Greenhill Fall Classic
2021 — NSDA Campus, TX/US
Lincoln Douglas RR Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
LAMDL 2017 to present (cx) (Stern 2017-19, Bravo 2020-present)
Northwood HS 2017 to 2018 (cx)
Southwestern College 2014 to 2019 (CX)
San Marino HS 2018 to 2020 (CX/LD)
Mission Vista HS 2019 to 2020 (CX/LD/PF/Parli/whatever else)
Torrey Pines HS 2020 to 2021 (LD)
YBHS 2020 to present (LD)
Boise Senior High School (LD)
I do have a hearing problem in my right ear. If I've never heard you b4 or it's the first round of the day. PLEASE go about 80% of your normal spread for about 20 seconds so I can get acclimated to your voice. If you don't, I'm going to miss a good chunk of your first minute or so. I know people pref partly through speaker points. My default starts at 28.5 and goes up from there. If i think you get to an elim round, you'll prob get 29.0+
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
for lders scroll down to the ld section
Performances and K Affs: I like em. I'd prefer you have a topic link but I've voted for teams before that were blatantly not topical. Adhering to the thesis of your k aff and/or performance is important. Please don't run a Fem aff and then proceed to misgender someone in the round. It can get infuriating at times. I'd like an explanation of the theory of power of the aff coming into the 2ac that has sufficient contextualizing to whatever k the neg is reading. Just extending your aff can be okay but more contextualization so the turns/alt debate can be cleaner is always preferred. Just because you run a K aff doesn't mean I'll vote for you though. I find pomo k affs to be harder to evaluate compared to others but if fleshed out during the round, I'll vote for it. Run your poem. Run your narrative. Run your music. Run your 15 card k aff dump. Whatever. just make sure it makes sense and I'll try my best to evaluate it as I would other positions
Framework T: Def run it. My personal preference runs more on the line that the aff must be able to defend their model of debate. If they decide excluding portions of the resolution within their position is a good thing, but can't defend that, they probably don't deserve the ballot. I lean more on epis impx and see procedural fairness as an internal link to something else but I'll default to whatever the debaters tell me and only intervene in that regard if no one wins the argument.
Having a case list of negs you can run and cannot run and why they're good or bad is convincing. Having a story around aff limits and why they matter in the context of the debate and your impacts matter. buzz words and blocks won't be enough. really explain it to me so I have a clear area I can circle on my flow (well put ** on my excel sheet) that I can pull the trigger on. FYI. TVA without a clear plantext with advantages and a solvency story is not sufficient to win that argument. Referencing other schools' affs also prob won't help you since I could care less about what most affs are and i'm not going to do extra research during rfd time to look up at the wiki. If it's important enough to reference, you can tell me how the tva functions to solve/allow for good ground for both sides of the debate. shrug.
Topicality: Go for it. I err on competing interps and have voted for wonky T's and aff's answers to t. Reasonability with really good warrants can also convince but i'd rather not vote on if it I can help it. Your interps need to be carded. I'm done with aff debaters who have counter interps that are not backed up by data. If you read that and the neg doesn't concede the we meet, you'll prob never get the ballot. As a side not for ld, please slow a bit down when ur on this flow as most debates centered on T are very light on cards and heavy on spreading and flowing analytics for minutes on end can be difficult. I'm not looking at the doc so if I miss a blippy arg that you go for? ooops.
Kritiks: I think K's are a good thing. I think running kritiques as a way to educate not only yourself but those around you is a good thing. Spend time during cx or the block (2nr in ld) to really develop a well articulated link story. Too many times the 1nc will just read generic link cards and never really give me portions of the aff that fit into those links and why they bite the theory of power. That's bad. If I can't see how the aff links, 0 chance will I vote on a K. If you're going 1 off K, please add framework. I'm okay with not evaluating the aff if they lead to a bad for debating. In that regard I think affs underutilized the potential spin they can use in order to have access to all portions of the aff.
Floating piks are probably bad. vague alts that shift between one speech and the next are probably bad. call it out please.
Perms are good. Running the K conditionally with a ROB is probably bad esp if you kick out of the K and there's a random link turn or perm argument coming out of the aff...
CP: I like counterplans. I err neg on condo theory to a degree unless the amount of conditional advocacies gets to the point the aff is forced to double turn themselves in order to answer all those off cases. I can be convinced to vote aff easily once the abuse occurs. But if the advocacies are fine with each other, then you're gtg. If no abuse and debate comes down to condo, I can pull the trigger for the aff, they just need to win the tech. I dislike multiplank cps but ld has been heavily leaning towards billions of planks so whatever. Run your abusive counterplans. adv cps are good. pics are generally good. private actor cps and the like are probably bad.
If you drop the perm. You'll probably lose. There's no excuse. don't drop it.
Prefer the Disad/NB be on another flow as it keeps my flows a little cleaner and allows the neg to be able to pivot out of the cp and go for the disad vs the case.
DA: Use it. the more the merrier. can't be conditional if you run 6 disads, right? keep your story on how the disad turns and out weighs case and you're good. problem for me on voting for disads has usually been the impact calc debate. some debates just get messy and I don't know how the impacts of the disad vs the aff work. At that point I'm sorta lost and will have to spend time being grumpy to try to clear the picture up as much as I can. I love good UQ debates. links and internal link debates, impact turns (to a degree). This is an election year so I know everyone will be running the presidential elections disad as well as some senate elections disads. That's fine. Just please keep your internal link chain concise. If the internal links are dubious at best to get to a terminal impact, my threshold for the aff answering it will likely be low.
Case debate: Go for a dropped case turn. So many debates could be resolved very quickly if the Neg would only look at the conceded case turns and solvency deficits and just go for it. In that same sense. Defend your case. If the neg undercovers case, what does that mean as a whole for the debate? If you solve the impx coming out of the 1nc... it should do so some interesting things in relation to other positions, right? ?
Online Debate: I have amazing hardware now for online debate. That doesn't mean everyone does though. If possible please don't go as fast as humanly possible because debate platforms are still limited on how clear communications can be. Coupled that with being in a panel with observers, it's even more important to think about access for the community and competitors/judges.
If the speech cuts out due to internet issues, depending on the length, I will either have you restart from that spot you cut off or will ask what you said (if less than 5-10 seconds). I trust that the people I'm judging will not do ethically questionable actions because of the online format. My tech is good enough that unless you're internet suddenly cuts off, I will be able to keep track through most of it and if I find out you're lying to me or the competitor about what you said, a 25/L will be in the future. I put my trust in the debaters I judge. Don't abuse it.
For LD debaters:
I coach a trad lder as well so I get how it works. Just do you and lets have a fun round.
On a mutual pref sheet this is how I would pref me.
1: Larp V K, K v T/fw +
2: larp v larp. K v K
3: phil, heavy theory debaters and heavy T debates
4: Pomo K's that look like gibberish to me
5: spark, overpop, death good, nebel, trix
update for the sept/oct topic: my threshold on theory vs cheaty counterplans is pretty low. keep that in mind.
Enunciate your claims and slow down a bit so I can actually flow it. When half the constructive is literally just analytics and you're 300+ wpm... that's lit unflowable and I'm not going to the docs to resolve that. If you lose because it's not on my flow? Shrug. Don't care.
Jasmine Stidham "You have the power to stop Nebel t in this activity" Mission accepted.
NO NEBEL. THE 1AR JUST HAS TO SAY "NO" AND WE ARE DONE ON THAT FLOW.
yes 1ar theory. no rvis.
Aff's are capped at 29.2 if they include underview theory about why they get rvis and 1ar stuff.
I prefer a substantive debate with 3-4 off to something like 13 off. I'll flow you regardless but I reserve the right roast you.
Tricks are not a viable strat in front of me. Not voting for it.
Theory is good if it isn't a blippy mess. Just saying a team is "condo" and they should lose without an interp, and why condo is problematic will not get you a ballot.
Lastly, please be nice to each other. LD is such a short event that to there's really no point to get toxic from 2 cx's. If the round gets toxic. Whoever initiated the toxicity will not be able to receive anything higher than a 27.5.
Intro: Hi I'm Austin. I mainly debated LD in high school, but am familiar with most other event formats. I graduated from NCS debate in 2020 and currently attend UT at Austin pursuing a degree in psychology. I competed on the local and national circuit all four years of high school, so I like to think I'm pretty up to date on the technical nuances of modern LD. Things that are bolded in my paradigm are things I think people are generally looking for or I think are worth noting about my preferences. Add me to the chain at email@example.com or if we've debated and you have a previous email saved for me, that works too. Feel free to email me with specific questions before the round or thoughts on how I could improve my paradigm!
TLDR paradigm: Read the bottom for my speaks paradigm; I don't gut check "bad" arguments; I really love highly technical debates especially on a theoretical layer but I'm good with evaluating policy, kritikal debate, etc.; I feel like this goes without saying but I will not vote on something I don't understand it just doesn't make any sense for me to do so; By nature (even outside of debate) I default erring on the side of the person who is most logically consistent. This means I will not vote for you unless you are ahead on a technical level (absent someone proposing an alternative method for me to evaluate by); I enjoy analytics more than empirics. I love tricks, but I think they're only pedagogically valuable for their ability to boost critical thinking other than that they're generally just for funzies; Due to the nature of my paradigm and the debates I typically judge because of it please read the fourth point in the general section as well; Lastly my opinion on anything in this paradigm can change just make the proper arg.
- I default comparative worlds but love truth testing
- I presume neg unless the neg reads an alternative that is farther from the squo than the aff's plan/advocacy
- I will vote on literally anything given the proper framing metric and justification
- I will NOT make arguments for you because I believe judge intervention is the worst; consequently if your opponent does something that propels a model of debate that is sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/abelist or something similar I will not drop them unless you mention it. It can be as simple as "they said/did x and that makes debate less accessible because x so they should lose." Otherwise the only thing I have jurisdiction to do is give them god awful speaks. To clarify if you don't say that they should lose for their discriminatory actions and they are ahead on the tech debate I will vote for them and be very very very sad about it. Please do not make me do this and call them out for being unethical. It's an easy ballot and better for debate.
- you don't have to ask me to flow by ear; I promise I'm both listening and reading your doc (to clarify, I'll catch extemporized blippy analytics)
- I probably default more T>K but that's really up to you
- Weighing makes me happy, as well as a strong fw tie/explanation
- Ethics challenges/evidence ethics calls will result in the round stopping and the person who violated receiving an L-25; if the violation is untrue then the accuser will receive an L-25
- I don't have a default on disclosure at the moment but in debate I defaulted disclosure bad; regardless of my default it doesn't affect my ability to listen to either stance and adjudicate accordingly.
- My ability to understand spread/speed is pretty good; feel free to go as fast as you want but please be clear
- Please please please ask your opponent if your practices are accessible before the round so you are 1. not exclusionary and 2. not susceptible to an easily avoidable independent voter; if you don't ask and end up doing something inaccessible you'll probably lose (provided they make it a voting issue); this includes giving trigger warnings
- flex prep is cool
- If you clip you lose with a 25 and if both debaters clip the one that did more of it (decided by quantity of characters clipped and/or by how far from original intent the ev is miscut) will lose and both debaters will receive 25s
- um if you don't read a fw/fw is a wash I'll presume neg (same for voters on t/theory)
- there are only a few norms I think are pretty true; among them are judge intervention bad, no new 2ar arguments, and normal speech times (although these can easily change)
- you don't have to ask if I am ready for you to speak; I am probably paying attention (to clarify, default I am ready unless I say something that suggests otherwise)
Pref Shortcuts (by my confidence in my ability to adjudicate and 1 being most confident 5 being least):
Theory/T/Tricks- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
Phil/High Theory- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
K- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
LARP- 1 to 3 (depending on density)
Pref Shortcuts (by my desire to see them in round and 1 being most desirable 5 being least):
Phil/High Theory- 1
note: I will be happy to adjudicate LARP it's just not my highest preference
- Love these please know what your own plan says though
- I default plans are abusive mainly because I never read one for its PeDaGOgiCaL VaLUe it was always for strategy but don't let this discourage you from reading a plan seriously they're fine.
- Honestly severance is cool with me but if they point it out and make a theoretical reason to drop it will be veryyy hard to beat back; if they read a condo or dispo CP, however, it becomes a little easier to get out of
- the solvency section is very important for me if you don't have one it's gonna be rough
- please have an advocate just for the sake of an easier theory debate
- These are cool but better if they're actually competitive; read as many as you want just know anything more than 1 is hard to justify theoretically especially if it's not uncondo (although I love multiple CP debates)
- Any CP is cool (including actor, process, etc.) just make sure the 2nr extension is sufficient to vote on
- I default condo is bad in all scenarios, but don't let that discourage you from utilizing it as I think condo is super strategic (which is good for speaks) you just have to be marginally ahead on the theory debate; feel free to read like 8 condo CPs just know it's an uphill theoretical battle (but certainly not impossible)
- I default perms as an advocacy because they always seem to be extended as such but it is really up to you
- Probably my least favorite position because they all seem to go down the same path towards the 2nr, but a good extrapolation and coupling with a competitive CP makes this position much better
- the more unique the DA the more I'll like listening to it (please don't make me listen to a basic three card econ disad unless you don't plan on going for it)
- Please do notttt confuse this with basic FW debate
- I used to read a few high theory positions but that doesn't mean my threshold for explanation on those positions is any lower/higher than any other argument
- Kant is kool but I'm not a hack
- If the aff doesn't have a fw and the neg strategically reads a fw the aff can't link into, aff is probably losing
- If no one reads a fw I will probably not evaluate any post-fiat implications of either side and just vote on strength of link weighing/presumption or a higher layer (i.e. I will NOT default util or sv for you this isn't pf)
- I'm hesitant to say this but I did read a decent amount of Baudrillard just know there is a reason why I stopped lol feel free to still read it though I love hearing it as well as any other high theory
- I especially love hearing new philosophies that are either obscure or that I just haven't heard of yet; phil debate is one of my favorite parts of LD debate
- I am more likely to vote on presumption than I am to evaluate strength of link to fw in the instance I cannot decide which fw to evaluate under, but I'm not super compelled to default either way
- K Affs are hella fun but I am more inclined to err on the side of T-FW as that's what I mostly read and it seems intuitively true; it really depends on the framing metric though and I will definitely vote on a k aff vs T-FW as long as there is sufficient offense
- KvK is cool
- poems/music/art/performance is offense and if you don't respond to it your opponent can extend it as conceded (I have no problem voting on conceded performance offense with the proper framing mech)
- should have a ROB and/or ROJ (and the best ones are not blatantly inaccessible to one side)
- if your opponent asks you a specific question about the framing of your kritik and you cannot give them a cohesive answer it's gonna look bad
- if the distinction is unclear between the method the k evaluates by and the aff's you will have a hard time winning
- please don't read links that you yourself link into
- Having specific rhetoric from the aff itself or your opponent is great and much better than just topical links
- I love seeing the extrapolation of these as linear DAs in the 2nr
- I am comfortable voting off state links they're just boring
- you must have them and they must be unique; please do weighing as well because k impacts don't always contextualize themselves
- MUST be explained; It doesn't have to be explained super well if your opponent doesn't press the issue but I need to have a basic understanding of what I'm voting on i.e. what the world of the alt looks like (unless a set col type arg is made about imagining the alt being a move to settlerism)
- Please don't make the alt condo/dispo if your k is about some sort of oppression it looks bad and if your opponent points it out it's an uphill battle to win the k flow
- do not read two contradictory alts in front of me you will probably lose; if they work well together that's cool
- I LOVE these they make it easier to evaluate the line by line because all the big picture issues are out of the way
- Please make sure the overview is not just line by line in disguise (I was guilty of this) but is instead framing the ways I need to evaluate offense
- literally my fav the more you read the more I'll enjoy the debate as long as you know what you're doing
- friv is fantastic
- please make them positively worded
- be careful of your wording; poor wording leaves you susceptible to easy i meets
- have them and extend them in the next speech
- screenshots/photos are the best
- there are really only like four good standards that the rest fall under categorically but it's whatever
- the more the merrier
- if you do fairness and education linkage inside the standard block I'll be happier
- I default RVI's good, competing interps, and DTD unless otherwise specified
- I default fairness first but am easily able to be persuaded otherwise
- you must justify voters independently of the standards section (i.e. explain why fairness, education, etc. matter)
- I evaluate these arguments like any other (if they have a claim/warrant/impact you're good)
- I think a block of text is funny but definitely annoying as far as the organization of your spikes/tricks so preference is at least numbering but it's really not a big deal if you can explain them well
- These arguments are generally so bad but if you don't respond or spend too much time messing with them the round becomes significantly more difficult for you
- I can be persuaded by some sort of spikes k so be wary
- I'm unsure if AFC/ACC are tricks, but know I'll listen to both
- aprioris and evaluate after the 1ar are the a-strat
- I'm fine with indexicals, condo logic, log con, etc. as long as it is well warranted
- My speaks practices have recently changed :( I'll give speaks based on strategic decision making and clarity (I'm no longer just giving straight double 30s without a spike or some other argument that prompts me to)
- I am persuaded by a 30 speaks spike (i.e. give both/one of the debaters 30 speaks for x reason) as long as it is extended
- for locals I generally give 28-30 and for nat circuit 27-30; occasionally if the round is super underwhelming I'll evaluate like I would a nat circuit for a local
- If you make me laugh you're definitely getting a large speaks inflation but this is rare and it has to be genuine
- Anything that you do that purposefully makes your opponent uncomfortable, expresses discrimination/oppression, or generally makes the debate space unsafe will result in your top speaks being a 25 and more likely will result in a 0 or whatever the lowest allowed speaks value is
- I'll clear twice without a speaks deduction and definitely have more lenience in the online format
Updated 11/29/21 for the Longhorn Classic
Hi everyone! I’m Holden (He/They)
Jack C. Hays HS ‘20
The University of North Texas ’23 (Go Mean Green)
Please put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of this paradigm is geared towards LD, anything specific to other debate events will be near the end
Random Thoughts (Updated as thunk):
- Please go for larp stuff in front of me I miss the days where people went for disads and impact turns with me as a judge
I’ll vote on anything with a warrant as long as it’s not violent, but I am increasingly wanting substantive debates. Meaning that while I can and will evaluate anything fairly and to the best of my ability, I would rather judge a solid 2nr on a disad, an nc, or a k than I would a 2nr on tricks or bad theory shells
Putting this at the top because that way more people see it. I’m growing increasingly tired of the debate community not assigning the proper punishment for debaters not respecting the pronouns of others. Your first offense is -1 speak, if it happens 3 times the ballot is taken even if there is not an argument made in round. I find arguments saying that you should lose for any of these offenses extremely persuasive and you will almost always lose that debate. Bottom line being, be a decent person, check your pairings, check the wiki, and if you aren’t sure then just don’t use gendered terms.
If a round gets to the point where it is no longer healthy or safe for the debate to keep going, and it seems like I am not noticing, please let me know. I try my best to be cognizant but I am imperfect and may miss something, it is my job as an educator to make sure that a round and debate is as safe and accessible is possible so I take these situations very seriously.
FOR UT: it's our first in person tournament nationally in a year and a half, I'm just as excited as you are, but here are my requests for in person debating-
- Try to wear a mask any time you are not speaking unless there are other circumstances which prevent such
- Social distance during round (pre round talk for like a minute or two is fine but 50 minutes next to another person is a lot more dangerous)
- Do not, under any circumstances, go for COVID good. I have too much family that has been affected by this pandemic and don't need to be told that their suffering should continue
Yes speed, but clarity is a thing
For your pref sheets:
Clash debates (k v k, k v phil, k v policy, policy v phil, etc.) – 1
K – 1
Policy – 1
T/Theory – 1/2
Phil – 1/2
Tricks – 2/3
Trad – 4/Strike
In terms of ideology, I’m a lot like Patrick Fox, so you can pref me pretty closely with how you pref him.
Triggers – please refrain from reading anything with in depth discussions of anxiety, depression, or suicide that way I can adequately access and evaluate the round. Please give trigger warnings so that debate remains a place in which everyone can participate.
I flow on my laptop, but am not the fastest typer, so I would put me at a 8-8.5/10 in terms of speed. Just be clear, slow down on tags and analytics please
The long version:
Who the hell is this dude who I/my coach preffed?
I’m Holden! I did debate all four years of high school, I split my time between policy and LD. I wasn’t too involved with the national circuit during my high school career because of financial and school related problems but when I did compete I was pretty ok and broke a few times. I now compete at the University of North Texas in NFA LD (basically one person policy debate), where I’m also doing pretty ok (NFA nationals qualifier). At UNT, I study psychology and philosophy. I now coach and judge LD on the national circuit, where my students have accumulated a total of 14 bids, and I have judged over 300 rounds.
I have coached debaters all over the argumentative spectrum. From K debaters to policy kids to tricks debaters, if there’s a style out there, I have likely helped a student with it. Meaning that anything you read in front of me will be fine.
You can refer to me as Holden (what I prefer most), or judge. However, I would very much like it if you left anything more formal (Mr. Bukowsky, sir, etc.) as it makes me very uncomfortable and is rather impersonal in my opinion (Update: For the future, I will be docking .1 speaks every time you say that in reference to me because it a. reflects that you haven't read my paradigm or b. you have and just don't respect my opinion).
Conflicts: Jack C. Hays (my alma mater). I currently coach Carmel CS, Midlothian AC, Perry JA, Sandra Day O’Connor WW, Sidwell SW, Vestavia Hills GJ, Village JN, and Westlake AK, and consult for Cabot and Lynbrook High School
I have previously been affiliated with/have coached or have been contracted by: Evergreen Valley (on a team based level), and then Plano East AW, and Ayala AM (who I worked with on an individual level).
What does Holden think debate is?
I take my role within debate very seriously, it’s an activity I love very much and have been involved with for 6 years now no reservations. Debate is an educational game in which my role is to evaluate the arguments as presented in the least interventionist way possible, I'm probably a lot less ideological than most judges and that's because I do not think it is my place to deem arguments valid or invalid. That means that at the end of the day, you do you to the full extent. If you do what you do best, I will do my best to evaluate those arguments fairly (granted that the exceptions are arguments that are problematic and arguments with no warrant). There are two concrete rules of debate - 1. There is always a winner and a loser, and 2. speech times are set in stone. None of my preferences should matter because you should be making those arguments for me.
What does Holden like?
I like good execution. This means that you do you, and I will adapt accordingly. I have preferences obviously, saying anything else would be ignorant of me, but those preferences shouldn’t matter if you do the work for me.
Consider me dogmatic against dogmatism, I like debates that require little to no intervention. The way you can achieve that is weighing and making your arguments easy to flow (so label them like 1, 2, 3 a-point, b-point, c-point). I am agonistic about content, so do what it takes to get the win. Warranted arguments are key to that though, that means that I only evaluate arguments that are complete (claim, warrant, impact). Collapsing in your speeches is how you get the ability to make good arguments, it shows room for explanation and proficiency that the game known as debate.
A framing mechanism to help me filter the round, whether that be a standard, role of the ballot, impact calc, or fairness v education weighing. All of them help me decide the debate and what should be preferred.
To summarize the way I feel about judging, I think Yao Yao Chen does a excellent job at it, "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment."
What does Holden dislike?
The opposite of above.
Messy debates that involve little to no weighing.
When people go “my timer will start in 3, 2, 1.”
When people ask if they can take prep time, it’s your time not mine.
Being exclusionary to novices, I am very much in the camp of trial by fire but you should use fire not lava. Meaning that yes, spreading, disads, counterplans, even phil is fine. But running theory and tricks is a no go and WILL get your speaks tanked.
How has Holden voted?
Across all of my time as a judge, I have judged 305 debate rounds. Of those, I have voted aff approximately 54.54% of the time. I also average a 28.5 in terms of speaks.
I have been apart of 68 panels, of those I have sat exactly 6 times.
What will Holden never vote on?
Arguments that involve the appearance of a debater (shoes theory, formal clothing theory, etc.)
Arguments that say oppression is good.
Arguments that contradict what was said in CX.
Yes, go for them. I ran these a lot as a debater and have cut a bunch as a coach, and I have judged them a heck ton. I enjoy these debates, and when executed well these are often the debates that get the highest speaks from me.
These aff’s don’t necessarily have to be constrained by relation to the resolution but defending something would be great.
For those negating these aff’s, yes this isn’t an automatic L, just don’t forget the case page and you’ll be fine.
Have also read and gone for it. Because of my debate career and background I think that I am *slightly* aff leaning on the question but that doesn’t matter if you just win the flow.
Fairness isn’t an impact but an internal to something else.
My favorite impacts are clash > fairness > advocacy skills.
The TVA is really important to me, blippy ones make me sad, contextual ones make me happy. I view these as counterplans in the sense that they resolve offense of the counter-interp so please explain them as such.
For those affirming versus this, impact turns are fine, but having a counter-interp also helps, don’t forget to weigh/leverage the aff.
For those running this, don’t concede large parts of the debate (the case page, the framing page, etc.), and don’t just read an overview for 6 minutes.
Topicality (Theory is it’s own Monster):
Yes please, topicality debates are great and some of my favorite debates to judge. Here’s the low down for my defaults, all of these are up for debate though:
- Competing interps > Reasonability
- Drop the Debater > Drop the Argument
- No RVI’s > Yes RVI’s
Reasonability most definitely needs a brightline, please and thank you. Definition quality matters, and having a definition with an intent to define is even better.
No arbitrary interps in these debates not grounded in a definitional vision of the topic aren’t good answers, this means that “your interp plus my aff” makes no sense
Getting tired of Nebel debates, yes I’ll vote for it but just go for a topic contextual interp instead. If you decide to have the Nebel debate, then just be able to explain your semantics warrants and contextualize them to the topic. Otherwise just go for the limits standard.
In these debates, slowing down a bit is key or else I will likely miss something that may be important.
Weighing your internal links and your standards would be wonderful and make the round easier for everyone.
I think that you need to read fairness and education voters (or some other voter) because otherwise I don't know what the impact is.
Defaults are the same for topicality, and they are just as debateable.
Go for whatever shell you want, barring these exceptions:
- Theory that includes the appearance/clothing of another debater (no shoes or formal clothing theory)
- Shells where the interp was checked before the round and there is verifiable evidence that it was checked
- Disclosure in the case which a debater has said that they can’t disclose certain positions for safety reasons, this is especially non-negotiable.
For counterplan theory, here are my leanings (they're slight but they exist):
- Counterplans with solvency advocates no matter the type = good
- PICs = good
- Process CP's = good
- Consult CP's = bad
- Actor CP's = good
- States CP's = good
Condo is good probably, but can be easily convince otherwise (leniency switches with >2 condo advocacies). I lean neg on most counterplan theory as well (that flips if there is not a solvency advocate).
I’m really cool with this, I did policy for 2 years and did it intermittently for the rest of my high school career. I now do NFA LD in college, which is literally just one person policy debate.
Contrary to my reputation to have a propensity to other styles of debate, I am extremely comfortable evaluating a counterplan/disad 2NR, and will understand the arguments and lingo associated with it.
Without real meta-weighing, I default probability > magnitude > timeframe, this shouldn't matter if you do your job correctly
Judge instruction in these debates are especially important because of how prone to being messy they are.
Evidence quality in these debates matter much more in this style than others.
I default yes judgekick, but it helps if you make this argument for me.
Explanation of link chains is important because often times teams have poor explanation of them. If a link chain is conceded, then extend it briefly (meaning I want at least a condensed version of the impact story) and implicate it, saying "extend x it was conceded" is not sufficient.
Counterplans are viewed through sufficiency framing until told otherwise.
I need to know what the world of the permutation looks like at least a little bit in the first speech it is introduced.
A few good, robust internal links into 2-3 impacts > a lot of bad internal links into 7 different impacts.
The DA turning case and it's analysis matters a lot to me, do the work and make it make sense.
I tend to read evidence more in these debates, I use your interpretation of the evidence to frame how I look at it, do with that as you will
This is where most of my debate experience has been, and the type of debate I am most comfortable judging, I went for the K a lot.
My ideal K 1NC (if it's one off) would have 2-3 links to the aff (one of which is a topic link), an alternative, and a role of the ballot (along with weighing on the aff page as to why it's a prior question).
Having links contextual to the aff, whether that be to the resolution, the reps, or the framing, is good and helps with strength of link.
Recycling the same K 1NC/1AC I have seen 100 times gets old, please cut some new cards or include some better links please
Winning framing for both sides is a crucial part of strategy, and controls the direction of the debate (but does not guarantee the dub).
I may know the buzzwords you’re using but always be able to explain what the heck you’re saying.
Don’t run a k in front of me just because you think I’ll like it, because bad k debate makes me sad and will make your speaks reflect such. Explain the perm in the first responsive speech please.
2NR's need to tell me what the alt does
K tricks are cool, just make sure you actually warrant them
Floating PIK's are ok, just make sure to hint at them in the 1NC at least
Here’s a list of literature bases I know well: Stock K’s (cap, security, etc.), Rep K’s, Baudrillard, Beller, Deleuze and Guattari, Halberstam, Hardt and Negri, Scranton/Ecopess, Weheliye, Afropessimism
Here’s a list of literature bases I am learning/somewhat know: Agamben, Cybernetics, Psychoanalysis, Queerpess, Grove, Settler Colonialism, Puar
A note on non-black engagement with afropessimism, I will watch your execution of this argument like a hawk if you decide to go for it. This also means that if you are disingenuous to the literature at all, your speaks are tanked and the ballot may be given away as well depending on how annoyed I'm feeling. This is your first and final warning.
I'm good for these, I've coached debaters that have gone for tricks, and I've helped cut some tricks affs. Innovation of tricks are great because it shows that you aren't recycling the same old stuff.
These are fine, and can be quite enjoyable if executed correctly (that doesn't mean that you have the right to just extend arguments without implications or warrants).
I tend to think that when done well that these debates are some of the most technical and clean rounds to judge. This doesn’t mean do it because you think I’ll like you more, because these debates can also be extremely messy.
Messy tricks debates make me sad, clean and efficient tricks debates make me happy.
Please slow down on your 27 point underviews, yes I think they're interesting, but I need to be able to flow them and I can't do that if you're blitzing through them. That doesn't mean go at like regular talking speed, but go at like 70% speed when you're blitzing through those aprioris please.
Being straight up, delineating them as easily identifiable, and making these rounds clean is how you get my ballot in these debates.
My threshold for these arguments also depends on you being straight up about them. If you lie about a version of an aff during disclosure and I have proof of this, my threshold for answering these tricks goes down, and so does my threshold for answering a misdisclosure shell.
Carded and well developed tricks > "member equals body part, and body parts can't reduce IPP"
I prefer well developed syllogisms with cards over your analytical phil dump. This is not to say I won't evaluate them fairly, I just think they're better set up to generate offense
After coaching several students that go for phil, and judging phil debates frequently I am happier to say that I'm good for these debates.
Syllogisms should be warranted and implicated in a way that shows their impact in the first speech (yes, saying solves skep for a skep trigger is enough for this threshold).
Going for and impacting out a certain the 1-2 justifications needs to involve weighing (this also means collapse in these debates too!).
In phil v util debates, I think that util debaters often undercover the line by line, or just don't really layer enough in these debates, phil debaters often concede a crucial justification or undercover extinction first, so both sides be warned.
In phil v phil debates, both sides need to be able to explain their ethic more. These debates can either be super informational, or super messy, and I would prefer that they be the former rather than the latter. Explanation, clear engagement, and weighing is the way to my ballot in these debates
Hijacks that are shorter than 15 seconds are often unwarranted, and blippy, call them out as such.
Blitzing through the line by line in these debates is annoying and will inevitably make me miss a warrant. Im not asking you to go at a conversational pace but be a LITTLE bit reasonable
I am studying philosophy in college as well, which means I am reading a lot about authors that you might be reading. This means that I am antiquated with a variety of philosophy literature.
I know I have it listed as a phil literature base, but I conceptually have trouble with deleuze ethical frameworks, especially since the literature doesn't prescribe a moral claim but makes a structural one which means that it doesn't make too much logical sense to force the literature to make an ethical claim.
Here’s a list of literature bases I know confidently: Locke, Hobbes, Moral Particularism, Pragmatism, Constitutionality, Deleuze, Kant, Hume, Nietzsche, Descartes
Here’s a list of literature bases I know somewhat: Rawls, Plato, Aquinas, ILaw, Virtue Ethics, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley
- Comparative worlds > truth testing
- Permissibility negates > affirms
- Presumption negates > affirms
- Epistemic confidence > epistemic modesty
Since these are becoming increasingly read in front of me, and are becoming a separate argument in debate, I thought they deserved their own section. I think that these are good arguments when executed well. That being said, I think that for these to be won, you need to win either some meta level framing (such as accessibility first) or linking it to an ethical framework. I often have to ask myself “should I abandon the flow if I think that this is violent” and here is the litmus test for how I will determine to abandon the flow, I will:
1. See if you won the flow proper to see if I can avoid intervening
2. If you did not win the flow proper, I will see if the action in question is a legitimate question of violence in the debate space, your explanation may help, your explanation may not. As much as your 2AR ethos may be good, if I do not think that this situation is an act of violence with reasonable malicious intent, then I will not abandon the flow. A few instances in which I will abandon the flow can be: misgendering, dead-naming, some sort of maliciously intended argument meant to exclude individuals from debate
This is not to say I won’t abandon the flow, but I feel like there has to be some outline for how I can reconcile this, or else this would justify me becoming increasingly interventionist for littler reasons which I think is a horrible model of debate.
Yes, I can judge this. But I often time find these debates to be boring, and most definitely not my cup of tea. I think that given the people that pref me most of the time, it will be in your best interest to pref me low or strike me, both for your sake and mine.
I would much prefer these debates be executed as a shell rather than having the round staked on them. I hate adjudicating these debates because a. They deprive me of a substantive round and b. Are normally a cheap shot by an opposing debater. As such, if you stake the round on evidence ethics this will be the procedure for which things will go down: 1. I will look into the evidence that is in question 2. Compare it to the claim/violation that is being presented 3. Utilize the rules for which the tournament is using (NSDA, NDCA, etc.) to determine whether or not it is a violation 4. Check with the debater if they are sure they want this to be a drop the debater issue, or to drop the evidence. If it is a violation, then I will drop the person who committed such with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then I will not evaluate the evidence and we can debate as normal. If it is not a violation, then I will drop the accuser with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then your speaks will be capped at a 28.
Here is what I consider evidence ethics violations in the absence of guidance: 1. If the author concludes in opposition of what is cited 2. If worlds are deleted or inserted in the middle of a sentence 3. If a debater misrepresented what the author says
For the policy kids-
- I judge circuit LD a lot (and I mean A LOT), on there I judge nothing but T, cp/da, and k debates. I can handle speed, and I will understand the intricacies of whatever argument you want to run
- Sign post please
- Weighing early is how you get my ballot (best case scenario is starting in the 2AC)
- Yes open cross
- Yes K-Aff's
- Yes T-FW
- Fairness is an internal link and not an impact
- in terms of pref ratings:
Any sort of clash debates (both policy aff v the k, and k aff v t-fwk) - 1
K v K - 1
Pure policy rounds - 2
For the World Schools Kids-
- I don't have TOO much experience in this, but that being said, when I did worlds I was somewhat successful (15th speaker and dubs at the 2020 NSDA tournament, went undefeated in prelims)
- Countermodels are ok, but need to be contextualized about how they a. compete with the proposition, b. solve the props impacts
- I still think that tech > truth, but this becomes muddled a bit in worlds given the nature of the activity. I think that warranting is still important, but if an argument is conceded, the threshold for explanation becomes a lot lower, BUT it needs to be implicated and impacted out
- 3rd speakers need to collapse and weigh a BUNCH. I was the 3rd speaker all of my rounds, so this is arguably one of the more important speeches to me
- Spreading can be ok? I don't know how it would work given worlds structure and nature but I'm definitely down for spreading
- Overall, do what you do best and I will do my best to evaluate the round accordingly
For the PF Kids-
- Never did pf in high school, but am somewhat familiar with the event
- Defense is not sticky, extend your arguments please
- It makes the most sense for proper refutations to be saved for the summary's but at the same time the policy mind in me says to respond to them, so I will leave that up to judge instruction
- Yes theory is fine, just be clear on the abuse story
- Yes your progressive arguments are also fine, just explain them in an efficient manner
- Yes speed is fine, just be clear P L E A S E
Across over 100+ prelims at bid tournaments, I have averaged at a 28.45 in terms of speaks, which means I'm not necessarily a speaks fairy or stingy
A 30 is very hard to achieve in front of me, and the only ones I have given out is because of the utilization of the challenges
I don't evaluate "give me x amount of speaks" arguments, if you want it so bad utilize the ways to get extra speaks I have below
They're adjusted according to the tournament, but here's a general scale -
29.6+ Great round, you should be in late elims or win the tournament
29.1-29.5 Great round, you should be in mid to late elims
28.6-29 You should break or make the bubble at least
28.1-28.5 About middle of the pool
27.6-28 You got some stuff to work on
27-27.5 You got a lot of stuff to work on
Anything below a 27: You did something really horrible and I will be having a word with tab and your coach about it
Challenges (Max up to 1 point):
- Come into the room and shout "rev up those fryers" loud enough for people outside the room to hear = +.5
- If you send pictures of your cute pets in the doc, +.1-.5 depending on how cute I deem them (no snakes please, I have a phobia of them and this will get your speaks docked half a point)
Other ways to just boost your speaks:
- Be pleasant (not in the artificial "hi judge how are you doing" way, but like just be vibey i guess??)
- Humor inserted into your speeches in an organic way
- Good strategic choices that make my job easier
If you have anymore questions about my paradigm, please don't be afraid to email me or ask me in the room.
I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during prep. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
put me on the chain - email@example.com
Harker 20' | BU 24'
In general I think debate is your game, and try not to interfere with that. However, I know that my background will inevitably play a factor in how I evaluate debates. So, here's a bit about me.
I did LD at Harker and had some competitive success. Towards the end of my career I went for policy strategies the vast majority of the time because I found the research that went into that fulfilling and the execution in debates fun. However, I also enjoyed and thought quite a bit about various kritikal arguments.
I now spend my time studying Computer Engineering and Philosophy at Boston University. I wouldn't read too much into either of those things other than to recognize I hate mischaracterizations of technology and moral philosophy.
Here are the guidelines that are set in stone
- I won't adjust speaks based on in-round arguments for adjusting them
- Debates have a single winner and a single loser, absent incredibly rare situations where a double loss may be appropriate
- Arguments that are blatantly sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. and clearly made in bad faith means an instant loss, 0 speaks, and an uncomfortable conversation with your coach. My threshold for this is probably higher than you think (for example, I won't stop the debate if an edgy impact turn like African Instability Good or whatever is read) but if it's clear the debate is being made violent the debate ends
- If your opponent is speaking too quickly or unclearly for you to flow, you have a right to call clear
- I won't flow arguments made after the timer ends
- Cross-ex is used to ask questions, not prep, you can ask questions in prep but your opponent doesn't have to answer (although it would be kinda rude if they didn't). This still applies against new affs
- I listen to cx, consider that terminal defense to that "judges don't flow cx" theory argument people make
- if for whatever reason you feel uncomfortable participating in the debate (your opp. triggered you, accidentally misgendered you, etc) feel free to discretely email or talk to me if you're uncomfortable making it an issue in the debate and we'll all work to make the debate a more productive space
- I won't vote on callout arguments. Making debate into a space where I'm forced to make an overarching moral assessment of people I've never met does not fit with my conception of how debate should be run.
-I'll evaluate evidence ethics and other cheating challenges (stuff like clipping) as per tournament rules, which usually means the accuser ends the debate by staking it on the issue, whoever is correct in the challenge gets a W 30 and loser L 16.
Online Debate Preferences
- I would prefer if cameras are on. If you have to have it off for tech or personal reasons, that's fine, but after judging a couple no cam debates I can confidently say it hurt my vtl and probably didn't help their speaks either.
- please weigh arguments, always, as soon and as much as possible.
pretty good for
- Smart strategic decision making, both micro and macro, at all points in a round
- Great execution and understanding of one's arguments (unless the argument is something tricks adjacent)
- A willingness to be bold and make/go for innovative or exciting arguments, as long as said arguments are not at a detriment to quality (although I fancied politics and impact turns so I understand quality is relative)
generally not good for...
- Kritiks that say the world as opposed to the plan is bad. If I cannot tell what Aff the 2NR is answering, that is a bad sign. This doesn't mean I don't like Ks, it means I don't like bad K debating which there is far too much of.
- very technocratic theory/topicality debates. This means my bar for bad or short theory is higher than most. Most likely to insert my own views in this area.
- Tricks. They are stupid. The less you think you are related to tricks debate the happier I will be.
More detailed thoughts here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gKd_3e-4ik0ZafutrUjfErw8FeGvG0CxIvZpu3FG4gQ/edit?usp=sharing but everything in this paradigm should be seen as an insight into how I think about debate and not hard rules or anything. Again, do what you want and I'll do my best to evaluate the debate objectively.
For Meadows '21: +.1-.3 speaker points depending on if you have some semblance of a costume/if it's good. After 57 rounds on the topic, I am apathetic about everything relevant. No comparative weighing = very probable loss.
For UK PF '21: Spreading is fine, but don't force it. I have a good, if not great, understanding of the topic. Do not read progressive arguments unless you have very high levels of competency.
Bio: Coaching Mission San Jose. 4 years Varsity LD (Loyola '21). TOC (x2)
Top level: Tech > Truth. Strategic decision making > Pandering to me. Good tech will override any preference I have below. I'll only intervene if there are arguments of equal strength without weighing claims to resolve them. In these situations, I look to evidence first, then truth.
Misc: Sometimes emotive; always flowing. Not a fan of one-line cheap shots. You have my consent to record, but ask others. I don't keep time. 100% fine with post-rounding (time permitting).
Banned arguments: Death good, oppression good, and out of round things (besides disclosure)
Argument history: Affs defended a plan and mostly big impacts. Negs were almost strictly policy: sometimes 6+ off, sometimes 6 minutes of impact turns, but usually something in between. K when policy ground was scarce. Sometimes read wacky things like Trump good, consult UN, and riders.
DA: Terminal impact calc >> strength of link barring instruction. Topic disads are good. Politics and riders are fine, but I understand intrinsicness (Read This). Uniqueness puts the straight turn in a much better place. Zero risk on ridiculousness like 2014 midterms. I like it better when turns case is earlier. New 2AR and 2NR weighing always.
CP: Fine for anything with a net benefit. Competition and solvency are neg burdens. Lean neg on most theory. Lean aff on most competition (Read This). Judge kick requires instruction.
Case: Case debate, impact turns, presumption, analytics, and/or re-highlighting are appreciated. Read re-highlight for offense. Insert for defense. No preference between soft left and big stick.
T: Slightly lean against bare plural arguments for clash/predictability reasons. One aff a topic is a terrible model. Model/vision of the topic is more persuasive than "9 factorial affs" in a vacuum. A staunch believer that the neg needs definitions otherwise we get infinite T debates.
Theory: Save for literal double turns or technical drops from 1AR shells, not good for the condo 2AR. Easier to convince me the abuse is unreasonable rather than to use competing interpretations.
K: Better for teams that utilize K tricks than those that wax poetically about society. Prepped cap, security, complexity, abolition, and anti/post-humanism during my career. Roughly familiar with other meta lit and their answers. Imo neg needs either solves/turns case, framework, unsustainability/inevitability, or a robust external extinction impact to win. I'll probably vote aff on case o/w otherwise.
K affs: Skeptical about framework's ability to cause either genocide or grassroots movements. Affirmatives need a counter interpretation/model of debate. Negatives need to answer case. Affs gets perms.
Phil: Will evaluate fairly, but more experienced with the util side. Epistemic modesty makes sense.
Other Things: Will only evaluate warrants highlighted. K Framework needs to be in the 1NC. Paragraph theory with education and fairness assumed is fine. Unqualified to judge (but will begrudgingly evaluate) tricks and frivolous theory.
Policy Things: Broke at CNDI (1N/2A) and watched quite a few rounds on YT and in-person. 1AR gets new cards to answer new block arguments.
Speaker points: Will not punish for humor, sarcasm, or minor cursing. Will disclose points if you ask. 28.8-7 breaking. Current [28.8] average.
I am the Director of Debate at Immaculate Heart High School and the Co-Director of The Debate Intensive. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list.
I decided to update my paradigm upon realizing that my old one referenced cards and strategies that have not been popular for at least five years.
1. I will vote on nearly any argument that is well explained and compared to the arguments your opponent has made.
2. Accusing your opponent of an evidence ethics or clipping violation requires you to stake the debate on said allegation. If such an allegation is made, I will stop the debate, determine who I think is in the wrong, and vote against that person and give them the lowest speaker points allowed by the tournament.
3. I won’t vote on arguments that I don’t understand or that I don’t have flowed. I have been involved in circuit LD for almost ten years now and consider myself very good at flowing, so if I missed an argument it is likely because you were incomprehensible.
4. I am a strong proponent of disclosure, and I consider failing to disclose/incorrect disclosure a voting issue, though I am growing weary of nit-picky disclosure arguments that I don’t think are being read in good faith.
5. For online debate, please keep a local recording of your speech so that you can continue your speech and share it with your opponent and me in the event of a disconnect.
6. Weighing arguments are not new even if introduced in the final rebuttal speech. The Affirmative should not be expected to weigh their advantage against five DAs before the Negative has collapsed.
7. To quote a judge who shares my last name:
“There is no "flow clarification" time slot in a debate. If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, you must do it in CX or prep -- better yet, flow!”
Some thoughts of mine:
1. I dislike arguments about individual debaters' personal identities. Though I have voted for these arguments plenty of times, I think I would vote against them the majority of the time in an evenly matched debate.
2. I am increasingly disinterested in voting for topicality arguments about bare plurals or theory arguments suggesting that either debater should take a stance on some random thing. No topic is infinitely large and voting for these arguments discourages topic research. I do however enjoy substantive topicality debates about meaningful interpretive disagreements regarding terms of art used in the resolution.
3. “Jurisdiction” and “resolvability” standards for theory arguments make little sense to me. Unless you can point out a debate from 2013 that is still in progress because somebody read a case that lacked an explicit weighing mechanism, I will have a very low threshold for responses to these arguments.
4. I dislike critiques that rely exclusively on framework arguments to make the Aff irrelevant. The critique alternative is one of the debate arguments I'm most skeptical of. I think it is best understood as a “counter-idea” that avoids the problematic assumptions identified by the link arguments, but this also means that “alt solves” the case arguments are misguided because the alternative is not something that the Negative typically claims is fiated. If the Negative does claim that the alternative is fiated, then I think they should lose to a theory argument. With that said, I still vote on critiques plenty and will evaluate these debates as per your instructions.
5. Despite what you may have heard, I enjoy philosophy arguments quite a bit and have grown nostalgic for them as LD increasingly becomes indistinct from policy. What I dislike is when debaters try to fashion non-normative philosophy arguments about epistemology, metaphysics, or aesthetics into NCs that purport to justify a prescriptive standard. I find philosophy heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing side’s contention or advantage to be unpersuasive. I promise you that Kant would think extinction is worse than telling a lie.
6. “Negate” is not a word that has been used in any resolution to date so frameworks that rely on a definition of this word will have close to no impact on my assessment of the debate.
Hi! Please call me Sim, not ma’am/judge/etc. and please use gender neutral pronouns. You can let me know how you'd like to be referred to if not listed on tab.
I am the policy debate coach at Valley High School. My other active affiliations are: Little Rock LP, Judy Zhu at Colleyville, and Richardson JJ in LD.
I formerly coached at Colleyville Heritage (TX), Westview (OR), Beacon (NY), and Baltimore City College (MD) and I instructed at NSD PF 2021 and SWSDI PF 2020.
Some other relevant (or maybe not) information about me – I’m studying Biology and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins. My views on debate are profoundly influenced by Michael Koo and Joseph Barquin. There are certain arguments that I am principally against and will likely not vote for it, they include climate change denialism, anti-vaccination, orientalist rhetoric, claims on mass death/suicide being good, and any advocacy where a Western nation bombs the Global South. American heg good isn’t my favorite argument but I’d vote for it even if I didn’t want to. Anything generally x-ist will be dropped and speaks will be low.
Notes to all:
Tech determines what is true for the round. Obviously, I have ideological predispositions and I don't think it's useful for anyone to pretend I don't or I'm a blank slate. But at the end of the day, little of my biases (as strong as they may be) are immovable -- the sounder warranting always wins my ballot. Some things I am immovable on are having a win/loss for my ballot, speech times, x-ism being bad (do not try these impact turns in front of me).
I can hardly recall a round I’ve judged without the K in it. This is my forte and the strategy I’m most familiar with. You don’t *have* to go for the K in front of me, I’m competent enough to judge most styles, but I’m a good judge for you if that’s your go-to. If you like a straight policy strategy, that’s great too! I prefer soft left scenarios, but again, a mild preference and nothing more. Consider striking me if your strategies are comprised of theory cheapshots or tricks – these are not rounds I’m comfortable adjudicating.
I’m able to follow speed, but I sincerely believe that the pace y’all go at is unnecessary and most of the time, detrimental. Take your time and be purposeful with your speed. Just because you can dump cards at 500wpm does not mean you should – I promise that you can deliver warrants and implications at a slower pace. I will say “slow” or “clear” thrice – if you fail to adapt, I’ll simply write what I catch and if I fail to understand most of your speech… unfortunate. I hardly ever rely on the word document, so please don’t think sending everything out means this doesn’t apply to you.
Collapse on the path of least resistance – it will be well rewarded in speaks. Please warrant and implicate your arguments, a card means nothing in and of itself without your analysis and spin. Be comparative! Layer, frame, and filter arguments in rebuttals. If you leave me with unresolved issues, I’m sure you’ll hate the assumptions I make, so be sure you fill in the gaps for me. Extending an argument that has been cold conceded doesn't mean you can tagline extend, you still need to tell me what the warrants are and weigh.
Do not bother post-rounding me in bad faith. It is triggering and causes harm and discomfort to all parties present. I am open to answering questions, I am not open to being berated or yelled at by you or your coaches. It is ironic how some of y’all will read arguments about equity in debate and then yell at a femme of color once the round is over.
I am also very neurodivergent. My attention span and memory can be very poor – if I ask you multiple times what the order is prior to your speeches, I promise it’s not because I’m not paying attention to you/the round. This also means that if you email me significantly after a round has occurred for feedback and I’m vague or tell you I don’t remember much, it’s not because you were bad! If you’re hoping for additional written feedback or answers to questions, emailing me sooner is better. If you are a debater who needs specific accommodations, please feel free to let me know and I’ll adjust what I can.
I care about educational and meaningful debates happening. At the end of the day, I want y’all to research and read strategies that enrich you and make you excited about this activity and to learn. Don’t forget to take breaks from your screen as much as you can, drink water, and go on walks.
• Kritiks - You can read them on the aff or neg. I'm very familiar with most structural kritiks and I'm good for identity debate, also good with performance! Pomo kritiks are fine -- I'm not super versed in these literature bases, so have robust explanations. But regardless of what I enjoy or know well, the burden is on you to do the explanations and debating. Don't assume that I'll vote for you just because you read a kritik -- being so familiar with these strategies means that my bar is fairly high for debating them well and I'll notice if you're regurgitating camp blocks I judge every weekend. Buzzwords and jargon are neither explanations or analysis. You should have a clear link to the resolution (or debate, but having a topic link will serve you well) and examples (both historical and current) in your narrative. You should contextualize your thesis and links to the arguments in the round. I really appreciate organized link walls -- please label them (numbering is usually effective, or having specific tags for them) -- and you shouldn't be re-asserting the 1nc, but be responsive to the 2ac in the link debate. When I vote against a kritik, it's usually because -- (1) The ontology debate wasn't implicated. Tell me why if your thesis is true, I can't vote aff. (2) The link debate is too generic with no specific indicts of the aff's mechanisms. (3) I don't know what the world of the alt looks like and how it resolves any impacts. I am the most impressed by K debaters who are able to make complex arguments simple.
• Framework - I am not as averse to this as people seem to think. If you're winning FW and losing the K, just go for FW -- I value the path of least resistance more than my argumentative biases. I prefer education and skills impacts rather than procedural fairness as a principle. The sabotage disadvantage does very well in front of me -- I am going to be very compelled to vote for your model of debate if you can explain how it can access the aff. This means I need a TVA, even one that solves a fraction of the aff -- winning FW will be an uphill battle without one. Please organize your standards and label them. Don't forget to weigh.
• Theory and Topicality: Not my strong suit and these debates are the hardest for me to resolve. I default to competing interpretations and it's really frustrating to judge these rounds when the interpretation isn't connected to the standards. I sort of view these shells as like a disadvantage with the interpretation being the gateway (link) to accessing your standards (internal links), and the voters being the impact. The definitions debate is so important, please tell me why yours is preferable.
• Disadvantages: I don't have much to say here. I'm not a big fan of the heg disadvantage, but if you must. I think most disads have terrible internal links and affirmative teams can probably beat it with smart analytics and rehighlightings. Focus on uniqueness and link framing, I care about this more than the impact debate. Don't forget to outweigh the aff though.
• Counterplans: I hardly ever judge these but I do know how. I will vote on a severance or intrinsic perm if it is conceded. Explain the net benefit, weigh it, and when extending solvency, please don't just read more cards -- actually tell me the warrants and explain how your CP resolves impacts.
• Perms: I get really frustrated with perm debates. Repeatedly extending "perm do both" or "perm do the aff through the lens of the alt" is not sufficient for my ballot, even if the neg drops it. Tell me how the perm functions, what it solves, and why it's better than the neg's advocacy. Having perm texts would benefit you.
• I would read the policy section. I am a fine judge for you if you read Ks or straight policy strategies, but I do not do well with niche LD things. I am very very inexperienced in phil debates and don't recommend those strategies in front of me, but if you must, please explain like I am a parent. I do not know what a "paradox", "permissibility", or "a priori" is and I'm fine not knowing -- I am not the judge for tricks. I also don't know what "truth-testing" is. If you decide to use these words in front of me and/or you want to go for (insert philosopher's name here) -- again, and I mean this extremely sincerely, explain like I am a parent and new to debate.
• I'd say that this is the event I am the strictest in, but that is because I think PF has a desperate need for new norms and I refuse to be complicit in some of these awful practices.
• Feel free to read kritiks and "progressive" arguments in front of me, but my standards for good debating haven't shifted just because it's PF -- you must do it well. If you don't know what you're talking about, read a case that you do know.
• Nothing is sticky. If it is not in the summary speeches, it better not be in the final focus speeches.
• Your evidence should be cut cards with proper citations -- if you don't know how to do this, there are YouTube videos. I will not be accepting a PDF, a link, or a card that has been clearly miscut and has missing information as "evidence". If that is what you provide me, your speaks are capped at 27 and I will discount it and assume your argument is an analytic.. at best.
• I will give you 5 minutes to exchange evidence (on top of prep) and I will be timing this. If y'all take up more than the 5 minutes, it will start coming out of your prep time. Too many rounds I've been in have been delayed by inefficient evidence exchange. You can either accept 5 minutes, or both teams can agree to sending all evidence read prior to a speech beginning, like in policy and LD. If you opt for sending all evidence, everyone's speaks will be boosted by 0.5.
• If you disclose on the wiki and show me proof (just email me before speeches start), I'll bump your speaks up by 0.3. I am willing to vote against disclosure theory, but don't make me.
• I give leeway for paraphrasing if you are in the novice or JV division. If I'm judging varsity PF, especially at a bid tournament, all teams that paraphrase will receive no higher than a 27.
• I do not know what "scope" weighing is and pointing out that your impact evidence has a bigger number is rudimentary, morbid, and a cop-out from actually analyzing and comparing scenarios. Please warrant and clash -- too many PF rounds are ship sailing past each other in the night. Tagline extensions, going "it's game over", and neglecting warrants of a card in favor of telling me the author's name or that "it contains empirics" (with no further explanation) is simply, not debating. If you're doing this in hopes of persuading me, you won't like your speaks.
Name: Andrew Halverson
School: Currently, I am not actively coaching, but in recent years I was the Assistant Director of Speech & Debate at Kapaun Mount Carmel High School & Wichita East High School (Wichita, KS). I have moved to work in the real world, but I still keep involved with debate as a Board Member of a local non-profit that promotes debate in the Wichita area - Ad Astra Debate.
Experience: 20+ years. As a competitor, 4 years in high school and 3 years in college @ Fort Hays and Wichita State in the mid-late 90's and early 2000's.
**ONLINE DEBATING ADDENDUM**
In my experience, most tournaments are more than gracious with their prep and tech time leading up the start of a round. Please make sure that all of your tech stuff is sorted before beginning AND that you use pre-round prep for disclosure as well. I'm pretty chill about most things, but these two things are my biggest online debating pet peeves.
Public Forum Section - Updated as of 9/10/2021
As an FYI, I've coached PFD, but by and large, I'm a Policy and Congress coach. If there is anything that isn't answered in this short section, I advise that you take a look the Policy section of my paradigm or ask questions.
I'm going to assume that I don't know the in and outs of your current topic. Please make sure that you explain concepts that I might not know. I've coached a lot of different debate topics over the year. I know a lot, but I don't know everything.
The typical PF norms for evidence/speech docs sharing are terrible. You must put your evidence/speech docs in the Speech Drop BEFORE your speech starts. Don't do it after your speech or in the chat. Other PFD norms, I'm honestly unfamiliar with. I assume there is disclosure and other things, but I don't know for sure.
I'm probably going to evaluate most debates like I would a Policy debate - without all of the mumbo-jumbo that is usually associated with that activity. In brief, that will probably be an offense/defense paradigm with a heavy dose of policymaking sprinkled in. I like good, smart arguments. Make them and clash with your opponents and you will be at a good place at the end of the day.
Policy/LD Debate Section - Changed as of 8/21/2020
++Since most LD has a policy tilt nowadays, this is a pretty accurate representation on how I would view an LD round. Actual value debate and my thoughts on RVI's, you probably should ask me.
This is the first time in a long time that I have engaged in rewriting my judging paradigm. I thought it was warranted – given that debates and performances will be all done virtually in the immediate future. My last iteration of one of these might have been too long, so I will attempt to be as brief as possible.
**I want to be on the email chain (halverson.andrew [at] gmail.com). Don’t send your speech doc after your speech. Do it before (unless there are extra cards read, etc.). There are a few reasons I would like this to happen: a) I'm checking as you are going along if you are clipping; b) since I am reading along, I'm making note of what is said in your evidence to see if it becomes an issue in the debate OR a part of my decision – most tournaments put a heavy premium on quick decisions, so having that to look at before just makes the trains run on-time and that makes the powers that be happy; c) because I'm checking your scholarship, it allows for me to make more specific comments about your evidence and how you are deploying it within a particular debate. If you refuse to email or flash before your speech for me, there will probably be consequences in terms of speaker points and anything else I determine to be relevant - since I'm the ultimate arbiter of my ballot in the debate which I'm judging.
**Send your analytics as much as possible. This platform for debate can sometimes be problematic with technical issues that can or can’t be controlled. I’ve judged some debate where the 2nc is in the middle of giving their speech and then their feed becomes frozen. Of course, we pause the debate until we can resolve the technical issues, but it’s helpful for everyone involved to have a doc to know where the debate stopped so we can pick up at that point once we resume.
**Don’t go super-duper, mega, ultra full speed (unless you are crystal bell clear). Slowing down a bit in this format is more beneficial to you and everyone else involved.
**For all of those Kansas traditional teams, yes to a off-time road map. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.
**Be nice & have fun. If you don’t be nice, then you probably won’t like how I remedy if you aren’t nice. Racist and sexist language/behavior will not be tolerated. Debate is supposed to be a space where we get to get to test ideas in a safe environment.
**Stealing prep time. Don’t do it. After you send out the doc, you should have an idea of a speech order and be getting set to speak. Don't be super unorganized and take another 2-3 minutes to just stand up there getting stuff together. I don't mind taking a bit to get yourself together, but I find that debaters are abusing that now. When I judge by myself, I'm usually laid back about using the restroom, but I strongly suggest that you consider the other people in a paneled debate - not doing things like stopping prep and then going to the bathroom before you start to speak. I get emergencies, but this practice is really shady. Bottom-line: if you're stealing prep, I'll call you on it out loud and start the timer.
**Disclosure is something I can't stand when it's done wrong. If proper disclosure doesn't happen before a round, I'm way more likely to vote on a disclosure argument in this setting. If you have questions about my views on disclosure, please ask them before the debate occurs - so you know where you stand. Otherwise, I can easily vote on a disclosure argument. This whole “gotcha” thing with arguments that you have already read is so dumb.
**New in the 2nc is bad. What I mean by that is whole new DA's read - old school style - in the 2nc does not foster good debate OR only read off-case in the 1nc and then decide to read all new case arguments in the 2nc. I'm willing to listen to theory arguments on the matter (and have probably become way more AFF leaning on the theory justification of why new in the 2nc is bad), BUT they have to be impacted out. However, that's not the best answer to a NEG attempting this strategy. The best answer is for the 1ar to quickly straight turn whatever that argument is and then move on. Debaters that straight turn will be rewarded. Debaters that do new in the 2nc will either lose because of a theory argument or have their speaks tanked by me.
Now that’s out of the way, here are some insights on how I evaluate debates:
**What kind of argument and general preferences do I have? I will listen to everything and anything from either side of the debate. You can be a critical team or a straight-up team. It doesn’t matter to me. An argument is an argument. Answering arguments with good arguments is probably a good idea, if the competitive aspect of policy debate is important to you at all. If you need some examples: Wipeout? Sure, did it myself. Affirmatives without a plan? Did that too. Spark? You bet. Specific links are great, obviously. Of course, I prefer offense over defense too. I don’t believe that tabula rasa exists, but I do try to not have preconceived notions about arguments. Yet we all know this isn’t possible. If I ultimately have to do so, I will default to policymaker to make my decision easier for me.
**Don't debate off a script. Yes, blocks are nice. I like when debaters have blocks. They make answering arguments easier. HOWEVER, if you just read off your script going for whatever argument, I'm not going to be happy. Typically, this style of debate involves some clash and large portions of just being unresponsive to the other team's claims. More than likely, you are reading some prepared oration at a million miles per hour and expect me to write down every word. Guess what? I can't. In fact, there is not a judge in the world that can accomplish that feat. So use blocks, but be responsive to what's going on in the debate.
**Blippy theory debates really irk me. To paraphrase Mike Harris: if you are going as fast as possible on a theory debate at the end of a page and then start the next page with more theory, I'm going to inevitably miss some of it. Whether I flow on paper or on my computer, it takes a second for me to switch pages and get to the place you want me to be on the flow. Slow down a little bit when you want to go for theory - especially if you think it can be a round-winner. I promise you it'll be worth it for you in the end.
**I’m a decent flow, but I wouldn’t go completely crazy. That being said, I’m one of those critics (and I was the same way as a debater) that will attempt to write down almost everything you say as long as you make a valiant attempt to be clear. Super long overviews that aren't flowable make no sense to me. In other words, make what you say translate into what you want me to write down. I will not say or yell if you aren’t clear. You probably can figure it out – from my non-verbals – if you aren’t clear and if I’m not getting it. I will not say/yell "clear" and the debate will most definitely be impacted adversely for you. If I don’t “get it,” it’s probably your job to articulate/explain it to me.
**I want to make this abundantly clear. I won't do work for you unless the debate is completely messed up and I have to do some things to clean up the debate and write a ballot. So, if you drop a Perm, but have answers elsewhere that would answer it, unless you have made that cross-application I won't apply that for you. The debater answering said Perm needs to make the cross-application/answer(s) on their own.
Contact me if you have any questions. Hope this finds you well and healthy - have a great season!!
EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York; I was an assistant coach at Lexington from 1998-2004 (I debated there from 1994-1998), at Sacred Heart from 2004-2008, and at Scarsdale from 2007-2008. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students.
Please just call me Hertzig.
Please include me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.
Ks (not high theory ones) & performance - 1 (just explain why you're non-T if you are)
Trad debate - 1
T, LARP, or phil - 2-3 (don't love wild extinction scenarios or incomprehensible phil)
High theory Ks - 4
Theory - 4 (see below)
Tricks - strike
If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.
I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds.
I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will usually not vote for theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on it. I will vote for theory that is actually justified (as in, you can show that you couldn't have engaged without it).
I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.
For in-person debate: I would prefer that you stand when speaking if you're physically able to (but if you aren't/have a reason you don't want to, I won't hold it against you).
Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. And be nice.
To research more stuff about life career coaching then visit Life coach.
please add me to chain - email@example.com
please update your wikis. it won't affect my decision, but i will be really annoyed if you don't keep your wiki updated. also, i am begging you not to countdown before your speech
update for online debates: i'm a pretty good flow, but online debate complicates things for everyone. mild connectivity issues, mic quality, etc can all be factors that result in me missing some stuff. do with that info what you will - if you're not worried about that then no need to change anything. if you are concerned i might miss something important, i recommend doing at least one of two things: either 1) go a little slower than you normally would offline and definitely do not blaze through your blocks, or 2) send your blocks. i prefer you do the first, so i can just rely on what i hear, but either will work and i understand not wanting to limit yourself due to tech circumstances. all of that being said, i do take my flow very seriously, so if i do end up missing something i apologize and promise it was not from inattention.
if you have questions that this paradigm doesn't answer, feel free to ask
top level stuff: i will not vote on an argument that i cannot coherently explain or that has been argued inconsistently. evidence quality is important to me. absent clear judge instruction, impact calculus, evidence comparison, etc. (those three things are very important to me) you should not be surprised by some degree of judge intervention. in those instances where my intervention seems necessary, my decision will most likely be guided by evidence quality on the debate's most relevant issues. to avoid frustrating decisions that involve my intervention, write my ballot for me so i only have to minimally sort through the debate
plan texts - if your plan text is written poorly or intentionally vaguely, i will likely lean neg when it comes to interpreting what the plan means/does
topicality - i like it a lot. i have never been convinced by reasonability. that does not mean i will ignore your reasonability args, but aff teams always seem to lack either a) a sensible explanation of what reasonability means / what implication it has on how i weigh/think about each team’s offense, or b) if they have that, they lack a convincing reason why i should alter how i weigh / think about each interp’s offense in the first place. if you do those things successfully i will be impressed
t-usfg/fw: i used to be pretty neg biased in these debates, but i've become significantly more neutral. i think the team with a more convincing explanation of debate's effect on debaters' political subjectivity will likely have an easier time controlling how i think about either team's impacts (for example, if i am convinced that debate does not affect subjectivity, then i am more likely to be persuaded by fairness impacts). i am less interested in descriptive arguments about what debate is (for example, "debate is a game") and more interested in arguments about what debate ought to be. the answer to that can still be "a game" but can just as likely be something like "a site for the exchange of revolutionary ideas/tactics." whichever side of that you fall on, you will almost certainly need some sort of explanation for the competitive nature of debate and the effect of deciding who wins (which, again, will likely be shaped by what i am convinced debate's relationship to political subjectivity is)
k: you are going to have a very hard time convincing me that i should have a positive or even ambivalent disposition towards death. other than that, do your thing. i am pretty familiar with at least the basics/fundamentals of most ks, but probably assume that i'm unfamiliar with the "terms of art" of your respective literature base. for the aff, explain your perms. i should know what your perms do/mean and how they solve the k links when you make them in the 2ac, not just in the 2ar
theory: you need to be comprehensible when making your theory args, or i'm going to miss stuff. i am probably more likely than most to vote on theory arguments, but they are almost always a reason to reject the arg and not the team. that being said, you need a warrant for "reject the arg not the team" rather than just regurgitating that statement. this might be weird but i dig condo debates. don't be afraid to go for condo in front of me.
da: only one thing to say here - "da is not intrinsic" is not an argument. you can provide an interpretation of fiat that implicates the link, but you cannot just assert that "the da is not intrinsic."
cp: a perm text without an explanation of how it disproves the competitiveness of the counterplan is not an argument. also, by default, i will judge kick the cp if the neg loses it and evaluate the squo as well. aff, if you don't want me to do that, make an argument about it in the debate
clipping = auto-loss. the other team does not have to call you out on it. if i recognize it, i will let the round finish but you will automatically lose
bigotry in any form = auto-loss with lowest speaks
Director of Debate at the University of South Florida
Yes, email chain - sohailjouyaATgmailDOTcom
- Probably not the best judge for the "Give us a 30!" approach unless it becomes an argument/point of contestation in the round. Chances are I'll just default to whatever I'd typically give. My speaker point scale is pretty awful in comparison to colleagues and I've yet to invest the mental capacity necessary to ensure the most precise of speaker point allocation as it is.
- I appreciate adaptation to my preferences but don’t do anything that would make you uncomfortable. Never feel obligated to compete in a manner that inhibits your ability to be effective. My promise to you will be that I will keep an open mind and assess whatever you chose. In short: do you.
- Truth > Tech. I recognize that debate is not merely a game, but rather a competition that models the world in which we live. This doesn’t mean I believe judges should intervene on the basis of - what it does mean is that embedded clash band the “nexus question” of the round is of more importance than blippy technical oversights between certain sheets of paper.
Don't fret: a dropped argument is still a concession. All I mean is that I likely have a higher threshold for the development of arguments that are more intrinsically dubious.
- As a former coach of a UDL school where many of my debaters make arguments centred on their identity, diversity is a genuine concern. It may play a factor in how I evaluate a round, particularly in debates regarding what’s “best” for the community/activity.
Do you and I’ll do my best to evaluate it but I’m not a tabula rasa and the dogma of debate has me to believe the following. I have put a lot of time and thought into this while attempting to be parsimonious - if you are serious about winning my ballot a careful read would prove to serve you well:
- All speech acts are performances, consequently, debaters should defend their performances including the advocacy, evidence, arguments/positions, interpretations, and representations of said speech acts.
- One of the most annoying questions a judged can be asked: “Are you cool with speed?”
In short: yes. But smart and slow always beats fast and dumb.
I have absolutely no preference on rate of delivery, though I will say it might be smart to slow down a bit on really long tags, advocacy texts, your totally sweet theory/double-bind argument or on overviews that have really nuanced descriptions of the round. My belief is that speed is typically good for debate but please remember that spreading’s true measure is contingent on the number of arguments that are required to be answered by the other team not your WPM.
- Ethos: I used to never really think this mattered at all. To a large degree, it still doesn’t considering I’m unabashedly very flowcentric but I tend to give high speaker points to debaters who performatively express mastery knowledge of the subjects discussed, ability to exercise round vision, assertiveness, and that swank.
- Holistic Approaches: the 2AR/2NR should be largely concerned with two things:
1) provide framing of the round so I can make an evaluation of impacts and the like
2) descriptively instruct me on how to make my decision
Overviews have the potential for great explanatory power, use that time and tactic wisely.
While I put form first, I am of the maxim that “form follows function” – I contend that the reverse would merely produce an aesthetic, a poor formula for argument testing in an intellectually rigorous and competitive activity. In summation: you need to make an argument and defend it.
- The Affirmative ought to be responsive to the topic. This is a pinnacle of my paradigm that is quite broad and includes teams who seek to engage in resistance to the proximate structures that frame the topic. Conversely, this also implicates teams that prioritize social justice - debaters utilizing methodological strategies for best resistance ought to consider their relationship to the topic.
Policy-oriented teams may read that last sentence with glee and K folks may think this is strike-worthy…chill. I do not prescribe to the notion that to be topical is synonymous with being resolutional.
- The Negative’s ground is rooted in the performance of the Affirmative as well as anything based in the resolution. It’s that simple; engage the 1AC if at all possible.
- I view rounds in an offense/defense lens. Many colleagues are contesting the utility of this approach in certain kinds of debate and I’m ruminating about this (see: “Thoughts on Competition”) but I don’t believe this to be a “plan focus” theory and I default to the notion that my decisions require a forced choice between competing performances.
- I will vote on Framework. That means I will vote for the team running the position based on their interpretation, but it also means I’ll vote on offensive responses to the argument. Vindicating an alternative framework is a necessary skill and one that should be possessed by kritikal teams - justifying your form of knowledge production as beneficial in these settings matter.
Framework appeals effectively consist of a normative claim of how debate ought to function. The interpretation should be prescriptive; if you are not comfortable with what the world of debate would look like if your interpretation were universally applied, then you have a bad interpretation. The impact to your argument ought to be derived from your interpretation (yes, I’ve given RFDs where this needed to be said). Furthermore, Topical Version of the Affirmative must specifically explain how the impacts of the 1AC can be achieved, it might be in your best interest to provide a text or point to a few cases that achieve that end. This is especially true if you want to go for external impacts that the 1AC can’t access – but all of this is contingent on a cogent explanation as to why order precedes/is the internal link to justice.
- I am pretty comfortable judging Clash of Civilization debates.
- Framework is the job of the debaters. Epistemology first? Ontology? Sure, but why? Where does performance come into play – should I prioritize a performative disad above the “substance” of a position? Over all of the sheets of paper in the round? These are questions debaters must grapple with and preferably the earlier in the round the better.
- "Framework is how we frame our work" >>>>> "FrAmEwOrK mAkEs ThE gAmE wOrK"
-Presumption is always an option. In my estimation, the 2NR may go for Counterplan OR a Kritik while also giving the judge the option of the status quo. Call it “hypo-testing” or whatever but I believe a rational decision-making paradigm doesn’t doom me to make a single decision between two advocacies, especially when the current status of things is preferable to both. I don't know if I really “judge kick” for you, instead, the 2NR should explain an “even if” route to victory via presumption to allow the 2AR to respond.
“But what about when presumption flips Affirmative?” This is a claim that I wish would be established prior to the 2NR, but I know that's not gonna happen. I've definitely voted in favour of plenty of 2ARs that haven't said that in the 1AR. The only times I can envision this is when the 2NR is going all-in on a CP.
- Role of the Ballots ought to invariably allow the 1AC/1NC to be contestable and provide substantial ground to each team. Many teams will make their ROBs self-serving at best, or at worse, tautological. That's because there's a large contingency of teams that think the ROB is an advocacy statement. They are not. Even more teams conflate a ROB with a Role of the Judge instruction and I'm just now making my peace with dealing with that reality.
If the ROB fails to equally distribute ground, they are merely impact framing. A good ROB can effectively answer a lot of framework gripes regarding the Affirmative’s pronouncement of an unfalsifiable truth claim.
- Analytics that are logically consistent, well warranted and answer the heart of any argument are weighed in high-esteem. This is especially true if it’s responsive to any combinations of bad argument/evidence.
- My threshold for theory is not particularly high. It’s what you justify, not necessarily what you do. I typically default to competing interpretations, this can be complicated by a team that is able to articulate what reasonability means in the context of the round, otherwise I feel like its interventionist of me to decode what “reasonable” represents. The same is true to a lesser extent with the impacts as well. Rattling off “fairness and education” as loaded concepts that I should just know has a low threshold if the other team can explain the significance of a different voter or a standard that controls the internal link into your impact (also, if you do this: prepared to get impact turned).
I think theory should be strategic and I very much enjoy a good theory debate. Copious amounts of topicality and specification arguments are not strategic, it is desperate.
- I like conditionality probably more so than other judges. As a young’n I got away with a lot of, probably, abusive Negative strategies that relied on conditionality to the maximum (think “multiple worlds and presumption in the 2NR”) mostly because many teams were never particularly good at explaining why this was a problem. If you’re able to do so, great – just don’t expect me to do much of that work for you. I don’t find it particularly difficult for a 2AR to make an objection about how that is bad for debate, thus be warned 2NRs - it's a downhill effort for a 2AR.
Furthermore, I tend to believe the 1NC has the right to test the 1AC from multiple positions.
Thus, Framework along with Cap K or some other kritik is not a functional double turn. The 1NC doesn’t need to be ideologically consistent. However, I have been persuaded in several method debates that there is a performative disadvantage that can be levied against speech acts that are incongruent and self-defeating.
- Probability is the most crucial component of impact calculus with disadvantages. Tradeoffs ought to have a high risk of happening and that question often controls the direction of uniqueness while also accessing the severity of the impact (magnitude).
- Counterplan debates can often get tricky, particularly if they’re PICs. Maybe I’m too simplistic here, but I don’t understand why Affirmatives don’t sit on their solvency deficit claims more. Compartmentalizing why portions of the Affirmative are key can win rounds against CPs. I think this is especially true because I view the Counterplan’s ability to solve the Affirmative to be an opportunity cost with its competitiveness. Take advantage of this “double bind.”
- Case arguments are incredibly underutilized and the dirty little secret here is that I kind of like them. I’m not particularly sentimental for the “good ol’ days” where case debate was the only real option for Negatives (mostly because I was never alive in that era), but I have to admit that debates centred on case are kind of cute and make my chest feel all fuzzy with a nostalgia that I never experienced– kind of like when a frat boy wears a "Reagan/Bush '84" shirt...
I know enough to know that kritiks are not monolithic. I am partial to topic-grounded kritiks and in all reality I find them to be part of a typical decision-making calculus. I tend to be more of a constructivist than a rationalist. Few things frustrate me more than teams who utilize a kritik/answer a kritik in a homogenizing fashion. Not every K requires the ballot as a tool, not every K looks to have an external impact either in the debate community or the world writ larger, not every K criticizes in the same fashion. I suggest teams find out what they are and stick to it, I also think teams should listen and be specifically responsive to the argument they hear rather than rely on a base notion of what the genre of argument implies. The best way to conceptualize these arguments is to think of “kritik” as a verb (to criticize) rather than a noun (a static demonstrative position).
It is no secret that I love many kritiks but deep in every K hack’s heart is revered space that admires teams that cut through the noise and simply wave a big stick and impact turn things, unabashedly defending conventional thought. If you do this well there’s a good chance you can win my ballot. If pure agonism is not your preferred tactic, that’s fine but make sure your post-modern offense onto kritiks can be easily extrapolated into a 1AR in a fashion that makes sense.
In many ways, I believe there’s more tension between Identity and Post-Modernism teams then there are with either of them and Policy debaters. That being said, I think the Eurotrash K positions ought to proceed with caution against arguments centred on Identity – it may not be smart to contend that they ought to embrace their suffering or claim that they are responsible for a polemical construction of identity that replicates the violence they experience (don’t victim blame).
THOUGHTS ON COMPETITION
There’s a lot of talk about what is or isn’t competition and what competition ought to look like in specific types of debate – thus far I am not of the belief that different methods of debate require a different rubric for evaluation. While much discussion as been given to “Competition by Comparison” I very much subscribe to Competing Methodologies. What I’ve learned in having these conversations is that this convention means different things to different people and can change in different settings in front of different arguments. For me, I try to keep it consistent and compatible with an offense/defense heuristic: competing methodologies requires an Affirmative focus where the Negative requires an independent reason to reject the Affirmative. In this sense, competition necessitates a link. This keeps artificial competition at bay via permutations, an affirmative right regardless of the presence of a plan text.
Permutations are merely tests of mutual exclusivity. They do not solve and they are not a shadowy third advocacy for me to evaluate. I naturally will view permutations more as a contestation of linkage – and thus, are terminal defense to a counterplan or kritik -- than a question of combining texts/advocacies into a solvency mechanism. If you characterize these as solvency mechanisms rather than a litmus test of exclusivity, you ought to anticipate offense to the permutation (and even theory objections to the permutation) to be weighed against your “net-benefits”. This is your warning to not be shocked if I'm extrapolating a much different theoretical understanding of a permutation if you go 5/6 minutes for it in the 2AR.
Even in method debates where a permutation contends both methods can work in tandem, there is no solvency – in these instances net-benefits function to shield you from links (the only true “net benefit” is the Affirmative). A possible exception to this scenario is “Perm do the Affirmative” where the 1AC subsumes the 1NC’s alternative; here there may be an offensive link turn to the K resulting in independent reasons to vote for the 1AC.
Director of Forensics, Cal State Northridge
Email speech documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
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A. Judging/Coaching History
- Over 19 years of experience judging/coaching competitive debate events; less experience with speech and individual events (5 years)
- Worked with students of all ages: elementary (MSPDP), middle school (MSPDP), high school (policy, LD, public forum), and college (NDT/CEDA, NFA-LD, NPDA, IPDA, CPFL)
B. General Philosophy
1. Do you thing! This activity should center the stylistic proclivities of students, not judges. Full stop. My academic background has taught me reasonable arguments come in a variety of forms, styles, and mediums. I've coached and judged a wide range of styles from very traditional (e.g. topicality, disads, cps, and case), critical (e.g. post-structural/modern/colonial theory), to very non-traditional (e.g. performative/identity/method debate). There are things I like and dislike about every style I've encountered. Do what you do and I'll do my best to keep up.
2. "Inside Baseball" Sucks. These days I mostly judge college policy and high school LD. That means I am unlikely to know most of the acronyms, anecdotes, inside references about other levels of debate and you should probably explain them in MUCH more detail than you would for the average judge.
C. Pedagogical/Competitive Points of Emphasis
1. Importance of Formal Evidence (i.e. "cards"). I once heard a judge tell another competitor, “a card no matter how bad will always beat an analytic no matter how good.” For the sake of civility I will refrain from using this person’s name, but I could not disagree more with this statement. Arguments are claims backed by reasons with support. The nature of appropriate support will depend on the nature of the reason and on the nature of the claim. To the extent that cards are valuable as forms of support in debate it’s because they lend the authority and credibility of an expert to an argument. But there are some arguments where technical expertise is irrelevant. One example might be the field of morality and ethics. If a debater makes a claim about the morality of assisted suicide backed by sound reasoning there is no a priori reason to prefer a card from an ethicist who argues the contrary. People reason in many different ways and arguments that might seem formally or technically valid might be perfectly reasonable in other settings. I generally prefer debates with a good amount of cards because they tend to correlate with research and that is something I think is valuable in and of itself. But all too often teams uses cards as a crutch to supplement the lack of sound reasoning. The takeaway is … If you need to choose between fully explaining yourself and reading a card always choose the former.
2. Burden of Persuasion vs. Burden of Rejoinder One of things that makes policy and LD debate (and perhaps public forum) a fairly unique activity from a policy/legal perspective is our emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. If one competitor says something then the opponent needs to answer it, otherwise the judge treats the argument as gospel. Debaters might think their judges aren't as attentive to the flow as they would like, but ask any litigator if trial judges care in the least whether the other attorney answered their arguments effectively. Emphasizing the burden of rejoinder is a way of respecting the voice and arguments of the students who spend their valuable time competing in this activity. But like everything else in debate there are affordances as well as constraints in emphasizing the burden of rejoinder. Personally, I think our activity has placed so much emphasis on the burden of rejoinder that we have lost almost all emphasis on the burden of persuasion. I can’t count the number of rounds I have participated in (as a debater and as a judge) where the vast majority of the claims made in the debate were absolutely implausible. The average politics disad is so contrived that it's laughable. Teams string together dozens of improbable internal link chains and treat them as if they were a cohesive whole. Truth be told, the probability of the average “big stick” advantage/disad is less than 1% and that’s just real talk. This practice is so ubiquitous because we place such a heavy emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. Fast teams read a disad that was never very probable to begin with and because the 2AC is not fast enough to poke holes in every layer of the disad the judge treats those internal links as conceded (and thus 100% probable). Somehow, through no work of their own the neg’s disad went from being a steaming pile of non-sense to a more or less perfectly reasonable description of reality. I don't think this norm serves our students very well. But it is so ingrained in the training of most debates and coaches (more so the coaches than the debaters actually) that it’s sustained by inertia. The takeaway is… that when i judge, I try (imperfectly to be sure) to balance my expectations that students meet both the burden of rejoinder and the burden of persuasion. Does this require judge intervention? Perhaps, to some degree, but isn't that what it means to “allow ones self to be persuaded?” To be clear, I do not think it is my job to be the sole arbiter of whether a claim was true or false, probable or unlikely, significant or insignificant. I do think about these things constantly though and i think it is both impossible and undesirable for me to ignore those thoughts in the moment of decision. It would behoove anyone I judge to take this into account and actively argue in favor of a particular balance between the burdens or rejoinder and persuasion in a particular round.
3. The Role of the Ballot/Purpose of the Activity/Non-Traditional Debate. The first thing I want to say isn’t actually a part of my philosophy on judging debates as much as it is an observation about debates I have watched and judged. I can’t count the number of rounds I have watched where a debater says something akin to, “Debate is fundamentally X,” or “the role of the ballot is X.” This is not a criticism. These debaters are astute and clearly understand that defining the nature and purpose of the activity is an extremely useful (often essential)tool for winning debates. That said, in truth, debate is both everything and nothing and the role of the ballot is multiple. Asserting the "purpose of debate" or "the role of the ballot" is essentially a meaningless utterance in my opinion. Arguing in favor "a particular purpose of debate” or “a particular role of the ballot” in a given round requires reasons and support. Policy debate could be conceived as a training ground for concerned citizens to learn how to feel and think about particular policies that could be enacted by their government. Policy debate could also be conceived as a space students to voice their dissatisfaction with the actions or inactions of the governments that claim to represent them through various forms of performance. Excellent debaters understand policy debate is a cultural resource filled with potential and possibility. Rather than stubbornly clinging to dogmatic axioms, these debaters take a measured approach that recognizes the affordances and constraints contained within competing visions of "the purpose of debate" or the "role of the ballot” and debate the issue like they would any other. The problem is assessing the affordances and constraints of different visions requires a sober assessment of what it is we do here. Most debaters are content to assert, “the most educational model of debate is X,” or the “most competitive model of debate is Y.” Both of these approaches miss the boat because they willfully ignore other aspects of the activity. Debates should probably be educational. What we learn and why is (like everything else) up for debate, but it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t be learning something from the activity. Fairness in a vacuum is a coin-flip and that’s hardly worth our time. On the other hand, probably isn’t a purely educational enterprise. Debate isn’t school. If it were students wouldn’t be so excited about doing debate work that they ignore their school work. The competitive aspects of the activity are important and can’t be ignored or disregarded lightly. How fair things have to be and which arguments teams are entitled to make are up for debate, but I think we need to respect some constraints lest we confuse all discourse for argument. The phrase “debate is a game/the content is irrelevant” probably won’t get you very far, but that’s because games are silly and unimportant by definition. But there are lots of contests that are very important were fairness is paramount (e.g. elections, academic publishing, trials). Rather than assert the same banal lines from recycled framework blocks, excellent debaters will try to draw analogies between policy debate and other activities that matter and where fairness is non-negotiable. So the takeaway is … I generally think the topic exists for a reason and the aff has to tie their advocacy to the topic, although I am open to arguments to the contrary. I tend to think of things in terms of options and alternatives. So even if topicality is a necessarily flawed system that privileges some voices over others, I tend to ask myself what the alternative to reading topicality would be. Comparison of impacts, alternatives, options, is always preferable to blanket statements like “T = genocidal” or “non-traditional aff’s are impossible to research.”
4. Theory Debates (i.e. Debates about Debate Itself) I have a relatively high threshold for theory arguments, but I am not one of those judges that thinks the neg teams gets to do whatever they want. You can win theory debates with me in the back, but it probably isn’t your best shot. As a general rule (though not universal) I think that if you didn’t have to do research for an argument, you don’t learn anything by running it. I have VERY high threshold for negative theory arguments that are not called topicality. It doesn’t mean I wont vote on these arguments if the aff teams makes huge errors, but a person going for one of these argument would look so silly that it would be hard to give them anything about a 28.
Tech savvy truth telling/testing debaters who crystallize with clarity, purpose persuasion&pathos will generally win my ballot.
For Greenhill RR -- consider my guidance on speed carefully, and don't forget the big picture while you are warring furiously on the line by line.
Speed: Reading a Card -- light-speed + speech doc; Constructives: fast + slow sign posting please; Rebuttals: I prefer the slow spread with powerfully efficient word economy myself, but you do you.
College Parli -- Arguments that heavily weigh on the core ground intended by the topic always tend to strike me as more persuasive. A unique procedural element of Parliamentary debate is the ability to ask a question during opponent's speech time; debaters who utilize this tool to further conversational turns increasing analysis on a key issue usually impress me as well.
Policy -- AFFs advocating topical ethical policies with high probability to impact real people suffering right now are best in front of me. I expect K AFFs to offer solid ground and prove a highly compelling advocacy. Procedural fairness is probably the only fairness arguments I ultimately consider. And you play to win the game. Give me clash: prove you can engage a policy framework as well as any other competing frameworks simultaneously, while also giving me compelling reasons to prefer on FW. Anytime you are able to demonstrate valuable portable skills or a superior model of debate you should tell me why that is a reason to vote for you.
LD -- See Policy above, and also Parli for cross-examination analysis. While this event has evolved considerably, I am still a firm believer that Value/Criterion is the straightest path to victory, as a strong V/C FW will either contextualize impacts to a policy/plan advocacy, or explain and justify an ethical position or moral statement functioning as that necessary advocacy. Also, V/C allows a debater to jump in and out of different worlds, advocating for their position while also demonstrating the portable skill of entering into an alternate FW and clashing with their opponent on their merits. An appropriate V/C will offer fair, reasonable, predictable, equitable, and functional Ground to both sides. I will entertain any and all theory, kritiks, T, FW. procedure, resolution-rejection/alteration, etc. -- but fair warning, positions that do not directly relate to the resolutional topic area will require a Highly Compelling warrant(s) for why. At all times, please INSTRUCT me on how I am supposed to think about the round.
Public Forum -- In order to further value open access to debate, I try my best to adapt myself to public forum debates rather than expecting debaters to adapt to me as I do in the other debate events. Part of what will help me is to articulate the reasoning for preferring an interpretation, whether of a rule, a norm, macro-strategies, or anything else, so that I can evaluate with understanding. Follow claim-warrant-impact-weighing and speak with authority.
Please ask specific questions before the round if you have any.
So...that is my paradigm proper, intentionally left very short. I've tried the more is more approach, and I have become fond of the less is more. Below are random things I have written, usually for tournament-specific commentary.
Worlds @ Coppell:
I have taken care to educate myself on the particulars of this event, reviewing relevant official literature as well as reaching out to debate colleagues who have had more experience. My obligation as a fair, reasonable, unbiased and qualified critic requires me to adapt my normal paradigm, which I promise to do to the best of my abilities. However, this does not excuse competitive debaters from their obligation to adapt to their assigned judge. I adapt, you adapt, Fair.
To learn how I think in general about how I should go about judging debates, please review my standard Judge Paradigm posted below. Written short and sweet intentionally, for your purposes as Worlds debaters who wish to gain my ballot, look for ways to cater your strengths as debaters to the things I mention that I find generally persuasive. You will note that my standard paradigm is much shorter than this unique, particularized paradigm I drafted specifically for Worlds @ Coppell.
Wesley's Worlds Paradigm:
I am looking for which competitors perform the "better debating." As line by line and dropping of arguments are discounted in this event, those competitors who do the "better debating" will be "on balance more persuasive" than their opponents.
Style: I would liken Style to "speaker points" in other debate events. Delivery, passion, rhetoric, emotional appeal. Invariably, the power of excellent public speaking will always be anchored to the substantive arguments and authenticity of advocacy for the position the debater must affirm or negate. While I will make every effort to separate and appropriately quantify Style and Content, be warned that in my view there is an inevitable and unbreakable bond between the two, and will likely result in some spillover in my final tallies.
Content: If I have a bias, it would be in favor of overly weighting Content. I except that competitors will argue for a clear advocacy, a reason that I should feel compelled to vote for you, whether that is a plan, a value proposition, or other meaningful concept.
PAY ATTENTION HERE: Because of the rules of this event that tell me to consider the debate as a whole, to ignore extreme examples, to allow for a "reasonable majority" standard to affirm and a "significant minority" standard to negate, and particularly bearing in mind the rules regarding "reasonability" when it comes to definitions, I will expect the following:
A) Affirmatives will provide an advocacy that is clearly and obviously within the intended core ground proffered by the topic (the heart of hearts, if you will);
B) Negatives will provide an advocacy of their own that clashes directly with the AFF (while this is not completely necessary, it is difficult for me to envision myself reaching a "better debating" and "persuasion" standard from a straight refutation NEG, so consider this fair warning); what the Policy folk call a PIC (Plan-Inclusive Counterplan) will NOT be acceptable, so do not attempt on the NEG to offer a better affirmative plan that just affirms the resolution -- I expect an advocacy that fundamentally NEGATES
C) Any attempt by either side to define their opponent's position out of the round must be EXTRAORDINARILY compelling, and do so without reliance on any debate theory or framework; possibilities would include extremely superior benefits to defining a word in a certain way, or that the opponent has so missed the mark on the topic that they should be rejected. It would be best to assume that I will ultimately evaluate any merits that have a chance of reasonably fitting within the topic area. Even if a team elects to make such an argument, I still expect them to CLASH with the substance of the opponent's case, regardless of whether or not your view is that the substance is off-topic. Engage it anyways out of respect.
D) Claim-Warrant-Impact-Weighing formula still applies, as that is necessary to prove an "implication on effects in the real world". Warrants can rely on "common knowledge", "general logic", or "internal logic", as this event does not emphasize scholarly evidence, but I expect Warrants nonetheless, as you must tell me why I am supposed to believe the claim.
Strategy: While there may be a blending of Content & Style on the margins in front of me as a judge, Strategy is the element that I believe will be easy for me to keep separate and quantify unto itself. Please help me and by proxy yourselves -- MENTION in your speeches what strategies you have used, and why they were good. Debaters who explicitly state the methods they have used, and why those methods have aided them to be "on balance more persuasive" and do the "better debating" will likely impress me.
POIs: The use of Questions during opponent's speech time is a tool that involves all three elements, Content/Style/Strategy. It will be unlikely for me to vote for a team that fails to ask a question, or fails to ask any good questions. In a perfect world, I would like speakers to yield to as many questions as they are able, especially if their opponent's are asking piercing questions that advance the debate forward. You WANT to be answering tough questions, because it makes you look better for doing so. I expect the asking and answering of questions to be reciprocal -- if you ask a lot of questions, then be ready and willing to take a lot of questions in return. Please review my section on Parli debate below for final thoughts on the use of POI.
If you want to win my vote, take everything I have written above to heart, because that will be the vast majority of the standards for judging I will implement during this tournament. As always, feel free to ask me any further questions directly before the round begins. Best of luck!
Jenn (Jennifer) Miller-Melin, Jenn Miller, Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Melin, or some variation thereof. :)
Email for email chains:
If you walk into a round and ask me some vague question like, "Do you have any paradigms?", I will be annoyed. If you have a question about something contained in this document that is unclear to you, please do not hesitate to ask that question.
-Formerly assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate at Hockaday, Marcus, Colleyville, and Grapevine. Currently assisting at Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School.
I was a four year debater who split time between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage High Schools. During my career, I was active on the national circuit and qualified for both TOC and NFL Nationals. Since graduating in 2004, I have taught at the Capitol Debate Institute, UNT Mean Green Debate Workshops, TDC, and the University of Texas Debate Institute, the National Symposium for Debate, and Victory Briefs Institute. I have served as Curriculum Director at both UTNIF and VBI.
In terms of debate, I need some sort standard to evaluate the round. I have no preference as to what kind of standard you use (traditional value/criterion, an independent standard, burdens, etc.). The most important thing is that your standard explains why it is the mechanism I use to decide if the resolution is true or false. As a side note on the traditional structure, I don't think that the value is of any great importance and will continue to think this unless you have some well warranted reason as to why I should be particularly concerned with it. My reason is that the value doesn't do the above stated, and thus, generally is of no aid to my decision making process.
That said, debates often happen on multiple levels. It is not uncommon for debaters to introduce a standard and a burden or set of burdens. This is fine with me as long as there is a decision calculus; by which I mean, you should tell me to resolve this issue first (maybe the burden) and that issue next (maybe the standard). Every level of analysis should include a reason as to why I look to it in the order that you ask me to and why this is or is not a sufficient place for me to sign my ballot. Be very specific. There is nothing about calling something a "burden" that suddenly makes it more important than the framework your opponent is proposing. This is especially true in rounds where it is never explained why this is the burden that the resolution or a certain case position prescribes.
Another issue relevant to the standard is the idea of theory and/or off-case/ "pre-standard" arguments. All of the above are fine but the same things still apply. Tell me why these arguments ought to come first in my decision calculus. The theory debate is a place where this is usually done very poorly. Things like "education" or "fairness" are standards and I expect debaters to spend effort developing the framework that transforms into such.
l try to listen to any argument, but making the space unsafe for other bodies is unacceptable. I reserve the right to dock speaks or, if the situation warrants it, refuse to vote on arguments that commit violence against other bodies in the space.
I hold all arguments to the same standard of development regardless of if they are "traditional" or "progressive". An argument has a structure (claim, warrant, and impact) and that should not be forgotten when debaterI ws choose to run something "critical". Warrants should always be well explained. Certain cards, especially philosophical cards, need a context or further information to make sense. You should be very specific in trying to facilitate my understanding. This is true for things you think I have read/should have read (ie. "traditional" LD philosophy like Locke, Nozick, and Rawls) as well as things that I may/may not have read (ie. things like Nietzsche, Foucault, and Zizek). A lot of the arguments that are currently en vogue use extremely specialized rhetoric. Debaters who run these authors should give context to the card which helps to explain what the rhetoric means.
One final note, I can flow speed and have absolutely no problem with it. You should do your best to slow down on author names and tags. Also, making a delineation between when a card is finished and your own analysis begins is appreciated. I will not yell "clear" so you should make sure you know how to speak clearly and quickly before attempting it in round.
I will always disclose unless instructed not to do so by a tournament official. I encourage debaters to ask questions about the round to further their understanding and education. I will not be happy if I feel the debater is being hostile towards me and any debater who does such should expect their speaker points to reflect their behavior.
I am a truth tester at heart but am very open to evaluating the resolution under a different paradigm if it is justified and well explained. That said, I do not understand the offense/defense paradigm and am increasingly annoyed with a standard of "net benefits", "consequentialism", etc. Did we take a step back about 20 years?!? These seem to beg the question of what a standard is supposed to do (clarify what counts as a benefit). About the only part of this paradigm that makes sense to me is weighing based on "risk of offense". It is true that arguments with some risk of offense ought to be preferred over arguments where there is no risk but, lets face it, this is about the worst type of weighing you could be doing. How is that compelling? "I might be winning something". This seems to only be useful in a round that is already giving everyone involved a headache. So, while the offense/defense has effectively opened us up to a different kind of weighing, it should be used with caution given its inherently defensive nature.
Theory seems to be here to stay. I seem to have a reputation as not liking theory, but that is really the sound bite version of my view. I think that theory has a place in debate when it is used to combat abuse. I am annoyed when theory is used as a tactic because a debater feels she is better at theory than her opponent. I really like to talk about the topic more than I like to wax ecstatic about what debate would look like in the world of flowers, rainbows, and neat flows. That said, I will vote on theory even when I am annoyed by it. I tend to look at theory more as an issue of reasonabilty than competing interpretations. As with the paradigm discussion above, I am willing to listen to and adjust my view in round if competing interpretations is justified as how I should look at theory. Over the last few years I have become a lot more willing to pull the trigger on theory than I used to be. That said, with the emergence of theory as a tactic utilized almost every round I have also become more sympathetic to the RVI (especially on the aff). I think the Aff is unlikely to be able to beat back a theory violation, a disad, and a CP and then extend from the AC in 4 minutes. This seems to be even more true in a world where the aff must read a counter-interp and debate on the original interp. All of this makes me MUCH more likely to buy an RVI than I used to be. Also, I will vote on theory violations that justify practices that I generally disagree with if you do not explain why those practices are not good things. It has happened a lot in the last couple of years that a debater has berated me after losing because X theory shell would justify Y practice, and don't I think Y practice would be really bad for debate? I probably do, but if that isn't in the round I don't know how I would be expected to evaluate it.
Finally, I can't stress how much I appreciate a well developed standards debate. Its fine if you choose to disregard that piece of advice, but I hope that you are making up for the loss of a strategic opportunity on the standards debate with some really good decisions elsewhere. You can win without this, but you don't look very impressive if I can't identify the strategy behind not developing and debating the standard.
I cannot stress enough how tired I am of people running away from debates. This is probably the biggest tip I can give you for getting better speaker points in front of me, please engage each other. There is a disturbing trend (especially on Sept/Oct 2015) to forget about the 1AC after it is read. This makes me feel like I wasted 6 minutes of my life, and I happen to value my time. If your strategy is to continuously up-layer the debate in an attempt to avoid engaging your opponent, I am probably not going to enjoy the round. This is not to say that I don't appreciate layering. I just don't appreciate strategies, especially negative ones, that seek to render the 1AC irrelevant to the discussion and/or that do not ever actually respond to the AC.
Debate has major representation issues (gender, race, etc.). I have spent years committed to these issues so you should be aware that I am perhaps hypersensitive to them. We should all be mindful of how we can increase inclusion in the debate space. If you do things that are specifically exclusive to certain voices, that is a voting issue.
Being nice matters. I enjoy humor, but I don't enjoy meanness. At a certain point, the attitude with which you engage in debate is a reason why I should choose to promote you to the next outround, etc.
You should not spread analytics and/or in depth analysis of argument interaction/implications at your top speed. These are probably things that you want me to catch word for word. Help me do that.
Theory is an issue of reasonability. Let's face it, we are in a disgusting place with the theory debate as a community. We have forgotten its proper place as a check on abuse. "Reasonability invites a race to the bottom?" Please, we are already there. I have long felt that theory was an issue of reasonability, but I have said that I would listen to you make arguments for competing interps. I am no longer listening. I am pretty sure that the paradigm of competing interps is largely to blame with for the abysmal state of the theory debate, and the only thing that I have power to do is to take back my power as a judge and stop voting on interps that have only a marginal net advantage. The notion that reasonability invites judge intervention is one of the great debate lies. You've trusted me to make decisions elsewhere, I don't know why I can't be trusted to decide how bad abuse is. Listen, if there is only a marginal impact coming off the DA I am probably going to weigh that against the impact coming off the aff. If there is only a marginal advantage to your interp, I am probably going to weigh that against other things that have happened in the round.
Grammar probably matters to interpretations of topicality. If one reading of the sentence makes sense grammatically, and the other doesn't that is a constraint on "debatability". To say the opposite is to misunderstand language in some pretty fundamental ways.
Truth testing is still true, but it's chill that most of you don't understand what that means anymore. It doesn't mean that I am insane, and won't listen to the kind of debate you were expecting to have. Sorry, that interp is just wrong.
Framework is still totally a thing. Impact justifying it is still silly. That doesn't change just because you call something a "Role of the Ballot" instead of a criterion.
Util allows you to be lazy on the framework level, but it requires that you are very good at weighing. If you are lazy on both levels, you will not make me happy.
Flashing is out of control. You need to decide prior to the round what the expectations for flashing/emailing are. What will/won't be done during prep time, what is expected to be flashed, etc. The amount of time it takes to flash is extending rounds by an unacceptable amount. If you aren't efficient at flashing, that is fine. Paper is still totally a thing. Email also works.
the below paradigm is tailored to LD debate as that is what i have spent the last 8 years coaching. large parts of it remain cross-applicable to policy debate - if a portion strikes you as confusing or unrelated to policy it likely is related to some strange structural or argumentative quirk in LD - feel free to ask me if you are unsure about anything/would like me to elaborate.
i debated LD and policy in high school, graduating in '13. this is my 4th year coaching LD @ greenhill, and my first year as program director for the dallas urban debate alliance.
[current/past affiliations: coached independent debaters from: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18); team coach for: westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now) ]
i would like there to be an email chain and I would like to be on it: firstname.lastname@example.org. I strongly prefer an email chain to the NSDA Classroom file sharing, and would love for the chain name to be specific and descriptive - perhaps something like "Tournament Name, Round # - __ vs __". I find debates without cameras to be a real bummer; particularly at the toc when students' careers will end, and i would thus appreciate if cameras were on for the duration of rounds.
I have coached debaters whose interests ranged from util + policy args & dense critical literature (anthropocentrism, afropessimism, settler colonialism, psychoanalysis, irigaray, borderlands, the cap + security ks), to trickier args (i-law, polls, monism) & theory heavy strategies.
That said, I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, and thoroughly enjoy 6 minutes of topicality or framework 2nrs [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell.
I am a bad judge for highly evasive tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not coach or think about analytic philosophy or tricks anymore outside of debate tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace in order for me to process and understand all the moving parts - notably, this is also true for whoever is answering these positions. every time i have voted for an analytic phil arg, it has been because the relevant rebuttal tailored its speed to a level where i understood the arguments!
i think the word "unsafe" means something and I am uncomfortable when it is deployed cavalierly - it is a meaningful accusation to suggest that an opponent has made a space unsafe (vs uncomfortable), and i think students/coaches/judges should be mindful of that distinction. I think this also applies to things like “evidence ethics,” “independent voters,” "psychological violence," etc., though in different ways for each. If you believe that the debate has become unsafe, we should likely pause the round and reach out to tournament officials, as the ballot is an insufficient mechanism with which to resolve issues of safety. similarly, it will take a lot for me to feel comfortable concluding that a round has been psychologically violent and thus decide the round on that conclusion, or to sign a ballot that accuses a student of cheating without robust, clear evidence to support that. i have judged a lot of debates, and it is very difficult for me to think of many that have been *unsafe* in any meaningful way.
This used to be much longer - I have preserved the older version, but understand it was cumbersome for pref purposes, too long to read immediately pre-round, etc.
3 things on online debate & speed:
slow down slow down slow down slow down slow down. i think online you should be going at 70% or so of the speed you would go in person. if you do not slow down and technical difficulties mean i miss arguments, i will not be very sympathetic to the post round.
zoom mics means it is very difficult for debaters to hear me cue "slow/clear" - if you would like me to type it in the chat, i will, but otherwise facial expressions will have to be your best cue. if i am not flowing at the speed you are reading, you will know, but the time i lose on flowing to unmute myself and shout slow is not worth it imo.
- given how clear it is to me that no one could flow a debate round as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow them at top speed. i prefer more experienced debaters to modulate their speed/presentation to be closer to that of their opponent's as i believe this facilitates better debates.
10 things to know:
- Evidence Ethics: In previous years, I have seen a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence. My longer thoughts on that are available on the archived version of this paradigm, including what kinds of violations will trigger this, etc. If you are uncertain if your evidence is miscut, perhaps spend some time perusing those standards, or better yet, resolve the miscutting. Similarly, I will vote against debaters clipping if i notice it. If you would like me to vote on evidence ethics, i would prefer that you lay out the challenge, and then stake the round on it. i do not think accusations of evidence ethics should be risk-less for any team, and if you point out a mis-cutting but are not willing to stake the round on it, I am hesitant to entertain that argument in my decision-making process. if an ev ethics challenge occurs, it is drop the debater, there is no room for drop the arg negotiation. do with that what you will.
i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer. this is not negotiable, and just because you kept reading for 10 seconds post timer does not mean that the card gets marked ten seconds post timer.
please do not split your 2nrs! you will be far likelier to win if you develop one flow for the 2nr, and will be served poorly by the attempt to go for every 1nc arg in the 2nr. In principle, this is also true for your 2ARs. an important caveat: if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it i think that likely means the 1nc arg is underdeveloped. that issue should be resolved pre round, not by relying on 2nr cards/new args, or on split 2nrs - i think this is particularly true of very short topicality arguments - a sentence or two of standards will likely not be enough to beat a 1ar thats just like "hold the line" (a similar logic applies to 1ar theory args!)
there is no chance you get me to exclude a speech from the debate - i will evaluate every portion of the debate after the 2ar, with relevant content from the 2ar taken into consideration.
Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if a card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. it seems to me there are competitive incentives to say as few words as possible and that this trickles down to highlighting. I think this is a practice that should not be rewarded, and that you should highlight your evidence to make claims the author has made, and that those claims should make sense if read at conversational speed outside of the context of a high school debate round. The 1ac/nc should have evidence of high quality, and the 1ar/2nr/2ar should have explanation of that evidence of a similarly high quality. if you have great evidence that explains what your aff defends, great! you should read it - i am not particularly sympathetic to unread ev in a doc/ unread lists that explain what the affirmative/cp/whatever does/does not defend. i prefer for you to read re-highlightings and explain how your reading of the other team's ev differs from theirs.
I think disclosure is good, and "in the interest of disclosing my own bias, i think the best debates happen when both teams are able to reasonably predict what arguments will be read (with the exception of new affs + unbroken neg positions). i am unsympathetic to arguments about disclosure that do not contest this point. even if you cannot post broken positions on the wiki for whatever reason, it is my belief that you should be willing to provide them, in good faith, to your opponent upon request in some way." - anna. That said, i do not enjoy being in the back of disclosure debates where the violation is difficult to verify, or where a team has actively taken actions to help a team engage, even if that action does not take the form of open sourcing documents on the ndca wiki. if a team refuses to tell you what the aff will be, or is clearly familiar with circuit norms but has nothing on their wiki, I will be considerably more receptive to disclosure, but again, verifiability is key. - "If there was an accessibility, disclosure, or other request made before the debate that you plan to bring up in the debate please inform me before the debate. I would like to evaluate the debate with this information ahead of time. More personal issues/things that someone did last year are difficult for me to understand as relevant to my ballot." - eli
i rely heavily on framing claims made by both teams in deciding debates, and i much prefer these claims to break early than late - if neither the 1nc/1ac have particularly clear framing claims, my decision is liable to get weird. a lot of k debates i've coached/judged this year have taken for granted that "explanatory power" has some innate value that is sufficient to win debates - i don't understand why this is true, or why explanatory power is intrinsically valuable/something i should view as sufficient to grant a ballot. it strikes me that if all the aff/neg has is explanatory power, but do not answer what one should do *next* if those theoretical claims are true, then the aff/neg has not done much absent a framework argument to explain why that should be enough for me.
- form vs content: over the last few years, i have seen a significant uptick in arguments about form vs content. i find this dichotomy fascinating, but i find myself rarely understanding where debaters want me to draw the form/content line - if you plan for this to be a significant part of your strategy, you need to be very clear about what is different between your form and your opponent's form. perhaps i misunderstand this bucket of arguments, but almost every time i see this play out, i find myself thinking that the aff and neg's form are near indistinguishable from each other, which makes me deeply skeptical of which ever side is going for the form indicts.
- i think the semantics da to T is often articulated in ways that are paternalistic and verge on racist. if you do not have a defense of your reading of the resolution, i think vaguely gesturing at racial minorities and saying "topicality is racist, why do you exclude minorities?" is gross unless you have an explanation of what dialect, culture, etc., interprets the topic the way you have. otherwise, you are simply making the claim that minorities are insufficiently intelligent to handle... grammar? other languages have internal structures, grammar, and conceptions of semantic correctness, and it is unbelievable to me how many times i've seen debaters assert otherwise in debates this year! i think often in debates the argument takes this paternalistic form because debaters cut down on warrants and internal links for the sake of efficiency, but i do not think that is an excuse
- speaks: if you debate at a level that makes me think you should be in out rounds, you will likely have a 28.8 as your floor - moving above that requires good strategic decisions, well structured rebuttals, and making the debate easy to resolve. i believe 28.8 were the average speaks required to break at a few of the larger octas bids in recent years, so it seemed like a good point to establish a scale around. as point distribution changes, perhaps i will revisit this metric.
Finally, I am not particularly good for the following buckets of debates:
Warming good & other impact turn heavy strategies
IR heavy debates - i encourage you to slow down and be very clear in the claims you want me to evaluate in these debates.
Bad theory arguments / theory debates w/ very marginal offense (rotb spec falls neatly in this category, and it is unlikely i will vote for theory debates where i can not identify meaningful offense / where the abuse story is very difficult for me to comprehend)
- must disclose pronouns/must disclose race war/must give a trigger warning shells/must etc. etc.
Identity ks that appropriate the form and language of antiblackness literature (particularly with regards to queerness & disability)
affs/nc's that have entirely analytic frameworks (even if it is something like util!) - i think this is often right on the line of plagiarism, and more importantly, my brain simply cannot process / flow it at high speeds.
baudrillard & his derivatives
- i am very interested in discussions/theories of translations, and woefully inept at understanding how they would operate in a debate context - read it if you'd like, but i will need a very clear explanation of competition in particular, and how it operates in the round more broadly.
- new affs bad - frankly, its not worth putting in the 1nc.
Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.
T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen AND CAN BE PERSUADED TO VOTE FOR IT I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.
Also, very very important! Affirmatives have to do something to change the squo in the world in debate etc. If by the end of the debate the affirmative cannot demonstrate what it does and what the offense of the aff is T/Framework becomes even more persuasive. Framework with a TVA that actually gets to the impacts of the aff and leverages reasons why state actions can better resolve the issues highlighted in the affirmative is very winnable in front of me.
DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly
CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit
K- I am familiar with most of the k literature
CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at
In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).
First let me explain how to get a Hot L:
So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L
THE SAME IS TRUE FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO GENDER, LGBTQ ISSUES ETC. ALSO WHITE PEOPLE AND WHITENESS IS NOT THE SAME THING
Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean
Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples
I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc
I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating
katy taylor '17
yes, add me to the email chain: email@example.com
cal rr/tournament 2021 update: I have judged numerous rounds on this topic and I can confidently say that I don't like nebel t as an argument.
current 2020 conflicts: Rutgers-Newark AH and Northern Valley JL
previous conflicts: Evergreen Valley SS, Coppell DR, Houston EP, Alief Kerr EG, Guyer CM, Woodlands MR, Cy-Fair TW, and Katy Taylor.
background: I have been coaching high school CX and LD for the past three years. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. In the past, I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams going for policy arguments and/or critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached debaters in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.
overall thoughts: I believe it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and extending some sort of impact framing in the debate because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is a place for you to do you. I will make my decisions based on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. This means I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about the content/style of an argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. It is up to the debaters to present and endorse whichever model of debate they want to invest in. Have fun and best of luck!
-- please record your speeches/debates.
-- please be kind to each other.
-- good quality evidence + in-depth analysis of the evidence is always appreciated.
-- i will not vote on an rvi on topicality.
-- do not intentionally clip cards. it will be an automatic L and 25 speaks if you do.
-- please start out clear, slow, and loud (very crucial for online debate).
-- ld theory tricks are bad and i refuse to vote for it.
-- speaks are determined by a combination of strategy choice, efficiency, weighing, and good cross-x skills.
-- some people who I agree with and/or have been heavily influenced by in debate: Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Devane Murphy, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Chris Randall, Anthony Joseph, and Jon Sharp.
Specifics thoughts I've provided from my previous paradigm (2019-2020):
-- Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part of every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.
Policy affs vs. K
-- I am most familiar with these types of debates. With that being said, I think the affirmative needs to prioritize framing i.e. the consequences of the plan under a util framework. There need to be contestations between the aff framing versus the K's power of theory in order to disprove it, not desirable, or incoherent and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point of the flaws of the kritiks alternative and make solvency deficits. Aff teams need to answer the link arguments, read link defense, make perms, and provide reasons/examples of why the plan is preferable/resolve material conditions. Use cross-x to clarify jargon and get the other team to make concessions about their criticism.
-- CP(s) need to have a clear plan text and have an external net benefit, otherwise, I'm inclined to believe there is no reason why the cp would be better than the affirmative. There needs to be clear textual/function competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better.
-- The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement the net benefit. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable. Generally, I think conditionality is good but I can be persuaded otherwise.
-- Please have good evidence and read specific DAs. If you have a good internal link and turns case analysis, your speaker points will be higher. For the aff, I think evidence comparison/callouts coupled with tricky strategies like impact turns or internal link turns to help you win these debates.
-- I don't really have a threshold on these arguments but lean towards competing interps over reasonability unless told otherwise.
-- When going for theory, please extend offense and weigh between interps/standards/implications.
-- When responding/going for theory, please slow down on the interps/i-meets.
-- Comparative analysis between pieces of interpretation evidence wins and loses these debates – as you can probably tell, I err towards competing interpretations in these debates, but I can be convinced that reasonability is a better metric for interpretations, not for an aff. Having well-explained internal links to your limits/ground offense in the 2NR/2AR makes these debates much easier to decide, as opposed to floating claims without warranted analysis. A case list is required. I will not vote on for an RVI on T.
-- I prefer framework debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in the constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff teams are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. I am persuaded by standards like clash and topic education over fairness being an intrinsic good/better impact.
K affs vs. T-Framework
-- There are a couple of things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear are buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote to neg on presumption.
-- You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.
-- I went for the Kritik in almost every 2NR my senior year. I have been exposed to many different types of scholarship, but I am more familiar with some critical race theory criticisms such as anti-Blackness, capitalism, psychoanalysis, and some critiques of humanism. This form of debate is what I am most comfortable evaluating. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism.
-- You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact.
-- The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is an important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact framing claim.
K vs. K
-- These debates are always intriguing.
-- Presumption is underutilized by the neg and permutations are allowed in a methods debate. However, it is up to the teams in front of me to do this. There needs to be an explanation of how your theory of power operates, why it can preclude your opponent’s, how your method or approach is preferable, and how you resolve x issues. Your rebuttals should include impact comparison, framing, link defense/offense, permutation(s), and solvency deficits.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tl;dr I'm fine with really any argument you want to read as long as it links to and is weighed in relation to some evaluative mechanism. I am pretty convinced that T/theory should always be an issue of reasonability (I obviously think that some debates are better when there is a clear counter-interp that offense is linked back to); if you trust me to compare and weigh offense on substantive issues in the debate, I can't figure out why you wouldn't also trust me to make the same judgments on T/theory debates (unless you're just making frivolous/bad T/theory args). I enjoy any debate that you think you can execute well (yeah this applies to your K/counter-plan/non-T aff; I'll listen to it). I base speaker points on whether or not I think that you are making strategic choices that might lead to me voting for you (extending unnecessary args instead of prioritizing things that contribute to your ballot story, dropping critical arguments that either are necessary for your position or that majorly help your opponent, failing to weigh arguments in relation to each other/the standard would be some general examples of things that would cause you to lose speaker points if I am judging). Beyond those issues, I think that debate should function as a safe space for anyone involved; any effort to undermine the safety (or perceived safety) of others in the activity will upset me greatly and result in anything from a pretty severe loss of speaker points to losing the round depending on the severity of the harm done. So, be nice (or at least respectful) and do you!
High School ***elijahjdsmith AT gmail.com
College*** Rundebate AT gmail.com
Parli/World Schools, PF, Policy, LD can all be excellent formats when debated excellently. If I am judging you in a non-evidentiary form of debate, I don’t have any preferences for what you should do.
You should record a local copy of all of your speeches. If I or you drop the call, I am not going to ask you to regive a speech. Keep going and send the file so I can listen to it using "tech time". It will be a small audio file so even if you're having connectivity issues the file will send quickly. This is especially true in elims. There are no do-overs in elims.
Outside of this, I plan to be pretty reasonable about tech and environmental issues.
My General Thoughts on Debate
The role of the affirmative is to affirm and the role of the negative is to negate the affirmative in an intellectually rigorous manner. However, I would personally like to hear the affirmative say we should do something. I would prefer to hear about an actor outside of the folks reading the 1AC (Nonprofits, governments, the debate community as a whole, etc) do something but that is not a requirement. You can fiat things or you can say we should not fiat things.
I think it is nice when people offer trigger warnings for some content but I find that most of the time they are used when people probably don’t need them and are not used when they probably could be.
Please don’t say racist, sexist, ableist things or things that otherwise participate in -isms . Sometimes debate is an opportunity to learn but if you continue that behavior after someone has informed you it becomes a larger issue. For example, I judged an elim debate where someone was misgendered one time which was followed up with an apology and everyone in the debate moved on. The debater was then misgendered 5 or 6 more times in the next speech. Please don’t do things like this.
If there was an accessibility, disclosure, or other request made before the debate that you plan to bring up in the debate please inform me before the debate. I would like to evaluate the debate with this information ahead of time. More personal issues/things that someone did last year are difficult for me to understand as relevant to my ballot.
I will evaluate debates on the line by line and will read evidence after most debates. I give a lot of weight to what the evidence says. I decide debates by figuring out 1. framing issue 2. offense 3. good defense 4. if the evidence is as good as you say it is 5. deciding which world /side would result in a better outcome.
These thoughts are fairly general yet firmly how I think about debate.
LD, Policy, and PF thoughts are below.
If your opponent didn’t read 2/3 cards in the doc it is not their responsibility to send you an entirely new document. It holds up the debate and gives judges less decision time. If your opponent marked more than one card that they did not finish they have a responsibility to send out an updated document so everyone has a record for the debate.
None of the resolutions say the USFG should. If you are going to make an argument that depends on this link argument you have to make sure the affirmative has defended that the USFG should do something or you have to win that the resolution is the stasis point for the negative to debate and not the aff.
The 1ar has to read cards. In a 4/5 off debate you won’t cover if you only read 1 card and some analytics. All things being equal, the aff is likely going to lose this debate.
I am predisposed to believe that disclosure of cites/using the wiki is good. The wiki doesn’t hurt small schools. It helps them. Prior to having a wiki only “big schools” had the ability to get intel and only shared it with “big schools” that had intel to trade. Disclosure also creates better debates. I do not believe that a team should be forced to open source. I believe open source has made debate worse and students have become less likely to do their own research.
I don’t like silly theory arguments. Condo is not always bad. In an LD debate going beyond 4 off/2 condo options makes me willing to believe that it can be.
See policy for policy-arguments in LD
The following are predispositions, not hard rules. If you don’t want me to evaluate the debate this way, tell me not to.
I don’t coach many teams who debate under the Stock issues. I don’t know as much about the topic as you. If you hail very topic-specific acronyms at me (The CCP will trigger MAD if we get rid of BMDs and kill the NPT) I reserve the right to be confused.
Affirmatives- Debate the case. Impact turn it. Internal link turn it. Read all the defense you have. But you have to answer it. Policy or K. I am still a bit upset about an unfinished game of Mahjong from a debate where the affirmative and negative team played during the reading of the 1AC. I thought that was cool. I’m probably down with whatever your business is. The less your argument is related to a traditional debate the less I will understand why you need a ballot. But I don’t particularly think anyone “needs” a ballot.
Topicality/FW- The affirmative, K or policy, should have to beat topicality and I will vote on it. I have realized that my beliefs about T in K debates are outdated and not applicable to the developments of policy debate in 2020. Reasonability is prob true. Even if you both read an interp, if the aff interp is reasonable I default to the affirmative even if the neg interp is slightly better. In K debates I am still not as persuaded by fairness claims as I am by education claims, but I have and will consider fairness to possibly be more important than the 1ac. However, my threshold for aff answers/impact turns to fairness is still lower when compared to my desire to have an educational activity. You should know that I don't believe argument phrases ( 77th/78th level testing, Clash, moral hazard) are arguments.
Counterplans- I like counterplans. My threshold for allowing cheating counterplans is higher than most people’s. However, the more the counterplan cheats the more explanation I require so I can explain to the aff why the counterplan is different from the aff. If I can’t easily distinguish the two, I will vote aff. People should read theory against these things. They’re cheating.
Disads- The Link is more important than UQ. Everyone has a uniqueness block but they never spend the same amount of time on the link. You can’t just assert that the disad turns the case. If I’m not sure what part of the case you are turning I will just evaluate the aff impact vs the da impact.
K/Performance- The easiest way to lose this debate is just to read your blocks. You need to explain why each card you are reading is answering the claims made in the 1NC. The 2NC should not be a 3-minute overview. The 2NC link explanation should not be a rant. It needs to be structured. The 2nr link explanation can not be " I did this work in the 2NC". I would advise you to do some of it again in a reasonably condensed fashion and to make choices. I understand that you are time-crunched. But I also don't let the affirmative revive an impact from the 1ac in the 2ar. The negative can't have its neg flex cake and eat it too. You should debate if cap, humanism, etc are good or bad. These are valuable debates.
If you already know what evidence you are going to read in the debate/speech you have to send a document via email chain or provide the evidence on a google document that is shared with your opponents before the debate. Those cards have to be provided before the speech begins.
You don’t get unlimited prep time to ask for cards before prep time is used. A PF debate can’t take as long as a policy debate. You have 30 seconds to request and there are then 30 seconds to provide the evidence. If you can’t provide it within 30 seconds your prep will run until you do.
The Final Focus should actually be focused. You have to implicate your argument against every other argument in the debate. You can’t do that if you go for 3 or 4 different arguments.
Most of my philosophical views on debate are an amalgamation of influences from Marna Weston, Evan Cartagena, Nigel Ward, Carter Levinson, Josh Michael, Skyler Harris, Daryl Burch, Calum Matheson, and Shanara Reid-Brinkley. That information may mean something to you, it may mean absolutely nothing. I wouldn't read too much into it.
That said you can read any style of argumentation infront of me and I will vote on it as long as it has a clear warrant. The worse the warrant the lower the threshold for a response and I will probably not give as high speaks for cowardly arguments and cheap shot wins. I am probably worse at evaluating dense theory debates than other styles, which doesn't mean that I won't vote on theory, just that I'd prefer not to sift through 8 theory shells to make a decision. I will likely be better in clash debates.
To steal a few lines from Carter's paradigm:
"In order that you are not surprised should the following take place in your debate, I will tell you now I do not intend to vote on blippy arguments that side-step the real question of the debate. This will not apply against a category of warranted arguments that might be considered "must answer" or even "cheap shots" arguments that are, however, germane to the debate. Examples include but are not limited to floating pics, topical versions, truth testing, cp results in the aff. HOWEVER, If you like to hide a one-sentence ASPEC violation in a 2nc block or practice other forms of argumentative cowardice, I will be displeased and I expect you will feel similar displeasure as a result of my own.”
A few other points -
1) The critical versus policy divide is illusory and the borders between them are far more viscous than you would like to believe. Despite what you may believe based upon my current argumentative proclivities, I have no preferences in terms of critical or policy arguments. This is NOT to say that I am tabula rasa. Aristotle was far too presumptuous to believe such a thing was possible. There seems to be some vicious tribalism in our activity that we tend to blame on stylistic choices (Phil or K debater, policy or tricks debater, east coast, west coast debater). Yet what seems to underly this division more broadly is the form of argumentation regardless of style. That is to say, I DO have preferences, but these preferences are based upon HOW not WHAT you argue. Read a plan, go for a tricky counterplan--but impress me in the WAY that you do so.
2) Reading is the lost art of debate. Too much of contemporary debate has become kids shooting their shotgun-like arsenal of blocks at the other team while desperately hoping that something might hit the target. "Clash" has become a rarity rather than something to be expected. The inability to read, write, and thus explain one's own arguments will likely hinder my ability to adjudicate them (and it will certainly hinder your speaker points). Read your literature. I will be reading evidence.
3) Framing Wins debates. If you cannot tell me crystal clear what you want my RFD to be by the end of the debate then you did it wrong sorry, not sorry. Debate is ultimately a community of rhetoricians and thus you need to tell me a story for the debate. Scattered 2NRs and in-conclusive 2ARs will not do. You need to tell me where the nexus question of this debate will be, write the story of my ballot with your words and evidence. Contemporaneously, I want to also be told what my role is in this debate. No, this does not have to be achieved through a "Role of the Judge text", but rather through comparative impact framing to augment your impact calculus. If you are telling me a story for my ballot, how am I to narrate this story? "I will attempt to emulate some or all of the following people when deciding your debate: Mike Hester, Julio Cortàzar, jon sharp, Jack Ewing, THE judy butler, THE Judith Butler, John Turner, Amber Kelsie, Jean Genet, Jorge Luis Borges, Félix Guattari, and Jim Gentile. I am (un)comfortable playing (m)any of these roles -- and any role at all -- so lest I choose one to my fancy, you had better tell me how to decide your debate."
4) Engage the resolution how you want but do know that I can be persuaded by framework arguments from the negative. I do believe that the resolution is a stasis point, yet how you engage this stasis point is ultimately up to you. You may indeed adopt a more fluid interpretation of the resolution or a stricter one - as long as you can defend it. However, the aff should endorse a conversation of the resolution in some way. There must be an inherent problem with the status quo, that is significant and harmful, which only topical action can resolve. Anything else is a negative argument. That said, how you define what is "topical affirmation" is ultimately up to you. If I can't explain what the aff does at the end of the round because it was a hodge-podge of cards without any story then you will lose on presumption. Creative K affs will get higher speaker points than stale and repetitive ones, and innovative applications of framework beyond the Hemanth transcriptions will be rewarded.
--If you are a framework debater, do not talk past the aff and focus on your stuff. You need to talk about their stuff and win why your stuff matters more. I don't really have a preference for what flavor of framework I enjoy the most (fairness vs clash vs state engagement etc) but the more you're able to contextualize your flavor to the aff the better. Remember - Good debaters beat their opponent's arguments, but great debaters take the best version of their opponent's arguments and proceed to defeat them.
--If you are a K debater, know your model of debate and be ready to defend it. Remember, you are defending a departure from the status quo of debate and thus you have the burden to prove why your model of debate ought to be endorsed even at the risk of change. Impact turns are non-unique disads if they are not supported by a countermodel that resolves a risk of your offense.