2021 — NSDA Campus, US
CX Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
School affiliations: (Past) - Nevada Union HS, CKM, (Current) - Northwood HS, Harker
Updated for: Tournament of Champions 2022
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Round starts in 5 minutes:
-- Policy debate, 4 years for Nevada Union HS. Qualified to the TOC my junior and senior year, coached 2 TOC qualified teams
-- Judge instruction + framing is very important
-- Familiar with some arguments on this topic, but don't assume
-- More K background, love policy debates, do whatever
-- Tech > truth. Except for any argument that is racist/xenophobic/homophobic/etc.
-- I’ve abandoned a lot of my predispositions. Organized, well-warranted debates >>>
I enjoy these debates if debaters take the time to develop terminal impacts (i.e how norm violations undermine skills that would otherwise spill out and solve 'x'). The interpretation and violation should be very clear. Offense will win you these debates, too much defense and spreading through theory blocks will lose you them
Very important. I am a big big fan of impact turn debates and heavy block case work.
Sufficiency framing is persuasive. The more specific and strategic the cp, the better. 2nc CPs are legitimate and strategic (most of the time). Solvency evidence is preferable but can be substituted with intuitive argumentation and CPs grounded in aff ev. Show me a centralized strategy around your CP and get to the nitty-gritty of its mechanism. Fiat does not make a CP the death star--answer the deficits thoroughly
Better for deterrence, appeasement, etc DA scenarios. Enjoy immensely, but less familiar with, intricate political capital DAs. I'll resolve the biggest question framed at the end of the debate, judge instruction is important here--you should tell me where the nexus of my decision should be. Strong evidence is key here, I will re-read cards in most debates I judge
I've debated for and against this argument most of my debate career--it has efficacy and value in debate. Overall: you do you in these debates. I enjoy skills and/or fairness offense and any combination of them. Debate is probably a game but there are args that are persuasive for why it is more or not so. I will evaluate this debate largely on the internal link and impact level, and how that implicates both teams' models of debate. ***Answer aff specific impact turns***
Make your links clear (name them!). Do not rely on overviews and buzzwords--rely on the argumentative power of your authors and explain how it relates to politics/debate/etc. The best debates are the ones that use an in-depth link debate to structure the rest of the flow. Links are DAs to the perm and the alt should resolve them. Framework is important in front of me--I default to letting the aff weigh their advantages. Chances are, I know your argument or a variation of it, but don't assume
These debates are valuable, I will evaluate them as objectively as any other--whether it's structural, performative, or theory-based. Topic ties and smart c/i's on framework are ideal. These debate will be much easier for you if you're winning central offense about the topic/debate and their investments in them. Combine it with terminal defense/offense on the skills/fairness debate. To keep it simple: prove your model is good and that your advocacy generates more persuasive/warranted offense
I reward smart cross-x questions, strategic pivots, and most certainly unpredictable (but logical) 2NR/2AR decisions. If 10 seconds in, I'm already psyched about your speech, good boost for you. I think speaker points are arbitrary and should give me the ability to help you get to where you want to be in a tournament. It's your job to prove to me why you deserve it. Don't be rude. ***Make me laugh, whether or on purpose or accidentally***
for the chain- firstname.lastname@example.org
reagan '21, duke '25
qualified to the TOC twice
if you're a hardcore policy team, i would not pref me high. i did k debate of 3 of the 4 years i debated so that should probably tell you how well versed i am with policy things. if you do end up having me in the back and only read these arguments, don't worry. you just have to simplify and connect the dots for me more than you would for other judges. i also am a first-year out so I don't have the most judging experience. for k teams i am probably in the range of a 1-3 and policy teams from a 4-6.
my sophomore year i read settler colonialism and linguistic criticisms like anzuldua. my junior year i read a baudrillard aff and a bunch of k's on the negative like semiocap, wilderson, settler colonialism, and baudrillard. my senior year i only read warren on the aff and neg.
- clarity > speed
-tech > truth in most instances
- don't be problematic. i am unafraid to vote on microaggressions. (racism, sexism, death good)
- clipping is bad but needs proof (L and 0 speaks for the team who does it)
- try entertaining me! judging can get boring sometimes so enjoyable rounds are always good
- zoom debate can be miserable if you aren't careful. please have a good mic, try and have your camera on, and don't speak over others during cx because nothing can be heard
- these debates can either be really good or really bad - please don't make them bad
- im familiar with antiblackness, set col, cap, and baudrillard. even if i may know what you are reading, you still need to do nuanced analysis on the thesis of your k.
- i never understood long overviews cause you re-explain all of what you said on the line-by-line. if you do have a long overview, try and make it the least redundant as possible.
- i have a deep deep deep hatred for links of omission. please make them specific.
- framework determines the rest of the debate. you need a model of debate that is preferable and probably should have offense on why the other side's model is bad for debate.
- if you read a kritik against a K aff, i will reward specific engagement by holding affirmative teams to a higher standard for permutation explanation.
- you can kick the alt
- just cause you won your theory of power doesn't mean you won the round
- i read k affs a lot but that doesn't mean i wont vote for t usfg. it just means i know a lot about how it should be ran
- clash as an impact>>>>
- fairness and limits > education and ground
- often negative teams forget to do impact comparison when going for t-usfg - this is the easiest way to win my ballot
- subjectivity debates matter and can implicate a lot of the flow
- i think switch side is very persuasive and solves a lot of offense
- i lean towards competing interpertations but will still vote on reasonability
- case lists are nice
- i appreaciate intent to define arguments
- impact comparison is pretty important
- good counter interp ev is really cool.
- like t-usfg i am more persuaded by limits fairness and clash than education and ground
- smart, creative counterplans are appreciated if executed well
- i like counterplans that are textually and functionally competitive, but your counterplan by no means has to be. i mostly just think you should have a solvency advocate.
- i lean neg for most counterplan theory except for consult, condo, solvency advocate. theory debates get wack so do a lot of work here to make it make sense
- i need instruction for judge kick.
- impact comparison is especially important for these debates
- evidence comparison is also pretty important
- turns case arguments when executed correctly are strategic and beneficial for negative teams
- 1ar gets new arguments to new uniqueness, links, or impacts in the blocks
- apart from things like condo and judge kicks i am not nuanced in theory arguments. slow down and overexplain things if you plan on doing this in front of my
- you should probably do this besties
- i hate aspec. if you hide this in a t shell i hate you.
-be nice. being sassy can be fun but there is a limit
- respect your opponents. respect their pronouns. don't cut each other off. just be respectful
- put a trigger warning on your stuff!!!!!
- i am heavily influenced by Philip Dipiazza, Gavin Loyd, Sean Kennedy, Rafael Sanchez, and David Gutierrez. if you have any questions, their paradigms could probably answer it.
- slander against rahul kolla will give you +0.2 speaker points
- love for kathryn pham gives you +0.2 speaker points
Yes put me on the email chain: Risha[dot]X[dot]Bhattacharjee[at]gmail[dot]com and I prefer this to pocketbox although you do you. I'd appreciate it if after the last corresponding rebuttal each side puts together a doc of all relevant cards and sends it to me even before I ask but no worries if you forget.
Philosophy last updated December 2016 (goal is to include trends I've noticed in my judging and also new opinions I've noticed myself start developing as I judge a lot, although some of these opinions haven't necessarily played out in my judging yet).
TLDR: I don't really care what you do. I am most familiar with "policy" arguments and do research in high school and college more on the "policy"-side of things, but I judge a lot of different types of arguments, so my familiarity with those is growing quickly.
My own background: I debated at Coppell High School in Dallas for 4 years and then the University of Texas for 5 years, and am now coaching at Georgia State University and Wayzata High School. This will be my third year of judging college debate and eighth year judging high school debate. I typically judge a LOT of debate rounds every year. I was a 1A/2N for most of college, and most of my 2NRs were counterplan/politics or framework. I did debate for UT/in D3, so I had my fair share of “K-debates". I found myself personally going a bit more “left” (with a particular interest in arguments about gender) in my last year of debate, but that was more in terms of opinion and not actually argumentative choices, and I still ended my career going for mostly "policy" arguments. I have generally viewed debate as a game, but can understand why others do not see it that way, and am open to alternate views of the activity.
Top-level: You should do what you do best, and I'll reciprocate by trying my best to approach the debate with an open mind. I really don't care what kind/type of arguments you choose to make. I find that teams have much more success when their judge adaptation involves accounting for specific things a judge might think about a certain argument, instead of just choosing to make a different argument altogether. Do what you do best. The only caveat is you should not say things like "racism/sexism good".
I think that racism and sexism (and other forms of exclusion) are problems in the debate community, but am uncertain as to what I think is the best way to combat forms of exclusion. I do think that debaters are required by the nature of the activity to contest arguments that their opponents make, and that there is value in that contestation. That being said, I think certain things are uncontestable - like I said above, impact turning a form of exclusion is not going to fly. I also dislike it when people try to dispute claims about debate as an activity being racist, sexist, ableist, etc. At this point, I honestly think it's violent to say a certain form of exclusion does not exist in debate, esp to people whose identity forces them to face that exclusion on a daily basis. That is different than, for example, contesting the claim that requiring a topical plan furthers those forms of exclusion.
I’ll ask to be included in any email chains, but I will not open the speech docs in most situations until the debate is over, because imo reading along lessens the impact that good communication would otherwise have on my decision.
I generally don’t think it counts as prep when someone is saving a speech doc to a jump drive, etc.
Pet peeves: “Always already” and “debate space” - i.e. redundancy.
Card Clipping: Like I said above, I won’t open speech docs before/during a speech. So it’s impossible for me to follow along as a debater is reading. That’s just something to keep in mind if you want to call out another team for clipping cards. So, make sure there’s video if you want to make an accusation. I do think that card-clipping is absolutely unacceptable, and if an accusation is made, I will immediately stop the debate to resolve the dispute. If an individual is determined to have clipped cards, they will receive zero speaker points and the team will get an automatic loss. If it is determined that card-clipping did not occur, then I will assign speaker points based on what has happened in the debate so far, and assign the loss to the team who made the accusation. Purposefully being unclear just to get through a card faster is not much different from clipping cards. Since I obviously cannot decide intent, if you are unclear/it is hard to tell if you read a certain part of a card, I will err on the side of you did not.
I appreciate it when people tell me at the top of their last rebuttals what an RFD for them would look like.
I will not yell clear if I cannot understand you (I think that's just as interventionist as a judge yelling "smarter" and I do not share the same views as Dallas Perkins on that subject). So don't assume I'll let you know if I can't understand you....although the lack of typing should probably tip you off.
On a somewhat similar note, if I look confused, it is probably tech related or possibly just how my face usually looks. I rarely (knowingly) react physically when unconvinced by an argument.
Asking a team what cards were or were not read in a speech doc is either cross-x time or prep time, unless their speech doc is egregiously terribad (a standard to be somewhat arbitrarily determined by me).
(Please note that this next thing is really not a big deal, I'm just letting you know in case it helps, but I don't expect any one to adapt in any way to this). -I don't really try to line things up from speech-to-speech while flowing. This is really just how things play out because of the kinds of debate I tend to judge. On that note, in almost any possible situation, no matter what you say, I will almost certainly just flow a speech on a specific argument straight down. Just to be clear, I will obviously still separate off case positions and 1ac pages onto separate pages. But if you're like "I'm going to start with the perm and then this thing and then blah" or whatever else, I'll probably ignore you. You can still say it for the purpose of the other team or your partner or out of spite etc., but just know that I will keep flowing straight down because roadmaps seem to be more like New Year's resolutions than actual truth.
Links are not case arguments. Neither are random framework args. In a K or framework debate, please please please save us all the trouble and just read the links on the same page as the actual arg. I like case arguments but I like being honest about not having specific case args even more. I recognize that there are ways to interact with the aff that do not involve a case debate in the traditional sense. That's fine. What's less fine and substantially more annoying is arbitrarily splitting the K debate (or FW debate) onto two different flows which inevitably become combined in the last rebuttals and create more work for all us.
It is rarely successful in front of me for your only answer to a fully-developed arg by the other team to be that they don't have a card to back it up. By all means point this out if true, but also please substantively answer what is now a fully developed analytic (i.e. still an argument).
Lastly, please be respectful to your partner and your opponents. I don’t like excessively rude people and my speaker points will reflect that. I do enjoy snark if it's intelligent and furthers an argument and isn't just aimed solely at making fun of your opponent. It annoys me when people speak during their opponents' speeches in a way that is loud and/or makes it difficult to hear the speaker (or seems like it would bother the speaker), and is perhaps the only time I audibly intervene during a round (to shush the offender(s)).
"Policy" vs "Policy"
-High school: I do a TON of high school topic research (along with already having done a ton because of last year's college topic) so generally speaking I know what's up. In the past I've judged a lot of clash and left-left debates in high school, but this year I've found myself judging quite a bit more of policy debates as well.
-College: I don't judge many policy debates in college, although this year I've judged a few relatively speaking. I've done a fair bit of research on the topic and almost all of it is more "policy" oriented research. I would like to judge some more "policy" debates but whatevs not my job (or desire) to dictate what people say in front of me, and I certainly do not have anything against debate arguments that do not involve both teams agreeing from the get-go that the discussion should be oriented around the results of USFG-enacted restrictions on ghg emissions.
Topicality: I love a good T debate. Don’t really care what the topicality argument is. If the interpretation is something "silly," then the aff should be able to beat it without help via me giving the interp less weight. That being said, I often think that good explanations of reasonability are often persuasive. The aff will probably lose if they don’t read a counter-interpretation. I also am generally not convinced by most precedence arguments, or arguments about an aff being read all year means that it’s topical. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what the rest of the community thinks about whether or not an aff is topical. Obviously if a precedence arg is conceded I'll evaluate it, but just know that the aff won't have to do much to beat it.
(High school specific: this topic is obviously terribly huge and also lacking good definitions for neg interps - perhaps a useful thing to note about me is that I think of T "definitions" as another standard for a T interp, albeit a rather important one, but I don't think having a definition exactly backing up your interpretation is as absolutely necessary as many seem to think. Sometimes I think the bigger problem with the more obvious or better (in some ways) interps for 'engagement' is their tendency to run into brightline problems).
Theory: I generally default to reject the argument not the team for most theory arguments other than conditionality bad, and have noticed in my judging that it is difficult to convince me otherwise.
Gut-check, I probably think that conditionality is good, 50-state fiat is bad, and international fiat is bad. But I also almost exclusively went for the states counterplan on the energy topic and the Turkey CP on the democracy assistance topic, so I can definitely be convinced by the other side. Trump probably also makes the states counterplan a more important/necessary discussion on the college topic now. Conditionality bad is probably harder to win in front of me, but I'm sure it's doable. Something that is important for me in counterplan competition debates is the question of literature/solvency advocates. The more evidence the neg has about their counterplan in comparison to the aff, the better off they are for the theory debate. That being said, counterplans that result in the aff are probably not competitive.
Disads: I went for them a lot (especially politics) and enjoy these debates (topic disads>politics obviously). Comparative impact calculus and turns case arguments are always ideal.
The risk of a disad can sometimes be so low that it should effectively be rendered zero for the purpose of making decisions. The existence of a counterplan in the debate obviously affects this calculus.
Counterplans: I like them. I like counterplans that are cut from aff articles. I like smart, specific PICs, depending on competition issues and how much evidence there is in context of the aff. See theory blurb above for more details, but would like to reiterate as said above that counterplans that result in the aff are probably not competitive.
If the 2NR doesn’t say anything, I will not revert to the status quo.
Case debates: Obviously always appreciated. I think that zero risk of an aff can very much be a thing, and something that neg teams are often too hesistant to go for. Sometimes affs just doesn't make sense and/or are lying about what their evidence says. Don't be afraid to call them out. I'm not a huge fan of giving affs leeway just because certain things irl (like Trump's win) make it harder to solve while being topical. A good example for college folks is I also disliked judges giving affs an extra benefit of the doubt on the democracy assistance topic because the affs were all terribad and clearly didn't do anything (as may be fairly obvious, I was a 2N on this topic lol).
Criticisms versus Any Kinds of Args:
Criticisms: I explained my general proclivities above, but, things that are important for winning kritiks in front of me include: reducing the risk of the aff (how you go about doing this is up to you), having a clear explanation of what the alt is, and contextualizing link arguments in terms of the aff. Against race args especially, people seem to love going for some version of "only a risk we're better than the squo" and so it is useful for me as a judge if the contextualized link arguments include either an opportunity cost argument or a reason why that's a bad burden to have to meet (i.e. maybe presumption should stop flipping aff in these instances for whatever reason).
I think that role of the ballot claims are almost always not a real argument. They’re self-serving, arbitrary, and just a fancy way of saying that a certain impact should come first. The only role of the ballot imo is just to vote for the better debating.
Performance: Most of my general stuff above also address my thoughts on this. Like I said, you do you. I did go for framework a lot in college, and at the beginning, it was because I really "believed" it. At the end of my career, and now, I see a lot of benefits in having a topic, but I also see a lot of reasons for why the way the topic is constructed and the way that debates occur, can be problematic. But just to be clear – when I debated, I viewed debate as a game. But I respect the fact that this isn’t how everyone approaches debate, and can be convinced that as a judge, I should also not view debate as a game.
"Policy" Affs vs K's
As much as it saddens me to admit, I think (slash hope) we are all aware that I unfortunately do not have the power to actually enact federal government policy if I sign the ballot aff (as cool as that would be). So generally speaking, in front of me, neg teams should stop pointing this out like it's a big deal and if they do, affs should stop being jetti-mind tricked by it.
I have never found an argument more silly (this is slight hyperbole but it makes me cranky) than the blanket statement that "discourse (or reps or whatever) doesn't shape reality", both because that just seems patently untrue (at least as a blanket claim) and also incredibly ironic to say in a communication activity of all things. There are much more nuanced ways of making a similar argument, i.e. perhaps keep in mind that on the aff you don't have to win that discourse/reps/whatever NEVER affect policymaking.
On a similar note to the above, I find almost all framework debates useless. Aff framework arguments on a theoretical level (we get to weigh our aff bc fairness or education etc) are meh to me - even if you win these arguments, that doesn't resolve the substantive arguments the neg will (hopefully) be making about why their links shape the way the aff's policy happens, which in turn affects the aff's ability to get to the impact they so dearly want to weigh, etc. Also everytime I hear "moots 8/9 minutes of the 1AC" I think "so what?". Seems like if the neg wins a link and an impact and those things moot your 1AC, then you should have picked a better 8/9 minutes of things to say. Much more useful than a theoretical fw debate is answering those link arguments on a substantive level and explaining why your offense still applies even if you don't get to weigh your impacts. Also I will probably never decide the neg doesn't "get" their K unless its a warranted argument made and somehow fully conceded by the other team in all the speeches or something. Tbh I appreciate it when affs don't ever try to forward the argument that the neg shouldn't get their k.
On a similar note, I think aff's often should get access to more of their offense than they realize even if the neg wins their "framework", and are often tricked into thinking otherwise.
Judge choice is not an argument. Even when technically conceded by the neg team, there are usually 82930281390 other things said by them in the debate that implicitly answer it, and it's a safe bet that I'll do the "work" (is it even work?) for them.
K's vs K Affs
Dear gawd "method debates" are not a thing. Neg teams say "no perms because it's a method debate!" and all I hear is "maybe if we just arbitrarily call what is clearly still a K alt something different, we can jetti-mind trick Risha into thinking we no longer have to actually answer arguments and can, without any real justification, win that affs don't get perms anymore." This doesn't mean I am just unconvinced by the arg that certain affs should not get permutations - I certainly think there are persuasive, debateable reasons for why affs that choose not to fall under the bounds of the resolution should not - so it just means that "it's a method debate" is not something I consider to be a justification for the claim that affs don't get perms.
Framework Debates vs K Affs
I judge a lot of these, so this is the longest section of my philosophy.
Imo non-fairness impacts are better than fairness impacts against affs that talk about various types of oppression in relation to the debaters' own identities - I think it usually hurts to allow these affs to read their impact turns to fairness and thus focus the debate on what was basically the core aff arg to begin with (and thus also likely their best offense). I do find fairness a much better impact against more high theory-ish affs (or ones that talk about oppression but less in relation to debate/personal identity) than the more social justice-y ones but I don't really have many thoughts on fairness as compared to other impacts against the more high theory-ish affs.
Sort of related to my last point - I don't get this whole procedural vs structural fairness distinction people keep trying to make. Or rather, I get it, but imo it seems like a distinction without a difference, at least how I've heard it explained. Like sure there are different types of fairness and one maybe slightly more controllable than the other but the terminal impact to both (people quit, fun, other args for why ruining the activity matters) seems to be the same so esp when debating an aff talking about a type of oppression esp in relation to debate, the attempt to make a distinction seems not useful and also kind of the point of the impact turns/inevitability arguments the aff usually makes.
2ARs for K affs against framework rarely have success in front of me if a counter-interp is not extended. I find that solely going for impact turns often devolves into having to defend basically that all clash is bad, and in an activity that (presumably, until proven otherwise really) seems to depend on clash in some form, that usually ends up a difficult position to defend. (This applies less to affs that are an impact turn to debate good from the get go, by which I mean the more high theory-ish affs that say the whole thing is bad, and not other affs that usually critique specific parts of it.)
I've found that people are often bad at explaining why debate is good and useful against high theory affs, esp the ones that explicitly say debate (the whole thing and not just like certain specific aspects) is bad/useless. I spend a great deal of my time doing things related to this activity, and I'd like to think it's not completely a waste, so it shouldn't be hard to convince me that debate has some value, yet I have found myself voting for the argument that it does not in the past. Negs need to make sure they tell me what that value(s) of debate is/could be, etc. when pushed by the aff. Or even just pointing out that while isolating certain values of debate is difficult, the fact that we all clearly spend some time doing the activity means something, etc.
Truth testing has not been an argument with much success in front of me. By truth testing, I mean what people generally seem to say in front of me, which is some version of: if the aff is unpredictable and the neg wins they could not (or should not) have prepared for it, then since it could not be tested I should assume everything the aff says about the aff is false. Generally speaking when a team spends minutes of each speech explaining an aff and the explanation makes sense to me, I'm not just going to decide that the neg perhaps not having answers means all the plausible/convincing things the aff said are wholesale not true. To me this argument is really no different than saying new affs should also be presumed untrue if the neg isn't ready for one and thus the aff couldn't be tested, and that I think is generally considered to be a not-great arg by most people. I find truth-testing more persuasive when the impact is some version of the argument that it's key to searching for the best method to resist things, like the aff's impact(s).
In a similar vein to my last point, a counter-interp for affs in these debates should be clearly explained - this means telling me what it is supposed to solve vs not, so this includes making sure it's clear why it doesn't link to your own offense. On a basic level, counter-interp explanations should include a description of the role of the neg in debates and (in most situations) also how you still allow for clash. Neg teams should point out when affs fail to do so, or do so unconvincingly (i.e. explain why the counter-interp doesn't actually solve any of your impacts and/or why it links to their offense).
It makes zero sense to me when neg teams try to have squirrely interps to try and get out of aff offense when those interps involve basically saying the aff is beholden to meeting certain parts of the resolution but not others (seems to be kind of arbitrary and unpredictable and a great justification for the aff choosing to pick a different part of the resolution to not meet).
Affs should clearly explain the internal link between the neg's intepretation and their impact turns. Notice I said interpretation, and not just explain why *framework* causes the impact turns, i.e. be specific to the neg's interpretation instead of making generalizing claims about framework debates.
There have been many times the aff almost completely concedes the neg's topical version of the aff and it doesn't help the neg in any way. This is not to say that I hate topical versions of the aff lol, and PLEASE affs do not take this to mean you can just not answer them bc I'm sure that now that this is my philosophy, I will vote on a conceded tva the very next time I judge framework, but negs should try to understand the point of the aff a little more. Basically, if your tva and explanation of it against all affs that discuss race issues is the exact same, then it's probably not a great tva, at least for me.
I rarely find it convincing when neg teams try to go for the Lundberg card as a reason for why the aff's interp causes extinction or why the neg's interp solves it, due to having never heard a plausible causal internal link chain between a framework interp and extinction. I'm honestly pretty convinced that I will never hear one. This is like my version of all the philosophies that say something along the lines of "stop saying framework is genocide". Which btw is true but not something I've found necessary to include in my philosophy although I guess I kind of have now.
I am a very traditional judge with many years of coaching experience. I am not a fan of speed, and I prefer traditional arguments. That is my preference; it does not mean that I won't listen to the arguments made and weigh the evidence.
I am a policy maker and want to follow the argumentation and see the flow of the debate clearly. I can't outweigh one side over another if I don't know why I should because the argument itself was either made too quickly to catch or does not have a clear link. What I do want to hear is the Plan and any counter-plans the Neg offers; I need to see how and why the policy works/outweighs, etc.
I do not want to be included on an email chain, but for the sake of time, you may go ahead and do so. The email address is email@example.com. First of all, I think that makes tournaments run very long; second, I want to SEE the flow of the debate. If I don't hear you say it and don't flow it, it doesn't count. However, just because I don't want that doesn't mean I will refuse the evidence. I will accept the email and read the shared evidence. No flash drives, however, please.
I rarely vote on Topicality arguments, and I don't like the Neg strategy of throwing out half a dozen arguments to see which one or two will actually "stick". I would rather hear a full development of two or three off-case arguments that clearly apply to the topic and to the Affirmative case. Kritiks are okay as long as they are not "off the wall" arguments. I said that I rarely vote on Topicality, but I have done so in the past.
i have been judging CX for over twenty years. Please don't treat me like I am stupid, but also don't assume I can (or will) judge like the college kids do.
Note to LD competitors at the FBK tournament - I almost exclusively judge policy, but I've done LD in the past and am quite familiar with the format and traditional argumentation. Most of the below should be pretty applicable, less so the stuff about evidence.
Four years of policy competition, at a solid mix of circuit and regional tournaments. I generally do enough judging these days to be pretty up-to-date on circuit args.
Generally comfortable with speed but I tend to have issues comprehending overly breathy spreading. And please, for everyone's sake, make sure your tags are clear and don't try to give theory analytics at full speed. You can do whatever feels right, of course, but I can only decide based on what I catch.
Broadly, I default to an offense-defense paradigm and a strict technical focus. It's not exactly hard to get me to depart from those defaults, however. I'll vote for anything, and it doesn't take any 'extra' work to get me to endorse performance advocacies, critical affirmative advocacies, etc - just win your offense, and framework if applicable.
I'd love to be a truth over tech judge, but I just don't believe that's an acceptable default orientation for my ballot. That said, engaging with that preference and doing it well is a pretty convincing approach with me. This most often comes across in impact calc.
Evidence quality is extremely important to me. I tend to grant much more weight to card texts and warrants than to tags, and I'm perfectly happy to drop ev that doesn't have warrants matching the tag, if you articulate why I should do so. That said, I don't discount evidence just because I perceive it to be low-quality, and if it gets conceded, well, it might as well be true.
My bar for framework and T/theory tends to depend on what you're asking me to do. Convincing me to drop a states CP on multiple actor fiat bad requires fairly little offense. Convincing me to drop a team on A-Spec is going to be an uphill battle, usually.
Have been involved in debate as a student, high school debater, college debater, high school coach or a college coach since the Nixon administration. Yes I actually cut Watergate cards. So pardon my smile when asked how I feel about speed etc.
Try to be Tab as much as possible. But like all judges I have some personal preferences listed below:
Is a voter, don't usually vote on it unless it is mishandled or extremely squirely. Make sure to have a violation, standard and voter in shell. Haven't previously voted on a RVI on T.
Tend to look at in round abuse.
They are fine, but make sure you understand the literature, spend a lot of quality time on the link and have a clear alternative.
Speed is ok as long as you are clear. If you are not clear, I will say "clear". Make a clear distinction between your taglines and and your cards.
Will vote you down for being rude or sarcastic. Proper decorum is a must. I will vote against sexist, racist et al. arguments.
I was fairly succinct on this paradigm, so feel free to ask me specific questions before the round. Also debate should be fun. A sense of humor is always appreciated.
Debate Coach - Niles West
Previous Coaching - Johns Creek, Walter Payton, SLC West, Riverwood, Chattahoochee
Education - West Georgia '20 (Philosophy)
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Be clear! If I don't hear your argument, it's not going to be evaluated.
I have no argument preference & will vote for anything (Politics, Cheating CP's, Aspec, Death Good, Framework, Afro-pessimism, Poems, etc...).
Do what you are good at > trying to adapt to what you think I might like.
Usually tech > truth.
Absolutely no ties. First team that asks for one = loss.
Soliciting any outside assistance during a round = loss.
Clipping = loss & lowest possible points.
Please try to treat everyone with respect & don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc...
Coach at Heights High School (TX)
Set up the email chain before the round starts and add me: email@example.com
I debated LD for Timothy Christian School in New Jersey for four years. I graduated from Rice University, am currently a teacher at Heights, and predominately coach policy: my program competes through the Houston Urban Debate League and the Texas Forensic Association so I judge regularly. My views on debate are heavily influenced by Kris Wright via the Texas Debate Collective Teacher's Institute. Most of the sections below are relevant for both policy and LD; see the very bottom for policy/PF-specific thoughts, although policy teams might also want to review the sections for LARP/T/K.
- LARP/Policy: 1
- T/Theory: 1-2
- Phil: 2*
- Kritik (identity): 2-3*
- Kritik (pomo): 3-4*
- Tricks: Just strike me and we'll spare everyone some pain and suffering
*Ratings vary as function of what you're reading and whether I'm familiar with it. It's not that I will refuse to evaluate an author or position that I haven't seen before - rather, it'll just be more challenging for me to adjudicate. Feel free to ask me before round about a specific author.
- I will try to be tab and dislike intervening so please weigh arguments and compare evidence. It is in your advantage to write my ballot for me by explaining why you win which layers and why those layers come first.
- I won't vote on anything that's not on my flow. I also won't vote on any arguments that I can't explain back to your opponent in the oral.
- I default to a competing worlds paradigm.
- Tech > Truth
- I'm colorblind so speech docs that are highlighted in light blue/gray can be difficult for me to read; yellow would be ideal because it's easiest for me to see. Also, if you're re-highlighting your opponent's evidence and the two colors are in the same area of the color wheel, I probably won't be able to differentiate between them. Don't read a shell on your opponent if they don't follow these instructions though - it's not that serious.
- Prep time ends when you've finished compiling the document. I won't count emailing but please don't steal prep.
- Signpost please. I prefer debaters to be explicit about where to flow things and I appreciate pen time. If you're giving a speech and I'm looking around the different sheets of paper instead of writing, I'm likely trying to find the argument and will probably miss something.
- Not fond of embedded clash; it's a recipe for judge intervention. I'll flow overviews and you should read them when you're extending a position, but long (0:30+) overviews that trade-off against substantive line-by-line work increase the probability that I'll either forget about an argument or misunderstand its implication.
- I presume aff in LD: neg side bias exists so in the absence of offense from either side the aff did the better debating. It is unlikely, however, that I will try to justify a ballot in this way; I almost always err towards voting on risk of offense rather than presumption in the absence of presumption arguments made by debaters.
- Debaters should time every speech and should always count down on their timer for their own speeches. That way, it'll go off when your time runs out, which will keep you honest and ensure that you don't accidentally go over. I might not cut you off if your time runs out, but I'll stop flowing and deduct 0.1 speaks for every 5 seconds you go over if your timer doesn't ring.
- Given that I predominately coach policy, I am probably most comfortable adjudicating these debates, but this is your space so you should make the arguments that you want to make in the style that you prefer.
- You should have be cutting updates and the more specific the counterplan and the links on the disad the happier I'll be. The size/probability of the impact is a function of the strength/specificity of the link.
- Terminal defense is possible and more common than people seem to think.
- I think impact turns (dedev, cap good/bad, heg good/bad, wipeout, etc.) are underutilized and can make for interesting strategies.
- Perms are tests of competition, not shifts of advocacy.
- If you want to kick a conditional advocacy you have to tell me. Also, I will not judge kick unless the negative wins an argument for why I should, and it will not be difficult for the affirmative to convince me otherwise.
- A 1NC strategy that doesn't include a substantial investment on case is generally sub-par.
- I default to competing interpretations. I'll evaluate shells via reasonability if you ask me to but I'd prefer an explicit brightline for determining what constitutes a reasonable vs. unreasonable practice rather than drawing upon my intuitions for debate. If you just ask me to intuitively evaluate the shell without an explanation of what that constitutes, my aversion to intervention will likely lead me to gut check to competing interpretations.
- I default to no RVIs (and that you need to win a counterinterp to win with an RVI).
- You need to give me an impact/ballot story when you read a procedural, and the blippier/less-developed the argument is, the higher my threshold is for fleshing this out. Labeling something an "independent voter" or "is a voting issue" is rarely sufficient. These arguments generally implicate into an unjustified, background framework and don't magically operate at a higher layer absent an explicit warrant explaining why. You still have to answer these arguments if your opponent reads them - it's just that my threshold for voting for underdeveloped independent voters is higher.
- Because I am not a particularly good flower, theory rounds in my experience are challenging to follow because of the quantity of blippy analytical arguments. Please slow down for these debates, clearly label the shell, and number the arguments or I will likely miss something.
- Disclosure is good. However, I do coach both sides of this debate, including some of my teams who read disclosure at every opportunity and other of my teams to go for an offensive counter-interpretation on the shell. Read it if you'd like, just don't be mean about it and be prepared to defend your performance if your opponent is clever.
- "If you read theory against someone who is obviously a novice or a traditional debater who doesn't know how to answer it, I will not evaluate it under competing interps."
- I will not evaluate the debate after any speech that is not the 2AR.
Framework (as distinct from T-FW)
- I believe that impacts are relevant insofar as they implicate to a framework, preferably one which is syllogistically warranted. My typical decision calculus, then, goes through the steps of a. determining which layer is the highest/most significant, b. identifying the framework through which offense is funneled through on that layer, and c. adjudicating the pieces of legitimate offense to that framework.
- You should assume if you're reading a philosophically dense position that I do not have a deep familiarity with your topic literature; as such, you should probably moderate your speed and over-explain rather than under. Especially if your framework is complex or obscure, a brief summary of how it functions (i.e. how it sifts between legitimate and illegitimate offense) would be helpful.
- I have a decent conceptual understanding of k debate, especially after teaching it to students every year, but don't presume that I'll recognize the vocabulary from your specific literature base. I am not especially well-read in kritikal literature so explain well. It is in your best interests to keep your speeches well-structured so they are easy to follow.
- I especially appreciate kritikal debates which are heavy on case-specific link analysis paired with a comprehensive explanation of the alternative. Good K debates typically include quotes from lines in your opponent's evidence/advocacy with an explanation of why those are additional links.
- I don't judge a terribly large number of clash debates, but I've also coached both non-T performative and pure policy teams and so I do not have strong ideological leanings here.
- Too many Role of the Ballots are impact-justified; if you're reading one you should probably warrant it more substantively.
- Speed is generally fine, so long as its clear. I'd place my threshold for speed at a 8.5 out of 10 where a 10 is the fastest debater on the circuit, although that varies (+/- 1) depending on the type of argument being read.
- Slow down for and enunciate short analytics, taglines, and card authors; it would be especially helpful if you say "and" or "next" as you switch from one card to the next. I am not a particularly good flower so take that into account if you're reading a lot of analytical arguments. If you're reading at top-speed through a dump of blippy uncarded arguments I'll almost certainly miss some. I won't backflow for you, so spread through blips on different flows without pausing at your own risk.
- If you push me after the RFD with "but how did you evaluate THIS random analytic embedded in my 10-point dump?" I have no problem telling you that I a. forgot about it, b. missed it, or c. didn't have enough of an implication flowed/understood to draw lines to other flows for you.
- My flowing limitations are a contributing factor to why I'm probably not a great judge for you if tricks are your A-strat. If you're reading tricks one of three things is likely to happen: I'll miss it, I won't understand it, or I'll think it's stupid. Additionally, I won't hold your opponent to a higher standard than I hold myself to, so if I didn't understand the implication of an argument (especially a blippy/shady one) in a prior speech, I'll give them leeway on answering it in a later one.
- I'll yell "clear" or "slow" once but that means I already missed something. Honestly though, it's not uncommon for me to be so preoccupied with trying to keep up that I forget to call clear or slow.
- A 28.5 or above means I think you're good enough to clear. I generally won't give below a 27; lower means I think you did something offensive, unless the round is bad and it makes me want to go home.
- I award speaks based on quality of argumentation and strategic decision-making.
- I won't disclose speaks so don't bother asking.
- I give out approximately one 30 a season, so it's probably not going to be you. If you're looking for a speaks fairy, pref someone else. Here are a few ways to get high speaks in front of me, however:
- I routinely make mental predictions during prep time about what the optimal 2NR/2AR is. Give a different version of the speech than my prediction and convince me that my original projection was strategically inferior. Or, seamlessly execute on my prediction.
- Read a case-specific CP/Disad/PIC that I haven't seen before.
- Teach me something new that doesn't make me want to go home.
- Be kind to an opponent that you are more experienced then.
- If you have a speech impediment, please feel free to tell me. I debated with a lisp and am very sympathetic to debaters who have challenges with clarity. In this context, I will do my best to avoid awarding speaks on the basis of clarity.
- As a teacher and coach, I am committed to the value of debate as an educational activity. Please don't be rude, particularly if you're clearly better than your opponent. I won't hack against you if you go 5-off against someone you're substantively better than, but I don't have any objections to tanking your speaks if you intentionally exclude your opponent in this way. As a former competitor from a school with very limited competitive infrastructure, most of what I know about debate I had to learn myself absent formal instruction. This makes me very sympathetic to debaters from small schools or under-resourced programs who might not be familiar with the technical jargon of the activity but who, nevertheless, make good arguments. It behooves you, if you've had access to more privileged instruction, to debate in a way that keeps the round accessible for everyone.
If Judging Policy
- Please keep in mind that although I coach policy now, the entirety of my competitive experience and the bulk of my training, judging and thinking about debate has been funneled through the lens of LD. If you're a policy debater, it's probably still useful for you to review the specific argumentative sections above (ex. LARP, Theory, K), depending on what you're planning to read.
- I presume neg in policy because in the absence of offense in either direction, I am compelled by the Change Disad to the plan. However, presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a counter-advocacy that is a greater change from the status quo than the aff.
- I frequently see teams read half a T-shell in the 1NC (unwarranted standards/voters/implication/paradigm issues, or missing those pieces altogether) and then blow it up in the block. I think that if you read a disad in the 1NC it should probably contain the core parts (uniqueness/link/impact), even if you read additional evidence in the block, and I hold T to the same standard. Otherwise, I'm receptive to efficient 2AC responses along the lines of "that's not a complete argument; lack of warranted standards means there's no offense to the interp and you should reject the shell" and will allow new responses in the 1AR in response to developments in the block.
- If your counterplan is 8 seconds long with no cards, the 2AC probably needs no more than 0:15 answering it and I'll be super lenient with 1AR responses if you blow it up in the block. Neg teams are getting away with murder for some of these counterplans.
- Smart, analytical arguments (particularly as no-links on a kritik or an improbable impact chain) are heavily underutilized in policy. My ideal 1NCs/2ACs incorporate analytics as a component of a layered response strategy. I see too many policy debaters who are just card bots, including reading cards that don't actually contain warrants and reading additional cards in a later speech instead of going for preexisting evidence.
If Judging PF
- I rarely judge PF; I won't know what your topic is, and I probably had to google the speech times beforehand.
- I don't know what it is with PF debaters either stealing prep or stealing speech time, but I'm not here for your shenanigans. There should not be more than a 0:10 difference between your timer and mine, and I stop flowing at the timer. I will be more than happy to deduct speaks if this comes up.
Associate Director of Debate @ Greenhill
Still helping KU in my free time
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love debate and I will do my absolute best to make a decision that makes sense and give a helpful RFD.
Competing interpretations are easier to evaluate than reasonability. You need to explain to me how we determine what is reasonable if you are going for reasonability.
Having said that if your intep is so obscure that there isn't a logical CI to it, perhaps it is not a good interpretation.
T debates this year (water topic) have gotten too impact heavy for their own good. I've judged a number of rounds with long overviews about how hard it is to be negative that never get to explaining what affirmatives would be topical under their interp or why the aff interp links to a limits DA and that's hard for me because I think much more about the latter when I think about topicality.
Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to topicality arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC.
I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of this debate. Phrases like "third and fourth level testing" and "rev v rev debates are better" are kind of meaningless absent robust explanation. Fairness is an impact that I will vote on. Like any other impact, it needs to be explained and compared to the other team's impact. I have also voted on arguments about ethics, education, and pedagogy. I will try my best to decide who wins an impact and which impact matters more based on the debate that happens.
I do not think the neg has to win a TVA to win topicality; it can be helpful if it happens to make a lot of sense but a forced TVA is generally a waste of time.
If the aff is going for an impact turn about debate, it would be helpful to have a CI that solves that impact.
I would love to see you go for a disad and case in the 2NR. I do not find it persuasive when an affirmative team's only answer to a DA is impact framing. Impact framing can be important but it is one of a number of arguments that should be made.
I am aware the DA's aren't all great lately. I don't think that's a reason to give up on them. It just means you need a CP or really good case arguments.
I really enjoy an old-fashioned k vs the aff debate. I think there are lots of interesting nuances available for the neg and the aff in this type of debate. Here are some specific thoughts that might be helpful when constructing your strategy:
1. Links of omission are not links. Links of “commission” will take a lot of explaining.
2. Debating the case matters unless there is a compelling framework argument for why I should not evaluate the case.
3. If you are reading a critique that pulls from a variety of literature bases, make sure I understand how they all tie to together. I am persuaded by aff arguments about how it's very difficult to answer the foundation of multiple bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions. Also, how does one alt solve all of that??
4. Aff v. K: I have noticed affirmative teams saying "it's bad to die twice" on k's and I have no idea what that means. Aff framework arguments tend to be a statement that is said in the 2AC and repeated in the 1AR and 2AR - if you want fw to influence how I vote, you need to do more than this. Explain how it implicates how I assess the link and/or alternative solvency.
5. When ontology is relevant - I feel like these debates have devolved into lists of things (both sides do this) and that's tough because what if the things on the list don't resonate?
Generic counterplans are necessary and good. I think specific counterplans are even better. Counterplans that read evidence from the 1AC or an aff author - excellent! I don't have patience for overly convoluted counterplans supported by barely highlighted ev.
I do not subscribe to (often camp-driven) groupthink about which cp's "definitely solve" which aff's. I strongly disagree with this approach to debate and will think through the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is what debate is about.
Solvency deficits are a thing and will be accounted for and weighed along with the risk of a DA, the size of the DA impact, the size of the solvency deficit, and other relevant factors. If you are fiating through solvency deficits you should come prepared with a theoretical justification for that.
I am generally neg leaning on cp theory but if you want to make an argument about why a certain cp is illegitimate (cough, con con) I will do my best to objectively evaluate that argument.
Some people think it is auto-true that politics disads and certain cp's are terrible for debate. I don't agree with that. I think there are benefits/drawbacks to most arguments. This matters for framework debates. A plan-less aff saying "their model results in politics DA's which is obviously the worst" will not persuade absent a warrant for that claim.
Love a good case debate. It's super under-utilized. I think it's really impressive when a 2N knows more about the aff evidence than the aff does.
Please don't be nasty to each other; don't be surprised if I interrupt you if you are.
I don't flow the 1AC and 1NC because I am reading your evidence. I have to do this because if I don't I won't get to read the evidence before decision time in a close debate.
If the debate is happening later than 9PM you might consider slowing down and avoiding especially complicated arguments.
There was once a team who lost an "ethics challenge" because they capitalized a letter in a 1AC that had not been capitalized in the previous version of the 1AC -- that is not actually an ethics challenge. If you make a frivolous or convoluted ethics challenge in a debate that I judge I will ask you to move on and be annoyed for the rest of the round. Legitimate ethics challenges exist and should/will be taken seriously but ethics challenges are not something we should play fast and loose with.
For debating online:
-If you think clarity could even possibly be an issue, slow down a ton. More than ever clarity and quality are more important than quantity.
-If my camera is off, I am not there, I am not flowing your speech, I probably can't even hear you. If you give the 1AR and I'm not there, there is not a whole lot I can do for you.
colleyville heritage '21 (tx)
i did policy in high school (threw in some ld & wsd) and am currently debating for baylor university
email chain: email@example.com
tl;dr: i’m good with whatever you want to run, just make sure you explain it well enough so i know what's being run and why it should matter/why i should vote for you. i'm fine with speed as long as you're clear
please name the email chain: "tournament name round x - team (aff) v team (neg)"
- " tfa state round 1 - colleyville cz (aff) v grapevine rs (neg)"
policy + ld
go for it. i start the 1nc with a 100% presumption of a risk of the da, which the aff needs to knock down to 0%. this means i need impact calc... do the risks matter? do they outweigh the aff's impacts? i don’t know, you tell me.
you should probably read a complete 1nc shell. if you choose not to, it justifies new 1ar answers
make sure you're extending the link and uniqueness debate into the 2nc/1nr. this should come before any of the impact debate -- zero risk is a thing, and it's easy to vote on if you mess up badly.
tech>truth is probably the most applicable here.
"da turns case" is probably the best argument you could make in the 2nr (given you've extended the link and uniqueness debate) and if you execute it right you'll probably get my ballot
i know for a fact that at least one of the cards read on the DA is going to be out-dated. this is where the both teams need to be doing ev comparisons, compare your warrants before your opponents do (also everywhere else on the flow, but you get what i mean)
these are great, but you need to explain why it solves better than the plan. don't just say "counterplan solves" and expect me to vote on it. same thing with perms too; tell me why the cp can or cannot be passed with the plan -- "perm do both" or "perm do the counterplan" is not an argument, tell me more.
i love well-thought-out counterplans (that are functionally and textuality competitive) and PICs; muti-plank counterplans are cool too.
i was a k debater throughout high school and now in college, so i'm a good judge for you if you go for the k
i'm more familiar with identity and structural kritiks as opposed to pomo but as long as you can explain the thesis of the kritik i'm all good :)
that being said, i've researched and read most of the general k lit and have a general idea as to what the main idea is. i have debated/ researched a lot of asian id (primarily this), logistics (a lot of this more recently), pess, fem IR, cap (also a lot of this), abolition & psychoanalysis in the past if that is important to you.
long overviews tell me that you don't know how to do a line-by-line. just shorten your 3 minute 2NC overview of the k and actually answer arguments on the flow and stop repeating yourself
sometimes k debates get muddy if there aren't specific links to the aff, so you should probably find some sort of link that is specific enough to the aff (or at least attempt to contextualize it). these links should be indicting the aff's mechanisms/scenarios. that being said, i’ll vote on a generic link if it's insufficiently answered or dropped.
links to fiat make me cringe and i would rather you have links to the plan/thesis of the aff 11/10 times.
please please please tell me what the world of the alt looks like; i'm not going to vote for an alt that i can't understand. also, you need to give me reasons as to why the alt solves better than the plan and why it matters -- if there isn't a trade-off link extended, i will probably not vote on the k.
i think the aff gets to weigh the plan, but the neg should also get residual links of reps to the plan. that being said, you don't need an alt if you're winning fw.
-- k affs--
again, most of the affs i have read/cut have been k affs -- this is the kind of debate i'm more used to, but traditional policy v policy debates are also something that i have experience with.
i think your aff needs a topic link at the very least, unless you have a cohesive answer as to why you don't have one -- topic relevance is probably best in terms of k v fw debate, but you do you. ks of debate are also fine. again, as long as you know what you're running and can run it well, i have no problem with what you choose to run in front of me.
i love good t debates, they're fun. i hate bad t debates. don't make this a bad t debate. i need to know why the other team violates and why that hurts you in the round.
case-lists, examples of ground loss, and a good interp: yes, these are good. -- buzz words are not.
i'll default to competing interps unless told otherwise, but reasonability <33
ssd and your tva should be cross applied to the aff's impact turns, especially in the 2NR
winning predictable limits is probably a good way to win the round, just actually contextualize your answers to the round you're in.
i would perfer you go for an education or portable skills impact in k aff v fw debates as opposed to procedural fairness. on this note, if the aff is winning the impact turns on either of these impacts, you need a good reason why i should prefer your interp over theirs.
for ld** please no rvis and/or tricks (i can only handle so much).
even as a 2N, i think that condo is probably the only theoretical reason to reject the team, even then, please come prepared with robust explanations of your theory arguments. i also think that judge kick is probably a good idea, just tell me why. again, i'm probably not as well-versed in theory arguments as you are so you should probably slow down if you're explaining them.
--fw v k affs--
case lists are good in this case, buzz words are not.
please don't forget to engage case in these debates, i can't vote on any of your education claims on fw if you have dropped the aff's impact turns; if you're neg, don't forget to do the impact debate here.
i think a lot of teams have trouble with TVAs and SSD, both on the aff and the neg. your TVAs should have clear plantexts and SSD arguments should be able to solve the content of the 1AC and the 2AC's answers to framework
i think presumption is SUPER underutilized in these rounds. k affs are usually very vague in terms of explaining the advocacy/solvency and i think this is probably a winning strategy against k affs for a few reasons:
a) makes it more difficult for the aff to shift out of their solvency
b) can be cross applied to other flows on the impact level
i'll try my best to figure out the basics of the topic beforehand but just know that, compared to you, i have very little knowledge about the topic
please collapse in summary... i don't know why everyone wants to go for everything in pf -- collapse and narrow down the debate. you should give me a full extension of offense in summary and final focus if you want to win the flow.
final focus should mirror the summary (if it's not in the summary it shouldn't be in final) (weighing should also be the same)
set up an email chain before the round please, it's helpful for everyone in the round, especially online. if you chose not to start one, i’ll call for evidence once the round is over if a) someone tells me to, b) i think there's something wrong, or c) i’m interested.
pf evidence quality has become worse after a year of online debate. don't take forever to pull up evidence
- the bottom of katelynne's paradigm goes more into detail about this. read it if you have more questions about evidence :)
- if you can successfully set up an email chain and send out docs correctly i might up your speaks.
i think progressive arguments have a place in pf, to an extent.
that being said. if you are reading a kritik (or what pfers love to call a kritik when really, it's just a complicated argument </3), just send a speech doc -- make sure your arguments are clearly warranted
** don't run things you aren't familiar with. I love progressive debate but don't take advantage of it -- if you want to run things that you aren't familiar with (for the sake of competitive advantage) you will be receiving an L 25 **
that being said, "but this is pf!1!1!1!" shouldn't be an answer to any progressive argumentation in the round. please interact with the k at some level other than whining.
i don't mind speed and i'm sure you won't be able to out-spread me, but please be meaningful with your speed/ be efficient and not speedy. i.e. don't go at big-brained speed through things that you want to warrant out.
that being said, online debate can get really bad very fast -- don't worry though, we all have tech issues. i'm a college student, i'm most likely judging from my dorm. i don't have the best wifi, so i understand. if you're not having tech issues, i would prefer if you had your cameras on when possible. if i don't have my camera on, assume i'm not there, and i will turn my camera on as soon as i'm good to go.
please remember that the faster you go, the more you cut out/become unintelligible. talking over others also doesn't help with this.
also, please stop yelling. you are literally less than an inch away from your mic and you make my ears and heart hurt. please don't do it.
be nice. i see debate as an educational activity that fosters meaningful discussions, that being said, i will not tolerate any of your "racism/sexism/genocide/death good" positions. please do not read them or ask me if you can read them, this is non-negotiable. -- i won't hesitate to give you a L20 if you read these arguments/make anyone feel unsafe during the round.
other than disclosure, i will not make a decision based on anything that occurred outside of the round and do not feel comfortable evaluating the morality of a person in any circumstance; i don't know you and i don't want to make a decision based on character judgments.
some people who have influenced the way i debate/judge (you can also look to their paradigms if you can't find something here):
Email Chain (always put me on) and Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
-- "Debate like an adult. Show me the evidence. Attend to the details. Don't dodge, clash. Great research and informed comparisons win debates" (Batterman, 2018).
-- Not much topic knowledge.
-- Tech > Truth.
-- The affirmative should defend a topical plan. The idea of an unlimited topic and lack of fairness simply destroys the foundation of any competitive activity and leads to a decline in participation.
-- You should probably strike me if the K is a central part of your negative strategy.
-- The quality of your evidence is important. Evaluation and comparison of research is the only way to adjudicate clash. Author quals matter a lot and people should make these arguments more often. I will reward debaters who read good evidence and characterize it effectively in the debate. When reading evidence, I will strictly evaluate the warrants that have been highlighted.
-- "Adults" (Josh Clark, Michael Greenstein) in this activity who hate hybrid teams in extenuating circumstances and beat down on small schools from participating should be held accountable for deliberately excluding students from an educational activity based on a wrong interpretation of fairness in debate. If you can't debate competitively for whatever reason - you should try your hardest to continue participating in this activity even if you are being excluded at tournaments based on your circumstance.
-- Respect your opponents by sending the same documents to the email chain that you use to deliver your speeches (especially for debates at camp).
-- Clip cards = loss and 0s.
-- Yes insert re-highlighting.
-- Follow speech times. If you steal prep you'll get bad speaker points.
-- I tend to lean NEG on most theory issues, including, but not limited to: Agent CP's, PIC's, Conditional Planks, 2NC CP's, States CP, etc. CP's that rely on certainty or immediacy are probably illegit, same with Rider DA's. 50-50 on conditionality.
-- Case debating --> good speaker points.
-- For topicality, I tend to be most persuaded by limits arguments, and a little less by ground arguments. I also think that precision impacts are underrated when forwarding a clear interpretation of debate.
-- Framing contentions don't change how I evaluate the DA.
-- I think the Politics DA is good for debate.
-- I'll probably judge kick the CP if I'm guided or if the NEG says the CP is conditional. AFF can give reasons why it's bad but it's hard to win if equally debated.
Read a plan-x-----------------------------------Do whatever
Read no cards-------------------------x----------Read all the cards
Conditionality good---------------x--------------Conditionality bad
PIC's good----------x----------------------------PIC's bad
States CP good-----x-----------------------------States CP bad
Go for T------x-----------------------------------Don't go for T
Politics DA is a thing----x----------------------------Politics DA not a thing
Always VTL-x--------------------------------------Sometimes NVTL
UQ matters most--------------------x-------------Link matters most
Fairness is a thing-x------------------------------Delgado 92
Not our Baudrillard-------------------------------X Yes your Baudrillard
Clarity-X--------------------------------------------Srsly who doesn't like clarity
Presumption---------------------------------x-----Never votes on presumption
Resting grumpy face---------------------x--------Grumpy face is your fault
Longer ev------------------x----------------------More ev
"Insert this rehighlighting"-x----------------------I only read what you read
Fiat solves circumvention-------x-------------------LOL trump messes w/ ur aff
2017 speaker points-----------x------------------2007 speaker points
CX about impacts---------------------x-----------CX about links and solvency
Dallas-style expressive------------x-------------DHeidt-style stoic
Fiat double bind------------------------------------------x-literally any other arg
High School CX 4 years @ Reagan under Philip DiPiazza (2017-19) and Matthew Reichle (2015-17)
2A for 4 years/ Double 2'd Senior Year
College Junior at Stanford
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
A majority of my experience is with kritiks. That being said, do what you do best (please). I will be present and ready to evaluate any argument as long as it isn't offensive. Debate is a game. I don't really have predispositions about certain types of arguments being better than others. It just happened that the environment I was taught debate in had a proclivity for k debate.
Tech over truth. This is not an excuse for sketchy, unexplained warrants. I think spin control is immensely important in close debates, and I prefer clear warranted arguments that trace your evidence to its utility in round over loads of tagline extensions for the purpose of ink. Do that work for me, or else I'll feel shady trying to vote you up.
The winner will nearly always be the team able to identify the central question of the debate. I appreciate it when debaters sequence arguments by importance. Making "framing issues" and filtering the rest of your offense through these is probably the most persuasive way to organize your rebuttals. In a perfect round, the first words of your rebuttal should be the top of my RFD.
Kritiks: Almost exclusively went for the K in every 2NR. I have exposure to a decent amount of critical literature. However, assuming I have been exposed to your's is not a good idea. Buzzwords do NOT equal explanation. Framing and specificity (link contextualization) are the most important parts of k debate. A ROB/ROJ/framing mechanism is essential and offense should be filtered through these.
K Affs: As a 2A I usually didn't defend a plan. Make sure you identify your method and why I should endorse it. Your aff should probably have some link to the topic, especially in a strategic sense against FW.
Against Ks, explain the perm and how it interacts with their theory/method.
Performance: Do you. I read Chicana poetry (Anzaldua!) and spoke Spanish in rounds. If more lighthearted foolery is your thing, that's cool, too. Just make it have a purpose.
FW: I love K affs, but that doesn't mean I won't hesitate to vote neg on FW. Limits and clash are the negative standards that I find the most persuasive. 2NR needs to have terminal impact calc, I find that debaters can often fall short after the block on this question.
CPs/DAs: Fine. Win a N/B. Answer the perm. Compare evidence. Evidence for DAs is often reliant on exaggerated scenarios and out of context/misquoted evidence. If you are debating against one of these, point it out. Read good ev with decent highlighting, please.
Topicality: I default to competing interpretations. Limits is the best standard. Caselists for your interp never hurt. If T isn’t a big portion of the block, I’ll have sympathy for some new 2AR extrapolation.
Theory: I can not flow the entirety of a theory debate where the args are read at the speed of a piece of evidence. High threshold for these debates for me.
Lastly, be kind to your opponents. There is a difference between intensity and shadiness/rudeness.
TFA State 2022: No mask, no win. You can only have your mask off when giving a speech. Masks should be on for CX, prep, and all other times we're in the same room. Otherwise, you will take a big L 25. Don't like it? Great, do your prefs.
I've coached LASA since 2005. I judge ~100 debates per season on the high school circuit.
If there’s an email chain, please add me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re using a flash drive, prep stops when you pull the flash drive out of your computer. If you’re using an email chain, I won’t count attaching and emailing as prep time. Please do not steal prep.
If you have little time before the debate, here’s all you need to know: do what you do best. I try to be as unbiased as possible and I will defer to your analysis. As long as you are clear, go as fast as you want.
Most judges give appalling decisions. Here's where I will try to be better than them:
- They intervene, even when they claim they won't. Perhaps "tech over truth" doesn't mean what it used to. I will attempt to adjudicate and reach a decision purely on only the words you say. If that's insufficient to reach a decision either way--and it often isn't--I will add the minimum work necessary to come to a decision. The more work I have to do, the wider the range of uncertainty for you and the lower your speaks go.
- They aren't listening carefully. They're mentally checked out, flowing off the speech doc, distracted by social media, or have half their headphones off and are taking selfies during the 1AR. I will attempt to flow every single detail of your speeches. I will probably take notes during CX if I think it could affect my decision. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve a judge who works hard as well.
- They give poorly-reasoned decisions that rely on gut instincts and ignore arguments made in the 2NR/2AR. I will probably take my sweet time making and writing my decision. I will try to be as thorough and transparent as possible. If I intervene anywhere, I will explain why I had to intervene and how you could've prevented that intervention. If I didn't catch or evaluate an argument, I will explain why you under-explained or failed to extend it. I will try to anticipate your questions and preemptively answer them in my decision.
- They reconstruct the debate and try to find the most creative and convoluted path to a ballot. I guess they're trying to prove they're smart? These decisions are detestable because they take the debate away from the hands of the debaters. If there are multiple paths to victory for both teams, I will take what I think is the shortest path and explain why I think it's the shortest path, and you can influence my decision by explaining why you control the shortest path. But, I'm not going to use my decision to attempt to prove I'm more clever than the participants of the debate.
- I’m not a professional debate coach or even a teacher. I work as a finance analyst in the IT sector and I volunteer as a debate coach on evenings and weekends. I don’t teach at debate camp and my topic knowledge comes primarily from judging debates. My finance background means that, when left to my own devices, I err towards precision, logic, data, and concrete examples. However, I can be convinced otherwise in any particular debate, especially when it’s not challenged by the other team.
- Tech over truth in most instances. I will stick to my flow and minimize intervention as much as possible. I firmly believe that debates should be left to the debaters. I rarely make facial expressions because I don’t want my personal reactions to affect how a debate plays out. I will maintain a flow, even if you ask me not to. However, tech over truth has its limits. An argument must have sufficient explanation for it to matter to me, even if it’s dropped. You need a warrant and impact, not just a claim.
- Evidence comparison is under-utilized and is very important to me in close debates. I often call for evidence, but I’m much more likely to call for a card if it’s extended by author or cite.
- I don’t judge or coach at the college level, which means I’m usually a year or two behind the latest argument trends that are first broken in college and eventually trickle down to high school. If you’re reading something that’s close to the cutting edge of debate arguments, you’ll need to explain it clearly. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear new arguments. On the contrary, a big reason why I continue coaching debate is because I enjoy listening to and learning about new arguments that challenge my existing ways of thinking.
- Please mark your own cards. No one is marking them for you.
- If I feel that you are deliberately evading answering a question or have straight up lied, and the question is important to the outcome of the debate, I will stop the timer and ask you to answer the question. Example: if you read condo bad, the neg asks in CX whether you read condo bad, and you say no, I’ll ask if you want me to cross-out condo on my flow.
- Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison.
- When I vote neg, it’s usually because the aff team missed the boat on topical version, has made insufficient inroads into the neg’s limits disad, and/or is winning some exclusion disad but is not doing comparative impact calculus against the neg’s offense. The neg win rate goes up if the 2NR can turn or access the aff's primary impact (e.g. clash and argument testing is vital to ethical subject formation).
- When I vote aff, it’s usually because the 2NR is disorganized and goes for too many different impacts, there’s no topical version or other way to access the aff’s offense, and/or concedes an exclusion disad that is then impacted out by the 2AR. Without a credible counter-interpretation that the aff meets and that establishes some sufficient limits on the scope of debates, I lean negative.
- Over the years, “tech over truth” has led me to vote neg on some untruthful T violations. If you’re neg and you’ve done a lot of research and are ready to throw down on a very technical and carded T debate, I’m a good judge for you.
- I'm a stickler for the quality of a definition, especially if it's from a source that's contextual to the topic, has some intent to define, is exclusive and not just inclusive, etc.
- Reasonability is a debate about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not their aff. The size of the link to the limits disad usually determines how sympathetic I am towards this argument, i.e. if the link is small, then I’m more likely to conclude the aff’s C/I is reasonable even without other aff offense.
- The kritik teams I've judged that have earned the highest speaker points give highly organized and structured speeches, are disciplined in line-by-line debating, and emphasize key moments in their speeches.
- Just like most judges, the more case-specific your link and the more comprehensive your alternative explanation, the more I’ll be persuaded by your kritik.
- I greatly prefer the 2NC structure where you have a short (or no) overview and do as much of your explanation on the line-by-line as possible. If your overview is 6 minutes, you make blippy cross-applications on the line-by-line, and then you drop the last three 2AC cards, I’m going to give the 1AR a lot of leeway on extending those concessions, even if they were somewhat implicitly answered in your overview.
- Framework debates on kritiks rarely factor into my decisions. Frequently, I conclude that there’s not a decisive win for either side here, or that it’s irrelevant because the neg is already allowing the aff to weigh their impacts. Usually, I find myself somewhere in the middle: the neg always has the right to read kritiks, but the aff should have the right to access their advantages. Kritiks that moot the entire 1AC are a tough sell.
- I’m not a good judge for “role of the ballot” arguments, as I usually find these to be self-serving for the team making them. I’m also not a good judge for “competing methods means the aff doesn’t have a right to a perm”. I think the aff always has a right to a perm, but the question is whether the perm is legitimate and desirable, which is a substantive issue to be debated out, not a gatekeeping issue for me to enforce.
- I’m an OK judge for K “tricks”. A conceded root cause explanation, value to life impact, or “alt solves the aff” claim is effective if it’s sufficiently explained. The floating PIK needs to be clearly made in the 2NC for me to evaluate it. If your K strategy hinges on hiding a floating PIK and suddenly busting it out in the 2NR, I’m not a good judge for you.
- Just like most judges, I prefer case-specific over generic counterplans, but we can’t always get what we want.
- I lean neg on PICs. I lean aff on international fiat, 50 state fiat, condition, and consult. These preferences can change based on evidence or lack thereof. For example, if the neg has a state counterplan solvency advocate in the context of the aff, I’m less sympathetic to theory.
- I will not judge kick the CP unless explicitly told to do so by the 2NR, and it would not take much for the 2AR to persuade me to ignore the 2NR’s instructions on that issue.
- Presumption is in the direction of less change. If left to my own devices, I will probably conclude that most counterplans that are not explicitly PICs are a larger change than the aff.
- I’m a sucker for specific and comparative impact calculus. For example, most nuclear war impacts are probably not global nuclear war but some kind of regional scenario. I want to know why your specific regional scenario is faster and/or more probable. Reasonable impact calculus is much more persuasive to me than grandiose impact claims.
- I believe that in most cases, the link is more important for determining the direction of risk than uniqueness. The exceptions are when the uniqueness can be definitively determined rather than probabilistic.
- Zero risk is possible but difficult to prove by the aff. However, a miniscule neg risk of the disad is probably background noise.
- I actually enjoy listening to a good theory debate, but these seem to be exceedingly rare. I think I can be persuaded that many theoretical objections require punishing the team and not simply rejecting the argument, but substantial work needs to be done on why setting a precedent on that particular issue is important. You're unlikely to win that a single intrinsic permutation is a round-winning voter, even if the other team drops it, unless you are investing significant time in explaining why it should be an independent voting issue.
- I think that I lean affirmative compared to the rest of the judging community on the legitimacy of counterplans. In my mind, a counterplan that is wholly plan-inclusive (consultation, condition, delay, etc.) is theoretically questionable. The legitimacy of agent counterplans, whether domestic or international, is also contestable. I think the negative has the right to read multiple planks to a counterplan, but reading each plank conditionally is theoretically suspect.
- I usually take a long time to decide, and give lengthy decisions. LASA debaters have benefitted from the generosity of judges, coaches, and lab leaders who used their decisions to teach and trade ideas, not just pick a winner and get a paycheck. Debaters from schools with limited/no coaching, the same schools needed to prevent the decline in policy debate numbers, greatly benefit from judging feedback. I encourage you to ask questions and engage in respectful dialogue with me. However, post-round hostility will be met with hostility. I've been providing free coaching and judging since before you were birthed into the world. If I think you're being rude or condescending to me or your opponents, I will enthusiastically knock you back down to Earth.
- I don't want a card doc. If you send one, I will ignore it. Card docs are an opportunity for debaters to insert cards they didn't read, didn't extend, or re-highlight. They're also an excuse for lazy judges to compensate for a poor flow by reconstructing the debate after the fact. If your debating was disorganized and you need a card doc to return some semblance of organization, I'd rather adjudicate the disorganized debate and then tell you it was disorganized.
ferris cm (21) -> west georgia ck (25)
email@example.com - put me on the chain / email me any questions about anything.
conflicts: Leon Goldstein BE, Ferris MT, OES CP, Lane Tech MG, Gunn SV, Chattahoochee KL
this is longer than i want it to be - so i apoligize for that - but i hope the robustness is helpful. if you're seriously time pressed just read the top level stuff though. my opinions are subservient to the debate.
queer, terminally online, severely ADHD "k debater" (whatever that categorization means) & kind of a line by line hack. My personal politics are contradictory, incomplete, and largely irrelevant in the context of debate.
I vote neg a lot & I dislike being bored.
I debated 2 years in high school, attended the TOC, won the Washington State tournament my senior year and am debating in college. I am neither the USfg nor a revolutionary, I am a sleep deprived, dead inside (though fairly expressive when judging), caffeine addicted college student who cuts a lot of cards, listens to a lot of hyperpop, and reads a little too much. My debate influences are many and varied, but special shout-outs to Gonzaga MR, USC KS, the WGLF, Joe Skoog, and the current (21-26 seasons) West Georgia team. I am constantly learning from these people who continue to influence both my judging and debating.
no one should ever have to interact with their abuser within debate, if a debate you have me in the back for is not safe for you to participate in please email me before the debate and I will fight tab to the death for either a repairing or a double win. It is confusing that there is not a blacklist function for teams in highschool debate. Abuser/Assaulter = Auto L is likely the only "interpersonal ethics" theory violation I will ever vote on. And I will vote on it quickly. If you treat people in this activity like garbage then I should be your ordinal last.
TOC UPDATE - I have been getting put in more policy throw downs recently, and while this is fun and enjoyable for me because I enjoy learning, I promise there are better people in the pool to evaluate whatever new process counterplan you break than the person who stopped reading a plan because they couldn't understand counterplan competition at a high level. If you do have me in the back while this is the strategy - odds are you know these arguments better than me - as such please hold my hand through the block/2NR.
this has gone though a lot of changes but all were just really long ways of saying "I like creativity, weird K things and impact turns: nothing is off the table".
tech > truth; if you can't beat an awful or evil argument you deserve to lose to it. I am seriously unlikely to vote on "no death good it makes me upset" or anything of the sort. Those issues should be resolved by communication and kindness, not wins and losses. That being said, I enjoy contrarian/"edgy" debates when they are healthy & robust, not when they are just "racism real and bad yes/no." Use your best judgement / be kind.
all arguments need warrants. If your position (or a part of it) can't answer a "why?" in cross ex, that argument does not have a warrant. If you do not extend warrants for arguments in every speech I will not vote on that argument. I don't care if "they dropped fairness/X framework DA" in isolation. Explain your positions please. I'm not going to do that work for you, even or especially if I know the warrants myself.
I like reading cards and people's evidence is awful so much more often than it should be: point out your good evidence and your opponents bad evidence. Good evidence that you've cut will boost your speaker points because I think people should cut more of their own evidence rather than just take things from the top high school and college teams wikis, but you should note that not every argument needs a card, good analytics go a long way.
I don't have a ton of unique or hot takes beyond that. All forms and styles of debate have merit, even (or especially) ones that don't do a lot of "debating" and opt for trolling or performance instead. maybe better for K teams in clash debates if the debate is any good (but we all know that not all k debates are good k debates).
(I'll give you +.1 speaker points if you open source, tell me after the 2AR)
my takes here are contradictory (much like all takes) - I don't believe that anything about debate has intrinsic value: predictability can be both good and bad, clash can be both good and bad, fairness can be both good and bad, etc. I spent as much time in the 2AC saying every one of those things was bad as I did in my 1NR's saying they were good. If you win the argument you're going for and some sufficient defense against your opponents arguments you'll be fine. I don't have any real ideological horse in the "T is evil yes/no" race.
topicality debates are infuriatingly either absurd or shallow. The only thing I personally care about in debate is the community/relationships/research practices. obviously no one cares about my opinions, info dissuasive, whatever whatever, and I do mean it when I say I'll vote on anything, but framing your arguments in the terms of the debate community as it is and not as policy makers or revolutionaries will help your arguments seem more probable & palatable to me.
I'm going to decide one way or the other on framework "weigh the aff", not some weird middle ground that judges so often decide upon. What this means is that affirmatives usually either get to weigh the plan or they don't (a reason I vote negative a lot is that affs don't have defenses of their aff beyond the plan - policy teams should defend their epistemology, worldview, scholarship, etc.). Having multiple, well developed levels of both offense and defense in a k debate is important to consistently winning them regardless of what side you're on.
I read a fair amount of critical literature, both for fun and debate. I decided to attempt to compile a list of the books which I've read IN FULL directly below this section - I'll keep updating it as I read more - obviously this is not the extent of my exposure to certain literature, but if your arguments are similar to books on this list, a good execution would make my weekend, whilst a butchery would make me very sad.
for k teams
as such, I am probably best for your high theory stuff, simply because that is what I have read the most of in my free time. That doesn't mean I don't understand your structuralist or identity based positions, just that I am less immediately familiar. That also does not mean I'll do work for you if you're a Baudrillard team; it means I'll flame you in the RFD if you suck at explaining it in the context of the aff or debate. All arguments need to be explained regardless of my familiarity with them.
critiques need links and impacts to those links. I don't care if it's to fiat or the plan or whatever. Just give me a reason the aff is bad.
techy k debate is often better than long overview k debate, but my partner gives 9 minute overviews which is almost an art in itself so honestly do whatever you're better at, just tell me if I need a new sheet please. I say often because, despite my love for clean techy debates, I also wish k debate was more artful and subversive of the "science" of debate; performance and character are lost (or maybe never found) arts. be creative or techy, but do not be boring. I do not need to hear old KM, EM, EF, AS, etc. tags ever again.
for policy teams
despite maybe seeming like a hack, I am a sucker for framework and extinction outweighs in clash debates, most critiques can't beat it because k debaters don't expand enough of their critique of life in the status quo or drop util or something else silly. Even if they don't mess up I'm pretty persuaded by "living is good" absent an explicit "living is bad" claim from the negative.
a lot of alternatives suck and don't resolve impacts. read defense/turn the alternative.
a lot of links suck. most don't disprove the aff. If this is the case maybe spend time on the permutation, but if they're winning a link just go for point number one. In the event someone reads a real link, you should be prepared to defend your aff or lose. You chose this 1AC for a reason, don't be scared to say "yeah we link - but the aff is good/outweighs/their theory is wrong/whatever else". Policy teams lose when they get too defensive and win when they either impact turn the link / result of the alternative or read defense to the alternative & a smart link turn.
who doesn't like policy stuff lol - win that the aff is either good/bad/outweighs/outweighed before anything else. offense/defense paradigm (to a reasonable extent) and such.
in the camp of "kill the aff don't take the aff" insofar as I prefer big, specific case hits over generic counterplans, but that's just because a vast majority of affs are awful & can't withstand a good cross ex much less a solid 1NC on case, but at the same time these affs often don't have "solvency mechanism key" warrants so do whatever (this is another reason I vote neg a lot). Note that - when reading a counterplan: you must explain exactly how the counterplan solves the case and competes. Failing to extend warrants is failing to extend an argument. When answering a counterplan: you need deficits and deficits need impacts.
lean aff on almost all counterplan theory (including condo), but neg on topicality.
impact turn things! It's fun!!! Counter-intuitive arguments based in literature (wipeout, warming good, surveillance good, etc.) are amazing entertainment and very thought provoking when executed well, but a fast way to earn a 24-L when executed poorly (IE surveillance good devolving into racial profiling good would be a very poor execution of a potentially interesting position). If your argument can be compared to eugenics then you should reconsider putting it in the 1AC/1NC, not necessarily out of fear of me voting on a procedural (I likely won't... though a substantive critique could be a different story), but just to be a decent person in this activity where we form relationships with people lol. Use your best judgement please.
0 risk exists. I don't think a lot of affs resolve their impacts and simply decreasing the risk of them is not a substantial departure from the status quo. I am a big fan of presumption and I think the offense defense paradigm has limits in case debating specifically. If the aff is bad I think that is a sufficient condition to vote negative, a 2NR/2AR cannot answer an argument with "1% risk". If it's truly 1% I'd probably vote for the 99% chance your impact doesn't matter; call me a gambler or whatever, but I'll take 1:100 odds lmao.
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.
Hi i'm jared
Lane Tech 2016
- i help coached at wheeler hs in georgia alittle this year and rufus king here and there this year so topic knowledge is there. As I have judged the water topic a bit more here is some more articulated opnions:
Framework: You need to prove to me why an aff is not debatable, things like the industry da's, or the interstate compacts cp's seems like what the core neg ground is looking like whats its more the be. I need somewhat of a conversation of why an Aff makes it impossible. One off framework is probably not the best in front of me. Y'all need to probs look into like ivory tower args at least, how would the group of people you advocate for understand the args you are goin for, and how thats probs academic elitism and resinscribes the impacts you talk about .
K aff's : I need to understand what your aff does, and how it solves what it says you solve by the end of the debate. I ran these mostly while I debated, but I need to understand some relation to the topic, or why I should not care about the topic. But if it is the should not care about the topic route, you probs need to give give a ground list on the framework debate.
Theory: Alot of CP's are prolly cheating , once you hit 3+ condo that has some perf-con thats prolly bad.
to win my ballot beat the other persons arguments.
Quick Metaview to better understand how I view things.
1. K's/K aff's: Was my own bread and butter while I debated, will understand most literature basis but do not expect me to the work for you.
2. T's/Impact Turns': Underappreciated in debate , and I think are enjoyable debates if done well.
3. Politics DA : They are the intresting toxic thing that could go either way.
4. Policy Affs : If your aff relies on more intricate knowledge such as like a random court case more explanation the better.
5. Process CP's are probably cheating, but im more inclined to reject the arg than the team.
larger meta-framing issues :
a. dont be racist
b. aff prove why the status quo is bad - neg says its good or run your k or cp
c. ill dig a cp and impact turn strat with your 8 off strat or one off performance - ill listen to your arguements and look at it.
d. anything is probably could be voted on if not racist
f.I am probably truth is higher value than tech ,I'm not the most familiar with more techy policy args where slow down more of my knowledge is the K I'll try buy if im confused and look lost that means you are going over my head
g. theory : please just for the love of god do not read more than 5 or 6 condo, at this point its a question of yes reasonability but at the same time I need to be able to figure out what your warrants are. More often that not if CP's are specfic they'll avoid most of the theory questions.
h. With topicality it'll always be an interesting debate that with good framing its good.
i. In a round where I have to be answering questions It probably goes more towards the K, and how I think the Ontology Debate works out.
Non-Policy Debate Section:
You do you, and I look at flows. alot of my views on arguements in debate are summed up below, but I am open to any non-traditional forms of any of the other types of debate as long as you are not racist. I tend to vote purely off the flow as long as something is not just a straight up lie(i.e "Trump was Good"). On theory issues i tend to default to whatever means the least amount of judge intervention.
Sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin '24
I used to debate for Hendrickson
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
LD stuff below
– I will evaluate anything that is said, except for interruptions by anyone who isn't supposed to be speaking. Unless it is a part of your performance, I won't evaluate it.
– Tech over Truth in most cases. I won't evaluate an argument without a warrant. I will not evaluate arguments like racism good, ableism good, and any other arguments that you should know that aren’t impact turn-able.
– I don't have an issue with you marking cards. But I do have an issue with you marking every card on an entire flow. I won't evaluate a single card you read as an argument if you cut them before the warrants.
– Unlike most judges, I flow cross-examination. That doesn’t mean that I evaluate cross-x as a speech, but it does mean that you don’t need to fully explain the cross-x moment for me to understand. I stop flowing cross-x after 3 minutes.
– I’m not the best for teams reading Kritikal arguments. I didn’t read a lot of Kritikal arguments in high school, which means that I don’t understand your arguments as well as most judges. If you do want to read a kritik and pref me, then Capitalism, Security, Settler Colonialism, and topic specific critiques (i.e., Eco-Managerialism/Heidegger) are good to go for in front of me.
– I make a lot of facial expressions. If I'm confused or I think an argument you're making is silly, I will give a reaction.
– Please don't read a meme CP, DA, K, or anything in front of me. I really not a fan of completely non-educational, throwaway arguments.
– Unless a timer is going, I'm not flowing. If the timer beeps and you are in the middle of a cross-x answer or a card, you should stop. I'm not paying attention and won't grant you the completed argument. You are responsible for timing yourself and keeping track of your time.
Topic Specific Thoughts
– T-Protection is a pretty hard argument to win without a coherent case list of topical and untopical affs. If such a list isn't presented by the end of the debate, I tend to err aff on reasonability.
– For some reason the community thinks that RFS, River Rights, MPAs is topical. They're not. This doesn't mean that I'll auto-vote neg on T-Protection if it's in the 2NR against these affs, but the aff has a high burden to justify its inclusion in the category of "affs that should be considered topical and are good for topic education." Reasonability is not convincing unless the neg misses the ball on T-Protection.
“Soft Left” Affs
– I hate 1ACs that have the following pre-empts on their framing contention: no war, their DAs have [x] probability, their politics DA is thumped, etc. The 1AC is not a speech to be reading answers to neg arguments that have not yet been read. I prefer "soft-left" affs that have reasons as to why your internal links and mechanism are key. This equally applies to the neg. Util arguments that say "future generations matter" and "extinction are an ethical problem" are tautological and make no sense.
– Arguments like “reject consequences” are inherently flawed and unpersuasive. Why should I evaluate your consequences but not your opponents? That just seems illogical. I’m more persuaded by arguments like “probability comes first.” Consequences do matter, but how I evaluate those consequences is a different matter entirely.
– For the neg, when explaining DA turns case, I don’t want to hear “our impact turns structural violence” as a justification for why the DA accesses the aff’s impacts. The neg must explain how their impact scenario makes the aff’s specific instance of structural violence worse.
– I vote neg on Topicality more often than I think I should. But I'll try not to do that.
– I'm not persuaded by "plan text in a vacuum." Just inserting the resolution into your plan text isn't enough to prove that the aff is topical. You have to prove your mechanism fits under the resolution.
– I view topicality violations, such as "substantial," as time sucks, which means that I default aff on reasonability. Unless the aff drops or mishandles T-Substantial, I probably won’t vote neg.
– I tend to err neg when a coherent list of untopical affs under the aff's counter-interpretation is presented. Those type of case lists are coherent when the affs listed are ones that most teams would actually read and not some random idea you thought was dumb. Similarly, I err aff when the aff presents a coherent case list for affs that the neg's interpretation excludes is presented. Solvency advocates aren't required for either case list.
– Reasonability is about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not the aff. This means that if you kick the counter-interp, you can’t go for reasonability.
– The counter-interpretation is the most confusing part of the aff’s strategy on framework. If I don’t understand what your model of debate looks like and how it solves any of your offense, then I will have a hard time voting aff.
– I find myself unpersuaded by aff arguments like "your model of debate excludes us," "reading [x] standard is violent," or any other argument that equates the reading of Framework to legitimate violence. Those aren't true and are trivializing to actual experiences of violence. I'm more persuaded by arguments about how your model of debate is more educational, builds better activists, creates better subjects, etc. Similarly, neg teams that tell their opponents to "get out of debate" won't win my ballot.
– I view the topical version of the aff as a way for the neg’s model of debate to incorporate the aff’s education on the aff. Arguments like “the state can’t endorse our advocacy” or state bad offense is not a reason the topical version can’t include the aff’s discussion. That being said, the topical version does have to solve some of the aff’s impacts.
– My views on framework and topicality are pretty similar, the only difference is that I view a framework debate as a question of competing interpretations. I’m unpersuaded by reasonability and will not vote on it.
– I already said it above, but I will say it again. I will not evaluate arguments like racism good, ableism good, and any other arguments that you should know that aren’t impact turn-able. If you are going to ask, don’t read it.
– These kinds of debates are fun to judge, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoy every impact turn debate. You should explain every impact turn as if it were a disad. What is happening now? How does the aff/disad change that? Why is that change bad? All of these questions need to be answered in order for me to vote for you.
– Impact turn debates tend to devolve to a bunch of card reading in the 2AC, Block, and 1AR while the 2NR and 2AR clean things up for me. These debates suck because half the cards read never make it to the 2NR and 2AR, but, for some reason, teams think it's a good idea to send a card doc of every card they read but didn't use after the round. If you send a card doc, that email and doc will be sadly ignored and left unread in my inbox.
– I keep hearing aff teams saying "their DA links are generic." I don't view that as a take out to the link. The aff needs to make the argument that they don't link for me to be persuaded that the generic link is insufficient for a link. The threshold for how good the "no link" argument decreases when the neg's link work is generic.
– I will discount any disad with relatively zero risk as background noise, unless a counterplan is involved. In which case, I will evaluate the disad.
– Disads that require multiple internal link chains are the worst disads and are easily answerable by the aff in my opinion. The aff doesn’t have to read a lot of evidence, but there should still be lots of evidence comparison and pointing out of flaws in their evidence.
– I absolutely love counterplans that come from re-cutting an internal link or solvency advocate of the 1AC. Even if your counterplan doesn’t come from their 1AC author, the more case specific it is, the more likely I am to reward you for it. In other words, I prefer advantage counterplans over PICs, agent CPs, process CPs, etc.
– The neg is allowed to get the States CP. No amount of time spent in the 2AR or subpoints in the 2AC on this issue will change my mind on this. Whether the neg gets to uniformly fiat all 50 states is a different question.
– Presumption flows aff when the counterplan does more than the aff but stays neg if it does less.
– Sufficiency framing is an argument, but it needs to be paired with a reason as to why that sort of framing is good. If the 1AR gives a decent reason as to why I should reject it and the block has not given a reason to prefer it, then the 2NR will have a hard time persuading me that sufficiency framing is good.
– I will not judge kick unless told otherwise.
– Like most judges, I prefer hearing buzzwords explained, case-specific links, and comprehensive alternative explanations. If you are lacking any of these parts after the block, the odds that I’ll vote neg is very low.
– I enjoy listening to 2NCs that focus more on the line-by-line rather than a long overview that implicitly answers 2AC arguments. In those debates, I begin to tune out and will miss arguments you are making even if you’re not going very fast. This also includes 2NCs that shotgun a myriad of links. Don’t expect me to catch every link and their explanations because I won’t. I don’t think there should be a limit as to how many links you make, but if you’re strategy is contingent off of the 1AR dropping a link and going for that link, then I’m not the right judge for you.
– “Link are a disad to the perm” is NOT a sufficient answer the permutations. Since most links are descriptions of broader structures and not the aff, the permutation is usually sufficient enough to solve the links if it combines the plan and alt. If the neg couples the links with a disad or severance/intrinsic-ness argument, then I’m less likely to vote aff on the perm.
– The most under-focused argument in a kritik debate is the 1AC. If you’re aff, weigh your impacts and explain how they outweigh the K’s impacts. Most aff teams lose because they choose not to weigh their impacts. If you’re neg, don’t forget to answer case. This is especially true for the neg when the security k, psychoanalysis, or any other argument that relies on the aff being wrong about the 1AC in anyway require a case debate in order for you to win your links. Conceding case means I heavily lean aff on the permutation. This doesn’t mean that I’ll auto-vote aff if you drop case, you just need to indict the 1ACs authors or theories in some way and make that clear in your speech. Even if your evidence directly indicts theirs, you need to do the work to explain why those indicts are true.
– After the block, I should know what your alternative does and how it solves the links. If you decide to kick the alt in the 2NR, then you need to explain how the links operate as linear disads to the aff and not the broader structures of power. A lack of explanation of how the links are resolved means I won’t be voting neg.
K v K Debate
– Kritik debates in general should have concrete examples to back up their theories, but this is especially true when two different theories are clashing. I have zero clue where to start if all I’m hearing are buzzwords and explanations of your theory with no idea why its true. These examples are extremely helpful for me to not only understand your theory, but also understand how it interacts with your opponent’s theory.
– A method debate does not mean a no-perm debate. The aff definitely gets a perm and the neg has to prove why combining the aff’s theory with the neg’s theory fails to accomplish something.
– A lot of these debates come down to the permutation or the link vs link turn. For the aff, you need to explain how the permutation solves the links or, at the very least, avoid them. If your strategy is contingent on the link turn, you need to do impact calculus between your link turn and the neg’s link. If I think the neg has a bigger link, then I will vote neg. The same is true if I think the link turn outweighs the link, then I vote aff. For the neg, your answer to the perm shouldn’t just be links are a disad, especially if your links are that “the aff doesn’t analyze [insert K impact].”
– Most theory arguments are just reasons to reject the argument, except for condo. This is especially true when there isn’t any in-round abuse. Theory arguments that such as counterplans without solvency advocates, vague alts, etc. are reasons to be skeptical of the solvency of the counterplan or alt. They are rarely reasons to reject the team. Other theory arguments like PICs bad, floating PIKs bad, agent CPs bad, etc. are reasons to reject the counterplan or alt. These arguments can be reasons to reject the team, but only if the neg severely mishandles the theory debate and the 1AR and 2AR are really good on them.
– I think the most reasonable amount of conditional world the neg should have is two. Three or four is pushing it. If the neg only reads advantage counterplans or kritiks specific to the 1ACs plan, then I lean neg on condo even if they counter-interpretation is an infinite number of worlds. So long as those worlds are specific to the aff, then I’m good with it. However, if the aff’s interpretation on condo is zero conditional worlds, one unconditional world, or [x number] of dispositional worlds, then I lean neg on condo. I hate 2ACs that say the neg can read dispositional worlds and not define what it means.
– I don't vote on shotty theory arguments like ASPEC, Disclosure Theory, New Affs Bad, etc. unless they are dropped.
– I default neg on theory if it’s a new aff.
– I don't judge a lot of LD, but I'm familiar with the format.
– Most of the Policy/CX stuff holds true for LD arguments.
– If the affirmative is going for an RVI, it needs to be the entirety of your last speech and you must prove in-round abuse. I won't reject arguments or the negative otherwise.
– Just because I judge CX doesn't mean I want to watch a CX debate. Debate as if I'm a parent judge with no clue about the topic. This means no "DAs," "CPs," "Ks," or "Ts." If you debate like it's a CX debate, I will not give you speaks higher than 27.
– Please send cases/evidence through an email chain. My email is above.
Debated 4 years at Kapaun** Mount Carmel in Wichita, Kansas
Debated 4 years NDT/CEDA/D3 at University of Kansas
Email chain: email@example.com
As of Gonzaga 2022, I don't know anything about the water topic.
I lean aff for condo. Some might say too much. I might expect a lot from you if you do go for it.
I really like presumption - it means a lot to me. Zero risk > try or die.
I didn't go for K's much but I really like debating them vs my policy aff. More than policy v policy debates. Framework is important to me here and should have its own impact calc.
I lean toward affs with plans. Fairness concerns me a less than usual nowadays. Its been a while since I last judged one of these.
I get easily confused by T arguments on topics I am not familiar with. I am most likely to intervene in some way here.
Status quo is always an option=judge kick
How I judge:
I work hard to listen and read your evidence. I am honest about what I don't understand. I am patient with novices.
Be clear or go slower (7 or 8/10) for online debate otherwise I'll miss the nuance in your arguments. I clear twice before I stop flowing.
I flow and use everything I hear in my decision, and overemphasize what is said in the rebuttals. I'll reference the 1AR speech to protect the 2NR on a 2AR that "sounds new" and I'll reference the block on a 2NR that claims the 1AR dropped something. I'll reference a 2AC on a 1AR that claims the block dropped something, etc.
For a dropped argument to be a true argument it must have been a complete claim and warrant from the beginning. I am not a fan of being "sneaky" or "tricky". Unless you are going for condo ;)
I try to craft my decision based on language used by the debaters. I reference evidence when I cannot resolve an argument by flow alone. PhD's, peer reviewed journals, and adequate highlighting will help you here. If I can't resolve it that way I'll look for potential cross applications or CX arguments and might end up doing work for you. If I do work for one team I will try to do the same amount for the other team. It might get messy if its close, that's what the panel is for, but please challenge my decision if you strongly disagree and I'll tell you where my biases kicked in.
Lindsay Jade (or LJ, whichever works!)
Assistant coach for Greenhill
Greenhill '21 UT Austin '26 (currently taking a gap year)
Please put me on the email chain! firstname.lastname@example.org
-tech > truth
-dropped arguments are true, but please explain them as a full argument and the implications you want it to have on my decision
-fully explaining/developing arguments and good line-by-line skills are important to me and will lead to higher speaker points than reading excessive overviews
-please be nice and respectful to each other! we are all people giving up our weekends to have fun debating, so it's important to me that everyone feels comfortable/enjoys the debate
-any other comments are just what I lean towards, but I can usually be convinced otherwise through debating, some things just may be more of an uphill battle
-open cx is fine, but please don't excessively talk over each other/interrupt
Online debate updates:
-online debate is tricky sometimes, don't freak out if tech issues happen, we've all had our fair share and it'll be fine. if you want to make it easier for me to understand your arguments, clearly signposting/indicating where you are in the debate is definitely even more important when we're online
-it's totally fine if there's a tech issue/reason why you can't, but please try to have cameras on when possible, I'd personally prefer if debate didn't devolve into us all talking to a blank screen
Policy affs (from Josh):
-I agree with what everyone else says about framing contentions: they should be as specific to the 1AC as possible and they should be clearly contextualized to the arguments that the neg is going for.
-you probably won't persuade me to completely disregard consequences, but I will buy arguments about prioritization/justifications for impact calculus
-I am almost always more persuaded by internal link defense than impact defense.
K affs vs. framework:
-I am probably slightly better for the neg here, although I have some (very very limited) experience reading k affs
-I'm fine with both limits/fairness and idea testing style impacts. Anything is fine.
-impact calculus and analysis, explaining how your interpretation best resolves that impact (and theirs can't access it), and how it interacts with the other team's impacts, will make it easier for me to evaluate the debate in your favor (i.e. an interpretation grounded in the resolution is the only way to have a predictable topic where teams are prepared to engage each other's arguments - that turns the aff's education offense because it's the best way to learn about their arguments - just an example, not what I always default to/believe)
Ks: (stolen from Anagha)
-I'd consider myself fairly well-versed in abolition-type arguments, and I have a fairly average understanding of kritiks like capitalism, biopolitics, security, settler colonialism, IR and reps kritiks. The most important thing for me is contextualizing your links to the aff. You can read your generic state links or resource management links, but just know it will be an uphill battle if you don't contextualize it to the aff. Additionally, clearly explain the alt/what it does.
-my own note about framework: I think the aff gets to weigh the plan, but the negative can probably get most links to representations. Of course, this can be changed if the neg is just so far ahead on framework, but I tend to not consider "role of the ballot" arguments as much. Instead, substantive arguments about why representations outweigh material action or vice versa are more persuasive to me. I tend to think teams (especially if you aren't reading an extinction impact on the aff) invest too much time in framework that should be used on the link/perm/alt debate in most cases.
-floating PIKs are probably bad, but if you get away with it, good for you.
Topicality (vs. policy affs)
-even though I think this topic is hard for the neg, I am probably less willing than others to vote on "limits for the sake of limits" just because the topic is huge. Neg teams' limits arguments are more persuasive when they explain exactly how the aff interp explodes limits and gives examples of topical affs under their interpretation and the other affirmatives the aff allows and why they would make debates worse. Please impact out your argument and explain how it turns each others' impacts
-aff teams: good impact analysis (why yours outweigh and turn theirs), defense to neg impacts, and examples are the way to my ballot
-not a big fan of subsets/cessation of use, but really enjoy aff-specific smart T arguments. that being said, I know the resolution is weird and I'm still willing to vote on those
-effects T situation on the water topic is weird - it's probably inevitable to some extent, describing why the aff is even more effects T/their use of it is worse and creating a clear brightline for evaluating it with your interp is a good way to my ballot
-I think reasonability is very decent if you explain it without relying solely on buzz words
CPs and theory:
-aff teams: the permutation and links to the net benefit are your friend. I like 2ACs that consistently cover those arguments on each CP flow, and if perm do both is a serious thought, then explanations about how it shields the link starting in the 2AC is best
-also, make clear solvency deficits, I care a lot about how you impact them out and explain the implications for the debate in later rebuttals.
-neg teams: be sure to have a clear story/explanation for how the aff/perm links to the net benefit and the CP alone avoids it
-theory debates are probably some of my least favorite debates to judge, but if it becomes the debate I understand
-nothing except conditionality is a voting issue. my voting record has shown me that I lean negative on conditionality, but I can be more convinced if there are a high number and/or they contradict each other.
-the more any theory argument is specific to the debate, the more likely I am to buy it.
-if I think you are partially right about a theory argument but can't fully reject the team or argument, I still might be more sympathetic to a permutation that might not have been a winner in a vacuum. You should say I should be.
-process CPs are fine on this topic
-that being said, I like it better when net benefits are germane to the aff (more of a DA to the aff and not just an advantage to doing the CP)
-PICs out of words that aren't in the plan text are probably illegitimate
-judge kick: if the neg tells me to and it's unanswered or the neg is ahead on the question of whether I should, then I will. Neg teams, you should probably start telling me to do this in the block rather than the 2nr so I don't have to evaluate your 1 sentence against (rightfully) new 2ar arguments about it. If neg says "status quo is always an option" in 1NC CX, the 2AC should have the no judge kick argument if that's something you care about.
-to quote Josh Leffler: "Having a specific solvency advocate makes most counterplans legitimate, but not having a solvency advocate doesn't automatically make a counterplan illegitimate."
-functionally intrinsic perms (that are limited to neg solvency advocates and only the plan and CP text) are my favorite!
-impact calc is very helpful and probably one of the best ways for you to influence my decision, especially with turns case arguments
-that being said, tech > truth, and I love (reasonably) creative spin on arguments and will reward you for it speaker point wise even if it doesn't work out for you
-politics is fine on the water topic
Non-negotiables (stolen from hollard ball)
- death good = L
- being racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. or making the debate unsafe for anyone involved (to be determined at my discretion) = L and the lowest speaks i can assign.
- no asking for better speaks
- i will flow a 2-hour long debate comprised of eight speeches. "Calling for a double win, intentionally interrupting an opponent’s speech, soliciting outside participation in a speech or cross-x, breaking time limits, playing board games, or devolving the debate into a 2 hour long discussion is a recipe for a quick L for the team that initiates it." -shree
- you have to read re-highlightings, you usually can't insert them unless it's just one word or something
-if you read this far... wow that's dedication, good for you :)
-if you say bonk kritonk in the correct context in the debate, +.1 speaks
-if you have any questions, please email me: email@example.com
TL;DR – I’m cool with anything as long as it's explained well, please call me Gio and put me on the email chain using firstname.lastname@example.org, I haven’t judged many debates on this topic so clear explanations are super important
General thoughts –
- Just be nice to each other, snark costs speaker points
- Don’t read stuff like Death Good and suicide arguments, you know what I mean
- Clarity and Clash = Money
- I’m pretty expressive in debates, you’ll be able to see what I think about your argument easily
- Evidence Quality really matters, point garbage evidence out and highlight your actual good cards
- Specificity > Generic 100% of the time
- Please don’t just do 9-off, fully develop your 1NC’s
Case Args –
- Please make use of it on the aff instead of just case outweighs, leverage internal links and uniqueness tricks
- Murder it on the neg, it’s usually pretty easy with some time investment and then the aff’s got no game
- Smart Analytics kill affs too
- Slow down please
- Making one specific theory arg > 5 generic theory args (Multiplank Condo PIC’s with No Solvency Advocates are probably worse than just condo)
- Don’t read new affs bad or no neg fiat and stuff like that, waste of time
- Specific internal link and impact work is super important, buzzwords are lame
- Caselists, TVA’s, Switch Side, and other ways to access education are great args
- Please emphasize predictability when discussing interps, even though interpretations may inevitably be arbitrary, there are certainly some that are just contrived and make the topic undebatable
- I think Fairness/Competitive Equity is an impact and an internal link to things like clash and education. Same with education.
- Debate is a game first and foremost to me but discussing the nature and goal of that game is still significant. Defend your vision of this game.
- Default to Competing Interps
- Usually contrived nowadays, especially politics, please exploit that on the aff. Don’t be caught lacking on the Neg.
- Zero Risk of a DA is a thing
- Turns Case analysis should be aff specific, don’t just read your overview
- Apply framing args to DA’s specifically, don’t just assume I’ll crossapply everything perfectly
- Solvency advocates should definitely be a thing unless their evidence is the solvency advocate, if so tell me which card and possibly send a rehighlighting
- Solvency Deficits need actual impacts that outweigh the net benefit
- Sufficiency framing is dope
- CP’s with internal net benefits that aren’t DA’s to the aff get permed hard
- Framework usually doesn’t matter, make it matter by impacting it out while putting defense on theirs
- C l a r i t y i s k e y
- Articulating link narratives and internal links without relying on clunky jargon is crucial, don’t be lazy with simple overviews.
- Examples are super helpful, feel free to drop them.
- Fully explain the world of the alt, nuance here is particularly helpful since the alt’s usually weak and boosting it helps deal with tons of args. Same with the perm, helps deal with links and “DA’s” that they drop.
Last Updated - Mich camp '22 (I have a new judging email!)
Voting for policy-----X-----Voting for the K (yes, seriously)
Researching/coaching policy-------X---Researching/coaching the K
Will read ev without being told---------X-Tell me what to read
Asking "did you read X card"----------XLearn to flow or run prep/CX
Yes RVIs----------XNo RVIs
Fairness is definitely an impact-----X-----Fairness is definitely not an impact
"Neg on presumption - the aff doesn't solve"X----------"Epistemological shifts prefigure a new ontology of blah blah blah"
"It's pre-fiat"----------XActual arguments
Debate good---X-------Debate bad (the activity)
Debate good-------X---Debate bad (the community)
Counterinterp + offense---X-------Impact turn everything
Yes ur Baudrillard/KantX----------Not ur Baudrillard/Kant
Feelings and jokes--X--------Debate robots
Mime-like expressiveness--X--------Statue-like deadpan
Speaker point fairy--------X--Speaker point goblin
LD should be like policy-------X---(Some) LD stuff is cool
Capitalism----------X( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
who the hell is patrick
Jack C Hays '19, UH Debate '24(?) - I debated with Gabby and was part of the first Houston team to qualify to the NDT in a while ('21 and '22). I was a quarterfinalist at the 2022 CEDA National Championship with Brett, my current 2A. I've gotten some gavels and elim appearances at both big and small college tournaments. I have always been a 2N, but I think about affs a lot and enjoy writing weird ones.
email chains: email@example.com
Please have the subject of email chains be "Tournament Round - Aff Entry vs Neg Entry" (e.g: "CEDA Quarters - Liberty CR vs Houston CF")
I have hearing damage in my left ear. Try and position yourself to my right.
Conflicts of Interest
Consultant for Westside High School's policy team from 2020-22. Beginning in Fall 2022, consultant for Dulles High School's policy team. Currently coach Westlake AK, Perry JA, Los Altos BF, Sidwell SW, and Northern Valley JS in LD. Graduated from Jack C Hays HS in 2019.
Debate is a competitive activity centered around research and persuasion. My job is to adjudicate the competitive aspect of the activity and enable progression of students. Two teams are the only entities taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on arguments made within tournament set speech and prep times, and will submit a decision with one winner and loser or possibly a double-loss. If you try and tell me that anything outside of this is "binding" on my "jurisdiction" as a judge, you are incorrect and I will resent you telling me how to do my job.
Prior to all of this, as an educator (in both the subjective and legal sense), the safety of students is my utmost concern above the content of any debate. I have been told I get rather angry when these sort of issues arise - I absolutely do. This is the only way you, as a debater, can genuinely piss me off. Avoid it for both our sakes. Racism, sexism, etc. will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and will be penalized with speaker points, the ballot, and possibly a visit to tabroom and/or your coach. Which of these it is is entirely up to my discretion based on the severity of the offense, but I am likely to be much harsher than you are used to, as I find most judges are spineless in this area - I have quite literally stopped flowing and submitted my ballot in the middle of a 1AR before because I couldn't in good faith let the debate play out "impartially", and I will lose no sleep over doing the same to you if you make me.
You are high school students. I do not want to see or perceive anything NSFW. Keep it PG-13.
overall, do what you want if you're good at it, don't over-adapt. I enjoy T throwdowns, impact turns and a CP/DA, framework vs K aff, policy vs K and rev v rev rounds equally, but I probably have more practice judging the last three.
I'm very expressive. Read my non-verbals.
I worked with JD Sanford and Aimun Khan in high school, and work with Richard Garner, James Allan, Rob Glass, and Michael Wimsatt in college. I like debating in front of Scott Harris, Alex McVey, Devane Murphy, Reed van Schenck, Jesse Smith, Doug Husic, and Jason Regnier. This is a wide swath of people who think a lot of things. I may judge a lot like them, and may judge nothing like them at all.
This paradigm used to be even longer, with many more specific thoughts on specific args - you can find those longer and specific thoughts here (I don't update this very often at all because my opinions on these don't change much)
here's what I think is most important to know about me as a judge -
- I judge a good amount, my schedule allowing, usually 60-80 debates a season (rounds judged 2021-22 in policy: 27, LD: 46). This is because of three things:
1. I think judging is a skill, and one I think is valuable for the community to have a surplus of. Much like how you can't give a good 2NR if you haven't given a speech in three months, I probably can't judge a debate as well as I want to if I haven't done it since the previous semester. I think many judges are horrendous, and this is mostly because they have not thought about judging as something to be practiced and refined, and have never tried to improve. I try to think about this a lot.
2. I think judging is interesting, both because I coach and because I like debate. I like to stay aware of the current meta and know what the best teams are going for both to help my own debaters as well as because I think the part of debate that keeps me awake is the way the activity iterates and (mostly) improves over time, both in content and form.
3. Rent isn't free. Interpret all this as you will, but for me it means I think you can be confident I am reasonably abreast of the current community norms and have a decent amount of experience with the techne of judging, and that I am most enjoying this job when I get to judge debates at the bleeding edge of the meta.
- Some judges will often admit they are not the best flower here. I consider myself to be a VERY good flower. It deeply frames how I think about the debate, and I do not think there is any reasonable alternative to judge, so I take it seriously. This means my primary reference for the decision I make is what YOU tell me it is, not what your doc said or how good your cards are. If you want me to pay attention to those things, put it on my flow. This also means, regardless of content or style, I value debaters who are organized and easy to follow. The crux of my decision is entirely determined by who I think won - I don't think my ballot really signals anything other than that (barring cases where I intervene due to something beyond the content of the debate). What I should value in terms of how I think about who wins and why, however, is entirely up to debate.
- "Tech over truth," but I exceedingly find that in technically close debates, truth tiebreaks my decision - I'd rather hear one good argument than five terrible ones. I will happily say "didn't understand this, sucks to suck" in my RFD. I try to be reasonably diligent about setting my own biases aside when judging (as evidenced by my current six-round streak of voting for cap good). Relatedly, the burden of proof precedes the burden of rejoinder - if you have not warranted an argument to justify it's truth, I do not care if it is "dropped", as there was never a full argument to answer in the first place. Good debaters are not just technical, but comparative - pointing out an argument is terrible is good, pointing out how it is terrible and why yours is better in relation is great, and telling me how that implicates the core parts of the debate is fantastic.
- Many judges give atrocious RFDs. I have been called long-winded, but I think that being thorough and going through every moving part of the debate is better than a 2 sentence non-decision that just kinda hand-waves the details. I ask myself what I would be most frustrated or confused by losing about if I was the 2A/2N, and I make a point to think through that in my decision and answer that question in advance. I think that the best way to make my RFD sound like the one in your head is to give me that RFD in the last speech - I coach many of my debaters to start the 2N/AR off with "your RFD is...", and I think that judge instruction is an essential skill that is nonetheless deeply lacking from many of the debates I judge.
- I am deeply unsympathetic to strategies that actively attempt to avoid clash/engagement, and my threshold for answering patent nonsense is low. You know who you are and you know what this means if it applies to you. I find that debate is valuable because it encourages content mastery, and I am most impressed by debaters who can show me they've done their homework, so to speak. That means that I find arguments that attempt to circumvent this pretty clearly less valuable from a pedagogical standpoint, and as such I will be loathe to reward such strategies with the ballot - the stupider/more in bad faith your argument is, the harder I will look for an excuse to not vote for it, and therefore the lower my threshold for answering it will be.
Miscellaneous thoughts (updated regularly)
For the love of God, learn to flow. If you're spending 30 seconds asking "did u read X" after a speech, you're running either CX or prep for it. This has easily become my biggest pet peeve. If you do this after a speech, I will quite ask you if you're running a timer, and if you aren't, you better start.
Uncomfortable voting on "this person did a bad" unless I literally see it. Dislike evaluating the character of minors who I don't know outside of these very limited interactions. If something happened between the debaters that is morally reprehensible and genuinely serious enough to merit my concern as a judge and coach, it probably merits getting the bureaucracy involved. Do not consider this me saying I am unwilling to do that. If you have safety concerns about being around your opponent, please and absolutely discreetly tell me via email or Facebook Messenger and I will get you the hell out and in a room with someone who can better handle it.
Stolen from my boss - "Jargon can enable precision, but it usually functions to make bad debaters think they are making good arguments when they are barely saying anything."
Mr. Fox is my dad. If you call me "Mr. Fox", I will assume you would rather be judged by him and adjust my flowing and speaker points accordingly. Pat/Patrick is good, Fox is fine, "judge" is okay, any true honorific is a non-starter.
The 1AR is a constructive.
In the event of a forfeit/concession, I am going to tell tab as opposed to submitting a ballot. The reason for this is entirely because I think its arbitrary for me to assign speaks for a debate that didn't happen or finish, and the only fair/consistent standard is to let tab average out speaks for other debates.
Inserting re-highlightings of their cards = go for it. Inserting cards from different parts of their article = gotta read it.
Not flowing cards about debate written by active debaters. Sorry.
If I'm not flowing, you're either too unclear to flow or you're being so redundant I don't need to flow you. Interpret accordingly if you notice.
I love (love, love) straight up case debates, and I consider it a dying art. A 2NR that just impact turns or straight turns the aff will receive nothing less than unreasonably high speaker points. This applies to both K and policy rounds.
You get two free "clears" and then after that it's -0.1 speaks for every time I say it (I will not apply this if I think it's due to audio issues with your mic, only if you suck at speaking).
"Role of the Ballot/Judge" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pql0__Ii67A
A casual approach to the debate is welcome and appreciated. I am a rather silly and wacky fellow, and will probably make lots of jokes and small talk. Mess around a bit. Have some fun. Its the weekend.
I decide most debates very fast. Even in close rounds. Don't take it personally.
If I've judged you before, and you make it patently obvious you actually took any or all advice I gave you in my previous RFD, I will absolutely notice (and so will your speaks).
Condo is good. This is my strongest bias.
God, this kinda sucks. I will try to make sure that, barring connection issues, I have my camera on at all times during speeches and CX. I will turn my camera off after the 2AR while making my decision and turn it back on once I'm in. You don't have to have your camera on and don't have to ask me to turn it on/off. I'm okay with being recorded if (and only if) everyone else in the room is also okay with it.
Speaks start at 28.5 for a team I'd expect to go 3-3. I try and keep it relative to the pool - a 30 at TFA State is easier to get than a 30 at GBX (although I don't give out many 30s).
Debate should be a safe space for everyone. Respect pronouns, respect people's personhood, etc.
Yao-Yao: "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck." You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that.
Before the debate, all teams/debaters can give me recommendations for a song/s to listen to during prep time, which I will do, and if I vibe with it I may bump speaks for everyone in the room (+0.1). Surprise me. For reference, my favorite album is a tie between The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Appetite for Destruction, with The Shape of Jazz to Come close behind.
Finally, a wager - if the 2AR/2NR sits down early, +0.2 speaks for every 30s saved if you win, but -0.2 speaks for every 30s if you lose - this caps out at +/-0.6 speaks and/or a 29.8/27.8, whichever comes first. Tell me if you do this, because I'm not timing you. Your move.
Good luck, and see you in round!
Policy debater at SLC West (2017-2021)
Vassar College '25
Coach for Northwood
Add me to the chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
General stuff -
- I'm open to any argument/argumentative style, and don't have any strong predispositions that will influence how I evaluate debates.
- Please call me Madeline, not judge.
- Tech > truth.
- If my camera is off, I'm not ready for your speech to begin. Also please keep your cameras on throughout the debate if you can.
- I was a 2N for all 4 years of highschool and ran policy arguments about 95% of the time. I read a variety of hard right and soft left affs, but can't say I love big framing contentions.
- Also not a fan of super long overviews for K's or framework.
- Organized line by line and clarity will be rewarded with high speaks.
- Fav kind of debate are fun impact turns.
- No death good.
- Most importantly, treat your partner and opponents with respect and have fun! :)
- Probs not the best on the water topic unfortunately, but any interp is winnable if debated well.
- I tend to lean towards competing interps but can be persuaded otherwise.
- Creative, aff-specific CP/DA strategies are my fav.
- Adv CP and impact turn is so fun.
- Include full perm texts in 2AC for any funky perms.
- Condo is generally good, but condo 2AR's are probs under-utilized. Don't spread crazy fast through your blocks and do LBL on CP theory.
- I am most familiar with cap, settler colonialism, security, and anti-blackness. I'm much less familiar with most other K literature; that doesn't mean that i won't vote on it, just be clear in explaining terms.
- Specific link analysis on both sides is key; links should not be explanations of structural conditions of the world, but unique warrants about why the aff directly makes an ongoing problem worse.
Niles West HS (2014-2018)
Trinity University (2018-2020)
Michigan State University - (2020-now)
Last Updated: Dec, 2021
put me on the chain: email@example.com
WARNING: IF YOU PUT MY HIGH SCHOOL EMAIL ON THE CHAIN I WILL BE MAD. PLEASE READ MY PHILOSOPHY
I have medium amounts of HS topic knowledge - but plenty of related debate knowledge - just an FYI
speaks: I will reward speaks mostly on the following criteria
1. How did you impact your team's ability to win?
2. How did you impact my judging? Did something impress me?
3. Mastery of Material - "knowing what's going on" at the highest level
4. *new!* Mastery of Tech/Organization - did you cause unnecessary/avoidable decision time hurdles?
^I won't punish teams with tech probs, but i'll probably reward ones who avoid/fix them well :)
Nate's sliding scales about debate:
Tech/Truth----------------------------X-Facts are Facts & Dropped args are as true as the warrants conceded
Condo-X----------------------------Respect the Aff Peasant (i'll still vote on it)
Simply saying "Sufficiency Framing"-----------------------------X-Explain why CP solves
Super Big CP---------------X--------------Deep Case Debating
Ptx Not Intrinsic/ASPEC/No Neg Fiat/Death Good/"Your Version"----------------------------X-No
Process CP/Normal Means Competition----------------------------X- 100 plank case specific CP
Fairness=Impact (FW/T-usfg)----------X-------------------Lol What's That
"Not our K"-------------------------X----"Usually your K"
Zero Risk Framing----------X-------------------Any Risk Framing
Perm Double Bind--------------X---------------Haha Silly Policy Hacks
Deb8=Karl Rove---------------------------X--That was one dude
Salad K----------------------------X-Single K Thesis
Economic Growth----------------------------X-( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
P.S. I will increase speaks from what I would have given by .1 for every minute of prep not used - just specifically tell me the balance of prep your team had remaining after the 2ar ends.
if you call a CP a "see-pee", you get a 27. Three strikes system.
I care about debate's existence and success. I hope that is reflected in my feedback.
I am fine with open cx. All people should be.
I'm better for the k than you think
here's a photo collage about my debate thoughts:
Affiliation: University of Houston
NSDA UPDATE: Look, I'm not going to be a gremlin about this, but if you're debating in front of me and not wearing a facemask when you're not speaking I will be displeased. COVID is still very real, there is still significant spread, its harms are still devastating for significant elements of our communitites. I won't dock speaks, but it will piss me off if you don't heed this.
I’ve been judging since 2011. As of January 2nd, 2022 I am the third most prolific college policy judge in the era of Tabroom. Ahead of me are Jackie Poapst and Armands Revelins, behind me are Kurt Fifelski and Becca Steiner. Take this how you will.
Yes, I want to be on the E-mail chain. Send docs to: robglassdebate [at] the google mail service . I don’t read the docs during the round except in unusual circumstances or when I think someone is clipping cards.
The short version of my philosophy, or “My Coach preffed this Rando, what do I need to know five minutes before the round starts?”:
1. Debate should be a welcoming and open space to all who would try to participate. If you are a debater with accessibility (or other) concerns please feel free to reach out to me ahead of the round and I will work with you to make the space as hospitable as possible.
2. Have a fundamental respect for the other team and the activity. Insulting either or both, or making a debater feel uncomfortable, is not acceptable.
3. Debate is for the debaters. My job, in total, is to watch what you do and act according to how y’all want me. So do you and I’ll follow along.
4. Respond to the other team. If you ignore the other team or try to set the bounds so that their thoughts and ideas can have no access to debate I will be very leery of endorsing you. Find an argument, be a better debater.
5. Offense over Defense. I tend to prefer substantive impacts. That said I will explicitly state here that I am more and more comfortable voting on terminal defense, especially complete solvency takeouts. If I am reasonably convinced your aff does nothing I'm not voting for it.
6. With full credit to Justin Green: When the debate is over I'm going to applaud. I love debate and I love debaters and I plan on enjoying the round.
Online Debate Update:
1. Please slow down a little. I will have high quality headsets, but microphone compression, online compression, and then decompression on my end will almost certainly effect just how much I hear of your speeches. I do not open speech docs and will not flow off of them which means I need to be able to understand what you’re saying, so please slow down. Not much, ~80% of top speed will probably be enough. If a team tries to outspread a team that has slowed down per this paradigm I will penalize the team that tried for said advantage.
1A. If you're going too fast and/or I cannot understand you due to microphone quality I will shout 'clear'. If after multiple calls of clear you do nothing I will simply stop flowing. If you try to adapt I will do the best I can to work with you to make sure I get every argument you're trying to make.
2. I come from the era of debate when we debated paper but flowed on computers, which means when I’m judging I will have the majority of my screen dominated by an excel sheet. If you need me to see a performance please flag it for me and I’ll rearrange my screen to account for your performance.
3. This is an echo of point 1, but it's touchy and I think bears repeating. The series of audio compressions (and decompressions) that online debate imposes on us has the consequence of distorting the high and low ends of human speech. This means that clarity will be lost for people with particularly high and low pitches when they spread. There is, realistically speaking, no way around this until we're all back in rooms with each other. I will work as hard as I can to infer and fill in the gaps to make it so that loss is minimized as much as possible, but there is a limit to what I can do. If you think this could affect you please make sure you are slowing down like I asked in point 1 or try to adapt in another way.
4. E-mail chains, please. Not only does this mean we don't have to delay by futzing around with other forms of technology but it also gives us a way to contact participants if (when) connections splutter out.
5. The Fluffy Tax. If during prep or time between speeches a non-human animal should make an appearance on your webcam and I see it, time will stop, they will be introduced to the debaters and myself, and we shall marvel at their existence and cuteness together. In the world of online debate we must find and make the joy that we can. Number of times the fluffy tax has been imposed: 3.
6. Be kind. This year is unbelievably tiring, and it is so easy to both get frustrated with opponents and lose an empathetic connection towards our peers when our only point of contact is a Brady Bunch screen of faces. All I ask is that you make a conscious effort to be kind to others in the activity. We are part of an odd, cloistered, community and in it all we have is our shared love of the activity. Love is an active process, we must choose to make it happen. Try to make it happen a little when you are in front of me.
Politics - If you're running politics in a post-January 6th world you better have a really good uniqueness and internal link story. Internal links should assume the direction of the impact.
Terminal Defense - Most Disads (FTC, DOJ, etc.) do not link. Most counter-plans on this topic are built around paper thin solvency claims that would be laughed out of real world discussions of antitrust and would not realistically avoid the tenuous link claims made by the net benefit. I am very comfortable looking at these arguments and declaring "No." if a 2A makes that push.
States Counterplan - Frankly speaking, the barriers to the States CP on this topic are overwhelming in my mind. I do not know how the States CP overcomes the commerce clause, the supremacy clause combined with the doctrine of preemption, or the dormant commerce clause. If you read a States CP without cards explicitly discussing this in the context of the 1AC plan my threshold for rejecting the CP for lacking solvency will be incredibly low. (The educationally bankrupt view of "fiat solves" will get no play unless you have cards that say A. overturning basic constitutional doctrine is good and B. that those actions overturning it will be enforced by the courts.) If you think you have the cards for this, run the counterplan. If you don't then maybe you should rethink whether or not this should be in any 1NC you run.
The standard argumentative thoughts list:
Debate is for the debaters - Everything below is up for debate, and I will adapt to what the debaters want me to do in the round.
Aff relationship to the topic - I think affirmatives should have a positive relationship to the topic. The topic remains a center point of debate, and I am disinclined to think it should be completely disregarded.
"USFG" framework: Is an argument I will vote on, but I am not inclined to think it is a model that best suits all debates, and I think overly rigid visions of debate are both ahistorical and unstrategic. I tend to think these arguments are better deployed as methodological case turns. TVAs are very helpful.
Counter-plan theory: Condo is like alcohol, alright if used in moderation but excess necessitates appropriate timing. Consultation is usually suspect in my book, alternative international actors more so, alternative USFG actors much less so. Beyond that, flesh out your vision of debate. My only particularly strong feeling about this is judge kick, which is explained at the bottom of this paradigm.
Disads: I have historically been loathe to ascribe 0% risk of a link, and tended to fall very hard into the cult of offense. I am self-consciously trying to check back more against this inclination. Impact comparison is a must.
PTX DAs: For years I beat my chest about my disdain for them, but I have softened since. I still don't like them, and think intrinsicness theory and basic questions of inherency loom large over their legitimacy as argumentation, but I also recognize the role they play in debate rounds and will shelve my personal beliefs on them when making my decision. That said, I do not think "we lose politics DAs" is a compelling ground argument on framework or T.
Critiques: I find myself yearning for more methodological explanation of alternatives these days. In a related thought, I also think Neg teams have been too shy about kicking alts and going for the "link" and "impact" (if that DA based terminology ought be applied one-to-one to the K) as independent reasons to reject the Affirmative advocacy. One of the most common ways that other judges and I dissent in round is that I tend to give more credit to perm solvency in a messy perm debate.
Case debate: Please. They are some of my favorite debates to watch, and I particularly enjoy when two teams go really deep on a nerdish question of either policy analysis or critical theory. If you're going down a particularly deep esoteric rabbit hole it is useful to slow down and explain the nuance to me, especially when using chains of acronyms that I may or may not have been exposed to.
Policy T: I spend a fair chunk of my free time thinking about T and the limits of the topic. I used to be very concerned with notions of lost ground, my views now are almost the opposite. Statistical analysis of round results leads me to believe that good negative teams will usually find someway to win on substance, and I think overly dramatic concerns about lost ground somewhat fly in the face of the cut-throat ethos of Policy Debate re: research, namely that innovative teams should be competitively rewarded. While framework debates are very much about visions of the debate world if both teams accept that debate rounds should be mediated through a relationship to policy action the more important questions for me is how well does debate actually embody and then educate students (and judges) about the real world questions of policy. Put differently, my impulse is that Framework debates should be inward facing whereas T debates should be outward facing. All of that should be taken with the gigantic caveat that is "you do you," whatever my beliefs I will still evaluate warranted ground arguments and Affirmative teams cannot simply point at this paradigm to get out of answering them.
Judge Kick: Judge kick is an abomination and forces 2ARs to debate multiple worlds based on their interpretation of how the judge will understand the 2NR and then intervene in the debate. It produces a dearth of depth, and makes all of the '70s-'80s hand-wringing about Condo come true. My compromise with judge kick is this: If the 2NR advocates for judge kick the 2A at the start of 2AR prep is allowed to call for a flip. I will then flip a coin. If it comes up heads the advocacy is kicked, if it comes up tails it isn't. I will announce the result of the flip and then 2AR prep will commence. If the 2A does this I will not vote on any theoretical issues regarding judge kick. If the 2A does not call for a flip I will listen and evaluate theory arguments about judge kick as is appropriate.
Overall: You should probably recognize that my background is in policy debate and it largely informs most of my viewpoints on LD debate. That being said I have been judging a large number of LD rounds and will likely continue to do so. Thus we need to have a paradigm for you all.
Friv Theory: if you read a 2 paragraph block that has 6 IVI's in it? I'm only going to flow what I flow I'm not going to go read your 2 paragraphs to figure out if you read the 4th point of the IVI or not. If it's not flowed it didn't happen. If you have a well-warranted and clear shell you have no real worries about if I will vote for theory assuming you win it. I would definitely say I'm truth over tech tho so keep that in mind.
Traditional formats: you can read this but for the most part LD has moved beyond this style. I don't have any issues with this strategy. I however normally think it lacks strategic depth.
Kritikal Formats: these are fine I'm pretty well versed in most critical literature, I prefer debates that clearly articulate the format, focus, and purpose of the round, or debate or the ballot even. I'm probably not the best judge for debaters who like to use buzzwords and pretend they are arguments. If you cannot clearly explain your theory of power, link and alternative I'm a bad judge for you.
LARPing: obviously I understand 99.9% of the strategies you will go for, but also realize that I've judged a tremendous number of K versus larp debates. I don't have a great record for affs versus kritiks in LD, I think this is because of two issues I've seen repeat.
1) You do not clearly identify and defend your stasis point maybe that's humanism, statism, or pragmatism. You let the negative simply attack you on the level of "Antihumanism, or Antistatism"
2) You lose track of your case, you just debate the kritik instead of explaining why your case is comparatively better pedagogy than the kritik, or how you could solve a real problem versus functionally doing nothing.
High Theory/Phil Theory: So I've seen these rounds, and I feel they tend to be strategically unsound and rely on a huge smokescreen of friv theory (see my above about friv theory). I've voted for these things before, it's not unwinnable but do not rely on technical drops especially if there is an obvious way the other flows interact. The idea that I put a blinder on and ignore arguments because of the physical location on the flow seems nonsensical to me.
Overall: This sounds simple but it can be difficult, at the end of the round my ballot should sound like the beginning of the 2AR or the 2NR. I would like you to explicitly implicate your arguments and form for me the basic idea of why I should vote for you. The best debaters tend to do this at the beginning of every 2NR and 2AR.
Disadvantages: I don't like DA's with uniqueness counter-plans, other than that almost any disadvantage is acceptable.
Counter-plans: the legitimacy of counter-plans should always be called into question. why would you just let a team steal most of your offense? I normally don't buy X type of counter-plan is a voter, however, I am more likely to vote for it as a reason to disallow the counter-plan. The burden of proof in those situations is much different, to win it is a voter you have to argue that debate is fundamentally impossible to do when X type of counter-plan is introduced. (an example might be Consult Counter-plans don't test the means or necessity of plan action makes it impossible to garner offense without conceding a DA, makes any choice the aff makes a bad choice.) However with rejecting the argument as the standard, I'd be willing to ask the question "Does this Counter-plan make the debate more or less educational, more or less fair. If it makes debate less educational and less fair then that is a sufficient reason to reject the counter-plan.
Kritiks: Theory wise sees counter-plans. Floating PIKS theory needs a Link. Clear and precise (Link-Impact-AltSolves-Perm doesn't) analysis is the quickest way for me to the pull the trigger on the kritik. If you can explain that full chain and I buy your analysis you're in a good place on the kritik (assuming you're not losing framework/theory/impact weighing. )
Framework: I think it's generally accepted that Affs should read frameworks that let them weigh their impacts against any kritik, also I generally think the aff is right they should be able to defend the fiat of the 1AC i.e. their impact claims shouldn't be wished away. Note to aff teams just because you win framework does not mean that you have answered the various impact framing arguments in the round, I've heard several times "but on the framework they conceded we get to weigh our impacts." my response is then "Sure, but you don't win that we have any Value to Life in that world/that these threats are constructed and not real/that/etc. I don't think this is controversial at all.
Role of the Ballot: so unlike some people, I don't think you have to explicitly state "our Role of the ballot is" while helpful sometimes one could also say "this debate round should be about x" or the "Role of the Judge is X" all of these are competing for claims on how I should approach my ballot how I should vote, what my ballot means etc.
Kritik AFFs: I prefer affs that defend a topical plan for a kritikal reason i.e. we shouldn't surveil African Americans, followed by claims about how surveillance of black bodies is bad. versus just standing up and saying "Black bodies are surveilled that's terrible you have some kind of ethical decision making to vote aff, here's Memimi." This is a preference and doesn't mean I stop listening when an alternative debate style is defended it's just what I find is the best solution to winning in front of me on a kritikal affirmative.
Framework (NEG): Framework can be a viable option for teams debating affs without plan text etc, as long as you answer and deal with the larger education/Fairness claims the aff is inevitably going to lob your way. You could win debate would be awesome with just policy affs but if you concede that this is a form of white settlerism that dominates and erases Native Americans from existence you tend to lose rounds on framework.
Components: need a clear and precise interp that allows you to skirt the offense of the aff, need a clear and precise "topical version of the aff", need to win switch-side debating is in fact good, need to win it's possible for X or Y type of people to enter into the political, do political actions, embrace politics or some other variant of "X type of people can do policy debate", finally need to win an impact. Do those have a solid shot of winning my ballot.
Please name the email chain: "Tournament - Round X - Team (AFF) vs Team (NEG)" - "TOC - Round 1 - Coppell AK (AFF) vs Coppell DR (NEG)".
“Debate how you can, the best you can. Swag is good. Complexity. Concretization. Examples. Comparison” – Amber Kelsie.
“Above all, tech substantially outweighs truth. The below are preferences, not rules, and will easily be overturned by good debating. But, since nobody's a blank slate, treat the below as heuristics I use in thinking about debate. Incorporating some can explain my decision and help render one in your favor” – Debnil Sur.
When evaluating debates, I often imagine myself debating/coaching the teams I am judging, asking myself how I would respond to the arguments being advanced and/or how I would articulate the same argument. If debaters make the arguments I brainstormed or present a response that is more persuasive than the ones I had considered, I am impressed. Thus, “truth” remains important as arguments based in truth (often supported by strong evidence) are more capable of withstanding rigorous scrutiny. This is not to suggest that I will intervene. Debate rounds are limited and I will solely decide debates based on the debaters’ speeches.
My speaker points seem to be lower than most. When I do give higher speaks, it's to debaters that do the following:
1. Look like they want to be there! If debaters are having fun, judging is fun.
2. Narrate the debate's progression and prioritize argument resolution in their rebuttals. Final rebuttals should explain not how you could win, but why you have already won. Generally, this requires recounting an argument’s development in the debate’s prior speeches, explaining both how you advanced the argument and how your opponents failed to respond effectively.
For example, the phrase "No new 2AR arguments - I don't get a 3NR and 2NR strategy was based on 1AR missteps" is commonly repeated in 2NRs. This is only helpful for instructing me to not evaluate "new 2AR arguments", something that I will already do. Instead, the 2NR should explicitly identify which arguments were new and/or are likely to be new and pre-emptively refute the 2AR justification for why they should be evaluated.
3. Efficiently and effectively translate their ideas/arguments into their speeches. This involves not only logical argumentation, but also presenting it in an organized and persuasive manner. Hard-numbering and clarity are helpful and will be rewarded. I am impressed by debaters that are both knowledgeable AND thoughtful in their communication of their concepts. Defining key terms, using meaningful labels and precise language, and emphasizing important phrases/varying speed of delivery are some effective tools for synthesizing complex information into a persuasive argument. At its core, debate is a communication activity, so I am compelled by strong speakers.
4. Accurately recognize and develop the core disagreements. Good debaters refute arguments from their opponents' previous speech. Great debaters prioritize refuting threatening arguments that will be featured in their opponents' final rebuttals. Controlling narratives for evaluating the central questions of the debate is critical.
1. I’m a second-year judge. I judged 60 rounds (not including camp/practice debates) in my first year. I am confident in my ability to render a decision that satisfies both teams.
2. I’ve included sections from the paradigms of judges and debaters that have shaped my view of debate to provide a clearer picture. Some of the strongest include Shreyas Rajagopal, Het Desai, Vikas Burugu, and David Kilpatrick. All changes have been marked with brackets.
3. Debate is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. I love this activity and hope you can as well. I have tremendous respect for the hard work you’ve done to come here and will try to reciprocate that in my decision. I will be ready to defend my decision. Thus, “If you feel unsatisfied with my RFD, I encourage you to post-round me. I will not take any offense or judge your personality because of your reaction to my decision. I was/am always quick to disagree with judges as a debater and have always considered disagreement the highest form of respect.”– Vikas Burugu.
General Argument Preferences
1. I’m likely better for policy v policy debates than you’d think. My voting records indicate an even record in the "clash".
2. Stolen from Shreyas Rajagopal:
"actual arguments > ad homs" I will not evaluate any arguments about anything that occurred outside of the round outside of disclosure etc. or render a decision about the ethicality of any person I am judging. I don’t know you and this is incredibly uncomfortable.
3. Every topic I debated on in HS had a significant affirmative bias. I am inclined to believe the neg needs to be able to get back in the game. It will be slightly easier to convince me on neg theory and limits arguments.
4. "Inserting rehighlighted evidence without reading it is fine if it's to prove their thing is out of context or if it was read in CX. Otherwise, read it" - Ruby Klein. Verbally explain the argument your inserted rehighlighting makes or it will be discounted.
1. “Tech over truth. But... Debate is subjective and arbitrary. I consider “dropped arguments are true” to be not particularly helpful” – Anirudh Prabhu. Almost every debate requires some level of intervention to decide, so you’re best served explaining both your argument and their implications. Usually, single technical concessions are likely not the round enders they are made out to be. Every argument will be evaluated in the broader context of other arguments. However, specific and explicit judge instruction that demonstrates strong strategic vision will be strictly adhered to. Holding my hand will be rewarded with higher speaker points, a quicker decision time, and a more favorable RFD that minimizes intervention.
2. Technical debating will be rewarded and is important to me. “Flowing is imperative. Arguments should be [explicitly referenced as they were presented when you answer them] if you want 2021 speaker points instead of 1995 speaker points” – Shree Awsare. Whenever possible, each argument in the 2AC/1NC on case should be numbered/labeled and those numbers/labels should be referenced for the rest of the debate.
3.I will certainly reward good evidence if you have it. However, your evidence is only as good as you can explain it to me. ” “Regarding argument resolution, spin outweighs evidence. Spin is debating. Evidence is research. The final rebuttals should be characterized by analytical development rather than purely evidentiary extension.”– Rafael Pierry.
4. “My general guideline for a warrant is: could I explain this argument to the other team in a reasonable post-round and feel confident that it was said by their opponents? This explanation doesn’t mean I need to have a deep intellectual grasp of the position, simply that I could re-state it and the losing side would understand why they lost” – Rafael Pierry.
5. “Any risk” is just objectively wrong. A small enough signal is overwhelmed by noise, which means not only that we can’t establish its magnitude with precision, but if sufficiently small, we can’t establish its sign either” – Calum Matheson.
6. "Prioritize efficiency---notice how that doesn't say speed. Teams should diversify their responses, avoid repetitive phrasing, and effectively engage the line by line" - Shreyas Rajagopal.
1. I feel very comfortable evaluating these debates. I do not think I have significant ideological preferences for either side and have spent an absurd amount of time strategizing arguments for both sides. I’ll likely have a high threshold for what I think are “quality” arguments. “Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison” – Yao Yao Chen. I went for mainly procedural-based impacts centered around clash and argumentative refinement when I was negative. This strategy requires greater defense to the aff’s impact turns, while making it less difficult for you to indict the aff counter-interp.
2. Switch side debate is massively underutilized in HS debate. Most 2NRs assert TVA and SSD with no connection to the rest of the arguments. The 2NC and 2NR should spend time applying their impact filters to specific parts of aff offense. This can be made most effective by explaining your switch side argument on the impact turn you believe it resolves the best.
3. “TVA: who cares. If the 1AC says "reduce FMS to Saudi - we must discuss the Yemen War now!" on the water topic, it is not the negative's burden to describe how the aff team could have made their 1AC topical. TVA could be useful as defense (especially if conceded) but tends to factor little in my decisions” – Shree Awsare.
4. Most Framework approaches can be filtered into one of two categories:
A) Finding a middle ground
While this approach will be significantly harder to assemble / formulate, it gives affirmative teams the ability to impact turn both the content of debates that would occur under the negative’s interpretation AND the reading of framework with significantly less drawbacks than the impact turn approach. It will, however, require affirmative’s to wade through the traditional components of a topicality debate and will be subject to good negative teams closely scrutinizing affirmative counterinterpretations. An important question that not enough negative teams ask is how the aff’s counter-interpretation solves their impact turns. “Aff odds of winning are substantially higher if you persuade me that the negative can debate the aff over the course of a season with a relatively even win-percentage. Advance impact-turns boldly, but do not forget defense” – Rafael Pierry.
B) Impact turning topicality
This argument is only particularly persuasive if you win an argument aside from competing interpretations for how a debate should be evaluated. Unless your argument is debate bad, I will struggle to find a way to vote for no topic at all against a competent negative team. However, if you do win an argument that reduces the question of my ballot to an individual debate, the impact-turn only approach becomes much more viable. Aff offense here should focus on why the 1NC’s reading of framework is violent.
5. Neg teams should extend presumption and contest aff solvency throughout the debate. This will make it much more difficult for the aff to shift to more persuasive impact turns that are likely not resolved by their counter-interpretation/the ballot.
6. The 2AR should center 1-2 pieces of central offense through which to explain their strategy. “Less random DA’s that are basically the same, and more internal links to fully developed DA’s. Most of the time your DA’s to the TVA are the same offense you’ve already read elsewhere” – Joshua Michael.
7. Fairness is an "impact" vs. "internal link". Who cares?! This is a distinction without a difference. We've mutually agreed how this works in all other contexts, so why is this any different? A "nuclear war" is an impact until the other team reads nuclear war good. No one would ever continue to argue "nuclear war" is their impact. They would refer to the negative effects of that nuclear war (mass death) as their impact. Fairness is no different, so it should be debated as such.
Kritiks v Plan
1. I’m comfortable in these debates as well. I have at least a decent grasp on most of the common Ks in debate and have likely went for them a number of times.
2. How you frame your arguments will likely have a significant impact on my evaluation of them. “All debate is storytelling, but K debate especially so” – Anirudh Prabhu. Not enough preparation is spent on how you will package your arguments, cross-examination, and/or general round vision.
3. Framework means a lot more to me than it does to some judges. A vast majority of judges seem to arbitrarily intervene and decide to take a middle stance on the framework debate and generate their own justifications for why this “middle stance” is preferable. I will avoid doing this at all costs and only decide between the interpretations present in the 2NR and the 2AR. It will likely be the first argument I evaluate, unless the affirmative has decided not to prioritize it.
“How I should "weigh the aff" versus the K is rarely self evident. I don’t mind a little bit of arbitrariness in a framework interp if you are instructing me clearly on how to evaluate your offense versus their offense” – Anirudh Prabhu. Negative defense to the aff’s standards are usually insufficient and should be prioritized more, while aff teams should borrow more from their negative framework arsenal against planless affirmatives and explain why a model of debate where the affirmative gets to weigh the plan is most reflective of the resolution and why debate over that predictable stasis point is the best model.
4. High link specificity will be rewarded. Although I will still evaluate the debate as presented, demonstrating you’ve thought about how your K interacts with the affirmative will be rewarded in speaker points and in the decision. Unlike many other judges, I will certainly be willing to vote on turns case arguments when your link arguments are well-explained in the context of the affirmative.
5. The permutation is overrated as the basis for affirmative strategy because of debate’s reliance on offense/defense evaluation. Winning on the permutation often requires winning independent of the permutation as well. Instead, Affirmatives should prioritize developing their aff as offense more.
6. Extinction outweighs is a devastating argument against most neg Ks. I have a difficult time understanding neg responses as they are reliant on Framework and/or do not contest the specific scenario for extinction in the 1AC. “If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs” – DKP.
Kritiks/Other Strategies v No Plan
If technical debating and argument comparison is not lost, I will enjoy the debate. These debates are incredibly difficult, but rewarding to engage in.
1. It will be difficult to convince me that your K aff does not have to defend something. You got to pick and choose what to defend and should be held responsible for those choices. This becomes less true as the neg's criticism becomes more trivial, but I will have a relatively lower threshold for link explanation.
2. I am not persuaded by “no perms in method debates”. Although permutations tend to get out of control in these debates, I do not believe entirely abandoning competition is the solution. The negative needs links that disprove the aff. However, the threshold for a no link argument if one is forwarded by the affirmative will be higher. The neg is best served explicitly establishing a higher threshold which I will be receptive to.
3. Go for presumption. Press the aff on its ability to solve. Vague assertions about your aff will not be rewarded with either the ballot or speaker points and I will not be lenient to new aff extrapolation.
4. Go for Topic DAs and Impact Turns if the affirmative links. Or better yet, link them to it. Usually, aff responses are woefully insufficient.
5. This might sound terrible for the aff, but if the neg does not refute aff shifts with specific link explanation, I’m likely quite a good judge for the aff. Kritikal affirmatives have easy angles to exploit vs substantive negative strategies. Neg teams are often awful at contesting the aff, so applying your theory and solvency explanation to different pages effectively should be an easy route to victory.
1. “A decent amount of evidence with intent to define considerably improves your offense.
2. Caselists on both sides help.
3. I tend to care most about predictability” – Ruby Klein.
4. “The articulation of reasonability that will persuade me is that the substance crowdout generated by T debates outweighs the difference between the two interps” – Anirudh Prabhu.
5. In most circumstances, affs should utilize reasonability, functional limits, and arbitrariness as their 2AR strategy.
1. Well-researched strategies (especially PICs) will be rewarded. Topic/aff-specific advocates go a long way.
2. I will default to judge-kick unless told otherwise. Generally, I believe no judge-kick arguments should start in the 1AR at least if you want to win them.
3. I will default to the model that counterplans must compete functionally and textually, but I am willing to hear alternative models for competition.
4. Sufficiency framing is asserted without an implication in most instances. You should set a threshold for how much the CP needs to solve i.e. “1AC ev says we need to meet the 2 degree threshold – if the CP gets there it’s sufficient to solve and deficits do not matter past that”. Otherwise, this seems to be intuitive and just an assertion that serves as a poor substitute for impact calculus.
5. Presumption goes to least change.
1. “Turns the case” is important in some debates, but not others. It’s important to recognize when to prioritize it. The argument that war causes structural violence is intuitive and should not require too much explanation aside from explaining how it implicates framing. Turns case arguments at higher levels of the DA are more persuasive when applied to the aff’s internal links.
2. I generally care more about link defense than impact defense. Link framing is especially important because it can start argument resolution in your favor.
3. Smart analytic arguments are significantly under-utilized. Most politics scenarios, for example, can be logically disproven by a series of analytic arguments. But, the better the other team’s evidence is the more you’ll need of your own.
1. Like everyone else, I like good case debating. 2Ns that show they know the aff better than the other team will especially be rewarded with higher speaks.
2. I will be very strict for the 2AC and 1AR on case. The 2AC needs to actually answer the 1NC case arguments not just re-explain your advantage. I will also be deeply skeptical of new 1AR/2AR arguments on the case especially if your explanation of the aff shifts.
3. Everything from the DA section apply just as much here.
1. I’m likely better for theory arguments than most because I evaluate them similarly to every other argument. But, if left to my own devices, I’m neg leaning on most questions.
2. “A creative perm debate is likely better and less life-denying, but I understand that theory is necessary to beat process CPs that steal the aff and cheat" - Ruby Klein.
3. I'm far better than the average judge for aff-specific PIKs. I think they're heavily underutilized and a personal favorite of mine. Defeating a strong aff theory argument is still difficult given significant aff pushback especially if the PIK was not explicitly one in the 1NC. However, I find these strategies are often most true to nuanced disagreements in the literature, so there is a strong pedagogical benefit to pursuing them.
New Note - I'm totally uninterested in adjudicating arguments that endorse self harm, suicide, or purposeful death. I won't auto-vote against you but if someone you're debating asks me to stop the debate I will. If I end up voting for you, you will not like your points.
Things like wipeout/spark/other impact turns are a little different than this category for me and you can still read those types of hypothetical impact turns as they don't feel the same as [self harm good].
I am a coach at the University of Texas-Austin, Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy and The Harker School. Other conflicts: Westwood, St Vincent de Paul, Bakersfield High School
Email Chain: yes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate is an activity about persuasion and communication. If I can't understand what you are saying because you are unclear, haven't coherently explained it, or developed it into a full argument-claim, warrant, impact, it likely won't factor in my decision.
While there are some exceptions, most debaters I've judged the last few years are pretty unclear, so its likely I will miss some arguments. Zoom has magnified this issue for me (not necessarily the debaters fault). Final rebuttals offer you a space to retrace the part(s) of the debate you think are most relevant to the decision. This both makes it much more likely I will understand your argument and will likely improve your speaker points.
The winner will nearly always be the team able to identify the central question of the debate first and most clearly trace how the development of their argument means they're ahead on that central question.
Virtually nothing you can possibly say or do will offend me [with the new above caveat] if you can't beat a terrible argument you probably deserve to lose.
Everyone seems to have intense clashphobia these days - this isn't about policy or k debate, its across the board and going for the least covered option seems to be everyone's mantra. I get why you think that's strategic, but typically it results in shallow rebuttals, frustrating decisions, 1-1-1 panels and lower points. Specific AFF/NEG research that demonstrate the third and fourth level testing everyone seems to think is important wil be rewarded with higher points. All in on "not our ___" will not.
I flow CX, unless its some random clarification question you forgot I will stop flowing CX after 3 minutes. The "I'm going to ask a million questions while my partner preps their 2NC" has gotten ridiculous.
newer - I don't judge many non-framework debates anymore. I tend to vote neg when the neg wins clash is the biggest/most portable impact + explanation for how it improves over the year as a result of their interp and access aff offense via TVA or SSD. I tend to vote AFF when they win an impact turn to the end result of clash alongside robust answers to the NEG ballot can't access that offense args. I think 2NCs that lack an explanation of how 2nd and 3rd level testing occurs under their interp and changes over the year, with examples, lacks credibility when going for only clash matters (you can maybe win the debate on a different terminal impact, but lately I haven't really voted on other ones). Fairness is both an internal link and an impact. Debate is a game but its also so much more. You can persuade me to think one way or the other in any given debate and I've learned to love judging these debates because I often learn new things about the activity and its potential.
older - but not un-true
I find myself voting negative a lot on procedural fairness a lot. K affs seem to have a lot of trouble deciding if they want to go for the middle ground or just impact turn--pick a strategy and stick to it 1AC-2AR and you're more likely to be in a good place. The block is almost always great on T, the 2NR almost always forgets to do terminal impact calculus. Testing arguments become much more persuasive to me when you give specific examples for how those would occur. What neg args would you be able to read against a potential TVA? Why is it good for the 2AC to research those positions, how would you researching answers to their answers be beneficial? A lot of this stuff just gets assumed and I think that a lot of repetitiveness from most framework 2NCs can be substituted for this kind of depth early in the debate. 2NRs sometimes seem to spend so much time on why they access AFF lit base/impacts that they don't end up extending a terminal impact or external offense at all. I think it's difficult to win a debate when you basically go for a CP w/o a net benefit.
I'm a lot better for framework that sounds closer to T with a limits and clash as the primary impacts then the soliloquy on the most superior model for debate. Clash as the most important internal link to education/fairness/skills/game etc. is usually more persuasive to me than other arguments on T.
-If your CP competes based on the certainty or immediacy of the plan, it doesn't take a ton on theory for me to reject the counter plan.
-I won't kick it for you unless you tell me to. Judge kick makes more sense to me than it used to, but I still think the AFF can win it shouldn't be allowed.
-"perm do both" or "perm do cp" with no explanation isn't a complete argument. I get that given negative off-case prolif sometimes this feels inevitable, but I'm confident results will improve if you give warrants for any permutation that you think it's likely will find its way into the 2AR.
-affs usually lose these by forgetting about the case, negs usually lose these when they don't contextualize links to the 1ac. If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs.
-link specificity is important - I don't think this is necessarily an evidence thing, but an explanation thing - lines from 1AC, examples, specific scenarios are all things that will go a long way
-they should be intrinsic to the plan, with enough time investment affs can potentially win that agenda politics disads are not a logical opportunity cost.
-uniqueness controls the direction of the link typically makes the most sense to me, but you can probably convince me otherwise
I have been judging LD for a semester. The policy section all applies here.
Tech over truth but, there's a limit - likely quite bad for tricks - arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete. Dropped arguments are important if you explain how they implicate my decision. Dropped arguments are much less important when you fail to explain the impact/relevance of said argument.
RVIs - no, never, literally don't. 27 ceiling. Scenario: 1ar is 4 minutes of an RVI, nr drops the rvi, I will vote negative within seconds of the timer ending.
Policy/K - both great - see above for details.
Phil - haven't judged much of this yet, this seems interesting and fine, but again, arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete arguments.
Arguments communicated and understood by the judge per minute>>>>words mumbled nearly incomprehensibly per minute.
Unlikely you'll convince me the aff doesn't get to read a plan for topicality reasons. K framework is a separate from this and open to debate, see policy section for details.
7 years of debate experience. NDT quarters, two time CEDA semifinalist.
I ran all types of arguments my first few years, everything from Heidegger and Baudrillard (sad times) to T and politics. My last years I mostly did kritikal, race and performance debates and while I find these the most engaging that does not mean I won’t vote on FW or non-kritikal arguments.
Add me on the email chain if you want: email@example.com
T: have an impact and interpretation at the end of the debate please. So many people don’t extend them and just assume it carries over from all other speeches. Saying fairness isn’t enough, explain why it matters
DA: It irks me when tags just say ‘extinction’ but if you explain how we get there, give me a good link story, and do good impact framing you’re more likely to get my ballot. To be clear, ptx das are not my cup of tea but I'll vote on them if you win.
FW: Most of my rounds have been against this so I know when a team does it well even if I don't like it. Contextualize it to debate as well as out of round impacts. Explain why procedural fairness should matter most.
PIKs: I love them. People should read them more.
CPs: abusive counterplans are a thing, but otherwise I have no opinion one way or another.
Ks: Pretty much the only thing I read. I’m familiar with most literature bases, most familiar with race, fem, disability, queer theory and anthro.
Ethics: please do not clip cards, if the other team proves it, my vote is almost immediate. A personal pet peeve of mine is stealing evidence. Not only does reading and recutting cards help you understand the argument better, but there are some labor/ethics questions to be had about stealing evidence verbatim that I may be biased to hearing arguments on, particularly if you’re stealing the evidence straight from poc.
Context: If you don't know me I am a black queer disabled woman
Like Jalisa Jackson please don’t read identity arguments in front of me if it is not your social location. If the other team calls you out at all, you’ll probably lose.
White partner DAs: While I'll listen to them, probably not the most strategic argument to go for in front of me considering throughout my seven years of debate I never had the opportunity to debate with a non-white debater so I'm very sympathetic to the 'don't force me to debate by myself/exert extra labor because my university is racist' args. HOWEVER, this doesn't give blank checks for white partners to say whatever. If you say negro, or other problematic things, having a black/poc partner will not protect you and you will be called out.
Do not say that Obama ended racism
I shouldn't have to say this but I will: do not be racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc.
Alpharetta High School '12
Emory University '16
I debated four years at Alpharetta and qualified to the TOC in my senior year before debating for Emory University. Currently, I'm a dubbing producer & director for Netflix, Disney, and others, with a specific focus on anime & animation content.
My top-line advice if you have me in the back of the room is do what you do best. These are general predispositions, not immutable laws of judging, and you're always best off advancing a strategy you know well.
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We only have 5 minutes before the round, what should we know about you?
I consider myself a 'middle of the road' judge on most meta debate issues. When I was in the activity, I did everything from Politics DA 2NR's to more obscure 1-Off Kritik strategies. I'm comfortable with pretty much anything. I'm neither a "K judge" or a "policy judge," and will do my best to examine the debate from the arguments you give me. Tactically, judge instruction and comparative evidence analysis are appreciated. My thresholds for theory arguments are probably lower than most judges. To the extent I have certain leans on close calls, or musings about debate issues, I've done my best to illustrate those below.
Are you OK with K's/Critical Affs/Planless Affs/Performance/Non-Traditional Affs?
I've run everything from super 'policy' affs with giant heg and econ advantages to 1ACs that consisted largely of a poem and leftist arguments. In high school and college, I went for stuff like Security, Badiou, Derrida, and had a good share of 1NCs that were 1-Off Kritik. If this is your jam, I'm a good judge for you.
When it comes to framework and framework-related arguments against these types of Affs/K's, your 2NR/2AR 'story' should focus on the educational implications of each side's approaches. I'm interested in the question of how to best make debate a powerful, educational, and useful activity for students. How does your position interact with those considerations?
Framework aside, I feel it's always preferable for teams to engage their opponent's K/Performance/Identity argument than go for an exclusion-driven approach. Not only is it more respectful of these methods in the activity, it's often more strategic.
None of this is to say I won't vote on Framework - far from it. I went for it in college, and vote on it every debate season, as I have this year. My advice for teams advancing this strategy is simply this: I am far more likely to be persuaded by a direct challenge to the efficacy of the other team's method/model for debate than a procedural fairness claim.
Thoughts on the Politics DA?
Love them. My senior year was almost entirely me taking that week's Politics DA in the 1NR. My favorite 1NR's dig deep into the aff evidence, tear it apart, and make solid comparative analysis. For the aff, don't be shy about putting all your firepower against 1 or 2 serious logical holes in the DA (this goes for any, not just Politics/Elections). The internal linkage between a particular bill passing to a terminal impact is typically pretty flimsy, and Aff's that push that point will do well in front of me. Zero risk of the disad is an RFD I've given.
Should I ever make Theory arguments an option in your rounds?
I'm probably more willing to vote on theory arguments than your average judge. That said, if you want to make "Conditionality Bad," "50 State Fiat Bad," or other theory arguments an option, you need to focus on what debate looks like under the other side's interpretation. What happens to prep, strategy, research, and why is it bad? Do the impact work, talk about what your vision of optimal debate looks like. These debates tend to be especially messy, so minimizing theory jargon is recommended.
Anything else you really like?
Impact turns, advantage counterplans, highly-specific case debates.
Any strong opinions about Topicality?
I enjoy a good T debate and was something of a "T Hack" for the first few years of my high school career. Reasonability is hard to win in front of me, but strong counter-interpretations are underrated. Like Theory debates, jargon is overused in T 2NR's/2AR's; I recommend focusing on the impact level, i.e., what happens to the topic if X is/isn't considered topical.
At the end of the round, how do you usually go about making your decision?
When the round ends, I take a note of all the key questions to resolve, then work through them one-by-one. This means framing arguments and judge instruction ("prioritize X," "view the [X] through the lens of [Y]," "here are the 2 ways to vote [X]") are great ways to win my ballot. My default state, unless guided by arguments in-round, is to assess the debate through an offense-defense paradigm, weighing how one area of risk interacts and/or outweighs another. I also rarely call for cards unless a nexus question of evidence quality decides the round. To borrow from Ed Lee's paradigm, "while I am a huge fan of quality evidence, my decisions will privilege a debater’s assessment of an argument over my reading of a piece of evidence."
What can I do to get high speaks if you're my judge?
Have fun! Be nice! Utilize cross-x effectively. My favorite debaters were all fairly slow at spreading, yet extremely strong speakers. And hey, I work in the anime industry, so pandering with references never hurts.
Any pet peeves we should know about?
Two pet peeves. First, please, please, please email/flash speeches in a timely fashion. Second, there is no "flow clarification" segment in policy debate, i.e., if you're asking what cards a team read, that's part of CX. You should always be flowing, with the speech doc as a reference, but not as the source of truth. There's been an unfortunate trend away from strong flowing skills, please don't let needless mistakes happen to you.
"Don't forget. Believe in yourself. Not in the you who believes in me. Not the me who believes in you. Believe in the YOU who believes in yourself."
- Kamina, Gurren Lagann, Episode 8
I wish you the best of luck and hope my feedback will help for future rounds. I love the activity and the fantastically cool people in it. I’ll do whatever I can to support you and help you grow as a debater.
2019 - 2020 year
Back Ground Info:
I'm a 4 yr. debater from the school of science engineering magnet - we were a small school that didn't compete at many national events; currently a debater for UTD
I have been debating since middle school
My passion is politics, i live for that stuff
If you have any questions about this paradigm or anything else in general email me at email@example.com
I think debate is both a game and an activity where someone should be free to express actual concerns and opinions they have and shouldn't be discouraged from joining debate or reading arguments they love to read. Debate should be fun for everyone, making it an enjoyable environment would make judging a lot easier and exciting as well.
I will vote on anything, but you have to make it a voting issue. If you have legitimate reasons as to why i should vote for you and/or reject the other team then you have made it a voting issue. Even though i allow people to read basically what every they want, i still have varying degrees of how i will weigh certain arguments, meaning this is not an excuse to read a rods for gods counter-plan or time cube. I am still a person who likes arguments more than others and is persuaded by certain arguments people read, if you want to ask if your argument is fine or if you have questions about this fill free to ask
I am very very flow based - after the debate i will look at my flow to evaluate arguments and see where everything is at. It should be like a puzzle, and at the end all the pieces should fit together. If something that you said didn't end up on my flow that's 99.9% of the time not because of my error.
I am a middle of the line debater. I have read k affs and i have read policy affs. Run what you feel comfortable running, don't change for me, i will change for you, but most likely i want have too.
Policy: If you choose to read a policy aff i would like it to meet at least 4 out of the 5 stock issues, topicality is a debate to be had. I don't care if its BIG STICK HEG AFF, or small left. A lot Of debaters these days are literally tagging their cards with one -three words, i don't care if you do this, what i care about is if the tag actually gives at least a clue of what the card is saying.Warrants are extremely important to your aff because most likely i wont look at your evidence either until the end of the debate or if the ev is challenged. Most importantly you should have a strong defense of your aff, like don't be afraid to say HEG SOLVES EVERYTHING. Other then that im cool with short cards that you get through it 10 seconds but their should be a difference in speed between the card and the tag.
Kritikal: I do not care if you are even remotely related to the topic. If you care about something very deeply that is important to you then i want to hear it.Over the years iv'e learned a lot about certain ks and i read them myself so i know most of them very well. This isn't an excuse to give me a half shot explanation of what the aff does, it should be clear, otherwise it doesn't take much for the neg to persuade me by saying "if you have no idea what this aff does by the end of the round, then you should vote neg". Coming out of the 1AC i would like, but doesn't have to be there, at least a reason why the way you debate is good/rez bad/state bad, just something that tells me i should get to read this, like you should already be preempting FW. Lastly, just like policy affs, you should have a strong defense of your aff, again don't be afraid to say Anti-blackness is the root cause of global warming.
Case - You should have case in the 1NC, if that means skipping an extra off to get to it you should do it because it doesnt matter how much you win on the DA, if they win that there impacts O/W and that they solve them because you havent contested that, then its pretty easy for me to vote aff. Their is certain case arguments i do not like but if you do a better job of debating it then sure read them. This includes death good, nuc war good(most of the time), trump rhetoric thumps(because no aff is going to stop that), and some circumvention args. The aff should also always get fiat, doesn't mean i wont vote on the theory but if thats the case then i will assume the neg doesn't get fiat either.
DA - Im a stickler for a Politics DA + States cp combo, i love reading multiple DAs. Your DA should have a coherent link, internal link and impact. Uniqueness debates are mostly a wash for most DAs except for politics. Your DA should be a reason to reject the aff entirely, this achieve by mostly going with DA O/W. I liked their to be some risk of the DA, but if the link alone is sufficient enough to turn the case then you dont even need the impact. Risk of a Link is the most silly thing i have heard of, cool you win a risk of a link but you lose the impact internal link and uniqueness level plus they have proven that their aff O/W and or should come first - this isn't saying you shouldn't make the argument but you better have way more than a risk
CP - I love most counter-plans but their are some that i like more than others. I particularly dislike condition cps. A cp should solve the aff, be mutually exclusive with the aff, and have a NB. I am still really confused on why 2ACs answer all the cps and then the DAs, because if you take out a DA that was a NB to a counter-plan there is no reason for me to vote for that CP anymore because theirs no NB. I love condo, the neg should get condo unless challenged. I also love PICS because there are very few off them and i feel their the most innovative arguments out there. lastly presumption does flip aff if the neg reads a cp that does more than the aff
Kritiks - i love a good coherent kritik that somebody is really knowledgeable about; if its not cap or security or a really generic kritik it should be one off K because that stuff should take up the entirety of the block;my favorite k to read in high school was settler colonialism, but iv'e dabbled in disability, blackness, and Baudrillard; i read a lot so it doesnt take me that long to understand your cards and what they are saying; in light of this, you shouldn't expect me to do the work for you, i want good coherence between the link and impact and a reason why the team should be rejected; Perm answers are also crucial, not just having links as DAs or DAs to the perm, you should have good answers to why 1. your method is better 2. why your framing is better 3. why they are mutually exclusive
i think at the higher level theory debates are a wash; you should still read you condo bad or PICS bad blocks; i will evaluated based on the flow
Sarah Lawrence '25, Caddo Magnet High '21, she/her, yes I want to be on the email chain-- firstname.lastname@example.org
Top-Level: I prefer a fast, technical debate and default to evaluating debates as a policymaker, but can be persuaded otherwise. Don't overadapt - debate is a game, and winning your arguments is what matters. I like to reward good evidence, but I won't be reading every card after the round unless it is flagged or a close debate and good evidence is not an excuse for unwarranted debating/little explanation.
T vs policy affs: I don't enjoy close definitions debates. T debates where the interpretation becomes clear only in CX of the 2NC or later will be very hard to reward with my ballot. I understand that good T debates happen (T-LPR on immigration comes to mind) but if the topic doesnt have easily understandable, legally precise definitions based in government literature (CJR comes to mind) I'm going to err towards reasonability more than anyone I know. Plan text in a vaccum probably sucks, but if you can't articulate a clear alternative you probably can't win. Predictability probably outweighs debatability.
T vs K affs: Debate is probably a game, but I'm open to the interpretation it can be more than that. Fairness is probably an impact, but it can be pretty small. Neg teams that clearly explain what the aff's interpretation justifies and why that's bad are more likely to win my ballot. Aff teams that come up with a counter-interp that attempts to solve for some limits/predictability seem more instinctively reasonable to me than those who try to impact turn things I think are probably good like predictability, but either strategy is fine.
Counterplans/Theory: Theory other than conditionality/perfcon is not a voter and going for it will wreck your ethos (and speaks). On a truth level, I think being neg in a world without massive conditionality and theoretical abuse is impossible on lots of hs topics. Given that, I'm actually fairly familiar with and interested in hearing good condo debating- competing interps means if you have something explainable and not arbitrary (infinite condo, infinite dispo, no condo) and can articulate some standards I won't hack for anyone. Default to judge kick, but can be convinced not to, counterplans should probably be textually and functionally competitive, I'd love to hear a real debate on positional competition but I'm not optimistic.
Disads: Uniqueness matters, and determines offense on the link level, but win the link too. No politics disad is true, but some politics disads are more true than others. These were my favorite arguments to cut and go for, and interesting scenarios that are closer to the truth or strategic will be rewarded with speaks. I'm of the somewhat controversial opinion they make for good education and the less controversial one lots of topics are unworkable for the neg without them, so don't go for intrinsicness/floortime DAs bad theory.
Impact Turns: Nothing much to say here, other than a reassurance I will not check out on something I find unpersuasive in real life (any of the war good debates, spark, wipeout). If you can't beat it, update your blocks.
Impact Framing/Soft Left Impacts: I default to utilitarian consequentialism, and have a strong bias in favor of that as a way to evaluate impacts. If you want to present another way to evaluate impacts, PLEASE tell me what it means for my ballot and how I evaluate it. "Overweight probability" is fine for the 1AC, but by the 1AR I should know if that means I ONLY evaluate probability/disregard probabilities under 1%/don't evaluate magnitudes of infinity. Anything else means you're going to get my super arbitrary and probably fairly utilitarian impulse. I would love if whoever's advocating for ex risks would do the same, but I have a better handle on what your deal means for the ballot, so I don't need as much help. "Util Bad" without an alternative is very unpersuasive - BUT a fleshed out alternative can be very strategic.
K vs Policy Affs: I vote neg most often in these debates when the neg can lose framework but win case takeouts or an impact to the K that outweighs and turns the aff. I vote neg somewhat often in these debates when the aff does a bad job explaining the internal links of their FW interp or answering negative impacts. For security type Ks, it seems like some people think they can convince me sweeping IR theories or other impacts are false with all the knowledge of a high schooler. Read a card, or I will assume the aff's 3 cards on China Revisionist/cyber war real are true and the K is false.
K vs K affs: I've now judged a few of these debates, and have found when the aff goes for the perm they're very likely to get my ballot absent basically losing the thesis of the affirmative. This means I don't think "the aff doesn't get perms in a method debate" is a nonstarter. Other than that, my background in the literature is not strong, so if your link relies on a nuanced debate in the literature, I'm going to need a lot of explanation.
Miscellaneous: These are unsorted feelings I have about debate somewhere between the preferences expressed above and non-negotiables below.
Debaters should endeavor to keep their cameras on for their speeches as much as possible. I find that I'm able to pay much more attention to cx and give better speaker comments. Judging online is hard and staring at four blank screens makes it harder.
I am becoming somewhat annoyed with CX of the 1NC/2AC that starts with "did you read X" or "what cards from the doc did you not read" and will minorly (.1, .2 if it's egregious) reduce your speaks if you do this. I am MORE annoyed if you try to make this happen outside of speech or prep time. 2As, have your 1A flow the 1NC to catch these things. 2Ns, same for your 1Ns. If the speaker is particularly unclear or the doc is particularly disorganized, this goes away.
At my baseline, I think about the world in a more truth over tech way. My judging strategy and process is optimized to eliminate this bias, as I think its not a good way to evaluate debate rounds, but I am not perfect. You have been warned.
I am gay. I am not a good judge for queerness arguments. This isn't a "you read it you lose/i will deck speaks" situation, but you have been warned its a harder sell than anything else mentioned
In high school, both teams get 8 minutes for constructives, 5 minutes for rebuttals, 3 minutes for CX, and however many minutes of prep time the tournament invitation says. CX is binding. There is one winner and one loser. I will flow. I won't vote on anything that did not occur in the round (personal attacks, prefs, disclosure, etc.). I think a judge's role is to determine who won the debate at hand, not who is a better person outside of it. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, I will assist you in going to tab so that they can create a solution, but I don't view that as something that the judge should decide a debate on.
You have to read rehighlightings, you can't just insert them. If I or the other team notice you clipping or engaging in another ethics violation prohibited by tournament rules and it is found to be legitimate, it's an auto-loss and I will give the lowest speaks that I can give.
It'll be hard to offend me but don't say any slurs or engage in harmful behavior against anyone else including racism, sexism, homophobia, intentionally misgendering someone, etc. I see pretty much all arguments as fair game but when that becomes personally harmful for other people, then it's crossed a line. I've thankfully never seen something like this happen in a debate that I've been in but it'd be naive to act like it's never happened. The line for what is and is not personally harmful to someone is obviously very arbitrary but that applies to almost all things in debate, so I think it's fair to say that it is also up to the judge's discretion for when the line has been crossed.
Add me to the Email Chain: email@example.com
Katy Taylor '19
Updates per Online debating: Because of the nature of online debating, I am often times having a hard time understanding/taking in visual cues. Please take this into consideration when debating and prioritize clarity to an extent. Also appreciate analytics, although I guess it's ultimately up to you - if I didn't get it on my flow, it's probably net worse lol
Also feel free to email me with questions if any are unanswered, both before and post round.
I think debate is an activity formatted as a game, but ultimately should be used to reap external values/impacts. It also definitely is more than a game to most of us involved; debate is in fact a consuming activity. What I prioritize in evaluation will vary by round, based on the progression of the debate, and I will leave the strategizing for a ballot up to you.
Do what you do best. I’m open to all types of argument as long as it is well executed- I was not a big K debater through HS, but if you do your job I should have no problem understanding the round/the literature. I would much rather judge a nuanced and engaging debate that I am unfamiliar with over a poorly executed round. Likewise, Ks should not be read in the hopes of simply reading the K getting a ballot.
Proper showcasing of your knowledge in the subject, clever strategy, and some courtesy in round make judging easier, more enjoyable, and will work in your favor.
Both teams should have a defense of the model provided by their interpretation. I think Affs should have some relation/link to the topic (not necessarily with a plan text)-I don't think it's easy to win a round with an aff that has no relation whatsoever, but if this is the case, I would expect VERY good reasons to buy that. Offense is key to win FW debates- how well these arguments apply/interact in round are important for a decision. Along with offense, there needs to be well explained impacts by both teams. (i.e. explain what “destroying fairness” does to debate, etc.)
I'm usually not a heavy voter on T, because a) most times T debates feel like nothing more than a time suck and b)I do think that debate is a space that has the capacity in which a variety of dialogues can and should take place, but that doesn't mean I won't vote on it and/or this is the cue to read whatever you want w zero correlation. Both teams need to defend their interp of the topic with well-extrapolated standards and impacts. Mentioning the words “limits”, “fairness”, and “predictability” doesn't mean much until you explain why that matters. Impact comparison and substantive clash over models of the topic via definitions and standards make T debates much easier and more enjoyable to evaluate.
Despite the fact I wasn't much of a K debater, I feel they are very enjoyable to judge when executed well, and can very well be the opposite if not done so. I have found myself finding K arguments very compelling because I buy that the problematic ideologies that shaped the fundamentals of our society are violent/pose a threat constantly. Well-developed links that are specific and turn case are essential. I believe the framework debate is generally underutilized by the negative, usually those debates end up with the affirmative getting to weigh the Aff. If you read external impacts, you must explain the internal link to that impact. As mentioned above, I was not a big K debater through high school, so I'm probably super close to an actual blank slate- With that said explanation within your speeches and CX will be rewarded, and essential for me to evaluate. A clear explanation of the argument should be a requirement anyway; just know that you will not gain much if not lose expecting me to know each K inside out. The affirmative should have a combination of offensive and defensive arguments. A purely defensive strategy against a K will probably not get you a win.
They need to have a clear and preferably nuanced method that can solve the impacts of the Aff. I think the major pitfall of K Affs is having generic or vague methods that open the doors to a lot of persuasive presumption arguments. There needs to be a defense of why debate is a key space to read the Aff. The 1AR and 2AR should have both components on some level or else I’m left to guess as to how the Aff/aff offense functions against the negative's position. As explained in the K section above, do not assume I’m well versed in the literature you are defending.
Be specific. A robust explanation of the link to the Aff and impact calculus supplemented with embedded turns case analysis makes these debates very enjoyable to judge. The Affirmative should try to find holes in the DA, whether that’s through internal links not lining up or through their evidence. I think a combination of offensive and defensive arguments is smart and will make it harder for the negative to hedge their offense.
They need to have a clear plan text and an external net benefit. Make sure the CP is competitive- as simple as it is I feel like people forget and then I have to vote down on perm. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better. The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement. It's probably helpful for the aff to have some offense- just defense is in most cases not sufficient to beat the CP.
- Strategizing the round is up to you, but I do find myself not loving the timesuck-16 off- strats
- I think case debating is very under-utilized
- recutting evidence from the opposing team is rewarded
- Flashing/Emailing isn’t prep but be efficient
- If you still have questions, ask them before the round
-Don't be rude; there's a difference between that and being sharp
Affiliations and History:
I am the Director of Debate at Damien High School in La Verne, CA.
I was the Director of Debate for Hebron High School in Carrollton, TX from 2020-2021.
I was an Assistant Coach at Damien from 2017-2020.
I debated on the national circuit for Damien from 2009-2013.
I graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a BA in Critical Theory and Social Justice.
I completed my Master's degree in Social Justice in Higher Education Administration at The University of La Verne.
My academic work involves critical university studies, Georges Bataille, poetics, and post-colonialism.
Author of Suburba(in)e Surrealism (2021).
Yearly Round Numbers:
I try to judge a fair bit each year.
I have judged over 50 rounds on the Water Topic.
I judged around 40 rounds on the CJR topic.
I judged 29 rounds on the Arms topic (2019-2020) (not including practice rounds without a decision rendered).
I judged a bit of LD (32 debates) on the Jan-Feb Topic (nuke disarm) in '19/'20.
I judged around 25 debates on the Immigration topic (2018-2019) on the national circuit.
I judged around 50 rounds on the Education topic (2017-2018) on the national circuit.
NDT Protocol: I will rarely have any familiarity with the current college topic and will usually only judge 12-15 rounds pre-NDT.
Please make your T and CP acronyms understandable.
Front Matter Elements:
Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) me all of the speeches before you begin.
If you need an accommodation of any kind, please email me before the round starts.
I want everyone to feel safe and able to debate- this is my number one priority as a judge.
I don't run prep time while you email the speech doc. Put the whole speech into one speech doc.
I flow 1AC impact framing, inherency, and solvency straight down on the same page nowadays.
Speed is not an issue for me, but I will ask you to slow down (CLEAR) if you are needlessly sacrificing clarity for quantity--especially if you are reading T or theory arguments.
I will not evaluate evidence identifiable as being produced by software, bots, algorithms etc. Human involvement in the card’s production must be evident unique to the team, individual, and card. This means that evidence you directly take from open source must be re-highlighted at a minimum. You should change the tags and underlining anyways to better fit with your argument’s coherency.
I privilege technical debating and the flow. I try to get as much down as I possibly can and the little that I miss usually is a result of a lack of clarity on the part of the speaker or because the actual causal chain of the idea does not make consistent sense for me (I usually express this on my face). Your technical skill should make me believe/be able to determine that your argument is the truth. That means warrants. Explain them, impact them, and don't make me fish for them in the un-underlined portion of the six paragraph card that your coach cut for you at a camp you weren't attending. I find myself more and more dissatisfied with debating that operates only on the link claim level. I tend to take a formal, academic approach to the evaluation of ideas, so discussions of source, author intentions and 'true' meaning, and citation are both important to me and something that I hope to see in more debates.
The best debates for me to judge are ones where the last few rebuttals focus on giving me instructions on what the core controversies of the round are, how to evaluate them, and what mode of thinking I should apply to the flow as a history of the round. This means that I'm not going to do things unless you tell me to do them on the flow (judge kick, theory 'traps' etc.). When instructions are not provided or articulated, I will tend to use (what I consider to be) basic, causal logic (i.e. judicial notice) to find connections, contradictions, and gaps/absences. Sometimes this happens on my face--you should be paying attention to the physical impact of the content of your speech act.
I believe in the importance of topicality and theory. No affs are topical until proven otherwise.
Non-impacted theory arguments don't go a long way for me; establish a warranted theory argument that when dropped will make me auto-vote for you. This is not an invitation for arbitrary and non-educational theory arguments being read in front of me, but if you are going to read no neg fiat (for example), then you better understand (and be able to explain to me) the history of the argument and why it is important for the debate and the community.
I try to read all evidence as it is read throughout the debate. This can go well or badly for you, but only if you do not make the debate legible and winnable at the level of argument (which is the only reason I would have to defer to evidentiary details).
I find framework to be a boring/unhelpful/poorly debated style of argument on both sides. I want to hear about the ballot-- what is it, what is its role, and what are your warrants for it (especially why your warrants matter!). I want to know what kind of individual you think the judge is (academic, analyst, intellectual etc.). I want to hear about the debate community and the round's relationship within it. These are the most salient questions in a framework debate for me. If you are conducting a performance in the round and/or debate space, you need to have specific, solvable, and demonstrable actions, results, and evidences of success. These are the questions we have to be thinking about in substantial and concrete terms if we are really thinking about them with any authenticity/honesty/care (sorge).
If you are going to go for Fairness, then you need a metric. Not just a caselist, not just a hypothetical ground dispensation, but a functional method to measure the idea of fairness in the round/outside the round i.e. why are the internal components (ground, caselist, etc.) a good representation of a team's burden and what do these components do for individuals/why does that matter. I am not sure what that metric/method is, but my job is not to create it for you. A framework debate that talks about competing theories for how fairness/education should be structured and analyzed will make me very happy i.e. engaging the warrants that constitute ideas of procedural/structural fairness and critical education.
In-round Performance and Speaker Points:
An easy way to get better speaker points in front of me is by showing me that you actually understand how the debate is going, the arguments involved, and the path to victory. Every debater has their own style of doing this (humor, time allocation, etc.), but I will not compromise detailed, content-based analysis for the ballot.
I believe that there is a case for in-round violence/damage winning the ballot. Folks need to be considerate of their behavior and language. You should be doing this all of the time anyways.
While I believe that high school students should not be held to a standard of intellectual purity with critical literature, I do expect you to know the body of scholarship that your K revolves around: For example, if you are reading a capitalism K, you should know who Marx, Engels, and Gramsci are; if you are reading a feminism k, you should know what school of feminism (second wave, psychoanalytic, WOC, etc.) your author belongs to. If you try and make things up about the historical aspects/philosophical links of your K, I will reflect my unhappiness in your speaker points and probably not give you much leeway on your link/alt analysis. I will often have a more in-depth discussion with you about the K after the round, so please understand that my post-round comments are designed to be educational and informative, instead of determining your quality/capability as a debater.
I am 100% DONE with teams not showing up on time to disclose. A handful of minutes or so late is different than showing up 3-5 min before the round begins. Punish these folks with disclosure theory and my ears will be open.
CX ends when the timer rings. I will put my fingers in my ears if you do not understand this. I deeply dislike the trend of debaters asking questions about 'did you read X card etc.' in cross-x and I believe this contributes to the decline of flowing skills in debate. While I have not established a metric for how many speaker points an individual will lose each time they say that phrase, know that it is something on my mind. I will not allow questions outside of cross-x outside of core procedural things ('can you give the order again?,' 'everyone ready?' etc.). Asking 'did you read X card' or 'theoretical reasons to reject the team' outside of CX are NOT 'core procedural things.'
Do not read these types of arguments in front of me:
Arguments that directly call an individual's humanity into account
Arguments based in directly insulting your opponents
Arguments that you do not understand
Zoey Lin (she/her/hers)
Lexington '20 | Dartmouth '24
Please put me on and properly name the email chain! [email@example.com] [Tournament - Round X: Aff Team v Neg Team]
If this is a JV or Novice Policy round, please add [firstname.lastname@example.org] alongside my main email
If this is a Varsity Policy round, please add [email@example.com] alongside my main email
I'm colorblind, so please highlight in green (or give me time to change your color)
Be genuine, be nice, just do what you’re good at because I will listen to anything and flow what you say!
This picture encapsulates both my personality and my judging philosophy
On Zoom, please be super clear. I can flow you, but I might not be able to flow you + mic + zoom + internet. If you're unclear and lose even though "but I said it in my speech", imma give you this look: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Also if you can please keep your camera on, it's so sad when it's just dark squares.
Policy Updated for Water Topic (8.13.21)
Do what you're good at, don't adapt for me (yes I have biases, but if you debate I'll be persuaded more by what you say than what I think). In high school I read everything under the sun and to some degree I knew what was going on, which means yes I'll be ok listening to your tenth extinction card or your trans-humanist maoism kritik.
Framing arguments are the most important arguments in any debate. The team that does the best framing is likely going to win my ballot.
Unless told otherwise I am tech > truth, theory is a reason to reject the arg (but condo is a reason to reject the team), judges don't kick, and anything goes
I am a sucker for specific strategies. Even if you don't go for them I will reward case specific research (aff recuts, counterplans that solve the internal link, specific pics against k affs, etc)
Water Topic Knowledge
I haven't judged enough rounds and there are a lot of acronyms on this topic, so please explain
I agree with Callahan: "You can't say warming isn't real (or you can, but I will ignore you). Sorry!"
Policy Throwdown (Aff):
I'm a sucker for case debate. Do it and do it well. If you don't? Expect the other team to weigh their case and make it count.
If you read a multi-impact extinction aff, make sure you try to get solid internal links. I know it'll be difficult, but I prefer that to six terminal impact extinction cards on each advantage.
If you read a structural aff, make sure your framing page doesn't just look like an extension of your 1AC authors and that's it. You need to engage the other team... I've seen way too many debates come down to a wash on the framing page which is unfortunate since it guides so much of how I will evaluate the rest of the round.
I don't think enough 2a's are willing to go for condo and I'm happy to vote on 2+ condo bad!
Policy Throwdown (Neg):
Regardless of what happens, specificity is best!
More people should CP out of the aff (especially on a topic where DA's are scarce). Smart counter plan writing like multiplank advantage cp's or process cp's are always welcome! Good pics are amazing.
Do your best with this topic's "neg ground", but also that's not an excuse for awful ptx scenarios. I was excited about possible Biden based politics DA's, but turns out we just wanna read Manchin stuff
Presumption will flip if there is a 2nr cp.
Negs, you should abuse fiat. Be ready to defend it though!
Condo is good, 4 or more is getting excessive, be ready to defend 2 condo is a voter.
K's v Policy Affs:
I was on both sides of this debate a lot.
I'm most familiar with and went for identity critiques (anti-blackness and queer theory) and security (fem ir, racial ir, and traditional ir). I'm pretty decent for psychoanalysis and various anti-capitalist lit bases (marxism, left accelerationism, semio-capitalism). I'm average for other white pomo, and pretty bad for death good.
The way to get my ballot is to have explanation and contextualization, especially with links. You don't need a "good k" you need a well applied k.
K Affs v FW:
Debate is definitely a game and clash is an intrinsic good for debate. That being said, I also read k affs (psychoanalysis, queerness, wynter), and I think debate could be much more than a game even though we're here "playing" it.
The aff wins when they are able to frame the round well. By the end of the debate I want to clearly know what the stance of the 1ac is on the 2nr flow and why they're wrong. On framework, it's important to go all in on we-meet or all in on the counter interp because towing the line will only let neg teams win the TVA or win their impact outweighs. It's also important to tell what winning the aff/a part of the aff means in the context of the broader debate.
The neg wins when they are able to mitigate aff offense and win a concrete impact rather than nebulous appeals to buzzword impacts. I find myself particularly persuaded by switch-side debate arguments and well crafted TVAs. You should also have defense on case.
If you care, I was a "fw debater" in hs but I now mostly read k's in college.
Rev v Rev:
Make the role of the judge and the role of the ballot really explicit. Presumption can be really convincing, especially by calling out double turns. I generally like scholarship consistency, but amalgamating strategies can be interesting and strategic if it works coherently. Other than that, I find that theory of power explanations that use fewer buzzwords and are more application heavy end up being more successful at winning their side of the debate when it comes to things like permutations and links. The less I understand the aff/alternative, the more frustrated I will be.
Gut checks/Reps Arguments:
Probably better than most on these questions. Card clipping is a one example, but also pronoun misuse and racism should be called out and I'm willing to end the round on it.
LD Updated for the 2021-22 Season
I've judged more LD rounds compared to policy at this point, but I still don't have a real paradigm, if what I've said above isn't enough, then just know I'm a policy debater who doesn't care what you read. The only thing you should consider is that although I will flow your argument and its warrants, I might not fully understand it to your liking (i.e. just because you said permissibility doesn't mean I'll fill in the warrant for you).
If you want to know specifics though, I'm definitely better for k/larp compared to phil (beyond kant), and definitely questionable for theory and tricks*. I don't care if you defend the topic, but have some sort of grounded criticism, please.
*Caveat: Lexington Debater Brett Fortier told me "if you're willing to listen to tricks, you're a tricks judge." While that is me... I really do not want to listen to RVI's, trick's, nebel t, a prioris and just LISTS of paradoxes. Much thanks!
Quirks I May Have While Judging You
1. I flow on a computer and sometimes often away or stare blankly. Don't worry I can type without looking, this just means I'm thinking
2. Notes about things you want to avoid while I'm in the back
a. Being condescending / rude
b. Cussing (excessively/not necessary)
c. Stealing prep (Oh my gosh, do I hate people who do this)
d. Expecting me to keep your time
4. When your subpoints become wacky. Like, PLEASE subpoint, but please make sure 7 follows 6 and e follows d.
f. Intimidating or talking over people when you’re a two male presenting team.
Debate is a great place to challenge yourself and have fun while doing it... the first thing that I want to see is that everyone is enjoying themselves and having a good time. Some debaters think that they're too good or cool to afford their opponents respect and decency in-round: if this is you, I will not be a good judge to have in the back of your round. We are all here to have fun and get better, so if you are jeopardizing that in any way, don't expect me to be as willing to vote for you.
I really care about the participation of queer debaters, especially gender minorities and poc. It's really difficult to find queer spaces in general, never mind in debate and worst of all in an online debate environment. I will be extremely sensitive to the way people who are not cis white men are treated in the debate space. If you are looking for additional resources, please check out https://www.windebate.org/ for the most passionate mentors and https://www.girlsdebate.org/ for funny memes, cool people, and amazing overall help.
If you have any questions, don't be afraid to shoot me an email or ask before the round starts. I'd be happy to clarify anything on this paradigm or offer you any other insight that I might have forgotten to include here.
Virtual Debate Update:
SLOW THE HELL DOWN. STG its so much harder to understand yall over the mic plus my headphones so just slow down it will benefit the speaks.
Put me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org, typically do not look at the documents other than some cursory glances during prep time. I still may ask for a card doc at the end of the debate to maximize decision time, I appreciate it in advance.
I believe that debate is a communication activity with an emphasis on persuasion. If you are not clear or have not extended all components of an argument (claim/warrant/implication) it will not factor into my decision.
I flow on paper, which means I would appreciate yall slowing down and giving me pen time on counterplan texts and theory arguments. If there is a specific way you would like me to flow give me that instruction and I will do my best to follow it.
The most important thing in debates for me is to establish a framework for how (and why) I should evaluate impacts. I am often left with two distinct impacts/scenarios at the end of the debate without any instruction on how to assess their validity vis-à-vis one another or which one to prioritize. The team that sets this up early in the debate and filtering the rebuttals through it often gets my ballot. I believe that this is not just true of “clash” debates but is (if not even more) an important component of debates where terminal impacts are the same but their scenarios are not.
While I think that debate is best when the affirmative is interacting with the resolution in some way I have no sentiment about how this interaction need to happen nor a dogmatic stance that 1ac’s have a relation to the resolution. I have voted for procedural fairness and have also voted for the impact turns. Despite finding myself voting more and more for procedural fairness I am much more persuaded by fairness as an internal link rather than terminal impact. Affirmative’s often beat around the bush and have trouble deciding if they want to go for the impact turn or the middle ground, I think picking a strategy and going for it will serve you best. A lot of 2NRs squander very good block arguments by not spending enough time (or any) at the terminal impact level please don’t be those people.
Prep time ends when the email has been sent (if you still use flash drives then when the drive leaves the computer). In the past few years so much time is being spent saving documents, gathering flows, setting up a stand etc. that it has become egregious and ultimately feel limits both my decision time and my ability to deliver criticism after the round. Limited prep is a huge part of what makes the activity both enjoyable and competitive. I said in my old philosophy that policing this is difficult and I would not go out of my way to do it, however I will now take the extra time beyond roadmaps/speech time into account when I determine speaker points.
Feel free to email or ask any questions before or after the debate. Above all else enjoy the game you get to play and have fun.
Competitor-- Winston Churchill (2008-2012)
Assistant Coaching-- Jenks (2012-2015) Reagan (2015-2017) University of Texas (2017-2020) Churchill (2019-Present)
Debated @ UNT 2009-2014
Coach @ St Marks since 2017
Coach @ UTDallas since 2018
If you have questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com
For me, the idea that the judge should remain impartial is very important. I've had long discussions about the general acceptability/desirability of specific debate arguments and practices (as has everybody, I'm sure), but I've found that those rarely influence my decisions. I've probably voted for teams without plans in framework debates more often than I've voted neg, and I've voted for the worst arguments I can imagine, even in close debates, if I thought framing arguments were won. While nobody can claim to be completely unbiased, I try very hard to let good debating speak for itself. That being said, I do have some general predispositions, which are listed below.
-I tend to err aff on T and neg on most theory arguments. By that, I mean that I think that the neg should win a good standard on T in order to win that the aff should lose, and I also believe that theory is usually a reason to reject the argument and not the team.
- Conditional advocacies are good, but making contradictory truth claims is different. However, I generally think these claims are less damaging to the aff than the "they made us debate against ourselves" claim would make it seem. The best 2ACs will find ways of exploiting bad 1NC strategy, which will undoubtedly yield better speaker points than a theory debate, even if the aff wins.
- I kind of feel like "reasonability" and "competing interpretations" have become meaningless terms that, while everybody knows how they conceptualize it, there are wildly different understandings. In my mind, the negative should have to prove that the affirmative interpretation is bad, not simply that the negative has a superior interpretation. I also don't think that's a very high standard for the negative to be held to, as many interpretations (especially on this space topic) will be hot fiery garbage.
- My view of debates outside of/critical of the resolution is also complicated. While my philosophy has always been very pro-plan reading in the past, I've found that aff teams are often better at explaining their impact turns than the neg is at winning an impact that makes sense. That being said, I think that it's hard for the aff to win these debates if the neg can either win that there is a topical version of the affirmative that minimizes the risk of the aff's impact turns, or a compelling reason why the aff is better read as a kritik on the negative. Obviously there are arguments that are solved by neither, and those are likely the best 2AC impact turns to read in front of me.
- "The aff was unpredictable so we couldn't prepare for it so you should assume it's false" isn't a good argument for framework and I don't think I've ever voted for it.
- I'm certainly a better judge for CP/DA debates than K v K debates. I particularly like strategic PICs and good 1NC strategies with a lot of options. I'd be willing to vote on consult/conditions, but I find permutation arguments about immediacy/plan-plus persuasive.
- I think the neg gets away with terrible CP solvency all the time. Affs should do a better job establishing what counts as a solvency card, or at least a solvency warrant. This is more difficult, however, when your aff's solvency evidence is really bad. - Absent a debate about what I should do, I will kick a counterplan for the neg and evaluate the aff v. the squo if the CP is bad/not competitive
- I don't think the 2NC needs to explain why severence/intrinsicness are bad, just win a link. They're bad.
- I don't think perms are ever a reason to reject the aff.
- I don't think illegitimate CPs are a reason to vote aff.
- Run them. Win them. There's not a whole lot to say.
- I'd probably vote on some sort of "fiat solves" argument on politics, but only if it was explained well.
- Teams that invest time in good, comparative impact calculus will be rewarded with more speaker points, and likely, will win the debate. "Disad/Case outweighs" isn't a warrant. Talk about your impacts, but also make sure you talk about your opponents impacts. "Economic collapse is real bad" isn't as persuasive as "economic collapse is faster and controls uniqueness for the aff's heg advantage".
- My general line has always been that "I get the K but am not well read in every literature". I've started to realize that that statement is A) true for just about everybody and B) entirely useless. It turns out that I've read, coached, and voted for Ks too often for me to say that. What I will say, however, is that I certainly focus my research and personal reading more on the policy side, but will generally make it pretty obvious if I have no idea what you're saying.
- Make sure you're doing link analysis to the plan. I find "their ev is about the status quo" arguments pretty persuasive with a permutation.
- Don't think that just because your impacts "occur on a different level" means you don't need to do impact calculus. A good way to get traction here is case defense. Most advantages are pretty silly and false, point that out with specific arguments about their internal links. It will always make the 2NR easier if you win that the aff is lying/wrong.
- I think the alt is the weakest part of the K, so make sure to answer solvency arguments and perms very well.
- If you're aff, and read a policy aff, don't mistake this as a sign that I'm just going to vote for you because I read mostly policy arguments. If you lose on the K, I'll vote neg. Remember, I already said I think your advantage is a lie. Prove me wrong.
-Don't ignore it. Conceding an advantage on the neg is no different than conceding a disad on the aff. You should go to case in the 1NC, even if you just play defense. It will make the rest of the debate so much easier.
- If you plan to extend a K in the 2NR and use that to answer the case, be sure you're winning either a compelling epistemology argument or some sort of different ethical calculus. General indicts will lose to specific explanations of the aff absent either good 2NR analysis or extensions of case defense.
- 2As... I've become increasingly annoyed with 2ACs that pay lip service to the case without responding to specific arguments or extending evidence/warrants. Just reexplaining the advantage and moving on isn't sufficient to answer multiple levels of neg argumentation.
I don't think you need to take prep time to flash your speech to your opponent, but it's also pretty obvious when you're stealing prep, so don't do it. If you want to use viewing computers, that's fine, but only having one is unacceptable. The neg needs to be able to split up your evidence for the block. It's especially bad if you want to view their speeches on your viewing computer too. Seriously, people need access to your evidence.
I've decided enough debates on clipping in the last couple of years that I think it's worth putting a notice in my philosophy. If a tournament has reliable internet, I will insist on an email chain and will want to be on that email chain. I will, at times, follow along with the speech document and, as a result, am likely to catch clipping if it occurs. I'm a pretty non-confrontational person, so I'm unlikely to say anything about a missed short word at some point, but if I am confident that clipping has occurred, I will absolutely stop the debate and decide on it. I'll always give debaters the benefit of the doubt, and provide an opportunity to say where a card was marked, but I'm pretty confident of my ability to distinguish forgetting to say "mark the card" and clipping. I know that there is some difference of opinion on who's responsibility it is to bring about a clipping challenge, but I strongly feel that, if I know for certain that debaters are not reading all of their evidence, I have not only the ability but an obligation to call it out.
- Really generic backfile arguments (Ashtar, wipeout, etc) won't lose you the round, but don't expect great speaks. I just think those arguments are really terrible, (I can't describe how much I hate wipeout debates) and bad for debate.
- Impact turn debates are awesome, but can get very messy. If you make the debate impossible to flow, I will not like you. Don't just read cards in the block, make comparisons about evidence quality and uniqueness claims. Impact turn debates are almost always won by the team that controls uniqueness and framing arguments, and that's a debate that should start in the 2AC.
Finally, here is a short list of general biases.
- The status quo should always be an option in the 2NR (Which doesn't necessarily mean that the neg get's infinite flex. If they read 3 contradictory positions, I can be persuaded that it was bad despite my predisposition towards conditionality. It does mean that I will, absent arguments against it, judge kick a counterplan and evaluate the case v the squo if the aff wins the cp is bad/not competitive)
- Warming is real and science is good (same argument, really)
- The aff gets to defend the implementation of the plan as offense against the K, and the neg gets to read the K
- Timeframe and probability are more important than magnitude (because everything causes extinction anyways)
- Predictable limits are key to both fairness and education
- Consult counterplans aren't competitive. Conditions is arguable.
- Rider DA links are not intrinsic
- Utilitarianism is a good way to evaluate impacts
- The aff should defend a topical plan
- Death and extinction are bad
- Uncooperative federalism is one of the worse counterplans I've ever seen
***If you're short on time, just read what's in bold***
Maize High School (China, Education, Immigration, Arm Sales)
Wichita State (Alliances)
Cornell '24 (taking a sabbatical)
Coach for Maize High School and St. Mark's School of Texas. Call me Connor. they/them
I really don't want to do a SpeechDrop or whatever. Prefered subject line: [Tournament] [round] [aff team] (aff) vs [neg team]. ex. Heritage Hall Rd 4 Little Rock Central GL (aff) v Maize LM
1. Do whatever you're best at and I'll be happy. I used to run Ks in high school, but by senior year I figured out I was way better debating policy. Last season, ~50% of my 2nrs were T; however, I find myself mostly in clash debates. I've voted for both fw and the K roughly equal amounts. Really, do whatever you want.
2. Good debate is good and bad debate is bad. I've drastically simplified my paradigm to not include explanations for how to debate because every judge believes the same thing. This paradigm is an explanation for how my views on debate might differ than others.
3. Disclosure is good. Preferably on the wiki. Plus .2 speaker points if you fully open source the round docs on the wiki (tell me before the RFD, I'm not going to check for you).
4. Please number and label your arguments. Give your off names in the 1nc.
6. Don't be mean or offensive. Please actively try to make the community inclusive. I will not hesitate to dock speaks, drop you, or report you to the tournament directors/your coach if you say or do anything offensive or unethical.
7. I stole this from Tim Ellis: "10 minutes of prep is a lot. Debate rounds are very long. If all debaters agree, at a tournament with 10 minutes of prep, I will boost speaker points by +.1 each if you agree to use 8 minutes of prep, and +.3 each if the teams use 5 minutes of prep. All parties must agree before the round, not decide in the middle of the round."
8. I have auditory processing issues. I can struggle with understanding everything you say, so clarity and pen time are extra important. Sending analytics is nice too. I don't flow off the speech doc but I use it as proto-closed captioning + I check for clipping. If online, being able to read your lips is helpful. Facing the mic is helpful. I won't ever dock speeches for not being totally accommodating, but I might miss something you say if you don't.
9. This is true for every judge, but have fun. I really look forward to judging debaters who genuinely enjoy the activity, and don't take themselves too seriously. Respect your opponents and recognize that this is an activity you choose to do.
I'm a big fan of posting the roadmap in the chat.
Slow down. It's possible that I might miss things during the round due to tech errors. Most mics are also not great and so it can be harder to understand what you are saying at full speed.
I have a multiple monitor setup so I might be looking around but I promise I'm paying attention.
If my camera is ever off, please get some sort of confirmation from before you begin your speech. It's very awkward to have to ask you to give your speech again bc I was afk.
I default to no judge kick but can easily be swayed either way. I default to dropping the arg for every question except condo, but, again, you can easily sway me either way. I lean neg on condo. Dispo is beta condo.
I think affs should be in the general direction of the topic. That doesn't mean I'm going to outright not vote for you if you're extremely anti-topical, but rather that I'm more likely to buy negative framework arguments.
If you're reading an aff that includes music in someway, I'd greatly appreciate if you turn it down/off while you speak. My auditory processing issues makes it difficult for me to understand what you're saying when there is something playing in the background. I don't have any qualms about this form of argumentation, I just want to understand what you're saying.
Affs need counter interps. I require a greater explanation of what debate looks like under the aff model more than most judges. You should explain how your (counter)interp generates offense/defense to help me conceptualize weighing clash vs your model. I don't think shotgunning a bunch of underdeveloped framework DAs is a good or efficient use of your time. Most of them are usually the same argument anyways, and I'd rather you have 2-3 carded & impacted out disads.
I don't think it makes sense to go for both switch side and the TVA in the 2nr. Pick one.
Debate History: St. Mark's '10/Trinity University '14
Currently the head policy debate coach at Hendrickson HS
I treat each debate round as an academic exercise in decision making. I leave many questions of framework and impact calculus to the teams debating, however if not otherwise explicitly stated I will default to a policy making framework and utilitarianism, respectively.
I typically evaluate this from a competing interpretations standpoint and an offense/defense framework but can be persuaded otherwise. When making these kinds of arguments, negative teams typically forget that their interpretation is of how the debate space should operate and thus must defend it as so. Negative teams MUST explain why their interpretation is better for the overall debate space in order to get my ballot. In round abuse arguments are compelling, however, they are nearly impossible to prove and I have a high threshold for voting on them.
I am a fairly firm believer that debate is a game and that structural fairness is an impact. However, this also means that fairness should be utilized as a lens or impact filter for all the other impacts in the framework debate.
Many of my thoughts in the above section apply to my thoughts on counterplan theory. I feel that 2 conditional advocacies is the most that the negative should run, much to the chagrin of most folks (new affs are an exception). That being said, I won't default certain ways in theory debates. I will be considerably more compelled to deem that a counterplan solves an affirmative if it is a specific CP than if it is your typical agent CP. Specific PICs that have functional impacts on plan implementation are so much better than your generic process counterplan. So, so, so much better.
Many kritik teams tend to focus more on tricks than substance. The most important portion of this debate for me is the link debate and I expect a clear explanation of why the specific affirmative links. It is the negative's task to explain why the permutation cannot possibly solve back/overcome the links. I will default affirmative in many of these debates. I feel that the best kritik debaters are the ones who are willing to adapt their strategy and link debate to the specific affirmative that they are debating.
Links of omission are functionally spotting the aff a uniqueness overwhelms the link argument to the net benefit to a very vacuous alternative. Please have link specificity.
I didn't think I had thoughts on this until recently. There are very good disads and very bad disads. If you are aff against a very bad disad, don't be afraid to point this out! I feel like I am more likely than most to say there is zero risk of a disadvantage when the uniqueness very clearly overwhelms the link or there is zero link specificity.
-Yes email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org. Every time a varsity debater forgets to hit "reply all" on an email chain, a kitten cries and you will lose 0.5 speaker points.
-Do not clip cards! If there is an ethics challenge, I will stop the debate and have the accused debater re-read their speech with either their speech document on my computer or standing over their shoulder. That being said, ethics challenges are serious, if you are making one, then you are willing to lose the debate if you are wrong. Strategic ethics challenges will result in horrific speaker points from me.
-I will call you out if you are blatantly stealing prep and it will hurt your speaker points.
-For paperless teams, I do not run prep time for saving/flashing the speech unless this time starts to become excessive or it becomes evident that prep is being stolen.
-It drives me crazy when debaters are disrespectful to each other. There is no reason why competitiveness needs to turn into aggression. Treat the debate space like a classroom.
-Another pet peeve: debaters who do not seem to legitimately enjoy what they are doing. Debaters who go through the motions are usually the ones that end up with the lowest speaker points from me. Even if you are not keeping up with the technical aspects of the debate, if you remain engaged and committed throughout the debate, I will definitely feel more comfortable with giving you higher speaker points.
Read a topical plan--------------x-----------------------------say anything
Usually some risk--------------------------------x----------Zero Risk
Conditionality Good----------------------x--------------------Conditionality Bad
States CP Good-------x------------------------------------States CP Bad
Process CPs--------------x-------------------------------Ew Process CPs
Competing off immediacy/certainty--------------------x------------------------No
CP linking less matters-------------------x-----------------------links are yes/no
Read every card--------------------x-----------------------Read no cards
Judge Kick------------x-------------------------------Stuck with the CP
Reject the Team---------------------------x----------------Reject the Arg
CPs need cards-----------------------------------x-------Smart CPs can be cardless
Fiat solves circumvention---------------x---------------------------Trump's President
K links about the plan-----------x--------------------------------K links about a broad worldview
Ryanpmorgan1@gmail.com for the email chain - I coach at Interlake.
I wrote this for TOC-level debates. If I'm judging you at a local or regional tournament, you can probably ignore most of what I wrote below and just treat me like a "circuit flow" judge.
Some general stylistic stuff that is more unique-ish to me:
- When it comes to the highest levels of debate, I'm not great at flowing or listening to extremely fast debates. Slow down and use more accessible language. Use examples and metaphors.
- If your K tag has 35 words, and 15 of them have more than 4 syllables, you've probably failed to communicate.
- 2NC overviews explaining your arguments are good - even if its just a politics DA, give me 2 sentences at the top establishing uniqueness, that it's a horse-trading DA and what the trade is. If you are going for a really tricky PIC that just kill-shots the aff, it's perfectly ok to spend 60-90 seconds in the block explaining it, secure in the knowledge that the 2AC will have no substantive answers and you just need to explain your arg, answer theory, and take my ballot. More teams should slow down and do this, instead of forcing the judges to only "get it" in the 2NR.
- I will vote on vagueness procedurals and vagueness is my number 1 pet peeve in debate today. If your plan text amounts to "do the resolution in [case area]" and you then don't bother with any kind of specific solvency mechanism, you should strike me. I will nearly always prefer functional competition (based on solvency cards) if the plan text is vague. If you can claim solvency for it based on your cards, the neg should be able to PIC out of it, regardless what the plan text says.
- In general, advantage CPs need evidence for planks if you want me to vote for them, and the 2AC can just ignore planks without evidence until the negative reads a card (and I'll entertain 2NC sandbagging bad theory args). I'll exclude from this planks that are super obvious - like the plan has a big long internal link chain that leads to X policy, and the CP just adopts that policy, or the aff says "X is bad" and the CP plank is just "ban X" - in those narrow cases, you probably don't NEED a card.
Core controversies - I'm pretty open so take these with a grain of salt.
- Generics ---------X-- Case-specific strategies
- Unlimited condo | ---X---------- | 2-worlds, maybe
- Plans today are too vague | X------- | Vagueness is ok
- Affs should be T | ---X----------- | T isn't a voter
- Reject the arg not the team | -X----------- | PICs bad = vote aff.
- Terminal defense | ----------X- |Try or die
- Judge kick | ----x--------- | No judge kick
- "Meme"/joke arguments | --------X- | Please don't
- Research = better speaks | --x--------- | Tech = better speaks
- Speed | -------X---- | Slow down a little
- Inherency is case D | -X--------- | Inherency is a DA thumper
- Extend cards | ---------X-- | Extend Warrants w/ cites
Basic bio -
I debated in high school and college in the early 2000s. I was not a great debater. I was good at round vision, strategy, and research, and kind of bad at the whole "debating" part. I've judged about 150 debates over the last two years, since returning to judge for the CJR topic.
Avoiding a bad decision with me
I've made like 5 genuinely awful decisions in the 150ish debates I've judged in the last 2 years - defined as decisions that I would either take back or really like another 30 minutes to stare at the ev and think about.
The factors in those decisions include:
- No impact calc - I shouldn't have to mention this, but it happens especially in K vs. T and K vs. K debate. This is the bad decision I feel zero guilt for. If the debate ends and I've got competing fairness, racism, and nuke war impacts, and nobody has told me what to put first, get ready for a really confusing RFD.
- Gut checks on condo - 5 worlds in the 1NC is hard to defend and 2 worlds is pretty easy to defend. I set my condo ballot threshold accordingly. You can certainly win 5-world condo - I'm just saying if you have a good strategy, why force the 2AR into the one thing that they might beat you on?
- Links are forgotten - Sometimes I judge debates where both sides agree to an impact turn battle. That's fine, great, bring it on. But when the impact defense or uniqueness claims on both sides actually depend on winning a link claim that doesn't exist, I get confused very quickly. Example - aff says multilat good, neg says heg bad, aff concedes the link debate (huh?) and goes for heg good and some sort of pursuit inevitable thing. This is a real example - I was completely lost. Both sides conceded the aff kills heg, maybe, except not? The neg impact args make zero sense, but the aff conceded the link? What do I do?
- I literally have no idea what teams are actually advocating for. Sometimes K vs. K debates end in both teams trying to dodge and duck taking any stance besides "bad things are bad." If this is the debate, I will literally flip a coin. Just take a stand on something, and avoid this.
RE: the topic - I've cut thousands of pages of original evidence on water, but a lot of it is either niche or generic. I didn't go to camp, and haven't done a ton of work on "core" affirmatives, though half of those are recycled from prior topics anyways. I have cut a lot of case negatives to obscure affs, so if the aff is rare, I might strangely know a ton about it.
Ks I know a bit about - Cap, Foucault/Agamben, Lacan/psychoanalysis, security, nuclear rhetoric, nihilism, non-violence, gendered language. You should still slow down and explain things though, because these arguments are often very confusing. My Lacan is not your Lacan, so you need to explain your Lacan to me. I know very little about anti blackness or set col Ks. Be very careful on these on the link level - explain an actual link to the aff that I can hang my hat on.
Politics is kind of my thing - I've cut more than 500 pages of midterms cards this year and cut most of Interlake's politics update files. If you want to go very short-hand on these arguments with me, feel free.
If you want to know whether I know a lot about something, just ask before the debate.
If your question is "can we run a non-topical K aff and win?" the answer is yes. My voting record on K aff vs. T/framework is roughly 50-50.
My personal opinion is that affs should affirm the resolution, and the most workable way to do that is a topical plan text. But like I said, I vote for non-topical K affs frequently.
I'm really kind of bored by these debates, to be honest. Most of that is that I think the arguments feel stale and neither side really cares about what they are saying.
The things I end up caring about the most in these debates:
- Aff vagueness is bad - you are ditching the topic, allowing you to defend literally anything. Make it something valuable, interesting, and most importantly, specific. Else, why on earth are you ditching the topic? I have no patience for K affs that refuse to take a position. That doesn't exclude performance - all debate is performance anyways, but your performance should make an argument.
- K affs should have a debate key warrant. That warrant can be "we need to make debate less like debate" - but explain that. I rarely vote exclusively on a presumption argument, but failing to have a debate key warrant makes it easier to resolve other questions.
- Fairness is an impact, insofar as the neg winning "We can't effectively debate you, denying us an equal chance at winning" is usually sufficient to win my ballot.
- I tend to personally believe "no perms in a method debate" and "if you don't have a plan, the neg can PIK out of anything in the 1ac" but I mean, that's just what I think.
I struggle with modern T debates, because I feel like a lot of times, the negative is just trying to play catch up for the bad topics that keep getting chosen by NSDA, topics that are too big and lack solid neg generics.
So, I'm sympathetic to the approach employed by the negative of finding technical definitions of words like "protect" or phrases like "security cooperation" and using that to try to limit the topic to something reasonable.
But I guess I'm just a hack for reasonability? I tend to look at T in policy debates the same way I look at it in K debates - if the aff is a reasonable interpretation that the average person could understand, and affords the negative an equal chance at the ballot, that seems good enough for me.
Last year's "T-protect" debates felt very arbitrary to me. Usually the aff obviously did protect water resources - the neg's interp was just splitting hairs to try to adjust for a bad topic. And I am uncomfortable trying to step in and fix the topic, no matter how bad it is.
T arguments that I will buy are ones that you could explain to a lay person. T-oceans is a good example of that - there is a legal distinction between what is "in the United States" and what isn't, and we can have a clear debate about that which sets limits on the topic. FX-T and Extra-T are also solid in front of me - yes they have brightline issues, but when the aff is clearly racing to the margins to try to avoid the topic's core controversies, it's easy for me to rationalize voting negative to reign that in.
I suspect I'll feel the same way about "security cooperation" next year as I did with "protect" this year.
Policy debate, to me, is more about showcasing your work ethic than it is showing me how fast or how technically proficient you are. Yes, if you read a 1-off Nihilism K and deliver knock-out speeches against a great team, I'll give you good points.
But I tend to only give great points (29.3 or higher) in debates where both sides clearly went above and beyond to prepare and cut cards specifically for that debate.
If you outclass the other team, you can still get great points. To do that, you need to make the debate a good learning experience for them. Explain your arguments, give conversational speeches, etc.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain, please put both emails on the chain.
I attempted to resist the point inflation that seems to happen everywhere these days, but I decided that was not fair to the teams/debaters that performed impressively in front of me.
27.7 to 28.2 - Average
28.3 to 28.6 - Good job
28.7 to 29.2 - Well above average
29.3 to 29.7 - Great job/ impressive job
29.8 to 29.9 - Outstanding performance, better than I have seen in a long time. Zero mistakes and you excelled in every facet of the debate.
30 - I have not given a 30 in years and years, true perfection.
I am willing to listen to most arguments. There are very few debates where one team wins all of the arguments so each of you must identify what you are winning and make the necessary comparisons between your arguments and the other team's arguments/positions. Speed is not a problem although clarity is essential. If I think that you are unclear I will say clearer and if you don't clear up I will assign speaker points accordingly. Try to be nice to each other and enjoy yourself. Good cross-examinations are enjoyable and typically illuminates particular arguments that are relevant throughout the debate. Please, don't steal prep time. I do not consider e-mailing evidence as part of your prep time nonetheless use e-mailing time efficiently.
I enjoy substantive debates as well as debates of a critical tint. If you run a critical affirmative you should still be able to demonstrate that you are Topical/predictable. I hold Topicality debates to a high standard so please be aware that you need to isolate well-developed reasons as to why you should win the debate (ground, education, predictability, fairness, etc.). If you are engaged in a substantive debate, then well-developed impact comparisons are essential (things like magnitude, time frame, probability, etc.). Also, identifying solvency deficits on counter-plans is typically very important.
Theory debates need to be well developed including numerous reasons a particular argument/position is illegitimate. I have judged many debates where the 2NR or 2AR are filled with new reasons an argument is illegitimate. I will do my best to protect teams from new arguments, however, you can further insulate yourself from this risk by identifying the arguments extended/dropped in the 1AR or Negative Bloc.
GOOD LUCK! HAVE FUN!
LD June 13, 2022
A few clarifications... As long as you are clear you can debate at any pace you choose. Any style is fine, although if you are both advancing different approaches then it is incumbent upon each of you to compare and contrast the two approaches and demonstrate why I should prioritize/default to your approach. If you only read cards without some explanation and application, do not expect me to read your evidence and apply the arguments in the evidence for you. Be nice to each other. I pay attention during cx. I will not say clearer so that I don't influence or bother the other judge. If you are unclear, you can look at me and you will be able to see that there is an issue. I might not have my pen in my hand or look annoyed. I keep a comprehensive flow and my flow will play a key role in my decision. With that being said, being the fastest in the round in no way means that you will win my ballot. Concise well explained arguments will surely impact the way I resolve who wins, an argument advanced in one place on the flow can surely apply to other arguments, however the debater should at least reference where those arguments are relevant. CONGRATULATIONS & GOOD LUCK!!!
LD Paradigm from May 1, 2022
I will update this more by May 22, 2022
I am not going to dictate the way in which you debate. I hope this will serve as a guide for the type of arguments and presentation related issues that I tend to hear and vote on. I competed in LD in the early 1990's and was somewhat successful. From 1995 until present I have primarily coached policy debate and judged CX rounds, but please don't assume that I prefer policy based arguments or prefer/accept CX presentation styles. I expect to hear clearly every single word you say during speeches. This does not mean that you have to go slow but it does mean incomprehensibility is unacceptable. If you are unclear I will reduce your speaker points accordingly. Going faster is fine, but remember this is LD Debate.
Despite coaching and judging policy debate the majority of time every year I still judge 50+ LD rounds and 30+ extemp. rounds. I have judged 35+ LD rounds on the 2022 spring UIL LD Topic so I am very familiar with the arguments and positions related to the topic.
I am very comfortable judging and evaluating value/criteria focused debates. I have also judged many LD rounds that are more focused on evidence and impacts in the round including arguments such as DA's/CP's/K's. I am not here to dictate how you choose to debate, but it is very important that each of you compare and contrast the arguments you are advancing and the related arguments that your opponent is advancing. It is important that each of you respond to your opponents arguments as well as extend your own positions. If someone drops an argument it does not mean you have won debate. If an argument is dropped then you still need to extend the conceded argument and elucidate why that argument/position means you should win the round. In most debates both sides will be ahead on different arguments and it is your responsibility to explain why the arguments you are ahead on come first/turns/disproves/outweighs the argument(s) your opponent is ahead on or extending. Please be nice to each other. Flowing is very important so that you ensure you understand your opponents arguments and organizationally see where and in what order arguments occur or are presented. Flowing will ensure that you don't drop arguments or forget where you have made your own arguments. I do for the most part evaluate arguments from the perspective that tech comes before truth (dropped arguments are true arguments), however in LD that is not always true. It is possible that your arguments might outweigh or come before the dropped argument or that you can articulate why arguments on other parts of the flow answer the conceded argument. I pay attention to cross-examinations so please take them seriously. CONGRATULATIONS for making it to state!!! Each of you should be proud of yourselves! Please, be nice in debates and treat everyone with respect just as I promise to be nice to each of you and do my absolute best to be predictable and fair in my decision making. GOOD LUCK!
Last updated 4/7/22
email@example.com - please have the 1ac sent by the round start time
mc hammer reads philosophy, you should too
- zero knowledge of the water topic. please keep that in mind if you go for t or theory
- debate is too serious sometimes. i enjoy fun rounds, i greatly appreciate jokes. kindness is underrated -opponents are (most likely) not your enemy but rather fellow participants in a fun activity. please treat them that way
- i am uncomfortable with being asked to adjudicate things that occurred outside of the round. (note: i consider the round to start when the pairing comes out, so disclosure theory etc. are still fair game i just have the same institutional (lack of) capability to handle those things as you)
- racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anything that very clearly makes the round unsafe is a quick way to earn an instant L and zero speaker points
- speaker points: my range is generally low 27s to high 29s. i would probably be considered a point fairy but occasionally it goes the opposite way so warning you in advance. contextualizing your arguments to the other side’s will earn you more points than just spreading through a K or CP explanation written by coaches four years ago devoid of context or specificity
- the roughly two hours that i am in the room are your time. if you want to postround me, go for it (although once i submit the ballot there's nothing i can do to change the decision) but please be courteous towards your opponents' desires as well and make sure any more immediate concerns have been resolved before we get into it
- read whatever you want. although i personally lean in certain directions on common debate args, i try to check as many biases as possible at the door and base my decisions on the actual debating done. i want to limit judge intervention as much as possible so comparison and telling me how i should resolve the debate is very important. condo is probably the arg you are least likely to win in front of me but i’ve voted for it and i’ll do it again
- 50/50 in Plan v. K debates, 50/50 in Planless aff v. T debates
- often forget that judge kick is a thing so if that's important to you, it should probably make an appearance in a speech
- 2xr should start with: "[Our arg] outweighs [their arg] because"
- rather than tell you what i think about specific issues, i think it may be more helpful to disclose how i come to decisions. in the absence of a clear dub for either team, i evaluate the flow. if i can't come to a decision based purely on my flow, i read the cards for each arg and decide whether the cards a. support the args that are being made and b. which team has better ev for each specific arg. if i still can't come to a decision based on reading cards, i'll reconstruct the debate and necessarily fill in gaps for both sides based on my understanding of the best version of each team's args. YOU DO NOT WANT THIS. there is a non-zero probability that your cards are not as good as you think and potentially a very large probability that filling in the gaps works out better for the other team. to avoid this, DO GOOD COMPARISON. compare ev quality, risk of impact scenarios, EVERYTHING. i understand how frustrating it is when you catch an L after a super close debate because it feels like the judge did slightly more work for the other side. i do not want this for you. you do not want this for you. work with me and you'll probably be much happier with the result
- probably a better judge for theory than most against CPs. condo is a yes-no question. i default to weighing the aff against the K/squo but can be convinced to disregard the theoretical implementation of any of those. probably not going to convince me that the neg should not get to read a K wholesale but that's more logical than some of the fw interps i've seen so...
University of Utah 2024'
B.S Political Science
One of my core principles about debate is accepting a variety of arguments, so I encourage that students have in their strategy whatever they are comfortable running and won't let any of my predispositions or bias of an argument affect my views of the debate, so I default to tech > truth unless told otherwise.
Debate is a game at its core but can be easily convinced otherwise. I have ran primarily k affs during my junior and sophomore year and only well versed in cap and security. I typically went for policy arguments and framework as a 2N. I enjoy watching the affirmative make clever counter interpretations to eliminate or at least minimize offense on framework, coupled with link or impact turns to the negative model of debate.
Labeling of arguments has become increasingly important to me. It is the clearest way to communicate what argument you are extending for me. I do not like 'hope chess' Well prepared and thought-out strategies are always rewarded later in the debate.
I recommend going 75% speed (if spreading) to ensure I can catch/flow every argument in the debate as I have not participated in debate since high school. (For PF and LD this does not apply.)
I try to follow this rubric for deciding speakers.
Specifically, I look for line by line clarity and organization, overall argument deliberation, and awareness in the debate, in that order. I also reward good disclosure practices on your caselist and in round.
Updated for Water Topic
E-Mail Chain: Yes, add me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I do not distribute docs to third party requests unless a team has failed to update their wiki.
Experience: Damien 05, Amherst College 09, Emory Law 13L. I consider myself fluent in debate, but my debate philosophy is influenced by debating in the 00s. Sixth year as the Assistant Director at Damien. I do not coach/teach fulltime.
Debate: I am open to voting for almost any argument or style so long as I have an idea of how it functions within the round and it is appropriately impacted. Debate is a game. Rules of the game (the length of speeches, the order of the speeches, which side the teams are on, clipping, etc.) are set by the tournament and left to me (and other judges) to enforce. Comparatively, standards of the game are determined in round by the debaters. Framework is a debate about whether the resolution should be a rule and/or what that rule looks like. Persuading me to favor your view/interpretation of debate is accomplished by convincing me that it is the method that promotes better debate (either more fair or more pedagogically valuable) compared to your opponent's.
Ideology: Judges should reward good debating over ideology. Almost all of my personal preferences can be overcome if you debate better than your opponents. Limit the chance that I intervene by 1) providing clear judge instruction and 2) justifications for those judge instructions; the 2NR and 2AR are competing pitches trying to sell me a ballot.
Evidence and Argumentative Weight: Tech over truth, but it is easier to debate well if you are on the side with the true arguments and better cards. In-speech analysis goes a long way with me; I am much more likely to side with a team that develops and compares warrants vs. a team that extends by tagline/author only. I will read cards as necessary, including explicit prompting, however when I read evidence I read critically and will evaluate warrants. Cards are only as good as their highlighted warrants. You are better off with fewer well-highlighted cards than multiple under-highlighted cards. Well-explained logical analytics, especially if developed in CX, can beat bad/under-highlighted cards.
Argument by argument breakdown below.
Debating T well is a question of engaging in responsive impact debate. You win my ballot when you are the team that proves their interpretation is best for debate -- usually by proving that you have the best internal links (ground, predictability, legal precision, research burden, etc.) to a terminal impact (fairness and/or education). I love judging a good T round and I will reward teams with the ballot and with good speaker points for well thought-out interpretations (or counter-interps) with nuanced defenses.
I default to competing interpretations, but reasonability can be compelling to me if properly contextualized. I am more receptive when affs can articulate why their specific counter-interp is reasonable (e.g., "The aff interp only imposes a reasonable additional research burden of two more cases") versus vague generalities ("Good is good enough").
I believe that many resolutions (most domestic topics) are sufficiently aff-biased or poorly worded that preserving topicality as a viable generic negative strategy is important; I would much rather hear a well-articulated limited vision of the topic than either Ks with state or omission links or Frankenstein process CPs that result in the aff. I have no problem voting for the neg if I believe that they have done the better debating, even if I think that the aff is topical in a truth sense. I am also the rare judge who will actually vote on T-Substantial, because I think there needs to be a mechanism to check small affs, so long as the neg debates it well.
Fx/Xtra Topicality: I will vote on them independently if they are impacted as independent voters. Otherwise I treat them as internal links to the original violation and standards. The neg is best off introducing Fx/Xtra early with me in the back; I give the 1ARs more leeway to answer new Fx/Xtra extrapolations than I will give the 2AC for undercovering Fx/Xtra.
* Framework / T-USFG
My ideological predispositions are negative, but I will try my hardest to vote for whoever defended their model of debate better. I do end up voting aff about half the time and I have yet to judge where I felt my predispositions actually mattered.
For an aff to win framework they must articulate and defend specific reasons why they cannot and do not embed their advocacy into a topical policy as well as reasons why resolutional debate is a bad model. Procedural fairness starts as an impact by default and the aff must prove why it should not be. I can and will vote on education outweighs fairness ,or that substantive fairness outweighs procedural fairness, but the aff must actually debate and win these arguments. The TVA is an education argument and not a fairness argument; affs are not entitled to the best version of the case (policy affs do not get extra-topical solvency mechanisms), so I don't care if the TVA is worse than the planless version.
For the neg, you have the burden of proving either that fairness outweighs the aff's education or that policy-centric debate has better access to education (or a better type of education). I am neutral regarding which impact to go for -- I firmly believe the negative is on the truth side on both -- it will be your execution of these arguments that decides the round. Contextualization and specificity are your friends. If you go with fairness, you should not only articulate specific ground loss in the round but why neg ground loss under the aff's model inevitable and uniquely worse. When going for education, deploy arguments for why plan-based debate is a better internal link to positive real world change: debate provides valuable portable skills, debate is training for advocacy outside of debate, etc. Empirical examples of how reform ameliorates harm for the most vulnerable, or how policy-focused debate scales up better than planless debate, are extremely persuasive in front of me.
I think that debate's largest educational impact is training students in real world advocacy, therefore I believe that the best iteration of debate is one that teaches people in the room something about the topic, including minutiae about process. I have MUCH less aversion to voting on procedurals and theory than most judges. I think the aff has a burden as advocates to defend a specific and coherent implementation strategy of their case and the negative is entitled to test that implementation strategy. I will absolutely pull the trigger on vagueness, plan flaws, or spec arguments as long as there is a coherent story about why the aff is bad for debate and a good answer to why cross doesn't check. Conversely, I will hold negatives to equally high standards to defend why their counterplans make sense and why they should be considered competitive with the aff.
That said, you should treat theory like topicality; there is a bare amount of time and development necessary to make it a viable choice in your last speech. Outside of cold concessions, you are probably not going to persuade me to vote for you unless you have done actual line-by-line refutation and you have formed a coherent abuse story that is solved by your interpretation.
Also, if you go for theory... SLOW. DOWN. You have to account for pen/keyboard time; you cannot spread a block of analytics at me like they were a card and expect me to catch everything. I will be very unapologetic in saying I didn't catch parts of the theory debate on my flow because you were spreading too fast.
My defaults that CAN be changed by better debating:
-- Condo is good (but should probably have limitations to check perf cons and skew).
-- PICs, Actor, and Process CPs are all legitimate if they prove competition; a specific solvency advocate proves competitiveness and non-abuse whereas the lack of specific solvency evidence indicates high risk of a solvency deficit and/or no competition.
-- The aff is not entitled to all theoretical implementations of the plan (i.e. perm do the CP) just because they do not specify. The neg is not entitled to intrinsic processes that result in the aff (i.e. ConCon, NGA).
-- Consult CPs and Floating PIKs are bad.
My defaults that are UNLIKELY to change or CANNOT be changed:
-- CX is binding.
-- Lit checks/justifies (debate is primarily a research and strategic activity).
-- OSPEC is never a voter (exception to a team fiating something contradictory to their ev or contradictions between different authors).
-- "Cheating" is reciprocal (utopian alts justify utopian perms, intrinsic CPs justify intrinsic perms, and so forth).
-- Real instances of abuse justify rejecting the team and not just the arg.
-- Teams should disclose previously run arguments; breaking new doesn't require disclosure.
-- Real world impacts exist (i.e. setting precedents/norms), but specific instances of behavior outside the room/round that is not unverfiable is not relevant.
-- Condo doesn't automatically allow severance of the discourse/rhetoric attached to the offcase (it's one thing to test the aff from multiple perspectives, it's another to run hege impacts when you have a K with a reps links and the alt is to reject bad scholarship). You can win severance of your reps, but you must actually justify it. It is not a default entitlement from condo.
-- ASPEC is checked by cross and the neg should ask. If the aff does not answer, the neg can subsequently win the round by proving moving target or link spikes. If the aff does answer and doesn't spike, then ASPEC is dead.
TL;DR: I would much rather hear a good K than a bad politics disad. If you have a coherent and contextualized argument for why critical academic scholarship is relevant to the aff, I am fine for you. If you run Ks to avoid doing specific case research and brute force ballots with links of omission or criticisms about the state/fiat, I am a bad judge for you. If I'm in the back for a planless aff vs. a K, it's a mutual mid round or you did your prefs wrong.
A kritik must be presented in an comprehensible argument in round. To me, that means that a K must not only explain the scholarship and its relevance (links and impacts), but it must function as a coherent call for the ballot (through the alternative). The link alone is insufficient without a reason to reject the aff and/or prefer the alt. I do not have any biases or predispositions about what my ballot does or should do, but if you cannot explain your alt and/or how my ballot interacts with the alt (or lack thereof) then I will have an extremely low threshold for treating the K as a non-unique disad. Alts like "Reject the aff" and "Vote neg" are fine so long as there is a coherent explanation for why I should do that beyond the fact the aff links (for example, if the K turns case). If the alt is some actual action which solves back for the implications of the kritik, whether it is a material alt or a debate space alt, the solvency process of the alt should be explained and contrasted with the plan. Links of omission are super uncompelling in front of me. I am usually unpersuaded by perm answers that are just re-explanations of links without re-contextualization to why those links sink perm solvency. Ks can solve the aff, but the mechanism shouldn't be that the world of the alt results in the plan.
Affs should not be afraid of going for straight impact turns behind a robust framework press to evaluate the aff. I'm more willing than most judges to consider the merit in challenging kritik ideology head on rather than labeling your discourse as a link. I am also particularly receptive to arguments about pragmatism on the perm if you have empirical examples of progress through state reform that relate to your aff or the neg's impacts.
I think that research is a core part of debate as an activity, and good counterplan strategy goes hand-in-hand with that. The risk of the net benefit the neg must win is inversely proportional to how good the counterplan is. Generic PICs are more vulnerable to perms and solvency deficits and carry much higher threshold burden on the net benefit. PICs with specific solvency advocates or highly specific net benefits are devastating and one of the ways that debate rewards research and how debate equalizes aff side bias by rewarding negs who who diligent in research. Agent and process counterplans are similarly better when the neg has a nuanced argument for why one agent/process is better than the aff's for a specific plan.
I do not judge kick by default, but 2NRs can easily convince me to do as an extension of condo. I believe that superior solvency for the aff case alone can be a sufficient reason to vote for the CP in a debate that is purely between hypothetical policies (i.e. aff has no competition arguments).
I am very likely to err neg on sufficiency framing; the aff absolutely needs either a solvency deficit or arguments about why an appeal to sufficiency framing itself means that the neg cannot capture the ethic of the affirmative (and why that outweighs).
Process CPs: I do not think intentionally vague plan texts should give the aff access to all theoretical implementations of the plan, so I am super unfriendly to Perm Do the CP. I expect aff teams to know their case well enough to welcome a debate against the neg on implementation. Conversely, the neg has an equally high burden to defend the competitiveness of their counterplans. There are differences in form and content between legislative statutes, administrative regulations, executive orders, and court cases; I will readily reject a counterplan if the neg's attempt to convert between these processes produces a structural defect. Process counterplans where the process is entirely intrinsic are not competitive, and I have a very low threshold for rejecting them theoretically or granting the aff an intrinsic perm to test germaneness.
I value defense more than most judges and am willing to assign minimal ("virtually zero") risk based on defense, especially when quality difference in evidence is high or the disad scenario is painfully artificial. Nuclear war probably outweighs the soft left impact in a vacuum, but not if you are relying on "infinite impact times small risk is still infinity" to mathematically brute force it. I can be convinced by good analysis that there is always a risk of a DA in spite of defense.
Speaker Point Scale: I feel speaker points are arbitrary and the only way to fix this is standardization. Consequently I will try to follow any provided tournament scale very closely. In the event that there is no tournament scale, I grade speaks on bell curve with 30 being the 99th percentile, 27.5 being as the median 50th percentile, and 25 being the 1st percentile. I'm aggressive at BOTH addition and subtraction from this baseline since bell curves are distributed around the average. Elim teams should be scoring above average by definition. The scale is standardized; national circuit tournaments will have higher averages than local tournaments. Points are rewarded for both style (entertaining, organized, strong ethos) and substance (strategic decisions, quality analysis, obvious mastery of nuance/details). I listen closely to CX and include CX performance in my assessment. Well contextualized humor is the quickest way to get higher speaks in front of me, e.g. make a Thanos snap joke on the Malthus flow.
Delivery and Organization: Your speed should be limited by clarity. I reference the speech doc during the debate to check clipping, not to flow. You should be clear enough that I can flow without needing your speech doc. Additionally, even if I can hear and understand you, I am not going to flow your twenty point theory block perfectly if you spit it out in ten seconds. Proper sign-posted line by line is the bare minimum to get over a 28.5. I will only flow straight down as a last resort, so it is important to sign-post the line-by-line, otherwise I will lose some of your arguments while I jump around on my flow and I will dock your speaks. If online please keep in mind that you will, by default, be less clear through Zoom than in person.
Cross-X, Prep, and Tech: Tag-team CX is fine but it's part of your speaker point rating to give and answer most of your own cross. I think that finishing the answer to a final question during prep is fine and simple clarification and non-substantive questions during prep is fine, but prep should not be used as an eight minute time bank of extra cross-ex. I don't charge prep for tech time, but tech is limited to just the emailing or flashing of docs. When you end prep, you should be ready to distribute.
Strategy Points: I will reward good practices in research and preparation. On the aff, plan texts that have specific mandates backed by solvency authors get bonus speaks. I will also reward affs for running disads to negative advocacies (real disads, not solvency deficits masquerading as disads -- Hollow Hope or Court Capital on a courts counterplan is a disad but CP gets circumvented is not). Negative teams with case negs (i.e. hyper-specific counterplans or a nuanced T or procedural objection to the specific aff plan text) will get bonus speaks.
Accommodations: Please email me ahead of time if you believe you will need an accommodation that cannot be easily/readily granted during round, and I will try my best to work with tab to facilitate it.
University of Kansas '23, Washburn Rural '19
Coaching for Greenhill (TX) and the Asian Debate League (TW)
TLDR: better judge for policy strategies, not super biased, not the greatest flow, be creative, more likely to care about macro-issues than minor technical drops, avoid jargon/acronyms, will vote on args that promote sedition, etc.
* compile a doc of relevant cards post-2NR/2AR
* clarity, explanation, persuasion, and quality of arguments will be rewarded
* strategies that are fully developed and clash tend to perform better in front of me
Online Debate: be slower and clearer, don't start if my camera's off, send analytics, and interrupt each other less - I will be patient with tech issues, but please be prompt
* respect your opponents (CX, pronouns, don't mercilessly bludgeon less-experienced debaters), be ethical, etc.
* lack of analysis, judge instruction/framing, contextualization, and argument development will lead to me intervening - this will likely not be in your favor; I will be confused if you just extend dozens of cards and do surface-level line-by-line
* likely won't vote on events occurring outside of the debate
* will award teams who use less prep (if you don't need it/still win) and are efficient with emailing, down-time, etc.
* will put the effort into deciding debates that is displayed by debaters (i.e. if you are not flowing/paying attention, do not expect me to put maximum effort into my decision/flowing)
* would likely be worth it to explain complex arguments or ones that rely on in-depth topic knowledge even at the expense of efficiency - honestly most T debates on the water topic confused me because 2Ns seemed to think I knew what acronyms meant and what the intricacies of the topic were
* aff-leaning on theory (generally, but does not mean I am wedded to these beliefs)
* framing contentions need to contain offense
* more inexperienced judging techy T and Counterplan debates
* have voted both ways (likely better for Ks on the neg than the aff)
* better for Ks than PRL/white-bro card-cutting sweaties but less knowledgable than traditional "clash" judges - I think to answer T, a connection to the topic helps, especially if you critique it with a theory of power but it will be more difficult to get me to ignore the competitive aspects of debate (i.e. survival strategies, using my ballot to rectify something occurring outside debate, etc.)
* lit bases outside of biopower, colonialism, settler colonialism, capitalism/neoliberalism, and IR need more explanation
* for T: USFG, I am open to voting on a variety of impacts
* will award specificity, especially when backed with evidence - have a hard time voting on critiques that lack interactions with both the scholarship and thesis of the 1AC---links that lack a substantive connection to aff scholarship will need a robust framework defense
* I seem to care a little more about performative contradictions/linking to your own K than some; teams should use this to their advantage
*generally think debates on the topic are good — what that means could be up to interpretation
People who have shaped the way I think about debate/inspire me include Cindy Burgett, Tim Ellis, Will Katz, Peg Wefald, Natalie Knez, Q Robinson, Jordan Foley, Brian Box, and the KU coaching staff (Rock Chalk!).
Yes I want to be on the email chain. email@example.com.
Don't steal prep
An argument is claim and warrant minimum.
I like flex debating and enjoy diverse strategies, so you do you and I will try to judge you with as little argumentative biases as possible. That being said, I am a human and I do have preferences.
I think the aff should read a plan text and defend it. At worst, I think the aff should have a strong resolutional basis. Probably related to that, I'm likely not the greatest judge for super K-oriented strategies. This is not to say I do not enjoy these debates or won't vote for Ks, but that you will have to do more work explaining the theory and its relationship to the aff than average.
I feel much more qualified in "policy" debates. I like wonky and technically intensive stuff so do something interesting.
Isolate what impacts you think you have a chance of winning and compare it to the impacts you think the other team has a chance of winning.
I'm good with it but don't sacrifice clarity. Slow down on theory arguments, give me pen time.
*For online tournaments: Maybe slow down a bit to compensate for mic quality so I can still understand what you're saying.
Tech vs. Truth:
Tech> Truth. Being on the side of truth is obviously a good thing and I'm hesitant to consider arguments that are objectively false, but if you can't answer an argument that's really really bad, then you should lose anyways.
Evidence vs. Spin:
I think research is the most important aspect of debate and should be rewarded. I will read every card that I think I need to at the end of the round, so isolate evidence you think is really good or important. That being said, cards are support for larger arguments, meaning that I will default to your explanation of an argument or card whenever it makes sense.
In technical debates, have a card doc for the end of the round so I don't have to look around for relevant cards.
Specific argument preferences:
I went for T a lot in both high school and college and think a lot of debaters just aren't as good at debating it or as willing to go for it as a lot of other argument categories. Well executed T debates are really fun for me, but poorly executed T debates are the least enjoyable type of debate to judge. Limits and ground aren't impacts, they're internal links to things like education, fairness, research models, etc. I default to competing interpretations but reasonability is a winnable argument.
RVI's are bad arguments.
T comes before theory.
Case lists are good and necessary.
Actually engage with the other teams arguments, most T debates I've judged at this point have felt like ships passing in the night and forced me to resolve a lot of stuff on my own which should never be what you want. Statistically I lean neg in these debates, but I think that's because a lot of 2Ns only go for T if it's very clear cut which is unfortunate.
Cool. Aff specific DAs are much cooler (and usually easier to win).
There is such thing as zero risk and I think the link usually controls the direction of uniqueness.
Do a lot of turns case analysis that's actually contextualized to the internal links of the 1AC. Not much else to say.
Good, not much else to say. I will say that I like advantage CP + Impact turn debates a lot.
Word PICs should be based on a word in the plantext, anything other than that is meh.
Read a solvency advocate, each plank should be based on evidence or something the other team said.
I will not kick the counterplan for you unless you tell me to.
Material> High theory
I have a high threshold for the link portion of the debate. Root cause claims are not links but they can be solvency deficits. Fiat not being real is not an argument. Links of omission are the worst arguments in debate.
If I don't feel like I can explain your K to someone else by the end of the round then I will not feel comfortable voting for you.
Ks that advocate for death or suicide are not only bad arguments in the context of debate, but also morally objectionable and I will not vote for them.
I am not the best judge for this. I prefer debates focused around a plan, and in nearly all of the clash debates I have judged at this point I have voted for FW.
I don't know that my ballot has the potential to do anything beside designate a winner or loser, and debate isn't meant to come to a final decision on the truth of any given statement but come to a determination on subjective truth so I don't think subject formation arguments are very persuasive.
The aff should at a minimum be related to the topic. You should also have some clear advocacy statement that you defend consistently. The CI should be predictable and res grounded with definitions. USFG = "the people" is intellectually dishonest and just not a good argument.
FW vs. K Affs:
Go for it, it's the most strategic 2NR available.
I'm more likely to vote on procedural fairness than I think the community at large is. Structural fairness disparities are inevitable but procedural fairness disparities aren't.
FW is not violent or policing and saying so is insulting to people that have dealt with those issues.
Usually a reason to reject the argument not the team. 3 conditional advocacies are probably ok but more is iffy. Consult, delay, and condition counter-plans are sketchy. Each conditional plank is its own world if you can kick them individually. I have been both a 2A and 2N, so I don't have any strong protectionist feelings for either team, and sometimes cheating is pretty fun to watch. Also I think the impact of some theory arguments should sometimes just be that you should get to cheat too.
They're entirely subjective. That being said, I do understand that context (tournament size, quality, etc.) should influence my scale. Speaker points are a holistic reflection of how I think you did. I used to have a scale here but with speaker point inflation I don't think it really matters anymore. My average hovers around 28.5-28.6.
I have shortened my paradigm over time to make it easier to read, if you have questions for prefs just email me.
yes, I want to be on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I coach for LASA
Updates can be found at the bottom of the page
tl;dr: do what you do best. I’ll accommodate for you
almost none of the following paradigm is set in stone: these are mostly just my preferences. I can be convinced otherwise on most of these things, it just depends on how you spin it and frame it. I will always do my best to put my personal convictions and preferences aside for a debate because arguments ought to be what the debaters make of them. I tend to think that bad arguments ought to lose, regardless of what category or style they are. If there is something you’re still unclear on after reading this, feel free to ask questions.
firstly, the things that ARE set in stone: don’t clip. don’t steal prep. don't be mean to everyone. don’t say death good, racism good, sexism good, etc. I know most of you probably won’t, but I feel like it needs to be said. if your strategy relies on being sneaky (intentionally omitting things, relying on them messing up because you tricked them, etc.) do not pref me. there is a difference between being strategic and being sneaky.
a couple notes:
- I have a face when I’m focusing that looks as if I hate you or I am very confused. I don’t hate you, and I’m not confused. I promise its just my face. I’ll do my best to control it because I know it can be off-putting, but if it happens, its nothing you did.
- I don’t like small talk at all. Please don’t do it if we don’t know each other.
- being called "judge" feels weird. just call me kathryn (not katie, i know the email is misleading).
- I am very sensitive to the way that non-men and trans men are treated in debate, and this especially goes for non-men of color and queer people of color. I will never hesitate to call you out and contact your coach(es).
- I really appreciate when the 2AR/2NR give me a way to frame the debate and make it really easy to write my ballot. "Even if" statements are cool.
- When evaluating a debate, I always start with questions of solvency: what do I think the aff solves? What do I think the alternative/counterplan solves? I do this by analyzing how the debaters explain their solvency, how they answer solvency deficits, evaluating solvency advocates, etc. I then move to questions that were highly contested in the 2AR (if the aff presses the internal link of the disad, I evaluate that part of the debate. I'll do this for every part that was in the 2AR/2NR (so long as I can trace it back to earlier speeches, if I can't trace them back, I will not evaluate them)) until I conclude one way or the other for every issue. After that, I'll use your framing, impact calc/comparison, and what I've concluded from your explanation and evidence to assign risk of the aff/disad and that helps me decide. This process is subject to change because I'm sure my judging process will change as I get more experience.
- When in doubt, I default to data, empirics, logic. I look at the studies in your cards and weigh them pretty heavily, especially with politics. Charts, graphs, tables, all cool. I find that biases in evidence and methods by which your author comes to their conclusion are really necessary to account for and really relevant to what the card says and why.
- Your arguments need to be complete. Make sure your claims have warrants. Make sure your disads are complete shells.
- Mark your cards. Send a marked version. If you raise an ethics violation, you need to have proof. Accusations of clipping that turn out to be true get an immediate L and a 25 in speaks for the team that clipped. Accusations of clipping that turn out to be false get the same thing for the team that accused.
T-USFG/Framework (I put it at the top. You’re welcome.)
- When evaluating the 2NR/2AR I look first for impact comparison/what do I think the aff solves with their model vs. what do I think the negative solves with their model. This part is especially hard to adjudicate when both sides don’t do the comparison between the two models, so please do that for me.
- I tend to think that people ought to affirm topical action, however if you have a defense of your model I’m willing to hear it. You're much better off going for a couple of solid impact turns to framework rather than a terrible we meet argument and 6 disads that are all the same thing just tagged slightly differently. I don't even wanna hear your interp + our aff.
- I conclude aff in more debates that I’ve watched than I’d like to, usually because the negative spreads themselves too thin or doesn’t do enough impact comparison in the 2NR. I conclude neg in debates where I would have liked the aff to win for the very same reason. There ARE compelling aff arguments against framework, but the trouble usually comes from not responding to the tricky neg defense/tricky internal link turns/not doing impact comparison.
- I’m more persuaded by limits/fairness arguments than I am about education or ground. It’s also not hard for me to conclude that debate is a game and competitive merits matter. However, these are not reasons to skimp on explanation.
- I like switch side. I think do it on the negative resolves a lot more offense than teams think it does, especially when affirmative answers to T-USFG seem to be more about excluding their scholarship rather than affirming a topical plan.
- Teams should press the subjectivity debate more than they do – it implicates a lot of the answers that aff teams make. Not contesting the subjectivity level when a lot of the affirmative strategy depends on it is an easy way to lose.
- T-USFG is not genocide, the Iraq war, or anything else you say it is. I'm unwilling to conclude that.
- I lean to competing interpretations, but reasonability is a lot more underrated than it ought to be.
- Predictable limits are your best shot at getting my ballot. I like caselist comparisons a lot, I wanna know what their model justifies and what yours justifies and compare them.
- Much like framework, I like fairness/clash type impacts here. I am unpersuaded by ground and education.
- I think that precision/intent to define/field context is more important that other people do. If your interpretation doesn’t actually define anything and instead you’ve cherry-picked your evidence to say what you want, I will likely be more lenient towards the other team.
- While I was not K-savvy in high school, I went to a school that was K-heavy so I am very familiar with a lot of the literature of antiblackness, settler colonialism, fem IR, security, and have had some exposure to Baudrillard (though not willingly, lol). I have my own conceptions of all of these things, but I will always default to the debaters’ explanation of it.
- The affirmative should get to weigh the aff against what the negative wins that the alternative solves by the end of the debate. I think that’s probably the most reasonable frame for both teams in terms of fairness, so any “weigh the aff” type arguments takes a lot less work for me to lean your way. On framework of the K, "you don't get K's" and "you dont get the aff" are both equally unpersuasive.
- I’m uncomfortable voting for K alts that I don’t know a whole lot about, as in the question “what does the alt do/look like” was never really clearly articulated. Please take extra time to do that. otherwise, you may not be all that happy with my RFD when I distort your alternative to be what it isn’t.
- Like all people, I like link specificity. It makes the aff’s job harder and my job easier. The more specific the better. I think in K debates its important to fuse the link and impact debate together so that each link is packaged with a particular impact. It’s more coherent that way. Consider only going for one or two very fleshed out links instead of like 6 really bad ones in the 2NR
- Tech > Truth. Spin is cool, but you have to have a reasonable evidence backing for it.
- Evidence comparison is important. If you don’t do enough of it, I will either default to your opponent’s characterization of it or come up with my own convictions that do not match to the way you think of your evidence. Either way, you will not like the result. This is not talking about author quals. You need to compare warrants.
- I am a huge fan of straight turn debates, particularly impact turns. Do with that what you will.
- More evidence isn’t always better. I think fewer pieces of good quality evidence are more valuable than more pieces of terrible evidence. You ought to apply your evidence and unpack all the warrants rather than reading a million new cards. Quality is so much better than quantity.
- Impact comparison is necessary. Do a good amount of it. No, this is not the same thing as impact calc. It's "even if they win their impact, here's why you prefer ours anyway"
- If your disad does not have uniqueness/link/whatever in the 1NC and you read that in the block, the 1AR gets new answers. You need to have a complete argument.
- Zero risk exists.
- Every time you say “see-pee” instead of “counterplan,” a kitten dies and I hate you a little more.
- I like counterplans that are textually and functionally competitive, but your counterplan by no means has to be. I mostly just think you should have a solvency advocate.
- Theory is fine, and I’ll let y’all decide which counterplans are cheating. I lean negative on most theory except for conditionality, on which I am a true neutral. I can obviously be convinced otherwise.
o On conditionality, I find qualitative interpretations much more convincing than quantitative ones. I don’t know why 4 is worse than 3 which is worse than 2 and so on.
o Judge kick is the logical extension of conditionality, so I’ll do it unless the aff contests it and y’all debate about it. Then I will decide whether to or not.
- I like process counterplans with nuanced internal net benefits, PICs, and techy debates of these type.
- Very underutilized! I love nuanced case debate so please do a lot of it. If youre not doing 2-3 minutes of case work, you’re doing it wrong. I think that you ought to give me judge direction when doing case debate, tell me what it means for the debate if you do win this argument.
- One thing that makes me sad is when you ask really good questions in CX about case and then they never make it into the 1NC. You can use analytics to rip apart a lot of the aff internal link chains -- any logical hole in the affirmative should have at least an analytic in the 1NC.
- Case turns are cool. Unpack the warrants.
- I reward good case debating because its not very often that people really do case debate in the block like they should, and when they do, its often done poorly.
- I reward clever strategies, organization, being funny, and clarity. Clarity > Speed always. I have low reading comprehension so I have overdeveloped auditory learning to compensate, so it is important that I can clearly hear the warrants of your evidence so I can understand and flow them. I also reward open sourcing, so I’ll check if you do. If you open source, +.2 speaks for y’all both.
- I hate ASPEC. Viscerally. I really struggle to reconcile the idea that dropped arguments are true and just how much ASPEC sucks. I suppose I'll vote for it but only if in the doc and dropped. Otherwise, no chance. If it's dropped, but it wasn't in the doc, I don't care, I'm not voting for it. If you unironically do this and get mad at me when I vote aff, you are likely bad at debate and I will have no remorse voting against you.
- This is directed at everyone, but mostly cis men in debate: stop yelling. we are in a small room and no one else is talking while you're talking. there is no reason to shout. please stop.
- Good vine references get you +.3 speaks. Bad vine references (i.e. too mainstream or they sucked) get you -.2 speaks.
- I cannot stress this enough: be. nice. I said it earlier, but I will say it again. I genuinely hate watching debates where y'all are mean to each other. I enjoy nice and polite debaters more than I enjoy good debaters, hopefully you’re both. I am unafraid to call you out if you are mean. I am unafraid to contact your coach if you are excessive.
- Respect your opponents. Respect their pronouns. Put a trigger warning on your stuff. Don't cut each other off. Generally, just be respectful.
- If you have further questions, I think about debate very similarly to Yao Yao Chen, Sruthi Ilangovan, and Brian Box. Andrew Xiang and Haaris Siddiqi are people who have influenced the way I approach debate and probably judge as well.
- TOC 2021 UPDATE - zoom can be glitchy and the quality of mics on computers tends to be rather bad, so its important that you slow down and be more clear than you think you need to be. additionally, do not delete analytics from your docs. i will be so much more lenient with your opponents if your "aff slaying argument" is a 3 second blip in the 1NC that sounds scratchy and unclear via zoom is dropped in the 2AC.
yes, i'd like a card doc of the cards you find relevant at the end of the debate. negs, during 2ar prep you should start compiling the card doc for the neg, just for time's sake. i don't want the limited time i have to decide to compromise the quality of my decision.
LASA 21, Emory 25
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
A lot of my thoughts on debate were influenced by Yao Yao Chen and Mason Marriott-Voss, so check out their paradigms. My thoughts on debate are basically the same as Dhruv Ruttala's.
The average speaker points I've given on the water topic (in varsity) are 28.76. (updated post-Pine Crest)
TOC 2022 NOTES
If your disclosure is bad, I won't be as kind with speaker points. It's the TOC, come on.
I'm fine with both policy and K strats, but I'd rather hear a specific strategy than generics. I think research is the most important part of debate. I try to be tech>truth but I'm inherently skeptical of garbage arguments. Speed is fine if you're clear. Have good disclosure. Don't say stuff that's racist/sexist/homophobic/ableist etc. (but also don't accuse the other team of doing this if they didn't.)
If the abuse is egregious I'll 100% vote on theory. 2-3 condo worlds is probably fine, but I lean aff on condo past that. Well researched strategies and specific solvency advocates help the neg win theory.
Lean neg: most agent CPs, advantage CPs, PICs out of something in the plan, any CPs recut from aff ev, basically anything with an aff-specific solvency advocate.
Lean aff: generic process CPs, kicking planks, 2NC CPs, CPs with no solvency advocate, CPs that only compete textually.
I think about T in a more truth>tech way than I do other arguments. Have specific case lists, examples of ground loss, and a qualified interp that's somewhat contextual to the topic. "More affs bad" isn't enough.
Have an actual solvency advocate. I prefer specific impact scenarios like "these countries go to war" over something like "democracy solves everything!" Neg teams should do case debate. I'm frustrated by shallow framing debates. I'll be less frustrated if you contextualize framing to your aff's body of literature.
Case-specific CPs > generics. Big fan of advantage CPs. If your CP steals the aff to get a contrived internal net benefit, it's an uphill battle to beat the perm. Have a solvency advocate in the 1NC.
Good spin and story is more important than dumping 50 cards and hoping I'll sort them out. I prefer DAs based on the outcome of the plan rather than the process, but I'm way more down for politics DAs based on stuff like political capital than I am for bad Rider DAs. 0% risk is possible.
Have specific links and explain how the K solves/turns the aff. Generic state bad or cruel optimism links aren't persuasive. I've got a high bar for winning structural arguments, but if you explain your structural argument convincingly and apply it to the aff I'll vote for it.
I lean toward thinking the neg should have links to the plan or the 1AC's core ideas (which could still include reps, but is less likely to include "your author defended a concept we don't like in an unhighlighted part of the card.") I start the debate assuming the aff gets the plan, but you can change my mind.
Don't overcomplicate alt explanations. Tell me what it really does and give examples if possible. Alts that do something material > alts that think really hard.
Explain what your aff does and why it matters. It should be clearly related to the topic, not just a previous year's aff with one topic-adjacent card. You should clearly defend something and be stuck with defending it. It's hard to win that your performance of the aff actually did something unless your evidence is fantastic.
Neg teams should try to engage with the content of the aff, but I get it if you can't. I'm often persuaded by presumption. K v K debates are awesome, but only if both sides know what's going on.
Clash/Research > "fairness because fairness." I enjoy creative styles of framework like "T - literally just talk about the topic at all." Do the internal link work - tell me the ground you lost, why it's good, etc. Explain the types of debates that would happen in the world of the TVA if you want to go for it.
Hi y'all! I did four years of policy debate in highschool, 2 as the 2n, 2 as the 2a. I'm not debating in college now, so the extent of my connection to the activity is periodic judging and chatting with current debaters.
For the purposes of email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ask questions before round if you have them. I’m probably forgetting something.
-Less is more—I’ll evaluate a lot of offcase arguments but I will be sad if i have to use a lot of sheets of paper that get tossed in the block
-I flow on paper--I can understand you speaking fast, but I can only write down so many arguments so quickly
-You can run generic arguments, but I'm generally not a fan of entirely plan inclusive counterplans.
-I have no preconceived notions of topicality. I've seen like five camp files on the water topic and don't know which ones are generally considered "better/topical"
-K framework that takes away the plan is fine. Probably more receptive to it than most.
-I'll default to offense/defense framing, but you can persuade me out of that. Zero risk is hard but possible.
-Conditionality’s fine. 2 is probably a good limit, but I'm open to hearing both sides debate it out.
-Tech>truth, but if I can't explain the argument and its warrants it's not going into my consideration
-I don't take prep for flashing.
-I'll shout clear twice. For online debating, this is especially relevant. You are not going to be as clear as you are in an in person debate, so slow down.
My goal as a judge is to let the debaters do what they do, and judge accordingly based on who most persuaded me that they are correct. "Persuasion" here may be a bit of a misnomer because debaters oftentimes think that their only goal is to sound pretty when the judge wants to be persuaded. Let me be clear: you should sound pretty, but I will be flowing and taking into account technical concessions as well. But the effect that technical concessions have on my decision will be dependent on how well you persuade me to vote in a direction. I am human, I have biases, and you should use your ability as a debater to make rhetorically strong arguments that make me vote for you.
As a I 2n, I went for mainly very basic kritiks (as I was a younger debater at the time) such as capitalism and security. As I got older, my partner and I experimented with psychoanalysis, gender, and nietzsche. I have a strong familiarity with all of those kritiks. I have a passing familiarity with other kritiks, and will depend highly upon strong negative explanation on both the framework and alternative level to give you a win.
I have found as I have judged that I have oftentimes voted for kritiks that I don't think were very strong. I think this is a symptom of affirmative teams that struggle to explain why state policymaking is valuable and why their affirmative is good. I also think that negative teams have moved towards a "meta" of going for framework really hard, which has turned out to be quite effective for me. Framework really is the central question of the round, and I generally find myself not doing what most judges seem to be doing and kind of evaluating it on their own as "aff gets a plan and neg gets discursive DAs." I really will just let you completely void the plan or completely say Ks aren't allowed. But you need to work for it.
Do more impact work. Teams don't do enough impact work on the K. Aff teams should impact turn more. Neg teams should explain more impact work in general.
Sure. I've read a few in my time. I strongly prefer them to be related to the topic, and generally look down upon affs that are critiques of debate in general. I think that having a predictable topic is good, and K affs that are closer to a traditional model of topicality will get more leeway with me.
I don't think it makes sense just to impact turn framework. How can you win if you don't have a counter interpretation? Defend a counter interpretation of the topic and explain its standards in relation to the neg's interp if you want my ballot.
Sure. It should exist for a reason, otherwise you're just handing links to your opponent.
I prefer advantage counter plans and PICs that remove something from the plan. Not a fan of entirely plan inclusive counter plans, such as consult, reg neg, delay, or any other procedural counter plan. Agent counter plans only make sense to me when the aff has a clearly defined agent other than "the USfg". I haven’t made up my mind on 50 states. Not a fan of word pics that don't change the function of the counter plan (No "The" PICs please).
If you feel up to it, you can still run all those counter plans I don't view favorably. Just know that I'll probably align closer to aff theory arguments against them if the affirmative decides to go for theory against you.
I don’t default to judge kick, but I will if you tell me.
Judging DA and Case 2NRs is difficult when people don’t do impact calculus. Please do impact calculus.
I’m alright with generic politics DAs. I understand that you might not have a specific strategy for every affirmative. But please, try to get specific with the link if you can.
Cheap shots make me sad. If you want to go for one, shame me into voting for you because I will likely feel like I shouldn’t. I’ll default to reject the argument.
I went for topicality a lot, both in my 2NRs and my 1NRs. Predictability/precision standards are probably the most persuasive to me, followed by generic limits and generic ground. Remember to connect them to education (I mostly view fairness as an internal link to education) or I won’t know why to vote for it.
I default to competing interps, but I'm not very strong on that. Affs can win reasonability if they work to.
For the neg: I'm somewhat receptive to dubious T interps. Feel free to explain why your interpretation of the topic is so obviously true, even if the aff is also probably pretty easy to predict generally. It's about the interpretations, not the aff specifically.
I am more amenable to skills based/“State policymaking is really great actually” arguments than I am fairness based arguments.
I also think limits as necessary for effective topic education is a good argument. I like smaller topics.
I've found that I'm very kind with speaker points. I'll try to turn it down a notch but I'll probably still be above average. Be kind, rhetorically effective, make good arguments, and make strategic decisions if you want to get high points.
______________________ WRITTEN LAST YEAR, MIGHT BE USEFUL FOR PREFS OR SEEING HOW I CHANGE
In general, I try to be as much of a blank slate as possible. However, I would be remiss if I did not admit that I had many personal biases and arguments that appeal to me more than others, as well as arguments that I view unfavorably. It may be possible to persuade me away from these biases, or simply win these arguments on a technical level, but you should know that I have these biases.
As a 2n, I went for mainly security and capitalism kritiks. As a 2a, I was the partner for someone who went for psychoanalysis, gender, and nietzsche kritiks. I have a pretty good familiarity with psychoanalysis and gender, and less so with Nietzsche. Other than those, I understand the generic Ks pretty well, but you’ll have to spend more time on explanation for Ks like Baudrillard and Virillio. I have a fair understanding of pessimist kritiks, but not enough that I would feel comfortable going for one myself.
The weakest part of the kritik is usually the alternative. I think teams should address that by either A) having a robustly defended material alternative that addresses the links and impacts or B) focusing on the educational aspect of the kritik, emphasizing the framework debate and the education impacts rather than comparing solvency. I'm probably more receptive to negating the aff through framework than most, but I also think that aff solvency can be used as net benefits to their framework arguments.
Responding to Ks:
While I do like seeing affirmatives explain the permutation and compatibility, I think that impact turns are underutilized here. Certainly, explain why the perm solves the links. But if you can't, try to think of impact turns to those links. Explain why capitalism is good. Explain why the state is good. Challenge the thesis of the kritik. A lot of K teams aren't as versed in their literature as they might want you to think, and if you call them out on it you can often do very well. Soft left affs especially should use impact turns to their benefit, since it's often easy for K teams to get away with "our K solves+links destroy the aff."
I'm good for K affs. The way they answer framework is usually what can trip me up. I think you should have a clear delineation of what affirmatives are allowed to exist and what affirmatives are excluded. Use that interpretation to neutralize neg framework offense. Running impact turns to T/FW without a clear counter interpretation is not very persuasive to me.
While I enjoy a good kritikal aff, I also think that aff should relate to the topic. If the affirmative has nothing to do with the topic, I'm not likely to view it very positively. If your aff is related to the topic but is clearly an aff that can be run in any year by switching out a single card, I will likely give the negative a lot of leeway in claims about topic education and limits.
See below on what I think makes a good neg framework argument.
Sure. Make sure there’s a reason the performance was there. If I’m not hearing about it in every speech you give from there on out, it didn’t need to be there.
I prefer advantage counter plans and PICs that remove something from the plan. Not a fan of entirely plan inclusive counter plans, such as consult, reg neg, delay, or any other procedural counter plan. Agent counter plans only make sense to me when the aff has a clearly defined agent other than "the USfg". I haven’t made up my mind on 50 states. Not a fan of word pics that don't change the function of the counter plan (No "The" PICs please).
If you feel up to it, you can still run all those counter plans I don't view favorably. Just know that I'll probably align closer to aff theory arguments against them if the affirmative decides to go for theory against you.
I don’t default to judge kick, but I will if you tell me.
Judging DA and Case 2NRs is difficult when people don’t do impact calculus. Please do impact calculus.
I’m alright with generic politics DAs. I understand that you might not have a specific strategy for every affirmative. But please, try to get specific with the link if you can.
Cheap shots make me sad. If you want to go for one, shame me into voting for you because I will likely feel like I shouldn’t. I’ll default to reject the argument.
I went for topicality a lot, both in my 2NRs and my 1NRs. Predictability/precision standards are probably the most persuasive to me, followed by generic limits and generic ground. Remember to connect them to education (I mostly view fairness as an internal link to education) or I won’t know why to vote for it.
I default to competing interps, but I'm not very strong on that. Affs can win reasonability if they work to.
For the neg: I'm somewhat receptive to dubious T interps. Feel free to explain why your interpretation of the topic is so obviously true, even if the aff is also probably pretty easy to predict generally. It's about the interpretations, not the aff specifically.
I am more amenable to skills based/“State policymaking is really great actually” arguments than I am fairness based arguments.
I also think limits as necessary for effective topic education is a good argument. I like smaller topics.
Everything above is true. If you’re doing LD in front of me, you’ll have an easier time persuading me if you treat it like mini-policy. I have preliminary knowledge of Kant, Rawls, Hobbes, and some other weird philosophers but I don’t know anything about how they’re used in LD. LARPing is a good idea. I’m much more likely than any given LD judge to wave away theory arguments as a reason to reject the arg. RVIs are not my thing.
PF evidence standards are atrocious. Paraphrasing is technically allowed in my book but you need to be very careful about it. Don't say the evidence says something it doesn't, or your speaker points will be bad. You should have quick and easy mechanisms by which your opponent can read the evidence you bring up in your speech. Arguments supported by evidence your opponent can't read will be understood as made without evidence.
Lowell '20 l UCLA '24
Yes, email chain: zoerosenberg [at] gmail [dot] com, please format the subject as: "Tournament Name -- Round # -- Aff School AF vs Neg School NG"
Background: I was a 2N for four years at Lowell, I qualified to the TOC my senior year and was in late elims of NSDA. I don't debate in college due to a lack of policy infrastructure. I now help out at Damien and am involved in the team's strategy so I have a good sense of arguments being read on the circuit.
GGSA/State Qualifier: I will still judge rounds technically, as one does for circuit style. However, I believe adaptation is one of the most important skills one can get out of debate so I encourage you to speak slowly, especially with parents on the panel.
Tech before truth. It's human nature to have preferences toward certain arguments but I try my best to listen and judge objectively. All of the below can be changed by out-debating the other team through judge instruction and ballot writing. Unresolved debates are bad debates.
Speed is great, but clarity is even better. If I'm judging you online please go slightly slower, especially if you don't have a good mic. I find it increasingly hard to hear analytics in the online format.
Be smart. I rather hear great analytical arguments than terrible cards. I generally think in-round explanation is more important than evidence quality.
I'm very expressive, look at me if you want to know if I'm digging your argument!
Call me by my name, not "judge".
Debnil Sur taught me everything I know about debate so check: https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?search_first=debnil&search_last= for a better explanation of anything I have to say here.
What arguments does she prefer? I go for mostly policy arguments and feel more in my comfort zone judging these debates. That being said, I moved more to the left as my years in high school came to a close and am down to judge a well-defended kritikal affirmative. I think debate is a game but it's a game that can certainly can influence subjectivity development. Note: I would still prefer to judge a bad policy debate, over a bad kritikal debate.
Online Debate Adaptions
I have judged close to 65 online debates. Here are some things you can do to make the terribleness of online tournaments a little less terrible.
1 - I really would like your camera to be on, wifi permitting. Debate is a communicative activity and your persuasion increases by tenfold if you are communicating with me face to face.
2 - Please use some form of microphone or slow down by 20%. It is really hard to catch analytics with poor audio quality.
3 - The benefits of sending analytics vastly outweigh the cons of someone having your blocks to a random argument.
4 - If it takes you more than a minute to send out an email chain I will start running prep. I genuinely don't understand how it can take up to five minutes to attach a document to an email chain lmao
K Affs: I read a kritikal affirmative all of senior year but on the negative went for framework against most K affs. I don't have a definite bias toward either side. However, kritikal affirmatives that defend a direction of the topic and allow the negative to access core topic generics jive with me much more than simply impact turning fairness and skirting the resolution.
Framework: Fairness is an impact. By the 2NR please don't go for more than two impacts. Having a superior explanation why the TVA resolves their offense and doing impact comparison will put you in a good spot. Switch-side debate is a silly argument, but feel free to convince me otherwise.
Neg: I know the lit behind security, neolib, psychoanalysis, and necropolitics. Make of that which you will. I'm not going to be happy listening to your 7 minute overview. Explain the thesis of the kritik and contextualize the link debate to the aff and I will be quite happy. Winning framework means you probably win the ballot. And as Debnil puts it, "I believe I'm more of an educator than policymaker, which means representational critiques or critiques of debate's educational incentive structure will land better for me than most judges."
Competing interps or reasonability? Competing interps. Asserting a standard like limits needs to be warranted out, explain why your impacts matters. Have a clear vision of the topic under your interp, things like case-lists and a solid understanding of arguments being read on the circuit are important. T before theory. Also a good topicality debate is my favorite thing ever.
Is condo good? Yes, most of the time. Things like amending stuff in the block, kicking planks, fiating out of straight turns are sketchy. But in most debates, unless it's dropped or severely mishandled I lean neg. To win condo the affirmative must have a superior explanation why multiple advocacies made that debate unrecoverable. Going for condo only because you're losing on substance is not the move. Hard debate is good debate. Other theory preferences (I-Fiat, Process CPs, etc.) are likely determined by the topic. However, they're almost always reasons to reject the argument not the team.
Policy stuff? I like it. Link centered debate matters the most, so focus on uniqueness and link framing. Do comparative analysis of the warrants in your evidence. I really dislike bad turns case analysis, link turns case arguments will sit better with me. I think most types of counterplans are legitimate if the neg wins they are competitive. I'll judge kick if you tell me to do it.
Make a funny joke about anyone on the Lowell squad, Lisa Kopelnik, Brendan Tremblay, or Debnil Sur and I'll boost you +.1 speaks
I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Current head coach of both Crossings Christian School since 2011 and Southern Nazarene University since 2021. CCS has a 7th grade - 12th grade debate program and our varsity team debates on the national TOC circuit. I debated in high school under Martin Glendinning.
Things you need to know for prefs:
Kritiks: Oklahoma is very heavy with kritiks and non-topical affs so I am very familiar with them. I like kritiks and K affs and can vote for them.
Policy: I am familiar with policy debates and can judge those. My squad is designed to be flex so I am good with either.
Speed: I can handle any kind of speed as long as you are clear.
Theory/FW/T: I am not a fan of FW-only debates so if you are neg and hit a non-topical aff I will entertain FW but that shouldn't be your only off-case. Contesting theory of power is a good strat for me.
Performance/non-traditional debate: Despite what some would think coming from a Christian school, I actually like these kinds of debates and have voted up many teams.
I try to be a tab judge but I know I tend to vote on more technical prowess. I believe debate should be a fun and respectful activity and I try to have a good time judging the round. I think debaters are among the smartest students in the nation and I always find it a privilege to judge a round and give feedback.
Edited most recently in March 2018. I debated in high school at Greenhill School (2006) in Texas and debated in college at Michigan State (2010). I have been helping coach Greenhill since my graduation. A fair number of the assumptions that one would draw about me being affiliated with those institutions are probably true. In a given year, I will probably judge 60+ HS policy debates, ~5 HS LD debates, and under 5 college policy debates. There are a couple special notes at the bottom for the latter two groups.
Case Debates – Case debate is underutilized, there are few things that I am more impressed with than beating a team on their own aff. Although, too many teams gloss over the fact that there needs to be uniqueness for neg case turns.
Disads – Defensive arguments are important, and I am willing to assign zero risk of a disad if the affirmative has damning defensive arguments even if the affirmative lacks any offensive arguments. Negatives who rely on there always being a risk of a link will leave me unimpressed. That being said though, I often think that many times a lack of offense does result in a moderate probability of the disad.
CPs – I lean negative on most CP theory issues (more on theory below), although I’m not a fan of the consult cp. I also lean negative on legitimacy of the states CP. This does not mean that affs cannot win theory debates in front of me. Additionally I think some of the arguments that affs make as to why some counterplans are bad, tend to be much better when used as a reason why the permutation is legitimate. Negs should be sure to weigh what happens when there is a solvency deficit to the cp when making their impact calculus arguments. Conversely, affs need to have an impact to their solvency deficits.
Kritiks – Teams must articulate an impact to what happens if they win their framework arguments. I don’t think the negative must have an alternative but I find it hard for the neg to establish uniqueness for their links without one. Affirmatives need to find ways to leverage their aff against the implications of the kritik as well as making sure that they are still able to access their offense if they lose their framework arguments. Negs must also discuss why the aff in particular makes the squo worse. I’m certainly not well versed in much kritik literature so avoiding buzzwords and jargon can help my understanding. If you want me to vote on a kritik, it would benefit you to debate it very much like a CP/DA: turns the case, solves the case, xyz comes first, etc.
Topicality – I tend to view T debates in an offense/defense framework. Its all about competing interpretations, whomever creates the best world for debate should win, issues of abuse are not necessary but can be helpful. That being said, I’m also not a fan of the cult of limits, just going for your interpretation is more limiting will most likely lose to a broader interpretation that is more educational. Also, your K aff's impact turn of T does not amuse me – topicality is a voting issue.
Theory – I lean neg on most theory questions but this is not to be taken to mean that I like to hear your XYZ-Spec argument, your points will go down. Conditionality, or multiple conditional counterplans are both fine. The caveat to this is that I'm not sure if I'm a fan of conditional counterplans with half a dozen planks each independently conditional (ie 2nr could be planks 1-6, or 1-3, or 1&3, etc.). This doesn’t mean I won’t vote aff on theory though, whomever can make their trivial distinctions seem most important will probably win.
Non-traditional affs – I’ve debated at Greenhill and Michigan State, if that doesn’t provide some hint, I’ll break it down some more. The Aff should probably be topical, probably have a plan, and probably also have to defend the effects stemming from the hypothetical enactment of said plan - I've yet to be convinced by a reason as to why any of these things are bad.
General Notes: All of this being said – I will evaluate the arguments made in the round even if they are contrary to my beliefs, this is a guide of what I think and how I will default with a lack of argumentation. Evidence comparisons are important, Impact comparisons as well. There needs to be a decision calculus set up in the final rebuttals – i.e. you can still win the round even after admitting a solvency deficit to your CP. I do like being on the email chain of documents but will NEVER be reading the speech doc during the speech – you need to be clear. I’m only going to flow what the person who should be speaking says, if your partner yells out an argument during your speech, you have not made it.
College debate note: I will judge at one college tournament roughly every four years, this being said, please, please, please, assume I have next to ZERO topic knowledge (careful with acronyms too). I judge a ton of debates, just none on your topic.
Lincoln-Douglas debate notes: Well, you’ve read all of this which means two things: 1. I’m probably judging you. 2. Something has gone terribly awry for both of us. If possible, I’d basically prefer your LD debate to be policy-esque, I can obviously follow whatever but still have no idea what a criterion is. For some reason when I say this, people seem to think theory args are a good idea....most LD theory args seem to be asinine standards that the other team needs to follow…I will not vote on this, and will probably lower your speaker points. Also, if you intend to win due to a theory argument, you need a reason to reject the team – otherwise the obvious remedy is rejecting the argument.
Debated at Purdue for 4 years in college. Debated at College Prep for 4 years in high school.
email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
1A or whoever, subject line of email chain: "Tournament - Round # - Aff Team vs Neg Team"
Fine with K affs + whatever you're checking this for. I’m not a blank slate, but truth won’t come before tech/ I'm going to vote off the flow so there will be as little intervention as possible. My own debating was more kritical but I don't have a preference on what you do. Speed should never come at the expense of clarity. Don't be a jerk, have fun.
Overall - The last rebuttals should write my RFD for me, tell me what I'm voting on and why. The team that has explained what it means to win will most likely be the team that wins. I don't make a big deal about speaks unless you're rude. On the aff, whether plan or K, know what you're talking about and have a clear mechanism that you maintain. On the neg make strategic decisions. Don't insult your opponents and don't speak over them aggressively. I like debate; don’t make me not like it.
DA - Impact calc is important on both sides. Aff has a good chance of outweighing the impact if they win a high risk of case and I like a good straight turn. Saying the words "turns case" in the your speech means nothing to me without an explanation.
CP - Run whatever cheaty counterplan you want, just be ready to defend the model of debate you justify. Solvency advocates are a good way to legitimize your counterplan in my eyes. Assume that I've never heard whatever agency you're talking about. Perm do the aff is not an argument.
K - Framework is an important part on both sides, it's where I start my decision in these rounds. I know a little about a lot of Ks but that doesn't mean I'll do work for you. Keep the overviews reasonable and know your lit.
K affs - don't be super shifty and don't get too wild with contradicting yourself or your lit base. Slow down in your overviews and explain to me how my ballot helps solve or is needed for your political project.
T- I need a thorough explanation of why your interpretation leads to a better model of debate and good impact work. Explain how the aff leads to 'tangible' impacts within debate like in-round abuse.
Framework – The aff should explain what solvency they lose under the neg interp and should at least be related to the topic. Whatever the strategy on the aff is, impact turns or a w/m, they're all viable when well executed.
The neg has to prove the aff is bad by some metric and a good case debate and TVA are helpful. Impact work should be thorough, not just 'fairness good because it's fair'. People don’t get into the internal link debate enough in F/W rounds.
I don’t think procedural fairness is always an intrinsic good, even if debate is a game. But that doesn’t mean that procedural fairness doesn’t matter. If the aff solves an impact and the neg model excludes them (fully or to whatever threshold is explained) I’ll vote aff. If the neg proves that their model of debate is better and can resolve or outweigh the aff, I vote neg.
Theory - I think theory is strategic and a good way to check back against abuse, I just find these debates shallow and late-breaking. Usually the 1AR will spend 10 seconds on it and then the 2AR will make up things for 5 mins that I can't evaluate because it's all new. So either write better blocks or deal with all cheaty counterplans. My threshold for voting on 1 condo bad is much higher than voting on PICs bad.
I probably don't hate you, I'm just not very expressive.
If you're uncomfortable with what is happening during a round, let me know and I'll do what I can.
Here is a list of people that have taught or coached me and shaped the way I look at debate in a major way: James Mollison, John Hines, Michael Obuchi, Elliot Kovnick, Sara Beth Brooks, Michael Wimsatt, Ian Beier, and Lexy Green.
Add the following on the email chain -
I debated policy for four years at Lovejoy High School.
General things -
- I much prefer a CP/DA debate over a K debate, but you do you.
- Speed is fine as long as you're clear.
- Tech > Truth
- I have limited topic knowledge so don’t assume I know every acronym that you read.
- There is almost nothing you can say or do that will offend me. If an argument is awful, you should be able to easily beat it.
- Try to mark your own cards.
This is the argument I'm most comfortable with. I have a particular affinity for the politics disadvantage. When reading a disad, be sure to give a clear explanation of the internal link scenario and proper impact weighing (no "nuclear war" and just moving on).
The more case-specific, the better. I lean neg on 50 state fiat, international fiat, and PICs, and lean aff on delay CPs and consult CPs. But if the neg has a specific solvency advocate, I'm a lot less receptive to aff theory arguments. If you're going to try to go for a permutation, paint a world of the perm instead of just saying "we'll do both". Won't judge kick unless explicitly told to do so.
I default to competing interpretations. The more topic-specific the definition, the better.
Not a huge fan, but I can still evaluate them. If you do decide to read a kritik, I likely won't know the nuances of the literature base you're tapping into, so be sure to go in-depth in your explanation. I have a high threshold for the link to the affirmative, an explanation of the alternative, and how the alternative resolves the links.
If you do read a K-aff, be sure it has a relation to the topic and clear advocacy. I'll likely be very receptive to T-USFG arguments.
If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.
add me to the chain: email@example.com
last updated: 12/19/2021 (additions to misc, fixing typos)
background: minneapolis south ‘19 (toc), light coaching for minneapolis south in ‘19-20. primarily ran kritikal arguments as a 2n/double 2.
online debate: 20% slower please! if my camera is off i’m not there, you can always reach me via email.
tldr: you do you; i will be happiest judging whatever you find exciting/strategic and have spent quality time researching! facilitating a healthy and educational environment* > tech > truth. my voting record in clash debates is pretty even.
how i judge
- flow first. i try to minimize judge intervention as much as possible in my decisions; i won’t write a ballot on an argument that wasn’t made in-round and i try not to impose my opinion on what is true, with the exception of harmful/oppressive arguments.
- arguments need a warrant and impact to be taken into consideration.
- i really love judge instruction. i start creating my decision by identifying the key framing questions of the debate, which means instructing me on what you believe the key issues are, how you believe arguments interact with each other, and engaging in comparative analysis will help you tremendously. small, technical arguments that take out the opposing team’s claims can also factor heavily in my decisions.
- evidence: i read evidence i think is interesting throughout the debate. i won’t incorporate my thoughts on your evidence quality into my rfd unless it’s necessary to resolve an argument, but assuming completely even debating (very rare), i default to the team with the stronger cards. (given the importance of pre-round preparation in advanced policy debate, debaters who spend time finding good evidence should be rewarded.) i think a certain degree of judge intervention is inevitable in debates over ev quality and that that intervention is necessary to maintain reasonable debates (ex. you can't blatantly lie about what a card says if the other team points out you're lying).
- *ethical considerations: prioritizing ‘facilitating a healthy and educational environment’ means if someone is being harmful/oppressive in-round i reserve the right to auto L with the lowest speaks possible. however, i prefer to presume ignorance over intentional harm and avoid using the ballot as a punitive instrument. i can’t adjudicate over things that happened outside of the round. if i catch you clipping, i will drop your speaks regardless of whether the other team points it out.
- speaks: ~28.5-6 is average, ~29.2+ is deserving of a speaker award. being clear, knowing your evidence, making strategic decisions, hard-hitting cx questions/answers -> high speaks. obviously not flowing the debate -> low speaks.
notable thoughts, preferences & biases
fwk: i personally believe education and self-actualization are the ‘telos’ of debate, but you can persuade me that procedural fairness is a terminal impact. tvas don’t need to solve the aff but they should be able to solve at least of the aff’s offense on framework. i genuinely don’t have a preference between the aff going for impact turns and/or counter-interps/models.
kritiks: framework is either irrelevant or filters almost all of the offense on the k flow. tech > truth means i won’t create my own arbitrary framework interpretation. the more specific your analysis is to the opposing team’s arguments, the better chance you have of winning. i am more easily persuaded by links that prove the aff is worse than the status quo/2nrs that make heavy framework and epistemology pushes than presumption focused strategies. aff teams could generally improve their link answers, and neg teams could generally improve their alt solvency.
t: i really appreciate model comparisons (caselists, lost/gained neg ground, etc.). please define what reasonability means if you go for it. i don't have a ton of topic knowledge - will need extra explanation for acronyms and topic norms.
cp theory: aff-biased on most cp theory. i default to judge kicking cps if asked.
das: i think zero risk is possible if you’re missing an internal link (or link). specific/quality ev > recent ev (explain why the date matters) > quantity of ev. better for warranted brink arguments than most.
case: i love case debates that dig into the ev and point out logical holes/inconsistencies in the aff’s ev and internal link chains.
theory: please don’t spread at max speed through your theory blocks. i find counter-interps helpful for framing the majority of theory debates. condo is generally good, but i start to lean aff after ~two advocacies.
misc: re-highlighted ev must be read, not inserted. sending exact text for perms, theory interps/violations, and/or framework interps is a good practice. strict on 1ar-2ar consistency, will give some leeway if the 2nr had new arguments/warrants. no new 2ar cross-applications across different flows.
in clearly asymmetrical debates (ex. a team with 5 bids vs a team at their first varsity tournament), taking the time to slow down and 'over-explain' your arguments so all the debaters can engage with the round is a much more persuasive strategy for high speaker points than outspreading and out-jargoning your less experienced opponents.
cx: is binding and i usually flow it.
good luck, have fun! feel free to email me with any questions.
Affiliation: Winston Churchill HS
**prep time stops when the email is sent, too many teams steal prep while 'saving the doc'**
Do what you do well: I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments these days. The most enjoyable rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy. Below are a few things/trends I've noticed about myself for how I come to decision making in debates.
-Clash Debates: No strong ideological debate dispositions, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. I think there is value in K debate and think that value comes from expanding knowledge of literature bases and how they interact with the resolution. I generally find affs that 'negate the resolution' to not have the most persuasive answers to framework.
-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I often find this to be the biggest issue with with politics, internal link, and permutation evidence for kritiks.
-Speed vs Clarity: I don't flow off the speech document, I don't even open them until either after the debate or if a particular piece of evidence is called into question. If I don't hear it/can't figure out the argument from the text of your cards, it probably won't make it to my flow/decision. This is almost always an issue of clarity and not speed, however, paperless debate has incentivized teams to fly through blocks/theory arguments w/o giving judges pen time.
-Permutation/Link Analysis: this is becoming an increasingly important issue that I am noticing with kritik debates. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation as the debate progresses is something that strategically helps the negative team when it comes to contextualizing what the aff is/does. I also see an increasingly high amount of negative kritiks that don't have a link to the aff plan/method and instead are just FYIs about XYZ thing. I think that affirmative teams are missing out by not challenging these links.
Put me in the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
If you ever have any questions about my decision always feel free to reach out to me via email.
I am not going to lie to you and say I am a Tab judge and I will vote for anything because that is just not true.
I don't like new arguments in the 2NC by that I mean I don’t like entire new off case arguments in the 2NC I think its really abusive to the 1AR. With that being said I am willing to listen to abuse arguments about how that is bad for debate. Although I am more inclined to reject the argument and not the team.
I will actually never vote for this theory. I think disclosing hurts small schools who don’t have enough coaches to help them prep for rounds. I absolutely don’t care if the other team drops it/never answers it I still will not vote for it. So please for your sake and mine do not run it because you will not be happy with my not voting on it.
By default, I view topicality through the lens of competing interpretations, but I could certainly be persuaded to do something else. I don't hate T nor do I love it. I use to love it but I don't think teams do enough work on the flow. Teams are always either winning the interpretation debate but losing the standards and voters of vice versa. That being said I will vote on T and I don't mind voting on team but you need to win the entire flow. This means having a good debate about whose interpretation is better on down to the violation and all the way through to the standards and voters.
Specifically, on T I HATE reasonability as a no voter. I think that it is your job to debate the T flow well enough so that I come to the conclusion that you are reasonably topical.
Please don't run and RVI on T I am not that likely to vote for it that being said if its dropped I will vote for it with great protest.
I evaluate theory the same as I evaluate Topicality: it is only as important to me as you tell me it is. I can be swayed either way on theory; whether it's on condo, multiple worlds etc. With that being said, teams need to be able to explain the implications of what the other team did for me to vote on said theory. If you don't explain why I should vote on it, then I won't vote on it. My default on the theory flow is to reject the argument and not the team. For example, even if the neg drops the condo flow but you don’t tell me to drop the team instead of the argument I will just kick the argument. With that being said you need to little work on the flow for a dropped theory argument in order for me to vote on it.
I love a good K debate. You have the potential to make me vote for any Kritik that you want me to vote on. Ks that do not engage with the substance of the aff are rarely reasons to vote negative. I'm really not here for your generic K’s don’t waste my time with this. A good K debate needs to make it so that even if the judge hasn't heard the K before they grasp and understanding of the story you are telling with the K. I don't need to walk away being a scholar on the K for me to vote for it I simply need a clear picture of the impact of the K and how the world of the alt differs from the aff .
I am skeptical of the pedagogical value of frameworks/roles of the ballot/roles of the judge that don’t allow the affirmative to weigh the benefits of hypothetical enactment of the plan against the K. I am more than willing to listen to a discussion centered around their need to defend the scholarship of the 1ac and how they should be forced to defend the epistemology of the 1ac but this should be used as a reason why the perm fails and why they don’t gain access to your impacts or maybe even their impacts but not as a reason why they can’t weigh the aff against the K.
Theo Van Hof
Assistant Debate Coach, Okemos High School
email@example.com Please include me on the email chain.
Bio: I am Theo Van Hof, I debated public forum debate for one year and policy debate for two years at Okemos High School. I am now in my third year of assistant coaching and judging for Okemos High School as well as this being my second year competing for Michigan State.
Aff: Read whatever you wish to read. I love policy debate so please read whatever plan text you want.
K Aff: I don't mind K-Affs, but I often think that people who read them don't fully understand them. Mostly I think this because half the time the K aff is not properly explained to me. You can read a K aff in front of me and win, but I will do zero work for you simply because I don't understand as much as other judges do when it comes to K affs. This is a communication activity if you can effectively communicate your story and your impacts I will vote for you. (With all this said, if you are a K aff team it would probably be best for you to pref me low. I don't want to screw over a team because I'm a dumb policy nerd who refuses to learn K out of sheer laziness).
Topicality & Theory: I like T and have run it in almost every single one of my rounds, that being said I would appreciate T arguments that are flushed out and complete. Neg: Run T, explain it, win it. Aff: Provide counter-interpretations/definitions, explain them, win them. I will not vote on RVIs, so don't try. I am OK with most if not all theory arguments as long as they make sense and you explain them to me. Explain why I should care about your theory argument (e.g. have an impact).
DAs: Great. Please explain your DA's, primarily your link story, and how they outweigh your opponent. Impact calculus is great in the final speeches of the round.
CPs: Great. Please read a plan text other than; "Do the aff". Explain the net benefit(s) and why the CP is better.
Ks: While I have read a few Ks and debated against a good number of them there is still a lot I don't understand fully about Ks. Generally, simple Ks like Cap or Security will be fine, but more complex K's are going to need a good amount of explaining. I am not super familiar with a lot of the buzzwords of Ks and will most likely not be able to understand a bunch of jargon. I will vote for you K as long as I can understand it and just like anything else, you win it.
Speaking: Speak loudly and clearly (maybe not so loud if it is a morning round). Please have overviews and signpost. Even something as simple as saying "next" will do. Speed is fine as long as I can understand you. I will not flow what I can not understand, so please do not expect me to go sifting through your cards to figure out what you said. Other than that any style of speaking is great. Do whatever floats your boat.
hills ill die on in bold.
do people even read these things? was that just me?
1) Online stuff: I prefer you give speeches with your camera on, err on speech clarity & flowability because online debates drastically reduce that. If my camera is off I am not there and definitely not ready
2) Procedural stuff/meta stuff: Please start debates on time, to the minute. The 1AC should be sent with speaker prepared to speak BEFORE that minute. Otherwise, -.2 speaks for both aff debaters. If you are not clear, I will not read off the doc, I will just not flow. I mean it, I will not have sympathy for unclear speaking in an activity about communication This may sound harsh but when yelling clear is no longer a viable option I have to be.
-Put me on the email chain (I dislike file share but I can tolerate it if you insist) @ Ethanwall2003@gmail.com
-Please do not refer to me as "judge" I am a human with a name (its Ethan)
-My thoughts on the k v policy IdEoLoGicAl DiVidE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXLu_x0SRm4&ab_channel=Noodle
-I think of every debate and every argument within that debate through the lens of probable risk of said argument being true versus its' competing argument. This is why specific and nuanced argument resolution is the best way to earn my ballot.
-Stealing prep is a pet peeve of mine. Its also awkward to resolve. If your opponents say nothing, nor will I. If they do, best knock it off or face actual recourse(we cross that bridge when we come to it). If they do not and I am beyond reasonable doubt foul play is at hand, it will reflect poorly in your speaker points.
-Clipping is a reason to reject the team given indisputable evidence.
-I will work hard to evaluate your debate in the LEAST interventionist way possible. absent argument resolution that can be difficult
3) Top level thoughts on content/actual debating: I think judges should adapt to the debaters not vice versa, best way to my ballot is to do what you know you can do because at the end of the day, you're trying to beat your opponents not my biases/predispositions/my own training. The only exceptions are that I ask you time your own speeches, track your own prep, and do astute line by line/labeling/signposting. I didnt think id need to mention this but I flow straight down. I have a disdain for long overviews [1 minute +] hidden under the guise of "cloud clash"
-"I find many debaters over-estimate the amount of ideas they believe they communicate to the judge. Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, not just entering arguments into the record, will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot far more often than those who don’t." - Matt Liu
-I like policy debates, I like K debates, I like planless debates, I like politics, specific DA's, annoying cps, piks, turing test, you name it and im probably down to hear a 2NR/2AR on it! (this is NOT an advertisement to be racist, homophobic, sexist, etc!) Debate is a strategic and fun game in my mind and all the wacky arguments are apart of it and what make it fun. (A bad argument is a bad argument though, any of them are technically winnable, but many of them are uphill battles) On the other hand, this activity used to be less lighthearted to me; If you want a serious debate about something important to you, I am down for that too.
-Tech determines truth seems obvious, otherwise I can just impart my own wacky beliefs on whatever I want right? (sky is green now, sorry not sorry)
-Do argument resolution a lack of this is the number one reason debates dont turn out the way debaters want. Do impact calc, 4th level explanation, evidence comparison, etc
-I am increasingly annoyed by a lack of warranted explanations/extensions. (I promise slowing down for more coherence will help not hurt you) Buzzwords are not warrants.
-In a debate where both teams are reading blocks I will likely conclude condo is good. if condo bad is the 2AR, focus on being persuasive (generally this means being thorough about in round abuse)
-If you have any questions about specific content or accessibility concerns/needs please dont hesitate to ask
4) Speaker points
tldr: if youre good, youll get good speaks.
alas, a roadmap in my decision calculus on what a 'good' speaker/debater is:
--organized and labeled debating (do line by line)
--apparent knowledge of an argument
--apparent credibility to an arguments' execution
--clash and appreciation for the flow
--ARGUMENT RESOLUTION (this means you tell me your answers to their answers and close doors)
--CX competency (keep it moving, be mindful, be engaging)
--I dont care what prose you use or how you dress, just know what you are talking about.
Specific questions/concerns/etc my Paradigm didn't touch on? feel free to ask in round or email ahead @Ethanwall2003@gmail.com
5) LD: I am comfortable judging either traditional or modern LD rounds but keep in mind I have no familiarity with the topic so an emphasis on explanation and implication will likely go a long way. Avoid topic acronyms
6) PF/Parli/Congress/Speech: If you're a die hard fan of these events, sorry to lump them all together. The best way to earn my ballot is to focus on using little to no debate jargon and instead to emphasize on persuasive speaking and making complete arguments.
Juan Diego Catholic: 2011-2014 (1N/2A and 1A/2N)
Rowland Hall-St. Marks: 2014-2015 (1A/2N)
University of Michigan: 2015-2019 (1A/2N)
University of Kentucky: 2019-2020 (Assistant Coach)
Wake Forest University: Present (Assistant Coach)
*Please put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org - NO POCKETBOXES OR WHATEVER PLEASE AND THANK YOU*
*IN PERSON COVID UPDATE: Please wear a mask. Unless it is literally impossible for me to hear you (I will stop your speech early and notify you I cannot hear you)/you are taking a sip of water or something, please do not remove your mask.*
TL;DR: You do you, and I'll flow and judge accordingly. Make smart arguments, be yourself, and have fun. Ask questions if you have them post-round / time permits. I would rather you yell at me (with some degree of respect) and give me the chance to explain why you lost so that you can internalize it rather than you walk away pissed/upset without resolution. An argument = claim + warrant. You may not insert rehighlighted evidence into the record - you have to read it, debate is a communicative activity.
General thoughts: I enjoy debate immensely and I hope to foster that same enjoyment in every debate I judge. With that being said, you should debate how you like to debate and I’ll judge fairly. I will immediately drop a team and give zero speaks if you make this space hostile by making offensive remarks or arguments that make it unsafe for others in the round (to be judged at my discretion). Clipping accusations must have audio or some form of proof. Debaters do not necessarily have to stake the round on an ethics violation. I also believe that debaters need to start listening to each other's arguments more, not just flowing mindlessly - so many debates lose potential nuance and clash because debaters just talk past each other with vague references to the other team's arguments. I can't/won't vote on an argument about something that happened outside the debate. I have no way of falsifying any of this and it's not my role as a judge. This doesn't apply to new affs bad if both teams agree that the aff is new, but if it's a question of misdisclosure, I really wouldn't know what to do (stolen from DML and Goldschlag). *NOTE - if you use sexually explicit language or engage in sexually explicit performances in high school debates, you should strike me. If you think that what you're saying in the debate would not be acceptable to an administrator at a school to hear was said by a high school student to an adult, you should strike me. (stolen from Val)
General K thoughts:
- AT: Do you judge these debates/know what is happening? Yes, its basically all I judge anymore (mostly clash of civs)
- AT: Since you are familiar with our args, do we not have to do any explanation specific to the aff/neg args? No, you obviously need to explain things
- AT: Is it cool if I just read Michigan KM speeches I flowed off youtube? If you are reading typed out copies of someone else's speech, I'm going to want to vote against you and will probably be very grumpy. Debate is a chance for you to show off your skill and talent, not just copy someone's speech you once saw on youtube.
K (Negative) – enjoyable if done well. Make sure the links are specific to the case and cause an impact. Make sure that the alt does something to resolve those impacts and links as well as some aff offense OR have a framework that phases out aff offense and resolves yours. Assume I know nothing about your literature base. Try not to have longer than a 2-minute overview
K (Affirmative) / Framework – probably should have some relation to the resolution otherwise it's easy to be persuaded that by the interp that you need to talk about the resolution. Probably should take some sort of action to resolve whatever the aff is criticizing. I think FW debates are important to have because they force you to question why this space has value and/or what needs to change in said space. Negative teams should prove why the aff destroys fairness and why that is bad. Affirmative teams should have a robust reason why their aff is necessary to resolve certain impacts and why framework is bad. Both teams need a vision of what debate looks like if I sign my ballot aff or neg and why that vision is better than the other side’s. Fairness is an impact and is easily the one I'm most persuaded by, particularly if couched in terms of it being the only impact any individual ballot can solve AND being a question of simply who's model is most debatable (think competing interps).
T is distinct from Framework in these debates in so far as I believe that:
- T is a question of form, not content -- it is fundamentally content neutral because there can be any number of justifications beyond simply just the material consequences of hypothetical enactment for any number of topical affs
- Framework is more a question of why this particular resolution is educationally important to talk about and why the USfg is the essential actor for taking action over these questions
Case – Please, please, please debate the case. I don’t care if you are a K team or a policy team, the case is so important to debate. Most affs are terribly written and you could probably make most advantages have almost zero risk if you spent 15 minutes before round going through aff evidence. Zero risk exists.
CPs – Sure. Negative teams need to prove competition and why they are net beneficial to the aff. Affirmative needs to impact out solvency deficits and/or explain why the perm avoids the net benefit. Affs also must win some form of offense to outweigh a DA (solvency deficits, theory, impact turn to an internal nb/plank of the cp) otherwise I could be persuaded that the risk of neg offense outweighs a risk a da links to the cp, the perm solvency, etc.
DAs – Also love them. Negative teams should tell me the story of the DA through the block and the 2nr. Affirmative teams need to point out logical flaws in the DA and why the aff is a better option. Zero risk exists.
Politics – probably silly, but I’ll vote on it. I could vote on intrinsicness as terminal defense if debated well.
Topicality – You need a counter-interp to win reasonabilty on the aff. I default to competing interpretations if there is no other metric for evaluation.
Theory – the neg has been getting away with murder recently and its incredibly frustrating. Brief thoughts on specific args below:
- cps with a bunch of planks to fiat out of every possible solvency deficit with no solvency advocate = super bad
- 3+ condo with a bunch of conditional planks = bad
- cps that fiat things such as: "Pence and Trump resign peacefully after [x] date to avoid the link to the politics da", "Trump deletes all social media and never says anything bad about the action of the plan ever", "Trump/executive office/other actor decides never to backlash against the plan or attempt to circumvent it" = vomit emoji
- commissions cps = still cheating, but less bad than all the things above
- delay cps = boo
- consult cps = boo (idk if these exist on the immigration topic, but w/e)
- going for theory when you read a new aff = nah fam (with some exceptions)
- 2nr cps (yes this happened recently) = boo
- going for condo when they read 2 or less without conditional planks = boo
- perf con is a reason you get to sever your reps for any perm
- theory probably does not outweigh T unless impacted very early, clearly, and in-depth
Bonus – Speaker Point Outline – I’ll try to follow this very closely (TOC is probably the exception because y'all should be speaking in the 28.5+ category):
(Note: I think this scale reflects general thoughts that are described in more detail in this: http://collegedebateratings.weebly.com/points-scale.html - Thanks Regnier)
29.3 < (greater than 29.3) - Did almost everything I could ask for
29-29.3 – Very, very good
28.8 – 29 – Very good, still makes minor mistakes
28.5 – 28.7 – Pretty good speaker, very clear, probably needs some argument execution changes
28.3 – 28.5 – Good speaker, has some easily identifiable problems
28 – 28.3 – Average varsity policy debater
27-27.9 – Below average
27 > (less than 27) - You did something that was offensive / You didn’t make arguments.
Email chain- email@example.com
-Grady 2018/Atlanta Urban Debate League
-University of Texas of Dallas 2022
- Former Assistant Coach for the Atlanta Urban Debate League which includes Grady, Decatur, Cross keys, Westlake, Rockdale, and Roswell.
Done little to no work on water, so be careful to avoid jargony terms with me.
In HS I debated mostly on the center right, mostly reading policy arguments and throwing the occasional middle of the road K with some trolly argument. As I have moved through college I have moved more to the left, reading mostly critical arguments with occasional policy arguments. I say this to show I have a familiarity with a wide range of perspectives in debate, and will likely understand enough of what you're saying/doing to render a competent decision.
There is more or less a hegemony of inter-subjective meaning that has been created in debate. There isn't much of a outside to that hegemony. That being said the following is a articulation of where I may diverge from said project, which may influence close debates.
Biases are inevitable I do my best to check most of them at the door, but some degree of intervention is inevitable. Tabula rasa doesn't exist and those who subscribe to such paradigms deluded themselves into a false sense of objectivity. We aren't debate robots, own your beliefs and biases because they show soul.
The question I ask my self the most in listening to debates is, "why do I care?" the team who answers this better almost always wins. Which is a long way around everything you say in front of me needs to have a impact attached to it, or a reason why this means you win, if the argument you are making doesn't have this odds are its a waste of both our times.
I view my role as a judge first and foremost as an educator. What does this mean? it means I view debate as an inherently educational activity and my role as a purveyor should be oriented to increasing its pedagogical value.
This means in Theory/T/FWK debates I am simply unpersuaded by fairness and ground claims that rely on some intrinsic value to those things, and that you are going to need to convince me in some way that there is educational value to your model of debate. Not to say that I won't vote on fairness claims, I have and I likely will continue to in the future.
Please do not make sweeping adaptations in front of me, ie choose to not read T/FWK or not go for it in favor of some K you have no practice with or opt to read a impact turn you have never ran. I would much rather see a debate where two sides are executing what they are best at then changing what they are about in some skewed rush to appeal to me.
I come from a technical background so I usually do my best to default to LBL, meaning what the debaters themselves said how they said it. AS opposed to reconstructing debates through reading cards after the fact. I read along as the debate goes on, but I will really only read ev after a round if I've been instructed to, or a core part of the debate hinges on a interpretation/quality of one or several pieces of evidence.
Truth holds a strange place in debate, debate requires a certain suspension of disbelief in order for it to function. As arguments from the real world, be it academia or the public sphere, go through the debate machine and it's various funhouse mirrors they come out distorted and sometimes even unrecognizable from their original counterpart. However, this becomes necessary for us to have the types of debates debate seems to like, given time constraints and the need to make the game operable. While criticisms of this model of debate and its consequences are certainly invited, this is simply where we are. However, what does this mean for truth in debate? Do we throw it out with the baby? As of now I have not come down on a clear answer, and prefer to cop out to deferring to the terms the debaters set for the standard of proof for argumentative claims in the round. Usually this means defaulting to tech over truth since that seems to be the game model most teams choose to play by, but appeals to truth over tech in the 1ac may shift my default.
Considering most the rounds I judge are clash, I have found that in policy aff v K and debates I weigh fwk more heavily than other judges. In so far as fwk is a debate about the terms of the debate, what matters in this debate, what this debate should be about, what my role or perspective should be, what kind of decision making process are best for this debate, and the kinds of research that should or should not be promulgated. For me these are filtering/judge instruction arguments that operates as a kind of way to interpret say the link debating alt debate and so on. And it seems I am more conscious of or find arguments about the hat I should wear/lens I should look through more important than others. Especially, since I would much rather listen to what the debaters say the debate should be about and how it should be adjudicated as opposed to me imposing my own debate dogma (is that dogma?). Aff teams strangely do a bad job of pushing back here opting to a non fwk fwk of I should get my aff, which most K fwks are never really gonna disagree with rather its the terms at which the aff should be understood or debated at. Arguments about fiat being illusionary are not very important to me, which is the only kind of fwk arg this seems to be effective against. It seems more effective for aff teams to defend institutionalism or a games perspective since that is where the debate is happening.
I tend to think most CP's compete through NB's, that is there is a DA that the CP avoids the aff links to. CP theory is generally obtuse and clunky that being said I do understand it and tend to think the neg should get to explore a plethora of ways to approach beating the aff, but I certainly can be convinced of, say, 50 state fiat bad.
Please read impact turns, I like them and wish more people read them.
I appreciate cheap shots, I tend to think people underestimate the educational value of trolly arguments and "cheap shots".
Zachary Watts (call me Zach, please)
Affiliation: Jesuit Dallas
History: Debated at Jesuit Dallas for 3 years in high school and at UT Austin for 4 years - currently coaching at Jesuit Dallas.
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 or extending your arguments without referencing those of your opponent). If you could stick to the 1NC order on case and the 2AC order of arguments on off-case, that is very much appreciated. 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 28.5 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.
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, a counter-interpretation (or at least a counter-interpretation and a reason why their interp is bad for the topic), and 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 think process CPs are 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 that point out inconsistencies in the uniqueness-link-internal link logic chain of the DA even if you read a lot of evidence highlighted to produce a warrant where none actually exists. I think this is especially true with a lot of the climate versions of the BBB DA that have been read - I think that affs are not exploiting this DA's shaky uniqueness or the fact that the version of the bill the internal link evidence is discussing is usually the older bill that died when Manchin formally said he wouldn't support it in December. Also, if your uniqueness and internal link is about maintaining unity amongst Senate Democrats, you link should be about why the plan disrupts Democratic unity. 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. I think that you should read a specific link to the aff (or at the very least be able to explain why something the aff does is indicted by the link evidence you've read), 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. For both sides, the FW debate needs to be handled like T in terms of competing interpretations for how I should evaluate the debate and explaining how your interpretation accesses your opponents standards and how your standards outweigh or turn the ones you do not solve. On both sides, you should also be explaining by the rebuttals what the implication of your interpretation is - if I, for example, treat the aff as an object of scholarship, what does that mean in terms of how I evaluate whether or not the aff is a good idea/should be endorsed? I think interpretations should be somewhat generalizable to debate as an activity, not your specific K - I think FW interps along the lines of 'ROB is to do whatever the K is' are too easily characterized by the aff as self-serving and arbitrary metrics for how the debate should be evaluated. 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. While I've become more familiar with the form of some Ks of communication, they're not my favorite and, from what I've seen, usually just become a fiat bad argument. My K literacy is less along the lines of post-modern Ks, so it'll probably take a bit more explanation on those for me to vote on them. I'm not the judge for death good arguments.
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).
After having many of these debates in college, I've come to enjoy thinking about FW debates from both the aff and the neg side. I think that when you're aff, whether you're running a creative take on the topic or have very little relationship to it, you need to come prepared to defend a model of what debate looks like (or why your unlimited approach to debate is good) and why it's better than switch side debate. I phrase it like this because I think that one of my biggest issues with aff approaches to answering FW is that they rely on winning some exclusion offense (that the content of what is being discussed by the aff/1AC is excluded under the neg's interpretation). I feel like that's often not the case - even if you're right that the neg's interpretation precludes you from running this 1AC when you're aff, it doesn't preclude you from running your critique of the topic as a negative strategy. I think that, if you approach the debate with trying to beat switch side debate in mind, you'll have a much better chance of winning that your model of debate is actually key to your offense. On the negative, I think that one of the most important framing arguments you can utilize to neutralize much of the aff's offense is the argument that debate is ultimately a competitive activity - even if it's educational, the ballot and a presumption that either team could get it if they win the debate incentivizes teams to do specific, in-depth research. I think that this allows you to claim that if you're winning a limits DA or another internal link for why the aff's counter-interpretation/model of debate creates an undue procedural burden on the negative, it means that the education impacts the aff claims to solve don't get debated or researched under the aff's model because there's not an incentive to do so.
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) - while I apparently used to prioritize fairness over education in this calculus, that has decidedly changed. I think that in a condo debate, for example, you're much more likely to convince me that debates are worse quality if the negative gets conditional advocacies than that it is unfair for the negative to get conditional advocacies. 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 (although if there are other parts of the debate that the neg has gone for that may be considered a prior question to theory, you need to have arguments for why theory comes first).
Email me if you have questions and please put me on the chain: dylan.willett8 at gmail dot com as well as firstname.lastname@example.org. I coach for the Asian Debate League. I debated for UMKC. In college, I mostly went for framework, topic DAs, and an assortment of topic critiques. As a coach I mostly have spent the last year working on random policy stuff, but have spent a lot of time working with critical approaches to the topic as well. For the water topic, I also interviewed Erik Swyngedouw: https://youtu.be/fdxYZtnMAFQ
*I am in Taiwan which is at minimum 13 hours ahead of the tournament I am judging so make sure to start off at a pace where I can adapt to your speed and speed up progressively through the speech because I might begin the debate a bit groggy. I give the rounds I judge my all and will be focused on your debate, but these are some strategies to make that easier for me. Another good thing to do to keep me awake and lively (I will be trying to do this myself of course but every bit helps) is to keep the debate interesting. Play to your strengths, make jokes (there are plenty of jokes to be had on the water topic and I give props for effort), have fun, be aggressive, all that stuff. While every judge will rave about how they just vote off of the flow and all judges including myself work really hard to do that, it is impossible for us to detach ourselves from persuasion on some level. The energy you give the debate is relevant. Sounding like you are winning, enjoying yourself, etc adds an intangible element to your arguments which is huge for speaks. This is something I have learned a lot over the last year, especially when judging debates online at 4am Taiwan time.
also, if u wanna shave time off the debate given what i just mentioned, it would be very appreciated. understand if u dont, winning is more important*
Be bold, read something new, it will be rewarded if you do it well. Analysis of evidence is important. I have found that over the past few years I have grown my appreciation for more of the policy side of research not in an ideological lean, but rather I am not starting from negative with process counterplans, I appreciate clever disadvantages, etc. If you have good cards, I am more willing to reward that research and if you do something new, I will definitely be happy.
I begin my decisions by attempting to identify what the most important arguments are, who won them, and how they implicate the rest of the debate. The more judge instruction, including dictating where I should begin my decision by showing me what is most important will help determine the lens of how I read the rest of the arguments
I find that I am really annoyed by how frequently teams are asking major flow clarifications like sending a new file that removes the evidence that was skipped. Please just flow, if there is an actual issue that warrants a question its obviously ok, but in most situations it comes across as not paying attention to the speeches which is a bit frustrating.
I like good, strategic cross-ex. If you pay attention and prepare for your cx, it pays dividens in points and ballots. Have a plan. Separate yourself and your arguments here!
I am a big fan of case debates that consist of a lot of offense – impact turns or link turns are always better than just pulling from an impact d file.
I think that I mostly lean negative on theory arguments – I would be really sad if I had to parse through a huge theory debate like condo, but am willing. I think I start from a predisposition that condo, PICs, etc are okay, and change based off the theory debate as it develops. I think theory is an important part of an affirmative strategy versus good, and especially cheaty, counterplans. I don't think education is a super persuasive argument in theory debates I have found. Way easier to go for some type of fairness argument and compare internal links versus going for some abstract notion about how conditionality benefits or hurts "advocacy skills".
In framework debates, the best teams spend a lot of their speeches on these flows answering the nuanced developments of their opponents. AFF or NEG teams that just say a different wording of their original offense in each speech are setting themselves up to lose. I am interested in hearing what debates would look like under each model. I like education arguments that are contextual to the topic and clever TVAs and impact turns are good ways to get my ballot while making the debate less stale. I find the framework teams that lose my ballot most are those that refuse to turn (on the link level or impact level, in appropriate manner) AFF offense. I find the K AFF teams that lose my ballot most are those that don't double down on their offense and explain how the NEGs impacts fit in your depiction of how debate operates.
Ks, DAs, CPs, T, FW, etc are all fine to read and impact turn – as long as I am judging a round where there is some attention to strategy and arguments are being developed, I will be happy. Definitely willing to vote on zero risk of a link.