Mid America Cup
2021 — NSDA Campus, IA/US
L-D Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].
I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).
My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!
All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!
First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.
Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:
1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.
2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.
Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.
The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!
Ask any other clarification questions before the round!
About me: 4 years of LD at SHS in GA, currently studying History Ed, Law, and Phil at UGA
SHS '21, UGA '24.
Trad: Your call
- Following Roe v. Wade's overturning: your best bet is solely to read anti-government stuff in front of me until further notice
Minneapple 2021 update: Since Valley 2020 my paradigm had said "no spreading" because that was my first online circuit tournament and I forgot to update that -- I've judged plenty of online circuit since then. I can't flow top spreading speeds but probably about 70-80% of max is fine. I don't flow off a speech doc though so you have to be comprehensible, and I can't flow blippy arguments very well.
Update 11/13/18: I will have a higher threshold for argument explanations, and will be more inclined to say "I didn't vote for this argument because I didn't understand it" in borderline cases, even if it's dropped. This is especially/mainly important in cases where there's embedded clash, e.g. the neg reads a K and the AC has a 'my method/framework/etc. is key to solving oppression' argument. This is less important on areas of the flow where there's no clash whatsoever (the aff drops that Kant negates or the 2N collapses to T and drops their case turns).
- Background: I did LD for four years for Lakeville North (MN), graduating in 2013. For the last four years I've coached for Eagan (MN). As a debater I was fairly active on the national circuit but since then my only exposure to circuit stuff has been through judging annually at Apple Valley and Blake and the occasional faster local round, so you don't have to consider me a lay judge but at the same time I won't be 100% up to speed with the current norms and meta.
- Pref shortcut: stock ≈ policy ≈ framework > K > Theory > Tricks
- Speed: I'll be able to flow like 75-80% of top circuit speed. If you add me to the email chain feel free to go much faster. In rebuttals make sure you are signposting clearly and giving some sort of pause between your analytics or else I may not be able to flow you.
- There are basically no substantive restrictions on the content of arguments I will listen to. Exceptions: no bigotry, no personal attacks, both are up to my discretion (I think it's unlikely that either would come up in a round but the disclaimer is still necessary). That being said, like all judges I have preferences. I like clash so I dislike evasive blippy strategies or multiple off-case uplayering neg strats. I strongly prefer topical debate because theory and non-topical Ks both make debate less accessible, they just do. And I most like debates grounded in the topic lit, so I prefer an original well-researched position over weak and tangential links to a moral framework, K, or impact scenario from the backfiles. That's more about how you get better speaks than how to get my ballot.
- I prefer argument depth over breadth and will evaluate some amount of embedded clash, so even if a debater doesn't say the magic words "cross-apply this to their third response" I will make those very obvious connections for them.
- Theory: hate it when it's frivolous; what constitutes "frivolous" theory is pretty subjective but I know it when I see it. For example, theory against things like a prioris, NIBs, PICs / delay CPs / alt-agent CPs, many types of plans, non-topical Ks, severence / intrinsicness perms, and condo can be legitimate, depending on the circumstances (e.g. if you're reading a very specific plan then my intuition shifts to "PICs okay"). If your opponent is obviously being shady I'll give you more leeway; if the AC is spike-heavy with a ton of paragraph theory and you think you're more likely to win "must spec an enforcement mechanism" than "paragraph theory bad" then go for it. If the AC is super stock and you run theory just because you can, I'll vote on it but I'll tank your speaks.
- I have read a decent amount of analytic moral and political philosophy and very little critical lit, so I will be a better judge for you if you read Ripstein than if you read Deleuze. (If you run Gauthier with cards you've cut that shows me you've read Morals by Agreement, and your contention-level argument isn't that the resolution is permissible because there's some power imbalance, I'll give you great speaks.) In general I find myself not understanding a lot of Ks, especially when debaters rely on jargon instead of clearly-explained warrants.
- I won't vote on non-sequiturs or unwarranted arguments, whether or not they're pointed out. To give a very common example, if a debater argues: "Evaluate theory using competing interpretations because reasonability is arbitrary and invites judge intervention." Then in the next speech: "They have conceded that you evaluate theory using competing interpretations which means that you automatically drop them because they didn't read an explicit counter-interp." This is a non-sequitur because the debater running theory has not justified why an explicit counter-interp is necessary except for the fact that the name of the model vaguely implies that there should be two interps that are competing with each other. This should only be relevant if you're making very underdeveloped arguments or if you're assuming esoteric or controversial norms without justifying them.
- Cross-ex time belongs to the person asking the questions. If they cut you off, stop talking. You lose speaker points for loudly talking over the other person just to waste their time and because you want to keep talking. If you feel like you absolutely need to clarify something, just say that and I'll give you leeway if you say that in rebuttal ("I didn't actually make that concession in CX, they cut me off while I was explaining. I was actually saying...")
- If you're at Blake, please don't complain about my decision to your friends while waiting for the elevator. We're probably about to take the same elevator.
I am a flow judge who debates in college policy and parli for MIT and BU. I am open to hearing all kinds of arguments. See below for specific guidance on arguments and conflicts.
Spreading: I am mildly hard of hearing and rely on some degree of lip reading to understand people so I ask that debaters not spread at their full capacity but just speak fast and I'll let you know if its getting hard to understand.
Signposting: please please please do it, when you're moving to a separate page or getting into links or impacts let me know so I can flow your argument as well as you have constructed it.
(Epistemology) Tabula Rasa: In general, yes. If you drop something on the premise that its absurd or untrue but don't let me know why I will not flow the arg your direction. I use conservative common sense theory in parli but am generally tabula rasa when it comes to what you can and can't drop without explaining.
--------------------------------specific questions and issues (all basically standard) ----------------------------
Theory and Kritiks: Love em in the right context. Standard form should be adhered to but please talk to me before round if you have specific questions or if you want to alert me about how you structure these args differently.
Neg Block Skew: some new off case and on case args in the neg block are valid unless 1AR collapses on theory. Egregious violations and skew will be noted on the ballot. Collapse in the Neg block.
Drops and Collapse: Don't drop important stuff w/o notification, collapse to your best/strongest args.
Presumption of fiat for policy resolutions: fiat grants agency of enactment and enforcement unless a specific issue is highlighted by neg (see: tabula rasa).
Monolithic plans/plan inclusive cp: valid (burden of disproof is on aff and moot args are valid in most cases)
Straight turns: if you run a disad and only offer defensive non-unique args and link turns a straight turn is valid and will be considered on the ballot, to ensure this is noted the opposing team should mention it in rebuttal and closing.
Topicality: sucks, but if someone is egregiously off-topic or skewing the topicality of the debate in some inherently harmful way you should make this arg for sure. Not a fan of topicality stock args if there isn't any specific atopical approach from a team tho (but of course i will abandon this bias to hear whatever debate occurs)
Offense/Defense: I vote on offensive arguments flowed through, if both teams only offer defensive arguments and rebuttals I will adhere to the least responded defense and largest defensive issues. Please do not make me vote on defense it is a messy game.
Anything else I can answer or clarify in the beginning of round! :)
Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Ableism: no tolerance policy, if you engage in harmful behavior in round we will stop the debate and take it to tab. If your opponent is engaging in some kind of intolerance/harm that I do not notice (which may well be the case) let me know and we will stop the debate and take it to tab. If you are using microaggressions or coded harmful language in your arguments it will be reflected in the ballot.
LAMDL 2017 to present (cx) (Stern 2017-19, Bravo 2020-present)
Northwood HS 2017 to 2018 (cx)
Southwestern College 2014 to 2019 (CX)
San Marino HS 2018 to 2020 (CX/LD)
Mission Vista HS 2019 to 2020 (CX/LD/PF/Parli/whatever else)
Torrey Pines HS 2020 to 2021 (LD)
YBHS 2020 to present (LD)
Boise Senior High School (LD)
I do have a hearing problem in my right ear. If I've never heard you b4 or it's the first round of the day. PLEASE go about 80% of your normal spread for about 20 seconds so I can get acclimated to your voice. If you don't, I'm going to miss a good chunk of your first minute or so. I know people pref partly through speaker points. My default starts at 28.5 and goes up from there. If i think you get to an elim round, you'll prob get 29.0+
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
for lders scroll down to the ld section
Performances and K Affs: I like em. I'd prefer you have a topic link but I've voted for teams before that were blatantly not topical. Adhering to the thesis of your k aff and/or performance is important. Please don't run a Fem aff and then proceed to misgender someone in the round. It can get infuriating at times. I'd like an explanation of the theory of power of the aff coming into the 2ac that has sufficient contextualizing to whatever k the neg is reading. Just extending your aff can be okay but more contextualization so the turns/alt debate can be cleaner is always preferred. Just because you run a K aff doesn't mean I'll vote for you though. I find pomo k affs to be harder to evaluate compared to others but if fleshed out during the round, I'll vote for it. Run your poem. Run your narrative. Run your music. Run your 15 card k aff dump. Whatever. just make sure it makes sense and I'll try my best to evaluate it as I would other positions
Framework T: Def run it. My personal preference runs more on the line that the aff must be able to defend their model of debate. If they decide excluding portions of the resolution within their position is a good thing, but can't defend that, they probably don't deserve the ballot. I lean more on epis impx and see procedural fairness as an internal link to something else but I'll default to whatever the debaters tell me and only intervene in that regard if no one wins the argument.
Having a case list of negs you can run and cannot run and why they're good or bad is convincing. Having a story around aff limits and why they matter in the context of the debate and your impacts matter. buzz words and blocks won't be enough. really explain it to me so I have a clear area I can circle on my flow (well put ** on my excel sheet) that I can pull the trigger on. FYI. TVA without a clear plantext with advantages and a solvency story is not sufficient to win that argument. Referencing other schools' affs also prob won't help you since I could care less about what most affs are and i'm not going to do extra research during rfd time to look up at the wiki. If it's important enough to reference, you can tell me how the tva functions to solve/allow for good ground for both sides of the debate. shrug.
Topicality: Go for it. I err on competing interps and have voted for wonky T's and aff's answers to t. Reasonability with really good warrants can also convince but i'd rather not vote on if it I can help it. Your interps need to be carded. I'm done with aff debaters who have counter interps that are not backed up by data. If you read that and the neg doesn't concede the we meet, you'll prob never get the ballot. As a side not for ld, please slow a bit down when ur on this flow as most debates centered on T are very light on cards and heavy on spreading and flowing analytics for minutes on end can be difficult. I'm not looking at the doc so if I miss a blippy arg that you go for? ooops.
Kritiks: I think K's are a good thing. I think running kritiques as a way to educate not only yourself but those around you is a good thing. Spend time during cx or the block (2nr in ld) to really develop a well articulated link story. Too many times the 1nc will just read generic link cards and never really give me portions of the aff that fit into those links and why they bite the theory of power. That's bad. If I can't see how the aff links, 0 chance will I vote on a K. If you're going 1 off K, please add framework. I'm okay with not evaluating the aff if they lead to a bad for debating. In that regard I think affs underutilized the potential spin they can use in order to have access to all portions of the aff.
Floating piks are probably bad. vague alts that shift between one speech and the next are probably bad. call it out please.
Perms are good. Running the K conditionally with a ROB is probably bad esp if you kick out of the K and there's a random link turn or perm argument coming out of the aff...
CP: I like counterplans. I err neg on condo theory to a degree unless the amount of conditional advocacies gets to the point the aff is forced to double turn themselves in order to answer all those off cases. I can be convinced to vote aff easily once the abuse occurs. But if the advocacies are fine with each other, then you're gtg. If no abuse and debate comes down to condo, I can pull the trigger for the aff, they just need to win the tech. I dislike multiplank cps but ld has been heavily leaning towards billions of planks so whatever. Run your abusive counterplans. adv cps are good. pics are generally good. private actor cps and the like are probably bad.
If you drop the perm. You'll probably lose. There's no excuse. don't drop it.
Prefer the Disad/NB be on another flow as it keeps my flows a little cleaner and allows the neg to be able to pivot out of the cp and go for the disad vs the case.
DA: Use it. the more the merrier. can't be conditional if you run 6 disads, right? keep your story on how the disad turns and out weighs case and you're good. problem for me on voting for disads has usually been the impact calc debate. some debates just get messy and I don't know how the impacts of the disad vs the aff work. At that point I'm sorta lost and will have to spend time being grumpy to try to clear the picture up as much as I can. I love good UQ debates. links and internal link debates, impact turns (to a degree). This is an election year so I know everyone will be running the presidential elections disad as well as some senate elections disads. That's fine. Just please keep your internal link chain concise. If the internal links are dubious at best to get to a terminal impact, my threshold for the aff answering it will likely be low.
Case debate: Go for a dropped case turn. So many debates could be resolved very quickly if the Neg would only look at the conceded case turns and solvency deficits and just go for it. In that same sense. Defend your case. If the neg undercovers case, what does that mean as a whole for the debate? If you solve the impx coming out of the 1nc... it should do so some interesting things in relation to other positions, right? ?
Online Debate: I have amazing hardware now for online debate. That doesn't mean everyone does though. If possible please don't go as fast as humanly possible because debate platforms are still limited on how clear communications can be. Coupled that with being in a panel with observers, it's even more important to think about access for the community and competitors/judges.
If the speech cuts out due to internet issues, depending on the length, I will either have you restart from that spot you cut off or will ask what you said (if less than 5-10 seconds). I trust that the people I'm judging will not do ethically questionable actions because of the online format. My tech is good enough that unless you're internet suddenly cuts off, I will be able to keep track through most of it and if I find out you're lying to me or the competitor about what you said, a 25/L will be in the future. I put my trust in the debaters I judge. Don't abuse it.
For LD debaters:
I coach a trad lder as well so I get how it works. Just do you and lets have a fun round.
On a mutual pref sheet this is how I would pref me.
1: Larp V K, K v T/fw +
2: larp v larp. K v K
3: phil, heavy theory debaters and heavy T debates
4: Pomo K's that look like gibberish to me
5: spark, overpop, death good, nebel, trix
update for the sept/oct topic: my threshold on theory vs cheaty counterplans is pretty low. keep that in mind.
Enunciate your claims and slow down a bit so I can actually flow it. When half the constructive is literally just analytics and you're 300+ wpm... that's lit unflowable and I'm not going to the docs to resolve that. If you lose because it's not on my flow? Shrug. Don't care.
Jasmine Stidham "You have the power to stop Nebel t in this activity" Mission accepted.
NO NEBEL. THE 1AR JUST HAS TO SAY "NO" AND WE ARE DONE ON THAT FLOW.
yes 1ar theory. no rvis.
Aff's are capped at 29.2 if they include underview theory about why they get rvis and 1ar stuff.
I prefer a substantive debate with 3-4 off to something like 13 off. I'll flow you regardless but I reserve the right roast you.
Tricks are not a viable strat in front of me. Not voting for it.
Theory is good if it isn't a blippy mess. Just saying a team is "condo" and they should lose without an interp, and why condo is problematic will not get you a ballot.
Lastly, please be nice to each other. LD is such a short event that to there's really no point to get toxic from 2 cx's. If the round gets toxic. Whoever initiated the toxicity will not be able to receive anything higher than a 27.5.
I attended and debated for Rutgers University-Newark (c/o 2021). I’ve ran both policy and K affs.
Influences In Debate
David Asafu – Adjae (he actually got me interested in college policy, but don’t tell him this), and of course, the debate coaching staff @ RU-N: Willie Johnson, Carlos Astacio, Devane Murphy, Christopher Kozak and Elijah Smith.
Yes, I wish to be on the email chain!
Given that I will be judging here and there on the college circuit this year, I will be making periodic updates to my paradigm. Please bear with me.
COLLEGE POLICY: As an undergrad who worked on many research teams performing microeconometric analysis on different economic sectors of the US, I have a pretty good understanding of this whole antitrust spiel at a technical level - even more so now that I am doing a lot of market design simulation work in grad school.
GENERAL: If you are spreading and it’s not clear, I will yell clear. If I have to do that too many times in a round, it sucks to be you buddy because I will just stop flowing and evaluate the debate based on what I can remember. Zoom through your cards, but when doing analytics and line by line, take it back a bit. After all, I can only evaluate what I catch on my flow. UPDATE FOR ONLINE DEBATES: GO ABOUT 70% OF YOUR NORMAL SPEED. IF YOU ARE NOT CLEAR EVEN AT 70%, DON'T SPREAD.
In general, I like K’s (particularly those surrounding Afro-Pess and Queer Theory). However, I like to see them executed in at least a decent manner. Therefore, if you know these are not your forte, do not read them just because I am judging. One recent pet peeve of mine is people just asserting links without having them contextualized to the aff and well explained. Please don't be that person. You will see me looking at both you and my flow with a confused face trying to figure out what's happening. Additionally, do not tell me that perms cannot happen in a method v. method debate without a warrant.
I live for performance debates.
I like to be entertained, and I like to laugh. Hence, if you can do either, it will be reflected in your speaker points. However, if you can’t do this, fear not. You obviously will get the running average provided you do the work for the running average. While I am a flow centric judge, be it known that debate is just as much about delivery as it is about content.
The bare minimum for a link chain for a DA is insufficient 99% of the time for me. I need a story with a good scenario for how the link causes the impact. Describe to me how everything happens. Please extrapolate! Give your arguments depth! It would behoove you to employ some impact calculus and comparison here.
Save the friv theory, bring on those spicy framework and T debates. Please be well structured on the flow if you are going this route. Additionally, be warned, fairness is not a voter 98% of the times in my book. It is an internal link to something. Note however, though I am all for T and framework debates, I also like to see aff engagement. Obviously these are all on a case by case basis. T USFG is not spicy. I will vote on it, but it is not spicy.
For CPs, if they're abusive, they are. As long as they are competitive and have net benefits, we're good.
On theory, at a certain point in the debate, I get tired of hearing you read your coach's coach's block extensions. Could we please replace that with some impact weighing?
Do not assume I know anything when judging you. I am literally in the room to take notes and tell who I think is the winner based on who gives the better articulation as to why their option is better. Therefore, if you assume I know something, and I don’t … kinda sucks to be you buddy.
I’m all for new things! Debating is all about contesting competing ideas and strategies.
I feel as though it should be needless to say, but: do not run any bigoted arguments. However, I’m well aware that I can’t stop you. Just please be prepared to pick up a zero in your speaking points, and depending on how egregious your bigotry is, I just might drop you. Literally!
Another thing: please do not run anthropocentrism in front of me. It’s something I hated as a debater, and it is definitely something I hate as a judge. Should you choose to be risky, please be prepared for the consequences. (Update: voted on it once - purely a flow decision)
For My LD'ers
It is often times difficult to evaluate between esoteric philosophies. I often find that people don't do enough work to establish any metric of evaluation for these kinds of debates. Consequently, I am weary for pulling the trigger for one side as opposed to the other. If you think you can, then by all means, read it!
Yale Update: Tricks are for kids.You might be one, but I am not.
I'm gonna have to pass on the RVIs too. I've never seen a more annoying line of argumentation.
In general, give me judge instructions.
On average, tech > truth --- however, I throw this principle out when people start doing or saying bigoted things.
I'm a parent judge with four years of experience judging traditional debate.
I appreciate clearly developed arguments and good juge instruction (explain why you've won the round). I take thorough notes throughout the debate but don't keep a rigorous flow. The most convincing arguments in the round are the ones that will win my ballot.
Please provide a clear framework (including definitions) and explain how your offense functions under that framework.
Grant Brown (He/Him/His)
Millard North ’17, Swarthmore College ’21, Teachers College at Columbia '23 (Studying Philosophy and Education)
Assistant Lincoln-Douglas Coach at Lake Highland Preparatory
Conflicts: Lake Highland Preparatory, Sam Barlow EL
Last Updates: 4/21/2022
The Short Version
As a student when I considered a judge I usually looked for a few specific items, I will address those here:
1. What are their qualifications?
I qualified to both NSDA Nationals and the TOC in my time as a student. I have taught numerous weeks at a number of debate summer camps and am going in my fifth year as an assistant coach at Lake Highland Preparatory in Orlando, FL.
2. What will they listen to?
Anything (sans practices which exclude other participants) - but I increasingly prefer substantive engagement over evasive tactics, tricks, and theory cheap shots.
3. What are they experienced in?
I coach a wide variety of arguments and styles and am comfortable adjudicating any approach to debate. However, I spend most of my time thinking about kritik and framework arguments, especially those based in early Modern (Spinoza), German idealist (Kant & Hegel), and continental (Deleuze, Derrida) philosophy.
4. What do they like?
I don’t have any predetermined notion of what debate should look, act, feel, or sound like and I greatly enjoy when debaters experiment within the space of the activity. In general, if you communicate clearly, are well researched, show depth of understanding in the literature you are reading, and bring passion to the debate I will enjoy whatever you have to present.
5. How do they adjudicate debates?
I evaluate debates systematically. I begin by attempting to discern the priority of the various layers of arguments presented, examples include frameworks or weighing arguments which specify which types of impacts matter, a theory argument, a kritik, etc. Once I have determined the priority of layers, I proceed to evaluating the different arguments on each layer, looking for an offensive reason to vote, accounting for defense, bringing in other necessary layers, and whatever else is necessary to find an adequate resolution to the debate.
I am much less actively involved in thinking about debate and its strategies, so read your innovative or hyper technical positions with a grain of salt. I cannot keep up like I once did.
I also do understand myself as having some sense of an educational obligation in my role as a judge in debate, though that doesn't mean I aim to impose my own ideological preferences. There are a few arguments I highly doubt I will ever vote on as a result: Arguments which ex post facto change the structure of the debate, be it the speech time, order, or evaluation, modifications to preparation time, or adjustments to speaker points. Arguments which police or indict features of the opposing debaters identity i.e. their clothes, resources, race, or gender.
I like them. I very much value clarity of explanation and stepping outside of the literature's jargon. The most common concern I find myself raising to debaters is a lack of through development of a worldview. Working through the way that your understanding of the world operates, be it through the alternative resolving the links, your theory of violence explaining a root-cause, or otherwise is crucial to convey what I should be voting for in the debate.
I am a receptive judge to critical approaches to the topic from the affirmative. I don't really care what your plan is; you should advocate for what you can justify and defend. It is usually shiftiness in conjunction with a lack of clear story from the affirmative that results in sympathy for procedurals such as topicality.
I really have no interest in judging ridiculous tricks and/or theory arguments which are presented in bad faith and/or with willfully ignorant or silly justifications and premises. Please just do not - I will lower your speaks. I do however enjoy legitimate abuse stories and/or topicality arguments based on topic research.
I do not find theory tricks to be persuasive, including: must read an explicit counter-interpretation, arbitrary independent voters, competing interpretations justifies a risk of offense, claims about the constitutive nature of the activity or judge jurisdiction, etc. These are usually extended without a warrant and are dependent on either intuition/prior interpretative beliefs about the nature of theory or a purely technical evaluation that will vote on mere claims.
I really like these debates when debaters step outside of the jargon and explain their scenarios fully as they would happen in the real world. For similar reasons, good analytics can be more effective than bad evidence - I am a strong judge for spin and smart extrapolation. I tend to like more thorough extensions in the later speeches than most judges in these debates.
I greatly enjoy these debates and I spend pretty much all of my time thinking about, discussing, and applying philosophy. I would implore you to give overview explanations of your theory and the main points of clash between competing premises in later speeches.
Speaks and Ethics Violations
If accusations of clipping/cross-reading are made I will a) stop the debate b) confirm the accuser wishes to stake the round on this question c) render a decision based on the guilt of the accused. If I notice an ethics violation I will skip A and B and proceed unilaterally to C. However, less serious accusations of misrepresentation, misciting, or miscutting, should be addressed in the round in whatever format you determine to be best.
Here is a rough framework for speaker points I will attempt to follow – I assign relative to the pool so a 29.5 at a local tournament is different than a 29.5 at the TOC:
<25-26: Unethical; offensive, clipping of cards.
27-28: Significantly below average, unlikely to clear.
28-29: Slightly below, at, or slightly above average, potential to clear but won't make it far (I try to average a 28.5)
29-29.9: Significantly above average, most likely to clear and will be competitive in late elims.
30: Exceptional, demonstrates a novel presence, passion, or argument, should win most rounds/tournaments with their performance.
Updated 6/23/22 for Summer Update
Hi everyone! I’m Holden (He/They)
Jack C. Hays '20, The University of North Texas ’23 (Go Mean Green)
Please put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Most of this paradigm is geared towards LD, anything specific to other debate events will be near the end
The short version:
I truly do not have an issue in what style of debate you decide to partake in, I am dogmatic against dogmatism as I think it is a bad model of debate. That being said, I prefer debates not end up being very theory shell heavy (despite what my judging history might suggest otherwise. This is not to say that I will not vote for whatever shell you decide to run (barring some caveats that are mentioned below), but rather I would much rather judge debates that are centered around substance (namely a da/cp, a k, or an nc). Despite that, I have voted for just about every argument under the sun. Bad arguments exist, and I dislike them, but the onus is on you for calling out and explaining why those arguments are bad.
Respect your opponents pronouns or else. I have no tolerance for individuals not taking the time to respect people's personhood. You get one chance, with your speaks being docked that one time. If you do it again after that, then my ballot is gone even if there is no argument made. With that in mind, I am also extremely persuaded by misgendering bad shells.
If a round gets to the point where it is no longer healthy or safe for the debate to keep going, and it seems like I am not noticing, please let me know. I try my best to be cognizant but I am imperfect and may miss something, it is my job as an educator to make sure that a round and debate is as safe and accessible is possible so I take these situations very seriously.
Yes speed, but clarity is important as well
For your pref sheets:
Clash debates (k v k, k v phil, k v policy, policy v phil, etc.) – 1
K – 1
Policy – 1
Phil – 1
T/Theory – 1/2
Tricks – 3
Trad – 4/Strike
I’m serious about these rankings, I value execution over content. I am comfortable judging any type of debate done well.
In terms of ideology, I’m a lot like Patrick Fox, so you can pref me pretty closely with how you pref him.
Triggers – please refrain from reading anything with in depth discussions of anxiety, depression, or suicide that way I can adequately access and evaluate the round. Please give trigger warnings so that debate remains a place in which everyone can participate.
I flow on my laptop, I would put me at a 8-8.5/10 in terms of speed. Just be clear, slow down on tags and analytics a little please
The long version:
Who the hell is this dude who I/my coach preffed?
Hi, I'm Holden! I did LD and policy throughout high school, I wasn't too involved with the national circuit because of financial constraints but I did well at a few big tournaments during my high school career. I now attend the University of North Texas, where I study psychology and philosophy. In addition, I compete in NFA-LD (literally a one person policy event), I have had some moderate success (qualified for and made it to octafinals of the national tournament). I currently coach and judge national circuit LD, where I have judged 400 debates since 2020. In addition, I have coached students to several bids, bid rounds, speaker awards, and late elims of national tournaments (including elims of the TOC).
Nowadays, most of my research is on the k side of the argument spectrum. However, I often say that politics updates are my catharsis, and have cut and coached students to go for arguments in every style of debate. This includes theory, policy, tricks, phil, and kritikal positions.
Call me Holden or judge (I prefer Holden, and judge will also do). Anything more formal (Mr. Bukowsky, Sir, etc.) makes me uncomfortable, and may result in your speaks being docked.
Conflicts: Jack C. Hays (my alma mater). I currently coach Los Altos BF, Perry JA, San Mateo AS and ZS, Sidwell SW, and Westlake AK
I have been previously affiliated with: Lynbrook, Plano West AW, and Village JN.
What does Holden think of debate?
Debate is a game with educational implications. I love this activity very much, and take my role in it very seriously. I think it is my job to evaluate arguments as presented, and intervene as little as possible. I am not very ideological in a way that translates to how I evaluate the debate (barring some exceptions) because it's not my place to determine what is a valid argument and what is not. That means please do what you are most comfortable with to the best of your ability, and I will do my best to evaluate the debate as fairly as possible (granted that violent or warrantless arguments are exceptions). As such, I consider there to be two concrete rules of debate - 1. I must choose a winner and a rules, and 2. speech times are set in stone. Any preferences I may should not matter if you make the argument for me, if I have to default to something then that means that you did not do your job.
What does Holden like?
I like good debates. If you execute your arguments well, then I will be impressed.
I like debates that require little intervention, make my job easy for me please I hate thinking.
I like it when people make themselves easy to flow, this means labeling arguments (for example, giving arguments names, or doing organization like "1, 2, 3, a point, b point, c point, etc.), I can't vote for you if I don't know what the heck the complete argument is so making sure I can understand you is key
I like debaters that collapse in their final speeches, it makes nice room for analysis, explanation, and weighing which all make me very happy.
I like it when I am given some kind of framing mechanism to help filter offense. This can take place via a standard, role of the ballot/judge, impact calc, fairness v education, a meta ethic, I don't care. Just give me something to determine what the highest layer/impact should be
To summarize the way I feel about judging, I think Yao Yao Chen does a excellent job at it, "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment."
What does Holden dislike?
I dislike anything that is the opposite of above.
I dislike when people make problematic arguments.
I dislike when debaters engage in exclusionary practices.
I dislike unclear spreading.
I dislike messy debates with little work done to resolve them.
I dislike when people go "my time will start in 3, 2, 1."
I dislike when people ask if they can take prep, I don't care just tell me that you're taking it.
I dislike when people are exclusionary to novices, I am very much in the trial by fire camp but you shouldn't throw someone into a volcano. Yes, you can spread, run disads, counterplan, k's, and even phil as long as your explanations are accessible and in good faith. But theory and tricks is a no go and you WILL get your speaks tanked.
How has Holden voted?
Across all of my time as a judge, I have judged 413 debate rounds. Of those, I have voted aff approximately 54% of the time.
My average speaks for the 2021-2022 season have been 28.57, across my entire time judging they are at 28.51
I have been apart of 94 panels, of those I have sat exactly 10 times.
What will Holden never vote on?
Arguments that involve the appearance of a debater (shoes theory, formal clothing theory, etc.)
Arguments that say oppression is good.
Arguments that contradict what was said in CX.
Yes, I think these are cool, defend something and have a counter-interp that substantively does something in relation to maybe limiting the topic? I am increasingly becoming convinced that there should be some stasis for debate, I think that having your aff discuss the resolution makes your framework answers more persuasive and makes me happier to vote for you
Presumption is underrated, most affs don't do anything and their ballot key warrant is bad, you should make sure to utilize that.
For those negating these affs, I think that the case page is the weakest part of the debate from both sides. I think if the 2NR develops a really good piece of offense from the case page then the debate becomes much easier for you to win.
Innovation is appreciated, I swear I've heard the same two or three affs twenty times each. If your take on a literature base is interesting, innovative, AND is something I haven't heard this year then you will most definitely get higher speaks
Framework isn't capital T true, but it also isn't an automatic act of violence. I find myself neutral on the question of how one should debate about the resolution, but I do think that the resolution should be a starting point for the debate. How you interpret that is up to you
I am of the opinion that most framework debates take place on an impact level, with the internal link to those impacts most of the time never being questioned. This is where I think both teams should take advantage of, and produces better debates about what debate should look like.
I have voted on straight up impact turns before, and I have also voted on fairness as an impact, I think that the onus is on you to explain and flesh your arguments in a way that answers the 1AR/2NR. Reading off your blocks and not engaging in the specific warrants of disads to your model often lead to me questioning what I'm voting for because there is often little to no engagement by either side in the debate
Counter-interps are more persuasive to me, and I think are underutilized, counter-interps that are well thought out and have good explanation of what your model of debate looks like does wonders
In terms of impacts to framework, my normal takes are clash > fairness > advocacy skills
If you are going for fairness and your explanation is "fairness is an impact because it constrains your ability to evaluate their arguments so hack against them" 9 times out of 10 you are going to lose. If you have an explanation of fairness in relation to giving telos to debate, then I'm game for it (pun unintended)
Topicality (Theory is it’s own Monster):
I love T debates, absolutely some of my favorite. I think they've gotten a bad rep over the past four or five years because of the bare plurals stuff *shudders*, but interps that are based on words/phrases of the resolution and are gone for well will make me incredibly happy
My normal defaults for these debates are:
- Competing Interps
- Drop the debater
- No RVI's
Reasonability is about your counter-interp not your aff, people need to relearn how to go for this because it's a lost art in the age of endless theory shells
Arbitrary counter-interps such as "your interp plus my aff" are cringe and you are better served going for a more substantive argument
For all that is holy get over Nebel T and run topic contextual interps, I've heard the same limits v pics debate about 40 times and I'm tired of it
Slow down for me a bit in these debates, I can flow pretty well but T is monster in terms of how many warrants/separate arguments you're spewing out so give me typing time please
You need to read voters, some standards are impacts on their own (precision comes to mind) but outside of that I have trouble understanding why limits is an independent impact sans some external argument about why making debate harder is bad
Weigh your internal links please and thank you
Sure, go for whatever shell you want, I'll flow it barring these exceptions:
- Shells about the appearance and clothing of another debaters
- Disclosure in the case in which a debater has said they can't disclose certain positions for safety reasons, please don't do this
Counterplan theory, here are my defaults:
- Counterplans with a solvency advocate, no matter what type they are = good
- PICs = good
- Process CP's = good
- Consult CP's = bad
- States CP's = good
- Actor/Agent CP's = good
Condo is good, but my leniency in LD goes down if there are more than 3 advocacies, more than 4 in policy
Contrary to my reputation of not liking policy arguments, I do quite a bit of research on the policy side of the argument spectrum and have cut large affs before. I love a good disad and case 2NR, and will reward well done executions of these strategies because I think they're great. In my time in college debate, I read a plan about 75% of the time of my affs rounds and I went for policy arguments around 50% of the time in my neg rounds (gasp! Holden knows how counterplans work?). One of my favorite 2NR's to give is one on a disad and circumvention, I think it's great and really rewards good research quality
I reward good evidence, if you cite a piece of evidence as part of your warrant for a argument and it's not good/underwarranted then that minimizes your strength of link. I do read evidence a lot in these debates because I think that it often acts as a tiebreaker
I really appreciate judge instruction, how should I frame a piece of evidence, what comes first, I think that telling me what to do and how to decide debates makes your life and my job much easier
I enjoy really well researched process counterplans. Absolutely makes me smile when the evidence is topic specific, and has great solvency advocates.
Yes judgekick, but make an argument for it please
Explain what the permutation looks like, just saying perm do both is a meaningless argument and I am not filling in the gaps for you
For affs, having well developed and robust internal links into 2-3 impacts is much preferred than the shot gun 7 impact strategy
Explanation of the DA turning case matters a lot to me, explain it please
A note on non-black engagement with afropessimism, I will watch your execution of this argument like a hawk if you decide to go for it. This also means that if you are disingenuous to the literature at all, your speaks are tanked and the ballot may be given away as well depending on how annoyed I'm feeling. This is your first and final warning.
This is where most of my research and thoughts are these days. I will most likely be good for whatever literature base you are reading, and have a very decent amount of rounds judging and going for the K. I have most likely judged or read the literature you are going for sometime in my years in debate, so feel free to read anything, just be able to explain it.
My ideal k 1nc will have 2-3 links contextual to the aff (one of which is a topic link), an alternative, and some kind of framing mechanism.
I have found recently that most 2NR's have trouble articulating what the alternative does, and how that interacts with the affirmative and the links. If you are unable to explain to me what the alt does, your chances of getting my ballot go down. I find that examples from both sides of the debate help contextualize the offense you're going for in relation to the alternative/the permutation, you should also explain the perm in the first responsive speech
I would very much prefer that you introduce an interesting new argument than recycle the same aff or the same 1NC you've been running for 2 years. At least update your cards every once in a while.
Don't run a k just because you think I'll like it, bad k debates make for some of the worst speaks I've given all year
K tricks are cool if they have a warrant, floating piks need to be hinted at in the 1NC please so they can be floating
For you nerds that wanna know, the literature bases I know pretty well are: basic Cap literature, Security, Reps K's, Afro-pessimism Baudrillard, Beller, Deleuze and Guattari, Halberstam, Hardt and Negri, Scranton/Eco-pessimism, and Settler Colonialism
The literature bases that I know somewhat/am reading up on are: Agamben, Cybernetics, Psychoanalysis, Queer-pessimism, Grove, Puar
I can judge these debates, and have coached debaters that have gone for these arguments, I would really just rather not. I am tired of the same arguments being recycled over and over again with little to no innovation. If you throw random a prioris in the 1A/1NC don't expect me to be happy about the debate. Carded and well developed tricks > "resolved means firmly determined and you know I am"
Slow down on your long underviews, yes I am flowing them but it doesn't help when you're blitzing through independent theory arguments like they're card text. Go at like 70% your normal speed in these situations
Be straight up about the implication and warrant for tricks, if you're shifty about them in cross then I will be shifty about whether or not I feel like evaluating them. This extends to disclosure practices.
Tricks versus identity-based affirmatives is violent, and bad. Stop it.
I love these debates! I find phil a really interesting part of debate that often goes unexplored. That being said, I prefer well developed syllogisms with pieces of evidence over analytical dumps, I find that analytical syllogisms are often spammy with extremely underdeveloped warrants.
Parts of your syllogisms should at least hint at what their impact is. I think that this becomes even more essential in later speeches where you should collapse and impact 1-2 justifications along with weighing
In phil v phil debates, both sides need to be able to explain their ethic more. These debates can either be super informational, or super messy, and I would prefer that they be the former rather than the latter. Explanation, clear engagement, and weighing is the way to my ballot in these debates
Hijacks are great! Just explain them well since they're often pretty complicated and I can't really understand the warrant if it's less than 10 seconds long
Please slow down a bit in these debates, they ore often very fast, technical, and blippy and I can only flow so fast
For those that are wondering, here are the literature bases I know pretty well: Locke, Hobbes, Pragmatism, Kant, Deleuze, Hume, Descartes, Nietzsche, Berkeley, Leibniz, and Spinoza
I know these literature bases somewhat: Rawls, Plato, Aquinas, Virtue Ethics, ILaw, Moral Particularism, and Constitutionality
I know I have it listed as a phil literature base, but I conceptually have trouble with deleuze ethical frameworks, especially since the literature doesn't prescribe a moral claim but makes a structural one which means that it doesn't make too much logical sense to force the literature to make an ethical claim.
- Comparative worlds > truth testing
- Permissibility negates > affirms
- Presumption negates > affirms
- Epistemic confidence > epistemic modesty
Since these are becoming increasingly read in front of me, and are becoming a separate argument in debate, I thought they deserved their own section. I think that these are good arguments when executed well. That being said, I think that for these to be won, you need to win either some meta level framing (such as accessibility first) or linking it to an ethical framework. I often have to ask myself “should I abandon the flow if I think that this is violent” and here is the litmus test for how I will determine to abandon the flow, I will:
1. See if you won the flow proper to see if I can avoid intervening
2. If you did not win the flow proper, I will see if the action in question is a legitimate question of violence in the debate space, your explanation may help, your explanation may not. As much as your 2AR ethos may be good, if I do not think that this situation is an act of violence with reasonable malicious intent, then I will not abandon the flow. A few instances in which I will abandon the flow can be: misgendering, dead-naming, some sort of maliciously intended argument meant to exclude individuals from debate
This is not to say I won’t abandon the flow, but I feel like there has to be some outline for how I can reconcile this, or else this would justify me becoming increasingly interventionist for littler reasons which I think is a horrible model of debate.
Yes, I can judge this. But I often time find these debates to be boring, and most definitely not my cup of tea. I think that given the people that pref me most of the time, it will be in your best interest to pref me low or strike me, both for your sake and mine.
I would much prefer these debates be executed as a shell rather than having the round staked on them. I hate adjudicating these debates because a. They deprive me of a substantive round and b. Are normally a cheap shot by an opposing debater. As such, if you stake the round on evidence ethics this will be the procedure for which things will go down: 1. I will look into the evidence that is in question 2. Compare it to the claim/violation that is being presented 3. Utilize the rules for which the tournament is using (NSDA, NDCA, etc.) to determine whether or not it is a violation 4. Check with the debater if they are sure they want this to be a drop the debater issue, or to drop the evidence. If it is a violation, then I will drop the person who committed such with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then I will not evaluate the evidence and we can debate as normal. If it is not a violation, then I will drop the accuser with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then your speaks will be capped at a 28.
Here is what I consider evidence ethics violations in the absence of guidance: 1. If the author concludes in opposition of what is cited 2. If worlds are deleted or inserted in the middle of a sentence 3. If a debater misrepresented what the author says
For the policy kids-
- I judge circuit LD a lot (and I mean A LOT), on there I judge nothing but T, cp/da, and k debates. I can handle speed, and I will understand the intricacies of whatever argument you want to run
- Sign post please
- Weighing early is how you get my ballot (best case scenario is starting in the 2AC)
- Yes open cross
- Yes K-Aff's
- Yes T-FW
- Fairness is an internal link and not an impact
- in terms of pref ratings:
Any sort of clash debates (both policy aff v the k, and k aff v t-fwk) - 1
K v K - 1
Pure policy rounds - 2
An addendum to how I dish out my speaks, any additional speaker points you get via my challenges cannot get you above a 29.7, the other .3 is something you have to earn/work for
Across over 100+ prelims at bid tournaments, I have averaged at a 28.45 in terms of speaks, which means I'm not necessarily a speaks fairy or stingy
A 30 is very hard to achieve in front of me, and the only ones I have given out is because of the utilization of the challenges
I don't evaluate "give me x amount of speaks" arguments, if you want it so bad utilize the ways to get extra speaks I have below
They're adjusted according to the tournament, but here's a general scale -
29.6+ Great round, you should be in late elims or win the tournament
29.1-29.5 Great round, you should be in mid to late elims
28.6-29 You should break or make the bubble at least
28.1-28.5 About middle of the pool
27.6-28 You got some stuff to work on
27-27.5 You got a lot of stuff to work on
Anything below a 27: You did something really horrible and I will be having a word with tab and your coach about it
Challenges (Max up to 1 point):
- Come into the room and shout "rev up those fryers" loud enough for people outside the room to hear = +.3
- If you send pictures of your cute pets in the doc, +.3 (no snakes please, I have a phobia of them and this will get your speaks docked half a point)
Other ways to just boost your speaks:
- Be pleasant (not in the artificial "hi judge how are you doing" way, but like just be vibey i guess??)
- Humor inserted into your speeches in an organic way
- Good strategic choices that make my job easier
If you have anymore questions about my paradigm, please don't be afraid to email me or ask me in the room.
Random Sliding Scales that I think are Fun (Stolen from Patrick Fox)
Voting for policy----X----Voting for the K
Researching/coaching policy-------X---Researching/coaching the K
Good evidence-X---------Bad evidence + spin
Will read ev without being told------X----Tell me what to read
Asking "did you read X card"-------X--- Learn to flow or run prep/CX for this
Yes RVIs-------X---No RVIs
Fairness is definitely an impact-------X---Fairness is definitely not an impact
Alternatives/K affs should solve things or lose--X--------Alternatives/K affs can not solve things and not lose
"It's pre-fiat"--------X--Actual arguments that mean things
Debate good---X-------Debate bad (the activity)
Debate good-------X---Debate bad (the community)
Creative, alternative models of the topic + offense---X-------Impact turn everything vs framework
Yes ur Baudrillard/Kant-X---------Not ur Baudrillard/Kant
Feelings and jokes--X--------Debate robots
Mime-like expressiveness---X-------Statue-like poker face
Assume I understand the things--------X--Assume I do not understand the things
Speaker point fairy------X----Speaker point goblin
LD should be like policy-------X---(Some) LD stuff is cool
Capitalism----------X( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
I debate currently at CSUF Until further notice
I debated for around 5.5 years and my background is mostly K args, but dont be afraid to run policy, I’m cool with both
Keep me on the chain por favor – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions for after the round or just need some help feel free to email, I’ll try to get back
- I will distribute speaker points based off the accumulated performance from y’all, I like hearing arguments more if you truly believe in what you’re saying, especially debating Kritiks, be funny tho I’ll probably laugh, try to have fun and be the chill ones, try not to be toxic and even more so do not be violent, no -isms
- I will try to keep up on the flow but do not hyper-spread through theory blocks or any block for that matter, I will most likely not catch it
- be chill with each other but you can be aggressive if thats just your style, try not to trigger anxiety though in other debaters if you’re going too far
———- some more specifics ———-
I run and prefer Kritikal arguments, I am more comfortable listening to Settler Colonialism, Afro-Pessimism and Marxist literature, but that does not mean you can just spew jargon and hope to win, explain what your theories mean and your arguments, it will go a long way for your speaker points as well
Speaking of, i will be in the range of 27.5 - 29.9 for speaker points, I will try to be objective as possible but you do you, if you can do that well the speaker awards will come too
On T/FW, please make sure that your standards are specific to the round and are clearly spoken, I am substantially less convinced if you do not argue how that specific aff loses you ground and/or justifies a bad model of debate, but I will not vote it down for no reason, argue why those skills are good to solve the aff or provide a good model that sustains KvK debate in a better way than the aff justifies. Just don’t try to read your generic 2NC blocks, it gets more obvious the longer the debate goes on, do it well.
On Counterplans, try to have a net benefit, be smart with it, try not to have a million planks, having a solvency advocate is cool too, not much here.
Disads - do your link work as usual, I will vote on who does the better impact framing, just make sure you still got that link :) p.s for affs, just dont leave it at the end of the 2AC with a 2 second “they dont link isn’t it obvious”, please explain your answers and divide up time strategically
on K’s, I love good 2NC/1NR link stories, try not to just extend some evidence and answer 2AC args, evaluate why your links implicate the aff and how their specific aff makes something problematic. I dont mind a 2NC only the K with no cards, just make sure you’re not reading prewritten blocks, please be as specific as possible
Please stick to your arguments and embody them, just tell me what to evaluate at the end of the debate, I will very much appreciate if you can tell me how that happens, be revolutionary if you want to, I would probably enjoy the debate more.
I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during prep. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
Lexington High School 2020/Northwestern 2024
Before the round starts, please put me on email chain: email@example.com(no pocket box, and flashing is ok with no wifi)
Scroll down for PF paradigm
TLDR: tech over the truth but to a degree. (no sexist, racist, other offensive arguments) You do you, and I'll try to be as objective as possible. Aff should relate to the topic and debate is a game. Just make sure in the final rebuttal speech you impact out arguments, explain to me why those arguments you are winning implicate the whole round.
2020 season: I have absolutely no topic knowledge on this year's topic so expect me to know nothing and make sure you explain the stuff in a very detailed yet not convoluted manner. Yale will be my first tournament this year, but I will probably get better as the tournament goes on. I also never debated/judged online before, so pls excuse if I have tech issues or don't know some stuff.
The long paragraphs below are my general ideas about the debate
Top Level Stuff
1. Evidence -- I believe debate is a communicative activity, thus I put more emphasis on your analytical arguments than your cards. That being said, I do love good evidence and enjoy reading them. I think one good warranted card is better than three mediocre ones. I am cool with teams reading new cards in all the rebuttal speeches. A good 1AR should read more than 3 cards and don't be afraid to read cards in the 2NR. I believe that at least one speech in the block should be pretty card heavy, otherwise it makes the 1AR a lot easier. I will read the tags during rounds for the most part and read the text usually after rounds, but I won't do the extensive analysis for you because you should have already done that in the round.
2. Cross X is incredibly important to me and I flow them---I find it extremely frustrating when the 2N gets somewhere in 1ac cx, and then the 1N doesn't bring it up in the 1NC. Winning CX changes entire debate both from a perceptual level and substance level. Use the 3 minutes wisely, and don't ask too many clarification questions. You can do that during prep.
3. Be nice -- Obviously be assertive and control the narrative of the debate round, but there's no reason to make the other team hate the activity or you in the process. I am cool with open cross x but you should try to let your partner answer the questions unless they are going to mess up.
4. Tech over truth, but to a degree- If an argument is truly bad, then beat it. Otherwise, I have to intervene a ton, and I prefer to leave the debating to the debaters. However, I'm extremely lenient when one team reads a ton of blippy, unwarranted, and unclear args( quality over quantity). The only real intervention is when I draw the line on new args, but you should still make them and somehow convince they aren't new.
5. Pay attention to how I react in-round --I will make my opinion of an argument obvious
6. Make 1AR as difficult as possible. I know a lot of 2Ns want to win the round by the end of the block. However, that doesn't mean you should just extend a bunch offs terribly. In response, the 1AR should make the 2NR difficult- reading cards and turning arguments.
7. Please please have debates on case. I understand neg teams like to get invested in the offs, but case debate is precious. A lot of the aff i have seen are terribly put together, especially at the Internal Link level. Even if you don't have evidences, making some analytical arguments on why the plan doesn't solve goes a long way for you. I vote on zero probability of aff's ability to solve so even when you go for a CP, you should still go to case so I would have to vote you all down twice to vote aff.
8. Impact/Link Turns-- love them; i don't care how stupid the impact is(wipeout, malthus, bees etc), as long as you read ev and the other side doesn't argue it well, I will vote for you. As for link turn, I don't really need a carded ev for that, just nuanced analytic is sufficient for me to buy them.
9. Be funny-debate is stressful and try to light up the mood. Love a few jokes here and there, but since I am someone not invested in pop culture too much, some of the references I probably wouldn't get. If you do it well, your speaker point will reflect it.
10. Speaks- I am very lenient on speaks. I just ask you to slow down on the tags and author name and any analytical args but feel free to spread through the text of the card. I love any patho moments in the final rebuttal speeches on both sides. Here are how I give speaks
29.7-30: A debate worth getting recorded and be shared with my novices.
29.3-29.6: You are an excellent debater and executed everything right
28.7-29.2: You are giving pretty good speeches and smart analytics
28.5-28.6: You are an average debater and going through the process. I begin the round with that number and either go up or down.
28.0-28.4: You are making a few of the fundamental mistakes in your speeches or speaking unclearly.
27.0-27.9: You are making a lot of fundamental mistakes and you are speaking very unclearly
<27.0: You are rude ie being mean to your partner, opponents, or me (hope not).
Clipping card results in automatic 0 speaks and a loss, but I won't intervene the round for you, you have to call out your opponents yourself. If one team accuses the other team for clipping, I will stop the round and ask the team if they are willing to stake the round on that. If the team says yes I will walk out with the recording provided by that team and decide if the cheating has happened or not. A false accusation results in an automatic loss of the team that got it wrong. Spakes will be given accordingly.
Now on arguments
Yes, love them(Idk if there is anyone who doesn't like a good DA debate) -- go through their ev in the rebuttals; this is where i would like a team to read A LOT of evidence on the important stuff. You can blow off their dumb args, especially the links.
Zero Risk is very much a thing and I will vote on it.
If the 1ar or 2ar does a bad job answering turns case and the 2nr is great on it, it makes the DA way more persuasive -- and a good case debate would greatly benefit you as well.
Politics is OK -- fiat solves link, da non-intrinsic are arguments that I will evaluate only if the other team doesn't respond to them at all. However, I do want to see good ev on why the plan trades off with the DA.
I think it's best to have a CP and DAs together because there are just a lot more options at that point. If you really wanna just go for the DA, you need to have a heavy case debate up to that point for me to really evaluate the status quo since most of the aff are built to mitigate the status quo.
CPs and theory
I dislike process CPs-- I really don't like these debates -- I've been a 2n as well as a 2a, but I will side with the aff - this goes for domestic process like commissions as well as intermediary and conditional that lurk in your team's backfile. However, I have a soft spot for consult CP (my first neg argument). Just make sure you do a great job on the DA.
States, international, multi-plank, multi-actor, pics, CPs without solvency advocates are all good -- i'll be tech over my predispositions, but if left to my own devices, I would probably side with aff also
Condo -- all depends on the debating -- I think there could be as many condo as possible. but I also believe zero condo could be won. Still, my general opinion is that conditionality is good and aff teams should only go for them as a last resort.
I will read the solvency evidence on both sides. Solvency deficits should be well explained, why the solvency deficit impact outweighs the DA.
I don't like big multi-plank CPs, but run it as you like and kicking planks is fine
Judge kick unless the 2AR tells me otherwise.
I have some decent knowledge with a lot of the high theory Ks, but I am probably most well versed in psychoanalysis. That being said, I do want you to explain to me the story of the k and how it the contextualizes with the aff well in the block. Don't just spill out jargons and assume i will do the work for you. A good flow is important. What happens with alot of K debates is that at some point the negative team just give up on with ordering and it's harder for me to know where to put things. Any overview longer than 3 minutes is probably not a good idea but if that's your style, go for it, just make sure you organize them in an easy to flow manner. I probably will do the work for you when u said you have answered the args somewhere up top, but i would prefer the line by line and your speaker point will reflect how well you did on that.
FW should be a big investment of time and I think it's strategic to do so. That being said, you have to clearly explain why the aff's pedagogy is problematic and the impacts of that.
I am meh with generic links, just make sure you articulate them well. That being said, most of these links probably get shielded by the permutation.
Alt debate is not that important to me. I don't believe a K has to have an alt by the 2nr. I go for linear DA a lot, but make sure you do impact calc in the 2nr that explains why the K impact outweighs the aff. For the alt, I would like the aff to read more than just their cede the political block, make better-nuanced args.
I am probably not the best judge for these kinds of aff but I will evaluate them as objectively as possible
The aff should defend the hypothetical implementation of a topical plan. At the very least, the aff has to have some relationship to the topic. I want the offense to be articulated well because many times I get confused by the offenses of these affs. I think fairness is absolutely an impact as well as an I/L. I default to debate is a game and it's gonna be hard to convince me otherwise.
I think the ballot ultimately just decides a win and a loss, but I can be convinced that there are extra significances and values to it. That being said, I have seen a lot of k aff with impacts that the ballot clearly can not address.
Not a big fan of these debates and never have been good at it.
From Seth Gannon's paradigm:
"Ironically, many of the arguments that promise a simpler route to victory — theory, T — pay lip service to “specific, substantive clash” and ask me to disqualify the other team for avoiding it. Yet when you go for theory or T, you have cancelled this opportunity for an interesting substantive debate and are asking me to validate your decision. That carries a burden of proof unlike debating the merits. As Justice Jackson might put it, this is when my authority to intervene against you is at its maximum."
On this topic specifically, I dislike effect Ts
These debates are boring to me and I will side with the aff if they are anyway close to being Topical
Reasonability = yes
I am a flow judge. Any speed is fine in the PF world, but don't try to spread when you never have spreaded before. I have come to realize that PFers power-tagged cards to an extreme, which means I will most likely ask for cards at the end of the round. Please provide me with the portion of the card you have read and the entire article. That being said, I don't believe every argument needs a card to absolutely support it-smart analytics and logics will earn you speaker points. Also, I abs love for you to try new unique arguments. I think public forum is way too restrictive, and if you are daring enough to run arguments from other forms of debate or just unorthodox arguments, I WILL ABSOLUTELY VOTE FOR YOU. Argument innovation is ALWAYS welcome.
Also, you don't have to ask me to do anything. You just do you, and I will let you all do whatever you want as long as it's not rude/offensive(and even then which I won't interfere, but it will impact ur speaker point). How I assign speaks are above.
I am also a huge huge weeb. My fav genre is slice of life romance and my fav anime is Oregairu aka SNAFU, so if you can make a reference to it during speech it will help your speaks a lot.
Hey everyone! I’m Tony Cui and I competed on the national circuit for 4 years at Enloe High School, primarily on the east coast. Throughout my debate career, I acquired two bid rounds (Bronx, Valley), a bid my senior year, and broke at a variety of bid tournaments. I now attend Duke University as a freshman.
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
ID pol Ks, theory, T: 1
High theory Ks: 2
Traditional, Tricks, Phil, LARP : 3-4
Dense Phil/Nailbomb affs: 4
Tech > Truth, but your arguments must require a warrant
Don’t use CX as prep time, but yes feel free to use prep time for CX
I’ll try to be as tab as possible, but I won’t vote on arguments that are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
Try not to blitz through analytics pls :( my fingers can only type so fast.
I’ll try to average speaks specific to the tournament (the 4-2 screw has been an enemy of mine in the past so I'll adjust accordingly).
Disclosure is probably a good norm. I understand if you're a novice or new to circuit debate, but everyone else should probably disclose or at least have a good reason why they shouldn’t disclose.
**I will not fill in the gaps for you. If you’re explaining an extremely dense position you personally don’t know then we’ll both be sad.**
Personally, I’ve read a lot of Asian-pess / Settler Colonialism/ Capitalism Ks in the past, so I’m most comfortable with a lot of identity politics literature. I’ve also had a lot of experience debating high theory args (Baudrillard, Deleuze, etc.) so I know the general gist of most of them, but a thorough explanation wouldn’t hurt anyone. (Please don't read these arguments in front me just because I read them in the past, this is just to gauge the different positions I'm comfortable evaluating).
Links contextualized specific to the 1AC are probably better than links of omission and should be warranted as such starting from the 1NC. K tricks like floating PICs/root cause claims are fine.
I’d like to think I’m 50/50 for framework vs. non topical K affs. For non-topical affs, I think a robust explanation of your model of debate is probably a good idea. Most of these affs end up losing to T-framework because they fail to explain why fairness or skills are necessarily bad.
As a debater, I read a lot of spec shells, spikes, Nebel, paradigm dumps, etc. so I’d like to think I’m good at evaluating these debates. I think frivolous shells are ok, but obviously the more frivolous the shell, the more likely I am to buy arguments made against the shell.
If you’re reading an excessive amount of spikes with a) b) c) etc., then please *SLOW DOWN* if you want me to flow them all.
I was never the best at these types of debate and so I’m probably not the best at evaluating LARP.
That being said if you do end up reading LARP in front of me, please WEIGH (IE magnitude/scope/time frame, metaweighing included). I will be very sad if there is no weighing done.
Personally I’ve debated with and against a lot of these. If there is a genuine warrant and implication conceded in the speech that they are given in, then by all means collapse to it. However, I think a lot of tricky arguments are implicated a lot more than they really are and I’d be very much open to buying conceded defense made on these arguments.
Please don’t be sketchy in CX. Don’t try to pretend you don’t know what an apriori is. Trying to actually explain condo logic or the principle of explosion when asked in CX is probably good too.
I know the basic phil arguments (Kant, Util) but anything that strays further than the general debate realm of phil arguments is when I start to get confused. Still though, I primarily debated on the east coast so feel free to still read your 10 point justified normative frameworks, but be ready to explain it.
I think using phil to interact with other arguments on the flow (like Ks and LARP) is smart and probably a good idea.
Explaining the warrants behind “action theory” or “performativity” would be nice.
NOTES FOR ONLINE DEBATE:
I absolutely hated debating online my senior year and I lost lots of rounds because either my wifi cut out or my laptop crashed. With this in mind, please keep a local recording if possible in order to ensure I can still resolve the round.
Additionally, I won't dock speaks for wifi/microphone/tech issues (trust me I understand).
Lynbrook '21, UIUC '25
Send docs to email@example.com, whether or not you're spreading!
I think the most fundamental forms of disclosure are good, for example, the first three last three. Anything else is up to debate.
Conflicts: All of Lynbrook, West Ranch SV, Mission San Jose SR, Leland MN
Theory defaults: Reasonability with "gut check", No Rvi, DTA
I'm not a great judge for trad rounds. If you are hitting a novice just don't try hard.
I think I'll try to average 28.8 speaks, if you are at the level of a bidder I will probably give you a 29.2 or higher.
I mainly read K, Theory, and Phil and was pretty decent in terms of like results, Elim finishes, speaker awards, bid that kinda stuff.
I think I'm best for Phil v util and theory rounds, and worst for pure k v k (there are some exceptions) and dense larping.
Nearly everything about how I view debate is from Chris Wang (refer to his paradigm about tech issues and whatnot), with influence on specific things from Perry Beckett, Michael Harris, and Holden Bukowsky. (if you would pref any of them you can probably pref me). My favorite argument I read was my queer fabulation aff. The majority of my 1AR/2ARs as a senior were AFC or indexicals or a trick that did something similar, and most 2NR's were some shell or skep.
Read and go for whatever argument you want in front of me. I've tried nearly everything in terms of types of arguments from performance affs to tricks to util. Don't assume I have background knowledge in every argument but I will do my best to judge. I find k rounds with little explanation of the theory of power difficult to follow.
- Debate's not about the judge, my preferences should not make you decide what you read.
- I will stop rounds if someone is uncomfortable.
- Prep ends after the doc is sent (I will be lenient).
- Tech>truth unless categorically false.
- No new responses to dropped arguments, dropped arguments need to be extended, impacted, and weighed to win. Not just repeated.
- Clipping, and evidence ethics are L 20s, clipping I will intervene if I catch it, evidence ethics should be called out or in most cases resolved in a shell or a reason to drop the card.
- I don't care if cx is treated as prep.
- Marked docs should be sent right after the speech, if it takes an excessive amount of time it'll come out of prep.
- Asking about what was read or said comes out of your prep.
- I'll disclose speaks if asked
Pretty straightforward, read some framework or I'll default to not util. *FOR CAL: this will probably be a more larpy tournament, I should not be preffed very high if every round you have is larp v larp*
I have a decent grasp of Phil in the context of LD and outside. I would like actual Phil, not logcon and condo logic. I think other tricky stuff like skep that is a bit less trolly are actually quite interesting and enjoy these rounds. I feel like arguments like relativism are underutilized. I think modesty is silly and usually would hurt util more than it helps. I think well-structured Phil affs with offense that clearly affirms is one of the strongest positions. I'm tired of Kant, like seriously, I alr have enough kant from my phil professor.
K's are like cool, I know some literature not all. I'll be better for Deleuze, Baudrillard, warren, Hartman, genealogy, black nihilism, and puar than other stuff. I will still vote on arguments if they make some sense. Concrete examples and clearly knowing the lit will do wonders. When there is a ROB/ROJ please show why it's preclusive or why it doesn't need to be normative. K v K is incoherent a lot of times so if something makes more sense it'll probably win. I haven't touched anything related to K lit for a decent amount of time so I will be rusty on quite a bit of stuff here.
K affs v T
40/60 on K aff/fwk. I've read non t, topical k affs, and performance affs so I think a lot of T is easy to beat. I think I err on the side of fwk because I don't buy a lot of the claims from K affs either and generally, affs fall into this problem where it might come off as telling the judge to affirm their identity. You're probably reading this and thinking this isn't your aff, but if the round really gets like this I'm most likely negating. I think for the aff to win they should have a solid topic link and leverage that in the T debate along with impact turns, I meets, etc. The neg wins by proving the opposite. I think 2NRs need to still deal with case 90% of the time. Affs get away with a lot of nonsense if you don't deal with the 2-minute overview with 16 independent voters and 20 turns to T. I also would be willing to vote on a 2NR that is primarily on case instead of T.
I will vote on literally every shell, bad debating will hurt speaks not necessarily bad arguments. Set voters cuz my defaults are bad. Paragraph theory is fine, might need clearer signposting since I mainly did the big shell stuff. Weighing makes these rounds really easy, not weighing makes them a pain. In general, I enjoy well-done theory rounds with 1 shell more than rounds with 3 shallow shells that were 15 seconds of the 1NC and became 5 minutes of the 2NR.
I personally like Phil tricks more than theory tricks, but a lot of Phil tricks are also poor logic so be careful, I will vote on these if they are won, impacted, extended, and weighed. If I don't get the trick I won't vote on it. "Eval after" tricks are bad cuz there are too many questions about how to evaluate them, so I will only use them for tiebreakers absent adequate judge instruction.
Feel free to contact me on Facebook before rounds, prefs were always tough for me.
I’m Faizaan Dossani. He/Him. Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Westlake (TX) 2017-2021. (I also coach here now too)
I don't really have any disposition to any particular style of debate and will simply vote for whichever argument is on the highest layer of the flow and has a claim, warrant, and impact. I also have a low tolerance of being disrespectful to your opponents; just be nice please.
I competed in LD on the local and nat circuit in which I cleared at TFA and a sizable chunk of nat circuit tourneys. I also taught at ODI for its past two sessions. I think debate is a game with educational value and freedom. This basically means that I am tech>truth, but still care about maintaining the pedagogical value and accessibility that debate should have. I try to do everything possible to not intervene in my decisions, so navigate my ballot for me. ______________________________________________________________________________________
I read all kinds of larp positions (DAs, CPs, etc) and feel pretty comfortable evaluating these debates. With that, make sure you actually explain the link chains to me because I most likely haven't done much research into topic literature, so I won't fill any of your explanation with my own knowledge.
- DO WEIGHING or I won't know which impacts you want me to evaluate first which means I have to intervene :(
- Evidence comparison is a must have in competing claims over the same argument
- I think reading like 6+ off and then just going for the one the aff had like 10 seconds to respond is a lazy strat, but I guess I will vote off it
Kritiks + K Affs
I primarily read these arguments, as my go-to NC strat junior and senior year was 1-off K. I mainly read Settler Colonialism, Baudrillard, Wynter, Anthro, Berardi, Derrida, cap stuff, and Islamophobia lit but am extremely familiar with a lot of k lit (disability lit, most black literature, and most identity politics). I have an extremely basic understanding of high theory (Deleuze, Nietzsche, etc.), but as long as you do the proper explanation, I can probably evaluate any literature you throw at me.
- Overviews are appreciated but good line by line is usually more compelling for my ballot
- Explain the alt/method to me in a direct way so that way I know what it means and what it does, but in KvK debates there should be more emphasis on the alternative than in other K debates.
- I think reading pess args when you don't identify with that certain group is bad.
- Give trigger warnings. If you forget and remember midway through the speech, pause your timer and just ask everyone; safety is the most important.
I have a love/hate relationship with tricks. I don’t mind an underview with some spikes scattered in, but I don’t understand most of the paradoxes. (Spark, GCB, Zenos, etc.) I think a lot of the tricks are stupid in nature, but I guess I will evaluate them.
- Don't be sketchy. If your opponent asks what the aprioris are - tell them.
- Make sure that all of your tricks are on the doc. Even if you say "im extempting x" in the speech you still should send a doc of whatever analytics you read. In tricks debates, I heavily rely on the doc compared to other debates.
T + Theory
Usually wasn’t an off in my strats, but I think good theory debate can be fun. Bad theory debate means that you are just regurgitating the shell and not actually explaining how I should evaluate the abuse story on a framing level.
- I won't default any paradigm issues; please just make the implications yourself
- 1AR theory is fine, just know that the more frivolous the violation, the more likely I will lower the threshold for response
- I think some form of disclosure is probably a good idea, but I also think that can be up for debate
- Go a little slower when speeding through mega theory underviews so I know what's happening lol
I barely read any complex framing other than Mouffe. I have judged a lot of phil debates this year so I feel that I can probably handle whatever you read as long as it is properly explained.
- Explain your complex buzzwords to me, examples will boost speaks
- I think framing hijacks/proving why your framework precludes their moral theory can be extremely compelling in these debates
I never really partook in any traditional style of debate (VC or definitional stuff) but I did debate traditional debaters a lot and feel that I can confidently evaluate these debates.
- I think the extra attention to ethos is nice in these debates, but at the end of the day I will still evaluate your arguments on a technical level first
- I'd rather you spend more of your time focusing on the substance of the debate instead of value/VC. I often find that most values are kinda the same thing but just worded differently, which makes evaluating weighing between different values kinda futile.
I never actually competed in PF but going to Westlake allowed me to drill/prep with a lot of our PFrs so I have been heavily exposed to the argumentation style and evolving nature of PF. The people that I have worked with that I have pretty similar takes on debate are Cale McCrary, Zain Syed, Jawad Bataneih, Jason Luo, and Cherie Wang.
- You can debate as tech or lay as you want in front of me. Doing LD broadened the styles of debate I partook in, so I can probably handle whatever progressive arguments you throw at me. Speed is fine as well, but be clear.
- I will give both teams plus 0.2 in speaks if yall just flash cases before constructive, we all know your calling for evidence just to steal prep which wastes everyones' time
I give speaks based off efficiency, argument quality, and just your general attitude in round. I try to be as consistent as possible with speaks, so you will most likely get between a 28-29.6 unless you do something exceedingly bad/good.
- Please record your speeches, especially if you have a history of laggy wifi.
- My avg. speaks this year = 28.7421 (from October 2021)
- Throwing in jokes during your speeches is always a plus
- For evidence ethics, I'd rather you form the argument into some type of theory shell instead of staking the round and allowing me to decide, but I will try to default on whatever rules the tournament is following
I know debate can be stressful and toxic; just do your best and have fun cause at the end of the day we are just some losers yelling at each other on NSDA campus :)
Hello everyone my name’s Alex. Email chain: email@example.com
I debated LD for 4 years in HS and graduated last year. Won and placed at some tournaments, but that’s all the background you really need. I was a flex debater, primarily k’s and larp though.
Go at 70% circuit speed. I have been out of debate for 4 months at least so take that into consideration, though I’m doing Policy in college at Georgia Tech. I will say clear, but I can't flow what I can't follow. I'll evaluate anything (besides obvious discriminatory arguments), topical or not, but I need warrants to consider them actual arguments. 2 off and answering case is way better than 6 off no case or little case. Likewise collapsing in the 1a and answering stuff is better than going for everything. Clash is nice.
1 - K’s, LARP
2 - Phil, Theory
3 - Tricks and Frivolous theory (I’ll vote on them I’m pretty tab but I won’t like voting on it and have a low threshold for answers)
LARP - WEIGH. I need to know why your impacts matter more than your opponent's. If there are two uncontested impacts and no weighing, I will have to intervene which will make me sad. For negs, strategies that have a lot on case are far more likely to be conducive to success than 5 off barely anything on case. CLASH. LBL the aff and make the 1ar hell. For affs, you need to collapse and go for what's most important. The 1ar is too short to go for every piece of offense. Evidence comparison is good, but warrants are better. Don't run an advantage counterplan if you don't have an advantage (duh), and be prepared to answer the perm. I won't judge kick cps.
K’s - I primarily ran Lacan, Berardi, Deleuze, Baudrillard, and Nietzsche, but I am familiar with most other k's on the circuit (Wynter, Warren, Wilderson, most other forms of pess and pomo, Security, Cap, and some others. I'm fine with any k, just be clear and be prepared on what model of debate you defend and what it looks like. The countermodel of debate is the internal link to what makes these arguments convincing and why we should endorse a departure from debate. I will evaluate the k without the alt but only if the alt is kicked. I won't judge kick alts. K's don't need a rob, but make sure they link under some framing mechanism (opponent's fw or otherwise) i.e. under what framing do they matter whether it's util or otherwise. 2NR's should signpost clearly, have an overview, and go LBL. Have a clear link story that is specific to the aff, even pull lines from the aff don’t be super general that would be sad. Implicate the links and weigh. ANSWER THE PERM. Standard stuff. Affs answering this will be most effective with link turns, perms, framing, and not conceding the theory of power because it's too hard to come back from that. Answering case with k args is super underrated and effective.
Aff K's - Framing is super important. Be prepared to answer T, it is almost always the same argument. Impact turns only matter if you win FW. Tell me how the t page is evaluated because fairness bad and t is a prior question is difficult to evaluate. Topicality is probably good but I can be convinced otherwise. If you are non t you need to win why your model of debate and departure from topicality is necessary or good, not just that topicality is bad.
K v K: These debates can be messy. Win your model of debate and WEIGH just as larpers would. Framing is probably most important and then obviously link stories and the perm debate.
LARP v K: Neg should have implications from link stories that outweigh, turn, or exacerbate aff impacts and weigh impacts against aff. Aff should weigh impacts too, use the AC to answer the k, and pressure the k on the specificity of the link story to the aff. Attacking the alt is good but the neg can still easily win with links outweighing even if the alt fails or is bad.
Phil - Did this in high school. Mostly Kant, Deleuze, Levinas, and developed util or structural violence frameworks. Most Phil debates are super blippy so be clear and tell me how to evaluate the Phil debate, what was dropped why it matters and outweighs. I NEED WARRANTS. Epistemic confidence is probably true but I can be convinced otherwise. Remember too either debater can win on offense no matter the fw! On the offense page, WEIGH in the case of competing offense.
Phil v K’s: Super fun! I love these debates and it’s very interesting to see what way we should look at the world. Framing is very important. Affs should leverage fw against the k and weigh, and negs should answer the fw warrants.
Trix - I was a Florida debater who ran trix Baudy so I’m no stranger. I will evaluate it but my threshold for responses is super low so take that at your own risk. Conventional trix are hilarious but boring most of the time. Interesting trix and ones tied into kritiks are super fun and will earn high speaks.
Friv theory - there isn’t a bright line for what makes demarcates this but just don’t be frivolous it will make me sad.
Theory - These debates can be super blippy, which is sad because theory can be a fun debate. Don’t make it sad. Be clear on your interp of debate, win why your interp is better for debate than the other person’s, and GIVE WARRANTS. Competing interps, no rvis, and fairness/education good are probably true, but I can be convinced otherwise. Reasonability can be very convincing especially in the 2n hedge against a 1a theory dump bright lines are not irrefutable monoliths. Condo is pretty fair though 4-5 condo shells is probably pushing it though again both can be convinced otherwise. Disclosure thirty min before rounds is good, but rich schools/debaters punishing poor/newer debaters for not disclosing is not a good look.
For PF - See LARP page. K’s probably shouldn’t be in PF though I will evaluate them.
tl;dr is in bold
I have 4 years of HS policy debate experience debating semi-regularly on the national circuit, and sporadic college parli experience. I have been judging HS policy debate on and off since 2012 and have been judging national circuit LD frequently since 2019. I have generally found that my experience with CX translates to judging the national circuit style of LD without much in the way of skipping-a-beat.
As a debater I ran primarily kritiks during my most competitive seasons. As such I'm familiar with most K lit bases, theory args, etc, and I'm comfortable with speed. I do ask that you please vary speed and/or tone between your tags, theory shells and analytics versus the text of your cards, especially if you're reading a lot of blippy theory args. Being comfortable with speed doesn't mean I appreciate flowing all 8 of your 5-word standards in 10 seconds with no 'nexts' in between.
I generally consider myself fairly tab, with that being said I have some opinions:
Plan Texts/DAs/CPs: Don't be discouraged by the fact that I was a K hack as a debater. I don't find that I enjoy K heavy debates any more than policy oriented ones as a judge, I just enjoy good debates. I specifically enjoy well executed small/janky plans and CPs. I don't have much else specific to say about these args.
Kritiks: As above, I'm very down with whatever K you want to run, even the weird ones. I don't necessarily believe Ks require an alt, if you can make clear why the aff is entirely self defeating or detestable on face, I think you can win, but you're probably better off with an alt. I do try to counterbalance against a bit of commonplace anti-K bias in terms of the degree of explanation I require from Ks. If debaters are expected to understand the intricacies of what's happening in the South China Sea, I think it's reasonable to expect them to know the definition of Biopower. However, I do expect a robust explanation of how your K interacts with the Aff specifically and the unique wrinkles of your kritik. I think this specificity tends to become more important in the more postmodern lit bases, as well as with args like Cap which can be run in near infinite flavors.
'Nontopical' K affs/Project Affs/Performance Affs/Rejecting the resolution/Whatever: I am probably more down with these types of affirmatives than the average judge. You should articulate either in the 1AC or near the top of the framing/framework flow A. your interpretation of what debate is, what it's for and your Aff's relationship to the resolution (are you claiming to be topical somehow? shouldn't have to be?) and B. why doing whatever your Aff is doing is good in light of that interp.
Speaker Points: I believe these are arbitrary and I wish we had better ways to break ties. I tend to give high-ish speaks with the winner of the debate getting an extra half-point. Being that I think they are arbitrary, I may tank your speaks, no matter your speech quality, if you anger me by being needlessly rude or obnoxious.
Theory Generalities: I believe that competing interpretations is the only truly appropriate way to evaluate debates about debate. I am more likely to evaluate reasonability type arguments as a standard or defense against voters on theory than as a proper response to competing interps because top level reasonability arguments are themselves a competing interpretation -- lending the argument a weird performative incoherency on-top of, in my experience, never being clearly defined.
I generally take it for granted that fairness is an internal link to education unless told otherwise.
I will generally vote on any theory argument that I'm instructed to vote on if the offense is clearly won. That being said if you pick up on one of the arguments I am about to say I do not like, or something you and I both know is an awful argument, I may drop your speaks.
RVIs: I see these being read a lot in LD. I do not recommend reading these in front of me. I don't generally believe that it is unfair to debate about any aspects of debate, and I don't think I've ever seen an RVI run convincingly. If you insist on going for an RVI, I'd be far more compelled by arguments about theory bloat harming the educational value of debate than the args I typically see along the lines of 'they read too many theory args/I disagree with their theory args and that's not fair.' But probably just don't.
I am much more willing to consider Ks of framework/theory (which I've always viewed as distinct from RVIs, though I've seen them used interchangeably in LD) as voters. If you go for this, you should have a clear story about what is so rhetorically/structurally harmful about their theory arguments that your opponent ought to lose outright.
Floating PIKs: Don't do them. If your kritik doesn't solve some aspect of the aff you're probably doing it wrong, but if your alt actually enacts nonprecluded parts of the affirmative plan, you need to be forthcoming about that in the 1NC. I'm probably more lenient than most on floating PIKs when judging policy, but the structure of LD definitely raises my expectations in terms of specificity from the 1N. I won't reject the argument out of hand but I'll allow new "floating piks bad" in the 2AR which will obviously sink your PIK.
Aff/Neg Choice: I hate these args. In line with the rest of my opinions here, I believe things in debate should be up for debate. Reading interps that state terms of the round should be chosen by either party, or that an opponent should not be allowed to respond to a particular argument, fundamentally does not sit well with me. I think winning these args requires winning with essential certainty that whatever "choice" it is you're making (e.g. aff chooses util good) be the best choice, in which case you should just win that interp in the first place.
Perf Con: I probably take perf con arguments more seriously than the average judge. If there is a significant rhetorical/performative/in-round component to enacting your alt or advocacy, I think performative contradiction can be articulated as a turn that is not resolved by conditionality. I think it makes more sense articulated as a solvency turn than a theory interp though.
Those are all the specific things I can think to comment on at the moment. If you have questions, certainly ask.
Current affiliations (for TOC 2019): NSD, TDC, Lake Highland Prep, Westview's Rohith Sudhakar.
I have coached and judged for various schools on the national circuit more or less since 2003. I am fine with whatever kind of debate you would like to have; I am more attached to the idea that you have the kind of round you would like to have, than that you debate in the ways I find most interesting. So, if you have a vision for how you would like me to judge a debate, then just argue for that vision in the round, and I will adjudicate it on the flow.
I have thought most about ethical framework debate, K debate, theory debate, and tricks. I think less about LARP debate, though I'm fine judging LARP debates.
Last Updated - Mich camp '22 (I have a new judging email!)
Voting for policy-----X-----Voting for the K (yes, seriously)
Researching/coaching policy-------X---Researching/coaching the K
Will read ev without being told---------X-Tell me what to read
Asking "did you read X card"----------XLearn to flow or run prep/CX
Yes RVIs----------XNo RVIs
Fairness is definitely an impact-----X-----Fairness is definitely not an impact
"Neg on presumption - the aff doesn't solve"X----------"Epistemological shifts prefigure a new ontology of blah blah blah"
"It's pre-fiat"----------XActual arguments
Debate good---X-------Debate bad (the activity)
Debate good-------X---Debate bad (the community)
Counterinterp + offense---X-------Impact turn everything
Yes ur Baudrillard/KantX----------Not ur Baudrillard/Kant
Feelings and jokes--X--------Debate robots
Mime-like expressiveness--X--------Statue-like deadpan
Speaker point fairy--------X--Speaker point goblin
LD should be like policy-------X---(Some) LD stuff is cool
Capitalism----------X( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
who the hell is patrick
Jack C Hays '19, UH Debate '24(?) - I debated with Gabby and was part of the first UH team to qualify to the NDT in a while ('21 and '22). I was a quarterfinalist at the 2022 CEDA National Championship with Brett, my current 2A. I've gotten some gavels and elim appearances at both big and small college tournaments. I have always been a 2N, but I think about affs a lot and enjoy writing weird ones.
email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please have the subject of email chains be "Tournament Round - Aff Entry vs Neg Entry" (e.g: "CEDA Quarters - Liberty CR vs Houston CF")
I have hearing damage in my left ear. Try and position yourself to my right.
Conflicts of Interest
Consultant for Westside High School's policy team from 2020-22. Beginning in Fall 2022, consultant for Dulles High School's policy team. Currently coach Westlake AK, Perry JA, Los Altos BF, Sidwell SW, and Northern Valley JS in LD. Graduated from Jack C Hays HS in 2019.
Debate is a competitive activity centered around research and persuasion. My job is to adjudicate the competitive aspect of the activity and enable progression of students. Two teams are the only entities taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on arguments made within tournament set speech and prep times, and will submit a decision with one winner and loser or possibly a double-loss. If you try and tell me that anything outside of this is "binding" on my "jurisdiction" as a judge, you are incorrect and I will resent you telling me how to do my job.
Prior to all of this, as an educator (in both the subjective and legal sense), the safety of students is my utmost concern above the content of any debate. I have been told I get rather angry when these sort of issues arise - I absolutely do. This is the only way you, as a debater, can genuinely piss me off. Avoid it for both our sakes. Racism, sexism, etc. will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and will be penalized with speaker points, the ballot, and possibly a visit to tabroom and/or your coach. Which of these it is is entirely up to my discretion based on the severity of the offense, but I am likely to be much harsher than you are used to, as I find most judges are spineless in this area - I have quite literally stopped flowing and submitted my ballot in the middle of a 1AR before because I couldn't in good faith let the debate play out "impartially", and I will lose no sleep over doing the same to you if you make me.
You are high school students. I do not want to see or perceive anything NSFW. Keep it PG-13.
overall, do what you want if you're good at it, don't overadapt. I enjoy T throwdowns, impact turns and a CP/DA, framework vs K aff, policy vs K and rev v rev rounds equally, but I probably have more practice judging the last three.
I'm very expressive. Read my non-verbals.
I worked with JD Sanford and Aimun Khan in high school, and work with Richard Garner, James Allan, Rob Glass, and Michael Wimsatt in college. I like debating in front of Scott Harris, Alex McVey, Devane Murphy, Reed van Schenck, Jesse Smith, Doug Husic, and Jason Regnier. This is a wide swath of people who think a lot of things. I may judge a lot like them, and may judge nothing like them at all.
This paradigm used to be even longer, with many more specific thoughts on specific args - you can find those longer and specific thoughts here (I don't update this very often at all because my opinions on these don't change much)
here's what I think is most important to know about me as a judge -
- I judge a good amount, my schedule allowing, usually 60-80 debates a season (rounds judged 2021-22 in policy: 27, LD: 46). This is because of three things:
1. I think judging is a skill, and one I think is valuable for the community to have a surplus of. Much like how you can't give a good 2NR if you haven't given a speech in three months, I probably can't judge a debate as well as I want to if I haven't done it since the previous semester. I think many judges are horrendous, and this is mostly because they have not thought about judging as something to be practiced and refined, and have never tried to improve. I try to think about this a lot.
2. I think judging is interesting, both because I coach and because I like debate. I like to stay aware of the current meta and know what the best teams are going for both to help my own debaters as well as because I think the part of debate that keeps me awake is the way the activity iterates and (mostly) improves over time, both in content and form.
3. Rent isn't free. Interpret all this as you will, but for me it means I think you can be confident I am reasonably abreast of the current community norms and have a decent amount of experience with the techne of judging, and that I am most enjoying this job when I get to judge debates at the bleeding edge of the meta.
- Some judges will often admit they are not the best flower here. I consider myself to be a VERY good flower. It deeply frames how I think about the debate, and I do not think there is any reasonable alternative to judge, so I take it seriously. This means my primary reference for the decision I make is what YOU tell me it is, not what your doc said or how good your cards are. If you want me to pay attention to those things, put it on my flow. This also means, regardless of content or style, I value debaters who are organized and easy to follow. The crux of my decision is entirely determined by who I think won - I don't think my ballot really signals anything other than that (barring cases where I intervene due to something beyond the content of the debate). What I should value in terms of how I think about who wins and why, however, is entirely up to debate.
- "Tech over truth," but I exceedingly find that in technically close debates, truth tiebreaks my decision - I'd rather hear one good argument than five terrible ones. I will happily say "didn't understand this, sucks to suck" in my RFD. I try to be reasonably diligent about setting my own biases aside when judging (as evidenced by my current six-round streak of voting for cap good). Relatedly, the burden of proof precedes the burden of rejoinder - if you have not warranted an argument to justify it's truth, I do not care if it is "dropped", as there was never a full argument to answer in the first place. Good debaters are not just technical, but comparative - pointing out an argument is terrible is good, pointing out how it is terrible and why yours is better in relation is great, and telling me how that implicates the core parts of the debate is fantastic.
- Many judges give atrocious RFDs. I have been called long-winded, but I think that being thorough and going through every moving part of the debate is better than a 2 sentence non-decision that just kinda hand-waves the details. I ask myself what I would be most frustrated or confused by losing about if I was the 2A/2N, and I make a point to think through that in my decision and answer that question in advance. I think that the best way to make my RFD sound like the one in your head is to give me that RFD in the last speech - I coach many of my debaters to start the 2N/AR off with "your RFD is...", and I think that judge instruction is an essential skill that is nonetheless deeply lacking from many of the debates I judge.
- I am deeply unsympathetic to strategies that actively attempt to avoid clash/engagement, and my threshold for answering patent nonsense is low. You know who you are and you know what this means if it applies to you. I find that debate is valuable because it encourages content mastery, and I am most impressed by debaters who can show me they've done their homework, so to speak. That means that I find arguments that attempt to circumvent this pretty clearly less valuable from a pedagogical standpoint, and as such I will be loathe to reward such strategies with the ballot - the stupider/more in bad faith your argument is, the harder I will look for an excuse to not vote for it, and therefore the lower my threshold for answering it will be.
Miscellaneous thoughts (updated regularly)
For the love of God, learn to flow. If you're spending 30 seconds asking "did u read X" after a speech, you're running either CX or prep for it. This has easily become my biggest pet peeve. If you do this after a speech, I will quite ask you if you're running a timer, and if you aren't, you better start.
Uncomfortable voting on "this person did a bad" unless I literally see it. Dislike evaluating the character of minors who I don't know outside of these very limited interactions. If something happened between the debaters that is morally reprehensible and genuinely serious enough to merit my concern as a judge and coach, it probably merits getting the bureaucracy involved. Do not consider this me saying I am unwilling to do that. If you have safety concerns about being around your opponent, please and absolutely discreetly tell me via email or Facebook Messenger and I will get you the hell out and in a room with someone who can better handle it.
Stolen from my boss - "Jargon can enable precision, but it usually functions to make bad debaters think they are making good arguments when they are barely saying anything."
Mr. Fox is my dad. If you call me "Mr. Fox", I will assume you would rather be judged by him and adjust my flowing and speaker points accordingly. Pat/Patrick is good, Fox is fine, "judge" is okay, any true honorific is a non-starter.
The 1AR is a constructive.
In the event of a forfeit/concession, I am going to tell tab as opposed to submitting a ballot. The reason for this is entirely because I think its arbitrary for me to assign speaks for a debate that didn't happen or finish, and the only fair/consistent standard is to let tab average out speaks for other debates.
Inserting re-highlightings of their cards = go for it. Inserting cards from different parts of their article = gotta read it.
Not flowing cards about debate written by active debaters. Sorry.
If I'm not flowing, you're either too unclear to flow or you're being so redundant I don't need to flow you. Interpret accordingly if you notice.
I love (love, love) straight up case debates, and I consider it a dying art. A 2NR that just impact turns or straight turns the aff will receive nothing less than unreasonably high speaker points. This applies to both K and policy rounds.
You get two free "clears" and then after that it's -0.1 speaks for every time I say it (I will not apply this if I think it's due to audio issues with your mic, only if you suck at speaking).
"Role of the Ballot/Judge" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pql0__Ii67A
A casual approach to the debate is welcome and appreciated. I am a rather silly and wacky fellow, and will probably make lots of jokes and small talk. Mess around a bit. Have some fun. Its the weekend.
I decide most debates very fast. Even in close rounds. Don't take it personally.
If I've judged you before, and you make it patently obvious you actually took any or all advice I gave you in my previous RFD, I will absolutely notice (and so will your speaks).
Condo is good. This is my strongest bias.
God, this kinda sucks. I will try to make sure that, barring connection issues, I have my camera on at all times during speeches and CX. I will turn my camera off after the 2AR while making my decision and turn it back on once I'm in. You don't have to have your camera on and don't have to ask me to turn it on/off. I'm okay with being recorded if (and only if) everyone else in the room is also okay with it.
Speaks start at 28.5 for a team I'd expect to go 3-3. I try and keep it relative to the pool - a 30 at TFA State is easier to get than a 30 at GBX (although I don't give out many 30s).
Debate should be a safe space for everyone. Respect pronouns, respect people's personhood, etc.
Yao-Yao: "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck." You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that.
Before the debate, all teams/debaters can give me recommendations for a song/s to listen to during prep time, which I will do, and if I vibe with it I may bump speaks for everyone in the room (+0.1). Surprise me. For reference, my favorite album is a tie between The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Appetite for Destruction, with The Shape of Jazz to Come close behind.
Finally, a wager - if the 2AR/2NR sits down early, +0.2 speaks for every 30s saved if you win, but -0.2 speaks for every 30s if you lose - this caps out at +/-0.6 speaks and/or a 29.8/27.8, whichever comes first. Tell me if you do this, because I'm not timing you. Your move.
Good luck, and see you in round!
University of Central Florida Alumnus
Four years of LD for Fort Lauderdale HS and former policy debater for UCF.
***Avoid graphic explanations of gratuitous anti-black violence and refrain from reading radical Black positions if you are not Black.***
If you're rushing to do prefs here's a rough cheat sheet:
1- K and performance debates
2- framework debates, general topical debates
3- LARP debates and util debates
4- Theory/ Tricks debates
I will evaluate any argument so long as they are not morally repugnant, actively violent, or deeply rooted in foolishness. I can handle speed but due to the online setting, please go slower than you usually do. Also, be sure to properly extend and implicate your arguments in the debate as well, saying "extend X" and moving on doesn't really do much. In short, tell me why your arguments matter and why I should vote on/evaluate them. At the end of the day do what you do best—unless it's tricks and/or frivolous interps— and have fun doing it.
Honestly kind of a wildcard, I find myself voting in ways I never would’ve thought of quite often. At one point in time, I was a well-known policy debater, now I might as well be anyone they just picked up on the way to the tournament.
I’ve judged everything from the finals of CEDA Nationals to pf finals at NSDA. Debate and music pays my rent and puts food on my table, this is a job for me, so take that seriously when trying to make something relatable to me. I am a member of the Cherokee Nation, I grew up in a suburban Chicano/Filipino American Household… I say this because Debates that most capture my heart occur in a similar fashion to the arguments we make at the dinner table.
POLICY: There aren’t a lot of arguments I haven’t seen/heard/smelled… I like clear-cut offense in policy debates. It’s very rare that I vote for anything along the lines of “gotta have a plan” or Topicality in general. I’ve coached both high school and college teams on the explicit premise that the topic and or community engaging the topic is flawed in some way. Ideal debates for me will be more about performance and method, I’m more intrigued by what you did/do than the hypothetical. Even when doing fiat style debate, you need to defend it like it has benefits. If heg/cap is good you gotta sell me on a unique enough reason why in THIS instance I NEED/HAVE NO CHOICE OTHER THAN vote for you. Uniqueness absolutely determines the direction of the link for me in more traditional debates. Although I believe in my heart that conditionality is bad, it's hard for me to vote for condo bad when it is debated so nebulously, I generally believe that the negative should have access to everything under the sun to negate the affirmative.
LD: The best LD debates for me are not some mutant reproduction of old policy arguments and styles. I’m a great judge for you if you read a plan text and go multiple off, but in the back of my mind, I wish more LDers would push arguments against fiat, against this way of debating. My ideal form of debate is based on evaluating performance and method… I.e. I think what you do/did is more important than what could potentially happen if x hypothetical policy were passed. Also after judging a significant amount of y’all on the national circuit I’d like to know who is “we”…A lot of top-level LDers are getting away with regurgitating policy arguments to the point where they don’t even think or change up the blocks. I can’t be the only one slightly concerned at the implications of debaters mindlessly reading whatever is on the page right?
PF: I want a copy of your evidence so I can look at it for myself, preferably a speech doc too… other than that these debates are all about uniqueness and terminal impacts for me. I want a clear and cut disadvantage to your opponents' case… it can’t just be a “here’s our side, here’s their side” type of thing. Challenge sources, challenge privilege, and bias. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
I am a lay judge and have judged numerous state (MA) and national tournaments, both Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas.
I favor clear structure, comprehensibility, and the quality/integrity of arguments/data over quantity and complexity. I am not a subject matter expert on the topics you are debating or on the fine points of Lincoln Douglas debate technique. That said, I will listen to you very intently, take a lot of notes, and do my very best to render a fair and balanced decision.
I am not a fan of meme cases and not experienced enough to fairly judge tech cases. I may ask you to slow down if you speak too quickly. I expect you to keep your own time.
I will share critical comments if I have any, which may not be always. I will take careful notes throughout, disclose and provide an RFD after submitting the ballot.
Above all else - have fun and good luck!
I am new to NSDA however, I am not new to judging. If you are unable to spread properly do not do it. Thank you. Other than that its free range. Thank you and have a great time!
Strake Jesuit Class of 2020
Email - email@example.com
Debate is a game first and foremost.
I qualified to the TOC Junior and Senior year and came into contact with virtually every type of argument
Summary of my debate style - I was a memer who just enjoyed the activity while reading all types of arguments with my own spin on it. I think debate is often boring with debaters just reading blocks and not being innovative.
Please note that I have strong opinions on what debate should be but I will not believe them automatically every round they have to be won just like any other argument. Tech>truth no exceptions unless under extreme circumstances which I don't think will happen, if they do then I will update this.
Triggers - French Revolution and Freemasonry
I am not a fan of identity based arguments. Please don't run arguments that are only valid based on your or your opponents identity.
How to get good speaks
- be entertaining either with good music good jokes etc
- explain something to me really well
- making arguments that I really like or agree with, this includes Catholicism and Monarchism.
- Reference something from Scooby-Doo
do any of these things and you will for sure get above a 28.5
How to get low speaks
- Having bad strategy choice
-being really rude or mean. Aggression can be a part of a good strategy but being aggressive to the point of making your opponent uncomfortable is what I mean.
- Swearing or cursing, try to keep it professional and respectful please.
Styles of debate -
Before I get into every style just know that I will vote on all of them if I see your winning them, this is just to say what my bright line for winning the arguments tends to be.
K - If you are one of the 10% who actually knows really well what you are talking about and you can show it to me, you will get very high speaks. Just make sure to explain it super well as I think well done explanation allows you to use the K in a more strategic way on other flows. I will not vote on something I don't understand. Be warned I will not walk into the round thinking an impact is true, I will vote on impact turns to any argument, you need to be ready to defend the impact of the K as I'm not going to accept it as true automatically.
Larp - This was my main Strat when I couldn't read theory and I do enjoy a good larp debate. Being a good larper requires knowing your evidence more than your opponent and CX is where this becomes clear. If you know your Aff and you have good evidence you will get good speaks.
Tricks -I read a lot of tricks but like most judges find them less interesting debates to judge. If you just blip storm a ton of aprioris I will probably miss some so please be clear with what you're doing. That being said if you are just reading some stupid generic aprioris or skep I will not be impressed and you will not get higher speaks. please be innovative.
Theory - Make sure to be clearly extending and weighing your standard and please read paradigm issues. I don't get this new trend of not reading voters it really makes me sad. I will vote on anything no matter how frivolous if its won. If the round becomes a messy theory debate with little to no weighing done I will be leaning towards fairness impacts first and default competing interpretations.
Phil - If you have skep or permissibility triggers make sure to do a good job explaining why they are triggered just saying "extend this card it says trigger skep in the tag gg" does not do it for me. Side note I really enjoy theological debate if it’s possible. I promise good speaks if you make the debate interesting. Do with that what you will.
Eric He -
Debated for Grapevine '19
Now debating for Dartmouth '23
Better than most for cp theory
Slightly neg on condo when equally debated
Kritiks are ok
Affs should probably be topical but will still vote for affs that do not have a plan text - I belive fairness is an impact
Wipeout and/or spark is :(
for LD -
really quickly - CP/DA or DA or CP+some net benefit = good, K = good, T/Condo = good, phil = eh, tricks = bad
I am a policy debater. That means I am ok with speed, and I much prefer progressive debate over traditional LD. Bad theory arguments are :( - that means stuff like no neg fiat
Offense defense risk analysis will be used
solvency is necessary
T is not a rvi
yes zero risk is a thing
please be clear
please do line by line - this is not something i should have to put in my paradigm
EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York; I was an assistant coach at Lexington from 1998-2004 (I debated there from 1994-1998), at Sacred Heart from 2004-2008, and at Scarsdale from 2007-2008. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students.
Please just call me Hertzig.
Please include me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.
Ks (not high theory ones) & performance - 1 (just explain why you're non-T if you are)
Trad debate - 1
T, LARP, or phil - 2-3 (don't love wild extinction scenarios or incomprehensible phil)
High theory Ks - 4
Theory - 4 (see below)
Tricks - strike
If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.
I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds.
I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will usually not vote for theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on it. I will vote for theory that is actually justified (as in, you can show that you couldn't have engaged without it).
I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.
For in-person debate: I would prefer that you stand when speaking if you're physically able to (but if you aren't/have a reason you don't want to, I won't hold it against you).
Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. And be nice.
To research more stuff about life career coaching then visit Life coach.
Spreading is fine, just make sure that all arguments and evidence are being clearly articulated. I recommend slowing down on taglines and slowing down when making theory arguments, providing analytics, and giving an overview such that these arguments can be flown accurately. IF you are going to give a spready overview/rebuttal, sending out a doc is advised.
Policy rounds are more straightforward in terms of evaluating how the round went. I generally recommend that Aff teams thoroughly explain their plan's solvency mechanisms and plainly articulate the internal links between their inherency, harms/impacts, and solvency. Affirmative teams reading policy affs should generally aim to read at least two advantages.
Neg teams in more straightforward policy rounds should leverage a few policy strategies against the plan and collapse on one by the 2NR with a strong link/internal link story and extensive impact calculus in rebuttal speeches. If NEG teams run counter plans, they should have a net benefit and be competitive with the affirmative plan being debated. Disadvantages should have a strong uniqueness, a link story, and a clear impact.
In more straightforward policy rounds, I try not to intervene, often adjudicating based off whether the plan would be better than the status quo or competing policy option unless told otherwise.
Kritikal Rounds/ Soft Left Affs/ Advocacies, Narrative, and Performance
I am open to hearing 'non-traditional affirmatives' or performance advocacies. Sign Posting helps a lot in these rounds, as these rounds often involve theory, framework, and somewhat complicated overviews that often include both theory and framework. It may behoove the team running these arguments to be familiar with framework arguments and explain why not defending the topic or not advocating for a policy outcome is optimal. I am also very persuaded by teams that explain their solvency methods and how their advocacy is crucial/the starting point to some kind of change/justice.
I am less inclined to vote for kritiks that solely rely on 'reject the 1AC' as an alternative and kritiks that rely on poorly explained or ineffective alternatives, especially when the opposing team challenges the solvency of these kritiks. When evaluating the kritiks, I factor alternative solvency heavily in my decision calculus, though I have voted on the risk of a link/strength of a link.
NEG teams when negating performances and kaffs should do more than run topicality and framework when going against KAFFS and Performance Affs. Generating offense by running a Kritik, counter advocacy, or PIC may be a better way to combat these kinds of cases. Many KAFF teams are often able to effectively handle topicality and framework args, so being able to leverage offense through other avenues may be more effective. Disads are also very persuasive (Isopolitics, Ballot Commodification, Pornotroping etc.)
As far as structuring these KAFF and performance aff rounds, I recommend the affirmative team read an advocacy statement/kritik alt/ and try not to change their advocacy/position in the round. It can be difficult to understand performance affs and kaffs, never mind flowing and evaluating them. An advocacy statement really helps judges to focus on the key issues. Moreover, it allows the opposing team to better clash with the case.
Structure and Rules
For the most part, I view speech time and speaker positions as being fixed and necessary to make the debate accessible and fair. Even if both teams agree on a different set of 'rules' for the round, I may still intervene and suggest the default speech times and speaker positions so as to not interfere with the logistics of the tournament. When teams are not in agreement on what the rules of debate are regarding speech time and speaker positions or are fine with the established rules for speech time and speaker positions, I will uphold the default rules and will refuse to flow after time has been called.
I don't flow Cross-X and won't evaluate any arguments brought up in Cross-X unless it is brought up in a speech later in the debate and thoroughly impacted out. Example: In cross ex the debater conceded that the plan increases spending, conceding a link to the Spending Disasd.
Theory arguments are fine, as long as they are explained and (most importantly) impacted out. Spreading through theory may not be a good idea, since I may miss critical arguments on the shell.
Neg teams running Topicality arguments should extend and explain the violation and standards into rebuttal speeches if they intend to go for a ballot based on T. Referencing the wording of the plan or affirmative case, the structure/methodology of the case, and attempts at gaining clarification in cross-ex especially helps me to evaluate topicality arguments.
I assign speech mainly on the clarity of debaters within the round. If a debater did impact calculus really well, clashed well, or otherwise was very strategic and was also a clear speaker, they/she/he will likely get a 29 or higher.
I may be inclined to dock points from debaters who lie in cross-ex, steal prep time, or make rude or offensive remarks, especially if the opposing team calls them out.
I am not very responsive to tricks, especially when they do not have some kind of social advocacy tied to them that could conceivably have a real impact. I will instead prioritize substance arguments
Kritiks I like to hear: Afropess/antiblackness, set col, Lacanian psychoanalysis, afrofuturism
Phil args I like hearing: Kant, Spinoza, Baudrillard (If done right)
Plano Senior '20 (coached by Alex Yoakum, Adam Tomasi, Robert Shepard, Neal White, and Cheryl Potts)
Indiana University '24 (Coaches: Brian Delong, Jacob Bosley, Matthew Bricker, Jamie Davenport, and Ayoka Wicks)
2X NDT Qualifier (21,22)
Add me on the email chain email@example.com
CONFLICTS: Plano Senior(TX), Clark High School(TX), Stanford Online MB, Saratoga AG
TLDR: I am fine with you reading anything if it is not offensive.
Largely agree with
NOTE FOR ONLINE: Record your speeches. If anyone's internet goes out you should immediately send the recording to everyone in the round. If you don't have a recording, you only get what I flowed.
Some Generic Stuff
1)I care a lot about evidence. I will read through most, if not all, of the cards at the end of the debate. I won't insert arguments into the debate based on what the evidence implies, but I can't vote for you if your explanation of the evidence is based on some misreading. I do this to encourage you to know your cards well and utilize them the best you can. Unpack your warrants and be comparative; use lines of your own and your opponents' evidence to flag important arguments that matter to my decision.
2)I can handle speed so feel free to go as fast as you want, BUT if you are hitting a novice or anyone who has a disability of which they can speak at a faster rate.
3)I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, and WEIGH and DEVELOP a ballot story.
4) Use all of your speech and cross-ex time. I will dock speaker points if you use cross-ex for prep, or if you end a speech early. I think that there's always more you can ask or say about an argument, even if you're decisively ahead.
5) Don't cheat - miscutting, clipping, strawmanning etc. It's an auto-loss with 0 speaks if I catch you. Ev ethics claims aren't theory arguments - if you make an ev ethics challenge, you stake the round on it and the loser of the challenge gets an L-0. (this only applies if you directly accuse your opponent of cheating though - if you read brackets with an ev ethics standard that's different).
6)I will assume zero prior knowledge when going into a round on any subject, which means it's on you to make me understand your warrant purely from the speech itself. For example, even if I know what the warrant for something like gratuitous violence if I don't think your explanation completes a logical warrant chain on why gratuitous is an accurate description of relationships, I won't vote for you.
8)Prep stops when speech doc is sent.
9)Please have pre-flows ready when you get in the round so we can start immediately.
10)If you are hitting a novice, please don't do something like reading 5 off and making the round less of a learning experience and more of a public beat down. It just isn't necessary. I will give you higher speaks if you make the round somewhat more accessible (ie going slower, reading positions that they can attempt to engage in, etc).
11)The quickest way to LOSE my ballot is to say something offensive (racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc.)
12) If you harass your opponent (i.e asking them if they are single in CX), I will drop you with 0 speaks and contact tab. Absolutely zero tolerance of any forms of harassment in front of me. I will not hesitate. Any judge who is tech>truth should believe the same - since to be tech>truth assumes value in the game, and the game cannot exist without players. Players do not want to play if they are harassed while playing.
Theory: I will default to “competing interpretations” unless told otherwise. I will not make any presumptions on the voter level of the debate. This includes the voter (fairness/education/etc.) and the implication (drop debater/argument). Failure to present arguments in favor of a voter and its implication is to present an unwarranted argument. Instead of doing the work for you, I will not evaluate the argument, and I will default to truth testing. This also means you should be extending your voter and its implication properly and in every speech. I am fine with frivolous theory if executed properly. I believe that RVI is very illogical and non-sensical, thus I will not vote on RVIs.
Kritiks: I like good K debate a lot. Your impacts must link into a framework. They could link into a normatively justified framework, or they could link into a pre-fiat role of the ballot. An NR containing a well explained, and well impacted K that doesn't forget about the case is a good thing. An NR containing a K you've never read the lit for is very frustrating. Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category. Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff.
Philosophy/FW: I really like a good framework debate. Please make all framework arguments comparative. I will default to truth testing unless told otherwise.
LARP/Policy Positions:I love judging good policy rounds. Copied from Yoakum's paradigm: "Unsure why I have to say this but DA are not an advocacy and if I hear the phrase "perm the DA" you immediately drop down to a 28. If you extend "perm the da" then you will drop to a 27." If you read a plan please read specific evidence instead of general util offense for the topic. I am kind of ambivalent towards the whole "are perms advocacies or tests of competition" debate. Regardless, you must articulate either why a perm is net beneficial or how the CP is not mutually exclusive from the aff (or, ideally, both). I WILL NOT VOTE ON A PERM THAT IS NOT EXPLAINED OR DOES NOT DELINEATE HOW THE PLAN AND CP ADVOCACIES ARE COMBINED. If you read a billion perms and its like: 1. perm do both 2. perm do the aff then the CP 3. here is an intrinsic perm, then I probs won't vote on any of them unless you EXPLAIN. For god sakes please weigh!!!
Tricks (Stole from Yoakum's paradigm): Alright, so you roll up into the room and you got this really tricked out case with 100 different a prioris, so many theory spikes that they are literally jumping off the page to fight for fairness, and the classic incontestable descriptive offense, and you are ready to win. I just have a couple of requests:
1. I want the spikes clearly delineated. None of that hidden theory spikes between substantive offense bs. I won't catch it, your opponent won't catch it, so it probably doesn't exist (like absolute moral truths).
2. Slow down a little for theory spikes.
3. If you extend an a priori, lean more towards the side of over explanation rather than under explanation. I have a high standard for extensions, so I need to understand a) why the a priori means you affirm/negate b)the claim, warrant, impact of the arg
4.Do not make tricks is the only thing you do, your speaks will suffer heavily.
K Affs:I don’t care whether you read a plan or not, but affs should have a specific tie to the resolution and be a departure from the status quo that is external from the reading of the 1AC. Impact turning framework is more strategic than counter-defining words or reading clever counter-interps, but you should have a clear model of debate and what the role of the negative is.
Framework:Affirmatives should have some relationship to the topic, even if not traditional endorsement or hypothetical implementation of a policy. At the bare minimum, affirmatives should "affirm" something. I am much less sympathetic to affirmatives that are purely negative arguments or diagnoses.Teams should have a robust defense of what their model of debate/argument looks like and what specific benefits it would produce.Teams tend to do better in front of me if they control the framing of what I should do with my ballot or what my ballot is capable of solving. Whether it signals endorsement of a particular advocacy, acts as a disincentive in a games-playing paradigm, or whatever else, my conclusion on what the ballot does often filters how I view every other argument. Teams tend to do better with me the more honest they are about what a given debate or ballot can accomplish."TVAs" can be helpful, but need to be specific. I expect the block to actually provide an example plan text. Solvency evidence is ideal, but warranted explanation for how the plan text connects to the aff's broader advocacy/impact framing can be sufficient. If the 2NR is going to sit on a TVA, be explicit about what offense you think the TVA accesses or resolves.
Policy v K: Don't lose the specificity of the aff in favor of generic K answers. Reading long framing contentions that fail to make it past the 1AC and 2ACs that include every generic K answer won't get you as far as taking the time to engage the K and being intentional about your evidence. You should clearly articulate an external impact and the framing for the round. I'm more likely to buy framework arguments about how advocating for a policy action is good politically and pedagogically than fairness arguments.
K v Policy:Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category. Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff. Make sure to tell me why the impacts of the K come first and weigh the impacts of the K against that of the alt. Absent serious investment in the framework portion of the debate/massive concessions, the aff will most likely get to weigh the aff's impacts against the K so impact comparison and framing is vital. Framework arguments should not only establish why the aff's framework is bad, but also establish what your framework is so that my ballot is more aligned more closely with your framework by the end of the debate. K's don't have to have an alt and you can kick out of the alt and go for the links as case turns.
K v K: Affs should have an advocacy statement and defend a departure from the status quo. Affs don't have to have a clear method coming out of the 1AC, although I am more likely to vote neg on presumption absent a method. I have a higher threshold for perms in debates where the aff doesn't defend a plan, but just saying "K affs don't get perms" isn't sufficient for me to deny the perm.
Policy v Policy: Nothing much to say here, but please weigh!!
T: I enjoy a good T debate and think T is very underutilized against policy affs. Make sure you are substantively engaging with the interpretation and standards and aren’t just blitzing through your blocks. I default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise.
CP:Explanation is crucial. I need to be able to understand how the CP operates. 2NCs/2NRs should start off with a quick overview of what the CP does. Blazing through this at top speed will not contribute to my understanding. Fine with you reading PICS
DA:Framing is everything: impact calculus, link driving uniqueness or vice-versa, the works. Smart arguments and coherent narratives trump a slew of evidence.
Theory: I love theory debate if executed properly. I will default to “competing interpretations” unless told otherwise.
I prefer line-by-line debate to big picture in summary, rebuttal, and final focus.I am fine with Policy/LD arguments in PF.
1) The only thing that needs to be in summary and final focus beside offense is terminal defense. Mitigatory defense and non-uniques are sticky because they matter a lot less and 2 minutes is way too short for a summary. BUT, if you do not extend terminal defense, it doesn't just go away; it just becomes mitigatory rather than terminal ie I will still evaluate risk of offense claims.
2)First summary only needs to extend the defense with which 2nd rebuttal interacts. Turns and case offense need to be explicitly extended by author/source name. Extend both the link and the impact of the arguments you go for in every speech (and uniqueness if there is any).
3)2nd Rebuttal should frontline all turns. Any turn not frontlined in 2nd rebuttal is conceded and has 100% strength of link -- dont try to respond in a later speech.
4)Every argument must have a warrant -- I have a very low threshold to frontlining blip storm rebuttals.
5) If you want me to evaluate an arg, it must be in BOTH summary and Final Focus.
6)I'm fine with progressive PF- I don't have a problem w plans or CPs. PFers have a hard time understanding how to make a CP competitive- please make perms if they aren't. Theory, Kritiks, and DAs are fine too. If you wanna see how I evaluate these, see my LD paradigm above.
7)You get a 1:15 grace period to find your PDF, and for every thirty seconds you go over, you will lose .5 speaker points. If you go over two minutes and thirty seconds, the PDF will be dropped from the round.
8)Please have a cut version of your cards; I will be annoyed if they are paraphrased with no cut version available because this is how teams so often get away with the misrepresentation of evidence which skews the round.
9)If you clear your opponent when I don't think it's necessary, I'll deduct 0.2 speaks each time it happens. Especially if there's a speech doc, you don't need to slow down unless I'm the one clearing you.
10)Because evidence ethics have become super iffy in PF, I will give you a full extra speaker point if you have disclosed all tags, cites, and text 15 mins before the round on the NDCA PF Wiki under your proper team, name, and side and show it to me. I would love for an email chain to start during the round with all cards on it.
I evaluate speaker points purely based on strategy and whether or not you actually listened and slowed down when I yelled clear.
Speaker points will be arbitrary, but I will try to be as consistent as I can be.
[[ ]] LAST UPDATED: post-toc 2022. mostly changes for clarity no real significant content changes.
[[ ]] i realized that there are a lot of words on this paradigm. you can email me with questions or use ctrl + f because i mention a lot of specifics and you can probably find what you're looking for somewhere here.
[[ ]] About Me:
- i've heard pretty commonly that people cant find this so im putting it closer to the top and bolding it so people that dont read my paradigm (which is annoying and you should finish reading it so the round can be more enjoyable for the both of us) can find it: yes i want to be on the chain, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2 years of circuit debate at plano west, have been involved in debate in some capacity since 2015. graduated hs in 2021, now "debating" (we went to one regional last season lol) for UTD as a 2n. mostly read kritiks relating to poststructuralism and capitalism in high school, reading policymaking arguments more now.
- i judged a total of 125 debates in the 2022 season and all of them were LD but i really want to judge policy more and most of this paradigm is applicable there as well.
--- if you care: toc qualled 1x, bid 1x and at-larged. multiple bid rounds, rr invites, all of that stuff.
- big influences in debate are patrick fox and alexis antonakakis. read their paradigms, i agree with them both broadly. they coached me in high school. i think the paradigm i vibe the most with is zac's (who i dont know super well but we're twitter mutuals so we're basically besties).
- conflicts (22-23): westlake ak, los altos bf
- i really dont like being called judge. call me dylan. judge is better than being misgendered tho.
[[ ]] For E-Debate:
- dont record others unless they consent. preferably keep a local copy if you are comfortable, in case your speech cuts out.
- keep your camera on if you are comfortable. i understand there are a lot of reasons people wouldn't want to have it on, you wont be penalized if you dont. this is extra important for the toc - people are ending their careers and it's morbidly depressing to end it online and it's even worse when all the screens are blank.
- more pen time would be nice. i need you to add a little bit of space between cards either with a breath or a .5 second pause. my flow will get very messy otherwise, which isnt something you want.
[[ ]] For NON E-Debate:
- wear a mask when not speaking or its a 25. i will have a box to give you one if you dont have one. i will warn you once and politely ask you to put it on, after which i will give you the 25.
- you still should not be recording without both debaters consent. i will always be okay with you recording a debate that i'm involved in unless you're asked not to.
[[ ]] Top level:
- the tl;dr of the rest of this paradigm is that i want you to do you. i would much rather judge a good debate with arguments im unfamiliar with than a bad k v k debate. being blippy and trying to avoid clash is a good way to lose rounds in front of me. running away from debate, contestation, and clash makes me angry. nuanced and well-thought-out debate makes me happy and will be rewarded with higher speaks. i generally like debate in most forms, and will be happy to judge any debate you want to have.
- for quick prefs: best for k v k, clash, and policy v policy rounds (in that order). okay-ish for phil and theory. bad for tricks, meanness, and frivolous nonsense.
- zero tolerance for bigotry or violence. its an L0 as well as a conversation with your coach. if it affects you in round i err on the side of giving you the agency to decide what happens with the round unless its super egregious.
--- if something has happened to you outside of round that makes you uncomfortable debating it for whatever reason, email me and i will do my best to make sure you feel safe and comfortable. the only argument about out of round practices that i am comfortable voting on is that abusers should take Ls, and i will end the round early if it's made, HOWEVER i think that you should tell me about it beforehand so i can try to do something in tabroom as opposed to adjudicating the debate in this way because i think it's much easier to justify, more productive, and means that you dont have to interact with the person you're supposed to debate.
--- re: misgendering. 0 tolerance for it. if you misgender me i will be very mad at you and you will lose speaks. if its egregious i will hand you the L. if you misgender ur opponent and they mention it you will lose with 0 speaks. you probably wont do it again. email me or tell me verbally and preferably tell me what you want me to do if ur misgendered.
[[ ]] K:
- big fan of the k. i will vote on it. i know most about this kind of debate and its where i feel most comfortable. i like most forms of the kritik and do not understand why people draw a distinction between high theory and other literature since most if not all literature is interconnected and authors build upon each other frequently. i do think though that i have read the most post-structuralist literature compared to anything else because that's what im personally interested in the most.
- explain arguments. if i dont understand an argument, i cant really see myself voting for it. what i know about an author before the round should mostly be irrelevant because you should be doing the necessary legwork so that i know what im voting for. making actual arguments >>>> rambling about pre-fiat offense and saying nothing.
- specificity is good. this applies to links, contextualization, and explanation. pretty much every part of the debate should in some way be responsive and contextualized to the aff.
- non-black afropess/nihlism teams should strike me. i do not want to hear these arguments from non-black people. i will give you an L25 if the argument is made that you should not be reading this. i will give you no higher than a 27 independent of arguments being made.
- one thing that i will note is that i am deeply unsettled by the meta in K debate which seems to be recycling antiblackness arguments and changing them to fit other identity categories. "surrender to X" is what first comes to my mind here but there are tons of other examples. this makes me uncomfortable and unhappy. exploring ur identity in the debate space is a great thing, but i'll ask that you do it in a way that is unique to you and doesnt steal from antiblackness scholarship. it's parasitic and weird.
- re: performance: i really like performance and non-traditional weird strats in debate but i also often feel that performance is leveraged in a weird way by many teams. i think that, in order to access some sort of offense via performance, it needs to be a larger part of your speech than just a brief portion of speech time dedicated to a poem or something and then going back to spreading through cards in the way a traditional policy team would.
[[ ]] K (aff specific things):
- i like critical affirmatives and it's the type of aff i'm most familiar with. i will vote on them.
- these affs should do something and be able to articulate what they do. if 1ac cross ends and i do not know what your aff does, im gonna assume its nothing and have a low threshold for presumption.
- becoming increasingly convinced that these affs don't get perms in methods debates. defend something and this will change.
- you should read cards to respond to impact turns, doing otherwise is almost certainly a guaranteed L.
[[ ]] Policymaking:
- i like these debates. yes you should still explain your arguments, poorly explained scenarios are still hard for me to justify voting for and i feel like policy people have become convinced that their arguments are somehow less deserving of explanation as opposed to something like a kritik. this is, in my opinion, wrong and makes debates significantly worse.
--- the best debate i have judged so far this season was a policy throwdown. i enjoy these debate a lot.
- ghoulish impact turns teetering on violent will make me upset (high food prices good, disease/pandemics good, etc.) and your speaks are capped at a 26.
- i think that conditionality is good and i think that all forms of counterplans are probably good. i am hard-pressed to vote on condo or x type of cp bad. i have voted on both before, its not impossible to win in front of me, but it requires a near concession.
--- i do not think that condo has a limit but this can change based on the context. material in round abuse makes condo more compelling although i tend to think abuse is the result of a skill issue
- i've found that my decisions will often take 15+ minutes in these debates because i am reading evidence. this goes to show how much i think evidence quality matters and i truly think that the quality of your evidence will win/lose you debates in front of me.
- counterplans with manufactured exclusivity are bad [read] and i'll be much better for CPs that actually compete with the aff and are grounded in the topic lit as opposed to silly "kill the president" or "nuke russia if plan" counterplans.
- i've found that i really really like good case debate. like actually good case debating that is specific and nuanced. do with that what you will.
[[ ]] framework:
- yes i vote on framework. this means, i expect, i will sit in a lot of these debates which i'm fine with. on a capital T truth level i disagree with framework but i dont think this should discourage you from reading it because paradoxically i think my voting record is somewhere around 60-40 on the side of framework because K teams arent wonderful at responding. conversely i think framework teams lose often when they literally never talk about the aff which is super common in these debates and makes me really upset.
- for the negative: pick one argument and go for it instead of going for a smattering of impacts that never get robustly explained or contextualized to the aff. i tend to think the easiest way to get my ballot is to talk about the aff (fairness people take notes) and the people that lose it never do this.
- for the aff: i think that affs that discuss the topic are far better off in these debates than affs that never mention the topic. i think the reason k teams often lose these debates is because of lazy aff construction that avoids any sort of engagement with the substance of the topic. i do not care what you say about the topic but you should at least say something if you want my ballot. you should also probably tell me what the role of debate is in the world of the aff and what debates look like but i have voted on straight impact turns before and can see myself doing it again.
[[ ]] T:
- i am not a huge fan of T debates when they are vacuous (see: T whole res)
- having counter-definitions for words in the resolution and being able to compare different competing definitions is good. having a caselist is also pretty important - you should be able to articulate which arguments are/arent included in competing interpretations of the topic and why thats good/bad.
- any model of debate that only allows one or two affs to exist on a topic is a bad one. im most compelled by topic literature, and semantics is generally uncompelling to me. jurisdictional claims dont make any sense - i can do what i want with my ballot. i dont flow them.
--- (LD) re: nebel: i do not understand the upward entailment test and also greatly dislike cards written by debate coaches. if nebel is your a-strat you should strike me because i will almost always vote for the interpretation that allows for more than one aff to be read on a topic.
- will not vote on an rvi to topicality literally ever. dont bother.
[[ ]] Theory:
- once again vacuousness makes me frustrated. interpretations with no justifiable abuse story will make me frustrated which is definitely bad for you. if there is no provable in-round abuse my threshold will go way down.
- i often find that these debates get too technical and a lot of the abuse story ends up getting lost in the debate. i think having a top level explanation of the abuse story will help to clarify a lot of these issues that come up.
- i will evaluate every part of the debate. i do not flow evaluate after x speech for any layer of the debate. both sides get to make arguments in every speech.
- i flow rvis but i will not vote on an rvi unless it's straight conceded.
- re: disclosure. you should disclose. if i have to judge a disclosure debate i will be sad. new affs are definitely good. being from a small school is not a reason to not disclose on the wiki, but not knowing the wiki exists probably is.
--- interpretations like round reports, cites, etc. fall into the category of vacuousness and i am sympathetic to reasonability in these debates.
[[ ]] Phil (ld):
- i like phil (they're a nice person) when it does not include blippy arguments that are leveraged to avoid clash.
- im dumber than i thought. explain phil to me like im a 5 year old. im not hostile to phil i'm just stupid. when your arguments arent explained my decision gets worse and someone is unsatisfied.
- to restate the top of the paradigm: i like clash and i like robust and nuanced debate. thusly, i think these debates are better when there is good comparison between syllogisms and both sides give good explanations for what their framework entails and what is and isnt permissible under their framework. conversely, these debates are way worse when they spam independent justifications and extend concessions with 0 explanation as to what the argument means and why its capable to justify an entire moral theory on its own.
- theres a lot of arguments in these debates that i think do not make sense (emod, induction fails, tjfs, etc.) and the threshold to respond to these will almost always be low.
- extinction outweighs is compelling to me because i dont think there is a single framework that is read in debate that cares 0 about extinction. i think all of them say it's bad with different justifications.
[[ ]] Tricks:
- recycled arguments are bad. generic arguments that get read on every topic are bad. tricks, generally, involve both of these things with little to no innovation. consider this when preffing me.
- i do not have a hardline stance on these arguments, but i do think you should pref other people instead of me if this is your a-strat. for some reason people think tricky arguments are an acceptable response to affs about oppression. they arent. i will give you an L0 if you try to go for gsp, zenos, skep, or any of these arguments against affs that discuss oppression in a meaningful way.
- i figured out a while ago that indexicals means that i can decide under my index that you lost the debate and should get 25 speaks. i will consider this when evaluating your 2ar.
- no ethos no ballot. if i dont verbally laugh, i can and will vote you down just because you're boring to me.
[[ ]] Cheating (in the officially written rules sense):
- i used to have a bit here about evidence ethics being annoying but there was a round with actual tangible abuse where a violation occurred and someone was deterred from mentioning it when it mattered. i think evidence ethics are bad when there is no competitive advantage gained from the violation (ie a broken link to evidence that does actually exist) and you're staking the round on it because you want a free win/it's a round you think you wont win otherwise. i still prefer rehighlighting and debating the round out to staking rounds on ev ethics, but i am still happy to vote on a violation when its egregious and obvious that an advantage was gained from the violation.
- clipping loses you the debate with 0 speaks. no arguments have to be made for me to vote you down for it, if i catch you its sufficient.
[[ ]] Random Musings (these are still important imo):
- (ld) independent voters are usually not independent and i will usually just evaluate them as a turn to whatever they're read on. maybe if you spend 30 seconds-a minute on it in the speech it's introduced in and read a card i can be convinced, but otherwise dont bother.
- inserted rehighlightings are fine if its from a portion that was actually read. different parts of the same article (paragraphs later) should be read.
- speaks info is here: they are determined by strategy, clarity, ethos, and organization. i think speaks are stupid. i think preffing judges based on how they give speaks is even more stupid. and i think its even MORE stupid that minority debaters get less speaks on average. to compensate, gender minorities and debaters of color will have speaks adjusted upwards. this is a) to check any internal bias i may unknowingly have and b) because it would make me sad for you to get screwed by someone else in the pool. i try my hardest not to inflate speaks so if ur speaks from me are lower than from others its nothing personal.
--- i used to disclose speaks. i dont anymore unless theyre very good (think 29.5+ for both debaters)
--- (stolen from patrick) up to +.3 speaks if u show me music and i like it. this is 2 easy when i link my spotify, so for reference my favorite albums of all time r the lonesome crowded west by modest mouse and 1000 gecs by 100 gecs
--- bringing me a sugar-free monster = +.5 speaks.
--- sending docs on anything other than a word doc is -.1 speak
- i listen to cross. i dont flow it because im lazy but if you're blatantly lying ill probably pick up on it.
- i usually will read evidence for fun, but most of the time this wont really affect my decision unless someone calls for me to read it. if you’re blatantly lying, wrong about what your evidence says, or making grandiose claims your evidence never makes, the threshold for responses will go down. calling out bad evidence when you see it and asking me to read it is good, and will get you better speaks if its done meaningfully.
- i vote neg a lot because i often find that 2ar spin is too new to have possibly been predictable for a reasonable 2n. 2ars that explain and implicate out arguments that were already somewhat explained in the 1ar are the best imo..
- i will be annoyed if ur coach comes to post-round me based on your interpretation of what happened in the round. im all for post-rounding and i think it makes ppl better at judging, but if they dont know the content of the round, and only your interpretation of what happened, it will probably just get frustrating and wont be very productive. feel free to ask me whatever questions you have after the round though.
- i am annoyed by strategies that consist of 7+ offs since i find they are often poorly developed. i would prefer to hear a few nuanced and well developed positions as opposed to spammy arguments that arent developed and dont say anything. policymaking strats can maybe make it happen since disads and counterplans are usually pretty short, but other than that maybe dont try it.
- please learn to flow. there is no clarification time - if u want to ask what is and isnt read use cross for it but it gets annoying when i have to listen to 2 minutes of "was x read" and you will probably lose speaks.
Sheryl Kaczmarek Lexington High School -- SherylKaz@gmail.com
I expect debaters to treat one another, their judges and any observers, with respect, and I also expect all audience members to treat every participant in a round with respect. If you plan to accuse your opponent(s) of being intellectually dishonest or of cheating, please be prepared to stake the round on that claim. Accusations of that sort are NOT JUST ARGUMENTS, they are round ending claims for me, one way or the other. I believe debate is an oral and aural experience, which means that while I want to be included on the email chain, I will NOT be reading along with you, and I will not give you credit for arguments I cannot hear/understand if you do not change your speaking after I shout clearer or louder for the second time, even in the virtual world. I take the flow very seriously and prior to the pandemic judged as much as anyone my age, across the disciplines, but I still need ALL debaters to explain their arguments because I don't "know" the tiniest details for every topic in every event. I have not judged much during the pandemic so please start a little slower and work up to your top speed and please articulate. I am pretty open-minded about arguments, but I will NOT vote for arguments that are racist, sexist or in any other way biased against a group based on gender identity, religion or any other characteristic and I will NOT vote for suicide/self harm alternatives. None of those are things I can endorse as a long time high school teacher and decent human.
The Resolution -- I would prefer that debaters actually address the resolution, but I do vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often. That is because it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.
Framework -- I often find that these debates get messy fast. Debaters make too many arguments and fail to answer the arguments of the opposition directly. I would prefer more clash, and fewer arguments overall. While I don't think framework arguments are as interesting as some other arguments in debate, I will vote for the team that best promotes their vision of debate, or look at the rest of the arguments in the round through that lens.
Links -- I would really like to know what the affirmative has done to cause the impacts referenced in a Disad, and I think there has to be something the affirmative does (or thinks) which triggers a Kritik. I don't care how big the impact/implication is if the affirmative does not cause it in the first place.
Solvency -- I expect actual solvency advocates for both plans and counterplans. If you are going to have multi-plank plans or counterplans, make sure you have solvency advocates for those combinations of actions, and even if you are advocating a single action, I still expect some source that suggests this action as a solution for the problems you have identified with the Status Quo, or with the Affirmative.
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part of the card you read needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards after a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain a complicated argument to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy.
Old/Traditional Arguments -- I have been judging long enough that I have a full range of experiences with inherency, case specific disads, theoretical arguments against politics disads and many other arguments from policy debate's past, and I also understand the stock issues and traditional policy-making. If you really want to confuse your opponents, and amuse me, you'll kick it old school rather than going post-modern.
The Resolution -- The thing that originally attracted me to LD was that debaters actually addressed the whole resolution. These days, that happens far less often in LD than it used to. I like hearing the resolution debated, but I also vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often in LD. That is because I believe it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question.
Framework -- I think LDers are better at framework debates than policy debaters, as a general rule, but I have noticed a trend to lazy framework debates in LD in recent years. How often should debaters recycle Winter and Leighton, for example, before looking for something new? If you want to stake the round on the framework you can, or you can allow it to be the lens through which I will look at the rest of the arguments in the round.
Policy Arguments in LD -- I understand all of the policy arguments that have migrated to LD quite well, and I remember when many of them were first developed in Policy. The biggest mistake LDers make with policy arguments -- Counterplans, Perm Theory, Topicality, Disads, Solvency, etc. -- is making the assumption that your particular interpretation of any of those arguments is the same as mine. Don't do that! If you don't explain something, I have no choice but to default to my understanding of that thing. For example, if you say, "Perm do Both," with no other words, I will interpret that to mean, "let's see if it is possible to do the Aff Plan and the Neg Counterplan at the same time, and if it is, the Counterplan goes away." If you mean something different, you need to tell me. That is true for all judges, but especially true for someone with over 40 years of policy experience. I try to keep what I think out of the round, but absent your thoughts, I have to use my own.
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part if the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot understand enough to write it down, I won't vote for it. If you don't think you have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you should try a different strategy.
Traditional Arguments -- I would still be pleased to listen to cases with a Value Premise and a Criterion. I probably prefer traditional arguments to new arguments that are not explained.
Theory -- Theory arguments are not magical, and theory arguments which are not fully explained, as they are being presented, are unlikely to be persuasive, particularly if presented in a paragraph, since there is no way of knowing which ones I won't hear or write down, and no one can write down all of the arguments in a densely packed theory paragraph. I also don't like theory arguments that are crafted for one particular debate. If it is not an argument that can be used in multiple debates (like topicality, conditionality, etc) then it probably ought not be run in front of me. New 1AR theory is risky, because the NR typically has more than enough time to answer it. I don't especially like disclosure theory arguments because I am not in a position to judge what was done or said before a round, and because I don't think I ought to be voting on things that happened before the AC begins. All of that being said, I will vote on theory, even new 1AR theory, or disclosure theory, if a debater WINS that argument, but it does not make me smile.
The Resolution -- PF mostly still debates the resolution, which is one of the things I really like about the activity. Please make sure you do debate the resolution when debating in front of me. It would be best if the Final Focus on each side attempted to guide me to either endorse or reject the resolution.
Framework -- This is beginning to be a thing in PF in some places. I am perfectly willing to consider a lens through which I can look at the arguments in the debate, but given the time limits, please keep your framework simple and focused, should you decide to use one.
Policy or LD Behaviors/Arguments in PF -- I personally believe each form of debate ought to be its own thing. I DO NOT want you to talk quickly in PF, just because I also judge LD and Policy, and I really don't want to see theory arguments, plans, counterplans or kritiks in PF. I will definitely flow, and will judge the debate based on the flow, but I want PF to be PF. That being said, I will not automatically vote against a team that brings Policy/LD arguments/stylistic approaches into PF. It is still a debate and the opposition needs to answer the arguments that are presented in order to win my ballot, even if they are arguments I don't want to see in PF.
Paraphrasing -- I really wish the NSDA had decided to kill paraphrasing in PF. When someone paraphrases inaccurately, I have a huge problem with it. I expect debaters to be able to immediately access the text of the cards they have paraphrased -- there should not need to be an off time search for the article, or for the exact place in the article where they drew their paraphrasing from. Taking a 150 page article and making a claim from that is not paraphrasing. You must be able to point to the exact place your argument is based upon, within seconds of being asked to do so, or I am unlikely to consider the evidence in my decision.
Evidence -- If you are using evidence, I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is unacceptable. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part you card you read needs to say extinction will happen. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
Theory -- This has begun to be a thing in PF in some places, especially with respect to disclosure theory, and I am not a fan. As previously noted, I want PF to be PF. While I do think that PFers can be too secretive, I don't think that PFers ought to be expending their very limited time in rounds talking about whether they ought to have disclosed their case to their opponents before the round. Like everything else I would prefer not be true, I can see myself voting on theory in PF because I do vote based on the flow, but I'd prefer you debate the case in front of you, instead of inventing new arguments you don't really have time to discuss.
mark kivimaki - he/him pronouns - kivim008[at]umn[dot]edu
nsda nationals: congratulations on qualifying to nationals! refer to my official tournament paradigm for my thoughts on ld specifically at this tournament.
1. i am currently in my 7th year debating and my 3rd year judging. i have all the technical knowledge necessary to judge whatever arguments you make and strive to maintain ideological neutrality in my judging. organization, impact calculus and judge instruction will help you win my ballot.
2. i care a lot about the quality of evidence that you read. a claim is only as good as the evidence that is read to support it.
3. i will do my best to deliver a thorough decision i would want to hear as a competitor. i know how hard you all work and i will work just as hard to be a good judge.
4. my research and debate experience is mostly in policy-style and k argumentation. these days i read a performance aff and go exclusively for ks on the neg but i still do a good deal of policy research for the students i coach. k teams should pref me high, and policy teams should pref me as a clash judge that leans a bit more k.
5. for ld specifically, i enjoy judging substantive phil arguments and these teams should pref me high. if your strategy involves unwarranted tricks or frivolous theory, i am not the judge for you.
6. if you are an ld debater, i probably have a good deal of topic knowledge. if you are a policy or pf debater, i would suggest assuming very little topic knowledge on my part.
Important Note: I've noticed the lack of high quality LD rounds uploaded to youtube since the start of the pandemic. I'm going to begin recording and uploading rounds to youtube. I'll ask before the round if I choose to record it, & feel free to say no if you don't want to be recorded and I will not record it.
What's up. I'm Lukas/Luka (either is fine, they/them). Yes, I do want to be on the email chain. Lukrau2002@gmail.com, but I prefer using the fileshare option on NSDA campus
2022 update: making this shorter. I will listen to any argument, (yes, including tricks, yes including nebel T, yes including K affs of any type, listing these as they are supposedly the most "controversial") in any event, against any opponent, with the exception of the obviously morally objectionable arguments (use common sense...). My only dogma is that dogma is bad. If you are confident in your ability to beat your opponents on the flow, pref me high. If you have certain arguments you dogmatically hate and are terrible at debating against, it is probably in your best interests to pref me low, because I will almost certainly be willing to evaluate those arguments no matter how silly you find them.
I believe that paradigms should exclusively be used to list experience with arguments, and that judges should not have "preferences" in the sense of arguments they dont want to evaluate. We're very likely being paid to be here to adjudicate the debates the debaters want to have, so the fact that some judges see fit to refuse to evaluate the fruit of some debaters' labor because they personally didn't like the args when they debated is extremely frustrating and frankly disrespectful to the time and effort of the debaters in my opinion. So below is my experience and a quick pref guide, based not on preference, but on my background knowledge of the arguments.
Experience: HSLD debate, Archbishop Mitty, 2018-2021; TOC qual 2020, 3 career bids. VBI camp instructor - Summer of 2021, Summer of 2022. Private coaching - Fall 2021-present (if interested, email me at email@example.com)
Pref guide - based on experience as a debater and judge, not personal arg preference
1 - Weird/cheaty counterplans
1 - Policy Args
1 - Phil
2 - Ks (queer theory, cap)
2 - Tricks
2 - Theory
2 - Ks (other Ks, not high theory)
3 - Ks (high theory)
Again, I cannot stress enough that this is solely based on my knowledge of the lit bases, not my love for the arguments. I read and enjoyed judging many a deleuze aff as a debater and more recently judge. The amount of reading I did to read those affs was very minimal and I mostly just stole cards, so would I say I actually know the args very well? Probably not. Would I enjoy evaluating them? Absolutely.
some info abt me: was v flex as a debater so im down to see whatever (please just read whatever ur best at rather than trying to adapt to me, I just love a good debate), qual'd to toc and worked as instructor at nsd
Tech > Truth
Feel free to hmu before the round asking questions, but I'll evaluate any argument. I'm probably the worst at very heavy policy debates but can still handle them with good judge instruction.
- I like and encourage post-rounding, it only gets excessive when it becomes clearly personal or accusatory rather than educational
- CX is binding
- I don't really like using cx to prep, at least ask questions while prepping
- I'm not receptive to args asking for high speaks
- I want good extensions. this means claim warrant impact implication.
Thoughts on specific forms of debate:
love em, well read on most ks people read and especially love strategic implications of things like ontology. good for reps ks too.
good for whatever shell u want to run no matter how frivolous, I think im very good at evaluating theory debates bc of how structured they are
big fan of kant and just normative phil in general, do good hijacks and syllogistic takeouts and ill be v happy. phil tricks are best tricks, going for skep or a contingent standard or some hijack or something is fun and strategic
good for k tricks and phil tricks, theory tricks are a lot less fun and will prob hurt ur speaks (things like eval after 1ac). Cool paradoxes, trivialism, and skep >>>>> definition nibs / a prioris, extremely long underviews etc. but ill eval whatever
Lot of respect and understanding for policy debate but I struggle in very very high level rounds, if you are a policy debater and get me then please go for it but try to avoid embedded clash and make clash very explicit and line-by-line heavy. Call out badly warranted cards. I like impact turn debates a lot and think cheaty counterplans are funny. I also think util is probably the most strategic framework in debate.
Hi! I'm Rose.
Pronouns are she/her.
I am a coach with the DebateDrills Club Team. Information regarding conflicts, team policies, and harassment reports can be found at Club Team Information. Should you have any questions or concerns, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach at Homestead High School 20/21-21/22
Coach with DebateDrills 21/22-Present
Harassment will not be tolerated. You know what I'm talking about, if you do it, you'll lose.
If you're in the middle of a debate and you at any time feel unsafe or uncomfortable, please contact me and I will stop the round and deal with it. Safety first, always.
Put me on the chain - email@example.com
K - 1
LARP - 1
Phil - 2/3
Tricks/Theory - 4/5
Don't send cards in the body of the email - this is a very strongly held belief of mine and I will ask you to resend cards if they are in the body. :)
I debated both Policy and LD in high school, and have coached and judged both. This paradigm is written for LD since its the majority of what I judge now.
One team wins, the other loses.
Racism, sexism, etc. will earn you a loss and the lowest speaker points I can give.
This includes misgendering - you get ONE warning and after that if your opponent brings it up you will receive an L and minimum speaker points. I know that this reads as slightly draconian but no one learns without any enforcement. I promise, not misgendering your opponents is actually not that difficult.
I will decide what speaker points you get. Arguments that attempt to manipulate your speaker points will lose you speaker points, not vice versa.
Go as fast as you want but be clear - please don't read analytics at the speed you would read a card, i will likely miss warrants.
Everything else is up to you.
Evidence quality is incredibly important and I almost always read evidence if the debate is even remotely close so please read good cards or it is likely to hurt you. Debaters tend to underestimate this part of my paradigm - I am pretty much always willing to hold the line on bad evidence if asked to so ignore at your own peril.
K Affs v Framework: This is the debate I judge most often and while usually I don't attempt to hide my biases I do truly think I come down about neutral on this question ideologically. Affirmatives typically win this debate in front of me when they defend a coherent model of debate that resolves some portion of the negative's offense while extending strong net benefits to said interpretation combined with defensive arguments that mitigate the impacts the 2nr goes for. Negatives typically win this debates by collapsing on one to two strong, warranted pieces of offense that actively criticize the specific model of debate the affirmative defends. Please do impact calculus in the 2nr/2ar.
LARP vs Kritiks: I like these debates a lot as well. Affirmatives typically win this debate in front of me by answering links and putting defense on the alternative to support a 2ar push on extinction outweighs, the permutation, or a link turn. Negatives typically win this debate in front of me by winning framework, specific, contextual links, and doing 2nr impact calculus. Specifically in setcol or pess debates, simply winning ontology on either the affirmative or the negative isn't sufficient to win the debate and you should stop treating it like it is. Ontology is a framing issue for how I view the offense in a debate, but unless contextualized as such, is not its own offense or a reason to vote for you. Explain why you are winning your side of the ontology debate, and then explain why this matters in the context of the debate.
Kritikal literature I have extensive experience with (have read a significant amount of literature about): Settler Colonialism, Harney and Moten, Beller, Baudrillard, Afropessimism, Marxism
(of special note is settler colonialism - I'm pursuing this area of study in college, have coached multiple setcol teams, read it all through high school, and have likely read 85-90% of what you are citing)
Kritikal literature I have moderate experience with: Bataille, Nietzsche, Security, Most Queer Theory, Feminism, Grove
Anything else I either don't have much experience with firsthand or forgot to include - feel free to ask preround
Deleuze is a work in progress - I'll do my best though
K v K: This is my favorite kind of debate. I find that these debates very often coalesce to a few key questions about the nature of capital, identity, language, race, communication, etc. The best debaters in these debates identify what those key questions are, answer them conclusively, and implicate them in the context of the line by line. This includes the theory of power debate but is not limited to it. Give historical examples, be specific, and explain why you are right about the world and how it functions. I lean heavily towards no perms in these debates, but thats contextual based on how competitive the alternative is with the aff - if I can't clearly articulate between the aff and the alternative in terms of function, purpose, and scope, I'm very likely to conclude the aff gets a permutation.
LARP vs LARP: I think that on both the affirmative and the negative evidence quality goes a long way - I'm mostly likely to read evidence in these debates, and that evidence will often make a large difference in my decision. This is not to say that arguments without cards are less good, but rather that having good evidence to support your carded claims will improve your chances of winning. To make life easier for yourself, do evidence/warrant comparison and analysis as early as the 1ar. Disads should be unique and have contextual link analysis. My ballot will start with an explanation of the argument I voted on - its in your best interests to write that explanation for me at the top of the 2nr/2ar. Impact calc is your best friend.
LARP vs Phil: After coaching some phil debates I have discovered I was unnecessarily pessimistic about my ability to adjudicate these debates - some of the arguments in phil debate are a bit detached from the philosophy they reference, but I feel comfortable adjudicating libertarianism, virtue ethics, Kant, contractarianism, agonism, and Hobbes, and will listen to and try to figure out anything else. Please slow down a little bit and don't spread overviews at me, but I actually understand these debates more than you (and I) think.
Phil vs K: Win your theory of the world is true and you will likely win the debate. These debates devolve to everyone ignoring each other too often - if you go for Curry and Curry and drop all of the reasons Kant is true you will probably lose, and vice versa.
Phil vs Phil: Not a lot of thoughts - don't rely on blips and coherently explain your theory of morality, etc. I haven't judged very many of these debates though, so once again worth slowing down.
Theory: If they didn't do anything wrong, stop whining. Debate should be hard. Two conditional counterplans isn't going to kill you. I'm going to default to reasonability. If your 1nc/1ar strategies are reliant on theory shells that are not topicality I am probably not the judge for you.
Topicality: Win that your model of debate generates better/more fair debates and I'll vote for you. I like Nebel T and am happy to vote for it. Topicality isn't an RVI 99.4% of the time.
Tricks: I don't like tricks debate. However, if this is what you're best at, do it and I'll vote for you if you win. I am more than willing to hold the line on 5 second blips if there wasn't a warrant in the 1ac/1nc.
IVIs: 99.5% of IVIs are tricks and should be treated as such. If you manufacture voting issues when you and I are both aware there isn't a legitimate reason to reject the team I will tank speaker points and be very unhappy with you even I vote for you. Please stop hiding from engagement.
I'm very emotive while judging. You'll know what I think based on my facial expressions. Do with that what you will.
As long as you aren't mean to your opponents, I'm fine with getting heated and passionate. Debate is an activity that means a lot to a lot of people. You don't need to treat it like it's not important.
I'm a Marxist, but I've voted for/gone for cap good and heg good multiple times. Conservative positions are totally fine as long as they aren't explicitly racist/sexist/etc. Debate is about testing ideologies, I'm not going to punish you for doing that.
Death good is fine. Idc.
I'm very very skeptical about nonblack pessimism. I read afropess a couple times in high school. I should not have. If this is your thing I will not intervene against it but I would suggest you critically think about your relationship to the argument and what it means for people in debate/what multiple black people in debate have said about their uncomfortability with you reading this argument.
Post-round away, but decisions are final and please do it yourself. I don't want to argue with another coach about a debate they were not in. If this is ignored I will get really frustrated very quickly - if you are an adult whose career is coaching debate you should respect other adults in the activity and their ability to make good decisions. You know the difference between asking questions and yelling at judges to feel better about the fact your team lost.
My speaker points have been super spotty in the past, so I made a scale to hold myself to:
More than 29.5+ - Some of the best debating I've ever seen. I've never given a 30 but probably will eventually.
29.0-29.5 - Great debating, good strategy and execution.
28.5-29.0 - Solid debating, some strategic or technical mistakes.
28.0-28.5 - Decent debating, a few mistakes but ok fundamentals.
27.5-28.0 - OK debating, your speeches need a lot of work but you're on the right track
27.0-27.5 - Subpar debating, needs significant work
Less than 27 - Something went seriously wrong.
I’ve bolded what you need to skim preround. There’s a preffing cheat sheet somewhere in here, a tldr of how I generally evaluate rounds, and a ctrl+f section for opinions on specific arguments. This paradigm applies to all events, but I judge circuit LD the most. My argumentative opinions are pretty much the same across all events. I hope this paradigm as a whole is helpful for preffing/education.
If you really don't want to read the paradigm:
1. record your speeches, no speech redos, send recording if tech difficulties
2. yes email chain firstname.lastname@example.org, i don't flow off the doc, but i'll check it periodically to make sure you're not clipping
3. will say slow/clear twice before becoming sad
4. read any args you want, just make sure they're warranted & implicated!
5. if you need to contact me, email is better than fb message during tournaments, fb is fine after tournaments
6. be nice be nice be nice be nice be nice
hi! i'm nethmin! i use she/her/hers pronouns!
The Hill School ’20, Pitzer College ’24.
I competed in LD on the local and national circuits and was fairly successful in both. Reached 5 bid rounds, championed a round robin, got a handful of round robin invites, championed local tournaments in the philadelphia region, qualified to ncfls and states, probably some other stuff. I'm now actively coaching both natcirc and traditional students in LD, as well as the occasional CX team.
During my debate career, I read a little bit of everything. During my junior year, I read more policy-oriented positions. All of my 2nrs that year were on a CP/DA, topicality, a common K (security, cap, orientalism), or T. My affirmative positions were policy or phil oriented. During my senior year, my 2nrs were a pretty even mix of standard policy positions, common Ks, and fem/performance. On the affirmative, I read everything from the indopak aff to creatively topical affs to a wholeres setcol aff. I would consider myself to be competent at evaluating whatever debate you want to have. My debate history should not dictate what you read in your round. I think people should stop treating debate as their immortality project and let the students in the activity do what they want.
judging history -- here is a link to a spreadsheet that has info about every round i've judged. it's a work in progress but i figured i'd publish it because i always found these sheets helpful. as a note -- i'm not including discord tournaments/student-run tournaments. some of the slots in the rfd column aren't filled out yet because i either haven't gotten time to look through old flows and figure out what the rfd was or i simply do not remember. but rfds starting with apple valley should be updated and accurate.
ideological flexibility is what i value most in debate. judges who say "i won't vote on the k" and judges who say "teams who read t-framework are horrendous human beings" are equally objectionable to me (all other things being equal). i do not believe that the arguments a team reads are a reflection of how good/bad of a person they are (unless they literally impact turn sexism or something of that nature). i strive to be someone who will vote on any argument as long as it's not delivered in a way that's morally abhorrent (bullying your opponent = bad) and it meets the minimum standards to be considered a complete argument (claim, warrant, implication).
Preffing cheat sheet!
1 – Good/inventive Ks, performance, standard policy stuff (i appreciate cool new disads and fun advantage CPs), & generic Ks (security, cap, etc.)
2 – if you read the above arguments but don't want me as a 1, i'm fine here as well
3 – Good trad debate (traditional format but does line-by-line, is not violent, engages in actual clash/argumentation). Theory (that's not frivolous) is also around here in terms of whether or not you want me as a judge. Phil is also around here if you're willing to explain/warrant args and not assume that I know Every Single Thing you're saying.
4 – Theory/procedurals (if your only strat is theory), Phil (if you're not willing to explain/warrant). Theory/procedurals are so low on the list mainly because I see people misuse these or use them to deny that oppression exists. I am far more receptive to “condo bad” against 3+ conditional CPs than I am to 4 theory shells against a whole res aff just because you felt like ROBspec was what we needed to experience at that moment in time. I'm a much better judge for you if you read good theory and theory isn't your primary strat. I don’t have any strong phil opinions other than that I’m not the most experienced in it, so explanation will go a long way.
5 - Tricks. This is both because I'm the least experienced in this style of debate and because I enjoy it the least. That being said, if you're a circuit debater at a finals bid, I'm probably higher than a 5 for you (but I don't need to tell you this, lol).
Strike – you intend to be a bad person, read arguments that police your opponent's presentation/appearance (shoes theory, formal clothes theory), or you intend to make debate unsafe. i'm here to judge the debate you want to have and render the best decision that i am able to, so i will only say that you should strike me if you actively make the debate space unsafe for other people. obviously, there are other reasons for which you're welcome to strike me, but this is the only thing i will actively suggest using a strike for. but then again, not sure how many judges you'll find who actively want you to pref them for unsafe/discriminatory debates.
actual paradigm/explanations of my thoughts and feelings about debate:
I have certain ideological preferences and experiences within the circuit that will make me more receptive to certain arguments and less experienced with others. Most of this becomes irrelevant if you do the better debating, which is to say, win the line-by-line, do good sequencing, and respond to your opponent’s main points of offense. I am a technical judge.
Email chains are good. Put me on the email chain – email@example.com . I think that everyone in the round (judge(s)/opponent(s)) should have equal access to the evidence being read. None of this “I’ll send the judge a doc and give my opponent a paper speech doc.” ** I don’t hate paper docs, I did this a lot in HS, just don’t be sketchy about it.
I will give +0.2 speaker points if you add a significant portion of your analytics to the speech doc and organize them such that they are easy to follow. I think this makes debate more accessible, and also just makes everyone more happy during online debate. On a related note, if someone asks for analytics and you say something rude or condescending along the lines of “it’s your job to flow,” your speaks just dropped by 0.3.
I think that warrants are hard to come by in many debate rounds these days, even ones with “good” debaters. Err on the side of a little too much explanation, because if your arg is warrantless, you will be ballotless. If your opponent concedes something, that means you get access to uncontested warrants/I consider those warrants to be true. It does not mean I will vote on an argument with no warranting. It also does not mean your extension can be sans-warrants. I understand that the LD 1AR is awful and very short, but you need to reference the warrants in some way when you extend conceded stuff.
I value technical debate. However, I also think that truth matters. I do not default to dropping a team that reads untrue arguments (either for strategic value or out of lack of knowledge), however, I am receptive to this being argued as a “reject the team” issue by the opponent. Use your judgment on this – a novice with a bad politics disad is probably not the same level of egregious as someone who read 8 untrue disads because disproving an untrue DA takes longer than reading one.
Similarly, I think that independent voters need warrants and an articulation of why they sequence before everything else. Debaters have been getting away with murder in terms of labeling random pieces of evidence or analytics as independent voters. You need to tell me why impact defense is somehow an “independent reason to negate.” Spoiler: it probably isn’t. This isn’t to say I won’t listen to args about reps or other independent voters. I made these args. Reps matter and I value these debates. I also value warrants, sequencing, and ballot analysis in these debates. Independent voters are arguments and they need a claim, warrant, and impact, along with a justification for how they sequence (just like any other argument). Calling something an independent voter doesn’t mean I vote for you if you extend it.
Here’s how I generally evaluate debates (absent someone telling me otherwise – my views on sequencing can be changed):
1 – See if there are arguments (independent voters, for example) that debaters HAVE ARTICULATED as coming before any framing mechanism
2 – Find the winning weighing/framing mechanism, whether that’s a standard, value criterion, role of the ballot, or role of the judge. If you think your weighing mechanism sequences before your opponent’s, it is valuable to point that out.
3 – Locate warranted offense that is impacted back to the winning framing mechanism, and take into account any argument that might change who gets offense from it/nullify the arg (turns, terminal defense). You have to do some level of work to weigh under the winning framing mechanism – I’m willing to do some work for you here but I can’t create arguments that didn’t exist.
4 – Weighing between competing offense. This is usually done based on how debaters choose to weigh things. If you don’t weigh, I will just be left to “weigh” as I see fit. This is a good situation for nobody.
Some general notes
Policy stuff: I've found after a year of judging that I enjoy policy-style debate much more than I am perceived to enjoy it. If you're a policy-style debater wondering how to pref me: I'm not the judge you want if you're looking for someone to hack for you against K teams. I'm probably the judge you want if you're looking for a decent/competent evaluation + feedback to help you improve, and you want a judge who has a decent/good understanding of how policy positions interact with other styles.
K stuff: read the k, love the k, won't hack for the k. I'll give your arguments a fair shake against policy-style teams, which is more than a lot of judges will do (it makes me sad that judges will actively hack against a style of argument). I won't actively intervene in your favor/pass judgments on how good/bad of a person your opponent is purely based on their 1NC strategy.
Sequencing saves ballots!! Tell me which layer comes first and why. I will buy things like “case comes first because it has a value criterion and those are good for debate.” That is literally an argument I read and won. Just tell me why your offense comes first, give me a warrant, and tell me why your offense sequences before that of your opponent. If not … it’s up to me lol and that’s no good.
Framing is important. If your opponent concedes your ROB but reads theory, use the ROB to exclude their offense. Don’t concede framing.
Defense matters. No risk of offense is a thing. However, having some offense certainly helps you win the debate. I’m a big fan of impact defense.
My favorite 1NC against almost any type of affirmative is some kind of procedural, a counterplan/countermethod that resolves a substantial chunk of their offense, a disad/net benefit to the aforementioned cp/cm, and a good line-by-line of the 1ac. this is true whether you're debating a non-t aff or a policy aff. this isn't like some weird requirement i impose on all rounds i judge, it's just a thought.
Trad debater vs circuit debater -- I don’t think it’s anyone’s burden to shift their style of debate to accommodate anyone else. I do think it is the burden of both debaters to respect all styles of debate and not be rude or condescending. You should each debate how you debate best and I will evaluate the round you give me. If you are the circuit debater in this scenario, do not assume that you will win. Trad debaters can win these rounds by doing good analysis, comparing evidence/warrants, and utilizing framing to their advantage. NOBODY in this round (spectators, opponent, etc) should be patronizing or elitist. If you are elitist, I will be more than happy to give you awful speaks. We need to acknowledge that the circuit is elitist and doesn’t treat trad debaters well. Please don’t become a part of that problem.
Speed/clarity – I will say CLEAR two times before I just stop flowing. I will not yell clear if you are too fast (I will say SLOW) or if you are too quiet (I will say LOUDER). I think that opponents being able to slow/clear the other debater is key to accessibility, please be accommodating. I can handle a decent amount of speed, especially with cards. I am much worse at handling speed with blippy analytics (as most people are). Going slower on analytics is a good idea.
POSTROUNDING: i'm super friendly and receptive to questions after the round (even if the questions are delivered in a manner that's not always the most polite - i know what it's like to lose a close round). i'm generally willing to answer questions for quite a while, as long as tournament schedule/second flight permits and/or there isn't a pressing concern i need to address regarding a student of mine. however, my patience takes a NOSEDIVE when you have no idea what your positions say, your questions consist of "ok but how was this not evaluated" and then your coaches send me a long email/text an hour later to aggressively ask questions without seeing the round. to clarify, i'm fine with a few clarifying questions from coaches, but i get irritated when it's obvious that you've docbotted your coach's prep, you don't understand the round/why you lost, and your coach is trying to ask me questions that you should be able to ask if you have any understanding of the prep you're reading.
Opinions on Specific Positions (ctrl+f section):
I am absolutely willing to vote neg on case turns. This is something not enough judges are willing to do.
If you read something on case that functions at a higher layer, note that when the argument is read and provide a warrant for it. Multiple layers of responsive engagement with the aff can devastate the 1ar.
You read a 1AC, please use it in the 1AR.
I did this a lot. I like this a lot. Do whatever, just give me a warrant.
Use the 1AC in the tfwk debate. I tend to think you can weigh case, but give me some warrants as to why you do so that the 2nr doesn’t ruin you.
Tell me why what you did for 6 minutes is good and valuable. Use it to sequence before things like disads.
If there is prefiat offense, I don’t think you have to flag it as such in the 1AC. I think you do have to in the 1AR. I need an explanation of why something is prefiat, and what that means in the context of the round. Does prefiat mean case>T and disads? Does it mean T>case>disads? You get to choose! But warrant it out pls.
T-fwk vs K affs/NonT affs:
My experience is as a K debater, but I have read framework before and I will definitely vote on framework if executed properly. Make sure you are respectful of the debaters and experiences contained within the 1AC – if your reading of framework ends with “queer debaters should never be allowed to advocate for themselves in debate,” that’s a massive oof, and probably a pretty hot L. To that end, I think that TVAs are very important – you need to find me/your opponent a model of debate that includes their aff and also meets your interp. Without a TVA, I’m much more inclined to vote on any number of aff arguments, from impact turns to “aff good.”
Make sure you answer counterinterps, impact turns, RVIs, and cross-applications. Make sure you answer any sequencing arguments and telling me why your offense comes first.
I don’t enjoy frivolous theory. I also tend to think CX checks. You can change my mind on this, but you can also substantively engage with your opponent’s args. Choose your own adventure.
Theory defaults: competing interps, yes rvi, drop the debater. These can definitely be changed, just warrant your args and you're good!
Topicality (not framework):
Same defaults as theory.
I find T to be a compelling strat against tiny larp affs, but I also am persuaded by affirmative answers to T -- no strong feelings either way in these debates. Don’t make T your only strat (this is probably just general debate advice, and isn’t specific to only me as a judge).
One note about grammar-based topicality arguments: I don't find most of the grammar arguments being made these days to be very intuitive. This isn't to say that you shouldn't go for these args in front of me (I actually find myself voting for them a lot) but rather, that you should explain/warrant them more than you would in front of a judge who loves those arguments more than anything.
I used to say that I would never vote on tricks. I've decided it's bad to exclude a style of argumentation just because I don't enjoy it. Here are some things to know if you're reading tricks in front of me:
1 - I won't flow off the doc (I never flow off the doc, but I won't be checking the doc to see if I missed any of your tricks/spikes)
2 - The argument has to have a warrant in the speech it is presented. 1NC warrantless blips + infinite 2NR sandbagging is not the move in front of me
3 - Don't be ableist! If your document formatting is intentionally sketchy/ableist and your opponent calls you out on it, I'm happy to vote you down
4 - Don't be sketchy in cx (this is also generally true no matter what kind of arg you're reading)
5 - The reason I've been so opposed to voting on tricks in the past is that I've never heard a trick that met the minimum threshold to be considered an argument (claim, warrant, implication/impact)
I won’t vote for these if they aren't warranted.
I don’t know K literature as well as some K debaters do, but that doesn’t mean I won’t evaluate it. I value the explanation that you do in the round and the actual parts of the evidence you read, and I will not give you credit for the other musings/opinions/theories that I’m sure your author has.
Sequencing is important and you should do it.
Links of omission <<<<<<<< other links. But, I’ll vote on them. Give me warrants that I can explain back to your opponent if I vote against them.
Specific links >>>>generic links with explanation>>>>>>>more links.
Overviews are nice! Overviews that take up 4 minutes of the 2nr and make the debate messy are not nice!
Weighing is important!
I don't really have any spicy opinions on disads -- just weigh and warrant your args and you'll be fine.
You should probably have a text in the speech doc.
I think word pics can be interesting if executed well, but they need to be well-warranted and have good ballot analysis.
Pics are fun. Pics bad theory is probably going to be a thing. Be prepared to answer it.
Please have warrants, a speech doc, and clash.
I think that the value-criterion is a criminally underrated weapon when a trad debater is up against 7 off. Use the 1ac that you read to your advantage and make smart arguments.
I think that traditional debaters should be allowed to collapse to one contention. I know this isn’t the most common on all local circuits, but feel free to do this in front of me.
It is advantageous to weigh under your opponent’s framing mechanism in addition to telling me why yours is better.
I think that a short NC and then lots of case turns is the way to go in trad debate, but that’s just me.
NOTES FOR ONLINE DEBATE:
1. debate is still a communicative activity. this doesn't mean i think you should lay debate in front of me, but it does mean i think you should do things like check the zoom video so you can see nonverbal reactions, thumbs up/nods when you ask if we're ready, etc. this also means you should be doing things like signposting! and weighing! don't just read prewritten analytics at full speed and not engage with your opponent.
2. RECORD YOUR SPEECHES. i will not be allowing speech redoes. this is final. if i'm on a panel and another judge wants a speech redo, i will not flow the new version of the speech. this is the most fair way i can think of to resolve tech issues -- this isn't to say i think all debaters are malicious and trying to steal prep, but rather, a speech is almost always better (clearer, more efficient, more organized, has better weighing) when it's done the second time -- even if you don't intend for there to be any changes.
Public Forum notes:
I think that my paradigm is applicable to all debate events, but this section aims to clarify some things that PF debaters do in front of me. These opinions are not specific to Public Forum, I just find that debaters in LD and CX generally tend to do these things without much prompting.
-make an email chain. this isn't negotiable. you can either make an email chain or run prep while you "call for cards" (we all know you're just stealing prep). pf rounds should not be as long as cx rounds purely because you "can't find a card." if you choose not to make an email chain, you lose one speaker point for every 10 seconds past your prep it takes to share evidence.
-advocacies should have a delineated text in the constructive
-please answer independent voters before you kick a contention. just because you kick contention 1, that doesn’t mean the independent voter you flowed next to contention 1 goes away
-tell me the order before you start the speech. also, try not to jump around between sheets too much. or if you are going to, PLEASE tell me the order.
-make sure the card you read has a warrant. I know paraphrasing is a PF norm, but I don’t find it compelling when you say “this person who got published in some magazine somewhere tells you that you should affirm.” don’t strip the ev of its warrants when you paraphrase it.
-I give speaks based on strategy. if you sounded ReAAALLLyY persuasive while you conceded 4 link turns, you still aren’t getting a 30.
-my debate tech views are pretty applicable across events. the only pf-specific thing I would suggest to you is to use your 3 minute summary wisely, and don’t use it to extend random pieces of defensive argumentation that don’t serve any purpose other than making my flow messier.
Arguments I will NEVER vote for (this list might get longer as time goes on)
-ableist/racist/sexist/transphobic/classist/violent arguments. To clarify, if I am judging a round where it comes down to a racist argument and a sexist argument, I will vote on presumption, not one of the two arguments.
-shoes theory/formal clothes theory/any other argument that attempts to police what a debater wears or how they present. If you are in front of me, these arguments should not be in the strat at all. Not even as a throwaway argument.
congrats on making it to the end of my paradigm! i this paradigm was a lot of info to process, but as long as you're nice/accessible and you don't actively make debate worse, we will be besties! feel free to ask me any questions you have before the round starts/via email! i really love debate and i'm glad that you're in this activity. please let me know if there's anything i can do to make the debate space better or more accessible for you.
CHS 2020/UVA 2024
(By the Numbers)
As of January 2021, I vote neg 55.81% of the time and vote aff 44.19% of the time. I have sat 3/18 elims this season, 16.67% of the time. On average, I give out 28.9 speaker points (28.8 to the average affirmative, 28.9 the average negative).
I'm not saying you should card this and have judge-specific side-bias warrants, but that would be kinda funny. Fair warning though, they're probably not statistically significant.
Hi! I'm T.J. I lone-wolfed for a school called Chantilly in Northern VA. I am currently a physics major at the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!). I qualled to TOC my senior year, but did not attend because of COVID. I went to six tournaments total in my career and broke at the four I went to my senior year. Because my career was so short, I didn't get to meet a lot of people or make a lot of connections, so I know you've probably never heard of me. I promise I know enough about debate to (hopefully) render a competent decision.
2. General Debate Philosophy
I care about technical execution more than argument content. But part of good technical execution includes providing strong warrants for your arguments. I will do my best to be tabula rasa and ideologically neutral, but that doesn't mean I'll vote for an incoherent, unwarranted, blippy argument just because it was conceded and quickly extended.
That being said, I have no problem voting for things I personally do not think are true so long as they are well-supported in round. I'm probably a better judge than most for some of the more out-there positions in debate, because a lot of them actually do have deep literature bases and solid justifications.
I'll list some examples. Trivialism is derived using formula logic and Paul Kabay is a respectable academic with genuine credentials. The principle of explosion (or principle of Pseudo-Scotus) was enough of a legitimate mathematical problem that Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory was invented to avoid it. Skepticism (linguistic, external world, moral, and epistemological) is a real issue in philosophy and well-worth debating. BUT these kinds of debates are better if you do your research and either card the relevant articles or articulate the relevant arguments analytically instead of spamming a bunch of silly nonsense about made-up things like "tacit ballot conditionals."
3. Style Familiarity
As I've indicated above, explanation, strategy, and technical ability trump argument content. I like to thing I'll evaluate any argument or style if executed properly and won. Just do what you're best at. That said, in the interest of transparency, I've described the types of debate I encountered most often as a debater below. They shouldn't bias my decision, but they might influence my understanding of the content and my comfort level with the relevant jargon.
As a debater, I mostly read phil positions and went for theory a lot. I was a bit of a tricks debater, but as indicated in the above section I'd like tricks to be substantively warranted and not blippy nonsense. I also regularly read policy-style arguments, but usually just so I could defend util against the NC or policymaking good against the K, so I don't have a lot of experience with policy v. policy debates. I have no problem with Ks, but its worth noting that I went for one only once in my entire career (and that time it was cap against a non-T aff).
4. Decision Philosophy
Debate is a game. It's a game with a lot of potential educational value (depending on how you approach it), but it's a game nonetheless. At the end of the day, I have to submit a ballot and pick a winner. I don't want to do this arbitrarily, so I will vote on the flow and only on the flow.
However, this does not give you license to be an unethical person. There are three circumstances under which I will not deliver a decision based on the flow:
A] A competitor feels that their opponent has cheated (i.e., by clipping cards or miscutting evidence) and asks to stop the round. If this occurs, I will confirm that the competitor wishes to stake the round on the issue. If they wish to proceed, I will analyze the violation in question. If the accusation is correct, I will award the accuser the win and assign speaker points based on my own judgement of the magnitude of the violation. If it is incorrect, I will award the accused the win and award speaker points based on performance in the round up until that point.
B] I feel that a competitor has done something to make the round unsafe. In this case, I will stop the round, drop the offending debater, and award speaker points I judge to be proportional to the magnitude of the offense. For example, if you deliberately say a racial slur in round, I will drop you with the lowest possible speaks I can give you, report the incident to tab, and recommend that you be removed from the tournament.
C] A competitor feels that their opponent has done something to make the round unsafe that I have not already identified. If they point out something that I would ordinary stop the round for, but simply failed to notice or didn't hear, then I will proceed exactly as I would in B. Otherwise, I will confirm that the competitor wishes to stake the round on the issue. If they do, I will listen to their grievance, then allow the accused to either apologize or offer a defense. I will render a judgement based on the reasons given. I will either drop the accused and award speaker points based on the magnitude of the violation or drop the accuser and award speaker points based on performance in the round up until that point.
5. Miscellaneous Preferences
-- Clarity is preferable to speed. Obviously I don't care if you spread, but I do need to actually hear what your argument are. I have zero qualms about not voting on things I did not hear. I will call clear 3 times, but if its obvious you're not listening I'll give up and stop flowing.
-- I will reference the speech doc when flowing, but I still pay attention to what you're saying. I won't miss any extemped arguments that aren't in the doc, and I won't flow things that are in the doc. I'm hard of hearing and deaf in my left ear, so I like having visual reference. Because of this, it's in your self-interest to flash pre-written analytics. I won't require you to, but be aware that refusing trades off with my ability to understand you and therefore with RFD coherence.
-- I vote for the side winning offense to the highest layer linking to some framing mechanism. Do explicit analysis of what impact filter I should be using, otherwise I have to use my own intuition
-- Sequencing, preclusion, weighing, and clearly delineated interactions are the keys to resolvability; I want my RFD to be repeating back arguments you've made. Please do impact calc.
-- Extend arguments by content (as opposed to sub-point #). I have low threshold for extensions if an arg is conceded. If an argument is not extended I ignore it.
-- I try to default to paradigms assumed by both debaters. For example, if theory is read with no voters and the response is just a counter-interp, I assume fairness and education are voters.
-- No new 2NR or 2AR arguments. If you read RVIs bad in the 1NC and the 1AR concedes that, then the 2NR does not get to suddenly change strategy and go for RVIs good.
6. Arguments I Will Note Vote For
-- Arguments that police the out-of-round conduct of other debaters. Please do not drag me into your blood feuds and resolve your disputes like normal human beings, outside the confines of an activity where it my job to pick a winner and loser. (Disclosure shells and things like round reports are fine since theory is distinct from casting aspersions on someone's character)
-- Arguments that require me to evaluate the debate after the speech in which that argument was made, since any response technically generates a contradiction. No evaluating the debate after the 1AC.
-- Blippy independent voters that are not linked to some framing mechanism. I actually think Reps Ks/Word PICs can be interesting, the impact just needs to be linked to a coherent framework, preferably of a normative nature.
-- I will not vote for arguments about the safety of the debate space on the flow. If you genuinely think someone is doing something offensive, refer to sections B/C in the Decision Philosophy section. Otherwise don't make accusations you don't believe as a cheap way to get a ballot.
I've adopted the following system and will try to stick to it regularly (adjusting for the tournament as best I can). Full disclosure, they're still fairly arbitrary since I'm human and not a robot.
≥29.5 -- Near flawless, would have absolutely destroyed me when I debated, making it to deep elims
29-29.4 -- Very good, will definitely break but might not make it deep into elims
28.5-28.9 -- Decent all around, some errors, will probably break or lose the bubble
28-28.4 -- Mediocre debate, not awful but still developing (don't take personally, I was a 28 for most of my career and I have no doubt you'll improve rapidly)
27.5-28 -- Some major technical errors and flaws in strategic vision
<27.5 -- Something bizarre happened (I once watched a debate where the 1N ROB was "vote for the debater who does a TikTok dance,” and the aff conceded after the neg did a TikTok dance; that gets something around a 26.5, just out of sheer confusion )
Harker '21 - debated for 7 years in LD and Policy
email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy args > topicality, Ks >> Phil / Tricks
Vast majority of args I read in my career - i feel very comfortable evaluating these debates, go for it. love to see creative and well-researched strategies, which will be reflected in speaks
impact turns are some of my favorite debates - co2 ag, dedev, etc are all on the table, and good execution will be rewarded with high points.
politics probably a thing, but also probably can lose to smart analytics especially if your cards are bad. that said i'm a sucker for a good politics disad, and well executed 1-off politics is probably the strategy that will get you closest to a 30.
i lean very heavily towards judge kicking the CP -- probably a really hard uphill battle for the aff to persuade me against that.
i'd be very hard pressed to vote on zero risk.
good for more stock theory args (mostly CP theory) than frivolous theory -- i am more receptive to reasonability and arbitrariness args against spec, new affs bad, etc. good for regular disclosure but not niche args like "round reports", etc
i prefer paragraph theory on the offending page (eg condo on a CP) then as a "new off"
i lean neg on most counterplan theory except for international fiat. condo bad becomes more tenable at 2+ condo
i find competition arguments against cheating counterplans more persuasive than theory arguments
default drop the arg (unless it's condo), competing interps, no rvis
i'll flow by ear for these debates so slow down
have warrants for your arguments beyond "vote aff for deterrence" or similar stuff
better for these debates than you might think based on the arguments I read as a debater. I read through most literature bases during my time as a debater, and I feel comfortable evaluating these debates. 2nr link contextualization (e.g., drawing lines from 1ac/1ar evidence) factors heavily into my decision calculus.
Negs will do best by saliently dealing with the case -- either with robust link turns the case, alt solves the case, and unsustainability arguments, or with a *heavy* push on framework. the case page should make the 2nr. I find critiques of extinction impacts more persuasive than "structural violence outweighs". that said, i think most critiques have more compelling extinction impacts than a good deal of policy affs. i find aff ballots most persuasive when the negative underexplains the reasons behind their structural claims (especially regarding ontology arguments). equally debated, i think the aff generally gets access to the case, but specific framework evidence goes a long way for the negative (especially regarding epistemology claims). ROJ/ROB are silly/contrived mechanisms.
For the aff, I find 2ars on case outweighs or impact turns most compelling. impact turns are often underutilized. please explain perms -- "perm do both perm do the alt perm double bind" in one breath can be answered by a thumbs down from the neg. weighing is most important for me when judging this genre of debates.
between debaters of equal caliber, i think soft left affs would consistently lose to the critique. hard left/topical K affs (that assert a theory of power) seem extremely strategic to me *if* well-researched and germane to the topic.
line by line >>>> big overview
floating piks should be identified in the 1nc.
Prefer affs that are within the parameters of the resolution. better for k affs that have a spin on the topic rather than impact turning every element of limits/debate. if you're negating, i mostly prefer arguments about fairness over skills or clash on framework. K affs probably get perms. the 2nr should cover the case. I think K v K debates can be incredibly interesting, but specific link and alt work by the negative is crucial.
update: *not a good judge for nebel t*
probably lean towards competing interps. i'd prefer a substance debate to topicality but good T debates are enjoyable to watch and get good speaks.
i prefer topicality to be well developed in the 1nc, and I find many 2nrs to be almost completely new in explaining their standards. i dislike how prescripted these debates tend to be, especially with regards to nebel T -- I’ll lean against pre scripted nebel 2nrs and underdeveloped 1nc t arguments when pointed out by the aff.
i appreciate philosophical literature but find these debates to usually be exceedingly blippy or underwarranted -- not the judge for you if that's your style. i prefer ACs & NCs with evidence justifying the framework. slow down on dense or niche framework explanations. I did not read these arguments in high school but debated them a number of times. New and well-researched util justifications will be rewarded with high points.
just read a disad please
"underview" of more than a minute caps your speaks at a 27. please debate the topic.
presumption always flips neg, unless the 2nr includes an advocacy.
Other things --
fine with inserting rehighlightings
i will probably read your evidence. i'll reward good ev with good speaks, and punish bad ev with bad speaks. evidence quality caps your truth claims, even if they're dropped -- please reference ev quality in your speeches in general (this shouldn't substitute for explanation though). good topic knowledge is also good for speaks
smart analytics can beat bad cards
"independent voters" are usually not independent voters -- i am unlikely to vote for args flagged as such without a theoretical justification for doing so
dropped arguments are still influenced by how true they are -- e.g., dropping no neg arguments is not an issue. i won't be too interventionist/this is more aimed at tricks but dont prioritize lots of terrible blippy offcase or arguments in favor of a smaller more substantive strategy
good humor/sarcasm is very good for speaks
people that have influenced how i think about debate - greg achten, jenny achten, indu pandey, lawrence zhou, nate fleming, miles gray, vishan chaudhary, rex evans, jj kim, nathan rice, alex mork, spencer paul, sarah roberts
I wasn't very good at flowing online debate so please speak clearly and use inflection in your voice to emphasis key things you want me to get down.
For the email chain and if you have any questions: email@example.com
My Debate background:
I debated 4 years at Millard North, 2 years of LD, and 2 years of policy. I had success on a mixed bag local circuit(progressive and traditional), winning tournaments and speaker awards. I was ok on the national circuit, breaking at a handful of tournaments. I qualified for Nationals 3 years. I was a flex debater running mostly Kritiks, theory, phil, and tricks.
Currently an assistant coach at Omaha Central, coaching LD and Policy.
Pref Cheat sheet:
Phil-1 or 2
Tricks- 2 or 3
Larp- 3 or 4
General things to know/things I default to:
comparative worlds>truth testing
No RVIs(it's not hard to convince me otherwise though.)
Drop the Debater>Drop the Argument.
Epistemic Confidence>Epistemic Modesty
I tend to give pretty high speaks, 28.5= Average Debater. I base speaks on efficiency and the quality of your arguments, I don't care how pretty you speak so long as I can understand you.
Don't say anything blatantly offensive (Racism, queerphobic, etc.)
LD & Policy- Trust me I know these events are different but the way I'll evaluate them will be the same.
Larp: Didn't do much of this in either event, just make sure you give me a justified framing mechanism so I can evaluate and weigh impacts, instead of just assuming I care, I.E. if you make Cap good impact turns on a cap k even if you end up winning them, if your opponents ROB is the only framing mechanism your impact turns mean nothing (unless you articulated a way in which they weigh under the ROB).
Phil: I read a good amount of phil, I'm fine with Normative or Descriptive frameworks. I read Kant, Hobbes(descriptively), Functionalism(or constituivism), Realism(IR), International Law, Contractarianism, and maybe some others that I can't remember.
T/Theory: You can see some of my general things I default to above in my paradigm. The voters are my lens in which I use to evaluate the theory debate and the standards are your impacts. Make sure that you do weighing between your arguments don't just repeat your arguments verbatim in the rebuttals and expect me to somehow resolve the debate for y'all. (In front of me yes policy kids you can debate paradigmatic issues like yes or no RVI.)
Kritiks: I like Kritiks, one thing I'll generally note on them is that their ROBs are typically impact justified, either don't have a impact justified framing mechanism or explain why being impact justified is good or doesn't matter. I'm most familiar with Modernist Cap ks. I'm familiar with D(& G), Puar, Buadrillard, Foucault, Agamben, Afropessimism, Queer pessimism, maybe some others you can always ask. Just because i'm Familiar doesn't mean that you don't have to explain your arguments still, I'm not going to do any work for you.
Tricks: I ran tricks a little bit, they're fun please just make sure they're clearly delineated and are actually warranted and implicated in the first speech that they're made in.
PF- Never did PF, just give me a clear framing mechanism in which I can evaluate the round and weigh between impacts. I'm open to arguments being made that aren't typically in PF, just make sure you're running stuff you understand.
Congress- I did congress once, just know that if I end up judging, you should probably try to appeal to the other judges more, I don't care how you speak, I like clash and I like the content of what you're saying.
Jenn (Jennifer) Miller-Melin, Jenn Miller, Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Melin, or some variation thereof. :)
Email for email chains:
If you walk into a round and ask me some vague question like, "Do you have any paradigms?", I will be annoyed. If you have a question about something contained in this document that is unclear to you, please do not hesitate to ask that question.
-Formerly assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate at Hockaday, Marcus, Colleyville, and Grapevine. Currently assisting at Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School.
I was a four year debater who split time between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage High Schools. During my career, I was active on the national circuit and qualified for both TOC and NFL Nationals. Since graduating in 2004, I have taught at the Capitol Debate Institute, UNT Mean Green Debate Workshops, TDC, and the University of Texas Debate Institute, the National Symposium for Debate, and Victory Briefs Institute. I have served as Curriculum Director at both UTNIF and VBI.
In terms of debate, I need some sort standard to evaluate the round. I have no preference as to what kind of standard you use (traditional value/criterion, an independent standard, burdens, etc.). The most important thing is that your standard explains why it is the mechanism I use to decide if the resolution is true or false. As a side note on the traditional structure, I don't think that the value is of any great importance and will continue to think this unless you have some well warranted reason as to why I should be particularly concerned with it. My reason is that the value doesn't do the above stated, and thus, generally is of no aid to my decision making process.
That said, debates often happen on multiple levels. It is not uncommon for debaters to introduce a standard and a burden or set of burdens. This is fine with me as long as there is a decision calculus; by which I mean, you should tell me to resolve this issue first (maybe the burden) and that issue next (maybe the standard). Every level of analysis should include a reason as to why I look to it in the order that you ask me to and why this is or is not a sufficient place for me to sign my ballot. Be very specific. There is nothing about calling something a "burden" that suddenly makes it more important than the framework your opponent is proposing. This is especially true in rounds where it is never explained why this is the burden that the resolution or a certain case position prescribes.
Another issue relevant to the standard is the idea of theory and/or off-case/ "pre-standard" arguments. All of the above are fine but the same things still apply. Tell me why these arguments ought to come first in my decision calculus. The theory debate is a place where this is usually done very poorly. Things like "education" or "fairness" are standards and I expect debaters to spend effort developing the framework that transforms into such.
l try to listen to any argument, but making the space unsafe for other bodies is unacceptable. I reserve the right to dock speaks or, if the situation warrants it, refuse to vote on arguments that commit violence against other bodies in the space.
I hold all arguments to the same standard of development regardless of if they are "traditional" or "progressive". An argument has a structure (claim, warrant, and impact) and that should not be forgotten when debaterI ws choose to run something "critical". Warrants should always be well explained. Certain cards, especially philosophical cards, need a context or further information to make sense. You should be very specific in trying to facilitate my understanding. This is true for things you think I have read/should have read (ie. "traditional" LD philosophy like Locke, Nozick, and Rawls) as well as things that I may/may not have read (ie. things like Nietzsche, Foucault, and Zizek). A lot of the arguments that are currently en vogue use extremely specialized rhetoric. Debaters who run these authors should give context to the card which helps to explain what the rhetoric means.
One final note, I can flow speed and have absolutely no problem with it. You should do your best to slow down on author names and tags. Also, making a delineation between when a card is finished and your own analysis begins is appreciated. I will not yell "clear" so you should make sure you know how to speak clearly and quickly before attempting it in round.
I will always disclose unless instructed not to do so by a tournament official. I encourage debaters to ask questions about the round to further their understanding and education. I will not be happy if I feel the debater is being hostile towards me and any debater who does such should expect their speaker points to reflect their behavior.
I am a truth tester at heart but am very open to evaluating the resolution under a different paradigm if it is justified and well explained. That said, I do not understand the offense/defense paradigm and am increasingly annoyed with a standard of "net benefits", "consequentialism", etc. Did we take a step back about 20 years?!? These seem to beg the question of what a standard is supposed to do (clarify what counts as a benefit). About the only part of this paradigm that makes sense to me is weighing based on "risk of offense". It is true that arguments with some risk of offense ought to be preferred over arguments where there is no risk but, lets face it, this is about the worst type of weighing you could be doing. How is that compelling? "I might be winning something". This seems to only be useful in a round that is already giving everyone involved a headache. So, while the offense/defense has effectively opened us up to a different kind of weighing, it should be used with caution given its inherently defensive nature.
Theory seems to be here to stay. I seem to have a reputation as not liking theory, but that is really the sound bite version of my view. I think that theory has a place in debate when it is used to combat abuse. I am annoyed when theory is used as a tactic because a debater feels she is better at theory than her opponent. I really like to talk about the topic more than I like to wax ecstatic about what debate would look like in the world of flowers, rainbows, and neat flows. That said, I will vote on theory even when I am annoyed by it. I tend to look at theory more as an issue of reasonabilty than competing interpretations. As with the paradigm discussion above, I am willing to listen to and adjust my view in round if competing interpretations is justified as how I should look at theory. Over the last few years I have become a lot more willing to pull the trigger on theory than I used to be. That said, with the emergence of theory as a tactic utilized almost every round I have also become more sympathetic to the RVI (especially on the aff). I think the Aff is unlikely to be able to beat back a theory violation, a disad, and a CP and then extend from the AC in 4 minutes. This seems to be even more true in a world where the aff must read a counter-interp and debate on the original interp. All of this makes me MUCH more likely to buy an RVI than I used to be. Also, I will vote on theory violations that justify practices that I generally disagree with if you do not explain why those practices are not good things. It has happened a lot in the last couple of years that a debater has berated me after losing because X theory shell would justify Y practice, and don't I think Y practice would be really bad for debate? I probably do, but if that isn't in the round I don't know how I would be expected to evaluate it.
Finally, I can't stress how much I appreciate a well developed standards debate. Its fine if you choose to disregard that piece of advice, but I hope that you are making up for the loss of a strategic opportunity on the standards debate with some really good decisions elsewhere. You can win without this, but you don't look very impressive if I can't identify the strategy behind not developing and debating the standard.
I cannot stress enough how tired I am of people running away from debates. This is probably the biggest tip I can give you for getting better speaker points in front of me, please engage each other. There is a disturbing trend (especially on Sept/Oct 2015) to forget about the 1AC after it is read. This makes me feel like I wasted 6 minutes of my life, and I happen to value my time. If your strategy is to continuously up-layer the debate in an attempt to avoid engaging your opponent, I am probably not going to enjoy the round. This is not to say that I don't appreciate layering. I just don't appreciate strategies, especially negative ones, that seek to render the 1AC irrelevant to the discussion and/or that do not ever actually respond to the AC.
Debate has major representation issues (gender, race, etc.). I have spent years committed to these issues so you should be aware that I am perhaps hypersensitive to them. We should all be mindful of how we can increase inclusion in the debate space. If you do things that are specifically exclusive to certain voices, that is a voting issue.
Being nice matters. I enjoy humor, but I don't enjoy meanness. At a certain point, the attitude with which you engage in debate is a reason why I should choose to promote you to the next outround, etc.
You should not spread analytics and/or in depth analysis of argument interaction/implications at your top speed. These are probably things that you want me to catch word for word. Help me do that.
Theory is an issue of reasonability. Let's face it, we are in a disgusting place with the theory debate as a community. We have forgotten its proper place as a check on abuse. "Reasonability invites a race to the bottom?" Please, we are already there. I have long felt that theory was an issue of reasonability, but I have said that I would listen to you make arguments for competing interps. I am no longer listening. I am pretty sure that the paradigm of competing interps is largely to blame with for the abysmal state of the theory debate, and the only thing that I have power to do is to take back my power as a judge and stop voting on interps that have only a marginal net advantage. The notion that reasonability invites judge intervention is one of the great debate lies. You've trusted me to make decisions elsewhere, I don't know why I can't be trusted to decide how bad abuse is. Listen, if there is only a marginal impact coming off the DA I am probably going to weigh that against the impact coming off the aff. If there is only a marginal advantage to your interp, I am probably going to weigh that against other things that have happened in the round.
Grammar probably matters to interpretations of topicality. If one reading of the sentence makes sense grammatically, and the other doesn't that is a constraint on "debatability". To say the opposite is to misunderstand language in some pretty fundamental ways.
Truth testing is still true, but it's chill that most of you don't understand what that means anymore. It doesn't mean that I am insane, and won't listen to the kind of debate you were expecting to have. Sorry, that interp is just wrong.
Framework is still totally a thing. Impact justifying it is still silly. That doesn't change just because you call something a "Role of the Ballot" instead of a criterion.
Util allows you to be lazy on the framework level, but it requires that you are very good at weighing. If you are lazy on both levels, you will not make me happy.
Flashing is out of control. You need to decide prior to the round what the expectations for flashing/emailing are. What will/won't be done during prep time, what is expected to be flashed, etc. The amount of time it takes to flash is extending rounds by an unacceptable amount. If you aren't efficient at flashing, that is fine. Paper is still totally a thing. Email also works.
I debated 2 years at Strath Haven High School (PA) and 4 years at the University of Rochester.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a debater and a coach, I lived pretty exclusively on the policy side of things. I don't think I am a good judge at all for the critique, but this reflects my research interests and my familiarity in judging more than deeply-held beliefs about debate.
I evaluate the round probabilistically -- comparing the risk that each team accesses their impacts, regardless of whether it is a DA, K or T debate. Good defense is often as important as offense in my decisions, but there is very infrequently "zero risk".
I very rarely dealt with theory and (non-framework) topicality as a debater. I think there are very few situations where negatives would be better served by going for topicality instead of a DA/CP strategy in front of me, and vice versa few situations where you are better off going for theory/condo to answer that nasty counterplan instead of just making solvency deficits or putting offense against the net benefits.
Judge kick makes intuitive sense to me and I'm happy to do it for you, but you need to tell me to do it in the 2NR.
Evidence quality is very important to me. I like to read a lot of evidence as the debate is going on NOT because I like to needlessly intervene but because I think that it makes my decisions more informed. You should use this to your favor by (a) reading good evidence and (b) comparing evidence to impact how I view the evidence that has been read. This also means I am hesitant to vote on, for example, disad stories that are contrived and supported mainly by "spin." If you don't have a single card that describes all of your disad story, I'm probably not interested (though I have a bit of a soft spot for the old school PC-style Agenda DA).
This (hopefully) should only apply to high school debates, but I have a very low tolerance for non-substantive, "trolly" arguments in policy rounds---things like ASPEC, frivolous T arguments, one card or backfile critiques, or even very generic impact turns (e.g. spark). My threshold for affs answering these is incredibly low.
My background is in college and high school policy. I judge LD occasionally but am not familiar with the intricacies of circuit LD. If you read plans/DAs, I'll be a good judge for you. If you are a more traditional/old school LD debater, I'll be able to keep up. Otherwise, you probably don't want me judging your LD round.
I don't think I would ever vote on a theory argument in LD. Generic impact framing arguments (e.g. 'the util debate') don't matter much to me.
I'm not going to look at any analytics you email out. I'll only check the document to look at your evidence. If you are going so fast that I don't hear your analytic arguments with my own ears, then those args aren't going to be on my flow. Sorry. Speed is good, but you need to be comprehensible.
WDM Valley '20, Williams College '24
As a debater, I did mostly LD and debated framework, tricks, and theory, but I will vote on any argument so long as it is not blatantly rude or offensive. I also have experience with traditional debate.
For online debates: Do not go your top speed! 80-85% is fine
Add me to the email chain -- email@example.com
***The only debates I do not enjoy judging are bad tricks debates. Also full-on LARP debates but to a lesser extent. So yes, I do enjoy watching/evaluating K debates, even though I am probably less qualified to evaluate them. I am the least comfortable with high theory positions***
1) I believe debate is a game with real-world implications for its participants, so have fun with whatever you're reading but be conscious of other people present
2) "The way to win is weighing, so weigh way more"
3) Disclosure theory = not a fan. It will make me sad :( Exceptions for very obvious violations like lying about the aff
4) I will say clear or slow if I can't understand you, but at I'll eventually just stop flowing if you don't make adjustments
5) Don't be rude. (Note: There is a fine line between being aggressive and rude. If you have to question which, you're probably being rude)
6) Defaults: no RVI, competing interps, drop the debater on T, drop the arg on theory, presume aff, permissibility negates, truth testing, theory > K. I will ONLY use these if there are no in-round arguments read one way or another.
1) Things that will boost speaks: a) not reading off a doc, b) NC/AC strats, c) good, substantive framework debates, d) otherwise clever, well-executed strategic decisions, e) quality puns, f) if there is a significant, noticeable skill difference between you and your opponent and you win the round in a way that they are able to understand and learn from--that shows strategic flexibility
2) Things that will decrease speaks: a) obviously pre-written 2n’s, b) being abusive in rounds where there is a significant, noticeable skill difference between you and your opponent
3) Things that will not affect speaks: in-round arguments telling me to give you high speaks
Just ask me any other questions before the round/over messenger!
Add me on the email chain now rather than later (if there is one)
Time yourself. Tag teams fine. Don't be explicit about your racism/sexism if you don't want me to evaluate it. Evaluations tbd.
"Anyone not ready?" doesn't work in online debate. If my camera is off, then you can presume that I am not ready.
Clarity is a prerequisite for me flowing the debate. If I have to say clear more than 3 times, I will stop. Any instances of clipping will stop the round and be an auto loss.
Debated in policy - 3 years in high school, 2 years in college, qual'd to the NDT / broke at majors. I was taught debate by Scott Odekirk, and I was coached through college by Ryan Wash. I was double 2's during most of my years as a debater. I only read non-topical affirmatives based on postcolonial feminist understandings, usually with a performance method. As negative, if I’m being honest, I usually went for presumption and case negs, but I also flexed with DA/CPs/variety of Ks, including different authors inside of postmodernism, cap, feminism and colonialism.
I flow on my laptop straight down. I think card quality is important in the sense that it shouldn't be cast aside as a) author credibility only being something PF discusses b) overcharged tag lines being accepted as fact and c) presumably having warrants for each of the claims that you are asserting. I will read the cards that are referenced in the last speeches.
I think I have a lower threshold for presumption arguments. I usually believe going into a round that most affirmatives don't solve as much as they say they do nor do they have internal link scenarios that are as cohesive as their tag lines would suggest. The first thing I look at after round is whether the burden of proof (however that is defined based on the framework of the debate) for the aff has been met.
If you are reading a kritik, I believe a method is necessary.
If you have a topical plan - please write out the full version of acronyms under tags if they are not in the body of the card or your tags themselves. I don't usually research the topic prior to judging at a tournament, so there are some terms that may not be familiar to me even if they are a common phrase under the topic.
Framework vs K Affs
I view these debates as competing models of the activity. Debate is inherently competitive, but how we compete is also important. I am not easily persuaded by "you destroy the activity" impacts. I prefer arguments centered around creating better interactions, whether that be a dialogue, political, accessible, fair, educational, etc, and default to how that affects debaters. If you want me to default to something else, please tell me in your speech.
Connect the theories to events / experiences / history and the affirmative if you want to make it more compelling for me. Connecting it to the affirmative may seem self evident with the K requiring a link and all (at least if you want to win), but in most debates I find myself not being told how the K relates to the answers the aff has given or certain parts of the AC. I'm not saying you need a link for every word they say, but that a link to the story of the affirmative is important sans an explanation of why the part you are critiquing comes before or outweighs others parts of the aff.
Be explicit about the NB in the 1NC. I do think some CPs cheat more than others, but have not seen enough tricky counterplan strategies to have a strong opinion on whether some are just bad for debate. Feel more than welcome to inform me through a theory debate.
I have a very vague understanding of Politics DA theory, so if you're going for it you should contextualize it to the round (ex. winding way, bottom of the docket, anything w fiat).
Offense > Generic Defense @ 2AC/AR’s
Enunciate as much as you can or slow down on your blocks for theory. It always seems like going bloop bloop bloop fairness and education is a common practice, and like I said at the top, clarity is a prereq to me flowing.
Everything is up for debate as far as what should be done in debate.
My third grade knowledge of grammar is not thriving. Any standard relying on English grammar tests runs the risk of my Google interpretation being incorrect.
please add me to the email chain
New Paradigm 9/16/21
I have voted on pretty much everything. I prefer depth and clash to running from debate. Engaging will be rewarded.
Don’t be a jerk to your opponent or me. We are all giving up lots of free time to be here. I won't vote on oppressive arguments.
I think preparation is the cornerstone of the value this activity offers. The more theory you read, the lower your speaker points will be. Obviously there are some rounds when you have to, but you shouldn’t rely on theory to avoid reading. Topicality is not the same thing as theory.
I don't think it’s possible to be tab, but I try not to intervene. Arguments must have a warrant or they aren’t an argument. This applies to all debate styles. (Ex. 4-6-3 is not a full argument)
I shouldn’t have to have background on your argument to understand it. I understand a lot, but that will be irrelevant to my decision. I won’t fill in gaps for you.
I think most debates are way closer and more subjective than people give them credit for.
Collapsing is a good idea given all of the above comments.
I will not flow off the doc - if you choose to spread in a way I can't hear you risk me missing the argument.
FOR PF: I did PF for 4 years in HS and I currently coach it. I flow a lot. Any argument you want in the second FF should be in the 2nd Summary. The first summary doesn't need to extend defense as long as the second rebuttal didn't respond to it. I think the 2nd rebuttal should probably respond to the first, just seems strategic. I read a lot on each topic and will hold you to a standard of accuracy for the most part. Speaker points are based on skill in crossfire, strategy of collapse, and quality of evidence. If it takes you longer than a min to produce evidence, it doesn't exist. If I think you inappropriately paraphrased I will ignore evidence. Read cards to avoid me thinking your paraphrasing is bad. I will vote on theory and Ks.
Updated 4/10/22 - Very slight tweaks, 99% the same
Lindale '21 U of Houston '25
Conflicts: Roberto Sosa, Leah Yeshitila, Anastasia Keeler, Ben Freda-Eskanazi, Adeeb Khan, Armaan Christ, Andrew Tsang, Sophia Tian, and Alyssa Sawyer
Tech > Truth to the fullest extent ethically possible
Phil - 1
Theory - 2
Policy - 1
Tricks - 3
K - 2
History: I debated at Lindale for 4 years doing LD the entire time. I did traditional debate for a year and a half my freshmen year and the first semester of sophomore year. I was introduced to circuit debate my junior year and read some anti-cap lit all junior year with little to no success. Senior year though I read mostly phil and theory with the occasional DA 2NR or policy aff. I qualified to the TOC my senior year winning 2/5 bid rounds and broke at the FBK RR.
Senior year aff wiki - https://hsld20.debatecoaches.org/Lindale/Pittman%20Aff
Senior year neg wiki - https://hsld20.debatecoaches.org/Lindale/Pittman%20Neg
- Was my favorite when I debated
- Probably comfortable with whatever author you read
- Syllogism > Spammed independent reasons to prefer
- Dense framework debates should have good weighing and overviews to make them resolvable
- General Principle means nothing - just answer the counterplans lol
- default epistemic confidence
- I appreciate K debate and it's importance but it's not my personal cup of tea
- Almost all of my friends/co-working coaches are primarily K coaches so it's not like it's completely out of this world to me
- Not susceptible to K tricks (PREFIAT MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING STOP SAYING IT PLEASE)
- Please stop being cringe e.g copying Mich KM, edgy for the sake of edgy, being overly dramatic for *flare*, etc
- Do not read nonblack afropess in front of me. Just don't do it. Strike me if you plan on doing so.
- Alternatives should probably do something (eMbRaCe tHe DeAtH dRiVe means nothing) do material actions like joining the Communist Party or burning down the state
- Alt solves case/Link turns case are smart and I think underutilized
- I've grown more and more appreciation for policy debate as I've coached and judged - I think it's my favorite now
- Complex policy debates will be rewarded with speaks
- Weighing is how you get my ballot (sometimes my ballot is literally x weighed, y didn't so x wins).
- Will evaluate your wacky impact turns
- Please do more case debate
- Perms are tests of competition not advocacies
- Uncondo means, unless going for theory or a higher layer, the advocacy must be in the 2NR
- I will judge kick if instructed but I really don't want too since I think that forces the aff to debate both the world of the CP and the squo
- pretty comfortable with
- Basically Hacks for Disclosure
- Don't think voters are needed (every standard can be impacted out independently and probably connects to both fairness and education)
- I think RVIs are great, underutilized and important for debate to deter bad theory and force substance
- Will vote on friv theory but it should be related to the round i.e I like AFC but I don't like "must wear x clothing" because AFC has some connection to the arguments in round but clothing does not
- Default on drop the debater, competing interps, yes rvis
T-Framework v K Affs
- Middle of the road - not hyperfash but not autoaffirm
- Err neg
- Not at all susceptible to debate bad affs as I think it's intuitive that debate is good
- 1AR probably needs a counter interp
- TVAs are overrated and usually don't solve the 1AR offense
- the 1AR should still do LBL and the 2NR should not be 3 minutes of an overview that can be summarized in "I think clash is cool"
- I read tricks every once in a while and understand the strategic value in them but if your opponent missed something I probably did too.
- I'll evaluate it (sadly) but if you make me evaluate it please do it well and not just an old Testimonies aff from 2017 or something
- If you don't have too, please don't.
Make me laugh - I love making fun of crypto bros or elon musk fanboys or absurdly rich people
Do not perceive me - "Why should Phoenix affirm" legitimately makes me squirm and I hate it
Default/Average is 28.5 but I am called a speaks fairy
Just have a good time - at the end of the day, you are all high schoolers yelling at each other about random topics whether it be Kantianism or International Relations in random classrooms or zoom calls this isn't as serious as you think it is, just have a good debate and everything will be fine :) Also non-CX clarifications are fine - I'm not someone who will yell at you and say "grr questions only cx!!!1111!!" I do not care. Also, don't be rude to your opponent for no reason, no need to be hyper aggressive or anything it's just a debate round.
If you harass your opponent (i.e asking them if they are single in CX) I will drop you with 0 speaks and contact tab. Absolutely zero tolerance of any forms of harassment in front of me. I will not hesitate. Any judge who is tech>truth should believe the same - since to be tech>truth assumes value in the game, and the game cannot exist without players. Players do not want to play if they are harassed while playing.
Stolen from Patrick Fox who stole it from YaoYao - "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that."
My favorite debates so far:
JWen v Max Perin @ Emory Quarters 2022
Daniel Xu v Miller Roberts @ TFA Prelims 2022 (Only ever double 30)
JWen v Anshul Reddy @ King RR 2022
Hi, I'm Breigh!
Legacy Christian '21; UT Austin '25
I qualified to the TOC twice with 6 bids. I mostly read postmodern Ks, theory, and topicality; but I'd strongly prefer if you debated your best layer, the way you'd like to (and will be disappointed if you read something just because you think I'll like it).
1 – pomo/high theory, theory, T
2 - id pol Ks, phil
3 – cp/da/pics, security/IR Ks
I think the most important part is the framing — ROB/J need to defend your theory with the same rigor as a dense phil framing.
I feel comfortable adjudicating: Baudrillard, Deleuze, Bataille, Glissant, Yancy, Weheliye, Hardt + Negri, Muñoz, and Ahmed. I have sufficient knowledge about: Foucault, set col, Virilio. I have the least knowledge about: ableism lit, security, anthro, and IR Ks.
K Affs (non T/performance) + T-FWK
Reading K Affs: These affs need an explanation of why the topic is bad, why debate is the space for the aff, and why I should vote aff. Make sure when answering framework to have both a counter interp and impact turns, not just the latter.
Answering K affs: T-FWK is fine but I find it kinda unimpressive. I’ll strongly reward a good case press!
I like it as a time suck, as an integral part of your strat — whatever you want it to be. I tend to think most shells aren't frivolous, so take that as you will. The only shells I don't like are those that comment on a debater personally (e.g. formal clothes).
I think disclosure debates are a little annoying but I'll vote on them.
I’m think most evidence ethics challenges should be debated out in round; however, if the accuser wants to stake the round on it, I’ll stop the round, read the ev, and decide w the correct debater getting a W30 and the opponent an L20.
I’m most familiar w most conventional phil frameworks (Kant, Hegel, existentialism, Levinas etc.) and feel fine adjudicating more nuanced frameworks. Triggering skep is fine + so are calc indicts.
I prefer theory tricks (winning one layer to affirm, one uncondo route, etc.) to substantive tricks (trivialism, condo logic, etc.), but I’ll vote on either.
I won't vote on arguments that don't warrant their conclusion (e.g. "the sky is blue so vote aff"). However, even if tricks are silly, that just means it is your job to call them out.
I know the least about policy arguments but responded to them more often than virtually any other style of debate. I'm not a fan of doc bots and strongly think smart analytics can often beat cards.
Robby Gillespie coached me so naturally, I did a lot of thinking about debate with him/he informed 90% of my debate opinions.
Content warnings are not only good, but necessary. I have a zero-tolerance policy on this — ask before round and/or choose your words carefully in round.
If you're debating someone significantly worse than you — you can read basically anything you want as long as  you go slowly and explain your positions clearly and kindly in cx  you make a genuine effort to make the round educational.
I'll boost your speaks +.3 if you send a nice/encouraging message to someone else in the community and lmk before round — debate is super toxic and we should do everything to make it a kinder space.
- Nebel!!!! good semantics 2ns!!!!
- theory underviews with creative 1ar implications
- making k fwks like analytic phil fwks
- judge instruction, especially in the following areas: fiat/circumvention, 2nr/2ar weighing
- arguments that disparage the legitimacy of another style (“bad tricks,” “dumb policy args,” "Ks are cheating")
- conceding the aff
- "gut check"
- reading "let us weigh case" in the 1ar v a K when the 1NC didn't preclude you from weighing case
Hey I’m Jack! I went to Northland in Houston, TX. I did LD for 4 years and competed on the national circuit for 3. Feel free to ask questions before or after the round. Add me to email chains at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATED for 2022/23 season
TLDR: I will vote on anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact. I most enjoy and am best at judging policy arguments. (P.S. I realized that I tend to give way higher speaks in substance debates. Take that as you wish)
Policy - 1
Theory/T - 1
K (security, cap, set col) - 2
K (anything else) - 3
Phil/Tricks – 4
- Tech > Truth
- Fairness > Education
- 1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
- T/Theory > K
- Comparative Worlds
- No RVIs, Competing Interps, DTD
- I'm cool with anything as long as it has a claim, warrant, and impact. None of my personal opinions or interests in arguments will factor into my decision.
- I want you to debate the way you debate best. I want debaters to read what they know and are invested in.
- No buffet 2nrs please
- Be nice to one another and don't take yourself too seriously
- If you are sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist or something similar
- Clipping/losing an ethics challenge OR a false accusation.
- Stealing prep
- *Kicking an uncondo advocacy*
- *Not disclosing anything at all (new affs are the exception)*
- * = must be brought up by the other team
Things I'm not voting on
- Any argument concerning out of round practices (except disclosure).
- Any argument concerning the appearance/clothes/etc. of another debater.
- Any auto affirm/negate X identity argument
- "Evaluate the entire debate after X speech". However, I will evaluate "evaluate ___ layer after X speech".
- IVIs not flagged as IVIs in the 1NC/1AR (possibly a 2NR exception)
- My favorite type of debate to think about and judge.
- Likes: impact calc, ev comparison, plans with tight scenarios and big impacts, rehighlighting ev, cheaty CPs, reading theory against cheaty CPs, "the order is case"
- Dislikes: not weighing, old/no UQ, underhighlighted ev, plan flaw, other debater: asks you a cx question about your ev you: "where is it/that", literally extending your tags in the 2NR
- Don’t assume I have read your literature. BUT, I will still evaluate just like I would any other type of debate.
- Likes: robust line by line, root cause, link turns case, good fwk debates, pulling lines from the aff, alt solves X, set col vs phil, specific links to the plan
- Dislikes: massive overviews, "what's a floating PIK", no perms, the "state" link
K Aff/T Framework
- Affs need solvency and a robust defense of their model of debate
- Negs need an answer to aff solvency and a robust defense of their model of debate
- Likes: testing, fairness, intuitive aff counterinterps, Non T aff vs one off Cap K, TVAs, actual solvency
- Dislikes: "T is violence/policing", 6 minutes of my coaches prewritten fwk 2NR, 3 minutes of my coaches prewritten A2 fwk 2AR, blitzing through the 1ACs theory of power, "we don't need solvency", 2NRs that ignore case
- Not good for dense phil v dense phil (good for util vs other phil)
- Don’t assume I have read your literature. BUT, I will still evaluate just like I would any other type of debate. I just need a very clear extension of why your framework comes first/is true.
- Likes: extinction first, fun calc indicts, Blum, TJFs, going for turns under their fwk
- Dislikes: not reading a fwk in the AC, not reading a fwk in the NC when the AC doesn't read one, the "pragmatism" aff, TT takes out theory, hidden triggers in the fwk
- I will evaluate them the same as any other argument as long as I hear a claim, warrant, and impact.
- Likes: warrants, "no 2nr theory" + severance (not really tricks but tricky! also not a good argument at all I just find it amusing when people go for this after its dropped)
- Dislikes: "what's an apriori?", condo logic, indexicals, if the negs response to your trick is that it negates just as much as it affirms - you probably shouldn't read it
- Love it!
- The frivolous nature of some shells does not factor into my evaluation. Although, reasonability tends to become easier to justify.
- Likes: robust weighing, caselists, infinite regress vs spec, we meet, combo shells with unique offense
- Dislikes: poor explanation of semantics, 5 second 1AR shells, 2NR theory that isn't like severance
- Less prep and sitting down early will be rewarded with higher speaks.
- Clarity is VERY IMPORTANT. If you are unclear and I miss a “game changing” argument – that’s a you problem.
- Speaks will be awarded for good debating (strategy, technical ability, good CX, etc). Congrats you got this far! The first person that fb messages lilly broussard "hello lillian, did you really drop condo" and shows me gets a 29.9.
please add me to the email chain email@example.com
3 years of high school local/national LD and Policy
3rd year of college policy for the University of Wyoming
- my email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the RFD. If you're confused about a result feel free to reach out to me
- tech > truth
- I won't do work for you (aka extend unique offense speech to speech, I won't cross-apply arguments if you don't tell me to, etc).
- this is a shared space, so help make it enjoyable & safe for everyone!
- impact out your arguments
- do impact & evidence comparison
- the only work I will ever do impact calc if I'm forced to.
- speak clearly. This is especially important with online debate. I can handle speed if you articulate and signpost. I will not say clear if you don't see me flowing I can't understand you
-I like Kritiks but you need to explain your alt and the links in a way that makes sense because you are the one that has done all the research on it and I haven't
-how does the world of the alternative function and how does it compete with the world of the AFF
-you need a specific link to the aff
-make sure that you have clear impacts for T though why is it a voter?
-don't just say limits and ground but give examples and explain why limits are important and contextualize your interp
- I will of course attempt to evaluate only the arguments in the round, however, on conditionality- I rarely find that debaters are able to articulate a credible and significant impact. Various process counterplans are most often won as legitimate when the neg presents a depth of evidence that they are germane to the topic/plan. Reject the arg not the teams seems true of nearly all objections other than conditionality. I will judge kick unless the aff tells me not to and has a good reason why I shouldn't
CPs and DAs:
-nothing special here run what you are good at
-as far as CPs go I don't care how many you have or if the planks are conditional
Very traditional. I am a parent judge. I am not familiar with spreading, please do not spread.
I really like strong, meaningful evidence and clear argumentation with solid warrants.
Cross-ex is vital! Some debaters never seem to focus on this. An effective cross examination will get you high speaker points. If you listen well, you will do fine here.
A good debater is consistent throughout the entire debate. This means crystallization, weighing, and making clear and strong arguments. Write my RFD for me, that is the entire point of your last rebuttals. Everyone in the round should know precisely why you deserve to win.
My name is Tajaih Robinson, and my email is Tajaihrobinsondebate@gmail.com
General information about me, do with this info as you please.
I debated in LD at Success Academy for 3 years, during that time I quelled to the TOC all three years but only attended the first two, I also won the 2020 Dukes and Baileys so I am pretty knowledgeable in circuit debate. During this time I read a variety of Ks revolving around critical race theory and socio-political understandings of anti-blackness, such as afropessism.
Now I debate for Wake Forest University in policy, of the 3 tournaments I attended I dropped in octas of the NDT, and I’ve read a plan aff in 9 of my 11 college policy rounds.
Conclusively I will evaluate mostly any argument in a round so long as it has a clear Claim, Warrant, Impact, and Implication. Often the implication of an argument gets overlooked, what is the relevance that an action leads extinction, what does that mean their framework/impact is bad etc. — this needs to be explained for any and all impacts for me to vote on them.
I debated at Pines Charter on both the local and national circuit and went to TOC my senior year. My email for speech docs is: Stevescopa23@gmail.com
General: I am very much a tech > truth person who will vote for any argument you make no matter how seemingly ridiculous or bizarre, all I need is a warrant. I also have a low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments but they need to be extended in each speech. My goal is to evaluate rounds with as little intervention as possible. Judges have become too dogmatic in my opinion, so everything that follows is merely a preference or a default, nothing but the arguments you make will factor into my decision.
- I default to truth testing if no other RoB is read in the round.
- I am not exactly the best at flowing, so when you are making analytic arguments you should label them and sign post as clear as possible. Also maybe take half a second after author names.
- I don’t evaluate embedded clash unless there is an argument as to why I should or the round is irresolvable without it.
- I do not believe you get new 2n responses to AC arguments unless an argument is made for why you get those arguments in the NC- making an argument in the 2n that says something like “this was just a dumb blippy argument” is not sufficient. This goes for 2ar responses to NC arguments as well.
- Believe it or not, I will vote on disclosure theory. I’m more open to it these days than I have been in the past, but I still think frivolous disclosure theory is super annoying. Not disclosing period is one thing, not cohering to every aspect of whatever you think is good is another. Also don’t read it against novices or people who clearly don’t know what it is. I also won’t evaluate it if it becomes clear/verifiable the debater’s team won’t allow it or other similar circumstances.
- Don’t need to flash analytics to your opponent but I would like them
- Even if something is labeled an independent voter, if there is no warrant for why it is one, I won’t evaluate it as such. This is becoming slightly annoying norm. I also don’t really think “x author is sexist/racist/etc so you should lose” makes much sense. I’ll vote on it if you win it but it’s an uphill battle.
- I consider myself pretty much agnostic in terms of arguments, obviously every judge has their preferences but content has 0 effect on my decision.
- I don’t mind you “grilling” me, I think judges learn sometimes too and it can be good to keep judges accountable. Just be aware that if you are aggressive I will be sassy too.
- If your offense is conceded but you don’t extend it, it doesn’t exist. Too many affs take for granted the offense is conceded and don’t even mention it in the 2ar. Literally all you have to do is say “extend the offense, it was conceded” but apparently that is even too much for some people.
- Explaining why a card doesn’t have a warrant is terminal defense if you can’t answer with a clear articulation of a warrant.
- Saying “the aff is a good idea” doesn’t mean anything. You have to win arguments to prove this.
- I really like a good CX. People trying to be edgy without the personality for it is cringe, but people with the personality for it can be dominant. I won’t vote on arguments made it in CX, but I getting concessions or making people look silly will boost your speaks.
- This is just a preference but like... Reading T probably isn't violence. False equivalencies from K debaters are kinda whack and I'll vote on conceded arguments but if it's pointed out that it's a false equivalency I probably won't.
- If an argument is conceded it's conceded. Too often I feel like the 2ar is treating me like a lay judge over-explaining things. Be tech, I know what arguments are conceded. Obviously you should still weigh and implicate the argument if that's crucial to the 2ar/2nr strategy, but often that's not what is happening.
Theory: Go for it - this is probably one of the easier things for me to judge, and I really enjoy judging nuanced theory debates. Slow down on the interpretation a bit if it’s something more nuanced. I don’t “gut check” frivolous shells but obviously if you are winning reasonability then I will evaluate through whatever your brightline is. If neither debater makes arguments I default to the following:
- There is no impact to a shell without drop the arg or drop the debater warrants so I will just eval substance
- Competing interps
- Norms creation model
- RVIs good
- Fairness is a voter
- Education not a voter
Also, for counter interps “converse of the interp” is not sufficient, if your opponent says “idk what the converse is so I can’t be held to the norm” I will buy that argument, just actually come up with a counter interp.
I also hate the spamming of affirming/negating is harder and will probably hurt your speaks a lil for it.
I really like RVIs and think they are underutilized so if you successfully go for one I will be happy.
T: I don’t like it quite as much as theory but it’s still fun to judge. T debates weren’t nearly as nuanced when I debated so you may have to explain some of the particulars more than you may be used to. I am also a sucker for semantics.
T “framework”: To be honest I am sort of agnostic as to whether affs should be T. I probably lean yes, but I also find non-T affs pretty interesting and fun to judge. I don’t consider an aff that doesn’t defend fiat but does defend the principle of the resolution non-T, and I am less persuaded by T in that sense.
Tricks: This was my favorite style of debate when I competed and clever tricks are entertaining but that doesn’t mean I will instantly vote for you if you read them without winning why they are relevant (aka you are winning truth testing). The more clever your arguments are, the higher your speaks will be. Despite my old love for them, I usually have a low threshold for responses since the arguments are usually fairly weak. If you obviously just included an a priori because I am judging you and don’t extend a conceded one, your speaks will probably suffer. I also prefer you be more up front with them in CX if your opponent catches them, I have a lot more respect for people who are straight up about their sketchiness. If you are not the best at answering these arguments I wouldn’t worry too much, I will be more than happy to disregard them if you are winning a role of the ballot that excludes them or a shell that indicts them. Also, calling something a trick doesn’t mean anything to me -- tell me what the implication of the argument is. It also bothers me how tricks debaters have become reliant on the same resolved a priori every debate - I'd much rather listen to an interesting phil or K round than watch u extend the same a priori people have been reading for years. Think of new and clever arguments. Also, reading 16 spikes with a Kant framework isn’t a tricks aff and I really don’t like it. I judge these constantly cause I’m probably one of the few that will listen, and that hasn’t changed but don’t expect high speaks or for me to be impressed.
Ks: I feel like this is the section that needs the most updating because I do a lot of reading and coaching for the K these days. I really enjoy a good K debate. Despite my reputation, I’m a big fan of K’s and am fairly well versed in the literature. I really enjoy high theory and find good K affs super fun. I have read Deleuze, Butler, Wilderson/Warren, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Edelman, etc so I definitely think Ks like these are interesting and strategic. I occasionally enjoy judging these debates the most because of how interesting and unique the arguments are. However, I cannot stand unwarranted “this is just another link” arguments, you need to explain or give a warrant as to why what you say is a link actually is one. I also am not a huge fan of identity K's, and I may vote on some responses you disagree with, just as a fair warning. Additionally, I prefer to see line by line debate, and it seems as though a lot of Ks begin/consist of long overviews without much specific reference to arguments in previous speeches, which can be difficult to flow, so you may want to consider this when going for the K in the 2n/1ar/2ar. I also am very open to you kicking the alt and going for disads, and would almost advise this in front of me cause winning the alt can be a pain. The one K I am really not liking these days is set col, cause I think almost every response is just true and most debaters I’ve seen aren’t the best at handling them, but obviously I’ll still vote on it if you win it. Ultimately if this is your favorite/ best style of debate, you should go for it.
My favorite K’s: Baudrillard, Nietzsche, Psychoanalysis
Larp: I was never a larper, never judged a high level larp round, and am probably not qualified to judge a really good DA v Util AC debate. I don’t particularly enjoy these debates, and you most likely will not enjoy me judging you but I will do my best to evaluate the round. If you can’t defend util against a dump or well justified framework you shouldn’t pref me, because “the aff is a good idea” will not get my ballot. (Update: For some reason people still stand up and larp and read disads in front of me so PLS don’t pref me or change up the strat, trust me it is best for both of us). (Update for JF20: I find this topic pretty interesting and am more open to listening to some cool plans/advantages. I would also really enjoy some larp innovation like rule util or some other more nuanced framework/new util warrants).
Fwk: This is my favorite type of debate and really want it to make a comeback. I enjoy a good framework debate, and it is probably my favorite thing to judge, but it can become fairly difficult to follow at times. As long as you clearly label arguments and make sure to weigh I feel very comfortable evaluating these rounds. However, these debates can often become muddled and devolve into a chicken and egg debate, which makes it near impossible to resolve so be careful of that. My major has given me a new passion for interesting frameworks so I would love to hear whatever unique positions you got. Also extra speaks for meta-ethics that aren’t practical reason – let’s be creative people.
Favorite phil positions: Existentialism, Levinas, any interesting meta-ethic
Speaks: I average probably a 28.5. I assign them based on mostly strategy/execution with a little bit of content, but content can only improve your speaks not make them worse really (with the exception of disclosure probably). I like unique and clever arguments and well executed strategy - I would not advise you to go for a tricks aff if you are a larp debater just because I am judging you, do what you do well to get good speaks. I am also somewhat expressive when I think about how arguments interact so don’t mind my face. Also, if I can tell your 1ar/2n/2ar is pre-written your speaks will probably suffer.
How do I get a 30?
I won’t guarantee a 30 based on these strategies but it will definitely increase your chances of getting one if you can successfully pull off any of the following:
1) Going NC, AC really well with a phil NC
2) A trick I haven’t heard before (THAT IS NOT TERRIBLE)
3) A good analytic PIC
4) Any unique fwk/K/RoB that I haven’t heard before or think is really interesting
5) A true theory shell or one I haven’t heard before
6) Execute a Skep trigger/contingent standard well
7) Really good CX
8) Successfully going for an RVI
9) Making the round super clear
Lay debates: If you are clearly better than your opponent and it is obvious that you are winning the round, please, dear lord, do not use all of your speech time just because you have the time- win the round and sit down so we can have a discussion and make it more educational than just you repeating conceded arguments for 13 minutes.
Hi, welcome to my paradigm. I try to keep organized so everything bolded leads to the stuff you need to know about me. The first part is mainly on how I like to see debaters treat each other then the second is prefs for LD and PF. I do have cheat sheets but I also keep longer explanations in case you want more information! I'm looking forward to seeing you in the round!
Important non-debate stuff
Conflicts are Iowa City West
Please put pronouns in chat or in your name on zoom if in person just say it before your speech. I will drop speaks with continued misgendering of the opponent.
Here is my email for the link chain email@example.com please use this if debating on zoom I would prefer not to have to guess what you're saying when your internet craps out. Remember to use your non-school email when using my email because many school emails will not allow you to contact a non-school email. If your school email will let you great but in my experience in online debate that's not the case. For sharing, files use whatever works the fastest and what's the most acceptable for your opponent and for me.
Other Relevant Info
Secondary History major. Going to college to teach history to high schoolers. Currently doing a gap year to tutor students for a non profit in Cedar Rapids. So I try to take each round as a learning experience for myself and the compitetors.
I did one year PF and three years in LD with some speech events thrown in. Went to nationals three times, won some local tournaments doing both circuit and traditional styles. Did meh on the circuit overall but competent in most aspects of it. Basically I'll generally know what you're talking about even if I'm not the best at personally debating it.
So I have alot of emphasis on manners in round. I think the way forensics competition is built lends itself to cliques and ego. There is a difference between being good and being rude. I think debate should grow you as a person to become more educated and more humble. As many theory debaters like to tout the point of debate is to be educational otherwise schools won't fund it (which is why sports are given so much money is because they are very educational) so I think when you debate you should build the space to be educational and safe. So what do I like to see in round?
1. Understanding and patience. Don't act arrogant if your opponent doesn't understand your arguments or what you are running. No one can know everything and you should help them understand so everyone can learn more. This means don't be rude in cross-ex/crossfire. I don't mind confidence I love it actually it makes me not want to look at Reddit for cute cat photos. Use common sense. Sure it's a competition but good competitors have respect for one another whether they're a novice or the champion of the TOC.
2. Do AA. Advocate and ask. Debate should be a safe space for people and we should all work to make it that way. For example, ask debaters before round pronouns or put them in the chat. If your opponent accidentally misgenders you in a speech feel free to speak up and make corrections. This is an ok thing to do before prep or the next speech. If your opponent continues to do it speaks will be dropped. If you have some sort of disability that restricts your ability to compete (for example if you are hard of hearing or physically have something to keep you from spreading) let the people in the room know. The debate space needs to be accessible to all and by advocating for your needs helps to do that! I promise I will do my best to make sure you are able to enjoy this activity.
3. Please have your cases and evidence ready to share and generally try to keep it in the same place. These should be ready by the time you are done with your prep. At a certain point, I'll drop speaks the longer you take.
4. Have fun! Make sure to congratulate your opponent and be a positive influence! Debate is better with kindness, not arrogance.
(Also in all debate but especially PF I have a very low tolerance for being outright rude to female or non-men opponents. The difference in the way male competitors treat each other versus how they treat non men is staggering. Be a good representative of your school and of yourselves as people who care about the debate space and more importantly care about the people in it.)
Prefs Cheat Sheet for LD:
K - 1
Phil/Framework - 1
Trad - 2*
Policy/LARP - 3
Theory/T - 4
Tricks - 4
Prefs Cheat Sheet for PF:
Trad PF: 1
I'll vote for who wins on flow generally and I do my best not to intervene but these are what I like and don't like. If you love running theory go ahead I'm just going to have ALOT more leeway in how people respond to it.
I was a K debater I love Ks. You run a Cap K and cite the OGs Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, I'll have no problem. I also love hearing Fanon, Haywood, Newton, Hampton, and others. I'm pretty down with most decolonial theory too (Fanon and others mentioned) however I'm personally not a fan of Sakai nor Wilderson. Basically, I'm good with most radical Ks you want to run and those authors or authors in the same vein I'll understand and will light up like a bulb if you run them. I'm not as well versed as I want to be on feminism on ableism but feel free to read what you want I love to learn!
I love dense phil and framework debate. Framework debate can honestly be some of the most interesting LD debates and I love it. Just make sure to not throw out dense jargon and do some work to explain what the cards are saying. You're throwing a lot of info at your opponent and myself very quickly if I don't understand something I'm going to feel like a very bad judge. So do me a favor and do some work to explain it as you would to a child.
Not really a fan of policy style in LD debate personally but I don't usually have a problem understanding. If it's not topical or is barely meeting the threshold I won't be a happy camper but I'll still judge it. I mean what can I do make you read something else?
Traditional is up so high because I coach middle schoolers and others so traditional is fresh in my mind all the time. I also think Traditional LD debate has a lot of value and I like watching good solid Traditional debates. I just think they're neat.
If you run theory you need to ask yourself "Is there an actual violation" as in is this something I actually truly believe is so horrendous for debate that I truly believe it justifies the time sink. There are kids whose parents work overtime, hell they probably work overtime themselves to afford tournaments and travel and imagine losing on "you didn't give your case to me before round" or some nonsense like "skep permissibility theory" then your opponent has the audacity to say RVIs are bad which are the counter to frivolous theory but say this time sink is actually good for debate and very educational. Or worse reads a pre-prepared shell off the bat cause they can. I don't like theory and you really have to convince me that it's needed. You probably won't. The point being please don't run theory in front of me I will be very sad.
I WILL BE VERY UPSET IF YOU READ THEORY IN YOUR NC/1NR AND THEN KICK IT IN THE 2NR
It's not Halloween (yet). I don't really understand tricks I don't have a lot of experience with them I think they're funny but that's about it. Not a great judge for them.
Public Form Prefs
I like it
Circuity Stuff in PF
Refer back to the cheat sheet I don't really get why theory or Ks are being run in it but whatever I guess. As long as it's done well debate how you want to but I just prefer watching good solid Public Form rounds.
How my RFD breaks down
I try to do my best to provide individual feedback however I'm human I'm sorry if I can't get back to your ballot. My RFD usually breaks down into who won, how the other side could have won my ballot, and what the winning side could have done better.
Other Preferences stuff
Spreading: I'm fine with it but slow down a tiny bit I don't have the best hearing in the world.
Tabula Rasa: On face yes however you have to do some work on why something is untrue or I'm not going to flow your way. I'm not going to vote for racist, sexist, imperialist, etc arguments but you have to do some work to explain why something is absurd and should be dropped. Don't make debate worse for people is my controversial opinion.
Signposting: Do it. I wish I was the best judge in the world and didn't need it but I'm not so please, please, please, do it.
Jargon: I can't remember jargon for the life of me I know, I know, I'm the worst so keep it light.
Flow: I love a good narrative but I think I default to flow-based.
Other than all that I hope you're having a good day and good luck out there!
- Pronouns are she/her
- I debated for WDM Valley for 4 years - policy for 3 years and LD for 1 year. Graduated in 2017.
- Currently in my first year of law school at the University of Richmond.
- Primarily a k debater, faves were fem rage, Nietzsche, and Deleuze.
- I've been out of the activity for a hot min, so I'm not as up to date on the literature anymore. Just be clear and weigh your offense plsssss. I like cool strats and I like sass (don't be snarky or rude tho pls, especially if there's an obvious skill differential between you and your opponent. No one likes a jerk).
- Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
In general, I think debate should be whatever you want it to be. As I see it, it’s up to the debaters to tell me what is or isn’t important in deciding the round, and I think it’s important that you use the debate space as a way to hone new skills and learn how to think creatively. Here is a list of my random thoughts about debate:
1. I don’t care what you read in the round; I will reward smart strategies/punish messy work
2. Fairness is harder to prove than education/skills.
3. There’s no such thing as a bad argument – just bad debating
4. Speed is good, but clarity is better. I have a high threshold for speed, so I'll say slow or clear a reasonable amount of times, but don't make me work hard to understand you.
5. I love kritiks, but that doesn’t mean that’s what you should read in front of me. Debate what you like debating, and do it well
6. Phil debates are hard for me to flow, so slow down a little. I was never a phil debater, so don't assume I know the exact implications of your args, otherwise you might not like the conclusions/decisions I come to.
7. Crossex is a valuable tool that not enough people take advantage of. That said, arguments made in cx are way more persuasive if they’re grounded in your speeches
8. I’m a sucker for creative strategies, and I LOVE creative cross-applications
***Everything above does not include blatantly offensive statements. Be mindful of what you say and be respectful.
I debated LD for three years for Strake Jesuit (after a brief period in PF). I qualified for TFA State and TOC in LD, and I have instructed at TDC and NSD. I am conflicted with Strake Jesuit and Walt Whitman. Contact me/add me to docs at email@example.com
You can call me "JP." "James," "Mr. Stuckert" or "judge" are fine but weird to me.
For online rounds:
1. Keeping local recordings of speeches is good. You should do it.
2. If I or another judge call “clear” video chat systems often cut your audio for a second. This means (a) you should prioritize clarity to avoid this and (b) even repeat yourself when “clear” is called if it’s a particularly important argument.
3. I don’t like to read off docs, but if there's an audio problem in an online round, I will glance to make sure I at least know where you are. I would really prefer not to be asked to backflow from a doc if there's a tech issue, hence local recordings above.
4. You should probably be at like 70% of your normal speed while online.
· I aim to be a neutral party minimizing intervention while evaluating arguments made within the speech times/structure set by the tournament or activity to pick one winner and loser for myself. Some implications:
o The speech structure of LD includes CX. Don't take it as prep and don't go back on something you commit to in CX (unless it's a quick correction when you misspeak, or is something ambiguous). I generally flow cx and factor it into speaker points, but arguments must still be made in other speeches.
o The speech structure also precludes overt newness. Arguments which are new in later speeches should be implications, refutations, weighing or extensions of already existing arguments. Whether 2N or 2AR weighing is allowable is up for debate and probably contextual. Reversing a stance you have already taken is newness -- e.g. you can't kick out of weighing you made if your opponent didn't answer it. (Obviously you can kick condo advocacies unless you lose theory.)
o I won't listen to double-win or double-loss arguments or anything of the sort. You also can't argue that you should be allowed to go over your speech time.
o Being a neutral party means my decision shouldn't involve anything about you or your opponent that would render me a conflict. If I were involved in your prefs, I would consider myself to essentially be a coach, so I won't listen to pref/strike Ks. If other types of out-of-round conduct impact the round, I will evaluate it (e.g. disclosure).
o Judge instruction and standards of justification on the flow are very important, and if they are not explicit, I look to see if they are implicit before bringing to bear my out-of-round inclinations. If two debaters implicitly agree on some framing issue, I treat it as a given.
o Evidence ethics: I will allow a debater to ask to stake the round on an evidence ethics issue if it involves: (1) brackets/cutting that changes the meaning of a card; (2) outright miss-attribution including lying about an author's name, qualifications, or their actual position; (3) alterations to the text being quoted including ellipses, mid-paragraph cutting, and changing words without brackets. Besides these issues, you can challenge evidence with theory or to make a point on the line-by-line. For me, you should resolve the following on the flow: (1) brackets that don't change meaning; (2) taking an author's argument as a premise for a larger position they might not totally endorse; (3) cases where block quotes or odd formatting makes it unclear if something is a mid-paragraph cut; (4) not being able to produce a digital copy of a source in-round. If another judge on a panel has a broader view on what the round can be staked on, I'll just default to agreeing it is a round-staking issue.
· Despite my intention to avoid intervention, I am probably biased in the following ways:
o On things like T framework and disclosure I think there is an under-discussed gap between "voting on theory can set norms" to "your vote will promote no more and no less than the text of my interp in this activity."
o I will be strongly biased against overtly offensive things (arguments which directly contravene the basic humanity of a marginalized group). I don’t think it’s prima facie offensive to read moral philosophy that denies some acts are intrinsically evil (like skep or strict ends-based ethical theories) or which denies that consequences are morally relevant (like skep or strict means-based theories). I also don't think generic impact turns against big stick impacts are innately offensive. But I will certainly listen to Ks or independent voters indicting any of those things.
o Speaks: each speech counts, including CX. Strategy and well-warranted arguments are the two biggest factors. My range typically doesn't go outside 28 to 29.5. I adjust based on how competitive the tournament is. I don't disclose them.
o Be polite to novices, even if you can win a round in 20 seconds it’s not always kind to do so. Just be aware of how your actions might make them feel.
o I am usually unpersuaded by rhetorical appeals that take it for granted that some debate styles (K, LARP, phil, theory, tricks) are worse than others, but you can and should make warranted arguments comparing models of debate.
Head coach, Rosemount, MN. Do both policy & LD, and I don’t approach them very differently.
I’m a chubby, gray-haired, middle-aged white dude, no ink, usually wearing a golf shirt or an Iron Maiden shirt. If that makes you think I’m kind of old-school and lean toward soft-left policy stuff rather than transgressive reimaginations of debate, you ain’t wrong. Also, I’m a lawyer, so I understand the background of legal topics and issues better than most debaters and judges. (And I can tell when you don’t, which is most of the time.)
I was a decent college debater in the last half of the 1980s (never a first-round, but cleared at NDT), and I’ve been coaching for over 25 years. So I’m not a lay judge, and I’m mostly down with a “circuit” style—speed doesn’t offend me, I focus on the flow and not on presentation, theory doesn’t automatically seem like cheating, etc. However, by paradigm, I'm an old-school policymaker. The round is a thought experiment about whether the plan is a good idea (or, in LD, whether the resolution is true).
I try to minimize intervention. I'm more likely to default to "theoretical" preferences (how arguments interact to produce a decision) than "substantive" or "ideological" preferences (the merits or “truth” of a position). I don't usually reject arguments as repugnant, but if you run white supremacist positions or crap like that, I might. I'm a lot less politically "lefty" than most circuit types (my real job is defending corporations in court, after all). I distrust conspiracy theories, nonscientific medicine, etc.
I detest the K. I don't understand most philosophy and don't much care to, so most K literature is unintelligible junk to me. (I think Sokal did the world a great service.) I'll listen and process (nonintervention, you know), but I can't guarantee that my understanding of it at the end of the round is going to match yours. I'm especially vulnerable to “no voter” arguments. I’m also predisposed to think that I should vote for an option that actually DOES something to solve a problem. Links are also critical, and “you’re roleplaying as the state” doesn’t seem like a link to me. (It’s a thought experiment, remember.) I’m profoundly uncomfortable with performance debates. I tend not to see how they force a decision. I'll listen, and perhaps be entertained, but need to know why I must vote for it.
T is cool and is usually a limitations issue. I don't require specific in-round abuse--an excessively broad resolution is inherently abusive to negs. K or performance affs are not excused from the burden of being topical. Moreover, why the case is topical probably needs to be explained in traditional debate language--I have a hard time understanding how a dance move or interpretive reading proves T. Ks of T start out at a disadvantage. Some K arguments might justify particular interpretations of the topic, but I have a harder time seeing why they would make T go away. You aren’t topical simply because you’ve identified some great injustice in the world.
Counterplans are cool. Competition is the most important element of the CP debate, and is virtually always an issue of net benefits. Perms are a good test of competition. I don't have really strong theoretical biases on most CP issues. I do prefer that CPs be nontopical, but am easily persuaded it doesn't matter. Perms probably don't need to be topical, and are usually just a test of competitiveness. I think PICs are seldom competitive and might be abusive. All of these things are highly debatable.
Some LD-specific stuff:
Framework is usually unimportant to me. If it needs to be important to you, it’s your burden to tell me how it affects my decision. The whole “philosophy is gibberish” thing still applies in LD. Dense, auto-voter frameworks usually lose me. If you argue some interpretation of the topic that says you automatically win, I’m very susceptible to the response that that makes it a stupid interp I should reject.
LD theory usually comes across as bastardized policy theory. It often doesn’t make sense to me in the context of LD. Disclosure theory seems to me like an elitist demand that the rest of the world conform to circuit norms.
I am more likely to be happy with a disad/counterplan type of LD debate than with an intensely philosophical or critical one. I’ll default to util if I can’t really comprehend how I’m supposed to operate in a different framework.
Feel free to ask about specific issues. I'm happy to provide further explanation of these things or talk about any issues not in this statement.
Hi, my name is Jacob Tamkin, I am a sophomore at USC and have been debating and judging public forum for 4+ years. Please talk slow and be respectful to one another. Make sure to reiterate and carry your points through to the end. Good luck !
Affiliations: American Heritage Palm Beach ('21), Wake Forest University (current debater, '24), Charlotte Latin School (assistant coach)
TLDR; I was very flex & will probably be fine with whatever you do. I don't think true 'tab' judges exist so I won't say that I am one. Debate well and you'll win. If your opponent debates better, they'll win.
kritiks/fwk - 1
tricks/t/theory - 2
larp (aka "policy") - 2/3
phil - 3/4
Hey! I’m Nikita. I debated LD at American Heritage Boca/Delray for 4 years & currently debate CX at Wake Forest. I'm also the assistant coach at Charlotte Latin in NC.
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
ODI note: "evaluate [part of the debate] after the 1ar/2nr" won't annoy me, "evaluate [part of the debate] after the 1ac" will.
Lexington note: Taken from Nigel Ward: "Have the email chain setup. There is no reason you should be fumbling with an email chain 10 minutes past start time. It makes me seem late and leads to tab (understandably) sending runners to annoy me...and that annoys me. Put differently: even if I’m late, have the email chain set up and ready to send upon my arrival."
 I don't flow off the doc. I think clarity is important.
 pref me for good framework debates & good tricks debates. They make me happy.
 I am not your favorite k hack and if you need "k hacks" to win rounds, you're not a good debater. Also means i will laugh if you call me a bad k hack on discord (it's happened).
 I’m more tech > truth than people assume- I’ll vote on basically anything if it's conceded/explained/extended properly. I debated very k but that also means I hold k debaters to a high standard.
 Bad k debate for the sake of judge adaptation is very unnecessary and will make me sad. As a result, your speaks will make you sad. Lose-lose :(
 Taken from Sai Karavadi: "i will not vote on anything that polices what clothing other debaters are wearing — this is not negotiable sorry and yes, that means I will not vote on shoes theory or formal clothing theory — you can @ me if you want"
 Don’t be morally repugnant. Don't misgender people. No -isms.
 LDERS: Please say the number along w the speech name (ex: it's 1AC not AC, or 1NC not NC). As someone who switches between ld & policy, it just helps.
If this is your cup of tea, go for it. If it isn’t, please do not subject me to 45 minutes of Warren when you don’t know what humanism is.
I'm pretty good with adjudicating these debates and am pretty well read- as a debater I was pretty familiar with Baudrillard, Bataille, psychoanalysis, Puar, Winnubst, Berardi, brown-based idptx args, Warren, Wilderson, Gillespie, Nyong’o, Hartman, Spillers, and Barber. I also coach LD so this list is not at all inclusive - read what you want and explain it well. Not a big fan of setcol debates where debaters aren't indigenous, but I read a fair amount of the lit sophomore year.
TLDR: Extend offense, use overviews to your advantage (I flow them) and answer perms well. "K tricks", whatever your interpretation of the term may be, are cool. Please clash. Have a theory of power and know it well.
Here's what I want to see:
Theory of power: Win your theory of power, whatever that may be. Every kritik is an orientation to the world through a certain lens, and absent winning such an orientation, it becomes extremely difficult for me to adjudicate these debates. You should have a clear explanation of this theory of power, not just buzzwords. Examples are your friend.
Links: Reading a lot of 1nc links is fine, however, the most effective 2nrs on going for the k should collapse. I cannot overstate the importance of a 2nr that is well read and is able to collapse and weigh the kritik between the other flows. The link should be specifically implicated to the affirmative and should not rely on loose generics. This does not mean you need to cut a link card to every part of the aff, but rather be clear in your contextualization of such, and in explaining to me why that, in context of your theory of power, will matter.
Impacts: The impacts debate is where I start to filter out offense and would like to see early comparative weighing. For example, if you believe that policy education comes before Baudrillard’s critique of the transparency of the academy, that work should be done early on in the debate- not just the 2ar. The impact debate to me is just an extension of the methods debate that is inevitable (or at least should be) in any clash of civ round.
Alternative: Tell me a) what the alt does, b) how it resolves the links, c) how it solves, d) what the world of the alt looks like. The alt needs to be explicitly extended and explained.
Permutations: permutations must be appropriately handled- do not misgroup perms that shouldn't be grouped. Dropped perms are easy aff ballots. Carded perms (esp from 1nc authors) are quite fun & i'll bump speaks. Explain why permutations solve the kritik, and what the world of the perm looks like. Perms should have net benefits- saying "perm do the aff" isn't enough work to win. Weigh between the perm and the alt.
Taken from Jazmine Pickens: "The Buzzword Olympics was cool, but I want to see where the links or points of difference where ever you are drawing them from so I know what does voting aff mean or what does voting neg mean."
Sure. Win why the ballot matters, why debate is good/bad, what the aff does, etc. Use overviews. I love these debates, but you will need to do the work to persuade me on why I should vote aff/neg and why your model is good. Extend offense and have good ev. K affs tell stories, and absent hearing what the story of the aff is, it's going to be really hard for me to actually vote on it.
Fwk v Non-T Affs
I love it. Please don't let my aff wiki discourage you. It can be smart and strategic- operative word here is "can”. Be efficient, answer the aff, compare methods (fwk v k is a methods v methods debate), do work on standards and the counterinterp. Good 2nrs on framework make me very happy.
K v K
Taken from Dylan Burke: "These debates often get very messy because they are incredibly shallow. The only thing I have to say in this section is that you should be articulating your theory of power in a very comprehensive way as to a) why it better explains structures that the other team b) why the alternative solves those structures c) why the links make the action that the other team is advocating for bad."
I actually quite enjoy judging/debating these- just weigh and be clear when you extend arguments. Apriori's are fun, dropping them is not. I'm open to judging these debates, all I ask is that you adequately collapse, weigh, and give judge instruction. Presumption/permissibility are cool, I don't default to a side (if a round is really that irresolvable, I’ll flip a coin).
I’m fine with it- answer args, extend, do what you would normally do. I have personal opinions on good v bad theory but to be honest, if it's warranted and extended (except theory arguments that implicate a debater's physical appearance) I’ll evaluate it. Sending interp/counterinterp texts is probably good (limits the chance I get it down wrong). I default to no rvis, competing interps, drop the arg, and text over spirit. If none of these are arguments, however, I will probably be very unamused.
I was not a philosophy debater in high school, I am a philosophy major at Wake. I’m probably not the best judge ever for evaluating these debates, but as long as you extend offense, impacts, and err on over explanation, I’ll be fine. Syllogisms are like stories; I will hold u to the same level of explanation as any good kritikal aff.
Do it but do it well. Please do not pref me for dense LARP v LARP rounds if you are incapable of collapsing – most of the times, I will not be able to adjudicate these debates as well as you want me to. Weighing is your friend; collapsing is your significant other. I love good recuttings.
Taken from Ben Waldman: "I'm pro-spin but anti-lying, know the difference."
CX (the event)
I go to Wake Forest and believe in the big tent method. I’m a 2n so I love seeing interesting negative strategy. Basically, do whatever. All the LD Kritik and LARP stuff above applies. I love framework v k aff debates with my whole heart.
Apparently, I can be "rude" in cx, be that what it may. If that's your thing, I don't care. The exception being if you are a circuit debater debating a novice/someone with vastly less experience than you. In that instance, be nice- it'll hurt your speaks otherwise.
I currently average a 28.7534 (29 rounds)
28.5 is average. They go up and down from there. "Material" speaks boosters are very capitalistic in nature, hence my discomfort in offering them.
I'll disclose numerical speaks if asked.
1. Innovation is knocking and will be rewarded with favorable speaker points. Sure give me wipeout, Pess, Spark, Skep Psycho, etc. but make it spicy!
2. LDers stop asking for marked docs as if evidence comparison or carded warrants even cross your mind. Nothing is more annoying than sitting and waiting for a doc to be sent just for it to change absolutely nothing. Admit you can't flow and just take prep. On the flip side don't send 9 off docs and then proceed to skip every other card, know your limits... I promise you lose more ethos doing this.
3. Sure, include me on the chain. Npiredebate@gmail.com
Facts about me that you can arbitrarily and subjectively use to pass judgments about me:
Did policy and LD in HS and college. I read existentialism and postmodern philosophy for pleasure. I have an interesting affinity for reading and researching things relating to Mao, Maoism, and weird contours of communist organizing despite being a rather open capitalist.
TLDR: Tech>Truth (default). Do what you want...no actually like read and do whatever you want/whatever you think is the most strategic. I judge the debate in front of me. Yes, I will likely understand whatever K you're reading. Yes, T/fwk. By nature of the last 2 sentences, I judge a lot of clash debates and KvK debates.
The following three points are borrowed from J. Stidham's paradigm which I think captures some of my general beliefs:
"-No judge will ever like all of the arguments you make, but I will always attempt to evaluate them fairly. I appreciate judges who are willing to listen to positions from every angle, so I try to be one of those judges. I have coached strictly policy teams, strictly K teams, and everything in between because I enjoy all aspects of the game. Debate should be fun and you should debate in a way that makes it valuable for you, not me. My predispositions about debate are not so much ideological as much as they are systematic, i.e. I don't care which set of arguments you go for, but I believe every argument must have a claim, warrant, impact, and a distinct application. Tech and truth both matter... I strive to be as non-interventionist as possible. Impact framing/judge instruction will get you far. The predispositions I have listed below are the general heuristics I use when making a decision, but I will ultimately vote for the team who wins their argument, even if it strays from these conventions. I appreciate debaters who do their thing and do it well.
-Don't base your strategy off of your (probably incorrect) assumptions about my own debate career.
-For everyone: Stop being afraid of debate. Cowardice is annoying. Don't run away from controversy just because you don't like linking to things. If you don't like defending arguments, or explaining what your argument actually means, please consider joining the [Chess Club]."
-My first cx question as a 2N/debater has now become my first question when deciding debates--Why vote aff? I ultimately think the aff has to...well do something regardless of what style of argumentation.
-My ballot is nothing more than a referendum on the AFF and will go to whichever team did the better debating. You decide what that means.
-If I don't have a reason why specifically the aff is bad at the end of the debate I will vote aff. Similarly, if the 2AC fails to extend/explain why they actually solve anything I will vote neg on presumption. I see this problem a lot in T debates and it just baffles me. Congrats you won that your aff is topical but not that it is good.
-CASE DEBATE its a thing...you should do it...it will make me happy and if done correctly will be rewarded heavily with speaks.
-If you expect a judge to stop the round after a debater reads a Shapiro or Patterson card...I'm not the judge for you.
-I go into rounds as a blank slate, you should tell me how you want arguments treated/used("filter the debate through the permutation, etc.) This makes framing HUGE!
-Dropped arguments are true, but they're only as true as the dropped argument. "Argument" means a claim, warrant, and implication.
All the COOL kids give args their own section so they're below if you care.
From low theory to high theory I don't have any negative predispositions.
I do enjoy postmodernism for casual reading so my familiarity with that literature as well as ID pol will be deeper than other works.
1. You don't necessarily need to win an alt. Just make it clear you're going for presumption and/or linear disad.
2. Tell me why I care. Framing is uber important.
My major qualm with K debates as of late mainly centers around the link debate.
1. I would obvi prefer unique and hyper-spec links in the 1nc but block contextualization is sufficient.
2. Links to the status quo are links to the status quo and do not prove why the aff is net bad. Put differently, if your criticism makes claims about the current state of affairs/the world you need to win why the aff uniquely does something to change or exacerbate said claim or state of the world. Otherwise, I become extremely sympathetic to "Their links are to the status quo not the aff".
Not much needed to be said here. Have good internal link analysis. You don't need to be an aspiring poly sci major, just be knowledgeable about what you're reading. Econ, Biz Con and of course Heg are among my favorite here.
- vs policy affs I like "sneaky" CPs and process CPs if you can defend them.
- I think CPs are underrated against K affs and should be pursued more.
- Solvency comparison is rather important.
I don't have any major predispositions here. Just tell me how to weigh and layer please.
I'm pretty even on this honestly. If you're actually reading this section, I would encourage you to read all of it and not cherry-pick sentences to make sweeping judgments.
I think debate is a game cause it is. This does not mean it can't have spill out or have important meanings for certain groups but at the end of the day, it's a competitive game that both sides want to win.
-Did I read an aff without a plan my entire junior and senior year and most of college? Yes
-Do I think T-USFG/Fwk is a true arg in the sense that it's probably unfair given certain models of debate? Yes
-Does what I ran or think is true play into my decision? Nope. As I said above tech>truth just because something is true doesn't mean you have done the necessary work to win the argument in a debate.
For aff teams, you should answer T the way most consistent with the story of your aff. If your aff straight up impact turns FW or topicality norms in debate, a 1ar that is mainly definitions and fairness based would certainly raise an eyebrow.
You should probs have a counter interp or model of debate.
THIS IS SUPER OLD. HAVE NOT UPDATED SINCE ~2012. Please ask if you have questions.
I'm meaning to update soon...
Affiliation: Apple Valley High School (MN)
I default to viewing the resolution as a normative question, not a question of truth. However, that does not mean that what truth is necessarily irrelevant to normative decision making. With a well-developed justification, I will vote on most truth testing arguments. I prefer that debaters have a clear and specific advocacy. Each side needs to defend a world in order to be able to generate uniqueness for offensive arguments. Thus, both debaters need to be able to articulate a world they are defending in a more coherent way than "not x."
I am also generally opposed to voting on defense. In most rounds, I find that the concept of defense being decisive just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. That means that I will be very reluctant to vote on presumption or permissibility arguments that rely on defense to function. It is probably a waste of your time to read presumption arguments in front of me at all. While I can come up with extreme hypothetical situations in which I might vote on presumption, it has never happened.
I am not opposed to theory debates, I used to enjoy them, but I think the sheer volume of awful theory debates I have judged over the past view years has made my threshold for taking them seriously much higher than it used to be. I will still be happy to vote for a good and well-developed argument.
The following are some of my default assumptions on theory:
I default to evaluating theory as an issue of "competing interpretations".
I default to "dropping the arguments" not "dropping the debater."
I default to not viewing theory as an RVI.
I default to evaluating Topicality before other theory arguments.
I default to thinking that the status of a counterplan or K alt is dispositional unless specified otherwise. That does not mean I presume that conditionality is illegitimate, just that if neither debater makes arguments about the status I will assume it is dispositional because I believe that best models the way most other arguments are treated, you must defend arguments that are turned.
I default to thinking that fairness and education are important and that whether debate is "good" or not matters. This is a bias that you will almost certainly not be able to overcome.
All of these assumptions can be changed by debaters (except probably the last one) who make good arguments against them in round. I prefer that any arguments about my default assumptions be explained in context of the specific arguments that are at issue in the theory debate and not just be about those assumptions generally. For example, do not argue "you need to drop the debater to discourage bad debate practices." Do argue, " "you need to drop the debater because X argument has Y effect which makes dropping them the best solution."
I think that theory debates are messy because debaters are even worse at weighing theory arguments than they are at weighing most other arguments. The reason for that is that while there is a framework debate that determines the relevance of post-fiat arguments, debaters put no effort into developing what it means to be fair or educational in a way that allows for effective weighing later in the round. If you want me to buy your theory argument spend time developing a concrete conception of what it means to be fair or educational in the context of debate and use it to filter and weigh impacts.
I dislike the strategy that involves including an argument that demands debaters run interps by their opponent. It is just an excuse to change your advocacy after the fact because you are not ready to defend it. As long as debaters establish clear links in CX that is enough for me.
I will use the framework that is justified by the debaters in the round. I do not view the value/criterion as necessary. In fact, I think in many cases the value/criterion model actually makes the debate more convoluted and can create irrational decisions. As a result, I am very open to alternative frameworks. As a general rule I do not enjoy rounds in which the majority of the time is spent on framework. Battling Util/Deont dumps are frustrating and boring to judge. I want to hear a debate ABOUT THE TOPIC. Framework should explain why topical arguments are important they should not become the entire debate unless you are looking for terrible speaks.
I think that credible arguments must be supported by evidence. In general, I will prefer arguments supported by evidence to analytic arguments. That is because in most cases I feel that experts writing on the topic are probably more qualified that a 17-year-old high school student. This is especially true of empirical arguments.
I assign speaks based on a combination of stagey and how much I enjoyed or was annoyed by the round. Debates that I enjoy involve debate about the topic, debaters who I can understand, debaters who are smart and engaging, debaters who are pleasant to each other.
30: Amazing. I think you are debating your positions better than anyone else at the tournament could. You could not only win this tournament but would have a chance to win any tournament in which you debated at the level you did in this round.
29: Fantastic. Very few people could do a better job at debating your position. You have a good shot at making it to late outrounds.
28: Good. You did what you had to do and did not have very many large mistakes. You should clear.
27: All right. You did an adequate job. You will be close to clearing but it could go either way.
26: Below Average. You should not clear.
25: Bad: You need major improvements in pretty much every aspect of debate. Your record should be below .500.
<25: Offensive or offensively bad.
Arguments that I will not vote for
An argument that has no normative implications, except in situations where the debater develops and wins an argument that changes my default assumptions.
A strategy that attempts to wash the debate on purpose in order to trigger permissibility/presumption.
A contingent framework/advocacy that is "triggered" in a later speech.
Arguments/Practices I will immediately drop you for
Any argument that concludes that every action is permissible
Any argument that creates a hostile environment for either myself, the other debater, or anyone who is watching the debate.
Any argument that explicitly argues that something that we all agree is awful (genocide, rape, etc) is actually a good thing. This could either be an advocacy or a framework THAT THE DEBATER AGREES says horrible things are ok. If the other debater wins an argument that your framework justifies something horrible, but it is contested, then it may count as a reason to not accept your framework, but I will not drop you for it.
Can Flow policy and evaluate policy as long as you don't go too fast.
I was a College LD debater, running anti-blackness on both Aff and Neg. I will evaluate all arguments, more of truth over tech judge. I am good with moderate speed, if you are not enunciating I will clear you.
I do not like phil/tricks debate for example I do not want you to tell me nothing causes anything or that the world doesnt exist etc.
I am also not all that intrested in dense debates about ancient white philosophy.
I Like K's and Policy Args.
Debated at Katy Taylor and TAMS. TOC qualled my senior year.
Email chain: email@example.com (Please add me to the email chain!!)
Tl;dr: I like LARP style debates. Your speech should write the ballot for me- I want to be able to pick out a sentence or two word for word that I can write on my ballot to justify why I’m voting for you.
I haven't judged since before Covid started, so please go at 75-80% speed of what you normally go at so I can follow along effectively. If I didn’t hear it because you’re too fast or unclear, then I won’t flow it.
My personal preference for arguments goes as follows:
I like good LARP debates with in-depth topic research and strong evidence comparison. Good debaters should be able to properly collapse and explain the scenario in both the big picture and the line-by-line fashion. Super specific plans probably need to be topical and have solvency advocates, so if you don’t meet both qualifications, I can be pretty persuaded by theory. Conditionality is probably bad in LD, but I can be persuaded either way.
I’m not as familiar with most K literature, so if you’re reading a kritik, please don’t just use buzzwords to explain your argument. You should be able to coherently explain the thesis of the kritik using the vocabulary of a kindergartner so that I can effectively understand and evaluate the round. Your 2NR should not be 100% prescripted because in those cases, debaters tend to lose anyways. I also need a clear articulation of the alternative does- if I don't know exactly what happens and what happens after the alt, then I can't vote on it.
I default competing interpretations, no RVIs, and drop the debater, but you need to justify them. Please don’t blaze through the shell. Slow down for the interp and pause between standards. Have interps/counter-interps pre-written and sent before the speech starts. Weighing standards is super important. I like smart theory debates where the interp solves for most abuse in the shell and has clear offense. 1AR theory is smart, and you should go for it if there’s clear abuse. Please do top level theory weighing (1ar theory first, topicality outweighs, fairness first, which shell comes first, etc.).
I’ve never read or debated tricks, so you’ll probably confuse me a lot if you go for tricks.
I didn’t debate much philosophy/framework, so if you’re reading a phil AC/NC, please, again, explain it to me as you would explain it to a kindergartner. I default to comparative worlds, so if you’re truth-testing, please justify it, although I’m more convinced that comparative worlds is the better model of debate.
I was essentially 100% topical my entire debate career, so I tend to lean against non-T affs and believe that T-Framework is true. If you can beat T or whatever arguments they read, I’m fine with non-T affs. If you’re reading T, don’t drop thesis level arguments in the aff that can take out T because I’m not going to grant you leeway for answering these args in the 2NR.
PLEASE EXTEND ARGUMENTS. I have a lower threshold for extensions in the 1AR, but they still need to be there. I won’t vote on any morally repugnant arguments. Flex prep is fine with me. I think disclosure is EXTREMELY important. I was the only debater from my school and I always disclosed, so I probably won’t be convinced if you go for disclosure bad.