ISD Session Two Tournament
2021 — Online, LA/US
Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hi! I debated for 7 years, 4 of which I spent competing in public forum on the national circuit. I coach for Notre Dame San Jose in NorCal and coached a private team to its #3 ranking in the US. (I'm also a proud ISD staffer! Let me know if you have any questions. :)
I am flow. Regardless, I believe the best arguments are true arguments. They tend to have real evidence.
If you want to win the round, do these things:
1. Be respectful. Be nice to your partner and your opponents.
2. Be consistent. The arguments you talk about in summary MUST BE the arguments you talk about in final focus.
3. Warrant things. Debating without warrants is the equivalent of Monty Python's Argument Clinic. You need to tell me WHY I should believe your response to the other team's case (and vise versa). Basically, just tack on a "because" explanation to all your evidence.
*Warrants on evidence must be in every speech. Yes, that includes summary.
4. Weigh. Tell me why your arguments are the most important. To weigh properly, you MUST COMPARE your point to their point.
5. Signpost. Tell me what argument you are going to talk about before you start talking about it. Numbering your responses and points will help.
6. Clear! Tell the other team if they are talking too fast for you to understand. Loudly say "clear!"
I will call for evidence if it is contested or if I am curious. If I discover evidence you lied about, I will evaluate the round as if it didn't exist. Also, I will probably ask for more of your evidence. :)
Asking Questions Post Round
I am happy to explain to you why you won or lost. Ask as many questions as you want, but don't be aggressive.
Please do not delay the round with your pre-flowing. If you've debated your case before, just tear off the part of your old flow with your case on it and reuse that.
Read this if you talk fast:
*I don't flow spreading.
The round will be more pleasant if you talk slowly. If I'm judging you in the last round of the day, chances are I'm super tired and will not be as effective at flowing super fast talking. But, if you talk quickly, do these things:
1. Have clear diction
2. Do not read a million arguments. I will miss them in my notes and then you will be very sad. Also, the "spray and pray" method usually indicates that you don't have warrants. Warrants take up time, so if you are trying to get through things quickly to overwhelm your opponent, you are likely skipping essential warrants.
3. Don't use speed as a tactic to overwhelm the other team-that's not educational. If you go through an argument too quickly and it's hard to understand, I will have a very low threshold of what counts as a sufficient response.
4. Don't forget warrants. (Hey-wait a sec-that's in the paradigm three times!!! Maybe it's important. :)
Kudos for reading the entire paradigm! Tell me the typos you found so I can fix them. Have a great round!
I am a Debate Coach at Charlotte Latin. Have been coaching all types of debate (except Policy), but most specifically Public Forum.
Email Chain: email@example.com
1. Judge and Coach mostly Traditional styles.
2. Am ok with speed/spreading but should only be used for depth of coverage really.
3. LARP/Trad/Topical Ks/T > Theory/Tricks/Non-topical Ks
4. The rest is largely similar to PF judging:
- "Flow” judge I guess, can follow the fastest PF debater but dont use speed unless you have too.**
- I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that, with some humor and panache.
- I have a high threshold for theory arguments to be valid in PF. Unless there is in round abuse, I probably won’t vote for a frivolous shell. So I would avoid reading most of the trendy theory arguments in PF.
5 Things to Remember…
Sign Post/Road Maps (this does not include “I will be going over my opponent’s case and if time permits I will address our case”)
After constructive speeches, every speech should have organized narratives and each response should either be attacking entire contention level arguments or specific warrants/analysis. Please tell me where to place arguments otherwise they get lost in limbo. If you tell me you are going to do something and then don’t in a speech, I do not like that.
I will evaluate arguments under frameworks that are consistently extended and should be established as early as possible. If there are two frameworks, please decide which I should prefer and why. If neither team provides any, I default evaluate all arguments under a cost/benefit analysis.
Don’t just extend card authors and tag-lines of arguments, give me the how/why of your warrants and flesh out the importance of why your impacts matter. Summary extensions must be present for Final Focus extension evaluation. Defense to Final Focus ok if you are first speaking team, but you should be discussing the most important issues in every speech which may include early defense extensions.
I would prefer if you DO NOT paraphrase; you can, but you leave your evidence interpretation up to me. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round.
Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to the key contention-level impact story or how your strategy presents cohesion and some key answers on your opponents’ contentions/case.
SPEAKER POINT BREAKDOWNS
"30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior."
***Speaker Points break down borrowed from Mollie Clark.***
Yo. I graduated from Plano West '21 (CK) after debating for 4 years.
- Fully warrant your arguments the first time you read them. Don't make new warrants/implications after.
- Defense is sticky in summary if it wasn't responded to.
- Weigh early
- Extensions should fully reexplain the argument.
- Be quick when calling for evidence please.
- Speed is aight if both sides are cool with it but email chain me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to spread.
- I debated a decent amount of theory rounds so I'm fairly comfortable there but for other forms of progressive argumentation I'll do my best to follow; explain things well.
- No exclusionary language or actions.
I prefer all of my speakers to make sure that any contentions, plans or the like are clear and always link back to the topic at hand. You're free to run theory or K at your peril. I've heard great rounds on Afro-pessimism and bad rounds on it. I've loved a round full of theory and hated rounds full of theory. All depends on how it's done, and what the point of it is.
If creating an email chain - please include me: debate.foster @ gmail.
I am a social studies teacher, so I can't unknow the rules of American government or economics. Don't attempt to stay something that is factually inaccurate that you would know in your classes. I have been coaching debate for the last six years.
Be respectful of all parties in the room - your opponent(s), your partner (if applicable) and the judge. Hurtful language is in not something I tolerate. Pronouns in your names are an added plus.
Speaking clearly, even if fast, is fine, but spreading can be difficult to understand, especially through two computers. I will say "Clear" if I need to. In an online format, please slow down for the first minute if possible. I haven't had to listen to spreading with online debate.
For LD, I don't mind counterplans and theory discussions as long as they are germane to the topic and as long as they don't result in debating the rules of debate rather than the topic itself. In the last year most of my LD rounds have not been at TOC bid tournaments, but that doesn't mean I can't follow most arguments, but be patient as I adjust.
Truth > tech.
It's work to make me vote on extinction or nuclear war as a terminal impact in any debate. That link chain needs to be solid if you're doing to expect me to believe it.
In PF, make sure that you explain your terminal impacts and tell me why I should weight your impacts vs your opponents' impacts.
WSD - I have been around enough tournaments to know what I should hear and I will notice if you're not doing it well. Thinking global always. Models should always be well explained and match the focus on the round.
Hi, I did Public Forum debate for four years at Chagrin Falls High School in Cleveland Ohio.
*This paradigm is inspired by the iconic Albert Manfredi
Some things I like:
Warrants and lines of logic over evidence that is unwarranted
Weighing, start earlier and weigh alot
Front-lining in Second Rebuttal. You don't have to do this but I think it is a good idea
Collapsing ***** 3 min summary does not mean go for more, just COLLAPSE BETTER *****
Some things I don't like:
Miscut Evidence. I am fine with paraphrasing but please make sure its an accurate representation of the evidence (I reserve the right to drop you if it is seriously misrepresented)
Blippy Arguments that are not weighed, warranted, or implicated
Theory / Ks unless there is a serious issue or abuse in the topic or the round. You should probably strike me if this is your thing.
Any bigoted argument I will immediately drop you no questions asked.
Hi! I'm Mac Hays (he/him pronouns)! I debated 4 years of PF on the national circuit at Durham Academy. I now debate APDA at Brown.
* TLDR tabula rasa, warrant, signpost, extend, weigh, ballot directive language makes me happy, metaweighing ok, framing ok (I default util otherwise), theory ok, speed ok (don't be excessive), K ok, be nice and reasonable and have fun, ask me questions about how I judge before round if you want more clarity on any specifics
* Moving this to the top of my paradigm bc I think it's the primary way in which my paradigm differs from others: 2nd rebuttal should frontline case - yes, including defense. Nothing is sticky. Every speech must respond to everything in the speech before (with obvious exceptions like 2nd constructive and you don't have to extend case in rebuttal). As a rule of thumb, you cannot introduce any new arguments unless they are directly responsive to new arguments from the speech before, including indicts (ie. don't call case evidence after rebuttal, you had your chance). If you have previously had an opportunity in speech to respond to an argument and you didn't, it is dropped for the round. New responses to new implications are fine.
* How I vote: I look for the strongest impact and then determine which team has the strongest link into it. See my weighing section for more details. If you don't want me to do this, tell me why with warranting - this is just my default
* Add me to the email chain: email@example.com.
* The entirety of my paradigm can be considered "how I default in the absence of theoretical warrants" - that is, if you see debate differently than I do then make arguments as to why that's how I should judge, and, if you win them convincingly, I'll go with it. (exceptions are -isms, safety violations, speech times and the like)
My paradigm got unreasonably long so I put it in a google doc, read it if you want more clarity on specifics:
I am the head coach at Plano West. I was previously the coach at LC Anderson. I was a 4-year debater in high school, 3-years LD and 1-year CX. My students have competed in elimination rounds at several national tournaments, including Glenbrooks, Greenhill, Berkeley, Harvard, Emory, St. Marks, etc. I’ve also had debaters win NSDA Nationals and the Texas State Championship (both TFA and UIL.)
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
· You can debate quickly if that’s your thing, I can keep up. Please stop short of spreading, I’ll flow your arguments but tank your speaks. If something doesn’t make it onto my flow because of delivery issues or unclear signposting that’s on you.
· Do the things you do best. In exchange, I’ll make a concerted effort to adapt to the debaters in front of me. However, my inclinations on speeches are as follows:
o Rebuttal- Do whatever is strategic for the round you’re in. Spend all 4 minutes on case, or split your time between sheets, I’m content either way. If 2nd rebuttal does rebuild then 1st summary should not flow across ink.
o Summary- I prefer that both teams make some extension of turns or terminal defense in this speech. I believe this helps funnel the debate and force strategic decisions heading into final focus. If the If 1st summary extends case defense and 2nd summary collapses to a different piece of offense on their flow, then it’s fair for 1st final focus to leverage their rebuttal A2’s that weren’t extended in summary.
o Final Focus- Do whatever you feel is strategic in the context of the debate you’re having. While I’m pretty tech through the first 3 sets of speeches, I do enjoy big picture final focuses as they often make for cleaner voting rationale on my end.
· Weighing, comparative analysis, and contextualization are important. If neither team does the work here I’ll do my own assessment, and one of the teams will be frustrated by my conclusions. Lessen my intervention by doing the work for me. Also, it’s never too early to start weighing. If zero weighing is done by the 2nd team until final focus I won’t consider the impact calc, as the 1st team should have the opportunity to engage with opposing comparative analysis.
· I’m naturally credulous about the place of theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD/CX, I default reasonability over competing interps and am inclined to award the RVI if a team chooses to pursue it. Don’t be surprised if I make theory a wash and vote on substance. Good post fiat substance debates are my favorite part of this event, and while I acknowledge that there is a necessity for teams to be able to pursue the uplayer to check abusive positions, I am opposed to this event being overtaken by theory hacks and tricks debate.
· I’m happy to evaluate framework in the debate. I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default Cost-Benefit Analysis.
· Don’t flow across ink, I’ll likely know that you did. Clash and argument engagement is a great way to get ahead on my flow.
· Prioritize clear sign posting, especially in rebuttal and summary. I’ve judged too many rounds this season between competent teams in which the flow was irresolvably muddied by card dumps without a clear reference as to where these responses should be flowed. This makes my job more difficult, often results in claims of dropped arguments by debaters on both sides due to lack of clarity and risks the potential of me not evaluating an argument that ends up being critical because I didn’t know where to flow it/ didn’t flow it/ placed it somewhere on the flow you didn’t intend for me to.
· After the round I am happy to disclose, walk teams through my voting rationale, and answer any questions that any debaters in the round may have. Pedagogically speaking I think disclosure is critical to a debater’s education as it provides valuable insight on the process used to make decisions and provides an opportunity for debaters to understand how they could have better persuaded an impartial judge of the validity of their position. These learning opportunities require dialogue between debaters and judges. On a more pragmatic level, I think disclosure is good to increase the transparency and accountability of judge’s decisions. My expectation of debaters and coaches is that you stay civil and constructive when asking questions after the round. I’m sure there will be teams that will be frustrated or disagree with how I see the round, but I have never dropped a team out of malice. I hope that the teams I judge will utilize our back and forth dialogue as the educational opportunity I believe it’s intended to be. If a team (or their coaches) become hostile or use the disclosure period as an opportunity to be intellectually domineering it will not elicit the reaction you’re likely seeking, but it will conclude our conversation. My final thought on disclosure is that as debaters you should avoid 3ARing/post-rounding any judge that discloses, as this behavior has a chilling effect on disclosure, encouraging judges who aren’t as secure in their decisions to stop disclosing altogether to avoid confrontation.
· Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions you may have before we begin the round, or email me after the round if you have additional questions.
· You should do what you do best and in return I will make an earnest effort to adapt to you and render the best decision I can at the end of the debate. In this paradigm I'll provide ample analysis of my predispositions towards particular arguments and preferences for debate rounds. Despite that, reading your preferred arguments in the way that you prefer to read them will likely result in a better outcome than abandoning what you do well in an effort to meet a paradigm.
· You may speak as fast as you’d like, but I’d prefer that you give me additional pen time on tags/authors/dates. If I can’t flow you it’s a clarity issue, and I’ll say clear once before I stop flowing you.
· I like policy arguments. It’s probably what I understand best because it’s what I spent the bulk of my time reading as a competitor. I also like the K. I have a degree in philosophy and feel comfortable in these rounds.
· I have a high threshold on theory. I’m not saying don’t read it if it’s necessary, but I am suggesting is that you always layer the debate to give yourself a case option to win. I tend to make theory a wash unless you are persuasive on the issue, and your opponent mishandles the issue.
· Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you.
· I’m voting on substantive offense at the end of the debate unless you convince me to vote off of something else.
· You should strive to do an exceptional job of weighing in the round. This makes your ballot story far more persuasive, increasing the likelihood that you'll pick up and get high speaks.
· Disclosure is good for debate rounds. I’m not holding debaters accountable for being on the wiki, particularly if the debater is not from a circuit team, but I think that, at minimum, disclosing before the round is important for educational debates. If you don’t disclose before the round and your opponent calls you on it your speaks will suffer. If you're breaking a new strat in the round I won't hold you to that standard.
· Speaker points start at a 28 and go up or down from their depending on what happens in the round including quality of argumentation, how well you signpost, quality of extensions, and the respect you give to your opponent. I also consider how well the performance of the debater measures up to their specific style of debate. For example, a stock debater will be held to the standard of how well they're doing stock debate, a policy debater/policy debate, etc.
· I would estimate that my average speaker point is something like a 28.7, with the winner of the debate earning somewhere in the 29 range and the loser earning somewhere in the 28 range.
Debaters that elect to read positions about traumatic issues should provide trigger warnings before the round begins. I understand that there is an inherent difficulty in determining a bright line for when an argument would necessitate a trigger warning, if you believe it is reasonably possible that another debater or audience member could be triggered by your performance in the round then you should provide the warning. Err on the side of caution if you feel like this may be an issue. I believe these warnings are a necessary step to ensure that our community is a positive space for all people involved in it.
The penalty for not providing a trigger warning is straightforward: if the trigger warning is not given before the round and someone is triggered by the content of your position then you will receive 25 speaker points for the debate. If you do provide a trigger warning and your opponent discloses that they are likely to be triggered and you do nothing to adjust your strategy for the round you will receive 25 speaker points. I would prefer not to hear theory arguments with interps of always reading trigger warnings, nor do I believe that trigger warnings should be commodified by either debater. Penalties will not be assessed based on the potential of triggering. At the risk of redundancy, penalties will be assessed if and only if triggering occurs in round, and the penalty for knowingly triggering another debater is docked speaks.
If for any reason you feel like this might cause an issue in the debate let’s discuss it before the round, otherwise the preceding analysis is binding.
· I enjoy a good framework debate, and don’t care if you want to read a traditional V/C, ROB, or burdens.
· You should do a good job of explaining your framework. It's well worth your time spent making sure I understand the position than me being lost the entire round and having to make decisions based on a limited understanding of your fw.
· I’m more down for a topicality debate than a theory debate, but you should run your own race. I default competing interps over reasonability but can be convinced otherwise if you do the work on the reasonability flow. If you’re going for T you should be technically sound on the standards and voters debate.
· You should read theory if you really want to and if you believe you have a strong theory story, just don’t be surprised if I end up voting somewhere else on the flow.
· It's important enough to reiterate: Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you. Also, if you do not heed that advice there's a 100% chance I will miss some of your theory blips.
· I’m a fan of the K. Be sure to clearly articulate what the alt looks like and be ready to do some good work on the link story; I’m not very convinced by generic links.
· Don’t assume my familiarity with your literature base.
· For the neg good Kritiks are the ones in which the premise of the Kritik functions as an indict to the truth value of the Aff. If the K only gains relevance via relying on framework I am less persuaded by the argument; good K debates engage the Aff, not sidestep it.
· If you give good justifications and explanations of your performance I'm happy to hear it.
· These are good neg strats to read in front of me.
· Both the aff and neg should be technical in their engagement with the component parts of these arguments.
· Neg, you should make sure that your shells have all the right parts, IE don’t read a DA with no uniqueness evidence in front of me.
· Aff should engage with more than one part of these arguments if possible and be sure to signpost where I should be flowing your answers to these off case positions.
· I think I evaluate these arguments in a pretty similar fashion as most people. Perhaps the only caveat is that I don't necessarily think the Aff is required to win uniqueness in order for a link turn to function as offense. If uniqueness shields the link it probably overwhelms the link as well.
· I think perm debates are important for the Aff (on the CP of course, I WILL laugh if you perm a DA.) I am apt to vote on the perm debate, but only if you are technical in your engagement with the perm I.E. just saying "perm do both" isn't going to cut it.
· I'm not very familiar with it, and I'm probably not the judge you want to pref.
Feel free to ask me questions after the round if you have them, provided you’re respectful about it. If you attempt to 3AR me or become rude the conversation will end at that point.
hey, i'm a student at northeastern university. i use they/them or he/him pronouns. i did PF for 4 years as a 2nd speaker in the central florida circuit with moderate success placing at several nat circuit tournaments & qualifying to CFL nats, NSDA nats, & TOC. i like dabbling in queer theory and political philosophy outside of debate. i like baudrillard, queer pessimism, and social ecology.
i can handle speed, but avoid spreading. let me (and your opponents!) know ahead of time if you're going super fast & be ready to send a speech doc in case i need to ask for it. pts usually range 27 - 29.5
general judging attitude
imo anyone can read off a bunch of evidence and anyone can get prepped out by their coaches + team, but not everyone is capable of understanding + being fully responsive to the nuances of every case, giving well-informed logical and warranted responses to unfamiliar/unique args, weighing, etc. these are the qualities that, to me, make a genuinely good debater.
also, you can honestly keep it pretty casual during round cause debate tournaments are usually super stressful and everyone is really tense all the time so it is refreshing when you can all just chill and have fun with debate + your opponents
some stuff i like to see:
*these are not totally required and i think a cool part of debate is seeing people employ different strategies and styles so you can debate any way you'd like, but these are just some things that tend to help win over my ballot:
-weighing in rebuttal
-adding nuance or unique links/impacts to otherwise stock arguments
-frontlining in second rebuttal
-WARRANTING!!!!!!!!!!!! as my debate partner Amelia always said, "cards don't win rounds. warrants do"
-try to collapse in summary
-FF should mirror summary
stuff i don't like:
-i will drop you and absolutely tank your speaks for any bigoted, discriminatory, or violent arguments + behavior
-miscut evidence. paraphrasing is fine, just stay true to what the text says.
-cardstacking. i really dont enjoy when debaters, typically during rebuttal, shoot out a bunch of blippy arguments that are not warranted, weighed, implicated, or extended in future speeches. blippy arguments are a waste of time to me.
-this one is a more personal nitpicky thing. i LOVE ecological args, but really dislike climate change args. there are so many ecological issues (all of which directly relate to social issues) that debaters could talk about, but everyone always defaults to climate change for some reason and i think it's actually quite harmful to our environmental discourses.
-general nastiness during round. you can 100% be aggressive but don't like go out of your way to be seriously mean to your opponents, espec if they tell you to stop
-rude spectators. if you bring in spectators that are rude, disruptive, loud, etc it'll reflect poorly on you and i will ask them to leave
-you can run theory in front of me, just explain it comprehensibly. however, i did come from a small school with few resources and little help, so if you're smart i'd avoid hypocritically asking the judge to "prioritize small schools" while simultaneously leveraging the theory you learned from camp or your coaches against the small schools you claim to advocate for
-i don't flow cross. if something important happens in cross tell me in your next speech
-if there is a dispute about the credibility of your evidence/evidence being misconstrued, i may call for the card but if you, at any point in your speeches, ask me to call for a particular card, then i will do so at the end of the round (as long as you're not asking me to call for like 10 cards or something, that would be excessive)
-please time yourselves
-im always open to talk before round if your opponents havent arrived yet cause the pre-round silence is usually super awkward so some of my interests include queer theory, political philosophy, podcasts/audio dramas (the magnus archives, welcome to night vale, alice isn't dead, etc), indie garage rock music, film analysis, nbc's hannibal, environmental sociology, & investigative journalist/writer Robert Evans
-automatic 29-30 pts if you serenade me, bring me sushi (i like salmon), do a backflip, or show me that you have donated at least $5 to mutual aid (NOT CHARITY, IT HAS TO BE MUTUAL AID)
-email is email@example.com for email chains + any questions you have + if you just have any questions or anything after reading my RFD
I was a PF debater for Chagrin Falls High School in Cleveland, OH, for four years.
Things I like:
- Well-warranted, well-explained arguments. Tech and truth are not mutually exclusive. Logical warranting >>>>> a card dump. Cards/evidence give credence to what you're saying, but your argument should make sense without cards, too.
- Narrative & Contextualization. Explain how your argument fits into the broader picture.
- Weighing! When I say "weigh," I do not mean that you have to read a 7-pronged weighing mechanism with a bunch of buzzwords like 'magnitude' and 'scope'. Just tell me why what you're saying is important.
- Collapsing: 3 minute summary does not mean that you now have time to go for everything. In the words of Bob Dolan, "50% fewer arguments, 100% more analysis."
- Being nice
Things I don't like:
- Crazy speed
- Theory, kritiks, tricks, etc.
- Card dumps
- Blippy argumentation: The less-warranted your argument, the lower the threshold for responding to it. I will not be persuaded by teams who read 50 cards in rebuttal and then collapse on the ONE card that their opponents missed.
If you have any questions at all, or if there is any jargon in the above paradigm that you don't understand, please ask for clarification!!
hi! my name is Amelia (she/her) and I am a student at the University of Florida. I competed in PF as 1st speaker for 4 years on the Central Florida circuit with some success placing at nat circuit tournaments and qualifying to CFL nats, NSDA nats, FL states, and TOC. My strongest belief is that debate should be fun, educational, and accessible so try to have a good time and relax (you've got this!)
I am fine with speed, but please try to avoid spreading. If you are going to read abnormally fast, be prepared to send a speech doc and verify that it's okay with your opponents first. Speaks typically range from 27-29.5.
-I REALLY like to see actual analysis and warranting. Anyone can be prepped out by their team and just read off cards, it takes a debater to be able to break down evidence and explain the WHY and the nuances behind it. I am a firm believer that "cards don't win rounds, warrants do" so keep that in mind.
-racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, bigotry, or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated and I will automatically drop you and give you low speaks.
-I will call for cards if there is debate about misconstruing, so if you are going to paraphrase (which I am fine with) just stay true to the text.
-I flow everything except for cross, so if you would like cross to be acknowledged on the flow, bring it up in your next speech.
what I like to see (not mandatory to win my ballot, just preferences):
-weighing in rebuttal
-narratives that flow from speech to speech
-consistency and communication between partners (summary and ff should go hand in hand)
-frontlining in second rebuttal
-collapsing in summary
what I am not a huge fan of:
-cardstacking: I am a huge proponent of quality > quantity, so I do not like a bunch of blippy rebuttal arguments stack on top of each other with little to no analysis
-rude spectators: your spectators need to be respectful of your opponents, meaning they are quiet and not disruptive. I will ask them to leave otherwise.
-theory is not my favorite because it was relatively new to PF when I competed and I do not have a large grasp on it. I am fine if you run it, however, just explain it logically and do not assume that I understand what you are talking about.
-try not to get too heated with your opponents. Remember that you will never convince your opponents, instead you are trying to convince your judge. I know things get heated sometimes, which is fine because I understand how passionate you are (I was like that too) but keep your focus on the judge.
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org for any email chains or if you would like additional feedback after you see/hear my RFD
Good luck and please feel free to ask questions before round! I will disclose if the tournament allows it and I try to give comprehensive written feedback as well :) Regardless if you win or lose, I hope you will learn something from the round. My strongest growth occurred after my losses, so please take everything with a grain of salt and do not set your worth on the result. Debate is an activity that requires you to put yourself out there and I know the dedication that all of you have put towards this activity is tremendous. You should already feel proud of yourselves for all of the work and time you have put into this activity (I know that I am proud of you!)
I am a former debate coach and current debate tab staffer at many regional and circuit-level tournaments in California. I competed in student congress and have actively coached congress, speech (e.g., oratory or platform events), LD, parliamentary debate, and public forum debate. I competed from 2006 to 2008, coached from 2008 to 2013, and tabbed from 2011 to present.
Outside of speech and debate, I have my MA in Social Psychology and am a PhD Candidate in Social Psychology. I focus on group identities and how it affects our thoughts and behaviors. Between that and my other professional experiences, my view of speech and debate has now become focused on the communication of information and logical arguments for an audience.
Here is how this has affected my perspectives of debate rounds:
1. Do not actively harm anyone else in the debate round. Personal attacks, ad hominem arguments, or similar actions detract from the speech and debate experience. If you engage in any behavior that actively harms yourself or a competitor, I will give the win to your opponent and immediately let tab staff know of your behavior.
2. Any argument that you want to run that does not actively harm yourself or your opponent works for me. This includes traditional and progressive arguments. Importantly, any argument that you want to run is fine with me if you can explain the argument in simple English. Tell me why your argument is relevant and matters in the round, and I will evaluate it. Arguments filled with excessive jargon without an attempt to explain it in simple English will likely be ignored.
3. Debate is inherently an activity based on value judgements. Arguments that focus on an empiric as the take-home point (e.g., we save x more lives than our opponents or save x more money than our opponents) do not inherently have value by itself. You need to tell me why your evidence and analysis matters (e.g., overall, our side allows us to achieve something we value or avoid something that we do not value). Tell me what matters, and tell me why I should weigh it above your opponents' case. On average, I will value plausible evidence more than implausible examples. As an aside, extinction arguments will usually be ignored and excluded from my flow if it is irrelevant to the topic.
4. It is up to you to convince me as a judge that your evidence is (1) valid and (2) relevant to the round. Sensationalist or inflammatory arguments or evidence that do not add to the overall logic or arguments of the round will be ignored completely (e.g., they will not make my flow sheet). It is your responsibility to ensure that your argument is (a) not sensationalist, (b) not inflammatory, and (c) relevant to the round
5. I do not support the game theory of spreading, or the idea of running so many arguments that it is impossible to counteract all arguments in a specific round. Communication matters. Speed is okay but spreading is strongly discouraged.
6. Most debates focus on a specific topic or point. Although it is a tactic to focus on a specific aspect of the debate, concede that point after much of the round has passed, and then state “I concede the point that we spent much of the round that we discussed while still winning on the rest of my case that my opponent has overlooked,” I find that to be a very cheap debate tactic that does not have much real world applicability. If you and your opponent explicitly or implicitly focus on a specific point or area of contention within a round, I will decide my ballot based on that point or contention.
7. Specific to LD: I need a value. Morality is not a value, as groups define what it means to be moral (Ellemers et al., 2013). I need to know a specific value that you think I should promote or prefer in the round.
Overall, I hope you have fun, communicate clearly, use valid and relevant evidence effectively, and be respectful of yourselves, your opponents, and the community. We all showed up because this is something that we enjoy. Treat others with the respect you hope to be treated with, and I will do my best to treat everyone with respect throughout the round.
I am a coach of over 15 years for policy, pf, ld and all speech events at North Sanpete HS, Mission San Jose, Alta and Summit Academy and currently at Westlake High School.
In HS I competed in Speech events, LD and coached policy teams (there was no pf then).
I am the Chair for the NSDA Sundance District and former president for the UDCA. I have judged IE events at the Nationals Level and have served on the pf wording committee for the last 3 years. In other words, I know what I'm doing and know speech and debate very well!
I believe that you should give a well organized logical argument in any debate or speech. Topicality is imperative to a debate, and supporting and explaining your position on that topic is vital to a clear argument construct. If you don't say it, I didn't hear it. Don't assume I will know what your evidence means the same as you...
Policy debate should be relevant, and well understood by the competitors otherwise it will not be understood by the judges. I do not mind speed, but if it is so fast that I can no longer understand your words, then I can no longer understand your argument to judge it. K's and theory are fine as long as they go toward the overall value of the debate and topic. Analysis and connection of evidence/cards to the plan and solvency is imperative in making a good argument and being a good debater. Cards do not a case make, the debater does. Know your cards, know your plan, and know how they work to support and solve the inherency of the issues involved.
Public Forum should be a thoughtful discussion and not overly repeat questions and answers. Don't just read evidence and think it will make your argument for you. PF IS NOT just policy light....it is its own event with no plans and merits. Treat it well. Weighing and analysis of the topic, evidence, and oppositions arguments are imperative.
Lincoln Douglas should have a clear value and criterion from which to work from, and stay focused on topic and argument. Don't just read evidence and think it will make your argument for you. CARDS and EVIDENCE DO NOT A CASE MAKE...the debater does. Analysis, rebuttal, and connections to the value criterion are paramount in an LD round Plans are ok, as long as they are relevant, on topic, and are shown how they connect to the value criterion like any other argument in the case.
IEs should be unique, appropriate, and follow all structures outlined in their respective events. I look for organization, relevance, creativity and thoughtfulness as well as the presentation being engaging, and suitable for piece and audience. Remember when trying to engage an audience, one should want to help them understand, be brought into the conversation, and allowed to learn another perspective while still maintaining their own in the end. Try not to preach, demean, or ostracize your judge in your piece or presentation---even when controversial topic---they can be great, if done right.
PF Paradigm 2021-22 Season:
eDebate - Year of the Delta Variant
I consider myself tech>truth but I have been approaching a closer equilibrium between the two lately due to the poor state of evidence ethics, power tagging, clipping, and more.
2021 Fall Stats Update: Importing my Tabroom data I've judged 495 rounds since 2014 with a 55% Pro and 45% Con balance. Not bad. Slight Aff bias it seems.
If it's a Russian conflict link debate you need to do comparative analysis using some of these possible distinguishing factors.
1. Why are you precedents or empirics more illustrative of a trend? Is one empiric more important than another? Are the number of empirics important? Why?
2. Why is your Kremlinology (game theory study of Kremlin actions) more correct? One side says Russia is reactive. Another says proactive. That's not a debate. Do you have simulations or war games that use these same predictions? Are they your logical predictions and why are they sound?
3. Why is your evidence better? What was the methodology? What did it look at it? Who is the author? Are they more authoritative? Does it postdate? If it does what changed in the proceeding months or years that matter?
I've seen dozens of these link debates by now and they become virtually all muddy and mucky. Please help me.
PS I really love teams that have evidence cut from this month because it shows me they kept with the topic and aren't using camp or team files that are static and stale ;)
- What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but more often when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot.
- Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
- Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
- I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical, theoretical, and/or pre-fiat based roads. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become increasingly tired of opportunistic, poor quality, and unfleshed out theory and/or pre-fiat debates in PF. I will be especially incredulous of your theory argument if I discover your application of theory is principally inconsistent. For example, you are running disclosure or paraphrasing theory against one team for violating but not another team who violated (assuming both judges would have equally been receptive.) There may be other extenuating circumstances that explain the discrepancy in application but they need to be addressed. Lastly, if you look back at the last 22 rounds or so I've judged with theory or a pre-fiat argument as the primary voter I've probably only voted for the team who introduced said argument in the round 6 of 22 rounds. All variables being equal I would prefer post-fiat stock topic specific rounds but in principle remain tabula rasa.
- What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time.
- If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
- Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
- DA's in general or second rebuttal? You mean the borderline new contentions you are trying to introduce in the round that are tentatively linked at BEST to the existing arguments in the round order to time skew/spread your opponents thin? Don't push it too much.
- I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
- Calling for your opponent's cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Smh y'all.
- If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear.
- My favorite question in cx is: Why?
- My favorite phrase in debate is: "Prefer our warrant or evidence" or "comparing our warrants you prefer ours because..."
- Don't read "framework" at the top of case unless it's carded. Rarely is it warranted or carded. It's almost always asserted. If you have a card and have an independent warrant go for it. Otherwise don't waste our time in the speech when we know the debate will end with CBA. You can run overviews and weighing but that's different than framework as some approach it. Let's not miss the forest for the trees.
- I understand the desire to ask for quantifications or quantitative bright-lines. It can be helpful in some debates. However, if you ask for a specific quantification then the burden on you in turn is to provide quantifications for your argument as well. I can't tell you how many times I see teams ask others to quantify their impacts and little if none of their own meet that same standard.
- If you run a percentage increase in an impact or effect you better have the original baseline or original percent if asked. Saying something increases by 845% is misleading without context. If my tea drinking increased by 200% per day and the original amount was 2 oz that isn't significant in context.
- Offtime road maps fine
- Pre-flowing in general should be done before the round. Especially if it's second flight. Like what are y'all doing outside the room lmao. Print out copies or something. Easy.
- Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me! [Before covid times this was prophetic]
- To see my discussions and extended preferences please check out r/debate on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/GabeRusk/submitted/
Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at the Oxford Debate Union
Coaching Experience: 11 years of coaching, instructor at 14 debate camps, debate camp director, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, Director of Debate at Fairmont 2018-Current, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, Capitol 2016-2018, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach and lecturer for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.
Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Law & Religion - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Majored in Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas of familiarity include Buddhism, comparative religion, free speech, freedom of expression, art law, media law, & SCOTUS history.
Ahhhhh! You made it this far. Plus .1 speaker points if your pet Zoom bombs.
What's up I did PF for four years from plano west '21 (IS)
You can ask me questions before the round if you have any after reading this
Tech> truth but if its something weird, you will have to work harder to get my ballot
I'm probably not familiar with any of the topics so explain unusual terminology
I'm ok with speed for the most part but send speech doc if spreading. If it is too fast/can't understand you, I'm just not gonna flow it.
Theory is ok but I'm not completely familiar with it. For any progressive argument, it's best if the argument is fleshed out to me simplistically and I'll do my best to follow
Either line by line/big picture summary is ok
Second rebuttal should reply to first
When extending, fully extend the argument
if comparing evidence, please tell me in round or else I have to do it myself and you can guess how that's gonna go
Warrant. don't make new warrants later
be quick when calling for evidence pleasee4eeeeeeeee
no exclusionary actions or language.
Hi! I competed in PF at Nova High School in South Florida from 2014 to 2019. I'm now a student at Duke University and this is my third year coaching PF at Durham Academy.
How I make decisions-
I tend to vote on the path of least resistance. This is the place on my flow where I need to intervene the least as a judge in order to make a decision. Explicitly identifying your cleanest piece of offense in the round, winning that clean piece of offense, completely extending that clean piece of offense (uniqueness, links AND impacts in BOTH summary and final focus), and then telling me why your cleanest piece of offense is more important than your opponents' cleanest piece of offense is usually an easy way to win my ballot.
- Second rebuttal isn’t required to frontline but I do think it is really strategic to do so (especially turns).
- First summary doesn't need terminal defense (I guess you could say its ~sticky~ even though that word is gross).
- I think a lot of debaters give "flow" judges too much credit for knowing things. I can only vote on arguments I understand by the end of the round. If your argument is still unclear to me after 4 speeches and 3 crossfires, thats your fault not mine. While I do coach and usually know the resolution well, please do not assume I know everything.
- I personally feel that calling for evidence as a judge is interventionist. I will only do it if 1- someone in the round explicitly tells me to in a speech or 2- reading evidence is literally the only way that I can make a decision (if this happens, it means both teams did a terrible job of clarifying the round and there is no clear offense for me to vote on. Please don't let this happen).
- I'll vote on Kritiks if they are clearly warranted, well explained, and made accessible to your opponents.
- I will also vote on theory that is clearly explained, fleshed out, and well warranted. I believe that theory should ONLY be used to check egregious instances of in-round abuse. So running it to waste time, get a cheap win, or exclude your opponents from the debate will result in low speaks and possibly a loss if you annoy me enough. I won't buy paraphrase or disclosure theory.
- I'm also not super confident in my ability to evaluate progressive args so proceed with caution.
- If you plan on reading arguments about sensitive topics, please provide a trigger/content warning before the round. Please work to maintain debate as a safe space and refrain from reading potentially triggering arguments if someone in the round asks you not to. If you have any questions as to what a content warning is, how to go about reading a content warning, or if you're unsure if you should read one- let me know before the round. I'm more than happy to help you! With that being said, I am very receptive to trigger warning theory if one is either not read or violated.
- This should really go without saying but- racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate. If I deem your behavior to be excessively rude, condescending, arrogant, or hateful, I reserve the right to intervene and drop you.
Hopefully this covered everything but if you still have questions after reading please feel free to ask before the round!