempt to call them out, use speaker point deductions and open to arguments about the ballot as remedy.
Previous Versions -
Important NDT Note: I have had to limit my judging commitments recently due tosevere wrist problems. For years I have taken a transcription style flow, that is no longer possible. I will still be flowing, but may not be able to keep up at the fastest pace, I will also not be writing down as much and doing more active listening. This may mean you want to change where you pref me, it certainly means you want to factor that in to how you debate in front of me - top speed blippy theory is unlikely to work out well for you.
This is basically just a copy paste from debateresults with this important addition - As the community transition to paperless continues I am finding it more and more important to reward good communication practices while discouraging poor ones. While I think paperless is obviously a fantastic tool to store your evidence, I believe debate at its best is a synthesis of your reasearch with your public speaking skills - the speech document is not the speech, As a result, I will not be following along on a doc during your speech, it is your responsibility to effectively communicate your evidence & arguments. While I have always felt this way, I believe it is becoming more important for judges to hold a line on flowability & speaking - I will reward those who accomplish it. I will not vote on or reconstruct after the debate evidence I cannot hear & flow in the speech.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah (Holbrook) Lundeen – ***Fall 2011 Update****
Assistant Coach at West Georgia
I’m pretty much willing to listen to whatever debate you prefer to have (K, policy, Other). You’re better off doing what you’re good at than trying to adjust to what you think I want to hear. I understand a lot of people say that, but I really do think the debate is for the debaters involved and I do not approach the debate with any curriculum I am trying to impose on the community or round. The flip side to being open to the debate you want to have is holding you accountable for doing the debating – when I read cards it is largely to fact check claims made about the card in the debate, etc. I am not a judge who reconstructs the debate afterwards and instead, I reward in round debating, analysis, etc.
Timing the Debate & Paperless - Your prep time runs until you are finished prepping your speech - i.e. it is ready to email, saved to the jumpdrive, viewing computer, in the dropbox, whatever your method is. please figure before the debate starts how to use your computer, jumpdrive, etc. With tournaments putting strict limits on judge decision times it is in the interest of fairness to all parties that I enforce efficient time within rounds.
CP – I love a good CP strategy. I lean a bit negative on theory debates, but that doesn¹t mean the aff can¹t go for theory (it just means they should develop the arguments) and certainly doesn¹t relieve the neg of defending their theoretical world. I lean less for the neg when the cp involves multiple, independently conditional planks or there are 14 counterplans in the debate – this should be an easier situation for the aff to describe why that strategy has made the debate worse. Permutations are a test of competition – this means they do not need net benefits, they merely need to demonstrate the cp/k is not competitive and aff, this means that if you have some idea you wish to advocate the perm in the 2ar even after they kick the cp/k you will need to have well developed warrants for that, preferably in the debate before the 2ar.
K – I have sympathy for objections to unexplained alternatives, but these args seem to seldom be developed by the Aff, you¹re probably better off using the alternative to win your permutation. K affs need to be able to explain their framework/warrant to vote aff in a way which provides negative ground and debatability.
Topicality – I lean a little aff here on question of reasonability and “most limited” vs. “best/reasonable limit”, but as with any argument, the burden to do the debating is on you, don’t assume you can blow it off and wait for me to conclude in your favor on reasonability. The claim that the aff makes it impossible for the neg debate is very rarely true & sets way too high a bar for the neg and is typically a shorthand that stands in for making real impact arguments.
Theory/Framework – For the most part I judge Varsity college debate. As a result I am skeptical of most claims that the other team has made it impossible for you to debate – seriously, you have likely been at this for 5 – 9 years, if it is impossible for you to debate what they said I feel kinda sorry for you. Now, if you have some good arguments about why they make debater better/worse in that it makes us better informes/more ignorant, better or worse people, etc I am all ears. Your impact args to things like predictability & fairness need to rise above “but we wanted it to be easier for us to win”. This may be more applicable to large sweeping framework claims than modular perm/cp theory arguments. However, conditionality is complicated in that I think it can be used to make debate better or worse. Conditional strategies that allow the neg to focus the strategy as the debate advances, etc. are fine (it is hard to be neg), but conditional strategies that defend opposite or incompatible positions do not generally make for better debates.
In General –I would rather vote on how y'all debated, meaning that I will not spend an hour reconstructing the entire debate based on a stack of unexplained evidence. Making fewer, smarter args will get you farther than speeding through some unexplained "more evidence". Impact assessment and evaluation of the debate in the last rebuttals are important.
I don¹t enjoy listening to debates in which gendered/racist/ableist/exclusionary language is used. At the very least your speaker points will effected.
Molly Martin - they/them
- Email chain: email@example.com
- If my camera is off before your speech, I'm not good to start.
- Start slower and work up to a faster speed – always but especially online.
- Visual or verbal verification before speeches.
- Try and avoid excessive interruptions in CX.
Hi! I’m Molly. I debated for C.K. McClatchy for four years, I now debate for Gonzaga University in Washington. I work for SUDL and with Lewis and Clark HS in Spokane. They/them, disabled.
I have experience with both policy and critical argumentation and research, but I will be more engaged if both sides put their best strategy forward regardless of any one preference I have.
I put a pretty high premium on judge instruction and I default to it when it’s there. The 2NR/2AR should explain at the top how I should vote with judge instruction. Flag traps if you’ve made them in the final rebuttals.
I reward strategic pivots, innovative/specific off-case arguments, and smart and contextual utilization of the affirmative. I absolutely reward smart recuttings of your opponent’s evidence. I reward risk-taking, even if you lose the ballot.
Evidence comparison is key. You want to flag how I should evaluate important pieces of evidence compared to your opponents. Recency, qualifications, and context matters – but only as much as you point it out in the debate. Don’t rely on the card doc to do that work for you, debate is a communicative activity and I vote more on the way you have articulated the importance or weight of an argument than my own textual reading of the card.
Please signpost and name your arguments if you can. “The Manchin link” is a stronger tie back to the 1NC than “The second Skoog card we read on politics.”
Be good to people – before, during, and after the debate. I hold a strong line here.
- Short section for a reason – you should do it. Shooting for three to four minutes of case debate in the 1NC is both strategic and makes for better debates. A great 1NC has both smart analytical arguments and specific ev to the aff.
- Impact turns need qualified evidence.
- Long 2AC overviews make it harder to develop offense elsewhere. Doing as much work as you can on the line by line, including impact extensions, helps to keep the debate organized in one place. Group arguments if possible.
- Avoid top-heavy overviews – use them for framing, judge instruction, and move substance to the line-by-line.
- Examples are helpful, specifically on debates about the efficacy of political reform from the aff or on the link debate from the neg– what can your theory explain?
- Links should be contextual to the aff. I think a smart CX can do some of this work, but that should be paired with equally quality evidence.
- I often find myself voting on K turns case type arguments because I think affs don’t get ahead of them in the 1AR/2AR.
- I prefer 2NRs on the K with an alt, but have also voted on independent framework offense. If you don’t need the alt to win, flag that for me. If you do extend an alternative, I gotta know what it does and how it solves the links to the aff.
- The more your link turns and explanation of the perm is couched in the 1AC, the better. Use your aff! Explain net benefits to the permutation and answer DAs on the perm.
- I’ll judge kick if and only if prompted.
- I love creative and innovative CP ideas and solvency advocates that are contextual and describe a mechanism for solvency.
- The 2NR is too late to explain the mechanism for the CP for the first time – default to more CP solvency explanation.
- Longer section on theory below, but you can do what you can justify. Things like UQ counterplans (mostly in the context of agenda DAs) and 2NC counterplans are more illegit to me than process or agent CPs.
- States CP: It’s legit, the negative gets it. That’s not necessarily a defense of 50 state fiat. I think follow-on matters – if dropped, I think it resolves a majority of aff offense unless told otherwise by the aff.
- I’ll judge kick if and only if prompted.
- Turns case debate is a must and often wins rounds - I love to see innovative turns case arguments and link arguments that engage with the aff, both in evidence and in spin
- Internal link explanation matters so much and is often the least explained part of an argument. You have to be able to explain the consequence to the link.
- Label links, signpost what part of the debate you’re doing when you’re doing it.
- I’ll vote on low risk or defensive arguments on the DA, but those become impossible to win without case outweighs arguments and if turns case isn’t answered.
- I think there are a lot of interesting ways to read critical affirmatives in the direction of the topic, but I will vote for and have coached affs that aren’t. I do think not being in the direction of the topic makes negative arguments about limits more compelling.
- You should have reasons why your project is key to solving specific impacts, which can mean and look like a number of things. Explain what solvency means to your project. What is debate’s role in your project?
- Have and will vote on presumption, but I often find myself in RFDs saying that I think the 2NR didn’t do enough work for me to justify it. I think dedicating a solid amount of time on the case debate in the 2NR is necessary for me to vote on presumption.
- When executed well, these are some of my favorite debates to evaluate. These debates are executed well when there is an articulated impact, and impact calculus past the top of the 2NC.
- Clash, predictable limits style impacts > skills/deliberation > fairness (All of these are fine but I have a hard time contextualizing fairness as an impact and not an internal link. 2NRs should give me the words to in the RFD.
- Use framework as a mechanism to engage with the aff – how does your interpretation help achieve their goal? I think a strong TVA is one way to do this, but certainly not the only way.
- I am equally willing to vote on the counter-interp debate as I am the impact turn to framework debate – I think affs need to define a role for the judge or the negative.
- I’ve been hearing CKM’s framework file read at me for three years now and I don’t wanna flow it anymore lol
- Condo is a reason to reject the team if dropped. I lean reject the argument otherwise, and if you are in a situation where you plan to go for theory, you need to tell me why that’s not sufficient. I can be persuaded otherwise, but if you’re in this situation you might be better off going for substance over theory.
- Commit to the bit: if you’re going to go for it, don’t make me evaluate other offense on other pages.
- They’re strategic for affs to read in the 2AC, questionably strategic to extend in the 1AR based on context.
- Lean negative on condo – I think negation theory is key to set roles for both teams, but that does not mean I won't vote aff on it.
- Please slow down on these debates.
- Final rebuttals on theory need to answer the question of how your interpretation resolves your opponent’s offense.
- Please feel free to email me if you have any questions/if you want to talk about college debate or debating for Gonzaga!
- "Fun" arguments are fine (satire, non-traditional evidence, jokes, etc.) I think you still need to have a role for negative engagement, an impact your project solves, and way for me to evaluate the debate.
- Make sure what you get out of debate is positive for yourself and for other people.
TLDR (aka im judging you and you have no idea who I am)
Lincoln Park (CDL) 2016-2020
University of Kentucky 2020-present
do not email me asking for speech docs from rounds i've judged. if the team wanted it circulating they would have put it on the wiki.
I judge a lot of debate events but mostly policy so thats what this paradigm will talk about most.
I have limited knowledge of the water topic, earlier in the season will require less acronyms.
Read the arguments you want to read, I'm a flowcentric judge and try to evaluate all arguments fairly and check back against internal bias. I mostly do K debate now but I did policy for 4 years in high school and am still well versed in all that jazz.
Tech > truth (mostly) I've found myself to be more truth leaning than I thought --- the aff can drop the internal link and impact but go for a no link that is just incredibly true and still win. Obviously the argument has to be extended the whole debate but yeah. My threshold for truth rises when a debater is even marginally racist/sexist/homophobic -- if you do something messed up but not drop worthy i'll inevitably have a bias against you and I won't feel like keeping it in check.
I WILL NOT TOLERATE CARD CLIPPING
aside from that i'll vote on any argument if its debated well no matter how much i hate it. (with the exception of morally reprehensible arguments)
Preferred chain title: Tournament Name R# [aff team name] vs [neg team name] Ex -- Gonzaga R4 Lincoln Park MM vs MBA BJ
If you only have one card to send, I actually prefer that you send it in the body. 3 or more cards should have a doc.
IF MY CAMERA IS OFF I AM NOT READY - ALWAYS CHECK TO MAKE SURE I AM PRESENT BEFORE YOU START
decrease your speed by like 10-15% to account for the inevitable unreliability of online stuff.
i actually enjoy t debates --- i'll vote on absurd interpretations if the debating is better
do NOT spread through your blocks, slow down -- especially on analytics and voters.
impact out your standards, create a vision of the topic, explain why your interp creates a better world of debate -- what does the world of the neg look like? what disad, cp, k ground exists in your world? what about in the aff world? etc..
case lists/tvas always good
i have no opinions on competing interps/reasonability
I love strategic theory, but it has to be warranted and serve a purpose if you're going to go for it
debating "well" means comparative analysis between the standards and counter standards.
you can tell if i like your theory argument by watching my face. if i hate it i promise you will be able to tell.
turns case is necessary if you don't have a cp (probably necessary even with one)
Link is the most important spot of the disad - if you lose the link you've lost the disad in front of me.
I am slightly more inclined to believe "moral obligation" structural violence 1st framing, but it is rare that I see it debated well so I end up voting on util the majority of the time.
i like pics
No theoretical objections to any counterplans, no matter how abusive. It is the aff's job to prove unfairness via theory. I don't lean heavily to one side or the other on theory
I will judge kick the CP if instructed to do so by the 2nr
i default sufficiency framing unless instructed otherwise.
make your theory of power clear and as long as u have links you'll be in a good spot
line by line > long overview
can be convinced the neg doesnt need an alt to win
perm double bind is not real against any competent negative team.
the best strat the aff can go for in front of me is just a straight up defense of your method. they say your reps are bad, a no link isn't gonna get you very far but proving why your reps are good and necessary will get you miles.
i am pro k aff
preferable if you have an advocacy statement or ballot key warrant.
in most cases i don't think the aff has to win that they start a revolution or an active resistance to solve
My voting record on T usfg is 50% aff 50% neg --- it all comes down to the debating done in the round. I'm biased towards the aff on fairness. I have a hard time believing that K affs make things procedurally unfair, they've been around too long and if you can't debate one that's on you. I will still vote on fairness but you'd be better off explaining what about the specific k aff makes it unfair besides the fact that it doesn't use the usfg.
I prefer strategies that DO NOT center around T usfg --- try out methods fw, a K, a CP, a disad and you will probably be rewarded with higher speaks.
I hate heg good DA's but I have begrudgingly voted on them a few times.
K v K debates
i think i've judged like one of these debates, but i debate in them a lot so you should be fine.
i quite frankly don't care if the aff gets a perm in a methods debate and i change my opinion just about every round i hear that argument so convince me
"cap k" should have specific links besides "anti institutional politics bad"
i did not debate LD but i have a good idea of what's going on.
I AM A VERY BAD JUDGE FOR TRICKS --- READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
read below and take what applies and disregard what doesn't. i am new to judging LD but understand the basics.
that means i'm a particularly good judge for you if you're a "larp" debater although i've found myself to be slightly better at judging traditional rounds lol
i am okay with some theory but you HAVE TO SLOW DOWN AND BE CLEAR. This is where I differ most from my policy paradigm. There is not enough time to maintain a well developed theory argument that is your primary strategy, so you really have to commit to it if you want me to consider voting on it.
--- i am not going to punish traditional debaters for not knowing circuit norms that don't exist in traditional LD so please don't make a theory argument surrounding that your primary strat.
--- If you find yourself in a progressive v traditional round and you ignore or disrespect the other team for not stating agruments in the words you are used to your speaker points will suffer.
I have been really good at judging K aff's in some rounds, and absolutely horrible in others. do with that what you will.
do you, but remember to tell me why i should care about what you're saying as opposed to ur opponent.
do line by line, respond to all arguments, and extend all parts of your arguments, split the block on the neg, and narrow down what you go for in the final speeches and you will be golden.
I will only read evidence that has been implicated in the 2nr and 2ar IF the debate is close. Other than that, I think the debating should be left to the debaters in the room, not authors or coaches who cut the cards.
If you read a great piece of evidence but can't explain the warrants and your opponent reads a mediocre piece of evidence and can, I'm more likely to side with your opponent.
Most points I give are in the 28.3-29 range. I don't give below a 28 unless you barely made arguments and I will never give below a 27.5 unless you've done something egregious. If you get above a 29 i was impressed.
Card clipping = -.5 for every offense
being overly rude or threatening = -1 for every offense
the phrase "cold conceded" = probably will lose like -.2
"judge" = MASSIVE REDUCTION (wont actually affect speaks but pls call me lauren, judge is too formal & makes me uncomf)
"hey lauren I like your [insert thing here]" at any point in the round = +.5
it is perfectly fine if you disagree with my decision, there are times when the debate is close and i end up writing multiple ballots before I decide and I pick the one that makes the most sense to me.
I am okay with questions and statements of disagreement, (ie -- but lauren what about this argument? but if you look at it this way doesn't it warrant an x ballot?) but I draw the line when it gets to the point where I've repeatedly explained my reasoning and you still do not give up. No matter how compelling of a post round argument you make for why I am wrong, I likely won't run to tab to get the ballot changed because I trust my own judgement. If it gets to that point, I will simply ignore you and if the other team has finished asking questions I will leave.
i make a lot of faces while judging, sorry if that bothers you, but you can tell a lot about what I think of your argument by watching me.
i tend to vote with my gut unless the round is incredibly close. it rarely takes me longer than 5 minutes to decide a debate. if it does, the debate was probably super close and put me through a bunch of mental gymnastics
i talk a lot in rfds and i have the tendency to be kinda blunt, i apologize ahead of time
as much as i try to judge in line with this paradigm, sometimes i find myself in new situations where i vote astray. i dont know, its debate, its subjective, no single round will ever be evaluated the exact same way
Jesuit College Prep
Please use firstname.lastname@example.org for speech docs. I do want to be in the email chain.
However, I don't check that email a lot while not at tournaments - so if you need to reach me not at a tournament, feel free to email me at email@example.com
Jesuit is not open source - and if you think our cards are good, you should enjoy the experience of reading the good research. While I know that there are many people who disagree with me, I think that reading other people's cards disincentivizes hard work and cultivates unethical academic practices. And, for the record, there's no small school arg here - in fact large schools benefit more from this model (where you read other people's cards without recutting them) because they have more access to more open source docs in debates. I will disregard Jesuit evidence read by another team whether that's an argument made or not. Doesn't mean I will auto-vote against you but not going to vote on cards we cut that you use.
I DO NOT mean that you can't take cites and recut the evidence - in fact getting cites from someone and recutting the evidence is good. BUT, if for example School A debate School B in round 4, then School A uses ev read by B against another B team, that's unethical. TEAM'S SPEECH DOCUMENTS ARE NOT OPEN EVIDENCE FILES. Know the difference. If there is a Jesuit cite you can't access because of a lack of access to resources, please email me and I will provide a full text of the article or book - I pinky swear.
For those of you who think that this is inconsistent with soliciting speech docs, with a rare exception, our solicitation of speech docs fills in intel that those who don't update their wiki ever or only after a tournament is complete. While I would prefer to just rely on the wiki, that's not a reliable source of information for a lot of teams. It should be reliable, however, if you are debating a Jesuit team - and if you find a lack of information on a Jesuit team's page, please feel free to let me know. The above perspective on the open source stems from a view that people should do their own work - and open source incentivizes ppl just stealing cards from speech docs versus developing their own research skills.
Topicality is about competing interpretations for me, unless you tell me otherwise. Negatives should explain what allowing the affirmative in the topic would allow— ie what other affirmatives would be allowed and what specific ground or arguments you have lost out on. Affirmatives should, in addition to making counter-interpretations, explain why those counter-interpretations are good for the topic.
Case lists are underutilized in these debates – both about what they exclude and realistically justify on both sides of the topic. Topical version of the aff is an important but not a must have – especially if you are partially trying to say that they are SOOOO bad I shouldn’t want them to be a part of the topic.
Counter plans are good -- but I think that Affs underutilize solvency advocate based arguments. If you are going to have a CP with a ton of different elements, neg should be able to support that with solvency evidence that supports the whole CP not just the elements. If you are neg, you should still do these mutliplank cps if you like but the aff can win a solvency deficit if you don’t have someone to advocate all of it together. Asserting a not accurate way the government works to make a claim about neg CP also should be contested by the aff - and so should dates of the evidence being used to justify the CP. Specific counterplans that reflect you did some work in research the aff = good for the neg. Process counterplans less good b/c they usually show that you didn’t do the research on the aff.
Also enjoy a good disad debate—used to include politics. But alas, Trump has ruined many things for me - including this. GOP unwavering support for Trump has also ruined this for me. Maybe new Biden administration can help this argument and the world. I do think it is possible to win zero risk of the politics DA. I do think that affs should make a bigger deal about how that zero risk of the DA means that any risk of a solvency deficit on the CP means should vote Aff. But alas, you probably won't, then I will have to default to my engrained any risk of the DA if the CP solves mostly wins a debate.
For other DAs, much like my previous discussion of topicality and the kritik, explain the link specific to the affirmative – you can and should have multiple link args in the block that help build your story about why the aff triggers the DA. Assess how the impact of the DA relates to the case impact. Overviews should be specific to the aff not a reiteration of magnitude probability and time frame - as this results in awkward comparisons especially on this topic. Offense is a good thing but defensive versus a disad may be enough to win. In other words, any risk of a DA does not mean you win on the Negative (unless perhaps it’s a CP net benefit)—there is room for Affirmatives to make uniqueness, no link, and impact arguments that erode the DA so significantly the Negative doesn’t win much a risk versus the Aff. Good case debates with solvency or impact turns make for appealing and compelling debates. Negatives can win on case turns alone if the impacts are developed in the block.
Contrary to what some of you might think, I really do enjoy a good kritik debate. Jesuit teams have basically run only Ks on this topic. The Negative should, through evidence and link narratives, explain how more ‘generic’ evidence and the K applies to the Aff. For example, explain why the aff’s use of the state is bad; don’t just assert they are the state therefore they must be bad. The other place to be sure to spend some time is explaining the role of the ballot and/or the role of the alternative. I think that topic specific K much better than your hodgepodge throw some authors together ks. Also not a huge fan of death is inevitable so we should give up now or alternatives that incorporate “suicide” as an alternative. Both sides when initiating framework arguments need to think through what they are getting out of the framework arguments – don’t just go for it bc someone told you novice year you should. If it's strategic say concede their framework, we just do their thing better, you should.
Performance/non-instrumental use of the rez
While I am compelled by arguments about the need to redress exclusion in the debate community, Negatives should challenge, and the Aff should defend, the importance of the ballot in redressing those exclusions. If the neg can explain why the same education and same exploration of privilege can occur without the ballot, I am very persuaded by those arguments. However, in these debates I have judged, I have almost always voted for the team advocating non-instrumental use of the topic because this ballot piece often goes unchallenged. I think that if you are aff and running an advocacy statement, you should have some reason why that is better than a plan on the ready -- assuming the neg challenges this. In these debates it seems that negatives often forget that even if they are only going for framework, they will still need to have a reason why the aff ROB or method is bad. Otherwise, the aff will make some arguments (as they should) that their method is offense against traditional understandings of debate/T/framework. I do think that the performance should be tied to the resolution when you are aff - or at least that's my default.
Theory – Aff/Neg
If there is a legit reason why what the other team has done has eroded your ability to win by creating a not reciprocal or not level playing field, then initiate the arguments. I understand the strategic value creating a time trade off might get you. However, you should think about whether or not you have some compelling args before going for the arg all out or in the 2nr/2ar. Multiple contradictory framework type args are an underutilized arg when there are k alts and cps in the debate---especially if any or all are conditional. Be concrete about what they are doing and what the justify in order to make “impact” arguments.
New aff theory - I don't have anything else in my philosophy like this (that just say no to an argument) but "new aff disclosure theory" arguments are silly to me. Aff Innovation = good, and incentivizing innovation by giving a strategic leg up to affs by getting to break a new aff = good. I've got more warrants if you want to chat about it - I know some of you feel very strongly about this - but it doesn't make sense to me. You should not probably spend the time to read your shell even if its supershort. Affs should say "competitive innovation = good". And that'd probably be enough.
Certainly, new affs mean that the neg get to make a bunch of args - and that I probably am more sympathetic on issues like no solv advocate, multiple cp, condo, etc - but yeah, no, new affs = good not bad.
Stylistic Issues (Speed, Quantity)
Clarity is important and so are warranted arguments and cards – say what you would like but be clear about it. If you have many argument but you have highlighted down the evidence to 3-5 words, you have also not made a warranted argument. Also, “extinction” is not a tag. Some highlighting practices have become so egregious that I think you're actually highlighting a different argument than the author is actually making.
Speaker Point Scale
Decent debate = 28 + ; more than decent gets more points. You can gain more points by having proper line by line, clash, good evidence with warrants, good impact comparison. You can lose points by not doing those aforementioned things AND if you are snarky, condescending, etc.
Productive cross-examinations add to speaker points and help to set up arguments---needlessly answering or asking your partners cx questions subtract from speaker points. Did I mention flowing is a good thing?
The line by line is important as is the evidence you read, explain and reference by name in the debate. Line by line is the only way to clash and avoid “two ships passing in the night” debates. Line by line isn't answer the previous speech in order - it's about grounding the debate in the 2ac on off case, 1nc on case.
I do tend to read evidence on important issues – so the quality of your evidence does matter as does how much you actually read of it. I am persuaded by teams that call out other teams based on their evidence quality, author quals, lack of highlighting (meaning they read little of the evidence). You should flow – you can’t do anything else I’ve outlined without flowing – and like, actually flow, not copy the speech doc..
Andrea Moreno - She/her
Gonzaga '25 - (TBD)
Juan Diego Catholic High School '21- 2A/1N
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR: Happy to flow and listen to all arguments. I rely heavily on the flow and vote on arguments that are warranted and clear at the end of the round. "Personal attacks aren't cool, but trash arguments/evidence all you want." - Avalyn
Affs- I’m good with anything. My experience is running big stick policy affs, soft left affs, or a K aff.
For K affs, I love them. Personally, I would like it if they had an advocacy statement or plan but anything is cool with me. This doesn't mean I won't vote for framework on the negative.
If you're not winning solvency on the affirmative, I can definitely be persuaded to vote negative on presumption.
K teams that do good line-by-line refutation will be rewarded with speaker points more than teams that have 4 minute overviews. Don't assume I know all the bigs words that you are going to throw at me plz.
Tell me what the world of the alt looks like.
Make sure the link story actually makes sense.
I love a good DA/CP debate. If the CP solves the aff and avoids the net benefit its pretty easy to vote on it.
be nice and have fun!
this is your debate round, not mine, don't let anything on here influence what you read in front of me. :)
add me on the email chain pls email@example.com
west campus high school '21
gonzaga university '25
past coaches have been: stephen goldberg, kristi morioka, jeremy morioka, and molly martin if that tells you anything
tldr: read whatever u want in front of me I don’t have a ton of preferences, I vote on arguments that are warranted out and clearly weighed at the end of the round
- policy affs: read whatever u want, I read pretty much only soft left affs my first 3 years in hs but that doesn't mean I'm biased towards or against soft left affs
- k affs: I read k affs my senior year but I am not the most versed in the lit. I would prefer the aff have some sort of advocacy statement but again, you do you
- performance affs: I love them, despite that being said I don't think they are the most effective unless they have some sort of advocacy statement to defend the performace
- t: love it. was a pretty big t hack. I would prefer the t debate if it included competing interpretations done well and some impact work
- cps: they have to solve the aff for me to vote on it and preferably have some sort of net benefit
- das: please please please actually link it to the aff and dont just read a topic link, if you do I'll still listen and consider it but I won't be happy about it
- ks: not super well versed in k lit but you do you. if your overview is over like a minute, it doesn’t need to be. I’ll flow it but I won’t be happy about it
- theory: love it but actually answer their standards and don't just read your generic blocks
- the rvi: valid
- please do line by line and you will be rewarded in speaker points
please be nice to everyone and a decent human being
if you are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc, or offensive I will dock ur speaks and most likely vote against u. if I miss it and the other team points it out/ gives a reason to vote on it I will not hesitate to vote against u :)
especially in online debate please be clear. I don’t really care how fast you are, I need to be able to understand you
in the words of Molly Martin “we are humans before we are debaters”
HS: Damien HS '12
BA: Gonzaga University '16
I debated back between 2008-2016 in both high school and college at Damien and Gonzaga respectively. I am a Ph.D student in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, so when I say that I evaluate arguments, I mean it. Debate is about communication of arguments, meaning it’s about the arguments you articulate that I can understand.
You can do anything you want in a debate, but remember that I have to be able to recognize it as an argument for or against something. This means that, you should have some claim and some way to defend that claim. In terms of literature bases, I am familiar with both old school policy and K debate, as well as the more contemporary versions of each.
We all have some biases, so here is a few of the things that are generally true about me: I was both a 2N and a 2A, equally. I almost always default to evaluating if the Aff wins the case debate first. I think the negative can do anything that challenges the Aff as being a good idea. I think conditionality is good. I think alternatives and CP’s should be functionally competitive not necessarily textually competitive. I am not white, and I do not have any white guilt. I think language and arguments are a tool to be used, and therefore have ascribed (i.e. not static) meaning. I think clash is good. I think fairness should be preserved. I think that debate is about argument and communication. I think that it is your burden to make something understandable to me. I think that there should be offense and defense in a debate. I will vote on any argument, so long as I have a reason to do so, and it is your burden to give me an argument to vote for.
I try to mitigate my bias whenever I can, and try to ask myself if I am making a judgement based on what was said in the debate. So I try to be as objective as possible, and find that I tend to have this, if you want to call it, a bias towards fairness in-round and in competition.
My judging paradigm has evolved a great deal over time. These days, I have very few set opinions about args. I used to think I had a flawless flow and a magnet mind but now I can't follow each little detail and/or extremely nuanced or shrouded arguments with 101% accuracy like once upon a time. Still pretty good tho lol. And that said, I believe I've come to prioritize debaters' decisions more than ever and try harder than ever to base my decision on what debaters are trying to make happen in the round, and how well they do it, as opposed to how I logically add up what occurred. No judge can totally eliminate their process of sorting things out or their lived personal experience but I try to judge rounds as the debaters tell me to judge them, and with the tools they make available to me. I do think debate is about debaters, so I try to limit my overall judge agency to an extent. But sometimes my experience with traditional policy debate matters and favors a team. Sometimes my lived experience as a brown dude effects my encounter of an argument. These things happen and they are happening with all of your judges whether they admit it or you know it or not. I competed with "traditional policy arguments" (which, frankly, I am unsure still exist #old) but by now I have voted for and coached stupidly-traditional, traditional, mildly-traditional, non-traditional, and anti-traditional arguments in high-stakes rounds for a ton of programs in high school, college, internationally, in different eras, dimensions, all kinds of shit. If you think your reputation matters, don't pref me. If you or your coaches are used to attacking in the post-round, you're gonna play yourself because I'll either be 101% and crush you or I won't be and I'll mock you. Debate's a game but we are people so we should treat each other with respect. Self-control is one of the hallmarks of critical thinking and a disciplined intellect; if you cannot make peace with results in a subjective activity, you are simply not an elite debater, imho. Take it or leave it. Good luck to all debaters, seriously, it's a hell of a thing.
Judging Experience: 16 years
Overview: There is no one right way to debate. Of course we all have our biases and preconceptions, but I try to approach the round as a critic of argumentation & persuasion. Make your argument more effectively than your opponent and you will be in good shape. Your adaptation to the stylistic/technical comments below is far more important than your adaptation to any particular type of argument.
Stylistic/Technical Issues: I must be up front about the fact that I'm not a terrific flow. My ear for hearing extremely fast speech is not particularly great, and my handwriting is pretty slow. This means that debaters who strongly rely on the technicalities of the flow may not want to prefer me very highly. There seems to be a pretty clear cut inverse relationship between the speed at which you speak and the amount that I get written down on my flow. This greatly rewards debaters who give fewer, but more fully developed and explained, arguments. I will probably not read very many cards at the end of the debate, so don't rely on your evidence to make your arguments for you. Draw out and explain the warrants in your speech and you will be rewarded.I categorically *do not* want to be forced to reconstruct a debate round by rereading all of the evidence at the end of the round. This means that explanation in the final rebuttals weighs more for me than it might for others. Attend to the big picture, make direct comparisons showing why your arguments are better than your opponents', and most importantly, find the "hook" that allows you to frame the debate in your favor.
Theory Debates: I have found that I have a pretty high threshold for voting on theory issues. My general tendency is to congratulate the team that creates a strategic competitive advantage for themselves. This translates into a sort of "anything goes" attitude. For me, theory debates (and this applies to topicality and framework debates as well) come down to the depth of the impact explanation. If your argument is that the other team is being unfair, I want to hear all the gory details. What do they take away from you? What do they leave for you? What do they justify? And so on. If you don’t make me feel it, then odds are I won't vote on it.
Framework Stuff: I have regularly voted both ways in Framework debates. I evaluate these debates much like I would a debate over the "substance" of the case. Both sides need to play offense to amplify their own impacts while also playing defense against their opponent's impacts. In most cases where I have voted against critical affirmatives, it is because they have done a poor job answering the negative's "fairness" impact claims. In most cases where I have voted against traditional policy frameworks, it has been because they have done a poor job defending against the substantive critiques of their approach. My general set of biases on these issues would be as follows: critical (and even no-plan) affirmatives are legitimate, a team must defend the assumptions of their arguments, critiques don't need (and are often better served without) alternatives, debate rounds do not make sense as a forum for social movements, and most of the evidence used to defend a policy framework does not really apply to policy debate. Also, my new pet theory is that a large portion of framework debates can probably be "permed." However, to state the obvious, each of these biases can be overcome by making smart arguments.
Speaker Points: I think that I might tend to use a bit more range of the scale than some judges, and I've recently been trying to nail down more precisely how I assign points. Here are the things that I value in a good speaker. I love debaters that use ethos, logos AND pathos. Technique should be a means of enhancing your arguments, not obfuscating or protecting them. Look like you're winning. Show that you are in control of yourself and your environment. Develop a persona that you can be comfortable with and that shows confidence. Know what you're talking about. Answer your own cross-ex questions. Use an organizational system that works for you, but communicate it and live up to it (if you do the line-by-line, then *do* the line-by-line). I am now making a bigger effort to prioritize clarity in my points. By clarity, I do not just mean articulation & enunciation. I also include in that category the ability to understand the content of your evidence. If I can't follow what your evidence is saying, it will have as much weight in my decision as the tagline for that evidence would have had as an analytic. Debaters who make well thought out arguments with strong support will out-point debaters who just read a lot of cards every time.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TLDR: Read whatever you want. I am in my second year debating for Gonzaga and have spent most of my time reading policy style arguments but I enjoy judging kritikal rounds. I try to evaluate tab and evaluate tech > truth. Personal attacks aren't cool, but trash arguments/evidence all you want.
Affs- I’m good with anything. My experience is mostly running big stick policy affs or soft left k affs against K teams.
For K affs, I tend to prefer ones that have advocacy statements/plan text.
It's hard to convince me that the performance of the 1AC means you should win if the negative is the winning framework.
If you're not winning solvency on the affirmative, I can definitely be persuaded to vote negative on presumption.
In k aff v framework debates, you need to emphasize your impact calculus against fw impacts like procedural fairness and education and I will totally vote on the impact turn. I need judge instruction on how to evaluate the theory of power of the affirmative against FW because I will not do that for you. Have a competing model of debate and explain to me why that’s better than the FW args and/or resolves negative offense.
I love T vs policy affs, I run T vs policy affs, please feel free to go for T in front of me against non-topical policy affs.
I prefer limits over ground arguments.
Competing interps or reasonability- I default to competing interpretations but if you're winning reasonability that's what we will do but you can't win reasonability without a competing interpretation.
Do! Evidence! Comparison! In! T! Debates! Predictability is not the only litmus test for the desirability of a definition.
Procedural fairness is an impact.
I love a good TVA especially if it is carded and well explained against affirmative offense. I don't think that TVAs have to be perfect to be worthwhile so if you're affirmative, impact out your DAs to the TVA and explain to me why it's substantial.
I am sympathetic to predictable limits and competitive equity arguments.
K teams that do good line-by-line refutation will be rewarded with speaker points more than teams that have 4 minute overviews.
Alt solvency is very important to me unless you explicitly go for your links as DAs. I think affirmative vs alternative debate is underrated.
On FW- I'm usually pretty persuaded that the affirmative should get to weigh their affirmative but that doesn't mean I will disregard their epistemology/ontology/rhetoric/assumptions etc. For affs against Ks- don't forget to extend affirmative offense in the 2ar and explain how I should weigh your aff against the criticism of the K. If you win framework but don't do any of that weighing in the 2AR, I probably will vote on the K.
PLEASE weigh your impacts. Be able to explain how they turn and o/w their advantages.
Going for DAs that aren’t net benefits means you probably should have some good case args and if you don’t you really need to buckle down on why DA o/w case.
Counterplans should have solvency advocates.
Conditionality is a voter. I am down for the judge kick arguments if you tell me to in the 2NR.
I default to reject the argument for theoretical objections to CPs- except on condo.
Always do case debate- regardless of the style you’re rocking with.
"Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world." - Arthur Schopenhauer
I debated at Brophy College Prep and then debated at Gonzaga University.
I now coach at Gonzaga in Spokane, WA.
Everything under this are my defaults but obviously any argument that is contrary to any of these override my presuppositions. I'll try not to intervene to the best of my ability.
I don't like when teams read evidence from debate coaches. It is absurd and self-referential.
Tech over truth
I'll call for ev, but only if it is a key part of the debate or I have been told to look at it. I put a lot of stock into the quality of evidence when deciding debates.
I default to reject the arg for everything except conditionality unless told otherwise.
Awesome strategic moves will be rewarded.
For the love of Przemek Karnowski, please don't cheat.
I'm not particularly expressive, but it doesn't mean I hate your argument, I'm just thinking to myself.
Keep your shoes on in the round.
Read warrants please. I will reward fantastic ev. Quality outweighs quantity. Use spin and compare your evidence to theirs.
I do tend to default to less change and think that there is such thing as zero risk of the aff. Using very smart case defense arguments is awesome. Internal link defense and solvency arguments are, in my opinion, underused. That makes me sad. So please use them.
I'm a huge theory nerd so I'm down with being convinced something is competitive. HOWEVER, I do think that a lot of counterplans that are commonly run are not competitive. Granted, I ran Reg Neg and Consult Russia a lot, and I understand why they are necessary sometimes, but I will reward case specific counterplans with net benefits that justify the status quo. To be clear: Artificial net benefits be dumb, yo. Counterplans should have solvency advocates--preferably normative one--which will go a long way in defending the theoretical legitimacy of the advocacy.
Against big stick affs, don't read stupid PICs like "the" or "should" because then I will cry. And I am an ugly crier.
I won't kick a conditional CP in the 2NR unless I'm explicitly told to in the debate.
For politics, gotta have the goods evidence-wise.
Political capital key cards should say that political capital is key.
I think that an aff shooting apart the internal link chain of a stupid scenario is sufficient.
I would really like it if your DA was an actual opportunity cost to the plan.
Link controls direction of uniqueness.
I exclusively went for the K almost all of college, so I know a lot of the literature. I've read a lot of Foucault, Baudrillard, Nietzsche and Deleuze but I won't pretend I know all K authors equally. Please explain it in relation to the aff, not just in high theory terms.
I don't think I'm the federal government. I am a sleepy coach judging a debate. However, I can be persuaded differently by args made in the debate.
Getting to weigh the aff is distinct from a "role of the ballot" argument because Role of the ballot determines how/what I am voting on or evaluating.
I love highly technical K debate ie. LINE BY LINE and clash.
Well researched and case specific Ks will make me smile.
I really do enjoy theory debates if it is delivered at a rate consistent with the arguments. For example, if you are saying conditionality is bad in the 1AR don't speed through it because it is difficult to flow in its entirety. I will vote on unconditionality good, or 5 conditional CPs good. Debate is debate. If a theory violation is well impacted and explained, I will vote on it.
I default to competing interpretations unless told to evaluate it differently. I love when people read a lot of cards on tea, or have a hyper specific topicality argument. I evaluate it like a DA, so impacting things such as limits and ground is important.
Framework vs K affs:
I'm down to listen to really anything, and I was usually on the side of the team answering framework for most of my career. That being said, I really really enjoy framework debates. I think that "no Ks" isn't very convincing, but there should probably some agreed upon stasis point. This doesn't mean you need to defend the hypothetical implementation of plan in front of me, but if the other team wins that fiat is a good model of education, I will vote on it.
Update for 2021-2022 season: I have not worked on this year's topic, so please be as thorough as you can. I have some familiarity with the resolution based on my law school coursework in antitrust law, including antitrust law in the context of mergers and acquisitions.
My argument experience is still the same in terms of having more experience with policy arguments/plan-based debate, but as mentioned below, this is just a disclaimer about my background, rather than a preference for any type of argument. I will do my best to evaluate your arguments no matter the style, and I am happy to answer questions before the round if there is something specific you'd like to ask about. I've also noticed that I find framing the ballot even more useful for me as someone who has been out of the activity for a little bit, particularly in the final speeches- i.e. explaining what you think you are winning, why it matters, why your evidence is good and theirs is bad, etc.
- Debated for 4 years at Gonzaga University, current law student at Georgetown
- Assistant coach for Gonzaga University
- My experience is nearly exclusively in policy-based debate. That does not mean that I’m unwilling to listen to other styles of argumentation, it just means that I require an extra level of explanation if that's not your argument style.
- I do not want to reconstruct the debate and arbitrarily make a decision based on whose evidence is better- I think you should do that work in the debate, and I will do my part by working hard to listen and evaluate what you have to say.
- I think it is much more important to be clear than fast. I'm more likely to reward a 4-off strategy than a 9-off strategy.
- I think negative teams get a logical but not contradictory amount of conditional advocacies.
- I'm not persuaded that many things are reasons to reject a team, but I'm perfectly willing to make a cheating counterplan go away if you have a strongly developed theoretical objection
- I am a huge fan of case debate, and am strongly opposed to 2As that fly through case arguments
- The phrase “try or die” is not compelling to me, I prefer engaged impact comparison
- I am more persuaded by substantive reasons about why progress in the direction of the resolution is possible and desirable than I am by purely theoretical arguments, but a combination of both is worthwhile in establishing a link to your violation
- I'm typically confused about what it means for the aff to be a prerequisite to the resolution. I find offense related to the negative's interpretation far more persuasive than trying to find some balance between defending the resolution and not defending the resolution
- Topical versions of the aff don't have to be perfect to be worthwhile arguments
- I think topicality has become a non-starter for many judges as long as the aff is close enough; I don't feel that way and will not be disgruntled listening to a T debate if that's a part of your strategy against a particular aff
- I default to competing interpretations but can be persuaded by a thoroughly explained reasonability argument
- Evidence comparison is important to me; predictability is not the only litmus test for the desirability of a given definition
- I think there should be a solvency advocate that agrees with the counterplan text
- I am willing to evaluate the status quo if the 2NR establishes a judge choice argument- if the 2NR does not make this argument, I think the 2AR ought to make clear that the negative is stuck with the counterplan
- I will reward smart, case specific counterplans more than I will generic agent/process counterplans
- I think the following counterplans are more objectionable than others: consult counterplans, condition counterplans, and anything else that could be characterized as “plan plus.” This doesn't mean I don't want to listen to these counterplans, I was a 2N for my whole debating life so I'm comfortable with whatever you want to do. This is just a disclaimer that I tend to find these theory arguments more persuasive than other judges might.
- Impact comparison matters very much to me but not at the expense of the rest of the DA- if entire pieces of the DA are missing and I'm confused about something, I'm not likely to fill in the gaps for you
- I'm not a fan of a proliferation of 2AC arguments with no warrant or explanation, but I also think bad DAs deserve plenty of logical indicts and I think that defensive arguments can be enough to beat a bad argument
- Of my limited experience with critical argumentative strategies, I have the most familiarity with gender and critiques of capitalism
- The impact debate should focus on contextualizing your evidence to the aff’s advantages or mechanism
- I will be sympathetic to a conditionality argument if your kritik explicitly contradicts one or more of your other off-case positions
- I am not persuaded by arbitrary or self-serving "role of the ballot" arguments. I would prefer a clear explanation of how to compare your arguments against the affirmatives
I will evaluate the debate that you want to have to the best of my ability. If you have questions, feel free to ask before the round or email me: email@example.com.
put me on the chain -- firstname.lastname@example.org
- please please format the email chain correctly -- tournament name -- round # -- name (aff) vs name (neg)
- since online debating is sketchy bc of tech issues you should be slowing down, especially on tags and important args
- do what you want, i genuinely don't care what you run
- i currently debate so i know most of the acronyms and arguments on this topic but that doesn't mean you can get away without explaining your arguments
- make my ballot for me -- don't make me have to debate the round for you because i won't -- tell me why i'm voting aff/neg and what i'm voting on
- cx is binding and i will flow it
- i'm a pretty flex debater -- i've given 2nr's on both politics and baudrillard - however, i'm probably a better judge for policy v k rounds
- if a cp solves the case, then you're absolutely golden
- the case debate is under-utilized in most debates
- i love impact turns (please nothing offensive though)
- tech > truth in almost all cases unless your argument is totally obscure
- i definitely lean neg on framework against k- affs (if your k- aff is related to the topic in some way and you can explain it well then you have a higher chance of winning the round)
- condo is probably good - i can be persuaded otherwise but if it's less than 5 it will be an uphill battle
- i LOVE a good T debate but don't just read blocks, actually debate it
- "if your arg contains SPEC in the name, i'll give it zero re-SPEC-t" -- trendan lin
- "better team usually wins |---x---------------------| the rest of this" -- dave arnett
- have fun and don't be rude
+0.1 speaks for any good jokes or roasts about a GA or UK debater
- have fun and if you have any questions, just ask!
- i have limited topic knowledge so please avoid acronyms
- clash is good and it will be difficult to convince me otherwise in close debates
- tech > truth in almost all cases unless your argument is totally obsure
- explain your arguments well -- i will never vote on an argument that i don't get a full explanation of
- cx is binding and i will flow it
- the final speeches should be writing my ballot for me -- tell me why i should vote pro/con and what arguments i'm voting for
- have fun and if you have questions, just ask!
- i have limited experience judging/coaching LD
- tech > truth in almost all cases
- because i'm a current policy debater, i'm probably better for k or larp rounds
- i'm not sure why teams think that perm double bind is sufficient enough to win a round on
- i do not like voting on egregious theory but i begrudgingly will - that being said if theory/tricks comprise your core strat i will not be pleased
- since LD rounds are pretty short, i prefer when you really commit to one strategy
- have fun and if you have any questions, just ask!
Assistant Director of Debate at the University of Miami
Assistant Debate Coach at the Pine Crest School
10+ years judging
Yes, please put me on the speech doc: dinger AT gmail
Here are the two things you care about when you are looking to do the prefs so I’ll get right to them:
1. Conditionality: I think rampant conditionality is destroying the educational aspects of debate slowly but surely. You should not run more than one conditional argument in front of me.
Reading a K without an alternative and claiming it is a “gateway” issue doesn’t count. First, it likely contradicts with your CP, which is a reason that conditionality is both not educational and unfair. Second, there are no arbitrary “gateway” issues – there are the stock issues but methodology, for example, is not one of them the last time I read Steinberg’s book.
I also think there is a big difference between saying the CP is “conditional” versus “the status quo is always an option for the judge”. Conditional implies you can kick it at any time, however, if you choose not to kick it in the 2NR then that was your choice. You are stuck with that world. If the “status quo is always an option” for me, then the negative is saying that I, as the judge, have the option to kick the CP for them. You may think this is a mere semantic difference. That’s fine – but I DON’T. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
The notion that I (or any judge) can just kick the CP for the negative team seems absurd in the vein of extreme judge intervention. Can I make permutation arguments for the aff too? That being said, if the affirmative lets the negative have their cake and eat it too, then I’ll kick CPs left and right. However, it seems extremely silly to let the negative argue that the judge has the ability to kick the CP. In addition, if the negative never explicitly states that I can kick the CP in the 2NR then don’t be surprised when I do not kick it post-round (3NR?).
Finally, I want to note the sad irony when I read judge philosophies of some young coaches. Phrases similar to “conditionality is probably getting out of hand”, while true, show the sad state of affairs where the same people who benefited from the terrible practice of rampant conditionality are the same ones who realize how bad it is when they are on the other side.
2. Kritiks: In many respects going for a kritik is an uphill battle with me as the judge. I don’t read the literature and I’m not well versed in it. I view myself as a policymaker and thus I am interested in pragmatics. That being said, I think it is silly to dismiss entirely philosophical underpinnings of any policy.
Sometimes I really enjoy topic specific kritiks, for example, on the immigration topic I found the idea about whether or not the US should have any limits on migration a fascinating debate. However, kritiks that are not specific to the topic I will view with much more skepticism. In particular, kritiks that have no relation to pragmatic policymaking will have slim chance when I am judging (think Baudrillard).
If you are going for a K, you need to explain why the PLAN is bad. It’s good that you talk about the impact of your kritik but you need to explain why the plan’s assumptions justify that impact. Framing the debate is important and the frame that I am evaluating is surrounding the plan.
I am not a fan of kritiks that are based off of advantages rather than the plan, however, if you run them please don’t contradict yourself. If you say rhetoric is important and then use that same bad rhetoric, it will almost be impossible for you to win. If the 1AC is a speech act then the 1NC is one too.
I believe that the affirmative should defend a plan that is an example of the current high school or CEDA debate resolution. I believe that the affirmative should defend the consequences of their plan as if the United States or United States federal government were to actually enact your proposal.
“Truth over tech”? I mull this over a lot. This issue is probably the area that most judges grapple with, even if they seem confident on which side they take. I err of the side of "truth over tech" but that being said, debate is a game and how you perform matter for the outcome. While it is obviously true that in debate an argument that goes unanswered is considered “true”, that doesn’t mean there doesn’t have to be a logical reason behind the argument to begin with. That being said, I will be sensitive to new 2AR arguments as I think the argument, if logical, should have been in the debate earlier.
Topicality: Topicality is always a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue. I default to reasonability on topicality. It makes no sense to me that I should vote for the best interpretation, when the affirmative’s burden is only to be good. The affirmative would never lose if the negative said there is better solvency evidence the affirmative should have read. That being said, I understand that what “good’ means differs for people but that’s also true for what “better” is: both are subjective. I will vote on competing interpretations if the negative wins that is the best way to frame the debate (usually because the affirmative doesn’t defend reasonability).
The affirmative side has huge presumption on topicality if they can produce contextual evidence to prove their plan is topical. Specific examples of what cases would be/won’t be allowed under an interpretation are important.
People think “topical version of the aff” is the be all end all of topicality, however, it begs the question: is the aff topical? If the aff is topical then just saying “topical version of the aff” means nothing – you have presented A topical version of the aff in which the affirmative plan is also one.
Basically I look at the debate from the perspective of a policy debate coach from a medium sized school: is this something my team should be prepared to debate?
As a side note – often times the shell for topicality is read so quickly that it is very unclear exactly what your interpretation of the topic is. Given that, there are many times going into the block (and sometimes afterwards) that I don’t understand what argument you are making as to why the affirmative is not topical. It will be hard for me to embrace your argument if I don’t know what it is.
Counterplans: It is a lot easier to win that your counterplan is theoretically legitimate if you have a piece of evidence that is specific to the plan. And I mean SPECIFIC to the plan, not “NATO likes to talk about energy stuff” or the “50 states did this thing about energy one time”. Counterplans that include all of the plan are the most theoretically dubious. If your counterplan competes based on fiat, such as certainty or timeframe, that is also theoretically dubious. Agent counterplans and PICS (yes, I believe they are distinct) are in a grey area. The bottom line: the counterplan should not be treated as some throw away argument – if you are going to read one then you should defend it.
Theory: I already talked a lot about it above but I wanted to mention that the only theoretical arguments that I believe are “voting issues” are conditionality and topicality. The rest are just reasons to reject the argument and/or allow the other side to advocate similar shenanigans. This is true even if the other side drops the argument in a speech.
Other stuff you may care about if you are still reading:
Aspec: If you don’t ask then cross-examination then I’ll assume that it wasn’t critical to your strategy. I understand “pre-round prep” and all but I’m not sure that’s enough of a reason to vote the affirmative down. If the affirmative fails to specify in cross-examination then you may have an argument. I'm not a huge fan of Agent CPs so if this is your reasong to vote against the aff, then you're probably barking up the wrong tree.
**Addendum to ASPEC for "United States"**: I do think it is important for the aff to specify in cross-ex what "United States" means on the college topic. The nature of disads and solvency arguments (and potentially topicality) depend on what the aff means by "United States". I understand these are similiar arguments made by teams reading ASPEC on USFG but I feel that "United States" is so unique and can mean so many different things that a negative team should be able to know what the affirmative is advocating for.
Evidence: I put a large emphasis on evidence quality. I read a lot of evidence at the end of the debate. I believe that you have to have evidence that actually says what you claim it says. Not just hint at it. Not just imply it. Not just infer it. You should just read good evidence. Also, you should default to reading more of the evidence in a debate. Not more evidence. More OF THE evidence. Don't give me a fortune cookie and expect me to give the full credit for the card's warrants. Bad, one sentence evidence is a symptom of rampant conditionality and antithetical to good policy making.
Paperless: I only ask that you don’t take too much time and have integrity with the process, e.g., don’t steal prep, don’t give the other team egregious amounts of evidence you don’t intend to read, maintain your computers and jump drives so they are easy to use and don’t have viruses, etc.
Integrity: Read good arguments, make honest arguments, be nice and don’t cheat. Win because you are better and not because you resort to cheap tricks.
Civility: Be nice. Debate is supposed to be fun. You should be someone that people enjoy debating with and against – win or lose. Bad language is not necessary to convey an argument.
Zachary Watts (call me Zach, please)
Affiliation: University of Texas at Austin
History: Debated at Jesuit Dallas for 3 years in high school, currently in my first year debating at UT Austin
Speaker Position: 2A/1N in high school, 2N/1A in college
If you need a shorter version because this is right before a debate -
1. be nice to your opponents - debate isn't an activity to make people feel bad.
2. Make sure you're clear - I'm okay with speed, but if I can't understand you I can't flow you.
3. You should feel free to run the arguments that you're used to running and the debate will probably flow better if you do that as opposed to trying to fit my preferences - make sure you're condensing down to the key questions of the debate in the final rebuttals providing impact framing so I can evaluate which impacts I should view first.
Have fun and good luck!
I will try my best to evaluate the debate based upon what I flow, although I am human and have some tendencies/leanings (discussed further below). I will flow the debate to the best of my ability - go as fast as you like, but if I can't understand what you're saying, I can't flow you (if this is the case, I will say clear - if you hear this either slow down or enunciate more (or both)). I will read a piece of evidence at the end of a debate if it is particularly important to my decision and heavily contested or you ask me to read it after the round, but I think that the debate should come down to your analysis of the evidence in your speeches and comparative arguments as to why I should prefer your evidence/argument. I don't count flashing as prep - however, if you are obviously prepping after you called to stop, I will start prep and notify you that I'm doing so. If you are cheating (i.e. clipping cards) you will lose the round and get minimal speaker points; if you accuse somebody of cheating and there is not proof that they did so, the same will happen to you (and, in that case, not the team accused of cheating) - debate is supposed to be a fun, educational activity - don't ruin it for other people by trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage.
As stated above, I'm fine with you speaking quickly, just don't sacrifice clarity for speed. Please engage in line-by-line and clash with the other team's arguments (this means doing some comparative analysis between your argument and that of your opponent, not just playing the "they say, we say" game). If you could stick to the 1NC order on case and the 2AC order of arguments on off-case, that is very much appreciated (although I know that style of debate is kind of outdated - I'll flow either way, it just keeps it organized). Using CX strategically (i.e. setting up your arguments, fleshing out some of their args to contextualize comparative analysis, pointing out flaws in their evidence, etc, and actually implementing them in your speech (it's okay to take prep to make sure some of the good things from CX make it into your speech)) will definitely earn you points. I will start at 28.3 and add or deduct points from there. Doing the things I said above will earn you more points (more points for executing them well) and not doing them or being rude to the other team will lose you points (the second part applies even if you spoke and debated well - be nice, having ethos doesn't mean you have to be snarky).
I think that topicality tends to be a bit overused as a time-suck for the 2AC, but don't let that deter you from running it - just an observation. If you're going to run T, you need to clearly articulate what your vision for the topic is, why the aff does not fit in that interpretation, and why the aff not fitting under that interpretation is bad and a reason that your interpretation is good. A lot of this comes down to the standards debate, but really explain why allowing the aff's scholarship being read in the round is bad for debate - why does the aff being outside of your interpretation make debate unfair for the negative team and why is that bad and/or why does the aff's form of scholarship trade off with topic-specific education and why should that come before the aff's form of education? On the aff, you should push back on these questions - you should have a we meet and a counter-interpretation (or at least a counter-interpretation and a reason why their interp. is bad for the topic), and you should also have a reasonability argument - if I think that the aff fits within a fair interpretation of the topic and doesn't cause the "topic explosion" internal link that the neg is saying you do, I'm very likely to lean aff in that debate (please don't go for only reasonability in the 2AR - at that point, if you don't even have a we meet, it's very difficult for me to determine how you are reasonably topical). Please also be framing the impacts in terms of what the aff justifies (for the neg) or in terms of what it does in the round (for the aff, especially if you're pretty close to the topic) and explain why I should look at the T debate in a specific light (i.e. "in-round abuse" vs. "it's what they justify"). Especially in the rebuttals, please slow down a little bit on T (you don't have to go conversational speed, but please don't sound like you're going as fast as you would reading a piece of evidence) - it's a very technical debate to have and I might not get every warrant if I can't write down the words that you're saying as quickly as you're saying them, which may be frustrating to you if I didn't get something important. There's not a lot of pen time (i.e. times when I can catch up with flowing such as when cards are being read), so slowing down a bit on T would probably be beneficial for you.
I think that counterplans are extremely useful and strategic for the negative and are often blown off by the aff. Counterplans should be competitive (textually as well as functionally - aff, if you point out that a CP is not functionally competitive, I am pretty likely to lean aff and dismiss the CP - be careful with this, though, as process CPs often have an internal net benefit; you should engage that CP on a theoretical level as well. Use CX to determine what the CP actually does before making the arguments about CP competitiveness), and I view many process CPs as really sketchy and usually not theoretically justifiable. I am more likely to view these CPs a legitimate, however, if you have a solvency advocate specific to the aff or can use the aff's solvency evidence to justify the CP (especially if you have a reason why whatever process you do the aff through can't just be tacked onto the aff via a perm). Perms should not sever or be intrinsic, but this may be justified if the neg is running a theoretically objectionable CP (i.e. one that doesn't test whether or not the aff is a good idea - which should be the way I decide the debate at the end of the day).
Neg, run specific links, diversify your impacts across DAs and make sure that the 1NC shell isn't just a case turn. Both sides need to do some impact calculus and tell me why your impacts turn the other team's or just outweigh them. Aff, especially in debates with multiple DAs, make sure your strategy is consistent - don't double-turn yourself across flows.
Politics DAs - I'm not a fan of the politics DA - I'm not saying you can't run it, but I'm more likely to reward smart aff analytics indicting the thesis of your links and internal links in a world of Trump even if you read a lot of evidence that makes some not so great warrants. That said, if the aff doesn't make these arguments, I will evaluate it like any other DA. If they do, it's probably going to be an uphill battle for you if this is your A-strat for the debate.
I don't think that Ks should be excluded from debate, and I think that questioning the philosophical and theoretical basis of the arguments that are run is a good educational exercise that can be enjoyable to watch when it is done well. That said, I think that you should still have to read a specific link to the aff, an impact with a clear internal link to the link argument, and an alternative to solve that. While I think that Ks that impact out the implications of the aff's rhetoric in-round might lower the threshold for alt solvency beyond a rejection of the plan, anything (like the cap K) claiming larger and broader impacts will have to do more work to prove that the alternative is capable of solving that and explaining a reason why the permutation cannot function. I do not think that the aff shouldn't get to weigh their impacts, but you should clearly define what the role of the ballot is (what issue should I prioritize when looking at the K flow at the end of the debate) and why that is good/the counter-interpretation is bad. This does not mean you should say the ROB is to do whatever the K is; it's an argument about how I should filter the impacts (i.e. should I take a utilitarian impact calculus and vote on whichever side should save more lives, or should I evaluate the debate through a lens of epistemological grounding to determine access to impacts - please don't say something like the ROB should be to be the team who best deconstructs capitalism or something along those lines because it doesn't really help me filter the impacts in any meaningful way and will probably be answered with arguments such as capitalism is good). Make sure to include turns case analysis in the block in addition to the impact in your 1NC (and remember to extend it in the 2NR!). Affs, you should have a reason that your scholarship should be prioritized, and take advantage of the fact that the weakest part of a K is usually the alt - if you can win reasons why the alt can't solve case or the K, it makes it easier for you to outweigh the K using case. Also, if the link is not specific, you should point that out and use your advantages (if possible) to prove a no link argument or a reason why the perm can solve. I'm not very hip to the death good-style arguments, nothing is real-style arguments, or communication bad-style arguments (why are you reading this in an activity about communication??!! I find the argument about accelerating communication to its destruction to be particularly unpersuasive and just a justification for perm do both), but I'll evaluate them - I just think it's an uphill battle for the neg. My K literacy is also less along the lines of post-modern Ks (which is probably obvious from above), so it'll probably take a bit more explanation on those for me to vote on them.
K aff v. K debates:
In these debates, it is very important for the negative to distinguish themselves from the aff. I know that sounds obvious, but truly, you need to be very specific about the link - what in specific about the aff are you criticizing (the way they construct the world/explain how violence operates, their solvency mechanism, etc.) and why does that matter - this is particularly true when there's not a whole lot of difference between the aff's and neg's impacts. This can be helped by distinguishing the alternative from the aff in order to resolve whatever link you make. For the aff, use the theoretical grounding that's probably already in your 1AC in order to engage the link debate (it's probably going to be a question of proving that your understanding is correct and good) and (if applicable) make perms. Neg, if you're going to make the argument that the aff shouldn't get perms in a method debate, do a bit of explanation about why (I'm not asking for like a minute on perms bad - maybe a 5 second explanation about testing the affirmative's method is good in debate or about why the two methods are mutually exclusive should be good enough).
I'm open to listening to non-traditional affs (I currently run one), but they should have some relation to the topic - i.e. are you in the direction of the topic, are you redefining the topic, do you completely reject the topic, and a justification for why that is good in a debate round where one side is assigned aff, one is assigned neg, and I have to make a decision at the end of the round. If you don't, I think it allows the negative to get a bit ahead on the framework debate using topical versions of the aff (probably one of the most useful arguments for the negative) or reasons why switch-side debate solves your impacts (also a great argument for a negative team going for framework). It also might implicate case solvency to not have an advocacy - if you choose not to read one, you should have a pretty good defense of why the 1AC speech act is good, why debate is the activity through which your aff should be done, and maybe why including an advocacy would be bad (this isn't always requisite as sometimes it's obvious - if the neg makes a counter-advocacy of a method to solve and says your lack of a method is bad, you're probably in trouble though). Even if you are reading an advocacy, the second part of that is pretty important - you should make sure to explain why debate is key to your advocacy and why you should do it on the aff. You also need to have a clearly defined role of the ballot for how I should filter impacts in the round. On FW, please explain why I should prioritize your form of debate or scholarship over a traditional aff. Negatives that can exploit this will often be ahead on framework. Similar to T, FW should have an interp, violation, standards, and an impact (or impacts) - these should include reasons why your interpretation turns the aff's ability to solve their case. I don't think that framework is necessarily violent or analogous to violence (i.e. the policing argument - I'm not sure why this is true specifically in the context of FW and not any other negative argument that says the aff is a bad idea; I get that it's indicting the form of debate, but the impact still seems to be the same; that seems to be more of a negative argument for why the implication of you reading said aff in the debate necessitates violence from the negative within the competitive structure of debate).
Theory requires a significant time investment for me to vote on it. I think that most theory arguments (i.e. one of the many reasons a process CP is theoretically objectionable) are reasons to reject an argument not the team; of course, conditionality is a reason to reject the team (if you win the theory debate). Theory arguments should have a clear interpretation, violation, and impact when initiated; the answer should have a counter-interpretation and reasons why that's a better vision of debate. I think that smart counter-interpretations can get out of a lot of theory offense because most theory impacts are based on worst-case scenarios. I think that there is definitely a scale for theory (i.e. I'm much more likely to vote on multiple conditional contradictory worlds than just condo; similarly, I'm far more willing to vote on aff condo bad than no solvency advocate - my scale is typically determined by competitive equity (I think education is important too, but I feel that it is often linked to competitive equity and/or should be at T or FW question - I'm not really sure why another team not doing as good of a job on research is a reason their argument is theoretically objectionable unless they have mischaracterized evidence - this is probably just a reason I should prefer your evidence and you're better off going for the substantive part of the debate). Like on topicality, slow down on theory. If this is your victory path, it should be the entirety of your final rebuttal (2AR) - you're going to win or lose on this, and none of the rest of the debate matters when theory is a question of whether the debate should be happening in the first place.
Give me your best arguments and tell me why they matter.
I appreciate well structured speeches. This applies to performance and policy alike. Debaters need to tell me what evidence/arguments are most important for resolving the round, and why. I appreciate a good overview. Tell me how, even in light of the opposition's best argument, you still win the round. Give me a balanced assessment, and try to write my RFD for me.
I like it when debaters think about the probability of their scenarios and compare and connect the different scenarios in the round. If it is a policy v critical debate, the framing is important, but not in a prior question, ROB, or "only competing policy options" sense. The better team uses their arguments to access or outweigh the other side. I think there is always a means to weigh 1AC advantages against the k, to defend 1AC epistemology as a means to making those advantages more probable and specific. On the flip side, a thorough indictment of 1AC authors and assumptions will make it easier to weigh your alternative, ethics, case turn, etc. Explain the thesis of your k and tell me why it it is a reason to reject the affirmative.
Please don't hide behind or speak into your laptop screens. I can't hear you and your pre-written rebuttals rarely match the debate as it happened anyway. I reward clarity of speech with higher points.
Cross Ex: I pay attention. Debaters can establish credibility on important issues and earn extra points at the margins through an exceptional cross examination. I feel the best debaters use cross ex to frame evidence and foreshadow their endgame.
Critical Aff: My default is the aff should endorse USFG action. You will have to persuade me why not using a federal actor was a necessity, and how there are still limits to the discussion. It helps if your advocacy is germane to the resolution. While I would much prefer to hear the negative debate the case--I give the negative a lot of latitude in these debates if they do so--I get this is unlikely when the aff wasn't predictable and didn't do anything, but if they don't do anything, you can win on presumption. If there is a creative TVA, it doesn't have to "solve" the aff, just be debatable under your interpretation.
Topicality: I vote on well argued violations. T debates need not devolve into questions of "abuse" but ultimately boil down to limits. I prefer literature/expert based interpretations of the resolution. Negatives do well to provide case lists and to articulate why their interpretation isn't an arbitrary line to exclude the affirmative. For affirmatives to win reasonability, they must provide a qualified counter interpretation and make a compelling argument for why theirs is a quality/predictable limit for the topic, driven by topic literature/experts with intent to define, and why the lack of significant offense for neg interp means competing interps becomes arbitrary in the context of this round.
Theory: I rarely vote for teams going for theory. Please get beyond the tag lines and don't assume I know or am bound to any particular convention. In most cases I would prefer to reject the argument not the team, unless clearly explained and impacted otherwise. I would much rather make a decision on more substantive issues in the round. For condo debates, please have a clear interpretation and RTP same as you would in a T debate.
Analytics: Smart, warranted arguments can have A LOT of weight on my flow. If you expose the absurdities of their internal link chains, you can get to minimal risk even without a carded response.
I prefer your CP's have a specific solvency advocate. "We fiat x does the plan" without carded solvency is not compelling and leads to boring debates about stilted net benefits. For multiplank, every plank needs an advocate.
DA: Your turns the case analysis is more compelling at the plan implementation/aff internal link level than a silly "our impact means x doesn't happen".
Politics: I find logical policy maker a compelling AFF argument.
Cheating: Clipping happens more than it should, which is never. If you are not reading every word you are claiming through underlining or highlighting, that is clipping. If it seems like a one time miscue I will say something since I will give you the benefit of the doubt but will not have given you credit for reading the card. If it is egregious or persistent, I will intervene, and I will contact your coach immediately with a description of what I witnessed.
If the other team raises a dispute. I will do my best to adjudicate the claim and follow the above reasoning to render a penalty either to dismiss the evidence or reject the team. If you intend to record the debate for calling out clipping, please be aware of the relevant state law, if you need consent please get the consent from all parties before the round.
I have been in policy debate since the early nineties. I debated at Gonzaga University in the late nineties. There's not a lot that i haven't seen in this activity. I cant even calculate how many rounds I have actually judged. Speed is obviously fine, if you need to be clearer I will tell you to do so as you are speaking. I really don't do this very often but it is a small issue now with online debate. I need to be on the email chain and I super prefer flashing your theory arguments (if you really, really wanna win the round on them).
I will vote on framework arguments (AFF or NEG) i have no biases here. I really don't have any biases against any arguments like K affirmatives, multiple CPs, condtionality....you name it, its probably debatable. I will vote on topicality and definitely will vote on stasis based arguments against K affirmatives that are clearly outside the resolution. (this isnt to say dont run non-topical critical Affs, i vote for them frequently.) I really like policy based CP and net benefits VS plan debates. I love a good (or bad) politics disad with super fresh/recent evidence and updates. I will vote on case turns (if they are unique, of course) this is a viable strategy for my ballot. I also like in depth/heavy case debates.
The most fundamental part of my paradigm is this: The debate round exists for the participants, not the judge. The affirmative or negative strategy should be based on what YOU like to run, what YOU feel is important, substantial, or an issue of prima facie concern. I can be persuaded to vote on any type of argument (topicality, critiques, framework, counterplan and net benefits VS the plan, even justification arguments) as long as clear voting issues and/or impact analysis is provided.
One of the best ways to win my ballot is to use “because-even if-because” argumentation. Here’s what I like to see in the last rebuttals:
“The affirmative/negative wins the round because (fill in the blank.) Even if the other team wins their arguments, we still win because (fill in the blank.) This is an old school paradigm that I picked up in the 90s from the late great Becky Galentine.
Furthermore, I need to see issue selection in the final rebuttals. Very rarely will you be winning every argument. Winning one vital argument soundly is better than winning small risks of numerous different impacts or disadvantages. The ability to concede arguments and “collapse down” into the key issues is often the difference when making my decision.
When clear impact analysis or voting issues are not delivered, I often find myself “reading into” your evidence to base my decision. This may help or hinder your case depending on the quality of your evidence. In other words, if your evidence does not say what you claim it does then I may have difficulty voting on the issue. When I cannot come to a clear decision in my mind and “on the flow”, I often look into your evidence for further assistance. At this point I often base my decisions on verbatim text from evidence read, not just taglines. I typically read a lot of evidence at the conclusion of the round. I often find myself voting based on "a preponderance of the evidence." Please make sure you are clear with the authors for each piece of key evidence so I know what to reference in my decision. If you call out an author in the last rebuttal I will almost certainly read that evidence.
Please be aware that i take a long time to decide almost every round. I am typically the last (or next to last) judge to turn in a ballot just about every time. I like to go over all arguments thoroughly.
Finally, I like to see creativity in the debate round. I will vote as a policy maker when put into that paradigm. I have no qualms doing so. Again, the round is yours, not mine. However, I can also be persuaded to vote on “outside the box” types of arguments and usually enjoy those debates immensely.
**Reach out to me via email after the round anytime for further answers regarding my reason for decision. I always save my flows.***