GGSA Debate 1
2021 — NSDA Campus, CA/US
Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I've been in debate as a whole for about 8 years. Last debated in '20 (just before rona lol) . I've coached various formats of debate (Policy, LD, Parli, Public Forum) along with being a participant in those formats also. Here's my view: Debate is a space to challenge ideologies and come to the best way of making a change. That may look like a plan text that has an econ and heg or, it's an advocacy that talks about discourse in the debate space. I'm here for you as an educator so tell me where and how to vote. Impact Magnitude in the later speeches will help you and me a lot.
Add me on the Email doc:firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's my view on certain arguments:
T and Framework and theory in general: I'll listen and adjudicate the round based on the information that you frame my ballot.
Counterplans: Gotta prove the Mutual Exclusivity of said CP. Not really a preference or style choice on this.
D/A's: Uniqueness has got to be relatively recent or the debate is gonna be a tough one to win. If paired with a C/P you must prove how you avoid said D/A or perm is gonna be super cheezy here. Again don't let that stop you from running it in front of me.
K's: I'm good with whatever you desire to run but if its some super high level (D&G or around that lit base) stuff you gotta explain what that means. Also, please be sure to know your author's lit bases here. Perm debates against K's have to prove the accessibility of the Perm along with the net benefits of the perm. Also, Impact Framing the K is gonna make your job along with mine a lot easier.
K Aff's: You do you. Tell me where to frame the ballot and how to view any performances within the round. You do you. Solvency is gonna be the point of clash along with framing.
Update for '21: My internet at my house is absolute garbage so PLEASE: start at 80% speed, I'm always ready for your speech and I'll give a reaction in zoom if I'm not.
Background: I competed in LD for four years in high school and now compete for ASU policy (this is my second year on the team). I now am mainly a critical debater but will listen to anything (anti blackness/queer theory). Please don't abuse flashing/prep. Also when you extend arguments say the warrant and don't just repeat the tag. Please add me to the email: email@example.com.
I will probably not be super familiar with PF/CX topics as I coach LD.
If you say anything offensive/racist I will probably dock your speaker points if your opponent points it out. I will increase speaker points for smart arguments/strategic decisions on your part (like collapsing down in the last speech to arguments you're ahead on).
Theory/T: Clearly explain the abuse/why the interp is good. Slow down for interps, I want to make sure I catch it. Make sure to answer a TVA. Please don't run frivolous theory in front of me- these are my least favorite rounds to judge.
Ks: I am a critical debater and understand K debate well that being said articulate a clear link to the affirmative and what the voting issue is. I will vote for progressive affirmatives and think you might want to make an argument about how the K is a shift and reframes how I should view a "traditional" round. That being said don't assume that I am familiar with your specific literature base.
K Affs: Please try to limit the buzzwords you use and clearly explain your impacts materially. I think framework is incredibly important when Ks vs Framework or Ks vs Policy aff arguments happen. Think about the implications for debate that your interpretation has and explain it. You should be able to defend your model of debate.
Damien '20 ---> UC Davis '24
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
ONLINE DEBATE UPDATE: After judging a good amount of online debates, the biggest issue I have is hearing analytics so I would definitely slow down because I want to get down as much of what you're saying. Also if you have a microphone, I suggest using that because it helps a ton.
Qualifications: I debated four years at Damien. I had some bids, did the online TOC thing, and did kinda well at some national tournaments. I know some stuff about debate and I think I can make a good decision most of the time. By no means am I perfect, but I do my best to understand a multitude of arguments and judge well.
Here are some people whose thoughts have greatly influenced my personal philosophy: Christina Phillips, Mike Shackelford, Jon Sharp, Chris Paredes, Michael Wimsatt, Cade Cottrell, Christian Bato, Kelly Ye
Top Level: I believe that debate is a unique environment where education and competitive prowess intersect. At the end of the day, debate is a competition, but there are obviously important educational benefits in this activity that are intrinsic to the discussion that takes place. I believe that line by line is amazing and cloud clash is rather disappointing. I do not and will never claim to have the best flow, but I do my best to catch every argument. I prioritize tech over truth within reason. Obviously there are some arguments that are just non-starters (i.e. racism good or sexism good etc.), so please don't even try it because you'll just piss me off. Just do you and I will try to adjudicate as objectively as possible.
Here are some specific thoughts I have about some arguments so do with this what you will.
Disadvantages: I love disads. My favorite 2NR in my senior year was the Deterrence DA. 2NRs that create a strong story about the DA and set thresholds for risk analysis are awesome to me. When it comes to politics disads, the most important part is the link because it is the weakest component, logically speaking. The key to winning politics/elections scenarios is painting a picture of how the aff disrupts the process of passing X bill or interfering in voting blocs. Be very clear on the line by line and debating the warrants, not just doing tagline explanations and extensions. I don't like rider DAs and I would like the 1NC shell to make at least some sense.
Impact Turns: I messed with these arguments a lot during my career and I think I know how these debates should work out. I think the most important components of the impact turn is winning a timeframe differential and winning that the world of aff solvency would lead to is substantially worse than the squo (i.e. rapid modernization in China creates a worse war later than one that would happen now).
Counterplans: I'm all about CPs but too often have I had to hear and deal with nonsense process, agent, or consult CPs. I think that a good CP strategy should be well researched and have a solvency advocate for the aff. When it comes to CP theory, most violations are reasons to justify a permutation or call solvency into question and not as a voter. Personally, though, Consult CPs are the most cheating and I have sympathy for affirmative teams that have to deal with them.
Topicality: I don't really know how the community feels about topicality anymore, but it is still one of my favorite 2NRs to give and hear. A good T 2NR consists of good impact work and comparisons of interpretations. Too often do I hear extensions of interps without comparing the models of debate that both interps would provide.
Kritiks: I'm not the most well-read in critical literature, but I know the basics of most Ks. This being said, the burden is on you to explain what your argument is and how it is impacted out. Do not just extend the arg without impacting it out because a nebulous claim about something doesn't mean anything without an impact. A large part of Ks that I have trouble understanding is the alternative because a lot of times, the negative isn't explaining the world/research model of the alt which leaves me confused about its application in the world or in debate. On the converse, the affirmative many times doesn't capitalize on the lack of explanation that the negative has forwarded which means that usually end up assuming that the alt does something to resolve the link offense. Don't be afraid to call out the bad explanation that the other team is giving because odds are if they aren't articulating the arg well, I will be skeptical to agree with their characterization of it. Framework is important and filters how I should evaluate the rest of the debate so prioritize that in your strategies.
Planless Affs: I've never read these in my career, but I understand their utility and structure. I prefer to hear a planless aff that is related to the resolution. I hold both teams to a high standard of clarity and explanation. For the aff, I need to know what the aff does and how the end goal of the 1AC is achieved. For the negative, you need to engage the aff and call solvency into question. Framework is, of course, a good strategy for the negative, but do not think that just because I am unfamiliar with the aff's literature that I am predisposed to vote for you. Stale framework debates are awful and I would like to hear a nuanced strategy that actually makes sense. The aff against framework shouldn't just shotgun DAs to the interp and think that's sufficient. You should focus on your best source of offense and contextualize it to the neg's interpretation and how your model of debate is better/more educational/more ethical.
Condo: I think that up to 3 advocacies are fine for me. Anything more and I am more sympathetic to the aff. Don't get it twisted, if the neg screws up debating condo, I will vote aff.
I am did not compete in this event but I have learned the very basics of how a round is structured. I will likely evaluate a public forum round just like a would a policy round with a heavy emphasis on impact calculus and warranted analysis.
Feel free to ask me anything before the round. Be respectful and Compete.
I debated in high school LD and PF and am a college Parli debater, so I have a good amount of experience. I was a quarter finalist in CA for LD and the highest ranked debater in my league (if that matters). Additionally, I have a background in philosophy so in LD I expect you to engage with values and morality.
LD is first and foremost a value debate. Be sure to keep that in mind.
- Be cordial to each other. There is no reason to be rude to your fellow competitors.
- Time yourselves and each other, please.
- I am fine with speed, but I do not like spreading.
- Sign posting is extremely important to me.
- It’s extremely important that you show a good understanding of the topic and you are not simply throwing out arguments that you think fit and reiterating them.
- While I am more of a traditional judge, I am open to progressive debate (K, T, Theory, ect.) but give substantial explanation.
- I love clash. Be sure to actually respond to your opponents arguments rather than just say they don't matter.
Note to LD competitors at the FBK tournament - I almost exclusively judge policy, but I've done LD in the past and am quite familiar with the format and traditional argumentation. Most of the below should be pretty applicable, less so the stuff about evidence.
Four years of policy competition, at a solid mix of circuit and regional tournaments. I generally do enough judging these days to be pretty up-to-date on circuit args.
Generally comfortable with speed but I tend to have issues comprehending overly breathy spreading. And please, for everyone's sake, make sure your tags are clear and don't try to give theory analytics at full speed. You can do whatever feels right, of course, but I can only decide based on what I catch.
Broadly, I default to an offense-defense paradigm and a strict technical focus. It's not exactly hard to get me to depart from those defaults, however. I'll vote for anything, and it doesn't take any 'extra' work to get me to endorse performance advocacies, critical affirmative advocacies, etc - just win your offense, and framework if applicable.
I'd love to be a truth over tech judge, but I just don't believe that's an acceptable default orientation for my ballot. That said, engaging with that preference and doing it well is a pretty convincing approach with me. This most often comes across in impact calc.
Evidence quality is extremely important to me. I tend to grant much more weight to card texts and warrants than to tags, and I'm perfectly happy to drop ev that doesn't have warrants matching the tag, if you articulate why I should do so. That said, I don't discount evidence just because I perceive it to be low-quality, and if it gets conceded, well, it might as well be true.
My bar for framework and T/theory tends to depend on what you're asking me to do. Convincing me to drop a states CP on multiple actor fiat bad requires fairly little offense. Convincing me to drop a team on A-Spec is going to be an uphill battle, usually.
About - debater for The Branson School. She/her pronouns. Email chain please - email@example.com
My name is Ivy and please refer to me as such; if you call me judge, I will request you refer to me as your highness instead.
TL; DR - Read what you're best at as long as you can explain it well; don't try to overly adapt to me; be nice to the other team; don't clip cards; tech over truth and have a good time! If you're not having fun, I'm not having fun, and no one wants that.
Online - During online debate, many microphones, audio, and internet connections are poor, and often they get worse when you start speaker faster/louder. If you keep your camera off during the debate, I'll need verbal confirmation that you are present before every speech.
General - I haven't been in the debate community for years, and so nothing about this paradigm is set in stone. Most of my ideas about debate are still forming. I've been both a 2A and 2N, read mostly policy affs, although I did a brief stint reading a K aff at camp on the CJR topic, and primarily Ks on the neg, although I have had many DA/CP rounds and have gone for T often. Tech over truth.
CJR Topic - Very familiar with the topic. I've been to many tournaments this year and also camp last summer, and i probably know your abbreviations/topic lingo/etc. However, I don't think trying to make the debate difficult for your opponent by using a bunch of obscure abbreviations they don't know is the strat. Beat them with your debate skills and topic knowledge - not just by trying to confuse and intimidate them.
Spreading - cool. If you're unclear, I'll tell you.
Flowing - I do flow, on paper. If you're making a bunch of arguments and not telling me what they're responsive to, I won't place them on the flow in the way that's most convenient for you - I'll write them straight down in a row in the order you said them. This especially applies to case/K (and sometimes other offcase) overviews. If you read a 48 minute case overview, don't tell me how it applies to the other team's arguments, and move on to offcase, I'm going to assume you dropped everything.
Cross Examination - I will flow CX, especially if you read evidence. Be nice. For online debate - don't talk forever and ever. Answer concisely and let the other team ask as many questions as they can. Tag team/Open CX is fine as long as it's fine with the other team. Bonus speaks if you physically tag your partner each time you want them to speak.
Case - If the neg functionally drops case, I will assume a 100% risk of the aff impacts and the aff has 100% solvency. For 2As - your overviews almost always don't answer any case arguments ever. I'd prefer to see you say just a sentence about the plan and then go straight to the line by line. If you go for case against policy affs, your speaks will SKYROCKET.
Counterplans - I like CPs, love creative CPs. Read evidence. I will judge kick if and only if the neg mentions at some point in the debate that I can or should, or that the squo is also a logical option.
Disadvantages - I love a solid DA. Read them all. I won't vote on a politics DA about a bill that has already passed, even if the aff doesn't point that out - possibly the only place I am truth over tech.
Kritiks - I love Ks. I mostly run Ks on the neg. Ks I have run - Militarism, Set Col, Carceral Geography, Abolition, Deleuze, Cap, Security. Please still explain your Ks to me as if I wasn't familiar with them, and don't assume that I'm super familiar with the writings and theories of your authors. I don't think the neg needs to win an alt for me to vote for the K - I think links and/or framework can be sufficient.
Kritikal affs - I did a brief stint running a K aff at camp one summer, but I'm not super familiar with them. However, if it's what you do best, I think you should run it over running some generic policy argument you don't have any experience with. Not being in the direction of the topic is fine with me - it's framework you have to beat.
Framework V Kritikal affs - Framework is about a model of debate. Make sure it doesn't just sound like a whine. Explain why the way in which you see the purpose and role of debate and the purposes and roles of the topic and resolution are better than whatever the aff is doing. Fairness can be an internal link and/or an impact. TVAs are good. TVAs with evidence are better.
Topicality - Love topicality debates. Will for sure vote on it. This is also about a model of debate, not about how you're upset that your DAs don't link.
Theory - I really like theory debates. There aren't a lot of arguments that can make me reject the team. Condo can, most other CP theory seems to be resolved by rejecting the CP. I will always give the neg new off in the 2NC. There should not be new voting issues in the 1AR/2NR/2AR unless something particularly egregious happened in the opponents' last speech. If you want me to vote your opponent down on theory, spend at least 1 minute in the 2AR/2NR impacting it out.
Speaks - I evaluate speaks based on the entire round, from the minute the call starts to the minute it ends, and if you are unkind, mean, rude to me or the opponents, or unethical, I will dock your speaks severely. Postrounding side note - do it, but be nice. If you post round me I will post round you back. It will be educational :)
+.1 speaks if you say poggers or loggers
+.1 speaks if you have a funny debate meme at the top of your 1AC
+.5 speaks if you bring me a sticker
Email me with questions or ask me in round.
Updated for Notre Dame November 2021
Short Version + Email:
Read what you want. I have a decent breadth of knowledge of things in the world but will reward you for making it clear you have depth of knowledge. My debating background was mostly Ks, my coaching background is mixed but leaning K, and my career/academic work is mixed but leaning policy. I'd recommend you read the section below on the argument you wanna go for.
I will vote for theory and T. Smart DA / CP strategies are fun. I judge a lot of policy aff v. K rounds and would appreciate if K folks would ground more in the literature and make more content args than K trick args. With framework, fairness can be an impact but you must win debate is a game. K affs probably need to win debate is not just a game / impact turns to FW outweigh the value or truth of game framing.
Write my RFD for me at the top of your 2NR / 2AR, but make args instead of grandstanding about how you're winning - you did it right if I repeat your words back to you in my RFD. Impact framing is a powerful tool. Cost benefit analysis is inevitable to a degree but it's your job to convince me how the round's cost benefit analysis should look.
Would appreciate if you add me to the email chain in advance - just let me know that you did so.
Email: larry [dot] dang2018 [at] gmail [dot] com
---now the full paradigm---
I care quite a bit about being a good judge, but only if you're clearly here to bring your A-game. Do what you will with that information.
*In case this ever matters, this is a policy paradigm*
Read whatever you want - I really do mean it. As humans tend to do, I have my predispositions. They are evident in the rest of my paradigm, which I worked to make very clear on my positions. However, I like to believe that I am a fair judge who can evaluate whatever style of argument you bring to the table, be it very policy, very K, or something new altogether. With that said, see the two paragraphs below.
I seem to end up judging a lot of policy aff v. K debates and end up voting policy slightly more than K (see next sentence for explanation). I think that as a big fan of critical literature and as someone who reads a lot, I have a high bar for explanation and content-based argumentation. I will vote for but am pretty tired of K tricks on framework or supposedly using sweeping claims to skirt points of clash. I like voting for smart K explanations, so if you're a K debater disappointed to hear about my voting for policy args more often, same here. By all means, I hope you can turn that record around, but by no means will I "hack for the K." Shallow K args make me sad and I won't reward it. One problem I feel like I see often is that K args don't become complete and coherent strategies by the end of the round cos the pieces are not tied together - don't let this happen. It seems like a missing the forest for the trees kind of issue.
T is a viable option in front of me, and a good T debate will be rewarded in your speaks.
You will benefit from reading the section of my paradigm on the arguments you plan to execute in front of me. I explain how I think arguments are best won. With that said, my suggestions are functional in nature. You should do what you do best. I will reward you for being smart, strategic, and hard-working.
Framing This Paradigm
I believe that reading paradigms is less a practice of learning how judges view specific arguments and more a practice of learning different ways to execute arguments. My debate knowledge has increased exponentially from reading paradigms, and I write this paradigm with that in mind.
A Note for the Water Resources Topic
This is a big and technical topic and honestly I'm not the most familiar with it. Critical literature on water can sometimes be a stretch but it's also pretty cool. I like environmental and social policy - do what you will with that information.
Head-Royce 2018, Harvard 2022 Sociology and Global Health (I think like both a critical sociologist and social policy researcher - I read critical theory for fun and do research on public administration; do what you will with that information)
I debated on the national policy circuit in high school and did decently well by traditional standards (blah blah TOC blah blah bids). Most of the arguments I read were critiques, on the AFF and the NEG, though I engaged with more traditional policy arguments a fair amount at camp and now in my time coaching. I believe that traditional policy genuinely has value - it just wasn't my focus as a debater. The Ks I read in rounds were mostly about capitalism, neoliberalism, sovereignty, biopolitics, critical security studies, and psychoanalysis. The K arguments I coach now are mostly in the vein of critical race theory and postmodernism. I have a good working knowledge of other common K authors/lit bases in debate like Baudrillard, Deleuze, queer pessimism, other queer theory, Spanos, critiques of death, disability studies, feminist critiques, and the likes. However, you should never take any of this as an excuse for lackluster explanation - shallow K debates are a big sad. All in all, do what you do best. That'll make for the best and most enjoyable debate.
Tech over truth - answer arguments and don’t drop stuff - debate is about in depth contestation of ideas. However, what constitutes tech is up for debate and should ultimate be a matter of contestation, whether that happens holistically, via a rigorous line by line, or otherwise. There are many different ways to be a skilled and technical debater that isn't always just following the line by line closely or forcing opponents to drop an argument. Smart framing claims and innovative arguments can go a long way. With that said, please do try to do line by line when appropriate - it's not the only way to debate, but it definitely is an effective way that is tried and true. A few more quick thoughts.
Execution probably matters more than evidence, but good evidence/cards goes a long way + helps speaks.
Don't cheat - no clipping cards, falsifying evidence, or stealing prep.
Achieving 0% risk is difficult but not impossible.
Voting NEG on presumption exists - some AFFs don't say anything.
Cross-ex is binding - I will listen and flow notable parts.
Do some impact framing at the top of every final rebuttal.
Be kind to one another and by all means don't be bigoted.
I read K AFFs for most of high school, so they're generally what you might call my forte. Some thoughts:
- A lot of K AFFs don't seem to in any way clearly do anything. Please make sure the 2AR (and the rest of AFF speeches) does not forget to explain the AFF. It becomes hard to vote AFF when I don't know what I'm voting for, even if you did everything else right. Utilize CX to bring up examples that will concretize your method.
- When answering framework, make sure that you have a justification for why your K AFF must exist in debate. Even if you have forwarded a generally good idea, framework begs the question not of whether the K AFF should exist in general but why it should be presented in round. Make arguments about how your K AFF interacts with the status quo of debate arguments, or how debate is a platform, or how argumentative spaces are key. I think the easiest way to do this is usually to impact turn the notion of framework, which I'll note is different from impact turning limits.
- When answering Ks of your AFF, the winner will usually be the team who can concretize their argument better. Don't forget that. Keep it simple and keep it real. Don't get bogged down in theory.
Despite having read K AFFs most of high school and coaching K AFFs most of the time currently, I also read and really like framework. In many ways, I do believe it makes the game work.
- Some general agreement about what debate constitutes is probably necessary for debate to function, even with K debates. Your job reading FW is to convince the judge that that agreement should be the resolution. Don't forget that FW is T-USFG. You are fundamentally arguing for a model of debate, with limits that provides teams the ability to predict and prepare for arguments. You forward a way to organize a game. Don't let a K team force you into defending more than you need to.
- Game framing is very helpful in FW rounds. If you can win that debate is a game, then you hedge back against most of the offense the AFF will go for. You can best prove that debate is a game by giving empirics about the way that all debaters shift arguments to get a competitive advantage. Present the question of why the K AFF needs to occur in debate and strategically concede aspects of how the K literature might be useful while making it clear that that literature can be accessed outside of debate while your impacts to FW, such as policy education and advocacy skills, are best accessed in debate.
- There was a time when I think I had a decent predisposition against going for fairness as the only impact to framework, but I've since amended my belief to being that going for fairness alone is difficult but when done successfully is usually very dangerous and impressive. A few thoughts on how to make it good: 1) Win that debate is a game and that we do not become intrinsically tied to arguments in debate - make a game theory argument about the nature of competition. 2) Force the aff to make arguments about the value of the ballot. If the K team says they think the ballot is good, then they are in one way or another arguing that fairness in debate is somewhat necessary insofar as fairness maintains the value of the ballot. 3) Use #1 to then force the burden onto the aff to describe when fairness is good and bad, once you've pigeonholed them into defending that some fairness must be good. 4) Defend a dogma/switch side argument as offensive defense - I phrase it that way because I think dogma is a great way to internal link turn K affs without giving them education offense to impact turn (since the education offense then makes debate at least in some capacity more than a game / risks indicating that debate changes subjectivity).
- Go for your preferred FW impacts. Some will work better than others against different types of K AFFs, and I have some thoughts about that as a coach but enjoy hearing different takes on framework.
Do your thing. I think this is pretty straightforward. I will say, I'm not the biggest fan of when teams have a million impact scenarios and very little explanation of the AFF's solvency mechanism. I think that's a pretty abusive use of the tech over truth framing in debate, and I will in that instance grant the neg a chance to use framing to get their way (and vice versa with the neg reading a million off). With that said, I'll listen to what you have to say.
I read Ks for most of my high school debate career. I think that they're a great way to think about the world and deepen our understandings of the world and problematize the mundane. Some thoughts on how to effectively execute.
- See paragraph 3 of the overview section of this paradigm.
- Overviews are good but not to be abused aka don't forget about line by line.
- The alt is usually the weakest part of the K, so I often find it effective to do things like take the link debate and make turns case arguments. These make the threshold for winning alt solvency much lower. Things about how your systemic critique complicates the way the AFF can solve or makes the AFF do more harm than good are very effective.
- The framework debate on the K is important - you should use it to your advantage to shift how the judge analyzes the round. Don't just throw it out there. You can use framework to make the judge think more deeply about whether or not it is ethical to take a policy action even if it solves the AFF's impacts, or you can use framework to have the judge consider implementation complications (e.g. the Trump regime) that the AFF doesn't factor in because of fiat.
The biggest mistake NEGs make going for T is forgetting that at the end of the day, the impact debate is always still the most important, even with a procedural. Give me strong T impacts, limits and ground arguments that internal link to fairness and education - you can't win without it, even if you win that they violate and your interp is more predictable or precise.
I like to think about the meaning of the topic and what different models of the resolution look like. I'm okay with throwaway T 1NCs, but don't throw it away when there's opportunity. T can be a very good argument, as long as you remember to keep the impact debate in mind. Different models of the topic have different effects on people's education and fairness of debates. It's not sufficient to prove the AFF doesn't meet your interpretation.
I like to hear nuanced DA debates, especially when they're contextualized well to the AFF's mechanism. Just don't take for granted the amount to which policy debaters are used to the idea that proving a link to the DA makes the DA true. At least make an attempt to explain the internal link between your link story and the impact scenario. Otherwise, I think this is an easy avenue for the AFF to win a no risk of DA argument.
Like with DAs, I really enjoy when CPs are related to the AFF's literature/mechanism. I will reward with speaker points a well-researched DA/CP strategy. Don't forget that in the 2NR, the CP is just a way for you to lower the threshold of DA/internal offense that you need to win. The CP is a very effective strategy, but it is not the offense that wins the debate.
Use theory against abusive CPs when you're AFF - I will take it into account. For the NEG, read smart CPs or be prepared to defend against theory. It will favor the NEG if a CP is maybe abusive (process, PIC, agent, etc.) but is core controversy in the literature.
I am willing to vote for theory to reject the team. Theory arguments with claims about how the violation specifically engages with the topic literature are especially convincing. My threshold to reject the team is high but winnable and I enjoy theory when it's done well. Don't forget to go for reject the arg strategically when things are really cheat-y. Impact out reject the team and reject the arg differently when theory is a big part of the debate strategy.
Maybe this is a hot take, but my default assumption is that the status quo is always an option. Unless the 2AR tells me no judge kick / vote aff on presumption explicitly (and all the 2AR has to do is assert this - I’ll change my assumption if you tell me to assuming the 2NR has not made an issue of this), then my paradigm for evaluation involves judge kick, cos I think that just means the neg proved the status quo is better than the aff, and that’s enough for me to vote neg even if there was a CP and that CP doesn’t do anything.
I like conditionality debates.
I consider 28.5 to be about decently average (not a bad thing). I think inflation has gotten to a point where I skew a little low, but if you are good, then I wouldn't worry about it cos I am far from conservative with 28.9+ points. If it helps for context, I debated from 2014 to 2018, so that's my frame of reference for points. I follow this guide pretty closely. Here's a breakdown:
29.7-30: You are one of the best speakers I've ever seen
29.3-29.6: You should get a speaker award, and I'm really quite impressed
28.9-29.2: You gave some really good speeches and maybe deserve a speaker award
28.7-28.8: You are a decently good speaker, are above average, and have a fair shot at breaking
28.3-28.6: You are probably squarely in the lower middle to middle of the pool (standard for circuit bid tournament)
27.8-28.2: This pool is probably tough for you, but you're getting there - keep trying!
27-27.7: This tournament was/is probably going to be rough for you, but don't give up!
Below 27: You almost certainly did something offensive to deserve this
Ways to increase speaks: have organized speeches, be friendly in round, have good evidence, know what your evidence says, be effective in cross ex, be funny (but don't force it)
Ways to decrease speaks: have disorganized speeches, be mean, make it clear that you are reading blocks you don't really get, treat the debate as a joke (don't waste our time)
Ways to get a 0 (or a 20 since that's usually the minimum): be blatantly racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, or generally bigoted towards your opponents or people in the round in any way
Don't forget to have fun in debate. Good luck!
Hi! My name is Ana Harb and I am currently a student at Northeastern University. I competed in policy debate in high school and have judged sparingly. Mostly, I am here to help!
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of things to note before the round:
I am kind of like a parent judge. I am well versed in theory and stuff but as for the way you set up your argument, please don't make my life hard. I don't know some of the little debate technicalities, don't try to win on those. This is mostly about your ability to construct and deliver an argument.
DO. NOT. SPREAD. Talk fast if you must to get through your points but I have little-no patience for debaters who spread and do not enunciate. I cant judge if I don't know Speak strongly and make your most important points. If you are losing words, you are talking too fast. This is not a show of your speech drills, it is a show of your ability to debate. Treat it as such.
Know your arguments. I will admit I struggled with this! I cannot explain how many times I went into debate rounds my freshman/sophomore year of high school not knowing what I was talking about. Don't make that mistake! If this is a league tournament, you have time to familiarize yourself with the affs in advance. Please do that, because it truly shows when you are arguing a point you have not personally looked into. I do not care for performance arguments.
I will vote on topicality. But there has to be a strong argument for it.
Remember the big 3: Ethos, Logos, Pathos! Most people drop everything except logic, but I am looking for credible sources, and emotionally supporting what you say never hurts because we are debating REAL issues happening to REAL people. Framing things with the big 3 will never hurt your argument.
On that topic, framework is super important. TELL ME HOW TO FLOW! It is extremely helpful because I have not done debate in a while!
Love me a good K. I think theory is great! Better if an idea is grounded in possible policy but if you must run a purely theoretical argument that is okay as long as you defend it well. In fact, it makes debate more fun!
Also, just be respectful. If you say something racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., I will stop the round. Just don't be an a-hole. And have fun!
Judges for: Sonoma Academy, Meadows, Montgomery Bell
update for day 1 Glenbrooks: In honor of the USC vs UCLA rivalry game today, if you successfully pull off a joke about how much USC sucks, I’ll give you a .2 speaker point boost.
Experience: Participated in 4 years of national circuit policy debate, cleared at most tournaments. Currently not participating in college debate due to the lack of infrastructure at UCLA.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Online update: Speak around 80% speed than usual and please add your analytics to speech docs in case of internet issues. Lots of teams I've judged are actively stealing prep, so I will be lowering speaks if this becomes an issue in the round. Also, you don't have to turn on your camera during the round, but I would prefer it if you would turn it on during your speech and cross ex.
Speed is fine, but clarity over speed! If I don't understand what you're saying, I won't flow it. Also please disclose on the wiki. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the debate more accessible for you. Emailing me or talking to me before the round totally works.
Do what you do best. Trying to adapt to me as a judge is a waste of time. I don't necessarily have an argumentative preference, but I am not the most experienced in judging complex and nuanced K debates.
Arguments are claims, warrants, and impacts -- means that "dropped" arguments are true only if you explain why they matter and the reasons they're true. I need more explanation than just "they dropped the DA- we win!"
I'm down to see a good T debate! I think T is vastly underused by 2Ns. If your 1N is a killer T debater, use it to your advantage. Most affs to some extent are untopical, so make them stop cheating. Have a good interp/counter interp and give me some good clash on the standards debate. I don't defer to reasonability or competing interps, so I will be convinced by both.
I've gone for condo twice in my four years of doing debate, and it's still one of my favorite rounds. That being said, if condo is a legit strat for you it should be a big part of the 1AR and all of the 2AR. I will vote on condo, but there has to be in round abuse. If they read states and neolib, I will not be very convinced to vote on condo. And I definitely believe that neg should definitely have condo to test the aff. Other theory args aren't as convincing to me unless the other team completely drops it. That's the only time I might vote on it.
Probably my favorite debate argument. I love a good CP/DA neg start. You do you here.
A good advantage CP with a sick DA can be a killer neg strat. But have some good evidence on how and why the CP solves. Usually, 1AC evidence can be used as solvency advocates for ADV CPs. Also, the CP better be competitive, cause then I have no reason to vote for it.
Yes, most K's are cool and I will definitely still vote on the K even though I'm most familiar with policy arguments. I think Ks are very interesting and probably produce the most real-world change. But if you don't understand your K and can't explain it to your opponents, I will have a VERY hard time voting for it. Have some good links that you can explain. Also, the alt better solve or at least do something. If you can't explain what the alt does and what voting neg does, then please don't read that K. There's nothing more embarrassing than watching a K team not know what they are talking about in cross-ex. What K lit I know well (Cap, Set Col, Gnoseology, Security, Orientalism, Foucault). If you read any authors that start with a B (Bifo, Baudrillard, Battile etc, just don't pref me lol). Bad K debates are worse than bad policy debates.
Do what you do best. Have solvency advocates, win the case solves something.
Used to err neg on these debates, but as I judge more and more rounds, I feel differently now lol. I don't really have a preference anymore and yes I will vote for K affs. I am more experienced with policy but recently I have really enjoyed K aff rounds. Same rules apply as the K above.
Destroy them on case. Nothing makes the 1AR harder than amazing case debate in the block.
Don't steal prep. Flashing/emailing isn't prep unless it becomes an issue in the round. If you're very unclear, I will dock your speaks. Please don't clip. That's the last thing I want to deal with. You will lose the round, get a 0 and I will have to have a conversation with your coach. Also please don't make sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic etc. comments. You will lose the round and get a 0. Don't be mean to the other team.
I debated PF for Centerville High School in Ohio for four years and coached the middle school team for two years. I am a sophomore at Vanderbilt University.
I competed at a few national circuit tournaments, but most of my debating was done on the local circuit. Because of this, I am not too familiar with theory and Ks. I am open to hearing these arguments, but I won't be the best at evaluating these types of arguments.
Add me to the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you spread, send a speech doc.
In terms of the round, here are a few things that I want to see:
1) You don't have to read direct quotes. I am fine with paraphrasing. However, if I find that you are misconstruing your evidence to make your claim, then I won't vote for that specific argument. Your speaks probably will go down as well if your opponents call you out for misconstruing evidence.
2) If you are speaking second, make sure to frontline any offense. I think it is strategic to frontline everything but at the minimum frontline turns.
3) With the additional minute of summary, I like to see some weighing. Weighing is not just saying buzz words like scope, magnitude, and probability, but actually explaining why your argument matters more than your opponents.
4) I won't flow cross-fire, but if something major happens, make sure to address it in the next speech.
5) When extending cards and offense in the latter half of the round, make sure that you explain the warranting behind it.
6) If evidence is called, make sure to produce it in a timely manner. Also, I will call for evidence if you tell me to call for evidence.
7) Don't just dump responses. Explain what your evidence indicates and how this piece of evidence is significant in responding to your opponent's case.
8) I like to see you start weighing in rebuttal. I think it is strategic to set up the weighing earlier in the round and then carry that through summary and final focus.
How I vote:
If you want me to vote on a certain argument, it should be in both summary and final focus. Your argument should be explained in a clear manner and your impacts should be extended. Weighing your argument and impacts against your opponent's argument and impacts will make your path to the ballot easier. I will try not to intervene, but please weigh arguments comparatively to make my job easier as a judge. If not, I will have to decide which arguments are more important.
If there is no offense generated from each side (highly unlikely), then I will default to the first speaking team. If you say things that are sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, or are extremely rude in any way, I will drop you and give you low speaks. The debate should be civil and debaters should be respectful.
Please do not postround me. I do encourage you to ask questions about the round and why I voted the way I did. I am always looking for feedback to improve my judging.
If you have any additional questions, let me know.
they/them pronouns // email@example.com
4 yrs CX @ BVW '19, none @ UC Berkeley '22. I study critical IR/history. I am from KS, my views of debate are heavily influenced by KU. current assistant at college prep.
I'll clear you once via chat. do not start if my camera is off (might be AFK). if i'm not flowing I'll try to keep both hands in frame of the camera.
I don't have many strong feelings about the way debate SHOULD be. Do what you want, and I will try my best to meet you halfway (explain your args + judge instructions). I flow on paper so slow down where it matters or i may miss important stuff. I like efficiency & will not punish a truncated speech. i do not read "inserts" or graphs/visual evidence.
my debate experience is most favorable for policy-policy or policy-K, but my undergrad studies overlaps with common "kritikal" literature. K-K debates are fine but I have a tuff time keeping up, so my RFD is unlikely to be helpful or satisfactory.
[important] I have auditory processing problems so signposting is extremely important to me (analytic/card differentiation, flow switching). content warnings/disability accommodations/etc should be made verbally before disclosure/round.
[general] You should: 1) engage each other, 2) pull warrants, 3) frame my ballot. Speed is fine unless someone objects/it hinders clarity. Tech > truth. I only read ev if it is extended thru the entire db8/flagged.
[case] plan texts are comfortable, but not required. robust case db8 is my jam & you should read more than just impact defense! I won't read "inserted" recuts - read it. engage warrants please, especially in framing db8s
[non-rez affs] not experienced here, but my voting record is pretty evenly split, neg-leaning on t-USFG for limits/TVAs. engage the case & develop offense early on. debating from blocks only is a terrible idea. being germane to the resolution is good. I wanna be told the implications of voting aff/neg. you should tell me why you get to define the ballot/judge and the impact to it
[k] Ks good, K word-vomit bad. I'm relatively comfortable with cap/security/identity-based K's - everything else is a no (Baudrillard, Bataille, etc.). err on the side of over-explaining. specific links are good. I do actually care about impacts to framework interps do not skimp or speed here.
[disads] yes. warrants/impact calc are uber-important. rider disads are cringe. I need you to explain your weird iteration of the politics disad because i can't be bothered to learn about American politics.
[cp] not my strong suit. CP word-vomit bad (("sufficiency framing" // "perm do the ___")) - tell me the threshold for sufficiency, how your perms are legitimate, etc. I'm down to judge kick, if I'm told to. cheating CP's are cringe. unpop opinion adv cps are fun and a dying art.
[T, T: USFG] I generally prefer a limited topic. Spec your ground loss, read caselists, and impact out your model of debate. SIGNPOST<3. the best T debates come straight from the flow, not blocks. TVA's are good/don't have to solve the entire 1AC but both teams will benefit from articulating the goalposts of sufficiency framing here. you can ask me what that means if need be. saying things like "precision good" and moving on is so silly. tell me why these things are good/bad or we'll both be mad about the RFD.
[theory] I default to rejecting the arg. unless you're going for rejecting the team for the full rebuttal, I'm very unlikely to vote on theory. rejecting the team also means you have a burden to prove in-round abuse (to whatever degree, the debate will decide). condo usually good, good debaters can win debates w/o relying on a 7-off+ strat.
[speaker points] everyone starts at 28. a good speaker will be in the 29.3+. I drop speaks for uncoordinated strategy, offensive behavior (incl. CX), reading analytics like cards, stealing prep (if its obvious), and whitesplaining/mansplaining. speaks are earned via efficient/effective speech construction, cx set-ups, succinctness, strategy.
Add me to the email chain: mateo.mijares[at]sonomaacademy[dot]org
Email subject template: "Tournament Name -- Round # -- Aff School AB vs Neg School CD"
senior/4th year of debate at Sonoma Academy
I'm willing to judge any type of argument, so long as it's not racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic etc. While I primarily do and enjoy K debate, I will attempt to be free of any preconceived biases of what the debate should look like, and judge based on whatever framing the teams put forward.
-If both teams want to spread, that's fine. If one team wants to do a lay round, say so and the other team should abide by that.
-If I'm on a panel with lay judges, adapt to them, not me. I will update my judging accordingly.
-If one or both of the teams prefers to do a lay round (by either saying so or not spreading), I will judge as as a parent. If both teams have a circuit round, I will judge according to a standard offense/defense paradigm or as otherwise instructed in-round.
Ks - I've gone for Ks most of in most of my debates.
Number your link args in the block. This makes it easier for me to flow, and you can more easily apply your links as DAs to the perm etc. Naturally, this will end up mushed up by the 2nr, but if you can go into the 2nr with clear and separate links to the aff, you're in a much better place.
DAs - Do impact calc
CPs - CPs are really fun. I think a creative advantage CP that gets out of a specific DA is always a good strat.
Topicality - ok
K affs - I run a k aff, and I'm down to judge yours. Affs should have a relation to the topic.
Despite running a K aff, I will certainly vote on FW. A good defense of your model and why it outweighs case will win the neg these debates for me.
Stolen from Pat Fox's paradigm cuz I agree:
S: “Clash turns and outweighs the case because persuasion and complex thinking skills”
A: “Procedural fairness means no incentive to research the aff or play the game”
B: Skills/topic ed
C: Literally anything else
FF: “Fairness means you can't evaluate the aff because it hasn't been tested yet,” “small schools”
Things to get you better speaks -
+.1 for saying gg in a speech
+.1 for making a reference to that 2014 hit TV show "The Leftovers" starring Justin Theroux
+.1 If you say "Riddle me this" at the start of cross
+.1 for somehow incorporating the phrase "Curiouser and curiouser!" from Alice in Wonderland in one of your speeches
+.2 If all your highlighting is in the same color and another +.1 if that color is green (best highlighting color)
+.3 If all the cards in your 1ac or 1nc are cut by you
Things that will NOT affect your speaks -
If you need to slow down - I'd much rather have you clear than trying to go faster than you're able
Tech issues - online debate sucks and I will be pretty lenient on prep - I like the whole "you get 8/10 minutes of tech time in addition to prep" idea, but in general just if you're having tech issues just say so. I'd rather risk a team stealing prep than force someone to use a frozen computer
Profanity - so long as it's not a slur obviously or the other team doesn't take issue with it I don't care if you curse
Using the bathroom - should be self-explanatory, you don't need to run prep
If you have any questions feel free to email me!
stanford 2021 update: this is my first tourney on the topic. I have no problem judging either policy or k debates. Still a paralegal, still at USC. Feel free to ask me questions.
2019: I'm currently working as a paralegal in SF at an immigration law firm before I start at USC in January. Despite that, I'm probably more equipped to watch your K debate than policy if we're being honest. For reference, I ran a racial Lacanian psychoanalysis aff during the immigration topic, so take that for what you will.
I think judge intervention is bad. This means I'm fine with any argument that's not racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please add me on the email chain and feel free to contact me at email@example.com
About me: First year out, debated at Sonoma Academy under Lani Frazer + Laila McClay. I ran both policy affs and k affs named after MTS songs.
Accessibility in debate is super important to me. Let me know if you need to adjust the round in any way. Any sort of request will not affect your speaks.
Do what you do best. This isn’t about me. I’ll minimize judge intervention as much as possible.
Just explain and impact out your arguments and you’ll be fine. I don’t have a ton of argumentative preferences, but I’m probably not the best judge for super high theory args. I think they lead to pretty annoying and substance-less debates. That said, I’ll vote on pretty much anything as long as you tell me why I need to vote on it. Please be organized. Signposting is important.
Sass is fun, but try not to be overly mean. Debate is stressful enough as it is. Don’t be terrible.
If you make racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, ableist etc. comments, I will nuke your speaks and contact your coach.
Speed: If you can, a camera on while you're speaking would be great. I’m fine with whatever speed you want to go at, just be clear. If I’m staring blankly at you, you’re not being clear enough.
Theory: Fine. I find theory debates pretty boring, but if you impact out what you’re saying and explain why it matters, I’m fine with it. If you want me to vote on it, do at least two minutes of work on it in the 2NR/2AR.
Topicality: Sure, I’ll vote on it. I don’t love Ks of T, but just explain it well and I’ll be fine. Tell me why I should vote on it.
Ks: Hell yeah. I’m not super familiar with a lot of high theory Ks, but that doesn’t mean I won’t understand them if you explain them. Pls know your lit and know how to explain it. One of my biggest pet peeves is when k teams try to confuse confuse the other team in cx by shouting out buzzwords and not actually saying anything.
Specifics: Framing is important! Contextualize your links. Links of omission=bad. I also generally believe that debate is valuable and educational, but if you win that it isn't I guess I'll vote on your Baudy k. If I have to.
K affs: A lot of the above still applies. I’m more comfortable with advocacy statements, but I don’t need one. Just do whatever you want as long as you put in the work and explain what you want me to vote on. But generally, if you don't explain how your aff functions and just repeat buzzwords, I'll be annoyed and have a difficult time voting aff.
FW vs K Affs: I think your aff should have some relation to the topic. Explain what the ballot does and why voting aff does all the things you say it does. That seems pretty self-explanatory, but apparently it's not.
DAs: “Throw em at me.” If you read politics, you better hope it's unique and you have specific link ev.
CPs: Cool. Have a solvency advocate pls.
Prep: I can tell when you're trying to steal prep. Emailing and tech malfunctions are not prep.
So basically I debated as a freshman and sophomore so take it easy on me. Please please please don't spread because I will not catch half the things you say which will probably result in me voting for the other team.
Don't steal prep. Just don't. I'll be timing everything myself so I'll know.
Who? I did debate for like two years in high school. I go to The Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in Fashion Business Management.
Topic Knowledge? None to be honest. Like, I know the basic topic but this is my first time judging.
The main thing to remember is be confident in what you are saying. Confidence holds so much power in persuading people. Like even if you don't know what you are saying, as long as it sounds like you do then you're good.
I have 3 years' debating experience and currently 2n at Lowell (with Taylor Tsan :) ).
My preference is towards policy arguments since I have a better understanding of them, but I have a pretty good grasp of just about any argument. Bottom line: read what you want, explain it well, and be respectful to your opponents!
I definitely have a bias against random K arguments so unless you can explain them to me well, probably don't go for it (ie: ontology-esque, Baudrillard/Post-modernist critiques, and things that don't seem to be an opportunity cost to the aff, etc.).
Otherwise, I'm cool with Ks and have a pretty decent understanding of them, especially more generic/popular ones like cap and setcol.
T-USFG -- I'm more neg-leaning here, but I'll vote for whoever can prove that their model is net-best. Doing impact calculus with your offense as well as explaining why the debates under your model are good and why debates under their model are net-worse is really important and helpful for me when resolving your debate.
Other T -- T is meh on this topic, but if you can do good impact calculus and contrast models (see above for T-USFG) then I'm definitely open to voting on it.
Disadvantages -- you need to be thorough in your explanation and pointing out why the aff specifically triggers the link, otherwise it's really low-risk and I'll probably defer aff.
Counterplans -- point out why it solves the aff specifically, and affs should focus on quantifying the solvency deficit, otherwise a risk of the net-benefit probably outweighs.
Make sure to point out they're dropped, and in the rebuttals explain why that's important so I know how to evaluate it. Please don't excessively say arguments are dropped if they're not, it's redundant and wastes your speech time.
Generally, please go slower, I'll judge like a lay round unless specifically instructed that y'all want it to be a circuit round. You don't have to go as slow as you would with a parent, but definitely slow the debate down and spend more time explaining your arguments than spreading through cards.
- Online debate = it's harder to hear, so please try to be extra clear, and slow down so that you can be even clearer if needed.
- I'll time prep, so please don't say you have more than you actually do. It makes you look bad and I'll dock your points.
- Please keep your camera on if possible; looks less shady and lets me connect with y'all.
- *Make sure to check that I (in addition to everyone else in the round) am ready before you start, or I'll probably miss something.
- Please do ballot writing -- make it easy for me. This makes you look good and makes it easier for me to resolve the round and make a decision.
Most of all, do your best and have fun!
I competed for 4 years, primarily in PF and a bit of policy. When it comes to Public Forum I don't want you to just read evidence at me, stop trying to make PF policy! Explain your evidence and warrants, give good analysis. Also I really enjoy Framework debates, if you're going to read framework carry it through the entire round. Care about FW arguments because thats how i'm going to end up voting if i'm not given an alternative FW. Make sure there is actual clash, dont just tell me why your positions are important.
Since im fairly new to CX I dont have a ton of preferences, just dont expect me to understand super high theory off the bat, and if you do run it, make sure to explain it really well. Other than that just do your thing and be kind to each other. I am generally a laid back person, however i have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to being purposefully cruel or bigoted to your opponents or otherwise. Lets have fun and learn from each other, thats what this is all about.
Please add me to the email chain: lowelldebatedocs [at] gmail.com
Please format the email chain like this: [Tournament Name] R[Round Number] Aff [School] AB v Neg [School] CD.
About me: This is my fourth year debating and I've been a 1N/2A for almost three years. Jessie Satovsky is my wonderful 1A/2N and Debnil Sur taught me everything about debate. You should probably check out their pages too; I'll evaluate the round similarly. Please do not call me judge I'm max three years older than you and it's weird.
Psychoanalyze me: https://hspolicy.debatecoaches.org/Lowell/Satovsky-Tsan%20Aff
- I prefer for you to have your camera on, but I won't penalize you if you don't.
- If you start cutting out for me, I will pause my timer at the last thing I heard and interrupt to tell you. Depending on how bad it is I might ask you to start your speech from the beginning.
- I know personally how hard this is, but clarity >>> speed.
- I will judge like a parent unless both teams agree to a fast/circuit debate.
- If you get me on a panel with lay judges, I'd much rather you adapt to them. I will not penalize you for making the debate more accessible for all judges.
Note: The things written below are just my preferences, not rules. Just read arguments that you're most comfortable with, convince me why you should win, and be respectful to your opponents :)
- Most familiar with afropess, setcol, and cap.
- Hard sell on ontology/any broad theory of the world. However, this can change based on the level of refutation.
- Try to contextualize your links/alt explanation to the aff. Explanation > cards in K debates.
- I care more about your uniqueness/link story than your impact.
- Rehighlighting aff ev for links <3
- Against a soft-left aff, framing's pretty important (Debnil has a good explanation in his paradigm). Neg, if you don't win framing, idk how I should even evaluate your impact in the first place. Aff, winning framing's important but I don't think it's sufficient to beat the DA; you still need actual arguments against the link/impact/etc.
- Neg - I'll judge kick if you tell me to. Compare the risk of a solvency deficit to the risk of the net benefit for me, and why the latter should be prioritized.
- Aff - I'm most easily convinced by developed solvency deficits; do what I wrote above but why the solvency deficit outweighs. Please explain your perms beyond the actual tag, especially in the final rebuttals.
- Condo is good; 4+ condo is debatable.
- WAIT UNTIL I VERBALLY TELL YOU IM READY OR GIVE YOU A THUMBS UP BEFORE YOU START YOUR SPEECH. If you start before I'm ready to flow and I don't catch something, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Please give me explicit judge instruction! Diagnose the debate for me and tell me what I should vote on/what I shouldn't.
- Cards are great but I don't think you need them to be convincing. If you explain analytical arguments that make sense, I'll buy them.
- I will time prep. Don't cheat :)
- I'll boost your speaks by +0.1 if you make a funny joke about one of Jessie/Debnil/Lee Wilcox/Taytum Wymer.
- Be nice and respectful to each other. If you aren't, I'll dock your speaks and probably call you out!
Hello Everyone! Find the event you are competing below and read the paradigm!
I want to see proper etiquette in round and respect to every single Senator/Representative.
Argumentation, Creativity, and Presentation are my top 3 things I look for when I judge.
Argumentation: Your arguments need to make sense. You need to have a clear warrant/evidence and you need to show how your evidence links to your position.
Creativity: Be funny. Give me a funny intro or make me laugh and that's a huge bonus to your rank. Congress invitational rounds are very long and some speeches get blended together. Stand out. Puns are huge for me and originality is key. Arguments that are unique to the debate/not stock arguments, add a lot to the debate and I really appreciate it.
Presentation: Be presentable. Act like you want to be here. Effective gestures and facial expressions add a lot to what you are talking about.
Flow of Debate:
If you are speaking in the 5th or 6th cycle, try not to give constructive speeches but crystallization speeches/consolidation speeches. Giving constructive speeches late kind of ruins the flow of the debate.
I only mark off points if there is a lack of knowledge of content or presentation that isn't adequate. (example: stuttering during CX, giving a blank face during CX, or anything in between.)
As a competitor, you must ask questions. It helps the flow of the debate and really allows the judges to see the cross-examination aspect of Congress. When no one asks questions, it's extremely boring and really doesn't allow the judges to see if the competitor knows their stuff.
PLEASE add me to the chain @firstname.lastname@example.org (if rules allow)
- Please don't be late.
- Speak coherently and make sense.
- While I have experience in debate, I want you to speak slowly and calmly. Yelling doesn't make you right. If the volume does become too loud I will mark that off speaker points. If you are speaking too fast and become incoherent I will say "clear" one time as a reminder that you are either going too fast or because you are incoherent. After that, there are no more warnings and you have a higher chance of losing the debate because most likely I will have stopped flowing.
- I prefer case debate. I ask that there is a minimum of theory or kritiks. IF there is one ran, it must be well said and well thought out/easy to understand. Run at your own risk.
-Think of me as a parent judge who flows. Please do not get too technical.
- I default to the voting framework. For example, if you say your Weighing Mechanism is Net benefits, I will choose whichever side provides the most amount of net benefits. Make sure to signpost, organization is key, and bouncing everywhere on the flow gets really confusing and leads to a dock on speaker points+ missed arguments on my flow.
IF you have any questions, email @email@example.com. Ask anything there is no such thing as a dumb question. Just ask honestly. Email is free.
Lowell '21, Davis '25
Yes I want to be on the email chain: leenicholwilcox[at]gmail.com.
Make sure to add lowelldebatedocs[at]gmail.com to the chain as well.
And please - actually label your chains. Please format it as [Tournament Name] R[Round Number] Aff [School] AB vs. Neg [School] CD. (An example - ASU R3 Aff McQueen LR vs Neg Lowell WW) It keeps things neat. If you send me a chain labeled "1AC" or "No Subject" I will have a stroke.
About me: Does anyone actually care about this? Eh, whatever. Lowell High School, San Francisco California, Class of 2021, and I use he/him pronouns. These days, I'm a student at UC Davis. I was a part of policy debate for all four of my years at Lowell. I was never super successful but did manage to go 3-3 at a few national circuit-level tournaments so you should assume I at least kind of know what I'm talking about. I've been both a 1N/2A and a 1A/2N so I'm sympathetic to all you poor bastards. On the flipside it also means I know what a good example of every speech in debate looks like. Make a funny joke about anyone on the Lowell squad and I'll give you +0.1 speaker points. (Shamelessly stolen from my debate parents) And before you ask, if they were part of the team from 2017 on, I almost certainly knew them. Taytum Wymer was best and final partner as a 1N/2A, but I've also debated with Alvin Yang, Zoe Rosenberg, (at the lay level) and Aaliyah Mangonon. Debnil Sur is my god, father, and guiding influence, and has been my debate coach for the past three years. (Jokes about any of them get you +0.2 speaker points.) He has influenced my thoughts and attitudes about debate immensely. If it's not in my paradigm, check his and the chance is good that I agree with him. (I won't make it required reading, though, I'm not mean)
Notes at the top:
-Tech > truth. My personal opinions will almost never affect my decision in a round, but they may affect how I read and treat your execution of certain arguments.
-Do not waste your time telling me something was dropped if it wasn't. (It pisses me off when I'm debating against it and it will piss me off as a judge)
-Most important thing in a round is judge instruction - as with most judges, I'm lazy as all hell. Write my ballot for me, I beg of you.
-BE NICE. Some snark and grandstanding in speeches and c/x are fine for ethos points, but there's a fine line. It is entirely possible to cross into a-hole territory, and if you do or keep the c/x stuff up in regular conversation I'll dock half a speaker point and will probably roast you in the rfd. Debate is a stressful activity (but fun!) and being decent to one another takes the edge off immeasurably.
-Dropped arguments mean nothing absent contextualization. Explain to me what it means that they dropped this argument. Great, it's true. How does that affect the rest of the round and my decision?
-I think I'm pretty expressive, and I have a terrible poker face when it comes to bad arguments.
Lay Debates: Debnil hit the nail on the head - In a predominantly lay environment like a GGSA tourney, I'll judge it like a parent unless you explicitly ask me for a circuit-style round. If it's a panel, just treat me like a circuit judge, but adapt around me as you need. I can roll with either.
Online Debates: Slow down and have your analytics in the doc. I flow based on what you say, but if I miss something I'll probably reference your doc. Signpost explicitly. If you put more in the doc than you end up reading that's fine, but be extremely clear about what you didn't read and don't be the debater that puts everything in the doc and barely reads any of it. I will dock your speaks. Unless you have internet issues, I expect your camera to be on. Be accommodating of tech issues. Wait for explicit visual or auditory confirmation from everyone before you give your speech. I will either say "I'm good" or flash you thumbs-up when I'm good. If I say nothing or I say "I'm not good," for the love of God do not start.
Argumentative Preferences: The word "preferences" is doing a lot of work here, I'll vote on and listen to a lot but in general I prefer policy arguments, although I've moved substantially leftward as I've gotten older. (Some of that has to do with the topics we've been getting recently) I will still vote on your K or K Aff.
How compelling I find it depends on the K and the aff it's being read against. I'm relatively well-read on Abolition, Security, and Cap, and I have a basic grasp of Afropess and Setcol. I've run two weird Ks, Black Fiat and Rule of Law. I find them both compelling, but the latter far more so. Barring them, if you read a random K, (like Baudrillard or something) it's a very poor bet, I'm probably biased against it. The closer it is to cap the more I'll probably agree with it. The more material it is the stronger it is in my book. Alternatives are often the weakest part of a Kritik. An affirmative team that properly indicts the alternative and holds off neg offense on the links and framework is in a good position for me. Perms are useful situationally. If you get wrecked on framework a perm will not save you.
I don't find sweeping ontological claims absent contextualization to the affirmative you're reading compelling at all. If you don't win it and framework is lost, I let them weigh the aff. Probably a death knell for a K team, but solid turns case work and good explanations can still have me hand it to you. I tend to vote for whatever I think has the best chance of solving the most important impact, so if you win that your impacts are the most important and your alt is all that has a chance of solving it, I'm golden.
Framework-wise, (and this goes for T debates as well) I don't see myself as a policymaker. Critiques of the educational structure of debate or indicts of the way educational value is produced under your opponent's interpretation are extremely strong for me, much like my God Debnil. But I'll vote on whatever is debated to me better.
Most of them are nonsense. I was a straight policy team for my first couple years, so believe me when I say I know exactly how asinine your DA is. If you read a stupid DA and your opponent mocks it for what it is I find it exceptionally compelling. Neg teams should vigorously defend their internal links with specific, warranted explanations and have clear and compelling links to the plan. Otherwise affirmatives will almost certainly outweigh your low-risk impact in my book. Don't treat your impact as an afterthought, and be sure to do some impact calculus, but in my experience DAs lose on link/internal link stuff far more often.
Honestly, they're either painfully generic or just obviously don't solve for the Aff. For the neg, explicit and clear solvency explanations and using sufficiency framing to mitigate solvency deficits as well as weighing the net benefit against them are an absolute must. For the aff, detail out the solvency deficits and quantify them so I get a sense of how much of your aff they don't solve. You also need to be able to explain your perm beyond a tagline for me to take it seriously. I'll judge kick unless the Aff wins I shouldn't.
If it's not dropped I almost certainly won't vote on it, and frankly, unless I see in-round abuse I won't vote on it even if they drop it. (Don't take that as an excuse to drop it, please) With three or fewer conditional advocacies I lean Neg on condo. Slight aff lean on process counterplans but I won't reject the team. I lean neg on every other theoretical argument I can think of.
I am a 2020 graduate of Perry High School (AZ) and a 4 year competitor in a variety of speech and debate events at both the local and national levels. I am currently coaching at Tempe Preparatory Academy and competing for the University of Arizona. At UArizona, i'm studying Law and Public Policy with minors in Urban Development and art history. I'm the Arizona District Assistant Coach of the Year (2021).
in the wise words of Hannah Littler: "I consider over-generalizing arguments to be harmful to the debate space. Running arguments along the lines of "X people are not suffering" or "no one has this problem anymore" will hurt your results. Use your clearest judgement when using absolute statements. Your perspective and evidence can only be stretched to an extent. For many conversations in s&d, we have the privilege of discussing topics we will never face; speak with that privilege in check."
tldr; signpost always. run whatever you want (no trix tho pls). check your privilege.
you are responsible for the weighing, extensions, and impact calc (and explaining unfamiliar lit).regardless of if you debate trad or progressive, good comparative impact calc will prob win you my ballot. i am a lazy judge. in an ideal world, you are filling out my ballot for me. tell me what i need to vote on EARLY IN THE ROUND and why. if you leave that up to me, you probably wont be happy with my RFD. pretty much any argument goes as long as you have a warrant and can explain it well.
I tend to be tech>truth as much as i can. my truth intervenes when privilege is not kept in check (see above) Blippy arguments stand unless you respond and i can be persuaded either way on RVIs. i will not shadow extend for you.
CX/LD: when evaluating Plans/CPs/PICs or whatever, i go probability>mag>timeframe
speed is fine, but please put me on the chain!!!
No, I do not care if you're dressed up or if you "sit or stand for x".
flashing is not prep (do not abuse this), but please have a doc for sharing set up when you enter the round.
flex is fine. i'll flow.
i will disclose r4 onwards (r6 if it is a bid tourney, and obv not finals lol) unless tournament rules prohibit it/competitors are not comfortable w it. if u wanna post round me, do so via email :P
I don't flow cross. I'm easily distracted, so if you want me to flow an argument, please bring it up in a later speech.
I do expect you to time yourself and your opponents during speeches, cross, and prep. i will cross time you (esp for prep) but sometimes (most of the time) i forget. i therefore rid myself of any responsibility to prevent prep stealing.
my speaks start at a 28 and move from there. I don't go below a 26 unless you do something really really bad.
Be respectful of yourselves, me, and especially your opponents! Everyone is here to learn, first and foremost. That cannot happen if the round is not a safe space. If I see or hear abusive behavior of any kind (this includes being unnecessarily aggressive towards novice debaters!!!), I will stop the round, drop you, and report you to tab.
side note: if there is anything i can do to make the space more welcoming or comfortable for you, please let me know either by email, in person, whatever works!
This is going to sound cliché, but above all have fun and walk out of the round a better competitor than when you entered it.
ps: if u made it this far, any song references u can make from the Spice Girls or taylor swift OR olivia rodrigo will get u an auto +.1 on speaks :P
Lowell '20 || UC Berkeley '24
Add me to the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please format the chain subject like this: Tournament Name - Round # - Aff Team Code [Aff] vs Neg Team Code
I think about debate in the same way as this guy
I debated for four years at Lowell High School. I’ve been a 2A for most of my years (2Ned as a side gig my junior year). Qualified to the TOC & placed 7th at NSDA reading arguments on both sides of the spectrum.
I learned everything I know about debate from Debnil Sur - his paradigm is 1000x more nuanced and thought-out than mine will be.
I'd rather adapt to your strategies than have you adapt to what you think my preferences are - I personally dislike judges injecting their personal views into decisions. The below are simply guidelines & ways to improve speaks via tech-y things I like seeing rather than ideological stances on arguments. No judge has a clean slate but I’ll try my best to decide the debate based solely on what I hear in round.
Tech >>>>>>>>> truth
I think evidence quality is important, but I value good spin more because it incentivizes smart analysis/contextualization - I personally believe that a model of debate where rounds are adjudicated solely based on evidence quality favors truth more than technical debate skills. With that being said, I’ll probably default to reading evidence if there’s a lack of evidence indicts or resolving done by teams in round.
Fine with speed, but I do flow on paper & don't look at speech docs during the round so be clear
Looooove judge instruction - I’m lazy, please write my ballot for me.
My biggest frustration when judging rounds is inaccurately flagging arguments the other team spent a substantial amount time answering as “dropped" - your speaks will reflect this frustration. Second to that is repeating “they dropped x” instead of explaining what the technical concession means for you.
I refused to read a plan for most of my debate career but I enjoy framework debates and don’t have a heavy lean towards one side.
Generally, I don’t think people do enough work comparing/explaining their competing models of debate and its benefits other than “they exclude critical discussions!!!!”
For the aff: Having advocacy in the direction of the topic >>>>>>>> saying anything in the 1AC. I’ll probably be a lot more sympathetic to the neg if I just have no clue what the method/praxis of the 1AC is in relation to arms sales. I think the value of planless affs come from having a defensible method that can be contested, which is why I’m not a huge fan of “refusal” affs or advocacies not tied to the topic. Not sure why people don’t think perms in a method debate are not valid - with that being said, I can obviously be convinced otherwise. I prefer nuanced perm explanations rather than just “it’s not mutually exclusive”.
For the neg: I don’t really buy procedural fairness - I think to win this standard you would have to win pretty substantial defense to the aff’s standards & disprove the possibility of debate having an effect on subjectivity. I usually like to go 6-8 off against planless affs - one off framework debates are boring for me. If the aff says you can read topic disads - hold them to that and read a bunch in the 1NC. If not, there’s your abuse for framework.
Not much to say here - think these debates are pretty straight forward. Smart, nuanced link analysis/internal link explanation >>>> “our impact outweighs on [x] because [unwarranted assertion]!!11!!”. Detailed, subpointed link modules and link turns case analysis will make me and your speaks very happy
Default to judge kick unless the 2ar is really convincing on why I should not/wins the thesis of condo.
I can't remember the last time I heard a really good counterplan. Process/agent/consult CPs are kind of cheating but in the words of the wise Tristan Bato, "most violations are reasons to justify a permutation or call solvency into question and not as a voter."
Smart solvency deficits >>>>
I think I tend to err neg on questions of conditionality & perf con but probably aff on counterplans that garner competition off of the word “should”. Obviously this is a debate to be had but also I’m also sympathetic to a well constructed net benefit with solid evidence.
Framework is sosososo important in these debates. I don’t think I really lean either side on this question but I don’t think the neg needs to win the alt if they win framework + links based on the representational strategy of the 1AC.
Nuanced link walls based on the plan/reps + pulling evidence from their ev >>>> links based on FIATed state action and generic cards about your theory.
To quote Debnil “I'm a hard sell on sweeping ontological or metaphysical claims about society; I'll likely let the aff weigh the plan; I don't think the alt can fiat structures out of existence; and I think the alt needs to generate some solid uniqueness for the criticism.“
I default to competing interps. Explanations of your models/differences between your interps + caselists >>>>> “they explode limits” in 10 different places. Please please please please do impact comparison, I don’t want to hear “they’re a tiny aff and that’s unfair” a bunch.
Questions of norms ≠ ethics violations about clear evidence distortion(deliberately modifying evidence to alter its meaning)/clipping. If one team is accused of an ethics violation, I’ll take it seriously and ask if the accusing team would like to stop a round, then let tab take it from there.
Be nice & have fun.