California Invitational Berkeley Debate
2022 — Berkeley, CA/US
Varsity LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I competed in LD and Policy for six years at Newark Science/Science Park High School. I also competed for 3 years at Wake Forest University in college policy. If, for some reason this helps, my specialities in high school and collegiate debate were critical arguments, soft left policy, and (critical and normative) T-framework. I'm best in clash debates, K v K, or K v T-FWK debates.
For the email chains: b.aaron3693 [@] gmail [.] com
Updates for TOC:
1) If you are unclear in any way, I will be brutally honest and say clear twice in your speech. If you don't adjust and are still unclear after the two times, I am heavily open to just saying "I didn't catch that argument" or "You were unclear" as my RFD.
2) LDers, tricks and normative phil aren't it for me. I'm just not the judge you should pref for any of those arguments because it's not my area of expertise. Same goes for one line blips. If the argument doesn't have a warrant, I will not vote for it.
3) Please properly disclose your arguments! I've glitched out before in online judging and have had competitors and other judges on panels glitch out too. It's so helpful that you are sending out marked documents and properly disclosing during the round.
4) My topic knowledge is constrained. I default to debaters to educate me on topic specific content, which means that you should default to explaining your arguments well.
On Speed and Document Accountability
Please start off at 75% of your speed then gradually get faster. Online debate doesn't help clarity either so you have to overcompensate for that. Also, just to make it explicit, I will not vote on arguments I don't catch on the flow especially when you are unclear. I hate flowing based on the document. I'll make sure to say clear when needed but, after two times, your speaks are getting docked.
All changes to the original file you sent out must be sent out immediately after your speech. For example, if you read through your 1NC and mark two cards and skip over a paragraph of analytics, the marked version of your document needs to be sent out. This aids in accountability purposes. I usually follow along and mark them myself but some of yall just overestimate your speed and skip around a bunch which makes doing so hard.
I understand how arguments work.
Default to over-explanation of your position and get rid of acronyms. I love examples and non-abstract argumentation. And, for the love of everything, varsity debaters, throw it back to novice year where your coaches yelled at you to weigh and crystalize. It's SO helpful no matter what year you are.
Lastly, I'm NOT a tabula rasa judge. Anyone who says that is lying and/or oblivious to power dynamics. My experiences in debate and life will always inform my thinking which means please don't be racist, sexist, or offensive.
My Judging style is relaxed (Parent Judge), and I expect the same from contestants. I look for these qualities.
1. How well do you listen? Quality of listening becomes evident during rebuttals and cross examination. I pay close attention to how well a participant leverages opponents arguments to defeat the case (aff or neg).
2. Logic trumps everything. I look for solid correlations between value system and resolution.
3. Don’t use cards to impress the Judge. A good card which doesn’t do anything to support the argument is worthless. Cards are powerful, so use them wisely.
4. Personal affronts are an immediate demerit. It will reflect in speaking points. I will not brook even vague insinuations. Absolutely no personal attacks.
5. Please email me your cases at firstname.lastname@example.org
6. And lastly, please do not spread!
Please put me on the email chain.
I am excited to be your judge and I am here to listen to your arguments. As long as they not discriminate or exclude others, I will consider them whether you are reading a K-Aff or have 5 Disadvantages.
I am a former HS policy debater, I judged and coached before. I am familiar with the structure but not the current topic. Please explain your arguments well and remain respectful towards everyone.
For more specific questions, please email me or ask me before the round.
Framework is important to me. I would like to know through what lens I should evaluate your arguments. Why is your framework better than your opponent’s framework?
Assistant coach for Lawrence high school
debated for 3 years in high school and a year in college.
I am comfortable with spreading, but lets be real its been a few years since I have debated and it may be in your best interest to slow it down for me lol-- I will never clear you
I believe in quality over quantity, reading as many off args as you can is just going to take away from the having a substantial learning opportunity in the round.
Not much else to say other than have FUN !!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOOOOOO☆*:.｡. o(≧▽≦)o .｡.:*☆
Coppell '19. UT Dallas '23.
Pronouns - he/him or they/them. I don't care.
Add me to the email chain - email@example.com - make sure you use this email.
I like music so pls play something cool (if we're online recommend me a cool EDM song). +0.1 if you have good music.
If you generate at least 1/8th of a speech using OpenAI and win the debate I will give you at minimum a 29. I will request proof of this as well. https://openai.com/api/
"Do what you do and do it well and you will be fine." – Bernie <3
e-debate - 70% speed, clear when I call clear, don't require cameras, let me know if you have tech issues.
If you're ever uncomfortable in a debate or feel that the space is unsafe, please let me know in some way (private chat, email, saying it in the round, etc) and I will do what needs to be done.
My favorite judges were the ones who listened to all arguments and evaluated them equally without intervention. I try to be that judge. I am here to evaluate the arguments you present to me and provide useful criticism. For me to do that, a team should read good quality evidence, make complete arguments, and answer arguments from the flow. You should tell me how to evaluate the debate in your speeches.
Do your thing and do it well. I will adapt to you.
What I wrote below are my thoughts on debate - I will vote for who wins the debate, even if arguments go against my beliefs.
Also - post-round me. It makes me a better judge and you get more out of the RFD. I've made a couple of terrible decisions before, so please call me out if you disagree with the decision.
Hot Takes/Meta Level Things. These are my only hard rules.
-no vaping. L 20 the second I see it.
-I don't vote on false arguments - If you're just objectively wrong about something (a T violation they didn't violate, saying racism good, etc) I won't vote on it.
-I don't vote on evidence cut from private, unverifiable sources (emailing authors, cutting lectures from camp, etc). I'm fine with ev from things like podcasts, but every piece of evidence needs to be published in some form, by qualified authors.
-Stop cutting twitter threads. This also goes for medium articles from random unqualified people.
-Not a super big fan of debate coach evidence but it is what it is. You should not read evidence from a current or former coach of yours. You also should not read cards that were specifically published to be read in debate rounds.
-Inserting re-highlights of cards is good. If you think you have an indict you can do so, and give me an explanation of what the re-highlight means. If the explanation does not make an argument it does not get flowed. If any part of the article is different, read the new version out loud.
-Tell me what to do - I don't like to intervene so giving me impact framing or telling me how to evaluate a debate will get you far. My ideal RFD would be "I voted aff/neg in this debate because *2 to 3 lines from the 2nr/2ar*"
-Read complete 1NC arguments. 6 well-researched and highlighted off-case will get you much further than 12 off-case missing internal links or terminal impacts. If you sandbag to the block the 1AR will get quite a bit of leeway.
-Ev quality matters - Read 1 or 2 good cards, not 10 bad 1 line UQ cards.
-Sass/shade is funny. Don't be rude.
-I will protect the 1AR and 2NR like they are 2 newborn puppies.
-Never say the word RVI in a policy round.
-There's a difference between new 2AR spin and new 2AR arguments.
Policy v Policy Debates
-Evidence comparison and quality are very very important in these debates. Doing that will get you much further than spamming cards with little to no warrants and accompanying explanation.
-30 speaks if you read 8 minutes of impact turns and defense without repeating yourself and win the round.
-There should be at least 6 cards that talk about the aff/plan in the 1AC.
-I am increasingly finding theory arguments (outside of condo or aspec) to be a reason to reject the argument and not the team. Please tell me why it is a reason to reject the team if you go for it.
-Very technical and well carded T debates are my favorite kind of T debates. The best definition cards are contextual to the resolution and are exclusive, not inclusive into a group.
-Interpretations must have an intent to define the phrases being debated. Bad cards here will hurt you quite a bit.
-Impact this out the same way you'd impact out disads or FW against a K aff.
-Reasonability is about how reasonable the counter interp is.
-I hate bad politics DAs. For the love of god please make complete arguments.
-Specific impact calculus and evidence comparison will get much further than 4 1-line uniqueness cards.
-Don't call midterms "mids" or politics "tix," -1 speaks.
-Conditionality is good. I have voted on conditionality bad before. No evidence, combining, amending, or adding to CPs will make me more likely to vote aff on conditionality. Zidao gives the best condo 2ARs.
-If there is no evidence for a CP smart 2AC analytics can beat it. The 1AR will get leeway to answer 2NC sandbagging.
-Judge kick is good because of conditionality. I will do it if the 2NR asks me to. If the 2AR has any objection I might change my mind.
-Counterplan text amendments or changes of the actor in the 2NC are probably not legitimate - especially if it's because you messed up and used the wrong actor.
-Argument development and engagement on the line-by-line will get you very far.
-The best K debaters give very well-organized and easy-to-flow speeches, do good line by line, and tell me what arguments matter the most. To do this, limit the overview and do as much quality line by line as possible.
-Examples are great for these debates.
-If you want to win I need to know the method and what the aff/K does by the end of the debate. This doesn't mean I need a 3-minute explanation, but I need to know what I vote for and why what I vote for is a good thing.
-I need to understand both competing "ideas of debate," ie what both teams think debate should be like.
-In these debates, you must tell me how to vote. Judge instruction is very important and will make you much happier with the way I decide the round.
-Affs/Ks should be in some way related to the topic/the aff.
-I reward a well-thought-out and executed performance.
-Make sure you know what you are talking about. If you read a poem/play music, it should be relevant after the 1AC.
-If your strategy is impact turns to the 2NR, go for it, but there needs to be analysis contextual to the negative disads.
-I prefer you to have a relation to the topic and that you answer questions in CX.
-Also, fairness is probably an internal link (or is it? you tell me), and Antonio 95 is bad.
-I said this earlier but I will say it again. Tell me what the aff does. I need to know what I am voting for and why that is good. Presumption arguments are a much easier sell if you cannot do this properly.
-I think that Framework is about competing models of debate between what the aff justifies and what the negative thinks is best. This means that if you go for framework as a way to limit out content from debate you will not win (ex. "vote us up because we remove K affs from the debate space").
-The negative's model of debate should be able to access similar education and subject formation that the aff is able to access ie. you need to tell me why policy education is able to create good subject formation and education, or how clash is key to education about "x" scholarship.
-I've found myself voting on framework impacts that aren't fairness more recently.
-A lot of the time I vote negative in these debates because the aff doesn't answer the TVA properly, doesn't engage limits offense, or isn't doing enough analysis on the impact level.
-Make a TVA with a solvency advocate. TVA's need substantive answers outside of "doesn't solve the aff." You need to explain to me how the TVA resolves the impact turns to framework and what affs under your model would look like.
-These can be some of the best and worst arguments in a debate round. Good K debaters know the argument they are reading well and come prepared with robust defenses of the arguments they make. In these debates, I am able to look at my flow and understand the thesis of the argument after the round.
-The more specific the link and the more time is devoted to a comprehensive alternative explanation = the more likely I am to vote for you.
-Saying this for the third time. I need to know what I am voting for and why that is good. If you have a different vision for debate I need to know what it is and why it is better.
-K Framework is very important and should probably have a card if it's more complicated than "Endorse the best subject formations."
-Affs need to develop more substantive arguments about fairness/state engagement. Framework makes or breaks 70% of K debates - a 20 second generic 2AC isn't enough. Prioritize it and be responsive to arguments from both sides.
-If you're reading high theory/pomo arguments contextualization, evidence comparison, and explanations matter a lot more to me.
-1ARs spend too much time on fairness when it's either a wash or obviously being won by one side. Explain what happens if you get to weigh your aff and stop spending 3 minutes on 1 line arguments from the 2NC about fairness because it won't ever be in the 2NR. TLDR - answer arguments but don't spend 30 seconds on each fairness subpoint when 5 will do.
-Examples can win you the round so give them to me - they're underutilized by a lot of K teams and it shows me you all don't research your arguments or know how your structural claims actually impact people's lives.
-Your 2NR needs to have an explanation of how the alt resolves all of the links and impacts you go for. That means a 2NR with little explanation of the alt needs to be winning links and impact framing claims decisively to win the round.
Make me laugh. I'm on the discord and use Reddit and stuff so I know memes. If you make a meme reference or something I'll be happy. If you make a really good joke or meme reference from the discord maybe +.1 speaks.
I'll give you a smiley face on the ballot for making fun of any current or former Coppell debaters (specifically Rohin Balkundi, Het Desai, or Shreyas Rajagopal), or anyone from the discord. If it makes me laugh, +.1 speaks.
-Email me if you have questions about my philosophy - TLDR is that I'd prefer a more "progressive" round, but the LD-specific things I've written are short/vague and I'd be happy to elaborate.
-If I'm judging LD, read my policy paradigm. That should sum up most things.
-Bad arguments make me unhappy. Your speaks will reflect that. That said, if you can't beat bad theory arguments it's not my problem (seriously why does nobody go for reasonability). You can answer most of these arguments with 5 words.
-Ask yourself "Can I read this argument in a policy round?" The answer will tell you how seriously I will take the argument.
-I'm not here to police you or your arguments, but some LD shenanigans are too much.
-Trix are for kids. I will not vote for tricks I can't understand or explain back to you. ps - condo logic is a terrible argument.
-If you have me in the back the best way to do things is to debate like it's a policy round or explaining the random LD things like phil very well.
Random Thoughts -
1) I feel like I have a higher expectation of argument development from the negative due to my policy background. It's something I'm trying to be more mindful of. I would appreciate it if both debaters "went for" fewer arguments and focused on developing the arguments they are winning.
2) Whoever decided that "must read conditional advocacies in the 1N" is a real argument should be banned from debate.
3) I get that it's online, but asking "what was the response to x?" during 1AR/2NR/2AR prep is really annoying and I don't expect answers from either side.
4) If you have disclosed "race war spec" or something like that at any point I'm docking speaks. It's an incredibly anti-black and reductionist way to answer an otherwise bad argument. Just answer the spec argument normally instead of going out of your way and putting it on the wiki.
Read Shabbir Bohri's Paradigm.
LAMDL and a couple of LDers currently. Previous affiliations don't really matter as of now.
I will more than likely be masking throughout the tournament when it is a major national tourney as we have many out of state teams who show up. I expect teams in my rounds to respect it.
I do have a hearing problem in my right ear. If I've never heard you b4 or it's the first round of the day. PLEASE go about 80% of your normal spread for about 20 seconds so I can get acclimated to your voice. If you don't, I'm going to miss a good chunk of your first minute or so. I know people pref partly through speaker points. My default starts at 28.5 and goes up from there. If i think you get to an elim round, you'll prob get 29.0+
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
for lders scroll down to the ld section and pfers go below that.
Performances and K Affs: I like em. I'd prefer you have a topic link but I've voted for teams before that were blatantly not topical. Adhering to the thesis of your k aff and/or performance is important. Please don't run a Fem aff and then proceed to misgender someone in the round. It can get infuriating at times. I'd like an explanation of the theory of power of the aff coming into the 2ac that has sufficient contextualizing to whatever k the neg is reading. Just extending your aff can be okay but more contextualization so the turns/alt debate can be cleaner is always preferred. Just because you run a K aff doesn't mean I'll vote for you though. I find pomo k affs to be harder to evaluate compared to others but if fleshed out during the round, I'll vote for it. Run your poem. Run your narrative. Run your music. Run your 15 card k aff dump. Whatever. just make sure it makes sense and I'll try my best to evaluate it as I would other positions
Framework T: Def run it. My personal preference runs more on the line that the aff must be able to defend their model of debate. If they decide excluding portions of the resolution within their position is a good thing, but can't defend that, they probably don't deserve the ballot. I lean more on epis impx and see procedural fairness as an internal link to something else but I'll default to whatever the debaters tell me and only intervene in that regard if no one wins the argument.
Having a case list of negs you can run and cannot run and why they're good or bad is convincing. Having a story around aff limits and why they matter in the context of the debate and your impacts matter. buzz words and blocks won't be enough. really explain it to me so I have a clear area I can circle on my flow (well put ** on my excel sheet) that I can pull the trigger on. FYI. TVA without a clear plantext with advantages and a solvency story is not sufficient to win that argument. Referencing other schools' affs also prob won't help you since I could care less about what most affs are and i'm not going to do extra research during rfd time to look up at the wiki. If it's important enough to reference, you can tell me how the tva functions to solve/allow for good ground for both sides of the debate. shrug.
Topicality: Go for it. I err on competing interps and have voted for wonky T's and aff's answers to t. Reasonability with really good warrants can also convince but i'd rather not vote on if it I can help it. Your interps need to be carded. I'm done with aff debaters who have counter interps that are not backed up by data. If you read that and the neg doesn't concede the we meet, you'll prob never get the ballot. As a side not for ld, please slow a bit down when ur on this flow as most debates centered on T are very light on cards and heavy on spreading and flowing analytics for minutes on end can be difficult. I'm not looking at the doc so if I miss a blippy arg that you go for? ooops.
Kritiks: I think K's are a good thing. I think running kritiques as a way to educate not only yourself but those around you is a good thing. Spend time during cx or the block (2nr in ld) to really develop a well articulated link story. Too many times the 1nc will just read generic link cards and never really give me portions of the aff that fit into those links and why they bite the theory of power. That's bad. If I can't see how the aff links, 0 chance will I vote on a K. If you're going 1 off K, please add framework. I'm okay with not evaluating the aff if they lead to a bad for debating. In that regard I think affs underutilized the potential spin they can use in order to have access to all portions of the aff.
Floating piks are probably bad. vague alts that shift between one speech and the next are probably bad. call it out please.
Perms are good. Running the K conditionally with a ROB is probably bad esp if you kick out of the K and there's a random link turn or perm argument coming out of the aff...
CP: I like counterplans. I err neg on condo theory to a degree unless the amount of conditional advocacies gets to the point the aff is forced to double turn themselves in order to answer all those off cases. I can be convinced to vote aff easily once the abuse occurs. But if the advocacies are fine with each other, then you're gtg. If no abuse and debate comes down to condo, I can pull the trigger for the aff, they just need to win the tech. I dislike multiplank cps but ld has been heavily leaning towards billions of planks so whatever. Run your abusive counterplans. adv cps are good. pics are generally good. private actor cps and the like are probably bad.
If you drop the perm. You'll probably lose. There's no excuse. don't drop it.
Prefer the Disad/NB be on another flow as it keeps my flows a little cleaner and allows the neg to be able to pivot out of the cp and go for the disad vs the case.
DA: Use it. the more the merrier. can't be conditional if you run 6 disads, right? keep your story on how the disad turns and out weighs case and you're good. problem for me on voting for disads has usually been the impact calc debate. some debates just get messy and I don't know how the impacts of the disad vs the aff work. At that point I'm sorta lost and will have to spend time being grumpy to try to clear the picture up as much as I can. I love good UQ debates. links and internal link debates, impact turns (to a degree). This is an election year so I know everyone will be running the presidential elections disad as well as some senate elections disads. That's fine. Just please keep your internal link chain concise. If the internal links are dubious at best to get to a terminal impact, my threshold for the aff answering it will likely be low.
Case debate: Go for a dropped case turn. So many debates could be resolved very quickly if the Neg would only look at the conceded case turns and solvency deficits and just go for it. In that same sense. Defend your case. If the neg undercovers case, what does that mean as a whole for the debate? If you solve the impx coming out of the 1nc... it should do so some interesting things in relation to other positions, right? ?
Online Debate: I have amazing hardware now for online debate. That doesn't mean everyone does though. If possible please don't go as fast as humanly possible because debate platforms are still limited on how clear communications can be. Coupled that with being in a panel with observers, it's even more important to think about access for the community and competitors/judges.
If the speech cuts out due to internet issues, depending on the length, I will either have you restart from that spot you cut off or will ask what you said (if less than 5-10 seconds). I trust that the people I'm judging will not do ethically questionable actions because of the online format. My tech is good enough that unless you're internet suddenly cuts off, I will be able to keep track through most of it and if I find out you're lying to me or the competitor about what you said, a 25/L will be in the future. I put my trust in the debaters I judge. Don't abuse it.
For LD debaters:
I coach a trad lder as well so I get how it works. Just do you and lets have a fun round.
Update for sept/oct HC topic: Specific drug prescription pics are not real pics of SP. At best they're a pic of a pic and that's not really where you want to get with me on a theory debate or whether or not the cp even competes.
secondly, I'm finding myself voting AFF a lot on K debates because K debaters have not been extrapolating the link story of the K to the specific adv/storyline of the aff. It's on my paradigm at the top, If i can't see a link to the aff, I have no problem voting aff on a no link/perm or no link/link turn story. Please talk about the aff.
finally, I'm finding that after 2 years of online debate, in person debate is a breath of fresh air. Don't be afraid to banter and socialize with your opponents or anyone else in the room when it's time for me to write out my RFD.
On a mutual pref sheet this is how I would pref me.
1: Larp V K, K v T/fw +
2: larp v larp. K v K
3: phil, heavy theory debaters and heavy T debates
4: Pomo K's that look like gibberish to me
5: spark, overpop, death good, nebel, trix
update for the sept/oct topic: my threshold on theory vs cheaty counterplans is pretty low. keep that in mind.
Enunciate your claims and slow down a bit so I can actually flow it. When half the constructive is literally just analytics and you're 300+ wpm... that's lit unflowable and I'm not going to the docs to resolve that. If you lose because it's not on my flow? Shrug. Don't care.
Jasmine Stidham "You have the power to stop Nebel t in this activity" Mission accepted.
NO NEBEL. THE 1AR JUST HAS TO SAY "NO" AND WE ARE DONE ON THAT FLOW.
yes 1ar theory. no rvis.
Aff's are capped at 29.2 if they include underview theory about why they get rvis and 1ar stuff.
I prefer a substantive debate with 3-4 off to something like 13 off. I'll flow you regardless but I reserve the right roast you.
Tricks are not a viable strat in front of me. Not voting for it.
Theory is good if it isn't a blippy mess. Just saying a team is "condo" and they should lose without an interp, and why condo is problematic will not get you a ballot.
Lastly, please be nice to each other. LD is such a short event that to there's really no point to get toxic from 2 cx's. If the round gets toxic. Whoever initiated the toxicity will not be able to receive anything higher than a 27.5.
pf: i'm mostly down with whatever you all wanna run but i do have a few caveats.
- If you paraphrase your evidence, you're not really reading evidence. At best i'll think of it as an analytic but I'm not going to look at the ev or treat it to the same level of a competitive card analysis if the other team calls for it to happen.
- If the debate becomes a debaters being mean to each other and being disrespectful, I will default to being a parent judge and will evaluate the debate based on who i think was more respectful to the other team. I get it debates get heated at times but this is pf, it's an hour long. seriously just be nice to other.
- Kritiques - I'm going to treat this like I'm judging ld or policy. It's the only way i know how to evaluate a k. means it needs a link, impact, alt. if it's the only position in the round for the aff/neg the team may want to deploy a fw/rob argument in the constructive somewhere.
- You will get an rfd on why I voted the way I did if the tournament allows it.
Hi im a parent judge but judged at over 20 tournaments these two years. Good luck and ask questions
LD/Parliamentary Debate Coach - Cogito Debate — (2021-Present)
LD Brief Publisher - Kankee Briefs — (2019-Present)
Varsity Policy Debater — UNLV (2019-2021)
Varsity Policy/LD Debater — NWCTA (2017-2019)
-Put me (email@example.com) on the email chain (yes, even if its LD)
-Not a good K hack judge - I don’t know as much lit and think framework args are true. I won't not vote for a K, BUT don't be mad if I miss something or think aff centric rejoinder is cool
-Line by line muy importante. Keep speeches organized if at all possible and try to clean it up if you can.
-Tech > truth - I try to not intervene unless someone is intentionally excluding someone from the debate space
-I will yell “CLEAR” on Zoom if you’re unclear. If I can’t understand you, I won’t be blamed for less the suburb flows.
-Theory on any issue is okay, BUT slow down and give extra pen time theory. This includes more policy oriented arguments like ptx theory, but not LD trix like permissibility or NIBS.
-None of my preferences are hard rules and are just what I am biased towards. I will vote on any issue if need be
-Inserting rehighlighted ev is cool
-Write prep down on Zoom chat
-Tell me if I need extra paper for say an long K overview
-Creativity in quality arguments is rewarded
-Quote I stole from Gomez:
I will not give up my ballot to someone else. I will not evaluate arguments about actions taken when I was not in the room or from previous rounds. I will not vote for arguments about debaters as people. I will always evaluate the debate based on the arguments made during the round and which team did the better debating. Teams asking me not to flow or wanting to play video games, or any other thing that is not debate are advised to strike me. If it is unclear what "is not debate" means, strike me.
-I'm chill and don't care if you need a second for tech issues or to take care of something
-Quote I stole from Danban that is somehow now relevant, “ [I] won't vote for any argument that promotes sedition.”
-If you have any questions about my paradigm / RFD, please email me or just ask in person.
-I’m pro ptx DA gang though to be honest 99% of them are made up and don’t make sense
-Recency for ev helps. For example, please update your July econ UQ answers you cut at camp
-Utilize DA turns case and link turns case arguments more
-I usually err neg on CP theory since borderline abusive fiat debates can be fun
-Its probably best to functional and textual competition
-I think CP's with internal net benefits are neato
-Intrinsic and severance perms are more acceptable if the CP isn't as theoretically legitimate
-I’m cool if you tell me to judge kick the CP, but the 2AR can object if they want to
-Wouldn't suggest running them in front of me
-Ks should have specific links to the aff
-Links of omission aren’t a thing
-I like more consequence centric K debate (i.e. cap good/bad) as opposed to high theory Baudy quackery
Theory / T
-Hot take - most T args are rubbish except T-FMWK.
- Current thoughts on common theory issues
-Competing interpretations good and most affs T should be read against aren’t reasonable
-Functional limits args aren’t convincing if the plan is able to spike out of common DA's
-International fiat good
-Consult Process CP bad
-Perfcon not necessarily bad, but does likely justify severing representations
-Word PIKS bad
-Disclosure good, but probably not good enough to be something worthwhile voting on
-Caselists and specific explanations of what can / cannot be read under a certain interp are helpful
CX Specific Notes
-I think T-Substantial gets a bad rap - its likely necessary against most fringe affs unless you’re going for the topic K or disad, or very contrived CPs (not that there’s anything wrong with that
-I default to util = trutil and think teams running structural violence affs still need to answer disads regardless of the framework debate
LD Specific Notes
-I don't care if it's a lay debate or not, set up an email chain.
-Separate theory under/overview jazz from solvency and/or framework arguments
-Nailbomb affs are bad - theoretical spikes aren’t super justified
-Same with chunks analytical paragraphs that suck to flow - separate args please
-Since LD is weird, I’m cool with new theory args at any point in the debate if it is justified (e.g. judge kick the CP or the 2NR reexplaining the K as a PIK). Otherwise, try to introduce almost all theory arguments to the 1AC, 1NC, and 1AR
-I know a lot about whatever the current topic may be even though I do CX - you don't need to over explain stuff and can be somewhat fast and loose when explaining certain topic specific knowledge
-If you're second flight, I'm down if you come in and watch first flight. Otherwise, please be there when first flight ends, and know who your opponent is in case I don't know where they are.
-quote from Alderete I liked “LAWs Specific* References to The Terminator will be considered empirical evidence. References to The Matrix will not, because that is fiction.”
Intro: Hi I'm Austin. I mainly debated LD in high school, but I'm familiar with most other event formats. I graduated from Northland Christian HS in 2020 and UT Austin in 2022 with a psych major phil minor. I'm currently a 1L at Texas Law. I competed on the local and national circuit all four years of high school (and have been judging/coaching consistently since graduating), so I like to think I'm pretty up to date on the technical nuances of LD. Things that are bolded in my paradigm are things I think people are generally looking for or I think are worth noting about my preferences. Add me to the chain at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email me with specific questions before the round or thoughts on how I could improve my paradigm!
TLDR paradigm: Read the bottom for my speaks paradigm; I don't gut check "bad" arguments; I really love highly technical debates especially on a theoretical layer but I'm good with evaluating policy, kritik-al debate, etc.; I feel like this goes without saying but I will not vote on something I don't understand; by nature (even outside of debate) I default erring on the side of the person who is most logically consistent which means I will not vote for you unless you are ahead on a technical level (absent someone proposing an alternative method for me to evaluate by); I enjoy analytics more than empirics; I love tricks, but I think they're only pedagogically valuable for their ability to boost critical thinking other than that they're generally just for funzies and potentially bad for debate; due to the nature of my paradigm and the debates I typically judge because of it please read the fourth point in the general section as well; lastly my opinion on anything in this paradigm can change, just make the proper arg.
- I default comparative worlds but love truth testing
- I presume neg unless the neg reads an alternative that is farther from the squo than the aff's plan/advocacy (or presume aff/neg args are made, same for permissibility)
- I will vote on literally anything given the proper framing metric and justification
- I will NOT make arguments for you because I believe judge intervention is the worst for the activity; consequently if your opponent does something that propels a model of debate that is sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/abelist or something similar I will not drop them unless you mention it. It can be as simple as "they said/did x and that makes debate less accessible so they should lose." Otherwise the only thing I have jurisdiction to do is give them god awful speaks. To clarify if you don't say that they should lose for their discriminatory actions and they are ahead on the tech debate I will vote for them and be very very very sad about it. Please do not make me do this and call them out for being unethical. It's an easy ballot and better for debate.
- you don't have to ask me to flow by ear; I promise I'm both listening and reading your doc (to clarify, I'll catch extemporized blippy analytics)
- I probably default more T>K but that's really up to you
- Weighing makes me happy, as well as a strong fw tie/explanation
- For ethics challenges/evidence ethics calls reference the NSDA guidelines for this year; if the guidebook doesn't make a speaks claim I will either evaluate them myself given the speeches read (if any) or default normal round evaluation (meaning speaks spikes are viable)
- I don't have a default on disclosure at the moment but in debate I defaulted disclosure bad; regardless of my default it doesn't affect my ability to listen to either stance and adjudicate accordingly
- My ability to understand spread/speed is pretty good; feel free to go as fast as you want but please be clear
- Please please please ask your opponent if your practices are accessible before the round so you are 1. not exclusionary and 2. not susceptible to an easily avoidable independent voter; if you don't ask and end up doing something inaccessible you'll probably lose (provided they make it a voting issue); this includes giving trigger warnings
- flex prep is cool
- if you don't read a fw/fw is a wash I'll presume neg (same for voters on t/theory)
- there are only a few norms I think are pretty true; among them are judge intervention bad, no new 2ar arguments, and normal speech times (although these can easily change and I'm coming around to new 2ar args as the default; idk it's complicated)
- you don't have to ask if I am ready for you to speak; I am probably paying attention (to clarify, default I am ready unless I say something that suggests otherwise)
Pt. 1 Pref Shortcuts (by my confidence in my ability to adjudicate and 1 being most confident 5 being least):
Theory/T/Tricks- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
Phil/High Theory- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
K- 1 or 2 (depending on density)
LARP- 1 to 3 (depending on density)
Pt. 2 Pref Shortcuts (by my desire to see them in round and 1 being most desirable 5 being least):
Phil/High Theory- 1
note: I will be happy to adjudicate LARP it's just not my highest preference
- Love these please know what your own plan says though
- I default plans are abusive mainly because I never read one for its PeDaGOgiCaL VaLUe it was always for strategy but don't let this discourage you from reading a plan seriously they're fine
- Honestly severance is cool with me but if they point it out and make a theoretical reason to drop it could be hard to beat back; if they read a condo or dispo CP, however, it becomes a little easier to get out of
- the solvency section is important for plans, if you don't have one it's gonna be rough
- please have an advocate just for the sake of an easier theory debate
- These are cool but better if they're actually competitive; read as many as you want just know anything more than 1 is hard to justify theoretically especially if it's not uncondo (although I love multiple cp debates)
- Any cp is cool (including actor, process, etc.) just make sure the 2nr extension is sufficient to vote on
- I default condo bad but don't let that discourage you from utilizing it as I think condo is super strategic (which is good for speaks), you just have to be technically ahead on the theory debate; feel free to read like 8 condo cps just know it's an uphill theoretical battle (but certainly not impossible)
- I default perms as an advocacy because they always seem to be extended as such but it is really up to you
- Probably my least favorite position because they all seem to go down the same path towards the 2nr, but a good explanation and coupling with a competitive cp makes this position much better
- the more unique the da the more I'll like listening to it (please don't make me listen to a basic three card econ disad unless you don't plan on going for it)
- Please do notttt confuse this with basic fw debate
- I used to read a few high theory positions but that doesn't mean my threshold for explanation on those positions is lower/higher than any other argument
- Kant is kool but I'm not a hack
- If the aff doesn't have a fw and the neg strategically reads a fw the aff can't link into, aff is probably losing
- If no one reads a fw I will probably not evaluate any post-fiat implications of either side and just vote on strength of link weighing (if justified)/presumption or a higher layer (i.e. I will NOT default util or sv for you this isn't pf)
- I'm hesitant to say this but I did read a decent amount of Baudrillard just know there is a reason why I stopped lol feel free to still read it though I love hearing it as well as any other high theory author
- I especially love hearing new philosophies that are either obscure or that I just haven't heard of yet; phil debate is one of my favorite parts of ld
- I am more likely to vote on presumption than I am to evaluate strength of link to fw in the instance I cannot decide which model to evaluate under
- K Affs are fun but I am more inclined to err on the side of t-fw as that's what I mostly read and it seems intuitively true; it really depends on the framing metric though and I will definitely vote on a k aff vs t-fw as long as there is sufficient tech offense
- KvK is cool
- poems/music/art/performance is offense and if you don't respond to it your opponent can extend it as conceded (I have no problem voting on conceded performance offense with the proper framing mech)
- should have a ROB and/or ROJ (and the best ones are not blatantly inaccessible to one side)
- if your opponent asks you a specific question about the framing of your kritik and you cannot give them a cohesive answer it's gonna look bad
- if the distinction is unclear between the method the k evaluates by and the aff's you will have a hard time winning
- please don't read links that you yourself link into
- Having specific rhetoric from the aff itself or your opponent is great and much better than just topic/omission links
- I love seeing the extrapolation of these as linear das in the 2nr
- I am comfortable voting off state/omission links they're just boring
- you must have them and they must be unique; please do weighing as well because k impacts don't always contextualize themselves
- explain plz; It doesn't have to be explained super well if your opponent doesn't press the issue but I need to have a basic understanding of what I'm voting on i.e. what the world of the alt looks like (unless a set col type arg is made about imagining the alt being a move to settlerism)
- Please don't make the alt condo/dispo if your k is about some sort of oppression it looks bad
- do not read two contradictory alts in front of me you will probably lose; if they work well together that's cool
- I LOVE these they make it easier to evaluate the line by line because all the big picture issues are out of the way
- Please make sure the overview is not just line by line in disguise (I was guilty of this) but is instead framing the ways I need to evaluate offense
- literally my fav the more you read the more I'll enjoy the debate as long as you know what you're doing
- friv is fantastic
- please make them positively worded
- be careful of your wording; poor wording leaves you susceptible to easy i meets
- have them and extend them in the next speech
- screenshots/photos are the best
- there are really only like four good standards that the rest fall under categorically but it's whatever
- the more the merrier
- if you do fairness and education linkage inside the standard block I'll be happier
- I default rvi's good and competing interps unless otherwise specified
- I tend to default fairness first but am VERY easily able to be persuaded otherwise
- you must justify voters independently of the standards section (i.e. explain why fairness, education, fun, etc. matter)
- I evaluate these arguments like any other (if they have a claim/warrant/impact you're good)
- I think a block of text is funny but definitely annoying as far as the organization of your spikes/tricks so preference is at least numbering but it's really not a big deal if you can explain them well
- These arguments are generally so bad but if you don't respond or spend too much time messing with them the round becomes significantly more difficult for you
- I can be persuaded by some sort of spikes k so be wary
- I'm unsure if afc/acc are tricks, but know I'll listen to both and any other pseudo-trick
- aprioris and eval after the 1ac are the a-strat
- I'm fine with indexicals, condo logic, log con, etc. (idk how else to say i'll vote on literally any trick/arg generally)
- I generally give speaks based on strategic decision making (and will try to justify the deductions if asked, although ultimately they're always on some level arbitrary)
- Anything that you do that purposefully makes your opponent uncomfortable, expresses discrimination/oppression, or generally makes the debate space unsafe will result in your top speaks being a 25 and more likely will result in a 0 or whatever the lowest allowed speaks value is
- I am persuaded by a 30 speaks spike (i.e. give both/one of the debaters 30 speaks for x reason) as long as it is extended throughout
- for locals I generally give 28-30 and for nat circuit 27-30 unless the tournament has a specified structure; occasionally if the round is super underwhelming I'll evaluate like I would a nat circuit for a local
- If you make me laugh you're definitely getting a speaks inflation but this is rare and it has to be genuine
- I'll clear twice without a speaks deduction and definitely have more lenience in the online format
sbrowndebate at gmail
mcdonogh 08 policy debater
fullerton college 21 aa history
csuf 22 ba history
19th year flowing debates
i grew up 43.5 miles from the supreme court
i have spent two separate one year stints of my life exclusively researching judicial independence
i once co-hosted a tournament with toc bids in pf, ld, and policy with a lawyer who successfully argued in front of the supreme court
i am undefeated in junior varsity football against georgetown prep (kavanugh and gorsuch's alma mater)
STAR-ay duh SIGH sis
Hi! I am currently at sophomore at UC San Diego. I was involved with Speech and Debate during my 4 years at Archbishop Mitty High School. I debated in Lincoln Douglas debate from my sophomore to senior year in both lay and fast tournaments. I can keep up with fast debate but I prioritize having concrete evidence to support your points. Please be courteous to your opponents and let them finish speaking before rebutting during cross. I look forward to hearing what you guys have prepared and to judge a clean round!
I am a lay parent judge.
I prefer debaters who speak clearly and are confident in their arguments.
Avoid speaking too fast.
Be courteous to your opponent.
Please try not to run theory, Ks, Phil, or any other circuit arguments. I will not be able to understand them.
Updates for NDCA 2023
-Go slow on theory, and slower than you might usually go on most analytics
-Also, NC off case positions must be complete; arguments that are not complete can be dispatched by brief but smart 1AR analytics. In practice, this means you should make sure your DA has uniqueness, make sure your CP has a solvency and competition explanation (!!) and your K should have a semblance of a FW argument if you want to make FW a thing in the NR. The NR is a rebuttal, not a constructive.
Email for chain – email@example.com
Conflicts: Harker, Harvard-Westlake
Hi! I’m Vishan. I graduated from Harvard-Westlake in 2019 and am now an assistant coach at Harker. I generally read policy style arguments (CPs, DAs, etc) and some kritiks, but I feel comfortable evaluating any style of debate except for maybe a dense phil or tricks debate, but I don’t see myself/don’t want to be judging those anyway.
1. (online) Record a local copy of your speech. I will under no circumstance have someone re-give a speech if they drop out of the call/there are major audio glitches during the speech. Before your speech begins, start recording on your phone/laptop so you can send me a copy in case something goes wrong. This was rarely an issue last year, but when it was it made everyone's lives easier when there was a recording.
2. Speed - you should not go your top speed, 80-90% is probably fine most of the time, maybe err on the slow side on (especially short) analytics.
***Theory is an entirely different ballgame - I don't know if theory arguments are just getting shorter or if I'm not catching as much because people go too fast, but people need to slow down a substantial amount. This is one of the most important parts of this paradigm, it is also the most ignored.
3. General argument preferences – I prefer quality arguments related to the topic. All things equal, I prefer to hear a core topic DA instead of politics, a K with a strong link to the aff over a consult CP, etc. Of course, if you execute a niche argument really well, go for it, just be aware that the less familiar I am with it, the less likely I am to fully understand it, and the more likely it is that you get a decision that you may not like.
A. Policy arguments (CPs, DAs, etc.)
–I am best for these types of arguments.
-Impact calc + turns case are underutilized/usually a game winner if you do them well.
-The Politics DA is the worst argument that I vote on routinely. Dunking on politics during CX (while still being respectful of course)/dismantling it in the 1ar will likely result in higher points. Unfortunately, affs rarely do this and instead just read 4 impact defense cards :(
-I do not default judge kick, but I am open to it.
-I am open to most CP theory (conditionality, PICs, agent CPs, etc.) but am a hard sell on LD nonsense (must spec status in speech, no neg fiat, etc.). One condo is generally ok, two is pushing it, three or more is no good however, debates that come down to 1ar theory are among my least favorite to judge (unless it’s a slam dunk)
I've noticed a proliferation of really horrible CPs. Most of these are consult CPs that lack a reason why bindingness/consultation are key - these should easily be beaten by permutations
-I’m a big fan of well-done T debates.
-But I'm usually not thrilled to be judging Nebel over and over again. Nebel/can't spec should be viewed as a last resort (cases where the aff is very very small)
-I find myself usually unpersuaded by “only semantics matter” claims on T. A well thought out limits claim is definitely the way to go in front of me.
-On T I’m probably 50-50 on the competing interps/reasonability debate.
-In theory debates (that are not CP theory), I am generally persuaded by reasonability + drop the argument. I do not like judging theory debates a whole lot.
-I am a (very, very) hard press on the RVI and would not recommend going for it in front of me. It will be absurdly difficult, if not impossible, for me to vote on an RVI on T.
-I prefer not to judge debates with out of round violations (disclosure etc.) The exception is if your opponent does not disclose first 3 last 3 - include screenshots/evidence and this is a near slam dunk. Other disclosure violations (round reports, open source, etc.) can be easily beaten by reasonability in front of me. Things like "misdisclosure/opponent lied" are uncomfortable to judge/you must include screenshots/definitive evidence in your speech docs.
-Yes - Neolib, Afropessimism, Set Col, other "structural" identity Ks, Security
-No - pomo. It’s not that am not ideologically against these Ks, I am just very unfamiliar with them which will make it hard for you to win them in front of me. It's unlikely you get higher than a 28.5 unless you are very good at explaining your argument.
-I probably lean neg in FW/K aff debates. Negs should articulate an impact outside of "limits because limits" and affs should have counterinterpretations that solve most of neg offense
-When going for a K on the neg, if your only link is some fancy packaging of "fiat bad" I am not the judge for you.
-Links should be contextualized/turn the case. This does not mean that all your links need to be to the plan; rather, if you explain why your links turn the case under the aff FW, you are in a good spot.
-Ideally the 2NR does most if not all of their work on the line-by-line – I’m fine with a short overview to explain thesis/impact but I’m not a fan of the 4-minute overviews followed by the neg saying “this was in the overview” to answer every 1AR argument.
- Neg teams should frame their link not only against the plan alone but through the lens of the permutation. Likewise, affs should frame their link turns not through the lens of the status quo, but through the alternative.
- I’m most well-versed in consequentialism but I think I understand Kant and some political theory a decent amount. I’m at ELI5 level for almost every other type, so tread carefully. You do not need an explicit standard text.
-“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” – Trix kids
4. Evidence ethics – if a debater claims their opponent committed an evidence ethics violation, such as clipping, they will stake the debate on that claim. If there’s proof that the accused the debater clipped, they get an L and the lowest points I can give. If the opposing debater did not clip, the accusing party gets an L and the lowest points I can give.
I don’t read along in the speech doc…usually. Usually if you’re talking, I’m flowing. Sometimes, however, I look if I suspect clipping is occurring. If I catch you clipping, I will let the debate finish, but you will lose. I won’t catch everyone who clips, I don’t think it’s my job to constantly check everyone, so when I check/when I don’t may be somewhat arbitrary, but the easy way to do that is to not cheat.
If I call clear (multiple times) and you don't clear up/I cannot understand the words you are saying, it is clipping.
Things like bracketing, cutting an author who concludes the other way (as long as it’s not egregious), etc. aren’t round-stopping issues to me. However, I am extremely receptive to theory arguments about them, and doing those things will tank your speaks.
I unfortunately have to add this, but I'm starting to sometimes see evidence which is very, very questionable. This is how I think I will evaluate these debates, even if no ethics challenge is raised.
If I notice...
-Card from an article which concludes the other way - your speaks get tanked (25) if you don't go for the flow/it is not egregious; you lose if it is integral to your strategy/you would lose the debate without it
-Card with paragraphs missing - you lose
-Clipping - you lose
-Cards that are miscited - you lose
5. Ways to get good speaker points
-Demonstrating topic/content knowledge
-Debating about author quals
-High quality/not scarcely under-highlighted evidence
-Going for an impact turn well
6. Last housekeeping things
-You must share your speech docs with your opponent - email is preferable
- Each debate will have 1 winner and 1 loser. The speech times are set as is prep time. You can’t use CX as prep time. Asking for me to give you a 30 will result in you getting no higher than a 26.
-I will only vote on arguments that I understand and can explain back to the other debater. I will never vote on arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, etc.
-I like evidence a lot, but good analytics >>> bad cards. Even if your card is A+, you only get credit for how good you explain it in later speeches/when you extend it.
- Debate is a communicative activity, so I don't make my decision by reading through all the cards in the speech doc after the debate. I think I'm a pretty good flow, so I don't backflow unless I think it was my fault. If it's not on my flow, you don't get credit for it - emphasizing/slowing down on certain arguments will greatly enhance my ability to understand them. People need to slow wayyyyy down on theory.
-Please be nice to your opponent
I am a traditional parent judge.
Please speak clearly and make sure I can understand what you are saying.
If you are rude to your opponent I will drop you.
I will flow and take notes as you debate and I will vote based on this flow. I value evidence.
tl;dr eh i’m tired and rusty
bc montgomery blair pz is a cheater here's my full paradigm
I do not have any special paradigms.
I trust you all to time yourselves, but I will give you a verbal "stop" if you go more than a couple seconds over.
Off-time roadmaps are allowed but not required
I did PF debate throughout middle school, some Congress but mainly Lincoln Douglass throughout high school. I evaluate all debates pretty fairly. Although I favor more critical race based and “progressive” arguments, I’m open to anything. Faith warning, overt disrespect or discrimination of any sort will result in a tanking of speaker scores.
Other than that, be yourself, debate as you please. Make sure every word is intentional and meaningful.
she/they, lay-uh, not lee-uh
A) I've competed and coached high school and college policy debate since 2008.
B) I've taught new novice students and instructed K-12 teachers about Parli, PuFo, LD, and Policy
C) I am an educator and curriculum developer, so that is how I view my role as a judge and approach feedback in debate. I type my RFDs, please ask your coaches (if you have an experienced coach) to explain strategic concepts I referenced. Otherwise you can email me.
D) I am very aware of the differences in strategy and structure when comparing Policy Debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate.
d)) which means I can tell when evidence from one format of debate [ex: policy -> ld] is merely read in a different format of debate for strategic choices rather than educational engagement.
heads up: i can tell when you are (sp)reading policy cards at me, vs communicating persuasive and functionally strategic arguments. please read and write your speeches, don't just read blocks of evidence without doing the persuasive work of storytelling impacts.How I Evaluate & Structure Arguments:
Parts of an Argument:
Claim - your argument
Warrant - analytical reasoning or evidence
Impact - why the judge should care, why it's important
Probability - how likely is it the impact will happen
Magnitude - how large is the harm/who will be negatively affected
Timeframe - when this impact will occur
Reversibility - can the harms be undone[Online Debates]
prewritten analytics should be included in the doc. we are online. transparency, clarity, and communication is integral in debate. if you are unclear and i miss an argument, then i missed your argument because you were unclearpre-pandemic paradigm particularities
for policy and/or ld:
1) AFFs should present solutions, pass a Plan, or try to solve something
2) K AFFs that do not present a plan text must: 1. Be resolutional - 1ac should generally mention or talk about the topic even if you're not defending it, 2. Prove the 1AC/AFF is a prereq to policy, why does the AFF come before policy, why does policy fail without the aff? 3. Provide sufficient defense to TVAs - if NEG proves the AFF (or solvency for AFF's harms) can happen with a plan text, I am very persuaded by TVAs. K teams must have a strong defense to this.
3) Link to the squo/"Truth Claims" as an impact is not enough. These are generic and I am less persuaded by generic truth claims arguments without sufficient impacts
4) Critique of the resolution > Critique of the squo
5) NEG K alts do not have to solve the entirety of the AFF, but must prove a disadvantage or explain why a rejection of the AFF is better than the alt, or the squo solves.
6) Debate is a [policy or LD] game, if it is a survival strategy I need more warrants and impacts other than "the aff/alt is a survival strategy" with no explanation of how you are winning in-round impacts
7) Framing is FUNctional, the team that gives me the best guide on how/why I should vote for X typically wins the round. What's the ROB, ROJ, the purpose of this round, impact calc, how should I evaluate the debate?
8) Edu is important. Persuasive communication is part of edu. when the debate is messy or close I tend to evaluate the round in terms of 1. who did the better debating, 2. who best explained arguments and impacts and made me more clearly understand the debate, 3. who understood their evidence/case the most.
9) Dropped arguments are not always necessarily true - I will vote on dropped arguments if it was impacted out and explained why it's a voter, but not if the only warrant is "they conceded _____it so it's a voter"
10) I flow arguments, not authors. It will be helpful to clarify which authors are important by summarizing/impacting their arguments instead of name dropping them without context or explanation.
Background: I'm the Director of Debate at Northland Christian School in Houston, TX. In high school, I debated for three years on the national and local circuits (TOC, NSDA, TFA). I was a traditional/LARP debater whenever I competed (stock and policy arguments, etc). I teach at GDS in the summer.
Email Chain: Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judging Philosophy: I prefer a comparative worlds debate. When making my decisions, I rely heavily on good extensions and weighing. If you aren't telling me how arguments interact with each other, I have to decide how they do. If an argument is really important to you, make sure you're making solid extensions that link back to some standard in the round. I love counterplans, disads, plans, etc. I believe there needs to be some sort of standard in the round. Kritiks are fine, but I am not well-versed in dense K literature; please make sure you are explaining the links so it is easy for me to follow. I will not vote on a position that I don't understand, and I will not spend 30 minutes after the round re-reading your cards if you aren't explaining the information in round. I also feel there is very little argument interaction in a lot of circuit debates--please engage!
Theory/T: I think running theory is fine (and encouraged) if there is clear abuse. I will not be persuaded by silly theory arguments. If you are wanting a line by line theory debate, I'm probably not the best judge for you :)
Speaker Points: I give out speaker points based on a couple of things: clarity (both in speed and pronunciation), word economy, strategy and attitude. In saying attitude, I simply mean don't be rude. I think there's a fine line between being perceptually dominating in the round and being rude for the sake of being rude; so please, be polite to each other because that will make me happy. Being perceptually dominant is okay, but be respectful. If you give an overview in a round that is really fast with a lot of layers, I will want to give you better speaks. I will gauge my points based on what kind of tournament I'm at...getting a 30 at a Houston local is pretty easy, getting a 30 at a circuit tournament is much more difficult. If I think you should break, you'll get good speaks. Cussing in round will result in dropping your speaks.
Speed: I'd prefer a more moderate/slower debate that talks about substance than a round that is crazy fast/not about the topic. I can keep up with a moderate speed; slow down on tag lines/author names. I'll put my pen down if you're going too fast. If I can't flow it, I won't vote on it. Also, if you are going fast, an overview/big picture discussion before you go line by line in rebuttals is appreciated. Based on current speed on the circuit, you can consider me a 6 out of 10 on the speed scale. I will say "clear" "slow" "louder", etc a few times throughout the round. If you don't change anything I will stop saying it.
Miscellaneous: I don't prefer to see permissibility and skep. arguments in a round. I default to comparative worlds.
1. I'm not likely to vote on tricks...If you decide to go for tricks, I will just be generally sad when making a decision and your speaks will be impacted. Also, don't mislabel arguments, give your opponent things out of order, or try to steal speech/prep time, etc. I am not going to vote on an extension of a one sentence argument that wasn't clear in the first speech that is extended to mean something very different.
2. Please don't run morally repugnant positions in front of me.
3. Have fun!
WS Specific Things
-I start speaks at a 70, and go up/down from there!
-Make sure you are asking and taking POIs. I think speakers should take 1 - 2 POIs per speech
-Engage with the topic.
-I love examples within casing and extensions to help further your analysis.
Jack C Hays High School – 2019
Wake Forest University – December 2022
Add me to the email chain email@example.com
I debated for Jack C Hays in Austin, TX. I was in CX for 3 years and LD my senior year. i also have experience in college policy debate.
speed is good, pls slow down a little on analytics
if harm has occurred in the round, i will generally let the debater that has been harmed decide whether they would like the debate to continue or not. in egregious instances, i reserve the right to end the debate with 0 speaks and contact tab. violence in the debate space is never ok and i will hold the line. if you have safety concerns about being around your opponent for any reason, please tell me via email or in round.
in light of frequent instances of transphobia, i have no tolerance for it. everyone is learning, however, if you are struggling to adopt different pronouns etc, it is your responsibility to remove yourself from situations where you may cause harm. likewise, it is your responsibility to read pronouns on tabroom blasts, the wiki, etc and abide by them.
For online debate: you should always be recording locally in case of a tech issue
K/K affs: yes
I view fw as a debate about models of debate - I agree a lot with Roberto Fernandez's paradigm on this
I tend to lean aff on fw debates. The issue that I tend to find with k teams is that they rely too much on the top level arguments and neglect the line by line, so please be cognizant of both on the affirmative. impact turns have their place but i am becoming increasingly less persuaded by them the more i judge.
For the neg - the further from the resolution the aff is, the more persuaded i am by fw. your framework shell must interact with the aff in some meaningful way to be persuasive. the overarching theme here is interaction with the aff
To me, framework is a less persuasive option against k affs. Use your coaches, talk to your friends in the community, and learn how to engage in the specifics of k affs instead of only relying on framework to get the W.
I dont like friv theory (ex water bottle theory). absent a response, ill vote on it, but i have a very low threshold for answers.
I will vote on disclosure theory. disclosure is good.
Condo is fine, the amount of conditional off case positions/planks is directly related to how persuaded I am by condo as a 2ar option. it will be very difficult to win condo vs 1 condo off, but it will be very easy to win condo vs 6 condo off.
i am not persuaded by theory arguments that don't have an in round abuse story
Explain - If you understand it well enough to explain it to me I will understand it well enough to evaluate it fairly.
While I am not new to Public Forum Debate nor judging, during rounds I like for arguments to be presented as if I have no prior knowledge of the resolution. This helps to eliminate bias, and strengthens the individual appeal to your overall argument. Put simply, act as if I know nothing about the subject matter, speaking in a nice tone and at a decent pace, with a clear analysis throughout of why you deserve to win. Good luck!
Lovejoy 2021 2A/1N for 4 years
Purdue 2025 in Aerospace Engineering
Tab. Haven't read too much on the topic but know the basics, warrant your stuff well, don't go too fast bc I'm a little out of practice. Ask me specific questions if you have them, I am more than happy to answer! Call me Jack, you don't need to call me judge unless you're into that.
If you do you, you will be fine. Don't try to adapt to me, I will flow with the round and chill. I did it all, so just do what you do best.
Tech >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Truth
Don't be racist, sexist, etc., it's poor taste and I will give you lower speaks. However, these are bad args, and I still expect some warrant for why I shouldn't vote on an arg- look at my opinion on tech vs truth. I will vote on stuff I think is morally wrong, even if it is messed up. If you lose to someone defending something that is that messed up, idk what to say tbh.
Since this stuff is online and I am old(er), I might miss some stuff. If you want to make sure I get it down, put it on the doc. Cards, analytics, etc. will help me better keep track of everything. If I don't get it, that sucks.
L + Ratio + Not on Flow + Slow Down on Analytics + I am Old
Feel free to ask about my RFD and thoughts, I am more than happy to explain why I did (or did not) vote on an argument. If you want feedback from me for some reason, hit me up and I can answer stuff.
Case: I am good with plan text, performative, or just advocacy statements, but you need to be able to defend/debate your choice adequately. Like if you are reading performative stuff, there better be a reason why it is that with no plan text than "felt like it." That being said, I think case is underutilized in debates and love hearing a 2A extend case and answer off case with it and all that. #Protect the 2AR
K Affs/Whatever you want to call your no plan thing: Cool, go for it. You know what you are doing, I don't think I read a plan text at all my senior year and for most of my debating career.
Framing: Model justification and model disads to neg model win debates. Impact them out, 90% of the time no one puts enough time into this but utilizing it is insane. Give me framing and examples for how the WOTA provides a better space in the future for whatever you are saying and how this round is important.
DAs- YASSSS SLAYYYYYY! Make sure to do everything that needs to be done. Aff, please do sick I/L turns and stuff, those are way more convincing than anything else I usually find.
CPs- Make sure net benefits are competitive, otherwise have fun. If you are reading an abusive CP, have blocks for theory ready.
Just a side note on the two above, I read a bunch of topicality-K strats when I debated (>90%), so take that into account before you read 53 off and on-case. This is my biggest gripe in debate is neg teams that read a bunch off and just collapse to whatever is undercovered, I am super sympathetic to aff abuse claims and theory. That being said, I have voted for flows that have 8-9 off before and will remain as unbiased as I can. Just be prepped for me to be mildly annoyed during the RFD bc these rounds make me .
T/Theory- as a 1N I did this a lot in the 1NR/wrote blocks, just say why stuff matters and all the framing/model debates. Theory and framing flows usually just become the same by the end, so if you want them distinct try to make them different. I am pretty neutral on CI and reasonability, usually based on abusiveness of definition/aff and DAs to models. If you do this, please make sure to explain why your model is better and how it impacts out- if you just say "my model is the best bc it solves racism" explain how yours does and the other side doesn't. A lot of theory/framework/framing flows just become washes bc no one explains how I should evaluate the entire round. If you have questions on this bc this is vague, I will answer them before round.
Ks- Read a bunch of BioP, NecroP, Set Col, Cap, Deleuze, Psychoanalysis, and a bunch of other random junk. Personally, If you read the best psycho debate I have ever heard and are able to win on it, you get double 30s and a dub. But don't feel pressured to do that, if you read a K and read it well and do everything you need to the K is a good choice. If you make it a PIK, you better be ready for AR theory and I am pretty sympathetic to that. NOTE: just bc I read something does not mean I will do the work for you. I may be able to make a few leaps, but I won't let you say "Set Col is oppressing natives and we need to burn down the government" as if that explains the whole K.
Roadmap + time in the chat kinda nice tho, online debate made me a lazy timer so imma prob rely on y'all to do it.
Speed: Go for it, if I can't understand I will just stare at the screen or say clear. After that, have fun I guess. It should be p obvious when I can't get what you say, but hey.
Points: Start at a 28.5, work up or down. Usually will go something like (30 29.5 29 28.5) unless something happens that makes me reconsider.
TKO- if you know you know (and it's not T + K + On Case)
If I laugh audibly, +.5 SPEAKS
Be nice to your opponents. If you are winning, don't drag it out, I hate it when a team spends 3 minutes just roasting the other team bc they have time. If you end your speech early bc the round is legit over and get us out early, both of y'all will have a minimum of 29.5.
I already sold my soul to the MIC/DIB, so do your worst. Also if you want to hear about sick planes, lmk.
Lynbrook '21, UIUC '25
**I HAVENT JUDGED IN A LONG TIME PLEASE START A LITTLE SLOW**
Send docs to firstname.lastname@example.org, whether or not you're spreading!
I think the most fundamental forms of disclosure are good, for example, the first three last three. Anything else is up to debate.
Conflicts: All of Lynbrook, West Ranch SV, Mission San Jose SR, Leland MN
Theory defaults: Reasonability with "gut check", No Rvi, DTA
I'm not a great judge for trad rounds. If you are hitting a novice just don't try hard.
I think I'll try to average 28.8 speaks, if you are at the level of a bidder I will probably give you a 29.2 or higher.
I mainly read K, Theory, and Phil and was pretty decent in terms of like results, Elim finishes, speaker awards, bid that kinda stuff.
I think I'm best for Phil v util and theory rounds, and worst for pure k v k (there are some exceptions) and dense larping.
Nearly everything about how I view debate is from Chris Wang (refer to his paradigm about tech issues and whatnot), with influence on specific things from Perry Beckett, Michael Harris, and Holden Bukowsky. (if you would pref any of them you can probably pref me). My favorite argument I read was my queer fabulation aff. The majority of my 1AR/2ARs as a senior were AFC or indexicals or a trick that did something similar, and most 2NR's were some shell or skep.
Read and go for whatever argument you want in front of me. I've tried nearly everything in terms of types of arguments from performance affs to tricks to util. Don't assume I have background knowledge in every argument but I will do my best to judge. I find k rounds with little explanation of the theory of power difficult to follow.
- Debate's not about the judge, my preferences should not make you decide what you read.
- I will stop rounds if someone is uncomfortable.
- Prep ends after the doc is sent (I will be lenient).
- Tech>truth unless categorically false.
- No new responses to dropped arguments, dropped arguments need to be extended, impacted, and weighed to win. Not just repeated.
- Clipping, and evidence ethics are L 20s, clipping I will intervene if I catch it, evidence ethics should be called out or in most cases resolved in a shell or a reason to drop the card.
- I don't care if cx is treated as prep.
- Marked docs should be sent right after the speech, if it takes an excessive amount of time it'll come out of prep.
- Asking about what was read or said comes out of your prep.
- I'll disclose speaks if asked
Pretty straightforward, read some framework or I'll default to not util. *FOR CAL: this will probably be a more larpy tournament, I should not be preffed very high if every round you have is larp v larp*
I have a decent grasp of Phil in the context of LD and outside. I would like actual Phil, not logcon and condo logic. I think other tricky stuff like skep that is a bit less trolly are actually quite interesting and enjoy these rounds. I feel like arguments like relativism are underutilized. I think modesty is silly and usually would hurt util more than it helps. I think well-structured Phil affs with offense that clearly affirms is one of the strongest positions.
K's are like cool, I know some literature not all. I'll be better for Deleuze, Baudrillard, warren, Hartman, genealogy, black nihilism, and puar than other stuff. I will still vote on arguments if they make some sense. Concrete examples and clearly knowing the lit will do wonders. When there is a ROB/ROJ please show why it's preclusive or why it doesn't need to be normative. K v K is incoherent a lot of times so if something makes more sense it'll probably win. I haven't touched anything related to K lit for a decent amount of time so I will be rusty on quite a bit of stuff here.
K affs v T
40/60 on K aff/fwk. I've read non t, topical k affs, and performance affs so I think a lot of T is easy to beat. I think I err on the side of fwk because I don't buy a lot of the claims from K affs either and generally, affs fall into this problem where it might come off as telling the judge to affirm their identity. You're probably reading this and thinking this isn't your aff, but if the round really gets like this I'm most likely negating. I think for the aff to win they should have a solid topic link and leverage that in the T debate along with impact turns, I meets, etc. The neg wins by proving the opposite. I think 2NRs need to still deal with case 90% of the time. Affs get away with a lot of nonsense if you don't deal with the 2-minute overview with 16 independent voters and 20 turns to T. I also would be willing to vote on a 2NR that is primarily on case instead of T.
I will vote on literally every shell, bad debating will hurt speaks not necessarily bad arguments. Set voters cuz my defaults are bad. Paragraph theory is fine, might need clearer signposting since I mainly did the big shell stuff. Weighing makes these rounds really easy, not weighing makes them a pain. In general, I enjoy well-done theory rounds with 1 shell more than rounds with 3 shallow shells that were 15 seconds of the 1NC and became 5 minutes of the 2NR.
I personally like Phil tricks more than theory tricks, but a lot of Phil tricks are also poor logic so be careful, I will vote on these if they are won, impacted, extended, and weighed. If I don't get the trick I won't vote on it. "Eval after" tricks are bad cuz there are too many questions about how to evaluate them, so I will only use them for tiebreakers absent adequate judge instruction.
Feel free to contact me on Facebook before rounds, prefs were always tough for me.
Yale '21 Note: Have not judged a round/thought about debate in a while - please go slower.
Read whatever, have fun!
Speaks: I don't inflate speaks. To get high speaks, make good strategic decisions and be funny. To get low speaks, make poor strategic decisions and be mean.
Notes: Random thoughts I have about debate.
- Be efficient about flashing/emailing/etc. It's super obvious when people are stealing prep and I'll lower speaks for it
- I think you should flash/email/etc. anything that is pre-written and read in the speech, if you don't I'll lower speaks
- For disclosure violations, make sure all the screenshots have time-stamps and are on one document
- Prep stops when the doc has been compiled, it should be flashed/emailed/etc. shortly after
WFU '23 (Go Deacs! If you want a free Wake Debate T-Shirt, fill out the form at https://forms.gle/6Q8FTL2GVyKbUm7H6)
Conflicts: Harvard-Westlake (CA), Pace Academy (GA)
I would like to be on the email chain (davija19 [at] wfu [dot] edu)
Paradigm proper (if nothing else read this):
Hey y’all! I’m Ari (pronouns: they/she), and I’m excited to judge your debate!
Unfortunately, paradigms are a farce. And despite multiple attempts to rewrite mine in detail, I keep hearing that some things were unclear in terms of my interest in judging certain styles of arguments.
Top level point blank: I enjoy judging all kinds of debates, given that those debating are passionate and dedicated to the styles of argumentation in which they engage. I firmly believe debate is, at its core, a communicative activity that brings together a cacophony of persuasion, critical thinking, and intensive research inflected by the unique mannerisms that make each person in this activity who they are. I enjoy and reward with ballots and speaker points those speeches/debates that demonstrate a skillful balancing of all three.
I will be qualified to judge your debate at the speed you desire. I know what winning looks and feels like. I know what losing looks and feels like. In addition, speed must not trade off with clarity in order for my (pretty good) listening, processing, and flowing to be as precise as possible. I presume this is something everyone in each debate wants; feel free to persuade me otherwise. Remember that speed is not words per minute, but the amount of ideas communicated effectively per minute. Efficiency and clarity are just as (if not more) important.
I care a lot about debate. I think it can be a crucial training ground for revolutionary organizers as much as it is for policymakers and academics. I think that clash is good, and I think debaters should defend things rather than running away from criticism.
My only non-negotiables are: I believe that debate is a competition in which two teams compete for one ballot in a zero-sum format based on who did the better debating. I think that what you say during the round matters, and you should justify every claim you make with a warrant and an impact. I'd like to further clarify that this means I will vote negative if you are Aff and do not make arguments for a change from the status quo that overcomes the burden of proof/presumption against change.
Everything else is up for debate. That’s the beauty of the activity.
Clash debates (what you care about):
I judge debates all across the ideological spectrum, and I have special places in my heart for them all. By virtue of this fact, I end up judging lots of clash debates. I think about these debates a lot (on both sides) and am firmly in the camp that specificity and engagement matters. It matters pretty much more than everything else. I’d much rather see a specific hodgepodge K strat that you threw together knowing the story would weave together through your narratives than a Sustainability DA masquerading as the Cap K. I’d much rather see your specific defenses of a miscalc scenario and your contingent theorizations of IR than the same Ikenberry cards for heg good. Does this mean I am averse to generics when done well? Not at all — in fact, I think some of the best debating comes from taking the classics and adapting them to the situation at hand. I think clash debates uniquely train us to do exactly this.
Ideological predispositions that are easily overcomeable via good debsting:
- Clash>Fairness>Skills (Framework)
- Link turn + your theory can’t explain our aff > specific impact turns to links > generic impact turns > framework + alt fails (aff v K)
- Specific links that outweigh and/or turn case > creative alt strat that solves case > Death K > theory of power directs everything > framework don’t weigh any of the aff (K v policy aff strats — these aren’t mutually exclusive)
- Fiat K viability has an inverse relationship to how utopian the aff is. If the aff is “US should give back all sovereignty to indigenous people”, fiat K is in order. If it’s “do this military tinkering for deterrence”, why is Fiat the link you want to go for?
- Robust counter-model grounded in definitions + impact turning the part of the neg net benefits your interp doesn’t solve > impact turn everything about their model > “only this debate matters” > tricks (perm interps, CI only our aff, we meet here’s the 17th definition from google dictionary judge)
Some notes for when I judge you:
I am a trans, disabled communist. Those three pieces of information are how I will inevitably filter your arguments, because that's how I filter the world to make it make sense to me. All judges have biases, the good ones are just upfront about it. Feel free to disagree with my decisions and express as much — I will attempt to resolve all relevant concerns as they arise.
I expect you to flow. There is no “flow check time” outside of speeches, there is only prep or CX. I really hope we will not have to use either for flow clarifications, but this is not always the fault of the debater asking (ie if someone is really unclear). Such, either way, will reflect in speaker points.
I think “tech” and “truth” are both inseparable and debatable. Evidence is good, but debating about and through that evidence is better. Additionally, what constitutes evidence (organic scholarship, performance, smart analytics, local knowledge, academic knowledge, news articles, etc.) is up to the debaters to justify. I could see myself believing that any one of these types of evidence is more important that another provided there are justifications for said evidence.
Organization is crucial – numbering your arguments on any flow will make my job so much easier
I am a VERY expressive judge (not by choice) and my facial expressions are usually enough for you to tell if your arguments are making sense to me.
Notable exception: I nod a lot during speeches, but there are two types and people get confused so I figured I’d clarify — if I’m nodding rhythmically and consistently, it has nothing to do with the content of what you’re saying I’m just trying to understand you/stay focused. If I nod emphatically and make a face and then stop, it means you made the correct/smart argument in that situation.
Racism, transphobia, ableism, classism, misogyny etc. are all non-starters.
”If you ask for a 30, your speaks will surely have a 3 in them, but it will not be first.” — Justin Green
If you record me without asking beforehand, you're getting a 25.
If your strategy against the K relies on reading cards from people younger than me, a fourth-year undergrad, please re-evaluate your approach. To clarify, if you read Hudson 22 to say NATO is not racist or capitalist, the other team can solely say [insert 2N's last name here] in 22 and assert the opposite. Or better yet, just give a thumbs down+fart noise — I will be doing such in my head anyway!
I have recently noticed a trend of people putting on their wikis "please do not read x argument against us" for various reasons. I am sympathetic to the reasons people are doing this. Sometimes discussions we have in debate are triggering, and debaters can be callous about the ways they discuss sensitive issues (many of us, including myself, are very socially awkward). However, I would encourage you to think about the power dynamics implicated in these requests. There is some cognitive dissonance that must be had to simultaneously say "please do not read the Death K" while reading a hegemony good affirmative or going for framework with "wrong forum" arguments in other debates. Said differently, I think people would be having a very different set of conversations about this phenomenon if certain teams started putting on their wiki "please do not read framework or heg good against us, we think it's violent". Again, this is not meant to be a decisive yes/no on this question from my end, and I have frequently instructed teams to stop pursuing a line of argumentation when the other team points out that it is triggering. However, I ask that we all be cognizant of the power imbricated in the ability to make such requests.
I'm very flexible about what types of arguments you can run. I'm okay with kritiks ect. I evaluate arguments as they are presented.
I like a concise discussion of the evidence, not just cards thrown at each other. I find that in many rounds i judge, the discussion of whos value is better becomes irrelevant when the affirmative thesis doesn't even sound that convincing. This happens far too often. That being said when it doesn't, i like a good value debate. But this rarely happens.
Please be civil during cross examination.
I generally think the last aff speech should focus on voting issues.
1. I will call clear if required. If I have to do it more than once I will start docking speaks. the ableism k is legit.
2. please be nice. i like polite debaters.
3. if something bad happens like a computer dying i'm okay with temporarily delaying the round, just be honest.
I get lost in theory easily. Clear signposting and concise explanations are critical here. That being said I love a good theory round.
Kritiks - love em but i find a lot of them fall short on the alternative. please do not make this mistake
topicality - i dont think affs have to specify their agent.
evidence should be meaningful and relevant. you should not read evidence that is only tangentially related to your tag
feel free to ask me any questions
I used to debate, I now help out with debate.
I like debate, and I hope you do too!
I think debates should be fun and I enjoy when debaters engage their opponents arguments in good faith.
I am somewhat newer to judging CX (Bronx 2019 was my first time judging circuit policy) but I really enjoy it and am excited to improve! I have lots of experience judging PF and college parli.
Do add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I don't have strong beliefs that should move you to alter your style in front of me. My favorite thing about CX is the creativity y'all have with arguments and strategies; please do your thing and tell me why it's dope.
I have more experience judging policy rounds, but do enjoy evaluating kritiks. I aim for tab rasa.
If you have more specific questions, ask me before the round or shoot me an email.
LD. I really like judging LD! paradigm is basically same as for CX, fewer specific thoughts because it's yet to come up.
As I get old and grumpy, I am increasingly frustrated with PF's bells and whistles. You don't need to 'strongly urge an affirmation' or proudly declare what the 'thesis of your case' is or anything, you just need to debate the round and explain what's going on clearly. There needn't be pomp and circumstance in a room where we're talking about ideas for fun on the weekend.
I will evaluate the arguments as best I can based on what I understand in the round and what lands on my flow. I regret to admit that if something makes no sense to me I will be deeply reluctant to vote on it.
I don't have strong opinions about most practices in PF (defense in first summary, frontlining case in second rebuttal) beyond my personal beliefs about what is strategic. I am more than open to hearing arguments in the debate about why I should care about these things.
I deeply appreciate clever strategies and will reward them with speaker points that reflect how stylish the play was.
If you want to win my ballot, win the round. If you want to win my heart, concede everything your opponent says and still win the round. Weighing is good, but declaring that magnitude is a thing is less good. Compare your arguments to your opponents arguments directly and carefully.
If you have specific questions that I have failed to answer here, feel free to ask them before the round, shoot me a message on Facebook, send me an email, or mail me a postcard.
speed is fine as long as you make an email chain/speech drop - email is firstname.lastname@example.org
im fine with all types of debate. i love critical arguments/case positions that engage with various types of philosophy. k debate is my favorite. cool with everything else.
one note on theory: i do not like frivolous theory (i.e. down my opponent since they are wearing socks - yes, i have seen this shell). if your opponent gets up in the next speech and says this is stupid and don't pay attention to it. i will discard it and i will not see it as a voting issues. that being said, if there is actual abuse in the round, theory is not only fine but welcomed. competing interps over reasonability.
please feel free to ask any questions before the round. ill be more than happy to answer them
I have been a debater and judge for the past 3 years and done every debate format available internationally. I think no matter what form of debate that you do, you must have a narrative that answers critical questions of who, what, when, where, why, how, and then what, and so what. Debaters do not need to be shy and need to be able to weigh and prioritize the issues of the day for me in what I ought to be evaluating. Tell me as a judge where I should flow things and how I ought to evaluate things. That's your job.
If you would like for me to look at a round through a policy lens, please justify to me why I ought to weigh that interpretation versus other alternatives. Conversely, if you want me to evaluate standards, those need to be clear in their reasoning why I ought to prioritize evaluation in that way.
In public forum, I need the summary to be a line by line comparison between both worlds where the stark differences exist and what issues need to be prioritized. Remember in the collapse, you cannot go for everything. Final focus needs to be a big pic concept for me. Feel free to use policy terms such as magnitude, scope, probability. I do evaluate evidence and expect you all to do the research accordingly but also understand how to analyze and synthesize it. Countering back with a card is not debating. The more complicated the link chain, the more probability you may lose your judge. Keep it tight and simple and very direct.
In LD, I still love my traditional Value and VC debate. I do really like a solid old school LD round. I am not big on K debate only because I think the K debate has changed so much that it becomes trendy and not a methodology that is truly educational and unique as it should be. Uniqueness is not the same as obscurity. Now, if you can provide a good solid link chain and evaluation method of the K, go for it. Don't assume my knowledge of the literature though because I don't have that amount of time in my life but I'm not above understanding a solidly good argument that is properly formatted. I think the quickest way to always get my vote is to write the ballot for me and also keep it simple. Trickery can make things messy. Messy debaters usually get Ls. So keep it simple, clean, solid debate with the basics of claim, warrant, impact, with some great cards and I'll be happy.
I don't think speed is ever necessary in any format so speak concisely, know how to master rhetoric, and be the master of persuasion that way. Please do not be rude to your opponent. Fight well and fight fair. First reason for me to down anyone is on burdens. Aff has burden of proof, neg has burden to clash unless it is WSD format where burdens exist on both sides to clash.
I'm Bennett Dombcik (he/him), I'm currently a junior @ the University of Michigan.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
TLDR: if you explain arguments, do impact calc and card comparison, and don't make technical drops, you should be fine. The rest of the paradigm will attempt to explain what I think “good debating” looks like for a bunch of different positions. However, they are not rules to abide by for a round in front of me, and many of the more preference-based notes can be easily overcome by in-round arguments.
Policy Positions: This is the majority of what I did in both high school LD and college policy. I am most comfortable evaluating these debates.
Topicality---negatives should read definitions that are predictable. Affirmatives should do the same. The rest of the debate should compare the limits, ground, predictability, etc. of the two interpretations and explain why one impact is more (or less) important than the other and win a larger link to that impact. Caselists make me happy, the affirmative should probably not win for being topical, and the mandate of the plan is probably the best way to determine topicality (although can create solvency problems for the aff).
DAs---Links should be as specific to the plan as possible; generic links are not persuasive and easily beatable by affirmatives who know what their AFF does. However, smart 2NR contextualization of generics can overcome my affirmative bias in these debates (I just don’t really think negatives do that very often). The DA should ideally both have external offense that outweighs the case and turn the case. Turns case arguments are underutilized and massively increase your chances of winning the round.
Zero risk---clearly a thing. If the affirmative has a good uniqueness/link press I will be unpersuaded by “vote neg for .0001% chance of extinction” (same goes for aff try or die args against a good negative case push). Note the emphasis on good---it is hard to get to zero risk even though it is possible.
CPs---Fun. Should have solvency advocates (although those can be 1ac internal link cards). CPs should solve the case (for the most part), 2NRs should make detailed arguments as to why this is the case. Competition stuff: I have very few pre-conceived notions of what counts as a “legitimate” standard for competition. That being said, I will likely have more fun in the round if the competition arguments are more than just immediacy and certainty, which will be reflected in speaks.
CP theory---the 1AR should make args about the illegitimacy of various CPs (mostly an LD note). The 1AR is very hard and the 2NR is too easy if it doesn’t have to answer theory. On the flip side, I am very willing to hold the line on new 2AR arguments on theory, so 1AR arguments should probably be longer than a sentence.
---DTA---probably (unless condo)
---Reasonability---define what counts as reasonable and debate why that standard is good.
Case---1ACs tend to be bad. The 1NC tends to be bad at demonstrating why the 1AC is bad. Rounds tend to be better (and more favorable for the negative) when the case page is a larger aspect of the negative strategy.
---Impact turns---cool, no issues with any of them.
Ks: I did some of this in HS, pretty comfortable with what happens in 99% of these debates.
On the negative---do whatever, links should implicate solvency of the plan in some way. Willing to vote on debate should be about epistemological assumptions of the plan. The affirmative should invest some time in we get the case + case outweighs, and the negative should offer a predictable counter-interpretation for how the round should be evaluated. Winning ontology is very important for both teams.
On the affirmative---ontology stuff from above. Probably should be close to the topic, willing to listen to reasons why that’s not true but I think the negative’s framework arguments get a lot stronger when the affirmative doesn’t have a predictable counter-interp. Procedural fairness is probably good, so is clash. However, impact turns are definitely winnable in front of me, so do whatever.
Answering K affs---stuff from above. Negative teams tend to be pretty shoddy explaining the impact to fairness/clash/whatever else you want to go for. Defense to the aff case is important for winning framework arguments and answering impact turns. If you want to go for Ks against them K aff, explaining competition is probably the most important parts of the debate in front of me. (K vs K is probably one of the areas I’m least comfortable with given a lack of understanding on the interactions between competing theories).
I am an assistant coach for Immaculate Heart High School. I debated for Immaculate Heart for four years. I am now a 4th year philosophy student at UC Berkeley.
Most important stuff:
I try my best to not let my argument preferences influence my decision in a debate; I have no problem voting for arguments that I disagree with. That said, I will only vote on arguments — that is, claims with warrants — and I have no problem not voting for an "argument" because it is not properly warranted.
I will not vote on arguments that I don't understand or didn't have flowed. I do not flow from the doc; I think the increasing tendency of judges to do this is abetting the issue of students being literally incomprehensible. I will occasionally say clear, but I think the onus is on you to be comprehensible.
You must send to your opponent whatever evidence you plan to read before you begin your speech; you do not need to send analytics. If you mark cards during a speech — that is, if you begin reading a card but do not finish reading that card — then you must indicate where in the card you stopped, and you should send a marked doc immediately after your speech. You do not need to send a document excluding cards that were not at all read.
If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, or what arguments were made on a certain page, you of course may, but you must do it in CX or prep. There is no flow clarification time slot in a debate!
The upshot of the last few comments is that I think flowing is a very important skill, and we should endorse practices that cultivate that skill.
You will auto-lose the debate if you clip cards. Prep ends once the speech doc has been sent. If you want to advance an evidence ethics violation, you must stake the debate on it.
Be respectful to your opponent. This is a community.
Above all, I like clash-heavy debates between well-researched positions.
My favorite negative strategies include impact turns, counterplans, and NCs. My favorite affirmative strategies are plans with “big-stick” or “soft-left” advantages.
I don't really like "tricks" of any genre because I think overwhelmingly they simply lack warrants.
I don't like strategies that depend entirely on framework or framing arguments to exclude your opponent's offense. You should always answer the case even if you are reading a framework/impact framing argument that explains why I should prioritize your offense over your opponent's.
As I said, I will never not vote on an argument simply because I disagree with it. I will, however, ignore arguments that are not warranted, and I think certain claims are very difficult, if not impossible, to provide a warrant for.
Here are some examples of claims that I think are very difficult to provide a warrant for:
It would be better if debates lacked a point of stasis.
The outcome of a given debate is capable of changing people's minds/preferences.
It would be better if the negative could not read advocacies conditionally.
I should win the debate solely because I, in fact, did not do anything that was unfair or uneducational.
There is a time skew between the aff and neg in a debate.
A 100% risk of extinction does not matter under my non-utilitarian/non-consequentialist framework.
My 1ar theory argument should come procedurally prior to the negative's topicality argument.
There is something paradoxical about our understanding of space/time, so you should vote for me.
Here are some claims that I will never vote on, whether you try to warrant them or not:
That which is morally repugnant
This debate should be about the moral character of my opponent
X is a voting issue simply because I labeled it as such.
I am the Director of Debate at Immaculate Heart High School. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list.
1. I will vote on nearly any argument that is well explained and compared to the arguments your opponent has made.
2. Accusing your opponent of an evidence ethics or clipping violation requires you to stake the debate on said allegation. If such an allegation is made, I will stop the debate, determine who I think is in the wrong, and vote against that person and give them the lowest speaker points allowed by the tournament.
3. I won’t vote on arguments that I don’t understand or that I don’t have flowed. I have been involved in circuit LD for almost ten years now and consider myself very good at flowing, so if I missed an argument it is likely because you were incomprehensible.
4. I am a strong proponent of disclosure, and I consider failing to disclose/incorrect disclosure a voting issue, though I am growing weary of nit-picky disclosure arguments that I don’t think are being read in good faith.
5. For online debate, please keep a local recording of your speech so that you can continue your speech and share it with your opponent and me in the event of a disconnect.
6. Weighing arguments are not new even if introduced in the final rebuttal speech. The Affirmative should not be expected to weigh their advantage against five DAs before the Negative has collapsed.
7. You need to use CX to ask which cards were read and which were skipped.
Some thoughts of mine:
1. I dislike arguments about individual debaters' personal identities. Though I have voted for these arguments plenty of times, I think I would vote against them the majority of the time in an evenly matched debate.
2. I am increasingly disinterested in voting for topicality arguments about bare plurals or theory arguments suggesting that either debater should take a stance on some random thing. No topic is infinitely large and voting for these arguments discourages topic research. I do however enjoy substantive topicality debates about meaningful interpretive disagreements regarding terms of art used in the resolution.
3. “Jurisdiction” and “resolvability” standards for theory arguments make little sense to me. Unless you can point out a debate from 2013 that is still in progress because somebody read a case that lacked an explicit weighing mechanism, I will have a very low threshold for responses to these arguments.
4. I dislike critiques that rely exclusively on framework arguments to make the Aff irrelevant. The critique alternative is one of the debate arguments I'm most skeptical of. I think it is best understood as a “counter-idea” that avoids the problematic assumptions identified by the link arguments, but this also means that “alt solves” the case arguments are misguided because the alternative is not something that the Negative typically claims is fiated. If the Negative does claim that the alternative is fiated, then I think they should lose to a theory argument. With that said, I still vote on critiques plenty and will evaluate these debates as per your instructions.
5. Despite what you may have heard, I enjoy philosophy arguments quite a bit and have grown nostalgic for them as LD increasingly becomes indistinct from policy. What I dislike is when debaters try to fashion non-normative philosophy arguments about epistemology, metaphysics, or aesthetics into NCs that purport to justify a prescriptive standard. I find philosophy heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing side’s contention or advantage to be unpersuasive.
6. “Negate” is not a word that has been used in any resolution to date so frameworks that rely on a definition of this word will have close to no impact on my assessment of the debate.
I am a parent judge. I have judged PF earlier, started LD this year.
I expect debaters to be polite and respectful to everyone involved. Please speak clearly and with concise arguments. Raising your voice will not earn you more points, it is not needed to convey your thoughts.
I expect participants time themselves with honesty.
I will not announce the result of a round right away, instead I will analyze the arguments presented and will give my reasoning in the ballot.
Archbishop Mitty ‘21
Wake Forest University '25
Been both a 2N/2A
Done both Policy and LD ( 4 years policy, 1 year LD )
I am a coach with the DebateDrills Club Team. Information regarding conflicts, team policies, and harassment reports can be found at Club Team Information. Should you have any questions or concerns, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes Email Chain: archbishopmittydr[at]gmail.com -- please format the subject As “Tournament Name -- Round # -- Aff School [team code] vs Neg School [team code]. Example: “Berkeley -- Dubs -- AFF Archbishop Mitty DR vs NEG Interlake GQ”
I find paradigms to be largely useless because no one is ever transparent and 99% of times debaters and judges put way too much value into these things. I could care less about argumentative preferences -- I have coached, judged, and participated in debates where teams have gone for everything from Politics DA, Process CP’s, K’s, Trix, Phil NC’s to T. TLDR: Stick to your guns and you do you.
At the end of the rebuttals -- I start by looking at what the teams have flagged as the most important pieces of offense. 2NRs and 2ARs rarely do enough judge instruction. The best type of RFD is where I don't have to do too much work and I can parrot back to you what the rebuttals said.
I guess I’ll do the thing about argument Preferences (although it would behoove you to stick to what you are good at). In the words of Debnil Sur “Above all, tech substantially outweighs truth. The below are preferences, not rules, and will easily be overturned by good debating. But, since nobody's a blank slate, treat the below as heuristics I use in thinking about debate. Incorporating some can explain my decision and help render one in your favor”.
Speed: Fine -- just make sure you are clear (especially true in the context of e-debate). Yes I will have the doc open, but no I will not be flowing off it -- only what you say will be on my flow.
Insert or Read: All portions of evidence that has already been introduced into the debate get to be inserted. This is a way to provide an incentive for in depth evidence comparison while also creating a strategic incentive to read good quality cards. Any portions of evidence that hasn’t already been introduced into debate should be read.
Paradigm Issues: I will almost always default to an offense defense paradigm -- if you argue about stock issues, I will most likely get bored.
Tech vs Truth: Seems like one of the most asinine things on everyone's paradigm. Obviously if you drop an argument or something on the flow it is considered true, but in a world where another team clashes with you Truth (argument/ev quality) becomes an important tie breaker.
Policy Affs: Do your thing. 1AC’s with 3 minute advantage and framing page is fine, but please do not just make it a bunch of probability indicts have some offensive framing in either an alternative understanding of ethics or a kritik of the way that impact calculuses are framed. Affs with as many impact scenarios stuffed together as possible probably have terrible ev that should be re-highlighted and pointed out.
K Affs: Not dogmatic about whether or not you follow the resolution. Make sure you have offense on framework that isn’t just you exclude our aff. I’m fine for impact turn or counter interp strategies -- just do impact calculus. The easiest way to lose reading a K aff in front of me is just saying buzzwords in the overview without unpacking what the aff does -- I am not scared to say I vote neg on presumption because I don’t know what the aff does. Neg teams debating K affs do whatever you think is best -- just remember impact calculus wins debates. Going for framework is fine, fairness can be an impact, but oftentimes it's a better impact filter, and having something external to fairness will be more persuasive. I've thought about this a little bit more now that I finished my first year of college debate and the 3 most convincing AFF turns to FW are 1] K v K debates good + offense about the model of clash they produce 2] An Indict of the performance of the Negative team that i should evaluate prior to the debate and proof of how violence gets naturalized in debate and 3] A critique of FW that articulates its relationship towards the history of debate and why the negative team shouldn't get to kick out of such baggage.
K v K debates are dope -- make sure you have offense on why the perm doesn’t shield the link.
Topicality: While freshman and sophomore year being my least favourite argument that I dismissed as negative teams whining, it has honestly become one of my favourite arguments in the activity. My senior year I was undefeated going for T-Substantial. I think a lot of teams do not put enough practice into debating teams making it one of the most strategic arguments for neg teams. I probably lean towards competing interps -- reasonability is a defensive argument for filtering how I evaluate interps. 2NR’s and 2AR’s shouldn’t go for every argument on the T page but collapse to one impact and do thorough weighing. I am a huge sucker for a precision 2NR/2AR.
Counterplans: Love em -- go for em. Cheaty Counterplans are cheaty only if you lose the theory debate. Having a solvency advocate or core of topic cards will go a long way to helping you win that debate. No strong predispositions on counterplan theory -- its up to the debaters.
Disads: Yes -- Do them. Not sure what's a good topic DA on this year’s policy topic. I have a soft spot for politics DA with a thick link wall -- just do impact calc. Teams don’t do enough of link turns case analysis that if conceded is just gg.
Kritiks: Despite my reputation as a K hack, I’m pretty agnostic here. My decisions tend to start from the framework debate and this guides how I evaluate the other parts of the flow. This determines the threshold needed for link UQ, whether the aff gets to be weighed, etc. That being said if you impact turn the K -- you can make f/w largely irrelevant. K teams should do more link turns case analysis -- it allows you to short circuit a lot of offense on the case page. If not make sure you make persuasive framing arguments about why the case doesn’t outweigh. If you are aff, your best bet is either to go for a big framework + Extinction outweighs push or just impact turning the K. Not the best for a team that wants to go for link turn and perm because I typically don't tend to find a net benefit to voting aff that the alt doesn't solve.
Theory/Trix: Not my favourite argument in the world, but I will vote on it. I’m pretty neg leaning on conditionality in traditional policy vs policy debates, but have heard some pretty fire kritiks of condo by some K teams. No real dispositions regarding anything else. Theory interps need to be impacted out and have a claim warrant and an impact.
Speaker Points: I’m gonna steal Debnil’s scale which makes a lot of sense to me.
“Note that this assessment is done per-tournament: for calibration, I think a 29.3-29.4 at a finals bid is roughly equivalent to a 28.8-28.9 at an octos bid.
29.5+ — the top speaker at the tournament.
29.3-29.4 — one of the five or ten best speakers at the tournament.
29.1-29.2 — one of the twenty best speakers at the tournament.
28.9-29 — a 75th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would barely clear on points.
28.7-28.8 — a 50th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would not clear on points.
28.3-28.6 — a 25th percentile speaker at the tournament.
28-28.2 — a 10th percentile speaker at the tournament.”
Ev Ethics: Clipping will receive a 25 L. The team going for ev ethics needs recording as proof and must be willing to stake the round on it.
Any other alleged ethics violation, I will ask the team going for the ethics violation whether they would like to stop the debate and stake the round on it. In this case, like Debnil, I will let both teams offer a written defense of their practice and decide based on such defenses. This is important because I feel that this will disincentivize ethical disintegrity, while also letting the accused have a chance to defend themselves (especially when ev ethics has been weaponized against small schools using open ev or otherwise widely circulated ev cut by bigger schools that has a flaw that the debaters didn’t know when receiving the ev). If teams would rather let the debate continue (which would be my preference), I will evaluate it like I would any other theory debate.
Eagle High School ’18, UC Berkeley ‘22
I will try to be as unbiased as possible. This means that you should read what you are best at. I’ll let you know my preferences, but I can generally be convinced otherwise if you win the argument.
- Put me on the email chain.
- Tech over truth.
- Flashing/Emailing isn’t prep unless it’s unreasonable/I can see you prepping.
- Don’t steal prep.
- Don’t clip.
- Please do line by line.
- Evidence quality is relevant.
- Condense – don’t go for everything.
- 2nr/2ar should sum up the debate and why you won.
- Read them.
- Follow on is dope.
- Condo is good.
- 2NC counterplans are good.
- 50 states fiat is probably good. (you should have a fed key warrant)
- Pretty much any counterplan can be justified, but some, like CPs that compete on certainty/immediacy, for example, probably need more of a justification when challenged on theory.
- Most theory doesn’t seem like a reason to reject the team – if so, articulate that.
- Do it.
- Pretty undervalued.
- 2AC and 1AR overviews don’t need to be huge/repeat themselves.
- They’re cool.
- Turns case arguments are good.
- Plz do line by line.
- Do impact comparison – how do impacts interact with each other.
- Justify impact calculus. (i.e. why timeframe should come first, etc.)
- Do impact comparisons.
- Default to competing interps unless reasonability is won.
- Reasonability is good as an impact threshold argument – how much of T needs to be won.
- Fairness is an impact.
- TVAs should be utilized more. I tend to consider them as a CP and DA (obviously not an offcase position though).
- Switch side debate is solid.
- Can read them but need solid explanation/argumentation to beat T.
- Framework isn’t inherently evil.
- Generally, it is more convincing to actually defend your interpretation vs. theirs, rather than just spew DAs that aren’t distinct from each other without understanding the magnitude of your interpretation.
- Much of the overview could probably be done on the line by line.
- Need contextualization to the affirmative.
- “Root cause” claims don’t necessarily mean the K solves the case. You should explain that.
- I don’t think that arguments should contain things about the other debaters as individuals.
Any questions? Email me.
put me on the chain
Eagle High '18, UC Berkeley '22
I will evaluate anything. Don’t switch your style. However, I have a higher threshold for certain arguments. Here is a little of what I think about debate, but I can be convinced otherwise if you debate well.
- Tech over truth.
- Flashing/Emailing isn’t prep unless it’s unreasonable/I can see you prepping.
- Don’t steal prep.
- Don’t clip.
- Condense in the block and last speeches
Extinction outweighs, and I am persuaded by turns case with big disads. I think it is less useful dumping fifteen framing cards against disads about structural violence coming first, and more useful to answer the impacts to the disad to make it look silly.
read them, read more ev please, and read more warrants from that ev
I find that not enough teams read evidence to warrant claims, and evidence will usually be weighed over analytics. This being said, if there is a major logical hole in a disad, a good analytic can be very persuasive (cards help with that too).
Solid way to beat the case, I think they are underutilized by teams.
Generally- Condo good, pics good, 2NC CPs good, states good (find a fed key warrant). CPs that rely on certainty or immediacy like consult etc. generally are unfair. I believe judge kick is legitimate and think most 2nrs should say judge kick (if the 2AR doesn’t say “THEY DIDN’T SAY JUDGE KICK SO VOTE AFF ON PRESUMPTION” or something like that, then I will judge kick). CP theory is reject the arg.
Solid, win them, wins turns case, do impact work, read more cards. Paired with a CP, explain why CP doesn’t link.
I have a higher threshold for teams that go for the K. I think a lot of Ks need to be explained in context of the affirmative, and they aren’t (i.e. why turns case? Not just root cause hopefully unless you explain why the alt resolves their impacts). I generally think fiat is good and debate is a competitive activity, so don’t just assert that its not real and expect me to not evaluate the aff anymore. I don’t understand most high theory stuff and it needs to be explained to me as an argument. Floating PIKs are bad and the 1ar pointing that out will basically make it impossible for the 2nr to win.
K/planless affs and framework
Fairness is an impact, and debate is a competitive activity. I have a very high threshold for these types of affs. 1. Must have some sort of reason why doing your aff on the aff in debate is critical, 2. Please do some explanation of why the interpretation that you give on framework is good instead of just reading a list of disads to their interp that are all the same. Neg- Switch side and TVAs are very persuasive to beat aff offense. It’s important that both the 2NR and 2AR collapse heavily to a few solid arguments.
Have impact comparisons, read better cards. Read solid, precise T cards. I generally default to competing interps but don’t think it’s an all or nothing approach. If the aff wins a good defense of reasonability, I may view good defense as offense for the aff.
Graduated from CK McClatchy High School in 2020. Currently debate for UC Berkeley. Conflicts: CK McClatchy, West Campus, Harker.
yes email chain please -- email@example.com
I flow straight down on my laptop.
These things suck. Everybody lies and says they are agnostic but in my experience nobody but maybe 10 people really mean it. I am not going to pretend like I don't have preferences and won't internally eye-roll and react negatively to certain arguments, but I will try my absolute hardest to stick to my flow (with the exception of the arguments clearly identified in this paradigm as non-starters).
That in mind, here is my general approach to judging and some preferences:
I was largely a k debater in high school but I am exclusively a policy debater in college. I feel comfortable judging both sides of the spectrum. Regardless of the issue at hand, evidence quality matters a lot to me, and I will read every card mentioned by name in the final rebuttals before making my decision.
I think I care more than other judges about judge instruction. Telling me how to read/understand cards, how to frame warrants, etc. will be taken very seriously when the debate comes to an end. Smart, strategic judge instruction and framing will quickly earn speaker points (addendum: this does not mean I want you to give a 5 minute overview to "frame out" their offense - under no circumstances should judge instruction come before line by line.)
Most of my paradigm is about k debate because I have far less feelings about policy rounds. That is not to say I am not a good judge for them. My favorite debates to judge are big, in-depth policy rounds that are vertically oriented and have lots of good evidence. That being said, I have far less instruction to offer you because those rounds are more straight-forward to evaluate. I will reward smart turns case arguments and clever analytics above a wall of cards in these debates.
Non-resolutional debate -
I generally think that debates are better, more interesting, and more educational when the aff defends a topical plan based on the resolution.
I have been in many of these debates, mostly on the aff and always impact turning some part of T. I think that raises my threshold for the aff a bit because I have first hand experience with how easy it can be to beat framework with args that suck. If you are going for an impact turn to T without a counter-interpretation, you should probably win offense against model v model debates. If you do have a counter-interpretation, tell me why your offense doesn't link to that model and it resolves some predictability/limits/whatever.
- I like impact turns a lot. I am a good judge for heg/cap good, and a bad judge for affs that don't want to defend anything. In my opinion, if you have taken a radically leftist position and forwarded a structural kritik but are unwilling to debate the most surface level right-wing propaganda, you are both bastardizing the literature and being cowards. As someone that genuinely subscribes to a lot of leftist political ideals, I find this sort of revolting. I will not be convinced that your indictment of settler colonialism/some other superstructure is conviently okay with whatever the neg has impact turned. Inversely, if you are a k team that is ready to throw down on these questions, I will consider you strong-willed, brave, and smart.
- Skills/clash solve the case with a big external, a TVA, and a robust presumption push on case is the quickest way to my heart.
- Procedural fairness is not a silver bullet for aff offense. If this is your impact, a vague sentence about not weighing the aff is not sufficient for me to zero all of their stuff, especially if they have impact turns to your model. I have never heard the sentence "procedural fairness is the only impact your ballot can remedy," nor do I know what it means, please don't say it at me.
- Similarly, presumption pushes against affs that are just built to impact turn T are very persuasive.
- I don't like offense that hinges on the subject position of your opponent or me as a judge. I also very strongly prefer not to be in charge of your mental health, livelihood, or identity. EDIT 11/21: have received questions about this and would like to clarify -- args about value to life, ressentiment, etc. are totally fine. I don't want be in charge of you as an individual -- meaning your role in the community, your mental health, or your sense of self.
Neg - I consider myself fairly sufficient in most kritik literature and have researched extensively, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't explain your theory. I don't think its fair of me to just fill in gaps for you (for example, deciding in my own head what it means if you "win the ontology debate.") The best way to win in front of me is to have a unique link that turns the case and beats the aff without framework.
Aff - Impact turn things. Weigh the aff against the alt for more than just fairness -- see my framework thoughts for the neg above. If you are going soft left against the k that is also fine, but sounding nice and in the direction of whatever your opponents say doesn't tell me why the alt doesn't solve the aff.
Usually these debates are pretty bad to judge because people just spread through their blocks and don't do line by line. I tend to be lenient with all neg shenanigans. I will totally kick positions for you if you tell me to, but please remind me to do so -- I have no theoretical qualms with judge kick, but I sometimes forget to do it unless you tell me to in the 2NR.
I largely think if cps compete, they are legit. I can sometimes be convinced otherwise, but if your theory argument is just "this counterplan is bad," I am going to be convinced by neg arbitrariness arguments (with the exception of ConCon -- I think there is a case to be made that we should just arbitrarily exclude that counterplan because it is so clearly bad for debate.)
All of that being said, I also think most cheat-ey cps don't compete! So if you're aff, you're not tanked -- you are just better off going for the perm than, say, theory.
Please do not go for condo in front of me. I have no idea why the neg thinking they can kick a counterplan or an alternative is a voting issue -- simply saying conditionality is bad is not sufficient for me to nuke the other team from the debate. I have never participated in or seen a debate between competent opponents in which even the most egregious abuses of conditionality effected the decision. If the neg drops it twice, I guess you have to go for it. I can think of very few circumstances where it is a good idea otherwise. Slightly more sympathetic for LD because of 1AR time pressures, but still will lean heavily neg and will cap speaks at 29 for the aff.
If my camera is not on, please assume I am not ready for you to begin speaking.
I would very much appreciate if you could record your speeches in case there are internet issues while you are talking.
I am not comfortable evaluating arguments about debaters being in the same room together, "the COVID procedural," or anything else that has to do with out of round conduct. If you make the debate about this, I will be angry with you and likely vote you down.
Even the clearest debaters tend to be tougher to flow in an online format. I understand that this comes with some strategic cost, but I will reward you with speaks if you go a little slower than usual and make sure to be extra clear.
If you do not ask for a marked document in your debate, I will add .1 to your speaker points. Unless your opponent legitimately marked cards, your speaker points will be capped at 29 if you ask for one. Flow better.
EDIT 4/10/22: adding this after judging ~120 LD debates:
1. There seem to be issues with clarity plaguing this activity. I will be implementing the following measures to mitigate this: a.) I will never open your documents during the debate. I will read cards after if you tell me too. b.) I will say clear 5 times, after that, I'm not flowing c.) If, on the other hand, you are clear, I will give way too high of speaks. Some of the best teams in this activity sound great -- its clearly possible to win without being unflowable.
As my record indicates, I overwhelmingly vote neg in LD debates. Usually, this is because the 1AR runs out of time and drops something important, and I feel like my hands are tied on new 2AR args. That in mind -- 1ARs that set up big framing issues, start doing impact calc, and cut out superfluous arguments in favor of barebones substance will be rewarded with speaker points and usually the ballot. Aff teams, the entire activity seems to be stacked against you -- so debate accordingly, and don't waste time on useless stuff like condo.
I am gettable on Nebel/whole rez, but don't usually find it particularly persuasive. Seems counter-intuitive.
Please go easy on the theory -- I get that its a big part of the activity, but if your plan going into the debate is to go for a theory arg, you shouldn't pref me. I am usually going to vote neg.
I am not 100% familiar with all of the LD nomenclature so I may need a little explanation of things like "upward entailment test" and other LD-specific vocab
No RVI's ever under any circumstances
- Consider me dead inside -- moralizing and tugging on my heart strings will only earn you negative speaks - debate is not about individual feelings, and I will not consider yours when deciding your round.
- I strongly believe that you should be allowed to insert rehighlightings of evidence that has already been read in the debate if you think it goes the other way/want to add context to an argument. Please do not abuse this by inserting a million rehighlightings, but I will be hard to convince that it is not okay to do so in moderation (especially in the 1AR.)
- There is nothing more off-putting to me than debaters who take themselves too seriously. Please stop acting like this is anything other than a silly game we all want to win at.
- In that same vein, being rude does not make you cool or interesting. Snarky CX comments, saying mean stuff in speeches, etc. will make me dislike you and actively hope that you lose the debate. If I think you are too rude, I will say something after the round and take pleasure in giving you bad speaks. If it gets to the point where I am saying something to you, you should assume I bombed your speaks. If you are a team that can't make your arguments without being mean to other debaters, strike me.
running list of arguments that are simply too bad to be evaluated:
new affs bad
no neg fiat
plan focus allows you to say the n word in debates
my opponent did something outside the round that they should lose for
Please do not ask me for high speaks -- you lose half a point every time you bring it up
I will only flow the person who's speech it is (edit: Feel less strongly about this during the 1AC/1NC)
email me if you have questions -- I kind of suck at responding to email sometimes but I will get around to answering your questions.
Do an email chain and send me speech docs. If I miss something because I didn't have a doc, that is on you
Universal Round Preferences
Run whatever you want, I will evaluate anything as long as it has implications towards the ballot. That means theory, kritiks, and whatever else you can come up with is acceptable (heads up, I don't think tricks implicate the ballot in any meaningful way but feel free to try). My ideal summary and final focus would be enough to understand the voting issues of the round without having heard prior speeches, meaning I expect WARRANTED extensions with impact calculus relative to your opponent's arguments. I will be flexible in terms of what constitutes sufficient extension based on the clutter of the round given a messy flow can always be recovered in the back half with the right strategic choices.
Speaker Point System
I start with a 28.5 as a sort of "zero-point", whereby impressive delivery can boost score and mistakes detract. I will be generally leaning towards better speaks as it really comes down to whether or not the speeches are fluent or choppy. Otherwise, small boosts ( such as to get a 30 ) would require distinctly persuasive performance. Offensive or belligerent behavior will be heavily penalized (be assertive, not aggressive).
If you want higher odds of getting good speaks, disclosing on the NDCA wiki and not paraphrasing will be an automatic aide since this has always been the standard in my head for creating a comprehensible/meaningful round.
Progressive Debate Notes
Please don't use progressive arguments to merely outpace your opponents with fancy jargon. If I feel as though a speech is nothing but a bunch of meaningless buzzwords, then the weight/significance I grant to those arguments on the flow will be equally meaningless
I like K's the most because I've had the time to consume a bunch of literature. I would say I am confident in evaluating anything you throw at me assuming you are very clear in how my signing of the ballot is supposed to operate with the theory being read. I would prefer links which are stronger than something like "state bad" or "futurity/prediction bad", so ideally something that connects back to the topic.
Please read theory in a structured format so that I can have consistency in evaluating it from the flow. I have the expectation that national circuit teams be somewhat versed in the formatting as the resources to learn it is increasingly available for free. With that in mind, I default to competing interpretations and no RVI's. I like disclosure theory (although I prefer you at least try and ask prior to the round). I like paraphrasing theory. If you run these arguments poorly, however, you could very well lose as I will do my best to keep my biases constrained. If you do happen to partake in the practices in a way that I perceive as disingenuous (i.e. purposefully obscure/incomprehensible disclosure), then these benefits may quickly turn negative.
They don't affirm or negate, leaving me just as capable of voting as I was before reading any of these arguments. If you want to read some truth testing arguments or that the affirmative has some textual obligation, that might work but I am VERY skeptical
--Counterplans & PICS --
Do your best to make any alternative fiat meaningfully competitive and educational. I don't really think almost any PIC competes and there are plenty of hyper generic counterplans that aren't educational. However, I will evaluate these arguments if they are properly defended and warranted.
If email chains needed: forrestfulgenzi [at] gmail [dot] com, please format the subject as: "Tournament Name -- Round # -- Aff School AF vs Neg School NG"
Background: Debated policy debate for four years at Damien High School and currently the head coach over at OES. Have been involved in the debate community for 10+ years teaching LD and Policy Debate.
Tech before truth. It's human nature to have preferences toward certain arguments but I try my best to listen and judge objectively. All of the below can be changed by out-debating the other team through judge instruction and ballot writing. Unresolved debates are bad debates.
Speed is great, but clarity is even better. If I'm judging you online please go slightly slower, especially if you don't have a good mic. I find it increasingly hard to hear analytics in the online format.
Be smart. I rather hear great analytical arguments than terrible cards.
Dougherty Valley High School 2021
- tech > truth
- compiling the doc is prep, flashing is not
- arguments (even dropped ones) must have a claim, warrant, and impact
- won't vote for arguments I don't understand
- CX is binding
- if online, locally record speeches in case of a tech problem
- citations should be complete and ideally include author qualifications
- don't use brackets except for offensive language or to expand numbers
- strongly dislike cards written specifically for debate (by former debaters, coaches, etc.)
- an evidence ethics violation (clipping, missing paragraphs/ellipses, starting or stopping in the middle of a paragraph, or mis-cited evidence) with proof is a stake the round issue and L 20 for whoever is wrong
- went for these almost every round
- good impact calculus decides these debates
- should concede defense to properly kick
- love smart and creative counterplans so please read them
- ideally should include how it solves the aff in the 1NC in LD (either with a solvency advocate or analytically)
- competition arguments > theory
- default judge kick
- default reasonability
- counterplan theory is usually only a reason to drop the argument
- disclosure is good, but the more trivial the interp the harder to win
- RVIs are bad, but you should answer them
- if the 2NR is all in on theory the 2AR does not need to extend case
- really enjoy these debates
- weighing is essential
- standards should be filtered through predictability
- evidence comparison is underutilized
- "semantics first" is unpersuasive
- good K debate is rare—its often just buzzwords and under-explained nonsense
- links should be specific to the aff, ideally to the plan
- am persuaded by particularity
- usually don't understand how the alt works or solves
- the aff should probably get to weigh the case
- would prefer if you defend the topic, but will vote for it if won
- the neg should answer the case, even if going for T
- TVAs are strategic, but not necessary
- neg strategies like impact turns/DAs are pretty epic
- am not a good judge for K v K debate
- default util
- should thoroughly explain your syllogism
- modesty is persuasive
- having the email chain set up early will result in high speaks
- clarifying questions outside of CX or prep will result in lower speaks
I am a parent judge and looking for cool and calm presentation.
Please provide analysis on evidence and explain to me why it matters. Simply reading evidence and saying "I have evidence that negates my opponents' claim" does not make me buy the argument, that evidence must either warrant that or you explain that warrant to me. I am not in tune with any debate jargon, uniq and link make no sense to me so just use layman terms for those, impact is the only thing I understand please weigh for me.
If you are doing LD, I will probably not understand any framework besides Util, so please just use util if you don't want to spend 2 minutes of your speech explaining rawls or some other FW to me.
I don't know what a Theory or Kay is.
Basically, treat me like I am dumb, signpost everything explain why the other side doesn't win, tell me what to vote on and weigh. If you bring up new evi in the 1NR or 2AR I will catch that and you will be dropped so don't do that.
Good luck and most importantly have fun!
I am a community judge who has judged everything but CX debate for 10 years. I have judged at least 2/3 tournaments every month for the last two years. I have watched approximately 10 rounds on the current LD topic. I prefer traditional rounds and will vote on who simplifies main ideas and use of evidence.
Background: Debated LD in Colorado during high school; coach since graduation also in Colorado, MA in International Studies (Governance, Human Rights, and Civil Society). 2021 - 2022 season: I've watched equal amounts PF and LD, only a few CX rounds.
I have judged at Stanford and Berkeley tournaments for several years, plus numerous out rounds in LD and CX at NSDA Nationals.
Apparently I haven't updated this in a while...since that last update I've come to believe that paradigms are even more useless. I write it. You read it. We probably both ignore it.
- Please impact your extensions. I won't simply flow through a card author.
- Give me voters! Probably with some weighing and clash...
- I dislike it when individuals run arguments that they don't understand: 1) quality over quantity; 2) don't waste my time. (I am seeing SO much power tagging. I can pull up your evidence very quickly and do a keyword search.)
- I think the best debate rounds are those in which the debaters agree what is being debated and don't try to play games--don't try to confuse your opponent, don't try to tell me you addressed something when you didn't, etc. Just be clear and engage with the issues of the round.
- If you want to ask me additional questions before a round, please be specific. Otherwise you prepped for a round and my paradigm is just some words on a screen.
I've never really thought about having a PF specific paradigm... My overall thought is that PF is meant to focus on the topic. I want substantive debate and not theory. I'm normally pretty tab at debate, but I find it so uninspiring to hear a whole round on theory.
Nothing special for LD. Be smart on time use.
My debaters have called me out and said I seem anti-CX here. Truth is, I think really good CX debate is better than anything else, and I've come to really appreciate CX. The problem is that it is rare to see a good round of CX. There's never clash. People read arguments they don't understand. People ignore evidence at a whim. There's a tension between just reading a bunch of cards and wanting the judge to do the work of analysis and then complaining about judges not understanding arguments. And more. And it's not unique to CX.
So, long-story short: I try to be pretty tab in CX -- because I wasn't a competitor I have very few preconceived ideas of what I want to see in a round. Take some extra time and explain any CX theory to me. I'm not going to love a lot of "education is better" or "truthiness is better" either. Do some work if it comes down to theory.
Speed: I have no preference and a pretty high threshold for an LD judge from backwards Colorado. I try to keep a rigorous flow so if you get too fast I will clearly stop typing or writing. If you also don't slow down a bit on taglines, arguments and cards probably won't get flowed where you want them.
Arguments: I tend to be more interested in philosophical debates and "traditional" LD (for CX this means I probably enjoy a good K debate, but I also appreciate a clear policy framework), but I will listen to, and flow anything. Start with a clear framework, provide clash, and make it clear for me where I vote. I have a pretty solid background in political theory and an interest in German philosophy broadly (Kant to Habermas).
First, and most importantly, I am a Black man. I competed in policy for three years in high school at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School; I did an additional year at the University of Kentucky. I am now on the coaching staff at Little Rock Central High School. I have a bachelor's and a master's in Communication Studies and a master's in Secondary Education. I said that not to sound pompous but so that you will understand that my lack of exposure to an argument will not preclude me from evaluating it; I know how to analyze argumentation. I have represented Arkansas at the Debate Topic Selection for the past few years (I authored the Middle East paper in 2018 and the Criminal Justice paper in 2019) and that has altered how I view both the topic process and debates, in a good way. I think this makes me a more informed, balanced judge. Summer '22 I chaired the Wording Committee for NFHS Policy Debate Topic Selection; do with this information what you want.
Include me on all email chains, at firstname.lastname@example.org@gmail.com,please and thank you
I find that many teams are rude and obnoxious in round and don’t see the need to treat their opponents with dignity. I find this mode of thinking offensive and disrespectful to the activity as a whole
I consider myself an open slate person but that doesn’t mean that you can pull the most obscure argument from your backfiles and run it in front of me. Debate is an intellectual game. Because of this I find it offensive when debaters run arguments just run them.
I don’t mind speed and consider myself an exceptional flower. That being said, I think that it helps us judges when debaters slow down on important things like plan/CP texts, perms, theory arguments, and anything else that will require me to get what you said verbatim. I flow on a computer so I need typing time. Your speed will always outpace my ability to type; please be conscious of this.
Intentionally saying anything remotely racist, ableist, transphobic, etc will get you an auto loss in front of me. If that means you need to strike me then do us both a favor and strike me. That being said, I’m sure most people would prefer to win straight up and not because a person was rhetorically problematic, in round.
Update for Online Debate
Asking "is anyone not ready" before an online speech an excise in futility; if someone's computer is glitching they have no way of telling you they aren’t ready. Wait for verbal/nonverbal confirmation that all individuals are ready before beginning your speech, please. If my camera is off, I am not ready for your speech. Online debate makes speed a problem for all of us. Anything above 75% of your top speed ensures I will miss something; govern yourselves accordingly.
Please make sure I can see your face/mouth when you are speaking if at all possible. I would really prefer that you kept your camera on. I understand how invasive of an ask this is. If you CANNOT for reasons (tech, personal reasons, etc.) I am completely ok with going on with the camera off. Debate is inherently an exclusive activity, if the camera on is a problem I would rather not even broach the issue.
I would strongly suggest recording your own speeches in case someone's internet cuts out. When this issue arises, a local recording is a life saver. Do not record other people's speeches without their consent; that is a quick way to earn a one-way trip to L town sponsored by my ballot.
Lastly, if the round is scheduled to start at 2, don’t show up to the room asking for my email at 1:58. Be in the room by tech time (it’s there for a reason) so that you can take care of everything in preparation for the round. 2 o’clock start time means the 1ac is being read at 2, not the email chain being set up at 2. Timeliness, or lack thereof, is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. Too often debaters are too cavalier with time. Two things to keep in mind: 1) it shortens my decision time and 2) it’s a quick way to short yourself on speaks (I’m real get-off-my-lawn about this).
My previous paradigm had a thorough explanation of how I evaluate most arguments. For the sake of prefs and pre round prep I have decided to amend it. When I debated, I was mostly a T/CP/DA debater. That being said, I am open to just about any form of argumentation you want to make. If it is a high theory argument don’t take for granted that I understand most of the terminology your author(s) use.
I will prioritize my ballot around what the 2NR/2AR highlights as the key issues in the debate. I try to start with the last two speeches and work my way back through the debate evaluating the arguments that the debaters are making. I don’t have to personally agree with an argument to vote for it.
Yes I coach primarily K teams but I have voted for T/framework quite often; win the argument and you have won my ballot. Too often debaters read a lot of blocks and don’t do enough engaging in these kinds of debates. The “Role of the Ballot” needs to be explicit and there needs to be a discussion of how your ROB is accessible by both teams. If you want to skirt the issue of accessibility then you need to articulate why the impact(s) of the aff outweigh whatever arguments the neg is going for.
I am less and less persuaded by fairness arguments; I think fairness is more of an internal link to a more concrete impact (e.g., truth testing, argument refinement). Affs should be able to articulate what the role of the negative is under their model. If the aff is in the direction of the topic, I tend to give them some leeway in responding to a lot of the neg claims. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. The aff should spend time on impact turning framework while simultaneously using their aff to short circuit some of the impact claims advanced by the neg.
When aff teams lose my ballot in these debates it’s often because they neglect to articulate why the claims they make in the 1ac implicate/inform the neg’s interp and impacts here. A lot of times they go for a poorly explained, barely extended impact turn without doing the necessary work of using the aff to implicate the neg’s standards.
When neg teams lose my ballot in these debates it’s often because they don’t engage the aff. Often times, I find myself having a low bar for presumption when the aff is poorly explained (both in speeches and CX) yet neg teams rarely use this to their advantage. A good framework-centered 2NR versus most k affs involves some type of engagement on case (solvency deficit, presumption, case turn, etc.) and your framework claims; I think too often the neg gives the aff full risk of their aff and solvency which gives them more weight on impact turns than they should have. If you don’t answer the aff AT ALL in the 2NR I will have a hard time voting for you; 2AR’s would be smart to point this out and leverage this on the impact debate.
If you want toread a kritik of debate,I have no problems with that. While, in a vacuum, I think debate is an intrinsic good, we too often forget we exist in a bubble. We must be introspective (as an activity) about the part(s) we like and the part(s) we don't like; if that starts with this prelim round or elim debate then so be it. As structured, debate is super exclusionary if we don't allow internal criticism, we risk extinction in such a fragile world.
If you don't read a "plan" then all the neg has to do is win a link to the resolution. For instance, if you read an aff that's 6 minutes of “whole rez” but you don't defend a specific action then the neg just needs to win a link based on the resolution OR your impact scenario(s). If you don't like it then write better affs that FORCE the neg to get more creative on the link debate.
If theory is your go-to strategy, on either side, please strike me. I am sick and tired debaters refusing to engage substance and only read frivolous theory arguments you barely understand. If you spend your time in the 1AR going for theory don’t you dare fix your lips to go for substance over theory and expect my ballot in the 2AR. LD, in its current state, is violent, racist, and upholds white supremacy; if you disagree do us both a favor and strike me (see above). Always expecting people to open source disclose is what is driving a lot of non-white people from the activity. I spend most of my time judging policy so an LD round that mimics a policy debate is what I would prefer to hear.
I’m sick of debaters not flowing then thinking they can ask what was read “before” CX starts. Once you start asking questions, THAT IS CX TIME. I have gotten to the point that I WILL DOCK YOUR SPEAKS if you do this; I keep an exceptional flow and you should as well. If you go over time, I will stop you and your opponent will not be required to answer questions. You are eating into decision time but not only that it shows a blatant lack of respect for the "rules" of activity. If this happens and you go for some kind of "fairness good" claim I'm not voting for it; enjoy your Hot L (shoutout to Chris Randall and Shunta Jordan). Lastly, most of these philosophers y’all love quoting were violently racist to minorities. If you want me (a black man) to pick you up while you defend a racist you be better be very compelling and leave no room for misunderstandings.
I came into this activity as a fierce competitor, at this juncture in my life I’m in it solely for the education of the debaters involved; I am less concerned with who I am judging and more concerned with the content of what I debate. I am an educator and a lover of learning things; what I say is how I view debate and not a roadmap to my ballot. Don’t manipulate what you are best at to fit into my paradigm of viewing debate. Do what you do best and I will do what I do best in evaluating the debate.
alexgberg AT berkeley.edu
UC Berkeley ‘25
I was an LD debater with a little bit of Policy and a little bit of Parli sprinkled in. So-- I am pretty receptive to things like K's, plans, T, theory, etc. But, I am also fine with a lowkey, issue focused, traditional debate. Just sign post and explain your impacts and voters, no matter what kind of arguments you run. Weigh your impacts plz :)
Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make the debate safer/more accessible for you. Be excellent to each other and we will have a great round! Feel free to ask me any questions over email, or before/after the round. Absolutely ask me for feedback after the round-- that’s how you learn.
If you have a speech doc, please send it to me. It helps me flow, and when I flow better, I make better decisions. I’m good with speed, but slow down on the taglines and analytics.
Speaking of flow, please try to keep it as clean as possible. I like easy decisions! If you roadmap, signpost, and move through the case in a logical order, it will make the round much easier. Write my ballot for me! Tell me how to decide the round, and why you come out on top.
Ethics are important, y’all. Please don’t clip or have egregious evidence ethics violations.
(Slightly) Less Key Points
I’m okay with whatever you want to run! Really: use what you like, or want to try, not what you think I’ll like. But,
1 - K
2 - LARP, Phil
3 - T, Theory
4 - Trad
I mostly ran one-off K’s and soft-left/K affs in high school-- Satire, Security, and Cap.
My (very changeable) Defaults:
Disclosure is good
I don’t really feel that strongly about these, but warrant your changes appropriately:
Theory - Drop the argument, reasonability, no RVI. Would rather see theory used against actual abuse compared to frivolous theory, but you do you.
Condo is fine (but reading obviously contradictory positions is pretty silly)
Flex prep is fine if everyone is okay with it.
Theory comes before T comes before K comes before everything else
I'm a current law student but am a former high school debate competitor and collegiate speech competitor. I have the greatest amount of coaching and judging in experience in LD but have judged PF for the last five years.
I keep a detailed flow of the round and ask that warrants be extended on key arguments you extend throughout the debate.
Please be respectful in crossfire/cx.
I find rounds work best when debaters also time themselves and cross time their opponents.
In order to reduce the likelihood of any technical issues, I ask that you take necessary precautions (e.g. quitting programs not needed on your computer, testing your WiFi connection, etc.).
Please feel free to ask if you have any specific questions before the round starts so we begin on time. Thank you, and good luck!
Hello! I coach debate at Flintridge Prep and Westridge School. (Sorry I was doing a research thing and had to make some edits)
I do Policy debate at usc and debated at Southwestern CC previously. I'm an African American studies / Comm major with a focus on colonialism and antiblackness and these studies influence the arguments I read and the discussions I have.
I have not judged all year and I have done little topic research on the specific planaffs on this (re: okay what is sand dredging and why is no one actually explaining what this is [crying emoji] I'm only in for Sunday, so pls keep this in mind for your prefs at gbx
Please have fun, don't be rude, have the round you want.
email chain —-> KhamaniGCoaching@gmail.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stuff for Strikes/Prefs:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
debates about debate / pre-fiat: truth > tech
debates about warrants and information / post-fiat: tech > truth
t/fw: will vote on it but I've been labelled a K hack
Nebel T: boy, I don't get this and I'm too afraid to ask questions now, so pls explain what an up-ward tailed test is or we will both be lost
Theory threshold: kinda high actually, umm LD debaters need impacts to theory and clash is not an impact, its a standard -.-
Critical Non T Affs: I love these, I've even been inspired to write specific positions by 2 debaters I've judged so I guess there's your spillover warrant -- pls have your fw answers and i'm super down to learn some new stuff!
"debatably" T/NonT Affs: really big fan, win your stuff
Tricks: pls don't thx ~~
Cheater CPs: love a smart CP debate. give me the net ben to the cp
High Phil: pls strike me ; I genuinely do not enjoy the process of linking offense to a FW in which two things feel very similar and struggle to eval these debates unless there is a comparative advantage / cp / k format. I will judge them if I have to, but its a debate I don't enjoy.
Args like Warming good / Recession good / death good; if warming is good bc it’s great for that one species of phytoplankton, tell me why that phytoplankton is key in comparison to the climate conditions of others; i.e., incremental warming is what's happening now, incrementalism is good) Same for like death good; it's gotta be like "we need to reorient how we see death" otherwise, you're gonna be in for a rough time
K v K debates: probably my preferred debate, as long as you explain what's going on, I'm here to let you run your round and evaluate it how you want me to. These are really fun debates for me to become engaged in and one I love watching.
Case Debate / Turns: yee these are cool
UC BERKELEY '24 | Junshik Ham (just call me Jun).
Email me @email@example.com if you have any concerns or questions that are not on this paradigm.
I debated primarily parli and public forum in high school, and I do have some understanding of policy and LD as well. In parli, I debated in both traditional and tech style, depending on whether it was local or circuit. Currently, I am a psychology and political science double major at UC Berkeley, and I am part of the ASUC. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I did not join the Berkeley debate team; however, I do look forward to joining once the pandemic curves.
Debate, to me, is an outlet to express intelligence, hard work, and creativity for students. By doing so, you are partaking in education, entrepreneurship, sportsmanship, and advocacy work. This means that you must highlight why you should win my vote, above anything else. Your case, obviously, deserves the highest priority and value; however, your performance also entails speaking ability, manners, and other aspects.
I will try my best to stay as tabula rasa as possible. Obviously, it is nearly impossible to be 100% "clean state", but I do judge solely based on what has been spoken in the round.
You will, most likely, know the result of the round before you walk out the door. I believe that disclosing results is a fair way to increase the educational value of the round and it also gives me an opportunity to give you some feedback, along with answering your questions, if there is any.
These are simply my preference, so it is not mandatory. It may help you to follow these preferences though (in terms of speaker points and even potentially to win the ballot).
Signpost. Tell me where you are on the flow, to make sure that I have everything under the right position, in case I am confused. Even if you do not signpost, I will write down your arguments, counter-arguments, etc. It just makes my job easier and clearer if the round is messy.
Voter Issues. This applies to the last speeches specifically. Tell me why you won the debate and deserve my vote overall. You can go line by line, however, it is more effective for me, and also easier, if you just tell me verbatim, why you won the round.
Presumption. Depending on the burdens of the resolution (either explicit or implicit), I will default neg if I have nothing to vote on.
Performance. Performance "debate" will result in a loss probably. It is disrespectful to the opponent who legitimately prepared the case, and it is called a debate competition for a reason.
Timing. I will time, but also not strictly. It is up to the debaters to self-time and to monitor the opposition's time.
General Debate Things:
Speed. Generally fine with speed, including spreading to a degree. Since the debate is an educational opportunity, however, if the opponent asks you to slow down, you have to slow down. Not complying may result in loss of speaker points and even loss, depending on the severity. Also, I am not going to say "clear" or tell you that you are not being clear. If I am not typing/writing anything down, there is a good chance that you are not being clear enough though. If there are speech docs, I do not look at them during rounds for fair competition.
Tech > Truth. I will take into account anything you say or argue in the round, as long as they do not clearly violate the ethics/manners of the debate.
Ks. Kritiks are an important card in your pocket to utilize when necessary. I used to run them, so I am familiar with them, and I am also fine with you running them. That being said, I would advise you against simply throwing a K to win the round. Make sure you highlight and explicitly state why the K is educationally beneficial as you run it. It does not need to be lengthy and detailed, and I also don't care where you say it. Just briefly mention it. If you simply tell me that I am "morally obligated" to vote on a K without any content or context, the K is useless. I am not going to buy Speed K (or any speed theory in that manner).
Theory. I will take theories, even though I am not a huge fan of them. Conditionality, paradox, etc are all "theories" in this case.
Card Cutting. Card cutting will immediately result in a loss.
Dropped Arguments. Dropped arguments are "true," but this just means the warrants for them are true. Their implication can still be contested. The exception to this is when an argument and its implication are explicitly conceded by the other team for strategic reasons (like when kicking out of a disad). Then both are "true." Basically, give me the reason why the dropped arguments actually matter rather than just saying it was dropped. It will do you little to no good if you simply state that it was dropped.
Presumption. Although rare, if it falls to a presumption neg win, I will grant NEG a presumption.
Criteria. If you do not specify the criteria, I will default to net benefits.
It is rather sad that I have to include this. If you are blatantly disrespecting, insulting, or causing any deliberate verbal/physical attacks to the opponents (or even me), there will be consequences. The consequence may vary from loss of speaker points, loss of round, or even pausing the debate to talk to the tab if necessary.
For mainly parli, if you would like to point out a clear evidence distortion by the opponents, bring it up during your speech and give me a rationale. I will take it seriously, but there is no guarantee that I would necessarily take any action. If it is deemed necessary, I will follow the rules of the debate outlined by the tournament first, and talk to the tab if needed.
**Update February 2022 -- I shortened this substantially to focus on major things.
-Debated 4 years LD, graduating in 2013; qualled to TOC twice and reached Quarterfinals my senior year.
-Have coached for 10 years; am currently at Lynbrook and Silver Creek High Schools. I judge and coach all forms of speech and debate.
- I really don't like final rebuttals that are entirely pre-scripted. If this is your strategy, you will almost certainly drop key arguments on the line by line. The last speech can't ONLY be an overview -- you also have to engage the specific warrants of the other side's arguments.
- Anything that you're reading off your computer, you should probably send out, either by email chain or speech drop. If you don't send your analytics, and you go through them at your top speed, without pausing at all, I'm almost certainly going to miss something.
- That being said, while I do think you should send everything you're reading in-round, pre-round disclosure is not something I care too much about. That should be settled between you and your opponent and possibly the tournament, but shouldn't be the basis for a theory argument that you make in the debate. (Basically, I don't vote on disclosure theory.)
- Start doing argument comparison/interaction as soon as possible in the debate. Do it in the NC/1AR if possible. Leaving it until the 2NR/2AR opens the door to judge intervention, in my opinion.
- I like theory against counterplans like condo and PICs bad -- but if it's just 2 sentences in the 1AR, I don't understand how you could possibly go for it for 3 minutes in the 2AR. If you want to be able to go for condo, you have to set that up properly by reading thorough arguments and pre-empting the 2NR. (That being said, if the 2 sentence condo arg is dropped, I'll still vote on it.)
- Lots of judges seem to think that a 2NR can only go for one thing -- but I don't have that preference. Go for whatever you want if you think you can win it.
- I don't have an ideological preference against RVIs (though I personally don't think they're strategic).
- A 1AR needs to be oriented around developing strong offense that you can go for in the 2AR. Spewing assorted defense against off cases is a losing 1AR. Be selective about the answers you read and articulate them in such a way that you can go for them properly in the last speech.
Y'all know me, still the same O.G. but I been low-key
Hated on by most these nigg@s with no cheese, no deals and no G's
No wheels and no keys, no boats, no snowmobiles, and no skis
Mad at me cause I can finally afford to provide my family with groceries
Got a crib with a studio and it's all full of tracks to add to the wall
Full of plaques, hanging up in the office in back of my house like trophies
Did y'all think I'mma let my dough freeze, ho please
You better bow down on both knees, who you think taught you to smoke trees
Who you think brought you the oldies
Eazy-E's, Ice Cubes, and D.O.C's
The Snoop D-O-double-G's
And the group that said motherduck the police
Gave you a tape full of dope beats
To bump when you stroll through in your hood
And when your album sales wasn't doing too good
Who's the Doctor they told you to go see
Y'all better listen up closely, all you nigg@s that said that I turned pop
Or The Firm flopped, y'all are the reason that Dre ain't been getting no sleep
So duck y'all, all of y'all, if y'all don't like me, blow me
Y'all are gonna keep ducking around with me and turn me back to the old me
Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say
But nothing comes out when they move their lips
Just a bunch of gibberish
And motherduckers act like they forgot about Dre
Recently retired from the debate world but I am back for 4 years during my daughter’s high school policy debate career. Maybe another 4 after that for my son’s. Experienced former circuit debater from the Bay Area. Previous coach in Sacramento for CK McClatchy, Rosemont, Davis Senior, and others. I am the former Executive Director and founder of the Sacramento Urban Debate League (SUDL). I spent the better part of a decade running SUDL while personally coaching several schools. I've judged a ton of rounds on all levels of policy debate and feel in-depth and informative verbal RFD's are key to debate education.
I will adapt to you rather than you to me. It's not my place as a judge to exclude or marginalize any sort of argument or framework. On the neg, I will vote for K/K + case, T, CP + DA, DA + case, FW/FW + case, performance, theory.... whatever. I personally prefer hearing a good K or theory debate, not that I'm more inclined to vote on those genres of argumentation. I am down for the K, performance, or topical aff. Anything goes with me.
I'm big on organization. Hit the line by line hard. Don't just give me 3 min overviews or read a bunch of cards off the line, then expect me to conveniently find the best place on the flow for you. Do the work for me. I flow on paper OG style, so don't drop arguments. I don't flow off speech docs (neither should you), but put me on the email chain so I can read cards along with you and refer back to them. I can handle any level of speed, but please be as clear and loud as possible.
I will work hard to make the debate accessible and a safe place for you and your arguments. If you have access needs during a debate, wish to inform me of your preferred gender pronoun, or if there is anything you wish to communicate privately, please let me know or send me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
My judging philosophy is very short for a reason. Its your debate, not mine. Do you. Just stay organized and tell me where and why to vote. Write my ballot for me in your 2NR/2AR.
Currently a coach and PhD student at The University of Kansas.
Add me to the chain plz and thank you DerekHilligoss@gmail.com
for college add email@example.com as well
Plz go a bit slower- Not everyone's audio equipment is able to handle 20 off-
Face the thing that is recording your audio (computer, external mic, headphones, etc...)- when you look away the audio quality is likely to go from good to bad real quick
Don't really care if your camera is on that's a you choice. I'll have mine on.
TL;DR do what you do and do it well. Don't let my preferences sway you away from doing what you want.
The biggest thing for me is that I value good impact framing/calc. If you aren't explaining why your impacts matter more then your opponents you are leaving it up for me or the other team to decide.
Framework: Go for whatever version of framework you like but I tend to think it should interact with the aff at some level. If you give the 2NC/2NR and make no reference to the aff you will find it harder to win my ballot.
Planless affs: The one note I wanna make outside of FW notes is that you have to be able to answer the "what do you do" question no matter how silly it may seem. If I don't know what the aff does after the 1AC/CX that's gonna put you in a rough spot. I don't think this means you have to do anything but you should have a good justification for why you don't have to.
Theory: condo (probably) to a certain extent is good and counterplans should (probably) have solvency advocates. I have no strong opinions just tell me how to feel.
Topicality: limits for the sake of limits probably bad?
Counterplans: cool? Do it
Disads: The only thing I wanna note here is highlight your cards better. I don't wanna have to read 30 crappy cards to get the story of the disad and it makes it easier for the aff to win with a few solid cards.
Kritiks: Specific links go a long way. This doesn't mean it has to be exactly about the plan but your application will do better than a generic "law bad" card. Applying your theory to the aff's advantages in a way that takes out solvency will make your lives so much easier.
For the aff FW I think a well developed FW argument about legal/pragmatic engagement will do more for you than fairness/limits impacts.
If you are unclear I'll yell clear twice before I stop flowing. I'll make it apparent I'm not flowing to let you know you need to adjust still.
If you clip you will lose.
"reinsert card here"- nope :) read it- this is a communication activity not a robot activity.
How I eval rounds:
Explain things logically
Arguments should be consistent with scientific theories (e.g., in economics, psychology, etc.)
Advance social value and strong ethics.
Speak slowly and clearly
While I was a PF debater all throughout high school, I only have ~1 year of experience judging LD. I am familiar with common, traditional jargon used in debate, but am not familiar with the more in-depth strategies, which means that I will default to who has the best arguments/framework with robust impact analysis and effective counterarguments.
It is the debater's burden to make sure that speech is clear and understandable. While I will not knock spreading/speaking quickly immediately, the faster you speak, the more clearly you must speak and signpost. If I miss an argument, then you didn't make it into my flow. I vote off of my flow for all rounds -- whoever has the most consistent flow-through and coverage will likely have the advantage.
The quality of arguments alone does not impact speaker points, but the better you explain your arguments, your speaks are likely to improve.
As stated earlier, I do not take points off for speed, but if you lack fluency or clarity, your points will be docked.
I am an interp coach and have recently started judging PF and LD debate. I prefer traditional rounds and will vote based on who simplifies the main ideas.
Anthony, Who are you and what are you doing in my debate round?
I'm a grad student who studies Mathematics. I did High School and College LD. As a tldr, I vote based on what's written on my flow. I vote for the debater that has access the most impactful offense in the round. There are not any positions that I will refuse to vote for, but of course like all people there are some positions I have a harder time voting for than others (if you have a question about a specific position, ask me before round). It's your job to make sure why the arguments you are going for get you the ballot.
How do I evaluate debates?
Offense gets you access to the ballot, good defense denies your opponent access to offense. If you want my ballot, then by the end of the debate you must tell me 1: what piece of offense do you have access to, and 2: why that piece of offense outweighs whatever your opponent has. I think good debaters use a strategic mix of offense and defense.
How do I feel about spreading?
I am a fan of spreading. When I debated, I did both fast and slow debate. You do you. Try not to be exclusionary to other debaters though.
If you are unfamiliar with spreading, and your opponent is going too fast for you, call out "speed!". If your opponent is unclear, call out "clear!". If your opponent does not even make an attempt to slow down or clear up after calling out "speed" or "clear", I will decrease their speaker points, and I'd be open to any theory argument against them made in your speech.
How do I feel about K's?
I read K's and I like them. There are some authors I know better than others (If you have a question about a specific author, ask me before round), but that does not mean I will not vote for an argument I haven't heard before. You need to tell me how to frame the round and how to frame impacts (why is the K prior to the aff?).
I need clear alt solvency. I feel like this gets way too glossed over in most K debates. In my experience I have noticed a lot of aff teams too afraid to point out the flaws of the alt-mechanism, and most neg teams seem to just presume that their alt will solve. Negs need to clearly explain what the alt does, what it solves, and how.
Also, Negs, I believe creative and nuanced arguments against the perm beat generics any day. Conversely, I am a huge fan of aff teams which get creative with the perm.
How do I feel about Theory?
I probably have the least amount of experience evaluating theory compared to other debate arguments. That being said I will evaluate it like any other debate argument. Ultimately, I default to theory prior to any other argument because I view theory as a meta discussion of the debate. That being said, in round I can be persuaded to evaluate, for example, K prior to theory.
Make sure you have a clear violation. Make sure your standards link to your voters.
When answering theory, it helps when you have a clear counter interpretation and standards, but if you clearly do not violate I view a we-meet as terminal defense.
Competing interps or reasonability?
I am biased toward competing interps but if it is well argued I will not be opposed to viewing T through the lens of reasonability. I think my only issue with reasonability is that I have a hard time wrapping my head around what counts as 'reasonable'.
I debated LD/Pol for Dougherty Valley. bidround 2wice and choked 2wice. super washed. conflict for dv.
He/Him or They/Them or whatever you want to call me so long as I can tell you're talking to me.
prefer speechdrop instead of email but i dont really care that much
If you insist on an email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions for me after round: email@example.com or message me on facebook
Disclosure is mandatory and a true argument to an extent. if your interp is annoying ill be annoyed. full osource with highlighting makes the most sense.
if i say i won't flow an argument, i won't flow it.
Tech > Truth with some exceptions below.
I like: Policy > Theory/T = Topic/stock Kritiks = nont > other ks = Phil strike me for tricks
It has been a while since I debated and I am not familiar with a lot of critical literature anymore. If you still want to go for a more "entry level" kritik such as cap or security or a topic specific one, please explain the kritik with descriptors and not buzzwords. most kritiks are probably true arguments though, so if u can explain it in a way that is easy for me to understand it im very comfortable voting off of it
topical k affs are great arguments. NonT vs fwk is repetitive but fun to evaluate. KvK can get messy but if you keep it clean and explain with descriptors rather than buzzwords i can evaluate them well.
NonT affs by nature are not good arguments. Clash and fairness are probably true arguments. The only reason id have fun evaluating these debates is because of fwk, but if fwk is gone for well, i dont usually vote aff.
if the k is dependent on a part of your identity, and you aren't that identity, don't read the kritik. if you still do, your speaks are going to be a 27 maximum and ur opp has to catastrophically mess up if you want to win.
if memorizing/reading a pre-prepared buzzword-filled 2nr is ur method for going for the k, dont read the k. preparation is important, but u need to actually know what youre debating. if you cant explain the k without an aid, youre better off not reading it
If the 1AR reads a framework interpretation to weigh the aff against the K, I will ALWAYS weigh the aff against the kritik.
I will not flow tricks (skep, logic, truth testing, indexicals, etc). I will not flow the RVI unless the initial shell is something like Nebel or shoes theory. friv theory is a trick -- i will only vote on it if it is conceded and i will never vote on it if reasonability is won.
explicit cheating or Bigotry is a L 20 for the offender and a W 30 for the other. if ur clipping or doing some other form of cheating in round and your opp wants to challenge, i need ev in the form of recordings or whatever fits best. if i notice it, i wont need ev and ill stop the round. ill mark on my copy of the doc where you clipped. if you have ev that counters my decision, ill apologize and we will resume round with no harm done. there is no argument if i come to the decision that a debater is displaying bigotry or overstepping boundaries in any way. immediate L 20, reported to tab, round is stopped
if u want to be funny during ur speech, be funny. your speaks will rise. just dont try too hard and know how to be funny in the first place
Favorite 2nrs are disad + case or cp + disad/nb + case.
your 1nc can be interesting without reading random skep triggers or fringe kritiks. try 1 off disad, or massive impact turns. your speaks will rise.
some other things that will increase speaks: bring me a protein shake, make an outkast reference in ur speech/doc, manage to 'style' on ur opp while still keeping it respectful.
I am not opposed to giving a 30 to excellent debating and adaptation. Similarly, if you fail to adapt and rebuttal speeches are messy, you will get below a 28. I will do my best to average speaks around a 28.5.
do not feel hesitant to ask me any questions at any point. i will answer it if it is appropriate.
most importantly, keep it respectful. ur opp is not your enemy. you are both trying to compete and learn. excessive disrespect will not be tolerated -- i will intervene.
savit bhat's paradigm is much more in depth and contains more logistical information
I'm a smart (enough) person. But talk to me like I've never heard about this issue before.
Be organized and logical. I can keep a flow chart. So don't drop arguments, but also DON'T spend too much time gloating if you think your opponent drops an argument. And unintelligible speed is for policy / cross-ex debate -- not LD. You can move through your arguments quickly, but I want you to persuade me.
Claremont '21, UCLA '25 (not debating)
Please send the 1AC before start time. I would prefer an email chain, but it's not a big deal if you want to speechdrop.
I will only consider arguments that make sense. Earn higher points by slowing down and answering arguments in the order they were presented. Final rebuttals should identify relevant issues and explain why you are winning them.
I like debate but I judge a lot. Make it enjoyable by caring about cross-ex, demonstrating topic knowledge, and making correct strategic decisions.
I'd say I'm a little more for neg conditionality than most. Number is arbitrary, it's good or it's bad. Time skew is not a real reason conditionality is bad.
DAs are obviously good. Politics is whatever. Most affs are not great, so you should devote significant time to the case in both speeches. Impact turns are fine. The more of a reach, the worse the evidence quality and the harder it will be to win. For example, winning dedev or hegemony bad is much easier than winning, say, nuclear war good.
T-Bare Plurals is pretty terrible. I'll hear it out but will probably be more persuaded by aff ground arguments.
Non-starters: Calling anything a reverse voting issue, new affs bad, other theory arguments that are silly and don't make sense, most arguments in favor of moral skepticism, anything that's highlighted to say nothing at all, and arguments that deny the badness of suffering, death, racism, etc.
CPs that try to compete off of certainty and/or immediacy probably do not compete, only condo is a voting issue, precision should matter slightly more than limits, plan in a vacuum needs an explicit counter-interp.
Plan v K: I have been on both sides and enjoy judging these debates. The best framework arguments say the aff gets to compare the consequences of the plan against their assumptions. I find 'K's bad' and 'don't weigh the case' equally atrocious, though I will reluctantly vote for either interpretation if it's won. It is possible to compare assumptions and consequences, but often relies on the neg winning a turns case argument or substantial defense to the case. Alternatives that claim to 'fiat' things should probably lose to the perm double bind. It's also just a misunderstanding of critique alternatives. The aff should focus on winning an alt fails argument and a permutation, or impact turn the critique.
Planless v T: I have also been on both sides, and enjoyed these debates a lot when I was debating, but I don't really like judging them. I'm slightly better for fairness than clash. Counter interp usually irrelevant because arbitrary and unlimiting. Debate is probably capable of producing some sort of subjectivity shift, but the extent to which that applies to a single debate is up for debate.
Feel free to ask questions or post round. It's not mean.
julian kuffour (any pronouns)
nothing i say has gotten me out of judging my commitment, so i have resigned myself to this brief list of formal preferences.
1. please. go slower than you are going. this is like a win-the-debate level thing in higher level debates. i hardly think about debate unless i'm at a tournament, let alone listen to speeches. i am sleep-deprived and have a short attention span. it's 8a and you've got 55 wiki-mined cards in the doc. for what? literally, have a lay debate for all i care. slower = transcription, faster = paraphrasing; the prior is preferable for both of us. just for transparency, i won't start actively flowing until the 1nc on case in almost every debate (will label the sheets and pay attention) and i won't clear you.
2. i have no problem admitting i have legitimately no idea what you said. this applies in the instance of clarity and what are you even saying. debate is a communicative activity, so if i can't explain your argument meaningfully after the debate, i won't consider it.
3. a silver bullet is a silver bullet. if the whole debate is one thing, that's the whole debate; there's no need to complicate things by extending your speech time or introducing more arguments than necessary. good examples are: your opponent was racist or dropped condo. this also applies to argument selection in debates broadly. in 90% of debates, i'll decide like the second the 2ar ends and wait until it's not rude to give my decision; the reason being that, in 90% of debates, like two or three things actually matter. you are best served identifying those two or three things and hashing it out than: 'they say g subpoint of pre-written extension of backfile impact defense, but YES impact, that was above'.
ndt note: as a first year out, i'll be transparent that i would REALLY prefer not to judge at this tournament. i have minimal experience and i am not a fan of judging debates w/ stakes. if you leave me off the sheet, thank you <3.
CAL UPDATE: Bring me food and both teams get max speaker points (preferably little gem or a crave subs chicken little or almare gelato)
I did circuit LD, parli, and Congress in high school for Mitty and I coach there now (qualled to states, nats, and was pretty highly ranked in parli), and I'm a junior at Cal doing CS and Business (firstname.lastname@example.org). I can judge any event except like platform speech at a pretty tech level, so just be yourself and have fun!!!!
I'm too lazy to write my argument preferences out so yeah I'm fine with anything. I'm fine with any type of argument (phil, Ks, theory, CPs) and any arguments against them. I'm pretty tabula rasa, like the limit approaches infinity for how tab I am.
You do you, just don't be a meanie. Also, be clear and dont go like 300+ WPM, I'm probably tired.
Hi. I did LD at Westwood High School for four years. Put me on the email chain - email@example.com
Affiliations: Westwood ('19-'22), DebateDrills Club Team ('21-'22)
I've shortened this paradigm because it was very lengthy, but the full one from the 2021-2022 season can be found here.
1] I am comfortable judging policy-style debates and T/theory debates, though the worse the shell gets, the more unhappy I am. I am comfortable judging phil and kritik debates if they don't get too advanced for my brain (pomo, Baudrillard, existentialism, etc.). I am not comfortable judging tricks debates, and though I will still evaluate those debates, I have great distaste in that debate and my threshold for answering those arguments is much lower than other arguments.
2] I agree with Rodrigo Paramo on evidence ethics and trigger warnings. Detailed specifics for ev ethics is below as well.
3] I think tricks args operate on a sliding scale; I think some tricks are worse than others. For example, calc indicts are fine whereas "evaluate the debate after the 1AC" is horrendous. Likewise I also think indexicals and tacit ballot conditional are horrendous arguments for debate. If you're not sure whether an argument is too tricky to read in front of me, err on the side of caution, or just email me pre-round.
4] I believe in open-source disclosure. I think most disclosure arguments that go beyond this are bad (contact info, round reports, actual tournament name, etc.).
5] I give speaks based on how far I believe your performance would get you at the tournament I'm judging at. I tend to average around a 28.5. Yes I will disclose speaks if requested.
6] I require much more explanation for arguments than you think I do. Many 2AR's that I've judged go for a 3-second argument in the 1AR that I did not catch/have an understanding for, and many 2NR's that I've judged blitz through overviews of the theory of power/philosophical position that I cannot keep up with. Either slow down or be clearer in explanations.
7] Slow down please, especially in online debates. You will not be happy with my RFD if I don't catch something because you're blitzing too fast.
8] I am extremely visually expressive. I know it's hard during online debate to see my face when you're reading through a doc, but you should almost always be able to tell if I like something/find something confusing.
9] I don't know anything about this topic. Err towards overexplaining and try not to use too many acronyms.
I perceive the following to be cheating (or check Rodrigo's paradigm):
- Cards starting or ending in the middle of a paragraph, or leaving paragraphs out (yes this includes the "they continue" stuff
- Miscutting evidence
- Misrepresenting the date of evidence
I would much prefer debaters stake the round on evidence ethics claims. I will notice clipping without debaters pointing it out, though you should still do so to make it easier for me. If there is an evidence ethics violation, it will result in the offending debater getting an L 25. If there is not a violation, the accusing debater will get an L 25.
Director of Forensics, Cal State Northridge
Email speech documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
Any other inquires should go to email@example.com
A. Judging/Coaching History
- Over 19 years of experience judging/coaching competitive debate events; less experience with speech and individual events (5 years)
- Worked with students of all ages: elementary (MSPDP), middle school (MSPDP), high school (policy, LD, public forum), and college (NDT/CEDA, NFA-LD, NPDA, IPDA, CPFL)
B. General Philosophy
1. Do you thing! This activity should center the stylistic proclivities of students, not judges. Full stop. My academic background has taught me reasonable arguments come in a variety of forms, styles, and mediums. I've coached and judged a wide range of styles from very traditional (e.g. topicality, disads, cps, and case), critical (e.g. post-structural/modern/colonial theory), to very non-traditional (e.g. performative/identity/method debate). There are things I like and dislike about every style I've encountered. Do what you do and I'll do my best to keep up.
2. "Inside Baseball" Sucks. These days I mostly judge college policy and high school LD. That means I am unlikely to know most of the acronyms, anecdotes, inside references about other levels of debate and you should probably explain them in MUCH more detail than you would for the average judge.
C. Pedagogical/Competitive Points of Emphasis
1. Importance of Formal Evidence (i.e. "cards"). I once heard a judge tell another competitor, “a card no matter how bad will always beat an analytic no matter how good.” For the sake of civility I will refrain from using this person’s name, but I could not disagree more with this statement. Arguments are claims backed by reasons with support. The nature of appropriate support will depend on the nature of the reason and on the nature of the claim. To the extent that cards are valuable as forms of support in debate it’s because they lend the authority and credibility of an expert to an argument. But there are some arguments where technical expertise is irrelevant. One example might be the field of morality and ethics. If a debater makes a claim about the morality of assisted suicide backed by sound reasoning there is no a priori reason to prefer a card from an ethicist who argues the contrary. People reason in many different ways and arguments that might seem formally or technically valid might be perfectly reasonable in other settings. I generally prefer debates with a good amount of cards because they tend to correlate with research and that is something I think is valuable in and of itself. But all too often teams uses cards as a crutch to supplement the lack of sound reasoning. The takeaway is … If you need to choose between fully explaining yourself and reading a card always choose the former.
2. Burden of Persuasion vs. Burden of Rejoinder One of things that makes policy and LD debate (and perhaps public forum) a fairly unique activity from a policy/legal perspective is our emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. If one competitor says something then the opponent needs to answer it, otherwise the judge treats the argument as gospel. Debaters might think their judges aren't as attentive to the flow as they would like, but ask any litigator if trial judges care in the least whether the other attorney answered their arguments effectively. Emphasizing the burden of rejoinder is a way of respecting the voice and arguments of the students who spend their valuable time competing in this activity. But like everything else in debate there are affordances as well as constraints in emphasizing the burden of rejoinder. Personally, I think our activity has placed so much emphasis on the burden of rejoinder that we have lost almost all emphasis on the burden of persuasion. I can’t count the number of rounds I have participated in (as a debater and as a judge) where the vast majority of the claims made in the debate were absolutely implausible. The average politics disad is so contrived that it's laughable. Teams string together dozens of improbable internal link chains and treat them as if they were a cohesive whole. Truth be told, the probability of the average “big stick” advantage/disad is less than 1% and that’s just real talk. This practice is so ubiquitous because we place such a heavy emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. Fast teams read a disad that was never very probable to begin with and because the 2AC is not fast enough to poke holes in every layer of the disad the judge treats those internal links as conceded (and thus 100% probable). Somehow, through no work of their own the neg’s disad went from being a steaming pile of non-sense to a more or less perfectly reasonable description of reality. I don't think this norm serves our students very well. But it is so ingrained in the training of most debates and coaches (more so the coaches than the debaters actually) that it’s sustained by inertia. The takeaway is… that when i judge, I try (imperfectly to be sure) to balance my expectations that students meet both the burden of rejoinder and the burden of persuasion. Does this require judge intervention? Perhaps, to some degree, but isn't that what it means to “allow ones self to be persuaded?” To be clear, I do not think it is my job to be the sole arbiter of whether a claim was true or false, probable or unlikely, significant or insignificant. I do think about these things constantly though and i think it is both impossible and undesirable for me to ignore those thoughts in the moment of decision. It would behoove anyone I judge to take this into account and actively argue in favor of a particular balance between the burdens or rejoinder and persuasion in a particular round.
3. The Role of the Ballot/Purpose of the Activity/Non-Traditional Debate. The first thing I want to say isn’t actually a part of my philosophy on judging debates as much as it is an observation about debates I have watched and judged. I can’t count the number of rounds I have watched where a debater says something akin to, “Debate is fundamentally X,” or “the role of the ballot is X.” This is not a criticism. These debaters are astute and clearly understand that defining the nature and purpose of the activity is an extremely useful (often essential)tool for winning debates. That said, in truth, debate is both everything and nothing and the role of the ballot is multiple. Asserting the "purpose of debate" or "the role of the ballot" is essentially a meaningless utterance in my opinion. Arguing in favor "a particular purpose of debate” or “a particular role of the ballot” in a given round requires reasons and support. Policy debate could be conceived as a training ground for concerned citizens to learn how to feel and think about particular policies that could be enacted by their government. Policy debate could also be conceived as a space students to voice their dissatisfaction with the actions or inactions of the governments that claim to represent them through various forms of performance. Excellent debaters understand policy debate is a cultural resource filled with potential and possibility. Rather than stubbornly clinging to dogmatic axioms, these debaters take a measured approach that recognizes the affordances and constraints contained within competing visions of "the purpose of debate" or the "role of the ballot” and debate the issue like they would any other. The problem is assessing the affordances and constraints of different visions requires a sober assessment of what it is we do here. Most debaters are content to assert, “the most educational model of debate is X,” or the “most competitive model of debate is Y.” Both of these approaches miss the boat because they willfully ignore other aspects of the activity. Debates should probably be educational. What we learn and why is (like everything else) up for debate, but it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t be learning something from the activity. Fairness in a vacuum is a coin-flip and that’s hardly worth our time. On the other hand, probably isn’t a purely educational enterprise. Debate isn’t school. If it were students wouldn’t be so excited about doing debate work that they ignore their school work. The competitive aspects of the activity are important and can’t be ignored or disregarded lightly. How fair things have to be and which arguments teams are entitled to make are up for debate, but I think we need to respect some constraints lest we confuse all discourse for argument. The phrase “debate is a game/the content is irrelevant” probably won’t get you very far, but that’s because games are silly and unimportant by definition. But there are lots of contests that are very important were fairness is paramount (e.g. elections, academic publishing, trials). Rather than assert the same banal lines from recycled framework blocks, excellent debaters will try to draw analogies between policy debate and other activities that matter and where fairness is non-negotiable. So the takeaway is … I generally think the topic exists for a reason and the aff has to tie their advocacy to the topic, although I am open to arguments to the contrary. I tend to think of things in terms of options and alternatives. So even if topicality is a necessarily flawed system that privileges some voices over others, I tend to ask myself what the alternative to reading topicality would be. Comparison of impacts, alternatives, options, is always preferable to blanket statements like “T = genocidal” or “non-traditional aff’s are impossible to research.”
4. Theory Debates (i.e. Debates about Debate Itself) I have a relatively high threshold for theory arguments, but I am not one of those judges that thinks the neg teams gets to do whatever they want. You can win theory debates with me in the back, but it probably isn’t your best shot. As a general rule (though not universal) I think that if you didn’t have to do research for an argument, you don’t learn anything by running it. I have VERY high threshold for negative theory arguments that are not called topicality. It doesn’t mean I wont vote on these arguments if the aff teams makes huge errors, but a person going for one of these argument would look so silly that it would be hard to give them anything about a 28.
I am a novice parent lay judge. Please speak slowly and define all terms. Good luck on your rounds!
I’ve bolded what you need to skim preround. Table of contents below for phrases you can ctrl+f to get to a specific portion of the paradigm. There’s also a ctrl+f section for opinions on specific arguments. My argumentative opinions are pretty much the same across all events. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
Here's a table of contents - you can ctrl+f any of these phrases to get to a certain portion of the paradigm - i understand that this whole paradigm is unreasonably long to read pre-round --
-"actual paradigm/explanation of my thoughts and feelings about debate"
-"some general notes"
-"miscellaneous odds n ends"
-"opinions on specific positions (ctrl+f section)"
within the specific positions section, here are the labels for each position, so you can ctrl+f for those if you want: "case", "planless affs", "t/framework vs planless affs", "theory", "topicality (not framework)", "tricks", "kritiks (neg)", "disads", "counterplans", and "traditional debate".
-"arguments i will never vote for"
Hi! I'm Nethmin! I use she/her pronouns!
The Hill School ’20, Pitzer College ’24 (double majoring in cs-math and economics).
I coach policy at Damien High School and I coach a few LDers independently. I've coached both sides of almost every style of argument.
My strongest belief about argumentation is that argument engagement is good - I don't care what styles of arguments teams read in front of me, but I'd prefer if both teams engaged with their opponents' arguments; I don't enjoy teams who avoid clash (regardless of the style of argument they are reading). I would consider myself to be competent at evaluating whatever debate you want to have. My debate history should not dictate what you read in your round. I think people should stop treating debate as their immortality project and let the students in the activity do what they want.
ideological flexibility is what i value most in debate. judges who hack against k teams and judges who hack against policy teams are equally objectionable to me, all else equal. i do not believe that the arguments a team reads are a reflection of how good/bad of a person they are (except, of course, cases where people do/say things that are egregious). i try to be someone who will vote on any argument as long as it's not delivered in a way that's morally abhorrent (bullying your opponent = bad) and it meets the minimum standards to be considered a complete argument (claim, warrant, impact).
General note about reading my paradigm - most things are phrased in terms of policy debate structure & norms (2nr/2ar being 5 minutes, "team" instead of "debater," "planless aff" = "non-t k aff," etc). If I'm judging you in LD and you have questions about how something translates to LD, feel free to ask!
tldr do what you do best; claims, warrants, and impacts are necessary; weighing & judge instruction tip the scales in your favor; i care about argument engagement not argument style; stay hydrated & be a good person.
firstname.lastname@example.org for LD rounds (you can also use this email to contact me if you need anything)
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for CX rounds (please add both!)
Please have the email chain set up by the time the round is supposed to start - don't wait for me to be in the room. I'm always coaching at tournaments, so I likely won't be in the room for the round I'm judging until the time when the round is starting. Set up the chain beforehand, feel free to wait until I'm there to send it out.
actual paradigm/explanations of my thoughts and feelings about debate:
All of my deal-breakers/hard and fast rules/moments of "I won't vote on this" are dependent on four things:
1 - protecting the safety of the participants in the round (no harrassment, no physical violence, etc).
2 - voting for things that meet the minimum standard to be considered an argument (claim, warrant, impact).
3 - rules set forth by the tournament (speech times, one team wins and one team loses, I have to enter my own ballot, etc).
4 - i will only evaluate the debate after the end of the 2ar. this is 0% negotiable. i did not think i would have to say this, but i guess i do.
I'll vote for whichever team wins the line-by-line. It would be nearly impossible to change my mind on this absent something egregious and very out-of-the-norm occurring in-round.
I don't care what style of argument you read. My voting record is roughly 50-50 on most major debate controversies (yes, even planless affs vs framework). As long as your argument doesn't violate the above four criteria, go for it! I have far fewer set-in-stone debate opinions than most coaches/judges.
I think that warrants are hard to come by in many debate rounds these days, even ones with “good” teams. Err on the side of a little too much explanation, because if your arg is warrantless, you will be ballotless. Extensions need to include warrants, not just taglines.
Independent voters need warrants and an articulation of why they should be evaluated before everything else.These debates could generally benefit from more judge instruction and weighing. Simply calling something an independent voter doesn’t mean I vote for you if you extend it.
Some general notes
Policy stuff: I tend to be a good judge for policy teams that read high-quality evidence, are able to explain/contextualize their args against a variety of different positions, and have a good understanding of the topic. I tend to be a worse judge for policy teams that don't do the above, and/or rely on judges to do a substantial amount of work for them. I'm fairly familiar with the topic; the amount of explanation you need to do on acronyms/topic-specific intricacies is inversely proportional to how mainstream/close to the core of the topic the argument/concept is.
K stuff: I tend to be a good judge for K teams that are technical, good at argument engagement/comparative analysis, and understand how their criticism interacts with the core of the topic. I tend to be a worse judge for K teams aren't able to adjust their level of explanation to cater to judges who don't exclusively research/coach their criticism of choice - this isn't because I want to vote against them, I just need to understand what they want me to vote for.
Framing and judge instruction are important. Your speeches should tell me how the arguments in the round interact with each other. Most rounds where a team is unhappy with my decision are rounds where that team failed to weigh, compare args, and give judge instruction. Write my ballot for me in the 2nr/2ar!
Trad team vs circuit team -- I don’t think it’s anyone’s burden to shift their style of debate to accommodate anyone else. I do think it is the burden of both teams to respect all styles of debate and not be rude or condescending. You should each debate how you debate best and I will evaluate the round you give me. Both teams should engage each others' arguments.
Speed/clarity – I will say clear up to two times per speech before just doing my best to flow you. I can handle a decent amount of speed. Going slower on analytics is a good idea. You should account for pen time/scroll time - it takes time for me to find the place on the flow where you want me to flow a certain arg. It's generally more efficient to handle arguments in the order they were on the flow, or at least try to jump around as little as possible. Also, I think that debaters being able to slow/clear the other team is key to accessibility, please be accommodating. I trust that all participants in the round will request and respond to accessibility-related accommodations in good faith; I have no interest in policing who "needs" accommodations, I just want everyone to be able to engage in the round.
Online debate -- 1] please record your speeches, if there are tech issues, I'll listen to a recording of the speech, but not a re-do. 2] debate's still about communication - please watch for nonverbals, listen for people saying "clear," etc.
Speaker points are dependent on strategy, execution, clarity, and overall engagement in the round. Things like not being able to answer the majority of the questions during your cx will negatively impact your points, as will going for messy, confusing, and uphill 2nrs/2ars when there were easier and cleaner routes to the ballot.
Speaker points are scaled to the tournament. A 30 at an abysmal finals bid with 10 entries and a cow as a potential bid round opponent is different from a 30 at Glenbrooks or MBA. I'll be a bit more generous with points at tournaments where there's a 4-2 screw (or another similar consideration). I try to only give 30s to debaters that I think meet a decent standard of being technically proficient and argumentatively adept - even if I think you'll win the Online Nonsense Classic, I'll probably not give you a 30 unless I think you could hold your own at a tournament that is at least semi-competitive.
I try to give points as follows:
30: you're a strong contender to win the tournament & this round was genuinely impressive
29.5+: late elims, many moments of good decisionmaking & argumentative understanding, adapted well to in-round pivots
29+: you'll clear for sure, generally good strat & round vision, a few things could've been more refined
28.5+: likely to clear but not guaranteed, there are some key errors that you should fix
28+: even record, probably losing in the 3-2 round
27.5+: winning less than 50% of your rounds, key technical/strategic errors
27+: winning less than 50% of your rounds, multiple notable technical/strategic errors
26+: errors that indicated a fundamental lack of preparation for the rigor/style of this tournament
25-: you did something really bad/offensive/unsafe.
This scale is based purely on argumentation/in-round strategy. I definitely give extra points if you do things that are listed below in the section for how to improve your speaker points.
I think that I give fairly average points when compared to other judges in the policy community. I try not to contribute to point inflation. I scale points to the tournament to attempt to find a balance between rewarding good/flexible/consistent teams and not punishing teams for the nature of the tournament. The "bonus points" for things that make debate better will likely mitigate my giving "bad points," if that's something you think I do.
Things that you can do to improve your speaker points:
-debate well, be clear, and win decisively (this will always be the primary factor i consider when awarding points)
-be kind! make the round more enjoyable and be kind to your opponents, partner, and judges! i hate being in debate rounds that feel like divorce court!
-be accessible and accommodating. be nice about tech issues, be nice to newer teams, be considerate of accessibility requests, check tab postings/the wiki for pronouns, etc.
-adapt to things that happen in-round. adjust to judges saying "clear," watch for nonverbal reactions/visible confusion, and engage with args.
-disclose! go to the room after pairings to disclose the aff/past 2nrs. if you think you've disclosed particularly well (contact info, open source with highlighting, cite boxes w/ position names as the citation names, disclosing on your team wiki), let me know, and if i agree that you've disclosed well, i'll boost your speaks a bit!
Things that will actively get you bad speaks:
-discrimination of any sort (racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, etc), bullying, egregious misgendering (issues of discrimination also get you a fun talking-to and an email to your coach).
-misdisclosure/lying about disclosure. if you won't disclose, just say that! don't lie/purposefully be sketchy. there's obviously a difference between forgetting something minor (oops, sorry, forgot we have a few new solvency cards) and intentional/malicious lying (fully telling someone the wrong aff).
-unnecessarily rude/disruptive behavior during the other team's speeches. occasionally looking confused during speeches is just a normal reaction - i don't think anyone understands 100% of the arguments that exist in debate. however, constantly shaking your head, laughing during speeches, being really loud when talking to your partner during speeches, etc. are just not necessary!
-ad-homs & asking me to evaluate things that happened outside of the debate & making the debate about someone's personal life.
the notable exception to this is disclosure - this is pretty much the only out-of-round event that i'm fine evaluating debates about.
i don't want to evaluate callouts/judgments about your opponents' coach(es)/interpersonal incidents that occurred. if there is an issue you'd like me to address, tell me before the round and i'll do my best to handle it in a way that makes you comfortable + informs the relevant entities (coaches, tabroom, etc). this isn't to say that i believe problematic/unsafe members of the community don't deserve punishment, but rather, i don't think the way to go about it is to let 4 minors debate it out for 2 hours and then submit a ballot.
-attempts to avoid argument engagement/clash. examples include "you can't answer the k because you're not x identity," "neg must concede aff framing mechanism," "no neg fiat," and other similar strategies.
Miscellaneous odds n ends that didn't really fit in other sections of the paradigm:
1 -- I'm increasingly unconvinced by cards cut from articles written by debate coaches. This is not directed at any one specific person or style of argument. I'm not saying you can't make certain arguments, but I am saying that you should probably find actual academic literature that makes the argument. If there is only one person you can find who says the thing you want them to say, and that person is a debate coach, you should think about why the only person saying what you need them to say is a person who has a vested competitive interest in the thing they're saying being perceived as true. Do with this info what you will.
2 -- I would really strongly prefer that trigger warnings/content warnings/accessibility requests are decided pre-round as opposed to mid-round/by reading a procedural. I'm happy to help facilitate anything that's needed in order to ensure that both teams can engage equitably in the round. I'll still evaluate these debates if they come down to a theory debate, I'll just be not super happy.
3 -- The debate people that I spend a fair amount of time with are Tim Lewis, Chris Paredes, Zoe Rosenberg, Jared Burke, Aly Sawyer, Sam McLoughlin, and Eva Lamberson. This is quite a salad of people, and I don't even know if this info is helpful, but I figured I'd include it in case you're curious. This also doesn't mean that I agree with all of their opinions, but I do talk about debate with them a fair amount, so they've likely shaped how I think about debate as well as how I deliver RFDs. It's worth noting that I coach with the first four people on this list (Tim, Chris, Zoe, and Jared).
Opinions on Specific Positions (ctrl+f section):
I think that negatives that don't engage with the 1ac are putting themselves in a bad position. This is true for both K debates and policy debates.
Extensions should involve warrants, not just tagline extensions - I'm willing to give some amount of leeway for the 1ar/2ar extrapolating a warrant that wasn't the focal point of the 2ac, but I should be able to tell from your extensions what the scenario is, what the internal links are, and why you solve.
I've been on both sides of the planless aff debate, and my strongest opinion about planless affs is that you need to be able to explain what your aff does/why it's good.
I tend to dislike planless affs where the strategy is to make the aff seem like a word salad until after 2ac cx and then give the aff a bunch of new (and not super well-warranted) implications in the 1ar. I tend to be much better for planless aff teams when they're straight-up about what they do/don't defend, they use their aff strategically, engage with neg arguments, and make smart 1ar & 2ar decisions with good ballot analysis.
T/framework vs planless affs:
I'm roughly 50-50 in these debates. I don't have a strong preference for how framework teams engage in these debates other than that you should be respectful when discussing sensitive material- "colonization didn't happen" is probably not the best strategy.
I think that TVAs can be more helpful than teams realize. While having a TVA isn't always necessary, winning a TVA provides substantial defense on many of the aff's exclusion arguments.
I don't have a preference on whether your chosen 2nr is skills or fairness (or something else). I think that both options have strategic value based on the round you're in. Framework teams almost always get better points in front of me when they are able to contextualize their arguments to their opponents' strategy - 2nrs that answer impact turns, make framing arguments, win the internal link to the aff's impacts, and generally are in control of the debate are much more enjoyable to evaluate than 2nrs that give me a generic extension of the framework offense that they're winning and then leave it up to me to weigh between their offense and their opponents' offense.
I also don't have a preference between the aff going for impact turns or going for a counterinterp. The strategic value of this is dependent on how topical/non-topical your aff is. If your counterinterp can plausibly solve the core of the negative's offense, going for the ci will make more sense than if the aff doesn't say a word about the topic. The "no-topic-words-in-aff" teams will likely be more successful going for impact turns purely because the counterinterp will likely link to the neg's disads to the aff's model. This isn't to say that I'm opposed to mostly-topical affs going for impact turns or fully-non-t affs going for a counterinterp; just make sure you're able to adequately warrant what you're going for.
The less frivolous your theory argument, the better I am for it. I am infinitely better for condo debates than I am for "must spec what state you're from," or whatever's cool these days. This isn't to say I have any super strong opinions about condo, but rather, I have rarely been able to find a warranted & convincing ballot story in rounds where theory arguments are unbearably frivolous.
I've noticed a trend in the policy community where a lot of theory debates tend to be resolved based on a judge's pre-existing biases/opinions regarding what is/isn't theoretically legitimate. I don't think I have any theory opinions that are so strong that I'd intervene/hack for a certain argument because of my opinions. If you can win that there's a violation, a reason your interp is good (and better than your opponent's interp), and a clear internal link to an impact, I'll vote for you.
Please weigh! It's not nearly as intuitive to make a decision in theory debates - I can fill in the gaps for why extinction is more impactful than localized war more easily than I can fill in the gaps for why neg flex matters more/less than research burdens.
Theory defaults: competing interps, drop the debater.
My defaults on RVIs: absent a "no RVIs" arg being made & won, I'll assume that RVIs are theoretically legitimate/I'll evaluate an RVI if it's made. This doesn't mean I'll insert an RVI if it's not made. I don't have a particularly strong opinion in either direction on the yes/no RVIs debate.
Topicality (not framework):
Same defaults as theory.
I like T debates that have robust and contextualized definitions of the relevant words/phrases/entities in the resolution. Negative teams that can clearly explain what their model includes/excludes and provide tangible examples of their abuse story are great! Negative teams whose arguments devolve into some flavor of "well i guess the aff doesn't feeeeeel topical" with no clear explanation of what is/isn't T are often better served going for different arguments. Have a clear explanation of what your interpretation is/isn't; examples/caselists are your friend.
Grammar-based topicality arguments: I don't find most of the grammar arguments being made these days to be very intuitive. This isn't to say that you shouldn't go for these args in front of me (I actually find myself voting for them a non-zero amount) but rather, that you should explain/warrant them more than you would in front of a judge who loves those arguments more than anything.
Tricks (this is mostly an LD thing):
I used to say that I would never vote on tricks. I've decided it's bad to exclude a style of argumentation just because I don't enjoy it. Here are some things to know if you're reading tricks in front of me:
1 - I won't flow off the doc (I never flow off the doc, but I won't be checking the doc to see if I missed any of your tricks/spikes)
2 - The argument has to have a warrant in the speech it is presented
3 - The reason I've been so opposed to voting on tricks in the past is that I've never heard a trick that met the minimum threshold to be considered an argument (claim, warrant, impact)
I value the explanation that you do in the round and the actual parts of the evidence you read, and I will not give you credit for the other musings/opinions/theories that I’m sure your author has.
I tend to like K teams that engage with the aff and have a clear analysis of what's wrong with the aff's model/framing/epistemology/etc. I tend to be a bit annoyed when judging K teams that read word-salad or author-salad Ks, refuse to engage with arguments, expect me to fill in massive gaps for them, don't do adequate weighing/ballot analysis/judge instruction, or are actively hostile toward their opponents. The more of the aforementioned things you do, the more annoyed I'll be. The inverse is also true - the more you actively work to ensure that you don't do these things, the happier I'll be! I love judging good K teams; I less-than-love judging K teams that want to run from clash/argument engagement.
Zero risk probably doesn't exist, but very-close-to-zero risk probably does. Teams that answer their opponents' warrants instead of reading generic defense tend to fare better in close rounds. Good evidence tends to matter more in these debates - I'd rather judge a round with 2 great cards + debaters explaining their cards than a round with 10 horrible cards + debaters asking me to interpret their dumpster-quality cards for them.
I don't have strong ideological biases about how many condo advocacies the neg gets or what kinds of counterplans are/aren't cheating. More egregious abuse = easier to persuade me on theory; the issue I usually see in theory debates is a lack of warranting for why the neg's model was uniquely abusive - specific analysis > generic args + no explanation.
Judge kick - you've gotta tell me to do it. I'm not opposed to it, but I won't assume that you want me to unless the 2nr tells me to. No strong opinions for/against judge kick.
I tend to think that counterplans need to have a text that is written out in a speech doc and emailed to all participants in the round PRIOR to the speech in which it's read. There's something that feels sketchy about letting teams type out a text to send out after the 1nc (or even worse, after 1nc cx).
Arguments I will NEVER vote for:
-arguments that are actively discriminatory or make the round unsafe ("misgendering good," "let's make the debate about a minor's personal life," other stuff of that nature).
-any argument that attempts to police what a debater wears or how they present (this includes shoes theory/formal clothes theory).
-any argument that denies the existence/badness of oppression (i don't mean i won't vote for "extinction outweighs." i mean i won't vote for "genocide good.")
if there's anything i didn't mention or you have any questions, feel free to email me! if there's anything i can do to make debate more accessible for you, let me know! i really love debate and i coach because i want to make debate/the community a better place; please don't hesitate to reach out if there's anything you need.
Experience: 3 years of high school debate for DMHS in LAMDL, now doing my 4th year of college debate at CSUF
I ain't asking for much, just don't be racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, ableist, and basically, anything that might make a competitor uncomfortable or might make ME uncomfortable.
I'm comfortable with spreading but if you spread through crucial arguments I may not catch it at times so if you want me to flow your most important arguments then slow down a bit. In the realm of online debate sometimes I might not catch arguments if they're not given in conversational speed.
IF you are reading this as an LD debater you will get more info reading the policy page to get a better idea
Don't run tricks in front of me. I will not get them, which means I won't vote on them. This also goes for theory debates theory has to be very good at explaining violations and why this is a voting issue or else leave me out of it.
Nebel T isn't a real argument, I do not care who Nebel is.
I probably won't vote on Reverse Voting Issues, they don't make a lot of sense to me as a policy debater (but can possibly be persuaded)
Framing: Framing arguments are a very easy way for me to vote for you, I find it something easy to vote on when teams tell me how I should evaluate the round and why evaluating the round that way is good. This also means that having the role of the ballot/judge argument would be very effective in persuading my decision but these arguments need warrants to them.
K: I'm comfortable judging K's. I'm very comfortable with set col literature and I am familiar with afropess, ableism, and cap literature. Don't worry if I'm not familiar with your K literature all I ask for is a more thorough explanation of your literature and your theory of power. In order to win the K for me, you need to have a link, and if the link is vaguely explained/generic then I really won't buy that you link. If you do link what does that mean and why is that an indictment of the aff (what's the impact).
Kaffs: I'm cool with people running Kaffs and I won't immediately vote them down but I do have to require a good explanation of the aff.
DA: you can win a DA by itself if you have impact framing and how that impact outweighs the affs impacts and part of that impact framing you need to win uniqueness. You also need to win a link on how the aff causes the impacts of the DA. DA must have all its parts in order for me to evaluate it, it must have uniqueness, a link, an internal link, and more importantly an impact.
CP: I also vote for CPs with or without a DA, the DA in my mind is not necessary for a CP but that means proving the competitiveness of the CP and why the CP is preferable over that aff and that means why it solves better for the impacts of the aff or if you're running this with a DA why the CP solves and doesn't link to the DA.
T/FW: In order for me to vote for T you need to win a few questions, why you're model of debate is good, you also need to win how they violate and why that's bad for the round. You need to extend your standards/reasons to prefer your model of debate over theirs.
Debated for Winston Churchill High School in LD and some policy. Debate at UT Austin in policy. Camps worked at: VBI, Baylor, UTNIF.
Please have the email chain ready as soon as both opponents meet before the round.
I'm pretty open to whatever you want to do and am very open to questions considering my paradigm.
A few thoughts:
- I like debates that are about the topic. Even if it is slightly tangential to the topic, I'm open to it. Find debates filled with vacuous theory arguments or paragraphs of spikes/preempts are not in my interest.
- Don't look much at the doc unless necessary. I'm only flowing the words that you speak.
- Please slow down when reading analytics. Many speed through them and I am unable to catch every word.
- I'm pretty expressive. My face is probably a good indicator of where the debate is going.
- If I'm absolutely unsure of what is going on/no arguments have been made, I'm most likely going to err neg.
- It may not seem like it, but I pay close attention to CX and auto to CX being binding.
Hi! My name is Aditya Madaraju. My email is email@example.com, please add me to the email chain. I debated LD/Policy for 3 years at Dougherty Valley during HS, and I am now a sophomore at Berkeley. This paradigm is for LD/Policy if I am judging you for PuFo or something go to the bottom of the paradigm.
Tech>Truth, but it’s easier to win more truthful arguments. I still won’t vote for tricks. Email me at the address listed above if you have any questions that aren’t answered in this paradigm.
I like these and went for them most of the time during my career. 2NRs on the DA should have an overview and good impact calculus at the top, which makes it far easier for me to decide debates. If you’re kicking out of these, make sure that you concede defense properly to make sure you don’t accidentally concede a straight turn, because that can be tragic. If you’re going for a DA without a CP make sure to spend enough time on case in the 2NR as well.
I like these, and think they are underutilized a lot in debates. The 1NC on the counterplan ideally should have some solvency mechanism, be it a carded solvency advocate or a sentence explaining how it solves, but it’s not something that I care too much about.
If you are going to read a kritik, please try to read ones that are somewhat relevant to the topic. Please don’t read identity Ks or pomo in front of me.
Going for the K--Links to the plan are more persuasive but if the aff has terrible scholarship go ahead and read reps links, I’ll vote for them. 2NRs going for the K should thoroughly explain the K and not rely on buzzwords.
Answering the K--I am persuaded by arguments like framework and particularity, which I will vote for most of the time. Impact turns vs perm+link turns should be utilized depending on how your aff is oriented.
Topicality--I like topicality debates and started going for this argument more during my senior year. These debates hinge on predictability; weighing is essential and evidence comparison is underutilized.
Theory--I won’t vote for frivolous theory. 3 condo or less is fine in policy, in LD I don’t really have a preference/default. PICs, advantage CPs, and some process CPs are probably good, while consult counterplans and some process CPs are bad.
Regarding disclosure, you should open source documents. Contact info being disclosed on the wiki and disclosing when asked is a bare minimum, but it’s better if you open source with cites on the wiki.
An evidence ethics violation (clipping, missing paragraphs/ellipses, starting or stopping in the middle of a paragraph, or mis-cited evidence) with proof is a stake the round issue and L 20 for whoever is wrong.
These are cheating and I will pretty much never vote for them. Framework is true.
I default util and modesty, and will have a hard time voting for anything other than these. However, if you are winning on the flow with another framework and have thoroughly explained your syllogism, I will still vote for you. No tricks.
Impact turns are highly underutilized, and good case debates are fun to watch. Spark is fine, but not wipeout.
My thoughts on this ld topic:
Pirates are evil? The Marines are righteous? These terms have always changed throughout the course of history! Kids who have never seen peace and kids who have never seen war have different values! Those who stand at the top determine what's wrong and what's right! This very place is neutral ground! Justice will prevail, you say? But of course it will! Whoever wins this war becomes justice!
Feel free to do with that information what you will...
idrc what u do just read directly from cards don't cite them and make up random stuff and send all your cards that you read. otherwise its def an ev ethics violation. SAVIT BHAT's paradigm more accurately sums up my...thoughts on this issue.
Hi! I'm Emmiee (they/them) - firstname.lastname@example.org is the email
I did 4 years of debate in HS (3 policy, 1 LD) and 3 years of college policy for UC Berkeley. In both I started off reading very LARP/policy arguments and then branched out into more soft left and K territory. The arguments I've spent most of my time reading are queer pessimism, psychoanalysis, and Russian set-col. I've been coaching Harker LD for 6 years now and have taught at ~10 LD/policy camp sessions.
I try to stay as tab and non-interventionist as possible. There is literally not a single argument I have not voted for. All of my decisions are purely based off of how the flow lines up and I don't care if you're going for an RVI on Nebel, a PoMo FrankenK, indexicals, a heg DA, "surrender to ____", the Hobbes NC, etc. If I stopped voting for downright horrible arguments that were won on the flow, I would quickly end up having to give out double losses.
It's not my job to "preserve the sanctity of the activity" or whatever, especially given all of the things I pulled in my own debate career; it's my job to vote for whoever won and then roast any arguments I didn't personally like in the RFD. There are only three arguments I don't want to see: those that are blatantly oppressive (___icm good, etc), those that are unethically read (clipped, text of article altered, etc), or those that lack a claim/impact/warrant.
Other Important Info:
• In general, I judge a lot of clash debates, bubbles, bid rounds, etc and I get that stress is high, different schools/regions/circuits have different norms and habits, everyone's tired, etc but please do your part to make the round as un-painful as possible. Assume good intent, don't be purposefully sketchy or mean, etc.
• I am 100% cool with post-rounding - if you think I forgot to flow something important, gave a nonsense RFD, didn't address something you think should have decided the debate, etc by all means grill me over it, as long as you're not actively rude to me or your opponent.
• Some rounds I take a super long time to decide and have a lot of comments - it's usually because I'm typing all the comments out on my flow for a while. If I take forever or dump feedback on you, it's not a bad thing - I probably just have a lot of random thoughts, especially if it's a K debate. If it's too fast, too much, it's the end of the day and you want to go to bed, you need to run to another round or prep, etc just let me know I 100% get it.
• Incoherently rapid-spread a million blippy analytics and lose - if you want me to flow your giant analytic wall via online debate without missing anything important, you are going to need at least 3 of the following:  doc was sent out with the analytics in it,  you are at least somewhat clear and aren't going the same speed you go reading a random line in a card,  there's intonation/volume changes when you go from arg to arg and/or on the important terms, or  the arguments are numbered/labelled/separated somehow and you more-or-less stick to the flow when you extend them instead of dropping them in a bunch of random places.
• Don't over-accommodate but don't be mean to traditional/novice debaters - if you're in the top 50% of the pool I will boost speaks if you slow down somewhat (especially on tags), are polite and don't clown on your opponent for not understanding something basic, generally try to be helpful and CX and try to help them understand your arguments if they're confused, etc. Likewise, will drop speaks if your strategy for the W is very blatantly just to spread out a newer kid with a bunch of arguments they've never heard of while being rude to them the whole time.
• I also tend to get progressively stupider as the tournament goes on and I'm sorry if you catch me on the end of day 2 and I'm a little spacey. Tournaments tend to aggravate disability-related things and I burn out especially fast. I can still make coherent decisions, but will just take a little longer and give less concise RFDs. If you're going to break a DA with a super convoluted and nuanced I/L chain or get into a super ticky-tacky phil throw down in R6, please adjust your degree of hand-holding accordingly.
• LARP: This is the style of debate that I mainly coach and am most comfortable with (along with Ks). I'll vote for your totally contrived politics DA and for "heg good outweighs the K/soft left AFF" if you win it on the flow.
Various other things of use:
- I default to presuming NEG, unless the NEG reads a counter-advocacy.
- I also tend to rely on how people explain their arguments and don't do a lot of card reading unless I'm forced to or someone asks me to do it.
- If you're AFF and the NR dropped the AFF so the 2AR is clearly going to be impact v. offcase weighing and then all about the DA or CP or whatever please give me at least 1 sentence about the 1AC scenario somewhere so I know how we got to a certain impact outweighing something else or what the PERM on the CP would look like. If the NC totally drops the AFF and you go for 100% SOL we O/W whatever whatever in the 2AR please give me a sentence in the 1AR about the AFF because it's weird to have it disappear and then reappear and very confusing.
- I'm agnostic on a lot of things that the LARP community seems to be split on and will let it slide or let debaters debate it out in round. If you insert rehighlightings and say in your NC something to the extent of "their ____ scenario is horribly cut - we've inserted the rehighlightings" so I know it's something you meant to insert and not something you didn't read due to time constraints and the other team says nothing, I'll evaluate it. If they read theory, I guess we're having a theory debate now. Same with judge kick - I'll do it if I'm asked to, won't do it if you don't or you do and your opponent wins that I shouldn't for some reason. Multiplank CPs where you kick out of planks, "haha PERM do the CP this is normal means" reveals in the 1AR, etc are all very much in the same camp - I'll roll with it if it's not contested, will evaluate contestation and potentially roll with it anyways otherwise.
• K: I'm generally very down for weird/memey arguments but on god if you choose to pull a bunch of conflicting pomo ev into a doc just so you can spend the round yelling vague buzzwords without making any attempt to say anything specific about the AFF I will tank your speaks. If you're not familiar with whatever you're reading so your arguments or cards you end up cutting aren't phenomenal that's fine. If your K is about the need to sideline the AFF/topic and instead center your performance, community, something else, etc that's that's fine. If you have a genuine defense of why you need to sound like the PoMo generator or remain very nebulous and vague that's fine. I truly don't care what it is you do, but please don't just try to win by being too incoherent/confusing for your opponent.
Other fun things:
• If someone's reading a K vs. you and you're confused, at least 50% of the time in my experience the argument is just incoherent and you should make the common sense "the alt obviously doesn't solve because ___"/"nothing about their K vaguely makes sense"/"___ isn't a link and the card isn't even about the topic or the tag it's something else entirely" argument that's in your head. I keep having to vote for Ks that I know are poorly executed because the other side psychs itself out.
• I vote for K AFFs and I vote for FWK all the time - it usually comes down to which side actually engages the other as opposed to reading generic prewritten overviewy dumps because that's the side that doesn't drop a bunch of things in the 1AR/NR/2AR. I'm down to vote for the "debate is a game and only a game ergo procedural fairness" flavor of FWK as well if you win it, but I very quickly start getting turned off if part of that strategy involves being a jerk to the other side.
• White debaters doing the Race War disclosure stuff confuses me. I'm not opposed to voting on it at all but I simply have no idea what this does so if it's going to be part of your strategy I need you to articulate the I/L link between that and whatever you claim it solves or allows you to do. Strategy-wise, "I'm not ____ but I get to read arguments about ____ group because ____" is a lot more intuitive to me than whatever is going on here.
• If you're going to go for "____ thing that wasn't on-face morally abhorrent is a V/I" I need to hear:  a warrant in both speeches and  some articulation of why this comes before whatever other framing arguments/layers exist in every speech this argument is made in - you can obviously have a lot more extrapolation on #2 when you go for it, but I find it hard to be persuaded by a 5 word argument that only really gets explained at the end of the debate
• Phil: I'm pretty familiar with the literature at this point even though this really wasn't my corner as a debater. A lot of the stuff immediately below applies - phil debates tend to devolve into each side proliferating a bunch of one-liners and then going for three of them without much weighing/etc and that makes it very hard to parse through. When one side says "nuclear bomb kills everyone so we can't enjoy life or discuss values ergo util" and the other side says "adding a circle to a circle doesn't make it more circular ergo kant" it is two ships passing in the night that hurt my brain. Please for the love of God tell me what the implication of you winning something on your end is for the phil debate writ large, why your stuff comes first, how it interacts with what's going on on the other side, etc. If you extend your 3 hot takes on the NC and do 0 actual interaction with the AC FWK or vice-versa you will either lose or have to sit for an hour while I stare at the flow and try to make it make sense.
• T/Theory: I will vote for it; I'll vote for the RVI on it. I don't think my personal opinions on how many condo is ok or semantics matter because it shouldn't factor into how I judge. In the absence of clear warranting from either side, I will obviously be more swayed by nebulous abuse or reasonability claims depending on the context of that specific round. The bullet point about incoherent rapid-spreading analytics definitely applies here - I can't vote for what I can't flow and a few good arguments go so much farther than proliferating random impacts and links that'll just get everyone confused all over the place. It's hard to yell "clear" over Zoom because it cuts out the other person's audio for a second so if you're blitzing through huge walls of text I'm probably going to miss arguments.
If you write the RFD for me in the debate that explains how impacts and layers stack up and weigh, you are overwhelmingly likely to have that be the actual RFD. If you end up neck deep in a super messy and dense theory/T debate and manage to stay organized, clear, and pretty line by line, you will get a 29.5 minimum. My biggest issue with these debates by far is the messiness and lack of weighing on both sides. It is really hard for me to evaluate debates when no one explains why they have the stronger I/L to education, why phil education outweighs topic education, why their NC theory should come before 1AR theory, whether T or theory comes first, etc.
Only other relevant things is that I presume T/Theory > K unless told otherwise and am not the best with grammar so I can flow your upward entailment test argument and vote for you off it, but I don't have more than a surface level understanding of it outside of its strategic value in debate.
• Trix: I've voted for lots of tricks debaters, but think that tricks objectively are all silly and false and have adjusted my threshold for responding to them to a comparable level. My bar for responding is "this is nonsense and you shouldn't vote on it because ___". If there's three hidden words in an analytic wall that are dropped, the threshold changes to the above along with "you should allow this response even though it's new because ____" in the next speech. I'm very sympathetic to newer LDers or policy cross overs losing over mishandling some silly spike they didn't know about and personally took a lot of Ls that way, but if you decide to sit the entire round without making a single argument about why "evaluate the round after the 1AC" is a horrible idea, you will lose to it.
All of the stuff in the T/Theory section about spreading through analytics, the fact that no one weighs or implicates anything, etc all applies.
I am a parent judge. I have only judged one tournament before and also I have never done debate before.
But I would focus on clarity and the message and presentation. Also opponent should be respectful to each other!
Also, please don't spread in the round. I want to clearly understand what is being said.
My email is email@example.com.
Harker '21 - debated for 7 years in LD and Policy
email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy args > Ks >> Phil / Tricks
Vast majority of args I read in my career - i feel very comfortable evaluating these debates, go for it. love to see creative and well-researched strategies, which will be reflected in speaks
impact turns are some of my favorite debates - co2 ag, dedev, etc are all on the table, and good execution will be rewarded with high points.
politics probably a thing, but also probably can lose to smart analytics especially if your cards are bad. that said i'm a sucker for a good politics disad
i lean very heavily towards judge kicking the CP -- probably a really hard uphill battle for the aff to persuade me against that.
i'd be very hard pressed to vote on zero risk.
good for more stock theory args (mostly CP theory) than frivolous theory -- i am more receptive to reasonability and arbitrariness args against spec, new affs bad, etc. good for regular disclosure but not niche args like "round reports", etc
i prefer paragraph theory on the offending page (eg condo on a CP) then as a "new off"
i lean neg on most counterplan theory except for international fiat.
i find competition arguments against cheating counterplans more persuasive than theory arguments
default drop the arg (unless it's condo), competing interps, no rvis
i'll flow by ear for these debates so slow down
have warrants for your arguments beyond "vote aff for deterrence" or similar stuff
better for these debates than you might think based on the arguments I read as a debater. I read through most literature bases during my time as a debater, and I feel comfortable evaluating these debates. 2nr link contextualization (e.g., drawing lines from 1ac/1ar evidence) factors heavily into my decision calculus.
Negs will do best by saliently dealing with the case -- either with robust link turns the case, alt solves the case, and unsustainability arguments, or with a *heavy* push on framework. the case page should make the 2nr. I find critiques of extinction impacts more persuasive than "structural violence outweighs". that said, i think most critiques have more compelling extinction impacts than a good deal of policy affs. i find aff ballots most persuasive when the negative underexplains the reasons behind their structural claims (especially regarding ontology arguments). equally debated, i think the aff generally gets access to the case, but specific framework evidence goes a long way for the negative (especially regarding epistemology claims). ROJ/ROB are silly/contrived mechanisms.
For the aff, I find 2ars on case outweighs or impact turns most compelling. impact turns are often underutilized. please explain perms -- "perm do both perm do the alt perm double bind" in one breath can be answered by a thumbs down from the neg. weighing is most important for me when judging this genre of debates.
between debaters of equal caliber, i think soft left affs would consistently lose to the critique. hard left/topical K affs (that assert a theory of power) seem extremely strategic to me *if* well-researched and germane to the topic.
line by line >>>> big overview
floating piks should be identified in the 1nc.
Prefer affs that are within the parameters of the resolution. better for k affs that have a spin on the topic rather than impact turning every element of limits/debate. if you're negating, i mostly prefer arguments about skills or clash over fairness on framework. K affs probably get perms. the 2nr should cover the case. I think K v K debates can be incredibly interesting (and what I normally went for in these debates), but specific link and alt work by the negative is crucial.
update: *not a good judge for nebel t - i very often vote affirmative in this debates*
probably lean towards competing interps. i'd prefer a substance debate to topicality but good T debates are enjoyable to watch and get good speaks.
i prefer topicality to be well developed in the 1nc, and I find many 2nrs to be almost completely new in explaining their standards. i dislike how prescripted these debates tend to be, especially with regards to nebel T -- I’ll lean against pre scripted nebel 2nrs and underdeveloped 1nc t arguments when pointed out by the aff.
i appreciate philosophical literature but find these debates to usually be exceedingly blippy or underwarranted -- not the judge for you if that's your style. i prefer ACs & NCs with evidence justifying the framework. slow down on dense or niche framework explanations. I did not read these arguments in high school but debated them a number of times.
just read a disad please
"underview" of more than a minute caps your speaks at a 27. please debate the topic.
presumption always flips neg, unless the 2nr includes an advocacy.
Other things --
fine with inserting rehighlightings
i will definitely read your evidence. i'll reward good ev with good speaks, and punish bad ev with bad speaks. evidence quality caps your truth claims, even if they're dropped -- please reference ev quality in your speeches in general (this shouldn't substitute for explanation though). good topic knowledge is also good for speaks
smart analytics can beat bad cards
"independent voters" are usually not independent voters -- i am unlikely to vote for args flagged as such without a theoretical justification for doing so
dropped arguments are still influenced by how true they are -- e.g., dropping no neg arguments is not an issue. i won't be too interventionist/this is more aimed at tricks but dont prioritize lots of terrible blippy offcase or arguments in favor of a smaller more substantive strategy
good humor/sarcasm is very good for speaks
Please no spreading. I can flow debates;however, when speaking extremely fast it becomes hard to follow and as such I will probably miss some of your points and impacts which can affect my decision.
hi! i'm cale
this email works: email@example.com
i also rock with SpeechDrop
i've been coaching & judging since i graduated 7 years ago. the past two years i've mostly been in LD rounds, before that PF.
i'm cool with anything you read and any speed you go as long as you're clear and kind. while i'll evaluate any style, i have a strong preference for clear, well delineated lbl debate. i appreciate if you slow down for tags, and any analytics/shells you extemp.
- i'm not prejudiced against any argument form: these preferences are just an expression of what i'm most comfy judging. do what you do best, just keep in mind i may not be the best for it.
- i am definitely most comfortable in policy, theory, T, cap, and setcol debates (even the most goofy/friv versions of these provided they aren't about your opponent's appearance). if i have to default: t testing, competing interps, yes rvis, but no strong opinions about paradigm issues, just try to centralize them if there's 4+ off. prob lean neg on most cp theory, but read w/e. 3 word perms aren’t arguments.
- i'm inexperienced in phil, tricks, and K debates that aren't cap or setcol. i find myself most lost in rounds with a bunch of one-line pieces of phil offense, and K debates where the 1ar and 2n have humungous overviews that are cross-applied everywhere. if you want to read funny stuff in front of me, i recommend it be a shell or a cheaty counterplan instead of like phil trix.
i'm cool with whatever, just fl in 2nd rebuttal and extend defense the speech after it's answered. plz send docs efficiently and if youre gonna 'preflow,' do it before round :)
Hi! I'm Sam. Harvard Westlake '21, Vanderbilt '25. Email chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org. LD TOC qual 4x (octos soph year, skipped etoc junior year, quarters senior year), 20 bids, won some tournaments (Valley, Yale, Stanford, etc). I mostly read policy args, some basic T/theory, and some Ks/topical K affs (settler colonialism, fem IR, etc). I also coached this past year/am coaching this year, so I have some topic familiarity.
Everything in this paradigm (minus the hard and fast rules) is just a preference - my strongest belief about debate is that it should be a forum for ideological flexibility, creative thinking, and argumentative experimentation. I realized this paradigm was way too long so I tried to bold stuff for pre-round skimming.
Hard and Fast Rules--
Won't vote on any arg that makes debate unsafe. This includes any arg that denies the badness of racism/sexism/etc, or says death good (args like spark/wipeout = ok, cuz it doesn't deny the value of life, it's just fancy util maths that says extinction better preserves the value of life). If your opponent wins your argument is repugnant (absent any larger framing or judge instruction), I'll drop the argument, unless you presented your argument with the agreement that it was repugnant (ie, if you admit your position is racist, but attempt to say that doesn't matter), in which case I will consider your repugnance purposeful and drop you.
Ev ethics - stake the round on it (ie W30 to the person who is right and an L with the lowest possible speaks to the other) if evidence is misrepresented (an omitted section contradicts or meaningfully alters the meaning of the card). I think a good litmus test for misrepresentation is: does the article agree with the claims presented in the card? If it's missing a sentence or two at the beginning/end of a paragraph but it doesn't change the meaning of the card, you're better off reading it as theory. To make everyone's life easier, just cut ev well (this means full citations, full paragraphs, in alignment with the author's intent).
Clipping = an L with the lowest speaks I can give.
Speaks are my choice, not yours (put away 30 speaks theory).
For online debate, I expect that you record all your speeches in case you, your opponent, or I drops out.
Defaults: reasonability on theory, competing interps on t, drop the debater on t/theory, no RVIs, T>theory>everything else, comparative worlds, fairness + education are voters, policy presumption, epistemic confidence
^All those can be easily changed with a sentence.
K debate - Line by line >> long overviews. Winning overarching claims about the world is helpful, but you need to apply those claims to the specifics of your opponents arguments or else I will not do those interactions for you. Framework is important (honestly most of the times in K v policy debates, the person who wins fw wins the round). Links to the plan are preferred, but not necessary - the less specific your links, the more fw matters, and the more persuasive the permutation is. I also tend to think debate should be about arguments, not people, which means I'll likely be unpersuaded by personal attacks or "vote for me" arguments. I'm more persuaded by skills impacts on T Framework than fairness, and more persuaded by non topical affs that impact turn things than try to find a middle ground.
Policy - Yay! Zero risk not a thing but arguments still must be complete to be evaluated. Underdeveloping off in the 1nc = they get less weight in the 2nr. Rebuttal ev explanation > initial ev quality, but if your opponent's ev sucks and you point that out, that falls under the first category. Read your best evidence in the 1NC - I'll be persuaded by arguments that the 2NR doesn't get new evidence unless it's directly responsive to the 1AR.Big fan of creative counterplans <3.
Theory - PICs and condo are probably good. Cheating CPs (international fiat, agent, process etc) are a bit more suspicious. All of this is up for debate. Descriptions of side bias are not standards. The more frivolous the shell = the truer reasonability and DTA are, and the lower the bar for answers. On that note, reasonability and DTA are under-utilized.
Philosophy - Not the area i'm the most comfortable in, but I'll try my best. I'd love to see a well explained phil debate, but I will not enjoy a blippy phil round that borders closer to tricks debate. I'd rather you leverage your syllogism to exclude consequences rather than relying on calc indicts. Debaters should take advantage of nonsensical contention args.
Tricks - I don't think a model of debate predicated on the avoidance of clash (ie relying on concessions) is an educational model. My test for whether an argument falls under this model of debate is: ask yourself if you would be willing to go for an argument if it was responded to competently. The same idea also extends to the formatting of your argument (ie you should delineate + thoroughly explain all your arguments with clear implications). I won't purposefully insert my personal beliefs about the value of tricks debates into the round, but it does mean that I'll probably be more receptive to arguments that indict tricks debate as a model. Some arguments are truer than others, and it's easier to win true arguments in front of me than false ones. I also default comparative worlds, and have given more than one RFD that boils down to "X trick was won but there's no truth testing ROB under which it matters." Up-layering tricky affs with Ks or strategic theory is smart, and when leveraged correctly make claims of new 2NR responses more persuasive.
Lay - I have respect for good lay debaters since I know I could never be one. That said, I will definitely evaluate the debate on a technical level regardless of the style. Good lay debaters can beat circuit debaters by strategically isolating key arguments. Circuit debaters vs lay debaters don't need to modify their style of debate, but should do everything they can to be accessible (explain stuff in CX, send docs, etc) (same applies to debates where there is a large skill gap).
Misc - My threshold for independent voters is high. Emphasizing this after a couple rounds where it's been relevant.
Tech > truth, but separating the two is silly. The more counter-intuitive an argument, the higher the bar for winning it, and the lower the threshold for responses. Saying "nuclear war bad" probably requires less warranting than "nuclear war good" cuz the second one has the burden of proof to overcome the intuitive logical barrier to its truth value.
I'll deal with irresolvability using the "needs test" - the burden of proof falls on the side that "needs" to win the argument (ie the burden of proof is on the neg in the perm debate because the neg needs to beat the perm, but the aff doesn't need to win the perm).
I won't vote on arguments telling me to "evaluate the entire debate after X speech" that are introduced in X speech - it generates a contradiction. Also, as a wise man once said, the 2AR is after all the speeches before it - interpret this as you choose.
Likes: plans bad 2NR on semantics if you understand the grammar behind it and are not reading someone else's blocks, creative and non-offensive policy impact turns, creative process CPs (no this is not the ICJ CP or consult the WTO), plan affs (yes I realize this contradicts with my first like), multiple shells bad, Ks with links to the plan, presumption/case presses vs non T affs, topical K affs, reasonability/DTA on frivolous theory, collapsing, flashing analytics
Dislikes: the grammar DA, RVIs, plans bad 2NR on semantics when you don't understand the grammar behind it, plans bad 2NR that's just reading off someone else's doc with no topic specific analysis, standard spec, buffet 2NRs, hidden args, non T affs that are an FYI not an advocacy, combo shells that don't solve their offense, "strat skew", "this argument is bad" [then doesn't explain why the argument is bad], "that's an independent voting issue" [doesn't explain why it's a voting issue past just the label] (this also applies to 1AR arguments not labelled as voting issues that magically become voting issues in the 2AR), "what's a floating PIK" "what's an a priori", being rude or interrupting your opponent (especially if you're more experienced or in a position of power) (at best it adds nothing at worse it's unkind)
Add me to the chain: email@example.com
tldr: My name is Jonathan Meza and I believe that at the end of the day the debate space is yours and you should debate however you want this paradigm is just for you to get an insight on how I view debate. One thing is I won't allow any defense of offensive -isms, if you have to ask yourself "is this okay to run in front of them ?" the answer is probably no. I reserve the right to end the debate where I see fit, also don't call me judge I feel weird about it, feel free to call me Meza or Jonathan.
truth ≥ tech
1 - Larp/K
2. K affs
4-5. tricks or Phil
about me: Assistant debate coach for Harvard Westlake (2022-). Debated policy since 2018 that is my main background even tho I almost only judge LD now. Always reppin LAMDL. I don't like calling myself a "K debater" but I stopped reading plan affs since 2019 I still coach them tho and low key (policy v k > K v K). went 7 off with Qi bin my senior year of high school but not gonna lie 1-5 quality off case positions better than 7+ random shells.
topicality: if you are going for topicality or any theory argument in the 2ar/2nr you need to extend interpretations, violations, and standards. Standards must have impacts fairness and education is not super persuasive and will probably lean to reasonability.
Plan Affirmatives: I am born to write quirky interesting affs but forced to 2n. I appreciate affirmatives with the strong internal link chains and having an actual solvency advocate as well as a aff key warrant. also some of you are not reading a different aff against K teams and I think you should, it puts you in a good place to beat the K otherwise you do you extinction probably outweighs ???? the match up is still winable.
K affirmatives: I love topic oriented K affs but non topical affirmatives are fine too just please please please tell me what I am voting on. against framework I really need you to provide a role of the negative. counter interps > straight impact turns. I do tend to lean framework in these debates but not in a "white judge tryna gatekeep out black debaters" way but in a "debate is a game and games need models or there needs to be an explanation why models are bad"
Framework: Explain why your model is a good one for access and competition fairness is probably not an impact but I can be convinced otherwise. I think framework into a K aff should be a 60/40 match up but you just need to focus up and answer their impact turns and counter interps best way to frame the argument is "we don't exclude them but they exclude us".
Kritiks: I am a big fan of one off K especially in a format such as LD that does not give you much time to explain things already reading other off case positions with the kritik is a disservice to yourself. My background is mainly in Afropess, Ableism, Setcol, and other PoMo literature but please do not assume I know what you are talking about. I like seeing reps kritiks but you need to go hard on framing and explain why reps come first or else the match up becomes borderline unwinnable when policy teams can go for extinction outweighs reps in the late game speeches. Generic links are fine but you need to contextualize in the NR/block.
Counterplans and Disadvantages: make sure that your counterplans are textually competitive some of them are already cheaty enough. Well explained net benefits to the CP is a must. I like interesting process counterplans. link contextualization is key. specific links are even better. I love good impact calc debates. please explain the internal link chain.
theory: go for it ! explanation of violation is vital need to know what is a voter and why I appreciate and will award with extra speaks for staking the debate on theory as oppose to having it be a short blippy extension in the 2ar/2nr/NR.
inspirations: DSRB, LaToya,Travis, CSUF debate, Jared, Long beach debate.
speaker points: some judges have really weird standards of giving them out. if I you are clear enough for me to understand and show that you care you will get high speaks from me. I do reward strategic spins tho. I will do my best to be equitable with my speak distribution.
quotes from GOATs:
- "debate is persuasive activity" - one of my debaters
- "debate is a game" - Vontrez
- "ew Debate" - Isaak
- "voted for heg good" - Jared
TL;DR: don't speak quickly; read fewer, better-explained positions; I am a non-intervenant till you complete your arguments.
I aim to be as tab as possible as long as the round remains safe for the debaters. I'll try to assume whatever the debaters assume so that I minimize intervention. If both debaters assume fairness is a voter, then I'll assume that it's a voter, even if it's not explicitly justified.
Please speak relatively slowly and place emphasis on your words! I do not flow off speech docs. I think that slowing down improves people's efficiency greatly, so there's little tradeoff between speed and number of arguments. This does not mean I would penalise you for speaking faster, I would still credit you similarly for all the arguments I can understand. Given all this, if you're going fast, don't get upset at me for missing some of your arguments.
I will try to average 28 speaks, but who knows if that'll happen -- I bet I'll inflate. You can get higher speaks by being persuasive, clear, efficient, creative, and strategic. You can get lower speaks by doing the opposite.
If you are debating against someone with clearly less knowledge about debate than you have (e.g., you're an experienced debater debating an inexperienced one), please make the round as accessible to both debaters as possible. If you can only win with obscure positions and debate jargon, then debate has failed you; you're not good at debating, you're just good at playing inside baseball. (For the same reason, I would prefer that debaters read arguments that I can understand without being an expert in the relevant area of academia/public policy/whatever the current debate trend is. My role is not to be an educator, but nonetheless I would prefer that debaters have rounds that are fun to judge and educational.)
That concludes the important part of my paradigm. Here are some random paradigmatic thoughts (although this list is tentative and incomplete):
- I don't need voters on a theory shell to be extended unless contested.
- I default truth testing.
Online Debate : You should record your own speeches. Be prepared to send them if the wifi goes out mid-speech. No re-giving speeches.
Misc stuff :
Don't cheat. Disclose. Clipping = L25
"There is no "flow clarification" time slot in a debate. If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, you must do it in CX or prep -- better yet, flow!" - Danielle Dosch
I don’t care if an argument is a “voting issue." Tell me why that matters. Same goes for "terminal defense" and "zero risk" -- these words mean nothing to me.
Strong impact calculus wins debates
2AR and 2NR impact calculus arguments are not new (2AR turns case arguments are new though)
I'm flowing CX. Treat it like a speech, not prep.
Your 1NC should always answer the case.
I'll only vote for an argument if I heard it and can reasonably explain it.
Know your positions well; it will win you debates.
I'm of the belief that conditionality is good. More than 2 is pushing it. When answering condo, the 2NR needs to do impact calculus. “Cheaty” counterplans are smart and should be included in more 1NCs. Will judge kick if you tell me to! (so do)
Negating: Links must be tailored to the aff. A good kritik with disagrees with and disproves the affirmative. Ideally, your 1NC should include a link wall.
Affirming: Make the debate about your aff! The case outweighs. Answer -- and ask about -- the alternative. Impact turn when you can.
Affirming: Arguably most important to me is a coherent counter-interp. Explain your offense and make it super clear which affs would be allowed under your interpretation.
Negating: I think one-off framework is a smart strategy (especially if you have no idea how to give a 2NR on the other positions you're filling the 1NC with.) Fairness is an impact but you need to explain it as such.
If you're reading FW, answer the case. FW 2NRs must be thorough. Don't rely on your 5 minute overview to answer every 1AR argument -- it probably won't.
I believe that framework serves as impact calculus, not a preclusive impact filter. I can be persuaded otherwise.
Read NC's! But answer the case
I like reasonability. The more frivolous an argument is, the lower the threshold I have for responding to it.
This is the LD paradigm. Do a Ctrl+F search for “Policy Paradigm” or “PF Paradigm” if you’re looking for those. They’re toward the bottom.
I debated LD in high school and policy in college. I coach LD, so I'll be familiar with the resolution.
If there's an email chain, you can assume I want to be on it. No need to ask. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. For online debates, NSDA file share is equally fine.
Summary for Prefs
I've judged 1,000+ LD rounds from novice locals to TOC finals. I don't much care whether your approach to the topic is deeply philosophical, policy-oriented, or traditional. I do care that you debate the topic. Frivolous theory or kritiks that shift the debate to some other proposition are inadvisable.
Yale '21 Update
I've noticed an alarming uptick in cards that are borderline indecipherable based on the highlighted text alone. If the things you're saying aren't forming complete and coherent sentences, I am not going to go read the rest of the un-underlined text and piece it together for you.
Topicality is good. There's not too many other theory arguments I find plausible.
Most counterplan theory is bad and would be better resolved by a "Perm do the counterplan" challenge to competition. Agent "counterplans" are never competitive opportunity costs.
I don’t have strong opinions on most of the nuances of disclosure theory, but I do appreciate good disclosure practices. If you think your wiki exemplifies exceptional disclosure norms (open source, round reports, and cites), point it out before the round starts, and you might get +.1-.2 speaker points.
If the strategic value of your argument hinges almost entirely on your opponent missing it, misunderstanding it, or mis-allocating time to it, I would rather not hear it. I am quite willing to give an RFD of “I didn’t flow that,” “I didn’t understand that,” or “I don’t think these words in this order constitute a warranted argument.” I tend not to have the speech document open during the speech, so blitz through spikes at your own risk.
The above notwithstanding, I have no particular objection to voting for arguments with patently false conclusions. I’ve signed ballots for warming good, wipeout, moral skepticism, Pascal’s wager, and even agenda politics. What is important is that you have a well-developed and well-warranted defense of your claims. Rounds where a debater is willing to defend some idiosyncratic position against close scrutiny can be quite enjoyable. Be aware that presumption still lies with the debater on the side of common sense. I do not think tabula rasa judging requires I enter the round agnostic about whether the earth is round, the sky is blue, etc.
Warrant quality matters. Here is a non-exhaustive list of common claims I would not say I have heard a coherent warrant for: permissibility affirms an "ought" statement, the conditional logicspike, aff does not get perms, pretty much anything using the word “indexicals.”
I don’t know what the precise threshold for a “spike” or “trick” is supposed to be and so am generally skeptical of theory arguments claiming to indict them. I think I already naturally judge in a way that makes abuse of such tactics unstrategic, so you shouldn’t worry about needing to police your opponent’s use of them.
The neg’s burden is to negate the topic, not whatever word, claim, assumption, or framework argument you feel like.
Calling something a “voting issue” does not make it a voting issue.
The texts of most alternatives are too vague to vote for. It is not the opponent's burden to spend their cross-ex clarifying your advocacy for you.
Jan-Feb '23 note: This topic sure has a lot of critical literature and is even worded in an arguably rather utopian fashion. There's a lot one could do here within the confines of affirming/negating the resolution.
I am pretty well-read in analytic philosophy, but the burden is still on you to explain your argument in a way that someone without prior knowledge could follow.
I am not well-read in continental philosophy, but read what you want as long as you can explain it and its relevance to the topic.
You cannot “theoretically justify” specific factual claims that you would like to pretend are true. If you want to argue that it would be educational to make believe util is true rather than actually making arguments for util being true, then you are welcome to make believe that I voted for you. Most “Roles of the Ballot” are just theoretically justified frameworks in disguise.
CX matters. If you can't or won't explain your arguments, you can't win on those arguments.
Regarding flex prep, using prep time for additional questions is fine; using CX time to prep is not.
LD paradigm ends here.
Yes I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
For debates on the NSDA Campus platform, Fire Share is equally fine.
Summary for Prefs
I qualified to the NDT a few times at GSU. I now actively coach and judge LD.
The affirmative should defend a topical USFG policy. The negative should prove that the status quo or a competitive USFG policy is preferable to the affirmative. I'll vote for arguments outside of those parameters if you win them, but I highly doubt I'm a good judge for them.
Quarry Lane is my first tournament judging Water, so assume close to zero knowledge of the topic and the meta, but I sure would love to judge some rounds that teach me new things about the details of water resources.
I don't think there's any numerical limit on the number of advocacies the neg can introduce, but I do have a strong distaste for underdeveloped arguments, so only include as many counterplans as you can make a full and complete argument for in the 1NC.
Neg leaning on cheaty counterplan theory. Aff leaning on cheaty counterplan competition. As aff leaning as it is possible to be on agent counterplan competition. An action by a different agent is never an opportunity cost.
I do find existential risk literature interesting, but I dislike the lazy strategy of reading a card that passingly references nuke war/terrorism/warming and tagging it as "extinction."
Straight turns are great turns.
Topics DAs >> Politics.
Topicality is important. It matters a lot to me that both sides have a fair chance to win the round. You should defend the topic that your opponents prepared to debate.
If you'd like to leverage some dense philosophy in support of a USFG policy, by all means go hog wild.
Very aff leaning on framework. Your burden is to prove that the plan is a bad idea, not that some assumption your opponent made is.
K alts: I will not vote for an argument I did not understand in the 1NC. I will not vote for an argument you spend half of cross-ex dodging questions about. These are general rules that apply to all arguments, but debaters seem to mistakenly believe kritik alternatives get a pass.
9 November 2018 Update (Peach State Classic @ Carrollton):
While my background is primarily in LD/Policy, I do not have a general expectation that you conform to LD/Policy norms. I do however prefer directly quoted evidence over paraphrasing.
I have zero tolerance for evidence fabrication. If I ask to see a source you have cited, and you cannot produce it or have not accurately represented it, you will lose the round with low speaker points.
Add me on the email chain now rather than later (if there is one)
Time yourself. Tag teams fine. Don't be explicit about your racism/sexism if you don't want me to evaluate it. Evaluations tbd.
"Anyone not ready?" doesn't work in online debate. If my camera is off, then you can presume that I am not ready.
Clarity is a prerequisite for me flowing the debate. If I have to say clear more than 3 times, I will stop. Any instances of clipping will stop the round and be an auto loss.
Debated in policy - 3 years in high school, 2 years in college, qual'd to the NDT / broke at majors. I was taught debate by Scott Odekirk, and I was coached through college by Ryan Wash. I was double 2's during most of my years as a debater. I only read non-topical affirmatives based on postcolonial feminist understandings, usually with a performance method. As negative, if I’m being honest, I usually went for presumption and case negs, but I also flexed with DA/CPs/variety of Ks, including different authors inside of postmodernism, cap, feminism and colonialism.
I flow on my laptop straight down. I think card quality is important in the sense that it shouldn't be cast aside as a) author credibility only being something PF discusses b) overcharged tag lines being accepted as fact and c) presumably having warrants for each of the claims that you are asserting. I will read the cards that are referenced in the last speeches.
I think I have a lower threshold for presumption arguments. I usually believe going into a round that most affirmatives don't solve as much as they say they do nor do they have internal link scenarios that are as cohesive as their tag lines would suggest. The first thing I look at after round is whether the burden of proof (however that is defined based on the framework of the debate) for the aff has been met.
If you are reading a kritik, I believe a method is necessary.
If you have a topical plan - please write out the full version of acronyms under tags if they are not in the body of the card or your tags themselves. I don't usually research the topic prior to judging at a tournament, so there are some terms that may not be familiar to me even if they are a common phrase under the topic.
Framework vs K Affs
I view these debates as competing models of the activity. Debate is inherently competitive, but how we compete is also important. I am not easily persuaded by "you destroy the activity" impacts. I prefer arguments centered around creating better interactions, whether that be a dialogue, political, accessible, fair, educational, etc, and default to how that affects debaters. If you want me to default to something else, please tell me in your speech.
Connect the theories to events / experiences / history and the affirmative if you want to make it more compelling for me. Connecting it to the affirmative may seem self evident with the K requiring a link and all (at least if you want to win), but in most debates I find myself not being told how the K relates to the answers the aff has given or certain parts of the AC. I'm not saying you need a link for every word they say, but that a link to the story of the affirmative is important sans an explanation of why the part you are critiquing comes before or outweighs others parts of the aff.
Be explicit about the NB in the 1NC. I do think some CPs cheat more than others, but have not seen enough tricky counterplan strategies to have a strong opinion on whether some are just bad for debate. Feel more than welcome to inform me through a theory debate.
I have a very vague understanding of Politics DA theory, so if you're going for it you should contextualize it to the round (ex. winding way, bottom of the docket, anything w fiat).
Offense > Generic Defense @ 2AC/AR’s
Enunciate as much as you can or slow down on your blocks for theory. It always seems like going bloop bloop bloop fairness and education is a common practice, and like I said at the top, clarity is a prereq to me flowing.
Everything is up for debate as far as what should be done in debate.
My third grade knowledge of grammar is not thriving. Any standard relying on English grammar tests runs the risk of my Google interpretation being incorrect.
Please feel free to email with questions!
A bit about me: I'm a PhD student in History. I have degrees in International Studies and PoliSci. DId PF in high school.
I will always do my best to minimize intervention within the round — this is your time to be creative with your arguments and to have fun with developing your own style of debate.
I am generally open to any arguments, but especially love to see how far left you can go with each argument.
If you treat novices/obviously less-experienced debaters with anything but the same respect you'd want in a round, you will not pick up my ballot. Debate is an educational activity. I really value debaters who try their best to interpret the debate in the most humane and just way possible. I will not tolerate homophobic, sexist, racist, etc. arguments in debate.
Please refer to Charles Karcher's paradigm!
I don't encourage you to speak quickly if it's a virtual tournament - hardly anyone speaks clearly enough for it to translate well over a Zoom/Jitsi call. However, speaking quickly is different than spreading. If you spread (which if fine with me), send over the doc first or else I won't be able to flow.
If you don't contextualize the argument, I will do it myself and you don't want that. also please engage with the framework debate as soon as it's brought up in round.
YOU CANNOT AND WILL NOT WILL EVERY ARGUMENT. Collapse, collapse, collapse.
The earlier you start weighing, the better the round will be for you. I won't weigh anything in FF if it's not in summary (please condense and weigh impacts in these two speeches rather than going line-by-line.)
Please answer defense.
If you bring theory/spreading into a PF round, I will automatically drop you and your speaks will be a 25.
My pronouns are he/him. I'm a parent judge. I'll try to be completely tabula rasa, but I do not understand spreading. Add me to the email chain; my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Healthcare Topic:
I'm a Doctor and a Bioethicist by trade, so what you're debating is my career and passion. Don't oversimplify for me. I tend to look at this Debate more from an ethical perspective than an implementation one. Don't take this to mean I've picked a side on this Debate: I'm still debating the merits of Universal Healthcare myself, so you have a lot of argumentative leeway.
I'll time your speeches for you, and I'm not lenient on prep. Be respectful to your opponent.
I like Policy Debates, but I want you to justify your framework. I really like non-extinction impacts. Buzzwords mean nothing to me. "The Value is Morality" is a meaningless term – all values claim morality.
I'm cool with Kritiks, but I need to know how the Alternative solves materially. I can be swayed on the Role of the Ballot. I'm willing to vote on Identity arguments. I can go either way on Kritik Affirmatives, but don't assume I know your literature base.
I'm fine with Theory, but again, buzzwords mean nothing to me. I view abuse claims as high-risk and high-reward, so I will vote on RVIs. Disclosure 30 minutes before round is good.
No trix pls
Speaker points are 26-up unless you're rude. I allocate them half based on delivery and half on substance.
I really enjoy an intelligent exchange of ideas, and the art of debate is important to me.
You can email me to ask questions before round for clarification.
Email: email@example.com [Add me to the chain]
About me: I debated in Texas mostly in LD (TFA, TOC, NSDA) and some Policy (TFA). I debated at Northwestern for a little. I teach at an LD camp in the summer.
- Tech > Truth
- Assume I don't know much about the topic or about your author or philosopher I
- I'll listen to anything but its still your obligation to explain your position
- I'm not flowing off the doc and won't look at the doc/cards unless I need to after the round (9/10 times I don't need to)
- Don't wait for me for the email chain, I'll get it if I need it post round
- I flow what I hear not what I read - if I miss any analytics that are blitzed through, thats your fault
- Its your job to explain and extend cards properly
- Clipping and evidence ethics violations are left in the hands of the debaters
- Prep time ends when the doc is *compiled and ready to be sent.
- PLEASE BE CLEAR. I will yell CLEAR if you are not clear. CLEAR doesn't mean SLOW
- You can debate whatever and however you want as long as you're not violent and you do not make the space unsafe
- Decision calc is who has the most offense under the highest framework - this means frame your impacts and weigh your impacts. Else I'm presuming util
- Don't start at full speed and slow down on tags/analytics/theory. Go as fast as you want as long as you are CLEAR.
- ****I don't know analytic philosophy or LD fw tricks. I'm willing to evaluate and listen to this, but for dense/intricate philosophical debates please slow down and explain or else things will go over my head.
- I like good theory debates but HATE bad ones. I won't categorically reject bad theory argument, my threshold for responses will be low though
- You will auto-lose if you clip cards or falsely accuse. You will lose for evidence ethics violations.
- You will get good speaks if you give good speeches (good overviews, line by line, and crystallization) and don't debate like a robot.
- I don't care how far away or how close to the topic you are but you should justify your practice. I love a good T-FW debate and can/will vote for either side in these debates
- If there's an important CX concession, please flag it and/or get my attention in case I have zoned out
Observations from judging:
- Debaters seem to give black examples when I'm judging and this sometimes makes me uncomfortable. e.g "so you're saying if I were to punch a black person in the face for no reason, your fw justifies that"
- Graphic descriptions of antiblack violence triggers me. Also please examine your relationship to blackness and antiblack violence
- If you want me to judge kick the cp, please make the argument and justify it. I won't make assumptions for you
- Just because someone makes a bad theory argument doenst mean you don't have to answer it. Dont assume that I "obviously know that this is frivolous theory"
- ****I've noticed Util v Kant debates to be confusing. Please give me big picture explanations for why to prefer your FW. Don't just do the line by line and expect me to decipher through it. I will be confused, you must tell me meta level decision making reasons to prefer you FW.
- Referencing college teams or other teams doesn't really get you anywhere, "our models allows for Iowa ST vs Berkeley FU debates" I simply do not know or give a _____ about these teams
The Long Version:
- I don't care what you do or read but assume I know ABSOLUTELY nothing. I'm willing to listen to anything as long as you explain it to me. But Assume I am unfamiliar with your position and debate accordingly. Don't think that I accept common norms even those widely accepted by others. I don't default to anything, and you should obviously direct me when it comes to paradigm issues. Treat me like some random dude on the street who's pretty logical.
- Please for the love of God be CLEAR. High School debaters are incredibly unclear and judges are only pretending to flow you. One thing that really grinds my gears is when the 1AC is incomprehensible, (no judge yells clear for one reason or another) then the 1NC takes that as leeway to be equally (or even more) incomprehensible and then none of the constructives are flown. I feel more and more comfortable voting for one side simply because they were clearer and I understood their argument and didn't have to reconstruct the round for them using docs. You don't need to be blitzing through card tags/analytics/blocks/theory. If you're not doing at least an hour of speaking drills a week you're doing something wrong.
- As far as policy goes, I didn't compete in the event long enough or intensely enough to know or really care about the "norms." This means for example I don't "obviously know that process cp's are cheating." This doesn't mean that you can just say anything though. Like sure I'm probably more willing to listen to 4 condo good than the next judge, but that's still an uphill battle for you.
- If you need to know something specifically ask before the round.
- Good luck, do your thing, and have fun!
Fun Stats (Update 1/20/2023)
I've judged 400+ rounds including a ton of LD, a good chunk of CX, less than 12 PF, and 2 WSD.
Stats from rounds currently recorded in tabroom including all the above events:
- Percentage voting Aff: 43.4%
- Percentage voting Neg: 56.6%
- Number of panels: 100+
- Percentage of time I sat: 18.63% :/ #Maverick #Rebel
4 years at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, 3 years at University of Pittsburgh, NDT Semi-Finalist among other things
Be persuasive, do what you do well, but remember you're more than a debate round.
I think the goal of debate is to invoke strategies that compel judges to articulate a nuanced analysis as to why the ballot they chose was preferable to the alternative. The most transformative educational moments come out of this dynamic and nearly everything else is subsidiary. Any style of debate that you choose revolves around this outcome, even if it is a meta-theoretical question about ethics or the function of debate. I believe most 'hot takes' about debate miss the point of the activity and negatively impact debaters' perceptions about work, community, and the outside world.
Defend what you're doing in a debate if it's questioned. Be ready to explain why your position is desirable, especially if it is nontraditional. Always keep in mind that just because you're right doesn't change that you're still a debater doing debate. Explain what parts of the cards you think justify your argument and which cards to look at if needed.
Do not read arguments in front of me just because you think it will appeal to me. My specific thoughts on topicality, kritiks, and other 'important' positions do not and should not guide how you approach those topics on a substance or strategic level since every debater approaches debate according to their strengths. I prefer to vote for a good debater over an argument that is good in theory.
Please think about what will encourage the strongest analysis by the end of the debate over arguments that waste time, are unfamiliar to you, or otherwise have no strategic value.
Speaker points are awarded based on how persuasive and engaging you are. That sounds nebulous because speaker points are subjective. I believe I'm generous with them.
I prefer debates with fewer sheets. I don't like to keep up with incredibly fast debates but I will . Essentially, don't spread faster than is comprehensible without following along your own blocks.
Just make it make sense.
A dropped argument is not a true argument, though it may be persuasive.
Micro-aggressions exist. Be cognizant. Sass is always welcome though. As with all else, just do it well or don't do it at all.
Hiya! I’m Indu. A little about me... I debated for Harvard-Westlake for 4 years (graduated in 2018), qualified to the TOC 3 times, had 10 career bids, and won a couple of tournaments/cleared at the TOC. I previously coached at Harvard-Westlake for a few months and then coached at The Harker School for four years. I just graduated from Harvard in 2022 and now I work in non-profit. I take the she series (she/her/hers) and I don't mind if you use the they series to refer to me.
I want to be on the email chain. Your opponent should also be on it. **Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out girlsdebate.org – it has free resources, like cards and videos, as well as blog articles about being a woman or other marginalized debater.
Update for Blake 2022: I (soft) retired from debate after the 21-22 season, but realistically I've only been out of the activity for three months so do with that what you will. I should be able to keep up with whatever is happening. All of my paradigm still applies.
Top Level (this is all you really need to know):
- Debate is about arguments/ideas and not individual people. You all are children and creating an actively hostile environment doesn’t really jive with me.
- I can’t vote on arguments that are immediately evident to me to be false. By that I mean, if you read a theory shell or make a competition arg and you are just objectively wrong about the violation, I cannot see myself being compelled to vote for you.
- I don’t really know how to classify myself on the weird “truth” vs “tech”/”flow”/”tab” spectrum – I just want people to be reasonable. That means I’ll lean heavily on the flow, but if you make arguments that are self-evidently ridiculous or underdeveloped it won’t float my boat.
- I love CX!!! Like, seriously. It’s my favorite part of debate. A good CX is killer, and I’ll give good speaks for it.
- Sexism, racism, etc are obviously nonstarters.
- I’ll try to give everyone in the round a fair shake even if you read arguments I never did in high school, I’ve never met you before, etc. Likewise, I expect everyone in the round to treat me with respect. Post-rounding is cool, and people have important questions to ask. Just take a deep breath and avoid insults, yelling, etc.
- I flow. Just wanted to throw that out there.
- WEIGH PLEASE. Most post-rounding is a result of a lack of weighing, and I don't feel particularly bad if I drop you because you didn't make a single comparative statement for 45 minutes.
- I'd prefer if you all regulate yourselves. By that I mean that you should hold each other accountable for speech times, CX, etc. If there's some clear age/experience/other factor that seems to prevent one party from having an equal opportunity to control the round, I will step in. This will likely be pretty uncommon.
- In the era of online debate, I ask that debaters maintain a "professional" environment. Please hold yourself like you would in a classroom setting and situate yourself in a neutral environment. It's important that all debaters, observers, and judges feel comfortable in the "room". (Sit up at a table if possible, remove things from your background you wouldn't want your teacher to see, wear tournament appropriate clothing (be fully dressed....)) This has not been an issue for me thus far, but I want to establish these boundaries in advance.
- Start at 60-70% speed and build up to max speed. I have trouble hearing people if they start at full speed online. Please also locally record your speeches (i.e. record your speech on your phone/computer). In the event the call drops, this is the only way for me to go back and listen to your speech.
More specific things below. Honestly, you can change my mind on most of this stuff, and I’ll really try my best to give you a fair shot at winning these arguments. I just know as a debater I appreciated when judges put their default views on things in their paradigm to ease pre-round anxiety.
Cards are cool------------X---------------------------------Tons of spin
Evidence comparison-X--------------------------------------------Make Indu flip a coin
Conditionality bad-----------------------------------------X----Conditionality good
States CP good (+ uniformity)----------X-----------------------------------States bad
Agent, process CPs, PICs -----------------X---------------------------Boooooooo
Impact Calc------------------------------------------X--IMPACT CALC!!!!
4 second competition arguments -------------------------------------------X-- Real competition arguments
Answering straight turns --X-----------------------------------------— Aggressive eye roll
Overviews so long my hand cramps --------------------------------X------------- Line by line
What does [INSERT CONFUSING K THING HERE] mean? ------X---------------------------------------Smoke bomb!
Specific links to the aff ------------X---------------------------------Generic links
Hashing out what it means to vote AFF/NEG -X-------------------------------------------- ???????
Starting from the assumption certain arguments are true ----------------------------------------X----- Argument humility
The aff does literally anything -X---------------------------------------- Nothingness for 6 minutes
Explain the perm -X---------------------------------- hehehe perm: do both, perm: double bind, perm: do the alt & make Indu mad
COLLAPSING TO A FEW CORE ARGS IN THE 2NR/AR -XXXXXXX---------------------------------------- ha ha no
Making framing args in the 1NC/1AR --X----------------------------------------------------- me arbitrarily weighing based on my ~vibes~
Mix-and-match buy-1-get-1-free kitchen sink theory interps -----------------------------------------X- Debating?
Defend the topic!--------------------X------------------------- Completely non-T
Fairness/Limits good---------------X------------------------------Nope nope nope
Slowing down on analytics & interps -XXXXXX--------------------------------------------------- LKDFGLJEOIKDFGLKJFDGL
Super structured LD froufrou shell -------------------------------------------------X---------- [Thingy] is a voting issue because ground blah blah
Shells that are actually just substantive -------------------------------------------X- make a substance arg?
Arbitrariness bad --X--------------------------------------------------------------------- hyper specific shells
Definition comparison in T debates --X-------------------------------------------------- weighing is overrated
Read a violation card in a T shell -X-------------------------------------------------------- assert a violation and hope for the best
Explain atypical framework ---X------------------------------------------ Assume Indu understands 400 WPM metaphysics at 8 AM
Straight up -X-------------------------------------------- Tricks and memery
Collapse to a few core arguments ----------X----------------------------------- Everything
Actually having offense under your FW -X----------------------------------------------- 1 sentence analytic... ???
- Please enunciate and be clear. If I clear you, it’s not because you’re going too fast, it’s because you are nearing or already are incomprehensible. Trust me – you can be fast while still making words come out of your mouth.
- Have some personality! I really enjoy people making some jokes, sarcasm, etc.
- I’m very expressive during round. I don’t really try to suppress in any way. Do with that what you will.
- Disclosure and being straight-up at the flip/disclosing cases pre-round/other related practices are good!
- Cheating accusations: you can stake the round on these. Tab could get involved. Have audio/video evidence of clipping. If a debater makes the clipping accusation, I will rely on the Tabroom provided clipping policy (if available) to make my decision and for guidance on how to proceed. Similarly, if a debater makes an evidence ethics challenge, I will rely on Tabroom's guidance when possible.
- Clipping: I've dropped a handful of people for clipping. I read along and feel comfortable dropping debaters regardless of if an accusation has been made by the other debater. If clipping happens once, I usually chalk it up to a mistake. When I do drop you, please be assured you were clipping egregiously (usually 3+ words) and consistently (usually 2+ cards). I've never dropped someone for clipping if they were super unclear, but I'm comfortable doing so if I've cleared multiple times, I'm ignored when I say clear multiple times, and the level of clarity is so poor such that a reasonable person could not discern which words were read and which weren't. Please don't cheat. I'm happy to have a conversation with debaters and their coaches during these difficult circumstances, but I ask for respect from all parties involved. It's incredibly frustrating for everyone when rounds end in this way, and I understand that these decisions may seem personal. Ending rounds because of clipping or other dishonest behavior does not reflect my personal evaluation of you as a debater or your team/coach. It's just in the spirit of academic integrity, and I hope everyone involved learns and grows from the experience. I take decisions to end a round very seriously.
- Evidence ethics: you can also stake the round on this. I take an accusation of this nature to mean they have substantially changed the work of an author such that it includes ideas not present in the original work or excludes critical portions of a piece of work, concludes differently than the author intended, or follows poor citation methods in a way that is academically dishonest. Here is a list of things I consider unethical (which is not exhaustive): cutting out part of a paragraph, adding your own (or that of another author) ideas to a card, skipping paragraphs in a single card, not noting when an author disagrees with the argument presented, and mis-citing (literally just incorrect cites).
- Like, I mentioned... I flow. That means, like you, I could miss arguments or not understand what you’re talking about. We all expect judges to be magic flow fairies, which isn’t true. Try your best to be clear, collapse to few arguments, and weigh. Little judging errors happen when there’s a million moving pieces, and I’ll feel less bad if I make a mistake and the round is like this.
- I read cards and like rewarding good evidence. My reading of evidence unless instructed or in extreme extraneous circumstances (ethics challenges, etc) does not affect my decision. I think debaters would do so much better if they read their opponent's cards because a lot of cards I've seen this season have had... sub-prime quality.
- As I went to Harvard-Westlake, I probably view debate in a similar way to my coaches and teammates. Some of them include: Travis Fife, Scott Phillips, Mike Bietz, Connor & Evan Engel, Cameron Cohen, Nick Steele.
- In light of recent events, I will wait to submit speaks until after the post-round is done. I think aggressive/rude/condescending post-rounds are bad sportsmanship and will be reflected in speaks. I'd like to think I have reasonably thick skin, so this is something that I don't think I'll have to use too often. Just wanted to give everyone a fair warning. This equally applies to your coach(es) & friend(s) who are rude to me after a round. If you can't control yourself, I will not be sympathetic.
- I sometimes (read: often) vote for a team even though I think their arguments aren't particularly good, they made contradictory arguments, or some other ridiculous thing occurs. It's incumbent upon the other debater to point this stuff out. Most of the time, they don't. If you don't, it'll just make everyone sad, including me. This scenario is where most post-rounding occurs. I generally won't just drop people because I don't vibe with their arguments.
- Please don't feel compelled to read arguments that you think I read in high school. I can tell when you read arguments to try to pander to me, and it's usually a worse quality debate than if you just read the position you actually wanted to. (No one believes this, but I read 50/50 K & policy args in high school and now judge 50/50 K & policy rounds... I actually don't have a preference. Seriously.) I don't need to hear decol fem and states every round -- don't worry about me. Do your own thing. (That being said, I judge a decent number of phil, theory, and clash rounds. I feel comfortable evaluating whatever you throw at me provided you do whatever you're doing well and straight up.)
- I vote relatively 50/50 in non-T aff vs FW rounds. You NEED to have offense and a defense of your vision of the topic/debate! Most of my decisions boil down to not being able to articulate what are big macro-level issues because people are overly caught in LBL. LBL is very important obviously, but that doesn't supplant the importance of explaining what model you're even defending.
- #stopsplittingthe2nr2k20 (Seriously, *who* taught you all to do this! I do not give above a 29 to people who split the 2NR even if you're in the finals of every tournament that year. There is 1/1000 instances where this is debate smart, and I bet you your round isn't that instance.)
- I'm uninterested in underviews. I don't think they add strategic utility, and they're boring. Read more arguments that defend the aff instead of reading infinitely regressive "evaluate the debate after X speech" and "we get 1AR theory" shenanigans. Theoretically, the best constructed affs are making a bunch of substantive arguments that pre-empt a variety of 1NC positions, which is why the best debaters win by reading--well--arguments. I've started to deduct speaks for this because it's getting pretty ridiculous and I just roll my eyes the whole time. Read at risk of your speaker points.
- I don't disclose speaks -- you don't need to ask after the round. Here's random things I enjoy and reward with higher speaker points (in no particular order): being passionate about your position, numbering of args, strategic collapse in every speech, not going for every argument, weighing(!), having a personality, using examples & stats effectively, anticipating your opponent's args, good CX, judge instruction, being respectful during the RFD & post-round. While I vote on args that I think are silly sometimes, people get low speaks for those rounds. If you, for example, go for some reasonable phil position and do it well/straight-up, that's fine -- high speaks. However, If you go for some ridiculous theory shell and bumble your way into a win, I will not be kind with speaks.
- I have chronic migraines that are sometimes triggered by excessive noise, which is sort of unfortunate given that debate... involves much yelling. I will occasionally ask debaters to speak softer if you yell-spread. I've only done this once or twice, but just wanted to give people a fair warning. (No, the migraine does not affect my ability to judge your round. It's just painful. Be a homie.)
I’m currently a political science major at UC Irvine. I competed in LD all 4 years of high school and also coach/judge debate, so that should tell you enough about my experience. I prefer traditional rounds, although circuit is fine too as long as there is an email chain.
Congress, PF, Parli, Policy: I've judged a few rounds, so I'm familiar with how these events work.
I like to see well-constructed, logical arguments and rebuttals throughout the round, meaning that your claims should definitely have credible warrants and impacts. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT bring up new arguments in the 2NR/2AR. I hate that. I'm fine with Ks, CPs, Ts, etc. I personally don't like running them, but if you want to, go ahead. Make sure your links are clear and understandable.
I like clash and if you find a weak spot in your opponent's case during CX, make it a point to bring it up in your next speech. I've noticed that oftentimes, debaters forget to do this (I've done it plenty of times!), but it can be a huge deciding factor for some judges!
Bringing up new arguments in your last speeches will not be considered, like I said before.
DON'T SPREAD. I'm good with fast-paced talking, but remember to speak clearly and at a comprehendible pace because if it's not on my flow, then I'm going to have to let it go. I will say clear ONCE if I can't hear you, but if you fail to improve your speech after that, I will stop flowing your arguments and give you low speaks. Debate should be an activity where competitors can actually understand each other! For Zoom tournaments, I'm probably going to wave my hand in front of the camera or something ONCE (we can figure out something before starting the round) to indicate that you need to fix your speech, but that's really it.
As long as I can hear you clearly, you will get normal speaks.
If you speak exceptionally well, you might get a perfect 30 (very rare)
If you don't improve your speech after I say clear ONCE (or do whatever signal we agreed on), you will get low speaks. I'm serious.
If you are being rude, aggressive, or making your opponent uncomfortable, you WILL get the lowest speaks possible and I WILL report you to tab.
Lastly, quality beats quantity. Always remember that.
Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart '17
Wellesley College '21
I debated both PF and LD in middle and high school. I have been out of the debate sphere for a little bit so grant me some grace on being up to date with trends, developments, acronyms, etc.
I am able to handle speed, but I tend to prefer slower, more coherent arguments. I consider source credibility to be very important.
LD rounds live or die on framework, so if the framework is inadequately explained or developed, it will be very hard for me to judge a round. Signing and extending arguments is key. If I can't follow it on the flow, I can't judge on it.
Above all, debate is a learning experience with your peers. Treat your opponent (and me) with respect and civility.
If Debate: Explain your arguments in a simple manner. Don't go fast. English is not my first language.
If you make arguments about programming/computers make sure it is up to date and accurate.
The more persuasive and powerful speaker that is able to play the policymaker role
If IE: Make sure to speak clearly, make sure to have good volume so I can hear, English is not my first language but I am still proficient enough to judge, and follow the rest of the rules for your respective events.
Good Luck and remember you're bold for competing and your words hold power
I am a traditional LD judge.
Persuasion is necessary. Moderate spreading is okay.
If you make a non-topical argument, I will not evaluate it.
Use speechdrop.net for sharing speech documents. No more email or flashdrive problems. The affirmative should have this ready to go before the round starts.
(Copy and paste Erick Berdugos paradigm ) but to summarize my general beliefs .....
1) The affirmative probably should be topical. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must be able to engage. Being independently right isn't enough.
2) Personal Narratives - not a fan of these arguments. The main reason, is that there is no way real way to test the validity of the personal narrative as evidence. Thus, if you introduce a personal narrative, I think it completely legit that the personal narrative validity be questioned like any other piece of evidence. If you would be offended or bothered about questions about its truth, don't run them.
3) K -Aff : Great ,love them but be able to win why either talking about the topic is bad, your approach to talking about the topic is better,why your method or approach is good etc, and most importantly what happens when I vote aff on the ballot.
4) Performance : Ehh- I’m not the judge to run a good perf bu but I am willing to listen to the arguments if you can’t rightfully warrant them .
Perf cons ARE an issue and can cost you the ballot . Be consistent!
5) EXTEND ! EXTEND! EXTEND! “Extensions of the aff are overviews to the 1 ar” .... no they are not . I want to flow them separately not in some clump . It gets messy.
1) Kritiks : I am not familiar with a large range of lit but I know plenty how to judge a good kritik and I enjoy it. Do not feel you need to run a K to win any sort of leverage in the debate ... you’re better off reading something you are comfortable defending than a crappy K you have no knowledge of . You need to be able to articulate and explain your position well don’t just assume I am familiar with your authors work. Alts need to tell me cause and impact aka what will the after look like ?? K MUST have a specific link. K arguments MUST link directly to what is happening in THIS round with THIS resolution. I am NOT a fan of a generic Kritik that questions if we exist or not and has nothing to do with the resolution or debate at hand. Kritiks must give an alternative other than "think about it." Have good blocks to perms !!! Especially if you have no links to the advocacy .
2) DA : Go for it ! I lean towards topical / substantive larpy rounds so I will definitely vote on a good DA . Make sure your impact calculus is outweighing and tell me how ! Internal links should be clear . If the impacts are linear that needs to be articulated as well . Pretty simple but feel free to ask me for clarifications !
3) CP/ PIC : Strategic if done correctly ! For the CP there needs to be net benefits and they should be extended throughout the round . Please don’t read generic cards you stole off a case file ( I can tell and it makes for a redundant debate ) I won’t vote against you for it but .. don’t plz . Theory against abusive CPs is completely legitimate. For the PIC - keep it clean ! *paradigm under construction *
Current:PhD student @Rice
Past: Mountain House '18, UCLA '22,
Efficiency, strategic collapsing, weighing >>> generic card dump
I did PF and believe debate is a game meant to be done with some flair. i’ve judged lots of ld, pf and parli (circuit, trad, whatever) at this point, can handle speed (hit me with your best shot), but I’m also older and don’t spread in my daily life. By the way, the faster you go, the more you should enunciate... People are getting worse and worse at spreading... If you can do LARP, please do LARP. If you don't LARP, procedural arguments are also good (I love T debate), theory is fine, just be clean on the flow and your extensions.. Be mindful that I am not super familiar with it. K's are okay, heed the warnings in bold below.I won't vote on any argument I don't understand; my threshold for voting on something convoluted that you spread at me is much higher. That being said, if you explain a creative, strategic argument well and carefully --> more speaks and my ballot. Entertain me, and you will be rewarded.
"The easiest way to win my ballot is to follow these three rules. Pick an issue and defend against responses constructively with more than just a re-assertion of your argument. Weigh the link against other links and the impact against other impacts. Use this issue to tell a clear story that leaves me confident when I vote."
I study engineering, so I like to consider myself an engineer/scientist in training. if a card is important to my decision, I call for it. If I find that you misrepresented it, put it out of context, whatever, I won't consider it and will tank your speaks. That being said, clever indicts against your opponents' evidence, or knowing their evidence better than they do will majorly help your speaks. Show that mastery of the topic in cross and in your speeches.
Tech >> truth, I can vote on anything and everything, and I don't believe in any form of judge intervention whatsoever. That doesn't mean you should run terrible -ism arguments, just that you can and I will consider it in my decision like any other position. However, my threshold for your opponent to call you out on it and drop it is much, much lower (because these arguments are always objectionable under normative ethics frameworks, and you have to do extra work to prove otherwise, I default normative ethics if there's no FW clash here).
for judging LD/Policy/Parli: **HATE FRIV THEORY and tricks, NOT SUPER FAMILIAR WITH KRITIKAL POSITIONS except very neolib, biopolitics, and especially, THE FEM K. If you run a K, explain it well. I've definitely gotten slower (I'm 5 years out and I no longer coach), so don't spread so quickly that you start foaming at the mouth. I can handle 300-500 wpm (this is different from online debate comfort levels, read that section). Stock issues, case, LARP, love science centered cases --> good. Don't bite each other in cross/flex.
If you run friv theory despite my warnings, and the round becomes a friv theory/trix wash of a massive shitshow on both sides, I will drop the team/debater that read the first shell. Consider yourself warned. ~~
If I stop flowing or put my pen down, you're either going too fast, or you're wasting your time by saying what you are saying, so you should switch strats immediately.
I hate frivolous theory & RVIs, so I have a much higher threshold for voting on it. I prefer case debate, but if you don't wanna do that, that's your call.
It's become clear to me that over the online format, spread is just much more unintelligible than usual. Slow down. Speed is just you compensating for inefficiency, and I'm more receptive to efficiency than anything else. If you are efficient and stay below / around 250 wpm, I will boost your speaker points by a lot. Thank you for adapting to the format.
I'm also a lot more receptive to ableism, speed K args that are triggered by shitty spread in the online format. this is an actual issue and problem that I think matters given the circumstances... Haven't heard a good shell for this, but if you run it, I will like it.
I think first speaking teams are structurally disadvantaged in PF (first summary is arguably the hardest speech to give), so if there is no offense generated in the round, absolute wash, then I default to the first speaking team.
Please weigh. Probability, Scope, and Magnitude. Impact Calculus is good. Weighing needs to start in the summary speech, maybe even the second constructive. In general, good debaters tend to be very good at weighing. Comparative statements are also good: "Even if they win [arg tag], if we win [arg tag], you vote us up because [....]"
NSDA has given summary speeches another minute.. 2nd summary better have defense, both summaries better have comparative weighing. I have a MUCH LOWER tolerance for ships passing in the night now.
Give me a roadmap, and follow it. Signpost frequently. Card by card extensions are good, and please have good warranting. 2nd summary better have defense. Don't be a jerk in x-fire.
On evidence, if a particular card is very important to my decision, I will call for it. If you misrepresented it, then I won't consider the offense/defense it generated on your side. Evidence ethics are terrible in PF. If a team tells me to call for a card, I will call for it. If all your cards seem to be terrible, I'll tank your speaks.
ONLINE PF SPECIFIC PREFS:
PF usually doesn't have emailchains, but since audio can be faulty, people can cut out for a second, please send me and your opponents the case, cut cards should be attached in a separate document (assuming you paraphrased). This saves everyone time when cards are asked to be seen during prep anyway, and I think it's a net good for education + accessibility.
Houston Memorial ’20
Andrewqin02@gmail.com for sdocs
Update for Harvard RR and Harvard: Haven't thought about debate in a really long time; go a LOT slower and explain topic jargon more. I will probably flow using the doc so might miss stuff if you try to randomly extemp tricks or something. To be clear, I do not know this topic in the slightest, nor the core arguments. EXPLAIN WELL!
I competed on the national circuit for three years, qualifying to TOC my junior and senior years. I try to be relatively tab – I will attempt to fully consider any argument that has a warrant as long as the argument doesn’t exclude debaters from the activity (No oppression good). However, I have debate preferences, though I will try not to let those preferences influence my decision-making.
Quick Pref Sheet:
Theory – 1
LARP – 2
Phil – 2
K – 3
Tricks – 4 (I can judge it, but the warranting on these arguments is just atrocious enough that it makes bad decisions much more likely)
· CX is binding – If you say something is Uncondo in CX and kick out of it in the 2NR, if the 2AR points it out, it’s an auto-loss with few exceptions.
· Evidence Ethics Claims (Clipping, Miscutting, etc.) stop the round and the challenging debater must agree to stake the round on it. Whoever loses the challenge gets an L-0.
· I have a higher threshold of warranting on independent voters. You can’t just say something is an “independent voter” for three seconds and collapse to it for 6 minutes in the 2NR. An independent voter needs clear warrants as well as clear reasons why it’s a reason to drop the debater. I am willing to not vote on a dropped independent voter if it had basically no warrant for why it’s a voter in the last speech.
· Lower threshold for 1AR extensions, though I’m a tad skeptical of straight-up new 2AR weighing. Case outweighs and theory vs K weighing should generally be in the 1AR.
· AD HOMS: I really really really don’t like ad hominem arguments that call out x debater for being a bad person out of round. If it’s won, I’ll grudgingly vote on it, but speaks WILL suffer, and I have a low threshold for responses.
· High speaks are received for technical efficiency, strategy, and clarity in spreading.
· Be nice to novices and traditional debaters.
· I don’t consider arguments about speaker points or double wins or going beyond the time given. Any argument past the timer is disregarded, and if you keep going, it’s an L-0.
· Defaults: C/I, Drop the Arg, Fairness/Education are voters, No RVIs
· Friv theory and theory purely for strategy = 100% fine. I heavily prefer theory centered on round and disclosure abuse (spec status, AFC, CSA, disclose round reports, etc) as opposed to theory on clothing or Zoom styles (shoes theory).
· PLEASE WEIGH BETWEEN THEORY SHELLS AND STANDARDS! If there’s no weighing, I’ll default to evaluating on strength of link. I don’t know what it means for the “theory debate to be a wash” if both sides have offense, which means I do not default to presumption or substance if both sides have theory shells that aren’t weighed between.
· I do not default to judge kick if it’s condo.
· Understand most of the traditional LD canon – Rawls, Kant, Hobbes, Locke, Levinas (somewhat), I-Law, Constitution, etc.
· I think I’d be fine in the back of most phil debates, but be sure to explain the phil well. If I don’t understand it, I won’t vote on it.
· Postmodern and critical phil like Semiocap – I probably am not the best at adjudicating these, but I’ll try my best.
· Default epistemic confidence.
· SLOW DOWN ON ANALYTICS AND INFLECT! If I don’t catch a trick, I won’t backflow for you.
· Default: Truth Testing, Presumption/Permiss Negate.
· Explain and weigh the tricks well – The sillier the argument, the lower the threshold for the response. Not a huge fan of blippy aprioris and the like, but if it’s won, I suppose I’ll vote on it.
· Prefer you to be straight-up in CX with tricks.
· I’m familiar with a decent amount of Ks: Queerpess, Afropess, Settcol, some Weheliye, Warren, some Deleuze, etc.
· Overviews are helpful, but please do good line by line work – I won’t cross-apply your overview to every possible argument for you.
· Never really understood these very much but I’ll try my best.
· I prioritize technical ability – This means even if the 1AR and 2AR have good overviews explaining your position, you need to explain how it directly interacts with 2NR arguments.
· If it’s a K v K (anything other than cap) debate, I will probably be lost unless the ballot story is very clear.
Hey I’m Jack! I went to and now coach at Northland in Houston, TX. Feel free to ask questions before or after the round. Add me to email chains at email@example.com
UPDATED for 2022/23 season
TLDR: I will vote on anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact. I most enjoy and am best at judging policy arguments. (P.S. I realized that I tend to give way higher speaks in substance debates. Take that as you wish)
Policy - 1
Theory/T - 1
K (security, cap, set col) - 2
K (anything else) - 3
Phil/Tricks – 4
- Tech > Truth
- Fairness > Education
- 1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
- T/Theory > K
- Comparative Worlds
- No RVIs, Competing Interps, DTD
- I'm cool with anything as long as it has a claim, warrant, and impact. None of my personal opinions or interests in arguments will factor into my decision.
- I want you to debate the way you debate best. I want debaters to read what they know and are invested in.
- No buffet 2nrs please
- Be nice to one another and don't take yourself too seriously
- If you are sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist or something similar
- Clipping/losing an ethics challenge OR a false accusation.
- Stealing prep
Things I'm not voting on
- Any argument concerning out of round practices (except disclosure).
- Any argument concerning the appearance/clothes/etc. of another debater.
- Any auto affirm/negate X identity argument
- "Evaluate the entire debate after X speech". However, I will evaluate "evaluate ___ layer after X speech".
- IVIs not flagged as IVIs in the 1NC/1AR (possibly a 2NR exception)
- My favorite type of debate to think about and judge.
- Likes: impact calc, ev comparison, plans with tight scenarios and big impacts, rehighlighting ev, cheaty CPs, reading theory against cheaty CPs, "the order is case"
- Dislikes: not weighing, old/no UQ, underhighlighted ev, plan flaw, other debater: asks you a cx question about your ev you: "where is it/that", literally extending your tags in the 2NR
- Somewhat familiar with most K lit at this point, but refuse to fill any substantive gaps in your explanation.
- Likes: robust line by line, root cause, link turns case, good fwk debates, pulling lines from the aff, actual alt solvency, set col vs phil, specific links to the plan
- Dislikes: massive overviews, "what's a floating PIK", the "state" link, the current standard for a sufficient explanation of ontology, no perms in a method debate
K Aff/T Framework
- Affs need solvency and a robust defense of their model of debate
- Negs need an answer to aff solvency and a robust defense of their model of debate
- Likes: testing, fairness, intuitive aff counterinterps, Non T aff vs one off Cap K, TVAs, actual solvency
- Dislikes: "T is violence/policing", 6 minutes of my coaches prewritten fwk 2NR, 3 minutes of my coaches prewritten A2 fwk 2AR, blitzing through the 1ACs theory of power, "we don't need solvency", 2NRs that ignore case
- Not good for dense phil v dense phil (good for util vs other phil)
- Don’t assume I have read your literature. BUT, I will still evaluate just like I would any other type of debate. I just need a very clear extension of why your framework comes first/is true.
- Likes: extinction first, fun calc indicts, Blum, TJFs, going for turns under their fwk
- Dislikes: not reading a fwk in the AC, not reading a fwk in the NC when the AC doesn't read one, the "pragmatism" aff, TT takes out theory, hidden triggers in the fwk
- I will evaluate them the same as any other argument as long as I hear a claim, warrant, and impact.
- Likes: warrants
- Dislikes: "what's an apriori?", condo logic, indexicals, if the negs response to your trick is that it negates just as much as it affirms - you probably shouldn't read it!
- Love it!
- The frivolous nature of some shells does not factor into my evaluation. Although, reasonability tends to become easier to justify and the answer becomes easier.
- Likes: robust weighing, caselists, infinite regress vs spec, combo shells with unique offense
- Dislikes: poor explanation of semantics, 5 second 1AR shells, 2NR theory that isn't severance
- Less prep and sitting down early will be rewarded with higher speaks.
- Clarity is VERY IMPORTANT. If you are unclear and I miss a “game changing” argument – that’s a you problem.
- Speaks will be awarded for good debating (strategy, technical ability, good CX, etc).
Hi, I’m Anish. I debated for Peninsula for four years and qualified to the TOC twice.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was pretty bad at flowing, so please slow down and pause between your arguments.
I primarily read policy arguments, but I’d be more than happy to vote on philosophical and critical arguments as long as you explain them well and do comparative impact calc. I dislike most tricks and theory arguments because they’re underdeveloped and often lack warrants.
It’s the debater’s responsibility to flow — asking what was read must be done in prep or cross-x
Smart analytics can beat carded evidence
A lot of counterplan theory arguments are best settled as competition issues, not voting issues.
You can insert rehighlighting
katy taylor '17
yes, add me to the email chain: email@example.com
cal rr/tournament 2021 update: I have judged numerous rounds on this topic and I can confidently say that I don't like nebel t as an argument.
current 2020 conflicts: Rutgers-Newark AH and Northern Valley JL
previous conflicts: Evergreen Valley SS, Coppell DR, Houston EP, Alief Kerr EG, Guyer CM, Woodlands MR, Cy-Fair TW, and Katy Taylor.
background: I have been coaching high school CX and LD for the past three years. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. In the past, I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams going for policy arguments and/or critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached debaters in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.
overall thoughts: I believe it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and extending some sort of impact framing in the debate because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is a place for you to do you. I will make my decisions based on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. This means I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about the content/style of an argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. It is up to the debaters to present and endorse whichever model of debate they want to invest in. Have fun and best of luck!
-- please record your speeches/debates.
-- please be kind to each other.
-- good quality evidence + in-depth analysis of the evidence is always appreciated.
-- i will not vote on an rvi on topicality.
-- do not intentionally clip cards. it will be an automatic L and 25 speaks if you do.
-- please start out clear, slow, and loud (very crucial for online debate).
-- ld theory tricks are bad and i refuse to vote for it.
-- speaks are determined by a combination of strategy choice, efficiency, weighing, and good cross-x skills.
-- some people who I agree with and/or have been heavily influenced by in debate: Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Devane Murphy, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Chris Randall, Anthony Joseph, and Jon Sharp.
Specifics thoughts I've provided from my previous paradigm (2019-2020):
-- Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part of every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.
Policy affs vs. K
-- I am most familiar with these types of debates. With that being said, I think the affirmative needs to prioritize framing i.e. the consequences of the plan under a util framework. There need to be contestations between the aff framing versus the K's power of theory in order to disprove it, not desirable, or incoherent and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point of the flaws of the kritiks alternative and make solvency deficits. Aff teams need to answer the link arguments, read link defense, make perms, and provide reasons/examples of why the plan is preferable/resolve material conditions. Use cross-x to clarify jargon and get the other team to make concessions about their criticism.
-- CP(s) need to have a clear plan text and have an external net benefit, otherwise, I'm inclined to believe there is no reason why the cp would be better than the affirmative. There needs to be clear textual/function competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better.
-- The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement the net benefit. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable. Generally, I think conditionality is good but I can be persuaded otherwise.
-- Please have good evidence and read specific DAs. If you have a good internal link and turns case analysis, your speaker points will be higher. For the aff, I think evidence comparison/callouts coupled with tricky strategies like impact turns or internal link turns to help you win these debates.
-- I don't really have a threshold on these arguments but lean towards competing interps over reasonability unless told otherwise.
-- When going for theory, please extend offense and weigh between interps/standards/implications.
-- When responding/going for theory, please slow down on the interps/i-meets.
-- Comparative analysis between pieces of interpretation evidence wins and loses these debates – as you can probably tell, I err towards competing interpretations in these debates, but I can be convinced that reasonability is a better metric for interpretations, not for an aff. Having well-explained internal links to your limits/ground offense in the 2NR/2AR makes these debates much easier to decide, as opposed to floating claims without warranted analysis. A case list is required. I will not vote on for an RVI on T.
-- I prefer framework debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in the constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff teams are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. I am persuaded by standards like clash and topic education over fairness being an intrinsic good/better impact.
K affs vs. T-Framework
-- There are a couple of things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear are buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote to neg on presumption.
-- You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.
-- I went for the Kritik in almost every 2NR my senior year. I have been exposed to many different types of scholarship, but I am more familiar with some critical race theory criticisms such as anti-Blackness, capitalism, psychoanalysis, and some critiques of humanism. This form of debate is what I am most comfortable evaluating. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism.
-- You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact.
-- The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is an important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact framing claim.
K vs. K
-- These debates are always intriguing.
-- Presumption is underutilized by the neg and permutations are allowed in a methods debate. However, it is up to the teams in front of me to do this. There needs to be an explanation of how your theory of power operates, why it can preclude your opponent’s, how your method or approach is preferable, and how you resolve x issues. Your rebuttals should include impact comparison, framing, link defense/offense, permutation(s), and solvency deficits.
My paradigms differ for different events:
My paradigms for LD are fairly traditional - I am more inclined to vote in favor of morality-based arguments that tie into your Value/Criterion. PLEASE CARRY YOUR VALUE/CRITERION THROUGH THE ENTIRE ROUND. That is what I believe separates LD from other events is the ability to frame a debate through a specific moral calling and then defend it.
Off-time Roadmaps are a no (also in the rules but good to reiterate). Please give a roadmap and signpost throughout your speech. Just like your English teacher requests a thesis statement that explores all your tailings at the start, and a tagline sentence at each argument that sign-posts. I
Please do not spread. I can judge CX but in LD more words =/= better arguments.
I will give time signals upon request and will track prep time with announcements of time used as you use it.
Unconventional arguments/Values/Criterions are accepted, as long as you can establish and defend them well.
If you have the most practical argument in the world, but do not tie it into your Value/Value Criterion (or your opponent's, or morality somehow) then that lessens the impact of the argument. Even if an argument is less pragmatic, but it is proven to be the best course of action under your Value/Value Criterion, and further that your Value/Criterion that is the most moral way forward (over your opponent's value) then I will likely give that side the win anyway.
I currently work as a Director - Product Management at Salesforce. I have worked for various software companies like Oracle, Safenet/Gemalto, and Vormetric.
I have judged various high school level debate tournaments for last six years when my sons participated debate tournaments from Monta Vista High school, Cupertino. I have judged Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas debate tournaments at Santa Clara University, Stanford, James Logan MLK etc.
If there are any other questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make your argumentation the most important part with clear, concise points. Provide details, evidences and summarize in the end.
Drop them properly. Don’t just stop talking about them.
While I an fine with speed, I prefer convincing, clear, not too fast argumentation.
I understand most PoFo and LD debate jargons, but if there are any new ones that you think that I may not know, explain to me.
Provide an in-depth analysis along with strong evidences.
Provide powerful in-depth analysis along with strong evidences
Be respectful, examine professionally with counter points
Please put me on the email chain - email@example.com
I debated for 3 years at Presentation High School in LD and policy and coached throughout college. I mostly read critical arguments, as well as some policy oriented stuff. I am probably not the best judge for phil/tricks, but that being said, you should read whatever you feel most comfortable with in front of me! I am absolutely fine with speed but I haven’t judged much lately so it would be helpful for me if you start slow. More specifics:
Ks: I really love K debate, as as I mentioned above, that’s what I read most of in high school. However, I will not just vote for you because I like the K, so please make sure you’re explaining the story of the K, putting in the work on the link and framing debates, etc. I also really loved reading K affs (I was big into fem stuff in high school) but make sure you are clearly articulating a reason to vote aff and what the aff actually does. I am looking for an explanation of what your method actually looks like in practice, and why it means I should vote for you.
Policy/LARP: I also really enjoy policy debate! I don’t think there’s really much to say here but I appreciate good evidence comparison, impact weighing, and overviews.
Framework/T: I love a good framework debate, but it's also in your best interest to engage the substance of the aff! I think the more specific your framework/T shell is, the more interesting/strategic
Theory: I don't mind theory but these debates tend to get messy, so try to keep it clean and maybe go a little slower.
Phil/tricks: I am really not a good judge for phil and don't particularly enjoy it, sorry :,(
The easiest way to win in front of me is to really clearly and explicitly explain your position and why you're winning. Collapsing to a few main arguments and explaining them well is always better than having too many arguments that aren't impacted or explained very well.
My favorite part about debate is when students are passionate about what they defend and read positions they care about. Please don't be sexist, racist, ableist, trans/homophobic, etc.
- Technicality over Truth.
- Speak as fast as you want. However, if you’re going faster than I can process, I’ll text you to go slower once and then it’s on you.
- Defense you want to concede should be conceded in the speech immediately after it was originally read.
- I don't care if you sit or stand or wear formal clothes etc.
- Give trigger warnings.
- Absent any offense in the round, I'm presuming neg on policy topics and first on "on balance" topics.
- Do whatever you want to do.
- I prefer framing arguments to be read in case, i.e extinction/structural violence authors.
- Offensive overviews in second rebuttal should be discouraged and as such, my threshold for responses will be lower.
- I think you need to frontline in second rebuttal but do whatever you want to do, however,
- Anything not responded to in second rebuttal is regarded conceded.
- Turns that are conceded will have 100% probability.
- Caveat on turns. I believe that if you extend a link turn on their case, you must also make the delineation of what the impact of that turn is, otherwise, I don't really know what the point of the turn is.
- Case offense/ turns should be extended by author name.
- Do - “Extend our jones evidence which says that extensions like these are good because they're easier to follow"
- Dont - "extend our link"
- For an argument to be voteable I want uniqueness/ link/ impact to be extended.
- First summary
- Defense should be extended but I’ll give slightly more lenience to your side if extended in final especially since the second speaking team already had a chance to frontline it twice.
- Second summary
- This is your side’s last chance to weigh, so if the weighing is not here then I will not evaluate any more weighing from your side
- Defense must also be extended
- Just mirror summary, extend uniqueness, link and impact.
- Don't make new implications on something that was never heard before.
- Cross is binding, just bring it up in a speech though
- I know how bad evidence ethics are, however, I will only call for evidence if if the other team tells me to call for it
- If your opponents are just blatantly lying about a piece of evidence, call it out in speech and implicate what it means for their argument
- I’ve always been a firm believer that a good analytic with a good warrant beats a great empiric with no warrant. Use that to your advantage
- You’ll have a minute to pull the evidence your opponents called for before your speaks start getting docked
I have a couple main preferences:
- Do not talk too fast. Make sure I can clearly understand what you are saying, and slow down if you need to.
- Make sure you give reasoning/warranting for your claims along with evidence to back them up. Do not only read off cards.
Very excited to judge world schools. I've judged it a few times over the past couple of years (because I'm usually in LD and Policy land). I did it in high school as well.
The biggest thing I want to see in rounds is impacting and weighing. Don't just recap the argument for me, tell me what happens and why it is important. Otherwise, you should be just fine!
I've been mostly judging/working with WSD this year so my ability to flow spreading is honestly terrible. I can handle above conversation speed but past that you run the risk of me missing things. All my preferences on arguments are the same but the way you deliver has to change.
I'd love to be on the email chain. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm the current assistant coach at Coppell High School where I also have the lovely opportunity to teach Speech & Debate to great students. I did LD, Policy, and Worlds in High School (Newark Science '15) and a bit of Policy while I was in college (Stanford '19). I'm by no means "old" but I've been around long enough to appreciate different types of debate arguments at this point. As long as you're having fun, I can feel it and will probably have fun listening to you, too!
Pref shortcut for those of you who like those:
Theory (if it's your PRIMARY strat - otherwise I can be preffed higher): 3
Credentials that people seem to care about: senior (BA + MA candidate) at Stanford, Director of LD at the Victory Briefs Institute, did LD, policy, and worlds schools debate in high school, won/got to late elims in all of those events, double qualled to TOC in LD and Policy. Did well my freshman year in college in CX but didn't pursue it much after that. Now I coach and judge a bunch.
LD + Policy
Literally read whatever you want. If I don't like what you've read, I'll dock your speaks but I won't really intervene in the debate. Don't be sexist, ableist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, or a classist jerk in the round. Don't make arguments that can translate to marginalized folks not mattering (this will cloud my judgement and make me upset). Otherwise have fun and enjoy the activity for the 45 or 90 mins we're spending together! More info on specific things below:
I get this. The role of the ballots/framing is really helpful for me and usually where I look first.
I understand this. If reading against a K team I'd encourage you to make argument about how fairness/education relates to the theory of power/epistemology of the K. Would make all of our lives better and more interesting.
I also understand this. But don't abuse the privilege. I am not a friv theory fan so don't read it if you can (or else I might miss things as you blip through things).
I understand this too. Slow down when the cards are shorter so I catch the tags.
I don't default to anything necessarily however I do know my experiences and understandings of debate were shaped by me coming from a low income school that specialized in traditional and critical debate. I've been around as a student and a coach (I think) long enough to know my defaults are subject to change and its the debaters' job to make it clear why theory comes first or case can be weighed against the K or RVIs are good or the K can be leveraged against theory. I learn so much from you all every time I judge. Teach me. Lead me to the ballot. This is a collaborative space so even if I have the power of the ballot, I still need you to tell me things. Otherwise, you might get a decision that was outside of your control and that's never fun.
On that note, let it be known that if you're white and/or a non-black POC reading afropessimism or black nihilism, you won't get higher than a 28.5 from me. The more it sounds like you did this specifically for me and don't know the literature, the lower your speaks will go. If you win the argument, I will give you the round though so either a) go for it if this is something you actually care about and know you know it well or b) let it go and surprise me in other ways. If you have a problem with this, I'd love to hear your reasons why but it probably won't change my mind. I can also refer other authors you can read to the best of my ability if I'm up to it that day.
Last thing, please make sure I can understand you! I understand spreading but some of y'all think judges are robots. I don't look at speech docs during the round (and try not to after the round unless I really need to) so keep that in mind when you spread. Pay attention to see if I'm flowing. I'll make sure to say clear if I can't understand you. I'll appreciate it a lot if you keep this in mind and boost your speaks!
-Parent judge. Both of my children did LD debate so I have over 4 years of experience in judging LD
-I love interesting and unique arguments and philosophy
-Clearly articulated arguments without spreading or rushing through are preferred
-I love literature as I am an author myself
-I don't really understand circuit but if you explain your argument properly I can follow along
-Strong speakers usually win my ballot over others
-Please don't be rude or aggressive to your opponents
-I try my best to flow speeches
-Passion for the topic goes a long way. Do debate because you enjoy it don't seem forced :/
-I'm not strict I will go along with what you say but just please be mature and kind towards your opponents and please don't interrupt especially in cx.
Happy Debating !
I am a novice judge so go easy on me!
I am a rational fact driven judge, so it's not about my personal values or beliefs.
I will strive to judge fairly to determine who has better debating skills.
I am definitely into the quality of the argument rather than the quantity of words or the volume - your arguments must be backed up by evidence, and be clearly audible - do not spread!
I want all debaters to be courteous at all times during the debate, and please note I won't disclose who won, but if asked I will provide constructive feedback.
Updated 3/11/22 - My team has started dabbling in big questions debate. Despite this fact do not feel like you need to debate a BQ round as though it were circuit or traditional LD. I recognize they are different activities that have different styles and norms.
Email for speech docs: email@example.com. Make sure there’s parity in document access during the round.
My background: I did LD for 3 years. I was the director of debate at Hopkins for 4 years, coached at St. Thomas Academy & Visitation for 2 years, and am now the head coach at Apple Valley. I’ve worked at VBI since 2012 and I’m currently the director of instructional design and curriculum.
TLDR: Good debate involves well developed arguments and genuine interaction/clash with the other debater’s arguments. Quality >>>>>> quantity of arguments. Speed is ok. Yay Ks, yay policy, yay stock, eh phil, and theory/T as needed. Trying to avoid engagement/clash makes it more difficult for you to show that you’re the better debater. Parity in document access is important.
An important note for progressive debaters: if you’re debating someone that is a traditional debater or significantly less experienced than you then you should adjust what you do so that there can be an actual debate. Don’t read a non-topical Baudrillard AC at 450 wpm against a new novice. Don’t have your 1NC be skep and a PIC against a traditional debater who hasn't had the opportunity to learn about the mechanics of such arguments. Slow down and/or read arguments that your opponent can actually understand. Use your best judgement. If I think that you knowingly made choices that functionally preclude your opponent from engaging then I may murder your speaker points and/or drop you.
I care deeply about inclusion and accessibility within debate. I’m more than happy to vote against debaters who engage in practices that promote exclusion or inaccessibility, even if they’re winning on the flow. I also think that super tricky arguments/strategies designed primarily to avoid substantive engagement don’t offer great evidence of a debater doing the better debating and I might not vote for them even if they’re ahead on the flow. I’ll be a tab judge until you give me a good reason not to be.
I’m fine with speed and will yell clear or slow once or twice; after that it is up to you to pick up on non-verbal cues. I expect you to make serious alterations to your delivery if I’m forced to yell. I won’t vote on an argument, even if it is in the speech doc, if I didn’t flow it or understand when it was initially read in the round. I place a very high premium on quality argument development. I think that I’m a trashcan judge to have in the back of the room when the rebuttals are filled with hundreds of 1 sentence arguments (especially for T/Theory debates) without real clash, impact analysis, and framing.
I almost never vote on presumption/permissibility/skepticism since there’s usually a risk of offense. I default to comparative worlds and need some convincing to adopt truth testing.
One thing that makes me sad about circuit LD is how the same literature and positions get recycled so frequently without regards to how well the argument applies to the given topic. Explore and try something new!
Critical: I’m probably most familiar with critical debate. I dislike overly simplistic root cause debates that ignore the intricacies of how oppression operates. I’ll listen to non-topical and “in the direction of the topic” affs (let’s be honest, the model of debate that most of these affs operate under is no more limiting than non-topical ACs), but I’ll also listen to framework against them. A well-executed “there’s a topical version of the aff and this is what it looks like” is pretty persuasive to me. If your aff is super amorphous, designed to avoid substantive engagement, or a truism then you shouldn’t pref me super high. I loathe Ks that sandbag until the 2N, if I don’t know exactly how your link evidence applies specifically to the aff until the 2N then it is too late.
Policy: I love a good policy round, ‘nuff said. I’m inclined to think that core-to-the-topic-lit plan affs that parameterize the resolution are probably good, but I can be convinced otherwise. I dislike that so many policy style positions narrowly focus on extinction impacts and think that they crowd out positions that are much more reasonable & grounded in what anyone outside of a debate round would find persuasive. If we’re debating important environmental policy or nuclear weapons, then go for it pedal-to-the-metal. I’ll still vote on contrived extinction scenarios if they’re cleanly won and you’ve done a good job articulating the meaningful change in the probability of extinction.
Philosophy: I enjoy philosophy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m the best judge to have in the back of the room for a phil round. Phil debate often ends up being blippy, so I’m going to need to hear and understand the warrant for an argument to consider it in my evaluation. I’m not a giant fan of most of the lit that has become circuit LD philosophy canon, but I’ll vote on it if it is adequately explained and won. Modesty is a pretty cool argument.
Theory/Topicality: I think that theory & T are way too commonplace in circuit LD, but I also understand that they’re necessary tools given current norms and practices. If I think the theory interp or abuse story are BS then I’m going to gut check theory. If there’s an actual theory debate to be had then I’ll be as tab as possible. I default competing interpretations, don’t have a default for RVIs (the more abusive/bad/unnecessary the initial shell is the more receptive I am to RVI good arguments), and will err very heavily in favor of the debater that has weighing and/or has done interaction to determine who is winning the various arguments on the theory/T flow.
Speaker Points: The factors I focus on for determining speaker points are: strategic choices, execution, and how persuasive I found your argumentation. My normal range is 25-30, with 20-24 being reserved for rough or problematic debating. My speaker points are relative to the strength of the pool: 30 for champion level performance, ~28.5 for a performance worth of elims, and I aim for ~27.5 as an average performance.
***PLEASE, I BEG YOU, if nothing else, read my note about speed/clarity!!! This issue is paramount in online debate!***
"Accept that you're a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace - and maybe even glory." - Tom Robbins
Hello! I'm Skye. I graduated from Concordia College where I debated on their policy team for 4 years. I am a CEDA scholar and 2019 NDT participant. In high school, I moved around a lot and have, at some point, participated in every debate format. I have a degree in English Literature and Global Studies with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.
I have experience reading, coaching, & judging both trad policy arguments and Ks.
I have now been coaching for close to 2 years and judging for 6. I am currently the head policy coach at Wayzata HS in Wayzata, MN. I occasionally help out the Harker School in San Jose, CA and UMN debate in Minneapolis, MN.
I love debate and I have loved taking on an educator role in the community. I take education very seriously, but I try to approach debates with compassion and mirth, because I think everyone benefits from it. I try to be as engaged and helpful as I can while judging, and I am excited and grateful to be part of your day!
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains. If you have more questions after round, feel free to reach out :)
Top 3 Notes!
1. I FLOW ON PAPER AND HAVE POOR HEARING. I am OK with spreading, I think speed makes for much more in depth and rigorous debates, but with great speed comes great responsibility…
- please use a microphone in a headset/headphones if you have the tech, the laptop mics also pick up echoes and it makes it way harder than it needs to be for my ears
- please send out analytics if you are at all willing
- please send out marked docs at the end of your speech
- please SIGN POST & give me 1 second to move onto the next flow
- please use different intonation and sign posting to indicate you are going onto the next argument on the flow to give me the cue to finish up and move along with you so I can keep an organized flow. Not all speeches will be organized the same way, but if I know where to put things so they line up, then we are all in a better place.
- In the 2A/NC & rebuttals, spreading your way through analytics at MAX SPEED will not help you, because I won't be able to write it all down, or even really process the very dense argumentation and smart things you are saying.
If it gets to the RFD, and I feel like my flow doesn’t incapsulate the debate well because you did not accommodate me, I am very sorry for all of us, and I just hate it. I am not afraid to tell you I did not get everything or missed something. To me, that is on the debater, not the judge. There are way too many people in this activity that like to pretend they can hear every word no matter what. I am not one of those people. This is still a communication activity, and I earnestly believe the debaters should keep that in mind.
2. When it is time for the RFD, I go to framework first. If any framework arguments were extended in the rebuttals, I will reach a conclusion about who wins what and use that to dictate my decision making. I will always do this, without fail, I promise you. If there aren'y any, or the debaters were unclear, I will default to a very classic policy debate style cost-benefit analysis.
3. I default to evaluating debates from the point of tech/line by line, but arguments that were articulated with a warrant, a reason you are winning them/comparison to your opponents’ answers, and why they matter for the debate will significantly outweigh those that don’t.
"tag teaming cross ex": sure, just know that if you don't answer any CX questions OR cut your partner off, it will likely affect your speaks.
Clash debates, K aff: Fairness is probably not your best option for terminal impact, but just fine if articulated as an internal link to education. Education is very significant to me, that is why I am here. I think limits are generally good. I think the best K affs debate from the “core” or “center” of the topic, and have a clear model of debate to answer framework with. So the side that best illustrates their model of debate and its educational value while disproving the merits of their opponents’ is the side that wins to me.
Clash debates, K on the neg: Unless otherwise proven, extinction will indeed outweigh. Sure, fiat is illusory, and scenario planning can be good, but again, what is the educational impact/value to those arguments? Framework will really guide my decision, so I encourage debaters to invest time there.
K v. K: Framework, friends, framework. Without framework we are but scurvy-ridden sailors in a sea of K goo. It may be helpful to know that I think of perms as a test of the links/competition, and not so much as an advocacy.
Ks, general:I will not just grant you ontology or your theory of power or what have you. You still have to...provide warrants for it... No alt needed if you're worried about that, as long as there is framework/framing that supports it. I also think situating your K in/to the context of debate clarifies things for me quite a bit.
Condo/Theory: I am not opposed to voting on condo bad, but please read it as a PROCEDURAL, with an interp, violation, and standards. Anything else just becomes a mess. The same applies to any theory argument. I approach it all thinking, “What do we want debates to be like? What norms do we want to set?”
T: Will vote on T, please see theory and clash v. K aff sections for more insight, I think of these things in much the same way.
Plans/policy: Although I am personally ideologically predisposed to critical arguments, I earnestly attempt to keep my thoughts and assumptions based in the debate that happened, and I believe I am successful in that. Letting bias influence me is not good for anyone's education. Policy and K arguments are all the same under the hood to me, I see things as links, impacts, etc.; these worlds are not so polarized to me. I do think it is a good idea to clue me into what all your acronyms, initialisms, and topic jargon means, though.
LD, random arguments about wearing shoes or whatever: Please don't read ridiculous things that benefit no one educationally, that is an uphill battle for you.
Read no cards-----------x------------------------Read all the cards
Conditionality good---------------x---------------Conditionality bad
States CP good-------------------------x---------States CP bad
Federalism DA good---------------------------x--Federalism DA bad
Politics DA good for education --------------------------x---Politics DA not good for education
Fairness is a thing----------------------------x--Delgado 92
Try or die------------------------------------x-----What's the opposite of try or die
Clarityxxx--------------------------------------------Srsly who doesn't like clarity
Presumption----------x----------------------------Never votes on presumption
Resting grumpy face-------------------------x----Grumpy face is your fault
CX about impacts----------------------------x----CX about links and solvency
AT: ------------------------------------------------------x-- A2:
- I prefer if you go slightly slower so i can understand responses easily
- Clash is always good
- make sure to weigh and give voters
- I would appreciate it if you could give an offtime roadmap before speeches
- give warrants behind evidence - don’t just extend
- explain arguments clearly
TLDR: Do whatever you do best, don't be afraid to try new things, and have fun. SPEAK CLEARLY no matter how quickly. Tell me what to write down. I need to know how your alternative works--how it works in the material world. I like the game of debate and value the ethos of good and fair debating. I like to reward topic research. Be a good person.
Who are you, Matt Stannard?
High school and college policy debater for 7-ish years. Full-time debate coach for 16 years coaching and judging mainly policy debate but also other formats. Juris Doctor, full-time organizing consultant, part-time coach for several programs, summer institute instructor, frequent judge.
What arguments should or shouldn't we run?
My general assumptions are: Policy, critical, and procedural debate are of roughly equal value. I am not the state. Life is good, the topic is good, topic research is good. Debate should be challenging but fair. I won't vote for explicitly classist, racist, heteropatriarchal or sexist, ageist, ableist, or colonialist arguments. Those are ethical limits, but I will and often do vote for arguments I simply intellectually disagree with.
I don’t like to read a huge amount of evidence after debates, so the more you tell me during the debate, the less chance I’ll reconstruct arguments afterward in ways you might neither predict nor agree with.
What style and rates of delivery should we aim for?
Debate in the style and at the speed you're comfortable with. Please speak VERY CLEARLY and enunciate more than you would during a normal conversation. Please watch me occasionally to see if I'm getting it all down. I may sometimes ask for clarity.
What theoretical defaults should we be aware of?
I live and work at the intersection of grassroots social movements and policymaking. I really like (and need) solvency arguments for/against the kritik alternative that resemble solvency arguments for/against plans or counterplans--at least insofar as they engage with the material world where change is being claimed. Who, what, how, where. I am familiar with how movements and advocacy groups work so tell me how the alt works (or doesn't).
T and other procedurals aren't per se "genocide," but the political and social implications of particular interpretations may be reasons to prefer or reject those interpretations.
I won't kick a counterplan for you to test the status quo: if you don't want to be committed to it in the 2NR, explicitly kick it.
Aff, you needn’t necessarily have a plan (although your opponents might convince me otherwise) but you need a clear statement of advocacy. Neg, it should be clear how your advocacy is a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy.
I have started to selectively flow CX --not as part of the argument flow itself, but more to help me understand teams' argumentative commitments, definitions, distinctions, and what will be dispositive in the decision.
What preferences about in-round technology should we be aware of?
Prep time ends once the email is sent.
All tech should be set up pre-round; remediation of tech comes out of your prep.
File transfer time is grace time, but don't steal prep or I'll steal your speaker points.
What ethical views of debate should we be aware of?
Be chill to each other outside of speeches.
Please ask pre-round or via email if you have any specific questions that aren't addressed in the above.
I am a flow judge and can handle relatively fast talking speeds.
I was a performance debater so I enjoy performance/critical debates -- but with everything going on in the world I find myself enjoying a good traditional policy debate. Bottomline -- do you! I am here to listen, help, and encourage.
Things I love: overviews, ALT's, framework/framing, ROJ.
Mark my ballot: You do this by telling the best cohesive story of what the world looks like post AFF/NEG.
Also, I enjoy historical examples.
Don't be mean!
HAVE FUN :)
Hi, I’m Asher (he/him). I competed in LD from 2017-2020 and qualified to the TOC twice. Currently coaching the LD debaters at Canyon Crest Academy. Shortened my paradigm for efficiency – feel free to email/message me if you have any questions about my opinions on specific arguments. Other events at bottom
1. It’s in your best interest to go at 50-65% speed for analytics and 80-90% speed for cards. Slower on tags, conversational pace for short tags that are 1-3 words/plan texts
2. Record your speech locally to send in case there are network/wifi issues. I will not let debaters regive speeches – if you didn’t record it locally I will vote off of what I have on my flow
1. I will vote on anything as long as it is won, not blatantly offensive, and follows the structure of an argument (claim, warrant, and impact). My decisions are always impacted first and foremost by weighing, no matter what style of debate you choose. I value argument quality and development – I’m unlikely to pull the trigger on cheesy, one-line blips and reward debaters that perform quality research and explain their positions well.
2. You must take prep or use CX if you want to ask your opponent what they did/did not read
3. I will not vote on anything which occurred outside of the round (with the exception of disclosure) or use the ballot as a moral referendum on either debater. Genuine safety concerns will be escalated and not decided with a win or a loss.
4. "Insert rehighlighting" - you should be reading the card if you're making a new argument distinct from the one the evidence made when it was initially introduced. Insertions are okay if you're providing context, but you should briefly summarize the insertion. I'm unsure how to enforce this besides being a little annoyed if you go overboard, but if your opponent makes an argument that your insertion practices are toeing the line I'll be inclined to strike them off my flow
1. I think theory can be an invaluable check on abuse and enjoy creative interpretations that pose interesting questions about what debate should look like. The more bland and frivolous the shell the more receptive I am to reasonability. Reasons to reject the team should be contextual to the shell – otherwise rejecting the argument should be able to rectify the abuse. Counterplan theory is best settled on a competition level
2. Kritiks should be able to explain and resolve the harms of the affirmative - the less specific the link arguments, their impact, and the alternative the more likely I am to vote aff on the permutation and plan outweighing. Impact turns are underutilized. 2NR fpiks = new arguments unless clearly indicated earlier in the debate
3. I have no strong ideological predispositions against planless affirmatives. However, in a perfectly even matchup I would likely vote on framework
I will end the round and evaluate whether or not the evidence is objectively distorted: missing text, cut from the middle of a paragraph, or cut/highlighted intentionally to make the opposite argument the author makes (ie minimizing the word “not”). For super tiny violations like powertagging I’d prefer you just read it as a reason to reject the evidence.
Be nice to your opponent! Will nuke your speaks if you are too rude, especially if your opponent is a novice or is making a good faith effort to get along
PLEASE TIME YOURSELVES.
I'm comparatively less involved in this event and so I'll try not to impose my opinions on its conventions. For varsity, I'd prefer both teams share their evidence prior to their speeches, and I dislike paraphrasing as a practice but won't automatically penalize you for it. Speed is fine but not ideal given the norms of the activity. Generally speaking, I would prefer you not read progressive-style arguments given this format's time limitations. Other than that, just weigh.
Hey I'm Calvin ( email@example.com ),
I debated 3 years, 2 on the national circuit, at Brophy College Preparatory. Qualifications: I debated both traditional and circuit, qualifying to the TOC my senior year and breaking at a decent amount of nat circs.
I will try to be as tech > truth as possible, but everyone has their biases and areas of expertise. I was mainly a larp debater but branched out into theory and some critical literature my senior year. I am increasingly finding myself persuaded by all forms of arguments as long as they are well warranted and won on the flow.
I AM NOT A GOOD FLOWER - so be clear and slower when extpemping analytics if you want me to flow them.
I will vote on tricks(and anything with a warrant), but if the argument is silly, I will also have a low threshold for responding to it.
Most of all: be nice, debate is supposed to be a safe and supportive environment.
I debated throughout high school and then at Idaho State University for 5 years. I then coached at Idaho State University for 2 years, Weber for 1, and USC for 1. I've been out of the game this season, fair warning.
I am a firm believer that debate is for debaters. I've had my time to make others listen to whatever (and I mean absolutely whatever) I wanted to say, and it's my turn to listen to and evaluate your arguments, whatever they may be. While I'm sure I have my limitations, make me adapt to you instead of the other way around.
I try my damnedest to line up all the arguments on my flow. I am, however, open to alternate flowing styles. I really do prefer when debaters make specific reference of which argument(s) they are answering at a given time regardless of flowing style. I also flow the text of cards.
I prefer not to call for evidence (although I would like to be on your email chain... firstname.lastname@example.org). This means explain, explain, explain! Tell me what the card says; tell me why I should care and how I should apply it. That being said, I do not think that cards are always better than analytics.
Be prepared to defend all aspects of your argument.
Everything is open to (re)interpretation. For example, some questions that may be relevant to my ballot include: What is the purpose of debate? How does this affect the way that impacts are evaluated? These kinds of top-level framing issues are the most important to me.
This means things like framework and T (fun little-known fact: I've always found topicality in general super interesting--I love the nit-picky semantics of language) can be viable options against K affs. However, you are better off if you have a substantive response to the aff included as well.
I'm still kind of deciding how I feel about how competition functions in method debates. I think the most accurate depiction of what I think about it now is this (and it all obviously depends on what's happening in the debate/on the flow, but in general): I'll probably err that the affirmative on-face gets a permutation to determine if the methods are mutually exclusive, and so that means the best strategy for the negative in this world is to generate their links to the aff's method itself to prove that mutual exclusivity.
I'd really appreciate it if you could warn me in advance if there will be graphic descriptions of sexual violence.
I am a lay judge and debated when I was a student. I prefer you debate traditionally, so read substantive arguments and speak slowly. This does not mean that you have to stick to a value/criterion structure, but your cases should be easily understood by someone without much topic knowledge or circuit experience. I will take notes to the best of my ability, but know that I won't be able to flow as well as you. Please crystallize and weigh between different arguments/frameworks in the rebuttal speeches and explain why I should vote for you. I think debate is about communication, and as such, I will give good speaker points if your arguments are clear, persuasive, and substantiated with good evidence. I will not vote for arguments that I don't understand, or ones that are under-warranted. Please be respectful, professional and courteous, especially in cross examination. Lastly, please record your speeches so that you don't have to repeat them in the event of a technical difficulty. Best of luck and have fun!
UC Berkeley 2021 (go bears)
College - email@example.com, debatedocs
High School - ktwimsatt at gmail
- Tech over truth. Only exception is death good arguments/spark. Do not read them; I will not vote on them.
- I'm less involved in research on this topic, please err on the side of over-explanation.
- Inserting rehighlightings is fine as long as you explain why it matters in the speech. I usually read ev while making decisions.
- I'm more convinced by affs that commit to, and defend, an action coming out of the 1ac.
- Ks should prove the plan is a bad idea.
- I'm not super convinced by CP theory arguments like condo or PICs bad. Private actor fiat, multi-actor fiat, or object fiat definitely have merit.
- Default to judge kick unless 1ar and 2ar convince me otherwise.
Hi I'm Jalyn (she/her/hers), I go to UCLA and debated for WDM Valley in LD for ~7 years. I have experience on both the nat and trad circuits. I've dabbled in pofo and policy but don't consider myself adept at judging those.
If there's an email chain, put me on it: firstname.lastname@example.org. In constructives, I don't flow off the doc.
TLDR - LD
Please note first and foremost that I am not that great with postrounding. To clarify, please ask questions about my decision after the round--I want to incentivize good educational practices and defend my decision. However, I really do not respond well to aggression mentally, so please don't yell at me/please treat me and everyone else in the round with basic respect and we should be good!
quick prefs (but please read the rest of the TLDR at least)
2- theory, id pol k/performance, stock k
3- pomo k, LARP
for traditional/novice/jv debate: I'm good with anything!
I am fine with speed. At online tournaments, please have local recordings of your speeches ready in case there's audio issues/someone disconnects. Depending on tournament rules, I probably can't let you regive your speech if it cuts out, so be prepared. I will say clear/slow.
I rate my flowing ability a 6/10 in that messy and monotonous debates are difficult for me to flow but as long as you're clear in signposting, numbering, and collapsing, we shouldn't have any problems.
I view evaluating rounds as evaluating the highest framing layer of the round as established by the debaters, then evaluating the application of offense to it. In messy debates, i write two RFDs (one for each side) and take the path of least intervention.
i assign speaks based on strategic vision and in round presence (were you an enjoyable person to watch debate?). However, if you make arguments that are blatantly problematic, L20.
Many judges say they don't tolerate racism/sexism/homophobia/ableism/etc, but know that I take the responsibility of creating a safe debate space seriously. If something within a round makes you feel unsafe, whether it be my behavior, your opponent's behavior, or the behavior of anyone else present in that round, email me or otherwise contact me. I'll do my best to work with you to address these problems together.
LONG VERSION - LD
- If a debater stops the round and says "I will stake the round on this evidence ethics challenge" I will follow tournament/NSDA rules and evaluate accordingly (generally resulting in an auto win/loss situation). However, I usually prefer ev ethics challenges are debated out like a theory debate, and I will evaluate it like I evaluate any other shell.
- I really am not a fan of debates over marginal evidence ethics violations. like i really do not care if a single period is missing from a citation.
- I don't hold strong opinions on disclosure norms. Disclosure to some extent is probably good, but I don't really care whether it's open sourced with green highlighting or full text with citations after the card.
- reasonability probably makes sense on a lot of interps
- I strongly dislike being sketchy about disclosure on both sides. Reading disclosure against a less experienced debater without a wiki seems suss. Misdisclosing and lying about the aff is also suss.
- disclosure functions at the same layer as other shells until proven otherwise
- I strongly dislike defaulting. If no paradigm issues or voters are read by either debater in a theory debate, this means I will literally not vote on theory. I don't think this is an unfair threshold to meet, because for any argument to be considered valid, there needs to be a claim, warrant, and impact.
- You can read frivolous stuff in front of me and I will evaluate it as I would any other shell, but more frivolous shells have a lower threshold for response. For more elaboration, see my musings on the tech/truth distinction below.
- Paragraph theory is fine, just make sure that it's clearly labeled (i flow these on separate sheets)
- Combo shells need to have unique abuse stories to the interp. generally speaking, the more planks in a combo shell, the less persuasive the abuse story, and the more persuasive the counterinterp/ i meet.
- "converse of the interp" has never made much sense to me/seems like a cop out, if you say "converse of the interp" please clarify the specific stance that you're taking because otherwise it's difficult to hold you to the text of the CI
- overemphasize the text of the interp and names of standards so i don't miss anything
- you can make implicit weighing claims in the shell, but extend explicit weighing PLEASE
- RVIs make less sense on T than they do on other shells, so an uphill battle
- T and theory generally function on the same layer for me but I can be persuaded otherwise
- Good/unique TVAs are underutilized, so make them. best type of terminal defense on T IMO
- altho I read a ton of K affs my jr year, I fall in the middle of the K aff/TFW divide.
- if you're going to collapse on T, please actually collapse. don't reread the shell back at me for 2 minutes.
- see above for my takes on defaults
- I am more familiar with asian american, fem, and cap (dean, marx, berardi), but have a decent understanding of wilderson, wynter, tuck and yang, deleuze, anthro, mollow, edelman, i'm sure theres more im forgetting, but chances are I've heard of the author you're reading. I don't vote on arguments I couldn't explain back at the end of the round. if the 1ar/2nr doesn't start off with a coherent explanation of the theory of power, I can't promise you'll like my decision.
- buzzwords in excess are filler words. they're fine, but if you can't explain your theory of power without them, I'm a lot less convinced you actually know what the K says.
- some combination of topical and generic links is probably the best
- i find material examples of the alt/method more persuasive than buzzwordy mindsets. give instances of how your theory of power explains subjectivity/violence/etc in the real world.
- floating piks need to be at least hinted at in the 1n
- idc if the k aff is topical. if it isn't, i need a good reason why it's not/a reason why your advocacy is good.
- you should understand how your lit reads in the following broad categories: theory of the subject, theory of knowledge, theory of violence, ideal/nonideal theory, whether consequences matter, and be able to interact these ideas with your opponent
- the type of debate I grew up on. NC/AC debates are criminally underrated, call me old school
- I'm probably familiar with every common phil author on the circuit, but don't assume that makes me more amenable to voting on it. if anything i have a higher threshold for well explained phil
- i default epistemic confidence and truth testing (but again. hate defaulting. don't make me do it.)
- that being said, I think that winning framework is not solely sufficient to win you the round. You need to win some offense under that framework.
- i like smart arguments like hijacks, fallacies, metaethical args, permissibility/skep, etc.
- sometimes fw arguments devolve into "my fw is a prereq because life" and "my fw is a prereq because liberty" and those debates are really boring. please avoid circular and underwarranted debates and err on the side of implicating these arguments out further/doing weighing
- Rarely did LARP in LD, but I did do policy for like a year (in 8th/9th grade, and I was really bad, so take this with a grain of salt)
- All CPs are valid, but I think process/agent ones are probably more suss
- yes you need to win a util framework to get access to your impacts
- always make perms on CPs and please isolate net benefits
- please weigh strength of link/internal links
- TLDR I'm comfortable evaluating a LARP debate/I actually enjoy judging them, just please err on overexplaining more technical terms (like I didn't know what functional/textual competition was until halfway through my senior year)
- well explained logical syllogisms (condo logic, trivialism, indexicals, etc) (emphasis on WELL EXPLAINED AND WARRANTED) > blippy hidden aprioris and irrelevant paradoxes
- i dont like sketchiness about tricks. if you have them, delineate them clearly, and be straightforward about it in CX/when asked.
- Most tricks require winning truth testing to win. Don't assume that because i default TT, that i'll auto vote for you on the resolved apriori--I'm not doing that level of work for you.
- warrants need to be coherently explained in the speech that the trick is read. If I don't understand an argument/its implication in the 1ac, then I view the argument (if extended) as new in the 1ar and require a strong development of its claim/warrant/impact
TLDR - CX
I have a basic understanding of policy, as I dabbled in it in high school. Err on the side of overexplanation of more technical terms, and don't assume I know the topic lit (bc I don't!)
Misc. thoughts (that probably won't directly affect how I evaluate a specific round, but just explains how I view debate as a whole)
- tech/truth distinction is arbitrary. I vote on the flow, but truer arguments have a lower threshold for being technically won (ex. the earth is round) and less true arguments have a higher threshold for being technically won (ex. the earth is flat)
- I think ROB/standard function on the same layer (and I also don't think theres a distinction between ROB and ROJ), and therefore, also think that the distinctions between K and phil NCs only differ in the alternative section and the type of philosophy that generally is associated with both
- I highly highly value adapting to less experienced debaters, and will boost your speaks generously if you do. This includes speaking clearly, reading positions and explaining them well, attempting to be educational, and being generally kind in the round. To clarify, I don't think that you have to completely change your strategy against a novice or lay debater, but just that if you were planning on reading 4 shells, read 2 and explain them well. It's infinitely more impressive to me to watch a debater be flex and still win the round than to make the round exclusionary for others.
- docbots are boring to me. I just don't like flowing monotonous spreading for 6 minutes of a 2n on Nebel, and it's not educational for anyone in the round to hear the same 2n every other round. lower speaks for docbots.
- I will not evaluate arguments that ask me to vote for/against someone because they are of a certain identity group or because of their out of round performances. I feel that oversteps the authority of a judge to make decisions ad hominem about students in the activity
- pet peeve when people group permissibility/presumption warrants together. THEY'RE TWO DIFFERENT CONCEPTS.
- this list will keep expanding as I continue to muse on my debate takes
I'm a traditional judge.
4yrs LD Experience 2 Years Varsity
Speak Clearly and I would prefer if you don't SPREAD (I'll tank your speaks).
Clash a lot
Make sure to say why I should prefer your value over the opponent and to really emphasize this. The framework is very important when I take into account everything to vote for. The framework tells me what I should value most. If you have identical values, just say " I agree with my opponent." At the end of the round, I'll start weighing arguments based on how well they achieve their value. Or if you were to tell me to prefer prob > magnitude then I'll give priority to prob arguments in the round and give the round to the debater who showed him impacts are more likely to happen. Of course, I want solid justifications for this - you cant tell me to prefer prob over the magnitude and not explain the reasoning. I won't do the legwork for you
Make sure to weigh your impacts and extend them throughout the round. The argument has to appear in all your speeches and I won't take into account an argument that you dropped in the 1AR but bring back in the 2AR.
I am very a traditional judge, No k's, theories, and etc.
Edit: 2021: I haven't participated in LD Debate in about 2 years — will certainly be slightly rusty.
If you are starting an email link of your cards with your opponents, please be sure to include me. My email is email@example.com
As a judge, here is what I am looking for:
- I do not prefer spreading, but if you do, please make a point to slow down and provide a good paraphrase of your cards - the evidence alone does not mean you win the argument.
- Be sure to ready to point out your opponent's shortcomings during the round. If they have made a mistake, point it out to me and make an "even if" argument.
- Prepare to give quality evidence and explain them well - once you have stated it, follow through with it.
- Support your claims with warrants - when you throw a claim out without a warrant I will disregard it.
- I appreciate the creative approach and use of theory or other strategies but be sure you have enough time to follow through with it. Often time I see many great unconventional approaches, but the majority of them failed to deliver the full effect.
- I hear the same cases rounds after rounds. It is by adding detailed and a personalized approach to your case that will impress me. This demonstrates not only you understand the argument but how you creatively interpret it will give you the upper hand. I love a good personalized constructive - a team that can condense down the arguments and provides a well-organized and quality analysis.
I have been a speech and debate tutor for five years, and have a certificate in Public Speaking from the University of Washington. I debated for two years during High School and participated in Public Forum during the first year and Policy during the last. I also have experience in Duo Interpretation and have won the state championship. I weigh the round on validity, reliability, strength, as well as impact and how each team collaborates and works together effectively.
Another attribute that I always find a great debater is to know your topic thoroughly! Many will throw up casual correlations or causations without really understanding what goes into consideration for any of that to happen (ex: loss of funding --> war) - be careful with this.
**UPDATE: I have not judged debate since Cal 2022. If you want to win, please start at 60% of your top speed and during rebuttals and please slow down on arguments you want me to actually evaluate. I swear nobody actually reads this so if you do read this, please tell me you read this before round and i will give u +0.5 speaker points.
the most important thing of all: i am annoyed by how often i get postrounded by debaters who expected me to vote on an argument that was very unclearly articulated / basically not explained at all. if you want to win with argument x, please invest some time in your speech to explain argument x.
in the absence of arguments claiming otherwise, i will default to these:
tech > truth
competing interps, rvis bad, drop the debater
fairness is most definitely a voter, education may or may not be
debate is probably a good activity (i am very neutral towards this and can easily be convinced otherwise)
background: canyon crest 20, duke 24
please dont shake my hand
I debated 4 years of LD at Canyon Crest. I've done it all/tried everything out at one point or another -- policy, theory/tricks, nontopical, identity, high theory, etc. Thus, I care less about what you read and more about how you execute it.
Personally, I hated judge paradigms that said "i dont like x" or "i wont evaluate y" -- i believe this is your debate space, not mine.
i like fast debate -- slow debate is truly insufferable. this, however, is a double edged sword -- if you do fast debate terribly you will be punished for it.
there is a difference between being assertive and being an ass in cx
if you justify racism/genocide/bigotry good, you'll lose with the lowest speaks possible. if you lose to racism/genocide/bigotry good, please go home and reconsider if debate is for you.
things i like:
being a chiller, weighing your arguments, objectively winning the debate/doing anything that makes my job easier
things i dislike:
thanking me for being here, the phrase "off-time roadmap", the phrases " i stand in firm affirmation/negation", the phrase "Time starts in 3, 2, 1, now", a messy debate (this is different from a very close debate), 0 clash, vague/lack of signposting, using unnecessary strategies against novices/those obviously less skilled than you (this is your fastest ticket to the 25-26 speaker pt range)
Edit for Congress and Parli: If you are an opening/authorship speaker, you have a natural disadvantage, try to have at least one preemptive response to an obvious argument the opponents will bring up, otherwise, you risk reading non-interactive material purely based on how the rest of the debate goes. For parli this is less of a problem, so be sure to carefully and responsibly frame the debate so that other teams can interact without going too far afield.
Edit: I DO NOT VOTE ON CROSS APPLICATION ALONE. YOU MUST WIN YOUR CASE FIRST TO CROSS APPLY. SAY IT BRIEFLY IN YOUR FIRST SPEECH. BUT SAVE THE EXTENDED WEIGHING FOR THE END, DONT WASTE YOUR SPEECH ON CA WHEN YOU SHOULD BE ATTACKING OPPONENT'S WARRANTS.
CARDS ARE JUST DATA. YOU MUST STILL SUPPLY AND EXPLICITLY EXPLAIN THE WARRANT. TELL ME HOW THE NUMBER WAS ARRIVED AT AND READ YOUR OPPONENT'S NUMERICAL IMPACT CARDS TO CHALLENGE THEIR WARRANT. I will vote for someone who explains mechanisms of action but has no cards over someone with all the cards and no explanation. If you don't explain the warrant, and defend against opponent's alternate explanation, you don't get to claim the number. Don't just have cards that form a link chain. EXPLICITLY EXPLAIN THE LINK CHAIN. This sets out clearly what the opponent must do to respond.
I only vote off framework if the cases are a wash or you spend a ton of time on it. I'm much more easily persuaded by resolutional analysis on how an example is or isn't part of the aff world, and how relevant the stats are as a result.
Counterplans must explain how they are explicitly different from aff world (especially if the aff is claiming ground that the prewritten cp was not meant for), else Neg loses all unique offense.
Did PF and LD in high school, extemp in college.
I don't need to be on the email chain if you speak normally, but do if you spread. Most debaters who spread read too much evidence to effectively use, and most of the time reading the card reveals that the tag does not match the card text, or card text is more equivocal than the supported claim. Spreading can be used to lower the standard of evidence, as opponent has less time to respond. Therefore, I will intervene much more heavily on your side of the flow to compensate, cutting out any and all cards and links I don't personally buy.
Most arguments are fine.
If I miss something due to speed, it's not flowed. If you spread at least pause through author and date, missing those may cause me to put something in the wrong place on the flow.
The only time it's acceptable to extend an argument without briefly explaining it is your final speech.
Even if I know the K lit, I'm only voting on it if properly explained and linked.
SIGNPOST. SIGNPOST. Tell me where you are on the flow and what you're responding to.
Overviews and roadmaps shouldn't go longer than 10 seconds.
I don't vote off cross ex alone unless someone concedes something. Use it for clarification or to set up your next speech. If you use it to attack a warrant, you can save time in your next speech by referencing cross instead of reexplaining, I like it when people do that!
I strongly dislike when the text of a card does not match or fulfil its tag. If tag says extinction, the text should either say or be easily linked to extinction.
I dislike frameworks whose only function is to lock opponents from the round. In the case of a framework tie, I prefer the wider, more permissive framework.
If I'm not told how to weigh the round, I'll have to intervene. My default is to tally up the offence that links to the winning framework. I will vote off topicality.
Last updated 21 March 2023
I am currently a Fulbright Debate Coach and Trainer in Taiwan and an LD coach at Apple Valley. I was formerly a grad assistant at the University of Wyoming, head coach of Team Wyoming, an assistant LD coach with Harker, and the Director of LD Debate at Victory Briefs. My background is mostly in LD, though I have PF and policy experience.
Email for the chain: lwzhou10 at gmail.com
1. Give judge instruction. Tell me how to evaluate the debate.
2. Do argument comparison.
3. Email chains are good.
4. Fast debate is good debate.
See the College Policy section below for additional thoughts.
I know almost nothing about the NATO topic.
Taiwan Public Forum
I do not have strong thoughts about what argumentative or stylistic norms ought to govern the activity. I only care that you debate the topic in a way that reflects serious engagement with the relevant scholarly literature.
Additionally, I care that your evidence abides by NSDA rules as outlined in the NSDA Evidence Guide. If I find evidence that does not conform to these guidelines, I will minimally disregard that piece of evidence.
I do not believe that the NEG has any obligation to "frontline" in second rebuttal, but my preferences on this are malleable.
I've judged over 1000 LD and policy rounds from novice locals to TOC elims. I am not particularly partial to a style in which you debate the topic, e.g. philosophical, kritikal, traditional, etc., but I do care that you debate the topic. Frivolous theory or kritiks that shift the question of the debate start a few steps behind for me.
Ideological stances that might influence prefs:
1. Fairness and logic are good—args to the contrary are self-defeating.
2. The aff should defend the topic; the neg should disprove the aff—I've voted against framework/for Ks a decent amount too but it's just a tougher route to take in front of me.
3. Some tricks are fine, most stretch the definition of what counts as an argument—anything that relies almost entirely on your opponent dropping it probably isn't even worth making in front of me.
4. I think Nebel T is true, but tech > truth.
5. Conditionality is probably bad in LD, but it's not that hard to defend condo good; most other counterplan issues are best resolved at the level of competition, not theory.
6. I'm inclined to think that everything other than conditionality and T should be a reason to reject the arg. Most other theoretical objections aren't particularly persuasive to me.
7. I'm generally against sandbagging both in the 1NC and 1AR. I would rather the 1NC read 1 less off case position in favor of more developed case analysis, impact calc, or fully complete arguments. I would rather the 1AR make 1 less theory argument in favor of actually explaining what the words "perm do both" mean. How much "new-ness" is allowed in the 2NR or 2AR is obviously contextual but the default is that it's determined by how new your opponent was.
8. Ev ethics are important—I'll default to the NSDA Evidence Guide.
9. I'd prefer not to read your cards—I'd rather you explain them to me.
None of these biases are locked in—in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy. I'm not sure I have strong opinions about much else. Like most other judges, I like evidence quality, impact calculus, and strategic choices. Like most other judges, I dislike cheating, unclarity, and impropriety.
I will NOT hesitate drop anyone who spreads or engages in debate practices that would not be persuasive or understandable to a reasonable person—this is not negotiable. Please do not see my policy background or circuit LD experience as an invitation to make this round uninteresting for everyone involved.
1. Please time yourselves. Using a phone is fine.
2. Yes, off-time roadmaps are good.
3. Offense (why you win) is superior to defense (why you don't lose). I'm much more interested in the former; don't spend so much time on the latter.
4. The criterion/framework is not a voting issue. If you say it is, I'll make a big sad face :(.
5. I prefer more principled and philosophical arguments in debate. If the debate does become a question about the consequences of adopting some policy, I prefer empirical studies and examples over random predictions without evidence.
6. I prefer voting issues to be given as they arise on the flow, not in a discrete section at the end of rebuttal speeches.
7. You do not need to ask me to use your prep time (although I will keep track of time myself).
8. You can read my longer LD paradigm at the bottom for a more detailed view at my decision-making process.
9. You MUST follow the NSDA Evidence Rules (High School Manual here, shorter version here). I care deeply about evidentiary ethics in an academic event and I will not hesitate to punish to the full extent allowed by the rules up to, and including, voting against you.
10. I hate evasion. Direct clash with your opponent's central points is preferred.
11. I will keep a rigorous flow, time all speeches, and not hesitate to enforce those time limits.
Stolen from Matt Liu: "Feb 2022 update: If your highlighting is incoherent gibberish, you will earn the speaker points of someone who said incoherent gibberish. The more of your highlighting that is incoherent, the more of your speech will be incoherent, and the less points you will earn. To earn speaker points, you must communicate coherent ideas."
I debated for OU back in the day but you shouldn't read too much into that—I wasn't ever particularly good or invested when I was competing. I lean more towards the policy side than the K side and I'm probably going to be unfamiliar with a lot of the ins-and-outs of most kritiks, although I will do my best to fairly evaluate the debate as it happens.
1. I tend to think the role of the aff is to demonstrate that the benefits of a topical plan outweigh its costs and that the role of the neg is to demonstrate that the costs and/or opportunity costs of the aff's plan outweigh its benefits.
2. I find variations of "fairness bad" or "logic/reasoning bad," to be incredibly difficult to win given that I think those are fundamental presuppositions of debate itself. Similarly, I find procedural fairness impacts to be the best 2NRs on T/Framework.
3. Conditionality seems obviously good but I'm not opposed to a 2AR on condo. Most other theory arguments seem reasons to reject the argument, not the team. I lean towards reasonability. Most counterplan issues seem best resolved at the level of competition, not theory.
4. Warrant depth is good. Argument comparison is good. Both together—even better.
None of these biases are locked in—in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy.
Online Procedural Concerns
1. Follow tournament procedure regarding online competition best practices.
2. Record your speeches locally. If you cut out and don't have a local backup, that's a you problem.
3. Keep your camera on when you speak, I don't care if it's on otherwise. Only exception is if there are tech or internet issues---keeping the camera off for the entirety of the debate otherwise is a good way to lose speaker points.
4. I'll keep my camera off for prep time, but I'll verbally indicate I'm ready before each speech and turn on the camera for your speeches. If you don't hear me say I'm ready and see my camera on, don't start.
5. Yes, I'll say clear and stuff for online rounds.
Holy Cross ‘19
University of Notre Dame ‘23 (Political Science and Philosophy)
Head LD Coach, James Logan High School
Add me to the email chain/Ask questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Holy Cross, James Logan
Note for Online Debate
If you're spreading, only go 70-80% of your full speed in case the audio/Internet doesn't pick you up.*
If you drop from the call, we'll pause the speech there and start back from wherever you left off (according to my flow). If the tournament has its own procedure, we'll follow that.
*See my note about spreading below
I did LD Debate for four years at Holy Cross School, working in traditional and circuit styles. At James Logan, I coach traditional and progressive debate. So, I’m familiar with all arguments. My approach to any round is that the burden of the affirmative is to show the AC is a good idea, and the negative has to show it’s a bad idea. The affirmative should tell me why I should care about the case and how they solve for impacts. Negative can do pretty much anything, within reason, to show it’s a bad idea, whether that’s a NC, CP, K, etc.
Every argument should link back to a framework. The unique thing about LD is the values debate and I've always appreciated it. I evaluate the debate as to who best links back to the framework. If you do that for me, we will all be happy. To be clear, I'm fine with the standard utilitarian framework, but encourage you to use other values/value criterions.
Weighing impacts and crystallization is very important to me. Be clear about your advocacy and your arguments. Extend arguments with claim, warrant, and impact instead of just stating the card name. Consolidate the round to its key issues and show me what matters. Sign-posting is very important!
Traditional/Whole Resolution Cases
These are completely fine! Please emphasize the framework debate, weigh impacts, and give me voters.
I like a well-researched DA or CP with unique arguments. Please make sure the evidence is good with a strong link chain, especially for exaggerated impacts like extinction or nuclear war. These impacts tend to involve spotty link chains and logical leaps. That's not to say you shouldn't run them, but that I have a high threshold for those impacts.
I did some kritiks as a debater and I've likely read whatever literature you're drawing from. Still, you should be able to clearly explain the argument without buzzwords or highly technical language, especially on the alternative. Even if I know the argument, I won't vote on it if your explanation isn't clear.
I'd also look at my views on philosophy debate because they tend to correlate with my approach to kritiks.
Same as kritiks. Be able to clearly explain it, especially with dense philosophies. Even if I know the argument, I won’t vote on it unless you can explain it well enough. Also, be sure to identify impacts to violating the philosophy. Why should I care about it?
I highly recommend people going against philosophy in front of me research whether your opponent is accurately reflecting the position. A lot of times, debaters tend to focus on the wrong parts of a philosophical position or ignore the rest of the theory, which leads to a misrepresentation of the literature. As a philosophy student, this really frustrates me.
For what it's worth, I think the biggest issue for philosophy debaters is 1) making sure their contentions actually link to the framework and 2) explaining how the philosophy interacts with their opponent's own framework and impacts. Struggle in these areas tend to happen when debaters don't fully understand the literature.
I put theory on a high pedestal in the sense that it should only be used for actual abuse. I don't like strategies where debaters regularly rely on theory to win rounds. For frivolous shells, I will accept “This is frivolous theory, don’t vote on it” as a valid response if you can show why it's frivolous, but you can dispute if it’s frivolous.
I still think theory is valuable for debate but am weary of it being misused. I recommend only using it if there's legitimate abuse in the round that creates a significant structural disadvantage. If you do, be clear, weigh impacts, and tell me if the shell comes before the case.
My thoughts on theory also apply to topicality, but I don't put it on as high of a threshold. I think there are certain topicality shells that serve as legitimate arguments for most negative strategies, but don't think debaters should "run topicality just to run it." It's important to have conversations on whether the affirmative is topical or if being topical is worthwhile in the first place.
I'm generally opposed to these (especially if they're not disclosed), but I understand their value. I'm not saying you shouldn't run these in front of me. My only expectations are that you show 1) why we should abandon the topic, 2) why the topic can't contain your advocacy, and 3) how voting affirmative solves the impact. My biggest problem with these arguments is how the ballot solves the problem. Also, if you are running identity arguments related to your personal experience, I have some sympathy for how your opponent is expected to negate your personal experiences.
They’re bad for debate. Don’t run them in front of me. I will vote against you simply for your opponent pointing out it's a trick (assuming it's true), especially if you try to hide it.
Disclosure is good for debate and that includes small school/lone wolf debaters (like I was). I am very sympathetic to disclosure arguments if it's clear the opponent hasn't disclosed. There's no educational benefit in not disclosing; it's purely for competitive reasons and that undermines education impacts debaters run. Although, if your school doesn't allow disclosure or there's some other reason outside of your control that prevents you from disclosing, I'm sympathetic to those arguments.
With that said, I think some arguments about disclosure practices (i.e., first-3-last-3 vs open source) are not persuasive. If someone has provided taglines/analytics, citations for sources, and some indication of what exactly they're reading from the source, that's sufficient. As long as someone is making a good faith effort to disclose properly, that's sufficient for me.
I don't think debaters need to disclose new arguments and have yet to hear convincing arguments otherwise. Asking for the plan text and advantages undermines the purpose of a new affirmative.
I've become increasingly convinced that spreading is bad for this activity, especially from a public speaking perspective. I understand that it allows for more in-depth argumentation that conversational speed doesn't allow, but there's a point where those benefits are outweighed by the loss of a quality debate. With that said, I recognize spreading is the norm for this activity and I'll condone it (for now), but not at ridiculous speeds. Conversational speed is generally ~150 wpm. I'll tolerate ~250 wpm. If you're going so fast that I can't flow, I won't vote on the argument.
Tech over Truth within reason.
Obviously, any arguments that are sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. will result in an immediate loss.
Be respectful. Debate is supposed to be an activity for everyone.
Prep time ends when the doc is sent or the flash drive leaves your computer.
Flex prep is fine.
2NR’s shouldn’t go for everything.
If you are a varsity debater going against a novice debater and intentionally overwhelm them, the round will not look good for you. This is not to say go easy on them, treat them like any other opponent. The same goes for a circuit debater trying to out-circuit someone from a traditional background.
While debate is inherently about the arguments, it has a performative aspect. How you deliver your speeches and conduct yourself matters.
Be brief with your off-time road maps and don't say "This is a x minute speech" (I know the speech times).
30: Flawless argumentation, solid delivery, and I learned something from the debater.
29.5-29.9: Excellent skills and strategy, good delivery
29-29.4: Same as above but needs work on delivery
28.5-28.9: Good debate skills and decent delivery; shows promise
27-28.4: Needs work on argumentative and delivery skills
<27: You did something bad, like a racist argument.
People that I admire and have influenced my views on debate