California Invitational Berkeley Debate
2022 — Berkeley, CA/US
MS Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am a parent judge and have not judged very many rounds. Please speak slowly and clearly if you want me to understand your arguments. I do not flow speeches or crossfires extensively but I will pay attention to everything that is said during the round.
Be nice to your fellow debaters.
Hello. I am a parent judge. This is my first year judging debate. I competed in what is now called Public Forum Debate and the individual events of Extemporaneous and Impromptu Speech at John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond, California. Our coach was David Dansky and during his 25 year tenure, Kennedy High teams won three state championships.
I have a professional background in law, originally as a litigator and then a transactional lawyer.
I value clarity in presenting one's points in debate rounds and curiosity in listening well to an opponent's points, thinking them through and responding to them.
It's been a while since I competed and thus I appreciate when students take care to spell out things at least once before proceeding to refer to them by debate jargon. My hope is that every student emerges from a round I judged feeling like they gave a great effort and had fun.
Name Chris Gentry
Previous institutional affiliations and role
Appalachian State Debator
Former Coach Hubbard High School
Former Coach Harker Middle School
High school and college debater – graduated college in last 5 years
If you debated what speech did you do most often?
What do you view your role as the judge in the debate? (Possible answers may include: referee, policymaker, tabula rasa, stock issues, capable of effectuating change or educator).
In what ways do you intend this judge philosophy to be helpful to debaters? In other words, what would you hope debaters would do with this philosophy?
I hope they use this judge philosophy to better understand the sorts of debates that I judge, and to get a better understanding for how I receive arguements
Do you take flash time as prep time? In other words, when does prep begin and end with you? Do you expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time?
I expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time, and the end of prep time is determined by the tournament.
Do you have teams provide you speech documents throughout the debate by flashing or emailing them to you? Do you have teams provide speech documents throughout the debate by emailing them to you?
Whatever the team prefers
If you do, why have you adopted this practice? If you do not, have you made a conscious decision not to and if so why?
I think that decision should be made to the debater
What is your normal range for speaker points and why? What can earn extra speaker points for a debater? What can cost speaker points for a debater, even if they win the debate?
I give 25-30 points, 25 being for poor speech, less than 25 for abuse. You can lose points for demonstrated abuse in round or poor treatment of partner or opposition. You can gain points through good responses and effective response strategy
Do you say clearer out loud if a debater is unclear? Is there a limit to the number of times you will say clearer if you do? Do you use other non-verbal cues to signal a lack of clarity?
I will say clearer or louder 3 times.
Do you find yourself reading a lot of evidence after the debate?
Do you evaluate the un-underlined parts of the evidence even if the debaters do not make that an argument?
No, I need the argument to be made for why a thing matters, how it matters, and what it is that matters. I will only read the underlined parts of the evidence if I doubt validity
If you read evidence after a debate, why do you tend to find yourself reading the evidence?
To ensure proper decisions and to confirm accuracy if any cards feel like they are incredible.
What are your predispositions or views on the following:
As long as it is clear and warranted especially on ground loss. I need the impacts to be fully leveled out, and I need there to be solid arguments for fairness impacts.
Theory for the aff versus counterplans and/or kritiks
I definitely prefer critical arguments that are resolution specific versus the generic kritik, however I am fine with the generic kritik as long as you tie it well to your argument and the resolution being debated. I will vote on perm and theory if presented well. I will also vote on topicality for nontopical Aff . That said, I really like critical arguments when they’re not generic and the ideas are clearly articulated. Explain your ideas instead of just throwing terms around. Sure, I may know what the terms mean, but I need to know how you are using them to determine the functionality of the argument. I also think it’s important to not only tell me the importance of (or need for) the interrogation or deconstruction the criticism engages in, but also why should we engage with THIS specific interrogation/deconstruction and what, if anything, it seeks to solve, resolve, change, etc. In other words, don’t drop or omit solvency of the criticism.
Affirmative’s need to read a plan in order to win on the aff:
They don’t need to read a plan but they do need an advocacy that is different than the SQ
Performance teams that use elements other than spoken word (such as songs, dance, poetry, silence) to support their arguments
I find performance based arguments to be not very persuasive unless they are topically specific. I find the nature of debate to be too constricting for performance solvency and I feel like they can be non-uniqued easily.
I don’t buy arguments that your in-round "performance" solved for more than what it might have in the immediate context (if you advocate for suspending the illusion of the debate world). I also hold that the act of debating, criticizing, and advocating itself is a performance, and so you will need to do extra work to justify how and why yours is extra unique. I do think "performance" as critical metaphor can have access to rhetorical solvency, but it's harder for me to access literal solvency. So while I am not biased towards projects or performances so long as they are grounded in some context that is in round, I think they can still be interesting and get a ballot.
What types of debates do you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy good K v K debates
I enjoy unique critical debates
I also have a large background in policy and love a good old fashion 2 on v 2 off and a cp
Most important items if you have limited reading time:
IN-PERSON POST-COVID:I live with people who are vulnerable to Covid-19. It is my strong preference that you keep your mask fully on for the duration of the round, other than as needed to drink water, even if the tournament allows otherwise. Please do not shake hands.
ONLINE DEBATE: My internet quality has trouble with spreading, so if I'm adjudicating you at an online tournament and you plan to spread, please make sure we work out a signal so I can let you know if you're cutting out. NSDA Campus stability is usually slightly better than Zoom stability. You probably won't see me on Zoom because that consistently causes my audio to cut out.
Be good to each other (but you don't need to shake my hand or use speech time to thank me--I'm here because I want to be).
It's your round, you can do what you want to, but that doesn't mean there won't be consequences.
I will never, ever answer any variations on the question, "Do you have any preferences we should know about?" right before round, because I want the tournament to run on time, so be specific with what you want to know if something is missing here.
PREP THEFT: I hate it so much. If it takes you >30 sec to find a piece of evidence, I'm starting your prep timer. Reading someone's evidence AND any time you take to ask questions about it (not including time they use to answer) counts as prep. If you take more than your allotted prep time, I will decrease your speaks by one point for every 10 seconds until I get to the tournament points floor, after which you will get the L. No LD or PF round should take over 60 minutes.
I'm currently DOF for the MVLA school district (2015-present). My role at this point is predominantly administrative, and most of my direct coaching interactions are with novice, elementary, and middle school students, so it takes a few months for new metas and terminologies to get to me. PF/LD should assume I have limited contact with the topic even if it's late in the cycle. I have eight years of personal competition experience in parliamentary debate and impromptu speaking in high school and college, albeit for relatively casual/non-circuit teams. My own high school experience was at a small school, so I tend to be sympathetic to arguments about resource-based exclusion.
Approach to judging
-The framework and how it is leveraged to include/exclude impacts is absolutely the most important part of the round.
-It's impossible to be a true "blank slate" judge. I will never add arguments to the flow for you or throw out arguments that I don’t like, but I do have a low tolerance for buying into blatant falsehoods, and I fully acknowledge that everyone has different, somewhat arbitrary thresholds for "buying" certain arguments. My politics are farther left than average, although I tend to be skeptical of generic K solvency/nonunique Ks.
-I am emphatically NOT a games/tricks/whatever-we're-calling-it-these-days judge. Debate is an educational activity that takes place in a communal context, not a game that can be separated from sociocultural influences. Students who have public speaking abilities have unique responsibilities that constrain how they should and should not argue. I will not hesitate to penalize speaker points for rhetoric that upholds racist, sexist, or other oppressive ideologies.
Speaker point ranges
I will do my best to follow point floors and ceilings issued by each tournament. 30s are reserved for a speech that is literally the best one I have seen to date. Anything above a 29 is extremely rare. I will strongly advocate to tab to allow me to go below the tournament point floor in cases of overt racism/sexism/etc, physical aggression, or extremely disrespectful address toward anyone in the round.
Evaluation order/methods: These are my defaults. If I am presented with a different framework for assessment by either team, I will use that framework instead. In cases of a “tie” or total wash, I vote neg unless there is a CP flowed through, in which case I vote aff. I vote on prefiat before postfiat, with the order being K theory/framework questions, pre-fiat K implications, other theory (T, etc), post-fiat. I default to net benefits both prefiat and postfiat. I generally assume the judge is allowed to evaluate anything that happens in the round as part of the decision, which sometimes includes rhetorical artifacts about out-of-round behavior.
Impacts: Terminalize them. Weigh them. "Economy goes up" is meaningless to me without elaboration as to how it impacts actual people.
Counterplans: I consider a permutation the affirmative takes as their advocacy as severance out of the 1AC, which is fine, if you're going to defend severance. If you want to have a solid plan debate in LD or PF, far be it from me to stop you. Plan/CP debate is just a method of framing, and if we all agree to do it that way and understand the implications, it's fine.
Theory/Topicality: You need to format your theory shells in a manner that gives me a way to vote on them (ie, they possess some kind of pre- or post-fiat impact). I will listen to any kind of theory argument, but I genuinely don't enjoy theory as a strategic tool. I err neg on theory (or rather, I err toward voting to maintain fairness/education) in general and default to competing interpretations. I will vote on RVIs but usually only on genuine critical turns on theory where the PMR collapses to the turn or cases of clearly demonstrated time skew.
Kritiks/"Progressive" Argumentation: I have a lot of feelings, so here's the rapid-fire/bullet-point version: I am open to most Ks as long as they are clearly linked. Affirmatives have a higher burden for linking to the resolution, or clearly disclosing if not. If you're not in policy, you probably shouldn't just be reading policy files--write Ks that fit the norms of your event. If you want to read them in front of me, you shouldn’t just drop names of cards, as I am not conversant at a high level with most K literature (but I'm still waiting for a solid PhilSci K). Please don’t use your K to troll. Please do signpost your K. On framework, I err toward evaluating prefiat arguments first but am willing to weigh discursive implications of postfiat arguments against them. The framework debate is underrated. If you are facing a K in front of me, you need to put in a good-faith effort to engage with it, unless you’ve been spread out. I'm getting pretty exhausted of seeing kids run cap Ks and then become hedge fund managers eight years later. Ks that weaponize identities against each other are rough for you and also for me--don't feel compelled to out yourself to get my vote. Finally, I am pretty sure it's only possible for me to performatively embrace/reject something once, so if your alt is straight "vote to reject/embrace X," you're going to need some arguments about what repeatedly embracing/rejecting does for me. I have seen VERY few alts that don't boil down to "vote to reject/embrace X."
Trichotomy: In parli, prefer policy rounds since util/net benefits seems to be the framework most debaters best understand. I'm open to fact/value or other framing (e.g. criticism) as long as you have a rigorous understanding and articulation of framework.
"New" Arguments: Anything that could count as a block/position/contention, in addition to evidence (examples, analytics, analogies, cites) not previously articulated will be considered "new" if they come out in the last speech for either side UNLESS they are made in response to a clear line of clash that has continued throughout the round. I'll consider shadow extensions from the constructives that were not extended or contended in intervening speeches new as well. The only exception to this rule is for the 2N in LD, which I give substantial leeway to make points that would otherwise be considered "new." I will generally protect against new arguments to the best of my ability. Voters, crystallization, impact calculus and framing are fine.
Formatting: I will follow any method of formatting as long as it is signposted, but I am most conversant with advantage/disadvantage uniqueness/link/impact format. Paragraph theory is both confusing to your opponent AND to me. Please include some kind of framing or weighing mechanism in the first speech and impact calculus or some kind of crystallization/voters in the final speeches, as that is the cleanest way for me to make a decision on the flow.
Extensions: I do like for you to strategically extend points you want to go for that the opponent has dropped. Restating your original point is not a response to a rebuttal and won't be treated as an answer unless you explain how the extension specifically interacts with the opponent's response. The point will be considered dropped if you don't engage with the substance of the counterargument.
Tag-teaming: It's fine but I won’t flow anything your partner says during your speech. If it happens repeatedly, especially in a way that interrupts the flow of the speech, it may impact the speaker points of the current speaker.
Questions/Cross-ex: I will stop flowing, but CX is binding. I stop time for Points of Order in parli, and you must take them unless tournament rules explicitly forbid them. Don't let them take more than 30 seconds total.
Speed: I tolerate spreading but don't love it. If your opponent has a high level of difficulty with your speed and makes the impacted argument that you are excluding them, I will be open to voting on that. If I cannot follow your speed, I will stop writing and put my pen down (or stop typing) and stare at you really awkwardly. I drop off in my flowing functionality above the 300-350 wpm zone (in person--online, you should go slower to account for internet cutouts).
Speech Docs/Card Calling: Conceptually they make me tired, but I generally want to be on chains just because I think sharing docs increases the likelihood of debaters trying to leverage extremely specific case references. If I didn't hear something in the round/it confused me enough that I need to read the card, you probably didn't do a good enough job talking about it or selling it to me to deserve the win, but I'll call for cards if everyone collapses to main points that hinge on me reading them. If someone makes a claim of card misuse/misrepresentation, I'll ask for the card/speech doc as warranted by the situation and then escalate to the tournament officials if needed.
Miscellaneous: If your opponent asks for a written text of your plan/CP/K thesis/interp, you are expected to provide it.
I have no personal speech and debate competition experience. I began judging in early 2014; I have been involved in the community ever since and have attended/judged/run tournaments at a rate of 30 tournaments per year give or take. The onset of online in early 2020 has only pushed that number higher. I began coaching in 2016 starting in Congressional Debate and currently act as my program's Public Forum Coach.
General Expectations of Me (Things for You to Consider)
Consider me "flay" on average, "flow" on a good day. Here is a list of things NOT to expect from me:
- Don't make assumptions about my knowledge. Do not expect me to know the things you know. Always make the choice to explain things fully.
- Post-round me if you want, I don't care. If you want to post-round me, I'll sit there and take it. Don't think I'll change my mind though. All things that should influence my decision need to occur in the debate and if I didn’t catch it, that’s too bad.
- Regarding Disclosures/Decisions. Do not expect me to disclose in prelims unless the tournament explicitly tells me to. I will disclose all elim rounds unless explicitly told not to.
- Clarity > Speed. I flow on paper, meaning I most likely won't be looking at either competitor/team too often during the round. Please don't take that as a discouraging signal, I'm simply trying to keep up. This also means I flow more slowly than my digital counterparts, so there may be occasions that I miss something if you speak too quickly.
- Defense is not sticky. Coverage is important in debate; it allows for a sensible narrative to be established over the course of the round. Summary, not Rebuttal, is the setup for Final Focus.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
General Debate Philosophy
I am tech > truth by the slimmest of margins. I am here to identify a winner of a debate, not choose one. Will I fail at this? At times yes. But I believe that the participants in the round should be the sole factors in determining who wins and loses a debate. At its most extreme, I will vote (and have voted) for a competitor/team who lies IF AND ONLY IF those lies are not called out/identified by the opposing competitor/team. If I am to practice tabula rasa, then I must adopt this line of reasoning. Will I identify in my ballot that a lie was told? Absolutely.
Why take this hard line? Because debate is a space where we can practice an open exchange of information. This means it is also a space where we can practice calling out nonsense in a respectful manner. The conversations of world beyond will not be limited by time constraints or speaker order nor will there be an authority or ombudsman to determine what is truth. We must do that on our own. If you hear something false, investigate it. Bring it to my attention. Explain the falsehood. Take the time to set the record straight.
Public Forum / Lincoln Douglas Paradigm
Regarding speaker points:
I judge on the standard tabroom scale. 27.5 is average; 30 is the second coming manifested in speech form; and 22 and under is if you stabbed someone in the round. Everyone starts at a 27.5 and depending on how the round goes, that score will fluctuate. I expect clarity, fluidity, confidence and decorum in all speeches. Being able to convey those facets to me in your speech will boost your score; a lack in any will negatively affect speaker points. I judge harshly: 29+ scores are rare and 30 is a unicorn. DO NOT think you can eschew etiquette and good speaking ability simply due to the rationale that "this is debate and W's and L's are what matter."
Do not yell at your opponent(s) in cross. Avoid eye contact with them during cross as much as possible to keep the debate as civil as it can be. If it helps, look at me; at the very least, I won’t be antagonistic. I understand that debate can get heated and emotional; please utilize the appropriate coping mechanisms to ensure that proper decorum is upheld. Do not leave in the middle of round to go to the bathroom or any other reason outside of emergency, at which point alert me to that emergency.
Please signpost. I cannot stress this enough without using caps and larger font. If you do not signpost or provide some way for me to follow along your case/refutations, I will be lost and you will be in trouble. Not actual trouble, but debate trouble. You know what I mean.
In Public Forum, I default to Cost-Benefit Analysis unless a different FW is given. Net-Benefit and Risk-Benefit are also common FWs that I do not require explanation for. Broader FWs, like Lives and Econ, also do not require explanation. Anything else, give me some warranting.
In Lincoln Douglas, I need a Value and Value Criterion (or something equivalent to those two) in order to know how to weigh the round. Without them, I am unable to judge effectively because I have not been told what should be valued as most important. Please engage in Value Debates: FWs are the rules under which you win the debate, so make sure your rules and not your opponent's get used in order to swing the debate in your favor. Otherwise, find methods to win under your opponent's FW.
Do not take this to mean that if you win the FW debate, you win the round. That's the beauty of LD: there is no dominant value or value criterion, but there is persuasive interpretation and application of them.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
Regarding the decision (RFD):
I judge tabula rasa, or as close to it as possible. I walk in with no knowledge of the topic, just the basic learning I have gained through my public school education. I have a wide breadth of common knowledge, so I will not be requiring cards/evidence for things such as the strength of the US military or the percentage of volcanos that exist underwater. For matters that are strictly factual, I will rarely ask for evidence unless it is something I don’t know, in which case it may be presented in round regardless. What this means is that I am pledging to judge ONLY on what I hear in round. As difficult as this is, and as horrible as it feels to give W’s to teams whom I know didn’t deserve it based on my actual knowledge, that is the burden I uphold. This is the way I reduce my involvement in the round and is to me the best way for each team to have the greatest impact over their respective W or L.
A few exceptions to this rule:
- Regarding dropped points and extensions across flow: I flow ONLY what I hear; if points don’t get brought up, I don’t write them. A clear example would be a contention read in Constructive, having it dropped in Summary, and being revived in Final Focus. I will personally drop it should that occur; I will not need to be prompted to do so, although notification will give me a clearer picture on how well each team is paying attention. Therefore, it does not hurt to alert me. The reason why I do this is simple: if a point is important, it should be brought up consistently. If it is not discussed, I can only assume that it simply does not matter.
- Regarding extensions through ink: This phrase means that arguments were flowed through refutations without addressing the refutations or the full scope of the refutations. I imagine it being like words slamming into a brick wall, but one side thinks it's a fence with gaping holes and moves on with life. I will notice if this happens, especially if both sides are signposting. I will be more likely to drop the arguments if this is brought to my attention by your opponents. Never pretend an attack didn't happen. It will not go your way.
- Regarding links: I need things to just make sense. Do not use terrible links. If I’m listening to an argument and all I can think is “What?” then you have lost me. If using a link chain, link well with appropriate warrants. I will just not buy arguments at that point and this position will be further reinforced should an opposing team point out the lack of or poor quality of the link.
I do not flow cross-examination. It is your time for clarification and identifying clash. Should something arise from it, it is your job to bring it up in your/team’s next speech.
I'm not a big fan of theory/kritiks. If it comes up and it's warranted, make sure I know it. But most of the time, I won't be happy that it's happening. I advise against it.
Regarding RFD in Public Forum: I vote on well-defined and appropriately linked impacts. All impacts must be extended across the flow to be considered. If your Summary speaker drops an impact, I’m sorry but I will not consider it if brought up in Final Focus. What can influence which impacts I deem more important is Framework. I don’t vote off Framework, but it can determine key impacts which can force a decision.
Regarding RFD in Lincoln Douglas: FW is essential to help me determine which impacts weigh more heavily in the round. Once the FW is determined, the voters are how well each side fulfills the FW and various impacts extending from that. This is similar to how I vote in PF, but with greater emphasis on competing FWs.
I am a paper flow judge; I do not flow on computer. I’m a dinosaur that way. This means if you go through points too quickly, there is a higher likelihood that I may miss things in my haste to write them down. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SPREAD OR SPEED READ. I do not care for it as I see it as a disrespectful form of communication, if even a form of communication at all. Nowhere in life, outside of progressive circuit debate and ad disclaimers, have I had to endure spreading. Regardless of its practical application within meta-debate, I believe it possesses little to no value elsewhere. If you see spreading as a means to an end, that end being recognized as a top debater, then you and I have very different perspectives regarding this activity. Communication is the one facet that will be constantly utilized in your life until the day you die. I would hope that one would train their abilities in a manner that best optimizes that skill for everyday use.
This section is meant for things that simply anger me beyond rational thought. Do not do them.
- No puns. No pun tagline, no pun arguments, no pun anything. No puns or I drop you.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
Background for Bill Lemonovich
Extemp,Oratory ,Poetry and DI were all HS areas of competition I pursued during while in High School as well as American Legion Oratory
I was a policy debater for 4 years at Cal State University and enjoyed the State and National Tournaments;happy to have been inducted into the Debate /Speech fraternity :Pi Kappa Delta. Competing at this time was an incredible experience.defeating Harvard University was an Honor.
High School teacher in New York, Montgomery County,Md.and Pennsylvania :German.Russian,World History and Psychology and Debate.
I have coached 10 HS teams in several states and have been a Tournament Director with 30 schools competing as well as organizing the Cal State University tournament a few years ago..Treasurer of the MCFL ( Montgomery County, Md. ) National NSDA tournments have included Kansas City,Las Vegas, Ft.Lauderdale, Dallas and Birmingham.Presently moving towards my Second Diamond status in NSDA.
Judging preferences :Clear, direct presentation of contentions including a clear statement of the R and a definition of key terms
~~ Impact arguments by both the Aff/Neg should be clear stressed,extended and REITERATED ..if you feel you have the winning arguments,it's worth repeating and stressing !
~~ Spreading is not clear communication...if you gasp and moan while delivering your speech I will not be pleased !
~~ Clash is imperative..you must convince me that your arguments outweigh those of your opponents !
~~ In PF and CX..teamwork is a must..your partnership should be smooth in in sync or it will likely be confusing
~~ I am not a fan of 'trick cases' or some variant of a 'Counterplan'..Make your case clear,logical and 'persuasive'
~ There is often a very 'thin line' between Ranking 1-5 in IE events..I look for Topicalty,a strong intro,2-3 major points and a
'Call to Action' when you speak..a little humor can go a long way...ENGAGE your audience..I want to be informed,enlightened and entertained..doesn't everyone ?
I am a first-year parent judge, but I will evaluate argumentative logic first and care about evidence quality and evidence ethics. Speaking presentation and style are for speaker points but do not substantively impact who wins or loses the debate. Please do not paraphrase when you first introduce evidence, as our school institutionally believes it a terrible norm for PF debate.
I will be flowing the whole round. I will be paying close attention during crossfire and that is an important part of my decision making. I would like to see debaters able to think on their feet and demonstrate confidence.
Although I have no debate experience myself, I will flow arguments through.
For speeches, please:
1. Speak clearly and at a moderate pace. If you start spreading there is a chance that I won't catch it or flow it.
2. Signpost clearly and I would prefer it if you started weighing earlier in second rebuttal or first summary.
3. Do off-time roadmaps, especially in the second half of the debate.
4. Before starting, please send case documents to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For crossfires, I will not be flowing but I will still be listening. Please:
1. Speak politely. Don't interrupt. I will be deducting speaker points for those who are rude in cross.
2. Time yourself, but I will also be timing in speeches and crossfires.
I look forward to listening to your arguments and cases!
Contact me at: email@example.com
I am a parent judge for Public Forum. Despite my lack of judging experience, I would say that I am a lay judge with plenty of real world experience. This means that I vote for teams that are able to clearly persuade me with their evidence and impacts.
WHAT I LOOK FOR:
- I appreciate clear, structured communication.
- I prefer teams that are able to tell me why they are winning on their case and their opponent's case.
- Please weigh correctly: There is a higher probability of me voting for you if you make the explicit comparative between your and your opponent's impacts and evidence. Please flesh out your weighing instead of just using buzzwords.
- Roadmaps/Signposting is very helpful. This means that I appreciate debaters that tell me what they are talking about in their speech and where they are during their speech.
- I am OK with any speaking speed but prefer teams that have every piece of analysis mean something and contribute to the round than a team that only speaks fast.
- I don't time your speeches, so feel free to time your own and your opponent's speech.
- Please be respectful of your opponents & don't rudely interrupt them. (Otherwise I will dock your speaker points).
All the very best & have fun!
Hi! I am a first time judge but a seasoned business negotiator.
Please speak clearly.
Please construct your arguments that make logical sense and can pass the test of real-life scenarios.
Use examples as much as you can.
Looking forward to seeing you!
I am a parent judge with some opinions on Public Forum debate format. I was never a debater myself, and my opinions come from the perspective of a parent judge.
1) While I believe PF should be accessible to a non-debater (like myself), I feel strongly that PF debaters tend to be loose with paraphrasing. In particular, second speakers can tend to be overreaching with facts and paraphrasing. As a scientist by training, I like evaluating on evidence. I trust cut cards way more than I trust paraphrased statements.
2) I think it is helpful if both teams disclose their cases to each other (and to me as a judge) prior to the round. This is best done immediately after the coin flip. My email for pre-round disclosure is firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) It's more important to win the ballot than to get high speaker points. In my opinion, there is a lot of inflation in speaks. A perfect 30 or even anything in the 29 range should be reserved for truly outstanding, mind blowing performances. These scores should be awarded for speeches that a judge will remember for years. I will follow the scoring rubric, and a 27 from me may be a 29 from another judge.
4) I am fussy about grammar. For example, it bugs me when people start a sentence with "my partner and me" instead of "my partner and I." Debate and especially PF debate is about clarity and appealing to the average person. Correct grammar matters. I also appreciate when words or terms are pronounced correctly. When I was judging a topic about NATO, there were several teams who pronounced it with the short "a," like "natto." Natto is a traditional Japanese food. It is not the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
5) I am a parent judge, and it would be a mistake to assume that I know how to judge progressive debate, kritiks, theory or anything other than the actual topic.
6) You may believe you won the flow. You may believe you cleanly won the debate. But, guess what? If you didn't win my ballot, you lost the debate. Period.
Finally, please be respectful to one another. You can argue aggressively but still be respectful. I will time your speeches, but you should be timing yourselves as well.
Have fun and debate well! :)
"I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells." --Dr. Seuss
"It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, 'What about lunch?'" --Winnie the Pooh
I am a judge who gives feedback based on conceptual clarity/presentation clarity and the relevance of points/evidence involved. I also appreciate risk taking (that is respectful and kind). I prioritize clarity and impact more than speed and amount of time spent speaking.
I do not take points away for the diverse ways folks express their arguments/speeches, as I am inclusive to neurodivergence. I still provide notes of these expressions (ie. Eye contact, stutters, gestures, etc.) in ballots. Lastly, my approach is informed by anti-colonialism and equity for all.
I have judged for a few months under a year and I look forward to learning more.
Lay judge! Please be slow and clear. Your arguments should not be overly complicated in the round. Be respectful to your opponents.