Binghamton 4th Annual Phyllis Schatz Invitational
2021 — Binghamton, NY/US
Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
About me! This is my seventh and last year in debate. I qualified 2X to the TOC and 2X to the NDT and was 5th speaker at CEDA last year. Email - email@example.com Pronouns - they/them (feel free to email or ask me any questions before the round).
Debate is a game. It is also a social circumstance with norms culture and history.
Strategy > Ideology - None of my ideological preferences are strong enough that you should alter how you debate. As long as you make strategic arguments, backed by quality evidence, I don't care what you go for.
Respect is important - Be attentive to people's pronouns and do not be racist, sexist, transphobic, etc especially because it won't be difficult to persuade me to vote against people for being oppressive. Objectivity is a farce but I will always be as non-interventionist as possible and decide the debate based on what I witness.
Miscellaneous* - Unless told otherwise, I default to deciding debates by asking the question of what impacts a ballot for either team would solve and filtering other arguments through that. Unwarranted arguments even if dropped, are still not arguments. Tech>Truth but if the debate is irresolvable, I'm more likely to do work for the team making more logical arguments. I'm generous with speaks most of the time.
For Policy - Speaking during your partner's speech is okay if appropriate, I'll flow you.
Head PF Coach @ The Potomac School
Debated four years in policy at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines
Now debating for George Mason University
Put me on your email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also email me with any specific questions or just ask me before round
I've been in the policy debate world for 8 years, thus am a flow judge. Tell me how to evaluate the round!
Here are a few thoughts:
1. Links and impacts need to be in the summary if you want me to evaluate them in the final focus. Please do not tagline extend your argument, do some comparative analysis in regard to your opponents arguments. Please go beyond just extending author names as well - most of the time I don’t really flow authors unless it matters.
2. Tech > Truth
3. I don’t flow cross, but I am listening. If something important happens in cross it NEEDS to be in your speech.
4. Theory: I am comfortable evaluating theory & do not necessarily have any predispositions. Theory is just another argument I will evaluate on the flow, so make sure you are doing line-by-line, just like you would on any other argument.
5. Ks: I will evaluate them, but probably have a pretty high threshold for explanation. I think there are ways to run them and be effective, but I think it is extremely hard given the time constraints of PF.
I’m receptive to all kinds of arguments. Read what you are good at.
Tech over truth, most of the time
I vote off the flow – I also always flow on paper, so you should probably give me a second to flow your analytics if you want me to weigh them later in the debate.
Here’s my opinions on things ya’ll probably actually want to know about:
Ks: In high school I did little K debate. I understand the lit base for many general K arguments. High theory K arguments I understand less of, but I will still vote on them. With that said, I do probably hold K arguments to a higher threshold. I need a clear conceptualization of the alternative (or method if you’re AFF). I won’t vote on something I don’t understand. Frame the debate for me at the end of the round, I won’t do it for you. The more explanation you can give to me for why you win, the more persuasive you’ll be.
FW: I think framework debates usually end up becoming very messy and complicated, if you can avoid this you’re in a good spot. To do this, make sure that you have an impact in the 2NR. Just saying fairness or education is an impact is not enough. I tend to be more persuaded by education impacts especially if you can contextualize them to the AFF. Fairness is also a fine impact to go for, if you specifically justify why the AFF precludes fairness and can produce examples of topical affirmatives. I think that fairness is an integral part of debate so if the impact comparison is there, you’re in a good place.
T: Impact comparison is ultimately what wins you this debate. Refer to the framework section. Discussions of reasonability do not replace impact comparison. If you want to win this argument, you must give me a clear explanation for why you are reasonably topical and why that is a good lens in which to view the debate. You should also probably have a clear conceptualization of the topic and why it precludes whatever aff. Absent this framing, it’s hard to win T.
Theory: I am generally open to anything, but probably won’t view things such as perm theory as a reason to reject the team rather just a reason to reject the perm. One conditional advocacy is fine. Two is up for debate. More than three is pushing it, but you still need to win the condo debate for me to vote on it. The more conditional advocacies, the lower my threshold is for winning condo.
DAs: I think that link/internal link chains are obviously the weakest parts of these debates. If you win those, you win the disad. Having a diversity of arguments is probably good. Tell me how to frame the disad at the end of the debate and you will probably be ahead.
CPs: Solvency deficits are good and can probably win you the debate. I feel like a lot of teams lean towards always going for the perm, which may not always be the best option. Even if you don’t have cards, smart analytical solvency args can definitely win you debates if you do enough work in the final speeches.
Associate Director of Debate @ KU
Last Updated: Pre-GSU 2016
Quick pre-round notes:
I would prefer speech docs while I judge. Please email them to email@example.com.
The affirmative should read and defend a topical example of the resolution and the negative should negate the affirmative's example.
I reward teams that demonstrate a robust knowledge of the topic and literature concerning the topic.
1. The word "interpretation" matters more to me than some. You must counterdefine words, or you will likely lose. You must meet your theory interpretation, or you will likely lose.
2. The words "voting issue" matter more to me than some. I am not searching for cheap shots, nor do I especially enjoy theory debates. However, I feel that I would be intervening if I applied "reject the argument not the team" to arguments that debaters did not explicitly apply the impact takeout to. That said, proliferation of empty voting issues will not only hurt your speaker points, but can be grouped and pretty easily disposed of by opponents.
3. "Turns the case" matters more to me than some. Is it offense? Does the link to the advantage/fiat outweigh or prevent turning the case? Does it mean the aff doesn't solve? Questions that should be answered by the 1ar.
I believe that debaters work hard, and I will work hard for them. The more debaters can show they have worked hard: good case debates, specific strategies, etc. the more likely it is I will reward debaters with speaker points and higher effort. In the same vain, debaters who make clear that they don’t work outside of debates won’t receive high speaker points.
Topicality – It is a voting issue and not a reverse voting issue. I have not yet been persuaded by arguments in favor of reasonability; however, the reason for this usually lies with the fact that affirmatives fail to question the conventional wisdom that limits are good.
Kritiks – It will be difficult to convince me that I should completely disregard my conceptions of rationality, pragmatism and my aversion to unnecessary death. As a general rule, I think of Kritiks like a counterplan with net-benefits. The more aff specific the better.
Counterplans – I am up in the air about textual vs. functional competition – they both have their time and place, and are probably not universal rules. The cross-ex answer “for your DAs but not your counterplans” has always made negative sense to me. I understand that there are MANDATES of the plan and EFFECTS of the plan; I find this distinction more understandable than the usual c-x answer.
Rundown of general thoughts about counterplans:
Conditionality – it's feeling like a little bit much at the moment
PICs – Good, especially if they PIC out of a part of the plan
Consult/Condition – Up in the air and context specific. Solvency advocates, aff stances, etc. can change my feelings.
Delay – Aff leaning, but might be more competitive based on the structure of the affirmative, or a cross-ex answer. For example, if the affirmative has an advantage that takes the position the advantage can only be solved if it happens before "X" date, then the counterplan to do it after that date seems competitive.
Word PICs – Aff leaning
Alternate non-USFG actors – Aff leaning
Be respectful of your opponent, partner and judge. All types of discrimination are prohibited. Don’t clip cards, don’t cut cards out of context, etc. Don't misclose.
Finally, our community relies on host tournaments with classroom space - don't steal, defame or destroy it.
Any questions, ask.
Please put me on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a coach at Binghamton, where I debated for four years. I qualified to the NDT a few times, and have now been coaching Bing for three years.
My primary debate interests are disability studies, semiocap, various post modernism(Foucault, Delueze, etc), but I'm pretty familiar with most K literature currently in circulation.
I mostly judge K v K debates, but vote for framework a decent amount when its presented to me(I'll talk about why in a bit)
K v K
Aff's being able to articulate solvency/framing for the ballot is important to me. I'm not great for affs that are simply theories of power that explain why the status quo is bad. Being able to explain the aff's relationship to debate and why your pedagogy is good goes a long way in beating back presumption.
Neg teams need to focus on constructing the alt in a way that is as distinct from the aff as possible, and honestly with me in the back you can get away with simply a reject alt or something more like framework style argument instead of articulating aff solvency. My point here is to say, don't let the perm be an easy way out.
also please call out floating pics, it feels bad voting neg when the aff team doesn't realize how unfair the winning argument was.
A big thing I have noticed when I judge these debates is that because each team will inevitably have offense, which team has better defense in the form of the TVA or the Counter Interpretation is often a deciding factor for me. Aff teams need to make sure they don't brush off the TVA in particular as I think it can mitigate a lot of the aff's offense when done right.
Am fine if the aff wants to just impact turn the neg's offense as well, just make sure you are dedicating a lot of time to this and not taking the fact that I will likely agree with you personally for granted.
Fairness is not too persuasive to me as an impact but I will vote for it if you win the argument. I think skills, education, dogma etc are better impacts though and you'll probably have better success with those.
When policy teams are aff, both sides should prioritize winning the framework argument as to whether or not the aff gets to weigh the plan. Also in these debates, the neg needs to focus on impact calc and explaining what solvency means in context of my ballot. Otherwise you risk losing to the try or die framing of the affirmative.
4 years of CX at Moore High (OK)
4 years CX at UCO
Qualified to the NDT 3 Times
CEDA Finalist my last year
Basically, all that time has been spent as a 2N/1A going for the K and reading an AFF without a plan. With that said I think that debate is for the debaters, do what you do best and do it well. By all means don't let my (perceived) preferences sway you from doing what you want to do.
If you have any questions before or after the tournament feel free to email me at email@example.com
Also add me to the email chain if there is one.
I flow on paper so I may need slightly more pen time than some, so clarity > speed for me. I can still handle speed, but clear transitions are really important to me, and all the more true in an online setting.
I evaluate debates almost entirely on the flow, so my preferences matter less than doing what you're best at and impacting that on flow. Given that impact framing arguments (impact calculus), are almost always the most important factor of my decisions.
A few thoughts on particular issues:
Framework- most of my ballots on this question come down to the impact of competing models of debate. I think AFFs are often ahead in this debate when they advance a counter interp that solves the limits DA. NEGs tend to be ahead with a TVA that solves the AFFs offense (note not the AFF but their offense). I’m here for the impact turn and procedural fairness respectively (though more as an internal link to education than an independent impact). But that is my light default, I can and have been convinced otherwise.
K v K debates- Most of this works like any other debate, explain why you’re right and what the impact to that is. Only specific comment, I have never understood the notion that “method debates” mean the AFF shouldn’t get a perm, this isn’t intuitive and while I am open to being convinced I have yet to hear a compelling argument. Also, you just need a link to your K anyway so maybe use that to beat the perm?
Policy v policy debates- this is by far the debate I’m the least familiar with but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to it if that’s your jam. Just explain how your impacts turn or outweigh your opponent’s arguments and you should be just fine.
put me on the chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
5 years at Baylor
4 years at Caddo Magnet High school
had to add this: i reserve the right to vote you down external to in round arguments if you are acting in a way that makes the activity unsafe or actively detrimental to other debaters.
Camera on while prepping please, some of the kids i coach expressed irritating at not being able to see opponents during prep time!
Start a little slower for me than usual - computer audio spikes at beginning of speeches and if you are going top speed from get go Ill likely miss first sentence.
In general im fine for you to do whatever you want to do, i've done both policy and K things from a lot of different literature bases. Just do what you do best and Im sure to enjoy it! Please don't be overly aggressive, rude, or dismissive of your opponents or speaker points will reflect it c
Framework v K affs: although i can be convinced to vote for this its going to be an uphill battle given that the majority of the arguments framework teams make exist solely in a vaccum of debate and make zero sense outside of it. Ground and limits/debatability arent standards in my opinion after 9 years of debating without going for framework, i think that framework is quite literally an erasure of the work done by tons of Critical teams to engage in both policy and critical affirmatives and shows more your unwillingness to engage in critical thought that the "unpredicability" of the aff. K debate is here to stay so id rather here your more generic marxism strategy than your robotic framework speeches. Fairness isnt an impact because my ballot can't solve it and i dont have the magical power to put any model of debate into place.
What im saying is please answer the affirmative, K teams have aggregated around a few common core ideas and positions (of course there are always outliers) but if you chose not to prepare a strategy against 30% of the pool thats more reflective of your research pedagogy than the "unfair advantage" they had.
As good ol greg zoda said "if i could have over a 60% win rate against K teams without ever reading framework then you need to do a lot to convince me there is an aff side bias."
Parametrics is different - i do believe the affirmative should defend a change from the squo but T-USFG is as old, worn out, and deserves to be left in the archive for good
Policy affs: I hold policy affirmatives to a high threshold for solvency - the phrase "the aff solves the advantage" or "they conceded solvency" is not an extension of solvency and im prone to vote negative on presumption in a world where you havent explained to me the internal link between plan passage and your impact with reverse causal arguments.
K: Links to the plan are nice but not necessary, Alts don't have to solve the link if they solve the aff. Do not think you need an alt to win a debate if you have the appropriate framing tools.
CPs: Comparison between deficits/net benefits is key, I do not know all the acronyms so bare with me the first time i hear your position, solvency advocates are preferred but not necessary, especially if predicated off of cross-x.
DAs: Love em, more specific the better, 1 card, 2 card, 8 card 1nc do what you need.
Theory: Condo is fine, argumentative tension is okay but can be convinced on contradictions being bad. On zoom especially please give me 10% slower on the theory.
Overall if your confident then do your thing, ive voted on args i disagree with more than i would like and will try to check most bias' at the door but there are some things i believe to be true about debate that you will have a difficult time convincing me otherwise. The fact that people in the community can still get away with "no plan no win" paradigms means i reserve the right to be reactionary.
GTA at KU Fall 2021
former NDT/CEDA debater for the University of Missouri - Kansas City
I'd like to be on the email chain.
I will do my best to adjust to your style and evaluate what is presented.
I enjoy judging debates.
I'm generally fine with speed, but please slow down for tags and authors. I flow on paper. If you spread full speed through a CP with 5 planks, I will be struggling to know what it does.
I think debate is usually about story telling, and I often find myself more comfortable voting for debaters who have provided a better and more complete story. This also means I am more hesitant to vote on arguments that just don't make sense to me - this seems obvious but I feel like it comes up more frequently than expected. I need to understand your argument well enough to explain to the other team why they lost a debate on it.
Don't be racist, homophobic, transphobic, or other hateful things.
Kritiks - I like a good kritik. I usually find myself more persuaded by kritiks that have an alternative in the 2NR with lots of examples and explanation for why it resolves the impact. I think policy affs often lack a robust defense of utilitarianism, and I enjoy listening to arguments about why we should use another method to make ethical decisions.
I would also encourage you to:
- contextualize your links to the affirmative
- explain why you control / solve / turn / moot the 1AC's impacts
- illustrate why the aff is factually incorrect, in a way that is consistent with your criticism -- usually think it's a little awkward when the K about epistemology contradicts your case defense from xyz think tank -- I would encourage you to read smart case arguments or be ready to defend "we're negative and get to do that"
I usually think K affs that 1) do something or advocate that something should be done 2) have some relation to the topic - are the most persuasive. If that's not your aff, just be sure to explain why you have good reasons not to.
Topicality / FW - Interpretations should be strategic and well justified. If you go for T, be sure to have clear impacts and weigh them. Reasonability vs competing interpretations is up for y'all to decide. In FW v K debates, I think specific and clear offense in the last speech usually ends up deciding my ballot. Affirmatives without a plan text should be sure to have significant offense - and explain why it outweighs clash or whatever.
Theory - Sure. Be in-depth, specific, and weigh the impacts of each interpretation. 3-4+ condo is probably a lot in front of me, especially if there is a clear in-round abuse story.
DAs - Works for me. Tell a good story and do lots of impact comparison.
CPs - Counterplans are cool and create interesting strategies. I probably lean slightly affirmative on most of the theory here, but could be convinced otherwise. That being said, strategic PICs are often very persuasive to me. If you read a big multi-plank CP, you should particularly emphasize what it does and how it works. Otherwise, we may not be on same page at the end of the debate when you assume that I understand why plank #7 solves the 3rd internal link of the second scenario on the first advantage.
Also, negatives should do more case debate. I am often convinced that plans wouldn't really do anything.
- funny or particularly insightful remarks during the debate
- send speech docs quickly and effectively (for example, 1NR sent by the end of 2NC CX)
- signpost well during your speech
- make smart, strategic decisions during the debate
- steal prep
- be overly rude or mean
Lets make sure we are slowing down for analytics and tags because I sincerely need to be able to understand you to flow you.
Hi I'm Sunday! Nice to meet you! Here's my email: email@example.com i want to be on the email chain
I'm the coloring book person
I like Ks
But I'm not against policy arguments!
i think they are both viable strategies
all i really care about in the round is clash please engage with each other substantially i don't want to watch a debate where two teams are just talking at each other because thats boring and i dont want to be bored believe it or not. the point being anything is up for debate and i'm down to hear any of it as long as you arent being fucked up. dont think that if you say something antiblack or anti queer youre going to get away with it. i believe in people making mistakes and i believe that you can learn from them so if you say something that is blatantly violent and you know it is then don't double down on it. TLDR: don't spew out violent rhetoric but if you do then apologize
okay stuff yall care about:
i went back and looked at this and realized i have something to say beforehand so first first first of all. i think yall can tell me what to do. im here to facilitate the debate the way yall want and to deliberate. im not going to tell you that you cant play music or that i wont flow a poem. if you want me to try to a handstand while i listen to the 1ac i will try to do it. obviously im going to need to know why youre making me do things... but i think that debate isnt just about what you say but how you say it and how you present it. TLDR: sucker for judge instruction
onto the good stuff:
first of all yall need to actually explain your arguments to me. youre all very smart and youre all very persuasive but you can't just get up and start saying to extend every single card you read because that is not persuasive. you dont have to explain every single card but i need something to write down. a warrant perhaps :) if i dont understand something i wont vote for it. and you will know if i dont understand something because i probably wont be flowing it TLDR: make it make sense
T: i will vote for it. like seriously. you should have UQ links i/l and impacts. i dont think that going for just fairness as an impact will win you the round. i like clash, in depth debates, education, etc. as impacts and fairness can be an internal link. also i would like it if you had a persuasive TVA that actually tries to encapsulate some parts of the aff. I don't think you have to solve the entirety of the aff but you have to access their lit base. TLDR: win an impact
t against policy teams: cool
t against k teams: i like it better w a fw arg
for the aff: don't just say fw is bad and don't just say the state is bad. explain why doing the aff the way you want to do it is important for education for you for other debaters. you have to win your model of debate is good. or win that models of debate are bad (i went for that a lot :P) explain your counterinterp i don't think that you have to win that you solve the entire world. but you have to solve for something by reading the aff. read disads to their model. read disads to the TVA... answer the TVA. TLDR: actually answer t
the K! (im grouping the K and K affs together)
i don't know everything so don't expect me to know what you are talking about even if it seems likely that i would know what you are talking about. at some point in the debate just slow down and be like "here's the K/aff. here's what it does. here's why its good" i think that should be at the top of all your speeches but i just need one clear moment in the debate where you tell me what is going on. TLDR: i am lazy and do not want to do extra work so do it for me
For Ks I think that you don't need an alt but it doesn't hurt to have one either. You have to win your alt if you are going for it though I'm not going to kick it for you.
For K affs. win that you do something
misc: I love presumption. i love the case debate. neg teams: i will vote on the aff doesnt do anything the aff doesnt make any sense the aff is bad for debate. also you can read CP to K affs. shake it up. dance emoji
I don't think anything below is very provocative or counter-intuitive, but here it is:
I am open to any argument you want to make in the debate round. You need to thoroughly explain, justify, and impact the argument for me to seriously consider it. I can't stress this enough! If you've been articulate and you've provided strong analysis that contextualizes your arguments in the debate (and CLASHES with your opponents), you have probably won me over. It's your job to do the better job of debating, and to me that means real explanation and analysis - not just buzzwords and/or jargon. Slow down and thoughtfully explain arguments to me when it matters to the result of the debate.
I don't have that much to say about specific NEG arguments, other than this: as I said above, I like thorough impact analysis, and this goes especially for T and procedural arguments. If it's a voter, my pen doesn't touch paper until I know why it matters, specifically to the debate in question. The same goes for Kritiks: "no value to life" has little value to me. Concretize and contextualize your K link stories and impacts. Alternatives also need to be thoroughly defined and explained. If a DA/CP doesn't make sense to me, well, that's your problem! (I probably dislike shallow explanations of T/procedurals and DAs/CPs most of all).
I'm open to experimentation on the AFF. I need to know why you've made the choices you've made, and why they matter. I'm inclined to cut you slack on prodcedural/framework "violations" if you clearly justify the discussion you're trying to have, the relation to debate you're trying to articulate, etc. (You should be responsive to the procedural/framework claims too). I'm not going to do any of this work for you, at all, ever. That's your job!
Please feel free to approach me with questions any time. I'm always happy to clarify/specify/elaborate!
Dr. Matt Gerber
Capp Chair of Forensics
Associate Professor of Communication
In General: There are many ways to make arguments. I guess that means I will listen to most anything you think is an argument, as long as you are making arguments. Another way to think about this: I was "born and raised" in D3 (Southeast Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas, then back to Baylor). I have heard and seen it all, so you do you, do your thing, don't over-adapt to me. I strive to be a hard-working, objective critic. I really, truly don't care which team wins. I will vote for the team that does the better debating.
Strategy: Have one. I reward debaters and debate teams who are opportunistic, and who exploit the mistakes made by the other team. The best debate teams are usually not the ones who overwhelm with speed or skillful persuasion, or a million cards; rather, the best debate teams are the ones who avoid making the big mistakes, and who have the ability to capitalize on the mistakes made by their opposition. I like debate teams that are decisive, and not afraid to go “all-in” if their opponents drop the ball.
Theory: Be clear (in general), but especially in a theory debate. Slow down a little, because even the greatest flows in debate history can’t write down blippy theory jargon at 200mph. Even if it was flow-able, is that really good debate? I think not. That all being said, I tend to give the neg some leeway on the theory stuff as long as choices are made by the 2NR.
A Few Specifics: Critical arguments and approaches to debate are fine, and appreciated. I prefer specifics over generics, as with most arguments. I also like crafty CP/DA strategies, and I like well-researched case debates. I think debating the case is a lost art. I reward debaters who make nuanced and sophisticated case arguments, and who actually go for them in the 2NR once in awhile. Topicality is an under-valued strategic choice. Framework can also be a valuable method to win a debate, but I think the implications/import of enforcing it are open to debate.
If you have questions just ask firstname.lastname@example.org
If it matters to you, I used to make critical and performance based arguments. I have coached all types. I generally like all arguments, especially ones that come with claims, warrants, impacts, and are supported by evidence.
Do you (literally, WHATEVER you do). Be great. Say smart things. Give solid speeches and perform effectively in CX. Win and go as hard as it takes (but you dont have to be exessively rude or mean to do this part). Enjoy yourself. Give me examples and material applications to better understand your position. Hear me out when the decision is in. I saw what I saw. Dassit.
Add me to the email chain- email@example.com
My "high" speaker points typically cap out around 28.9 (in open debate). If you earn that, you have delivered a solid and confident constructive, asked and answered questions persuasively, and effectively narrowed the debate to the most compelling reasons you are winning the debate in the rebuttals. If you get higher than that, you did all of those things AND THEN SOME. What many coaches would call, "the intangibles".
Speaking of speaker points, debate is too fast and not enough emphasis is put on speaking persuasively. This is true of all styles of debate. I flow on paper and you should heavily consider that when you debate in front of me. I am a quick and solid flow and pride myself in capturing the most nuanced arguments, but some of what I judge is unintelligible to me and its getting worse. Card voice vs tag voice is important, you cannot read analytics at the same rate you are reading the text of the card and be persuasive to me, and not sending analytics means I need that much more pen time. Fix it. It will help us all. Higher speaker points are easier to give.
Thank you, in advance, for allowing me to observe and participate in your debate.
Heather Holter Hall
A plan should be the focus of debate. The “big question” in a debate should be “Is the plan a good or bad idea?” The answer to that question can be based in substantive policy, philosophical arguments, questions of representations, etc. as long as the debate is grounded in a plan.
There are no arguments that I will off-hand reject but there are definitely some that are harder sells. I especially dislike the trend towards multiple conditional advocacies. And this is mostly because those debates are rarely executed well. I am not an expert in the topic so I come to a debate to learn.The more you teach me, the better the debate will be.If you assume I am an information-processing machine who can process your research and strategic decisions and spit a scientific answer of correctness back to you, you will probably lose.
For performance debates, I have very strong feelings about preserving some of the fundamentals of debate. I believe things like responsiveness, time limits, "fiat", plan texts, and even clear speed have enormous educational value and teach skills not available in other forums. I am in favor of making debate more inclusive and including other types of evidence as long as there is still clash and topic related education in the round. Most importantly, I like consistent, creative, well thought out arguments.
Topicality requires well-explained, specific examples of ground or educational loss. I am not a huge fan of spec arguments.
Counterplans can be conditional and plan-inclusive but I can also be persuaded that they are abusive, given the right explanation. I really dislike multiple conditional CPs. I really love a good case debate.
Kritiks require very specific and concrete links. The more you explain the K in non-philosphical jargon terms, the more persuaded I will be. You must have an active alternative. There are only a few instances in which the "resist the aff" alternative is persuasive. Fiat is imaginary for both the aff AND the neg. You don't get magical powers to pretend that resistance will immediately reshape the entire world's perspective on critical issues. Be real about how reistance works and I can vote for you. I think kritiks of epistemology are circular in the context of debate.
I tend to like substantive debates over theoretical ones. I think that meta debates should be a part of a debate that also contains topic related arguments. Just winning your framework but failing to use this new methodology to say something about the topic misses a huge part of debate--our ability to learn about this topic and I value the educational aspects of debate very highly.
I give good speaker points to debaters who are clear, smart, and kind. I will not read a lot of evidence in order to recreate the round because it was so unclear that I couldn’t get it the first time. Clarity and good arguments are way more important than speed and if I can’t understand you, you lose. The more concrete explanations offered to me, especially in the last two speeches, the better off you are.
I love the activity of debate and especially the people I am blessed to know through the activity. Whatever arguments you run, just remember that each individual debate is about more than just that round. There have been thousands who have debated before you and many more will follow so please respect the activity and all the people involved. It is not just about your own ego or simply winning a ballot.
This is my third year debating for the Army West Point debate team, and my first year judging. I prefer K debates, but a solid policy AFF is better than a messy K. Be efficient and orderly. The flow is going to determine who gets the round so make sure that you’re clearly pronouncing words and emphasizing points. I will flow cross-ex. Be respectful of your partner and competitors, and most importantly have fun and learn.
Ks: ROB is crucial. It is a framing question of how I should view the round. Explain your link story, how it turns the aff, how your alt functions (EXPLAIN your alt-give me something to weigh with the aff and its impacts of the aff), and how it interacts with the aff. If not, I'll have to vote on "perm solves, case outweighs" and other aff solvency claims. For aff, explain what the perm is and what is wrong with their framework or whatever. Both sides: Make sure to interact with the other team's evidence. NOT generic blocks.
CPs: Counterplans are okay. Make sure they make sense.
DAs/Case: Disads should apply to the AFF. If it is a tricky disad, explain it. Trickiness does not win rounds if I don't understand. Always try to answer the case.
Performance/Non-Traditional Debate: You should explain why your performance is important, how it relates to debate, the resolution, the other team, and me. Be creative, but also informative.
Theory: Make your arguments as needed. Theory can win debates if there’s not a lot of strong evidence against it, but it has to be fully thought out and explained on the flow.
Debate History: I debated for Towson University & Binghamton University (4 years college).
First and foremost, I will not tell you how to engage in the debate. Whether it be policy or K affirmatives I'm open to debaters showcasing their research in any format they choose. However, I do prefer if debaters orient their affirmative construction towards the resolution.
When evaluating a debate I tend to weigh the impacts of the affirmative to any disadvantage or impact the negative goes for in the 2NR. Therefore, if the affirmative does not extend case in the 2AR it becomes more difficult for me to evaluate the debate unless you tell me the specific argument I should be voting on otherwise.
Next, is framework. I evaluate this before anything else in the debate. If you run framework in front of me go for decision making, policy research good, learning about X (insert topic related policy discussion i.e. warming, tech, economy, education, etc.) is good, clash or ground. I do not want to feel as though your framework is exclusionary to alternative debate formats but instead debate about its inherent benefits.
I also really enjoy case debate. If you are on the negative please have case turns and case specific evidence so that the debate for me is a bit more specific and engaging.
CP's and DA's are also arguments I evaluate but I need to have a good link for both or it will make it difficult for me to vote for them.
Please focus more on explanation of evidence and not on the amount of evidence introduced in the debate.
I tend to keep up on politics and critical literature so don't be afraid of running an argument in front of me. I will always ask for preferred pronouns and do not tolerate racism, white supremacy, anti-blackness, sexism, patriarchy, transphobia and xenophobia.
Debated: UNI 2007-2011
Coached: University of Minnesota 2011-2017, James Madison University 2017-2021
Currently: Director of Forensics, Texas Tech
When evaluating debates I try to privilege the arguments made by debaters in the debate, and attempt to resolve the debate based on those arguments as much as possible. Which is to say, I attempt to resolve debates to the greatest of my ability by evaluating competing claims rather than relying on my own assumptions. I do not have any aesthetic or political investment in defending a particular model of debate in how I render decisions, but instead seek to render a decision that reflects my subjective perception of which side did the better debating. Read: I am as comfortable with debaters who choose to pursue critical lines of argumentation as I am with policy debate. Where these differing styles meet I decide the debate on the merits of the argument advanced. The description below is an attempt to sketch my process for deciding which side advances the better argument.
When rendering a decision I begin by evaluating arguments that establish a framework for comparing the impacts advanced by both sides during the debate. This can be as abstract (from the resolution) as determining whether the arguments in favor of a more fair debate format is more important than a particular kind of education derived from changing the norms of debate, or as concrete as determining whether or not the magnitude of a disadvantage should outweigh the probability of an advantage. Debaters who emphasize comparing impacts in a manner that is clear, helpful, and grounded in a combination of evidence and the nature of the arguments advanced tend to have more success debating in front of me.
After determining what impacts ought to be prioritized I evaluate whether or not those impacts are valid based on the arguments provided. This means determining whether a team has sufficiently proven the constituent elements of the individual argument (for instance, the uniqueness/link/impact of a disadvantage) for me to give the argument credence. One predilection that I have which is unlikely to change is that I do believe that it is possible to win 100% defense against an argument, so debaters should not presume that there is “always a risk” to any claim entered into the debate.
When evaluating individual arguments I usually apply two criteria. First, is the argument is internally consistent? Meaning, the argument should have a consistent logic and avoid internal contradictions. Second, is the argument externally coherent? Meaning, the argument should be consistent with other claims advanced in the debate and has an (arguably) factual correspondence with reality. In both of these criteria I emphasize the way the argument is explained by debaters as well as the quality of evidence provided to support that explanation. Arguments without evidence have value for me, but many claims need evidentiary support in order to satisfy the criteria described above.
Ultimately my decision tends to reflect which team provides the best way to evaluate competing claims where both sides have won at least parts of the position they have advanced. This almost never reflects an absolute view of the value or validity of the arguments advanced. Instead, it reflects a contingent decision based on the debate which has taken place in my view based on the process described above.
Other things that debaters should know about me as a judge:
Clarity is important. While I can flow most speeds I will admit that I am not the fastest around. This is made worse by a lack of clarity. When judging a debate I flow on paper, I do not follow along on speech docs, and I do not look at them during prep time (although I often am on my computer to make comments on the ballot). I will look at evidence after the debate if necessary to make a decision, but my predisposition is to do so as little as possible. Usually when I do look at evidence it is because of a flowing error on my part or the need to do my own interpretive work due to an error on the part of the debaters. Debaters are best served to be clear about how I should read a piece of evidence and its significance rather than relying on me to sort it out after the debate. The more clear that debaters are, both in terms of their speech and the explanation of their argument, the more predictable and consistent I am as a judge.
Cross examination matters for me. I will take notes, and I will be attentive. I consider questions asked and answered to be binding pending an explanation or argumentation to the contrary.
I do have a minimum threshold for argument explanation. Uttering “permutation do both” without any elaboration over the course of the debate is not sufficient, nor is saying “permutation links to the disadvantage.” I am open to debaters giving more thorough explanations over the course of the debate, but simply relying on the fact that a claim has been uttered is not sufficient, as it is not a complete argument.
I will follow the directions provided by debaters on how to treat arguments. For example, if a theoretical objection is raised as “reject the team” I will treat it as such unless it is challenged. Additionally, in keeping with my minimum threshold for argument, an instruction should come with a justification for why that direction makes sense. Similarly, I will not “judge kick” an argument for a team unless directed to do so, and that instruction is not challenged.
I believe that presumption follows from the burden of rejoinder. The affirmative has the burden to respond to the resolution, and I presume to vote negative unless the affirmative succeeds in responding. Subsequently I presume affirmative until the negative has provided a competitive option.
Debaters should not presume that I know anything of substance about goings on in the debate community. That is to say, if the community has decided that a particular argument is a bad one, or that an affirmative is decidedly not topical, that I am unlikely to be clued in to that decision.
Speaker points are at my discretion. That said I modulate the scale quite a bit to account for division and the size/norms of the tournament. I do very occasionally use them as a way to indicate my displeasure, usually at how a debater treats their peers (I think I’ve done this all of five times in as many years).
1. Please let me know when you are done prepping and send a message in the chat box letting me know you are done and how much time remains if the platform supports it.
2. I have solid internet and decent equipment, but I have noticed that clarity is still lost somewhat. Mostly it happens where debaters are not enunciating while going quickly. For folks who are clear to begin with it's not generally a problem, but if you have struggled with clarity when debating in person you may need to take just a hair off your top speed for me.
3. Cross-ex is a little messier online because usual techniques for bringing long winded answers and questions to an end don't transmit as well online as in person. Please practice turn taking and be reasonable with how you use your time. Unnecessarily long and convoluted questions and answers used to soak up time are unlikely to be very popular with me.
4. I'm going to follow tournament guidelines for how to deal with tech questions wherever they exist. If there are no guidelines I'm going to assume all debaters are acting in good faith and let you do what you need to do in order to debate.
5. I am not requiring students to have video on in order to debate. I will have my own video on, and I do encourage it because I do think it helps debaters make appeals, but I will do my best to not let the decision to not use video influence my decision or the speaker points that I assign.
Debated at the University of Central Oklahoma- qualified to the NDT 4x, NDT octafinalist 2x, 1st round recipient, and other stuff.
Currently a coach and grad student at The University of Kansas.
Add me to the chain plz and thank you DerekHilligoss@gmail.com
Plz go a bit slower- Not everyone's audio equipment is able to handle 20 off-
Face the thing that is recording your audio- when you look away the audio quality is likely to go from good to bad real quick
Don't really care if your camera is on that's a you choice. I'll have mine on.
Record your speech w/ phone or another device just in case you or I cut out mid-debate.
TL;DR do what you do and do it well. Don't let my preferences sway you away from doing what you want.
The biggest thing for me is that I value good impact framing/calc. If you aren't explaining why your impacts matter more then your opponents you are leaving it up for me or the other team to decide. You don't want that.
Framework: Go for whatever version of framework you like but I tend to think it should interact with the aff at some level. If you give the 2NC/2NR and make no reference to the aff you will find it harder to win my ballot. The easiest way to go about this is to go for a smart TVA and Education based impacts. I'm not anti-fairness impacts I just find them harder to win than other impacts but don't let that dissuade you if that's your go-to impact. For both sides, it is critical to explain your vision for debate.
Planless affs: The one note I wanna make outside of FW notes is that you have to be able to answer the "what do you do" question no matter how silly it may seem. If I don't know what the aff does after the 1AC/CX that's gonna put you in a rough spot. I don't think this means you have to do anything but you should have a good justification for why you don't have to.
Theory: condo (probably) to a certain extent is good and counterplans should (probably) have solvency advocates.
Topicality: Don't judge many of these debates which means the neg has a high burden to explain the violation- I'm usually in the clash world so the different types of mechs/alliances I slightly understand but explaining those details will help me vote your way. Explain what your world looks like vs the other teams on the question of what types of affs are and aren't allowed under your interp.
I won't vote on RVIs
Counterplans: cool? Do it
Disads: The only thing I wanna note here is highlight your cards better. I don't wanna have to read 30 crappy cards to get the story of the disad and it makes it easier for the aff to win with a few solid cards.
Kritiks: Specific links go a long way. This doesn't mean it has to be exactly about the plan but your application will do better than a generic "law bad" card. Applying your theory to the aff's advantages in a way that takes out solvency will make your lives so much easier.
Case defense isn't a must but it does go a long way in helping your argument and making the aff do more work. For both sides either way you have to frame your impacts. So even if the neg doesn't have case defense they might be trying to frame out your impacts. This means doing better than reading a generic util card (jesus christ can we get rid of Issac?).
For the aff FW I'm less compelled by fairness impacts (like come on it's 2018 the aff gets to at some level weigh the aff against the K) but I think a well developed FW argument about legal/pragmatic engagement will do more for you than fairness/limits impacts.
If you are unclear I'll yell clear twice before I stop flowing. I'll make it apparent I'm not flowing to let you know you need to adjust still.
If you clip you will lose even if the other team doesn't call you out. Unless argued otherwise I will more than likely be reading along with you so if I catch you I'll be more than happy to vote you down and give you zero speaks for it.
A good CX can go a long way. Use CX wisely because it could win or lose you the debate.
I debate policy in high school and judged a lot of LD/Policy after graduating. Then 2 years of college debate at The New School(graduated in 2020) and I now work with our current teams. I'm going to vote off the flow but here are a few things:
I was mostly a critical debater so I'm familiar with some of the literature and prefer these debates over policy ones(more in terms of what keeps me interested not what I'm willing to vote on). I really value explanations when it comes to these arguments.
I try to come into the debate with as few preconceived notions as possible but I'm only human. I think every speech act has performance value and I don't like when you contradict yourself. If ur going to run arguments with perfcon you might still win if you can really justify why this is better for debate but it's going to be an uphill battle with me.
Truth over Tech. This doesn't mean a conceded argument isn't won but that I will take into account the actual truth value of arguments to the extent I can without inserting myself into the debate.
Topicality/Framework: I'm more than happy to vote on a T/FW argument as long as the justifications are there in the standards and connected to specific reasons to vote. I'm going to default to the flow on these debates(and every debate) so I think justifications for why I view the T debate a certain way should be told to me in the round.
Kritiks: I usually want the alternative to do something and justify what it does (or does not do for alts like do nothing). I want you to explain to me what the world of the alternative looks like as well as what doing the alternative looks like. I think the best way to approach debating a theory heavy kritik is assume I know absolutely nothing and explaining each part of the K and how the arguments interact with the aff. I won't vote on something I don't understand(from what you've told me, not previous knowledge)
I like a good DA/CP combo as long as it's well impacted and the story is well told.
Being Aff: I've been told a 2A is a storyteller and I love a good story. I think the job of the affirmative is simple- just tell me why the world of the aff is better than the squo or neg world.
I am a doctoral candidate in Religious Studies at Yale University, with interests in critical race and ethnic studies and feminist and queer theory. My involvement in debate has been through research projects on the history and trajectories of kritik, and I have spent a little over the last year with Liberty’s team. As a judge, I want you to debate in your own style and play to your own strengths. My main content expertise is in critical discourses most likely to show up in performance and K strats, but I also love a good policy or framework debate (framework debates are actually one of my favorites). I also like judging novices because it's a place to really think about what goes on in the construction of a good argument, at the most fundamental level.
I feel the need to fix this huge communication issue in the debate community it will start with my judging philosophy. If you are a debater who say any of the following "Obama is president solves for racism" or "we are moving towards less racism cause of Obama or LBS" and the opposing team reading a racism arg/advantage or colorblindness I will instantly vote you down with 25 points for the debater who said it.
Jumping: Novice please don't but if you must which you all will you have 20 seconds after you call for prep to be stop till I consider it stealing prep and instead of restarting prep I will just measure it by the ticker timer in my head (which you do not want). I suggest that you carry a debate jump drive, viewing computer or the cloud system. For Open debaters I get even more angry with the lack of competence you guys have with being responsible when it comes to jumping files and card. I have a soft warmness for debaters who are mostly paper and may involve me smiling like a boy with a crush don't be alarmed it is just me remembering my old days.
Speaking: I believe that clarity comes before all other ideals of what we often fantasize a good speaker to be, a debater has to be clear so that I spend more time analyzing and processing what is said then trying to comprehend what the hell is being said. This helps in the rebuttals when there is more cross applying of arguments instead of me sitting there trying to ponder what argument reference is being made. Speed is something I can adjust to not my general forte yet if you are clear I can primarily make easier adjustments (look I sound like a damn metronome). I tend to give hints towards the wrongs and rights in the round so I won’t be put off if you stare at me every now and then. Debates should be a game of wit and word that upholds morals of dignity and respect do not be rude and or abrasive please respect me, the other team, your partner and of course yourself
The Flow: My hand writing is atrocious just incredibly horrible for others at least I generally flow tags, authors and major warrants in the world of traditional debate. Outside of that with all the other formats poetry, performance, rap, theatricals and so forth I just try to grasp the majority of the speech incorporating the main idea
The K: yeah I so love the K being from a UDL background and having running the K for a majority of my debate career, yet don't let that be the reason you run the K I believe that a great K debate consist of a in-depth link explanation as well as control of the clash. There should be Impact calculus that does more then tell me what the impact is but a justification for how it functionally shapes the round which draws me to have a complete understanding of the Alt versus the plan and there must be some idea of a solvency mechanism so that the k is just simply not a linear disad forcing me to rethink or reform in the status quo (K= reshape the Squo)
The T debate: First I find it extremely hard to remember in my entire debate career where I cast a ballot for topicality alone yet it is possible to get a T ballot you must have a clear abuse story I will not evaluate T if there is not a clear abuse story. Voters are my best friend and will become a prior if well explained and impacted, yet I do believe education and fairness have extreme value just want to know why.
The D/A: Well I actually find myself voting more on the Disad then the K I just think that the disad debate offers more tools for the neg then the K yet it is the debater who optimize these tools that gain my ballot, link debates should contain at least a specific link as well as a an established Brink generic links are not good enough to win a D/A ballot and any good aff team will destroy a a generic link unless there is some support through a link wall. Impact debates must be more than just nuke war kills all you have to place comparative value to the status quo now and after plan passage. Yet a disad is an easier win with the advantages of solvency deficits and the option of competitive counter plans.
The Counter Plan: Competition is key if there is no proof that the end result is not uniquely different from the aff plan it is less likely to capture my ballot. So C/P solvency and competition is where my voter lies on the C/P flow this involves establishing and controlling the clash on the net benefit. PIC's usually rely on proving that the theoretical value of competition is worth my jurisdiction.
Theory: cross apply T only thing with a theory debate that is different is you must be able to show in where the violation actually happens yet I find theory to be easy outs to traditional clash.
Framework: this is where my jurisdiction truly falls and it is the teams’ job to not only introduce the functioning framework but to uphold and defend that their framework is worth singing my ballot towards. I have no set idea of a framework coming into the round your job is to sell me to one and by any means my job is not to look at what framework sounds good but which is presented in a manner that avoids judges intervention (really just the team that prevents me from doing the bulk of the work if any).
In general: I love a good old debate round with tons of clash and where there is an understanding and display of your own intellect I find it hard to judge a round where there is just a display of how well a team can read and make reference to evidence, usually I hope that ends or is done less coming out of the 1AR. I'm a man who finds pleasure in the arts and execution of organic intellect and can better give my decision and opinion based mainly on how one relates back to competitive debate, if debate for you is a card game then it forces me to have to make decision based off my comprehension of the evidence and trust me that is never a good thing, yet a round where the discussion is what guides my ballot I can vote on who upholds the best discursive actions.
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.
SHORTEST VERSION: THINGS I BELIEVE ABOUT DEBATE
Lawful Good -----|----Neutral Good -----|----Chaotic Good
1AC Plan Texts, ----|----- Case Debate,------|----Performance Debate,
Open Debaters -----|----Novice Debaters----|----JV Debaters
Lawful Neutral ---|---True Neutral------|---- Chaotic Neutral
Topicality -----------|----Counterplans ------|------Dispositionality
Lawful Evil -------|----Neutral Evil ------|-----Chaotic Evil
Framework args ---|----Standard Nuke ----|----- Baudrillard
from 1996 that ----|---- War Disad
say no K's
You are prepping and don't have time to read everything, or interpret. So this is the stuff you most need to know if you don't know me :
1) I run The New School program. The New School is in the Northeast, around the corner from NYU where I actually work full time. (CEDA has Regions, not Districts. The NDT and the Hunger Games have Districts.) I care about things like novice and regional debate, and pretty much only coach for resource poor program. You need to know this because it affects how I view your ETHOS on certain "who are we" arguments.
2) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Skip the rant below about want/need to be on chain.
3)SLOW THE HELL DOWN ONLINE. I flow on paper. I need PEN TIME. I am not reading along with the doc unless the connection gets bad or I have serious misgivings.
4) Do what you need to do to make the tech work.
5) Do what you do in this activity. Seriously, especially in novice, or on a panel, you are not 100% adapting to me, so change how you debate those things a bit maybe, but not what you debate. To help with that:
6) Yes, my threshold for "is there gonna be a nuclear war" is WAY higher than it is for "what we talk about in the debate round going to affect us personally". I will vote on the wars, but I don't enjoy every debate about prolif in countries historically opposed to prolif. That isn't "realism" - that's hawk fetish porn. So if this IS you, you gotta do the internal link work, not read me 17 overly-lined down uniqueness cards.
7) I am more OFTEN in K rounds, but honestly I am more of a structural K person than a high theory person. Yes, debate is all simulacranow anyway, but racism and sexism - and the violence caused by them - ARE REAL WORLD. Your ability to talk about such things and how they relate to policies is probably one of your better portable skills for the modern world in this activity.
8) Performance good. Literally, I have 2 degrees in theater. Keep in mind that it means I am pretty well read on this as theory. All debate is performance. (Heck, life is performance, but you don't have time for that now...). My pet peeve as a coach is reading through all the paradigm that articulate performance and Kritikal as the same thing. It.Is.Not. Literally, it is Form vs. Content.
9) Winning Framework does not will a ballot. Winning Framework tells me how to prioritize or include or exclude arguments for my calculation of the ballot. T is NOT Framework (but for the record I err towards Education over Fairness, because this activity just ain't fair due to resource disparity, etc, so do the WORK to win on Fairness via in round trade offs, precedents, or models.)
10) Have fun. Debate can be stressful. Savor the community you can in current times.
PS: I am probably more flow focused than you think, BUT I still prefer the big picture. Tell me a story. It has to make sense for my ballot.
Last Year's Version
The 2020 Preamble:
1) Bear with my tech for September for the first round of each day - I work across multiple universities and I am still sorting out going across 3 Zoom accounts, 5 emails accounts, and 2 Starfish accounts for any given thing. Working from home for 6 months combined my day-job stuff into my debate stuff, so I may occasionally have to remember to do a setting. This is like the worst version of a Reese's peanut butter cup.
2) Look, it would be great if I COULD see you as you debate. I am old - I flow what you say and I don't read along with the speech doc unless something bad is happening (bad things include potential connection issues in 2020, concerns over academic integrity/skipping words, and you don't actually do evidence comparison as a debater when weighing your cards and theirs). I don't anticipate changing that in the online debate world. But also, tech disparity and random internet gremlins are real things (that's why we need so many cats in the intertubes), so I ALSO understand if you tell me the camera is off for reasons. That's cool.
3) Because of connections and general practices - SLOW DOWN. CLARITY is super important. (Also, don't be a jerk to people with auditory accommodation needs as we do this). Trade your speed drills for some tongue twisters or something.
4) Recording as a back up is probably a necessary evil, but any use of the recording after a round that is shared to anyone else needs explicit - in writing, and can be revoked - permission of all parties present. PRACTICE AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT. See ABAP statement on online debate practices.
5) I have never wanted to be on the email chain/what-not; however, I SHOULD* be on the chain/what-not. Note the critical ability to distinguish these two things, and the relevance of should to the fundamental nature of this activity. Email for this purpose: email@example.com .
(Do not try to actually contact me with this address - it’s just how I prevent the inevitable electronically transmitted cyber infection from affecting me down the road, because contrary to popular belief, I do understand disads, I just have actual probability/internal link threshold standards.)
((And seriously Tabroom, what the F***? First you shill for the CIA, and now you want to edit the words because "children" who regularly talk about mass deaths might see some words I guarantee you then know already? I was an actual classroom teacher....debate should not be part of the Nanny State. Also this is NEW, because the word A****** used to be in my paradigm in reference to not being one towards people who ask for accessibility accommodations. ARRGGHHH!!!))
Things I am cool with:
Tell met the story
Critical Lit (structural criticisms are more my jam)
Performative strategies - especially if we get creative with the 20-21 format options.
CP fun times and clever intersections of theory
A text. Preferable a well written text. Unless there are no texts.
Not half-assing going for theory
You do you
Latin used in context for specific foreign policy conditions.
Teaching Assurance/Deterrence with cats.
Things that go over less well:
Accidentally sucking your own limited time by unstrategic or functionally silly theory
Critical lit (high theory … yes, I know I only have myself to blame, so no penalty if this is your jelly, just more explanation)
Multiple contradictory conditional neg args
A never ending series of non existent nuclear wars that I am supposed to determine the highest and fastest probability of happening (so many other people to blame). You MAY compare impacts as equal to "x number of gender reveal parties".
Not having your damn tags with the ev in the speech doc. Seriously.
As a general note: Winning framework does not necessarily win you a debate - it merely prioritizes or determines the relevancy of arguments in rounds happening on different levels of debate. Which means, the distinction between policy or critical or performative is a false divide. If you are going to invoke a clash of civilizations mentality there should be a really cool video game analogy or at least someone saying “Release the Kraken”. A critical aff is not necessarily non Topical - this is actually in both the Topic Paper for alliances/commitments and a set of questions I asked at the topic meeting (because CROSS EX IS A PORTABLE SKILL). Make smarter framework arguments here.
Don't make the debate harder for yourself.
Try to have fun and savor the moment.
*** *** ***
*Judges should be on the chain/what-not for two reasons: 1)as intelligence gathering for their own squad and 2) to expedite in round decision making. My decisions go faster than most panels I’m on when I am the one using prep time to read through the critical extended cards BEFORE the end of the debate. I almost never have the docs open AS the debaters are reading them because I limit my flow to what you SAY. (This also means I don’t read along for clipping … because I am far more interested in if you are a) comprehensible and b) have a grammatical sentence in some poor overhighlighted crap.) Most importantly, you should be doing the evidence comparisons verbally somehow, not relying on me to compare cards after the debate somehow. If I wanted to do any of that, I would have stayed a high school English teacher and assigned way more research papers.
For background, I debated four years at Liberty University, qualified for the NDT twice, and was a double-octofinalist at the NDT my senior year. I'm now a lawyer in Richmond, Virginia. While debating, I primarily debated policy. However, my experiences don't necessarily reflect my opinion of what debate should be. So, please play to your strengths and do what's comfortable. Please be respectful and enjoy yourself.
Note: I have not researched this topic too much so please do not assume I will understand common acronyms or take for granted any topic-related norms as to what's accepted and what isn't, especially as it relates to topicality. That being said, I will try to become as familiar as possible before judging your team.
1. Disads: high quality evidence and clear analysis is much more persuasive than a 2NC/1NR spent reading blocks and multiple cards saying the same thing. Please, please remember impact calculus.
2. Counterplans: no strong position for or against specific types of counterplans if there is strong topic literature. The more subsuming and generic the CP, the more likely I am to be persuaded by theory arguments.
3. Kritiks: these are a fundamental part of what makes debate special and teams should be comfortable debating for/against kritial arguments. That being said, teams should not undervalue the importance of a clearly explained impact framework and alternative.
If you have specific questions before the round, please feel free to ask.
I have coached and judged college debate for almost 15 years, and have judged hundreds (if not over 1000) intercollegiate policy debates in all formats: CEDA/NDT, NFA-LD, BP/Worlds, IPDA, and NPDA. I think all forms of debate have merit. I will generally judge a debate consistent with the norms and goals of the particular format.
1. Debate is primarily for the debaters.
You do not need to “adapt” to me. I will “adapt” to you. That is my role as an educator, and being an educator is the primary role of a judge / critic in intercollegiate debate.
You work hard doing this. You give up your weekends and substantial portions of your life to participate in this activity. It is my role to make sure you get rewarded, educationally, for that. Although I debated from 1985-1989, I remember the sacrifices (and rewards) of this activity, which was all love. Debate should be fun, and educational, and rewarding. I will do my best to make sure it is all those things.
I have judged all kinds of debates in all kinds of frameworks and voted for all kinds of arguments. I've voted for and against my own political and philosophical beliefs.
My general assumptions are: policy, critical/pedagogical, performance, and procedural debate are of roughly equal value.
I love a good policy debate. I love a good critical debate. I love a good performance debate. I especially love when the debaters agree on a style and go all in on it. Two policy teams running “5-off” and going fast and engaging in good issue selection in rebuttals is a beautiful thing. Seeking someone run a K, really well, and knowing the critical literature inside and out, is a beautiful thing. Judging in a magnificent “performance” debate, it a beautiful thing. Do what you do. Do it well. Do it with passion. Teach me something. Teach your opponent something. Teach yourself something.
I can't be "objective" or neutral about intentionally hostile and exclusionary speech acts (classism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism etc.)
2. Style / rates of delivery
Debate in the style and at the speed you're comfortable with. I will not appreciate speed as a “weapon” if the opponent makes an issue of it – but if both debaters want to go fast, go for it! If I can't understand you I will say "clear."
3. Speaker points
I examine the skills, aesthetics, ethos, and knowledge-of-evidence displayed in both speeches and cross-x and currently use the following scale to assign points:
29.5+ I will rarely give points in this range. This range would be for a debater I feel is one of the top 10-12 debaters in the country, and you've left a lasting positive impression on me, I would teach debaters to speak using the entirety of your speaking as a model.
29.1-29.5 Top 10 (in the region) speaker quality, there's something compelling about the way you speak. I would use many attributes of your technique and style as models to teach debate.
28.5 to 29: Compelling speaking and strategic decision making. Most speakers I would expect to make out-rounds at a competitive tournament will be in this range. An exceptional JV speaker will hit this range.
27.5 to 28.5: Most “winners” of the debate will be in this range. 28 is my norm award for the winner of an open debate round. An exceptional novice speaker will also be in this range. I consider 27.5 to be the average score for an average open debater.
27 to 27.5: You did a roughly equal number of things well and not well, although many novice wins may be this range.
26 to 27: Most debaters that lose an average quality open debate will receive points in this range.
25-26: You made poor strategic choices or lost a round in rebuttal that you should have won.
20-25: A poor round by even novice standards – i.e, you spoke for less than a minute or two, gave up, did not try; etc. I would only give points in this range once or twice evey few years.
15-20 You did something very offensive. I have only given speaker points in this range once in my life.
0 You were unethical or grossly offensive. I have never given zero speaker points. I would stop a round and contact the tournament director.
4. Theoretical defaults
I enjoy good theory and procedural debates. In competitive debate, I prefer competing interpretations and tend to believe conditionality is good. You can convince me otherwise.
T:Generally, T is a time suck. I have voted on T many times, however, if handled well or poorly. I have also voted for many “non-topical” and performance Affs. I do not require a debater to “role play” the USFG. An aff that does not want to debate in a traditional policy format can do so, the Neg must then convince me that this is not part of the Aff’s right to define, etc. It’s easier to win T if you can show in-round abuse than hypothetical abuse, although I’ve voted on both. In theory, I can be convinced T is a “reverse voter” and would vote on this in a rare case, when properly argued by one side and poorly rebutted by the other. Although if you are going for this, you are probably desperate on the flow everywhere else.
Aff, you needn’t necessarily have a plan (although your opponents might convince me otherwise) but you need a clear statement of advocacy. Neg, your advocacy must be a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy.
CP: You can have more than one (LD rules notwithstanding) although if are you doing this, then something odd is happening in the round. I will default to conditionality on CP’s unless convinced otherwise.
A “perm” is a test of competition, and not part of affirmative advocacy. I tend to default to the position that CP’s must be competitive.
I view the resolution an initial division of ground, and not the matter to be “proved.” Thus, I default to the position that PICS are OK. As with all theory, however, the debater can convince me otherwise and I have voted Aff on PICs bad before.
K: A K is not required to have an ALT, but certainly can have one. If there is no ALT, however, there needs to be a reason to vote for K, set up as a voting issue (usually through a framework). If you run a K, you need to know the literature – don’t run Ks you don’t understand. I do enjoy reading and listening to good discussions of critical literature.
Any other questions, just ask.
Updated for 2014-2015 debate season.
I am no longer awarding points for people taking the veg pledge. However, I still strongly believe that if you care about the environment, racism, or injustice that you should register at tournaments vegetarian or vegan. Tournaments will provide for your nutiritional needs and you will have abstained from using your registration fees paying for the slaughter of sentient creatures whose death requires abhorent working conditions for people of color, massive greenhouse gas emissions, and the death of individuals.
What people decide to consume is a political act, not a personal one. Deciding to consume flesh at debate tournaments continues the pattern of accepting violence and discrimination. This happens for workers, for people living in food deserts, people living in countries across the world, and for the non/human animals sent to slaughter. Tournaments are not food deserts. Your choice to consume differently can make a tangible impact on debate as a community and beyond. Your choice has global and local ramifications. I urge you to make the correct choice in registering your dietary choice even if it has no impact on your speaker points. Several people said that they didn't want to be coerced into making the decision to go vegetarian or vegan at tournaments for speaker points. Now is your chance to make that choice without the impact of speaker points.
All that being said, how you choose to debate is a political choice as well. You can debate however you like but you should realize that the methodology and the content you put forth are not neutral choices. Whatever choices you make you should be ready to defend them in round. “As Stuart and Elizabeth Ewen emphasize in Channels of Desire: The politics of consumption must be understood as something more than what to buy, or even what to boycott. Consumption is a social relationship, the dominant relation-ship in our society – one that makes it harder and harder for people to hold together, to create community. At a time when for many of us the possibility of meaningful change seems to elude our grasp, it is a question of immense social and political proportions.” (hooks 376).
If it is not already clear, I will say it outright: I view debate as a space for education, activism, and social justice. This does not mean I won't vote on framework or counterplans. What it does mean is that the arguments that I will find most appealing are those arguments that speak to how traditional approaches to debate are beneficial to us as individuals to create a better world. It is not that fairness is irrelevant, but that fairness is relevant only to that extent. Fairness plays a part in constructing meaninful education and activism but is not the sole standard to enable good debate. Concepts of fairness are not value-neutral but it is a debate that can be defend and won in front of me since I do not think fairness is irrelevant either. For teams breaking down such structures, you still must win the debate that your approach to debate is better for advacing causes of social justice. If you like policymaking and are running counterplans you merely need to win that your counterplan is a better approach. The same applies for theory violations. I will vote on them if you win that the impact to the violation is important enough for me to pull the trigger. The same is also true for kritiks and other styles of debate. Win that your approach and your argument deserves to win because of the impact that it has.
Again, to be clear, this does not mean that I intend to abandon the flow or vote based upon my personal beliefs. My belief is that debate is more than a game and that the things we say and do in it are not neutral-choices. This does not necessarily mean that so-called traditional policy debate is bad but that the way it should be approached by those teams should not be assumed to be neutral.
Whether it is what you eat, or what you debate, your choice is political. Our world can change. It is up to all of us to make it happen. Movements are already happening all around us. Don't let the norms dictate what you debate or what you consume. Debate should be at the forefront of these initiatives. Use the education you gain in debate to say something and to do something meaningful both in round and beyond.
I debated at the University of Georgia without competitive success. I have since coached for Binghamton for a year primarily working with novices. I love debate as an activity and am primarily concerned with educating. I am enthusiastic about teaching novices and am volunteering explicitly to spend time and energy in RFDs explaining the bigger picture with respect to why we do the idiosyncratic things that we do in debate.
I am not a good person for judging advanced policy vs. policy rounds. I will vote for policy teams in clash rounds on framework, but I generally have a higher threshold for voting on framework because I don't tend to think of fairness and clash as inherent impacts in debate. I tend to think that fairness and clash are internal links to something like education or fun, which means that if you're a policy team winning fairness and/or clash that you all still have to impact out fairness in such a way that it bears on whatever you think makes debate valuable as an activity.
In K v K rounds, make sure to explain your theory. I have basic familiarity with most K authors, but I am most familiar with various postmodern theories in the Nietzschian tradition. You can do a lot to correct my potential biases through good impact comparison in the 2nr and 2ar, something which you should be doing anyway.
I don't think that I differ too much from convention with respect to theory. I might be more tolerant of theoretical nonsense than some, but you still have to dedicate the time to make any violation into a voting issue.
Add me to the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, include me on the email chain. email@example.com
Brooklyn Tech: 2011 - 2012 (those three novice UDL tournaments apparently count), 2017 - 2021 (coach)
NYU: 2014 - 2018
The New School: 2018-2020 (coach)
Harlem Children's Zone: 2020 - present (coach)
***I used to keep my video off for rounds, but I've since learned that it's a mistake for the morale of the debater as well as for confirming whether or not I'm actually in the room. If my camera is off, I am not in the room. Please do not start speaking***
In case you're pressed for time
1. Do you. Have fun. Don't drop an important argument.
2. If there is an impact in the 2NR/2AR, there's a high chance you've won the debate in front of me. I like going for the easy way out and impacts give me the opportunity to do that. Impact comparisons are good too.
3. I flow on paper, so please don't be upset if I miss arguments because you're slurring your words or making 17 arguments/minute.
4. Don't assume I know the acronyms or theories you're talking about, even if I do. This is a persuasion activity, so no shortcuts to persuading me.
5. Obviously, I have biases, but I try not to let those biases influence how I decide a round. Usually, if debaters can't accomplish #2, then I'll be forced to. I prefer to go with the flow though.
6. I have a master's degree in Design & Technology, so I'll be impressed to see anyone using the online debate format to create fancy debate presentations. It's fine if you don't or can't.
**ONLINE DEBATE**: You don't need to yell into your mic. I can hear you fine. In fact, yelling into your mic might make it harder for me to hear you. Which means you may lose. Which is bad. For you.
**PF ONLY**: I didn't care about your Sunday best in person and I care even less about it online. If you want to keep your camera off when I'm judging, it's fine (particularly if your connection isn't strong). You're not going to lose the round or lose speaks for it. Also, I don't know why asking for evidence isn't done in advance or automatically considered taking prep time. Just know that, in front of me, if it takes more than 2 minutes to ask for evidence, it's coming out of your prep. And 3 minutes is not a lot of prep to begin with.
If you're not so pressed for time
I debated for four years at NYU and ran mostly soft left affs. I think that means I'm a pretty good judge for these types of affs and it also means I'm probably able to tell if there is a genuine want for a discussion about structural violence impacts or if they're just tacked on because K debaters are scary.
I do think debate is a game, but I also think people should be allowed to modify the "rules" of the game if they're harmful or just straight up unlikeable. I guess now would also be a good time to point I'm a game designer, so I like thinking about the implications of declaring debate to be "just" a game or "more than" a game. Now to the important stuff.
Speed: Through a card, I'll tolerate it. Through a tag or analytics, I'll be pretty annoyed. And so will you, because I'll probably miss something important that could cost you the round. When reading a new card, either verbally indicate it ("and" or "next") or change your tone to reflect it.
Planless affs: Even in a game, some people just don't want to defend the government. And that's perfectly okay. But I would like the aff to be relevant to the current topic. I feel like some affs are just random backfile cards put together with slightly altered tags. Not a big fan of those, but I'll still vote for them if I'm convinced enough in a round.
CP: Wasn't really much of a CP debater and I don't really coach teams that run CPs, except the basic novice ones that come in a starter kit. I think they're a fine argument and am willing to vote on them.
DA: You could never go wrong with a good DA. DAs, when run correctly, have a really good, linear story that can be extended in the neg block and could be used to effectively handle aff answers. Feel free to go crazy.
Ks: I can't think of a neg round where I didn't run a K. I've run cap, security, queerness, my aff, and some variations of Black feminism. But please, do not talk to me as if I know your K. If you're running pomo, I most definitely don't know your K and will need to be talked through it with analogies and examples. If you're running an identity K, I probably do know your K but expect the same from you as I expect from a pomo debater. Cap, security - you get the memo.
T: My favorite neg arg as a senior. I'm always down for a good T debate. I do think that sometimes it's used as a cop-out, but I also think that some affs aren't forwarding any sort of plan or advocacy. Just stating an FYI and a neg can't really argue against that. So T becomes the winning strategy.
Framework: Not exactly the same as T, but I still **like** it. If you're a non-Black debater, I do not care what variation of Framework (or T) you're running in front of me. Just call it framework.
Theory: Important, but the way debaters speed through their theory shells makes me question just how important it is. Again, slow down when reading theory in front of me so it's actually an option for you at the end of the round.
Most likely, if you've had me as a judge, then you know my timer. This is where I downloaded it from (and yes, it's wrestling-related): https://youtu.be/-TkA3ObTSLc
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian "Bishop" Lowery, 4 years of policy debate at George Mason University. Assistant Coach for James Madison University.
Tabula Rasa. I believe that my role as the judge is to absorb the information provided within the round and decide who wins based on the debater's ability to explain and defend their positions. Do whatever you were going to do before you saw my name on the pairing. Treat the following as proclivities that may make my decision easier or increase your speaker points.
I'm not very familiar with the current topic, so it probably isn't wise to assume that I know all the policy techne or link stories to the topic or specific affs. I mostly ran kritical arguments during my time as a debater, in my earlier years I ran traditional policy but most of my relevant experience is with the K. That said, I believe that all arguments should be made palatable for the judge, so if I don't understand what i'm voting for, i'm not likely to vote for it.
Conduct - Don't be a jerk. It's alright to be aggressive, but have a point. Don't be malicious. At it's core, debate is a game, so everyone should have fun. Keep it playful.
Time - Prep ends when the document is saved. Debaters should keep track of their own and opponents speech times.
E-mail Chain? - Yes, I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Theory - One of the most interesting parts of debate is that it the players can make rules as they play the game. For that reason, I love theory. However, I don't like listening to two teams read pre-written blocks at one another with no clash. The more technical team gets their way. I can be persuaded to reject the arg not the team. Potential abuse is not a voter unless well impacted. Please, no reverse voters.
Counterplans - I'm fine with most CPs. Not a huge fan of process and conditional multiplank CPs. Judge kicking isn't really my thing (I will if the neg says I should and the aff doesn't respond, but don't expect me to on default). A large part of the 2nr should be explaining why this position is uniquely better than the Aff and explaining what that world looks like.
Kritiks - I prefer alts that actually claim to do something. I don't like links of omission. Argue your position well and prove that you have an understanding of your literature base = I will probably want to vote for you.
Kritical Aff's/Framework - I am willing to vote on alternative interpretations of debate or turns to framework. I don't consider "fairness" an impact by default, but certainly can be convinced to vote for it if well impacted in the round. If the Aff doesn't have any clear bridge to the topic/resolution, I'll be sympathetic to fairness arguments. Novices should read a plan.
The Gamble - If you successfully do the following, you will get a .2 boost in speaker points. If you try and fail at the following, you will lose .2 speaker points (hence the gamble). Incorporate the words: Boneless, Clout, or Deadass into your speech in a manner that makes me laugh. If it doesn't make me laugh, you lose the gamble. You can try as many times as you wish, but you can only win once per debate.
If you have any questions, hmu at firstname.lastname@example.org
Put me on the email chain
The briefest background info ever
Bing debater. I did a lot of K debate in high school, I do a lot of K debate now.
1- K, phil
Check the end for random notes and opinions
I have probably read your pomo nonsense, if I haven't I'm equally excited to hear it
Do something fun and exciting, do something we've all seen before, just do it well and enjoy doing it
It's your round, I'm just living in it
Phil/framing- Do whatever you want just tell me how to vote, what to vote on, and why I should vote on it
Go for ontology, epistemology, skep, etc. Explain it well, make sure it's at least kind of grounded in the literature base. Just saying the words "ontology is a prereq" will get you in trouble if you can't explain it.
Feel free to go for Util, I've read Bostrom, Mill, Bentham, and probably whatever generic card you're using this season. Just justify it, explain it, and be ready to defend it. Tossing util cards you don't use, didn't cut, and didn't read before the round on case is a pet peeve and will hurt your speaks.
My time on the local circuit means I'm familiar with Locke/Hobbes/Rousseau, all the various versions of Util and consequentialism, Maslow, rule of law, governmental legitimacy, distributive justice/veil of ignorance/Rawles, kant, etc. If you're going to run it, do it well. Explain why it's a better weighing metric, don't just call it a prereq and move on. You will make me sad. On the other hand, if you can justify it, go ahead and frame out your opponent's offense. Brownie points in the form of speaks for a well-executed phil strat in any event (that includes util if you do it right).
Love them (and never get to judge them lmao)
DA and case can make for a super convincing 2NR- hella speaks if you pull this off
Solvency advocate theory is a pretty easy win in front of me- as in you need a solvency advocate for all thirteen planks of your counterplan
Topical counterplans are probably abusive, but the aff has the burden of proving that
Not a fan, but if you desperately want to please make sure the full shell is in the speech doc.
That in mind- if there is actual abuse please for the love of god just say the words "theory, topicality, fairness, drop the debater" and I'll probably vote right there- shell format is good but not imperative
Disclosure theory means I need screenshots with a timestamp- but if you're a circuit debater and your opponent has no idea what's going on I will deck your speaks
If there's clipping, misrepresentation of evidence, falsification of evidence, the round ends as soon as the accusation is made- so I hope you can prove it
I'm a 2a, I've read all kinds of affs.
K aff's- literally do whatever you want. I don't care if you mention the topic. I don't care if you have a c/i on fw but you will need a very convincing impact turn or we meet. Please explain the world of the perm if you want me to vote on it.
I will vote for soft left affs, and honestly I miss them.
Policy affs- I've read them, I think they're often very strategic, please keep your internal link chains alive ???? Lazy debating ie. a 2ar that could be about any extinction scenerio on any policy aff might win you the round but you won't like your speaks
Notes I couldn't find other spots for
- problematic behavior/rhetoric/language/vibes means your speaks= the number of hours of sleep I got last night (I promise it's less than 10)
- If you're reading Schmitt or Heidegger your speaks are capped at 26 regardless of whether or not you win- we don't tolerate Nazis in this house
- Freud(+zizek+lacan) was a bad enough person for me to dislike psychoanalysis but not for me to not vote for it on face (if you impact your author indicts in terms of how they overdetermine the theory I will BLESS your speaks)
- If you give me a ROB but not a metric of evaluation you might as well have not read the arg, don't waste your time. The reverse is also true (looking at you trad LD)- if you give me an amazing framework/rob/metric of evaluation but don't win any impacts under it, you still lose and you did a lot of extra work for no reason
Heyo! Emily Mendelson, she/her // add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I debated at Binghamton for four years starting as a college novice, taught at the UTNIF for two summers and qualified to the NDT my junior and senior year. Currently I'm a grad student at Baylor and the program coordinator for the Broome County Debate Alliance. As a debater I read mostly disability stuff before doing more performance-y things like coloring and balloon animals, but that was just a framework argument.
Please speak slower and clearer than you think you need to for the foreseeable future while we're all figuring out the best practices for online debates. While I don't think people should be flowing off of speech docs, I think flashing analytics (or at least overviews, CP text, interps) is probably valuable just in case clarity or wifi issues arise. From what I've learned so far: debates are better when everyone has strong enough wifi to keep their cameras on, cx is messy when everyone's trying to talk over each other bc of zoom auto-muting whoever isn't the loudest. I'm sympathetic to performance teams who are going to be uniquely disadvantaged by the virtual format, but I'm excited to see how people make it work.
1. Check if everyone is there before you start your speech??? lmao I thought this one was intuitive but if my camera is off and you don't hear from me... I am not ready for you to start
2. I flow on paper, please give me some pen time even if you flash analytics
3. Speech docs w/ analytics are not a substitution for clarity
I'll vote any way you want me to with judge instruction, and if not, I love flowing so I'll default to the line-by-line.
Reading framework: I'm unpersuaded by fairness as a terminal impact, I think at most it's an internal link to education/clash/some better impact. That being said, I'm absolutely down to vote for fairness if there's a well-warranted abuse scenario or the affirmative is egregious in defending absolutely nothing. Specific TVA's are an easy way to persuade me in favor of your model of debate as long as they meet your interp.
Answering framework: You're better off concentrating most of your offense on impact turning framework in front of me, but I also think a lot of K teams under-utilize counterinterps and counter-definitions. I don't think your model of debate needs to be perfect but I do think there should be some explanation of limits and ground division between both sides.
K affs: Love it! I think there should be some sort of "method" to the aff in the sense that it's not just some sort of truth advocacy text that says 'vote aff because we say x thing is good.' Use examples to your advantage and please don't be afraid to actually defend something in CX. I was definitely guilty of being shifty but I would love it if you clearly defined the parameters and concepts in the aff instead so I have something better than a nebulous understanding of what you're saying.
Policy affs: On average, I think policy teams need to be doing a lot better job at explaining solvency throughout the debate. In the rebuttals, walk me through how you want me to evaluate arguments in comparison to one another, even if it means you go much slower and read less cards. I promise it will pay off. My biggest shortcoming with policy affirmatives is forgetting what certain acronyms mean, so if I look confused (which will definitely happen because I'm pretty expressive during speeches) take a minute and explain some jargon you might be using.
Making my decision: Clear judge framing arguments will give you an easy way to predict which way I'm likely to vote. Clear impact calculus in the rebuttals is especially important to me and minimizes the likelihood I have to intervene. I love judging and I love learning so whatever you're reading I promise you'll have my full attention.
I have a PhD in Philosophy
I was the 3rd speaker and a semifinalist at the NDT (in 2012?).
I read: Baudrillard, Bataille, Deleuze and Guattari, Nietzsche.
I didn't read: topical plans.
I will vote on T, though I don't think fairness is a compelling impact.
I defer to an offense/defense paradigm unless told to do otherwise.
Speaker points start at 27.5. 28.2-28.4 marks an average speaker.
Don't adapt. Be bold.
Judge adaptation, by my lights, is better saved for “smaller” or “more technical” aspects of debates, as opposed to being something that should inform your overarching strategy. Besides, it pains me to watch a poorly executed version of an argument that I agree with, whereas a poorly executed version of an argument that I disagree with strikes me as a matter of indifference. So, your best bet is probably to argue whatever you like to argue if I’m your judge.
I incline, as much as I can, against intervening in debates that I judge – though I oscillate as to whether I take this to express some vague pretension to intellectual integrity or mere laziness. This isn’t to say I don’t intervene. (For example, I have yet to develop a criterion for new arguments that amounts to anything more than thinking “I saw it coming, so you should have too.”) Nevertheless, it is to say that I try not to intervene more than I must to make a decision. If your argument is valid or strong, I’m willing to vote for it. (Soundness and cogency are far too high a bar for most arguments to pass, and I can’t make claims about the soundness or cogency of your arguments without portending to know things about the world, which gets us all in hot water.) So, again: read what you’d like.
If no one in the debate tells me how to judge it, as is the case more often than not, I default to some sort of opportunity-cost calculation thingy, maybe with some offense-defense jargon thrown in so that I sound like I know what I’m talking about. To be clear, I consider such methods inadequate to the task of doing justice to the messy value oriented questions that debates typically devolve into. Nevertheless, I resort to such crude methods because I think it’s fair to presume that most policy debaters take some such paradigm for granted – and it’s not my place to ruin your fun. (For my part, when I read the room, I often think something like: “Are these calculators trying to make heads or tails of ethical questions? Fascinating.”) If someone in the debate tells me I shouldn’t do the cost-benefit-analysis thingy, great. But you’ve been warned about what I’ll do if left to my own devices. Chalk it up to the aforementioned inability to distinguish intellectual integrity from laziness.
In descending order of preference, I suspect that these are the kinds of rounds you want me to judge for you:
1. “Clash” of “Civilizations” Debates
2. Critique v. Critique Debates
3. Policy v. Policy Debates
Here’s some explanation for this ranking.
1. “Clash” of “Civilizations” Debates – On the one hand, I didn’t read plans, topical or otherwise. I was what some call “a critique debater.” On the other hand, my familiarity with the standard policy-debate replies to critical arguments is developed enough that I don’t hesitate to vote for policy teams against critical arguments. Indeed, I often find myself voting on arguments that, in my bones, I believe are false. To cite a sadly common example, I don’t think fairness is an impact; if a game is shown to be unethical, bellyaching about equal due within the game seems to me to be beside the point. Similarly, the argument that “clash is unique to debate, so it must be its purpose” is worse than Aristotle’s argument from function, which I bet you don’t believe either. Yet, I vote on fairness and clash as impacts regularly. “Topical versions of the affirmative” and “switch side debate solves” arguments are counterplans in disguise – and I expect critique debaters worth their salt to be wise to such tricks by now.
2. Critique v. Critique Debates – I list these debates second because they tend to be messy, with teams struggling to generate clear competition claims. The struggle is often bad enough that judge intervention is required at a more fundamental level of the debate than usual. So, if you have me in these debates, try to hold my hand when it comes to explaining how the arguments in the debate ought to be compared. Otherwise, I’ll intervene in an unexpected place based on what I consider to the philosophical ground-floor of the debate – and to wit, I’ll blame you for my doing so. Another reason I put these second is that there are many different kinds of critique arguments and you likely don’t want me to judge all of them. I was what some call a “high theory debater.” I mostly read Baudrillard, Bataille, and other bastard children of Nietzsche born in France. As a result of these research interests, which I still champion, I dislike critical strategies that shrilly moralize or rely heavily on some taken-for-granted notion of identity. Don’t worry, though. Should you choose to moralize your opponents and should they choose to grovel apologetically, I’ll vote for you – quickly, too.
3. Policy v. Policy Debates – I like to think I can judge debates about counterplans, disadvantages, and case. Nevertheless, and regardless of what year it is, I probably haven’t done any research on the topic. There are too many things that I want to read for me to whittle away my eyesight reading about process counterplans. Technical terms from topic literature, acronyms, tricky procedural distinctions – you will have to explain these things to me patiently. Otherwise, I approach these debates like a toddler in a knife store. Let me be explicit: I enjoy a case beatdown as much as the next judge, but you may need to catch me up to speed before I know what, exactly, is going on.
Many of the debates that I judge are what I call “a double loss.” A double loss occurs when neither team has effectively precluded the possibility of me voting for their opponents (without intervening for them, that is). If I judge you and the debate is a double loss, I will likely tell you as much. This isn’t intended to hurt your feelings. But it is intended to remind you: you left enough doors open that you’re letting me decide the debate haphazardly. My RFD is bad, you say? You should have written a better one for me.
After a debate is over, I tend to ask myself: (i) “what is the central question of this debate?” and (ii) “which team requires me to do less work in order to write a ballot for their side?”
If the debaters themselves have not told me the answer to the first of these questions, and in keeping with my feeble attempt to fall back on some ill-defined policy-debate-norm that I assume policy debaters take for granted, then I answer the first question with something like: “the central question of the debate is how effectively avoid bad stuff, like a big boom-boom with horror-show theatrics.” Don’t like that? Nor do I. But if you don’t tell me not to do the cost-benefit analysis calculation-thingy, that’s what I’ll fall back on. You’ve been warned twice now.
Unfortunately, debaters often require that I do a great deal of work to rationalize voting for them. I’m frequently left doing impact comparisons, having to think through the priority among arguments, asking what arguments undercut others… These are all signs that I’m judging “a double loss.” Woof. So, like I say, I ask myself (ii) “which team requires me to do less work in order to vote for them?” I then incline toward thinking whatever team that is has likely won the debate. Just to be sure, though, I go back through my notes and see whether there are adequate answers to all of the bits and pieces the other team may whine about in an attempt to convince me, after the fact, that they won the debate. If the answers are adequate, I vote for the team who lost less, that is, for the team who requires that I do less work for them. If the answers aren’t adequate, then I ask myself why it took so much effort to discover this team’s winning argument... and, very likely, still vote for the other team because they didn't need me to do so much work for them.
I’ve made at least three wrong decisions when judging debates. If I do this to you, I will let you know once I realize as much.
Good on you for reading more than the bare minimum.
My name is James. I was a critique debater who read high theory arguments and called everything an impact turn.
Don’t lose the forest for the trees.
Try to enjoy - well, everything you do, but also - your debates.
Here's my old judging paradigm, which is now a simulacra of sorts.
I don't have much time...
I agree with Calum Matheson's debate paradigm, for now, with a certain degree of deviation which needn't really concern anyone. It reads:
Do as thou will shall be the whole of the law. All styles of debate can be done well or done poorly. Very little offends me. If you can’t beat the argument that genocide is good or that rocks are people, or that rock genocide is good even though they’re people, then you are a bad advocate of your cause and you should lose. If it’s so wrong and you’re so right, then it should be easy for you to win. Is that really too high a bar? If so, then I have a 26.5 here for you. Do you like it? I made it myself. Just for you.
Debates are almost always decided in part by preconceived ideas which we presume to be shared. The same holds true for debate-theoretical issues. Due to time pressure, size, or whatever, many debates leave some element that a judge must decide for themselves, like “What is the standard for a new argument?” or “What does it mean for something to be conceded?” As a result, I have rewritten this to focus on those factors. All of these are defaults. Contrary arguments by a team in a debate always override them. I would like to intervene as little as possible, but am unwilling to pretend that anyone's objective.
1. An argument contains at least a claim and a reason. It constitutes intervention for a judge to ignore a dropped argument on the basis of its soundness, rather than its validity. If you don't know what that means, you should look it up--it might be helpful more generally.
2. One makes an argument, and then reads evidence to support it. The evidence is not the argument. Many judges read too much evidence, which invites them to intervene. In thebest case, reading fifty cards and taking forever to make a decision means you’re reading too much into cards, forgetting the debate, and thus taking the debate away from the competitors. You should use your evidence carefully and sparingly with me. I’d rather you read a few high-quality cards than a big pile of crap. The quality of arguments matters, not the quantity of evidence.
3. “Any risk” is inane. Below some level of probability, signal should be overwhelmed by noise, or perhaps the opposite effect might occur. Pretending that one can calculate risk precisely is stupid. Are you really sure that the risk of a disad is fifteen percent? Are you sure it’s not, say, twenty? Or maybe ten? Or, God forbid, twenty-five? If you are able to calculate risk with such precision, please quit debate and join the DIA. Your country needs you, citizen. If not, recognize that risks can be roughly calculated in a relative way, but that the application of mathematical models to debate is a (sometimes) useful heuristic, not an independently viable tool for evaluation.
4. Uniqueness cannot determine the direction of a link. This is not an opinion, just a statement of fact. Some outcome is more or less likely to happen in the future, but because it’s a prediction, the probability is almost never 100%. The link is a net assessment of how the plan changes this—it’s a yes/no, up/down thing. So if one team wins the direction of the link, they should win the argument (although winning the sign of the change doesn’t mean that its magnitude is necessarily enough to result in a particular outcome).
Here’s an example: the Aff has three advantages. The Neg has a counterplan that definitely solves two of them, and definitely does not solve the third. The Neg only has inherency arguments on that advantage, which is the only net benefit to the counterplan. Does the Neg win? No. They have no offense so the counterplan can’t possibly be better than the Aff alone. This situation is identical to the case when a counterplan solves all of the case, the Neg wins uniqueness to the net benefit, but the Aff wins (non-unique) link turns.
5. An argument that is conceded is “true” for the purpose of the debate and joins the set of other usually unspoken presuppositions, like “things can cause things,” “death is bad,” “the Obama mentioned in the cards is the president of the United States,” and so forth. This means that if something is conceded by the negative bloc (for example) and then becomes relevant again as a reaction to the 2nr, the Aff’s extension of it is not new.
6. My criteria for “new” applications of an argument: if I could see it coming when the team made the argument originally then their use of it later on is not new. I know this isn’t a perfect standard, but I can’t think of a better one. If a claim or reason is not made until the rebuttals then that component of the argument is new, but not necessarily the whole argument. It’s not enough to say “this is new.” You must say that that’s bad for some reason.
7. Offense/defense isn’t always appropriate for theory arguments. The team that makes the argument has the burden to show that it’s okay to do that, but they don’t need to prove that something is particularly good—just okay. Theory arguments should be rooted in something fundamental. There are hypothetical benefits of debate, then practices that further them, then specific arguments that are examples of those practices. These principles rarely result in a counterinterpretation that isn’t an arbitrary, self-serving turd shat gracelessly into a shallow theory debate.
8. The idea that the Aff determines the meaning of words in the plan is wrong. If so, then nothing would stop them from saying “by Iraq we meant Iran,” “decrease means make more,” or whatever. Topicality arguments would be impossible. Competition and disad links even worse. Cleverly written Affs could have some ambiguity in their advantages so that words in the plan could be suddenly and arbitrarily redefined in ways that still allow the plan to have advantages. The meaning of the plan wouldn’t be predictable. Here’s the plan you hand the Negative before the debate: “The USFG should set fire to children. Survivors will be eaten by cobras.” The Neg spends half an hour prepping (some “cobras aren’t big enough to eat kids” cards, maybe a PIC out of children who agree to join the Marine Corps, a "Russia likes cobras/hates children" card, etc) and then the debate starts and the 1AC is about why the war in Iraq is immoral and we should ban depleted uranium shells. Seems to me that a better interpretation is that both sides should debate over the meaning of the words in the plan text—which the Aff should be ahead on since they chose the words.
9. Unless the Negative makes an argument to the contrary, going for a counterplan in the 2NR means that the only relevant comparison is the counterplan versus the plan. If the plan is better than the counterplan, the Aff does not need to be compared to the status quo. It is “logical” for the judge to compare the plan to the status quo if the counterplan is a bad idea, but it’s similarly logical for the judge to vote for only part of the plan, or the plan plus some undiscussed-but-implied alternative, delay the plan for a couple of months, or to unilaterally decide that a disad isn’t intrinsic. Saying “status quo is always an option” doesn’t resolve this—an option for who? The 2NR or the judge? If you want the status quo to be considered along with the counterplan, you should say so clearly.
10. Debates should be about opportunity cost. Disadvantages should be intrinsic to the plan. Many people seem not to understand what this means. If the impact to a disad is that the same actor doing the plan would then do something bad, this disad is not intrinsic—i.e., nothing about the plan means that the disadvantage necessarily results. Example: the plan has the US Congress withdraw US troops from Iraq. The Neg says “Congress would then choose not to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment and that would hurt US-Russian relations.” This disadvantage is not intrinsic, because the same actor—Congress—could do the plan and still repeal Jackson-Vanik. A legitimate Aff response is “Congress could do the plan and still repeal Jackson-Vanik.” Here’s where some people seem to get stuck: the Aff argument “we could do the plan and Congress could give Alaska back to Russia” is not a legitimate argument. Intrinsicness arguments are like permutations of the status quo—they test to see if the Aff could do the plan and still maintain the decision that the negative says the plan trades off with (Jackson-Vanik). They can’t introduce new options to solve the same impact because that tests the necessary magnitude of the cost, not whether or not two courses of action are actually exclusive of one another. The “plan plus return Alaska” argument tests competition with a hypothetical world where we’re giving back Alaska, which is not the world that the Negative defends. There are many, many ways around this intrinsicness requirement for the Negative, and I have very rarely voted Aff on this argument.
11. In critical debates, the role of the judge is very important (“critique” is not spelled with a “k” in English, and we didn’t fight the Boche on and off for thirty years just to revert to their barbarian customs). If the alternative uses an agent other than that proposed by the Aff, it is necessary to make this clear and justify the change. I don’t think the default position for the judge is as a government policy maker—without further instruction, I will suppose that the judge should just select the best option regardless of the agent, but this presents a number of serious problems that are worthy of attention by both teams, as whoever wins the “role of the judge” generally wins the debate.
12. All debates are impact debates. If team one wins that (impact x risk) of their arguments is larger than (impact x risk) of team two's arguments, team one wins. Although the standards for evaluating impacts is different in different debates (e.g., "liberty outweighs life," "moral action outweighs consequences"), this is true in theory debates, policy debates, and critical debates because the "impact" is just the reason to care about whatever you said. Impact calculus is thus very, very important, probably more important than any other aspect of a debate. Oddly enough, I think this is also the least-developed part of most debates. Bear in mind how conceded arguments influence impact uniqueness--in many debates, someone kicks a disad with a nuclear war impact by conceding that it's not unique and doesn't link. This means that the judge is making a decision about two opposing contingent worlds, both of which contain a nuclear war, usually in the next few years. Shouldn't timeframe matter more then since we'll all be fighting Super Mutants and learning to make our own bullets in a couple of years? In a related note, it's strange to me how little people exploit the impacts that they do win since the scale of impacts people discuss would clearly effect one another not just at the internal link level (e.g. "econ collapse hurts heg") but at the level of terminal impacts vs. internal links (a nuclear war might cause pandemics, or collapse the economy, or whatever--at the very least, we'd probably quit enforcing the plan once the time came to discuss the finer points of radioactive cannibalism).
13. Nearly always, what Aff teams call "not unique" arguments are actually brinks. Because most disads are cartoonishly stupid, they are also unique, because the magnitude of change that they're talking about is extreme. Example: "the plan spends money; hurts the economy; econ collapse = nuke war." If the Aff says "economy low now," that's probably good for the Neg, because their impact ev is talking about a situation where the economy has completely collapsed, so the Aff claim arguably adds plausibility to their argument. Link uniqueness is different of course.
14. Debate is ultimately about communicating your ideas to a judge to persuade them to vote for you. If I cannot understand you, I will not be persuaded to vote for you. It is the burden of debaters to communicate clearly. I will not say “clear.” I will just ignore you without remorse, since the most basic goal of a debater is to be understood by the judge. This doesn't apply if it's not your fault, e.g., you're too far away and I can't hear you.
15. A few notes on language: Speaker points are entirely subjective. They reflect how much I like a set of speeches as a performance; feel free to fight with me about them but be aware that I have never cared. If you have an accent, speak a dialect, or whatever, I would not penalize you. That said, if you think that the first syllables of "tyrant" and "tyranny" are pronounced the same way, I wish you ill. Similarly, the aff does not "cause the Holocaust," unless this is an unusually bizarre counterfactual debate. "Knight Ridder" is a news agency; "Night Rider" was an 80's television series. "G.A.O." is an acronym, not a name. "Genocide" is a noun. The adjectival form is "genocidal." "Genocide" is not a verb. "Critique," as previously mentioned, is spelled with a "C," and as a rule, unnecessary use of German never made an argument sound less insidious. "Spec" is an annoying abbreviation; "tix" is one whose users should be condemned to a short life of hard labor in a Siberian uranium mine.
Again, all of these are defaults, and I ignore them when teams I judge make contrary arguments. Please do feel free to contact me with questions about how I judge or ideas for change. I will update this periodically.
Updated but time is irrelevant.
If there is an email chain please add me: nyxdebate at gmail dot com.
About me: I was in debate for five years, qualified to the NDT twice, and broke to out rounds at CEDA and other national tournaments. I've been coaching college debate for three years, and high school debate for several years. I've run policy and k affs, and coach both "styles" of debate.
I tend to consider myself leaning more towards the K than policy, but that does not mean that I will not vote on or are unfamiliar with traditional policy arguments. You should do what you are most comfortable doing within the round. You do you.
Random short notes follow, but feel free to ask me for more clarification before the round or email me before (or after) with questions.
Spreading is fine. If you are being unclear it will be hard for me to hear you and I'll ask you to clear. Sending the whole speech doc is very helpful to ensure that I catch everything you are saying, but I respect that not everyone is comfortable with that.
If you have a dis/ability that I can help you with, but you do not wish to disclose it to others in the room, feel free to pull me aside before the round to discuss it. Or, in these days of zoom, send an email.
You should be able to run a K on the aff. Or a policy affirmative. Just be ready to defend why your style of debate is good. I don't really care what you do.
I'll vote for a single disad, for a counterplan, on framework, on a k.... Again, you do you. But please, give me clear impact comparison. Explain why it's impossible to debate a dance aff and impact that. You know, stuff your coaches (should) tell you to do.
- If your partner has something to say in your speech, you don't have to repeat it for me. I will flow your partner. It's all cool.
- My face does odd things when I'm judging. That doesn't mean you are losing or winning an argument per say. I've finally chosen to just let my face do what it will, and encourage you to keep an eye on me for the purposes of judge adaptation.
- If you have questions after the round, email me.
- Have fun and don't attach yourself to the wins or losses. Debate is a wonderful activity, but it is just that - an activity. It does not and should not define who you are as a person.
- If you are in need of support during or after the round, or just in general, please email me or reach out to me. I want to be there for others in the activity as much as possible!!
Hi I am Shannon! she/her
I have been having a lot of technical issues with my paradigm updating so please feel free to ask me questions as I try to fix it/upload it </3
Please add me to the email chain @ firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated for bing, graduated in 2019. I was both 2a and 2n throughout college, but all 2a my senior year
I am more familiar with K stuff but I enjoy policy debates. I'm fine w spreading but I think slowing down and spending time on your arguments is more persuasive and makes for a better debate than throwing in as much as possible for the sake of a competitive edge.
T: If you're going to make an argument about education/fairness you need to actually have depth to what that looks like in respect to the aff you are running it against, not just generic t blocks. for the aff you need to actually engage with the tva and win that your version is better
everyone loves judge instruction, tell me what the ballot means
I like voting on case turns
overall I really enjoy judging so do your thing and ill rock with it
Please include me in your speech doc thread. My email is email@example.com
I enjoy coaching and judging novice debates. I think the novice division is the most important and representative of what is good in our community. That being said, I opposed and still oppose the ADA Novice Curriculum Packet. It's an attempt by some in the community, who don't even have novice programs, to use the novice division to further their vision of what debate "should" look like. I don't like that.
I really like judging debates where the debaters speak clearly, make topic specific arguments, make smart analytic arguments, attack their opponent’s evidence, and debate passionately. I cut a lot of cards so I know a lot about the topic. I don’t know much about critical literature.
Framework debates: I don’t enjoy judging them. Everyone claims their educational. Everyone claims their being excluded. It’s extremely difficult to make any sense of it. I would rather you find a reason why the 1AC is a bad idea. There’s got to be something. I can vote for a no plan-text 1AC, if you’re winning your arguments. With that being said, am not your ideal judge for such 1AC’s because I don’t think there’s any out of round spill-over or “solvency.”
Topicality: Am ok with topicality. Competing interpretations is my standard for evaluation. Proving in-round abuse is helpful but not a pre-requisite. If am judging in novice at an ADA packet tournament, it will be very difficult to convince me to vote on topicality. Because there are only 2-3 1AC's to begin with, there's no predictability or limits arguments that make any sense.
Disadvantages: Like them. The more topic specific the better.
Counterplans: Like them. The more specific to the 1AC the better. Please slow down a little for the CP text.
Kritiks: ok with them. I don’t know a lot about any critical literature, so know that.
Rate of Delivery: If I can’t flow the argument, then it’s not going on my flow. And please slow down a little bit for tags.
Likes: Ohio State, Soft Power DA’s, case debates
Dislikes: Michigan, debaters that are not comprehensible, District 7 schools that cut and paste evidence from other schools and present it as their own without alteration. Do that in front of me and I might vote against you automatically.
Paperless Policy: I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or I can do the situational dropbox thing. Whatever. Regale me with your evidence. I don't read it during round, I just want it all for post-round evaluation and caselist obligations. I still flow based on what you SAY so don't cut corners on clarity just because I have your speech docs in my inbox.
Flowing: Seriously, I’m not reading your evidence during your speech. No one really trusts me on this, so I’m saying it again. If you’re not articulating your distinct arguments, you’re taking your chances that I’m not getting what you’re trying to put out there. I consider debate to be a contest between teams to communicate to me what should be on my flow and where, so orient your argumentation accordingly.
Everything Else: I characterize myself as a critic of argument, which is the pretentious way of saying that I listen to everything, but that in evaluation, all else equal, certain things are more compelling than others.
NOTE: Do not necessarily interpret any of my preferences as bans on any kind of arguments, or even guides to how to select down. It's a threshold of believability issue.
Policy Debates: Compare your impacts, weigh them, and tell me a story of the world of voting Aff vs. voting Neg. I’ll choose the one that’s comparatively advantageous.
I prefer fewer positions with longer evidence, clearer scenarios, and more analysis of impact probability rather than harping on the massive size of the impacts. If I hear that a slight increase in spending collapses the world economy triggering a nuclear war, you may as well tell me aliens are invading. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll vote on it, but I’ll die a little inside and there’s frighteningly little of my soul left to kill – I’m a lawyer.
I’m not particularly excited about the world of flinging 4 CPs at the Aff and just playing the coverage game. It’s just not the makings of a compelling debate, you know? Especially on a topic that features legal scholars proposing almost infinite specific counter-proposals to research. I’ve got no preferences on CP/Perm theory arguments other than it bugs me that people don't feel compelled to explain the abuse story like they would on T. I do not think "the Perm is severance"...before the round is over I need to feel comfortable explaining why it severs and preferably a reason why that is uniquely disadvantageous. That said, if that's in the debate I'm more than willing to vote on these args because people all too often don't answer them well enough, probably because they don't know how to flow anymore. But who am I to judge! Oh right... I'm the judge. Kinda my job.
In other words, if you're going the policy route, you’ll make me so happy teeing off with specific arguments tied to the real academic/policy debate over the subject.
And if you’re reading this harsh criticism of policy debate with a smug look on your face, slow your roll there K debater...
Kritik Debates: Kritiks challenge the advocacy of the other team in salient ways that could be lost in a pure utilitarian analysis. Issues of exclusion and oppression ingrained in the heart of a policy proposal or the representations of the other team can be called out with kritiks ranging from simple “-ism” args to a postmodern cavalcade.
It is NOT an excuse to say random pomo garbage that sounds cool but doesn’t bear upon what’s happening in the round. Esoteric ramblings from some dead French or German thinker can – and often do – have as little to do with the debate round as the hypothetical global nuclear wars that have killed us a million times over in this activity. Look, I actually KNOW what most of that garbage means, but that's not a reason for you to not make sense. Make the K relevant to the specific policy/issue discussion we’re having and I’ll be very happy.
Again, I vote on this stuff, but see above about killing me inside.
When it comes to K/Performance Affs, I’m pretty open to however you justify the Aff (metaphorically, as activism, as some kind of parable), so long as deep down you’re advocating that all things equal, “current antitrust policy bad.” Be the direction of the topic and you’re in great shape. With that caveat, if you outright refuse to "affirm" anything in the "topic," that's all well and good, just be a really good T/Framework debater. I'll vote for a compelling justification — I’ve recently been told that according to Tabroom, I’m almost exactly .500 in K v. Framework debates over the last few years. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds right. Frankly, I'd rather hear "we can't be Aff because the resolution is broken and we'll win the T/Framework debate" than some squirrely "we're not topical, but kind of topical, but really not" thing.
An honest pet peeve (that I can be talked out of, round-by-round) is that I don't think “performance” means doing this stuff in-round. For example, Dadaism is an argument, not a reason to answer every question with “Fishbulbs!"
Every time you steal prep time will also kill me a little more inside. But you’re going to do it anyway.
Assistant Director of Debate at George Mason University.
I know you work hard at debate so I will work hard to be your judge. I know the rest of this is long, but I really hated when judges didn’t have in depth philosophies when I was a debater.
I vote neg more than aff.
Paperless or questions: email@example.com
Top level Alliance Topic/Online Debating thoughts:
-More people should pref Tyler Wiseman
-I'm going into this topic with the assumption that limit the conditions means anything is topical.
-Asking "is anyone not ready" before an online speech is silly, because if someone's computer is glitching how will they tell you they aren't ready. Wait for verbal/nonverbal confirmation that all individuals are ready before beginning your speech.
-If my camera is off, I am not ready for your speech.
-Email threads for evidence is required. I will not read any cards that are sent via the zoom call.
-I do not consent to being recorded.
-If you are a "audience member" in a debate, do not type in the chat. The chat is for members of the debate.
-Please make sure I can see your face/mouth when you are speaking if at all possible.
-Please do not begin the speech at your fastest speed. Makes it very difficult to begin flowing in the online environment.
Random Things that Annoy me:
1. Cards in the body of the email.
2. Yelling over each other in cx - everyone will lose speaks.
3. Interrupting your partner in cx - I am seriously close to saying I want closed cx, I am so annoyed at how egregious this is becoming. I will deduct speaks from both partners.
4. Extending Cross ex past 3 minutes. I will actively stop listening in protest/leave the room. Anything past the 3 minutes should be for clarification purposes only.
I love topicality debates. My voting record leans much more neg than aff in topicality debates. Couple framing issues for me on topicality debates:
Competing Interpretations > Reasonability
Predictable Limits > Ground/Education
Debate-ability > Framer's Intent (I'm okay with voting that certain parts of the topic should not have been included if the topic committee just messed up the wording)
If cross ex actually checked for specification questions (i.e. "who is the actor" - and they tell you "Congress") - that is the only argument the 2ac needs to make against a 1NC spec argument.
NOVICE NOTE: I think it is ridiculous when novices read no plan affs - do whatever you want in other divisions, but these kids are just learning how to debate, so providing some structure and predictability is something I think is necessary. I err heavily on framework in those debates for the negative in the first semester.
Besides conditionality, theory is a reason to reject the argument and not the team. Anything else is an unwinnable position for me. One or two conditional options is probably good for negative flexibility, anymore more is probably pushing it a little. Granted, conditionality theory is all debateable.
I always judge kick if the negative would win the debate on the net benefit alone. However, I will not judge kick to vote on presumption.
Are awesome. The trickier, the better. I’m okay with most of them, but believe that the action of the CP must be clearly explained at least in the 2NC. I don’t vote on something if I don’t know what my ballot would be advocating. I shouldn’t have to pull the CP text at the end of the round to determine what it does. I err to process/agent/consult cp’s being unfair for the aff (if you can defend theory though, this doesn’t mean don’t read them). Also, I think that perm do the cp on CPs that result in the plan can be rather persuasive, and a more robust textual/functional cp debate is probably necessary on the negative's part.
**Delay and consultation cp’s are illegit unless you have a specific solvency advocate for them. Agenda DA Uniqueness cp’s are too – I’m sorry that the political climate means you can’t read your politics strat on the negative, but that doesn’t mean you should be able to screw the aff’s strategy like that. Have other options.
Wonderful. Disadvantages versus case debates are probably my favorite debates (pretty much every 2NR my partner and I had). I love politics disads (RIP the trump administration ruining the best DA strat), I think they are educational in many ways. However, I can be very persuaded by no backlash/spillover answers on the internal link – in so many situations the internal link just makes NO sense. Offense is always preferred against da’s, but I think that there is such a thing as 100% no link (LOVE thumpers btw). Like elections DA's - not a huge fan of impact scenarios relying on the democratic candidate doing something once they get in office. Think shorter term impact scenarios are necessary.
I wrote my thesis on queer rage and my research now focuses on a Derridian/Althusserian analysis of Supreme Court rhetoric - but that does not mean I will automatically get whatever random critical theory you are using. Due to who I coach and what I research for academics, I am most familiar with identity theories, biopower, Marxism, any other cultural studies scholarship, Baudrillard, Derrida, and Deleuze. If your K isn't one of those - hold my hand. I think the most persuasive kritik debaters are those who read less cards and make more analysis. The best way to debate a kritik in front of me is to read slower and shorter tags in the 1NC and to shorten the overviews. I find most overviews too long and complicated. Most of that work should be done on the line-by-line/tied into the case debate. Also, debating a kritik like you would a disad with an alternative is pretty effective in front of me. Keep it clean. Unless your kritik concerns form/content - be organized.
Update: due to dissertation research monopolizing a large portion of my scholarly reading time, I have been unable to keep up with the newest writings of afro-pessimist/indigenous scholars. If you are reading anything from 2018-2020, assume I have not read it.
Note for policy v K regarding the "weigh the affirmative or nah" framework question - basically no matter how much debating occurs on this question, unless the affirmative or negative completely drops the oppositions' arguments, I find myself normally deciding that the affirmative gets to weigh their but is responsible for defending their rhetoric/epistemology. I think that is a happy middle ground.
Alliances notes: I think the affirmative should *at least* defend that one of the defense pacts in the resolution should be reduced. An affirmative argument on framework that they will defend topic disadvantages would be a very persuasive middle ground argument for me.
Overall Framework update: Procedural fairness IS an impact, but I prefer clash key to education. I find it difficult to vote for impacts that preserve the game when the affirmative is going for an impact turn.
Generic Case Update: I find myself voting neg on presumption often when this is a large portion of the 2nr strategy. I recommend affirmatives take this into account to ensure they are explaining the mechanism of the aff.
Your aff must do something. Deferral is not a strategy for me. I am not a fan of teams that just wait to get links until the 1NC occurs. I find performance debates some of the most fun rounds that I have debated in/seen, but I do like when critical affs engage the topic somehow. I find that interesting and usually a happy medium. Don’t get me wrong, I vote on who wins the argument so framework v. critical aff that engages the topic is still an option for the negative. Look at my Kritik views to get more ideas, but once again go slower on the tags so I can get what you are talking about. There is nothing worse than figuring out what the affirmative does in the 1AR-2AR.
I find judging non-black teams reading afro-pessimism affirmatives against black debaters an uncomfortable debate to decide, and my threshold for a ballot commodification style argument low.
Individual survival strategies are not predictable or necessarily debatable in my opinion (i.e. "This 1AC is good for the affirmative team, but not necessarily a method that is generalizable). I enjoy critical methods debates that attempt to develop a praxis for a certain theory that can be broadly operationalized. For example, if you are debating "fem rage" - you should have to defend writ large adoption of that process to give the negative something to debate. It is pretty difficult for a negative to engage in a debate over what is "good for you" without sounding incredibly paternalistic.
I am partially deaf in my left ear. It makes it difficult to decipher multiple sounds happening at the same time (i.e. people talking at the same time/music being played loudly in the background when you are speaking). I would recommend reducing the sound level of background music to make sure I can still hear you. Also means you just have to be a smidge louder. I'll let you know if sound level is an issue in the debate, so unless I say something don't let it worry you.
I love flowing. I now flow straight down in columns in an excel document, and have found it has made my decisions much more cohesive. I do my best to transcribe verbatim what you say in your speech so I can quote portions in my RFD. If you ask me not to flow, the amount I pay attention in the debate probably goes down to 20% and I will have mild anxiety during the round.
Debate should be fun - don't be jerks or rhetorically violent. This includes anything from ad homs like calling your opponent stupid to super aggressive behavior to your opponents or partner. Speaker points are a thing, and I love using them to punish jerks.
I am extremely expressive during round and you should use this to your advantage. I nod my head when I agree and I get a weird/confused/annoyed face when I disagree.
Put me on the doc chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Former varsity policy debater at GMU, was out of the community for 2 years and am now doing some minor judging and coaching for GMU's novices.
I default to competing interpretations. If you are reading a policy aff that has little relevance to the topic, or a very small portion of it, you should have good defenses for doing so. Probably best to go a little slower on the analytics here and overall.
Slow down while reading theory/CP texts
You need to provide a detailed explanation of how the CP solves all of the aff's internal links starting in the 2NC. If it does not claim to solve 100%, there needs to be a lot of explanation coming out of the block explaining why I shouldn't care about the solvency deficit as part of your sufficiency framing. You need to disprove perms well. Multiplank CPs with a plank to solve various internals are fun, though they should be unconditional. CPs should definitely have solvency advocates.
I've seen this format in several places and have decided to incorporate it with my theory thoughts.
Conditionality Bad-------------X----------------Hard Debates Good
PICs are fine if they’re actually well-argued
Condo Planks Magnify Abuse-X----------------------Condo Planks Are Fine
50 State Fiat Good-----------x--------States CP is Awful
Priority for me is link over uniqueness. If you're going to group sections, answer each argument made against that section, don't just read a generic link wall and assume that I'll connect everything on the line-by-line.
Case debates are great. Impact defense is the most important argument to get on these flows. I will vote neg on presumption, but you need to spend a lot of time on it. Disads on case are cool. Impact turns were my favorite arguments in debate, and I love to see them when I judge so long as they're ran properly.
Top Level: I debated policy all 4 years I participated, but I’ve spent my recent time in grad school doing critical research into pharmaceutical companies and the medical industry and have come to recognize that I find a lot of the common policy tropes and args as indefensible. So, I’m pretty happy now or at least feel more comfortable listening to a K. However, if you wind up with me in the back of a K v K round both teams are gonna need to be careful with how much terminology they use without grounding it in material examples for me to not be missing key nuances. PIKs are cool but fall under the same idea as PICs (I would like to see a well-explained rationale for what you’ve PIKed out of). If you’re trying to go for a late-breaking PIK, then flag what args you’re pulling it from earlier in the debate with your explanation.
My default is that the aff gets a perm. It's up to the aff to explain to me why the kritik is not mutually exclusive. For the neg, I can be convinced that the aff doesn't get the perm if you explain why it's bad.
FW: I try to be as blank template as I can be for clash rounds, but again I've become less convinced by FW as an arg. If you do wind up with me in the back for a clash debate, just debate it out like you’d normally do (I'm probably not gonna be excited to hear about ground loss again but I'll still vote on it). Probably a good idea to couch args in some material context for me to better understand your argument. I'd overall prefer a 2NR on the cap K or whatever other arg you could go for.
-Clarity should never be sacrificed for speed, though I make exceptions if you're trying to squeeze out one last card. This is especially true of online debate. I'll say clear once if you get incomprehensible, and afterwards will stop flowing until I can understand you again.
-Be respectful to other debaters. Obviously, some performative situations can allow for or encourage you to act a certain way in round but try not to cross a line with personal attacks or other things like that
my email for email chains is email@example.com
Quick update 2018 - some years ago I drafted the rubric for speaker points that you see below. Since then I have monitored developments in the debate community on typical speaker point distribution across all judges/tournaments, as discussed online by people who keep track of such things. I don't really dwell on this data much, but I do try to be mindful of community tendencies. Also, I notice how my own debaters read judge philosophies in crunch-time right before a round, and realize debaters reading this want a tl:dr.
Therefore, note that I probably now give speaker points that inch higher than what I initially suggested. This means in most cases I'm giving 28 and above, for debaters who seem to be doing elim-level debate it's usually 28.5 and above, and for especially impressive debate it's 29 and above. I do still dip into the mid-to-high 27's in occasional instances where I want to make it clear that I think the particular speeches really could use some work. At the time of writing (Jan 2018) my average speaker points are about a 28.5.
*******Paradigm Edited 11/10/13, prior to Wake Forest 2013 *******
** Scroll past speaker point scale to get a shorter philosophy explanation **
Speaker point scale:
0 = the debater committed some sort of ethics violation during the round (e.g. clipping cards)
26 to 26.9 = one or both of the following things happened: a) the debater made some kind of major tactical mistake in the debate, such as a completely dropped off-case position, without any attempt to address how they might still win the debate even if that argument is charitably given the full weight that the opposing team prefers. (more leeway on this is given to novice debates) b) the debater was hostile or rude towards competitors in the debate such that opportunities for respectful discourse concerning different ideas devolved into a breakdown of communication. Debaters have different personalities and approaches and I encourage you to explore ways of comporting yourself that express these personalities and approaches (be proud, indignant, cunning, provocative, etc), but please at all times also communicate with each other as students from different schools who respect each other for taking the time to have a lengthy debate round, in whatever part of the U.S. where you may presently have journeyed for such an encounter.
27 to 27.4 = the debater's overall strategy made sense, but various parts of the debate could have used more depth when instead those parts were fairly 'paint by numbers' (e.g. addressing certain arguments with generic/block answers instead of dealing with them more specifically). Evidence comparisons were fairly sparse, but the basic story on a given sheet of flow paper was clear enough.
27.5 to 27.9 = the debater did a solid job of debating. A coherent strategy was executed well. For certain key issues, initial clash advanced into higher forms of assessment, including a charitable understanding of why your opponent's arguments might be good yet your argument is ultimately more important/relevant.
28 to 28.4 = the debater did a solid job of debating across all the flows that were alive in the round. The debater focused on what mattered, was able to swiftly discount what did not ('closing doors' along the way), and took initial clash on key points to highly advanced levels. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if a debater with points like this advanced to early elimination debates (e.g. double octo's)
28.5 to 28.9 = the debater did everything from the previous scale, but was also able to do this with incredible organization: the most important things were in rank order, the crucial arguments were made without repetition/with cogent word economy, and I felt that the debater's communication seemed to guide my flow along with me. If cards/evidence are in question, you're able to speak of the overall ideologies or motivations driving a certain scholarship/movement, thus "getting behind" the card, in some sense. If a point is made without evidence or without a traditional claim/warrant structure, the debater does so in way that requires translation/interpretation on my part, yet the manner in which I should translate/interpret is also elicited from me/taught to me over the course of the debate. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if a debater with points like this could advance past early elimination debates.
29.0 to 29.4 = the debater did everything from the previous scale, but approached a sort of fluency that amazed me. The debater not only did what they needed to in order to match or outclass their opponents, but I furthermore felt that the debater was connecting with me in such a way where your arguments trigger understanding almost as a gestalt phenomenological experience. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if you did well in any of your other debates, prelim or elim.
29.5 to 30 = If memory serves, I have rarely if ever given speaker points that inch this close to 30. This is because 30 is perfection, without any umms, ahhs, odd turns of phrase, instances where you just lost me or where, given a rebuttal redo, you yourself would probably have done that part of your speech differently. If you are this close to 30 then you have perfect command of your opponent's position, of whatever gap you have to bridge in order for things to 'click' with me, and you are able to talk about your research and core arguments in a way where you yourself are clearly ready to push the scholarship/performance that you draw upon to its next heights, if you are not doing so already.
Objectivity and consistency is an elusive ideal: the reality is that subjectivity and some variability is inevitable. I think a good judge should be attentive in debates and vigiliant with self-assessments, not solipsistically but in light of evolving encounters with others. One of the biggest lessons I got out of my philosophy work was the extent to which all humans are prone to habits of self-deception, on many levels.
***** Debate experience
- Debated policy 4 years in high school (won the TOC)
- Debated policy 4 years at University of Southern California (4-time NDT qualifier, elims in my senior year)
- I was away from debate while in graduate school for philosophy
- I have coached Policy and PF debate at two high schools (Notre Dame and Millburn)
- I have coached Policy debate at two universities (Binghamton and Cornell)
- I am currently Assistant Director of Forensics/head debate coach at Cornell University
***** Some views on certain arguments
Any kind of argument is fine by me: I wait to see how debaters respond to what happens in the round and try not to import any predispositions concerning the default way that I should evaluate things. There are various harms/impacts that can orient a given side’s concern, plus various meta/framing/sequencing arguments that grant, reorient, or block my access to consideration of those harms/impacts, depending on how these issues play out in a debate.
Various kinds of challenges to the resolution and norms of the community are fine by me.
Kritiks: I ran them often in high school/college. I studied philosophy in graduate school.
Counterplans can take various forms: bring it on. See below about having full cp/permutation text for the entire round (to check against ‘morphing advocacies’).
Topicality debates: if an affirmative is trying to present a topical example of the resolution being true, but the negative thinks the aff is not topical then it is the negative’s right to go ‘all in’ on such an argument.
I debated policy advantage/da/impact debates almost as often as kritiks. Any politics link and link turn debates need to be laid out pretty clearly for me - mind your jargon please. The same goes for impact scenarios: who, what, against what country, etc.
For any asserted advocacy or test of competition, the plan text, permutation, etc needs to be clearly articulated in the round and written down so that it can be evaluated. For any card that you want me to read in last rebuttals, you should be telling me what I will find when I read that card and why it matters for the debate. I won't sift through a series of cards if you have just mentioned them/rattled off the citations without making use of them.
***** final notes
I have an aversion towards 'cloud clash', i.e. rattling off 2-3 minutes of overview and then basically hoping that the judge plucks out whatever applies towards some later part of the debate. Line-by-line debate and the elegance of organization that it offers is in decline lately. This has a lot to do with recent norms and computer-debating. This is at the cost of clash and direct refutation, and can come across as being aloof/wanting the judge to do the work for you. So, overviews should be short and then get on with actually responding to individual arguments.
I prefer the email chain over jumping flash drives, when possible. One click of ‘send’ and there is no longer the agonizing wait of flash drive driver installation, throwing jump drives around, etc.
Please communicate with each other, instead of yelling at each other (see my speaker point scale above for the under 27 range).
At the end of any round, I will vote for one team over the other and indicate this with my written ballot. This will be the case for any debate round that I can presently imagine.
That is all I can think of. Feel free to ask me more questions in person.
I'm jumping back into judging for the first time in years. I don't know anything about this topic, but I am excited to learn.
In terms of arguments, I tend to prefer quality over quantity and think of debate as more of discourse community than a game. I'm more interested in fixing ongoing problems than preventing obscure hypothetical scenarios. I tend to favor a broad interpretation of the topic.
I gravitate towards critical arguments and I'm generally more interested in disadvantages to the perm/alt than framework or theory blocks.
I'm not a huge fan of speed. That goes double for card dumps. I would rather see you extend and explain your 1AC/1NC evidence than listen to you read a slew on new cards in the 2AC/2NR. I came to hear your analysis of the evidence, not listen to how fast you can read.
Generally speaking, the team that wins my ballot is the team that spends more time talking about the aff. If you're aff, this means explaining your solvency and extending your impacts. If you're neg, this means explaining 1) why your CP/Alt solves the aff better or 2) why you've turned the case.
brubaie at gmail - please add to email chains, thank you
Updates 11/8 (Wake 2021)
1. Above all for you, please just do what you do and do it well! I like every "style" of debate and have been lucky to debate, coach, or judge most over these past two decades. Thank you for being stewards of a beautiful game at a pivotal moment in history.
2. Above all for me, I'm flow-centric and frame-driven. By frame-driven, I mean that your 2NR/2AR must identify what the most important issue(s) in the debate are, why they're the most important issues, and how voting your way best addresses them. The flow-centric judging rewards those that choose and compare a few A+ arguments at the end over a greater number of A- arguments.
3. I judge quite a few framework debates and like them. I don't have a strong "lean," but I do notice some slight trends relative to others;
-- For the neg, I often find that the neg does well when they choose to lean on fairness/some procedural impact. It's the thing the neg's interp most often clearly solves. I think some version of a TVA + aff doesn't solve combo from there is an effective strategy.
-- For the aff, it helps to have some vision of what good debates look like under your counter-interp and then to negate their model from there (i.e. to read impact turns/Ks of the neg's model instead of a list of counter-interps of "resolved.")
Either way, the winning team is usually the one who best addresses the other's impact rather than the team who is most dismissive, i.e. "our model is a better way to (x)" is often more effective than "who cares about (x)?"
4. Evidence quality is very important, but the way evidence is utilized and framed in the final rebuttals is usually the most important variable in how I assess it. If I hear a clip/quote from the ev referenced in the last speech I'm likely to read it.
5. I'm not the worst judge for a risky CP. Most common 2AC theory objections seem like competition debates, and I've never understood why the neg can't just say "CP doesn't compete, not going for it." I'm also not the worst for conditionality, but that's more often because of tech (i.e. flippant block that doesn't answer the 2AC) than truth (i.e. some real aversion to conditionality, which I intuitively think is good).
6. I'm a pretty receptive judge to a logical and well-evidenced T claim. This is especially true for college (my sense of anti-trust so far is that it's interesting but expansive), and also true in HS (though I'm less familiar here, please spend a little extra time if you go for it!)
7. The more a K identifies specific parts of the 1AC/2AC that it disagrees with, the better! The aff should attempt to identify which parts of the aff are offense, why only the aff solves them, why they outweigh, etc.
One small note: I think some folks believe I have a deep-seated love of K debate and dislike of policy debate and to be fair they're half right. I do deeply love lots of K debate and research, but I also love lots of policy debate and spent the last 7,000 days of my life trying to figure out how to do it well. I'm honored to judge whatever debate I'm invited to judge and will try my hardest to always be fair and helpful.
8. I haven't said much about online debate. My only real thought is that it is rough and I'll try to give according grace. Whether we meet one day in person or you're speaking over a microphone, the game and your aim is the same: just have fun, give it your all and try to enjoy it! Debate goes by way too fast and is very easy to take for granted.
Longer philosophy for any self-hating individuals who want to read more verbose, poorly composed thoughts.
Put me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I dislike intervening in debate rounds. I would much rather apply the criteria the debaters supply and work things out that way. As a result the final rebuttals should provide me with a clean story and a weighing mechanism. If only one side provides this I will default to their standards. If neither side does this, I’ll use my own opinions and evaluations of the round.
Simply put the debate is about impacts- weigh them, their likelihood and magnitude and we’re doing fine.
I think it is the debater’s responsibility to explain the analysis of their cards, particularly on complex positions. However, I recognize the time constraints in a round and will read cards that receive a prominent place in rebuttals. But I do not like to read piles of cards and being forced to apply my analysis to them. As a side note, I rarely flow author names so don’t just extend the author’s name- also be clear to which argument the card applies to.
I’ll listen to whatever people want to say- but you should probably know my dispositions ahead of time. Be warned however, I have voted against my preferences many times and anticipate doing it again in the future.
I like kritik/advocacy debate. That being said, I do not have a knee-jerk reaction when I hear them. Part of what makes kritiks interesting is the variety and depth of responses available. To get my vote here I generally need a clear story on the link and implication levels.
I enjoy framework debates- debating about debate is fun- and as a bonus I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers- just arguments that can be made.
I rejoice the return of topicality! And I have no problem voting on topicality, even if I don’t agree with a particular interpretation, but I do think a T story needs to be clear and technically proficient.
DAs are great, and the more case specific the better. Make sure you have a clear story and try to create distinctions between multiple end of the world scenarios if that's your thing.
I don’t mind listening to PICs or other interesting CPs, and I often feel they’re good way to test the validity of a plan. However, I am open to theoretical debate here and I’m willing to vote on it.
I will vote on the easy way out of a round- I don’t try to divine the ultimate truth of what the debaters are saying. I’m just adjudicating a game- a fun game that can teach stuff and be pretty sweet- but still a game. So enjoy your round, do your job and I will too.
Here is my email for the email chain:
Here is my short biography for you to know who I am:
Hi, my name is Jeremy. I'm a freshman at SUNY Binghamton. I did 4 years of policy debate at Brooklyn Tech where I reached late elimination rounds at numerous tournaments, Quarter-finaled at NAUDL, and qualified to the TOC. You could probably describe me as a theory nerd. I read a lot of 19th and 20th century German and French philosophy both for debate and for personal interest (i've consciously chosen to throw my life away with a philosophy degree). As far as debate relevant authors are concerned: I am most well read on authors such as Nietzsche, Deleuze and Guattari, Moten and Harney, Franco Berardi, and Jean Baudrillard. That being said, I have plenty experience reading arguments stemming from literature bases such as Anti-Blackness, Settler Colonialism, Biopolitics, Marxism, etc. (go for the cap k. seriously, it's under utilized and not very nuanced most of the time so if you can add nuance you'll likely reck people). Debate also isn't really that innovative, I've likely seen something similar to what you're doing before and will be able to follow along.
Here is the start of my paradigm:
You're probably tired of hearing this by now, but it kinda of has to be said: DO WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT. The round will go so much better for everyone if you don't try to overcorrect for the arguments you think I might like because I likely have a higher bar for the execution of those arguments. Do your thing and you will likely have higher speaks and a higher shot of getting the w given that you:
1) Have a claim, warrant, and impact to every argument. It isn’t an argument absent these three elements, and I will have trouble/not be able to/want to adjudicate what you’ve said.
2) Make sure, on that note to properly explain your positions, don’t make an assumption that I know your DA scenario (perhaps fill me in on the internal work), or K jargon. Maybe i haven't judged that many rounds this topic and don't understand abbreviations right away - help me out. I can tell you now that I've barely thought about the water topic so don't expect me to know the ins and outs.
3) Have comparative analysis of evidence, arguments, and performative styles as it compares to your own and how I ought to prioritize impacts as it relates to your framing of the round. Can't stress this enough--don't concede to your opponents interpretation of their evidence. The more you can constraint the horizon of your opponents arguments to the their own evidence, the greater leverage you will have to weigh your own arguments.
4) Be Persuasive, it will go a long way to making me to sign my ballot your way if you can make the round enjoyable, touching, funny, etc – it will also help your speaks. If you can make a good One Piece reference and I might bump your speaks. The more recent the reference, the higher the bump.
5) Write the ballot for me in your 2nr/2ar, tell me how you win. Take risks, and don’t go for everything. Make me think, “woah, cool, gonna vote on that” “What they said in the last rebuttal was exactly how I prioritized stuff too, judging is soooo easy [it's often not :(]"
Some specific things not in any particular order
1) I probably won't hack for u if you're a k team. I like certain debate styles more than others, but at the end of the day it's your job to win the flow. I might be sympathetic toward your arguments, but if you drop util or extinction outweighs that would be really tough.
2) I like T debates and more k teams should go for T vs policy affs. don't let policy teams read abusive arguments just because they think you won't call them on it. Even if you don't go for it, it might prove some of your arguments on the K.
3) Do case debate - It's never strategic to let the affirmative team have 100% solvency for their impacts to leverage against you. Most affs are also terribly built. Speaking to 1ns out there, you have the entire 1ac, 2nc, and 2nc cx to read the entire 1ac, sus out what the internal links are, figure out why those internal links are wrong, and even recut some of the 1ac evidence to read in your own speeches as case turns, alt causes, and other solvency deficits.
4) Do something cool - creative and absurd arguments can be really fun and often times really annoy your opponents, but that's also kinda fun.
I evaluate the case first. Does the aff solve its impacts, ie Aff solvency is paramount. In general, Internal links are the weakest points of affs and DA's. They also are the strongest points when not well contested. So i would look at internal link D and impact D as well as internal link turns first. Regardless of the aff, there is almost never 100% risk of the internal link chain being true, its always probabilistic.
After that I try to find out if the neg has a way for me to filter out Aff offense/solvency. This means I try to determine whether the neg has a counterplan that solves the aff advantages or a k solves case claim. Other things I'd look for is whether the Neg offense turns the Aff offense. Remember that if you go for a case turn, you need uniqueness or else its just defense.
I go on to see what the neg's impacts are for their K or Da or case turns. Again, Links and internal links matter. Rarely is the impact the thing that makes it or breaks it. Things to consider here are whether the magnitude of the internal link and the links are high. Inevitability arguments can be quite powerful. Additionally, I am in the camp that whether the uniqueness determines the direction of the link or other way around is fundamentally context dependent. Elections may hinge on a big link because things are muddled now. Lastly, there is the impact level. Turns case args are always well appreciated. They can really neturalize an aff and make debates easy. Impact comparison is obviously helpful; keep an eye out for strategic concessions you can use off of impact defense. Frequently you have these opportunities.
I prefer affs that have some relationship to the topic. That relationship can be debated. I am unlikely to be persuaded that debating topicality is the worst kinds of violence. It might be a very serious problem. You can win impact turns in front of me about why T is a problem, explain your metaphors and have depth and reasons and examples that contextualize how topicality mirrors or causes the problems you highlight. Limits is the internal link I tend to be most persuaded by. Topical versions of the Aff are big for me that actually make inroads into solving harms identified by the affirmative. If you are not topical I would prefer to see you provide unique insight about the topic that traditional policy affirmations miss.
Textually AND functionally competitive counterplans AND advantage counterplans are legitimate to me. Otherwise I tend to be a bit less forgiving for CPs that are not both. I am not the best with theory so unless its outright dropped or mishandled I wouldn't make it your A strategy.
Not likely to be convinced Ks shouldn't be allowed in debate. Winning framework is huge to how I filter out the Impacts of the debate round. I/L turns are important. Affs that make inroads into solving harms the K has identified helps to tip the scales. If your K confuses most judges it may confuse me. Alt has to solve in order for me to vote on a K. Am not likely to vote on presumption or you link you lose. If you make well evidenced impact claims from the links you win is a different story.
Important Things To Consider:
Been out of debate for a bit so clarity is big for me, especially rebuttals. Do not speed through analytics, am not the best flow currently. Recommend including your analytics in your Speech Docs. Tell me why you have won at the top of the 2NR & 2AR and prove it throughout the rest of your speech ie make it easy for me to identify what your strongest reason for winning is. Try to put together the story of the debate at the end, otherwise if I have to, then the decision may not be one you agree with.
Binghamton '24, remain highly intent on debating in college but ran into some issues
assistant coach @ Berkeley Prep
My arguments in high school were fairly flex with a small bias towards the k side of things. I was the sort of person that loses a lot of bid rounds and rounds-before-bid rounds.
Random updates -- TOC '21:
I am a hard sell on attitudinal fiat in the vast majority of cases. This is worse the vaguer the things you attitudinally fiat are -- i.e., I will be highly skeptical of trying to fiat that the USFG ends 'racist policing practices,' and so forth and so on. I suddenly have started judging debates where this is a thing so here are my feelings about it.
I lean neg on the theoretical aspects of the NGA CP, but this also means that I will probably end up agreeing that an NGA-specific solvency deficit links -- this matters since negs only seem to cover the 'uncoop federalism good' debate
I don't understand why K teams let the neg get away with some of the pics i've been seeing -- that solve like DHS counterterrorism enforcement, etc. I think a lot of these are very obviously impact-turnable, and most of the time are already implicitly impact turned by the aff anyway -- which also means I would hold the line on getting explanation of what parts of the aff exactly the pic solves. I think sufficiency framing is tenuous in these debates if the pic chooses to do something directly in contradiction with the aff's thesis
I assume I will lean negative in many or most t debates given the multidirectional nature of this resolution. This is a poorly thought out attempt to bring a college style list topic (who wouldn't want that?) to hs, and that seems bad
The k is most certainly core negative ground. that being the case, i'd like to hear more than just abolition.
you should read a plan in this division and I will penalize speaks if you don't
novices shouldn't have theory debates too early on
show flows for +0.2 speaks, +0.3 if they're good
+0.3 speaks if you opensource after the debate and tell me
tech determines the direction of truth
protecting the 2nr = yes
not your baudrillard
I will not evaluate arguments made outside of speech times and thus will stop flowing if you continue after the timer
New 1ar args can justify new 2nr cards -- new 1ar impact scenarios definitely do
New 2nr ev can rarely justify new 2ar ev -- this is really only true for debates with new 2nc impact turns
don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc or present right-wing extremist propaganda (Ben Shapiro, etc). this obviously does not include Mearsheimer, first strike x country, surveillance good, interventionism good, etc
an expressive judge, but tend to express my feelings about extremely irrelevant things and make difficult to discern expressions
horrible with eye contact
speed = good. I would strongly dislike adjudicating a debate that comes down to "speed bad" but won't let my biases interfere too much if there is robust technical argumentation. With that said, it is up to the debaters to honor requests not to spread and if they decide not to I won't personally or ethically find that objectionable.
I am extremely unlikely to vote in favor of mandating pref disclosure
Do not ask for high speaks
Moralizing is prohibited
"kritik affs"/planless affs/t-usfg/framework:
IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE: k teams -- before you give the 1ac, you should have a VERY clear concept of what the mechanism of your aff is and how your advocacy leads to it. as a rule, you should be able to succinctly sum up both those things in your head in one sentence or less. My least favorite debates to judge by far are those in a particularly annoying k team claims that the neg "conceded that we solve x" -- without having explained anything other than what "x" is. I will VERY stringently hold the line on writing ballots for arguments that lack any kind of internal logic -- in fact, I am probably more willing to do SIGNIFICANT work for the negative.
This applies more if you "read a plan" but do not have any actual or specific connection between it and your theory, and will jettison its actual implications or add things to it at will. If that sounds like you, be aware that I will probably not evaluate most if not all offense tied to the "plan." NOTE: not necessarily referencing PRF here -- i have a variety of complex thoughts on it but on the whole, relatively positive ones when done well.
affs should not defend a moral truism
The rest of my views here are much less strongly held -- kritik affs can be topical and sometimes are but the overwhelming majority are not. By this I mean that there are hypothetically possible planless affs that result in the resolution but don't attempt to garner offense from things extraneous to it, i.e. whose advocacy of the resolution is filtered through different scholarship/research than that traditionally employed in policy debates. I do NOT mean that effects topicality is not a thing in these debates -- just that it's perfectly possible for these affs not to need to win offense about "creating movements" that lead to the resolution to win that they do the resolution.
Defending a topic disad doesn't necessarily convince me that you're topical. The idea that it does makes neg ground reliant on the goodwill of the affirmative. If you say that you defend the link and then blow off answering the substance of the disad such arguments will seem disingenuous and unrelated to what your model of debate actually entails. the flip side of this is that teams that do not go for these disads out of cowardice will be less convincing and feel it in their speaks. ks of disads, interesting as they are, are basically irrelevant absent substantive contestation
if your strategy is to be untopical, I will be more convinced by arguments which implicate the communicative structure and/or form of debate rather than practices in the community.
debate is a game, but it does have social and political implications for the players, however, blowing up the game makes any of those benefits a moot point. if you are going to indict the gaming model you should functionally be saying debate bad.
Procedural fairness is an impact, because, again, the integrity of the game is a pre-requisite to its positive attributes
fairness > clash > skills. if you do go for a clash impact you need to explain why lack of clash is unique to not having a plan, especially if the aff defends something tangible/similar to the resolution AND why clash makes your model preferable -- i.e., much of the time the 2nr and 2ar in these debates force me to weigh totally non-quantifiable claims about the relative amount of ground lost or preserved, rather than making a hard structural claim about why adhering to the rez is necessary for debate to exist. I think procedural fairness is the only impact that adequately does this
the only remotely convincing skills impacts seem to be those that deal with "learning about IR good", but I'm up to hear a new one
]the cap k is incredibly underutilized by both sides of the "clash of civs" when debating planless affs
k stuff generally:
I love 'em, though my ideological kinks might have you believe otherwise. I have knowledge of all manner of Marxist and Lacanian things, Baudrillard, Girard, Bataille, Heidegger, Semniocapitalism, "Cybernetics," Preciado, Queer Negativity, Deleuze, Dark Deleuze, Queer Optimism, Afropessimism (primarily Wilderson and Warren), "the race war." Chances are I know it, although somethings published by Germans in the past year may escape me.
links to the plan + alts that function as counterplans OR links that function as impact turns are my favorite k debates. This is slightly ideological, but more simply that I feel that these debates produce the best revolutionary research and are more delightfully creative than the type of critical debates that are more common.
That said, I don't have any real objections to framework focused argumentation. I think "weighing the aff" is not all-or-nothing, insofar as the aff is attached to a number of things (political and educational methodology, engagement with certain structures, goals, etc) besides its scenarios which these debates are almost entirely about. Aff teams themselves tacitly admit this (reading framing contentions, aff framework args existing to begin with, etc). Most framework arguments will allow the aff their impacts as long as they defend the other parts of the aff, which seems like a good and sustainable model of debate.
If your framework argument doesn't allow some form of weighing the aff, that's fine too. To clarify: it's not that I don't have ideological views here, its just that they are too weakly held to influence how I judge.
I in the abstract like impact turns as a strategy vs the k, as these debates should be more interesting and provide more clash than standard "state good, etc" debates. In practice, I find that many of the arguments made on both sides in these debates are among the least thought out in the activity. This is generally worse for k teams, who more often than not seem to not read cards to answer these arguments, contextualize their theory to them without actually disproving their truth, or read very non-specific evidence from k authors (people involved in phil and english departments) to answer ev from scientists, etc. This wounds me existentially, given the amount of actual research out there that would allow you to win these debates, and I will be delighted to punish your bad research.
Much of the time the arguments made on the other side of these debates are also silly and reflect at what are at best half-baked understandings of given world events, or in some cases just involve naming something good and assuming that no one will contest that cap/whatever is key to it or reading evidence almost completely lacking in actual warrants. This is not to say that I don't want to hear cap good or heg good, but I beg you to cut better cards and make sure your ev or args stand up to logical scrutiny based on their broader context. Also, there should be cap key warrants. As someone who spends a great deal of time reading about international conflicts and booms and busts, I would appreciate it.
t vs policy affs
I default to competing interpretations.
reasonability is not a thing
not much else to say here
community consensus + inability to draw a line between disads means that the politics da is a real thing BUT these disads seem to often consist of uniqueness + impact with very weak coverage of the link debate, and evidence quality trends towards abysmal. I will be far less tolerant of evidence spin than I would be normally given the already tenuous theoretical legitimacy
I read most if not all evidence
uq + link + internal link + impact
I like well-researched, specific, techy, creative, etc counterplans. I am a big fan of the advantage cp. I especially enjoy cps that rely on a macroeconomic or ir theory to ground solvency (mmt, prolif good, etc). uniqueness cps are cool
Process counterplans become better the more they are grounded in topic literature. Process counterplans become worse the more they use neg fiat to manufacture an opportunity cost or lead to the aff. Theory will be covered below.
Sufficiency framing >>>>
Logical arguments or arguments based on obvious holes in the aff don't necessarily need solvency advocates
obviously you can kick specific planks
lean negative on: condo, pics (including plan-inclusive alts), no plan no perm
will assume judge kick except for k alternatives
lean affirmative on: fifty state fiat, multi-actor fiat generally, agent counterplans generally, process counterplans that don't very obviously compete
i am open to intrinsic perms being okay to punish shitty process cps
I am completely unfamiliar with traditional ld. My understanding of this kind of debate is really only insofar as it is a less complex, shorter, one-person version of policy
Same views as in policy apply for the most part. Best for larp or structural k debates.
Biases in no plan debates significantly weaker in this activity
While I like the general idea of trix debate based on troll factor, I am VERY unfamiliar with this style of debate and the way it works. Some trix args I will probably be able to intuit a decision out of, others maybe not. Do with this what you will.
I do not know much about analytic phil. I know a decent amount about continental and political phil.
esoteric things that will delight me:
any card cut/written by a member of the McKinney family
Chinese Socialism good
Nick Land references
jokes about: any person referenced below, any current mamaroneck debater, Rylie Torguson, Spencer Powers, Taman Kanchanapalli, Jazmyn Luckett, Eugene Toth, Harrison Picallo, Chase Earland, Binghamton AM
People who have influenced how I debate/judge/view debate:
Atticus Glen, Ken Karas, Daryl Burch, Roberto Fernandez, Ruby Klein, Madison Eggers, Edmund Zagorin, Jack Booth, Alex Sherman, Jorman Antigua
GO READ KATHRYN RUBINO's PHILOSOPHY. https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=7374
Here are a few additional comments specific to me.
I debated from 1998-2002 (in Texas) and 2002-2006 (in CEDA East).
In 2009 I was a junior faculty member at the Asian Debate Institute in Seoul, Korea.
I graduated from law school in 2013, and am currently a lawyer in the Army.
Although I've done some judging in the past ten years (once at CEDA, once at TFA State, once at the NDT, and periodically for the Houston Urban Debate League) I have been mostly away from the policy debate community.
Accordingly, please err on the side of over-explanation rather than assume that I am up on the latest and greatest in creative argumentation. You should generally not assume that I am familiar with your authors or that I will do the work for you.
I still like real-world policy discussions. I still love topicality. I still enjoy thinking outside the box. I like listening to debates about theory.
I will listen to anything, but I need there to be clash and I need someone to tell me what framework to adopt. Policy Debate is an open forum where any and all arguments are fair game, but you have to make the case for it if you want to be successful.
I am always willing to answer questions, so if you have specific ones let me know.
Above all, have fun.
[For evidence distro purposes, please use this email address: RESDebate@gmail.com]
Hi. I'm Paris and I'm a senior at West Point. I am a K debator, but most of our team does policy so I'm familiar with both. There's 3 big things:
1) speak clearly. I have bad ears. If I can't understand it, ill pick my pen up. Look at my faces, its often a sign.
2) I hate supertagged cards and/or teams that don't want know their evidence. Call the other team out on that.
3) Tell me why you won the debate or why I'm voting.
Currently a coach for GMU, former debater at Liberty University, 7 years debating experience overall, NDT 2x, 2019 1st round, 2019 CEDA Top Speaker, and have judged all the tingz. After doing both policy and performance debate, I have learned that the most important thing for me is to create a space for myself and the arguments I want to read. Even though I think this is an educational and competitive activity that pays the bills (#schmoney), I still think it should be fun! That being said, my hope is that you will run what you are passionate about! If that's the Econ DA, Anti-blackness K, Fem K, or USFG, then let's get it! DO YOU BOO! This also means that yes debate is a game, but its full of real people and real consequences so we should keep that in mind as we play.
The above thoughts are still true, but thought it's probably time to update this thing in the case people actually read it. The biggest update is making sure y'all know that I want to be a puppet. I don't want to do more work than I have to, I don't want to have to read your evidence, I don't want to have to find pieces across the flow to make my decision, and I just don't want to intervene. So, please stop card dumping and just explain the warrants you have, please give me a clear ballot you want me to repeat back to you, and please talk about you really cool concepts in relation to the other team's arguments and not just as rants (even though they are really smart rants).
Now, that that's been said, I've found myself mostly in the back of the room of either KvK or clash debates, with the very rare appearance of a policy v policy round (minus novice and so my rant on theory doesn't apply to them), it may help to unpack my thoughts based on type of round.
K v K (jv/open):
There seems to be a lack of explanation burden for affs and alts recently. As a result, it normally ends up hurting the aff on presumption because the neg can kick the alt but the aff can't kick the aff. A few recommendations -
For the aff, make sure you know what your aff does and that you can explain the i/l to resolve your impacts. It really isn't enough to use words within your method to explain your method because it becomes circular logic very quickly. The second is to find ways to make it harder for the negative to kick out of the alt or have less burden to prove solvency than you do.
For the neg, take advantage if the aff has a lack of explanation. You should be pressing them to explain every impact in the aff even if they don't flag it as the big impact. I am very persuaded by presumption when its read offensively so make the aff do their job.
Other comments for k v k include the permutation debate. A lot of neg teams make the argument about no perms in a method debate and the only reason I am persuaded by that is 1ars never answer it and the 2ar answer is so new and lacks depth. As a result, aff's should probably have a better prepared answer and then I would be more open to your perm.
I vote on who wins the round which means one round I may vote on fmwk against a k aff, the next on the k aff. Each round is different so please, innovate! Even with the same argument, you should be searching for ways to re-articulate arguments. Seeing the same 1nc/2n/1nr read off same blocks is not a good look and this is speaking to both sides policy and k.
In these debates, I normally end up siding with tech over truth insofar as it has let me do the least amount of judge intervention. I want to be very clear about what I mean by this, truth normally requires me to read cards for people which if you're not explaining cards I don't want to do the work for you, which is why I say I tend to lean towards clash. I'm saying this to reassure K teams that tech > truth is not automatically a bad thing for you. Ultimately, the best debaters find a good balance between tech and truth, but again I'm a puppet so if you want me to lean a certain way, tell me to do so and why I should.
Policy v Policy (jv/open):
Again, I am rarely in these but the few I have been in tend to come down to the most random theory arguments and I have to be honest - condo is not bad. Whenever I hear condo read in front of me, it just feels like policy teams whining cause I'm like - this is literally the ground you want when you read fmwk, but now its abusive? 5 off is abusive? 3 off is abusive? I meaaaaan ... it just ain't clicking for me because its mostly teams who are absolutely losing other flows because the other team is better and theory is your hail mary. But that means I reward you for avoiding the fight? ok... That being said, people will continue to read condo and I get that - I don't want neg to read this and be like "bri says condo isn't bad in paradigm therfore I don't have to do a lot of work" - no. Please answer it accordingly. What I'm saying is I do not want to vote for condo so neg please don't create a world in which I end up voting for condo - close that door for the aff and I will forever appreciate you.
The only theory arg I find persuasive is perf con - because it means reading a k with something that contradicts makes you a fake radical. Do with that what you will.
End of update.
Now I know some debaters still like to worry about what the person in the back of the room thinks so I'll break down some key points.
-I used to say spreading is fine, but in the era of online debate, folks be more unclear than usual. Spread at your own risk because if you don't pace yourself, then it may not get on my flow.
-Explanation > reading more cards
-Organization is key. Even if the other team is messy, it puts you in a better position to clear things up for the judge so line by line can help
-I'm a very expressive person so look at my face cause my visual cues might help you out (and I oop...)
-More people should pref Tyler Wiseman.
-At the end of the debate, be sure to tell me why I should vote for you; if you don't, then you can't get big mad when I don't ... periodt
I love running the K and the moment I was able to get into critical literature in my debate career, I dived right in. That being said, two important conclusions: One, I understand the foundations of most literature bases so feel free to run them if that is the style of argumentation you prefer.
Two, I have a larger threshold for the K because I expect you to explain the link story and the alternative with warrants so don't assume that just because I know the theory means you don't have to put in the work for the ballot. Links should be contextualized to the aff - please don't restate your tags and author, but pull lines from 1ac/2ac. I would also warn against just running a K because you think I'm only a K debater. Again, DO YOU BOO! If your heart is in the K, go for it! If its not, don't force yourself.
I love performative links not personal attacks so if you are unsure what that line is, talk to your coaches or email me before you dive in. With performative links, just make sure to give a warranted analysis as to why I should vote on it and what the impact is.
Love them! I do prefer K aff's to be in the direction of the topic or make some attempt to include a discussion of the resolution, but if you are not, then at least give me a warranted explanation as to why you have chosen that route. For those that are in the topic of the resolution, have a clear impact and solvency story. Many times, debaters will get so caught up in the negative arguments that they lose sight of what is important...their aff! So make sure to keep a story line going throughout the entirety of the debate.
When you get into FMWk/T debates, be sure to extend and explain your counter-interpretation. What is your model and why is it good? That plus impact turns = a pretty easy ballot from me.
It's a strategy that is read against K aff's, it's a strategy I have won against, a strategy I have lost to, a strategy I have voted on and against. My personal outlook - debate is a game but it has real impacts that can help or harm certain individuals. While it is a competitive strategy, I do not think it is an excuse to not engage the affirmative because most of the time, your lack of engagement is what the aff will use to link turn the performance of reading fmwk (hint hint to K debaters reading this).
PSA - fairness is not an impact... at best, its an internal link to education. That being said, unless the aff has no justification for their aff, then you will have a 2% of getting my ballot by reading fairness. I find it most compelling when you prove in round abuse so be on the lookout and don't miss opportunities if you really down for that fairness life. I like the impact of education a lot more because it has better spill over claims. I also don't think you need a role of the ballot because I think fmwk is a counter RoB, but you should probably indicate that. Don't be shifty with your interp, but I believe a capable 2N will be able to accurately counter the 2AC shift and reframe the debate through the same interp in the 1nc. Please have a TVA! No, it does not need to solve the entirety of the aff because that is neg ground, but it should be able to solve the main impacts they go for. Lastly, defend your model of debate and explain why it would be better for the debate community writ large. If you are only focusing on the one round, then explain why that is better.
I don't have a preference meaning I am open to all types of CPs. What I do ask is that you have a net benefit and explain how your CP solves the aff. It's also nice if your CP is competitive...
I'm down for some good old throw downs on the DA flow, but make sure you have a clear and warranted link story and awesome impact calc for ya girl.
I think theory is procedural just make sure you explain very clearly and slowly what the violation is and why that matters...if you are going to go for theory, I expect the 2n or 2a to spend a good amount of time on it which means not just 30 sec or 1 min.
Policy Affs vs K:
Engage the K! Too many times policy teams just write over the K with their fmwk thinking that is the only work they have to do but it's just like debating a DA or CP. Do the link work and the more specific answers you have to the alt, the better position you are in. Don't just say Perm DB or Perm aff then alt, but really explain what that means and looks like in the world of the aff. I think you do need fmwk to get to weigh your aff but that is all the fmwk will get you which means don't forget to extend your aff and the impact story. A really good way to engage the K is to prove how the plan not only outweighs but resolves the specific impacts.
I think cross-ex is a really good place to assert your arguments and point out key flaws in the other team's arguments. This means you should take advantage of the time to really prove to me why the entire speech they just gave don't matter. While I think cross-ex is binding, you still have to bring it into a speech to explain why that moment was so important and the impact of it.
names michelle. Asst coach at gmu, previously binghamton for 2 years. debated for 5 years at mason
add me to the chain please - my email is email@example.com
I tend to keep my camera on during speeches. If my camera is off please assume I am not there and do not begin. I’m probably not far from my computer but if it’s been a while shoot me an email. 'is anyone not there' is not how you should be asking lol
Do whatever you do best. I debated on both sides of the clash so I’ll hear just about any arg as long as it’s well warranted and you make it interesting.
please slow down a little. i know every other judges paradigm says this but seriously dont go flying through your analytics on zoom.
i dont like this topic. i have done very little topic research. keep that in mind if for whatever reason tab decided i should judge your policy debate.
FW - if fairness is your jam, you need to give a very good explanation of why clash was impossible in this debate. if a team says you can go for a da and you dont im gonna be very sympathetic to the aff (seriously just go for the da). quite often counter-interps are incredibly vague and poorly explained, so take advantage of that. i am not compelled if your tva isnt actually responsive to the aff - it doesnt need to be perfect but at the very least make sure it talks about the content of the 1ac. even if you're going for fw, you still need to answer the aff (make use of presumption! its your friend!)
for answering fw - if youre a team that does nothing in the 1ac and all of your offense is based on just impact turning whatever the 1nc said, im going to be a little grumpy. i like affs that defend things. i need a very clear explanation of what your interp is and what it actually means in a competitive sense; debate is a pretty cool activity and if your interp is just 'f*ck debate' ill be sad.
t - no idea whats topical under anti-trust. i barely know the names of the core laws. i do like t debates though, so do with that what you will. with policy affs, over limiting > under limiting
Counterplans - not the biggest fan of cheaty cps. condo is good up until a point. dont like perf con or condo planks. not a fan of states but i guess y'all dont really have a choice this year.
case debate - big big fan of good impact turn debates. presumption is also a useful argument.
K - it would be cool if your link would be about the aff. i like alts but they are not necessary - win the framework debate and you're golden.
some odds and ends -
im typically a big picture thinker, so meta level questions and framing args are critical to instructing my ballot.
if im in a straight up policy debate, i dont get these too terribly often, so id recommend not making it too big - id prefer depth over breadth.
ive found im a pretty expressive judge, and if i am confused or cant understand you my face will make that clear.
That’s about it. Have fun, be clear, be clever. Don’t say f*cked up sh*t.
Assistant Director of Debate with Binghamton University & Assistant coach for Broome County Debate Alliance
Conflicts- Broome County Debate Alliance, George Mason University, Binghamton University
I prefer you do what you're best at, stuff below is biases, not set in stone. You're far better doing you than adapting to me on most things (though if it's a panel I understand)
Clarity > Speed but that is obvious, go as fast as you think you can continue to be clear, I'll tell you to be clear if you aren't.
I do want to be on the email chain (dwoodward92@gmail)
Don't say offensive things, I reserve the right to end debates IF I think an issue has gone too far or is inappropriate for the situation at hand
Online Debate Specific - Not sure how this season will end up, will say that I am sympathetic to online issues/connection quality. Indifferent on cameras being on or off, whatever leads to the best connection = best option. I do ask people to be louder than normal to make up for Mics and Masks however.
Is good and appreciated, and needs more support
Is a voter
Hard for me to vote aff if no we meet/counter-interpretation is extended
Hard for me to vote neg if no standards/interpretation are extended
I prefer competing interpretations over reasonability
End of/Start of Season/Core aff etc. type of arguments are not persuasive
2021-2022 Topics: After NU - this topic is massive. I'm still pro aff creativity, but some affs already rub me the wrong way/I have some questions about them. Will say individual sectors are cool. At the same time whatever you can justify let it work.
I reward teams punishing aff mistakes. This means exploiting things that aff authors say in the 8 sized font, or later in the article. Not there's no fed action key card in the 1AC.
I don't kick the CP for the neg if extended in the 2NR
Aff leaning on most theory questions
I like smart/specialized permutations versus generic perm do both that morphs in the 1AR.
**Important Theory thing** - Can be persuaded that anything but perm theory = reason to reject, Limited Condo is good, more than 2 condo is bad unless the aff is new. Kicking planks is always bad. New Aff/NDT/GSU means neg gets to do what they want is not an argument.
What I've found since i've been up front about this. I am more strict on what is my line for voting on theory (unless dropped) but still sympathize with aff teams when negs do wacky stuff theoretically. Ask on other specifics, will say PICS are the one type of CP where I lean neg theoretically.
Are good- I enjoy a clear DA + Case debate (I don't know who wouldn't)
Up to the debater to tell me if the link or uniqueness determine each other and what that means.
I will listen to/vote on politics DAs but general args about how unlikely it is to work or happen are persuasive.
Analytics can beat a bad DA/bad ev.
You will, more than likely know what you're talking about more than I do.
Easiest way to get my ballot is to explain your argument - Even IF I understand what you're saying the burden is on you to explain it. Teams who usually get my ballot with critical arguments are exceptionally good at breaking down their argument and explaining it along with strong line by line and framing. The more specific you make your critique to the aff (evidence, CX questions, etc.) the better off you'll be
If you're aff vs a K, defend your stuff. Aff teams are too cowardly these days- IF you have a specific thing they're critiquing, the first response shouldn't be to no link it- you should have a defense of the state/law/language/your specific impact or solvency mech. Sometimes it's ok to big stick aff our stuff OW's vs a K if that's what you have.
***Critical Affs/Clash Debates***
Aff should be in the direction of the topic and do something
Aff should explain how/what they do, the impact and why I should vote for you - remember I don't know your arg better than you
IF, as an Aff team you say in 1AC CX that X DA links to your aff, it will not bode well if that turns out to be a lie (unless the neg just doesn't read a link)
Offense is good
Fairness/Ground more persuasive on framework than portable skills type of standards.
Aff specific K/DA/case arg > Framework > Generic K in terms of options
Unless it's dropped the aff gets the perm
Treat me like a judge who flows but has done very little, usually 0 topic research, more explanation is key.
Parli/Lincolin Douglas Debate - I know little about either of these, other than speech times. at most I have read some random articles, have judged some LD debate but have never coached OR participated myself. Just tell me how to vote, what's important and what is involved. I'm ok with Policyish LD because most of my background is in policy. I will have not done topic research.
Public Forum - Spring 2021 was my first time actively being involved/researching or coaching Public Forum debate outside of helping at some summer camps/back when I was in High School. I will flow, I don't care about speed but I also am not used to what has changed about PF since 2009.
Based on my judging history I have learned 2 things.
1. I generally vote in a "lazy" way, not lazy as in i don't pay attention/flow but lazy as in the team who best tells me what to do, whether that is via a framework argument, impact analysis or simply the other team dropped x arg, this is most important thing in round, is more than likely to win. You are also likely to lose if your Final Focus is less about why you should win and more on responding to the other team. Points are usually higher in the debates where at least 1 team does the needed work versus ones where the teams do not direct me to a way to evaluate my ballot
2. in the world of online debate I do not like the trend of simply copying-pasting a link, OR a card w/o citations, etc into the online platform chat. As a result I've decided to try something new for PF.
Teams who share evidence in ways that are not simply pasting a link/unformatted card in the zoom/NSDA chat will gain bonus speaks in front of me.
.2 for using/sharing a google doc
.5 for using email chains (for the entire round)
1 full point if proof of updating your wiki/online with the round that was just judged
May keep this bonus to incentivize better evidence practices once we go offline again, stay tuned.
3. I generally am down for whatever yall can justify, just impact it well
But overall, just do what you do best.
***Misc Things that will apply regardless of debate format***
Don't troll debates- we all have invested time into being there for the period of time, would make my life easier if you wanted to forfeit/flip a coin/play a game/something vs running meme/joke args for no reason. If you do so you get a loss 15, if you do it but you're funny you get a 25 instead. Don't waste my and your opponent's time please.
Clarity > Speed
Tech > Truth (within reason)
Should be a given but don't say racist/offensive things.
Please don't cheat, if you do and you're caught, all proper things via the tournament will be pursued. IF you accuse someone of cheating and are wrong just don't.
Long overviews that attempt to replace line by line are not it, please do not do them - need direct line by line for best results.
Explain your args- spin/analysis means a C+/B- card can beat an A card with no spin. I try not to read evidence unless I absolutely have to, OR if the work to compare the pieces is done
Bonus speaks (to my discretion) to good League of Legends or Smash Bros references/jokes.
Offense wins debates. Defense is cool, but offense is why it matters. Warrants are key to offense. Smart analytics are better than bad cards. Examples are great contextualizations that allow you to reframe your opponent's arguments. Use them.
Impact framing has to be clear. Debates tend to come down to who can outweigh on the impact level. Internal links are both underrated and underquestioned. Tell me why you get to your impacts and then give me a warrant for how you stop it. Asserting "economic declines leads to war" is not a warranted internal link analysis.
I'm naturally very expressive. Watch me during the debate and you'll have a pretty good idea of what I think about the argument you are making.
I'm very flow-centric. Overviews are great for impact comparison, but line-by-line is where the fun techy stuff happens. Make sure you have a warrant and impact extended if you expect me to vote on something. Saying "they conceded this claim" is not an argument. That being said, one of my biggest pet peeves is when debaters say "they conceded this argument!" when they clearly answered it. Don't be that person.
Frame my ballot. My default stance is that I'm an educator, but not in the sense that I am present to educate you. I think I should be learning from you in the round, and my role as an educator just means that I am there to make sure everyone is learning. Winning framework goes back to impact comparison- tell me why the impacts on framework outweigh (or have to come before) the aff. That means you also have to engage the aff. If you're trying to beat framework, you need a reason why the case impacts outweigh (or come before) the impacts on framework. That means you have to engage the framework impacts.
In round abuse is a whole lot more convincing than potential abuse. If you're speeding or mumbling through a theory block, don't expect me to get down everything you're saying. The only theory arg I think I lean one way or the other on is performative contradictions. If you're going to contradict yourself, you better have a good defense of it.
I'm not going to vote for your alt if I don't know what it is or why it solves. Impacting your links is a great idea. You need to make sure you're contextualizing why the aff is bad and not why the status quo is bad.
Debate is an awesome opportunity for education in a very unique setting. Don't neglect that by not engaging your opponents' arguments
I reserve the right to end the debate due to anti-blackness
2007-2011 - Bethany High School - conservative Oklahoma LD debate (debater)
2011-2015 - University of Oklahoma (debater)
2015-present - University of Rochester (coach)
I'm the assistant director of forensics at the University of Rochester. I'm also a history grad student. I think more debaters should be historians.
A few loose thoughts:
- I'm almost 30, I want to hear arguments over substantive policy issues or critical theory.
- I don't like it when people ask for high speaker points.
- If you're reading a kritik, but not making arguments against the problem/solution paradigm, I think you need an alternative in the traditional sense, like the disad/counterplan model of kritik.
- There's a trend of teams not sending out taglines/plan texts, don't do that.
- For theory debates, I'm less interested in narrow debates over interpretations, and more interested in general practice (ex, less interested in, "neg only gets 2 conditional advocacies" and more interested in whether conditionality is good or bad).
- I tend to think conditionality is good, since I think Affs should be able to beat the squo or a counterplan/alternative but I have voted on condo bad in the past.
- 7 off is fine by me.
Also, I strongly suggest y'all check out Keiko Takemiya's To Terra. It's really good.