MOUNT VERNON Invitational and NIETOC TOC Qualifier
2022 — Cascade Commons, WA/US
LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I competed in speech and debate all four years I went to high school. I went to Nationals 2x in a very competitive district; once for Public Forum and once for Extemporaneous speaking. I am a flow judge so I will always be taking notes during rounds and listening to the information you present to me.
Debates should be respectful and full of evidence/warrants to back up your claims. When you are speaking I am okay with speed but not spreading. Your argument should be clear and concise so that I understand what side you are on and why you should win.
This is up to you. I am generally interested in any topic that you choose and will judge as fairly as I can based on how you perform your topic.
I'm a fairly new judge, so please stay away from any debate jargon or talking fast. Please time yourselves during speeches and prep time. Tell me how to vote, judge, and weigh the round. In the end, I will vote for which side makes the most sense to me and has the most important impact. I don't know K's, theory, or topicality, so if you are going to run one of them, make sure to explain it very well and tell me how it impacts the round and my vote. I judge rounds based on how persuasive the teams are, and how well they respond to counter-arguments. I've judged LD and PF, but not policy so make sure to explain things and not use jargon. Most of all please be kind to the other team and have fun!
I've debated in LD for one year in high school so far, do extemp and impromptu speaking, and am pretty chill as far as judges go. Overall, be sure to articulate clearly, especially when spreading, and make thorough explanations for complex contentions. Generally, I will be more likely to vote for your side if I can clearly understand your arguments and their links. Now for some more specific things:
Framing: I am comfortable with frameworks that are very complex. I will judge the round through the lens of whichever framework wins, which means that the debater who wins the framework debate will have an advantage. Compared to other judges, I tend to be more framework-intensive and put more emphasis on it.
Criterion Specific: I am comfortable with very odd criterions because I research philosophy a lot on my own time and it is perhaps my favorite part of debate. Just be sure that your criterions can be used as a weighing mechanism so that I can use them to make a decision between debaters. For instance, if you tell me that your criterion is "maximizing well being" (and yes, I have heard that more than a couple times), then I cannot use your criterion because it is too vague for me to use to decide between debaters. In other words, spell out exactly how I should judge your contentions in your criterion and be specific in wording.
Topicality/Definitional arguments: I love these arguments a lot, and generally the more weird the argument is then the more I will like it. Just be sure that there is a warrant for the argument and it is not blatantly asserted. If a debater is able to successfully assert that their opponent is not topical, then I will drop the opponent.
K's: I do not have a lot of experience with them (as I have not dabbled into those arguments in my past nor have I done policy) and, in the event you are running K's, please be sure to explain it clearly and to not use jargon.
Theory: I have seen some theory arguments and I have run it a couple of times, so i'm moderately comfortable with them. Generally, I will do drop-debater on theory as long as it is relatively-undisputed. Also, please do not have a solely-theory argument. If the opponent debates the resolution, and you solely provide a theory argument without touching on the resolution, then I will still vote for the opponent.
Also, if y'all have meme cases or speak in a British accent for a speech, then I will give full speaks. I cannot guarantee the win, but you will get 30 speaker points.
Yeah if you actually read this far... well props to you for making it through all of that. I wrote that like 1.5 years ago but woke up late so I didn't have time to change it. Just run whatever you want lmao. As long as you have clear links I'm vibing.
Please be prepared to time yourself.
If this is a prompt-based speech, please state your prompt before you begin and report your time when you are done.
Please send your case doc or outline - firstname.lastname@example.org
. Speak clearly and not too fast. Slow down on major points, value, criteria, framework, definition, etc. What about spreading? If I can't flow, I can't judge. If you need to insert that much material into the round, you need to provide the outline of that material, at a minimum. In four years of judging, I've only seen one round decided on the sheer volume of evidence introduced and counter arguements and that round didn't have spreading.
. Sign post, then stick to it. If you jump around, I can't follow you. If you drop a point, don't pick it up in another speech.
. Provide outline: numbering and lettering points, impacts, etc, so I can track.
. If you run an unusual case/framework/K - you have to uphold it. You can't just say here it is and that the other side isn't allowed to argue it. This is a debate, so let's debate.
. If you say the sky is green, fine with me, cite reputable sources, and debate it.
. If you run your case without sources, everything you said is your opinion and doesn't win against even the worst sources cited by the opposition.
- For L/D, if you concede framework to your opponent, and the framework argument from the opponent is clear, then framework above contentions. If you don't want to argue framework, go debate policy.
. All common historical context currently taught in Washington State high schools is allowed (ex: The holocaust happened). All obscure or controversial fiction-as-fact must be upheld with reputable and current sources (ex: Jan 6 was just a misunderstanding from a reputable world-wide source).
Poetry/Art/etc as debate
If a case is presented in a format that you haven't seen before or understand how it is relevant to the topic, please use your cross to clarify. Then debate it. Everyone had the same time to prep/research. Now you need to think on your feet.
Meta such as role of the ballot, drop the debate, drop the debater
Role of the ballot - I enjoy ROTB arguments
Drop the debate - make a very strong case
Drop the debator - there must be a clear and obvious ethical or moral breach in the round. I don't drop the debater because they haven't understood the importance of something you said to them on a personal level within the pressure and speed of the round. If you request drop the debator - then you need to walk me through the violation slowly because you've just rested the entire round on this one point and I need to understand it.
Meh - a topicality argument needs to be strong with subpoints. Don't say something isn't topical. Walk me through it.
If you skip voters, or assume voters based on debate, then I get to choose. Probably not what you want me to do.
If your opponent doesn't literally concede a point, but instead drops it or doesn't argue it in a way you deem valid, do NOT say they conceded. That is disrespectful to both the judge and your opponent.
Include me in the email chain: email@example.com
In round you can call me Daniel, Judge etc. I don't really care.
Proudly have not sat yet (knock on wood).
I debated for 4 years at Interlake and am currently a sophomore at Emory University. I am comfortable with speed but have never been the best with flowing so if you are going to spread analytics I would recommend either A) slowing down to like 50% of your speed or B) send the analytics in the speech doc.
I'm happy to flow off the doc if you are genuinely too fast for me. I will not flow off the doc if you are unclear.
Don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic etc. in round you will receive an L and the lowest speaks I can give.
Don't clip. I may be bad at flowing but I'm not that bad. You will be caught and will similarly receive an L and the lowest speaks possible.
All arguments need a claim, warrant and impact. If I feel I cannot explain the claim warrant and impact back to your opponent in my rfd, I will not vote on it. This means I would appreciate some handholding in really dense debates.
I really appreciate judge instruction. Your 2AR/2NR should be writing my ballot. If you don't tell me what do to it is likely I will have to think a lot and possibly end up doing something you aren't happy with. So if you give me judge instruction it's a win-win.
Have fun! Debate is a game and if you don't enjoy the arguments you're reading, you're doing it wrong.
In terms of arguments, I'll try my best to fairly evaluate any argument presented to me. As a debater I mostly read Ks (Setcol, Wynter, Racial Cap, Deleuze) and probably enjoy these the debates the most but also know bad K debate when I see it. Affs definitely don't need a plan to be legit but also probably should be more than an impact turn to T. I also read a lot of topicality, moral philosophy and policy based positions so I'm comfortable with these debates too. I can't flow fast analytics so dense tricks is likely not what you want to read in front of me (especially if there is no doc) however, I will do my best to evaluate these debates just like any other.
I don't think that the aff and neg have roles that are set in stone. If you can justify why debate should be a certain way then go for it. However, debate is an activity that I have found incredibly valuable and has had profound impacts on the way I view the world. This means that in broad strokes I don't think debate should be a monologue and reading/contesting assumptions is a valuable way to learn about the world. Idk what the implications of this are but I felt like writing it.
GFC update (9/22):
please go slow and explain <3 these are my first rounds since last spring and I’m pretty unfamiliar with the topic specs right now so over explain in front of me!
jw patterson update (10/21):
Things I'm going to start dropping your speaks for - 1. counting down before your speeches 2. calling me judge/ms. curry(misgendering me)/any formality - please just call me Ausha(Aw-shuh) or don't refer to me lmao (asking "judge ready?" is okay)
^if you do this i'll know either a. you didn't read my paradigm (bad) or b. did read my paradigm and just aren't respecting it (also bad)
Hi! I'm Ausha
I'm a current sophomore at American University majoring in a mix of poli sci/econ, probably going to do some form of debate here too. In high school I did 2 years of policy and 2 years of LD, running stock and critical args in both. I finished top 50 at NSDA Nats in 2021 and was the WA state LD champion.
Put me on the email chain if you make one : ausha.L.firstname.lastname@example.org
tldr -- Run whatever you want to run. I'll listen. I'll vote where you tell me to, that's your job in the rebuttals.
Don't do/say anything racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamphobic, etc. It'll 100% result in an L20. If at any time during the debate you feel unsafe, feel free to email me and i'll end the round and deal with it accordingly
Policy/LARP - 1
Basic Ks - 1
T - 1
Uncommon Ks - 2
Phil - 3/4
Other Theory - 3/4
Tricks - strike
1. online - go maybe 80-90% max speed and definitely start a little bit slower in case the audio is shady. also plz locally record your speeches in case either of our internet cuts out !
2. disclosure - I won't vote on disclosure unless the violation is super egregious. i was literally the only circuit debater at my HS and i couldn't afford programs like debate drills, etc. so if you're in a similar boat i will def be empathetic towards you in these rounds. On the flip side if you're from a school that has a massive team and try to run the small school arg i won't buy it (interlake i am looking @ u)
3. tech > truth - please be super clear about signposting especially online. even if your opponent straight out concedes something, I still need extensions of a warrant and some weighing for me to vote on it
4. speed - speed is good, slow down on plan/cp texts, interps, etc. I'll yell clear or just ask for the doc post speech if I feel like I missed anything too significant (if it wasn't sent already). If your 1ar is entirely analytics please either slow down or send them in the doc
5. Ev ethics - if u suspect ur opponent is clipping cards, let me know after their most recent speech. it'll also require some sort of recording for proof. Yes stake the round on it, or you can run a theory violation on it and it'll be nicer for everyone
Argument Specific -
tricks - strike me. i won't go for any of the "neg doesn't get CPs" or "eval the debate after x speech". i think they're genuinely cheating, a bad model of debate, and incredibly exclusionary and i will die on that hill
t/theory - I love t, please run it. I spent a lot of my time in policy going for t in the 2nr so I'd say this is where I'm pretty comfy judging debates. I have a pretty high threshold for other theory, especially super friv theory like font size
LD specific: I didn't run a ton of grammatical stuff like Nebel in LD but if you run it well and explain the violation clearly, it's a pretty good shot I'll vote for it. i've come to the realization i don't particularly love theory 2ars if it's only introduced in the 1ar. I think it's made for some pretty shallow debates, but again, i will vote on it unhappily
Defaults: Competing interps, DTA, condo good, PICs good, yes RVIs (note: this doesn't mean i won't flip, you'll just have to debate it)
trad (LD) - will get through these rounds unhappily, but please spice it up a little bit. Make me not want to rip my ears off. Explain phil well, i've never ran one of these cases but i've won against them if that means anything to you. please do comparative work otherwise i will have no idea how to weigh. (Post GFC outrounds, please do not go top speed for kant I NEED you to slow down and explain how everything interacts with each other)
CPs - please make them competitive and have some sort of solvency evidence unless it's some a structural issue (ie taking an offensive word out of the plan text and replacing it). i use sufficiency framing for weighing the cp against the aff meaning you'll have to do more analysis than just "cp doesn't link to the net benefit" in the final rebuttal for me to vote on it. I think both internal and external net benefits are good.
DAs - I enjoy unique, nuanced das. I really like politics and i'll buy them pretty easily if there's a good link to the aff. Should have an overview in the final rebuttal and the block shouldn't be just reading new ev and not answering line by line.
ks - go for it! I like them if they're ran well but make sure you know that your own lit. I'm most familiar with generics (setcol, cap, security), Foucault, a little Edelman, and Baudrillard, any other high theory ones you should explain more though. open to pomo but never really ran it during high school and only hit it a couple times.
k affs - I like these, i ran more than a few. They don't have to be topical, but I think it's easier to win on t if they're in the direction of the topic. I mostly end up going for k v k against these affs but i also run fw in the 1nc, see the t section above if you have questions about that. tvas can be deadly so please blow it up if T/FW is your nr strat!
performance - never ran this, but always enjoyed watching these rounds. Tell me why the 1ac is important in the debate space and win T and it'll be a super easy aff ballot. negs be careful and please don't say anything offensive <3 but i feel like a different K or pik is always a better bet than fw against these
I think i tend to give relatively high speaks averaging between a 28-29. Things that'll boost your speaks: nice pics of aubrey plaza at the top of the speech doc, good organization, clear weighing, and strategic decisions
+.5 for flashing analytics
I am a parent judge. I have three years of experience in judging LD and this is my first year judging speech rounds as well. Either you will love or hate me depending on if I vote for you or not.
I understand how plans/counterplans work but I would prefer rounds with less/no theory (K's especially).
Just because I am not a big fan of theory that does not mean I do not want you to stand up to your opponent if they are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. I vote down to that kind of stuff.
Please do not spread!!!! Not only is it extremely hard to flow and understand but technical difficulties in an online debate setting make it much worse. You are welcome to speak fast though.
If you mention cheez-its - I will increase your speaker points as much I am allowed in Tabroom.
Overall- just have fun!
Hi, I'm Allison (she/her) and I competed in Public Forum for 4 years in high school and in Worlds debate at the National Tournament for 3 years. I am also the daughter of two debate coaches and have grown up in the activity.
I am a traditional Public Forum judge. The biggest thing I ask of any debaters I judge is that you persuade me to vote for you. Your FF should be spent spent weighing the round for me, I will not do it for you. I will only vote on points that are carried through from summary to final focus. No off time road maps. Respect and be kind for your opponents.
I'll be flowing the debate but don't expect me to weigh the debate on an issue if you don't touch on that issue during your final speeches. Use the first three speeches to win the debate, use the last speech to tell me WHY you won the debate.
I'm not a fan of progressive argumentation so use only when necessary, I would much rather see a traditional Value-Criterion debate. I can handle some speed. Depth > breadth. Make sure you have clear signposting and use voters! If you do not weigh your impacts, I will not weigh them for you and you will drop my ballot.
All debate styles: The best debaters are the ones who know the most, prove to me you're the debater who knows the most.
Also feel free to ask any questions before the round if you need clarifications. Good Luck!
I am a traditional LD judge with 35 years of experience in the event. V and VC are important to me as well as use of evidence, logic, flow of the debate, as well as speaker quality. No games please, no new fangled theory attacks and/or maneuvering. Just debate straight up and let the best person win. In summery if I were to hire a lawyer, I would pick the debater who I would feel most comfortable representing me in court. I would not pick the debater who wasn't respectful or who might sway the jury against me due to their speed or overly aggressive style.
My name is Bren Hamaguchi (he/him) and I am the assistant Speech and Debate coach at Overlake HS.
I want to be clear: I have no prior experience participating in or judging Speech or Debate (this is my second season). But, as a history teacher, I am familiar with how to construct an argument, thesis, use of evidence, some philosophy, and persuasive speaking techniques.
I have no overt biases that will affect the decisions that I render.
Speed - I have a difficult time following along when people talk fast, I'll do my best, but if I don't write it down there is a good chance I'll forget and I can't judge you on information I don't have. You can send me your case if you think you speak too fast. No spreading, even with a case.
LD - Philosophy, Theory, and K's - if you're going to run theory or use a philosophical argument make it clear. If you reference something you think a Lay judge might not understand, either thoroughly explain it during your time or don't bother. Try at your own risk.
Be careful with the amount of technical LD jargon. My knowledge of technical, especially progressive debate terms, is limited.
LD/PF - ESPECIALLY PF - Be courteous! I really dislike when competitors are rude to each other.
Congress - I have my B.A. in Political Science so I am very aware of congressional procedure and how to construct arguments for and against bills. It is still up to you to follow proper procedure and structure your speeches in accordance with the rules and regulations.
Speech - Speak clearly, have a thesis, stay on time, and have fun!
Good luck everyone!
LD: I have been judging debate longer than you have been alive. I am pretty old-school in my approaches. I will accept more progressive styles, but the focus always needs to be on the resolution and why we should or should not enact it. I'm not really interested in a meta-debate about debate, and if you bring up those arguments I'm probably going to be looking for ways for you to lose.
I flow on paper, and the flow is where I look to make my decision. If you want me to consider an argument you need to give in a clear and organized enough manner that I can get it onto the flow. If you're speaking at 300 words per minute, I'm probably not going to get it onto the flow. If you don't signpost, you're at my mercy on where I put it on the flow.
I care about warrant a LOT. Evidence is good, but if you don't tell me why it matters, it's not going to matter much in my mind.
Quality of arguments will always beat quantity. Just because your opponent drops your contention 10 subpoint Q doesn't mean you win. (Doubly so because a case that has that many contentions probably argued none of them well.)
Be respectful. You can win--and win handily--while respecting your opponent, even if he/she is overmatched.
PuFo: I am a reasonably educated American voter who is relatively well versed in current events. Convince me. I will not flow and do not care about dropped subpoints and technicalities. I will listen to what you say and how you say it, and pick the team that offers the more convincing arguments.
I competed in Policy (among other events) from 2006 to 2010 and in British Parliamentary at the college level from 2010 to 2014. I've been judging since then, and have been running the debate programs at a number of schools since 2016. Please read the applicable paradigm categorized by format below:
I'm a Stock Issues judge! My belief is that we're here to debate a policy option, not discuss external advocacy.
Generally not in favor of the K. If a team chooses to run one with me, provide a clear weighing mechanism as to why I should prefer the K over the policy issue we're actually here to debate.
I do not look upon Performance cases favorably. If you want to pull that stunt and expect to win, go do Oratory.
I'm able to understand speed just fine, but prefer clear articulation. Pitching your voice up while continuing to read at the same speed is not spreading.
I highly value clash and a weighing mechanism in the round, and strongly encourage analysis on arguments made. I work to avoid judge intervention if at all possible, unless there is clear abuse of the debate format or both teams have failed to provide effective weighing mechanisms. Don't just give me arguments and expect me to do the math; prove to me that you've won the argument, and then demonstrate how that means you've won the round.
I have a deep hatred of disclosure theory. I expect teams that I judge to be able to respond and adapt to new arguments in-round instead of whining about how they didn't know the 1AC or 1NC ahead of time. If you want to run this, I have an exceedingly high threshold for proving abuse.
I am a firm believer in traditional LD debate. LD was designed around Value-Criterion debate of the philosophical implications of a resolution, and I'm very happy to see debates of this nature. If you want to run a Plan, CP, or any variation of that, I would like to suggest 3 options for you: Go do Policy, have your coach strike me, or hope for a different judge.
I am not a fan of Kritiks, but haven't been shy about voting for them in the past when they're well-impacted and developed with a competitive alt. You're going to have to do some serious work if you want to try and get me to prefer the K, but it's certainly possible. A K without an alternative is just whining.
No speed. A conversational speaking rate is more than adequate if you've done your homework and refined your case.
Performance/meme cases will result in swift and appalling reprisals in your speaker points, even in the unlikely event that you win the round. A low-point win is virtually inevitable in that case, and likely indicates that your opponent has somehow become incapacitated during the round and was unable to gurgle a response.
Adaptation to your audience is one of the most basic and essential factors in debate, and public speaking in general. Please keep that in mind when formulating your strategy for the round.
I strongly prefer traditional public forum debate. If you treat this like Policy Lite, I will take out my frustration on your speaker points, and if it gets bad enough, on the rest of the ballot as well. PF was intended to be accessible to the layperson, and I take that seriously. Go do Policy if you want to use jargon, run plans or kritiks, or spread.
In order to earn the ballot from me, focus on making clear, well-articulated arguments that have appropriate supporting evidence. Remember to tell me why I should prefer your evidence/points over your opponent's. Make sure your advocacy is continually supported through the round, and give me a good summary at the end to show why you've won.
Traditional Worlds adjudication; please remember which format you're competing in. Do not spread.
hi ! i'm sarah (she/her). i'm a current sophomore studying cs and math. i don't have all that much formal debate experience; i did some trad ld in high school and moved onto apda in college, so i'm largely very inexperienced with anything that isn't lay debate. plz don't spread because i won't be able to keep up :( (speaking at a brisk pace is fine). i basically have the same grasp on debate as a parent judge, so just take that as you will when deciding what you want to run. i have no preference as to whether or not you keep your camera on. lmk if you have any other questions before the round by emailing me at email@example.com :)
Expirience: 2 years of policy debate, 14 years of coaching debate.
email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Delivery: I am fine with speed but Tags and analysis needs to be slower than warrants of carded evidence.
Flashing counted as prep until either email is sent or flash drive leaves computer. PUFO if you need cards call for them during CX otherwise asking to not start prep until the card is sent is stealing prep.
Topicality: T wise I have a very high threshold. I will generally not vote down an Aff on potential abuse. The Aff does have to put effort into the T debate as a whole though. If you don't, I will vote on T because this is a position that an Aff should be ready to face every round. Stale voters like fairness and education are not compelling to me at all. I also hate when you run multiple T violations it proves you are trying to cheap shot win on T. If you believe someone is untopical more real if you just go in depth on one violation.
Framework: I need the debaters to be the ones who give me the reasons to accept or reject a FW. Debaters also need to explain to me how the FW instructs me to evaluate the round, otherwise I have to ask for the FW after round just to know how to evaluate the round which I don't like doing or I have to intervene with my own interpretation of FW. If it becomes a wash I just evaluate based on impact calc.
Kritiks: As far as Kritiks go, I also have a high threshold. I will not assume anything about Ks. You must do the work on the link and alt level. Don’t just tell me to reject the 1AC and that that somehow solves for the impacts of the K. I need to get how that exactly works coming from the neg. This does not mean I think the Kritikal debate is bad I just think that competitors are used to judges already knowing the literature and not requiring them to do any of the articulation of the Kritik in the round itself, which in turn leads to no one learning anything about the Kritik or the lit.
Counterplans: If you show how the CP is competitive and is a better policy option than the Aff, I will vote for it. That being said if it is a Topical CP it is affirming the resolution which is not ever the point of the CP.
Theory: No matter what they theory argument is, I have a high threshold on it for being an independent reason to vote down a team. More often so long as argumentation for it is good, I will reject the arg not the team. Only time I would vote on disclosure theory is if you lied about what you would read. I beat two teams with TOC bids and guess what they didn't disclose to me what they read, I am not fast or more talented and only did policy for two years so do not tell me you cannot debate due to not knowing the case before round. I do believe Topical CPs are in fact just an affirmation and not a negation.
For both teams I will say this, a well thought out Impact Calc goes a long way to getting my ballot signed in your favor. Be clear and explain why your impacts outweigh. Don’t make me connect the dots for you. If you need clarification feel free to ask me before round.
I think LD should have a value and criterion and have reasons to vote one way or another upholding that value or criterion. I cannot stress this enough I HATE SEEING CX/POLICY debate arguments in LD debates I FIRMLY believe that no LDer can run a PLAN, DA, K, CP in LD because they don't know how it operates or if they do they most of the time have no link, solvency or they feel they don't have to have warrants for that. AVOID running those in front of me I will just be frustrated. Example: Cards in these "DAs" are powertagged by all from least skilled to the TOC bidders they are not fully finished, in policy these disads would be not factoring into decisions for not having warrants that Warming leads to extinction, or the uniqueness being non existant, or the links being for frankness hot piles of garbage or not there. If you are used to judges doing the work for you to get ballots, like impacting out the contentions without you saying most of it I am not the judge for you and pref me lower if you want. In novice am I easier on you sure, but in open particularly bid rounds I expect not to see incomplete contentions, and powertagged cards.
Look easiest way is be clear, do not read new cards or impacts after 2nd speaker on pro/con. I hate sandbagging in the final focus, I flow so I will be able to tell when you do it. Biggest pet peave is asking in crossfire do you have a card for that? Call for the warrants not the card, or the link to the article. I will not allow stealing of prep by demanding cards be given before next speech it just overextends rounds beyond policy rounds I would know I used to coach it all the time. Cite cards properly, ie full cites for each card of evidence you cite. IE: I see the word blog in the link, I already think the evidence isn't credible. Don't confuse defensive arguments for offensive arguments. Saying the pro cannot solve for a sub point of their case is defense, the pro triggers this negative impact is offense. Defense does not win championships in this sport, that's usually how the Pro overcomes the Con fairly easy. BTW calling for cards outside of cross fire and not wanting to have prep start is stealing prep you want full disclosure of cases do Policy where its required. Cross is also not the place to make a speech.
I am a lay, parent judge.
Please make it EXTREMELY CLEAR why you should win IN COMPARISON to your opponent, do not leave the weighing up to the judge.
I will drop progressive arguments (Ks, theory, other things like that). If you run progressive arguments, you should have a second, more straightforward case as well.
Speak slowly and clearly.
my email is email@example.com
I am a parent who volunteered to judge debate while one of my children was involved. Now that they have graduated I still help most weekends when I am able.
I am also a teacher; I have higher expectations of students who debate, simply because they are trying to improve. I am not a trained debate coach but I have been learning about debate for the last 7 years.
What I usually tell students who ask for my paradigm:
If I can't understand your words I can't judge your arguments. You have practiced your speeches, you know them, so help me understand what you have to say.
I like to hear a clear argument, so tell me what your points are, then offer your evidence. Be honest.
I like the occasional clever pun-but don't overdo it unless you can absolutely nail it!
The most important thing to keep in mind is: You are working hard and I respect that work. You are doing something that matters, thank you for learning about our world and refining your ability to discuss and make decisions about important issues.
I’m the head coach of the Mount Vernon HS Debate Team (WA).
I did policy debate in HS very, very long ago - but I’m not a traditionalist. (Bring on the progressive LD arguments-- I will listen to them, unlike my daughter, Peri, who is such a traditional LD'er.)
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t be racist, homophobic, etc. I like sassy, aggressive debaters who enjoy what they do but dislike sullen, mean students who don't really care-- an unpleasant attitude will damage your speaker points.
Speed: I’m worried about judging online, so please slow down a little bit to avoid any issues. Speed hasn't been a problem but I don't tell you if I need you to be more clear-- I feel it's your job to adapt. If you don't see me typing, you probably want to slow down.
Tech = Truth: I’ll probably end up leaning more tech, but I won’t vote for weak arguments that are just blatantly untrue in the round whether or not your opponents call it out.
PSA --- My debater Ausha is my favorite fave : ) but I probably shouldn't given her my tabroom info
I prefer a strong, developed NEG strategy instead of running a myriad of positions that serve no point.
I love it when debaters run unique arguments that they truly believe and offer really high speaker points for this. (I'm not inclined to give high speaks though.)
Any arguments that aren’t on here, assume neutrality.
Do like and will vote on:
T - I love a well-developed T battle but rarely hear one. I don't like reasonability as a standard-- it's lazy, do the work.
Ks - I like debaters who truly believe in the positions they’re running. I like critical argumentation but if you choose to run an alt of "embrace poetry" or "reject all written text", you had better fully embrace it. I’m in touch with most literature, but I need a lot of explanation from either side as to why you should win it in the final rebuttals.
Don’t like but will vote on if won:
“Debate Bad” - I DO NOT LIKE "Debate is Futile" arguments. Please don't tell me what we are doing has no point. I will listen to your analysis. I may even have to vote for it once in a while. But, it is not my preference. Want a happy judge? Don't tell me that how we are spending another weekend of our lives is wasting our time.
LD - Skep, permissibility, etc.
Very, very, very... VERY traditional LD - if you are reading an essay case, congratulations and welcome to my worst nightmare.
Not a huge fan of disclosure theory-- best to skip this.
Don’t like and won’t vote on:
i'll listen to whatever as long as its not racist/sexist/homophobic ect.
Winning my ballot comes down to a few things.
First and foremost this is a game. While I understand doing everything possible to try and win rounds, insensitive/hateful comments or actions towards your opponents or anyone for that matter are not tolerated. They don't contribute to the case and if necessary I have no problem getting tab involved.
To get more into the specifics for LD...
I prefer traditional LD debate. Progressive is fine but I believe that Value/Value Criterion are key pillars in the LD format and that additional level of moral debate is what makes LD different from the other forms. Ultimately, the more work you put into debate the more you can expect to get out of it. Most of the time, the debater that has done more research on the topic will come out on top.
For debate in general...
If a framework is brought up and defended that will be used as the weighing mechanism for the round. Flow is important and typical NSDA rules as far as dropping and new arguments apply to my flow/judging. Anything that has evidence can be ran, I will flow any argument as long as it is well supported (no matter how crazy the idea may sound). At the end of the day my vote should match any reasonable person in the same position. Winning should never come down to a coin toss or a personal preference, simply argumentation. That win should be apparent even if it is not the outcome wanted. Remember debating has nothing to do with convincing your opponent that they are wrong and everything to do with convincing the judge that you are right.
** Please try your best to avoid suicide related topics. If you have anything you need to run to win the round at least give me a trigger warning **
I am a beginner parent judge. Speaking speed should be slow and clear. Make sure to keep your arguments very clear and respectful. For debate, I will vote for whoever convinces me towards their argument best.
Overall I am a communications style judge.
For Public Forum/Lincoln Douglas:
I'm often a beginner on the topic so clarify any acronyms/abbreviations, uncommon terms, and/or advanced concepts when used.
Your off-time road map, as well as clear signposting during your speech, are important and appreciated for my notetaking. Slow down and really emphasize each of your contentions and evidence tag lines so that I can make myself notes.
As for speed: I'm OK with a fairly fast pace presentation as long as you are completely understandable using good diction and clarity and that the arguments are clear. If you lose me, you've lost the argument. I suggest that you consider presenting your best arguments well and skip just trying to squeeze more in.
I like line-by-line refutation of arguments presented by the opposing team.
Respectful clash in cross makes debate interesting and helps me be attentive.
I will compare and weigh the arguments presented, including likely and convincing impacts.
End with voters and impacts...go ahead and write my ballot for me in your final speech :)
In Lincoln Douglas debate, all the above information applies. I think definitions, resolution analysis, and framework are an important and interesting part of this style of debate but don't make them the only focus of your argumentation. I love to hear clear and specific arguments about the topic. I will base my vote on any and all arguments presented.
Consider me a "Comms" judge. Please avoid debate abbreviations and jargon as much as possible, taking time to translate debate lingo in my brain distracts me from understanding your important information.
Speed will NOT be in your favor. Slow down, start from the beginning, define terms, present your best arguments, and explain it all to me. Do not just read your evidence cards and expect me to interpret how that supports your case, tell me what it means.
I will judge on stock issues like topicality, inherency, and solvency, but I would prefer to be weighing really good arguments with supporting evidence provided by both sides. I take notes about the information presented, but I don't "flow" the way you do. You should directly refute the arguments presented by the opposing team, but rarely do I vote purely on "flow through" unrefuted sub-points. Generally, I'm looking for the evidence and arguments that are most believable for me. In terms of impacts, I will prefer the likelihood of negative impacts occurring over the magnitude of devastation. Good luck!
I love well organized and passionately presented arguments designed to convince your fellow Representatives to vote with you. Well researched and prepared speeches are appreciated, but how they are presented definitely impacts the score I give. Eye contact and presentation with purposeful variation in volume, tone, pace, and inflection for impact and persuasion will set you apart for me.
The bills and resolutions being argued are interesting, but I like the discussion to move forward. So, if you have a prepared speech that just restates points already presented, I would prefer you didn't give it. I like it when speeches given later in the discussion refer to points previously made by other representatives and either support or refute them. I also think that extemporaneously style speeches with fresh points given later in the discussion can be impactful, so feel free to listen to the discussion, use your brain, common sense, and add something meaningful to the discussion even if you did not originally have something prepared for this bill.
Tech savvy truth telling/testing debaters who crystallize with clarity, purpose persuasion & pathos will generally win my ballot.
My email: email@example.com
For CHSSA: Flow judge, please weigh impacts in rebuttals, please win line by line, please make arguments quickly and effectively, and make the largest quantity & quality of arguments that you can. Thanks.
Updated Paradigm for NDCA & TOC
My intent in doing this update is to simplify my paradigm to assist Public Forum debaters competing at the major competitions at the end of this season. COVID remote debating has had some silver linings, and this year I have uniquely had the opportunity to judge a prolific number of prestigious tournaments, so I am "in a groove" judging elite PF debates this season, having sat on at least half a dozen PF TOC bid rounds this year, and numerous Semis/Finals of tournaments like Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, Berkeley, among many others.
I am "progressive", "circuit style", "tabula rosa", "non-interventionist", completely comfortable with policy jargon and spreading, open to Kritiks/Theory/Topicality, and actively encourage Framework debates in PF. You can figure out what I mean by FW with a cursory reading of the basic wikipedia entry "policy debate: framework" -- I am encouraging, where applicable and appropriate, discussions of what types of arguments and debate positions support claims to a superior model of Public Forum debate, both in the particular round at hand and future debates. I think that PF is currently grappling as a community with a lot of Framework questions, and inherently believe that my ballot actually does have potential for some degree of Solvency in molding PF norms. Some examples of FW arguments I have heard this year include Disclosure Theory, positions that demand the first constructive speech of the team speaking second provide direct clash (rejecting the prevalent two ships passing in the night norm for the initial constructive speeches), and Evidence theory positions.
To be clear, this does not mean at all that teams who run FW in front of me automatically get my ballot. I vote all the time on basic stock issues, and in fact the vast majority of my PF decisions have been based on offense/defense within a role-playing policy-maker framework. Just like any debate position, I am completely open to anything (short of bullying, racism, blatant sexism, truly morally repugnant positions, but I like to believe that no debaters are coming into these elite rounds intending to argue stuff like this). I am open to a policy-making basic Net benefits standard, willing to accept Fiat of a policy action as necessary and justifiable, just as much as I am willing to question Fiat -- the onus is on the debaters to provide warrants justifying whatever position or its opposite they wish to defend.
I will provide further guidance and clarifications on my judging philosophy below, but I want to stress that what I have just stated should really be all you need to decide whether to pref/strike me -- if you are seeking to run Kritiks or Framework positions that you have typically found some resistance to from more traditional judges, then you want to pref me; if you want rounds that assume the only impacts that should be considered are the effects of a theoretical policy action, I am still a fine judge to have for that, but you will have to be prepared to justify those underlying assumptions, and if you don't want to have to do that, then you should probably strike me. If you have found yourself in high profile rounds a bit frustrated because your opponent ran positions that didn't "follow the rules of PF debate", I'm probably not the judge you want. If you have been frustrated because you lost high profile rounds because you "didn't follow the rules of PF debate", you probably want me as your judge.
So there is my most recent update, best of luck to all competitors as we move to the portion of the season with the highest stakes.
Here is what I previously provided as my paradigm:
Speed: Short answer = Go as fast as you want, you won't spread me out.
I view speed as merely a tool, a way to get more arguments out in less time which CAN lead to better debates (though obviously that does not bear out in every instance). My recommendations for speed: 1) Reading a Card -- light-speed + speech doc; 2) Constructives: uber-fast + slow sign posting please; 3) Rebuttals: I prefer the slow spread with powerfully efficient word economy myself, but you do you; 4) Voters: this is truly the point in a debate where I feel speed outlives its usefulness as a tool, and is actually much more likely to be a detriment (that being said, I have judged marvelous, blinding-fast 2ARs that were a thing of beauty)...err on the side of caution when you are instructing me on how to vote.
Policy -- AFFs advocating topical ethical policies with high probability to impact real people suffering right now are best in front of me. I expect K AFFs to offer solid ground and prove a highly compelling advocacy. I love Kritiks, I vote for them all the time, but the most common problem I see repeatedly is an unclear and/or ineffective Alt (If you don't know what it is and what it is supposed to be doing, then I can't know either). Give me clash: prove you can engage a policy framework as well as any other competing frameworks simultaneously, while also giving me compelling reasons to prefer your FW. Anytime you are able to demonstrate valuable portable skills or a superior model of debate you should tell me why that is a reason to vote for you. Every assumption is open for review in front of me -- I don't walk into a debate round believing anything in particular about what it means for me to cast my ballot for someone. On the one hand, that gives teams extraordinary liberty to run any position they wish; on the other, the onus is on the competitors to justify with warranted reasoning why I need to apply their interpretations. Accordingly, if you are not making ROB and ROJ arguments, you are missing ways to get wins from me.
I must admit that I do have a slight bias on Topicality -- I have noticed that I tend to do a tie goes to the runner thing, and if it ends up close on the T debate, then I will probably call it reasonably topical and proceed to hear the Aff out. it isn't fair, it isn't right, and I'm working on it, but it is what it is. I mention this because I have found it persuasive when debaters quote this exact part of my paradigm back to me during 2NRs and tell me that I need to ignore my reasonability biases and vote Neg on T because the Neg straight up won the round on T. This is a functional mechanism for checking a known bias of mine.
Oh yea -- remember that YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME.
Public Forum -- At this point, after judging a dozen PF TOC bid rounds in 2021-2022, I think it will be most helpful for me to just outright encourage everybody to run Framework when I am your judge (3 judge panels is your call, don't blame me!). I think this event as a whole desperately needs good quality FW arguments that will mold desirable norms, I might very well have an inherent bias towards the belief that any solvency reasonably expected to come from a ballot of mine will most likely implicate FW, and thus I am resolved to actively encourage PF teams to run FW in front of me. If you are not comfortable running FW, then don't -- I always want debaters to argue what matters to them. But if you think you can win a round on FW, or if you have had an itch to try it out, you should. Even if you label a position as Framework when it really isn't, I will still consider the substantive merits behind your arguments, its not like you get penalized for doing FW wrong, and you can absolutely mislabel a position but still make a fantastic argument deserving of my vote.
Other than "run FW", I need to stress one other particular -- I do not walk into a PF round placing any limitations whatsoever on what a Public Forum debate is supposed to be. People will say that I am not "traditional or lay", and am in fact "progressive", but I only consider myself a blank slate (tabula rasa). Every logical proposition and its diametric opposite is on the table in front of me, just prove your points to be true. It is never persuasive for a team to say something like "but that is a Counterplan, and that isn't allowed in PF". I don't know how to evaluate a claim like that. You are free to argue that CPs in PF are not a good model for PF debates (and lo and behold, welcome to running a FW position), or that giving students a choice between multiple styles of debate events is critical for education and so I should protect the "rules" and the "spirit" of PF as an alternative to LD and Policy -- but notice how those examples rely on WARRANTS, not mere assertions that something is "against the rules." Bottom line, if the "rules" are so great, then they probably had warrants that justified their existence, which is how they became the rules in the first place, so go make those underlying arguments and you will be fine. If the topic is supposed to be drug policy, and instead a team beats a drum for 4 minutes, ya'll should be able to articulate the underlying reasons why this is nonsense without resorting to grievances based on the alleged rules of PF.
College Parli -- Because there is a new topic every round, the threshold for depth of research is considerably lower, and debaters should be able to advocate extemporaneously; this shifts my view of the burdens associated with typical Topicality positions. Arguments that heavily weigh on the core ground intended by the topic will therefore tend to strike me as more persuasive. Additionally, Parli has a unique procedural element -- the ability to ask a question during opponent's speech time. A poignant question in the middle of an opponent's speech can single handedly manufacture clash, and create a full conversational turn that increases the educational quality of the debate; conversely, an excellent speaker can respond to the substance of a POI by adapting their speech on the spot, which also has the effect of creating a new conversational turn.
lysis. While this event has evolved considerably, I am still a firm believer that Value/Criterion is the straightest path to victory, as a strong V/C FW will either contextualize impacts to a policy/plan advocacy, or explain and justify an ethical position or moral statement functioning as that necessary advocacy. Also, V/C allows a debater to jump in and out of different worlds, advocating for their position while also demonstrating the portable skill of entering into an alternate FW and clashing with their opponent on their merits. An appropriate V/C will offer fair, reasonable, predictable, equitable, and functional Ground to both sides. I will entertain any and all theory, kritiks, T, FW. procedure, resolution-rejection/alteration, etc. -- but fair warning, positions that do not directly relate to the resolutional topic area will require a Highly Compelling warrant(s) for why. At all times, please INSTRUCT me on how I am supposed to think about the round.
So...that is my paradigm proper, intentionally left very short. I've tried the more is more approach, and I have become fond of the less is more. Below are random things I have written, usually for tournament-specific commentary.
Worlds @ Coppell:
I have taken care to educate myself on the particulars of this event, reviewing relevant official literature as well as reaching out to debate colleagues who have had more experience. My obligation as a fair, reasonable, unbiased and qualified critic requires me to adapt my normal paradigm, which I promise to do to the best of my abilities. However, this does not excuse competitive debaters from their obligation to adapt to their assigned judge. I adapt, you adapt, Fair.
To learn how I think in general about how I should go about judging debates, please review my standard Judge Paradigm posted below. Written short and sweet intentionally, for your purposes as Worlds debaters who wish to gain my ballot, look for ways to cater your strengths as debaters to the things I mention that I find generally persuasive. You will note that my standard paradigm is much shorter than this unique, particularized paradigm I drafted specifically for Worlds @ Coppell.
Wesley's Worlds Paradigm:
I am looking for which competitors perform the "better debating." As line by line and dropping of arguments are discounted in this event, those competitors who do the "better debating" will be "on balance more persuasive" than their opponents.
Style: I would liken Style to "speaker points" in other debate events. Delivery, passion, rhetoric, emotional appeal. Invariably, the power of excellent public speaking will always be anchored to the substantive arguments and authenticity of advocacy for the position the debater must affirm or negate. While I will make every effort to separate and appropriately quantify Style and Content, be warned that in my view there is an inevitable and unbreakable bond between the two, and will likely result in some spillover in my final tallies.
Content: If I have a bias, it would be in favor of overly weighting Content. I except that competitors will argue for a clear advocacy, a reason that I should feel compelled to vote for you, whether that is a plan, a value proposition, or other meaningful concept.
PAY ATTENTION HERE: Because of the rules of this event that tell me to consider the debate as a whole, to ignore extreme examples, to allow for a "reasonable majority" standard to affirm and a "significant minority" standard to negate, and particularly bearing in mind the rules regarding "reasonability" when it comes to definitions, I will expect the following:
A) Affirmatives will provide an advocacy that is clearly and obviously within the intended core ground proffered by the topic (the heart of hearts, if you will);
B) Negatives will provide an advocacy of their own that clashes directly with the AFF (while this is not completely necessary, it is difficult for me to envision myself reaching a "better debating" and "persuasion" standard from a straight refutation NEG, so consider this fair warning); what the Policy folk call a PIC (Plan-Inclusive Counterplan) will NOT be acceptable, so do not attempt on the NEG to offer a better affirmative plan that just affirms the resolution -- I expect an advocacy that fundamentally NEGATES
C) Any attempt by either side to define their opponent's position out of the round must be EXTRAORDINARILY compelling, and do so without reliance on any debate theory or framework; possibilities would include extremely superior benefits to defining a word in a certain way, or that the opponent has so missed the mark on the topic that they should be rejected. It would be best to assume that I will ultimately evaluate any merits that have a chance of reasonably fitting within the topic area. Even if a team elects to make such an argument, I still expect them to CLASH with the substance of the opponent's case, regardless of whether or not your view is that the substance is off-topic. Engage it anyways out of respect.
D) Claim-Warrant-Impact-Weighing formula still applies, as that is necessary to prove an "implication on effects in the real world". Warrants can rely on "common knowledge", "general logic", or "internal logic", as this event does not emphasize scholarly evidence, but I expect Warrants nonetheless, as you must tell me why I am supposed to believe the claim.
Strategy: While there may be a blending of Content & Style on the margins in front of me as a judge, Strategy is the element that I believe will be easy for me to keep separate and quantify unto itself. Please help me and by proxy yourselves -- MENTION in your speeches what strategies you have used, and why they were good. Debaters who explicitly state the methods they have used, and why those methods have aided them to be "on balance more persuasive" and do the "better debating" will likely impress me.
POIs: The use of Questions during opponent's speech time is a tool that involves all three elements, Content/Style/Strategy. It will be unlikely for me to vote for a team that fails to ask a question, or fails to ask any good questions. In a perfect world, I would like speakers to yield to as many questions as they are able, especially if their opponent's are asking piercing questions that advance the debate forward. You WANT to be answering tough questions, because it makes you look better for doing so. I expect the asking and answering of questions to be reciprocal -- if you ask a lot of questions, then be ready and willing to take a lot of questions in return. Please review my section on Parli debate below for final thoughts on the use of POI.
If you want to win my vote, take everything I have written above to heart, because that will be the vast majority of the standards for judging I will implement during this tournament. As always, feel free to ask me any further questions directly before the round begins. Best of luck!
Hi there! I did LD for 4 years at Central Valley High School (Spokane, WA) and I’ve been doing parliamentary debate at Western Washington University for two years. I attended debate camp for three summers back to back in HS as well. I typically judge LD.
Prefs shortcuts for LDers:
K debaters- 1 or 2
Policy (plans/CPs/DAs,PICs)- 2
Traditional- 1 or 2
Phil debaters- 2 or 3
Theory/trix debaters- 4 or strike
Performance debaters- 1 or 2
*Note for traditional/novice/PF debaters — if none of this makes sense to you, scroll down to the bottom for my traditional paradigm.
- My NUMBER ONE rule is to keep the debate space safe and inclusive. Therefore, if you compromise the safety of the debate space for your opponent, for me, or for anyone, you will likely lose the round. This could include being overly-aggressive in cross-x, treating anyone disrespectfully, disrespecting someone’s pronouns, running something -clearly- outrageous or offensive, or using offensive rhetoric. (Quick note about rhetoric — it’s not a game-over argument in my eyes. If you honestly didn't mean to offend with your rhetoric, it might slide. Typically though, I will punish you for it.)
- Spreading’s okay with me. If you do spread, PLEASE email me a copy of your speech doc before your speech(es). Otherwise I might lose some crucial warrants in cards or something. I will destroy each speech doc in front of both debaters after the round is over.
- I’ll give speaks around 27-30 for standard circuit rounds. I use speaks to punish debaters initially, but ultimately the ballot if you really piss me off. You’ll earn higher speaks by giving good rebuttals, good word economy, appealing to pathos and logos, speaking clearly, and using TASTEFUL puns in your speeches.
Ks- Run them. I’m a K debater myself so I know how to evaluate Ks. My personal favorite Ks (in order) are Anthro, Fem, Cap, afropess, and most of DnG’s stuff. I love these Ks not just because I like the arguments themselves, but I like debates about those critical fields. If you’re running high-level kritiks like Baudrillard, Fanon, etc please slow down to explain them. If you can’t explain your K to a common person, don’t run it. I generally need a ROTB for Ks but I can evaluate it through a value criterion if that’s how you roll. Also - I like it when debaters explain how their alt’s solvency and when they weigh the K and the AC. Oh and K affs are awesome.
Theory- I’ll vote on theory if you win it but I generally don’t like theory debates. If trix or theory-overload is your style, avoid me. I’ll vote on RVIs if you win them. I really have a hard time voting for plan theory/CP theory/DA theory/K theory but if you win it I guess I’ll vote for you. PIC theory/disclosure theory are definitely acceptable positions for me, so go ahead and run that if you want.
Policy- Run it! Plans are totally fine as long as they’re topical (see non-T positions below for non-T plans). CPs/DAs are totally fine and legitimate too. CPs don’t have to be competitive IF they solve much better than the AC. You can also run a CP even if the aff doesn’t have a plan text. DAs need UQ and a solid link, and idc how long the DA is. PLAN-INCLUSIVE counterplans are good with me, but word PICs are usually not legitimate to me. Solvency is a must when you’re LARPing.
Phil- Probably run it if you know it, but be cautious. I know Kant fairly decently, and util/consequentialism is always fine. You MUST send me your speech doc when you’re going for a heavy phil position. Also, you MUST be able to explain the phil if I look confused. I like well-warranted frameworks, and I love syllogisms within the framing. Other notes — standard/value criterions can either be the name of the phil or a text, I LOVE(!) it when you break the framework cards into subpoints, weighing between AC and NC under your phil is a must, and you don’t have to have a value generally.
Performance/Non-topical positions- Run them. Anything counts as a performance if you call it one, so have fun (but be safe). If you claim to be topical and you lose on T with these kinds of positions, you’ll lose the round. Performances/non-T need framing of some kind. Also you need to be able to explain the thesis of your performance’s argument if it’s unclear. Performances need to either be reasonably topical or 100% nontopical. Otherwise, do whatever you want AS LONG AS it doesn’t jeopardize the safety of the debate space. Also - disclosure is nice for nontopical positions. If you provide proof that you disclosed your performance to your opponent BEFORE the round starts, I’ll give you an extra half of a speaker point.
Topicality- I have a very high standard when it comes to topicality. If I feel the shell is especially frivolous, I won’t vote on it. Otherwise topicality is just fine. If your go-to strat is T no matter what, avoid me. Oh yeah, and T’s a voter if you win it.
- MY NUMBER ONE RULE is that every debater must be kind and respectful to everyone in my rounds. Overall, just be a good person :)
- I value effective communication, persuasive argumentation, creative thinking, and having fun! Debate is supposed to be educational and a good time, so make it that way.
- I like giving high speaker points and seeing -tasteful- passion behind what you’re arguing. Logos and pathos go a long way in my book.
- Anything in my circuit paradigm will generally apply if you wanna be circuit at a local, traditional tournament.
- Other random notes — I like good eye contact, slowing down on tags, polite cross-x, humor, and being a human (and not a robot) in round.
- SPECIAL NOTE FOR PF DEBATERS — If I’m judging you for PF, everything from my traditional paradigm still applies. I like when PF teams have frameworks in their constructives but it’s not necessary. Make sure you focus on clash during your speeches and make sure CX isn’t overly-aggressive.
Definitions - unnecessary unless you are defining something creatively. Definitions debates will make me very, very sad.
Framework- You need to have a value and value criterion, and they need to be fair to both debaters. Weighing between frameworks and weighing under your opponent’s framework is a must. But I’m completely fine if a debater just wants to use their opponent’s framework. Also, if you have similar frameworks, I appreciate it if both debaters agree to collapse on a similar goal with their frameworks. (example: aff has justice/consequentialism, neg has morality/util. Debaters agree to weigh their impacts under what’s the most ethical consequence). Generally, I like framework debate more than contention debate, but it depends on the debaters and the topic. I’ll tell you in-person what I like with frameworks on a particular topic.
Contentions- I like well-warranted contentions. They can have multiple sub points, but they all have to be meaningful. Also, contentions MUST HAVE empirical evidence, not just analytical arguments. If you have a good mix of empirical evidence and analytics, I’ll go with it. In traditional rounds, solvency isn’t that important, but nice if you have it. Your contentions also must have impacts and you ABSOLUTELY NEED to weigh those impacts against your opponent’s.
- You can time yourselves.
- You can sit or stand no matter if it’s a circuit round or a traditional round.
- Try to use all of your time in your constructives and rebuttals, but it’s probably okay if you don’t have a lot to ask in cross-x (if you understand everything).
- Memes cannot be offensive or potentially to anyone in the room.
- Content warnings are appreciated BEFORE your speeches.
- My pronouns are he/him/they/them. Don’t care which ones you use.
My contact info —
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (flag emails as important if I’m ur judge)
Facebook: Gavin McCormick
Have fun out there in the debate world, and I’m looking forward to seeing you if I’m your judge! Thanks for reading my paradigm :)
Hello, folks. The TLDR of my paradigm is:
I try not to interfere in the round unless it's to protect the 1AR and the 2NR from the subsequent speeches.
It should go without saying, but I'm a tech over truth judge. I think debate is fundamentally a game and competition. This view sort of bleeds into my number one issue that I have with a lot of debaters being that there seems to be a lack of strategy in the modern debate round. If you want to see more of my thoughts on debate strategy, scroll down and you can see. No matter what, I'm going to give feedback after the round (partly because my handwriting is awful) partly because you should be able to ask questions. If both teams agree, I'll disclose after the round.
When it comes to feedback, I swear that I'm not mean. I just have thoughts. I don't think you get better with me saying "you did so good", "you're a star", and "sEe YoU aT NaTiOnAls!" I think that you get better by judges telling you what they think. Odds are, unless you did really well I won't give you a positive comment in my verbal feedback. It doesn't help that I'm also very sarcastic and constantly look dead inside. That doesn't mean that you're a bad debater, and it doesn't mean that you didn't do something fantastically in round. It just means that I want to share my constructive criticism. I know it's a meme in the debate community to make fun of judges with bad takes on judging, but (hot take here) maybe listen to them. If one judge has a take like "truth over tech" or "speak slower" or even "substantial means 96%" odds are there are others like them. If you want to win, learn to judge adapt. I always sucked at it and never really cared, so I'm saying this to y'all as my warning.
Don't be a shlemiel, just debate good.
UPDATE: Tabroom isn't linking to my other email that I've judged a lot of tournaments with and debated a lot with. Because of that, my records (both judging and competition) are incomplete. If you ask me before round what my distribution has been for the last couple of tournaments, I'll probably tell you.
Include me in the email chain, my email is email@example.com
These next few paragraphs are me ascending the ivory tower and giving thoughts on various arguments, so read at your own risk.
My name is Bax, I use He/His/Him pronouns. I'm a stats major at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota where I do mock trial, debate, J-Street, and I'm an editor for the school newspaper. I qualified for nationals a couple of times and went to a lot of bid tournaments but I was from a rural school so I'm pretty familiar with both traditional and more circuit arguments. I'd like to say that I had a pretty healthy mix of both circuit and trad debate, but let's be honest, no one really tried in the covid season. I did primarily policy throughout high school with a bit of progressive LD in the middle. Now that this biography is done, here's my thoughts on various arguments.
Weigh GOD Damn it, Weigh!! It makes my job easier and lets me stick to my TLDR paradigm better. If there's no weighing done I will vote neg on presumption. I know that makes me unpopular, especially in PF and LD, but these are the consequences of your actions for not weighing. I vote neg on presumption because I think it's the most fair and rational way to assess a round where neither side weighed. In the real world, if someone makes an assertion (and can't prove it), then we don't assume that that statement is true. The aff has the burden of proof, and judges should hold the aff accountable to that burden. I think judge weighing is unfair to both sides. For example, I personally default to probability times magnatude with util calculus as the best way to weigh, but that's obviously not fair to K debaters who run arguments that are harder to quantify in certian ways. As is such, I have decided that the most fair way to assess rounds where neither side weighs is to vote neg on presumption. I also will vote neg on presumption if the neg tells me to and gives me a compelling reason of why its decent way to view the round. This is rare, but it has happened in the past.
If i'm judging with Caleb Stewart, we'll probably vote the same way. We were a team and keep roughly the same paradigm.
Look, we all have preconceptions or things we have thoughts on. I don't want you to think that I believe that my way of the debate is the only right way, because I think there are many different interps. I do want you to know that I'm an ex-debater who has reentered this event on the otherside of the ballot. As is such, I have thoughts on basically every argument and strategy. You can totally try to concince me otherwise, but know that my thoughts on some of these arguments means that you might have to put in substantial work to make me think that they're legit or not. I'm totally open to this, but I think everyone needs to recognize that no judge has 0 bias. If you want to try to convince me that dispo advocacies are bad for policy debate, go for it. You just have to understand that I already have my thoughts on the matter and you'll have to put in more work than your opponent who is trying to defend it. I mention this because I think it's unfair for judges to not disclose their own thoughts on relatively common strategies and arguments used in the debate space and expect debaters to just know what they mean. A lot of these are issues that could come up in round and I have the most thoughts on. If you really feel strongly about this, run a theory shell (might be hard for number 2. I guess that one is more of an FYI).
1. "CX is a speech"- Chris Eckert. Things you say are binding. CX isn't an excuse for severance. With that said, CX is for you as a debater to understand what you're debating against. So, I clearly won't use your CX as a way to judge the final round, but CX is binding. For example, if the other side is running a weird framework and you start poking holes in it in CX and they straight up concede the whole round, you need to tell me that in your next speaking slot. I'm not going to just write that down during cross. Their answer to the CX question is totes binding though.
2. please sign post. I can handle spreading, but sign posting makes it so much easier. Also, sign posting is not "they said λ, but we say ℵ." I'm flowing. I know they said that, where did they say that? Where am I flowing this? Why does what you say matter if they said that? Just say "on the DA" or whatever if you really have to. Nothing makes me more upset than the whole "they said; we say" writen on the flow. It's bad strat and just irks me.
3. Tech issues are to be expected, if it went well it wouldn't be debate.
4. I think flex cross is totally a thing that debaters should be able to use. Ideally you should use your whole cross, but if you'd rather take some of it and put it to prep go ahead or vice versa.
5. I prefer Tag-team CX to traditional CX. If you and your partner want to do this in PF with a Grand Cross for every individual cross I'd be ok but it's up to the other team.
6. Stealing prep is cringe
7. I tend to like Condo and dispo*. I think that the aff should be able to defend itself against multiple different angles. The only reason that I (*) dispo is because I think that it is almost situational. Like, if it's LD and you run a dispo advocacy that's clearly there as a time/strat skew with two seperate condo advocacies I'm going to have a harder time voting for you. I think it's a legit strategy, it just makes you seem like a crummy person. I mention this because I did have to vote for a kid who did this and it made me mad for the rest of the tournament. If it's policy though, I probably won't buy your dispo bad arguments. Saddle the heck up and deal with it, that's why you have 8 and 5 minute speaches with ("somewhat") competent judges.
8. T is an a priori issue. I think this should be obvious, but I guess it needs to be said. If the aff is untopical, it's untopical and shouldn't win. There's no way around it. I remember one time I tried running a RVI on T (so sorry to Cheyenne GL for that) and I sit and cringe at that to this day. The aff shouldn't win just by showing that it's topical and a non-topical aff shouldn't be allowed to win. I won't vote you down on the spot if I think your case isn't topical and no one calls you out, but I will probably mention it after. This should give you a hint that I think RVIs are something of a bain to the debate community.
I think debate strategy is totally underused in more traditional circuits. It's become what I've commented on most in recent tournaments. I'm not going to give you my entire thesis on debate strategy, but I think that a lot of teams (in both PF, LD, and policy but especially LD and PF) tend to hit a point of diminshing returns with their arguments. Running 13 off may be great (please don't I'm trying to cut down on the amount of paper I use), but I miss the days when people would only go for one arg in the 2NR. I know a lot of more experienced debters might be confused by this statement seeing as it's obvious due to the time economy, but newer debaters seem to lack this skill. My honest advice to all debaters is when you get to the neg block (or equivelent) in the debate, take an honest look at the flow. What arguments are sticking and which ones aren't? Never go for everything, kick something. If you're doing it right, by the end of the 1AR (at the latest) it should be obvious what the neg is winning. Kick everything else and just go for it. Clearly, it's better if this is off case, but this works for on case too (sometimes). Obviously, this is situational, but don't go for everything. Time-skew is real, use it to your advantage, but don't let it become a catch 22. For aff strategy, it's honestly all in the 1AR. We all know that the 1AR in both policy and LD is the hardest speach in debate. You have 4 or 5 minutes to respond to 7 or 13 minutes of neg talking ground. If the neg is going for an a priori argument, clearly start with that and then move down in order of arguments that you're winning. The best 1AR that I've ever seen in my life was a policy team that broke to semis at nationals. Go for T, Case, off-case turns, everything else. When you do those, it's harder to loose on T and you can leverage the case and turns to outweigh the neg off. The aff needs to be looking to the 2AR in the prep for the 1AR. How are they going to weigh and how are they going to cut the neg ground down a size? On soft-left affs, framework should be way way up there in terms of aff priority, but that should be clear.
TLDR: neg strategy should always be "what shouldn't I run?" and aff should always be "when should I run this?"
Most of this paradigm is focused on Policy just because I enjoy policy the most. That doesn't mean that I don't like y'all PFers and LDers, I just need to give my policy babes some attention ;)
I love a good K on K debate or even a policy on K debate. I'm pretty caught up on cap and set col lit, but everything else I've fallen out of touch with. Keep me up to speed on the lit, and I'll be down.
I'll vote on T if the Neg goes for it, no matter how bad it is. Hot take. If you're varsity and you can't beat a T shell easily in the 2AC, your aff is probably not topical.
My tolerance for theory is a lot higher than most judges in policy, maybe because I did some LD. In my opinion, theory is a legit tactic that's very underused. That doesn't mean I want to watch 90 minutes of debate about debate for 6 rounds, but I think that some debaters let small abuses go unchecked. Theory to me is just like any other a priori argument: if you want to make it a law in the round, basically run the abuse like an inround DA. Interp of what you think the rule should be, why they didn't follow it, why your rule is better than no rule, and why the rule matters. The only difference is that your impact is competition or fairness or whatever.
I'm not a big fan of multiactor fiat, but if you can run it strategically I'm down. "Fiat is durable" shouldn't get you out of basic circumvention arguments, but if it does because of opponent incompetence, mozel tov I guess.
I like progressive LD, but a good traditional LD debate will always have a special place in my heart. With that said, i generally default to the same policy rules when it comes to progressive LD with more emphasis on theory. I definitely love a good LD debate where theory is made a big issue.
Value and VC clash is big for me too, framework makes the game work (or something quirky like that.)
Plans in LD:
I'm chill with a plan in LD if the resolution is open to it. Action resolutions should always have some debaters running plans, but truth-testing resolutions is where it gets a little dicey for me. For the violent revolutions topic a few years back, I ran a plan about Eritrea and I still laugh at it. I'm obviously not going to vote you down just for running a plan on a truth-testing resolution, but if your opponent brings it up just know that my preconceived biases make it more likely that I'll buy their arg.
Yes, yes, yes. Non-Pic Cps in LD are so underused and it makes me sad to see.
K debates are fun, but don't be the mamzer who runs 5 conditional ks on a novice just because you can.
I could honestly write a book on debate strategy and spend half the time talking about LD. LD strat is (in general) absurdly cringe. That's partly because the way LD is set up has made it the bastard lovechild of 2016 policy debate and 2019 PF debate for one person. This leads to a lot of people that policy debaters have started affectionately calling "LARPers" (Live Action Role Players). They want to be policy debaters, but they bring it into LD. I won't stop you if you want to run a plan in LD. I won't even stop you if you want to run a K. I won't stop you if you want to run a dispo aff plan with an RVI cherry on top. If you want to pretend to be policy debaters, I will judge you like policy debaters. This is both an invitation and a threat.
My thoughts on progressive PF can be summarized by my favorite Scrubs quote:
"Bad, bad noobie"
Progressive PF to me leaves a vacuum that requires the judge to intervene and that sets a dangerous precedent. This changes if both teams are competent, but as I've gone around the less I believe there's such thing as 2 competent progressive PF teams hitting each other in a prelim. I'm not saying don't spread or use some specific policy lingo, but if you're running a DA try to do it right.
Traditional PF debate is good, I'm generally a fan. I tend to think that traditional pf (where it's two sides fighting for truth, justice, yadda yadda yadda) is unrealistic. Trad PF, just like every other form of debate, is a competition. Treat it as such.
Speak in short, clear sentences. Take advantage of pauses, which are very effective at helping any speaker make their point or add emphasis. Also look up from your prepared text once in awhile; if in person - make eye contact. It's far better to clearly emphasize one key point than to try to argue/rebut several points by speaking too rapidly or saying far too many words in the short time allotted.
Remember, you're trying to reach your audience (or in this case, a judge) to make your argument.
Be respectful to others at all times and have a great time doing so.
Case/evidence email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: I've been judging high school Lincoln Douglas for over 6 years and work in the tech industry.
Speed: I'm a native English speaker, so faster than conversational delivery is fine, but debaters should attempt to be persuasive and not speak just to fill time. (I do appreciate good argumentation and have noticed that faster speakers tend to rush past important points without fully exploring their significance, so keep that in mind.)
Criteria: I consider myself to be a "traditional" LD judge. I value logical debate, with analysis and supporting evidence... co-opting opponents' value & criterion and showing how your case wins is completely fair and certainly a winning strategy. I do weigh delivery and decorum to some degree, but generally it isn't a factor... in the event of a tie, Neg wins. Neg owns the status quo, so the burden is on Aff to show why changes must be made.
Note: I don't care for "progressive" arguments... most of the time they're just a cheap ploy to ambush unsuspecting opponents instead of expanding our understanding of the problem and the philosophical underpinnings guiding our decision. (If you'd rather be doing policy, there's a whole other event for you to enter.)
Public Forum is based on T.V. and is intended for lay viewers. As a result, there's no paradigm, but some of the things that help are to be convincing, explain what the clash is between your opponents position and yours, and then show why your position is the logical conclusion to choose.
I'll vote on anything so long as it is justified and I can follow the logic (I do not take a sense on if the logic is truly logical, rather if there is a chain I can follow), absent anything grossly offensive (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc). Please be nice to your opponent. I give high speaks and take the time to make a decision that I can fully justify the logic of.
Especially over zoom, try to slow things down. It's been 5+ years since I competed in VLD, so not as good at keeping up with spread as I was. Dense phil Ks I'll have trouble understanding. I'll vote on them (as I'm open to any type of argument), but it will be a dangerous strat. I love theory and think the curcuit needs more of it. I also think that the general structure of theory/Ks are beneficial to judges understanding, but I make no requirement that anything be structured in a standard shell.
PF (everyone, but PF especially) - I will be highly skeptical of any cards and will probably call for them if the warrant is paraphrased. I highly recommend cutting the cards with direct quotes instead.
Include me on email chains.
Disclaimer: I can only argue with what is presented to me in round. Ultimately, if you want to run something, who am I to stop you? I'm flexible enough to deal with it.
TLDR: Speed fine. K's n stuff fine. Do what you want.
I don't usually count flashing as prep unless it becomes a problem. Never had a problem outside of policy rounds.
I did LD the most when I was actively debating, but have experience with most other forms of debating and have actively judged for Pufo and Pol (Though still pref LD). I debated a wide range of arguments, from stock to progressive. I have a particular love for K's, especially so when they are accessible by everyone in round, and understood particularly well by the Debater running them.
All Prep is running prep. If you say you're only going to take two minutes of prep, end up taking an extra 30 seconds and try to pass it off as only two minutes... no... just no. I'm not setting a timer, I'm using a stopwatch for all prep. Watch your own time.
Flex-Prep is valid. As in, asking questions during Prep time. I prefer if Flex-prep is less confrontational than CX and much more used for clarifying arguments rather then finding tricky questions... you had your chance in CX. Flex prep is Not binding as far as tricky questions go, however, if a debater willfully misrepresents their argument, I'm either slashing speaks or treating just that misrepresentation as binding, depending on how much that misrepresentation shifts the round. IE. If it becomes a centerpiece for the debate, it's binding. If it's just a side argument... speaks. Try not to do it.
As a judge I really like framework, it tends to make for an easier decision. I.E. some arguments that are argued don't really fit within frameworks in round, and I can just drop them. If there are competing frameworks I expect you to debate them, and end up with one superseding the other. That being said... if you have the same or similar frameworks, unless you're gonna describe what the nuance difference is and how that changes the valuation in round, it's almost better to just agree that the Fw's are the same.
K's function as their own FW. They don't necessarily need a super comprehensive FW with a K, the ALT and Link's are FW on their own. If those aren't sufficient, you can run a bit of FW up top or something, especially if your Alt is Drop the Debater... that isn't really a FW sufficient Alternative and you're going to need some work to set that up. Honestly, I have a higher threshold for Drop the debater args with no intrinsic justification then I do a more progressive mindset alt. You have to disclose an alternative for your K's when you read them, no more hidden drop the debater alt. I weigh the Alt as part of the K's FW. I think it's also good form for accessibility. If you don't disclose an Alt, I'm going to default it to Drop the Debater, and hope you provide justifications in the next speech and probably drop speaks a point or two.
I definitely prefer depth of argumentation over breadth,knowing your evidence is key to educating yourself on the topic. I will always buy a warrant from your evidence that's well explained and utilized over one that isn't. A lot of responses to arguments made against a card can be found within the card itself.
Not really a whole lot to say here, just debate it.
I'm fine with Speed and progressive argumentation.
That all being said, I can only vote for what is offered to me in round, and am pretty flexible with what the debaters want to argue.
Hello, I am a parent judge and have judged for a few L.D. tournaments, started judging in 2022. New to Public Forum.
Please speak slowly and clearly, and send me your case before round.
Please avoid Kritiks, Theory, PICS, if you do, I may not understand.
Thank you and good luck.
Parent, communications degree, professional - Operations manager. My daughter calls me a Flay judge, in between a Lay judge and Flow judge. Will understand the arguments but you will need to speak more slowly, clearly, communicate and persuade me. Be polite, be smart, sign-post. In rounds I like more straight forward debates, alternative plans need to clearly relate to the resolution.
I am a former high school and college CEDA debater (UofO) and college NDT coach (graduate assistant coach at USC) and former Director of Forensics at SDSU. I am also a former professor of Communication at UW, with an emphasis on argument, persuasion, rhetorical theory and criticism. As such, I will be a critic of argument. I have not been in the field for years. I prefer sound reasoning and analysis to "blippy" superficial tags and points. A quick rate of speech is fine, if it has substance. The quality of your research and sources will be of value; the consistency of your use of a source with their overall position is important; The internal reasoning in the evidence has weight. Have a tag, qualify your source, read the quote. I am unlikely to be persuaded by a tag line, a last name and a date, and something that follows that it not clearly the quote. Make it very clear where the evidence/quote starts and where it ends, and where your analysis/impact statement about the evidence starts. Depth of insight is preferable to breadth of expression. Focus on sound, smart and thoughtful questions in cross periods. Although not necessarily on the flow, it will reflect command of issues, reasoning and demonstrate civility. Enjoy, employ your strategy, show respect for the subject and your opponents. I have noticed what I see to be a pattern. Consistent with the need to understand implicit bias, I will attend carefully to my impressions. However, I see aggressiveness and rudeness/dismissiveness directed at female competitors by males more than I see it directed at male competitors by male competitors. I ask that all opponents be treated with respect and to be aware of your own potential implicit bias in the communication toward and attitude about your opponents, regardless of who they are.
Zachary Reshovsky Paradigm
My contact info is 360-298-2797 email@example.com if you would like to get in touch. Please feel free to email or call me with questions about my RFDs after round.
Last changed 12/13 10:32P PST
Overview: I have a background with 4 years as a high school debater (traditional Lincoln Douglas) and 3 years as a collegiate debater (1 year NPDA parliamentary and 2 years NDT-CEDA Policy) at the University of Washington - Seattle. As an LD debater, I was (and still am) a believer in traditional LD rather than progressive LD arguments. I believe that the introduction of policy arguments to LD (in particular on resolutions that clearly resolve around moral/philosophical issues) are inappropriate. As such, I strongly prefer cases centered around a strong Value and Value/Criterion, an explanation of why that V/VC is moral, and how it links to the topic. I will consider consider policy arguments in LD (in particular on topics that directly involve a policy proposal - e.g. "the US should implement a federal jobs guarantee" topic). However, these type of arguments will get substantial less weight than traditional LD topics. I prefer depth over breath arguments - I've noticed a lot of debaters will extend all of their offense without telling me which argument is the strongest, why I should vote on it, and how it beats out your opponents arguments. This forces me to intervene and attempt to weigh which extended arguments are strongest. In an ideal world, you'll provide me with a single argument where I can feel comfortable voting. Regarding procedurals, I have a very high threshold for Theory. I believe that Theory is vastly overused in LD and distracts from the substantive education that discussing the topic brings. Your opponent needs to be doing something truly abusive for me to consider it. I'm happy to consider Topicality arguments if I'm judging CX. In LD, I rarely see cases that are off-topic, but if you feel your opponent is feel free to run T.
Regarding by views on specific types of arguments:
- Primarily policy/on-case judge, but certainly willing to consider Kritikal and off-case arguments. DisAd/Ad impacts need to be spelled out clearly and weighed thoroughly in later rounds or else risk judge intervention. Find that debaters oftentimes do not get beyond surface-level tit-for-tat argumentation in later speeches in debate. No attempts made at crystallization of arguments, nor any attempt made to weigh why one impact (magnitude, timeframe, probability) or combination of impacts should OW other impacts and, equally importantly, why they should OW. Magnitude definitely easiest impact to evaluate, but feel free to do other impacts as well.
- For CPs, better to run 1 CP than many. Leaves more room for fleshing out that argument. I'm ok with Consult CPs.
- For Kritiks, I'm familiar with general arsenal of Kritiks, but please do not assume that I know the ideology/philosophy by heart. Explain it as if I am a 200-level undergrad student. Second, please articular impacts as you could an advantage or disadvantage. In particular, the link needs to be strong, specific, and very clearly linked to Case. Unmoored or vague links tend to be the death-knell of kritiks - debaters oftentimes just pull out the first link that they find and then proceed to force it to link to the case the AFF is reading. Make sure you make clear why the AFF is uniquely causing some ideologically-grounded harm or is buying into some existing detrimental framework.
Likewise, the impact of Kritiks tends to be highly nebulous (e.g. the plan causes more capitalism and capitalism is bad). Specific and clearly defined impacts are always good - they are particularly helpful for K debates.
Think of K Alternatives as very similar to a kritikal CounterPlan text - ideologically-driven condemnations that (e.g. "The AFF is evil in some undefined but scary sounding way") never work out well much like CounterPlans like (e.g. "Do the Plan but in a better way" never work). Would always recommend to debaters that they discuss why the Alternative solves or remedies some problem to a greater degree than the Plan.
- For Identity arguments, please lay out specifically how and why the AFF/NEG is engaging with a structure of power or dominance in a specific way that is problematic. That the AFF/NEG simply exists/reifies an existing power structure will get some traction yes. However, given that in order to make positive change in any environment one has to engage with unequitable power structures, it is important to describe precisely how the offending party has 1. in concrete terms, made the situation worse/more inequitable & 2. how this OW whatever benefits the offending party is accruing. Saying the offending party is simply working within existing inequities alone will not be sufficient to win usually, even when those inequities are a valid cause for concern. Again, specificity is important here - how many and in what ways is the offending party hurting disadvantaged communities.
- For Performance-based arguments on the NEG - I have a very high threshold for clearly non-Topical Perf arguments. Many teams seem to be running clearly non-topical arguments on AFF that do not in anyway link to the resolution and then proceed to claim some special framework that neatly fits/justifies their Performance into the resolution - this does not mean that they will get my ballot if the Neg runs Topicality in the 1NC.
- Likewise, for Performance-based arguments on the NEG - NEG needs to clearly win 1. why the Performance should be weighed in opposition to the AFF and within the AFF's FW. OR 2. Why whichever NEG FW that is put forth is clearly preferable. Again, I have a high threshold for clearly non-resolution specific neg performance arguments. So if the Neg wishes to win in this situation it needs to VERY CLEARLY win why a performative FW is the criterion on which the debate should be judged.
Speaking point scale:
- 29.9-30-near 100% perfect (flawless execution, strong elocution, high degree of erudition in arguments)
- 29.5-29.8-very strong debater, octo/elims performance (highly coherent arguments, well extended, effective execution and thoughtful usage of time, high degree of consideration to opponents)
- 28.8-29.4-average debater, perhaps 4-2/3-3 record level performance (better than average, but includes some dropped arguments, lack of coherency throughout debate but ultimately enough arguments are extended to win and/or come close in debate)
- 27.8-28.7 - un-average debater - unable to make coherent arguments, lots of drops, lack of tactical acumen or strategic skill in debate proper. Able to read first constructive, but unable to recognize with arguments are to be prioritized in final speeches. Relies too much on ASPEC/procedurals in place of on case/Kritikal arguments.
below-27.8 - very un-average debater - does not know how to debate and cannot coordinate correctly with partner. Lacking in basic etiquette towards others.
- Notes to debaters: Evaluation mostly dependent on quality of arguments - however, polish also comes into play. Clarity/clear organization and efficiency in rebuttals will increase your speaker points dramatically. Well run obscure and non-Western philosophies (Eg Baudrilliard, Taoism, Shintoism) will also garner extra speaker points on basis that they make judging more interesting and less monotonous/repetitive. Same thing goes for contentions that discuss innovative/non-talked about issues
FOR LD: I debated LD In high school and am comfortable with speed in it. I strongly prefer value/criterion based debate and will not consider policy arguments in LD. From my perspective it is important to win the VC debate, but not essential. I view the VC as something akin to goal posts in soccer (you can still score/gain offense through the oppositions goal posts, but it is harder to win because your opponent controls the scoring boundaries).
Ultimately, I will evaluate offense/impacts through a normal magnitude/probability/timeframe lens and will default to a Utilitarian calculus if nothing else is provided, but will weigh through whatever VC wins. I strongly prefer weighable impacts (Eg X number of people will be helped to Y degree), which creates clarity in judges mind. I see a lot of debaters (especially in LD) not doing ð˜¾ð™¡ð™šð™–ð™§ weighing of their impacts vs opponents impacts in NR And 2NR, which is unhelpful and creates judge intervention. I would strongly recommend spending at least some time in each rebuttal evaluating your impacts as to why you are winning on probability/magnitude/timeframe/vulnerability of populations affected/permanence of your impacts. As with all debate, please crystallize in final speeches with concise underviews that explain why you are winning and how your arguments OW/eclipse/precede your opponent’s impacts.
several general thoughts on LD debates I’ve seen:
- on contention level debate, please warrant out your contentions and extend claims and evidence in whole (claim, internal warrant, and impact), in particular in the rebuttals. Greater specificity is better. I’ve noticed a lot of debaters merely extend the tag lines of their evidence without the warrants/cards behind them and, more specifically, what the evidence does in debate/how I should evaluate it relative to other positions. This is problematic in that it leads to judge intervention and forces me to evaluate evidence after round. In NR/2AR I would prefer that you tell me how to vote rather than ask me to adjudicate between/weigh in on Impacts. A good rebuttal will not just include extensions of evidence, but also point to what parts of the evidence (eg the historical example that the author references, the statistical meta study that the cards author proffered) support your claims and what impacts their ideas will lead to.
- evidence: I prefer evidence that has descriptive/historical/statistical claims rather than predictive/speculative claims due to the fact that the former is based on things that have already happened/is more scientific whereas the latter has not occurred/is based on predilections that may or may not occur. I will prefer the former over the latter absent an argument made to differentiate the two. Expert authors will be preferred to non-experts in a vacuum. Non-contextualized anecdotal evidence is the least preferred type of evidence.
- AFF strategy: I notice a lot of debaters (in particular on the affirmative) have a difficult time extending sufficient offense in the debate to stay in the running. I would strongly recommend extending your arguments/contentions first (esp in the 1AR where there is a timeskew) before moving on to opponents case. Inexperienced debaters tend to get distracted/overwhelmed by their opponents case and attempt to tackle it first, but end up running out of time to extend their own case after getting bogged down in said opponents arguments. The best offense is a good offense - you can win if you extend your claims and leave some of your opponents claims dropped, but you cannot win if you extend none of your claims but shoot down the majority of your opponents arguments. I would strongly recommend starting out with your case first in rebuttals and then moving to refute your opponents case.
The Affirmative needs to be even more strategic/efficient in the 2AR. The 2AR needs to focus down on one to two arguments they are winning and not attempt to cover the entire flow. Past losing 2ARs I have seen have spread themselves too thin and never told me where to vote. In order to ensure that you get your offense on the flow, I would recommend a 20/30 second overview at the top of the 2AR explaining why/where you are winning and where I should vote. This ensures you have a shot at winning even if you do not get to all points you wish to discuss in this short 3 minute speech.
- Timeskew: By default, I will give the affirmative somewhat more room than negative to make less well developed/consistently extended arguments due to the timeskew (The Neg won 52.37% of ballots according to a meta analysis of 17 TOC debate tournaments in 2017-18). Beyond this, if the AFF argues that their arguments should have a lower burden of proof bc of timeskew, I will give the AFF even more room to make blippy arguments.
Kritiks (General): Im a fan of Ks in LD. Unlike Policy arguments that have crept into LD (Plans/CPs/DisAds), I believe that Ks belong in LD on the basis that they are grounded in philosophy rather than practical politics.
Several observations/suggestions for Ks in LD:
- On the Link level, please make a clear link to something your opponent specifically does in her/his case. I've noticed that a lot of Kritikal debaters rely on very generic links (e.g. saying that the AFF proposes a policy, the policy involves Capitalism, and that Capitalism is bad, therefore you should reject the AFF) rather than an indictment of some aspect of the AFF's specific proposal (e.g. the AFF's plan proposes an increase in mandatory minimum sentencing, this will lead to a higher prison population, prisons disproportionately affect minority populations and are therefore structurally racist, mass incarceration is the warrant, therefore you should reject the AFF because they lead to more structural racism). The former example relies on generic appeal to a structure the AFF exists within/likely would have to exist within in order to implement policy, the latter explicitly outlines what specifically the AFF does to increase racism/violence. If and at all possible, please try to articulate what the opponent explicitly does to warrant your K.
- On the Alt, I have noticed that many people who run Ks have a very vague (and at times non sensical) Alternatives—in the past I have voted against Ks often because of their lack of Alt solvency. If you plan on running a K, please make clear what the Alt does and how the Alt can solve/lead to some substantive change better than AFF can. I have a very difficult time voting for Alts when I don't know what they do. I would recommend making specific empirical examples of movements that align with Alt’s views that have succeeded in the past (eg if you’re running an Alt that wants to deconstruct settler colonialism, point to historical examples of Native movements that dislodged colonialism or the effects of colonialism—for example protests against the DACA pipeline in S Dakota, Native Americans protests against Columbus Day + what meaningful and lasting policy/public opinion changes these movements imbued). Its my personal belief that movements that lead to most meaningful change not only indicts and identifies a policy/problem with the status quo, but is also able to engage with the political sphere and implement some meaningful change. I believe that a well-articulated K should be able to do the same.
- K Impact: If K Impact involves some degree of indictment of the AFF, please explain to me what the AFF indictment does/leads to out of round beyond merely asserting that the AFF leads to bad impacts - otherwise it is likely that I will default to voting AFF on basis that AFF does/advocates for something imperfect but net positive. Even winning that the Aff leads to bad things (eg that the AFFs deployment of military forces is imperialist/that AFFs passing of a policy leads to more capitalism) may be insufficient to win when weighed against the entirety of AC impacts — the K also needs to prove THAT they do something beneficial as well (see previous paragraph).
- Type of K you run: You are of course welcome to run any K you feel is strategically valuable in the moment. As a personal side note, I personally prefer hearing Ks that come from obscure/not-commonly-run philosophers (e.g. Foucault, Deleuze, St. Thomas Aquinas) rather than commonly-understood philosophies (e.g. Capitalism). I believe that introducing non-traditional philosophers into debate adds substance, flavor, and argumentative diversity to the debate sphere - Independent on whether they win, I will reward debaters who run these arguments with additional speaker points for the above mentioned reasons.
Race/Gender/Transphobic/Homophobic Kritikal indicts - I will consider indictments of an opponent on the basis that they have done said something racist, gendered, -phobic in their personal behavior. The indictment, however, needs to clearly documented (e.g. a screen shotted Facebook post, a accusation with references to multiple witnesses who can corroborate the incident) and the offending violation/action needs to fall into the category of commonly understood violations of norms of basic decency surrounding race/gender (eg a racist joke that would be called out at a dinner party, usage of the N word towards a debater of color, calling a female debater the B-word, usage of the six letter homophobic/anti-gay term that starts with F). Microaggressions will be considered, but will have a much higher burden of proof to overcome because they are more difficult to prove/document and have comparatively less negative impact. As well, these arguments preferable should be accompanied by an articulation of what Impact of dropping a debater will have (e.g. will it send a strong sanctioning signal to other debater generally to not make the joke in question in the future(?), will it merely deter the accused debater from another repeated violation(?)) outside of round. Without an articulation of framework, I will default to a standard VC framework in LD and Policymaking Impact calculus on basis of magnitude/probability/TF in CX - if you lose/fail to provide a non-traditional framework, this does not mean that your race/gender arguments will not be evaluated, but does mean you will have to explain how they work/function under a CXmaking/VC framework and likely means you will face a comparatively uphill battle.
Speed Ks-please do not run them - I don’t believe they are worth considering and are a waste of time. After having come across them 3-4 times this year, have not voted for a speed K. Unless opponent is literally spreading so fast no they are unintelligible, I believe that it is unwise to spend all our time and energy indicting each other for procedurals when we could be debating about the substantive of the topic.
I am not a fan of Performance/poetry in LD, but will consider it if absolutely necessary. Know that I have a high BoP to consider these types of args.
I generally have a very low bar to granting the AFF RVIs due to timeskew. I have granted AFF RVIs about 70-80% of the time when the AFF has introduced this argument.
I'll try my best to keep this short.
First of all, please be considerate of speed. I think rounds that are at tip-top speeds often make debate inaccessible. Additionally, if I miss something or it doesn't end up on my flow that could hurt your case.
I'll vote for pretty much anything if it's run well. I don't mind voting on weird technical arguments or Ks if they are argued well and extended into final speeches. I like Ks and have run my fair share of them but I also understand philosophy and expect the impacts and solvency of Ks to be explained. I think Ks with Alts that don't do anything are frustrating but I also regularly run the Alt "Smash the symbols of the empire in the name of nothing but the hearts longing for grace" so do with that what you will. On the other hand, I also have a lot of respect for strait up policy cases and enjoy watching them. Framework matters in most debates, if I'm not given a clear framework I default to magnitude and time frame. If you want me to weigh for example small scale impacts before low probability massive impacts (or the other way) tell me why that's important.
T is fair game, I am bias against really frivolous or silly T but if you crush them with it I wont keep a win from you on the basis of a silly or frivolous interp, I just wont like it.
Ill vote on an IVI pretty easily if something egregious happens in round but otherwise there needs to be really clear voters explained for me to vote on it.
TLDR: if you give me a good solid reason to vote for something, I will. I value framework heavier than some judges and think it tells me how to weigh the round. I can vote on truth or tech, just give me a reason. If things get muddy I always default to the flow and where I think pieces clash.
If you have any questions before the round please ask them. Best of luck!
If you have questions feel free to email me at Spiropij@whitman.edu
I competed in for 5 years in LD during middle/high school, and I'm now a college student.
I'm ok with most styles of debate.
Ks are cool, but I'm less familiar with their literature -- please fully explain their logic if you want me to vote on them.
I don't understand T, so I'm probably not going to vote on it.
I think debate in general should be very inclusive -- if your opponent doesn't want you to spread please don't spread :)
I'm ok with speed, but would really appreciate you slowing down on tag lines and definitions (I'm probably not going to be familiar with the topic's literature).
I really love innovative trad arguments -- I may be more inclined to vote for you in this case if you defend your position well.
Feel free to be sassy, but please don't be mean.
I will give an extra speaker point if you include at least 1 Disney reference that I catch.
I'm looking forward to judging good debate rounds!!
hey yall im linh (she/her) and im a senior, ive done (washington) ld since freshman yr.
just as a heads up, i understand that most debaters see debate as a game which is totally fine but that doesnt mean that you get the right to be misogynistic/racist/homophobic/or even plain mean towards your opponent/others. i will 100% drop you if those things happen. and on the flip side, if you ever feel unsafe during a round, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and i'll stop the round.
- weighing is so so so important and if you don't weigh, i will have to intervene to make a decision and no one wants that (if you don't know what weighing is, please ask!)
- progressive arguments are fine (i love kritiks)
- please don't debate about the values. vc debates are fun, amazing, wonderful! value debates not so much.
- dw abt speed, i can flow it -> but if ur opponent is clearly struggling, maybe give them a hand and slow down?
- give me clear voters/reasons to vote for you and explain why those reasons are better than your opponents
- otherwise do whatever you want. if you want to read a sick-ass performance, go for it. if you want to read util and two contentions, go for it.
i give default 29 speaks. if you want that illustrious 30 speaks, you can do one of a couple of things:
- incorporate three good taylor swift or mitski references in your speeches
- show everyone in the round a goofy picture/video of your pet
- give me an album rec and a song off of that album that i can listen to while you prep
really do try to have fun and take care of yourself. i know its stressful out there <3
1. Your arguments should have quantifiable impacts if you want to win; qualitative impacts will not be sufficient in most cases
2. I I cannot hear or compile your argument(s), I might not be able to judge it for correctness or completeness. Therefore, do not spread
3. Use logic to win your argument, pathos will not work with me
I have an extensive history in debate. I did LD in high school and CEDA in college. I have coached NPDA, IPDA and BP as well as a full spectrum of speech events. I am currently the Director at the University of Washington Bothell.
I prefer clash debate. I don't mind speed as long as everyone in the competition is happy with that. Debate should not leave anyone out. Make sure to meet criteria. After that, I try to be tab and judge on what the debaters bring into the round.
My Experience Comes Mainly In LD. - 2 Years as of 2020
Mostly truth over tech, though I will vote both ways
Basic Stuff: Don't Care Where Sit, Either Sit or Stand, whatever is preferred. Timing yourself is highly recommended. I give a few seconds of grace at the end of your speech but after that, I won't flow what you say. I vote primarily off of flow.
Speed is well, I don't really care. If you want to go fast, do so. If you are a slower debater, great go slow. However, if spreading please flash the case, otherwise, I probably won't be fast enough to flow arguments. To let me know you are going fast close your eyes and say "I am speed."
Argument Wise, I am really open to anything, but I do like a typical Value/Criterion debate. K's, DAs, T-shells, Plans, or whatever has to be explained well enough that I can understand. And if they just don't make sense I really will not vote on them. I have a high threshold for T, probably won't vote on it unless large. As for meme cases, run them but probably won't vote for them. I will give extra speaker points if you can prove to me you can juggle.
This is how I pick my Champion:
1. Pick the winning framework/whatever is best.
2. Weigh the impacts through the framework, whichever side has the largest/most impacts under the fw will win the round.
This is how LD rounds should be judged. Sorry if some parent judges don't understand that.
No outside bias
Speed doesn't matter
Open to any argument, provided it is explained
I'm a parent judge, so keep things simple. Please talk slowly and clearly, stay within the time limits, and be polite and respectful.
Please do not spread.
Hey All, I'm Sachin. I debated at Seattle Academy. I attend Tufts University.
Tech > Truth
I'm open to hearing virtually anything. Go as fast as you want, just send me a doc: email@example.com
Feel free to ask my any questions (reach out at 206-353-2751 if you need help)