Mid America Cup
2021 — NSDA Campus, IA/US
Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
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Debated four years at Niles West High School. Fourth year debating at the University of Iowa.
Zoom note - I will try to always have my camera except during prep time or if I am having tech/wifi issues, so if my camera is off please do not start your speech. For the debaters, I do not care whether you all chose to have your camera on or off as it doesn't bother me.
Water topic knowledge is low
I am most familiar with policy style arguments, though I have no issue voting for critical arguments, and have done so with frequency. I don't particularly care about the style of debate I judge, and I have no opposition to judging any type of K or Policy arguments except with with a few caveats noted below -
1. For K affs v Framework debates, I generally dislike arguments from either side that make claims to an out of round impact on the debaters somehow. Thus, I will not be a fan of framework impacts along the lines of "we create better advocacy skills/ knowledge of how to engage institution/ understand the law." I am generally equally unpersuaded by arguments along the lines of subject formation or "we somehow make you more ethical."
2. The majority of theory arguments are reasons to reject the argument not the team. The exception to this is condo. I would be willing to vote on conditionality.
3. While I don't have any issue with any specific type of counterplan, I'm probably not best judge to have for overly complex competition debates. It's mostly because I generally haven't judged those types of debates and as a debater never really ran cheaty-process cps, and less of an ideological opposition to that style of argument.
4. Obviously, don't do anything offensive.
5. I wont vote on death good. I generally think there is a some distinction between "death good," which I won't vote on, and "extinction good" type arguments, which I could vote on. If this distinction I have made confuses you, please just don't run either.
Other important notes:
- I default to judge kick unless successfully instructed otherwise
- I have medium-ish topic knowledge on CJR
- Imo best aff v k angle is "extinciton outweighs." For the K team, I generally care a lot less about the alt and more about the links and framework debate.
- My knowledge of the courts / judiciary branch is unusually terrible. Shockingly bad.
Bakersfield High School class of 2017
Cal State Fullerton Class of 2021
2x NDT Qualifier
Stockdale High School Policy Debate Coach 2019-Present
Cal State Fullerton Assistant Debate Coach Fall 2021-Present
Previously Coached by: Lee Thach, LaToya Green, Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Max Bugrov, Anthony Joseph, and Travis Cochran
If there is an email chain I would like to be on it: (if you could put both of these emails on the email chain)
College: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
HS: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
If you have any questions feel free to email me
Dont call me judge I feel weird about it, feel free to call me Jared
I did four years of policy debate in high school mostly debating on a regional circuit and did not compete nationally till my junior and senior year, debated at Cal State Fullerton (2017-2021)
New for 2021-2022:
Mostly going to be in the HS scene this year, I would say I have done quite a bit of research on the topic so I should know what most things are. For the college topic I will be cutting cards for CSUF CW and its mostly neg link cards and prepping against the policy affs so I should have some semblance of what the aff is saying.
Water topic: 30
K: Love the K, this is where i spent more of the time in my debate and now coaching career, I think I have an understanding of generally every K, in college, I mostly read Afro-Pessimism/Gillespie, but other areas of literature I am familiar with cap, cybernetics, baudrillard, psychoanalysis, Moten/Afro-Optimism, Afro-Futurism, arguments in queer and gender studies, whatever the K is I should have somewhat a basic understanding of it. I think that to sufficiently win the K, I often think that it is won and lost on the link debate, because smart 2Ns that rehiglight 1AC cards and use their link to impact turn of internal link turn the aff will 9/10 win my ballot. Most def uping your speaker points if you rehighlight the other teams cards.
For Critical Affirmatives: I like them, in college and in high school I have read them if you're going to read them though I need a clear understanding of the method that is the most important to me. I find that most K affs lose their method throughout the debate and most times I usually end up voting on presumption because I am not sure what the aff does. I think as ive gotten older this is really true and I really hate it when the aff doesn't have any tangible examples of what their method looks like to hang my hat on which is how i feel that alt/aff methods are won.
K affs VS Framework: I think that the aff in these debates always needs to have a role of the negative, because a lot of you K affs out their solve all of these things and its written really well but you say something most times that is non-controversal and that gets you in trouble which means its tough for you to win a fw debate when there is no role for the negative. In terms of like counter interp vs impact turn style of 2AC vs fw I dont really have a preference but i think you at some point need to have a decent counter interp to solve your impact turns to fw. If you go for the like w/m kind of business i think you can def win this but i think fw teams are prepared for this debate more than the impact turn debate
Plan Based Affirmatives: For teams in HS, some of you are not reading a different aff against K teams and I think you should, it puts you in a good place to beat the K, I have seen some teams do it on the water topic but for the most part you are just reading your big stick policy aff against K teams. I enjoy judging the heg good aff vs 7 off debate, policy aff you do you.
Framework: Yall need to go for what is the role of the negative (RotN) to me I think this is more persuasive than like any type of fairness argument because really RotN is the internal link to any impact argument you are going to make and it means that all of their offense that they are going to go for about their education being better and why your model is bad its all internal link turned by making the arg that they dont have a role for the negative so their revolutionary testing doesnt matter with out a RotN
DA: 1NR on disads have become card dumps and i hate it, explanation is better than just reading a ton of cards like yes read your uq cards on politics but use your link evidence to have a deep explanation of the link. The more specific the disad the better which is not to say i hate the politics disad brovero was my lab leader and drilled me on the ptx disad but I do enjoy the politics throwdown
CP: kind of the same notes for disads the more specific the better, planks are not conditional, condo most of the times is probably good, unless is like 4 or more
1. Clash of Civs are my favorite type of debates.
2. I will vote on death good
3. Counterplan should not have conditional planks -theory debates are good when people are not just reading blocks - that being said - theory cheap shots are not always persuasive to me but given they are warranted and isolate a clear violation then it means you probably win the debate
4. Who controls uniqueness - that come 1st
5. on T most times default to reasonability
6. Clash of Civs - (K vs FW) - These are fun debates, 2ACs need the standard meta DAs to policy making and policy debate of course counter interpretations and other specific offense vs their standards. FW teams yall always have these long overviews at the top of the 2NC which I do enjoy but yall need to do more work on the line by line in some of these debates because simply cross-applying from the overview does not answer the 2ACs args.
7. No plan no perm is not an argument
8. FW teams need a TVA - this is not necessary but affs need to have some type of framing question on the TVA
9. Speaker Points: I try to stay in the 28-29.9 range, better debate obviously better speaker points.
Ideal 2NR strategies
1. Topic K Generic
2. Politics Process CP
3. Impact Trun all advantages
4. PIC w/ internal net beneift
5. Topic T argument
Rounds Judged: 29
Been judging some LD recently just, a lot of the stuff still applies from above here are some more specific stuff - I was a K debater so take that as you will
1 - Larp/K
2. K affs
4-5. I do not like tricks or Phil
Lexington High School 2020 - Went to the TOC
Cornell University 2024 - Debated at least one year
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Update for Glenbrooks - I literally know nothing about the water topic.
I have ran an impressive variety of arguments from all spectrums throughout five years of debate. My goal as a judge is to evaluate any arguments that the debaters are comfortable running with as little intervention as possible. It goes without saying that racism, sexism, homophobia etc. are all unacceptable.
TLDR - I'm fine for anything. My personal preferences can easily be swayed by good debating. The team that does the best framing of arguments is likely going to win.
Policy Throwdown - I know a bit about government and politics, a little less so about international relations. Even so, try to be clear about which legislation or test case the argument is about, as well as clarify acronyms. I won't default to judge-kick if you don't explicitly mention it in the 2NR. Creating quantifiable impacts to solvency deficits against CPs will be extremely effective. I also really like sufficiency framing on CPs against soft-left affs. Please slow down on technical arguments like theory or CP competition (especially in online debate). Condo is probably okay but don't try to come close to my record (20 off).
T vs Policy Affs - Make numbers or percents really clear on the “we meet” debate, especially on quantitative definitions like “substantial.” Nuanced impact calc is super important, but also call out the internal links that the other team’s interpretation actually accesses. In terms of definitions proper, I think things like intent to define/exclude are important as well, but try to clarify as much legal jargon as possible. The TVA in these debates are super underrated.
K vs Policy Affs - There are cool tricks on both sides that I enjoy. A link that is to the action of the plan is very good, but all arguments need to be impacted. I'm a huge fan of just ripping through 1AC and 2AC evidence and calling out lines that prove the thesis and internal links of the K. The way links are framed is probably the most important part of the debate, and generally leads to good debates. However, framework debates about epistemology can be just as effective if impacted well.
FW vs K affs - Fairness can be a good impact, but needs to be explained well. The more nuanced explanation of the impact, the more likely I am to vote for it. TVAs or other arguments that act as defense to the aff's impacts are useful. I tend to see that K affs lose when they make their impact turns to framework super small, as opposed to potentially connecting their impacts to a larger theory of power. The best impact turns to framework tend to have really good framing issues behind them. Counter-interpretations also have merit, and I think that there are a few interesting ones that could be strategic (your interp + our aff is NOT one of them). I also think other topicality violations beyond just "USfg" against K affs can be strategic as well.
Rev v Rev - Make the role of the judge and the role of the ballot really explicit. Presumption can be really convincing, especially by calling out double turns. I like scholarship consistency, but amalgamating strategies can be interesting. Other than that, I find that theory of power explanations that use less buzzwords and more application are more successful at winning their side of the debate when it comes to things like permutations and links. The less I understand the aff/alternative, the more frustrated I will be.
CP and/or DA vs K affs - Super underrated strategy. Certain well-researched CPs and smart DAs that impact turn the thesis of certain K affs can catch people off guard. Even something like the hege DA can get you really far.
Other things - Debate is a speech activity, so I would prefer if you read rehighlighted evidence as opposed to just inserting them on the email chain. Especially for online debate, I have found that it is worth sacrificing speed for clarity. I will say "clear" twice and that's it. I would prefer to minimize the amount of time wasted in debates as much as possible when it comes to prep time. For ethics violations like clipping, the accusing team must have indisputable evidence, and an auto-loss will be given. If I think you deserve to break, I'll probably give you at least a 28.9. Open source AND cites gets +.2 speaks if you bring it up.
Judge Evaluation Form - Fill this out to comment on my judging!
Debate Coach - Niles West
Previous Coaching - Johns Creek, Walter Payton, SLC West, Riverwood, Chattahoochee
Education - West Georgia '20 (Philosophy)
Email - email@example.com
Be clear! If I don't hear your argument, it's not going to be evaluated.
I have no argument preference & will vote for anything (Politics, Cheating CP's, Aspec, Death Good, Framework, Afro-pessimism, Poems, etc...).
Do what you are good at > trying to adapt to what you think I might like.
Usually tech > truth.
Absolutely no ties. First team that asks for one = loss.
Soliciting any outside assistance during a round = loss.
Clipping = loss & lowest possible points.
Please try to treat everyone with respect & don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc...
qualifications: qualified to the toc my senior year & bid with >1 partner, cleared to toc octas, illinois varsity state champion
affiliations: debated @ northside college prep (2017-2021), assistant coach @ interlake hs (2021-)
-(generally) overwhelmingly policy throughout my 4 years of hs -- that said, i think that i find myself pretty receptive to "k oriented" arguments
-(water topic) didnt work at a camp so my experience is relatively small BUT in doing research/coaching interlake i do have some rudimentary topic knowledge that will continue to expand over the course of the season -- but in the first few tourneys err towarss explaining things rather than just assuming i know what you're talking about
fordham lc ‘25
do what you want, really. every judge has ideological biases but I will do my best to stay neutral, although all of us know this is virtually impossible. i will hear nearly every argument, but if you think you are reading something so egregious/messed up that i would not evaluate it, then call it when you see it (i.e. Death Good, Bees CP, etc).
being funny & assertive is good but there is a fine line between that and being annoying & domineering -- learn to find the balance.
dropped arguments are true arguments. an argument requires a claim, warrant and impact/implication.
being offensive & problematic is not tolerated & has consequences up to my discretion.
cards are good, uncarded arguments are good. be wary of when either are unnecessary/unhelpful.
line by line is a necessity; smart, intuitive arguments are conversely not, but are highly encouraged & will be rewarded.
t v planless:
surprisingly little experience in these debates, so proceed accordingly.
i personally prefer clash over fairness or 'topic education,' although i think everyone could do better here having a defense of the content of debate rather than the content of affirmatives.
please don't shotgun da's to t -- not helpful for me (flowing) or you (argument development).
offense that applies structural issues about the world to t should be more nuanced than "they said the word limits. THAT'sS DELUEZUE CAUSE SOCIATY OF CONTROL!!!!!" i want to see it contextualized to why the neg's model of debate specifically is similar to/causes similar outcomes to whatever structural thing you are critiquing, not why neg's concept outside of debate is bad without any explanation as to why it is bad particularly in hs debate.
always answer the case insofar as it is applied to t.
t v plan:
i like these debates, but line by line should be judiciously adhered to, and impacts & internal links should be explicitly clear.
i would prefer not to parse out grammatical rules.
5 minute t 1nr's are a lost(?) art and i would LOVEEE to see some on really well developed t positions. i did this a lot as a 1n on both the cjr topic (t-enact, t-policing, t-no new crimes) & the arms sales topic (t-substantial). it's so fun & exudes confidence because that much time investment indicates you think you are right about how the topic looks & are willing to spend a large amount of the block defending it.
i default to competing interpretations.
i LOVE da + case 2nr's, they're the best, but that means you should invest in turns case arguments + make sure the da is explained well & clear to me especially if it involves legal terms/doctrines/etc. that being said, i would prefer you go for something other than ptx.
also unquestionably good, would rather not judge a competition debate but i'm fine for them.
lean neg on most theory except maybe condo but my threshold for it is very high given it is usually not given enough of the time it needs.
sidenote: water topic is terrible for the neg, theoretically questionable counterplans seem a lot more justified this year even when considering cjr.
k v k:
the least qualified to judge these debates simply because i lack experience in them, would pref me low if this is what you expect to see, but i don't think i would be totally helpless in adjudicating them so i would be higher than your typical policy 'hack.'
k v plan:
i really, REALLY appreciate aff strategy that is more complex than "no link + perm" or "framework + case outweighs." creative, strategic defenses of the aff against specific k's will be rewarded. that being said, going the other two routes i outlined above are still solid if executed well.
neg teams generally underestimate the viability of the k -- many 2ac's are bad & generic, if you recognize this as well then act accordingly.
familiar with cap, security/ir, bioptx, setcol, antiblackness, much else needs a touch more explanation than normal.
be creative!!!! i would love to see new k's prop up -- people get caught up thinking all k's are about structural violence or have similar strains to cap/setcol/etc -- this area of debate is a lot broader than most people assume. think -- complexity k, ir k, even the fiscal conservatism k, just have at it. that doesn't mean you will be successful but what's the fun in not trying! yolo
i do not want to hear a 4 minute overview.
framework is more than "should i weigh the plan or not" -- have smart interps & visions for aff or neg debate that are strategic for you.
finally, please answer case! it's generally not the worst idea to have some defense, ESPECIALLY if they bolster your links.
-clipping -- i am not following the speech doc -- i'd need the accusing team to provide recorded evidence. if it is determined that clipping occured, the offending team gets an L 25 -- if no, the accusing team gets an L 25.
speaks fairy moment:
-add emojis/gifs/memes to ur speech and i'll give +0.1 speaks - NOT 0.1 per emoji, just overall @eagan
-make a joke about: holland bald, ella laurent, the piekuts, margaret hecht, danny roytburg, mia sodini, lj feinstein, julia yang, or wayne tang and i'll give +0.1 speaks
-say "SEEPEE" and i'll dock -0.1 speaks
Note for online debate:
- without a doc - please go like 80% of max speed because internet connections are wack
I'm Bennett Dombcik (he/him), I'm currently a sophomore debating for the University of Michigan.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
DAs - yes these are great. I am persuaded more by quality link cards than I am by a large amount of random links that could possibly apply to the aff (that is the case for pretty much every single argument)... OV at the top of the DA that explain why the DA ow the case and (hopefully) how it turns the case is very helpful, however, if the turns case arg is not supported by evidence, I am unlikely to be very persuaded.
I am sympathetic to 0% risk, but it does take some work to get there. I am somewhere in-between probability ow and extinction ow, and will default to the debating that is done, if no one says anything about it somehow, I will default to probability most likely (assuming that your impact has at least some, well, impact).
CPs - also great, however, I'm not yet caught up on the vast majority of weird process cps that basically get recycled as generics, that doesn't mean you cannot read them, but be prepared to explain what the mechanism of the CP actually does. In terms of the more generic process cps (consult, courts, etc.), I'm fine, same with pretty much everything else.
Theory stuff - everything other than condo is a reason to reject the arg, condo is a reason to reject the team. I am not unwilling to vote on condo bad but tend to think that anything less than 4 is fine. The more absurd it becomes (k, process cp, 12 plank adv cp, uq cp at the top of every DA...) the more willing I am to vote on in-round abuse.
Case debate - the best! Impact turns are wonderful to judge (same with putting a DA on case as a link turn) - aff teams tend to underestimate the time they need to spend on case in the 2ac which is not ideal to say the least.
topicality - these debates are fun to judge, but admittedly, they do get blippy and I am likely to default to whichever team does the best impact explanation. I think precision is important, but debatability is probably more important given at least a ~reasonable~ defense of the words in the topic. this does not mean I think reasonability is better than competing interps - decking the topic because you want to read ur aff is not a good idea.
ks - these can be great to judge if done well - neg teams should probably have links to the plan or a very very good defense of an alternative framework. Be warned, I am not well versed in a lot of the literature, so err away from using the big buzz words to explain your position, because I am unlikely to be able to explain an RFD to the affirmative team if I don't know what the words in the 2NR meant. I am most likely to vote for the kritik if the negative explains why the link turns the aff and takes out solvency at some level.
k affs - similar thoughts to a lot of the k stuff above - teams should be close to the topic if you want to beat T in front of me and you probably know your aff way more than I do, so please explain it. Other than that, you do you.
T vs K affs - these debates can be very good, but can also be very bad. If you're neg in these debates in front of me, I would prefer to see a strategy more focused on clash/testing more so than procedural fairness as the impact (but you can still win that if that's your jam). I think that debate is a competitive activity and that activity is good, arguments that it is bad will not do well in front of me. Instead, I think affirmatives should focus on why their model of debate set up by the aff is good, predictable, and solves a lot of the negatives offense. Very persuaded by TVAs...
TLDR: if you explain arguments, do impact calc and card comparison, and don't make technical drops, you should be fine.
Minneapolis South/Occasional judging for Minnesota
My email is izakgm [at] gmail.com, add me to the email chain before the round, please and thank you.
Good debating overwhelms anything else on here. I've coached and judged teams of all styles. I will try my best to evaluate the round on your terms and not my own.
do whatever you gotta do for your internet quality. I'd like camera on but if you can't, you can't, and I won't hold it against you and you don't need to explain to me.
Some tweaks for the TOC based on things I've noticed judging this year.
How I judge - big picture > minutia.
I appreciate explicit impact comparison, judge instruction, and when the 2nr/2ar starts in a place that helps me resolve the rest of the debate. I don't mean "they dropped my role of the ballot!!!!!!". If you say "extinction outweighs" but don't tell me what it outweighs, I'll just assume you mean its important since you haven't made a comparative claim.
I'm flow centered, but not a fan of cheap shots or punishing small mistakes. I'm not a perfect flow. In fact I am certainly one of the worst flowers on the circuit and yet I use my flow to decide the round. If you want me to evaluate your argument its on you to make sure its on my flow. Late breaking and unforeseeable arguments may justify new responses. I do have 2n sympathyTM and will check the 2ar against arguments that weren't in the 1ar. 2nr line drawing or instruction remains helpful.
I think in terms of risks, including zero risk and presumption. Offense/defense works well a lot of the time, but I'm not a cultist. If internal links are missing and the other team points it out without reply, I'm not giving you 1% just for fun.
I think I used to be harder on the 1ar and 2nr. Now I give a bit more leeway if there was sufficient explanation earlier in the debate. I pay close attention to and often flow cross-x if its going somewhere.
I read less evidence than many judges at the end of the round. If your superior evidence quality is not explained, I might miss it. I will not reconstruct the round through the docs afterwards. I won't read along unless I suspect clipping. If you deliver the text of your evidence incomprehensibly fast I will not read the text of it later to figure out what you said. Again, the burden of communication is on you.
I love strategic concessions and rehighlightings. If you are right and you read it in the speech, I will prioritize your analysis. It makes sense to insert things like charts. If its "a stake the round on it" kind of issue, please do not insert a rehighlighting, I need you read it. If its just an FYI about a tertiary issue... go off I guess.
I'm pretty expressive and might intervene vocally to move you off a stale cx direction or motion to move on if you are repeating yourself in the speech. My resting face is rather stern, don't take it personally. I'm probably still vibing with you.
FW v K aff - Yes, I will vote either way. It comes down to links and impacts like any other debate and the best teams in these rounds have offense and defense.
Neg teams: I'll be honest, if you say debate is a game more than twice my eyes start to glaze over. Fairness can be an impact but it usually feels like a small one. By this I mean if the aff wins any impact at all it will be more important to me than fairness. If that's your approach you'll need to be playing great defense (lots of ways to do this) or really filtering out aff offense somehow. I say this and yet I think fairness/clash is by far the most strategic version of this argument. Y'all think I didn't notice you just ctrl-f'd your fairness blocks with clash? Ignoring the questions posed by the aff or repeatedly mischaracterizing the aff's claims will likely result in an aff ballot.
Aff teams: I'm open to whatever approach you want to take. I'm personally more interested in strategies built around a counter interpretation even if its not an intuitive (or predictable) one, will vote for impact turns alone and in many cases that is more strategic. Just FYI, I do not know what the symbolic economy is, so if you are the first one to explain it to me then kudos. I think I just learned what a psychoanalytic drive is last month but I still might not understand it. If the TVA is something I'm thinking about during my decision time, even if you dropped it, then you've written or explained your aff poorly If your model doesn't explain a role for negation, or your aff is so uncontroversial that it doesn't hold up to a basic inherency push, I can see myself voting neg easily.
Ks on the neg - Love these debates. Explanation is vital on both sides. Aff teams that explain their internal links and solvency have the most success against ks in front of me. Aff framework arguments that exclude kritiks entirely will be a tough sell. If the alt is cheating, you can point that out tho ;) I've yet to hear a persuasive explanation for judge choice - I will only vote on benefits of your plan that you explain. Neg teams do well with strong links that implicate the case. You don't always need an alt in the 2nr, but you might be better off defending an imperfect alt instead of just the squo, especially if the 2ar is on to you. Perms are a valuable tool but 90% of aff wins would be on case outweighs whether the perm was present or not.
Policy stuff - Yes. I like internal link and solvency presses. Impact defense can make sense, but "x doesn't cause extinction" might not get your there if the other team has a nuanced impact comparison. I have a loose attachment to the "link first" camp until you tell me otherwise. My time in Minnesota has left me with a love for impact turns, don't care how dumb it seems. If you can't beat stupid... I don't know what to tell you.
I struggled with Judge Kick for a while. I've come around. I still enjoy strategic and narrow 2nrs (i.e. not making me do this). If you explicitly (saying "squo is always an option" in 1nc cx counts) flag this as an option by the end of the block I'm game. I am open to affs that ask me to stick the 2nr to the cp.
Things it might be helpful to know about me/carrots+sticks/hot takes inspired by OTT
- I'd love to be a judge that fully resolved framing first before substance. Unfortunately the quality of debating here is often such that I have to resolve some substance to figure out what to do.
- i understand why no one does this but if the aff team took a stance on something (like an actual explanation of how they solve not solely hedging against agent cps) and the neg fiats through a solvency deficit based in literature and the aff went for theory I might be more likely to vote aff than most. This obviously goes out the window if the aff says the phrase "for the purpose of counterplan competition" at any point in cx.
- If your wiki is sparse your points are capped at 28.6 - its JV behavior, you get JV points.
- If you can't answer basic CX questions about a position you are asking for an L 27. If you think the round is over and you stop your rebuttal VERY early because you have already won (invoke a TKO correctly), the baseline for your points is 29.4.
- I'm lukewarm for plan text in a vacuum. "Only non-arbitrary" blah blah blzh both teams should just debate about what the aff does. I will require some extra convincing before the 2ar and will heavily protect the 2nr here.
- truly random defaults that have come up more than once in rounds that I want on the record: perms are tests of competition so I will jettison them if they would hurt the aff. you can implicitly answer a "ballot pic" by trying to win the round. you can implicitly answer a lot of stuff really I'm not the most strict at lining things up, but if I don't get it that's on you.
If you still have questions, please feel free to email or ask me before the round!
Old CJR thoughts archive
- learning about the criminal justice system is nice. If you teach me something about the topic (yes critical knowledge is part of the topic get over yourself) over the course of the debate, boost to your points. If your aff is about cyberattacks strike me, I simply don't care. If your aff is about cyberattacks and you debate the internal link level well enough to convince me that you were actually talking about criminal justice reform,
- i have some professional experience working on police reform. I live in Minneapolis and South high is blocks from where the 3rd precinct burned. My personal belief is ACAB. I feel familiar with many of the practical arguments for and against abolition, so I have a high threshold for link debating. aff teams, feel free to go for "abolition bad" instead of the perm...
Put me on the chain: email@example.com
Debated 4 years at Blue Valley Southwest, attending KU. Not debating. I judge rounds for SW when I can, but not at a super cracked out national level or anything.
- I read a planless aff and by virtue never had to worry about counterplan competition. This means that I won't really know anything about it and it's probably not a good idea to read process counterplans in front of me. I realize that that's kinda central to some neg strategy this year, but I can't really do anything about that :/
- Bigotry: Being racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. will cause you to lose the round and receive 0 speaks. I'll report the incident and won't hesitate.
The above is punished, being clever and a good sense of humor is rewarded. Have a good time, remember that you're voluntarily here, I'll mirror the amount of effort you put in debating through judging. I care if you care.
- Truth through Tech: I only use the weird way of saying it because people assume Tech over Truth means they can win by shotgunning "they dropped this, [extend arg]". You need to contextualize - your argument isn't "true" (even if dropped) until you explain why it means you win in a broader context than above. Apply things to the debate.
1. I will know little to none about the topic. You'll have to explain the content to me in a descriptive and persuasive way. There's a time and place for hellblaze spreading cards about the topic, but please condense and explain your argument later on - especially if topic specific.
2. I read planless affs and large K shells for most of my debates in high school, they're the type of affs I have the most knowledge on (structurally). Don't be afraid to read whatever you're comfortable with - chances are if you like it, you can explain it the best. I've read policy affs and gone for the entire arsenal of policy args as well. A key takeaway to win my ballot:
* Tell me what your argument is, and why it means you should win the round - ROB & ROJ framing is helpful for this, but "even if" statements and the like work just as well. Tell me in your rebuttal why I'm voting for you and point to an argument (or lack thereof) that supports it.
T vs. Planless Affs
These were the majority of debates I had and the ones I'm most comfortable adjudicating. I've been both sides in this debate, and agree with a lot of arguments from both sides as well. My main thoughts:
2. Both sides:
- Ask yourself a question after you kind of know the direction of the debate: What do I want the judge to write on his ballot when he votes for me?
- Take the answer to that question, and turn it into your arguments. The answer will change throughout the debate as new arguments are being made, but think big picture - what is the other team going to try to go for, and how can I set up my speech to predict that offense before it's even out?
- It sounds obvious, but don't forget that YOU SHAPE THE RULES - tell me how you want me to frame my decision, and why that's good.
1. T People:
- The impact you should go for depends on the type of aff is being read and what you feel their offense will be.
- Fairness and Clash are the impacts that make the most sense to me. To win, Don't just explain why your model is good - tell me how it accesses a sufficient amount of their offense while still preserving the activity, OR win a sufficient enough solvency/method indict to aff offense and why neg offense would outweigh.
- (Please go to case).
- Specific TVAs out of aff evidence are the most persuasive, ones without solvency advocates are the least.
- SSD is a very deadly tool, think of creative ways for how it solves their offense.
2. Aff People:
- Not all K affs are built the same - why is yours unique? What unique interaction does it have with neg offense? PLEASE. USE. YOUR. 1AC. CARDS. I've seen so many cases where the 2AC seems like a completely new speech without references to the 1AC - the main culprit are case overviews and method explanations.
Isidore Newman '21
Michigan '25 (go blue)
Debated policy for 3.5 years in HS.
I am now an assistant coach for Isidore Newman
Please put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are LD and PF paradigms at the very bottom -- sorry if ya got me in those!
Don't be problematic. I will stop the round and give lowest possible speaks.
Some judges I like and/or people who have taught me are Erik Mathis, Eric Oddo, Bill Batterman, Ryan Galloway, Chris Vincent (ewww), Kevin Hamrick, Kevin Qi, and jon sharp.
Run whatever you want as long as it's coherent.......pomo debates are often incoherent.
Usually, debate is a game and my ballot decides who did the better debating and nothing more, but hey if you're good then prove to me that sometimes it isn't and it can mean something!
Generally, your aff should have some form of advocacy statement at least in the direction of the topic, but obviously you can persuade me otherwise if you think you are really really really good at that. Yes you can read a K aff. Reading a planless poetic deleubaudrillartaille K aff that doesn't mention water once tho...eh...that's another story. You may still win, but it'll be a lot harder for you.
Theory debates are annoying and boring to me--please don't go for theory in front of me (yes, not even condo unless there is a super egregious amount of abuse--like I'm talkin 8 condo that are completely contradictory and obviously time skews and actually ruined the debate.
I may give more credence to presumption args than other judges.
Write my ballot for me in the last rebuttals -- what specifically am I voting for?
Be a little slower than usual - my internet is generally not very good - thanks.
If possible, I prefer that you send the same doc you are reading off of to me and your opponents -- that is, it's kinda poopy to like have a full doc of analytics and cards and then waste the prep time to pick the cards out and put them into a separate doc to send -- I don't really care because everyone in the round should flow off speech rather than off the doc but it's kind of an etiquette thing I guess
Clarity>>>>>speed, especially on analytics, tags, and theory shells.
I like LbL a lot more than long overviews.
If ur overview is completely pre-made I can tell and it's usually boring.
Don't steal prep.
Time your own speeches and prep and try not to take too much time with the email chain.
I am not the most familiar with the topic, so try to be a little light on topic jargon.
I default to competing interpretations over reasonability, but aff can certainly sway me.
I like good T debates and hate bad T debates. Engage in good clash -- I really like when people do good impact weighing for the standards debate and treat it like a disad.
Debate's a game and my ballot means nothing, but I can be persuaded otherwise, it's just kinda hard. I definitely like clash of civ debates more than K v. K, so if you're neg and about to hit a k aff, keep that in mind.
Fairness is an i/L unless convinced otherwise.
If you are aff and want to win against this, articulate reasons as to why your advocacy necessitates a distancing/rejection of the resolution, and why resolutional debate is a bad model. Just saying that the USFG is bad is not enough--you need to articulate how your model is better rather than just exposing that the current model is bad. Again, Impact weighing is key here.
TVAs so true!! Please say this!!
SSD so true!! Please say this!!
I hate theory debates. Don't run frivolous theory.
"Reject the argument not the team" will usually get any team out of it (except condo obviously).
I will vote on condo but I'm not a good judge for it and I will be sad if you go for it.
No like seriously y'all theory is a bad strat in front of me and if you do go for it you need to slow wayyy down and over-explain everything to me and exactly what I'm voting on in the final rebuttal.
I ran a lot of Ks on the neg. Went for setcol, cap/neolib, psychoanalysis, queer utopianism, anarchism, and security. My favorite Ks are definitely cap/neolib and security -- anything topic specific makes for more fun, interesting, and productive debates.
Not big on jargon-ey pomo stuff(If it's well explained and you win on the flow I'll still vote on it obviously)
Baudrillard debaters strike me. None of you are funny and your email chain memes have never made me laugh. You're not disrupting the sign with your cringey cat memes and paradox flows. Like if you run Baudrillard and are y'know just like "their use of signs is bad" then yeah sure it's a cool theory I guess and I might vote for it (depending on how good you are) but if u must be as insufferable and annoying as possible than yeah go away please.
(*Post-Isidore-Newman-Invitational update: baudrillard debaters strike me. Full-stop. I know this isn't very tabula rasa of me, but I really don't want to hear about it; it's very uninteresting and boring to me, and very few of you debate it effectively. You are still welcome to try, but this is an implicit bias that I am aware of and feel bad for not warning you enough about.)
I hate giant overviews--they are a waste of time.
At the end of the round, I need to know what I'm voting for--please explain your alt.
You need to engage with the aff. Specific links to the 1ac are 1000000000x better than generic topic links.
I think far too many teams get away with linking to the squo, and I think it's an easy way for an aff to get out of a K's link.
Links of omission are bad. Floating PIKs are bad.
Affs should impact turn Ks more.
I won't vote for an argument based on something out of round, period.
*That being said, ummm...in terms of a stylistic/ethos thing, non-black teams reading afropess is like pretty hard to watch a lot of the time when poorly executed...like yeah obviously I won't vote you down for it and if you win on the flow I'll vote for you but like...c'mon...you don't feel a little embarrassed doing that? Here's my warning: while I won't lower your speaks for it, if the other team points it out in a funny way and uses it against you, not only will I give their arguments a bit more water, but also I will likely give them higher speaks. If the other team, however, wrongly identifies you as nonblack, they will look really really stupid so teams who are anticipating debating afropess whose ears are perking up here, uh....make sure you're right about this one y'all.*
A little political rant--just because it seems like a no brainer that capitalism is bad, you can't just be like "capitalism is bad, obviously." In better words, your impact shouldn't be capitalism. Capitalism should be your internal link to like climate extinction, genocide, etc. I'm not walking into every debate thinking capitalism is bad just because I'm left-leaning; I (at least try to) walk into every debate as a blank slate, and you should treat me as such.
I like disads. Not much to say here. Have good evidence.
I like tx disads but make sure your uniqueness ev is good.
I like riders DAs and really garbage disads that mess around with how fiat works, but it's also pretty easy for aff to tell me why they're bad
I love a good garbage advantage CP and internal NB
I know this is specific but con con is such a stupid CP like run it obviously but affs should be able to explain to me why it's stupid pretty easily.
50 state fiat is kinda bad lol.
International fiat is bad lol.
I don't judge kick by default but it's fine if you tell me to.
Post-rounding (you shouldn't have to read this so if ur prepping for ur round and u got me obviously don't waste time reading this)
As right as you probably are (or at least think you are), I probably don't care enough about the round once my ballot is submitted enough to listen to you. My caring about the round stops the second my RFD is finished being given and your questions are answered. If you really sway me on how stupid I am for making the wrong decision then I'll go "oh shoot sorry!" and then I'll walk out of the room and maybe be sad for a minute but then get some food and not care anymore. So...I guess you decide if the small satisfaction you get from that will be worth arguing with me after your round is over instead of prepping for your next debate. Debate is a persuasive activity--so persuade me better. If I missed/misinterpreted something that was critical to you winning the round then yes, that is on me, but also that probably means you didn't stress it enough in the 2a/nr.
+speaks for being funny and having fun
Stealing this from jon sharp's paradigm but other than like clipping or having your coaches help you during the round or making fake evidence, there isn't really such thing as "cheating" in debate, at least in terms of strategy/arguments -- if you think there is actual cheating you file an ethics violation and the round stops, not whine in the 2ac.
Case turns are very epic and five minutes of case turns in the 2nr done right will make me happy and give good speaks.
I like meme arguments, just make sure they're funny and somewhat strategic and not a complete waste of time
Please be organized and have good LbL
Please signpost well
I am very expressive -- if you are saying something atrociously bad I will probably react
Make fun of my friends, coaches, and lab leaders.
If you play music before the round, make sure it's good.
I'm a bad LD judge - strike me. No like actually strike me I will make the wrong decision 60% of the time I don't understand LD norms.
If you do get me, treat it like 1v1 policy and read policy stuff - I like big stick impacts when it comes to LD
Hahaha dude idk how PF works sorry y'all should have struck me
I'm tech over truth (if that even is a term in PF) and don't be too formal in front of me because it makes me uncomfortable
Don't say anything racist
Try to make it as close to a 45 minute policy round as possible
2016-2018 Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League
2018- present CSU Fullerton
email chain- email@example.com
Frame the ballot by the 2AR/2NR and don't leave me shooting darts please.
Overviews really help me/you out unless they're longer than the debate proper-be concise.
Prep- Prep ends when doc is sent out or the equivalent of that. Let me know if there are any technical difficulties.
Spreading- speed is fine-go at it if thats ur thing. this shouldn't be exchanged for clarity/emphasis, and ultimately, persuasion. My face tends to be pretty expressive so use that to ur advantage.
Cross Ex- Humor is much appreciated so long as it doesn't offend ur opponent. Attack the argument not the debater.
I generally err on the side of tech over truth. However, too many buzzwords are kinda annoying and don't mean anything if you dont impact/flesh them out. I won't evaluate concessions for you unless you do it first.
Policy Affs- Spent most of hs reading these- read them at will. Internal link work and framing is crucial.
Performance/K Affs- Have a clear explanation of what the advocacy does and why it should precede a traditional endorsement of the resolution (vs framework). Presumption arguments are some of my favorite arguments. Being untopical for the sake of being untopical is sooooo not the move. Even if i think that ur aff is the most interesting/entertaining thing in the world, I can resolve that with speaker points. Offense. Offense. Offense.
Framework- Go for it. Slow down just a tad. Procedural fairness and education are impacts, I'm usually more persuaded by education but fairness is fine too.While I'm usually more persuaded by fairness as an internal link to something else, enough impact comparison can resolve that if ur not down with the former.
Theory/Procedurals- Go for it. I'm not one to love hearing theory debates but will vote on it if you do the work. These can get really petty. Usually not in a good way. Condo is probably good PICs probably aren't. Don't let that dissuade you from saying otherwise because I also love hearing pics and multiple advocacies. I'm a 2N if that is relevant for you.
DAs- Make sure to flesh out the internal links. Winning uniqueness wins direction of link debate. I prefer hearing isolated impact scenario(s) rather than a generic nuclear war/extinction claim although u can totally claim that as ur terminal one. The more specific the link the less spinning the aff can do, the less intervention I have to do, the higher ur chances of winning are. I find it hard to believe that there can ever be 100% risk probability but if the CP solves 100% of the aff you're in a much better spot.
CPs-Resolve questions like how does this solve the case and is this theoretically legitimate if it becomes about that. If you wanna be noncompetitive, you do you but be ready to justify that.
Ks- Tbh I would much rather judge a robust debate about the intricacies/consequences of a traditionally political action vs a less-than fleshed out k debate. Links to the status quo and not the aff are awkward. Generally speaking, im probably down for ur thing. Regardless of me being familiar with ur authors or not-do the work. Framing is super important. Does the alt solve the aff? let me know. You don't need to go for the alt to win
-a claim with no warrant is a pen with no ink
-know where u are losing but make it fashion
-dont be a jerk
Previous experience: Policy debater for Maine East High School for two years.
Current speech, IPDA, Public Forum, and BP/Worlds debater
Heavily policy-oriented— if you’re going to do any type of K work please speak to me as if I don’t know what’s going on. Avoid buzzwords and jargon unless you will give a proper explanation and the framework/role of the ballot should be clearly defined giving me valid explanations as to why I should prefer your interpretation. Please have developed SPECIFIC links to the plan if you’re running a K on the Neg and your overviews for Ks (be it an affirmative or negative position) should be talked through not spread through. Make me understand—don’t just throw words at me.
TLDR; if it’s a K talk to me like I’m lay. (If you’re novice going for the K you need to properly show you UNDERSTAND the K don’t just read varsity blocks)
Counterplans and Disads are my cup of tea. I will vote aff on theory if it’s against a shifty process or conditions counterplan (I absolutely despise conditions CP). Also, don’t go for condo unless there are specific instances of abuse (like 3 conditional advocacies) and you plan on speaking a whole 5min is your 2AR about it I don’t wanna hear that speech, you don’t wanna give that speech, and your opponent probably will think your not cool by the end of it.
I value clarity over speed—if you have clear arguments with an in-depth explanation I’ll lean towards you (at least in terms of speaker points) rather than having an abundance of unclear arguments. I also am adjusting to spreading! If you are spreading your analytics, and overviews there is a 99% chance I won't flow them properly.
Please be flowing, try line by line the best you can, avoid card clipping, and just be a decent human being in terms of interactions with one another.
Edit: if you’re varsity and are unclear or spreading EVERYTHING without proper explanation or analysis in your rebuttal Speeches I’m not here for it :))))
If you’re not telling me to switch flows there’s a higher chance (due to my misflowing) the argument will be up in the air I probably won’t evaluate it.
if you’re actually reading this: show me a meme, a cute animal picture, or something weeb related by the end of the round or before it I’ll give you an extra 0.1 speaker point (add it to the email chain!!)
He/Him/His, call me Sam
OPRF 2021, Iowa 2025
Put me on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated at OPRF for four years running mostly policy arguments. I no longer debate, having decided to try out a novel concept called "free time". Weird, I know. That being said, debate did a lot for me as a person and I'm incredibly glad that I did it, and I think that judging is a great way to stay involved with an awesome community and make sure that new generations also get to have that life changing experience!
Do whatever's the most fun for you. Don't be a dick. Don't be a bigot. Don't clip cards. Tech over truth.
Make smart arguments. Read good cards. Compare evidence. Do line-by-line. Speed is all good.
If an argument isn't on my flow it wasn't made. That means probably send analytics and definitely slow down when you read them. If you're extrapolating a new argument from an old argument, make that clear in the round, I won't do the work for you.
If I think a piece of evidence is relevant to the debate, I will probably read it. If you tell me that a piece of evidence is relevant and that I should read it, I will definitely read it. That being said, the only parts of your card that are relevant are the parts you read. Yes, this means you have to read rehighlightings. I will treat insertions as analytics.
I know nothing about the topic. I did not go to camp or judge for a camp. I might google the resolution at some point but don't count on it.
From the paradigm of the one and only Sam Shafiro:
"I put substantial effort into evaluating every debate I judge to the best of my ability. That being said, the following is a ranking from most to least of my average confidence in evaluating each type of debate: DA/CP/Case Turn v Policy Aff, T v Policy Aff, K v Policy Aff, T/FW/DA v K Aff, K v K Aff."
Be funny. I like it when people are funny, it makes debates less boring.
-Is fairness an impact? Let me know! Debate!
-The safest was to go about explaining the theory of your K to me is by assuming that I have no familiarity with your lit base, even if you're pretty sure that I must have some.
-I'm sympathetic to a lot of T/FW arguments but I'll vote for whoever wins the flow. My job is to evaluate the arguments that are made and I try to do just that, but I think it's important to acknowledge my opinions because they exist whether I like it or not.
-I think DAs vs K affs are dope. Once again, my ballot is still dependent upon you winning said DA.
-I will flow your long overviews, but I won't like it. Put it on the line-by-line.
-I think T debates can be a lot of fun to have (even if they're almost never fun to judge). The way it was always explained to me is to debate T like a disad, where the violation is your link, the definition is your uniqueness, and the impacts are your standards.
-Yes I made a joke about not knowing what the resolution is, but if it comes down to a T debate I promise to make sure that I'm informed on the relevant background information that you would assume a competent judge to have in such a scenario. Translated, this means I'll pull up the resolution of google.
-Do lots of impact work. Make it very clear to me why your vision of the topic is better for debate than you opponents. Make me see that world. Too often teams get stuck in the specifics and fail to describe the bigger picture. Trust me, I lost more than one round because of it.
-Love me a good politics DA. That being said, politics DAs are stupid as hell. You need to tell me why yours isn't. Run your ridiculous politics scenarios, but only if you can make them make sense to me (and have the evidence to back it up).
-Do impact calc. It's important.
- On the aff, use your case against the DA. You have 8 minutes of 1AC cards on why your case is a good idea, extend them. If you read a framing contention, this does not mean you can drop their DAs impacts. Apply the cards you read on framing specifically to their scenario with more specific impact d. Is that more trouble than its worth? Probably, but you're the one who decided to read a soft left aff.
-Rider disads are probably illegitimate but I can be convinced otherwise.
-Solvency advocates are important, the more specific the better. This means that planks are awesome only so long as you have solvency advocates to defend them.
-Should I judge kick? Let me know! Debate!
-Be consistent with your perm explanations
-See T for what I think about theory
-See DAs for "use your 1AC cards"
-No neg fiat and other such inane theory arguments are pretty much only ever something I will vote on if they're dropped
-I used to be a big hater of the process counterplan but I've come to appreciate them, so long as they have (you guessed it) a solvency advocate. To be specific, that means a solvency advocate that is at least either in the context of the topic or the aff (looking at you concon).
-I'll probably end up evaluating both the aff and the K unless the framework flow is overwhelmingly in one direction
-See K affs for some thoughts, particularly regarding lit bases and long overviews
-A specific link to the plan will help you immensely here, the more specific the better.
Run what you want, have fun.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Pronouns They/Them or She/Her
Northside CP Class of 2018
University of Michigan Class of 2021
Currently Assistant Coach at Niles North
zoom debates: you should not be going maximum speed ever. microphones are weird and so is the internet. not 100% fast, u should be going like 80-85% fast.
UMich Grad who graduated in Philosophy and Environmental Science.
If you care, I received multiple TOC bids throughout my career, and qualified my senior year. I debated on the Umich debate team for two years to relative success. This is my fourth year judging varsity-level rounds of high school.
No major dispositions to any style of debate, though I typically find myself in the back of mostly clash of civs and K v K debates. That being said, I have judged hundreds and hundreds of high school debate rounds at this point, and am confident in my ability to judge policy rounds as well. Contrary to belief, I did do some policy stuff in my high school days (I have read a soft left corporal punishment aff and a school searches aff senior year, big stick biotech aff junior year).
I'm comfortable with nearly all kritiks, so go wild. My personal strength in debate has been primarily queer and gender theory (I've run Preciado, Halberstam, Spade, Stanley, Irigaray, Puar, and Marquis Bey) and then also high theory (I've run Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, Kroker, Negarestani, science fiction, a ton of misc. critiques about American imperialism, generic Ks like Cap and Security, and sadly Baudrillard).
My voting record has been relatively 50-50 in clash debates.
Also, random thing, I am a goofy person, sometimes I just randomly smile or laugh out loud, it has nothing do to with whether you are doing well or not, I'm just a weirdo.
Clash of Civs
Aff (Policy) vs Neg (Kritikal)
Comfortable with mostly every K, identity or pomo are both fine in front of me.
If you are aff
[Big Stick Affs] Defending your ethics such as utilitarianism, realism, securitization good etc and just going the hard aff outweighs, extinction is big sad route usually does best in front of me. Moving the debate farther left through permutation or no link strategies or "reform good" for these types of big extinction affs usually often ends in me leaning neg.
[Soft Left Affs] These affs need better defense than "just because we use the state doesnt mean we are the state". Defend negative state action but also recognize you are still the state...so defend it. I think the best strategy against Ks with these affs is severe mitigation of the alt, a robust permutation coupled with extremely well-developed, ideally carded, link turns.
Generally other thoughts for the aff: The bulk of the 2AC should not be bad outdated pragmatism good cards. I also think if you intend to be going for framework in the 2AR, there needs to be more than one sentence in the 2AC.
If you are neg
I am comfortable with whatever K you read. However, this is not an excuse for you not to define buzzwords, explain jargon, etc. to your opponents. You should still be acting like I've never read your author.
Kritiks need an external impact that outweighs the aff, or must win a massive turns case scenario. The only exception is if the neg massively wins a no-aff framework, though this is a harder strategy to win in front of me.
K teams that don't pull lines from 1AC evidence are getting capped at a 28.5. Link arguments should be robustly developed and aff-specific.
I expect to see good impact framing in the 2NR. I despise when I am left weighing ressentiment or gratuitous violence against the aff impacts with no explanation of why I consider those impacts first.
I default to expecting K teams to do line by line, etc. That being said, I'm all good for non-traditional strategies however there needs to be a defense of why I should be viewing/evaluating the debate differently than I otherwise would.
I'll flow long overviews, but I won't be happy. Embedded clash is your friend.
Aff (Kritikal) vs Neg (Policy)
I am very familiar with these rounds. As a debater, I defended my aff against framework every tournament for years, but only got into running framework myself in my very final college tournaments. That being said, I like both sides of this debate a lot, and my voting record has been very even when I am in the back of these rounds.
I'm fine with either a counter-interp/competing models of debate strategy or an impact turn strategy from the aff. I am also really fine with any style or impacts on framework, though I do have some personal thoughts (that I note in a bit).
Defend *something* clearly from the 1AC, I don't care if its topical or not. I strongly dislike it when affs so blatantly change what the aff is throughout the course of the debate. Affs that have zero advocacy and are just A2: Framework cards will make me more incentivized to vote on framework.
Have a clear and organized framework block that are not just clumps of analytics. Cards are also nice. Numbered blocks will get a boost in points. If the block is not organized, don't blame me for not picking up random disad number 7 on the flow.
Counterdefining words is probably useful for a counter-interp strategy, but is utterly useless for me if you're trying to impact turn framework.
Go for either a counterinterp strategy or an impact turn framework strategy. Both can and should be in the 2AC block, but you should be focusing on ONE of these options in the 2AR.
I don't vote on condo for K affs. Period.
I don't prefer any standard over another. Yes this includes "fairness". However, word of caution: Theres too many debaters I have seen who just say the word "fairness" and presume its this instantly miraculous impact that automatically comes before all else without any additional explanation. As such, I've observed teams who go for this strategy opt to answer the line-by-line with "but debate is a game so fairness" with no further explanation of what that means or why it implicates the aff's offense. If a framework team can explain to me why debate being a game means procedural fairness comes first, and strongly impacts fairness out, I will certainly vote on it as an impact in itself.
Link turning the aff's offense with framework is one of the better strategies in front of me as a judge. Especially if you make either a good TVA (with a card ideally) or spend substantial time on a SSD claim.
2NRs should be going to the case page and spending good time on it. Otherwise I am far more likely to weigh aff offense if the 2AR blows it up.
I think it is important to read multiple off against K teams in the 1NC. 1 Off Framework is less convincing than 3 Off but you go for framework because they no linked out of your other positions.
Kritikal vs Kritikal
These debates are awesome and are super useful to have in the community. *Anything goes here!* These were some of my favorite debates to have in high school and they are certainly my favorite to watch.
I think debate is a constantly transforming activity that should be experimented on in new and innovative ways. I'm totally down to throw out all norms and having the debate round how you all want to have the debate round, just tell me what the best way to adjudicate it is.
Regardless of whether this is still a tech above all else debate or something different, I need both sides to frame the round. What do I evaluate first? How do I weigh impacts? What should my decision center around? The debates are messy and muddled if done wrong - if one team remedies this for me and another team does not, the former team probably wins 99% of the time.
Do whatever style you want. Any well researched strategy that is well thought out as well as personal narratives and forms of self-expression, including poetry, music, etc have worked well in front of me.
I'm personally apathetic to the question of whether the aff gets a perm in these debates. This will just come down to the flow.
Alts are very big in these debates, the more explanation the better.
Not afraid to pull the trigger on floating PIKs in these rounds.
Policy vs Policy
I am very comfortable judging these debates now after 4 years of experience. However, caution: I do not know any topic lit at all. I am also an idiot and often forget about certain nuanced government functions, so stronger explanation on CP mechanisms or politics DAs are probably important.
Extend less and explain more rather than extend more and explain less. I hold policy debates to the same level of nuanced explanation as I would a K debate. Take that as you will. I think the best policy 1NCs are the ones that have one or two well developed strategies in them rather than throw 10 off at the wall and see what sticks.
Going off what I said above, rebuttals need to narrow down the debate down to one or two DA links, blow up on one big solvency deficit, etc. If the 2NR is just a condensed version of the 2NC but basically the exact same thing I wont be happy.
Evidence quality is important to me. A great analytic will always beat a mediocre card.
If you don't read a rehighlighting in your speech, I won't consider it.
Heavy evidence comparison on the definitions is good in front of me.
I default to competing interps, unless I am told otherwise.
Slow down in the last two rebuttals.
I don't know random names of policy affs on this topic, so explain to me what debate looks like under your model instead of just labeling a bunch of affs or namedropping schools I'm not familiar with.
I only judge kick IF the neg team says I can/should. I won't do that work for you unless you say I should.
I'll just be real, I'm probably bad for over-the-top long process multiplank CPs, I need to know how your CP works and how it competes before I vote on it, even if the other team doesnt press on those questions.
Aff teams shouldn't be afraid to go for counterplan theory, I'm very willing to vote on it, especially in the instance of process CPs.
Dumb DAs with long contrived internal link chains can definitely be beaten in cross-exs calling out their ridiculousness if done right.
Maybe I'm in the minority, but if your uniqueness evidence is "heres a chart", I'll treat it as if you didn't read a uniqueness card. Read some damn words.
Please. Do. Impact Calc.
These are hella fun. Go crazy. Spark, Warming Good, or Wipeout for all I care. Anything cool will get the neg a huge boost in points if they go for it in the 2NR.
I think I'm more likely to pull the trigger on theory than most judges. Whether it be condo, counterplan theory, or any spec arguments, I'm all for it.
Put it in the doc.
They usually very from 28.5 to 30. If you have ethos and don't make any big deal mistakes you should get high speaks. I used to have some kind of chart here but I'd be lying if I said I abided by it. Point is you should have no problems getting high points in front of me.
Any racism/sexism/anti-queerness or general rudeness/disrespect will make me give you the lowest points I can justify.
Want crazy inflated speaker points?
Joke about one of these people who mentored me and shaped how I think about debate: Wayne Tang, James Mollison, Aaron Davis, Pauline Esman, Adam Hausman, Robb Berry, Kylie Vera, and Luther Snagel.
Or jokes about these folks too: Magi Ortiz, Talia Blatt, Kathy Martinez, KJ Reese, Hannah Wolfson, Allison Pujol, Joshua Harrington, Ben McGraw, Maria Sanchez, and Lukas Taylor.
A tasteful but subtle pokemon reference. Don't judge me.
Turn your tags into enjoyable surrealist poetry.
Update: This is still accurate. I am actively coaching / cutting cards on the HS topic.
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org --- Makes life easier.
Hi, I'm Dave.
I debated 4 years in High School in Albuquerque, NM. I graduated in 1989.
I also debated for 4 years in College at Arizona State and transferred to UMKC. I won CEDA Nationals and graduated in 1994.
After that, I was a grad assistant at the University of North Texas and coached debate for 2 years.
and then got married and took my wife's last name changing mine from Genco to Kingston.
and then was a grad assistant at KU for a couple of years.
and then was the Assistant Director at UMKC until 2000.
From 1994 until 2000 I taught at a bunch of camps.
I've helped out several college teams here and there in the last 5-6 years.
I am currently cutting cards and coaching Blue Valley Northwest on the high school topic.
If you have any questions ask.
TL/DR: I really don't have a preference for what you do in a debate round. I've judged a ton of them over the years. I suggest you do something that you do well.
K: Everyone wants to know if I'm ok with "the K" or "the criticism" or a "performance". Sure. That sounds good to me. I understand those types of arguments. I've become more up to date with some high theory and race/structural Ks. You do you. I don't hold them against you.
CP: You don't have to answer the aff if the Counterplan solves all of the aff and you should point out what disads/turns are net benefits to the counterplans. I do not default to judge kick. I default to you're stuck with what you go for unless you make some argument about it. If you make an argument about the counterplan being condo, then you have to kick it unless you make judge kick args.
DA: They're good. Uniqueness, link or impact defense, and foundational warrant comparison are all good ways to help resolve things. Please don't read generic impact stuff that doesn't take the context of the round into account. It helps my decision and comments if you differentiate your warrants or find ways to compare your link to the turn or vise versa. Do I believe in zero risk? Kinda. Dropped args are probably zero risk. But I default to the arguments made about risk. Generally though, I default to some risk on a contested debate unless the resolution of the arguments is made very clear (Uniqueness goes the wrong direction, dropped args with some analysis, deeper warrants etc.)
T: If you have a good interp you can defend and can do standard debating well, I'm willing to hear the debate.
K Affs: I have been more in touch with this style of debate in recent years. I'm pretty neutral in FW debates. If you're aff vs FW, isolate a couple pieces of offense and you should be all right.
Theory: I don't care about how many or what kind of condo if you can defend it.
I try to stay neutral in my judging and vote on things said in the round, not things that I make up about things you say. I'll make things up if that's the only way to resolve stuff, but I never feel good about it. Don't make me feel bad, plz.
I don't care how fast you go as long as you don't have mush mouth and I can understand it.
I try not to be a jerk about prep time, please don't be a jerk about it either. That being said, we do have to have a debate and it does have to finish on time, so don't steal prep.
Also, don't clip cards. I read along in the speech doc.
Don't flash docs that contain a ton of cards you're never going to read, and don't mess with the speech docs (remove navigation, purposefully try to avoid sharing, or do other random crap that is borderline cheating). The other team gets to see everything you read, and vice versa.
None of that doesn't mean that you can expect me to ignore arguments that aren't in a speech doc. If it was said, it's an argument. You should FLOW.
I don't like posturing between speeches and during CX in debates. If you have comments to make about the way the other team is debating or the arguments they choose, then you should make them as an argument in a speech.
Speaker Points: I'm trying to achieve more clarity about how I assign speaker points. This should give you a good idea about what I'm thinking when I assign them. This is a bit of an upward departure from points I have given in the past. Basically, I'm looking at points as a consideration of whether or not I think the debating you did was of elim rounds quality or that your performance was worthy of putting you on track to win a speaker award. I have my standards, but my points will probably end up being .2 or so higher than I have given in the past.
Bonus speaker points if you find a way to win that doesn't assume you win all of your arguments.
Have fun and Good Luck!
I debated at Kapaun Mt Carmel (2019) and have coached and judged regularly the last three years.
I appreciate when debaters show that they care and that they want to be debating and put energy into it. I will put as much effort into my decision and comments as you do into debating.
If I cannot hear what you are saying I will clear you once and then stop flowing.
Don't clip and don't steal prep. You clip, you lose (within reason)
Nobody likes an ineffective cross-ex. Ask questions that can actually get you somewhere.
I appreciate specific evidence comparison and when people do more than just surface level evidence analysis.
Judge intervention isn't fun for anyone. I will do my best not to intervene but if I have to come to my own conclusion about something that wasn't debated out then I will explain why I did and what could have prevented that.
CP and DA
Process counterplans aren't great but I don't think they are inherently bad. If you want me to utilize judge kick then please do not wait until the 2NR to say it. I think zero risk can be a thing.
I was always more of a policy person and my familiarity with specific literature bases is mostly limited to cap, security, and militarism stuff. I find myself persuaded most often by K turns case arguments when I vote neg. I think speech organization is important here and will appreciate signposting instead of just reading down your document.
K affs should probably be in the direction of the topic. I think fairness is an internal link to education. Tell me why spending time learning about x is better than learning about y, especially in that round.
I enjoy good t debates and find it to be a bit of a lost art. These debates can be shallow sometimes so I appreciate contextualization of the aff, in-round abuse, and telling me what precedent would be set by x definition. Not voting on plan text in a vacuum.
TLDR (aka im judging you and you have no idea who I am)
Lincoln Park (CDL) 2016-2020
University of Kentucky 2020-present
do not email me asking for speech docs from rounds i've judged. if the team wanted it circulating they would have put it on the wiki.
I judge a lot of debate events but mostly policy so thats what this paradigm will talk about most.
I have limited knowledge of the water topic, earlier in the season will require less acronyms.
Read the arguments you want to read, I'm a flowcentric judge and try to evaluate all arguments fairly and check back against internal bias. I mostly do K debate now but I did policy for 4 years in high school and am still well versed in all that jazz.
Tech > truth (mostly) I've found myself to be more truth leaning than I thought --- the aff can drop the internal link and impact but go for a no link that is just incredibly true and still win. Obviously the argument has to be extended the whole debate but yeah. My threshold for truth rises when a debater is even marginally racist/sexist/homophobic -- if you do something messed up but not drop worthy i'll inevitably have a bias against you and I won't feel like keeping it in check.
I WILL NOT TOLERATE CARD CLIPPING
aside from that i'll vote on any argument if its debated well no matter how much i hate it. (with the exception of morally reprehensible arguments)
Preferred chain title: Tournament Name R# [aff team name] vs [neg team name] Ex -- Gonzaga R4 Lincoln Park MM vs MBA BJ
If you only have one card to send, I actually prefer that you send it in the body. 3 or more cards should have a doc.
IF MY CAMERA IS OFF I AM NOT READY - ALWAYS CHECK TO MAKE SURE I AM PRESENT BEFORE YOU START
decrease your speed by like 10-15% to account for the inevitable unreliability of online stuff.
i actually enjoy t debates --- i'll vote on absurd interpretations if the debating is better
do NOT spread through your blocks, slow down -- especially on analytics and voters.
impact out your standards, create a vision of the topic, explain why your interp creates a better world of debate -- what does the world of the neg look like? what disad, cp, k ground exists in your world? what about in the aff world? etc..
case lists/tvas always good
i have no opinions on competing interps/reasonability
I love strategic theory, but it has to be warranted and serve a purpose if you're going to go for it
debating "well" means comparative analysis between the standards and counter standards.
you can tell if i like your theory argument by watching my face. if i hate it i promise you will be able to tell.
turns case is necessary if you don't have a cp (probably necessary even with one)
Link is the most important spot of the disad - if you lose the link you've lost the disad in front of me.
I am slightly more inclined to believe "moral obligation" structural violence 1st framing, but it is rare that I see it debated well so I end up voting on util the majority of the time.
i like pics
No theoretical objections to any counterplans, no matter how abusive. It is the aff's job to prove unfairness via theory. I don't lean heavily to one side or the other on theory
I will judge kick the CP if instructed to do so by the 2nr
i default sufficiency framing unless instructed otherwise.
make your theory of power clear and as long as u have links you'll be in a good spot
line by line > long overview
can be convinced the neg doesnt need an alt to win
perm double bind is not real against any competent negative team.
the best strat the aff can go for in front of me is just a straight up defense of your method. they say your reps are bad, a no link isn't gonna get you very far but proving why your reps are good and necessary will get you miles.
i am pro k aff
preferable if you have an advocacy statement or ballot key warrant.
in most cases i don't think the aff has to win that they start a revolution or an active resistance to solve
My voting record on T usfg is 50% aff 50% neg --- it all comes down to the debating done in the round. I'm biased towards the aff on fairness. I have a hard time believing that K affs make things procedurally unfair, they've been around too long and if you can't debate one that's on you. I will still vote on fairness but you'd be better off explaining what about the specific k aff makes it unfair besides the fact that it doesn't use the usfg.
I prefer strategies that DO NOT center around T usfg --- try out methods fw, a K, a CP, a disad and you will probably be rewarded with higher speaks.
I hate heg good DA's but I have begrudgingly voted on them a few times.
K v K debates
i think i've judged like one of these debates, but i debate in them a lot so you should be fine.
i quite frankly don't care if the aff gets a perm in a methods debate and i change my opinion just about every round i hear that argument so convince me
"cap k" should have specific links besides "anti institutional politics bad"
i did not debate LD but i have a good idea of what's going on.
I AM A VERY BAD JUDGE FOR TRICKS --- READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
read below and take what applies and disregard what doesn't. i am new to judging LD but understand the basics.
that means i'm a particularly good judge for you if you're a "larp" debater although i've found myself to be slightly better at judging traditional rounds lol
i am okay with some theory but you HAVE TO SLOW DOWN AND BE CLEAR. This is where I differ most from my policy paradigm. There is not enough time to maintain a well developed theory argument that is your primary strategy, so you really have to commit to it if you want me to consider voting on it.
--- i am not going to punish traditional debaters for not knowing circuit norms that don't exist in traditional LD so please don't make a theory argument surrounding that your primary strat.
--- If you find yourself in a progressive v traditional round and you ignore or disrespect the other team for not stating agruments in the words you are used to your speaker points will suffer.
I have been really good at judging K aff's in some rounds, and absolutely horrible in others. do with that what you will.
do you, but remember to tell me why i should care about what you're saying as opposed to ur opponent.
do line by line, respond to all arguments, and extend all parts of your arguments, split the block on the neg, and narrow down what you go for in the final speeches and you will be golden.
I will only read evidence that has been implicated in the 2nr and 2ar IF the debate is close. Other than that, I think the debating should be left to the debaters in the room, not authors or coaches who cut the cards.
If you read a great piece of evidence but can't explain the warrants and your opponent reads a mediocre piece of evidence and can, I'm more likely to side with your opponent.
Most points I give are in the 28.3-29 range. I don't give below a 28 unless you barely made arguments and I will never give below a 27.5 unless you've done something egregious. If you get above a 29 i was impressed.
Card clipping = -.5 for every offense
being overly rude or threatening = -1 for every offense
the phrase "cold conceded" = probably will lose like -.2
"judge" = MASSIVE REDUCTION (wont actually affect speaks but pls call me lauren, judge is too formal & makes me uncomf)
"hey lauren I like your [insert thing here]" at any point in the round = +.5
it is perfectly fine if you disagree with my decision, there are times when the debate is close and i end up writing multiple ballots before I decide and I pick the one that makes the most sense to me.
I am okay with questions and statements of disagreement, (ie -- but lauren what about this argument? but if you look at it this way doesn't it warrant an x ballot?) but I draw the line when it gets to the point where I've repeatedly explained my reasoning and you still do not give up. No matter how compelling of a post round argument you make for why I am wrong, I likely won't run to tab to get the ballot changed because I trust my own judgement. If it gets to that point, I will simply ignore you and if the other team has finished asking questions I will leave.
i make a lot of faces while judging, sorry if that bothers you, but you can tell a lot about what I think of your argument by watching me.
i tend to vote with my gut unless the round is incredibly close. it rarely takes me longer than 5 minutes to decide a debate. if it does, the debate was probably super close and put me through a bunch of mental gymnastics
i talk a lot in rfds and i have the tendency to be kinda blunt, i apologize ahead of time
as much as i try to judge in line with this paradigm, sometimes i find myself in new situations where i vote astray. i dont know, its debate, its subjective, no single round will ever be evaluated the exact same way
Debated at KCKCC and Wichita State
Two years of coaching at Wichita State, 3 years at Hutchinson High School in Kansas, two years at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, now at Blue Valley Southwest.
email chain: email@example.com
***Virtual debate*** My rant below still applies, and is probably magnified in a world of online debating. Mic quality is bad. Internet connections fluctuate which could randomly drop the quality of the sound. Keep in the mind the format that you are debating in. This is not the time for going full speed. Slow down. Be clear. Enunciate. If you fail to do those things and I don't catch arguments because of the sound quality, you will likely lose.
I have become increasingly frustrated at the recent debate trend where debaters just read pre-prepared blocks straight from their laptop at full speed with little contextualization to the arguments the other team is making. That frustration is magnified when the 2AR/2NR re-reads things from earlier speeches, at the same speed, while still not contextualizing those arguments to the other team. I appreciate debaters who debate from their flow and use their computers for reading evidence. Three things you should take away from this;
1. you could technically be winning a debate, but if I don't believe that you have clashed with the arguments presented by the other team, I will likely vote against you. Clash is not "they said perm, so insert generic perm 2NC block here". Clash is directly answering the nuances made by the other team.
2. I'm fairly expressive. I'm not going to say clear or tell you to slow down. If you think reading full speed in the 2NR/2AR is how you can convince me to vote for you, you're mistaken. If I'm not able to process the arguments you are making because you are reading full, card speed during a rebuttal, I'm not going to vote for you. I will either miss important things you want me to vote on, or I will spend my energy trying to make sure I can keep up with everything and not think about the arguments.
3. When I've given low speaker points in the last two years, it was because the things that I have mentioned above.
K v. FW - I'm pretty open to most arguments in the debate, but I will be up front and say that I believe the topic is good and important. This is not to say that I will never vote for a critical affirmative, but I am ideologically on the side of debating the topic is a good idea. With that said, I'm probably split pretty much down the middle on my voting record when it comes to K aff vs Framework. Most of the time when I have voted negative its because the affirmative does not adequately deal with the topical version of the aff. When I vote affirmative its because the negative spends most of its time establishing a link, but very little impact explanation and comparison. I do think that fairness is an impact, and don't find arguments about framework creating actual violence against people persuasive.
I don't find "debate bad" arguments persuasive. I've coached teams to say these things, but still don't find them valuable.
DA v. soft left aff - I don't think I've ever voted on the framing page takes out 100% of the disad. I've seen plenty of teams think that because they've read a framing page they don't need to engage the components of the DA and that will always be a losing strategy. Having specific critiques of disadvantages is more compelling to me. Likewise, negative teams reading a bunch of extinction first, util cards and generically extending them does little for me.
K's on the neg - I'm better for K arguments on the negative than K affirmatives. I might expect more link contextualization than some judges. I don't have a problem voting affirmative if I don't believe you have explained a link that makes sense with the aff.
An affirmative saying "duh" to "fiat isn't real" is sufficient, but you still need to defend your method of policy making.
Other things - I default to competing interpretations on topicality and other theoretical arguments. Conditionality is good but will vote on theory if it's well developed. Read disadvantages and counterplans. Case debate is underutilized and will increase your speaker points.
Judge kick - no idea why affirmatives just let negative teams get away with this. It forces the affirmative to give two different 2ARs. I'm not saying I'll just wholesale reject this, but affirmatives should get smarter.
I appreciate multi-plank counterplans that have some evidentiary support for all planks. I don't appreciate multi-plank counterplans that are used to fiat out of solvency deficits or offensive arguments.
More than 5 off case arguments - bad strategy. Makes me grumpy. Lowers your speaker points. Reading a bunch of bad arguments for the sake of reading more arguments is a bad debate trend.
Stop being scared of going for theory against cheating arguments.
Clipping is cheating no matter the intent.
I won't read or flow your inserted re-highlighting.
Debate Coach - University of Michigan, Niles West High School
Institute Instructor - Michigan Debate Institutes
Michigan State University '13
Brookfield Central High School '09
I would like to be on the email chain - my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few top level things:
- If you engage in offensive acts (think racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.), you will lose automatically and will be awarded whatever the minimum speaker points offered at that particular tournament is. This also includes forwarding the argument that death is good because suffering exists. I will not vote on it.
- If you make it so that the tags in your document maps are not navigable by taking the "tag" format off of them, I will actively dock your speaker points.
- Quality of argument means a lot to me. I am willing to hold my nose and vote for bad arguments if they're better debated but my threshold for answering those bad arguments is pretty low. I don't think this makes me a truth over tech judge but I am not willing to assume all "truths" are equally and neutrally "truthful." This is also true of the credibility of your authors.
- I'm a very expressive judge. Look up at me every once in a while, you will probably be able to tell how I feel about your arguments.
- I don't think that arguments about things that have happened outside of a debate or in previous debates are at all relevant to my decision and I will not evaluate them. I can only be sure of what has happened in this particular debate and anything else is non-falsifiable.
Topic specific notes:
Antitrust topic: probably even worse for T-Per Se than I am for the vast majority of silly/arbitrary T arguments out there. I haven't seen any particularly compelling T args on this topic in general because the resolution is word salad that makes it pretty easy to answer for the aff. Generally think regs CPs should be more specific than just "do the plan minus saying the word antitrust but do the exact same thing as the plan otherwise" and am pretty likely to think it either doesn't compete or links to the NB. Love big specific case and DA debates on this topic (including link turns to the aff) - would much rather see those than process CPs or the cap K but I understand the utility/necessity of the latter. I am extremely knowledgeable about the extraterritoriality part of the topic, about average for most core topic affs, poor for patents.
Water topic: I've been much less involved in high school debate this year than in any year previous. I would say that my knowledge of this topic is practically nonexistent. I ran the administrative part of the camp this summer so I did not teach lab, didn't judge any debates, etc. I have judged only a handful of debates on the topic so far and the work I have done this year for HS has been not very topic-specific. As such, you should assume I know basically nothing about the topic and have literally no knowledge of common arguments or community norms.
Online debate: I have a lot of experience with it. I helped develop and run the online Michigan Debate Institute the past two summers, I have helped run a multitude of online tournaments and I have judged MANY online debates. I probably can help you troubleshoot many of the issues you will experience. I will call clear if you are unclear and I will be annoyed if you are talking over one another in cross-x but otherwise I have probably seen whatever problem you're experiencing and am happy to be patient. I will start tech time when you start having computer issues (that includes inability to send email!). My camera will always be on during the debate unless I have stepped away from my computer during prep or while deciding so you should always assume that if my camera is off, I am not there. I added this note because I've had people start speeches without me there.
Ethics: If you make an ethics challenge in a debate in front of me, you must stake the debate on it. If you make that challenge and are incorrect or cannot prove your claim, you will lose and be granted zero speaker points. If you are proven to have committed an ethics violation, you will lose and be granted zero speaker points.
*NOTE - if you use sexually explicit language or engage in sexually explicit performances in high school debates, you should strike me. If you think that what you're saying in the debate would not be acceptable to an administrator at a school to hear was said by a high school student to an adult, you should strike me.
Cross-x: Questions like "what cards did you read?" are cross-x questions. If you don't start the timer before you start asking those questions, I will take whatever time I estimate you took to ask questions before the timer was started out of your prep. If the 1NC responds that "every DA is a NB to every CP" when asked about net benefits in the 1NC even if it makes no sense, I think the 1AR gets a lot of leeway to explain a 2AC "links to the net benefit argument" on any CP as it relates to the DAs.
Translated evidence: I am extremely skeptical of evidence translated by a debater or coach with a vested interest in that evidence being used in a debate. Lots of words or phrases have multiple meanings or potential translations and debaters/coaches have an incentive to choose the ones that make the most debate-friendly argument even if that's a stretch of what is in the original text. It is also completely impossible to verify if words or text was left out, if it is a strawperson, if it is cut out of context, etc. I won't immediately reject it on my own but I would say that I am very amenable to arguments that I should.
Inserting evidence or rehighlightings into the debate: I won't evaluate it unless you actually read the parts that you are inserting into the debate. If it's like a chart or a map or something like that, that's fine, I don't expect you to literally read that, but if you're rehighlighting some of the other team's evidence, you need to actually read the rehighlighting. This can also be accomplished by reading those lines in cross-x and then referencing them in a speech or just telling me about the issues with their card(s) in your speech.
Affirmatives should have a solvency advocate. What that looks like is up for debate. I think debates that stray too far from what a reasonable person would constitute an advocacy for a policy change distort the literature base in ways that make it impossible for the negative to respond to the aff. This is compounded by excruciatingly vague plan texts that enable the aff to "no link" out of what are obvious disads to the affirmative. If your style of debate is built around manipulating and bastardizing literature to create affs that say and defend nothing, I'm probably not the judge for you. I think this vision of debate disincentivizes in-depth negative research. If you refuse to specify what your aff does, I am probably not the judge for you. If you think that saying "a thing is bad" constitutes an aff without saying what your aff does about it, I am a bad judge for you.
Topicality: I enjoy judging topicality debates when they are in-depth and nuanced. Limits are an an important question but not the only important question - your limit should be tied to a particular piece of neg ground or a particular type of aff that would be excluded. I often find myself to be more aff leaning than neg leaning in T debates because I am often persuaded by the argument that negative interpretations are arbitrary or not based in predictable literature.
5 second ASPEC shells/the like that are not a complete argument are mostly nonstarters for me. If I reasonably think the other team could have missed the argument because I didn't think it was a clear argument, I think they probably get new answers. If you drop it twice, that's on you.
Counterplans: For me counterplans are more about competition than theory. While I tend to lean more neg on questions of CP theory, I lean aff on a lot of questions of competition, especially in the cases of CPs that compete on the certainty of the plan, normal means cps, and agent cps.
Over time I have gone from being somewhere in the middle on the question of "does the neg need a solvency advocate for the cp?" and I have found myself very strongly on the side of "yes." A lot of the debates I've judged over the past few years have had the scope of what the neg should get to assert with no evidentiary support go from semi-reasonable to impossible distortions of the literature and REALITY in ways that the aff could never reasonably answer. I DO think what constitutes a solvency advocate for the neg is affected by whether or not the aff has a solvency advocate. For affirmatives that do not have one, my threshold for what I expect the neg to have is much much lower.
I think that CPs should have to be policy actions. I think this is most fair and reciprocal with what the affirmative does. I think that fiating indefinite personal decisions or actions/non-actions by policymakers that are not enshrined in policy is an unfair abuse of fiat that I do not think the negative should get access to. For example: the CP to have Trump decide not to withdraw from NAFTA is not legitimate, while the CP to have Trump announce that a policy that he will not withdraw from NAFTA would be. The CP that has the US declare it will not go to war with China would be theoretically legitimate but the CP to have Trump personally decide not to go to war with China would not be.
Disads: I am not very sympathetic to politics theory arguments (except in the case of things like rider disads, which I might ban from debate if I got the choice to ban one argument and think are certainly illegitimate misinterpretations of fiat) and am unlikely to ever vote on them unless they're dropped and even then would be hard pressed. I'm incredibly knowledgeable about politics and enjoy it a lot when debated well but really dislike seeing it debated poorly.
Conditionality: Conditionality is often good. It can be not. I have found myself to be increasingly aff leaning on extreme conditionality (think many plank cps where all of the planks are conditional + 4-5 more conditional options). Conditionality is the ONLY argument I think is a reason to reject the team, every other argument I think is a reason to reject the argument alone. Tell me what my role is on the theory debate - am I determining in-round abuse or am I setting a precedent for the community?
Kritiks: I consider myself a policymaker unless you tell me otherwise, the implication of that being that if you want me to consider my ballot as something other than advocating a hypothetical policy that would be enacted, you need to explain to me what it is and why that is better than the framework the affirmative is providing. I generally am not persuaded by framework arguments that mean I should completely discount the fiated implications of the affirmative but am often persuaded that I should evaluate the links/impacts to the K against the impact of the aff.
I've gotten simultaneously more versed in critical literature and much worse for the kritik as a judge over the last few years. I think that often times teams who read exclusively critical arguments get away with asserting things as true with no evidence or explanation and judges treat it as a complete argument or incontrovertible truth. I'm not one of those judges.
Your K should ideally be a reason why the aff is bad, not just why the status quo is bad. Specific links are good. Links of omission are not a reason to vote neg. I'd prefer to see a debate about an alt, not just a framework arg, but it isn't a strong preference.
Yes the aff gets a perm, no it doesn't need a net benefit.
Fiat double bind = thumbs down frowny face
Affs without a plan: I generally go into debates believing that the aff should defend a hypothetical policy enacted by the United States federal government. I think debate is a research game and I struggle with the idea that the ballot can do anything to remedy the impacts that many of these affs describe.
I certainly don't consider myself immovable on that question and my decision is likely to be governed by what happens in any given debate; that being said, I don't like when judges pretend to be fully open to any argument in order to hide their true thoughts and feelings about them and so I would prefer to be honest that these are my predispositions about debate, which, while not determinate of how I judge debates, certainly informs and affects it.
I would describe myself as a VERY good judge for T-USFG against affs that do not read a plan. I find impacts about debatability, clash, iterative testing and fairness to be very persuasive. I think fairness is an impact in and of itself. I am not very persuaded by impacts about skills/the ability for debate to change the world if we read plans - I think these are not very strategic and easily impact turned by the aff.
I generally am pretty sympathetic to negative presumption arguments because I often think the aff has not forwarded an explanation for what the aff does to resolve the impacts they've described.
I think when teams are aff against T-USFG in front of me, counter-defining words + offense that explains why I should prefer your interp is more persuasive than just impact turns.
I don't think debate is roleplaying.
I am uncomfortable making decisions in debates where people have posited that their survival hinges on my ballot.
H.H. Dow High School class of 2020 graduate.
Put me on the email chain, my email is email@example.com
I debated policy for three years. I mostly debated trad, but I would say I have a decent understanding of theory.
Please slow down as I have found it is a lot harder to catch spreading online.
Tech > truth
I'm not a huge fan of K's, but if you explain it well I may vote on it.
Currently coaching at Michigan State University
Previously coached at Wayne State University (2010-2019)
Debated at Wayne State (2005-2009)
BruceNajor@Gmail.com for email chains
How I Judge:
What follows cannot be changed through "better debating"
-- Just because you said words doesn't mean you've made an argument. I reserve the right to not vote on statements when they are absolutely lacking in validity or soundness.
-- I'm mostly a paper flow. I use my flow to consider arguments I evaluate as well as cards I prioritize in the post-round. I don't follow the doc when I flow, so a poor presentation of arguments, be it a lack of clarity or a stream of consciousness that does not comport itself to shorthand translation, makes it difficult for me to write down what you say. If I don't have what you said written down, I'm not going to search for it in your docs.
-- I hear very poorly over the sound of background noise. If at all possible, please try to debate in a quiet place.
-- I have no desire to vote on disclosure-based arguments. I'm here to judge a debate, not be the disclosure police. The includes things like "you're not on the wiki / new affs bad / how come you're reading a different aff this round" etc. Flow the 1AC. Debate the 1AC.
-- Yes on "insert re-highlighting," but you have to be right. If I think your insertion of the evidence doesn't match what you're saying, I won't require an answer. If you're mad because I'm letting your opponent insert a politics link from your "no fed modeling" card, read better evidence.
What follows, I would suggest, matters slightly more than "on the margins" or "all else being equal" but are not unmovable opinions.
-- I'll vote on T vs "K" affs. The argument that the affirmative should propose hypothetical USFG policy change expanding the scope of AT laws is, on its merits, very persuasive to me. I think of "procedural fairness" as an impact moreso than the median judge in these debates. I find affirmative strategies that center around counter-definitions w/ counter-standards to be more persuasive than ones where the affirmative posits that the role of the aff is to either affirm OR negate the resolutional prompt.
-- I'll vote on T against "policy" affs. I'm not normally persuaded by contrived violations like "substantial" but if you have ev contextual to the resolution, I'm not terrible for a T 2NR.
-- I struggle as a judge with K-alt solvency and K-framework. I find myself much more aff than my colleagues on the perm/alt double-bind, and I often find unpersuasive K-frameworks that reject considering the hypothetical implementation of the 1AC. I am more persuaded by K-frameworks that establish an impact hierarchy, but I often struggle to vote neg in these spots when the 2NR does not address any of the case. K arguments that collapse to impact turns in the 2NR often are more persuasive to me because they resolve the K-alt / K-framework issues I have, but case rejoinder burden is still high in these spots.
-- Neg alts / CPs must present an opportunity cost. It can be strategic to test what it means to be competitive, but arguing "affs don't get to challenge competition" is very unpersuasive to me.
-- I rarely see counterplans that leave open the option of fiating implementation of the aff as an opportunity cost.
-- "Perm do both" can mean different things. Negative teams ought to force a commitment from the aff otherwise the 1AR has a lot of leeway to define the function of the perm (so long as it includes "both")
-- If the 1NC doesn't present a complete argument the 1AR can make new responses. This includes dangling disads and CP planks without a solvency component.
-- More neg on conditionality than the community norm. It's hard for me to grasp why the practice of one conditional CP is any worse than 2 or 5 or a dozen. When I've voted aff (and it's not dropped) it's because the affirmative successfully indicted the practice, not because they established some arbitrary litmus test on what constitutes "good" vs "bad" conditionality.
-- Despite being more neg than my colleagues on conditionality, I am more aff on "judge-kick". That said, while I think the arguments in favor of limiting the negative to one 2NR world are more logical, often times negative teams define conditionality in such a way that affirmatives are behind in this debate.
-- I'm more neg than many of my colleagues on the level of fiat neg teams are entitled to. I think my dispositions are fairly more neg than the community norm on; states, international, multiple actors and negative action. I think my dispositions are much closer to the community norm (aff) on private actor and object fiat.
-- The threshold for uniqueness / thumpers and the magnitude of the impact all center around the link.
-- I still carry the "try-or-die" flag. Negs without CPs need to have an arg for why the SQ is sustainable. Affs ought not extend just "DA not unique" in the 2AR.
If you are a novice, none of these things apply to you. please just do your best. Your speaks are solely dependent on you being kind and nice to everyone in the room.- I don't need to be on the email chain! You kiddos amaze me every day!
(Policy, Public Forum, then LD)
I'm Subbi and I do Policy debate at the University of Iowa. GO HAWKS I debated for 3 years at Niles West.
First things first, make arguments you are comfortable and happy with. This is an activity that is inherently for the students participating in it. Read what you want to read and tell me why it matters and why I should vote on it. That being said please don't say racist/sexist/ableist language during a round. I'm just not gonna vote on racism good. I also just want to say that while I will adjudicate all types of arguments, I am kritikal afropess debater almost all the time. This means that I understand this literature the best, this does not mean that I'm just going to vote for you because you want to "burn it down." I have high expectations and lots of love for teams that read afro-pess. (Don't read Heg good, I will not vote on that arg, Thanks!!)
@Both Aff and Neg- Making fewer arguments that are extremely warranted is better than making more arguments that are not as warranted. I love common sense arguments and analytics. I don't think you need a card for every argument you make. If you make a persuasive analytic I'm all for that. I think debaters should be able and be encouraged to make arguments outside of cards. I prefer structural impacts over extinction level impacts if you do make an extinction impact, have a really good internal link chain analysis.
@Policy Aff- Policy affs are really precise and garner GOOD SKILLS and I love them. I LOVE theory and I have a very low threshold for voting on it. I don't like really long case overviews. I will always weigh the affirmative unless told otherwise by the Neg. Winning against a one-off K in front of me requires you to at least win the Perm and a no link argument. I am very biased towards structural and ontological impacts like I don't think extinction outweighs everyday mundane violence, that being said have impact defense.
@Non-Traditional Affirmatives- Non-traditional affirmatives are really fun give good EDUCATION and I love them. Non-Traditional Affs don't have to win that the Ballot is key in front of me, I will hold them to the same standard I hold the policy affs to, which is "you have to prove that the aff is a good idea. I need the aff to at least be reasonably within the bounds of the resolution.
@Policy Neg- Please don't read spark, death good, or PIC/KS.
@K Neg- If you're a one-off K team, please have a good explanation of your Links. You don't need to win an Alt in front of me to win the K, but you have to win impacts and framing, and why your theory means the aff can not solve or turns the case. Please have great answers to the permutation because I think most times the permutation is probably good, and I admit that I lean aff when it comes to permutations In one-off rounds.
@Negs Vs Non-Traditional Affs- If your ammo against non-traditional affs is two off cap and FW, lose the cap in front of me and just read external impacts that the aff can't solve but can be solved by core policy education. Case debates are really good against Non-traditional affs, Utilitarian framing is good, survival strategies are bad, No root cause. All of these are valid and good arguments to read. Don't drop the case ever. Don't let the aff weigh the entire aff against FW because they will almost always win. I like framework debates where the impact isn't fairness but education and skills. If you go for a Kritik against these Kinds of Affirmatives, I will have a high threshold for the aff being able to get a permutation, especially if they don't have an advocacy statement, but you must make this argument. Also, contextualize your Links to their theory/aff.
@cross ex- Look at me and don't laugh at your opponent's answer. Many people have done this with me in the back and it really hurts your ethos. Please be nice to each other, I have hella feelings and I don't wanna vote up a mean team.
Ethos, puns, and creativity. I mean obviously clarity too, but if you make me laugh in your round. I'm gonna give you all the speaker points. I'm definitely a points fairy but Y'all deserve them and I'm so proud of all of you.
- On god don't steal prep, I am also timing and I will tank your speaks so hard
-Cx is a speech- Brian Rubaie 2k16
-I will never judge kick, ever.
-Don't steal prep.
-Have Fun :)
-I'm here to protect the 2NR.
-Will vote you down if you own Air Pods!!
-fam the wilder your alt, the higher the speaks lol.
- I have a low threshold for presumption
Hey, I actually love and prefer judging PF. People in PF are a lot more polite and they always acknowledge me in the round and I like that.
PRO- Strongly prefer if pro always goes first in speeches and in the crossfire. I think to me a good pro is very persuasive and organized. I would prefer if you have two well-written and well-explained advantages rather than a bunch of shallow ones. I don't need you to extend everything in every speech but you should definitely have your points in the last two speeches if you want me to consider them.
CON- I think I am CON-leaning but that doesn't mean this is an easy ballot. You should offer good counterexamples, and directly answer their points in the last 3 speeches. I prefer that you have less defensive arguments and are more focused on proving the pro harmful.
Crossfire- You get a question, they get a question, then you get a follow-up. I hate hate hate when someone dominates the crossfire and doesn't allow for the other person to question, very rude. Will drop your speaks.
NOTES- I am fine with speed, I will reward politeness. Thank you for debating for me!
Hi so I have only judged a few rounds of LD, I think I have a good enough grasp on what is going on. I give a lot of leeway for the pro because they have a very short speech when answering a very long one. I prefer if this wasn't a debate about super old philosophers. That's right, I am NOT here for a Kant vs Locke debate. Most of these philosophers were super racist and if you want to talk philosophy there are philosophers today that you can reference. That being said, I will judge these debates and try not to bring my "feelings" into this because, at the end of the day, this is about what the kiddos want.
Niles West '14
I coach for Niles West debate and have for the past 6 years. I have coached and judged in every level from novice to elimination rounds in varsity divisions. I have also coached and judged on local, regional, and national circuits.
Yes, I would like to be sent speech docs but I will not be flowing off of them --- firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated for three years for Niles West and one year at Michigan State University on the legalization topic. My experience in debate is 50/50 policy and K.
I would like to emphasize that I am totally down for the K as much as I am totally down for a policy debate.
First and foremost: I do not allow my preconceived notions about certain types of arguments affect my decision-making. I view debate as an activity that develops critical thinking and advocacy skills, so do that in whatever way you think is best suited for your situation (granted that it is respectful and not offensive).
FYI: dropped arguments are not true arguments --- whoever makes the argument has the burden of proof.
T – love a good T debate. compare interpretations and evidence adequately. the impact level is the most important to me in T debates, and you should be comparing standards/impacts. don't forget the internal link debate. fairness is an impact in and of itself.
DAs – are essential to a good debate I think. impact calc and overviews are important. think we can all agree on that.
Ks and Framework – I love the K, I went for it a lot in high school. they are good for debate *if they answer the affirmative*. Please engage the affirmative. This entails making specific link arguments as well as thorough turns case analysis. I am probably familiar with your literature, however, I will not weigh your buzzwords more than logical aff arguments against your K. If you want my ballot, you need to first and foremost TALK ABOUT THE AFF. Read specific links to the aff’s representations and impacts, not just to the topic in general.
The link debate is crucial – and the aff should recognize if the neg is not doing an adequately specific job explaining their link story. Additionally, you need to make turns case arguments. I will not be compelled by a mere floating pik in the 2NR – that’s cheating. Give me analysis about why the aff reifies its own impacts. Absent this, I usually default to weighing the 1AC heavily against the K.
Relating to framework, I have a high threshold for interpretations that limit out critiques entirely. I would rather see debaters interact with the substance of the criticism than talk shallowly about fairness and predictability (especially if it is a common argument). A lot of the times, framework debates are lazy.
Planless affs: Totally down for them, especially on the criminal justice system reform topic. Perhaps they could be read on the neg, but that does not mean that they should not be read on the aff. This is good news if you are negative going for framework because switch side debate probably solves a lot of aff offense if there is a topical version of the aff. This is also good news for the aff because I can just as likely be persuaded that the reading of your aff in the debate space creates something unique (i.e., whatever you are solving for). A policy action, whether or not it's done by the federal government, should be a priority for the aff to defend. Please just do something that gives the negative a role in the debate. SLOW DOWN on taglines if they are paragraphs.
1. Clarity (important for online debate) - I've changed my stance on this since online debate became a thing. Still definitely say words. Sending analytics in speech doc and/or slowing down on analytics 1) helps me which is, in turn, good for you and 2) (at worst) facilitates clash because your opponents can also hear and know what you are saying, which is also good for everyone educationally!
Ideally I would not have to work too hard to hear what you are saying. I am bad at multitasking, so if I’m working too hard I’ll probably miss an argument or two. Please enunciate tag lines especially. If I can’t decipher your answer to an argument, I will consider it dropped.
2. Be respectful – yes, debate is a competitive activity, but it is also an academic thought exercise. I encourage assertiveness and confidence in round, but if you are rude, I will reduce your speaker points. Rudeness includes excessively cutting your opponent off or talking over them in cross-ex, excessively interrupting your partner's speech to prompt them, being unnecessarily snarky towards your opponents, etc. Please just be nice :)
3. Logic - a lot of times, debaters get wrapped up in the technicality of their debates. While tech is important, it shouldn’t come at the expense of doing things like explaining your arguments, pointing out logical flaws in your opponents’ arguments, and telling me how I should evaluate a particular flow in the context of the whole debate. I tend to reward teams that provide consistent, clear, and smart meta-level framing issues – it makes my job 100 times easier, and it minimizes the extent to which I have to intervene to decide the debate. I will not do work for you on an argument even if I am familiar with it – I judge off of my flow exclusively.
4. DO NOT assume that I am following along on the speech doc as you are giving a speech, because I am probably not.
Put me on the chain.
Debated 3 years at Shawnee Mission East HS. Currently a sophomore debating at KU.
My job is to adjudicate the flow with minimal intervention. Optimal debate involves organization, impact calc, judge instruction, line-by-line, and evidence comparison. Few things that I've listed below are immutable, and my attitude towards most positions can be reversed by persuasive debating. Do your thing.
Here are my preferences:
Please have your camera on the entire debate if possible. If you're uncomfortable with it or having technical difficulties, that's fine.
Generally, neg-ish on theory:
---I don't think CPs need carded advocates, but not having one is likely to implicate solvency
---Competition derived from certainty, immediacy, or normal means is likely bad
---Will evaluate re-highlightings until someone contests it, which they should
---I flow CX. "What cards did you read?" is a CX question. "Where did you mark this card?" is not.
---Don't cut undergrads. Or high schoolers. I'll evaluate these cards as analytics.
---Bigotry in front of me will guarantee a loss.
---Generally more lenient with new 1AR arguments than most, especially if the 1NC is big.
Practices that will have a negative impact on your speaks:
---re-reading constructive blocks in rebuttals
---deliberately avoiding line-by-line
---spreading your blocks at full speed
Practices that will have a positive impact on your speaks:
---vertical argument development
Pet peeves that bother me but will have no impact on my decision/your speaker points:
---"run" to refer to reading an argument
---saying the letter abbreviation of CP ("see pee")
Here are my general leanings:
1---Tech over truth. My role is to adjudicate the debate in favor of who did the better debating with minimal intervention. I am willing to hold my nose and vote for arguments I think are bad.
2---Aff: I believe affs should have a solvency advocate, and the absence of one will dramatically lower the threshold for negative evidence quality.
3---DAs: The more they clash with the affirmative, the better.
Politics debates can be really, really great. Given the high school topic committee's tendency to pick resolutions that leave the negative with exclusively neg ground written by racists---or no neg ground at all---they are crucial balancing mechanisms that can carry entire topics. But when your neg strat begins to revolve around power-tagged cards derived from cryptic articles about the Secretary of Defense, you'll begin to lose me.
Intrinsicness is a meme until it's not.
I'm happy to vote for you. Out-tech the other team and you'll win.
You are most likely to be successful if you develop 2-4 diverse links and consistently articulate your theory of power. Reading links to the plan, drawing lines from the 1AC, and articulating turns case analysis will substantially increase your speaks and likelihood of winning.
By god, please do not use rhetoric in your tags or blocks that isn't in your literature base. "Borrowing" terms from black/indigenous studies to describe arguments that are not about black/indigenous people is especially nauseating.
I am least experienced with method debates, but am happy to judge them. My only requirement in these debates is that you negate the desirability of something in the 1AC---I will be extremely skeptical of negative strategies that generate offense off of omission.
5---Topicality: My thoughts here are conventional: limits are good, precise limits are even better.
Reasonability is the argument that the substance crowd-out created by going topicality outweighs the number of affirmatives excluded by the neg's interp. I think of this as, if nothing else, impact framing; it requires you have a C/I that you meet.
I find that CPs that leverage immediacy, certainty, or normal to generate competition are escape hatches to avoid clash. BUT I understand that sometimes topics are massive and that the high school resolution commonly leaves the neg of without ground. Process hence becomes a reluctant but necessary backstop.
I judge competition by the plan's mandate. Spill-up or spillover arguments do not render a CP non-competitive.
PICing out of something in the plantext is fine.
7---Case: No aff solves. The fact neg teams are often reluctant to prove that is a critical mistake. Good case debating wins debates and will lead me to boost your speaks.
Soft-left affs: Framing debates are frequently superficial. Good framing debates (oxymoron) involve comparison of your model of ethics---the advantages and disadvantages to each.
8---Planless or kritikal affirmatives:
I'll vote for you. Your best angle against topicality involves a C/I, a defense of a clearly-articulated model of debate, and one to three central points of well-impacted offense.
I consider K affs that defend impact-turnable positions more persuasive on T.
Topicality is not a "reverse-voting issue" if the neg kicks it.
9---Framework: Go for whichever impact you prefer, though my personal take is that skills impacts are inferior to fairness standards. I find presumption compelling.
T could be different from framework, but any conceptual distinction between the two seems difficult to maintain given their colloquial interchangeability.
10---CX: I flow it. Weaponize CX to lower the threshold for CP solvency, stick the aff to debating impact turns, etc. Doing so will boost your speaks.
11---I will reward speaker points for evidence and warrant comparison, ethos, not lying, strategic pushes in CX, and being funny.
12---Clipping, claiming to have read cards you didn't, etc---will guarantee a loss. I'm not a stickler about certain things; accidentally skipping a word or two happens sometimes. That is distinct from bypassing entire lines or passages. That is premeditated cheating, which will not be tolerated.
Have fun. Judging is a privilege.
I'm a very very old boomer boom boom, turning to dust. My old paradigm was deleted because people couldn't read iambic pentameter. That's an L for our education sphere
1. Fairly Tab. DO w/e u wish and I eval if you won it on the flow
2. Make it interesting, K / Theory w/e u want. Framing is the only path to the ballot. Blips will be flowed but prolly not voted on. Everything needs a warrant + implication.
3. If u paraphrase, u have bad ev. Ev ethics are the most important thing for me. L20 if u don't cut cards. All you need to say is "IT'S AN IVI for ev ethics, research only portable skill in debate". so for those who can't read, if someone paraphrases read theory, it's almost a guaranteed win unless u mess up reading the shell REALLY BAD. I will do a bit of work for you on it.
4. I require speech docs before every speech that uses cards. Docs must include cards AND rhetoric (if you're a heathen and paraphrase). If your opponent doesn't give docs read theory. Speech Doc theory is a TKO. Even irl give speech docs for evidence.
5. Be a good person. It's not really that hard lol
General Information about me:
Hi I'm Srikar (Shree kerr and in curry), please notice that my name isn't "Judge". I did Public Forum, extemp, and UIL CX at A&M Consolidated for 4 years with the tallest man alive Lurz Deutz. I was a fairly "tech" debater and am comfortable with most arguments.
Giving records is cringe but people ask me soooooooooo----
Search it up if you're so interested u little stalker.
Put me on the email chain: Srikartirumala@gmail.com
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE email me before round if there are accessibility concerns! Especially pronouns: I am MORE THAN HAPPY to request for everyone in the round to use gender-neutral pronouns if requested, and please respect pronouns. For me accessibility is a level above the round itself and if I need to stop the round because it is becoming unsafe I shall.
I'm fairly tab. But no one is ever full tab, as I will not vote up arguments that are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. This also includes I will assume everything is responsive unless you tell me otherwise. Aka, it is your job to do everything for me, I will just look at flow and not care if it is responsive if it is signposted on a contention and has a warrant-- I will value it. It needs a response for me to not evaluate it. Weighing is a must and is the only path to the ballot. I think judge grilling is good, but if the tournament is running late I may cut this short a bit. U can always message me or come up to me and ask about your rounds.
EXTEND CARD NAMES AND WARRANTS!!! Also a form of ev weighing is card>Paraphrase, I consider this weighing
Disclosure is a good norm, speech docs good norm, paraphrasing is a bad norm, making rounds inaccessible with theory is bad norm. I will still up, might hurt your speaks however. Everything can be phrased in a way anyone can understand if you try hard enough.
PLEASE IF YOUR OPPONENTS ARE HEATHENS READ PARAPHRASE THEORY! I will be tab no matter what but I do not see myself ever wanting to vote up paraphrase good.
If your opponents hyperlink or do not cut their cards that's a TKO if you make it a voter. I won't stop the round but I will stop flowing. You will not win if you do not cut cards. Kids, it's legit in NSDA rules lol, this is a TKO
Honestly SPEECH DOCS, ev exchange is atrocious and I'm considering making this a TKO. If you're gonna be heathens are paraphrase and u don't wanna get dunked on by theory sending speech docs is probably a good idea.
Establish Content Warnings before round. People have their contacts on Wiki, and hopefully, issues they will opt out of there as well. Lack of content warnings aren't a TKO for me. Depending on the severity of the case, I will KILL your speaks, or err HEAVILY towards theory or an IVI. If I can do anything to make the round safer just contact me before round and I'll do whatever. If something has been established as impeding the safety of the round and a team still does it, it's a TKO. I will stop flowing, so please call a TKO.
I can't believe I have to put this here, but please put pronouns on tabroom! I don't want any1 to misgender you and I definitely don't want to on accident. I will prolly err HEAVILY towards some procedural about this.
Clarity is not a weighing mechanism and will make me sad and lose you speaks.
Don't ask to preflow that's something that should be done before round that's the same as "give me 5 minutes need to cut 3 cards for my Underview". Tbh 4 minutes after round starts / flip ends. I will take 0.5 speaks off per minute. Don't waste time.
Strike me if you
1. Fake evidence / do not cut your cards (you know who you are)
2. Think I'm going to buy your "persuasive appeal" BS, speaks are a construct and don't matter in a W/L
3. You are going to run problematic arguments, I won't deal with them. I don't like to intervene on the flow, but I will in these cases. I might even physically stop the round depending on how bad it is.
4. You're going to read trix expecting me to know what you are saying. I'm fine with them (don't love them) but just explain it to me.
5. You're gonna spread but aren't clear in the SLIGHTEST and expect me to just follow off the doc. If there's a doc I'll go to it only to read ev but ur tags better be clear. This is speech and debate if ur not clear, ur not speaking.
6. Think I'm gonna like you calling for 1000 pieces of ev. It's called a speech doc y'all.
7. Are going to read "debaters must paraphrase/paraphrase good theory" -- adding this one for you Anish. I'll vote off it but please just strike me for my own mental health.
1-5, 3+ I like. I will literally vote on anything, including the sky green so no indo-pak war.
Go crazy, idc. I mostly LARPed in HS
- not much to say, I read fw in HS a lot. I never really did LD, so if I'm in judging it, please explain phil? I'm actually really confused and bad at phil debate. Tbh, if i'm judging you and you are going to read phil, please just treat me as a lay judge (just on the fw, u can spread or do w/e later).
- If I believe theory is frivolous, I might not give you good speaks. Make sure it's accessible. I used to read theory like crazy in HS. I am 100% fine if you read it in shell or paragraph form, that's your choice.
- I completely tab on most theory args unless it's p obvious it's friv against K or against a novice. I'mma hold you to a high burden when it comes to extensions in these cases. I tend to err towards paraphrase bad and disclosure good but I will not hack at all. I've read both paragraph theory and shell in HS so I'm ok with w/e u are. If you are in Policy./LD where there are a billion different AFFs, I think disclosure is definitely a good norm. If you are in Policy/LD I expect better if you paraphrase and ur speaks are gone.
Dude, Condo is Dispo don't try and cap otherwise.
K : 4
- I started reading more Kritical arguments my senior year, this being said, any argument can be explained properly. I tend to err towards K over T, but I'll be tab. High theory is fine dumb it down. If I'm confused over the K, it means ur OV or your extension wasn't good enough or explained well, and I'll probably vote on something cleaner.
- Note, I rarely read K in policy, I was more of a LARPER, but I will probably understand most of what you are saying if you bother to try to explain it to me. This means get rid of a lotta the K-specific jargon "e.g. state of exception". I'll understand some of the stuff i'm familiar with but still be careful. In policy / LD though you need to really explain the K. I’m going to be lost if ur just spreading cards. The 1NR/2NC needs to have REALLY good OV extension that REALLY explains your theory.
- I am fairly familiar with Set Col, Sec, Orientalism, Imperialism, Neolib, and Cap to a degree, but I'll buy k about anything just PLEASE don't just spread ur usually jargony OV.
Plans/CP : 5
- IN ANY EVENT These are perfectly ok in my mind, I will buy a good plan bad theory tho. All u have to prove is that the plan potentially could be viable, some sort of implementation or actor and I think the theory doesn't apply. I am fine if u just tell me a counter plan to the AFF/Neg, and defend that it's good. Rules are meant to be broken if they are bad so a response to a CP can't be "NsDa RuLeS sAy No CP" give me a reason why I should uphold that norm.
- I prolly think process CPs are another method of doing the plan.
- All good,weigh them!
If you want me to vote neg on presumption/AFF risk of solvency/1st speaking team -- warrant out why, don't just yell this. Aka IL how how the trick applies to your presumption, lot of people, miss this. Don't j be like "EMPIRICUS 2 BC *Breath* fehhfuiewhfewhfewfhewewh. Ok next trick"
I think especially in PF this is a bad strat but in LD / Policy I guess I get it a bit more.
I started keeping tally of how many times I voted for Trix: IIIIII
- PF spread fine, I am cool with full policy spread, just make tags distinct from cards ("AND", Slow down). If you aren't sure how distinct your tags are from cards, just speech doc. Also make sure the opponent can understand, or speaks might be hurt. I will call clear twice, then I will give up. People ask what I can flow, I can probably flow up to 300 wpm without a speech doc with card names.
- I will probably not need to use your doc, make your tags really clear, and if ur not clear when spreading I will clear you. if I clear your thrice, your are capped at a 27.
Performance/Non T AFFs : 4
You need to make the ROTB very clear and win it. also PLEASE READ A LINK! Why is the ballot needed? What is my role as the judge? Also like how does ur case link into the ROTB? Make it very clear. Honestly I tend to err K > T so this might be a good strat, but make sure you are ready to win the AFF. Also please tell me why your method is uniquely key.
- If you are hitting a non T aff it isn't enough to tell me the rules are something I must maintain, I say screw the rules unless u tell me why the rules are good.
- Absent presumption warrants given in speech, I default to whoever lost the coinflip.
- Line by line only please
- Defense is NOT sticky
- 2nd Rebuttal must frontline ALL responses from 1st
- saves us all time. Typical rules apply, if there's a path to the ballot, you L20, if none, W30.
1. A procedural on no speech docs is a TKO vs a team that does not disclose or a team that spreads.
2. Bad evidence is a TKO
3. No cut cards is a TKO
4. Problematic language is a TKO. This includes misgendering or anything of that form. I don't understand why some judges DON'T make this a TKO?
5. Any IVI on a team that says "prefiat offense is bad" is basically a TKO, I won't stop round but lol I'm not going to flow responses to it.
So here I think it's important to know where I did policy back in the day, which was UIL 5A policy, I did fairly well there, but you're basically free to run anything you think your old school policy judges will buy.
Dude I don't know Phil don't make me use my brain, explain it to me like I am a lay judge and I can vote off it.
Compared to PF I am not as familiar with k. I am 100% fine (and love) voting off it, however, you're gonna need to explain it to me REALLY REALLY WELL. In HS I LARPED typically, and I probably understand that better. PLEASE TREAT ME LAY if you are going to read K. I'm not so dumb that I will just stare at you, but I need to know how different items interact.
In the wise words of Owen Phoenix-Flood "If u spread Deleuze prepare to deLOSE my ballot" bc I prolly won't understand
I'm probably gonna be lost in a trix debate.
I'm p good with speed, but I'm not gonna look at your doc unless I need to. Ie- BE CLEAR and slow down for tags!
CX is binding. Don't ask "where did u finish doc" in CX, if they say "I finished it all" and they clearly didn't please just flow lol.
Post round me / ask questions as much as you want. Here is something interesting though. If you think I made the wrong decision AND You can convince me otherwise, I will change my decision, but you must make it clear that you are trying to change my decision. I don't wanna deal with "I have 1 billion questions". If you think I'm big dumb and I need to change my decision, you're allowed to trade 1/2 a speak for 3 minutes of post-rounding. I have no issue changing my decision. Judges should be kept accountable for their decisions. I add this here because I have never been persuaded against my decision in post rounding, if I like completely forgot that you extended an argument or something this could work, but again, this probably will never happen I think I'm p decent at flowing. I also will take time to make sure I didn't forget about your 5-second blip (even though it's prolly under warranted and under implicated lol).
I basically judge this like any other event so don't ask for "paradigms" lol. Basically constructive like policy, rebuttals like rebuttals in policy.
I will intervene in __ conditions.
1. You try to win off a racist/sexist/homophobic etc. argument. A good example of this is "racism is a democratic value".
2. Both teams don't give a path to the ballot (I intervene here by coinflip presumption)
3. There is a 100% conceded link chain, I will give a lil leeway on warranting (if there is even a piece of mitigation, and the FULL link chain isn't extended, I will not vote off the argument).
4. Someone tells me to gut check / intervene on an argument (and there isn't a response)
5. There is an argument that is severely under warranted. if it's conceded and the weighing is clear I'll vote on it still hesitantly. If I can't understand something or how it interacts in the round it's really hard for me to vote on.
I will call for cards in 3 events:
1. I just am interested and want to read
2. I am told to explicitly
3. You change your evidence to become some god card that answers all.
4. YOU ARE PARAPHRASING HEATHENS AND I WANT TO SEE HOW BAD U FAKED EV (but I won't intervene if ur opponents didn't call u out, but I'll make sure they know it was fake for future rounds).
I will not vote off evidence unless the round was horrible or I was told to call for it, but if I still call for it and it was bad, I might make note of it
Every minute you come late to round is a speaker point off
A good speaker is one who signposts, weighs, does comparative analysis, and has good evidence ethics.
If you don’t give speech docs you’re capped at a 29 -- more for online debate, but I think the same should be said for in person.
If you paraphrase with speech docs you’re capped at a 28
If you paraphrase with no speech docs you’re capped at a 27
Each minute you take to "find a card" which is wasting everyone's time is 0.5 speaks off
If you want to avoid this cap read a warrant why you should get 30 speaks and extend it through speeches. This is the price for heathenism.
Some speaks boost.
Don't do GCX
Play Hype Music (+0.5 if I like the music if not you just look cool get some perceptual dominance)
Do a speech while doing pushups (+0.5)
Take no prep (+1)
Cursing (+ how colourful the language is)
Your speaks will magically rise if you bring food, use a table tote , and if you don't call me "judge".
Here is a list of acceptable food:
---Cookies, Chips etc
--- If u bring foods that contain meat products L20. If there isn't vegetarian-friendly food, chew out the tournament.
Anything else that might entertain me will also increase your speaks. Don't be too serious debate is a game -- have fun!
For me, content is about 48% and presentation is the rest, this is a speech event after all.
I value a good substructure with fluid transitions between.
A lot of extempers don't really warrant their statistics, have good warranted analysis and don't just throw facts at me.
I follow the news a lil bit, so don't try and tell me something that is 100% false (like Donald Trump has a high approval rating).
I'll prolly be tired from judging debate events, or just be tired because I don't sleep so a solid AGD goes a long way.
If we are still online please just time yourself, if we are in person I’ll time as well and give y’all 3 down. If u want something different let me know.
Some cool peps:
Allen Zhang - Goat status
Richard Li - 2nd only to Allen
If you have any further questions, or wanna talk about your round email me at Srikartirumala@gmail.com
If you scroll this far pull up a meme on ur laptop and hold it up during cross. If I laugh, you get a boost, if not I dock your speaks for being cringe. If ur in speech haha time sucked. This part does NOT APPLY TO ONLINE DEBATE
add me to the chain: email@example.com
last updated: 12/19/2021 (additions to misc, fixing typos)
background: minneapolis south ‘19 (toc), light coaching for minneapolis south in ‘19-20. primarily ran kritikal arguments as a 2n/double 2.
online debate: 20% slower please! if my camera is off i’m not there, you can always reach me via email.
tldr: you do you; i will be happiest judging whatever you find exciting/strategic and have spent quality time researching! facilitating a healthy and educational environment* > tech > truth. my voting record in clash debates is pretty even.
how i judge
- flow first. i try to minimize judge intervention as much as possible in my decisions; i won’t write a ballot on an argument that wasn’t made in-round and i try not to impose my opinion on what is true, with the exception of harmful/oppressive arguments.
- arguments need a warrant and impact to be taken into consideration.
- i really love judge instruction. i start creating my decision by identifying the key framing questions of the debate, which means instructing me on what you believe the key issues are, how you believe arguments interact with each other, and engaging in comparative analysis will help you tremendously. small, technical arguments that take out the opposing team’s claims can also factor heavily in my decisions.
- evidence: i read evidence i think is interesting throughout the debate. i won’t incorporate my thoughts on your evidence quality into my rfd unless it’s necessary to resolve an argument, but assuming completely even debating (very rare), i default to the team with the stronger cards. (given the importance of pre-round preparation in advanced policy debate, debaters who spend time finding good evidence should be rewarded.) i think a certain degree of judge intervention is inevitable in debates over ev quality and that that intervention is necessary to maintain reasonable debates (ex. you can't blatantly lie about what a card says if the other team points out you're lying).
- *ethical considerations: prioritizing ‘facilitating a healthy and educational environment’ means if someone is being harmful/oppressive in-round i reserve the right to auto L with the lowest speaks possible. however, i prefer to presume ignorance over intentional harm and avoid using the ballot as a punitive instrument. i can’t adjudicate over things that happened outside of the round. if i catch you clipping, i will drop your speaks regardless of whether the other team points it out.
- speaks: ~28.5-6 is average, ~29.2+ is deserving of a speaker award. being clear, knowing your evidence, making strategic decisions, hard-hitting cx questions/answers -> high speaks. obviously not flowing the debate -> low speaks.
notable thoughts, preferences & biases
fwk: i personally believe education and self-actualization are the ‘telos’ of debate, but you can persuade me that procedural fairness is a terminal impact. tvas don’t need to solve the aff but they should be able to solve at least of the aff’s offense on framework. i genuinely don’t have a preference between the aff going for impact turns and/or counter-interps/models.
kritiks: framework is either irrelevant or filters almost all of the offense on the k flow. tech > truth means i won’t create my own arbitrary framework interpretation. the more specific your analysis is to the opposing team’s arguments, the better chance you have of winning. i am more easily persuaded by links that prove the aff is worse than the status quo/2nrs that make heavy framework and epistemology pushes than presumption focused strategies. aff teams could generally improve their link answers, and neg teams could generally improve their alt solvency.
t: i really appreciate model comparisons (caselists, lost/gained neg ground, etc.). please define what reasonability means if you go for it. i don't have a ton of topic knowledge - will need extra explanation for acronyms and topic norms.
cp theory: aff-biased on most cp theory. i default to judge kicking cps if asked.
das: i think zero risk is possible if you’re missing an internal link (or link). specific/quality ev > recent ev (explain why the date matters) > quantity of ev. better for warranted brink arguments than most.
case: i love case debates that dig into the ev and point out logical holes/inconsistencies in the aff’s ev and internal link chains.
theory: please don’t spread at max speed through your theory blocks. i find counter-interps helpful for framing the majority of theory debates. condo is generally good, but i start to lean aff after ~two advocacies.
misc: re-highlighted ev must be read, not inserted. sending exact text for perms, theory interps/violations, and/or framework interps is a good practice. strict on 1ar-2ar consistency, will give some leeway if the 2nr had new arguments/warrants. no new 2ar cross-applications across different flows.
in clearly asymmetrical debates (ex. a team with 5 bids vs a team at their first varsity tournament), taking the time to slow down and 'over-explain' your arguments so all the debaters can engage with the round is a much more persuasive strategy for high speaker points than outspreading and out-jargoning your less experienced opponents.
cx: is binding and i usually flow it.
good luck, have fun! feel free to email me with any questions.
FRED STERNHAGEN Concordia College; 36 years coaching; Spring 2018
For e-mail chains: Fred.Sternhagen@gmail.com
This First Section is the Quick Overview
Things I’ll Try to Do
1. I have no approved list of positions. My commitment is to listen to the debate that the debaters produce.
2. I try to preference decisions made in the last rebuttals. I think developing critical thinking is a (perhaps the) biggest benefit of the activity. Making choices is very important to critical thinking. So, I will try to hold you responsible for the choices you make in the last two rebuttals. If you don't talk about it in the 2NR or the 2NR, I'm going to try to not think about it. To me, this seems to emphasize and reward critical thinking by the debaters.
3. I will try to privilege decision calculus developed by the debaters. Even if I think the way you compare and weigh issues is pretty silly, I’ll try to use that decision calculus if the other team doesn’t present an alternative. If you don't do that comparative work (and few debaters do) I'll need to do the decision calculus work. You might not like the way I do it--but someone needs to do those comparisons.
1. People tell me I’m quite easy to read non-verbally. I certainly try to be. I try to give you a lot of response. So, if you pay attention, that should help you.
2. I can get irritated by people who seem to presume that they are so much smarter than their partner that they need to do all the cross ex answers. Now, I'd really prefer a complete and/or accurate cross ex answer to an answer that will mess up the debate. So, if you need to answer to accomplish that, please do so. However, please think carefully about whether you are presuming your partner is not competent enough to give the answer. Do you really want to say that?
GENERAL ADVICE: 1) I don’t want to read a lot of evidence after the round. While I do have concerns about preserving orality, my bigger concern is that judges often construct arguments that the debaters did not. If I have to read a bunch of stuff to figure out what you are saying—that’s a problem for you. 3) I will not read speech documents during the round. This is a consequence of my concern for judges constructing arguments (what we used to call "judge intervention") 4) Portions of many speeches are unintelligible to me. Frankly, I think that is true for many people and that a lot of people fake understanding. I think the major reason debaters swap their speeches back and forth is that without that—you wouldn’t know what is going on. Maybe not, maybe it is only me. In any case, you would be well served when debating in front of me to be much more concerned about being understandable. 5) I like clear claims. I REALLY like clear claims. If your tags are over nine words long, you should not presume that I can flow that. I’ll pick 6 to 9ish words as a rendition of your claim. It is very much in your self-interest to influence what I perceive to be your claim. 6) Clear precise signposting is likely to be very helpful to you. I like arguments to line up. 7) Following transitions between arguments can be difficult for me. My higher pitch hearing is not very good. Grunting “next” might not let me know you have moved to another argument. 8) I think most contemporary debaters are simply horrid at refutation. Repeating what was said earlier is not an extension. Reading more evidence is not refutation. Tell me HOW you win an argument.
CRITIAL ARGUMENTS: 1) The philosophical issues seem important to me. 2) Still, a lot of critique positions strike me as just silly or, even more likely, some kind of incoherent philo-psycho-babble. I think you would be well served to think about what separates a critique from other kinds of arguments. Just reading some cards that mention a philosophical concept does not mean that the position functions as a different kind of argument. 3) My desire for the educational functioning of the activity still controls the situation and IF you were able to convince me that critique positions are particularly bad for our game, I'd want to get rid of them. However, you need to remember that I don't start with the assumptions that critiques are bad. You need to explain and illustrate why that would be so. More specifically, appeals that seem to merely call for a rejection of weird stuff are not likely to be persuasive with me. There’s still a lot of 1969 under my thinning hair….. 4) While the Concordia debaters have been far “left” of center for some time—that was never my plan. It just kind of happened. I’ve never told debaters what positions they may or may not work on. I’ve just sort of been taken along for the ride. 5) Mutual preference judging means I’ve heard way more critical than traditional debates for some time. You should remember that if you are running traditional positions. I’ll probably enjoy hearing them—but I’ll be less practiced with them than a lot of judges. Be careful about assuming I’ll fill in gaps for you.
THEORY ARGUMENTS AND OTHER PROCEDURALS: I’ve never been opposed to these arguments. However, I don’t vote for them much. I think there are two reasons. First, usually there is not much in the way of support/grounds for the claims. When debaters don’t have a card to read—they often don’t know how to support a claim. Secondly, there is usually a need to do more impact comparison. An affirmative decreases ground. Okay, what is the result of that? What bad happens? Is the result enough to outweigh what the affirmative claims as the advantage to their approach?
The rest of this is stuff I’ve distributed for many years. I still think reading it would be helpful—but there isn’t much new from this point on. Some of it is repetative with parts reworked above. The parts are meant to be consistent.
OVERVIEW: My views about what needs to be emphasized in contemporary academic debate have remained stable for several years. The first is PRECISION OF ARGUMENT. It seems to me that debate should train students to more precisely advance and identify claims. It is hard for me to regard sloppily worded claims on the nature of, “case analysis disproves that” as representative of good argumentation. Second is lack of COMPLETENESS. I think speed per se, the words per minute uttered, is rarely an important problem. Rather, utterances become so truncated that they cross below the threshold of what constitutes an argument or delivery makes it very hard for listeners to process--to attend to and remember--the arguments. Third is lack of COHERENCE in the reasons debaters advance. We've heard a lot about the need to “tell a story.” Much research converges on the conclusion that people process information within structures; that for information to be meaningful, it must be connected to other information. My firm belief is that debaters need to spend MUCH more time and effort considering how separate arguments in a debate fit together into a coherent whole. Particularly important is comparison of arguments and evaluation of their relative importance. Winning an argument isn't that hard. Ability to show why the arguments you've won are important to the whole round is the mark of a truly good debater. Instead, debaters usually treat all arguments as equally important. There is little attempt to discuss underlying assumptions or overarching issues. While overviews at the beginning of a rebuttal are better than NO attempt to provide comparisons I often find them of little use because they are left divorced from the "line-by-line." In my view, really effective debating would INTEGRATE comparisons with the specific refutation. That is, the debaters would win the particular arguments and then explain the importance of those positions rather than separating out the "importance" step into a separate overview. Also, I suspect that overviews are often used to advance new arguments so be sure you clearly connect overview arguments to somewhere else on the flow
GENERAL IMPLICATIONS; FRAMEWORK FOR DECISION MAKING In an effort to promote precision, completeness and coherence in argument, I have adopted what can be termed a ”non-interventionist” stance, holding that debaters should be given credit for only the arguments they ACTUALLY PRESENT. I attempt to place an obligation upon debaters for not merely presenting ``positions,'' but to create MEANING. To promote decision making by the debaters, I take the role of an “educational gamesperson'”. The “educational” reflects my desire for the outcome of the process. The “games” term reflects my view that the educational end result is best served by allowing argument about any issue. I promise to listen (to the best of my ability) to anything. Since education is my desired end result of the game, educational implication is one fruitful area from which to develop justifications for theoretic practices. It is certainly not the only area from which to develop such justifications. I purposely avoid terming myself “tabula rasa'' since it is hard for me to believe a blank slate possible or even desirable. What does a blank slate tell the tab room if no one develops any decision rules? The predispositions which I knowingly bring into a room fall into these general categories
ARGUMENT PRECONCEPTIONS: Remember that my definition of an argument is ”cognitive” and focuses on meaning. That means I'm actively trying not to intervene and finish titles, explanations, applications,... What you say out loud is the argument made. Even if I could make the argument more effective by altering the claim, it will not be rewritten for you. You should also make your own applications of arguments. If an argument on disad 1 applies to disad 3, you need to tell my why. Even if the link is ``clearly'' the same. You need to tell me that. However, intervention will happen after 2AR. I will make a real effort to catch new arguments in 2AR. A lot new happens in 2AR and it is automatically thrown out. While a smart disco can strike me as a thing of true beauty, it is risky to grant things out in 2AR since that may be perceived as new. Comparisons of positions are pretty safe. In another effort to minimize intervention, I try to call for evidence only if it was missed through my error or if there is a dispute about the nature of the evidence.
COUNTERPLANS: 1) I think a lot of debaters don’t really “get” competition. You need to address the question, “what forces a choice between the two systems.” 2) I am not terribly interested in questions about things like what it means to “advocate a perm.” Focus on the competition question.
TOPICALITY PRECONCEPTIONS; At the start of the round topicality is an absolute voting issue, extratopicality means no accruing advantages. Again, all this can be fruitfully argued.
PERSONAL PREDISPOSITIONS; Don't be obnoxious to anyone. This would never be consciously applied to a decision but it sure will be applied to your points! Playing with the format of the activity should be argued only as a last resort. This view of game playing does not thrill me. It would take a lot of educational benefit to outweigh the impact upon the poor tournament director. When in doubt - ASK!!
A Couple of General Things About My Orientation to Debate
1. I’m a lot less interested in what you debate about than how. You debate. An example. It is true that I often find the subject matter of politics disads, big federalism positions, etc. to be rather boring. However, that does not mean you would be better off not running such positions. This semester I judged a round where the neg did a big, very predictable Bush credibility disad. But I really enjoyed that debate because they did it so well! They were technically clean, had good evidence, were direct in their refutation. The way they debated was much more important to me than what they talked about.
2. Most debaters don’t have a good sense of their own limits in regard to fast delivery. Consequently, they regularly exceed what they can handle. I’m very convinced of that.
a. That does not mean I would like debate to be slower. I know where to find extemp speeches if I wanted to listen to them. It does mean that most debaters would be more effective in front of me if they would be clearer/slower.
b. Articulation is rarely the important variable. Seems to me the problem usually has to do with people moving out of English into some kind of truncated debate-speak that doesn’t make much sense.
Put me in the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
If you ever have any questions about my decision always feel free to reach out to me via email.
I am not going to lie to you and say I am a Tab judge and I will vote for anything because that is just not true.
I don't like new arguments in the 2NC by that I mean I don’t like entire new off case arguments in the 2NC I think its really abusive to the 1AR. With that being said I am willing to listen to abuse arguments about how that is bad for debate. Although I am more inclined to reject the argument and not the team.
By default, I view topicality through the lens of competing interpretations, but I could certainly be persuaded to do something else. I don't hate T nor do I love it. I use to love it but I don't think teams do enough work on the flow. Teams are always either winning the interpretation debate but losing the standards and voters of vice versa. That being said I will vote on T and I don't mind voting on team but you need to win the entire flow. This means having a good debate about whose interpretation is better on down to the violation and all the way through to the standards and voters.
Specifically, on T I HATE reasonability as a no voter. I think that it is your job to debate the T flow well enough so that I come to the conclusion that you are reasonably topical.
Please don't run and RVI on T I am not that likely to vote for it that being said if its dropped I will vote for it with great protest.
I evaluate theory the same as I evaluate Topicality: it is only as important to me as you tell me it is. I can be swayed either way on theory; whether it's on condo, multiple worlds etc. With that being said, teams need to be able to explain the implications of what the other team did for me to vote on said theory. If you don't explain why I should vote on it, then I won't vote on it. My default on the theory flow is to reject the argument and not the team. For example, even if the neg drops the condo flow but you don’t tell me to drop the team instead of the argument I will just kick the argument. With that being said you need to little work on the flow for a dropped theory argument in order for me to vote on it.
I love a good K debate. You have the potential to make me vote for any Kritik that you want me to vote on. Ks that do not engage with the substance of the aff are rarely reasons to vote negative. I'm really not here for your generic K’s don’t waste my time with this. A good K debate needs to make it so that even if the judge hasn't heard the K before they grasp and understanding of the story you are telling with the K. I don't need to walk away being a scholar on the K for me to vote for it I simply need a clear picture of the impact of the K and how the world of the alt differs from the aff .
I am skeptical of the pedagogical value of frameworks/roles of the ballot/roles of the judge that don’t allow the affirmative to weigh the benefits of hypothetical enactment of the plan against the K. I am more than willing to listen to a discussion centered around their need to defend the scholarship of the 1ac and how they should be forced to defend the epistemology of the 1ac but this should be used as a reason why the perm fails and why they don’t gain access to your impacts or maybe even their impacts but not as a reason why they can’t weigh the aff against the K.
Director of Speech & Debate
Isidore Newman School, New Orleans
Please slow down! It is much harder for me to hear online. Go at about 75% rather than 100% of your normal pace!!!
Relevant for Both Policy & LD:
This is my 18th year in debate. I debated in high school, and then went on to debate at the University of Louisville. In addition, I was the Director of Debate at both Fern Creek & Brown School in KY, a former graduate assistant for the University of Louisville, and the Director of Speech & Debate at LSU. I am also a doctoral candidate in Communication & Rhetorical studies, with a Graduate Certificate in Womens, Gender, and Sexuality studies.
I view my role as an educator and believe that it is my job to evaluate the debate in the best way I can and in the most educational way possible. Over the past several years have found myself moving more and more to the middle. So, my paradigm is pretty simple. I like smart arguments and believe that debates should tell a clear and succinct story of the ballot. Simply put: be concise, efficient, and intentional.
Here are a few things you should know coming into the round:
1. I will flow the debate. But PLEASE slow down on the tag lines and the authors. I don’t write as fast as I used to. I will yell clear ONE TIME. After that, I will put my pen down and stop flowing. So, don't be mad at the end of the debate if I missed some arguments because you were unclear. I make lots of facial expressions, so you can use that as a guide for if I understand you
2. I value effective storytelling. I want debates to tell me a clear story about how arguments interact with one another, and as such see debates holistically. Accordingly, dropped arguments are not enough for me to vote against a team. You should both impact your arguments out and tell me why it matters.
3. I will not vote for arguments that are racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, or ableist in nature.
4. Do what you do best. While I do not believe that affirmatives have to be topical, I also find myself more invested in finding new and innovative ways to engage with the topic. Do with that what you will. I am both well versed and have coached students in a wide range of literature. I believe that there are implications to the things we talk about in debate, and believe that our social locations inevitably shape the beliefs that we hold.
5. If you do not believe that performative/critical arguments have a place, or that certain argument choices are “cheating,” I’m probably not the judge for you.
6. Know what you’re talking about. The quickest way to lose a debate in front of me is to read something because it sounds and looks “shiny.” I enjoy debates where students are well read/versed on the things they are reading, care about them, and can actually explain them. Jargon is not appealing to me. If it doesn’t make sense or if I don’t understand it at the end of the debate I will have a hard time evaluating it.
7. I will listen to Theory, FW, and T debates, but I do not believe that it is necessarily a substantive response to certain arguments. Prove actual in-round abuse, actual ground loss, actual education lost (that must necessarily trade off with other forms of education). I do not believe in neutral education, neutral conceptions of fairness. If you run theory, be ready to defend it. Actual abuse is not because you don't understand the literature, know how to deal with the argument, or that you didn't have time to read it.
8. Be respectful of one another and to me. I am a teacher and educator first. I don’t particularly care for foul language, or behavior that would be inappropriate in the classroom.
9. Finally, make smart arguments and have fun. I promise I will do my best to evaluate the debate you give me.
If you have any other questions, just ask.
Hey, so apparently sending evidence without tags is a thing now. Don't do it in front of me. I'll cap your speaks at 28.
from another paradigm I recently saw re: high school debate -
If you think that what you're saying in the debate would not be acceptable to an administrator at a school to hear was said by a high school student to an adult, you should strike me.
I don't want to be on the email chain. If I want to, I'll ask. You should debate as if I'm not reading a speech doc.
I'm currently a phd candidate and I view debate as an educator and also activist/organizer. This is to say that I ground much of what I think is important in debate in terms of how skills critical thinking in debate rounds adds into a larger goal of pursuing knowledge and external decisionmaking.
i've been in debate since fall 2008. at this point i'm simultaneously more invested and less invested in the activity. i'm more invested in what students get out of debate, and how I can be more useful in my post-round criticism. I'm less invested in personalities/teams/rep/ideological battles in debate. it's entirely possible that I have never heard of you before, and that's fine.
you should run what will win you the round. you should run what makes you happy. don't run what you think I want to hear.
Impact scenarios are where I vote - Even if you win uniqueness/link questions, if I don't know who's going to initiate a war, how an instance of oppression would occur, etc. by the end of the round, I'll probably go looking elsewhere to decide the round. The same thing goes for the aff - if I can't say what the aff solves and why that's important, I am easily persuaded by marginal negative offense.
Prep time ends when you email the file to the other team. It's 2020, you've likely got years of experience using a computer for academic/personal work, my expectations of your email prowess are very high.
Competing methods debates don't mean no permutation, for me at least. probably means that we should rethink how permutations function. people/activists/organizers combine methods all the time.
I don't think I've ever voted a team down b/c theory. an arg yes, but not a team:
I've found myself especially unwilling to vote on theory that's on face not true - for example: if you say floating PICs bad, and the alternative isn't articulated as a floating PIC in the debate, I won't vote on it. I don't care if it's conceded.
I think fairness is an independent impact, but also that non-topical affs can be fair. A concession doesn't mean an argument is made. your only job is to make arguments, i don't care if the other team has conceded anything, you still have to make the argument in the last speech.
Affs I don't like:
I've found myself increasingly frustrated with non-topical affs that run philosophically/critically negative stances on the aff side. The same is true for non-topical affs that just say that propose a framework for analysis without praxis. I'm super open to presumption/switch-side arguments against these kinds of affs.
I'm frustrated by non-topical affs that do not have any sort of advocacy statement/plan text. If you're going to read a bunch of evidence and I have to wait until CX or the 2AC to know what I'm voting for, I'll have a lower threshold to vote on fw/t/the other team.
Finally, I have limited belief in the transformative power of speech/performance. Especially beyond the round. I tend to think that power/violence is materially structured and that the best advocacies can tell me how to change the status quo in those terms.
Negs I don't like:
Framework 2nr's that act as if the affirmative isn't dynamic and did not develop between the 2ac and the 1ar. Most affs that you're inclined to run framework against will prove "abuse" for you in the course of the debate.
Stale politics disadvantages. Change your shells between tournaments if necessary, please.
Theoretically inconsistent/conflicting K strats.
I don't believe in judge kicking. Your job is to make the strategic decisions as the debate continues, not mine.
if you have questions about me or my judge philosophy, ask them before the round!
Rosemount High School (MN) / Conflicted against Farmington (MN)
Debate Experience: 4 years HS policy (1987-1991), 2 years CEDA (1991-1993)
Coaching/Judging Experience: 31 years judging, 17 of these actively coaching
St. Thomas Academy 1993-2001
Last update: 2021-12-14
Yes, email chain.
I have changed the email address I use for email chains. The old one will still work, but please use email@example.com going forward
New 2021-10-02: Your evidence highlighting should read in grammatically correct sentences when read in isolation. I will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis (generally, there should be a legitimate argumentative purpose for doing otherwise).
None of the older profile information below is out-of-date, feel free to refer to it for additional information.
I'm definitely an older coach but I like a lot of what K debate has brought to the community. I'm unique among the Rosemount coaching staff in that respect.
I most enjoy judging rounds where the aff and the neg have an underlying agreement on how the round should look. I prefer to judge either policy v policy debates or K v K debates.
* I prefer that the negative engage with the affirmative. The better the specificity of link arguments, the more likely the negative is to win their chosen arguments.
* I roughly think of my judging philosophy as "least intervention". My hope is to try to not do any work for debaters, but this is the ideal and rarely occurs in practice. So I generally look at what I would need to do to vote for either team and choose the outcome that requires the least work on my part. I do my best to not interject personal beliefs into the debate, but realize this isn't always possible.
* I don't like most process or actor CPs, but often vote for them. When neg CP lit says a topic should be left to the states, that lit never means "all 50 states act in concert" but instead usually means "states should be free to not do anything". Affs could do a lot with this, but never do.
* I despise politics DAs, but again find myself voting for them. In 30+ years of debating and judging these, I think I've heard one scenario that had any semblance of truth to it. I think negative over-simplification of the political process and the horse-race mentality engendered by these DAs has been bad for debate and bad for society as a whole. But again, I rarely see Affs making the arguments necessary to win these sort of claims.
* I have a debate-level knowledge of most Kritiks. My knowledge of the literature is about 20 years old at this point and I rarely cut cards for my teams. What this means if you're running a K (either aff or neg): assume that I'm a judge who is willing to listen to (and often vote for) what you say, but don't assume any specific knowledge. This is particularly important at the impact level. If I have a warranted and detailed explanation as to why your model of debate is essential,
* In debates between similarly skilled teams, Framework debates usually come down to "is the aff in the direction of the resolution?". If so, I usually vote aff. Otherwise, neg. If you're a policy team, you're probably better off going for even a Cap K in front of me than for Framework.
* Even in person, you're not as clear as you think you are. This is doubly so in online debates. Slow down a little and you'll likely be happier with my decision.
* It's come to my attention that some teams have shied away from going for theory because of what I've written below. If you believe your violation is true, go ahead and go for it. My preference is to decide debates on the issues, but if I can get good clash on a theory or T flow, that's OK too.
* Disclosure theory is exempt from the preceding bullet. If you can win the debate on disclosure theory, there are better arguments you can make that you can also win on.
* If you're a big school on the circuit where I'm judging you, running a "small schools DA" will likely see speaker points reduced.
* I don't like a 6+ off neg strategy. If you're obviously far more skilled than your opponents and still do this, speaker points will suffer. Regardless, I'm probably more likely to vote on condo bad or perf con than most judges (but see everything else I've written on theory)
* I love good topicality debates. I also love creative (but defensible) affirmative interpretations of the topic. I default to "good is good enough"/reasonability for the aff on topicality, but can be persuaded to vote for the competing interps model. Just saying "reasonability invites judge intervention" isn't enough though. Believe it or not, so does competing interps.
* On T debates, you'll get far more mileage with "criminal justice reform" interps than "criminal justice" and/or "reform" interps.
I actively coached from 1993 until 2001 before largely leaving the activity for a dozen years. I got back into coaching in 2013 and have been in the activity since then. My time away from the activity proved to profoundly affect the way I view debates.
I view debate as an educational activity and my primary responsibility as a judge as facilitating that education. It is important to note what this means and what it does not mean. What it does not mean is that I like arguments that impact in "voting issue for reasons of education." Leaving aside the irony of the lack of educational value in those sorts of arguments, I am not saying that I will vote for the "more educational" team, whatever that means. What I do mean is that the round can be a very educational environment and my position is to assist that as best as I can. Argumentatively, I am looking for well-reasoned logical arguments, preferentially with strong evidential support. Counterplans which are contingent on successful consultation of any sort are almost always lacking here. Almost all politics DAs that I've ever heard have this problem as well. You're going to have a much easier time if you run a DA, CP, or a K with a solid literature-based link story.
Theory and Analytics: In-round abuse is more persuasive than potential abuse. I have a large presumption against voting on theory, although I have voted on it. To win on theory, you'll probably need to spend substantial time in the last rebuttal and offer a persuasive story. SLOW DOWN when arguing theory. Give me a tag that I can get on my flow and then explain it. Five consecutive four word responses will likely get the first one or two responses flowed, and the rest missed. If it's not on my flow, I can't vote on it. The explanation is the most important part of the argument.
Topicality: Topicality stems from plan action. Placing the resolution in plan text or looking to solvency do not prove topicality. My default view is that if the affirmative interpretation provides an equitable division of ground and plan meets their interpretation, they will win the argument. Generally speaking, if the negative wins topicality, they win the debate. I have been persuaded to vote contrary to my default views in the past. The negative need not win that their interpretation is best for debate, but it helps.
Non-traditional Affirmatives: I don't insist that the affirmative run a plan but any planless aff better be prepared to explain how they engage the resolution. I'm much more willing to accept a non-traditional interpretation of the terms of the resolution than I am to accept an aff that completely ignores the resolution or runs counter to the direction of the resolution.
Evidence sharing/email chains: As of 2017, I have updated my philosophy on these. I would now like to get all speech docs that are shared. Please add me to any email chain using firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that I will not use the speech doc to help flow your speech. [2021-12-14: Use email@example.com now]
One notable change for the worse over the last decade is the terrible practices that paperless debating has fostered. I approve of paperless debating in the abstract and in a good deal of its implementation, but teams have taken to receiving a speech doc before the speech as a crutch and flowing and line by line debate have suffered as a result. I'm not happy with the blatant prep time theft that pervades the activity, but I recognize that any gesture that I make will be futile. I will take action in particularly egregious cases by deducting from prep time (or speech time, if no prep remains).
Please ask before rounds for clarification.
Lincoln Douglas Philosophy:
I judge far more policy than LD, but I'm not a stranger to judging or coaching LD. I have no predispositions toward any particular style, so largely you should feel free to do what you're most comfortable with. I will not vote for a policy argument just because I'm predominantly a policy judge, although I will listen to them. Be sure to offer full explanations. LD time formats can be challenging, prioritize explanations over evidence. Anything above that isn't specific to policy will apply in LD as well. Your explanations are the most important part of the debate.
Updated 1/9/2019 to add LD
Debated 4 years of policy debate at Iowa City High school
Debated 3 years at the University of Iowa (BS Economics)
University of Chicago (Master of Public Policy)
I find debates the most interesting when debaters bring new things to the table or have a strong and innovative way to explain their argument. Someone who understands and can apply their links from the cap K or spending DA to the aff specificity is more rewarding than someone struggling to answer basic questions about a more topic-specific argument. With that in mind, if you have spent the time to construct a specific strat please please read it.
Before taking everything I say to heart, Tim Alderete told me something that changed my perspective on reading judge philosophies. He said something to the effect of “Judges ALWAYS lie. No one ever wants to say they are a bad judge or predisposed to certain arguments. It is your job as debaters to sift through that.” So if you want the truth don't ask me what I like ask people who know me.
1) I find that debate is a game and whoever plays it better wins. I really enjoy good line-by-line debate but what is often lost is for what ends are your arguments being made. Please have a framework for me to evaluate everyone's arguments. That should help prevent me from intervening arbitrarily.
2) Speed=amount of arguments clearly articulated per second. So make sure you articulate the argument and not just a claim. Moreover, if I can't understand you then I can't flow you and I can't evaluate what you said as an argument.
3) I think that a discussion of the resolution is important. That can be in many forms but the aff should include an advocacy that affirms the resolutional statement.
I want you to enjoy this activity so please ask me for help if you want it.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debated for Interlake, 2 years out
Tech Issues: I'll be sympathetic to them, idc if your camera is on
Use content warnings if needed pls.
Debate how you want to debate. Don't be antiblack, anti-Indigenous, racist, transphobic/nbphobic, ableist, antiqueer, misogynistic, Islamophobic etc -- the round will stop and you will get lowest speaks possible. Don't misgender your opponents. If there's something I'm not noticing and you want the round to stop, you can send me a quick email and I will check it between speeches/crossex.
Mostly tech > truth, but truth sets thresholds for how technical you need to be. I'm not tech > truth for disgusting arguments like racism good, etc.
DAs: I default to any risk framing, especially with a counterplan
Counterplans: I will judge kick for you, I'll lean towards infinite condo good, unless theory is dropped. I love a good impact framing debate (offense/defense paradigms, sufficiency framing, etc.). I lean neg on PIC theory, aff on delay/consult/process cps, and neutral on agent + states cps. I lean neg on no severance/intrinsic perms.
K v Plan: I will judge kick the alt for you. I'll vote for a floating pik if it's clearly articulated to me in the neg block and the 1ar drops it. I like robust link work, but I also think generics are fine (because if the aff team doesn't know how to respond to generic links then what are you doing y'all). I'm most familiar with Settler Colonialism, Queerness Deleuze, and Antiblackness kritiks. I lean neg on no severence/intrinsic perms.
Topicality v Plan: I'll listen to any T violation. I'm probably not the best judge for super technical T debates, so if you have some nuanced T violation you might have to do more work for me to understand it.
K affs: Great. Please do impact calc in the 2ar, especially if neg drops case. I have no strong predispositions for what debate/my ballot/my role is.
Framework v K affs: I love these debates. Please do actual impact calc in the 2nr (especially if you're going for fairness).
K aff v Cap: Great. Lean aff on no perm theory.
K aff v other Ks + PIKS: Great. Lean neg on (floating) pik theory here.
Other Theory + Random Voters: I'll hear them, but warrant them out. I'll defer to reject the argument, except for Condo. Performative Contradictions should probably be answered with strategic concessions, not theory (but that's just a personal preference, I'll evaluate perfcon as theory if you run it). Tech>Truth on dropped theory arguments (but don't be egregious with this). I'll probably not vote on RVIs in policy.
Speaks: Race/gender/disability bias exists. I will do my best to overcorrect myself to account for this.
Email me if you have any more specific questions.
I think postrounding can be an important tool for holding people accountable. Don't be afraid to call me out if I mess up on something.