The Longhorn Classic
2021 — Austin, TX/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
1. I will vote on topicality wins.
2. I prefer on case and off case arguments over any K's.
3. Overall, I enjoy a good round with attacks to the affirmations made by on case arguments/off case arguments and are supported by evidence.
Email for chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated all 4 years of high school, and currently am on my second year of debating for the University of Texas at San Antonio.
For Policy, I weigh the round how you tell me to weigh it- so explain to me why you should win. I don't like Kritiks but if you choose to run it please make sure you understand it. For impacts, I like to weigh the impacts at the end of the round. So for DAs, make sure to explain how your impact outweighs your opponents. I am good with speed just make sure to give a roadmap and signpost.
Overall, I am open to everything- just have fun and enjoy the round!
Winston Churchill '21
University of Texas '25
tl;dr: I'll be down for whatever. Link/perm analysis is better for me than pure FW strat, not currently sufficiently convinced for the need for instrumental defense of the USFG, all of this should be treated as malleable, and do what you do best.
Timeliness = higher speaks.
Prep stops when email is sent.
Do what you do well: While I mostly read the kritik in HS (Cap, Wilderson, Joy James, Settler Colonialism, Spanos/Heidegger), I prefer good debating over anything else. Make the debate interesting and have fun. Those rounds are always better and usually get better response out of me for both teams. Have a strategy in mind and execute it. Debate is a communication activity with an emphasis on persuasion. If you are not clear or have not extended all components of an argument (claim/warrant/implication) it will not factor into my decision.
Policy v K: to win these debates, the negative must have a link that is contextual to the aff (either a link to the plan or recite portions of their scholarship) and must be a disadvantage to the aff. Cannot stress enough that the negative NEEDS examples of their link argument whether it has occurred in the past or it's an educated guess of what happens, it just needs to be there. Neg should probably have an alternative that does something to resolve the links or reasons why you don't need the alt in the debate. FW can be a wash most of the time so if you're going for it, explain it in terms of winning the debate, external impacts to scholarship, or why you don't need it at all. The affirmative must have link offense and/or defense and should prioritize this above FW (for me at least) as well as explaining it in context of the permutation/why your args problematize the rest of the negative strategy. Please don't just spew a bunch of nonsense on the framework portion because 9/10 times you get to weigh the plan but I'm often left with no impact to any of your 8 standards post 2AR. Also don't forget about the solvency portion of the aff and weigh it against the K. Very persuaded by aff is DA to K if you do it properly. Floating PIKs legit unless aff says otherwise.
K v K: both sides need to differentiate their theory of power and explain that theory in context of the opposing one. The negative needs to pull lines from the 1AC and apply their link analysis to that to sufficiently win the link debate. Make sure you're connecting the dots in terms of the permutation and why the alt or just voting negative can resolve some portion of your offense. Affs should get creative with their link turns and permutations and not be afraid to explain args in a new way than the ones we're used to in debate. Perms should be carded. If they're not, the threshold for 'good' explanation becomes very high. Make sure to answer the theory args on perms as when they're dropped it can pretty much be game over for you. Not super persuaded by 'no perms in a method debate' but still don't drop it. Examples, examples, examples please.
K aff v FW: simply not persuaded by fairness as an external impact. In order to force a more coherent FW strategy, negatives MUST explain their little 3 second quips about 'ssd solves the aff' etc. in order to make this a complete argument. I will not do that work for you. Likewise, both sides must have a defensible model of debate and be able to explain the division of ground, what debates will look like, and the role of the negative. Neither side should sound too defensive. Explain things as internal link turns, take-outs, or disads to the aff or their model. Point out their contradictions or their nonsense. Can't say whether I lean aff or neg on FW record-wise, but if it's not great FW strat vs not great k aff, I will likely end up voting aff. I also happen to think that the aff should go for the impact turn over middle of the road in most instances.
v K aff: go for presumption. Don't be afraid to take the aff up on their claims; I don't dislike negative shenanigans. If they say fairness bad, read a DA in the 2nc idk. Just play around with it.
**note to k affs: please do not just read a variation of a successful K aff from 2-3 years ago. Be original. If I see a 1AC that has a different team's initials/that was clearly stolen (especially if you run it horribly), you will get lower speaks than the other team, even if you win.
Counterplans: must be functionally and textually competitive.
Truth v Tech: I find myself frequently deciding close debates based on questions of truth/solid evidence rather than purely technical skills. This also bleeds into policy v policy debates; I find myself much more willing to vote on probability/link analysis than magnitude/timeframe; taking claims of "policy discussions good" seriously also means we need to give probability of impacts/solvency more weight.
Evidence v Spin: Good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept/treat as true a debater’s spin until it is contested by the other team. This is probably the biggest issue with with politics, internal link, and perm ev for kritiks.
Speed vs Clarity: Not flowing off the doc but I'll probably peruse the cards read in a given speech during prep. If I don't hear/can't understand the argument, it won't make it to my flow. I'll say 'clear' if I can't understand you for more than 2 seconds.
Permutation/Link Analysis: Permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the perm would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the neg just concedes it outright. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation as the debate progresses will not only cost you on my ballot, but the negative should capitalize with strategic cross applications or just group them.
Things that will Earn Speaker points: clarity, confidence, organization, well-placed humor, being nice, and well executed strategies/arguments.
Things that will lose you speaker points: arrogance, rudeness, bad jokes/poor timed humor, stealing prep, pointless cross examination, running things you don’t understand/just reading blocks
Misc: racism good/death good = Loss + <25 if possible. Negs get links to unhighlighted portions of cards. Don't love debates about individual people/acts outside of the round. Mark your own cards and take it upon yourself to send them out later. Joke args are fine unless executed poorly. Still waiting to judge a good baudrillard team...
*Fall 2021 Update: I haven't judged since Covid hit so I'm a little rusty. Go a lil slower than normal. I'm also not super familiar with this year's CX topic yet so make sure you slow down on tags and advocacies*
Conflicts: Prosper HS, Lovejoy HS
Email: email@example.com (I'd like to be on the email chain, but I probably won't look at the doc unless evidence and intricate warrants become an issue). I also have a more extensive record of my judging history under another email.
Graduated from Prosper High School in 2019 (I did LD for four years, did PF once, and did extemp throughout the four years occasionally.) I debated on the national circuit, TFA, NSDA, and UIL. I was a student at the University of North Texas from fall 2019 to spring 2020 and now I'm attending the University of Texas at Austin since fall 2020.
I mostly went for ks, particularly regarding post-modernism, post-structuralism, anarchism, security/militarism, and reps, but I also really like good case debate and phil/framework.
A few important things:
-If you're familiar with Blake Andrews' paradigm that's probably quite a similar way in which I view debate (given that he was my coach).
-Give me a clear framework to evaluate the round under, the warranted offense you have to leverage under it, and weigh your offense against your opponent.
I'm inclined to err on reasonability. If there isn't any real abuse going on in the round I probably won't vote on theory.
If I think you're being toxic, offensive, or anything related to this then your speaks will drop and you could lose the round for it as well. I've done it before and I'll do it again.
Make clear, WARRANTED extensions, if you dont i wont evaluate it.
I am NOT the judge for intense theory debates. This means if you go for it I'll do my best to give a good adjudication, but don't be surprised if it's not top notch.
I won't vote on arguments I deem offensive, which is like most judges, however, this extends to arguments to the following arguments (the following args are not auto-losses, but I won't evaluate them):
1. U.S. Heg Good (comparative hegemony is somewhat okay, but explicit u.s. exceptionalism is not)
2. Cap Good
4. Libertarian Ideology
5. Edelman or any combination of queerness with some self-violence, ex: queer bomb. I will simply not flow the argument.
Also, I'm not the fastest judge when it comes to flowing, i.e. don't go full speed. If I had to quantify it maybe my speed is a 7.5/10. I'll say clear 3 times if you're too fast or unclear, after that I'll stop flowing your arguments until you decide to clear up. This will affect your speaks.
Extra Things I Like:
-Impact Turns: I think these are underutilized in debate, but keep in mind I don't mean impact turning racism bad and that sorta thing. Someone please read dedev
-Concise crystallization and voters
-Kind and wholesome humor that isn't snarky
-Tell me when to clearly flow on a new piece of paper for overviews or counter interps.
Extra Things I Don't Like:
-Recycled strategies and frameworks
-Rudeness or hostility. Here, I reserve the right to drop you or tank speaks as I see fit. This also applies to very rude or overly-critical post-rounding.
-Not a fan of blippy arguments and spikes
-When debaters who are objectively more experienced and skilled slaughter their opponent. You can clearly win a round, but be easy and constructive.
-Frivolous/Time Suck Theory Strats (I won't down you for it. but I'm not gonna be thrilled and your speaks will reflect this.)
Coppell '19. UT Dallas '23.
Pronouns - he/him or they/them. I don't care.
Add me to the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org - 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.
"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.
-I love it when a neg team is able to use case defense/offense well and beat the aff before I look at the other flows.
-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.
-Aff specific violation cards are epic and can help 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 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 times 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.
LD - updated for Postseason
LAWS topic - stop reading articles with no warrants from random sensationalists about AI pls.
-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 this year 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.
I debated four years at Emporia High School and Washburn Rural High School (Kansas)—class of 1991. I went on to debate at the University of Texas for three years. I suppose I should be considered a traditionalist, but I don’t have any predisposition against more progressive styles of debate.
My judging experience is mainly from policy debate. I expect my approach to public forum debate will be similar. You tell me how I should view the round. I will default to a utilitarian calculus, but it is up to you to define how I should rank competing impacts and values. I view the competing teams as authors of their own worlds, and I must choose which world I prefer.
Debates that demonstrate substantial interaction with the positions of the other side are more interesting than debates that operate in independent universes. Strategically, conceding too much of the case debate leaves you fighting an uphill battle.
I was around during the early days of the kritik, but I don’t have a lot of knowledge of most of today’s kritiks. If you abandon the case debate to focus on a generic kritik with only tangential links to the affirmative you potentially relieve the affirmative of their burden of proof.
Tactics that will help you win my ballot:
Be intelligible. I’m not going to flow the emailed text of your speech. I’m going to flow what I hear you say in the round. Go as fast as you want as long as you are not sacrificing comprehensibility. The goal is to deliver an efficient speech that maximizes word economy.
Explain the implications of the arguments that you are winning. It’s not enough to win the argument. Explain how the argument fits into how you want me to evaluate the overall round.
Specifically counter your opponents’ arguments. Highlight the weakness of their sources, or of the logic of their sources’ assertions. I’m looking for a demonstration of your ability to think independently of your front-line blocks.
Evidence is a tool to support your arguments and analysis. I’ll give more weight to a logical, original analytic than a piece of evidence with thin reasoning.
It’s an honor to participate in this activity with you. Have a great weekend!
Alex Barreto (pronouns= He/they)
Casady 2021 (debated)
University of Kansas 2025 (debating)
I want the ev. (also questions) pls- email@example.com
Speech times are rules, Clipping is bad, racism/transphobia/sexism/etc... are automatic losses.
I would prefer not to render value statements on actions high schoolers have made in the past.
Online thing: If my camera is not on, assume I am not ready. I would generally like everyone to keep their cameras on during speeches and cross ex but understand technical or personal reasons why people may not want to.
I only read what you read, I can perhaps be convinced to allow insertions but only if you explain the rehighlighting before it's inserted, saying "their ev trash" then inserting 10 cards won't convince me to read them and do work for you.
Asking for marked cards does not take prep or cx. Asking which cards were read or not read is CX or prep.
I evaluate debates by
1- Identifying arguments: I will using my flow and the debaters framing in the 2NR/2AR, identify the central issues of the debates. I will then by using a needs test. IE: If the neg needs to win CP solves to win the debate, I will start on the cp. Determine the order in which I should decide arguments.
2- Trace my flow to see which side is winning an argument and if the arguments were present in earlier speeches.
3- Figure out if I can use the arguments and words used by each side to phrase a coherent decision.
4- Give the decision which feels the least interventionist
I will give decisions where I feel stupid for saying the things I am saying, as long as I think the words, warrants, and arguments provided by the team I voted for gave me sufficient vocabulary to offer a decision. I write decisions with a line of post-rounding in mind. If I cannot give a decision for you without the other team asking me "why" and then me having to explain your argument in a way which you didn't or even try to I will likely vote against you.
I attempt to render the most accurate decision in every debate. What this means is I will do my best to resolve portions of the debate where it seems like I may have to intervene a lot with portions of the debate I would have to intervene very little. (note: this is not a justification for cheap shotting theory). Feel free to post-round time permitting, I believe the value of decisions is to help improve, and not understanding a decision certainly hinders the effectiveness of advice.
I have judged about 31 rounds at tournaments and about a third of that in practice rounds. I coach and help out some teams on the topic. That said I think my topic knowledge is somewhat solid.
A lot of affs feel like they are effectually topical, I would really like the neg to make this a viable strategy on T.
- Tech>truth. At some point, this line gets murky when arguments become unresolvable. I refuse to vote on arguments that are factually untrue. The bar for factually is really high. For example, if you go for an argument that says the moon isn't real and win it, I will vote for the moon is not real. However, if you go for the 2012 elections DA I will not vote for it.
- Warrant framing is important- Which studies should I care about more, what does winning and losing specific examples mean, do two arguments operate at the same "level"(perception vs material for example) etc...
- I read a lot of cards primarily because I love reading cards. That said the amount of time after the round I spend reading cards and factoring them into my decision depends on the debaters, which means it would behoove you to cite specific cards in the final rebuttals and frame how I should read and use them in my decision. A debate where judges only read cards to resolve otherwise unresolvable claims is never where debaters want to be.
- With advantages, less is more. Better internal links but fewer impact scenarios will do more for me than 8 bad impact scenarios. Debates usually come down to 1/2 scenarios vs 1/2 scenarios anyway.
- Soft left affs can be strategic but framing pages are rarely a reason to not evaluate the disad, debate accordingly.
- T interps that aren't predictable are probably worse than ones that are. Defense in "policy T debates" is underutilized
- I generally think a lot of judges insert their personal thoughts in T debates at various levels so I do my best to check against that. That said I will generally say I have noticed a trend where common T arguments have higher win rates at the start and ends of a season, and that statistical confluence is perhaps true for me as well.
- We meets are yes/no questions, "risk of we meet" or "risk they don't" arguments don't make much sense to me.
- Reasonability has never made a ton of conceptual sense to me, seems to be more of an "arbitrariness impact framing argument" in most debates than anything else.
I start from the default that any theory argument other than conditionality is a reason to reject the argument. I also start from the default that I should judge kick counter plans. I think aff teams can easily win otherwise if a specific no judge kick argument is made in the 1AR and 2AR.
- K affs should have a counter-interp and extend it. In debates where the 2AR extends no interpretation or cannot solve their offense, I don't understand how the aff FW disads are unique.
- Fairness can or cannot be an impact- depends on who is winning what.
- Teams usually lose these debates when they ignore what the other side is saying.
- TVAs and Switch side are helpful but I am perhaps more willing than most to vote neg even in worlds where there is no defense to aff impacts. The best way for aff teams to deal with that predisposition is to ensure you explain a strong internal link and solvency argument to impacts, even if they seem "uncontested".
- This was made in the point above, but the team that does their best to engage in the other teams arguments is usually the team that wins.
- The word interpretation matters to me a lot. I will only vote on framework interpretations in the 2NR/2AR. I will not arbitrarily decide a middle ground unless that is explained by one of the 2NR/2AR, I will not however assume to exclude arguments from an interpretation unless it's explained by the team extending the interpretation.
- I read a lot and have read critical arguments in debate from time to time. Still, I may not know as much as you about what your reading. Do your best to apply every theory or argument you introduce to the debate, so I don't have a "floating theory of power" with no idea what to do with it.
- I am really good for highly technical well defended k tricks IE: Floating piks, link turns case, epistemology first etc... Emphasis on "highly technical well defended", I become very bad for all of the above when their presence is vague, unexplicit, and underexplained.
- Counterplans having to be Functionally and textually competitive seems to be the gold standard but aff teams rarely explain the best version of this argument or why functional competition only is bad.
- If I do judge kick an advocacy, I still think presumption goes aff unless some other metric is introduced by the negative when making an "even if judge kick cp...." argument.
- Disad turns case arguments are useful. Well constructed disads that deal with aff arguments are rare and I love them.
- Risk is linear, if a 2NR or 2AR is purely defensive on a disad or advantage I will likely still think there is some risk of an impact. That said a dropped argument on a disad can 0 the disad and I perhaps easier than most, lower the risks of disads/advantages substantially when teams are debating defensive arguments well.
- Uniqueness frames the link arguments or link frames uniqueness arguments make more sense when a team has a straight turn. Otherwise it generally just results in teams pointing out risk is a thing but as the point above elaborates, I already believe risk is a thing. How you frame risk in proportion to other impacts in the debate, however, is important.
Updated for UT Austin:
TLDR --- I am currently affiliated with Damien HS. I have 0 content based predispositions coming into a round - there are non-negotiable rules; speeches have fixed times, sides are predetermined by tab, I flow only what the speaker says etc. if you choose not to follow these rules seriously than I will judge you with that same respect. I do not have any radical/super nuanced opinions about how debates should go down, just do your thing and you'll be fine. That said, you would probably be better off having me in the back of a clash of civs or KvK debate as opposed to a straight up policy round. Obviously I have argumentative preferences both in how they are constructed and deployed in round but good debating can easily reverse these..
- If you say or do something morally/ethically apprehensible I will not hesitate to provide you with your lowest prelims speaks, I dont really think I have to spell out what falls under this category because it should seem obvious.
- Tech > truth, but arguments must be fully flushed out in order to be given any semblance of weight in my decision.
- The first 30 seconds of your rebuttal speeches should crystalize the debate and ideally mirror my potential RFD.
- Judge instruction is not asking me to read a piece of evidence after the round - explain how that piece of evidence interacts with my flow and why it should influence my decision.
- My decision calculus first and foremost usually comes down to what arguments are tailored to the casting of my ballot.
- Presumption goes to the team that deviates from the squo the least.
- I view cx as a speech and flow it with that same respect, I was usually the stoic type during cx but try your best to be personable, polite, and funny.
- I default to judge kick.
- Link specificity is very important to me
- Do not insert evidence.
- Speaker points rate individual performance, strategic/bold pivots, general rhetorical appeal etc. because of this I generally give out a lot of low point wins.
- My camera is usually on, if its off seek confirmation prior to starting your speech.
Arguments --- I am accustomed to and have taken exclusively left leaning critical positions during the second half of my career, despite this I have no biases and will strictly defer to my flow for any argumentative inconsistencies. I will not fill in holes for you and you should act as if I don't know what the literature says while showcasing a superior explanation of your arguments.
- Policy Debates --- I am down to listen. I enjoy these debates when there is a vertical proliferation of a few substantive and well-developed arguments as opposed to shallow horizontal ones. I really dislike 1acs that defend both a soft left and big stick level impacts. Despite my past I am a big fan of creative, well researched, and thought out 1acs. Impact turn debates are fun to watch. After the conclusion of their final rebuttal both teams should send me a card document.
- Theory --- Condo is good but I've voted otherwise in the past. Dropping utopian alts bad isnt an auto dub same goes for most theory arguments. Rejecting the arg generally remedies any harms created by said violation, you're going to have to do some work to make me vote otherwise.
- Framework --- I dont have any biases here. Procedural fairness is both an internal link and an impact just depends on how you deploy it in round. If you are the 2n pick ONE impact to go for in the 2nr and develop it. You should talk about the differences under each model presented in the round and provide me with not only disadvantages to theirs but net benefits to yours. I think these debates start off with a good 2nc but the negative just loses a lot of momentum after the 2nr. The best 2ns are able to predict 2ar shifts and preempt/compensate for those strategic pivots, if you do this your golden. I view Tvas as impact filters not counter-advocacies that don't necessarily need to solve the aff but at least should include the literature. SSD becomes very convincing to me if the affirmative answers to T devolve into state/state education bad. You should have some defense to whatever impact turns the affirmative will read and also interact with their offense on case.
- The K --- Try not to go for a k that you are unfamiliar with; not to say I wont vote for you if you win, but rounds where you constantly evade questions during cx and provide me with shoddy explanations that dont do your literature base justice arent fun to watch. I strongly prefer substantive critical debating and am not a fan of spamming contradictory critical positions derived from different schools of thought. I don't care about how you go for the k or what you read just make sure you are telling me a story that I can retell to the affirmative in the rfd. I despise implicit clash, you should be doing the line by line on the k proper. Link contextualization and drawing aff/topic specific historical examples separate good and great k debaters. I think framework is the most important part of the K but it can become ultimately irrelevant if the rest of the critique is winning that either the plan exacerbates the harms you've impacted out or the critique is winning an impact turn to the aff. I will default to judge kicking the alt if it was conditional but you need a reason why I should if the other team makes a judge kick argument. I am most comfortable with language/post-structuralist criticisms but am still somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to identity critiques.
- K Affs --- "Cheating is a choice, not a mistake." I have a good amount of experience with these types of affs and the closer you are to answering the resolutional question, the better. I think that uniqueness is extremely underutilized in these debates and usually helps me frame a lot of these ballot questions. I am a sucker for smart presumption arguments and have a higher threshold for aff solvency explanation. You probably need an advocacy text or at least make the solvency portion of the 1ac clear. If I am left without understanding what the role of the negative is under your model that probably means its really bad. I default to thinking that K affs get the permutation, but I can be convinced otherwise. No plan no perm is extremely unconvincing because you still need to be competitive. When debating framework leverage your case as much as possible; the impact turn route is the path of least resistance, teams going for a counter-interp will probably have a harder time but either is fine honestly. Despite this please do not extend like 5 disads in the 2ar, pick a couple of good pieces of offense paired with a couple of solid pieces of defense. The best 2a's pick and choose a few things to go for in the final speech and talk about how these arguments interact with what the 2nr is going for and most importantly how that influences the casting of my ballot. I won’t vote on an impact turn you don’t have the potential to resolve so you need to explain how you solve the offense you consolidated down to.
If you have any questions about anything that was/wasn’t mentioned above you can email me.
Making fun of the Lakers. (Clippers Basketball>>>>)
Bleach, Jojos, or Black Clover references
Entertain me, be funny
Labeling and responding to arguments in the same order as the previous speech
If we are in person and you bring me a starbucks double shot or coconut berry red bull.
Play me in clash royal before or after the round and if you win Ill give your team +.2 speaks
Email for chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate Coach at Barbers Hill High School, TX
I’ve been an educator for 12 years and coaching Debate now for 8 years.
-10 Speaks if you wear a mask while speaking. I wear hearing aids and I still can't hear you behind that mask! I'm vaccinated and everybody else ought to be by now. We can check if someone is medically fragile and put you as far away from them as possible if we need to.
* On Impacts: I prefer real-world impacts. I'm generally deciding the debate by weighing the impacts of arguments at the end of the round.
* On Kritiks: I don't like kritiks much, but I recognize they are a thing and that even the actual government uses the reasoning present as a justification for some policy decisions. Personally, I find K logic to be circular and uncompelling. If you and your opponents really want to K debate, I'll hear it and try to judge it but I probably won't enjoy it much. :(
* On DAs: Make sure that you do solid impact comparison. At the end of the round, I need something to weigh. The link controls the direction of uniqueness/the DA, not the other way around. Arguments like this can be helpful to you
*On Framework: If you give me a framework, and win the framing debate, I will view the round through your framework. You still have to impact the debate and win down the flow. In other words, if your opponents meet your framework better than you and say so they win. If your framework is morally repugnant to me I will reject it. In the absence of framework debate, I default policymaker.
* On Topicality: The plan is what makes you topical. I will view the round through the lens of competing interpretations unless you tell me to do otherwise. I don’t think affs need to specify their agent.
* On Speed: I'm good on most speed. I’m kind of deaf so yell. Please signpost clearly and slow down for tags.
* On Theory: I default to reasonability. I'll hear a good theory argument, though, given that it is thoughtful and has a point. I don’t vote for whining. I really don’t care if your opponent hurt your feelings or offended your sensibilities. Beat them on the flow and we can discuss them being mean after the round. I'll even go tell on them to their coach if they were really bad. :)
* On Counter plans: I like them. I prefer single-actor counter plans to multilateral actor counter plans. I generally believe that if the US already belongs to that organization then the counterplan is plan plus or the net benefit doesn’t have a link. Absent debate, I think PICS are good and dispositionality or unconditionality makes for good debate.
* On Decorum: I award speaker points based on my preferences. I like polite debaters who appear to enjoy the activity and I reward that. I like debaters to stand during their speeches and during cross-examination. I find objectionable language unacceptable as it rarely provides a good warrant.
* On Evidence: If you want me to call for evidence, it must be red-flagged in the 2NR or 2AR. I generally find quality round overviews in the last rebuttal to be helpful for me to understand why you think you have won the debate.
* If you have questions about anything, feel free to come talk to me at any tournament. I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
# I expect you to share evidence. Don't even wait for your opponent to ask. Plan on sharing it.
# On Speed: I'm good on speed. I’m kind of deaf so yell.
# On Framework: If you don't provide a scale in the round to judge by, I will (likely) fall back on who argued their Value/Criteria framework the best.
# On Plans in LD: I prefer a traditional debate, but some of the resolutions these days really do lend themselves to plans. I don't love them, but I'll try to keep an open mind if you want to run a plan or a CP.
# On Clarity: Use conditional statements and make your logic clear for me. Don't make me guess. I want to hear your reasoning. Don’t make assertions without backing those assertions. (Warrants? Impacts?)
# On Signposting: Signpost clearly. Make sure you remind me where we are and what the order of the arguments are. Repetition is a skill in speeches. It isn’t bad unless you overdo it.
# On Rebuttals: In your rebuttal, crystalize for me. Give me voting issues. Use debate jargon, I’m good with it. I’m looking for who wins the key issues of the debate. Tell me what you think those are and why you think you won them. (Or why you think your opponent lost it.)
# On Decorum: There are lines of decency one should not cross. LD is about values. I have no problem imposing a base level of my own values to the round. I award a wide range of points in debate based on my preferences. I find objectionable language unacceptable as it rarely provides a good warrant.
# If you have questions about anything, feel free to come talk to me at any tournament. I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
% I expect you to share evidence. Don't even wait for your opponent to ask. Plan on sharing it.
% On Speed: I'm good on speed, but PF is about communication. Don't be too obnoxiously fast. If you're going faster than Ben Shapiro, you're going too fast. Also, I’m kind of deaf so yell.
% I like frameworks. If you don't give me a framework in the constructive, I will default to reasonability.
% On Clarity: Use conditional statements and make your logic clear for me. Don't make me guess. I want to hear your reasoning. Don’t make assertions without backing those assertions. (Warrants? Impacts?)
% On Signposting: Signpost clearly. Make sure you remind me where we are and what the order of the arguments are. Repetition is a skill in speeches. It isn’t bad unless you overdo it.
% You have to do the order of the speeches and crossfire the traditional way. Don't negotiate to change the times or skip the grand crossfire.
% Use the final focus to tell me why you won. Crystallize the round for me.
! On Structure: Speeches that have solid structure make me glad. Intro/Thesis/Transition/Body/Transition/Conclusion.
! On Clash: DEBATE!!! It is Congressional DEBATE! DEBATE! Clash with your opposition!
! On Decorum: But be nice about it.
! On Argumentation: I don't like or expect the same speech 4 or 5 times in a round. The flow ought to grow. Call out the names of other reps and agree and/or clash with them!
Associate Director of Debate @ Greenhill
Still helping KU in my free time
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
College debate announcement for anti-trust topic (Kentucky tournament): The extent of my topic knowledge is the three practice debates I've listened to.
I love debate and I will do my absolute best to make a decision that makes sense and give a helpful RFD.
I want to give you a sense of my decision making process, which I think is especially important for high school debaters since I am judging many more of those this year. I begin processing the debate with link/uniqueness in most cases. I do this because it is typically the more complex aspect of the debate and needs to be debated with the most care and detail. Ultimately I don't think this influences the outcome a ton but it does mean that I do not just compare the impacts and then vote. There are many features of any given argument that also influence how those impacts may or not play out. A lot of 2NR/2AR's start with impact comparison and that is awesome and I am not asking you to change that. Just make sure this does not trade off with robust explanation/comparison/synthesis of the other parts of the argument.
Competing interpretations are easier to evaluate than reasonability. You need to explain to me how we determine what is "reasonable" if you are going for reasonability. I am typically more persuaded by arguments about limits and fairness. (I think as a community we have done a poor job teaching 2A's how to handle topicality.)
Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to T-USFG arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC.
I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of T-USFG/Framework debates. Phrases like "third and fourth level testing" and "rev v rev debates are better" are kind of meaningless absent robust explanation. Fairness is an impact that I will vote on. Like any other impact, it needs to be explained and compared to the other team's impact. I have also voted on arguments about ethics, education, and pedagogy. I will try my best to decide who wins an impact and which impact matters more based on the debate that happens.
I do not think the neg has to win a TVA to win topicality; it can be helpful if it happens to make a lot of sense but I don't think the negative is under any obligation to provide a way to solve the aff.
I would love to see you go for a disad and case in the 2NR. I do not find it persuasive when an affirmative team's only answer to a DA is impact framing. Impact framing can be important but it is one of a number of arguments that should be made.
-CJR specific/Maybe also true for the water topic: I am aware the DA's aren't all great. I don't think that's a reason to give up on them. It just means you need a CP or really good case arguments.
I really enjoy an old-fashioned k vs the aff debate. I think there are lots of interesting nuances available for the neg and the aff in this type of debate. Here are some specific thoughts that might be helpful when constructing your strategy:
1. Links of omission are not links. Links of “commission” will take a lot of explaining.
2. Debating the case matters unless there is a compelling framework argument for why I should not evaluate the case.
3. If you are reading a critique that pulls from a variety of literature bases, make sure I understand how they all tie to together. I am persuaded by aff arguments about how it's very difficult to answer the foundation of multiple bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions. Also, how does one alt solve all of that??
4. Aff v. K: I have noticed affirmative teams saying "it's bad to die twice" on k's and I have no idea what that means. Aff framework arguments tend to be a statement that is said in the 2AC and repeated in the 1AR and 2AR - if you want fw to influence how I vote, you need to do more than this. Explain how it implicates how I assess the link and/or alternative solvency. Done well, I do think aff fw arguments can be really useful.
Generic counterplans are necessary and good. I think specific counterplans are even better. Counterplans that read evidence from the 1AC or an aff author - excellent! I don't have patience for overly convoluted counterplans supported by barely highlighted ev.
I do not subscribe to (often camp-driven) groupthink about which cp's "definitely solve" which aff's. I strongly disagree with this approach to debate and will think through the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is what debate is about.
Solvency deficits are a thing and will be accounted for and weighed along with the risk of a DA, the size of the DA impact, the size of the solvency deficit, and other relevant factors. If you are fiating through solvency deficits you should come prepared with a theoretical justification for that.
I am generally neg leaning on cp theory but if you want to make an argument about why a certain cp is illegitimate (cough, con con) I will do my best to objectively evaluate that argument.
Some people think it is auto-true that politics disads and certain cp's are terrible for debate. I don't agree with that. I think there are benefits/drawbacks to most arguments. This matters for framework debates. A plan-less aff saying "their model results in politics DA's which is obviously the worst" will not persuade absent a warrant for that claim.
Love a good case debate. It's super under-utilized. I think it's really impressive when a 2N knows more about the aff evidence than the aff does.
Please don't be nasty to each other; don't be surprised if I interrupt you if you are.
I don't flow the 1AC and 1NC because I am reading your evidence. I have to do this because if I don't I won't get to read the evidence before decision time in a close debate.
If the debate is happening later than 9PM you might consider slowing down and avoiding especially complicated arguments.
For debating online:
-If you think clarity could even possibly be an issue, slow down a ton. More than ever clarity and quality are more important than quantity.
-If my camera is off, I am not there, I am not flowing your speech, I probably can't even hear you. If you give the 1AR and I'm not there, there is not a whole lot I can do for you.
I've coached LASA since 2005. I judge ~100 debates per season on the high school circuit.
If there’s an email chain, please add me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re using a flash drive, prep stops when you pull the flash drive out of your computer. If you’re using an email chain, I won’t count attaching and emailing as prep time. Please do not steal prep.
If you have little time before the debate, here’s all you need to know: do what you do best. I try to be as unbiased as possible and I will defer to your analysis. As long as you are clear, go as fast as you want.
Most judges give appalling decisions. Here's where I will try to be better than them:
- They intervene, even when they claim they won't. Perhaps "tech over truth" doesn't mean what it used to. I will attempt to adjudicate and reach a decision purely on only the words you say. If that's insufficient to reach a decision either way--and it often isn't--I will add the minimum work necessary to come to a decision. The more work I have to do, the wider the range of uncertainty for you and the lower your speaks go.
- They aren't listening carefully. They're mentally checked out, flowing off the speech doc, distracted by social media, or have half their headphones off and are taking selfies during the 1AR. I will attempt to flow every single detail of your speeches. I will probably take notes during CX if I think it could affect my decision. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve a judge who works hard as well.
- They give poorly-reasoned decisions that rely on gut instincts and ignore arguments made in the 2NR/2AR. I will probably take my sweet time making and writing my decision. I will try to be as thorough and transparent as possible. If I intervene anywhere, I will explain why I had to intervene and how you could've prevented that intervention. If I didn't catch or evaluate an argument, I will explain why you under-explained or failed to extend it. I will try to anticipate your questions and preemptively answer them in my decision.
- They reconstruct the debate and try to find the most creative and convoluted path to a ballot. I guess they're trying to prove they're smart? These decisions are detestable because they take the debate away from the hands of the debaters. If there are multiple paths to victory for both teams, I will take what I think is the shortest path and explain why I think it's the shortest path, and you can influence my decision by explaining why you control the shortest path. But, I'm not going to use my decision to attempt to prove I'm more clever than the participants of the debate.
- I’m not a professional debate coach or even a teacher. I work as a finance analyst in the IT sector and I volunteer as a debate coach on evenings and weekends. I don’t teach at debate camp and my topic knowledge comes primarily from judging debates. My finance background means that, when left to my own devices, I err towards precision, logic, data, and concrete examples. However, I can be convinced otherwise in any particular debate, especially when it’s not challenged by the other team.
- Tech over truth in most instances. I will stick to my flow and minimize intervention as much as possible. I firmly believe that debates should be left to the debaters. I rarely make facial expressions because I don’t want my personal reactions to affect how a debate plays out. I will maintain a flow, even if you ask me not to. However, tech over truth has its limits. An argument must have sufficient explanation for it to matter to me, even if it’s dropped. You need a warrant and impact, not just a claim.
- Evidence comparison is under-utilized and is very important to me in close debates. I often call for evidence, but I’m much more likely to call for a card if it’s extended by author or cite.
- I don’t judge or coach at the college level, which means I’m usually a year or two behind the latest argument trends that are first broken in college and eventually trickle down to high school. If you’re reading something that’s close to the cutting edge of debate arguments, you’ll need to explain it clearly. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear new arguments. On the contrary, a big reason why I continue coaching debate is because I enjoy listening to and learning about new arguments that challenge my existing ways of thinking.
- Please mark your own cards. No one is marking them for you.
- If I feel that you are deliberately evading answering a question or have straight up lied, and the question is important to the outcome of the debate, I will stop the timer and ask you to answer the question. Example: if you read condo bad, the neg asks in CX whether you read condo bad, and you say no, I’ll ask if you want me to cross-out condo on my flow.
- Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison.
- When I vote neg, it’s usually because the aff team missed the boat on topical version, has made insufficient inroads into the neg’s limits disad, and/or is winning some exclusion disad but is not doing comparative impact calculus against the neg’s offense. The neg win rate goes up if the 2NR can turn or access the aff's primary impact (e.g. clash and argument testing is vital to ethical subject formation).
- When I vote aff, it’s usually because the 2NR is disorganized and goes for too many different impacts, there’s no topical version or other way to access the aff’s offense, and/or concedes an exclusion disad that is then impacted out by the 2AR. Without a credible counter-interpretation that the aff meets and that establishes some sufficient limits on the scope of debates, I lean negative.
- Over the years, “tech over truth” has led me to vote neg on some untruthful T violations. If you’re neg and you’ve done a lot of research and are ready to throw down on a very technical and carded T debate, I’m a good judge for you.
- I'm a stickler for the quality of a definition, especially if it's from a source that's contextual to the topic, has some intent to define, is exclusive and not just inclusive, etc.
- Reasonability is a debate about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not their aff. The size of the link to the limits disad usually determines how sympathetic I am towards this argument, i.e. if the link is small, then I’m more likely to conclude the aff’s C/I is reasonable even without other aff offense.
- The kritik teams I've judged that have earned the highest speaker points give highly organized and structured speeches, are disciplined in line-by-line debating, and emphasize key moments in their speeches.
- Just like most judges, the more case-specific your link and the more comprehensive your alternative explanation, the more I’ll be persuaded by your kritik.
- I greatly prefer the 2NC structure where you have a short (or no) overview and do as much of your explanation on the line-by-line as possible. If your overview is 6 minutes, you make blippy cross-applications on the line-by-line, and then you drop the last three 2AC cards, I’m going to give the 1AR a lot of leeway on extending those concessions, even if they were somewhat implicitly answered in your overview.
- Framework debates on kritiks rarely factor into my decisions. Frequently, I conclude that there’s not a decisive win for either side here, or that it’s irrelevant because the neg is already allowing the aff to weigh their impacts. Usually, I find myself somewhere in the middle: the neg always has the right to read kritiks, but the aff should have the right to access their advantages. Kritiks that moot the entire 1AC are a tough sell.
- I’m not a good judge for “role of the ballot” arguments, as I usually find these to be self-serving for the team making them. I’m also not a good judge for “competing methods means the aff doesn’t have a right to a perm”. I think the aff always has a right to a perm, but the question is whether the perm is legitimate and desirable, which is a substantive issue to be debated out, not a gatekeeping issue for me to enforce.
- I’m an OK judge for K “tricks”. A conceded root cause explanation, value to life impact, or “alt solves the aff” claim is effective if it’s sufficiently explained. The floating PIK needs to be clearly made in the 2NC for me to evaluate it. If your K strategy hinges on hiding a floating PIK and suddenly busting it out in the 2NR, I’m not a good judge for you.
- Just like most judges, I prefer case-specific over generic counterplans, but we can’t always get what we want.
- I lean neg on PICs. I lean aff on international fiat, 50 state fiat, condition, and consult. These preferences can change based on evidence or lack thereof. For example, if the neg has a state counterplan solvency advocate in the context of the aff, I’m less sympathetic to theory.
- I will not judge kick the CP unless explicitly told to do so by the 2NR, and it would not take much for the 2AR to persuade me to ignore the 2NR’s instructions on that issue.
- Presumption is in the direction of less change. If left to my own devices, I will probably conclude that most counterplans that are not explicitly PICs are a larger change than the aff.
- I’m a sucker for specific and comparative impact calculus. For example, most nuclear war impacts are probably not global nuclear war but some kind of regional scenario. I want to know why your specific regional scenario is faster and/or more probable. Reasonable impact calculus is much more persuasive to me than grandiose impact claims.
- I believe that in most cases, the link is more important for determining the direction of risk than uniqueness. The exceptions are when the uniqueness can be definitively determined rather than probabilistic.
- Zero risk is possible but difficult to prove by the aff. However, a miniscule neg risk of the disad is probably background noise.
- I actually enjoy listening to a good theory debate, but these seem to be exceedingly rare. I think I can be persuaded that many theoretical objections require punishing the team and not simply rejecting the argument, but substantial work needs to be done on why setting a precedent on that particular issue is important. You're unlikely to win that a single intrinsic permutation is a round-winning voter, even if the other team drops it, unless you are investing significant time in explaining why it should be an independent voting issue.
- I think that I lean affirmative compared to the rest of the judging community on the legitimacy of counterplans. In my mind, a counterplan that is wholly plan-inclusive (consultation, condition, delay, etc.) is theoretically questionable. The legitimacy of agent counterplans, whether domestic or international, is also contestable. I think the negative has the right to read multiple planks to a counterplan, but reading each plank conditionally is theoretically suspect.
- I usually take a long time to decide, and give lengthy decisions. LASA debaters have benefitted from the generosity of judges, coaches, and lab leaders who used their decisions to teach and trade ideas, not just pick a winner and get a paycheck. Debaters from schools with limited/no coaching, the same schools needed to prevent the decline in policy debate numbers, greatly benefit from judging feedback. I encourage you to ask questions and engage in respectful dialogue with me. However, post-round hostility will be met with hostility. I've been providing free coaching and judging since before you were birthed into the world. If I think you're being rude or condescending to me or your opponents, I will enthusiastically knock you back down to Earth.
- I don't want a card doc. If you send one, I will ignore it. Card docs are an opportunity for debaters to insert cards they didn't read, didn't extend, or re-highlight. They're also an excuse for lazy judges to compensate for a poor flow by reconstructing the debate after the fact. If your debating was disorganized and you need a card doc to return some semblance of organization, I'd rather adjudicate the disorganized debate and then tell you it was disorganized.
Do what you do best and I will make a decision afterwards
How Ryanmalone makes decisions
I hope Whitehead is right, that even dimwits can make good decisions if they follow an appropriate procedure. It’s only fair then for me to give a general sense of how I make decisions, with as few platitudes as possible, though most of them still apply.
1. After the 2ar I review 2nr and 2ar arguments and their comportment with the block and 1ar. Unless there are arguments about how I should or should not flow, I appreciate when debaters are attentive to line-by-line, but I understand that strategy sometimes calls one to deviate from it. When that occurs, I am less likely to line up arguments in the same way as you may want me to.
2. While doing that I clarify shorthand and mark out errata and things that aren’t arguments. There is a difference between arguments and nascent things that purport to be arguments. We don’t need to talk about Toulmin; an argument is really anything that could inform a decision. This may seem arbitrary or kind of like question-begging, but I don’t think it’s capricious. I don’t do this because I have some ultra-strenuous “not buying it” threshold for what constitutes an argument. My concern is that there is a temptation to embellish not-quite-arguments, especially those that, if they had been full arguments, would be compelling, strategic, or make for an easy decision. Assessing, at the outset, what all on the flow are reasonably arguments is a way to ward off that temptation.
3. I then look to arguments the 2nr and 2ar say are the most important and other arguments that appear central to the debate or that may supplant opposing lines of reasoning. The last part may seem to imply a premium on the meta, but rarely are debates leveraged on Archimedean points.
4. If necessary, I read evidence. I don’t follow along in speech docs or look at speeches in more than a cursory way prior to the end of the debate, with perhaps the exception of interpretations and counterplan texts. I will read a piece of evidence if there is contestation about its quality, applicability, or illocution, if I am asked to compare two pieces of evidence or a piece of evidence and a countervailing explanation, or if some argument is dense and, despite good explanation, I’m just not following. My concern is that the more evidence a judge reads without specific reason, the more they reward good evidence read sloppily over clear, persuasive argumentation and are at risk of reconstructing the debate along those lines.
5. I hash out the above (it’s hard to adumbrate this process in a way that’s not super vague) and I get something resembling a decision. I run through a few even-if scenarios: what, if any, central arguments the losing team could have won, but still lose the debate, and what arguments the winning team would have had to lose or the losing team would have had to win for the losing team to win the debate. Finally, I review the flow again to make sure my decision is firmly based in the 2nr and 2ar and that there is nothing I’ve missed.
Note on Framework
Framework debates are better when both teams have some defense, in addition to offense.
Even if fairness is intrinsically value, by which I mean fairness is valuable regardless of relation, I’m unsure how valuable procedural fairness is, in and of itself. Because of that fairness arguments make more sense to me as internal links rather than impacts.
Similarly, impact turns to fairness are more persuasive when they are about the purported use of fairness as an impartial rule. Phrased differently, in explaining the way structural fairness informs procedural fairness as a difference in fairness-in-rule and fairness-in-practice, it may be worth thinking about fairness as the practice of appealing to rules.
Topical versions are under-utilized.
Things that do not concern how I usually make decisions
Some of the above is assiduously believed, but weakly held, however, the following points are immutable: I will comply with any tournament rules regarding speech and decision times, speaker points, etc. Any request not to be recorded or videotaped should be honored. If proven, clipping, cross-reading, or deceitfully manufacturing or altering evidence will result in a loss and zero speaker points. Unlike wit, sass, and tasteful self-effacement, bald-faced meanness will negatively affect speaker points.
My rfds are brief, which I’m working on. This reason for this is twofold. First, most of what I write down concerns how I make my decision, not how I intend to give it. Second, I don’t presume to act, even temporarily, as something like an arguments coach, nor as someone who can adroitly explain or find fault in an opposing team’s arguments. The last thing I want to do is say something that would lead you astray. At this point in my time judging I’m really just trying to be a good heuristic machine—anything more is just gravy. Obviously, to the degree to which I have insight I will give suggestions, clarifications, or share in your befuddlement.
Please feel free to email me if you have questions or concerns.
updated december ‘21- i am not super familiar with the water topic. pls thoroughly explain everything topic specific.
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experience: debated 7 years in middle/high school policy for crossings in oklahoma city
1. be nice
2. have fun
3. do what you want, just do it well
i’m okay with speed, however, i can’t hear as well over a speaker, so either slow down a little bit or make sure to enunciate- i don’t want to miss anything!
K- Dislike -----------------------------------------X Like
CP- Dislike -------------------------------------X—-- Like
DA- Dislike -------------------------------------X--- Like
T- Dislike ------------------------------X----------- Like
FW- Dislike ------------------------------------X----- Like
Theory- Dislike --------------------X--------------------- Like
Case Neg- Dislike ----------------------------------X------- Like
most experienced in antiblackness, settler colonialism, abolition and deleuze/guattari
familiar with baudrillard, psychoanalysis, most stock K's, most high theory K's
i will look at the framework debate first. however, i feel like it often gets muddled because both sides forget that they must impact out and do comparative analysis with their standards. keep your arguments consistent and clear.
the aff gets to weigh itself against the alternative. i default to choosing the best option- how i frame the ballot or the role of the judge is up to y’all. love a good link debate. lots of clash on the flow is appreciated.
explain the internal link, extend your impacts, and tell the story of how the alternative functions and you’ll be good on the general stuff in my book.
politics da’s are always cool. i’m not really picky about them except don’t read more than one with the same impact.
can’t go wrong with a solid advantage cp. i’m not that interested in hearing theory stuff but the cp shouldn’t be too wild. have a clear net benefit and explain mutual exclusivity.
t is a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue. impact comparison is super important.
it's okay. there has to be a tangible risk of abuse, a reasonable interpretation, and supporting evidence for me to want to vote on it. using it as a time suck just sucks!
i like policy affs. they should have solid internal link chains, doesn't matter how many advantages or the subject. make sure there's solvency extended throughout the round, and just explain what the aff actually does, who does it, who does it affect, etc.
cant go wrong w/ a good K aff tho. any subject. having an advocacy statement would be nice, just so it's easier to see what you're standing for. i have very high expectations for the internal link and solvency. explain what the aff does.
Debated for Winston Churchill (tx) 2014- 2018
Debate for UT Austin from 2018 –
Currently Coaching for Winston Churchill.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re using a flash drive, prep stops when you pull the flash drive out of your computer. If you’re using an email chain, I won’t count attaching and emailing as prep time. Please do not steal prep.
TLDR: Debate the way you debate best, focus on impact comparison on all levels of the debate, and give me a clear ballot story in the last two speeches.
· Do not try to over adapt to me. I’d rather listen to a CP/Politics debate, but I would much rather listen to what you debate best.
· Tech > Truth – Debates should be left to the debaters, so I will try to revert to my flow as much as possible. This isn’t to say you need to repeat the same answer to 5 args. You should group or cross-apply your answers. I will try my best to place arguments w because where they apply because expecting you to crossapply all the arguments that are relevant is unrealistic, but the cleaner you make my flow the better your chances are of picking up my ballot.
· Evidence comparison – ev comparison is under-utilized and is very important in deciding close debates. Evidence carries great weight in most debates. Evidence is the only thing that gives credibility to the arguments of a high schooler. In critical debates, I am far more willing to allow for uncarded arguments. You SHOULD still read cards that define your theory and explains the alternative else you don’t have the foundation to make uncarded args.
· Mark your own cards
· In LD Debates – I use moral hedging/modesty – I don’t think that a framework is a preclusive impact filter. Rather, I view it as a weighing mechanism.
· * Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison.
· * I don’t view TVA’s as counterplans. They don’t need to have specific texts of a 1AC – your job isn’t to write a 1AC, but to prove that another plan can meet the negs interp and resolve some of their offense. However, better TVAs are often more specific bc you can no link their generic answer to TVAs. The neg needs to provide either topic areas or specific plans that meet your interp and access some of their education/fairness disads. The affirmative shouldn’t read a case neg against the TVA bc it is not supposed to be impenetrable. The aff responses should be about the effective solvency of that TVA to the your offense.
· * When I vote neg, it’s usually because the aff team missed the boat on topical version, has made insufficient inroads into the neg’s limits disad, and/or is winning some exclusion disad but is not doing comparative impact calculus against the neg’s offense. The neg win rate goes up if the 2NR can turn or access the aff's primary impact (e.g. clash and argument testing is vital to ethical subject formation).
· * When I vote aff, it’s usually because the 2NR is disorganized and goes for too many different impacts, there’s no topical version or other way to access the aff’s offense, and/or concedes an exclusion disad that is then impacted out by the 2AR. Without a credible counter-interpretation that the aff meets and that establishes some sufficient limits on the scope of debates, I lean negative.
§ I'm a stickler for the quality of a definition, especially if it's from a source that's contextual to the topic, has some intent to define, is exclusive and not just inclusive, etc.
§ Reasonability is a debate about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not their aff. The size of the link to the limits disad usually determines how sympathetic I am towards this argument, i.e. if the link is small, then I’m more likely to conclude the aff’s C/I is reasonable even without other aff offense.
§ The kritik teams I've judged that have earned the highest speaker points give highly organized and structured speeches, are disciplined in line-by-line debating, and emphasize key moments in their speeches.
§ Just like most judges, the more case-specific your link and the more comprehensive your alternative explanation, the more I’ll be persuaded by your kritik.
§ I greatly prefer the 2NC structure where you have a short (or no) overview and do as much of your explanation on the line-by-line as possible. If your overview is 6 minutes, you make blippy cross-applications on the line-by-line, and then you drop the last three 2AC cards, I’m going to give the 1AR a lot of leeway on extending those concessions, even if they were somewhat implicitly answered in your overview.
§ Framework debates on kritiks rarely factor into my decisions. Frequently, I conclude that there’s not a decisive win for either side here, or that it’s irrelevant because the neg is already allowing the aff to weigh their impacts. Usually, I find myself somewhere in the middle: the neg always has the right to read kritiks, but the aff should have the right to access their advantages. Kritiks that moot the entire 1AC are a tough sell.
§ I’m not a good judge for “role of the ballot” arguments, as I usually find these to be self-serving for the team making them. I’m also not a good judge for “competing methods means the aff doesn’t have a right to a perm”. I think the aff always has a right to a perm, but the question is whether the perm is legitimate and desirable, which is a substantive issue to be debated out, not a gatekeeping issue for me to enforce.
§ I’m an OK judge for K “tricks”. A conceded root cause explanation, value to life impact, or “alt solves the aff” claim is effective if it’s sufficiently explained. The floating PIK needs to be clearly made in the 2NC for me to evaluate it. If your K strategy hinges on hiding a floating PIK and suddenly busting it out in the 2NR, I’m not a good judge for you.
§ Just like most judges, I prefer case-specific over generic counterplans, but we can’t always get what we want.
§ I lean neg on PICs. I lean aff on international fiat, 50 state fiat, condition, and consult. These preferences can change based on evidence or lack thereof. For example, if the neg has a state counterplan solvency advocate in the context of the aff, I’m less sympathetic to theory.
§ I will not judge kick the CP unless explicitly told to do so by the 2NR, and it would not take much for the 2AR to persuade me to ignore the 2NR’s instructions on that issue.
§ Presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a CP.
§ I’m a sucker for specific and comparative impact calculus. For example, most nuclear war impacts are probably not global nuclear war but some kind of regional scenario. I want to know why your specific regional scenario is faster and/or more probable. Reasonable impact calculus is much more persuasive to me than grandiose impact claims.
§ Uniqueness is important, but I will default to “link controls the direction of the disad” unless told otherwise and conceded by the other team.
§ Zero risk is possible but difficult to prove by the aff. However, a miniscule neg risk of the disad is probably background noise.
· * I default on drop the argument – I can be persuaded that many theoretical objections require punishing the team and not simply rejecting the argument, but substantial work needs to be done on why setting a precedent on that particular issue is important. This means don’t read generic “drop debater on theory.” You need to articulate a sufficiently offense reason to vote for your shell then articulate how rejecting the team resolves that offense.
· * Potential abuse can be a voter, but I am far less persuaded by potential abuse on theory as compared to T.
· * I am really persuaded by reasonability (remember reasonability is a debate about the counterinterp) on theory – I find a lot of the “bad” and “frivolous” shells essentially have no disads to the counterinterp. For example, It might be true that disclosing open source vs just cites can lead to more educational debates, BUT this does not mean that the debates we have under sending cites is uneducaitonal. A marginal improvement in education is unlikely to be enough to gain by ballot.
Jack C Hays High School – 2019
Wake Forest University – 2023
Paradigm Last Updated – 9.20.21
Conflicts: Anderson AR and BC, Jack C Hays
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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.
this paradigm will be tailored to LD because thats what i've been judging the most, much of it also applies to policy.
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 and contact tabroom.
in light of frequent instances of transphobia, i have a lower 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. this is a hard line. being transphobic may result in an L25.
fewer specific arguments > a lot of generic arguments
I am most comfortable with k and larp debates, but I would much rather that you debate the way you do best.
you should always be recording locally in case of a tech issue
More specific arguments
This is the most underutilized part of debate and it makes me sad. My favorite part of debate is the case page. I love lots of clash here; solvency and impact cards are almost never as good as they should be.
Good evidence > good spin - things like methodology comparison and statistical analysis coupled with good weighing of warrants will be rewarded with higher speaks and probably the ballot
I like big 1ACs with super tight internal link chains - good articulation of your specific scenarios are fantastic
I have read huge affs with econ and heg advantages and performance affs with one card in them and everything in between. Whatever you read, have fun with it!
I love k affs. please understand your lit base and how the aff operates in the round
Link work vital to winning or losing a k debate. on the neg, you need to contextualize your links to the aff. specificity is key.
I have a medium threshold for alternative/method solvency - unless contested I'll believe that it solves the links + impacts. But I do need an explanation of what the alt is and how to engage in the alt to vote on it.
nonblack debaters should not read afropessimism. respect the wishes of black debaters.
i hold similar opinions to reading qt pess or disability pess without being queer/trans/disabled.
please give material examples of the alternative.
Given my background, I am persuaded by impact turning theory/topicality/theory. 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.
For the neg - i do not particularly like framework. do not expect an easy ballot by reading college blocks for the entire 2nr. your framework shell must interact with the aff at some level to be persuasive. that being said, the further from the resolution the aff is, the more persuaded i am by fw. A TVA is terminal defense to your model of debate, you still have to win that your model is good. Additionally, as a former k aff debater, I am less persuaded by a framework 2nr that relies on calling all k affs unfair and ineffective, and I am more persuaded by a 2nr that is more contextual to the affirmative specifically. the overarching theme here is interaction with the aff pls. expect lower speaks if you read framework.
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 relying on framework to get the W.
Not sure what you need to know here lol, ask me specific questions if you need to
I will not vote on theory that is commonly regarded as frivolous. use your discretion on what you consider friv.
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.
please make the interactions between your arguments and your opponents arguments clear on this flow ie. if there are 2 competing theory shells and substance in the debate, tell me which comes first and why. even theory debates need warrants
Other than that, I default competing interpretations over reasonability and drop the debater over drop the argument, however I can easily be persuaded otherwise.
i am not persuaded by theory arguments that don't have an in round abuse story
Don't particularly care for it. This is what I was least confident on as an LD debater.
Explain - If you understand it well enough to explain it to me I will understand it well enough to evaluate it fairly.
I only did LD for a year and I debated the k for the entire time - so I don't know a lot of the terms that maybe you think I should know. Please explain things such as infinite regress, constitutivism, etc to a higher standard than you normally would
High school debate: Baltimore Urban Debate League
College debate: Univ of Louisville then Towson Univ
Grad work: Cal State Fullerton
Current: Director of Debate at Long Beach State (CSULB)
Speaker Point Scale
29.5-30: one of the best speakers I expect to see this year and has a high grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and Swag is on 100. This means expert explanation of arguments and most arguments are offensive.
29 - 29.5: very good speaker has a middle grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and mid-range swag. Explanation of arguments are of great quality and many of the arguments are offensive.
28.4 - 28.9: good speaker; may have some above average range/ parts of the Cha.Uni.Ner.Tal.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out. Explanation of arguments are of good quality and several of the arguments are offensive.
28 - 28.3: solid speaker; needs some work; probably has average range/ parts of the Cha.Uni.Ner.Tal.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out. Explanation of arguments are of okayish quality and very few of the arguments are offensive.
27.1 - 27.5: okay speaker; needs significant work on the Cha.Uni.Ner.Tal.S acronym. Not that good of explanation with no offensive arguments.
< 27: you have done something deeply problematic in this debate like clipping cards or linguistic violence.
I am more than willing to listen to any arguments that are well explained and impacted and relate to how your strategy is going to produce scholarship, policy action, performance, or whatever political stance or program. I will refer to an educator framework unless told otherwise...This means I will evaluate the round based on how you tell me you want it to be framed and I will offer comments on how you could make your argument better after the round. Comparison, Framing, OFFENSE is key for me. Please indict each other's framework or role of the ballot for evaluation and make clear offense to how that may make a bad model of debate. OR I am down with saying the debate should not be a reflection about the over all model of debate.
I avoid the privileging of certain teams or styles over others because that makes debate more unfair, uneducational, and makes people not feel valued or wanted in this community, on that note I don't really jive to well with arguments about how certain folks should be excluded.
I judge debates according to the systematic connection of arguments rather than solely line by line…BUT doesn’t mean if the other team drops turns or other arguments that I won’t evaluate that first. They must be impacted and explained. PLEASE always point out reason why the opposing team is bad and have contextualized reasons for why they have created a bad impact or make one worse. I DO vote on framework and theory arguments….I’ve been known to vote on Condo quite a bit, but make interp and contradictions clear.
Don’t try to adapt to how I used to debate if you genuinely don’t believe in doing so or just want to win a ballot. If you are doing a performance I will hold you to the level that it is practiced, you have a reason for doing so, and relates to the overall argument you are making…Don’t think “oh! I did a performance in front of Deven I win.” You are sadly mistaken if so.
Overall I would like to see a good debate where people are confident in their arguments and feel comfortable being themselves and arguing how they feel is best. I am not here to exclude you or make you feel worthless or that you are a "lazy" intellectual as some debaters may call others, but I do like to see you defend your side to the best of your ability.
A few issues that should be clarified:
I DO NOT LIKE when teams think they can disrespect, bully, talk rude to, or scream at other teams for intimidation purposes in order to win or throw the other team off. And being hyper evasive to me is a hard sell. Do not get me wrong, I do love the sassiness, sarcasm, curtness, and shade of it all but there is a way to do it with tact.
Framework and Theory: I love smart arguments in this area. I am not inclined to just vote on debate will be destroyed or traditional framework will lead to genocide unless explained very well and impacted based on some spill over claims. There must be a concrete connection to the impacts articulated on these and most be weighed. I will not vote on conditionality good alone…You better point out the contradictions in the 2AC/1AR. I am persuaded by the deliberation arguments, institutional engagement/building, limits, and topical versions of the Aff. Fairness is an interesting concept for me here. I think you must prove how their model of debate directly creates unfairness and provide links to the way their model of debate does such. I dont think just saying structural fairness comes first is the best without clarification about what that means in the context of the debate space and your model of debate.
Performance: It must be linked to an argument that is able to defend the performance and be able to explain the overall impact on debate or the world itself. Please don’t do a performance to just do it…you MUST have a purpose and connect it to arguments. Plus debate is a place of politics and args about debate are not absent politics sometimes they are even a pre-req to “real” politics, but I can be persuaded otherwise. You must have a role of the ballot or framework to defend yourself, or on the other side say why the role of the ballot is bad. I also think those critics who believe this style of debate is anti-intellectual or not political are oversimplifying the nuance of each team that does performance. Take your role as an educator and stop being an intellectual coward or ideology driven hack.
Topic/Resolution: I will vote on reasons why or why not to go by the topic...unlike some closed minded judges who are detached from the reality that the topics chosen may not allow for one to embrace their subjectivity or social location. This doesn’t mean I think talking about puppies and candy should win, for those who dumb down debate in their framework args in that way. You should have a concrete and material basis why you chose not to engage the topic and linked to some affirmation against racism/sexism/homophobia/classism/elitism/white supremacy and produces politics that are progressive. There would have to be some metric of evaluation though. BUT, I can be persuaded by the plan focus and topic education model is better middle ground to what they want to discuss
Hella High Theory K: i.e Hiediggar, Baudrillard,Zizek, D&G, Butler, Arant, and their colleagues…this must be explained to me in a way that can make some material sense to me as in a clear link to what the aff has done or an explanation of the resolution…I feel that a lot of times teams that do these types of arguments assume a world of abstract that doesn’t relate fully to how to address the needs of the oppressed that isn’t a privileged one. However, I do enjoy Nietzsche args that are well explained and contextualized. Offense is key with running these args and answering them.
Disadvantages: I’m cool with them just be well explained and have a link/link wall that can paint the story…you can get away with a generic link with me if you run politics disads. Disads on case should be impacted and have a clear link to what the aff has done to create/perpetuate the disad. If you are a K team and you kick the alt that solves for the disads…that is problematic for me.
Perms: I HATE when people have more than 3 perms. Perm theory is good here for me. For a Method v Method debate, you do not get to just say you dont get a perm. Enumerate reasons why they do not get a perm. BUT, if an Aff team in this debate does make a perm, it is not just a test of competition, it is an advocacy that must be argued as solving for what is the issue in the debate.
Additionally, you can kick the perms and no longer have to be burden with that solvency. BUT you must have offensive against their C/P, ALT, or advocacy.
Counterplans/Advocacies: They have to solve at least part of the case and address some of the fundamental issues dealing with the aff’s advantages especially if it’s a performance or critical aff…I’m cool with perm theory with a voter attached. I am cool with any kind of these arguments, but an internal net benefit is not enough for me in a policy counterplan setting. I do not judge kick things...that is your job.
Race/ Identity arguments: LOVE these especially from the Black/Latinx/Asian perspective (most familiar with) , but this doesn’t mean you will win just because you run them like that. I like to see the linkage between what the aff does wrong or what the aff has perpetuated. I’m NOT likely to vote on a link of omission.
Case Args: Only go for case turns and if REALLY needed for your K, case defense.…they are the best and are offensive , however case defense may work on impacts if you are going for a K. If you run a K or performance you need to have some interaction with the aff to say why it is bad. Please don't sandbag these args so late in the debate.
~Inspired~ from Vikas Burugu
Top Level Thoughts
-- The first 20 seconds of the 2NR and 2AR should be the words that you hope I repeat back to you at the beginning of my decision. Holding my hand will be rewarded with higher speaker points, a quicker decision time, and a more favorable RFD.
-- I will rarely instantly decide the debate on a single dropped argument alone and will only consider that dropped argument in the broader scheme of what occurred. I will follow something resembling the following structure to make my decision:
A. List the arguments extended into the 2NR and the 2AR
B. Ask myself what, as per the 2NR and 2AR, winning these arguments will get for either the affirmative or the negative. The answer to this question will sometimes be “absolutely nothing” at which point I will cross these arguments off my flow.
C. Trace whether these points of disagreement were present previously in the debate. This will only include substantive argumentation, but will not include framing devices introduced in the 2NR and the 2AR.
D. Compare the negative and affirmative’s central issues by asking myself if losing a certain argument for a certain team will still allow for that team to win the debate.
-- Tech > truth in most instances. Unless I’m offered an alternative framework to judge debates, I will default to assuming that dropped arguments are true arguments. That being said, technical debating does not warrant an auto-win and the assumption that certain arguments are auto round winners when dropped leads to disastrous decisions. For instance, judges seem to automatically assume that “realism good” is an impact turn to every IR critical argument come 2020. While it would certainly be nice if the negative explained which portions of realism they agree/disagree with (e.g. rational actor model, the model of the nation state, etc.), it is not the burden of the 2NR to answer “realism good” in this hypothetical situation if the 1AC, 2AC, and 1AR choose not to explain why winning realism is good/true implicates the negative’s arguments.
-- Numbering, labeling, and compartmentalization are very important for me. Whenever possible, each argument in the 2AC should be numbered / labeled and those numbers / labels should be referenced for the rest of the debate. The 2NC and the 2NR’s responses to affirmative arguments should always be numbered.
-- Sound like you want to be here.
-- Regardless of your strategy, go for presumption against planless affs. Please.
-- One of four things must be true if a 2NR on framework is extending only “fairness” as the terminal impact —
A) The affirmative has entirely dropped that debate is a game/competition with absolutely no implications beyond this debate.
B) The TVA and/or SSD unquestionably solve the content of the 1AC and 2AC offense against framework.
C) The negative is winning arguments on another page that impact turn the 1AC and/or are offense independent of the framework debate.
D) The affirmative does not have a coherent impact turn to the negative’s model left by the end of the debate.
If one of these four things does not hold true and the only impact in the 2NR to framework is procedural fairness, it is highly unlikely that I will be able to construct a negative ballot because the 2AR’s “Exclusion DA” will inevitably outweigh a procedural violation. Too often, one of the above statements does not hold true and the 2NR loses the impact debate. This is not to discourage you entirely from going for a “fairness only” 2NR when the time is right — in fact, it makes sense if the 1AR has dropped a key component of the debate (see subpoints above).
-- A 2NR that has arguments about research, testing, etc. that internal link turn the affirmative’s offense and explains procedural fairness as an external impact only accessed by the negative will do far better in front of me.
-- Switch side debate is an underutilized and underrated tool in negative arsenals. Affirmative teams are typically substantially more prepared against the topical version of the aff in comparison to switch side debate for some reason.
-- If the 2NC and 2NR simply assert “switch side debate solves” -- they can read it on the negative,” I will most likely consider the 2AR saying “the negative hasn’t explained what part of our argument we can read on the negative or what we would criticize” a sufficient response.
-- Everyone seems to increasingly agree that debaters should either pick the “impact turn” or “middle ground,” only to reveal ideological predispositions that strongly favor one of said routes. While I agree with the general advice that debaters should pick one of the two, I do have specific thoughts regarding the benefits / drawbacks of both strategies.
A) Finding a middle ground
While this approach will be significantly harder to assemble / formulate, it gives affirmative teams the ability to impact turn both the content of debate’s that would occur under the negative’s interpretation AND the reading of framework with significantly less drawbacks than the impact turn approach. It will, however, require affirmative’s to wade through the traditional components of a topicality debate and will be subject to good negative teams closely scrutinizing affirmative counterinterpretations. An important question that not enough negative teams ask is if affirmative interpretations would allow for affs with plan texts.
B) Impact turning topicality
I tend to agree that it is impossible and even unstrategic to have a counterinterpretation for certain affirmatives. This opinion seems to be increasingly rare. However, I do find there are some drawbacks that affirmative teams will have to deal with in exchange for not having to provide a counterinterpretation. I instinctively tend to find certain negative pushes against impact turns to the “form” of framework persuasive, including that the reading of topicality is not intrinsically distinct from alternative forms of disagreement. Furthermore, affirmative teams are typically locked out of impact turns to the content of debates that would occur under the negative’s vision of debate as a product of not having any limit on the topic under the impact turn approach.
-- Counterplans that are not both textually and functionally competitive are most likely theoretically illegitimate.
-- Presumption flips affirmative if the counterplan is a larger change from the status quo than the 1AC.
-- Tend to think textual competition is a nonsensical standard for counterplan competition.
-- “Turns the case” is probably more important to me than some. That being said, affirmative teams should point out that a risk of “turns the case” does not auto warrant a negative ballot because there are, most than likely, substantive portions of the DA that are being contested and similarly mitigate the turns case argument(s).
-- Uniqueness controls the direction of the link / the link controls the direction of uniqueness has never made sense to me. At best, both arguments seem to be a tautological way of proving that different parts of a disadvantage don’t exist in a vacuum. Feel free to convince me otherwise though?
Kritiks v Plan
-- It seems that framework means a lot more to me than it does to some judges. A vast majority of judges seem to arbitrarily intervene and decide to take a middle stance on the framework debate and generate their own justifications for why this “middle stance” is preferable. I will avoid doing this at all costs and only decide between the interpretations present in the 2NR and the 2AR.
-- I tend to think most negative answers to fairness/predictability as a justification for weighing the aff are woefully insufficient, but that affirmative development of this justification is equally as egregious. Affirmative’s should borrow more from their negative framework arsenal against planless affirmatives and explain why a model of debate where the affirmative gets to weigh the plan is most reflective of the resolution and why debate over that predictable stasis point is important and internal link turns the negative’s justifications for not letting the aff weigh the plan.
Kritiks v No Plan
-- The capitalism kritik is a good and real strategy against most planless affs that I genuinely believe could sustain a year’s worth of debates against kritikal affs with a relatively high success rate.
Bad Cap K: focus on identity bad, cap is the root cause of everything, etc.
Good Cap K: materiality good, engaging the political good, organizing good, etc.
-- Examples will be rewarded.
-- Go for presumption. For the love of god.
-- Not sure how I feel about “no perms in a method debate.” A majority of debates between kritiks and planless affs are undeniably won or lost on the permutation and I do tend to agree with the sentiment that permutations in k v k debates tend to get a bit out of control. I’m not sure if entirely abandoning any standard for competition in k v k debates would be desirable (as implied by “no perms in a method debate”) -- letting the negative get away with not having link arguments to the aff seems is a little ridiculous.
-- “Reasonability” does not refer to whether the plan text reasonably ‘meets’ the negative’s interpretation, but whether the affirmative’s interpretation is sufficiently reasonable in comparison to the negative’s interpretation.
-- Clearly parsing out what debates under each interpretation marks the difference between shallow and rigorous topicality debates.
-- If you feel unsatisfied with my RFD, I encourage you to post-round me. I will not take any offense or make a determination on your personality on the basis of your reaction to my decision. I was always quick to disagree with judges as a debater and have always considered disagreement the highest forms of respect.
-- While this is arguably contingent on the framework debate, I seem to be one of the few who believes that in “kritik v plan” debates, negative’s should be able to garner link arguments from unhighlighted portions of aff evidence. However, this rarely, if ever, seems to come up / become a site of disagreement.
-- In the scenario that the 2AR goes for condo and the 2NR is going for a K, if the 2AR goes for ‘education’ standards and concedes a strong framework push (from the 2NR) regarding the rhetorical form of debate (fiat, plan debate, etc.) or the speech act of the 1AC, then I will find it very difficult to throw out the 2NR’s framework debate absent some sort of comparison from the 2AR.
-- I have come to the conclusion that facial expressions from judges are better avoided and will do my best to steer myself away from being overly expressive. Thus, I would encourage you to avoid reading into my reactions and facial expressions.
-- In a majority of debates, with the exception of the 2AR extending conditionality, my mind seems to see theory as a “last resort” and unconsciously evaluate “substantive” portions of the debate before assessing any theory argument.
-- Arguments about acts committed by certain debaters outside the realm of a given debate round are unpersuasive. I don’t want to spend an hour and a half determining whether an individual I just met is a good person or not. I would gladly listen to and be open to having a discussion about grievances against a team after the debate.
-- Dropped arguments are rarely as detrimental as most would believe for 2 reasons:
A) “Risk” rarely exists as an on / off switch, but rather a sliding scale. It is up for debate, however, how the “risk” of a certain argument should be calculated.
B) Many debates have so many moving parts that effective cross applications and re-packaging can make up for the 1AR dropping 2NC #4 answering 2AC #11 on the DA.
Coaching & Competitor History:
(2020-Present): Director of Debate & Speech, Melissa High School
(2019-2020): Assistant Director of Forensics & Head PF Coach, Delbarton School
(2019-2020): Policy Debate Coach, Princeton High School
(2017-2019): Policy Debate Coach, Melissa High School
(2017-2019): Graduate Parliamentary Debate Coach, University of North Texas
(2015-2017): Policy Debate Coach & PF Coach, Southlake High School
(2014-2016): Policy Debate Coach, Prosper High School
(2014-2015): Policy, LD, & PF Coach, Crandall High School
(2013-2014/15ish): Policy Debate competitor, University of North Texas
(2009-2013): Policy Debate competitor, Lampasas
Overview: I view the debate though an offense/defense paradigm. I think that this is the best way for me to grapple with the debate. Throughout my paradigm, I've tried to limit my regurgitation of knowledge or information about debate to you, and instead tell you how I view debate based on specific questions with the specific events. I think that there are some things that I will not change based on the nature of whatever event I'm judging. Theoretical disquisitions and procedural issues are ones in which I evaluate the same. Please see the theory section. If there's a question I do not have within here, please ask me. Finally, the questions that I am answering below are 1.) questions in which people have asked me before that I can remember and 2.) attempting to answer them as best as possible.
Reasons to Strike Me:
3NR's: After nationals in 2019, I have this to say. If you're going to be rude because you lost the debate, and attempt to get me to generate some sort of concession about why I messed up, I think that you're looking for the wrong judge. I make mistakes, but if I wanted to waste my time with some sort of asinine 3NR, I would have stayed home to waste my time doing nothing. If I feel it's going poorly, the 3NR, I'll shut my laptop and tell you the same thing I told the team at nationals in 2019. You should be ashamed of yourselves and your coach should be even more ashamed due to their inability to make you understand that that's not a healthy practice.
Clipping Cards: This is defined as "intentionally or unintentionally skipping over the parts of the evidence that is highlighted, bolded, and underlined." As Louie Petit says, do not be a Lance Armstrong (Petit, 2013).
Ideological Issues: Being racist, sexist, or a biggot is a great way to strike me.
Coaching: if I have coached you in the past 4 years, I will strike you. If I forget to, it is your obligation to strike me.
Cards: If you are paraphrasing and not cutting cards in PF, strike me.
Cards (PF): I'm so tired of people "calling for evidence" and it taking a majority of the round, while in the interim stealing prep. You should either 1.) send the case before you read or 2.) immediately after you're done before cross-fire or prep starts. I will start calling for prep when you call for evidence at a certain point, and if you do not like this, strike me please.
Dumb Theory Arguments: There's a national trend going on in LD indicating that we or judges should vote on frivolous argument (e.g. shoe theory, laptop theory, and so on). These are just absurdly, un-strategic, asinine arguments. Strike me please.
***Policy Debate Paradigm
What does extrapolation mean for you? For me, I think that the 2AR and the 2NR get extrapolation based on previous claims made within the debate. I think that, if this is based off of evidence, and your evidence has some sort of glaring issue that prevents you from generating access to said extrapolation, then I probably won't vote for you.
What do we have to do to flag evidence? Just say look at the evidence or make some sort of evidence contestation that necessitates that I look at your evidence. It just takes a couple seconds.
Extending is important: I think that, if you do not extend the aff or example within the 1AR, I may have a hard time giving the 2AR credit. Even if it is just a shadow extension, I think that that is better than nothing.
Is evidence comparison important? Yeah. I would say that that's probably a good way for me to reevaluate why I should prefer a particular argument over another. I think that engaging in some sort of substantive level (i.e. the warrants, author, and so on) make for good case debate (for example).
Email me: I think that this will help in case I have to go back and re-read a piece of evidence. I try not to waste people's time, thus, I do not want to have to ask if you can send me a specific piece of evidence. If you're looking to get documents from a previous debate, please see the above email.
Do you prefer a specific kind of aff? no. Read a method, soft left, or big stick aff. It's up to you. I grew up going for the big stick aff and coached that the first 2-3 years out of high school, while also coaching big stick 1AC's in PF at Delbarton. I coached pre dominantly soft left aff's at Melissa and Princeton. I coach a kid now in LD reading a historical geneology that discusses why debate is bad. I think that you should do whatever you want. I've judged some great [Coppell DR and Wylie QR] teams going for the method. I've judged some great teams [Greenhill & Jesuit] going for Soft left affs. I've judged some great teams like Highland Park and Jesuit go for some big stick affs. I think that you should be able to read what you want.
Are you okay with speed? Yes. The fastest team I ever saw was the Georgetown team that won nationals twice. Unless you're going faster, I may need you to slow down. If I cannot hear you, I will say clear.
Speaker Points: I generally do not give below a 28.5. I do not know what else to say here.
Does Competing Interpretations come before reasonability or vise versa? I think that it depends on the arguments made within the debate. Absent this sort of debate, I will default to competing interpretations within the grande scheme of this or other competitive venues of debate.
What's the biggest thing people do poorly (in your opinion) on T or any procedural issue? I think that impacting your disads or standards is important to me. For example, on the ground disad, make sure that you're indicating 1.) HOW you're losing the argument (i.e. the link) and 2.) WHAT those arguments generally look like or what they specifically are and 3.) WHY those arguments are important for either topic education and/or competitive equity.
What's generated more ballots for you on T: The limits disad or Ground disad? I think that, while not having any sort of verifiable data via my ballots, I couldn't tell you. However, I have a gut feeling that it is the ground disad. I think that people, whenever making a limits claim, are not contextualizing why a particular limit based on the interpretation or rule set in debate is a better thing or idea.
Is Framework inherently argumentatively racist? I think that it depends on the debate.
Can we impact turn competitive equity and/or topic education? Absolutely.
Does or can a theoretical argument (e.g. Condo, or some other theory argument) come before T? Sure. I've seen these debates, but I've never judged them.
Do I get broad level extrapolation for my interp? No. What do I mean by this? Well, if you just say in the 2NC "conditionality is bad", but then precede in the 2NR or 1NR to clarify this statement by saying "conditionality is bad BECAUSE they can only get dispositional counterplans or advocacies", I am not likely to give you that level of extrapolation. I think that that is too late for me.
Have you ever rejected a Framework claim to a K aff (i.e. you did not vote on framework)? Yes.
Have you voted on a framework claim against a K aff? Yes.
What are things not to do or recommend not to do on Framework? I think that you should attempt to separate the procedural issues from the aff itself. I understand that making state good or bad claims and having research burdens on Framework may come as a result of some sort of argument made on framework. however, if you can separate those two things instead of them bleeding over on the same flow, I would appreciate that. If not, that's not an issue.
If I do not have either a predictability, ground, and/or limits claims within the 2NR for T, are you likely to vote for me? probably not.
Impact turning the aff? Great. I love these debates.
Can I just go for defense, or what some people call the stock issues? No. The only time I have voted on defense was in 2015. The Role of the Ballot was quite literally to vote on defense or what I believe was solvency within that debate.
Can we win the disad absent case in the 2NR? Maybe, but I hope that you either are making claims that 1.) the disad turns the case and/or (depending on the disad) 2.) That you're making disad solves the aff's offense in some manner.
Can we win a link turn absent a uniqueness contestation made? Probably not. Right, if you do not prove why a problem is high now and are concluding that you substantially reduce that problem, absent the first sort of argument, I presume that the problem is not likely happening now (i.e. the uniqueness argument of the disad is true).
Do you prefer to hear disads? Read what you want.
Biggest issue on the disad? Same issue on an advantage; there needs to be a good explanation of the internal link or impact module that describes how we get to the impact.
Absent a disad, can we still win the counterplan? Sure, but you'll need to make either 1.) why the counterplan is just inherently mutually exclusive or 2.) Win some sort of internal net benefit to the counterplan.
What if the disad links to the plan AND counterplan? Making link differential arguments here and explaining why (whichever side's) level of "linking" (so to speak) is not enough to trigger the disad. I also then think that this is a question of the evidence, and how good or bad the evidence is. I think that this also a question of spin, so making sure that you spin the argument is important here (for me at least).
Thoughts on the Politics Disad? Fantastic.
Is conditionality fine? yes.
Are two conditional counterplans fine? I mean sure, i don't care.
What about 3? Look, I'm not the arbiter that determines the number of conditional counterplans or unconditional counterplans that you get to read. I think that at a certain time, there needs to be a limit set within the debate. If the affirmative proves why their limit on the certain number is good or better, then I am more likely to vote for them. I think that this ALSO means having a NON-blanket statement interpretation. Just saying that conditionality is bad is probably not a good interpretation for the debate. I think that there's a whole slew of disads and turns that the interp is going to generate. I think that parametrasizing your interp (i.e. the negative teams gets 1 conditional counterplan and a dispositional counterplan) is probably a better interpretation.
Would you vote on internal net benefits? I would yes. If you have a specific question here that I can better answer, please let me know.
What kind of counterplan do you prefer? I like PICS's. They're really cool. Read a counterplan; i don't know what else to say. Debate is cool. Counterplans are fine.
What are some dumb counterplans? Delay is probably dumb, but I've voted on it (yeah, make fun of me. It's fair). I think that consult counterplans on the wrong topic are dumb, but I've still voted for them on the topic in which they do not make sense argumentatively to be read on.
When's the last time you voted on condo? Plano West Finals, 2020. Before that, I think that it was in 2015. People do not read conditionality in front of me a lot.
What about sufficiency framing? Yeah I guess presumption would err in your direction even if there is not a net benefit or internal net benefit. I'll err this manner if the permutation cannot solve, or if the permutation is not made, or if the permutation argument is not sufficiently explained.
What's a poor permutation? One that is not explained. I also think that good permutations are one's that are thought out and take the part of the counterplan that resolves the disad and combines it with the plan. I think that teams that are strategic with these better forms of permutations are more likely to win.
Issues on permutation debates? If you're going to make assertions that the other team's permutation is either severance or intrinsic, I need some sort of warrant or violation explaining why the other side's permutation is intrinsic or severance. Absent this theorietical or structural argument in your theory argument, I'm willing to note vote on it even if you told me all day why severance or intrinsic permutations are bad. Also, if you want to impact turn severance, go ahead. Finally, explaining to me what the world of the permutation looks like and why it avoids the internal or external net benefit is going to be important to me.
Preferred strategy against a K aff? I don't have one. It depends on the aff.
Method vs. Method debate? Well yeah, I think that these are great debates to be had.
Do you have a preferred literature base of critical scholarship that you would like to see debated? No. I read a lot of gender studies scholarship, but I do not think that this should deter you from reading the arguments that you want to read within the debate. If you're looking to up someone based on the prerequisite knowledge of things like black feminism, islamic feminism, intersectional feminism, womanism, and various other derivatives, I guess I'm that person, but I would hesitate from deeming myself that person.
Is framework against a K aff fine? yeah, absolutely.
What's the biggest issue with the K or K Aff's? Explaining the alt and how it resolves the offense within the specific debate. I think that more tangible alternatives have a better time of operationalizing an explanation for this question. That's not to say that you can NOT read reject alts. I'm just letting you know based on things that I have been judging on the national and local circuits. I think that, like my friend Chris O'Brien, I start with the alternative, look there, and then go up.
Link argument issues? I think that you are better off with doing a couple things in front of me. First, I think that going for just one link (most likley the conceded link) within the 2NR is going to be helpful. I think that good K teams are doing this because it increases the time that they can spend on other things within the debate. Second, putting the evidence or having evidence in the context of the aff is going to get you much farther. I think that these generic state bad links are fine, but just be understanding that if the evidence after reading it is in the context of the status quo and not some new proposal, I think that I am likely to err aff on this question if said arguments are made. I think that kritikal affs to better win framework we/meet arguments should have a kritik that is in the direction (at the minimum) or at least about the topic in some sort of way. Debate bad affs for instance are nice, but if they have nothing to do with immigration, arms sales, or water, then I am more likely to vote on the argument.
Impact issues? I think that whenever judging a K vs. a Soft Left aff or a K vs. K aff, make sure that you are doing sequencing work if both teams have some sort of root cause argument. I think that this level of explanation is going to warrant higher speaker points while also generating a better ballot erred in your direction.
Would you be willing to vote on a K absent us winning the alt? I think that, like my friend Chris O'Brien, I start with the alternative, look there, and then go up. If you do not have some sort of tangible alt, then I am likley to not vote for you i if the other side then makes arguments about why these things are happening in the status quo and/or the offense is just a non-unique disad at this point.
Calling for evidence: please see the strike section above.
Is defense sticky? No. Absolutely not.
Do you have a preference of offense (i.e. scalar offense, or threshold offense)? No? I don't care. If you're reading your scalar offense, I'm not entirely sure why you're reading these uniqueness arguments above your scalar offense. Right, in policy this is just linear (or that is the synonymous term). I think that you are waisting your time for this.
Can I read multiple ethical positions within the pro and con cases? Sure, why not. If LD gets pre and post fiat, I don't understand why you can't read structural violence arguments and util arguments, and then collapse to one within the final focus.
If I don't frontline arguments within the rebuttal, are they dropped? Yeah. The way that I view the rebuttal is that is it similar or analogous to the 2AC in policy debate. Absent some sort of answer to the rebuttal's arguments that they are making probably means that you do not get to respond to them within the summary speech.
Can I shadow extend arguments in the summary and extrapolate in the final focus? Sure. I think that that is a smart move.
Can I read disclosure theory or paraphrasing theory? I'll answer both of these separately. First, I think that paraphrasing theory is inherently not something that I think that is substantive to vote on. Go look up in the theory section of my policy debate paradigm and int he overview. I think that theory here is treated the same in policy. In other words, I think that you need to win some sort of predictability, ground (or predictable ground), and/or limits (or predictable limits) claim for me to vote on your theory argument. If I do not know why paraphrasing destroys or erode one of those standards, I'm not voting voting for you.You can have as many bright line standards, contextual definition standards because you've read some sort of great (not really great) piece of evidence by some camp staffer who published an article, or whatever. That will not get you far enough in my book. Second, sure, read disclosure theory. Again, I think that the above arguments related to this applies here as well (the criticism about offensive vs. defensive standards).
What's your threshold for a warrant or an explanation to an argument within the final focus? Pretty high. Absent a warrant for an argument mean that I am going to discount that argument. It's pretty simple; I evaluate arguments in a vaccum, and just because you explained it in the summary does not mean that you necessarily get to just shadow extend arguments with the same or full weight.
What if we did not highlight our cards? I'm noticing that more and more teams are not highlighting their cards. I'm not sure if you're doing this on purpose, but I think that I will look to the analysis of the card's tag within the final focus, and adjudicate my decision from there. This is not on you. This is on the PF community to establish a set of card norms. In other words, I will hold you to your analysis, not what is on the evidence.
Can I take prep before cross or the opponent's speech? Sure.
Do you prefer Util or Structural Violence Framing? I think that these impact framing debates and risks analysis disquisitions are fun to have. No, it's not abusive for a team to read an alternative util calculus. I think that I am more adverse to giving higher speaker points to the team that goes outside the boundaries, and pushes them, by reading some sort of alternative ethical framework or calculus.
What does collapsing mean for you? I think, collapsing for me, means that you're going for less arguments but in a manner in which you extrapolate and interact those arguments in a manner that does more for you. Whenever I hear this answer, I see some sort of upside down triangle, whereby there's 2 levels (i.e. the aff case and the negative case). Going for all the arguments that you made within rebuttal within the final focus on the opponents case, while also going for all of your contentions, seems like a strategy or easy way to lose.
Why did you say that you recommend I have uniqueness for my warrants? Yeah, you have 3 different warrants (i.e. impact modules or scenarios) about why something is bad. Just asserting that X, Y, and Z will happen does not make a lot of sense absent some sort of uniqueness argument made that postulates that that issue is not happening now.
If I win a pre-req does that mean that I win the debate? Maybe? I think that it depends on the debate. I think that I would need some more context to this question, but you may be giving away some strategy to your opponents by adding context.
Can I read definitions or observations? Sure. Be my guest.
Can I read a kritik? I mean, there's a small amount of time to get through the K within the debate. If you think that you can do it, be my guest. If you don't have certain things, and are just certain you won the debate because you only read a link argument, don't be surprised when I tell you that you lose. I think that a better strategy you be just to read the link and the impact as a case turn, and then contextualize how the aff specifically increases. I think you should see some of the link sections within the kritik section in the policy section of my paradigm.
Does the new 3 minute (or relatively new) summary change how you judge? Not really. It's like going from high school policy debate to college police debate insofar as the time is concerned (i.e. everything increases by a minute). it doesn't change strategy, or largely I should say.
Speaker Point notes: I find that there is this assimilated, similar way of speaking in PF. It sounds great, but you repeating your claims over and over, and getting to the point 10 or 15 seconds in will not necessitate me giving you higher speaker points in PF. I traditionally give higher speaker points to teams that are warranting their arguments, have good word economy, and are efficient.
3NR's: I've noticed that PF has become way worse about 3NR's than even policy debate. While this hasn't happened to me in PF, or really in any event absent the 1 time at nationals, I do want to say this. You berating a parent judge is just absurd. You berating a coach who evaluates the debate differently is not going to help you win the debate back. Tack a breath, because we're all in this together. If you're doing a 3NR because someone said something egregious, I'll be there with your coach and tab to explain the situation. Absent some sort of issue like this, just don't do it in front of me. Why? The next time I see you I'm just going to think back to the unsavory moment of you berating a judge for no reason. If you want to make judges better, have a conversation with them. Ask questions. If you want judges to get better and stick around, talk to them. Also, the other person on the panel who may or may not have voted for you will also remember. Lastly, Yes, parent judges or inexperienced judges or traditional judges are people that you may not like, or would even conclude are not the ideal situation that any competitor would like. I'm probably in the same boat as you, but that doesn't justify asinine discourse.
Evidence indicts: I think that this is great, and becoming even more popular. I think that if you just assert that their evidence errs in your favor, have a compelling reason and a piece of evidence. This is really simple.
Concessions not warranted isn't a ballot: If you go for all the concessions in the final focus, but you have not warranted a SINGLE one of those arguments, I think that I am less likely to vote for you. In fact, I probably won't. Please make sure that you are explaining your arguments.
Presumption: I think that this errs a bit differently than the way that it does compared to traditional PF judges or people that have been brought up into the PF community. If there is an absence of offense from both sides in the debate, I will err aff because I presume that voting aff does something different and changes things nominally better. If you're a coach reading this and think that I need to start erring on the negative insofar as presumption is concerned, that's fine. Please explain it to me.
Can you read arguments attacking the other side's case in the 2nd speech or for the 2nd team during the constructive speech? Absolutely. I see no reason why. This is the equivalent to reading everything within the 1NC in policy debate.
Can I read theory? Sure. I think that you should reference my theory section above.
Can I go fast? I don't care. Go as fast as you want. If I cannot hear you, then I will say clear.
Can I impact turn in PF? Sure. If you. want to read dedev, give it your best. I think that, if you don't have the proper structural components, I'm probably less willing to vote for you.
Should I pref you because I am a Phil Debater? Probably not. I'm trying to get better at having a deeper understanding of phil, but this is not my strong suit. I'm learning more in the process and doing my due diligence to better understand different philosophy and philosophers arguments.
Will you vote on framework? Sure. I think that if you decide to go for framework, please make a mental note of several things. First, if you just want to weigh your framework above the opponent's, that is fine. I think that I need some sort of good reason about why your framework is better than your opponents. Second, I think that if you want to prove some sort of pre-condition argument or pre-req, then that is fine. Just make sure that you do this. However, if you are making these sorts of link turn arguments, and you are also impact turning their framework, just note that I am likely to not vote for you because you have functionally double turned yourself. Right, you are making an argument that your criterion better gets to their value, but that value is bad, well, that means that your framework leads to a bad thing. Just be mindful of this.
Can I go for a link turn on framework and an impact turn on the opposing value? Probably not because you have double turned yourself.
Is reading post fiat and pre fiat arguments in the 1AC Fine? For sure. I don't care or see a reason why you cannot. if the opposing team make theoretical dispositions to why you can't, then that is a different debate to be had.
Can I LARP in LD? For sure.
Can I read spikes and under-views? For sure. I think that these sort of blippy arguments or analytics made within the 1AC and the 1NC that then you extrapolate on latter within the debate, that is fine. However, be mindful that if you do not give me enough pen time to flow it and I miss it, that is not on me. That means that you should slow down.
Theory? In general? Cool. If you end up reading theory, that is fine. I want to make this as specific for LD as possible. I think that there is a difference of what offense looks like on Theory than it does for say in policy debate. If you go for a time skew argument or a bright line argument, that is not offensive. That is an internal link into some sort of offensive standard, which there's universally 3 (predictable, ground, and/or limits, or some sort of derivative [i.e. predictable ground and predictable limits---depending on who you talk to]). Moreover, if you are going to be reading a lot of frivolous theory, I think that’s you need to be discussing these arguments in one of those veins.
Updated - Fall 2020
Number of years judging: 12
For the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to be on the email chain, but I am not going to “read-along” during constructives. I may reference particular cards during cross-ex if they are being discussed, and I will probably read cards that are important or being contested in the final rebuttals. But it’s the job of the debaters to explain, contextualize, and impact the warrants in any piece of evidence. I will always try to frame my decision based on the explanations on the flow (or lack thereof).
Like every judge I look for smart, well-reasoned arguments. I’ll admit a certain proclivity for critical argumentation, but it isn’t an exclusive preference (I think there’s something valuable to be said about “policy as performance”). Most of what I have to say can be applied to whatever approach debaters choose to take in the round. Do what you’re good at, and I will do my best to render a careful, well thought-out decision.
I view every speech in the debate as a rhetorical artifact. Teams can generate clash over questions of an argument’s substance, its theoretical legitimacy, or its intrinsic philosophical or ideological commitments.
I think spin control is extremely important in debate rounds and compelling explanations will certainly be rewarded. And while quantity and quality are also not exclusive I would definitely prefer less cards and more story in any given debate as the round progresses. I also like seeing the major issues in the debate compartmentalized and key arguments flagged.
As for the standard array of arguments, there's nothing I can really say that you shouldn't already know. I like strong internal link stories and nuanced impact comparisons. I really don't care for "risk of link means you vote Aff/Neg" arguments on sketchy positions; if I don't get it I'm not voting for it. My standard for competition is that it’s the Negative’s job to prove why rejecting the Aff is necessary which means more than just presenting an alternative or methodology that solves better – I think this is the best way to preserve clash in these kinds of debates. Please be sure to explain your position and its relation to the other arguments in the round.
KRITIK LINKS ARE STILL IMPORTANT. Don’t assume you’ll always have one, and don’t over-rely on extending a “theory of power” at the top of the flow. Both of these are and should be mutually reinforcing. This is especially important for the way I evaluate permutations. Theories of power should also be explained deliberately and with an intent to persuade.
I think the topic is important and I appreciate teams that find new and creative approaches to the resolution, but that doesn’t mean you have to read a plan text or defend the USFG. Framework is debatable (my judging record on this question is probably 50/50). A lot of this depends on the skills of the debaters in the room. This should not come as a surprise, but the people who are better at debating tend to win my framework ballot. Take your arguments to the next level, and you'll be in a much stronger position.
Two other things that are worth noting: 1) I flow on paper…probably doesn’t mean anything, but it might mean something to you. 2) I think there is a difference between intensity and jackassery. Please be mindful of this.
Sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin '24
I used to debate for Hendrickson
Email chain: email@example.com
LD stuff below
– I will evaluate anything that is said, except for interruptions by anyone who isn't supposed to be speaking. Unless it is a part of your performance, I won't evaluate it.
– Tech over Truth in most cases. I won't evaluate an argument without a warrant. I will not evaluate arguments like racism good, ableism good, and any other arguments that you should know that aren’t impact turn-able.
– I don't have an issue with you marking cards. But I do have an issue with you marking every card on an entire flow. I won't evaluate a single card you read as an argument if you cut them before the warrants.
– Unlike most judges, I flow cross-examination. That doesn’t mean that I evaluate cross-x as a speech, but it does mean that you don’t need to fully explain the cross-x moment for me to understand.
– I’m not the best for teams reading Kritikal arguments. I didn’t read a lot of Kritikal arguments in high school, which means that I don’t know the nuances between authors within critical literature.
– I make a lot of facial expressions. If I'm confused or I think an argument you're making is silly, I will give a reaction.
– Please don't read a meme CP, DA, K, or anything in front of me. I really not a fan of completely non-educational, throwaway arguments.
– Unless a timer is going, I'm not flowing. If the timer beeps and you are in the middle of a cross-x answer or a card, you should stop. I'm not paying attention and won't grant you the completed argument.
Topic Specific Thoughts
– T-Protection is a pretty hard argument to win without a coherent case list of topical and untopical affs. If such a list isn't presented by the end of the debate, I tend to err aff on reasonability.
“Soft Left” Affs
– I hate 1ACs that have the following pre-empts on their framing contention: no war, their DAs have [x] probability, their politics DA is thumped, etc. The 1AC is not a speech to be reading answers to neg arguments that have not yet been read. I prefer "soft-left" affs that have reasons as to why your internal links and mechanism are key. If your 1AC doesn't have those things, I'll probably vote neg for an advantage CP with no solvency advocate and a politics DA.
– Arguments like “reject consequences” are inherently flawed and unpersuasive. Why should I evaluate your consequences but not your opponents? That just seems illogical. I’m more persuaded by arguments like “probability comes first.”
– For the neg, when explaining DA turns case, I don’t want hear “our impact turns structural violence” as a justification for why the DA accesses the aff’s impacts. The neg must explain how their impact scenario makes the aff’s specific instance of structural violence worse.
– I vote neg on Topicality more often than I think I should. But I'll try not to do that.
– I'm not persuaded by "plan text in a vacuum." Just inserting the resolution into your plan text isn't enough to prove that the aff is topical. You have to prove your mechanism fits under the resolution.
– I view topicality violations, such as "substantial," as time sucks, which means that I default aff on reasonability. Unless the aff drops or mishandles T-Substantial, I probably won’t vote neg.
– I tend to err neg when a coherent list of untopical affs under the aff's counter-interpretation is presented. Those type of case lists are coherent when the affs listed are ones that most teams would actually read and not some random idea you thought was dumb. Similarly, I err aff when the aff presents a coherent case list for affs that the neg's interpretation excludes is presented. Solvency advocates aren't required for either case list.
– Reasonability is about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not the aff. This means that if you kick the counter-interp, you can’t go for reasonability.
– The counter-interpretation is the most confusing part of the aff’s strategy on framework. If I don’t understand what your model of debate looks like and how it solves any of your offense, then I will have a hard time voting aff.
– I find myself unpersuaded by aff arguments like "your model of debate excludes us," "reading [x] standard is violent," or any other argument that equates the reading of Framework to legitimate violence. Those aren't true and are trivializing to actual experiences of violence. I'm more persuaded by arguments about how your model of debate is more educational, builds better activists, creates better subjects, etc. Similarly, neg teams that tell their opponents to "get out of debate" won't win my ballot.
– I view the topical version of the aff as a way for the neg’s model of debate to incorporate the aff’s education on the aff. Arguments like “the state can’t endorse our advocacy” or state bad offense is not a reason the topical version can’t include the aff’s discussion. That being said, the topical version must solve some of the aff’s impacts. A solvency advocate will make it more convincing that the topical version resolves some of the aff’s offense outlined in the 1AC.
– My views on framework and topicality are pretty similar, the only difference is that I view a framework debate as a question of competing interpretations. I’m unpersuaded by reasonability and will not vote on it.
– I already said it above, but I will say it again. I will not evaluate arguments like racism good, ableism good, and any other arguments that you should know that aren’t impact turn-able. If you are going to ask, don’t read it.
– These kinds of debates are fun to judge, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoy every impact turn debate. You should explain every impact turn as if it were a disad. What is happening now? How does the aff/disad change that? Why is that change bad? All of these questions need to be answered in order for me to vote for you.
– I keep hearing aff teams saying "their DA links are generic." I don't view that as a take out to the link. The aff needs to make the argument that they don't link for me to be persuaded that the generic link is insufficient for a link. The threshold for how good the "no link" argument decreases when the neg's link work is generic.
– I will discount any disad with relatively zero risk as background noise, unless a counterplan is involved. In which case, I will evaluate the disad.
– Disads that require multiple internal link chains are the worst disads and are easily answerable by the aff in my opinion. The aff doesn’t have to read a lot of evidence, but there should still be lots of evidence comparison and pointing out of flaws in their evidence.
– I absolutely love counterplans that come from re-cutting an internal link or solvency advocate of the 1AC. Even if your counterplan doesn’t come from their 1AC author, the more case specific it is, the more likely I am to reward you for it. In other words, I prefer advantage counterplans over PICs, agent CPs, process CPs, etc.
– The neg is allowed to get the States CP. No amount of time spent in the 2AR or subpoints in the 2AC on this issue will change my mind on this. Whether the neg gets to uniformly fiat all 50 states is a different question.
– Presumption flows aff when the counterplan does more than the aff but stays neg if it does less.
– Sufficiency framing is an argument, but it needs to be paired with a reason as to why that sort of framing is good. If the 1AR gives a decent reason as to why I should reject it and the block has not given a reason to prefer it, then the 2NR will have a hard time persuading me that sufficiency framing is good.
– I will not judge kick unless told otherwise.
– Like most judges, I prefer hearing buzzwords explained, case-specific links, and comprehensive alternative explanations. If you are lacking any of these parts after the block, the odds that I’ll vote neg is very low.
– I enjoy listening to 2NCs that focus more on the line-by-line rather than a long overview that implicitly answers 2AC arguments. In those debates, I begin to tune out and will miss arguments you are making even if you’re not going very fast. This also includes 2NCs that shotgun a myriad of links. Don’t expect me to catch every link and their explanations because I won’t. I don’t think there should be a limit as to how many links you make, but if you’re strategy is contingent off of the 1AR dropping a link and going for that link, then I’m not the right judge for you.
– “Link are a disad to the perm” is NOT a sufficient answer the permutations. Since most links are descriptions of broader structures and not the aff, the permutation is usually sufficient enough to solve the links if it combines the plan and alt. If the neg couples the links with a disad or severance/intrinsic-ness argument, then I’m less likely to vote aff on the perm.
– The most under-focused argument in a kritik debate is the 1AC. If you’re aff, weigh your impacts and explain how they outweigh the K’s impacts. Most aff teams lose because they choose not to weigh their impacts. If you’re neg, don’t forget to answer case. This is especially true for the neg when the security k, psychoanalysis, or any other argument that relies on the aff being wrong about the 1AC in anyway require a case debate in order for you to win your links. Conceding case means I heavily lean aff on the permutation. This doesn’t mean that I’ll auto-vote aff if you drop case, you just need to indict the 1ACs authors or theories in some way and make that clear in your speech. Even if your evidence directly indicts theirs, you need to do the work to explain why those indicts are true.
– After the block, I should know what your alternative does and how it solves the links. If you decide to kick the alt in the 2NR, then you need to explain how the links operate as linear disads to the aff and not the broader structures of power. A lack of explanation of how the links are resolved means I won’t be voting neg.
K v K Debate
– Kritik debates in general should have concrete examples to back up their theories, but this is especially true when two different theories are clashing. I have zero clue where to start if all I’m hearing are buzzwords and explanations of your theory with no idea what it looks like. These examples are extremely helpful for me to not only understand your theory, but also understand how it interacts with your opponent’s theory.
– A method debate does not mean a no-perm debate. The aff definitely gets a perm and the neg has to prove why combing the aff’s theory with the neg’s theory fails to accomplish something.
– A lot of these debates come down to the permutation or the link vs link turn. For the aff, you need to explain how the permutation solves the links or, at the very least, avoid them. If your strategy is contingent on the link turn, you need to do impact calculus between your link turn and the neg’s link. If I think the neg has a bigger link, then I will vote neg. The same is true if I think the link turn outweighs the link, then I vote aff. For the neg, your answer to the perm shouldn’t just be links are a disad, especially if your links are that “the aff doesn’t analyze [insert K impact].”
– Most theory arguments are just reasons to reject the argument, except for condo. This is especially true when there isn’t any in-round abuse. Theory arguments that such as counterplans without solvency advocates, vague alts, etc. are reasons to be skeptical of the solvency of the counterplan or alt. They are rarely reasons to reject the team. Other theory arguments like PICs bad, floating PIKs bad, agent CPs bad, etc. are reasons to reject the counterplan or alt. These arguments can be reasons to reject the team, but only if the neg severely mishandles these the theory debate and the 1AR and 2AR are really good on them.
– I think the most reasonable amount of conditional world the neg should have is two. Three or four is pushing it. If the neg only reads advantage counterplans or kritiks specific to the 1ACs plan, then I lean neg on condo even if they counter-interpretation is an infinite number of worlds. So long as those worlds are specific to the aff, then I’m good with it. However, if the aff’s interpretation on condo is zero conditional worlds, one unconditional world, or [x number] of dispositional worlds, then I lean neg on condo. I’m hate 2ACs that say the neg can read dispositional worlds and not define what it means.
– I don't vote on shotty theory arguments like ASPEC, Disclosure Theory, New Affs Bad, etc. unless they are dropped.
– I default neg on theory if it’s a new aff.
– I don't judge a lot of LD, but I'm familiar with the format.
– Most of the Policy/CX stuff holds true for LD arguments.
– If the affirmative is going for an RVI, it needs to be the entirety of your last speech and you must prove in-round abuse. I won't reject arguments or the negative otherwise.
– Just because I judge CX doesn't mean I want to watch a CX debate. Judge as if I'm a parent judge with no clue about the topic. This means no "DAs," "CPs," "Ks," or "Ts." If you debate like it's a CX debate, I will not give you speaks higher than 27.
– Please send cases/evidence through an email chain. My email is above.
Note for online debate:
- without a doc - please go like 80% of max speed because internet connections are wack
I'm Bennett Dombcik (he/him), I'm currently a sophomore debating for the University of Michigan.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
DAs - yes these are great. I am persuaded more by quality link cards than I am by a large amount of random links that could possibly apply to the aff (that is the case for pretty much every single argument)... OV at the top of the DA that explain why the DA ow the case and (hopefully) how it turns the case is very helpful, however, if the turns case arg is not supported by evidence, I am unlikely to be very persuaded.
I am sympathetic to 0% risk, but it does take some work to get there. I am somewhere in-between probability ow and extinction ow, and will default to the debating that is done, if no one says anything about it somehow, I will default to probability most likely (assuming that your impact has at least some, well, impact).
CPs - also great, however, I'm not yet caught up on the vast majority of weird process cps that basically get recycled as generics, that doesn't mean you cannot read them, but be prepared to explain what the mechanism of the CP actually does. In terms of the more generic process cps (consult, courts, etc.), I'm fine, same with pretty much everything else.
Theory stuff - everything other than condo is a reason to reject the arg, condo is a reason to reject the team. I am not unwilling to vote on condo bad but tend to think that anything less than 4 is fine. The more absurd it becomes (k, process cp, 12 plank adv cp, uq cp at the top of every DA...) the more willing I am to vote on in-round abuse.
Case debate - the best! Impact turns are wonderful to judge (same with putting a DA on case as a link turn) - aff teams tend to underestimate the time they need to spend on case in the 2ac which is not ideal to say the least.
topicality - these debates are fun to judge, but admittedly, they do get blippy and I am likely to default to whichever team does the best impact explanation. I think precision is important, but debatability is probably more important given at least a ~reasonable~ defense of the words in the topic. this does not mean I think reasonability is better than competing interps - decking the topic because you want to read ur aff is not a good idea.
ks - these can be great to judge if done well - neg teams should probably have links to the plan or a very very good defense of an alternative framework. Be warned, I am not well versed in a lot of the literature, so err away from using the big buzz words to explain your position, because I am unlikely to be able to explain an RFD to the affirmative team if I don't know what the words in the 2NR meant. I am most likely to vote for the kritik if the negative explains why the link turns the aff and takes out solvency at some level.
k affs - similar thoughts to a lot of the k stuff above - teams should be close to the topic if you want to beat T in front of me and you probably know your aff way more than I do, so please explain it. Other than that, you do you.
T vs K affs - these debates can be very good, but can also be very bad. If you're neg in these debates in front of me, I would prefer to see a strategy more focused on clash/testing more so than procedural fairness as the impact (but you can still win that if that's your jam). I think that debate is a competitive activity and that activity is good, arguments that it is bad will not do well in front of me. Instead, I think affirmatives should focus on why their model of debate set up by the aff is good, predictable, and solves a lot of the negatives offense. Very persuaded by TVAs...
TLDR: if you explain arguments, do impact calc and card comparison, and don't make technical drops, you should be fine.
Debated at KU (13-15, Energy, War Powers, Legalization)
Previously Coached: Ast. Coach Shawnee Mission Northwest, Lansing High School.
Currently Coaching: Ast. Coach Washburn Rural High School
Do whatever you need to win rounds. I have arguments that I like / don't like, but I'd rather see you do whatever you do best, than do what I like badly. Have fun. I love this activity, and I hope that everyone in it does as well. Don't be unnecessarily rude, I get that some rudeness happens, but you don't want me to not like you. Last top level note. If you lose my ballot, it's your fault as a debater for not convincing me that you won. Both teams walk into the room with an equal chance to win, and if you disagree with my decision, it's because you didn't do enough to take the debate out of my hands.
Carrot and Stick
Carrot - every correctly identified dropped argument will be rewarded with .1 speaks (max .5 boost)
Stick - every incorrectly identified dropped argument will be punished with -.2 speaks (no max, do not do this)
DAs - please. Impact calc/ turns case stuff obviously great, and I've seen plenty of debates (read *bad debates) where that analysis is dropped by the 1ar. Make sure to answer these args if you're aff.
Impact turns - love these debates. I'll even go so far as to reward these debates with an extra .2 speaker points. By impact turns I mean heg bag to answer heg good, not wipeout. Wipeout will not be rewarded. It will make me sad.
CPs - I ran a lot of the CPs that get a bad rep like consult. I see these as strategically beneficial. I also see them as unfair. The aff will not beat a consult/ condition CP without a perm and/or theory. That's not to say that by extending those the aff autowins, but it's likely the only way to win. I lean neg on most questions of CP competition and legitimacy, but that doesn't mean you can't win things like aff doesn't need to be immediate and unconditional, or that something like international actors are illegit.
Theory - Almost always a reason to reject the arg, not the team. Obviously conditionality is the exception to that rule.
T - Default competing interps. Will vote on potential abuse. Topical version of the aff is good and case lists are must haves. "X" o.w. T args are silly to me.
Ks - dropping k tricks will lose you the debate. I'm fine with Ks, do what you want to. Make sure that what you're running is relevant for that round. If you only run security every round, if you hit a structural violence aff, your security K will not compel me. Make sure to challenge the alternative on the aff. Make sure to have a defense of your epistemology/ontology/reps or that these things aren't important, losing this will usually result in you losing the round.
K affs - a fiat'd aff with critical advantages is obviously fine. A plan text you don't defend: less fine, but still viable. Forget the topic affs are a hard sell in front of me. It can happen, but odds are you're going to want someone else higher up on your sheet. I believe debate is good, not perfect, but getting better. I don't think the debate round is the best place to resolve the issues in the community.
I don't really have a set system. Obviously the carrot and stick above apply. It's mostly based on how well you did technically, with modifications for style and presentation. If you do something that upsets me (you're unnecessarily rude, offensive, do something shady), your points will reflect that.
Head Coach - Washburn Rural High School, Topeka, KS
Debated at Manhattan High School
Email chain - email@example.com
First thing is first, if anything in this paradigm isn't clear enough, feel free to ask me before the round, I'd be more than happy to clarify.
Short update: 10 minutes of prep is a lot. Debate rounds are very long. If all debaters agree, at a tournament with 10 minutes of prep, I will boost speaker points by +.1 each if you agree to use 8 minutes of prep, and +.3 each if the teams use 5 minutes of prep. All parties must agree before the round, not decide in the middle of the round.
Tl;dr - I judge quite a bit, about 100 rounds last year, and am generally pretty familiar with the topic from coaching and working at camps. As a competitor I gravitated toward plan oriented affs and CP/DA strategies on the neg and have coached teams who debate similarly, but I am open to you debating however you would like to. I have literature deficiencies in some areas that make me less knowledgeable of certain strategies. I am also a teacher who believes in debate as an educational activity, so I am generally open to listening to you debate in whatever fashion you're the most comfortable.
If you would like to know more specifics, they are below.
Topicality: I feel like topicality is usually a question of competing interpretations, but just like anything else in debate, you can persuade me otherwise. I tend to think that debaters are not great at explaining the offense that they have on T flows, and particularly, how offensive arguments interact with one another. I have seen a lot of 2ARs recently where the aff doesn't extend a terminal impact to their counter interp. I pretty much always vote neg in these situations. All too often the neg will go for a limits DA and the aff will say precision, but no one will discuss which one has more value in creating a stable model for debate. Reasonability alone is not an argument that makes sense to me, absent an offensive argument. Good is good enough is nonsense - if you are close to beating a DA, I'm still going to vote neg. If you want to utilize a reasonability argument more persuasively, I would suggest that you frame it almost like sufficiency on the counterplan and have an offensive reason that inclusion of the aff is good. As far as spec debates, I usually find them quite dull. I am growing weary of affs that obviously defend a certain agent with their solvency advocate and advantages but will not defend that agent when debating an agent counterplan. Stop this and defend your arguments please.
Framework: I find that framework debates to me are usually an issue of fairness. I find myself generally not super persuaded by the value of topic education vs the value of whatever educational outlet the affirmative has chosen to discuss is. The aff usually has better evidence about the importance of their particular educational outlet anyway, especially given the fact that they know what it is and can adequately prepare for it. Fairness is a bit more contestable from the negative perspective, in my opinion. 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. K affs can gain a lot of leeway with me by being in the direction of the resolution and defending at least some links in the realm of topic literature. I am not a very good judge for affs that have no resolutional basis. Regardless, I also think that the aff has a better chance by focusing most of their time on impact turning framework and then using the directionality of the aff toward the topic in order to win some defense against the negs framework claims.
Theory: Most theory debates are people reading blocks back and forth and are totally useless. I usually default to rejecting the argument and not the team. Conditionality is a potential exception to that rule, but it has been a long time since I saw a team ready to debate condo very well.
Kritiks: I am not as familiar with the literature base for this style of argumentation. That doesn't mean I don't vote on the K, it simply means that you need a little more explanation for your argument than you otherwise might. I think that good K teams are able to contextualize their argument with the world of the affirmative. Recently I've judged a bunch of K debates where the links all seem to be descriptions of the status quo, but the affirmative is not very good at winning that the aff is in the direction of the alt. If the neg is going to try and go for just framework and a link/ethics argument, I think it is important that they focus a substantial amount of time on the framework debate, and try and have an interpretation of framework that is not completely arbitrary and should try and win that there is a unique link to the aff. If you are able to win framework and a unique link then you're probably good without an alt. If you are going to go for an alternative, it is probably important that you explain to me how the alternative functions and how the alt resolves the links to the K and probably portions of the affirmative, otherwise you will be susceptible to losing on the aff outweighs. Be descriptive of how the alt functions. I have also found myself recently voting for the aff in the vast majority of debates where the 2NR does not have a thorough contestation of the affirmative. You don't explicitly have to go to the case pages, but you should definitely be calling into question the truth of the 1ACs internal link chains or the efficacy of it to solve the problems that it seeks to solve.
Disads/Counterplans/Case: These are the types of debate I am most familiar with. I think the case debate is under utilized, and that the education topic may have been the worst thing in recent memory at teaching people to debate the case. I wish that more teams would focus on the internal links to the aff advantages instead of just reading impact defense and hoping that a DA outweighs. I think delay counterplans are cheating. Conditions and consult counterplans I can easily be convinced are cheating, but having a solvency advocate helps.
Things I like: Rebuttals that paint a clear picture of what an aff/neg ballot means. Evidence comparison. Debaters who don't read off their computer for the whole debate. Debaters who are funny/having fun. Warranted arguments/smart analytics. Well thought out strategies.
Things I dislike: Bluetooth speakers, must define all terms, running arguments you don't really understand, death good, topicality = genocide, general rudeness, stealing prep time, and clipping cards. If you enjoy doing these things, you probably don't want me to judge you.
Disclaimer: I love the activity of debate, and think that it is a place where all types of debate styles/debaters should be welcome. If you are excessively rude to the other team (laughing during speeches, being disrespectful in cross-x, etc) I will let you know. If the behavior continues, there is a strong chance that I will vote against you on principle.
Hendrickson HS '19 // UT Austin '23
- Debated for 4 years at Hendrickson HS (2A/1N)
- Fine with speed but clarity>speed
- Explain your arguments and give me a reason to vote for you. This seems obvious but its something that goes missing in many debates.
- PLEASE BE NICE! Debate is a fun, educational activity and everyone should have an opportunity to engage in these discussions. Please respect your opponents and your partner. I promise you will not win debates if you are a jerk.
- I am a younger judge, so my views and thoughts are likely to change as I judge more. These are just some thoughts after debating in high school. Nonetheless, I will work hard to make a thoughtful decision and give constructive feedback.
- I often view these debates through an offense/defense paradigm and tend to default to competing interpretations.
- I think that the aff has to prove why their interpretation or model of debate is better overall and why it creates a better space/allows for better discussions etc. Remember, this is about competing models of debate and interpretations, so impact out your standards and do some good impact calc to paint a clear picture of your model of debate.
- I do lean towards debate being a game but can obviously be persuaded otherwise.
- I usually default to competing interpretations.
- I think impact calc between standards is pretty important, esp when the 2NR and 2AR are equally clashing on these issues. Tell me why your standard matters and why that model of debate is important/better, and have a clear vision of your interpretation.
- Im familiar with your basic/generic kritiks (cap, set col, security, etc).
- I think that the k must link to the aff, not to the structures that surround society. Links of omission are not persuasive to me. I have a pretty high threshold for the link debate and need a pretty decent explanation as to how the aff links/makes xyz worse, etc.
- I am heavily persuaded by arguments such as pragmatism/state good, etc, but these must be utilized correctly and must be put into context.
- In general, examples are amazing.
- I also think there needs to be a fairly robust explanation of what the alt is/does, otherwise im persuaded by a perm or even just that the aff is a good idea.
- I think that the aff gets to weigh their case.
- Try to have a cohesive story of your kritik. Often times, there are many floating parts that im not sure what to do with so the more you can do on your part, the better.
- Go for it. Have a link, have clear explanations and a cohesive story, and be up to date with your ev.
- Impact calc is important.
- The more specific, the better.
- I enjoy a good cp/da debate so go for it.
- Solvency advocates are important.
- The more specific the cp is, the better.
- I think 2> conditional worlds is fine, and anything more is pushing it.
- Slow down, have robust explanations of why your standards create a better model of debate/why it justifies x argument.
- Probably not the best judge for heavy theory debates but go for it if you think you need to.
Lindsay Jade (or LJ, whichever works!)
Assistant coach for Greenhill
Greenhill '21 UT Austin '26 (currently taking a gap year)
Please put me on the email chain! firstname.lastname@example.org
-tech > truth
-dropped arguments are true, but please explain them as a full argument and the implications you want it to have on my decision
-fully explaining/developing arguments and good line-by-line skills are important to me and will lead to higher speaker points than reading a lot of overviews
-please be nice and respectful to each other! we are all people giving up our weekends to have fun debating, so it's important to me that everyone feels comfortable/enjoys the debate
-any other comments are just what I lean towards, but I can usually be convinced otherwise through debating, some things just may be more of an uphill battle
-open cx is fine, but please don't excessively talk over each other/interrupt
Online debate updates:
-online debate is tricky sometimes, don't freak out if tech issues happen, we've all had our fair share and it'll be fine. if you want to make it easier for me to understand your arguments, clearly signposting/indicating where you are in the debate is definitely even more important when we're online
-it's totally fine if there's a tech issue/reason why you can't, but please try to have cameras on when possible, I'd personally prefer if debate didn't devolve into us all talking to a blank screen
Policy affs (from Josh):
-I agree with what everyone else says about framing contentions: they should be as specific to the 1AC as possible and they should be clearly contextualized to the arguments that the neg is going for.
-you probably won't persuade me to completely disregard consequences, but I will buy arguments about prioritization/justifications for impact calculus
-I am almost always more persuaded by internal link defense than impact defense.
K affs vs. framework:
-I am probably slightly better for the neg here, although I have some (very very limited) experience reading k affs
-I'm fine with both limits/fairness and idea testing style impacts. Anything is fine.
-impact calculus and analysis, explaining how your interpretation best resolves that impact (and theirs can't access it), and how it interacts with the other team's impacts, will make it easier for me to evaluate the debate in your favor (i.e. an interpretation grounded in the resolution is the only way to have a predictable topic where teams are prepared to engage each other's arguments - that turns the aff's education offense because it's the best way to learn about their arguments - just an example, not what I always default to/believe)
Ks: (stolen from Anagha)
-I'd consider myself fairly well-versed in abolition-type arguments, and I have a fairly average understanding of kritiks like capitalism, biopolitics, security, settler colonialism, IR and reps kritiks. The most important thing for me is contextualizing your links to the aff. You can read your generic state links or resource management links, but just know it will be an uphill battle if you don't contextualize it to the aff. Additionally, clearly explain the alt/what it does.
-my own note about framework: I think the aff gets to weigh the plan, but the negative can probably get most links to representations. Of course, this can be changed if the neg is just so far ahead on framework, but I tend to not consider "role of the ballot" arguments as much. Instead, substantive arguments about why representations outweigh material action or vice versa are more persuasive to me. I tend to think teams (especially if you aren't reading an extinction impact on the aff) invest too much time in framework that should be used on the link/perm/alt debate in most cases.
-floating PIKs are probably bad, but if you get away with it, good for you.
Topicality (vs. policy affs)
-even though I think this topic is hard for the neg, I am probably less willing than others to vote on "limits for the sake of limits" just because the topic is huge. Neg teams' limits arguments are more persuasive when they explain exactly how the aff interp explodes limits and gives examples of topical affs under their interpretation and the other affirmatives the aff allows and why they would make debates worse. Please impact out your argument and explain how it turns each others' impacts
-aff teams: good impact analysis (why yours outweigh and turn theirs), defense to neg impacts, and examples are the way to my ballot
-not a fan of subsets/whatever throwaway T argument happens on this year's topic, but big fan of aff-specific smart T arguments
-I think reasonability is very decent if you explain it without relying solely on buzz words
CPs and theory:
-aff teams: the permutation and links to the net benefit are your friend. I like 2ACs that consistently cover those arguments on each CP flow, and if perm do both is a serious thought, then explanations about how it shields the link starting in the 2AC is best
-also, make clear solvency deficits, I care a lot about how you impact them out and explain the implications for the debate in later rebuttals.
-neg teams: be sure to have a clear story/explanation for how the aff/perm links to the net benefit and the CP alone avoids it
-theory debates are probably some of my least favorite debates to judge, but if it becomes the debate I understand
-nothing except conditionality is a voting issue, probably lean negative on it, but I can be more convinced if there are a high number and/or they contradict each other
-the more any theory argument is specific to the debate, the more likely I am to buy it.
-if I think you are partially right about a theory argument but can't fully reject the team or argument, I still might be more sympathetic to a permutation that might not have been a winner in a vacuum. You should say I should be.
-process CPs are fine on this topic
-that being said, I like it better when net benefits are germane to the aff (more of a DA to the aff and not just an advantage to doing the CP)
-PICs out of words that aren't in the plan text are probably illegitimate
-judge kick: if the neg tells me to and it's unanswered or the neg is ahead on the question of whether I should, then I will. Neg teams, you should probably start telling me to do this in the block rather than the 2nr so I don't have to evaluate your 1 sentence against (rightfully) new 2ar arguments about it. If neg says "status quo is always an option" in 1NC CX, the 2AC should have the no judge kick argument if that's something you care about.
-to quote Josh Leffler: "Having a specific solvency advocate makes most counterplans legitimate, but not having a solvency advocate doesn't automatically make a counterplan illegitimate."
-intrinsic perms (that are limited to neg solvency advocates and only the plan and CP text) are my favorite!
-impact calc is very helpful and probably one of the best ways for you to influence my decision, especially with turns case arguments
-that being said, tech > truth, and I love (reasonably) creative spin on arguments and will reward you for it speaker point wise even if it doesn't work out for you
-politics is fine on the water topic
Non-negotiables (stolen from hollard ball)
- death good = L
- being racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. or making the debate unsafe for anyone involved (to be determined at my discretion) = L and the lowest speaks i can assign.
- no asking for better speaks
- i will flow a 2-hour long debate comprised of eight speeches. "Calling for a double win, intentionally interrupting an opponent’s speech, soliciting outside participation in a speech or cross-x, breaking time limits, playing board games, or devolving the debate into a 2 hour long discussion is a recipe for a quick L for the team that initiates it." -shree
- you have to read re-highlightings, you usually can't insert them unless it's just one word or something
-if you read this far... wow that's dedication, good for you :)
-if you say bonk kritonk in the correct context in the debate, +.1 speaks
-if you have any questions, please email me: email@example.com
"Trill recognize trill shalt be the whole of the law." - me
Last Updated - Longhorn Classic '21
Voting for policy-----X-----Voting for the K
Researching/coaching policy-------X---Researching/coaching the K
Good evidence-X---------Bad evidence + spin
Will read ev without being told-------X---Tell me what to read
Asking "did you read X card"----------XLearn to flow or run prep/CX for this
Yes RVIs----------XNo RVIs
Fairness is definitely an impact-----X-----Fairness is definitely not an impact
Alternatives/K affs should solve things or loseX----------Alternatives/K affs can not solve things and not lose
"It's pre-fiat"----------XActual arguments that mean things
Debate good---X-------Debate bad (the activity)
Debate good-------X---Debate bad (the community)
Creative, alternative models of the topic + offense--X--------Impact turn everything vs framework
Yes ur Baudrillard/KantX----------Not ur Baudrillard/Kant
Feelings and jokes--X--------Debate robots
My facial expression is because of the debate--X--------I just look like that sometimes
Assume I understand the things--------X--Assume I do not understand the things
Speaker point fairy-------X---Speaker point goblin
LD should be like policy-------X---(Some) LD stuff is cool
Capitalism----------X( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
VERY IMPORTANT: Before the debate, all teams/debaters can give me recommendations for a song/s to listen to during debater prep time, which I will do, and if I vibe with it I may bump speaks for everyone in the room (+0.2). Surprise me. For reference, my favorite album is a tie between The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Appetite for Destruction, with The Shape of Jazz to Come close behind.
Look, I know the worst of Covid is behind us, but I'm still not gonna be happy listening to "pandemics good." Christ. Debaters are goddamn ghouls.
Policy 2021-22 - Water - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-4KiszXxHM first 16 seconds. This topic sucks primarily because a lack of well-defined terms of art means there's not really a clear limit on affs beyond "it has to help at least one small pond in the US" or something. As such, very interested in judging some T debates this year, and will probably be more sympathetic to a robust limits push from 2NRs than I have in years past (when I usually cared more about precision and intent to define). K teams should try to find ways to make themselves stand out among the dozens of "saying water is a resource is colonial/neoliberal/anthropocentric/etc" teams I've prepped out and judged, because all of these affs genuinely feel like rehashings of the same concepts and cards. I don't think "innovative research good" is really a novel take for this topic, but I do think it's more urgent this year, but I also understand this topic sucks so I won't begrudge affs for doing the best they can.
LD ND21 - Right to Strike - Unconvinced I'll have any strong leaning towards anything with regards to what an "unconditional RtS" actually is, so debate it out. Affs will probably try to fiat good faith compliance from the business sector - they should probably not get to and neg teams should push back on this. Overall, this topic seems good. Don't really see a great unified topic DA other than bizcon/capital flight. K teams should be having a goddamn field day with "wildcat strikes solve the case" + critiques of labor rights - there is precisely zero excuse for me to not be seeing phenomenal and specific link and alternative evidence in every single one of these debates I judge.
who the hell is patrick
Jack C Hays '19, UH Debate '23 - I debate with Gabby and was part of the first UH team to qualify to the NDT in a while ('21).
Please have the subject of email chains be "Tournament Round - Aff Entry vs Neg Entry"
I have hearing damage in my left ear. Try and position yourself to my right.
Conflicts of Interest
Consultant for Westside High School's policy team, mainly working with Westside KS. Currently coach Garland LY, Westlake AK, Perry JA, Cooper City NR, Los Altos BF, Dutchtown/DTHS HV and Northern Valley JS in LD. Previously coached Princeton TK (very briefly) and Memorial DX. Graduated from Jack C Hays HS in 2019.
Debate is a competitive activity centered around research and persuasion. I am an educator who's job it is to adjudicate the competitive aspect of the activity and enable progression of the students in all the other aspects. There are two teams (or debaters), and they are the only people taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on the arguments made by the debaters within tournament set speech and prep times, and I will submit a decision with one winner and loser. If you try and tell me that anything outside of this is "binding" on my "jurisdiction" as a judge, you are blatantly incorrect and I will deeply resent you trying to tell me how to do my job.
Prior to all of this, as an educator (in both the subjective and legal sense), the safety of students is my utmost concern above the content of any given debate. I have been said to get rather angry when these sort of issues arise - what has been said is absolutely true. This is about the only way you as a debater can actually piss me off. Would recommend avoiding it. Racism, sexism, etc. will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and will be penalized with speaker points, the ballot, and possibly a visit to Tabroom or your coach. Which of these it is is entirely up to my discretion based on the severity of the offense.
You are high school students. I do not want to see or perceive anything NSFW. Keep it PG-13(ish).
overall, do what you want if you're good at it.
Tech over truth, but I exceedingly find that in technically close debates, truth tiebreaks my decision - I'd rather hear one good argument than five terrible ones. If I can't explain all three parts of an argument back to you (claim, warrant, impact) based on the debate, its not part of my decision.
I'm very expressive. Read my non-verbals.
I worked with JD Sanford and Aimun Khan in HS, and work with Rob Glass, James Allan, and Richard Garner in college. I like(d) debating in front of Scott Harris, Brian Rubaie, and Philip DiPiazza. I like judging with Eric Schwertfeger, who happens to also be my boss.
I have a background in journalism and I'm currently doing a data science-based minor, so I love dense, technical research and value good evidence, but if your cards are really good you should tell me why and not expect me to pick up on it - I will read lots of cards after the round, but ideally only to confirm the 2N/AR's explanation of evidence (not to figure out what it said for myself). If there are particular cards you want me to read, tell me so. Yes, I will want a 2NR/2AR card doc.
0% risk isn't a thing but if there's negligible risk of the aff vs the DA I'm inclined to just not vote for you - defense is good (but turning case is better). Impact turns are underutilized, as debaters are cowards. Courage will be rewarded.
Ideal 2NR on a DA articulates a clear warrant for turns case as well as an external impact, and does a lot of work on comparative risk. Uniqueness > link, because nothing else makes sense.
The Rider DA is an abomination. Anything else in politics world is fair play.
Well-researched (so ConCon and consult don't count) process CPs are literally my favorite arguments. I'm serious.
Broadly speaking, in CP debates I err heavily neg on theory questions (condo, pics good, process CPs good, etc) but probably err aff on substance questions (namely, competition and the threshold for sufficiency). One exception - judge kick is godless, and for judging purposes you can consider me devoutly Catholic.
Yeah, this is most of what I work on these days. I've researched and coached more or less every K in this activity, from Wilderson to Marxism to a Blade Runner aff (good times). Good K debaters are organized and technical, with lots of contextual and specific explanations/examples. General rule - less overview, more line by line.
K affs should defend a shift from the status quo to solve an impact or lose to presumption - shockingly, affs should defend things. Case debate is essential, and I'm pretty good for the impact turn - I think the aff should be able to explain to me what it does and why it's good, which means saying those things are actually bad is obvious fair game. I wanna restate it - the less 2As defend, the more annoyed I get.
Organizing your 2NC/1NRs to mirror the 2AC order is good. Link debate on the permutation, framework on framework, etc. Links should be contextualized to disprove why I should vote for the aff, impacted out to some sort of turns case or external piece of offense. Examples - lines from aff ev, references to CX, etc - do them. If I don't know what the alt does by the end of the 2NR my threshold for the 2AR goes way down. Floating PIKs should be set up explicitly in the block and if I miss it, it's your fault, cheater.
K v K debates - stuff gets muddled very fast, so lots of examples + organization + clear impacting out of arguments is the winning move. I dislike the "two ships passing in the night" analogy, but I most often find it applying to these debates. I could be convinced "no perms in a method debate" may be a good argument in the abstract, but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of one in most debates.
Read Marxism at your own risk - perversions of the immortal and revolutionary science and revisionist nonsense like "socialism is when healthcare" or "talking about racism is always neoliberal" will make me more annoyed and I'd rather you just go for framework than be an annoying socdem to try and pander to me. However, a good 2NR demonstrating a good conceptual handle on what Marxism actually is might earn some extra speaks (this is probably the hardest way to earn them though).
Clash of Racist Metaphor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Civilizations/)
Very far from "Framework is genocide" and "no plan no ballot" types - the only time I'll unironically call myself a centrist is these debates. Capital-T truth I ideologically err slightly aff, but my actual voting record errs slightly neg. Interpret this as you will. Some role for negation is good and there should be a general telos and stasis for discussions - ideal affirmative articulates a model with both but impact turns the negative's specific stasis point/telos i.e: not "debate is bad" but "their model of debate is bad, ours is better." TVAs and SSD don't need to solve the content of the aff, but debating them needs to solve the aff impact turns/offense. I'm also generally less convinced TVAs and SSD are the end all, be all of these debates - they're very good, but I think a robust push on clash turns/solves the case is often just as good or better than a half-assed TVA. 2NRs lose when they don't collapse and explain a terminal impact or fail to do comparative i/l work on limits/ground. Hanging out/working with Evan Alexis and Ali Abdulla has made me more convinced fairness is an external impact, but it rarely gets explained enough to be one. 2NRs should probably have some inroad to turning/defense to the case if they wanna win, but this can come from anywhere (clash, fairness, the TVA, going to case after framework, etc). In a vacuum, clash > fairness >>> skills/topic ed, but do your thing. Most teams are terrible at warranting fairness tho - why does debate being a game mean I'm obligated to care about it?
Big (BIG) pet peeves in these debates are are “Fairness means you can't evaluate the aff because it hasn't been tested yet,” and “small schools” (I will almost certainly not vote on either, because these arguments are terrible, make no sense, and there is zero excuse for saying something so stupid when you have so many better args to choose from).
Topicality is a question of predictable models of the topic, determined by research and literature, ergo intent to define + terms of art > good limits in the abstract. I think more 2NRs should be T, and I think the quality of evidence in T debates is in steep decline - I still remember when people's core answer to affs that cheated was going for T instead of equally cheaty counterplans, and miss it greatly.
Reasonability is a question of the aff's interpretation, not what the aff actually did - I don't know why anyone thinks this isn't how it works.
Theory (mostly LD)
Condo is good and RVIs are bad. Consider these the strongest convictions in this paradigm.
Disclosure is good, and winning you should never disclose is probably an uphill battle with me - but most disclosure interps that require anything more than opensource or first/last three + cites are probably arbitrary and not in good faith.
Broadly speaking, the wonkier the shell, the greater my threshold for winning it is. If this sounds like your A-strat, I'm not the judge for it.
Not voting on any sort of shell about clothes or people's behavior. I used to find this funny. Don't anymore.
I'm evaluating every part of the debate after the 2AR. Trying to change this loses you 0.1 speaks for every speech you exclude. I also am not flowing "no neg arguments," "no neg analytics," "no neg cards," anything particularly similar, or their inverses. If you are unironically asking yourself "is X argument similar to that?" as a way to get around this, it probably is, so there's your answer.
All of this can be changed by good (or bad) enough debating.
Clear explanation and explicit interactions are good. I find these debates are simultaneously too blippy and also too top-heavy, somehow. Better for substantive syllogisms and unified normative justifications for ethics, worse for spamming calc fails and then a burden structure.
I like these rounds, actually. I read a lot of European moral philosophy. Consider me better than average for these ballots, but certainly not as good as your ordinal 1 - I'm getting these ballots more lately, and I don't exactly hate it (but I have yet to enjoy one as much as a good K or policy throwdown) so I suppose I am decent for these rounds.
Confidence >>> modesty. I think most judges who think otherwise are just trying to mask their dislike of phil debates and using it as a copout.
Nick Bostrom is a moron and nobody in philosophy takes him very seriously - phil debaters that indict the absurd substance of his position well (beyond just "calc fails lol") might get extra speaks. I do not like that guy.
I was gonna write a joke about "silly rabbit, tricks are for kids!" but I'm just too tired of these debates to care. Please don't pref me for this.
Miscellaneous thoughts (updated regularly)
I used to be pretty lenient about asking where stuff was marked/what was read after the speech but it's getting kind of excessive in some debates I judge - learn to flow or run prep/CX for this please. There is no "flow clarification" timeslot in debate.
Stolen from my boss - "Jargon can enable precision, but it usually functions to make bad debaters think they are making good arguments when they are barely saying anything."
Uncomfortable voting on "this person did a bad" unless I literally see it. Dislike evaluating the character of minors who I don't know outside of these very limited interactions. If something happened between the debaters that is morally reprehensible and genuinely serious enough to merit my concern as a judge and coach, it probably merits getting the bureaucracy involved. Do not consider this me saying I am unwilling to do that. If you have safety concerns about being around your opponent, please and absolutely discreetly tell me via email or Facebook Messenger and I will get you the hell out and in a room with someone who can better handle it.
Inserting re-highlightings of their cards = go for it. Inserting cards from different parts of their article = gotta read it.
Not flowing cards about debate written by active debaters. Sorry.
You get two free "clears" and then after that it's -0.1 speaks for every time I say it (I will not apply this if I think it's due to audio issues with ur mic, only if you suck at spreading).
"Role of the Ballot/Judge" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pql0__Ii67A
Mich KM were never funny and Will Morgan is a groomer. Stop trying to imitate them.
Being funny or taking a casual approach to the debate is welcome and appreciated.
I decide most debates very fast. Like, sub-four minutes for an elim. Even in close rounds. Don't take it personally.
God, this kinda sucks. I will try to make sure that, barring connection issues, I have my camera on at all times during speeches and CX. I will turn my camera off after the 2AR while making my decision and turn it back on once I'm in. You don't have to have your camera on and don't have to ask me to turn it on/off. I'm okay with being recorded if (and only if) everyone else in the room is also okay with it.
Debate should be a safe space for everyone. Respect pronouns, respect people's personhood, etc.
Debate should also be enjoyable! Mess around a bit. Have some fun. Its the weekend. Enjoy yourselves.
Yao-Yao: "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck." You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that.
Finally, a wager - if the 2AR/2NR sits down early, +0.2 speaks for every 30s saved if you win, but -0.2 speaks for every 30s if you lose - this caps out at +/-1.0 speaks and/or a 29.8/27.8, whichever comes first. Tell me if you do this, because I'm not timing you. Your move.
Good luck, and see you in round!
Email chain: okfryers [at] gmail [dot] com
I want debaters to define the terms of the debate, but I do love clash and one of my pet peeves is a round where teams simply read their own positions and do little point-by-point refutation of opponent arguments. Use clear roadmaps, overviews are helpful, impact calc in rebuttals is essential. Make the round easy to understand and judge: Explain the voting issues, weigh the main arguments and evidence for me so a decision is clear. I usually provide a short, verbal RFD at the end of a round, but sometimes may opt not to.
I have not had a lot of experience myself with counter-plans and will readily admit I sometimes struggle to understand them, along with perms. If you run a CP be sure you clearly explain it and how it should impact the round / my RFD.
Speed is fine but argumentation should be clear and understandable. You will be able to tell if I am following your arguments because I will be flowing everything through 2AR. If I'm not flowing or I'm watching you with crossed arms you've lost me and you better slow down if you want me to understand and flow your arguments. Roadmaps and verbal transitions between main arguments are important. Debates are won not only with evidence but with clear analysis. In rebuttals particularly I'd rather have debaters spend time clashing with opponent points and explaining with analysis why their position wins rather than reading three more extension cards without analysis. Extension evidence is great but don't read more extensions if you're not going to explain why the new cards are important and provide analysis that situates the evidence in the round.
I debated one year of CX policy debate in high school in Kansas and four years of CEDA CX (values) debate in college for the Air Force Academy. I competed at the World Debating Championships in parliamentary team debate two years (Ireland and Canada) and consider intercollegiate debate and speech experiences to be THE most valuable of my college years. (In college all of our debaters were required to also compete in Extemp and Impromptu speaking, and I think that's a wonderful requirement.)
I did a little CX policy debate judging when our oldest child competed in high school in 2010-11 and am again doing some judging as our youngest child is competing (2019-22) in debate. I have a lot of experience with CX debate but have not judged a lot of rounds recently or seen very many rounds on this year's topic.
Clash. Please attempt to directly refute the arguments of the opposing team as best you can. Don't just read positions someone else on your team gave you, without clear analysis and application to the current round. Have fun! Display respect and good sportsmanship. Rudeness is never acceptable. Kindness is always appreciated. Use a clear overview and impact calc to show me you clearly understand the primary voting issues in the round, and why your side has prevailed and should win.
A good sense of humor can be wonderful in debate and in life. Be yourself, be passionate, be persuasive as well as clear in your argumentation and analysis. Be kind. Always.
I love cross examination time and enjoy good questions and analysis. Remember cross-x is binding. I will flow answers from CX. Use CX to setup your arguments and refer to opponent CX answers in later constructives and rebuttals. I assign the best speaker points to debaters who argue well AND lead their own cross-x, as well as respond well to CX questions from opponents. I strongly dislike it when the prepping teammate dominates the CX time for their partner who is supposed to be conducting CX. Open CX is fine, but if it's your CX time then you should be using it and doing more talking than your partner who is prepping for the next speech.
I've been counseled by our debate coach to generally follow the Wake Forest Speaker Point Scale, so I will generally not assign fewer than 26 speaker points unless profanity is used in the round or something else crazy happens. I concur with these perspectives from Carlos Henry Sr.:
"Debate is about winning so be assertive even aggressive. Not rude or exclusive but go after your point with passion. The best debaters I see don't simply bury their heads in their laptop and spread; they actually look at the judge periodically and persuade, particularly in 2NR and 2AR."
I took philosophy courses for fun in college and enjoy the philosophical arguments / discussions which CX debates often involve. That said, however, I do not like Negative teams who avoid case clash by entirely focusing the debate on their own K positions. Don't run a kritik you do not understand with some depth. Provide and explain clear links as well as impacts. Weigh K arguments clearly against case and other offcase impacts.
Given a choice, I would rather judge a round with extensive clash on case arguments and well linked / argued offcase DAs rather than K positions. But I recognize K arguments are an important element of contemporary policy CX debate so I'm open to them. Just make your arguments clear and convince me that you both understand your K position and it's clearly linked to AFF.
I don't like morally repugnant arguments like wipeout. I agree CX debate is a game at many levels, but it's also an important exchange of ideas and I believe we are all called to live as moral human beings. So I am not completely tabula rasa, I want debaters to define the terms of the debate but I will gladly drop all arguments like a stupid wipeout position if the other team argues it's morally repugnant. Arguments have to be made in a round for me to vote on them, I'm not going to make an argument for anyone, but I'm very biased against stupid and offensive arguments like "it would be good to genocide / kill off all humans on our planet."
The optimist boldly claims, "this is the best possible world". The pessimist retorts, "that is exactly the problem."
I'm a former varsity debater from Heights High School. I go by "Tavia" or "Via", and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I'm a sophomore in college, and this is my eighth year in debate, consisting of two years in middle school, four years in high school with Heights, and two years occasionally judging debates in college. I debated exclusively Policy (CX) in high school, so I will likely recognize those arguments more often than those from other forms of debate. I have some knowledge of LD and can typically follow LD rounds well, but be careful with LD-specific arguments and shorthand, as I likely don't know them all. As long as you elaborate and explain well, you should be fine. The same goes for those debating PF. When it comes to worlds, I have very little experience. I've judged worlds before, but I likely won't know the topic.
I'm Tab. You can read just about anything. Non-traditional affs are fine. Explain Ks well and don't use buzzwords. DAs are fine. If you read T or Theory, have all parts of the shell, including the implication. I won't know LD specific shorthand, including the common arguments in most RVI debates, but you can run RVIs as long as you explain well. CPs and alts should be competitive. PLEASE weigh and do the work on framing. For anything more specific look below.
Rounds you want me judging
- rounds with performative, narrative, and/or identity affs (including good, CLEAR K v K and K v T-FW debates)
- policy rounds
- clear/basic or well-explained K rounds
Rounds you probably don't want me judging
- heavy/uncomprehensible/convoluted K lit without explanations and with a lot of buzzwords
- Mach 10 (faster than the speed of light) RVI heavy theory rounds
- K v K rounds that are dense and require extensive previous knowledge about the literature
Yes, I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Speechdrop is fine too. I prefer these two methods to flash, but if all you have is a flash, then that's fine.
In a world where debate is virtual and technological discrepancies exist, having a speech doc is more important than usual. Please make your speech docs organized and easy to navigate. Don't forget to signpost either. Great docs + great signposting = anywhere from .2 to .5 extra speaks.
I'm okay with both Open CX and Flex Prep, but if CX is open, I'd like to see everyone participate throughout all of the CXs. The 60-40 rule is probably a good threshold for the involvement of the assigned speaker. Both partners should ask and answer questions. Also, if you choose to use flex prep, the other team doesn't have to answer your question; it's up to that team or debater.
I don't count flashing (or emailing) as prep, but don't steal prep time by prepping while flashing. If you try to steal prep, I'll likely start running your time until you stop prepping. Also, if you're taking too long to email or flash a file (over 1-2 minutes) and you aren't having technical difficulties, I'll likely start prep until you finish.
I'm a tab judge. I won't hack against any arguments, and I don't really have any argument preferences. I can be either truth over tech or tech over truth, depending on the situation, but I tend to lean towards tech > truth, so be aware of that. Which one SHOULD I be? Idk. You tell me. With that said, analytics STILL have to be answered. They are arguments, and they should be warranted.
"My partner will answer that in the next speech" is NOT a CX answer, and if you use it I'll doc you .1 speaks.
Maybe let's try not to read difficult Ks against first-years/novices early in the season. If you do, explain it VERY well. If you're rude about it, I'll doc anywhere from .5 to 1 speaks.
My range is typically 27-30. Speaks in the 26-26.9 range will be awarded very rarely and only if the above standards are met. Anything below 26 means you did something problematic, and it's possible I will end the round there if it is extreme enough. I will not tolerate rhetoric that is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, islamophobic, etc. If you justify racism good, sexism good, etc., your speaks will reflect that, and so will the ballot. So don't.
Speed is fine. My speed threshold is probably around 7/10. However, as I've not judged much this year, it might be smart to start at a 5 or 6 and work your way up. If you're spreading, SLOW DOWN AND ENUNCIATE FOR TAGS AND AUTHOR NAMES. You don't need to drop to a conversational speed, but I should have no trouble understanding either of these things. I will call clear, slow, or louder only if I think it's necessary, so don't ignore them if you hear them. I will only call them twice. I won't call them beyond that because you clearly aren't listening. Your response, or lack thereof, will be reflected in your speaks. If I can't hear or understand you, then your speaks will show that.
Signpost what flow you're on and where on the flow you are. Smart strategic choices and efficiency will be rewarded. Speed and efficiency are NOT the same thing, so be aware of that. If you choose to spread, don't use that as an excuse to sacrifice efficiency.
DAs- I have no problems with disadvantages, and I use them myself when I find them useful. It will help you if the DA has specific links and/or if the link is contextualized well. If you want to debate only disads as the neg, then you do you. But, please weigh and make impact calc arguments so I know why I should vote for the DA, and avoid DAs with unnecessarily long link chains because probability decreases as the link chain increases. Tell me why the DA is a voting issue, and why I vote neg.
CPs- Tell me why the CP is competitive (explain how the CP is better than the aff AND the perm). I have no reason to vote on a non-competitive CP. If a DA gives the CP a net benefit, then defend the DA. If you don't go for the DA but go for the CP, and the net benefit of the DA provides the CP competition, then the CP is no longer competitive. Be aware of whether or not your CP generates competition on its own. Know your CP well enough to know if it's competitive against the aff or not.
T- I'm okay with topicality. Please include all parts of the shell (interpretation, violation, standards, voters, and IMPLICATION). Why isn't the aff topical? What does an untopical aff mean for the round and/or for debate in general? (Why is topicality important?) Don't just read standards, justify them. What ground do you lose? How many possible affs are there in the world of the aff? All of these questions should be answered in your shell.
Theory- Most of this is the same as T, so look at that if what you need isn't here. I'm fine with theory, just make sure to include all parts of the shell (interpretation, violation, standards, voters, and IMPLICATION). If there's no implication, and it's pointed out, then I have no reason to vote on Theory. Tell me what the shell means and what effect it should have on the round. To my LDers out there: RVIs are fine. I don't have a predisposition to vote for or against them. So, if you want to read an RVI, then go for it. Just make sure you warrant the arguments you're making. Also, be aware that I may not know the usual arguments surrounding an RVI debate, so warrants are probably more important than usual. If your RVI arguments aren't in the doc, then it would be useful to slow down when you get there on the flow.
Framework/T-Framework- This is useful when determining which types of offense I need to evaluate. Which model of debate is best? Why should I only evaluate the offense that fits under your framework? If using T-FW against a K aff, tell me WHY I care about the topic, your interp of the topic, or your interp of debate. If the K aff says they can't access the education under your interp, tell me why/how they can. TVAs or alternatives to the aff never hurt. Why does the TVA solve the aff?
Framing- Framing is helpful when evaluating offense and weighing arguments. Overall, just make sure to justify the arguments you make here, and tell me how I should use it in the round. Why should I evaluate structural violence over nuke war? Why is generational violence weighed over extinction? Is util good? I don't know, you tell me.
Kritiks- I typically enjoy Ks. I think they have the capacity to be a lot of fun and address new, abstract ideas. Here's the catch: if you don't understand a K, DON'T RUN IT. And on a general note, if a K is bad, it probably shouldn't be run either. If you're using a generic link, contextualize it and explain to me why it links to the plan. Always explain your Ks, especially the alt. How am I supposed to know what the alt does and vote on it if you don't? If you're running a K, you probably know the literature, but I may not. In fact, I likely don't. Assume when running a K that I've never read or discussed the literature you're mentioning. This will improve the discussion within the round. If you're running convoluted Ks with complicated literature, I'm probably not the best judge for you. Ks that address changes in how we interact in the debate space are Ks that I rather enjoy, especially those that address issues (such as sexism, racism, patriarchy, transphobia, etc.) that are not only visible in the "real world" but are visible in the debate space as well. It's both fun and important to interact with others in this way and exchange experiences. I default to thinking the aff probably gets to weigh case unless you can provide a really good reason why they can't.
K Affs- Go for it. I will say, however, that it would be useful to read the K section above for general notes and such. I'm telling you now, I probably won't know the lit, and buzzwords won't change that. Be prepared to answer T-FW and neg Ks. Why is the education of the aff more important than that of the topic or the K?
Performance Affs- Yes, run it. I read performance during my senior year in high school debate, and I loved it. I especially enjoy performance affs that address the debate space as a whole. Debate bad affs are fine, but you should probably tell me how you plan to make it better. Justify why the performance matters and be ready to answer T, FW, Theory, etc. Prove why your model of debate is better and tell me why and how to vote for you. Utilize and weaponize your performance.
Other Non-traditional Affs- Sure, you do you. Debate bad affs are fine, but you should probably tell me how you plan to make it better. Planless and untopical affs are fine, but be prepared to answer whatever T, FW, or Theory the neg runs. Aff probably has to win their version of debate is better.
Add me on the email chain: email@example.com
I debated policy for 4 years at Coppell High School and am a current student at the University of Texas.
I am open to just about any argument.
I will evaluate any K and will vote on a generic link if it's insufficiently answered or dropped. That being said, make your links specific, I like Ks. Make sure the permutation debate is clear; if I don't know what the permutation does by the end of the debate then I'm less likely to vote for you.
CPs are good, nothing really special. Make sure your debate on PIC theory or condo is clear and slowed down, so I can flow and evaluate it. Be clear on the severance debate.
They're good, not really super special. There really aren't many good ones topic besides elections, but go off.
Yea, I don't particularly love T, but I will vote on it. I default to competing interps on T. Make sure to explain how the interp maintains education and fairness in the debate space. Even stupid T arguments win debates if they are answered badly.
My least favorite 2NR/2AR to judge, but again, I will vote on it. Go slow so I can flow.
DISCLAIMER: Debate is awesome, and I would hate to vote you down for throwing racial slurs, being sexist, clipping, etc.
I am a pretty tab judge, so whatever you want to read is cool by me. Impact calculus is really important. I'll evaluate new arguments in the summary based on what previously happened in the debate but just for a baseline, new arguments in the summary never really go well for debaters anyway.
Be on time to round.
Affiliation: University of Houston
I’ve been judging since 2011. As of the start of the Space topic I had judged the second most College Policy rounds in the era of tabroom of any judge. Jackie Poapst was the only person ahead of me, close behind me were Armands Revelins and Daniel Stout. Take this how you will.
Yes, I want to be on the E-mail chain. Send docs to: robglassdebate [at] the google mail service . I don’t read the docs during the round except in unusual circumstances or when I think someone is clipping cards.
The short version of my philosophy, or “My Coach preffed this Rando, what do I need to know five minutes before the round starts?”:
1. Debate should be a welcoming and open space to all who would try to participate. If you are a debater with accessibility (or other) concerns please feel free to reach out to me ahead of the round and I will work with you to make the space as hospitable as possible.
2. Have a fundamental respect for the other team and the activity. Insulting either or both, or making a debater feel uncomfortable, is not acceptable.
3. Debate is for the debaters. My job, in total, is to watch what you do and act according to how y’all want me. So do you and I’ll follow along.
4. Respond to the other team. If you ignore the other team or try to set the bounds so that their thoughts and ideas can have no access to debate I will be very leery of endorsing you. Find an argument, be a better debater.
5. Offense over Defense. I tend to prefer substantive impacts. That said I will explicitly state here that I am more and more comfortable voting on terminal defense, especially complete solvency takeouts. If I am reasonably convinced your aff does nothing I'm not voting for it.
6. With full credit to Justin Green: When the debate is over I'm going to applaud. I love debate and I love debaters and I plan on enjoying the round.
Online Debate Update:
1. Please slow down a little. I will have high quality headsets, but microphone compression, online compression, and then decompression on my end will almost certainly effect just how much I hear of your speeches. I do not open speech docs and will not flow off of them which means I need to be able to understand what you’re saying, so please slow down. Not much, ~80% of top speed will probably be enough. If a team tries to outspread a team that has slowed down per this paradigm I will penalize the team that tried for said advantage.
1A. If you're going too fast and/or I cannot understand you due to microphone quality I will shout 'clear'. If after multiple calls of clear you do nothing I will simply stop flowing. If you try to adapt I will do the best I can to work with you to make sure I get every argument you're trying to make.
2. I come from the era of debate when we debated paper but flowed on computers, which means when I’m judging I will have the majority of my screen dominated by an excel sheet. If you need me to see a performance please flag it for me and I’ll rearrange my screen to account for your performance.
3. This is an echo of point 1, but it's touchy and I think bears repeating. The series of audio compressions (and decompressions) that online debate imposes on us has the consequence of distorting the high and low ends of human speech. This means that clarity will be lost for people with particularly high and low pitches when they spread. There is, realistically speaking, no way around this until we're all back in rooms with each other. I will work as hard as I can to infer and fill in the gaps to make it so that loss is minimized as much as possible, but there is a limit to what I can do. If you think this could affect you please make sure you are slowing down like I asked in point 1 or try to adapt in another way.
4. E-mail chains, please. Not only does this mean we don't have to delay by futzing around with other forms of technology but it also gives us a way to contact participants if (when) connections splutter out.
5. The Fluffy Tax. If during prep or time between speeches a non-human animal should make an appearance on your webcam and I see it, time will stop, they will be introduced to the debaters and myself, and we shall marvel at their existence and cuteness together. In the world of online debate we must find and make the joy that we can. Number of times the fluffy tax has been imposed: 3.
6. Be kind. This year is unbelievably tiring, and it is so easy to both get frustrated with opponents and lose an empathetic connection towards our peers when our only point of contact is a Brady Bunch screen of faces. All I ask is that you make a conscious effort to be kind to others in the activity. We are part of an odd, cloistered, community and in it all we have is our shared love of the activity. Love is an active process, we must choose to make it happen. Try to make it happen a little when you are in front of me.
Politics - If you're running politics in a post-January 6th world you better have a really good link story. Internal links should assume the direction of the impact.
States Counterplan - Frankly speaking, the barriers to the States CP on this topic are overwhelming in my mind. I do not know how the States CP overcomes the commerce clause, the supremacy clause combined with the doctrine of preemption, or the dormant commerce clause. If you read a States CP without cards explicitly discussing this in the context of the 1AC plan my threshold for rejecting the CP for lacking solvency will be incredibly low. (The educationally bankrupt view of "fiat solves" will get no play unless you have cards that say A. overturning basic constitutional doctrine is good and B. that those actions overturning it will be enforced by the courts.) If you think you have the cards for this, run the counterplan. If you don't then maybe you should rethink whether or not this should be in any 1NC you run.
The standard argumentative thoughts list:
Debate is for the debaters - Everything below is up for debate, and I will adapt to what the debaters want me to do in the round.
Aff relationship to the topic - I think affirmatives should have a positive relationship to the topic. The topic remains a center point of debate, and I am disinclined to think it should be completely disregarded.
"USFG" framework: Is an argument I will vote on, but I am not inclined to think it is a model that best suits all debates, and I think overly rigid visions of debate are both ahistorical and unstrategic. I tend to think these arguments are better deployed as methodological case turns. TVAs are very helpful.
Counter-plan theory: Condo is like alcohol, alright if used in moderation but excess necessitates appropriate timing. Consultation is usually suspect in my book, alternative international actors more so, alternative USFG actors much less so. Beyond that, flesh out your vision of debate. My only particularly strong feeling about this is judge kick, which is explained at the bottom of this paradigm.
Disads: I have historically been loathe to ascribe 0% risk of a link, and tended to fall very hard into the cult of offense. I am self-consciously trying to check back more against this inclination. Impact comparison is a must.
PTX DAs: For years I beat my chest about my disdain for them, but I have softened since. I still don't like them, and think intrinsicness theory and basic questions of inherency loom large over their legitimacy as argumentation, but I also recognize the role they play in debate rounds and will shelve my personal beliefs on them when making my decision. That said, I do not think "we lose politics DAs" is a compelling ground argument on framework or T.
Critiques: I find myself yearning for more methodological explanation of alternatives these days. In a related thought, I also think Neg teams have been too shy about kicking alts and going for the "link" and "impact" (if that DA based terminology ought be applied one-to-one to the K) as independent reasons to reject the Affirmative advocacy. One of the most common ways that other judges and I dissent in round is that I tend to give more credit to perm solvency in a messy perm debate.
Case debate: Please. They are some of my favorite debates to watch, and I particularly enjoy when two teams go really deep on a nerdish question of either policy analysis or critical theory. If you're going down a particularly deep esoteric rabbit hole it is useful to slow down and explain the nuance to me, especially when using chains of acronyms that I may or may not have been exposed to.
Policy T: I spend a fair chunk of my free time thinking about T and the limits of the topic. I used to be very concerned with notions of lost ground, my views now are almost the opposite. Statistical analysis of round results leads me to believe that good negative teams will usually find someway to win on substance, and I think overly dramatic concerns about lost ground somewhat fly in the face of the cut-throat ethos of Policy Debate re: research, namely that innovative teams should be competitively rewarded. While framework debates are very much about visions of the debate world if both teams accept that debate rounds should be mediated through a relationship to policy action the more important questions for me is how well does debate actually embody and then educate students (and judges) about the real world questions of policy. Put differently, my impulse is that Framework debates should be inward facing whereas T debates should be outward facing. All of that should be taken with the gigantic caveat that is "you do you," whatever my beliefs I will still evaluate warranted ground arguments and Affirmative teams cannot simply point at this paradigm to get out of answering them.
Judge Kick: Judge kick is an abomination and forces 2ARs to debate multiple worlds based on their interpretation of how the judge will understand the 2NR and then intervene in the debate. It produces a dearth of depth, and makes all of the '70s-'80s hand-wringing about Condo come true. My compromise with judge kick is this: If the 2NR advocates for judge kick the 2A at the start of 2AR prep is allowed to call for a flip. I will then flip a coin. If it comes up heads the advocacy is kicked, if it comes up tails it isn't. I will announce the result of the flip and then 2AR prep will commence. If the 2A does this I will not vote on any theoretical issues regarding judge kick. If the 2A does not call for a flip I will listen and evaluate theory arguments about judge kick as is appropriate.
I have been teaching for 16 years. I currently teach Advanced Algebra 2 and PSAT/SAT/ACT Prep math courses.
I look for logical arguments supported by specific evidence. I am just looking for relevant evidence. I do not want to hear a long list of evidence that does not correspond to a point/argument of your case.
I look for quality of arguments over quantity.
I also look for cross examination that corresponds to what the other team just presented.
Make arguments clear. Evidence and cards should be followed by analytics, but analytics without evidence will not go in your favor. You must prove to me that you understand what you are reading and not just reading cards. This will be evident when the other team asks questions to clarify your argument.
Please do not speak too fast unless you email me your case where I can follow along. If I cannot understand you, this could cost you speaker points and possibly the round.
I would like for each team to time each other. Also, please keep track of each other's prep time.
If both teams would prefer me to keep time, please let me know before beginning the debate.
For time purposes, I will list all notes in the ballot.
Policy Debater at UT Austin
In HS, I competed in Policy, Extemp, and Congress.
Quick Notes: I am unlikely to vote on an RVI unless you do extremely well on it. I have a very strong typical policy background (ie topicality, policy affs, disads, cps). However, I now read a lot more kritikal arguments, so I'm good to flow with those too (and framework). There isn't anything I outwardly dislike in the context of K debate. My preferences tend to be disability literature, feminism, cap, and set col, just because that's what I'm the most familiar with. That definitely doesn't make me opposed to hear other K's, please read your K!
If you're looking for my paradigm in one word: tab.
The most important thing is that you give me the easiest path to the ballot. Tell me how to vote, on what, and why. Other than that, give me overviews, keep the debate organized, and please extend things correctly. Technical debating ability is important.
Don't be offensive, rude, homophobic, racist, ableist, derogatory, sexist etc.
Speed: Spreading is cool if that's your thing. I can keep up with speed, but you'll probably want to have more effective signposting to help me organize the flow. If you start to sound jumbled or you're going too fast, I'll say "clear."
I don't count flashing or attaching things to an email as prep. That being said, don't try and abuse this to steal prep.
Add me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Framing: I think it's important. Framing gives a team a big advantage. ROB and ROJ are good because I want to understand how to evaluate the round. Debate shouldn't just be about who causes nuke war fastest, it should also be about whose model of debate is better for particular reasons and why certain arguments should be preferred. At the end of the debate, I hope that both teams will have done sufficient work on a framing/framework level where I now understand what each of their ideal debate models are.
Framework: Love it. I think that if your interp has USFG in it, you need to be very ready to defend your ground loss and why that o/w any of the affirmative offense. I find it persuasive when links and impacts are debated on two levels, meaning how it impacts future debates (ie spillover claims/models), but also in round links. Please include a TVA/SSD argument somewhere in the round. I think that these are not only strategic, but help to generate clash.
Disads: DA's are great. I prefer to hear impacts relating to IR, the economy, and human rights. Though, in all honestly, I'll listen to pretty much anything here including the typical war/extinction scenario. Just do the work that needs to be done and you'll be fine. And please, understand the argument that you're making. If you can't explain your argument thoroughly in either an overview or in cross, it won't do you any favors. You need to read all parts of a Disad (UQ, Link, Internal Link, Impact). I also think that specific internal link chains are quite useful. Generic links are obviously fine, but it's always useful to be able to out spec your opponent.
CPs: Yes!! I think it's important that you have an extremely clear net benefit and that you are very clear about mutual exclusivity. I personally really like listening to perm debates and how two arguments can/can't interact. The net benefit can be anything from a material impact to some arbitrary theory arg, but if it's missing, you won't win the argument. Additionally, I need to have ink on the flow regarding CP solvency. Don't expect me to do that work for you. I also think cross-applications/re-highlightings about how the aff is actually your solvency advocate are very strategic arguments. I'm cool with PICs, so if that's your thing, go for it. Also willing to hear and vote on theory on the CP/perm.
Ks: Probably my favorite argument style right now. Be smart about it. I love it when people make links out of cards that were read, performance, argument strategy, and answers (ie "if they didn't link before they do now"). Also make sure that your K and your performance are cohesive. I think too often I find people throwing around buzz words, so make sure that you do the work to explain what those buzz words mean. Give me an explanation of the ideology of the K, framework, policy vs ideology, and uniqueness. Organization on the K flow is extremely important to me, probably more than most. I think that "k turns the aff" or "k solves the aff" arguments are very strategic. If you're answering the K, I want to have specific perm cards about the two advocacies working together. Saying "links are disads to the perm" is not an argument, that is a claim. Make it an argument, I need a warrant and impact. Also a big fan of a good alt explanation. I think that I find "world of the alt" or "world of the perm" moments to be persuasive. Framing is incredibly important to me, I also think that kicking the alt and going for the linear disad can be strategic. In K v K rounds and Policy v K rounds, root cause arguments are useful.
T: Sure. I think that T debates can be very useful if done well. Make sure that if you're going for T, you're able to sit on it for the full five minutes. I like to see T used as a reason to vote for generic links on the disad. I tend to default to reasonability. I also think that pinning down examples of 2AC shifts is particularly useful, as I'm much less willing to vote on potential abuse vs. abuse. Be ready to answer "aff gets 2AC specifications."
Theory: Please don't just respond to a PIC w/ a generic PICs bad theory shell and then move on. Something I've noticed is a lot of teams just running super generic theory responses that aren't contextualized at all as a way to get out of engaging with their opponent's arguments. Theory is fine, but please be able to tell me why the theory is important in this specific round against these specific arguments. Theory won't weigh heavily on the ballot if you don't give me a framing arg to go along with it. Basically tell me why theory comes first. For preferences, I'm less willing to vote on condo when the team reads two condo advocacies as opposed to eight. I think that theory is a key part of answering the perm (severance/intrisicness). Also willing to listen to theory on fiat.
AFFs: I will listen to anything. I have noticed that I prefer either policy affs or K affs, but I will listen to a soft left aff. I think that I often find students dropping/not using their own aff. You got to read 8 minutes offense at the start of the debate, use it to make cross-applications. A case outweighs 2AR is always a good option when in doubt. I also really like to hear impact framing on the aff. IE if you have big stick impact, you're not going to have the highest probability, so tell me why I need to evaluate magnitude first. Impact preferences for policy affs include SV, economics, and IR stuff. K aff preferences are at the top.
Feel free to ask me stuff before round. Also feel free to reach out with questions after the round!
Little Rock Central High School
Please include me on the email chain: Courtney.Hornsby@lrsd.org
I most frequently judge congressional debate and Lincoln Douglas.
For policy—I default to comparative advantage. Write my ballot for me. I flow thoroughly, and speed is fine, but I will let you know about clarity.
For LD: I can judge most styles; do what you do best but make sure you thoroughly explain your arguments. Blippy theory arguments, tricks, and frivolous arguments are things I’m not inclined to vote on. I prefer substance and rarely vote on things I don’t understand.. Speed is fine but clarity is more important. Above all, debate is a communicative activity so judge instruction is key.
Put me on the email chain: Lawsonhudson10@gmail.com
TLDR: Do what you want to do and do it well. Paradigms can be more dissuasive than informative so let me know if you have any questions before the round. I've almost exclusively done K debate so more judge framing in policy v policy rounds is very helpful. Debate well and have fun!
Go for it. Affs that defend doing things in the direction of the topic tend to do better in fw debates but if your aff doesn't do that, just win why not doing that is good and you'll be fine.
Go for it. I think T is especially underutilized against certain policy affs. For the neg, I find arguments about clash and advocacy centered on the topic generally more persuasive than arguments about procedural fairness, For the aff, sometimes its easier to win impact turns to fw but having a solid defense of your model/counter interp goes a long way in mitigating neg offense.
These debates are where I have the most background and feel the most comfortable judging. The two biggest issues for the negative in K rounds tend to be link application and alt explanation. Focusing on these areas along with round framing (for both the aff and the neg) will largely determine the direction of my ballot in debates.
Make sure to explain how the counterplan is mutually exclusive with the aff and what the net benefit is. When going for the disad the negative needs to have a clear link, preferably reasons why the disad turns the case, and Impact Framing. Both the 2nr and the 2ar need to explain to me why your impacts outweigh theirs because I don't want to do that work for you.
While I've done LD, I have done exclusively progressive LD so I'm not familiar with some of the traditional LD norms. I'm fine with general theory arguments like conditionality and disclosure theory but if your strat relies on the other person conceding a bunch of blippy, unwarranted statements I'm probably not the judge for you. I'd much rather you see you win on the content of the debate than you extending a blippy 1ar theory argument so you don't have to debate the substance of the case. Go as fast as you want as long as you are clear. I'm not likely to vote on tricks/spikes and long underviews in 1acs are annoying. If the 1ac involves reading 5 minutes of preempts with 1 minute of content I’m probably not the judge for you.
My name is Vada Janak :)
I competed for Tuloso-Midway HS (2016-2020)
I did CX, LD, WSD, and Big Questions on the debate side in high school. I also did Congress and Extemp. I've placed state and nationally in WSD and placed at the state level in CX. I qualified to the national tournament each year of high school, and collected bids to the TOC & NIETOC.
First, do what you're good at! I would much rather judge a round that you are comfortable having than judge one where you are trying to match my paradigm word for word.
Given that you:
1) explain the claim, warrant, and impact to your arguments. You will have a better chance of me correctly evaluating your arguments the way you want me to.
2) Make sure, on that note to properly explain your positions, don’t make an assumption that I know your DA scenario, K jargon, or weird philosophies. Help me out, so that I can help you out
3) Have comparative analysis of evidence, arguments, and/or performative styles as it compares to your own and how I ought to prioritize impacts as it relates to your framing of the round.
4) Be Persuasive, it will go a long way to making me to sign my ballot your way if you can make the round enjoyable, touching, funny, etc – it will also help your speaks.
-Please note: there is a clear distinction between persuasion and passion and being rude. I do not take kindly to rudeness, and it will show in your speaks.
5) Write the ballot for me in your last speech, tell me how you win. Take risks, and don’t go for everything. Make me think, “woah, cool, gonna vote on that” “When what they said in the last rebuttal was exactly how I prioritized stuff too, judging is soooo easy [it's often not :(]". If you tell me how to vote, why I should vote that way, and why it matters for the round, it will be an easier ballot for you.
6) It has also been a while since I have judged policy in person so please read slower (faster than convo speed but slow enough that you're not gasping for air every 4 seconds), at least on analytics. If you want to sample a speed for me before the round, just ask and I will let you know if that is too fast.
The real one:
I was most comfortable doing a blend of traditional and progressive CX in high school. I ran PTX DA's, T, and Cap K the most out of every argument on the Neg. I ran soft left policy affs on the China, Education, and Arm Sales topics, but I ran a K Aff on immigration.
You can run either a plan, K Aff, or a performative aff. I am more familiar and understanding of plan text aff's, but I really appreciate the literature and concepts behind the K aff's I have seen. Given that, I will probably need those types of aff's to be explained more in the later speeches and probably read at a slower speed.
DisAds are probably my favorite cup of tea. My go to has always be the politics DA. I am familiar with probably every DA there is. Case specific links are always preferred. Don't just read 4 generic DA's unless that's all you have. However, if it is pretty generic, it will take less work for the aff to tell me no link. Also explain the internal link! The more you tell me about how we really get from the plan text to nuke war the better time we will both have. And please please please do real impact calculus and evaluation. Don't just say "The DA outweighs the case." Tell me why.
I am a firm believer in the idea that a well ran T can be voted on in the 2NR. Given that, if you go for T, it should be the ONLY thing in the 2NR, and it should be easily explained and have voters.
Tell me how the CP works, why its mutually exclusive, and specifically how it actually solves the aff and prevents the DA. And if you're going to put 8 different planks, tell me how each of those is important. If the Aff doesn't perm the CP or give me a good reason why it doesn't solve, I'll more than likely vote for it. If it is not specified by either team, I assume the CP is unconditional.
Like I said above, not my cup of tea, but I would like them to be. I'm familiar with Cap and Neolib, so anything out of that area will need to be explained. Please use case/resolution specific links. You can read your "state action links" cards, but the aff has a pretty good footing to tell me why that's a bad link. UNLESS, state action is unique to your K and you explain to me how this isn't the same thing you read every round and potentially have been reading every round since you joined debate. Typically, the impact to the K and the Aff are drastically different so please tell me how to evaluate your systematic oppression impact to their nuke war. I hold K's to their alt's. Unless the Neg tells me why, how, and when the alt happens/who can engage with the alt/how the ballot plays a role in facilitating the alt, the Aff pretty much has free reign to tell me that the Alt doesn't solve.
If your opponents have given you a real reason to run theory please do! I strongly believe in debaters having discussions with each other about how one of their actions was bad for debate. I also will vote off of Condo bad, especially if you read more than 5 off :)
This was by far my favorite event to compete in in high school. I think that it offers the most real world skills and provides the most real education
I started competing in WSD in 2016. The event has drastically changed since then, but I believe how it was 2016-2018 was the best version of it. In 2020, I was 2nd top speaker at TFA state and 12th top speaker at NSDA Nationals to give you some perspective. I broke at NSDA Nationals in 2018.
I'll evaluate the round in the three ways the ballot allows me to: style, content, and strategy. I will take into consideration the "flow", but just because you "lose the debate" in a technical sense does not mean you automatically lose. Nor if you win the technical parts does it guarantee that you will win the ballot.
Persuasion, tone, speed, and attitude in the round are things I will consider for your style points. Use your ethos, pathos, logos. This is WSD so do not spread. I also will dock your style points if you're rude or disrespectful to your opponents or to me. Also, don't just read off your paper for the entire first and second speeches. This event has lots of extemporaneous elements to it.
The first speech is super important to make sure that you can get full content points in the whole round. If the meat of your case isn't good, then you're going to have a rough time in the other speeches. If you're not defining words in the motion, explaining how your model works (if there is one) or giving synthesized examples in the different points, then you're going to have a hard time getting points here. Believe it or not, it is easy to tell when words are coming out of your mouth but nothing is really being said, you know? Just be logical and thoughtful with your words.
This is the most undermined point area in WSD in my opinion. It might be the lowest about of possible points, but most people rarely get them. If you set up your different points in a strategic way, ask POI's that you'll use in your next speech, and organize the debate to tell me not just why your opponents are losing, but also, reasons that you're winning, the points are yours to have. I appreciate organization and I believe that the way you set up your speech is a strategy of itself, so keep that in mind too.
Please please please ask/state POI's!!!!!!!!!! Far too often do people not ask enough. A good POI will help get you points in style, content, and strategy. Even more so, ask POI's when your opponents are on a roll because you don't want to let them talk for 8 mins uninterrupted. BUT. Please note, there is a very clear difference in a good "aha! gotcha" POI and a rude uncalled for POI.
Also! you don't have to take every POI you get asked, but if you ignore every single one I will think you do not know what you are talking about or that you are not paying attention.
Overall: You should probably recognize that my background is in policy debate and it largely informs most of my viewpoints on LD debate. That being said I have been judging a large number of LD rounds and will likely continue to do so. Thus we need to have a paradigm for you all.
Friv Theory: if you read a 2 paragraph block that has 6 IVI's in it? I'm only going to flow what I flow I'm not going to go read your 2 paragraphs to figure out if you read the 4th point of the IVI or not. If it's not flowed it didn't happen. If you have a well-warranted and clear shell you have no real worries about if I will vote for theory assuming you win it. I would definitely say I'm truth over tech tho so keep that in mind.
Traditional formats: you can read this but for the most part LD has moved beyond this style. I don't have any issues with this strategy. I however normally think it lacks strategic depth.
Kritikal Formats: these are fine I'm pretty well versed in most critical literature, I prefer debates that clearly articulate the format, focus, and purpose of the round, or debate or the ballot even. I'm probably not the best judge for debaters who like to use buzzwords and pretend they are arguments. If you cannot clearly explain your theory of power, link and alternative I'm a bad judge for you.
LARPing: obviously I understand 99.9% of the strategies you will go for, but also realize that I've judged a tremendous number of K versus larp debates. I don't have a great record for affs versus kritiks in LD, I think this is because of two issues I've seen repeat.
1) You do not clearly identify and defend your stasis point maybe that's humanism, statism, or pragmatism. You let the negative simply attack you on the level of "Antihumanism, or Antistatism"
2) You lose track of your case, you just debate the kritik instead of explaining why your case is comparatively better pedagogy than the kritik, or how you could solve a real problem versus functionally doing nothing.
High Theory/Phil Theory: So I've seen these rounds, and I feel they tend to be strategically unsound and rely on a huge smokescreen of friv theory (see my above about friv theory). I've voted for these things before, it's not unwinnable but do not rely on technical drops especially if there is an obvious way the other flows interact. The idea that I put a blinder on and ignore arguments because of the physical location on the flow seems nonsensical to me.Policy Debate
Overall: This sounds simple but it can be difficult, at the end of the round my ballot should sound like the beginning of the 2AR or the 2NR. I would like you to explicitly implicate your arguments and form for me the basic idea of why I should vote for you. The best debaters tend to do this at the beginning of every 2NR and 2AR.
Disadvantages: I don't like DA's with uniqueness counter-plans, other than that almost any disadvantage is acceptable.
Counter-plans: the legitimacy of counter-plans should always be called into question. why would you just let a team steal most of your offense? I normally don't buy X type of counter-plan is a voter, however, I am more likely to vote for it as a reason to disallow the counter-plan. The burden of proof in those situations is much different, to win it is a voter you have to argue that debate is fundamentally impossible to do when X type of counter-plan is introduced. (an example might be Consult Counter-plans don't test the means or necessity of plan action makes it impossible to garner offense without conceding a DA, makes any choice the aff makes a bad choice.) However with rejecting the argument as the standard, I'd be willing to ask the question "Does this Counter-plan make the debate more or less educational, more or less fair. If it makes debate less educational and less fair then that is a sufficient reason to reject the counter-plan.
Kritiks: Theory wise sees counter-plans. Floating PIKS theory needs a Link. Clear and precise (Link-Impact-AltSolves-Perm doesn't) analysis is the quickest way for me to the pull the trigger on the kritik. If you can explain that full chain and I buy your analysis you're in a good place on the kritik (assuming you're not losing framework/theory/impact weighing. )
Framework: I think it's generally accepted that Affs should read frameworks that let them weigh their impacts against any kritik, also I generally think the aff is right they should be able to defend the fiat of the 1AC i.e. their impact claims shouldn't be wished away. Note to aff teams just because you win framework does not mean that you have answered the various impact framing arguments in the round, I've heard several times "but on the framework they conceded we get to weigh our impacts." my response is then "Sure, but you don't win that we have any Value to Life in that world/that these threats are constructed and not real/that/etc. I don't think this is controversial at all.
Role of the Ballot: so unlike some people, I don't think you have to explicitly state "our Role of the ballot is" while helpful sometimes one could also say "this debate round should be about x" or the "Role of the Judge is X" all of these are competing for claims on how I should approach my ballot how I should vote, what my ballot means etc.
Kritik AFFs: I prefer affs that defend a topical plan for a kritikal reason i.e. we shouldn't surveil African Americans, followed by claims about how surveillance of black bodies is bad. versus just standing up and saying "Black bodies are surveilled that's terrible you have some kind of ethical decision making to vote aff, here's Memimi." This is a preference and doesn't mean I stop listening when an alternative debate style is defended it's just what I find is the best solution to winning in front of me on a kritikal affirmative.
Framework (NEG): Framework can be a viable option for teams debating affs without plan text etc, as long as you answer and deal with the larger education/Fairness claims the aff is inevitably going to lob your way. You could win debate would be awesome with just policy affs but if you concede that this is a form of white settlerism that dominates and erases Native Americans from existence you tend to lose rounds on framework.
Components: need a clear and precise interp that allows you to skirt the offense of the aff, need a clear and precise "topical version of the aff", need to win switch-side debating is in fact good, need to win it's possible for X or Y type of people to enter into the political, do political actions, embrace politics or some other variant of "X type of people can do policy debate", finally need to win an impact. Do those have a solid shot of winning my ballot.
NDT update: preferred email: email@example.com pronouns: he/they
well nothing new, I’ve been on point this year. Carry on.
I’m highly flow centric.
I don’t always adjudicate debates based on an offense defense paradigm because I try to take into account multiple complexities which often aren’t reducible to the former.
Im not a hack for any one argument
Slow down in the era of online debate
Evidence/Good Cards/Good Spin super important
A wise one once said Never give up on the play
I like lots of nuance in argument interaction. Shadow extending links/perms aren’t persuasive to me as full arguments.
Perms are not automatically advocacies. You have to turn the perm into one by explaining the solvency mech.
Defense is super important to me.
Framing is the key to out maneuver your opponent.
I give great speaks always 28.7- 30. A point fairy to say the least.
I am happy to be on the email chain: Nijuarez@utexas.edu
Last update: October 2021
Online debate note: If my camera is off, I apologize. Video conferencing is so soul destroying. I will make sure to turn it on for the RFD at minimum but will do my best to keep it on as much as possible. Also, I apologize in advance if I adjudicate wrongly because the audio blipped out for some time and I missed a warrant that is important. Slowing down helps, but I also understand you got stuff you gotta get to.
General Philosophy (or TL;DR)
Some general points:
---I tend to be pretty technical and care a lot about line by line unless given an alternative paradigm. I resolve alternative paradigms by line by line unless an alternative evaluation is given (and recursively on and on). While I believe in tech over truth, the more "true" something is, the less tech usually needed to win it. By truth, I mean less what I personally believe and more what seems compelling or like it could be reasonably entertained by someone evaluating the evidence before them. Which is to say that while I vote for things I don't believe in all the time, I rarely vote for arguments I do not find compelling. I have been compelled to vote for framework or the K and I find no particular allegiance to either.
---Evidence tends to draw far more conservative conclusions than debaters claim it does and, as a result, I tend to only feel that the more conservative claims are justified absent work from the debaters present. At the same time, I often find people believe they need carded evidence for claims that surely could be made and defended absent cards.
---No claim should escape the possibility of being called into question. What is "common sense" is never truly so and I'm happy to entertain arguments concerning "common sense" notions.
---I am skeptical that anything spills out of debate besides a particularly in depth understanding of particular literature bases and the capacity to write and speak well. Both of those things seem ideologically and ethically neutral to me.
---I usually end up voting for the team that not only wins their framing, but wins framing at the most in depth and nuanced levels. Oftentimes, winning the frame at one level is simply insufficient.
---I am more and more confident in simply saying "I did not understand that" and, while I do my best to fairly and accurately adjudicate decisions, I recognize that some responsibility belongs to the debater in assisting me in understanding.
---Most ROBs are just impact framing and debaters would be better served if they rhetorically presented them that way.
---I'm begging you to give me impact calculus and impact framing.
---If I get the impression that you've read more than a single book on the topic you're debating, that almost always results in higher speaker points. In short, I love esoteric discussions of niche literature. However, see above "I did not understand that" point.
---I am less concerned with the positionality/identity of the speaker than one might assume, but I'm also open to voting on arguments related to the positionality/identity of the speaker if they are forwarded.
Below are my general beliefs/preferences concerning arguments. If it's not there, assume I feel neutral about it and will vote on whatever.
Affirmatives - I'm good with anything, I don't care. If you want me to do something besides flow it, let me know. Also, I still flow various advantages on separate pages. Generally, I believe the affirmative needs to prove a departure from the status quo. I am unsure why K teams simply do not fiat this.
Permutations - I evaluate permutations as a test of competition. Usually, but not always, however much time the affirmative spends on the perm is how much time I think the negative needs to spend answering it. I am currently very resistant to the idea of new perms in the 1AR. Finally, I do not to vote on perm theory--I simply reject the permutation if it is flagged as and proven to be illegitimate.
Disadvantage - Read whatever you want.
Counterplan - I will accept all counterplans and will only vote down on/dismiss a genre of counterplans if the negative loses the theory debate. I generally believe in functional competition. Word PICs should just be PIKs. New CPs in the Block are sketchy to me.
Kritiks - Read whatever you want. New Ks in the Block are sketchy to me.
Topicality - I love a good T debate. That being said, Topicality is NEVER a RVI. I default to competing interpretations.
Framework - Framework is the most idiosyncratic and ideological argument, in my mind, so I'll go a little more in depth than I would for other things. I'm by no means guaranteed to vote along these lines in any given debate, but it is my general disposition prior to any arguments being made. I essentially see most framework debates as debates over whether or not the affirmative should have to advocate the USFG/defend state action as the mechanism. I use an offense/defense paradigm.
Some general notes on framework for me:
-If you call framework "T-USFG" I'll be annoyed and, depending on the mood of the day, might dock speaks over it.
-Fairness isn't an impact, it's an internal link. Whining about why debate is hard makes it difficult for you to generate any convincing ethos. I don't believe that debate is uniquely good and therefore needs to be preserved through a fair game. However, I understand if fairness is your internal link to something else.
-If the affirmative defends topic DAs I'm almost entirely convinced they don't need to endorse USFG action.
-Everyone has their pet impact on framework. Mine has changed over time. I tend to care most about clash.
-I think affirmative's don't do enough work on reasonability.
-Impact turns surely win debates.
-I think people don't tend to do terminal impact comparison which means I end up having to decide if "third and fourth level answers" outweighs "imperial knowledge-making" (for example) which is annoying. Like any other flow, you should tell me how I should adjudicate the round if your opponent wins a risk of their impact.
-I don't vote on jurisdiction.
Theory - Generally, if you win the line by line, I'll probably vote for you. However, the main predisposition I find myself leaning towards in regards to theory debates is that unlimited conditionality is bad and most conditionality interpretations are arbitrary.
All in all, good luck, debate well. If you win the line-by-line, there is a 99% chance I'll be voting for you, so don't sweat over my preferences too much.
I am a freshman at TCU and just graduated from Dripping Springs High School. My main event in high school was Policy, although I also competed in LD, PF, World Schools, and Extemp. I have competed on the local, state, and national level in all events. I debate in college in Parli and IPDA. Please use firstname.lastname@example.org for the email chain.
For CX, I ran both Kritikal and policy arguments but I tend to lean more Kritikal. Run whatever you want to run in the round and I will evaluate it. Any speed is fine as long as it’s clear. I reward more creative and inventive strategies. If you are going to run a K, though, be sure you know how to explain it. I'm not going to do the work for you and nothing is worse than a poorly run K. Other than that, please be respectful of your opponents and don't make the debate space hostile and inaccessible for others.
As a side note, I have not done any intensive research on this topic yet so be sure to explain your arguments. Don't assume I know the evidence or arguments.
- Love them. I prefer Ks with specific links to the affirmative.
- Run a K on the aff or the neg. I was a 2A and a K aff was my favorite strategy.
- If you want to run a performance K, go for it.
- If you run a K aff, be sure to have a reason to not be topical. If you can't explain it well enough, I will have a hard time voting on it.
- If you are seriously going for a K on the neg, it should probably be a majority of the neg block.
- I tend to believe that the neg can kick the alt, but your links need to be strong enough as DAs to the affirmative.
- Vague alts are fine, just know how to explain them and weigh them.
- "Presumption flips aff" is a smart argument if utilized correctly.
- Literature I am most familiar with: Cap, Academy, Queer Pessimism, Afropessimism, Baudrillard, Set Col. If what you want to read is not on that list, you can always ask me before the round. Regardless, I will listen to anything.
- I like T and my debate partner and I usually included it in our 1NCs against a plan aff.
- The aff can claim reasonability but the debate between reasonability and competing interps is up to the debaters.
- I will vote for any standard that is reasonable.
- Framework/T-USFG against K affs is good when executed well. However, if you read generic blocks and extensions that apply to every K aff, it will not be as persuasive.
- I love when K affs impact turn FW.
- I am down for any good CP.
- I love creative PICs/PIKs (shoutout to Davy Holmes), but I can be persuaded by PIC theory.
- I prefer case specific DAs to generic ones but run what you have.
- Prefer to see it run with a CP in the 2NR, but if you have a strong enough DA with good links you should be fine.
- Weigh them. Please.
- Either team can go for theory, but it is not my favorite round to watch.
- Reject the arg > reject the team but that is up for debate.
- If the aff plans to kick case and go for theory, you should spend a sufficient amount of time on it in the 1AR. New explanations in the 2AR are abusive and will not be evaluated.
- Please avoid frivolous theory if you can. LD theory interps are terrible to watch and debate, so please do not bring them into CX.
- DO NOT DROP OR UNDERCOVER CASE. I have seen many teams get stressed for time in the 2AC or 1AR and spend most of the time on the off case arguments and forget to extend case sufficiently. If you respond to case properly, it can be used to respond to all of the off case arguments.
- Keep a narrative going throughout the round of what your case actually does. It is hard to vote for an aff if I do not know what I am voting for. Overviews help, but they should not be your only extensions on case.
- Run anything you want to on the aff. If you are going to be untopical or skirt that line, you should have T prepped out well.
- Aff gets fiat.
- Weighing and giving me key voters in the final rebuttals will go a long way.
- Do not make tag line extensions and expect me to do the analysis for you.
- If you are overly rude, your speaks will reflect that.
- Tech > Truth but truth still matters.
- Please don't steal prep or take five minutes to send out the doc in the email chain.
- Have fun!
Please name the email chain: "Tournament - Round X - Team (AFF) vs Team (NEG)" - "TOC - Round 1 - Coppell AK (AFF) vs Coppell DR (NEG)".
“Debate how you can, the best you can. Swag is good. Complexity. Concretization. Examples. Comparison” – Amber Kelsie.
“Most judges give appalling decisions. Here's [my attempt] at trying to be better than them” – Yao Yao Chen.
“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” – Debnil Sur.
Top Level Thoughts
1. I’m a first year out judge. Below, I’ve explained how I believe I will judge, but at least some of these will likely change as I judge more.
2. I’ve included sections from the paradigms of judges and debaters that have shaped my view of debate to provide a clearer picture. Some of the strongest include Shreyas Rajagopal, Het Desai, Vikas Burugu, Alec Ramsey, Yao Yao Chen, Adam Lipton, David Kilpatrick, Ruby Klein, Alex Marban, and Amber Kelsie. All changes have been marked with brackets.
3. Debate is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. I love this activity and hope you can as well. I have tremendous respect for the hard work you’ve done to come here and will try to reciprocate that in my decision. I will likely take a long time to decide close debates and will be ready to defend my decision. “If you feel unsatisfied with my RFD, I encourage you to post-round me. I will not take any offense or make a determination on your personality on the basis of your reaction to my decision. I was always quick to disagree with judges as a debater and have always considered disagreement the highest forms of respect” – Vikas Burugu.
General Argument Preferences
1. I’m likely worse for the K team in clash debates and better for policy v policy debates than you’d think. “Ideologically, I'd say I'm 55/45 leaning right. I think my voting records won't reflect this, because K debaters tend to see the bigger picture in clash rounds” – Debnil Sur.
2. Stolen from Shreyas Rajagopal:
A) “links to the plan > links that interact with central thesis of the aff > links to state > links to fiat
B) literally anything else > role of the judge/ballot
C) actual arguments > ad homs [I will not evaluate any arguments about anything that occurred outside of the round outside of disclosure etc. or render a decision about the ethicality of any person I am judging (I don’t know you and this is incredibly uncomfortable)]”
3. Every topic I debated on in HS had a significant affirmative bias. I am inclined to believe the neg needs to be able to get back in the game. This means it will likely be slightly easier to convince me on neg theory and limits arguments.
4. "Inserting rehighlighted evidence without reading it is fine if it's to prove their thing is out of context or if it was read in CX. Otherwise, read it" - Ruby Klein.
1. “Tech over truth. But... Debate is subjective and arbitrary. I consider “dropped arguments are true” to be not particularly helpful” – Anirudh Prabhu. Almost every debate requires some level of intervention to decide, you’re best served explaining each argument and its implications. Most of the time, single technical concessions are likely not the round enders they were made out to be. Every argument will be evaluated in the broader context of what occurred in the debate. However, explicit judge instruction with explanation within the context of other arguments in the debate will be strictly adhered to. Holding my hand will be rewarded with higher speaker points, a quicker decision time, and a more favorable RFD that minimizes intervention.
2. “I will follow something resembling the following structure to make my decision:
A) List the arguments extended into the 2NR and the 2AR
B) Ask myself what, as per the 2NR and 2AR, winning these arguments will get for either the affirmative or the negative. The answer to this question will sometimes be “absolutely nothing” at which point I will strike these arguments off my flow.
C) Trace whether these points of disagreement were present previously in the debate. This will only include substantive argumentation, but will not include framing devices introduced in the 2NR and the 2AR.
D) Compare the negative and affirmative’s central issues by asking myself if losing a certain argument for a certain team will still allow for that team to win the debate.” – Vikas Burugu
3. Technical debating will be rewarded and is important to me. “Flowing is imperative. Arguments should be [explicitly referenced as they were presented when you answer them] if you want 2021 speaker points instead of 1995 speaker points” – Shree Awsare. Whenever possible, each argument in the 2AC/1NC on case should be numbered/labeled and those numbers/labels should be referenced for the rest of the debate.
4.I will certainly reward good evidence if you have it. However, your evidence is only as good as you can explain it to me. ” “Regarding argument resolution, spin outweighs evidence. Spin is debating. Evidence is research. The final rebuttals should be characterized by analytical development rather than purely evidentiary extension.”– Rafael Pierry.
5. “My general guideline for a warrant is: could I explain this argument to the other team in a reasonable post-round and feel confident that it was said by their opponents? This explanation doesn’t mean I need to have a deep intellectual grasp of the position, simply that I could re-state it and the losing side would understand why they lost” – Rafael Pierry.
6. “Any risk” is just objectively wrong. A small enough signal is overwhelmed by noise, which means not only that we can’t establish its magnitude with precision, but if sufficiently small, we can’t establish its sign either” – Calum Matheson.
7. "Prioritize efficiency---notice how that doesn't say speed. Teams should diversify their responses, avoid repetitive phrasing, and effectively engage the line by line" - Shreyas Rajagopal.
1. I feel very very very comfortable evaluating these debates. I do not think I have significant ideological preferences for either side and have spent an absurd amount of time strategizing arguments for both sides. I’ll likely have a high threshold for what I think are “quality” arguments. “Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison” – Yao Yao Chen. I went for mainly procedural-based impacts centered around clash and argumentative refinement when I was negative. I think this strategy requires greater defense to the aff’s impact turns, while making it less difficult for you to indict the aff counter-interp.
2. “One of four things must be true if a 2NR on framework is extending only “fairness” as the terminal impact —
A) The affirmative has entirely dropped that debate is a game/competition with absolutely no implications beyond this debate.
B) The TVA and/or SSD unquestionably solve the content of the 1AC and 2AC offense against framework.
C) The negative is winning arguments on another page that impact turn the 1AC and/or are offense independent of the framework debate.
D) The affirmative does not have a coherent impact turn to the negative’s model left by the end of the debate.
If one of these four things does not hold true and the only impact in the 2NR to framework is procedural fairness, it is highly unlikely that I will be able to construct a negative ballot because the 2AR’s “Exclusion DA” will inevitably outweigh a procedural violation. Too often, one of the above statements does not hold true and the 2NR loses the impact debate. This is not to discourage you entirely from going for a “fairness only” 2NR when the time is right — in fact, it makes sense if the 1AR has dropped a key component of the debate (see subpoints above)” – Vikas Burugu.
3. Switch side debate is massively underutilized in HS debate. Most 2NRs assert TVA and SSD with no connection to the rest of the arguments. The 2NC and 2NR should spend time applying their impact filters to specific parts of aff offense. This can be made most effective by explaining your switch side argument on the impact turn you believe it resolves the best.
4. Generic defense/impact filters are often over-used and treated as an excuse to avoid directly answering aff offense. “TVA: who cares. If the 1AC says "reduce FMS to Saudi - we must discuss the Yemen War now!" on the water topic, it is not the negative's burden to describe how the aff team could have made their 1AC topical. TVA could be useful as defense (especially if conceded) but tends to factor little in my decisions” – Shree Awsare.
5. Most Framework approaches can be filtered into one of two categories:
A) Finding a middle ground
While this approach will be significantly harder to assemble / formulate, it gives affirmative teams the ability to impact turn both the content of debate’s that would occur under the negative’s interpretation AND the reading of framework with significantly less drawbacks than the impact turn approach. It will, however, require affirmative’s to wade through the traditional components of a topicality debate and will be subject to good negative teams closely scrutinizing affirmative counterinterpretations. An important question that not enough negative teams ask is how the aff’s counter-interpretation solves their impact turns. “Aff odds of winning are substantially higher if you persuade me that the negative can debate the aff over the course of a season with a relatively even win-percentage. Advance impact-turns boldly, but do not forget defense” – Rafael Pierry.
B) Impact turning topicality
This argument is only particularly persuasive if you win an argument aside from competing interpretations for how a debate should be evaluated. Unless your argument is debate bad, I will struggle to find a way to vote for no topic at all against a competent negative team. However, if you do win an argument that reduces the question of my ballot to an individual debate, the impact-turn only approach becomes much more viable. Aff offense here should focus on why the 1NC’s reading of framework is violent.
6. Neg teams should extend presumption and contest aff solvency throughout the debate. This will make it much more difficult for the aff to shift to more persuasive impact turns that are likely not resolved by their counter-interpretation/the ballot at a truth level.
7. The 2AR should center 1-2 pieces of central offense and explain their strategy through that. “Less random DA’s that are basically the same, and more internal links to fully developed DA’s. Most of the time your DA’s to the TVA are the same offense you’ve already read elsewhere” – Joshua Michael.
Kritiks v Plan
1. I’m comfortable in these debates as well. I have atleast a decent grasp on most of the common Ks in debate and have likely went for them a number of times.
2. How you frame your arguments will likely have a significant impact on my evaluation of them. “All debate is storytelling, but K debate especially so” – Anirudh Prabhu. Not enough preparation is spent on how you will package your arguments, cross-examination, and/or general round vision.
3. Framework means a lot more to me than it does to some judges. A vast majority of judges seem to arbitrarily intervene and decide to take a middle stance on the framework debate and generate their own justifications for why this “middle stance” is preferable. I will avoid doing this at all costs and only decide between the interpretations present in the 2NR and the 2AR. It will likely be the first argument I evaluate, unless the affirmative has decided not to prioritize it.
“How I should "weigh the aff" versus the K is rarely self evident. I don’t mind a little bit of arbitrariness in a framework interp if you are instructing me clearly on how to evaluate your offense versus their offense” – Anirudh Prabhu. Negative defense to the aff’s standards are usually insufficient and should be prioritized more, while aff teams should borrow more from their negative framework arsenal against planless affirmatives and explain why a model of debate where the affirmative gets to weigh the plan is most reflective of the resolution and why debate over that predictable stasis point is the best model.
4. I have a soft spot for strategies that have high link specificity. Although I will still evaluate the debate as presented, demonstrating you’ve thought about how your K interacts with the affirmative will be rewarded in speaker points and in the decision. Unlike many other judges, I will certainly be willing to vote on turns case arguments when your link arguments are well-explained in the context of the affirmative. However, without link specificity I will likely default to the aff’s more specific internal links. This is why I believe that the permutation is overrated as the basis for affirmative strategy. Affirmatives should prioritize developing their aff as offense more.
5. I think extinction outweighs is a devastating argument against most neg Ks. I have a difficult time understanding neg responses as they are reliant on Framework and/or do not contest the specific scenario for extinction in the 1AC. “If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs” – DKP.
Kritiks/Other Strategies v No Plan
These debates are both my favorite debates and least favorite at the same time. Technical debating and argument comparison is often lost for assertions with little application. If this does not occur, I will be very happy and likely enjoy the debate a lot.
1. It will be difficult to convince me that your K aff does not have to defend something. You got to pick and choose what to defend and you should be held responsible for it. This is less persuasive in the context of word PIKs that are not central to the 1ACs advocacy, but I will have a relatively lower threshold for link explanation.
2. I am not very persuaded by “no perms in method debates”. Although I agree that permutations tend to get out of control in these debates, I don’t think entirely abandoning competition should be how to resolve it. The negative needs link arguments to the aff, but the threshold for a no link argument if one is forwarded by the affirmative will be higher.
3. Go for presumption. Press the aff on its ability to solve. Vague assertions will not be rewarded with either the ballot or speaker points and I will not be lenient to new aff extrapolation. The aff must be held to the basic method they’ve defended throughout the debate.
4. Go for Topic DAs and Impact Turns if the affirmative links. Or better yet, link them to it. This is often a cleaner debate because aff responses are woefully insufficient.
5. This might sound terrible for the aff, but if the neg does not characterize aff arguments as shifty with specific explanation or do specific link explanation, I’m likely quite a good judge for the aff. I think a lot of kritikal affirmatives have easy angles to exploit vs negative strategies. Neg teams are often awful at contesting the aff, so applying your theory and solvency explanation to different pages effectively will be rewarded.
1. “A decent amount of evidence with intent to define considerably improves your offense.
2. Caselists on both sides help.
3. I tend to care most about predictability” – Ruby Klein.
4. “The articulation of reasonability that will persuade me is that the substance crowdout generated by T debates outweighs the difference between the two interps” – Anirudh Prabhu.
5. In most circumstances, affs should utilize reasonability, functional limits, and arbitrariness as their 2AR strategy.
1. Well-researched strategies (especially PICs) will be rewarded. Topic/aff-specific advocates go a long way.
2. I will default to judge-kick unless told otherwise. Generally, I believe no judge-kick arguments should start in the 1AR at least if you want to win them.
3. I will default to the model that counterplans must compete functionally and textually, but I am willing to hear alternative models for competition.
4. Sufficiency framing is asserted without an implication in most instances. You should set a threshold for how much the CP needs to solve i.e. “1AC ev says we need to meet the 2 degree threshold – if the CP gets there it’s sufficient to solve and deficits do not matter past that”. Otherwise, this seems to be intuitive and just an assertion that serves as a poor substitute for impact calculus.
5. Presumption goes to least change.
1. “Turns the case” is important in some debates, but not others. It’s important to recognize when to prioritize it. The argument that war causes structural violence is intuitive and should not require too much explanation aside from explaining how it implicates framing. Turns case arguments at higher levels of the DA are more persuasive when applied to the aff’s internal links.
2. I generally care more about link defense than impact defense. Link framing is especially important because it can help package your arguments in a much more persuasive way.
3. Smart analytic arguments are significantly under-utilized. Most politics scenarios, for example, can be logically disproven by a series of analytic arguments. But, the better the other team’s evidence is the more you’ll need of your own.
1. Like everyone else, I like good case debating. 2Ns that show they know the aff better than the other team will especially be rewarded with higher speaks.
2. I will be very strict for the 2AC and 1AR on case. The 2AC needs to actually answer the 1NC case arguments not just re-explain your advantage. I will also be deeply skeptical of new 1AR/2AR arguments on the case especially if your explanation of the aff shifts.
3. #2 and #3 from the DA section apply just as much here.
1. I’m likely better for theory arguments than most because I evaluate them similarly to every other argument. But, if left to my own devices, I’m likely neg leaning on most questions.
2. “A creative perm debate is likely better and less life-denying, but I understand that theory is necessary to beat process CPs that steal the aff and cheat" - Ruby Klein.
3. I'm likely way better than the average judge for aff-specific PIKs. I think they're way underutilized and are a personal favorite of mine. However, beating theory is still difficult given significant aff pushback, especially if the PIK was not explicitly one in the 1NC.
email@example.com, yes to questions and email chain. I am a debate coach at Little Rock Central.
You do you. I want to see you at your best; don't over-adapt. I believe that my role is to listen, flow, and weigh the arguments offered in the round how I am told to weigh them by each team, starting with the framework debate, if applicable. I do not think that debates have to focus on government action being good or bad; instead, I think debates should be focused on whether or not some kind of well-articulated change(s) to the status quo is good or bad. I will listen to and evaluate any argument.
1. Explain why your impacts outweigh the other team's impacts, and explain the risk of your impacts compared to theirs.
2. Do evidence comparison as necessary.
3. Tell me why I am writing my ballot for you.
Unethical behavior: Not cool with any behavior that is racist, transphobic, ableist, or violent.
Kritikal Affirmatives and Framework
Go for it. I am good to vote for any kritikal argument that wins its method and theory of power and explains them well. I am good to vote for embedded critiques of debate. I am good to vote for kritkal affs and performances without plan texts if the aff wins the method, theory of power, and impacts the debate. I am good to vote for non-topical affirmatives if the kritikal affirmative can win that engaging with the topic is bad and their education/fairness outweighs the topical education/fairness. I think it’s important for kritkal affirmatives to be able to articulate how the negative side could engage with them as it comes up, and explain the role of the negative in the debate as it comes up.
Go for it. I dig a specific plan text. Nothing else to mention here.
Quality over quantity. Happy to listen and evaluate any neg strat. I don’t dislike any negative strategy aside from choosing a bunch of blippy arguments or lacking in-depth analysis (or doing anything unethical, see General). 7 or 8 off is not my favorite, but I'm happy to flow it. When it comes to case debate and offcase links, the more specific, the better.
1. Perms: Explain how the perm works (more than "perm do X").
2. Ks: I’m fine if you kick the alt and win the link and impact.
3. T: Normal threshold if the topicality impacts are about the implications for future debates. High threshold for affs being too specific and being bad for debate because neg doesn't have case debate.
4. Speed: Think 8.5/10 and slowing down a bit on the perms and analytics embedded in the overview. (I have no theoretical problem with speed… just being realistic on my limit.)
New Note - I'm totally uninterested in adjudicating arguments that endorse self harm, suicide, or purposeful death. I won't auto-vote against you but if someone you're debating asks me to stop the debate I will. If I end up voting for you, you will not like your points.
Things like wipeout/spark/other impact turns are a little different than this category for me and you can still read those types of hypothetical impact turns as they don't feel the same as [self harm good].
I am a coach at the University of Texas-Austin and Westwood High School. Conflicts: Texas, LASA, Westwood, St Vincent de Paul, Bakersfield High School
Email Chain: yes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate is an activity about persuasion and communication. If I can't understand what you are saying because you are unclear, haven't coherently explained it, or developed it into a full argument-claim, warrant, impact, it likely won't factor in my decision.
While there are some exceptions, most debaters I've judged the last few years are pretty unclear, so its likely I will miss some arguments. Zoom has magnified this issue for me (not necessarily the debaters fault). Final rebuttals offer you a space to retrace the part(s) of the debate you think are most relevant to the decision. This both makes it much more likely I will understand your argument and will likely improve your speaker points.
The winner will nearly always be the team able to identify the central question of the debate first and most clearly trace how the development of their argument means they're ahead on that central question.
Virtually nothing you can possibly say or do will offend me [with the new above caveat] if you can't beat a terrible argument you probably deserve to lose.
Everyone seems to have intense clashphobia these days - this isn't about policy or k debate, its across the board and going for the least covered option seems to be everyone's mantra. I get why you think that's strategic, but typically it results in shallow rebuttals, frustrating decisions, 1-1-1 panels and lower points. Specific AFF/NEG research that demonstrate the third and fourth level testing everyone seems to think is important wil be rewarded with higher points. All in on "not our ___" will not.
I flow CX, unless its some random clarification question you forgot I will stop flowing CX after 3 minutes. The "I'm going to ask a million questions while my partner preps their 2NC" has gotten ridiculous.
newer - I don't judge many non-framework debates anymore. I tend to vote neg when the neg wins clash is the biggest/most portable impact + explanation for how it improves over the year as a result of their interp and access aff offense via TVA or SSD. I tend to vote AFF when they win an impact turn to the end result of clash alongside robust answers to the NEG ballot can't access that offense args. I think 2NCs that lack an explanation of how 2nd and 3rd level testing occurs under their interp and changes over the year, with examples, lacks credibility when going for only clash matters (you can maybe win the debate on a different terminal impact, but lately I haven't really voted on other ones). Fairness is both an internal link and an impact. Debate is a game but its also so much more. You can persuade me to think one way or the other in any given debate and I've learned to love judging these debates because I often learn new things about the activity and its potential.
older - but not un-true
I find myself voting negative a lot on procedural fairness a lot. K affs seem to have a lot of trouble deciding if they want to go for the middle ground or just impact turn--pick a strategy and stick to it 1AC-2AR and you're more likely to be in a good place. The block is almost always great on T, the 2NR almost always forgets to do terminal impact calculus. Testing arguments become much more persuasive to me when you give specific examples for how those would occur. What neg args would you be able to read against a potential TVA? Why is it good for the 2AC to research those positions, how would you researching answers to their answers be beneficial? A lot of this stuff just gets assumed and I think that a lot of repetitiveness from most framework 2NCs can be substituted for this kind of depth early in the debate. 2NRs sometimes seem to spend so much time on why they access AFF lit base/impacts that they don't end up extending a terminal impact or external offense at all. I think it's difficult to win a debate when you basically go for a CP w/o a net benefit.
I'm a lot better for framework that sounds closer to T with a limits and clash as the primary impacts then the soliloquy on the most superior model for debate. Clash as the most important internal link to education/fairness/skills/game etc. is usually more persuasive to me than other arguments on T.
-If your CP competes based on the certainty or immediacy of the plan, it doesn't take a ton on theory for me to reject the counter plan.
-I won't kick it for you unless you tell me to. Judge kick makes more sense to me than it used to, but I still think the AFF can win it shouldn't be allowed.
-"perm do both" or "perm do cp" with no explanation isn't a complete argument. I get that given negative off-case prolif sometimes this feels inevitable, but I'm confident results will improve if you give warrants for any permutation that you think it's likely will find its way into the 2AR.
-affs usually lose these by forgetting about the case, negs usually lose these when they don't contextualize links to the 1ac. If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs.
-link specificity is important - I don't think this is necessarily an evidence thing, but an explanation thing - lines from 1AC, examples, specific scenarios are all things that will go a long way
-they should be intrinsic to the plan, with enough time investment affs can potentially win that agenda politics disads are not a logical opportunity cost.
-uniqueness controls the direction of the link typically makes the most sense to me, but you can probably convince me otherwise
I haven't judge many rounds. Likely quite bad for tricks - arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete. Dropped arguments are important if you explain how they implicate my decision.
Unlikely you'll convince me the aff doesn't get to read a plan for topicality reasons. K framework is a separate from this and open to debate.
Last Updated 08/30/19
Experience: 3.5 yrs for The University of Central Oklahoma 02-05 (JV & Open)
12 yrs as Coach @ Moore High School, OK
Policy Rounds Judged: Local ~10
Policy National/Toc - ~12
LD Rounds Judged Local: 0
LD National/TOC - 0
PFD - Local = 0
PFD Nat Circuit - 3
Email Chain: email@example.com
Email for questions:
Just because I am primarily a policy judge does not mean that I think LD should be like 1 person policy. Small rant: I am tired of us making new debate events and then having them turn into policy... If you are constructing your case to be "Life & Util" and then a bunch of Dis-Ads you probably don't want me as your judge. If you are going for an RVI on T in the 1AR you probably don't want me as a judge. I don't think that LD affs should have plan texts. If I were to put this in policy terms: "You need to be (T)-Whole Res."
Affirmatives should have: a specific tie for their value to the resolution. An explanation on how their Criterion(a) operates in context of the value and the ballot. Contentions that affirm the whole resolution.
Negatives should have: a specific tie for their value to the resolution. An explanation on how their criterion(a) operates in context of the value and the ballot. Contentions that negate the whole resolution.
I tend to consider myself a flow oriented judge that tries to be as tab as any one person can be. Absent a framework argument made, I will default to a policy-maker/game-theorist judge. I view debate in an offense-defense paradigm, this means that even if you get a 100% risk of no solvency against the aff, but they are still able to win an advantage (or a turned DA) then you are probably going to lose. You MUST have offense to weight against case.
Speed is not a problem
T & Theory need to be impacted with in round abuse. As the debate season goes on I tend to err more toward reasonability than I do at the beginning of the year. This is usually because as the debate year goes on I expect Negative teams to be more prepared for less topical arguments. This is generally how much judges operate, they just don't say it. I typically don't vote on potential abuse, you should couch your impacts on potential abuse in very real-world examples.
Please make impact calculus earlier in the debate rather than just making it in the 2nr/2ar
Kritiks are not a problem, but I am not really deep into any one literature base. This may put you at a disadvantage if you assume I know/understand the nuances between two similar (from my point of view) authors. **If you are going for a K or an Alt in the 2NR but are unsure if the aff is going to win the Perm debate and you want me to "kick the alt" and just have me vote on some epistemic turn you're only explaining in the overview of the 2NR you are not going to enjoy the RFD. If you think it's good enough to win the debate on with only a :30 explanation in the overview, you should probably just make the decision to go for it in the 2nr and kick the alt yourself.
When addressing a kritikal aff/neg I will hold you to a higher threshold than just Util & Cede the political, I'll expect you to have specific literature that engages the K. If this is your strategy to answering K teams I am probably not your "1."
I don't have a problem with multiple conditional arguments, although I am more sympathetic to condo bad in a really close theory debate.
CPs are legit. Just like judges prefer specific links on a Dis-Ads I also prefer specific Counter-Plans. But I will evaluate generic states/int'l actor CPs as well.
Dispo = Means you can kick out of it unless you straight turn it, defensive arguments include Perms and theory. (My interp, but if you define it differently in a speech and they don't argue it, then your interp stands)
DAs are cool - the more specific the link the better, but I will still evaluate generic links.
Case args are sweet, especially on this year's (2019) topic.
Really I have only one personal pref. If you are in a debate round - never be a jerk to the opposing team &/or your partner. I believe that our community has suffered enough at the hands of debating for the "win," and although I don't mind that in context of the argumentation you make in the round, I do not believe that it is necessary to demean or belittle your opponent. If you are in the position to be facing someone drastically less experienced than yourself; keep in mind that it should be a learning process for them, even if it is not one for you. It will NOT earn you speaker points to crush them into little pieces and destroy their experience in this activity. If you want to demonstrate to me that you are the "better debater(s)," and receive that glorious 29 or maybe even 30 it will most likely necessitate you: slowing down (a little), thoroughly explaining your impact calc, clearly extending a position, then sitting down without repeating yourself in 5 different ways. If you opt to crush them you will prob. win the round, but not many speaker points (or pol cap) with me.
Lane Tech - 2012 - 2013
Iowa City High - 2013 - 2016
University of Northern Iowa - 2016 - 2017
Emporia State 2018 - 2021
Berkeley Prep - 2021 -
Updated for Greenhill Round Robin
better for k v k or policy v k
email chain - BerkeleyPrepDocs@gmail.com
- have aff specific link explanations regardless of offcase position - that doesnt mean that every card has to be specific to the aff but your explanation of the link should be as specific to the 1AC as you can make possible - extra speaker points to those who can successfully pull lines
- that being said, "as specific to the 1AC" means you could have a really good link to aff's mechanism. or you could have a great state link. or a link to their impacts. etc. it doesnt matter to me what the link is as long as it is well developed and made specific to what the 1AC is. I dont want to hear the same generic state link as much as the next person but if you make it creative and you use the aff than I dont see a problem.
- affirmatives could be about the topic, or they could not be, its up to you as long as whatever you choose to do you can defend and explain. If you're not about the topic and its a framework debate, I need to know what your model of debate is or why you shouldnt need to defend one etc. if youre reading a performance aff, the performance is just as important if not more than the evidence you are reading - so dont forget to extend the performance throughout the debate and use it to answer the other teams arguments.
- whether its one off or 8 please be aware of the contradictions you will be making in the 1NC and be prepared to defend them or have some sort of plan if called out.
- on that note theory debates are fine and could be fun. im not that opposed to voting on theory arguments of all varieties as long as you spend a sufficient amount of time in the rebuttals to warrant me voting on them. most of the time thats a substantial amount if not the entirety of one or more of your rebuttals.
- perm debates are weird and i dont feel great voting for "do both" without at least an explanation of how that works. "you dont get a perm in method debates" feels wrong mostly because like these are all made up debate things anyways and permutations are good ways to test the competitiveness of ks/cps/cas. that being said, if you have a good justification for why the aff shouldnt get one and they do an insufficient job of answering it, i will obviously vote on "no perms in method debates"
- dropped arguments are probably true arguments, but there are always ways to recover, however, not every argument made in a debate is an actual argument and being able to identify what is and isn't will boost your speaker points
- do you and have fun with it. as long as you are doing what you do best I don't care if its one off or politics, reject the rez or fracking.
Updated for the Mid America Cup 2020 -
Thought I would update this to reflect some changes to my outlook on both my career in debate and judging. most of what i have said below still applies but these are the more pertinent changes:
1) I have developed a more flex approach the activity and doing so has made me a better judge for both policy teams and k-teams. Bassically - go for whatever arg you want whether it be elections or bataille
2) rebuttles have become even more important and your speaker points will reflect your performance in the last few speeches than it will in the constructives
3) online debate is ripe with potential hurdles and pitfalls - we will work as a group to come to the best solution so dont worry if something comes up that makes us stop or redue.
4) email chain - if you could put both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com on the chain that would be much appreciated
Updated for Dowling 2018
TLDR: Almost exclusively read kritiks throughout my entire time in debate, so this is written largely for those teams/debates. That being said, I don't think that my paradigm should influence what you read in the round, in the end I would much rather see you do whatever you are most comfortable or best with, instead of what you think I want to hear.
As a debater, I read almost exclusively kritiks, which includes a wide range of performance, existential philosophy, reps kritiks, antiblackness, queer theory, death good etc. But this pretty much only really means like 2 things. 1) I'm not one someone with a "No Plan, GTFO" belief-system - in fact I'm the opposite, and enjoy plan-less debate immensely. 2) while there is a fair chance I understand what your literature base is, this means I hold your explanation to a higher threshold and will probably have a lot of thoughts after the round about how you could better utilize it.
Other than that my understanding of the literature doesn't play a part in how I determine rounds. While I might be considerably more bored in a policy centric round where I have to weigh the counter-plan and ptx against a "USfg should do" plan text, that doesn't mean I wont actively judge the round to the best of my ability, it also doesn't meant that I wont be equally as bored in a k v k debate. Just win the argument and make my decision easy.
I evaluate framework v a k aff that doesn't defend the resolution as I would hope any other judge would. Unless otherwise specified I'll always default to a model of debate question and which team has presented me with a more desirable model. This means I can be equally persuaded by either teams model, its just a question of what arguments are presented and how they are utilized.
Aff side bias? - I'm not sure. I think my judging record just reflects what I said above, I hold the 2nr to a high standard because I'm also a 2n and more often then not am judging critical debates when I'm on the national circut. An insufficient 2nr makes it difficult to vote neg.
anything else? - feel free to ask, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.
Name: Rujul Kulkarni
Yes, please add me to the email chain.
Affiliation: Langham Creek High School
*Current for the 2021-2022 Season*
I debated at Langham Creek from (2018-2020).
Just be courteous and respectful towards your opponent, and don’t spread too fast in rebuttals because I will miss arguments.
Policy Debate Paradigm:
I am not too familiar with Kritiks, but other than that, I am generally okay with everything else. Explain your arguments clearly, as you should be able to justify and defend them properly. Depth on a few arguments is better than 10 poorly executed ones. Impact calc is very important to me. Tell me how/why to vote.
If you are blatantly offensive and disrespectful, you will lose speaker points.
Other than that, have fun with the round.
Updated 2020...just a small note: have fun and make the most of it! Being enthusiastic goes a long way.
Updated 2019. Coaching at Berkeley Prep in Tampa. Nothing massive has changed except I give slightly higher points across the board to match inflation. Keep in mind, I am still pleased to hear qualification debates and deep examples win rounds. I know you all work hard so I will too. Any argument preference or style is fine with me: good debate is good debate. Email: kevindkuswa at gmail dot com.
Updated 2017. Currently coaching for Berkeley Prep in Tampa. Been judging a lot on the China topic, enjoying it. Could emphasize just about everything in the comments below, but wanted to especially highlight my thirst for good evidence qualification debates...
_____________________________ (previous paradigm)
Summary: Quality over quantity, be specific, use examples, debate about evidence.
I think debate is an incredibly special and valuable activity despite being deeply flawed and even dangerous in some ways. If you are interested in more conversations about debate or a certain decision (you could also use this to add me to an email chain for the round if there is one), contact me at kevindkuswa at gmail dot com. It is a privilege to be judging you—I know it takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment to participate in debate. At a minimum you are here and devoting your weekend to the activity—you add in travel time, research, practice and all the other aspects of preparation and you really are expressing some dedication.
So, the first issue is filling out your preference sheets. I’m usually more preferred by the kritikal or non-traditional crowd, but I would encourage other teams to think about giving me a try. I work hard to be as fair as possible in every debate, I strive to vote on well-explained arguments as articulated in the round, and my ballots have been quite balanced in close rounds on indicative ideological issues. I’m not affiliated with a particular debate team right now and may be able to judge at the NDT, so give me a try early on and then go from there.
The second issue is at the tournament—you have me as a judge and are looking for some suggestions that might help in the round. In addition to a list of things I’m about to give you, it’s good that you are taking the time to read this statement. We are about to spend over an hour talking to and with each other—you might as well try to get some insight from a document that has been written for this purpose.
1. Have some energy, care about the debate. This goes without saying for most, but enthusiasm is contagious and we’ve all put in some work to get to the debate. Most of you will probably speak as fast as you possibly can and spend a majority of your time reading things from a computer screen (which is fine—that can be done efficiently and even beautifully), but it is also possible to make equally or more compelling arguments in other ways in a five or ten minute speech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQVq5mugw_Y).
2. Examples win debates. Well-developed examples are necessary to make the abstract concrete, they show an understanding of the issues in the round, and they tend to control our understandings of how particular changes will play out. Good examples take many forms and might include all sorts of elements (paraphrasing, citing, narrating, quantifying, conditioning, countering, embedding, extending, etc.), but the best examples are easily applicable, supported by references and other experiences, and used to frame specific portions of the debate. I’m not sure this will be very helpful because it’s so broad, but at the very least you should be able to answer the question, “What are your examples?” For example, refer to Carville’s commencement speech to Tulane graduates in 2008…he offers the example of Abe Lincoln to make the point that “failure is the oxygen of success” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMiSKPpyvMk.
3. Argument comparison wins debate. Get in there and compare evidence—debate the non-highlighted portion of cards (or the cryptic nature of their highlighting). Debate the warrants and compare them in terms of application, rationale, depth, etc. The trinity of impact, plausibility, and verge analysis doesn’t hurt, especially if those variables are weighed against one another. It’s nice to hear good explanations that follow phrases like “Even if…,” “On balance…,” or “In the context of…” I know that evidence comparison is being done at an extremely high level, but I also fear that one of the effects of paperless debate might be a tilt toward competing speech documents that feature less direct evidence comparison. Prove me wrong.
4. Debates about the relative validity of sources win rounds. Where is the evidence on both sides coming from and why are those sources better or worse? Qualification debates can make a big difference, especially because these arguments are surprisingly rare. It’s also shocking that more evidence is not used to indict other sources and effectively remove an entire card (or even argument) from consideration. The more good qualification arguments you can make, the better. Until this kind of argument is more common, I am thirsty enough for source comparisons (in many ways, this is what debate is about—evidence comparison), that I’ll add a few decimal points when it happens. I do not know exactly where my points are relative to other judges, but I would say I am along a spectrum where 27.4 is pretty good but not far from average, 27.7 is good and really contributing to the debate, 28 is very good and above average, 28.5 is outstanding and belongs in elims, and 29.1 or above is excellent for that division—could contend for one of the best speeches at the tournament.
5. All debates can still be won in 2AR. For all the speakers, that’s a corollary of the “Be gritty” mantra. Persevere, take risks and defend your choices
(https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit). The ballot is not based on record at previous tournaments, gpa, school ranking, or number of coaches.
6. Do not be afraid to go for a little more than usual in the 2NR—it might even help you avoid being repetitive. It is certainly possible to be too greedy, leaving a bloated strategy that can’t stand up to a good 2AR, but I usually think this speech leaves too much on the table.
7. Beginning in the 1AR, brand new arguments should only be in reference to new arguments in the previous speech. Admittedly this is a fuzzy line and it is up to the teams to point out brand new arguments as well as the implications. The reason I’ve decided to include a point on this is because in some cases a 2AR has been so new that I have had to serve as the filter. That is rare and involves more than just a new example or a new paraphrasing (and more than a new response to a new argument in the 2NR).
8. Very good arguments can be made without evidence being introduced in card form, but I do like good cards that are as specific and warranted as possible. Use the evidence you do introduce and do as much direct quoting of key words and phrases to enhance your evidence comparison and the validity of your argument overall.
9. CX matters. This probably deserves its own philosophy, but it is worth repeating that CX is a very important time for exposing flaws in arguments, for setting yourself up for the rebuttals, for going over strengths and weaknesses in arguments, and for generating direct clash. I do not have numbers for this or a clear definition of what it means to “win CX,” but I get the sense that the team that “wins” the four questioning periods often wins the debate.
10. I lean toward “reciprocity” arguments over “punish them because…” arguments. This is a very loose observation and there are many exceptions, but my sympathies connect more to arguments about how certain theoretical moves made by your opponent open up more avenues for you (remember to spell out what those avenues look like and how they benefit you). If there are places to make arguments about how you have been disadvantaged or harmed by your opponent’s positions (and there certainly are), those discussions are most compelling when contextualized, linked to larger issues in the debate, and fully justified.
Overall, enjoy yourself—remember to learn things when you can and that competition is usually better as a means than as an ends.
And, finally, the third big issue is post-round. Usually I will not call for many cards—it will help your cause to point out which cards are most significant in the rebuttals (and explain why). I will try to provide a few suggestions for future rounds if there is enough time. Feel free to ask questions as well. In terms of a long-term request, I have two favors to ask. First, give back to the activity when you can. Judging high school debates and helping local programs is the way the community sustains itself and grows—every little bit helps. Whether you realize it or not, you are a very qualified judge for all the debate events at high school tournaments. Second, consider going into teaching. If you enjoy debate at all, then bringing some of the skills of advocacy, the passion of thinking hard about issues, or the ability to apply strategy to argumentation, might make teaching a great calling for you and for your future students (https://www.ted.com/talks/christopher_emdin_teach_teachers_how_to_create_magic note: debaters are definitely part of academia, but represent a group than can engage in Emdin’s terms). There are lots of good paths to pursue, but teaching is one where debaters excel and often find fulfilling. Best of luck along the ways.
Affiliations and History:
I am the Director of Debate at Damien High School in La Verne, CA.
I was the Director of Debate for Hebron High School in Carrollton, TX from 2020-2021.
I was an Assistant Coach at Damien from 2017-2020.
I debated on the national circuit for Damien from 2009-2013.
I graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a BA in Critical Theory and Social Justice.
I completed my Master's degree in Social Justice in Higher Education Administration at The University of La Verne.
Yearly Round Numbers:
I try to judge a fair bit each year. I will rarely have any familiarity with the college topic (although I have heard so far that anti-trust is cool).
My academic work involves critical university studies, Georges Bataille, poetics, and post-colonialism.
I helped out with the Washington Urban Debate League camp for the Water Topic and have judged now about 15 rounds on it.
I ran a 3 week lab at Stanford on the CJR topic and judged around 40 rounds on it.
I judged 29 rounds on the Arms topic (2019-2020) (not including practice rounds without a decision rendered).
I judged a bit of LD (32 debates) on the Jan-Feb Topic (nuke disarm) in '19/'20.
I judged around 25 debates on the Immigration topic (2018-2019) on the national circuit.
I judged around 50 rounds on the Education topic (2017-2018) on the national circuit.
Front Matter Elements:
Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) me all of the speeches before you begin.
If you need an accommodation of any kind, please email me before the round starts.
I want everyone to feel safe and able to debate- this is my number one priority as a judge.
I don't run prep time while you email the speech doc. Put the whole speech into one speech doc.
I flow 1AC impact framing, inherency, and solvency straight down on the same page nowadays.
Speed is not an issue for me, but I will ask you to slow down (CLEAR) if you are needlessly sacrificing clarity for quantity--especially if you are reading T or theory arguments.
I will not evaluate evidence identifiable as being produced by software, bots, algorithms etc. Human involvement in the card’s production must be evident unique to the team, individual, and card. This means that evidence you directly take from open source must be re-highlighted at a minimum. You should change the tags and underlining anyways to better fit with your argument’s coherency.
I privilege technical debating and the flow. I try to get as much down as I possibly can and the little that I miss usually is a result of a lack of clarity on the part of the speaker or because the actual causal chain of the idea does not make consistent sense for me (I usually express this on my face). Your technical skill should make me believe/be able to determine that your argument is the truth. That means warrants. Explain them, impact them, and don't make me fish for them in the un-underlined portion of the six paragraph card that your coach cut for you at a camp you weren't attending. I find myself more and more dissatisfied with debating that operates only on the link claim level. I tend to take a formal, academic approach to the evaluation of ideas, so discussions of source, author intentions and 'true' meaning, and citation are both important to me and something that I hope to see in more debates.
The best debates for me to judge are ones where the last few rebuttals focus on giving me instructions on what the core controversies of the round are, how to evaluate them, and what mode of thinking I should apply to the flow as a history of the round. This means that I'm not going to do things unless you tell me to do them on the flow (judge kick, theory 'traps' etc.). When instructions are not provided or articulated, I will tend to use (what I consider to be) basic, causal logic (i.e. judicial notice) to find connections, contradictions, and gaps/absences. Sometimes this happens on my face--you should be paying attention to the physical impact of the content of your speech act.
I believe in the importance of topicality and theory. No affs are topical until proven otherwise.
Non-impacted theory arguments don't go a long way for me; establish a warranted theory argument that when dropped will make me auto-vote for you. This is not an invitation for arbitrary and non-educational theory arguments being read in front of me, but if you are going to read no neg fiat (for example), then you better understand (and be able to explain to me) the history of the argument and why it is important for the debate and the community.
I try to read all evidence as it is read throughout the debate. This can go well or badly for you, but only if you do not make the debate legible and winnable at the level of argument (which is the only reason I would have to defer to evidentiary details).
I find framework to be a boring/unhelpful/poorly debated style of argument on both sides. I want to hear about the ballot-- what is it, what is its role, and what are your warrants for it (especially why your warrants matter!). I want to know what kind of individual you think the judge is (academic, analyst, intellectual etc.). I want to hear about the debate community and the round's relationship within it. These are the most salient questions in a framework debate for me. If you are conducting a performance in the round and/or debate space, you need to have specific, solvable, and demonstrable actions, results, and evidences of success. These are the questions we have to be thinking about in substantial and concrete terms if we are really thinking about them with any authenticity/honesty/care (sorge).
If you are going to go for Fairness, then you need a metric. Not just a caselist, not just a hypothetical ground dispensation, but a functional method to measure the idea of fairness in the round/outside the round i.e. why are the internal components (ground, caselist, etc.) a good representation of a team's burden and what do these components do for individuals/why does that matter. I am not sure what that metric/method is, but my job is not to create it for you. A framework debate that talks about competing theories for how fairness/education should be structured and analyzed will make me very happy i.e. engaging the warrants that constitute ideas of procedural/structural fairness and critical education.
In-round Performance and Speaker Points:
An easy way to get better speaker points in front of me is by showing me that you actually understand how the debate is going, the arguments involved, and the path to victory. Every debater has their own style of doing this (humor, time allocation, etc.), but I will not compromise detailed, content-based analysis for the ballot.
I believe that there is a case for in-round violence/damage winning the ballot. Folks need to be considerate of their behavior and language. You should be doing this all of the time anyways.
CX ends when the timer rings. I will put my fingers in my ears if you do not understand this. I deeply dislike the trend of debaters asking questions about 'did you read X card etc.' in cross-x and I believe this contributes to the decline of flowing skills in debate. While I have not established a metric for how many speaker points an individual will lose each time they say that phrase, know that it is something on my mind. I will not allow questions outside of cross-x outside of core procedural things ('can you give the order again?,' 'everyone ready?' etc.). Asking 'did you read X card' or 'theoretical reasons to reject the team' outside of CX are NOT 'core procedural things.'
While I believe that high school students should not be held to a standard of intellectual purity with critical literature, I do expect you to know the body of scholarship that your K revolves around: For example, if you are reading a capitalism K, you should know who Marx, Engels, and Gramsci are; if you are reading a feminism k, you should know what school of feminism (second wave, psychoanalytic, WOC, etc.) your author belongs to. If you try and make things up about the historical aspects/philosophical links of your K, I will reflect my unhappiness in your speaker points and probably not give you much leeway on your link/alt analysis. I will often have a more in-depth discussion with you about the K after the round, so please understand that my post-round comments are designed to be educational and informative, instead of determining your quality/capability as a debater.
Do not read these types of arguments in front of me:
Arguments that directly call an individual's humanity into account
Arguments based in directly insulting your opponents
Arguments that you do not understand
Online Debating Preferences:
Each team gets 1 technology error flag. If your opponent's audio/video crashes, if something happens to your computer, if your partner's audio/video crashes, etc. Any other technology issues that might hinder you from completing your speeches are your responsibility. Signal me by either saying 'Tech Issue' or by waving your hands--using chat functions will be sufficient if we cannot rely on audio/visual.
a. The way that this will proceed is as follows: 1. Flag thrown 2.All prepping and debate round activity ceases 3. Speech act paused and tech issue communicated 4. Resolution pursued 5. Tech test with non-round content 6. Resume round
If I am having issues with audio/video, I will let you know via audio and/or chat text.
I will defer to stated tournament online guidelines if they are present otherwise.
Virtual Debate Update:
SLOW THE HELL DOWN. STG its so much harder to understand yall over the mic plus my headphones and to be fair no one exploits spreading someone out well enough so just slow down it will benefit the speaks.
Put me on the chain: email@example.com, typically do not look at the documents other than some cursory glances during prep time. I still may ask for a card doc at the end of the debate to maximize decision time, I appreciate it in advance.
I believe that debate is a communication activity with an emphasis on persuasion. If you are not clear or have not extended all components of an argument (claim/warrant/implication) it will not factor into my decision.
I flow on paper, which means I would appreciate yall slowing down and giving me pen time on counterplan texts and theory arguments. If there is a specific way you would like me to flow give me that instruction and I will do my best to follow it.
The most important thing in debates for me is to establish a framework for how (and why) I should evaluate impacts. I am often left with two distinct impacts/scenarios at the end of the debate without any instruction on how to assess their validity vis-à-vis one another or which one to prioritize. The team that sets this up early in the debate and filtering the rebuttals through it often gets my ballot. I believe that this is not just true of “clash” debates but is (if not even more) an important component of debates where terminal impacts are the same but their scenarios are not.
While I think that debate is best when the affirmative is interacting with the resolution in some way I have no sentiment about how this interaction need to happen nor a dogmatic stance that 1ac’s have a relation to the resolution. I have voted for procedural fairness and have also voted for the impact turns. Despite finding myself voting more and more for procedural fairness I am much more persuaded by fairness as an internal link rather than terminal impact. Affirmative’s often beat around the bush and have trouble deciding if they want to go for the impact turn or the middle ground, I think picking a strategy and going for it will serve you best. A lot of 2NRs squander very good block arguments by not spending enough time (or any) at the terminal impact level please don’t be those people.
Prep time ends when the email has been sent (if you still use flash drives then when the drive leaves the computer). In the past few years so much time is being spent saving documents, gathering flows, setting up a stand etc. that it has become egregious and ultimately feel limits both my decision time and my ability to deliver criticism after the round. Limited prep is a huge part of what makes the activity both enjoyable and competitive. I said in my old philosophy that policing this is difficult and I would not go out of my way to do it, however I will now take the extra time beyond roadmaps/speech time into account when I determine speaker points.
Feel free to email or ask any questions before or after the debate. Above all else enjoy the game you get to play and have fun.
Competitor-- Winston Churchill (2008-2012)
Assistant Coaching-- Jenks (2012-2015) Reagan (2015-2017) University of Texas (2017-2020) Churchill (2019-Present)
Debated for Winston Churchill High School for three years in LD and some Policy. Currently, I debate for the University of Texas at Austin doing Policy. Camp wise, I worked at VBI for three summers, Baylor LD for one, and UTNIF LD for one.
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.
You might lose me a tad in debates where there are multiple theory arguments, blippy arguments, etc. I prefer debates concerning the substance of the topic.
Email chains are good. Include me firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate Coach @ Coppell (9th Grade Center and Coppell High School)
*edited 2/11/2021 - I took out any objection to the 50 states CP.
I think debate operates in a unique place in the high school experience, where it serves as a crucible for the development of advocacy skills and critical engagement that is not replicated anywhere else. I love this activity and want each successive generation to be able to enjoy it. As such, be good to one another! Take care of our space and leave it better than the way you found it. Come back and give back if debate has given you a space to develop yourself.
These are some of my thoughts but I’m not dogmatic. Do what you do best.
1. Please forward a well-developed ballot story. Compare methods and offense
2. Tell me what you want me to vote on.
3. Compare evidence - this doesn’t happen enough and it’s usually what close debates depend on to resolve.
4. K aff’s - I default to believing that K aff's should still be affirmative arguments. I think switch-side debate is good and develops a portable skill that other activities do not. I think what you clash abilities is important. K aff's should forward counter-interpretations as needed. I am willing to vote on framework.
5. Counterplans are best when case-specific. PiCs are fine. The aff should have to defend their plan.
6. I prefer line-by-line debate more than long overviews. Too many rebuttals I’ve seen recently spend a ton of time explaining arguments in overviews that should just be done on the flow. Numbering arguments and following the order of your opponents is preferable or at least be explicit when re-grouping the flow.
7. I cannot flow a string of unending analytics with no time to type even if it's in perfect outline from in speech doc. Slow down just a bit, change your tone, and or pause for a moment when reading strings of long analytics.
8. I will be following along with the evidence read in the debate on my computer.
Debate History: St. Mark's '10/Trinity University '14
Currently the head policy debate coach at Hendrickson HS
I treat each debate round as an academic exercise in decision making. I leave many questions of framework and impact calculus to the teams debating, however if not otherwise explicitly stated I will default to a policy making framework and utilitarianism, respectively.
I typically evaluate this from a competing interpretations standpoint and an offense/defense framework but can be persuaded otherwise. When making these kinds of arguments, negative teams typically forget that their interpretation is of how the debate space should operate and thus must defend it as so. Negative teams MUST explain why their interpretation is better for the overall debate space in order to get my ballot. In round abuse arguments are compelling, however, they are nearly impossible to prove and I have a high threshold for voting on them.
I am a fairly firm believer that debate is a game and that structural fairness is an impact. However, this also means that fairness should be utilized as a lens or impact filter for all the other impacts in the framework debate.
Many of my thoughts in the above section apply to my thoughts on counterplan theory. I feel that 2 conditional advocacies is the most that the negative should run, much to the chagrin of most folks (new affs are an exception). That being said, I won't default certain ways in theory debates. I will be considerably more compelled to deem that a counterplan solves an affirmative if it is a specific CP than if it is your typical agent CP. Specific PICs that have functional impacts on plan implementation are so much better than your generic process counterplan. So, so, so much better.
Many kritik teams tend to focus more on tricks than substance. The most important portion of this debate for me is the link debate and I expect a clear explanation of why the specific affirmative links. It is the negative's task to explain why the permutation cannot possibly solve back/overcome the links. I will default affirmative in many of these debates. I feel that the best kritik debaters are the ones who are willing to adapt their strategy and link debate to the specific affirmative that they are debating.
Links of omission are functionally spotting the aff a uniqueness overwhelms the link argument to the net benefit to a very vacuous alternative. Please have link specificity.
I didn't think I had thoughts on this until recently. There are very good disads and very bad disads. If you are aff against a very bad disad, don't be afraid to point this out! I feel like I am more likely than most to say there is zero risk of a disadvantage when the uniqueness very clearly overwhelms the link or there is zero link specificity.
-Yes email chain: email@example.com. Every time a varsity debater forgets to hit "reply all" on an email chain, a kitten cries and you will lose 0.5 speaker points.
-Do not clip cards! If there is an ethics challenge, I will stop the debate and have the accused debater re-read their speech with either their speech document on my computer or standing over their shoulder. That being said, ethics challenges are serious, if you are making one, then you are willing to lose the debate if you are wrong. Strategic ethics challenges will result in horrific speaker points from me.
-I will call you out if you are blatantly stealing prep and it will hurt your speaker points.
-For paperless teams, I do not run prep time for saving/flashing the speech unless this time starts to become excessive or it becomes evident that prep is being stolen.
-It drives me crazy when debaters are disrespectful to each other. There is no reason why competitiveness needs to turn into aggression. Treat the debate space like a classroom.
-Another pet peeve: debaters who do not seem to legitimately enjoy what they are doing. Debaters who go through the motions are usually the ones that end up with the lowest speaker points from me. Even if you are not keeping up with the technical aspects of the debate, if you remain engaged and committed throughout the debate, I will definitely feel more comfortable with giving you higher speaker points.
Read a topical plan--------------x-----------------------------say anything
Usually some risk--------------------------------x----------Zero Risk
Conditionality Good----------------------x--------------------Conditionality Bad
States CP Good-------x------------------------------------States CP Bad
Process CPs--------------x-------------------------------Ew Process CPs
Competing off immediacy/certainty--------------------x------------------------No
CP linking less matters-------------------x-----------------------links are yes/no
Read every card--------------------x-----------------------Read no cards
Judge Kick------------x-------------------------------Stuck with the CP
Reject the Team---------------------------x----------------Reject the Arg
CPs need cards-----------------------------------x-------Smart CPs can be cardless
Fiat solves circumvention---------------x---------------------------Trump's President
K links about the plan-----------x--------------------------------K links about a broad worldview
Current policy debater for UT Austin
I debated policy three years at Aubrey High School and competed on a variety of circuits ranging from UiL to TFA State and TOC Bid tournaments, as such I am familiar with a ride range of formats and you should feel free to debate according to whatever style you want.
Yes I want to be on the chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
As a wiser debater than me once said: there are two rules to debate. First, speech and prep times must be followed. Second, someone has to win. Anything else is up for debate. In other words, debate however you want to debate, I try to be as flexible as possible and will evaluate whatever you put in front of me. That being said:
Be respectful. Give trigger warnings, don't use slurs you have no agency to use, be courteous. I will not tolerate any language or actions that make the debate space unsafe- if you do this, your speaks will suffer and I might drop you depending on how egregious the offense is.
Don't read arguments containing explicit/graphic descriptions of sexual assault in front of me. If you have to ask- err on the side of caution and don't do it.
I've debated the K, including planless and performance affs. For my K and performance teams out there skimming the paradigm to see if its ok, the answer is yes, but don't expect me or your opponents to be familiar with all the individual nuances of whatever literature base you're reading. Even if I am, I won't vote on it unless you articulate why they matter in the context of the round.
Though I would rather listen to a K debate, I am also familiar with policy and have no problem judging a policy v policy round- again, to quote Yao Yao Chen, do what you do best.
The easiest way to win my ballot is to tell me how/where to vote and how to evaluate the round, give me a reason and then win that your ROJ/ROB is better. Frame how I should evaluate the round. In other words, your speeches (especially the 2nr/2ar) should write the ballot for me.
Tech over truth BUT warrants matter.
Line by lines are your friend. As is going through your opponent's cards and evaluating their warrants/the tiny text.
To quote Kati Johnson: it's not an extension if you don't read the warrant.
I will not vote on defense alone. You need some offensive claims otherwise the debate is a wash. Don't make me vote on presumption.
If you ask if everyone's ready and don't hear a verbal confirmation or see a thumbs up from me, I'm not ready. Similarly, the question "is anyone not ready?" is as ineffective as saying "if you're not here raise your hand." If someone is having tech problems or struggling with something, they can't always say something. Just wait the few extra seconds to make sure.
Don't steal prep. Don't clip.
Flashing/emailing doesn't count as prep but please don't take forever to do it.
Speed is fine, I will say "clear" if it becomes an issue. To avoid this, here are a few things you can do:
1) Make sure if you're blazing through written analytics that they're on the doc. Same goes for massive overviews. There's nothing more aggravating than a team reading through pre-written blocks as if they were cards. I'm not asking that everything be typed up and sent, but if you're obviously reading off your laptop just go ahead and send that doc. Otherwise, I run the risk of missing something. I promise you don't get any structural advantage from not sending analytics in the 2ac/neg block, you just look like a jerk.
2) Make a distinction between cards, and a distinction between taglines and the body of your cards. If your entire speech is in one single high pitched spread, it becomes more unintelligible. At best, your speaks will take a hit. At worst, I run the risk of losing some of your arguments.
3) For zoom debates, make sure to slow down a little- especially if your spreading is high pitched. Even the best microphones have trouble capturing debaters' audio sometimes- I know, I debated in 2020. Also, practice zoom etiquette and mute your mic when not talking.
Love them. I consider myself to be a K debater and am familiar with a ride range of lit bases. Even if I'm not familiar with yours, I'm happy to see it. As stated above, don't assume I know everything about your lit. I will not infer arguments based on background knowledge, and you do yourself and everyone else in the room a disservice when you expect them to all be up to date on all the individual details of your latest aff. Explain why your lit matters for the round.
Specifics matter, the more specific your link is to the aff the more likely I am to buy it. That being said, I will still evaluate generic links, but I expect you to show why the aff triggers the impacts or why the aff's method is bad. They have to do something for me to vote them down on the K. This means directly indicting something the aff produces (ie they lead to genocide, structural violence, etc) or their scholarship.
You don't need to win the alt, but if you choose to kick the alt you'd better explain why the linear disad is sufficient to vote neg and why it necessitates the ballot, ESPECIALLY if they're making "aff solves" and root cause arguments.
If you want to argue that affs don't get perms in a method debate, you'd better articulate why. Same goes for all the other blippy sentences proliferated in K debates ("perm is severance," "ROB is arbitrary," etc). These are good arguments to make, but make sure you're explaining WHY.
I vote on ROB/ROJ arguments when explained well. Make sure you answer the ROB/ROJ. Make sure you articulate a reason why I should prefer yours.
Same as above, with the added caveat that it's fine if you don't have a plan, but you at least need some form of advocacy. Your aff needs to DO something for me to vote for it.
When debating framework, make sure you're articulating why your method of debate is better, not just why theirs is bad.
Leverage the aff, especially in KvK debates. It's sad to see beautifully made affs get forgotten and only brought up in passing to answer case args. You spent the time putting it together, weaponize it.
The act of reading framework in of itself probably isn't violent, but you can make an argument as to whether or not the model of debate it proposes is.
Compare your models of debate. Similarly, weigh your impacts.
The more specific you are, the more likely you are you win my ballot.
TVAs aren't necessary but are definitely an amazing asset that you should strive to have. Similarly, affs, weaponize neg ground lists that can fall under your model of debate. Then do the work of telling me why that's sufficient to vote.
Framework is more similar to T than many teams seem to realize, and many framework teams/K affs hitting FW seem to forget the skills learned from T debates such as addressing standards, comparing interpretations and making arguments as to why the ballot matters.
Similarly, leverage the aff against DAs and CPs. Arguments like "case outweighs" and using aff warrants to answer neg args will save you time and make for a better debate.
I am a busy college student and debater, as such don't assume that I'm familiar with all the acronyms and nuances of the high school topic. You don't need to explain every word (your ev should do that for you), just be aware that neither I nor your opponents might know every little detail behind your policy proposal. As long as you explain the aff well and articulate how you solve, you're good.
I'm perfectly ok with affs kicking out from contentions and only going for one or two in the 1ar/2ar, but make sure you're collapsing down to something that still has enough substance to win the round.
Neg teams, turning the aff is a solid strategy. Don't be afraid to tear affirmatives apart, if done well your 2nr can easily be 5 minutes of case and receive my ballot.
Leverage your disads and counterplans, but also leverage your case args on your other flows. Cross-application means more paths to the ballot. The best way to do this is "even if we lose x we still win y which means you vote for us based on z" args.
Offense is your friend, but don't forget defense if you don't want the aff leveraging their case throughout the debate.
Standards should be treated as tiny little DAs by both the aff and the neg- aka you should explain whether or not a violation triggers an impact and how competing standards are weighed in a debate.
Specific ground lists are key, don't just tell me you lose ground, tell me what core arguments you lose. You'll be way more likely to convince me of a violation and a reason to intervene with my ballot if this is the case.
Fairness is an internal link but not an impact, explain to me why violations of fairness matter especially in an event that probably has some level of structural unfairness built in by default. In other words, tell me why its bad to be unfair.
Reasonability means whether or not debates under the topic can still reasonably occur with the counter interp, competing interps means I'm basing my ballot over whichever interp is better based on the arguments presented in the round
I will not vote on offenses committed outside the round. It's not my job to evaluate what happens in your personal lives, in other rounds, or outside of the debate room.
Whether or not disclosure is good or bad is debatable, you can win my ballot either way. I think an argument can be made that small schools or specific teams shouldn't have to disclose, but I will not vote against disclosure unless that argument is made convincingly in round. Same goes for condo, though you'll have a hard time convincing me that the neg doesn't at least get a couple off positions.
Make sure you articulate why the violation is a reason to drop the team instead of the argument
If you're going to blitz through theory or multiple theory off case positions, make sure they're on the doc.
Comparative impact calc is a must- tell me how to vote and which impacts/which method of evaluation to prefer.
Neg gets some risk of disad, aff gets risk of case impacts, unless you convince me otherwise.
As with Ks, specificity is key and increases your threshold of winning the link but I will evaluate generic links unless the aff makes a compelling argument as to why generics are bad.
Affs- turning disads is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Please don't just layer on defense or you risk losing on "% risk of the DA outweighs."
I will not vote on a counterplan without a net benefit. Just like the aff has to prove that they do something, you have to prove that voting for the counterplan is better than just voting for the plan.
A good neg team tailors their neg strats so that their DAs can become external net benefits to the CP. In the same way, a good neg team reads CPs with internal net benefits.
Affs, explain how the perm works. Neg teams, explain how it doesn't. "Perm do both" is meaningless, "perm do both- do the aff and then get the courts to establish a precedent to support it" says something. Treat the perm debate as its own thing, complete with disads and net benefits.
Affs let neg teams get away with grouping the perms too easily. Make arguments as to why each of them are distinct and why they should be answered separately/collapse down to the perm in the same way a neg team would collapse down to one or two specific off case positions. Negs, make sure you're answering each specific perm (or at least that your group answers address them).
Timeframe arguments matter and should be weaponized more.
Explain whether or not the CP can solve case, and what that means for the rest of the CP debate.
I am currently the Director of Forensics for Bruins@NPDA, UCLA's student-tun NPDA debate team. I competed in college parli for two years and last year got 3rd at the National Round Robbin. I competed in CX debate and Congress in high school and made it to state for both events. I have experience judging CX, LD, Parli, Extemp, and Congress.
Judging philosophy for CX, LD, and Parli:
-I am a flow judge and will vote on any argument that is conceded in a round if it has: Clear framing, warrant, and impact weighing.
-I think conditionality is good but will vote on Condo bad if it has won the theory debate
-Feel free to read a topical aff or a Kritikal affirmative( I have experience with both and would prefer you do the style of debate that you are most comfortable in)
-I will assign speaker points based on technical skills. I will lower your speaker points if you are rude to your opponent and drop you if you are racists, ableist, etc.
-The theory is always fun! I am cool with the 2AC theory but will not vote on 2NR or 2AR theory. Make sure it has a clear interpretation, violation, standards, and voters for me to vote on
-I do not accept shadow extensions; if you want to collapse to an argument in the 1AR/2AR, it must be in the 2AC. No new arguments in the rebuttals, please.
-Make sure you have warrants and impact weighting in the rebuttals!
Judging philosophy for speech/congress:
-I highly value sources and warrant analysis
-A clear opening with an organization is always helpful
-I would rather see a small speech with much detail and sources, than a long speech with little to no sources
Updated Longhorn Classic '21
forever student at UT Austin
please put me on the email chain: email@example.com
I debated policy in high school all 4 years in Athens TX, and have been judging/coaching on the Austin circuit since 2013.
Also, if anything in this paradigm isn't clear enough, feel free to ask me before the round, I'd be more than happy to clarify.
I am tab but default to policymaker if not given a clear alternative evaluative framework.
The most important thing is that you give me the easiest path to the ballot. Tell me how to vote, on what, and why. Other than that, give me overviews, keep the debate organized, and please extend things correctly. Technical debating ability determines your speaker points in large part, unless there is reason to dock speaks for hate speech/immoral arguments.
I am generally more confident in my ability to evaluate policy v policy and policy v k debates, than k v k due to a literature knowledge deficiency, especially in high theory kritiks (read: Baudrillard, Heidegger, Deleuze/Guattari, etc.), so expect to explain the thesis of your critical position and how they interact with the topic thoroughly when reading those arguments.
Performance Affs are fine as long as you are very thorough in your explanation of what my role as a judge is and what the ballot does.
I will try to evaluate rounds to the best of my ability based on the information I am able to flow from your speech. That means despite what is in the speech doc, I will only be evaluating what you actually say in your analysis and a lot of close rounds are won or lost in the rebuttals over this issue. There should be clear extensions from the 2AC to the 1AR/Block to the 2NR and 2NRs/2ARs should be going for a specific strategy that is writing my ballot.
Tech over truth in most cases. If an argument is dropped, I still need a proper warrant extension and implication given for that drop to matter, unless given some other model of judging the round. I will rarely decide a round on a single drop and that argument must still be implicated in the broader aspects of the round.
I flow on paper despite the advances in technology since I first started debating. Speed is fine, but in a world of virtual debate please slow down. I expect any theory standards to be read at a pace that gives me adequate pen time, if not they should be in the speech doc.
I will always listen to CX - open CX is fine, but do not talk over each other. Flashing/Email doesn't count towards prep unless it is egregious.
Don't be offensive, rude, homophobic, racist, ableist, derogatory, sexist etc.
Always try to have fun - if you're not acting like you want to be there, it is a real drag to judge your round.
I default to debate is a game, and I think the k aff bad debate comes down to a question of fairness, whether used as an impact or an internal link by the neg. I am not usually persuaded by topic education vs critical lit education through an aff specific method since that doesn't interact with the fairness question a lot of the time, and the aff team usually has better evidence about the importance of their particular educational outlet anyway, especially given the fact that they know what it is and can adequately prepare for it. The most important way for the aff to get me to vote for a non-resolutional based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. However, I grant K affs a lot of grace if there are clear resolution-based links that are able to answer ground loss claims.
My threshold for granting neg offense on clash is directly determined by how abstract/immaterial the aff explanations of the k method are.
TVAs are under-utilized in my opinion as ways to take out Aff standard offense. SSD is a must-have argument to even compete on the education debate.
I default to k affs getting perms but have a pretty high threshold for these arguments in context to the ground/clash debate, if brought up.
I default to competing interpretations, but can be persuaded otherwise in round. Bad/unpredictable T interps are worse for debate than predictable ones, so I expect neg teams to read interps that are actually making an argument about what the literature base should be for the topic. Barring the block dropping reasonability, I will most always focus on the standards when evaluating the T debate, so teams that do the work on explaining how limits are improved/destroyed by the other team, what case lists/neg generics look like, and which interp provides the most sustainable form of debate for the year are most likely to win.
I typically don't vote on RVI's here unless there is a multitude of T's that the aff meets on face, which puts the neg more in the realm of reading frivolous theory, not just T args.
I really enjoy policy aff vs k debates, however I have very limited knowledge of critical literature outside of Cap/Neoliberalism, Abolition, SetCol, Security, Biopower (Foucault/Agamben), and small amounts of Ahmed. As said above in general thoughts, if you are reading a kritik you feel I may be unfamiliar with, or are pulling multiple theories from critical bodies of literature, I fully expect you to clearly explain the thesis of the criticism and how your method is able to possibly resolve the links you present.
I am very tech based in my evaluative approach to kritiks and hold a high standard for both teams in order to win the sheet. I evaluate the K sheet first by framework then K proper, where the line-by-line is very important - reading massive overviews that don't specifically interact with 2ac arguments hurt your chances of winning those parts of the K if the aff does the work you don't do in the 1ar. I believe the aff should be able to be weighed against the kritik, it is up to the neg win why that is not the case in this round with a clear counter-interp.
Links are important and must be contextualized to the affirmative, but is also just as important to be able to explain how the alt method is able to resolve those links. I hold alt solvency to a high regard, you must be able to explain what the alt does to create change in the world after I vote neg. I have found that there is big trend recently by neg teams to ignore solvency deficits/turns because they aren't specific to the (usually obscure) alt method the neg is choosing to read this round - you still need to interact with those arguments and disprove their warrants!
I think perf con is voter as long as there is a clear link in contradiction of advocacies - I believe the neg is able to spin out of this, but depending on the positions read that might be hard at times.
Floating PIKs are bad, but if you get away with it, I will still vote on it.
I would love to hear a good DA+Case collapse in the 2nr. I believe the top level of the disad should be thoroughly fleshed out in the block and there be clear turns case analysis given that is contextualized to the aff scenarios/solvency. Generic link walls are fine as long as you are doing that contextualization as well. I don't think winning case outweighs is all the aff needs to do when turns case analysis is competing against it, but I do think it is underutilized in the 1ar when paired with other arguments on the disad proper.
I really enjoy politics disads when their scenarios lean closer to plausible rather than just fiat spin +"and x is at the top of the docket now". I think warrant interaction on the uniqueness/link uniqueness question is where this sheet is usually won on either side. Generic pc is fake and winners win args aren't too persuasive unless contextualized to the current political climate.
I really love good counterplan debate. Generic counterplans are necessary and good. I think specific counterplans are even better. Counterplans that read evidence from the 1AC or an aff author are even better than that! I think process cp's are legitimate but prefer neg teams to explain how the net benefit is still a disad to the aff. Plan plus multi-plank advantage cp's are my new most hated CP on this topic - do with that info what you will.
Neg teams need to be sure to have a clear story/explanation for how the aff/perm links to the net benefit and the CP alone avoids it. I do not think the answer to solvency deficits is to go for "lens of sufficiency" or fiat, you need to explain how those deficits still allow the cp to solve the aff/avoid the net benefits. Severance/Intrinsic perm debates seem to be less common these days, but I still think they are important tools against "creative" aff perms.
I am okay with aff teams making multiple perms but those perms need to be explained and how they work before the 2ar is going for them. In that same regard, solvency deficits/perm shields the link analysis and implications must not be made for the first time in the 2ar either. Aff should be leveraging their "creative" permutation with their cp theory if the cp is even close to abusive, but I really don't like when rounds come down to just a theory question.
Theory that is more specific to the argument it is read against will typically have a higher chance of being viewed as a voter. I typically lean neg in most cases, except for bad PICs or convoluted process cp's. I think theory should also be used as a justification for other arguments you make in the round based on substance, not just a reason to reject the team.
My threshold for condo is very easily shifted by circumstances, but I generally believe it is a good idea for the aff to read condo in the 2ac if the neg is reading 3 or more counter-advocacies, though the likelihood of me voting on it largely depends on the amount of in-round abuse/sand-bagging strategy the neg is choosing to do. Aff needs to have a clear interpretation, and I find "no difference between 2/3/4 off" not very convincing by the neg, especially if the aff gives any type of intelligent analysis on time tradeoffs.
I believe frivolous theory bad is a voter, especially on procedural questions that the aff/neg themselves violate, but you need to do the work of showing how in round abuse is occurring and how the theory is frivolous.
On judge kick - if the neg tells me to and it's unanswered or the neg is ahead on the question of whether I should, then I will. Neg teams, you should tell me to do this in the block if you want it to be considered for the same reason 2ar condo strats are bad, you wouldn't want the aff to win on 5 minutes of judge kick bad in 2ar and it gives the aff plenty of time to respond/not respond to it by the 2nr.
I did LD for four years in high school and a small amount of policy. I’m happy to evaluate any arguments. I’m not well versed in K literature so make sure to explain it well. I don’t like theory debate, but I’ll listen to it if I think it was actually warranted. Speed's fine, but I haven’t judged in a bit, so make sure that you’re clear. I’ll give one clear warning. If you see me not taking notes I’m not evaluating your argument because I can’t understand you. I appreciate some amount of framework, it doesn't have to be traditional but tell me how I should evaluate the arguments. Be courteous.
University of Kansas '23, Washburn Rural '19
Coaching for Greenhill (TX) and the Asian Debate League (TW)
TLDR: better judge for policy strategies, not super biased, not the greatest flow, be creative, more likely to care about macro-issues than minor technical drops, avoid jargon/acronyms, will vote on args that promote sedition, etc.
* compile a doc of relevant cards post-2NR/2AR
* clarity, explanation, persuasion, and quality of arguments will be rewarded
* strategies that are fully developed and clash tend to perform better in front of me
Online Debate: be slower and clearer, don't start if my camera's off, send analytics, and interrupt each other less - I will be patient with tech issues, but please be prompt
* respect your opponents (CX, pronouns, don't mercilessly bludgeon less-experienced debaters), be ethical, etc.
* lack of analysis, judge instruction/framing, contextualization, and argument development will lead to me intervening - this will likely not be in your favor
* likely won't vote on events occurring outside of the debate
* will award teams who use less prep (if you don't need it/still win) and are efficient with emailing, down-time, etc.
* would likely be worth it to explain complex arguments or ones that rely on in-depth topic knowledge even at the expense of efficiency
* aff-leaning on theory (generally, but does not mean I am wedded to these beliefs)
* framing contentions need to contain offense
* more inexperienced judging techy T and Counterplan debates
* have voted both ways (likely better for Ks on the neg than the aff)
* better for Ks than PRL/white-bro card-cutting sweaties but less knowledgable than traditional "clash" judges
* lit bases outside of biopower, colonialism, settler colonialism, capitalism/neoliberalism, and IR need more explanation
* for T: USFG, I am open to voting on a variety of impacts
* will award specificity, especially when backed with evidence
* I seem to care a little more about performative contradictions/linking to your own K than some; teams should use this to their advantage
*generally think debates on the topic are good — what that means could be up to interpretation
People who have shaped the way I think about debate/inspire me include Cindy Burgett, Tim Ellis, Will Katz, Natalie Knez, Q Robinson, Jordan Foley, Brian Box, and the KU coaching staff (Rock Chalk!).
I have been Judge, Debate Coach for 24 twenty four years now in Texas circuits both UIL, TFA, and NSDA. I did not debate in college but have taught, coached, judged Debate for Rio Vista HS, Burleson High School, Wichita Falls HS, Northwest HS, and Now Mansfield Legacy High School, all in the DFW area of Texas. Have judged outside the area at Harvard U. , Berkley U, and Stanford, as well as colleges in Texas. Taught Policy and LD debate at Cameron University Summer Debate work shop for several years.
My Policy Debate Paradigms fall in the Traditional Debate category. I look for quality of arguments over quantity. Although I classify myself as a Stock Issue judge, I am open to some Negative Kritiks and conterplans but Kritiks and counterplans must be directly linked to the Aff Case. I am not a fan of theory based affirmatives or alternate worlds and really hate performance debate. Spreading will cost you speaker points if not the round if I can not understand your case. No Open CX for me. No Prompting of Partners written or verbal. Make arguments clear. Evidence and cards should be followed by analytics but analytics without evidence is of little value in my book. Show me that you understand what you are reading and not just reading cards.
LASA '21, Texas A&M '25
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I owe everything I know about debate to Yao Yao Chen & Mason Marriott-Voss.
I know very little about this year's topic.
I read policy and K arguments in high school so read whatever you want. If you don't understand your arguments it will lower your speaker points and I will find those arguments harder to vote for. Go into CX with a plan. Often times teams just use CX for clarification questions, which is not productive.
I went for conditionality a good amount in high school, and I lean slightly aff on it, but it's easier for the neg if there are 2 or fewer worlds. I prefer a model that promotes well researched, aff-specific strategies over generic shotgun strategies any day.
I don't really have any revolutionary T thoughts. Examples of ground loss, specific case lists, and specific, qualified, contextualized interpretations are important to me.
Case debate is underrated. Neg teams almost never spend enough time in the 1NC on case.
Have a real solvency advocate. Your cards should say what you say they do.
Case specific CPs are much more likely to get my ballot than a generic. If your CP steals the aff to get a contrived internal net benefit, it's an uphill battle to beat the perm. Have a sufficiently highlighted 1NC solvency advocate if you want me to vote on it.
0% risk is possible.
The story of the DA is more important to me than you reading 50 cards and just hoping I'll sort through them in your favor. I prefer DA's that are based on the outcome of the plan over DA's that are based on the process of the plan.
Have pacific links and explain how the K solves/turns the aff. I don't like generic state bad or cruel optimism links (you need a reason why the aff makes the world worse or you won't win.) It's nice if you have a card for your link, but I'm cool with smart analytics too. I've got a high bar for winning structural arguments and you should answer counter-examples. If you explain your structural argument convincingly and apply it to the aff I'm much happier to vote on it. If one of your links is "they tried to answer the K in the 2AC!!!" I'm not the judge for you.
I'll vote either way on framework, but I lean toward thinking the neg should have links to the plan or the 1AC's core ideas (which could still include reps, but is less likely to include "your author defended a concept we don't like in an unhighlighted part of the card so you lose.") I start the debate assuming the aff gets the plan, but you can change my mind.
Don't overcomplicate alt explanations. Tell me what it really does and give examples if possible. Alts that do something material > alts that think really hard.
Explain what your aff does and why it matters. It should be clearly related to the topic, not just a previous year's aff with one topic-adjacent card. Topic relevance makes it easier to beat framework in front of me. You should clearly defend something and be stuck with defending it throughout the debate instead of constantly shifting what the aff is/does. It's hard to win that your reading/performance of the aff actually did something unless your evidence is fantastic.
Neg teams should try to engage with the content and theory of the aff, but I get it if you can't. I'm often persuaded by presumption. K v K debates are awesome, but only if both sides know what's going on.
Clash/Research > "fairness because fairness." I enjoy creative styles of framework like "T - literally just please talk about the topic at all." Topic education arguments are a neat idea, but you need a really good card and a reason why reading a plan is the only way to get that education. Do the internal link work - tell me the ground you lost, why it's good, etc. Explain the types of debates that would happen in the world of the TVA if you want to go for it. The most important thing is contextualizing framework to the 1AC and 2AC answers - don't just read Ericson and rant about the good old days.
Hi! I’m an assistant coach for Crossings Christian and Southern Nazarene University and have been since 2020/2021, respectively. I started debating in the sixth grade and debated at Crossings from 2013-2020. I competed at the national level since the eighth grade, broke at a couple TOCQs, and won two 5A state titles in Oklahoma.
I was a flex debater, which means I debated both policy and the K and am comfortable with either. I ran many different Ks during my seven years of debate, such as Agamben, Cap, Setcol, Afropess (with a black partner), Baudrillard, and Psychoanalysis. I don’t have anything against nontopical or performance affs, and I’m generally tech over truth.
There are a few things I’ll vote a team down for, no matter what’s happening in the rest of the round:
- Being rude, laughing at, or mocking the other team.
- Death good, suicide good, or advocating for killing people, especially if these arguments are contextualized to someone in the room.
Things I like:
- A nice joke in your speech, even if it’s corny. Have fun in the round!
- Being respectful to your opponents and your partner.
- Telling me what I should write for my RFD.
Things I dislike:
- Disclosure theory, perf con good theory, and multiple worlds good theory. I especially dislike multiple worlds good theory being used as a reason why your 2AC block doesn’t contradict itself.
- The phrase “This card/argument is trash” or similar phrases. Tell me why the argument’s bad instead of just insulting it.
- Ks without alts.
- Eugenics good
1. I’m fine with speed, just be clear.
2. Kritiks and kritikal affs are fine (not my favorite) but make sure to explain everything because I don’t read K literature in my free time nor did I debate the K in high school.
3. I love Disads (especially politics) and CPs (except for abusive ones)
4. I like good Topicality debates but please don’t just reread your 1NC/2AC standards in rebuttals. I’ll default competing interpretations but if you debate it right, I can do reasonability. I give the aff a lot of leeway in terms of T.
5. I love theory debates so feel free to go for conditionality, international fiat, 50 state fiat, anything really where the negative is abusive.
6. Other things: I’ll look at tech over truth.
There’s always at least a 1% risk of the DA
If the neg goes for CP+DA and I think the DA outweighs the case, I’ll kick the CP for the neg
Email chain: email@example.com
Who Am I: I debated four years at Field Kindley High School in Coffeyville, KS, did not debate in college, and have been an assistant coach at Lawrence Free State High School in Lawrence, KS since 2013. I have a Master's degree in International Relations.
General Approach: Tell me what I should be voting on and why. If you want me to evaluate the round differently than they do, then you need to win a reason why your framework or paradigm is the one that I should use. If no one does that, then I'll default to a policymaker paradigm. I don't view offense and defense as an either/or proposition, but if you do then I prefer offense.
Standard Operating Procedure: (How I will evaluate the round unless one of the teams wins that I should do something different) The affirmative has a non-severable duty to advocate something resolutional, and that advocacy must be clear and stable. The goal of the negative is to prove that the affirmative's advocacy is undesirable, worse than a competitive alternative, or theoretically invalid. I default to evaluating all non-theory arguments on a single plane, am much more willing to reject an argument than a team, and will almost always treat dropped arguments as true.
Mechanics: (I'm not going to decide the round on these things by themselves, but they undeniably affect my ability to evaluate it)
- Signposting - Please do this as much as possible. I'm not just talking about giving a roadmap at the start of each speech or which piece of paper you're talking about during the speech, but where on the line-by-line you are and what you're doing (i.e. if you read a turn, call it a turn).
- Overviews - These are helpful for establishing your story on that argument, but generally tend to go on too long for me and seem to have become a substitute for specific line-by-line work, clash, and warrant extension. I view these other items as more productive/valuable ways to spend your time.
- Delivery - I care way more about clarity than speed; I have yet to hear anybody who I thought was clear enough and too fast. I'll say "clear" if you ask me to, but ultimately the burden is on you. Slowing down and enunciating for tags and analytics makes it more likely that I'll get everything.
- Cross Examination - Be polite. Make your point or get an answer, then move on. Don't use cross-ex to make arguments.
- Prep Time - I don't think prep should stop until the flash drive comes out of your computer or the email is sent, but I won't take it upon myself to police prep as long as both teams are reasonable.
Argumentation: (I'll probably be fine with whatever you want to do, and you shouldn't feel the need to fundamentally change your strategy for me. These are preferences, not rules.)
- CPs/DAs - I prefer specific solvency and link cards (I'm sure you do, too), but generics are fine provided you do the work.
- Framework - I prefer that framework gets its own page on the flow, and that it gets substantive development beyond each side reading frontlines at each other/me.
- Kritiks - I prefer that there is an alternative, and that it has a text. "Reject the Aff." isn't an alternative, it's what I do if I agree with the alternative. I don't get real excited about links of omission, so some narrative work will help you here.
- Performance - I prefer that you identify the function of the ballot as clearly and as early as possible.
- Procedurals - I prefer that they be structured and that you identify how the round was affected or altered by what the other team did or didn't do.
- Theory - I prefer that theory gets its own page on the flow, and that it gets substantive development beyond each side reading frontlines at each other/me.
- Topicality - I prefer that teams articulate how/why their interpretation is better for debate from a holistic perspective. TVAs and/or case lists are good. My least favorite way to start an RFD is, "So, I think the Aff. is topical, but also you're losing topicality."
Miscellaneous: (These things matter enough that I made a specific section for them, and will definitely be on my mind during the round.)
- Anybody can read cards, good analysis and strategic decision-making are harder to do and frequently more valuable.
- Individual pages on the flow do not exist in a vacuum, and what is happening on one almost certainly affects what is happening on another.
- Comparative impact calculus. Again, comparative impact calculus.
- You may not actually be winning every argument in the round; acknowledging this in your analysis and telling me why you win anyway is a good thing.
- Winning an argument is not the same thing as winning the round on an argument. If you want to win the round on an argument you've won or are winning, take the time to win the round on it.
- The 2NR and 2AR are for making choices, you only have to win the round once.
- I will read along during speeches and will likely double back to look at cards again, but I don't like being asked to read evidence and decide for myself. If they're reading problematic evidence, yours is substantively better, etc., then do that work in the debate.
Zen: (Just my thoughts, they don't necessarily mean anything except that I thought them.)
- Debate is a speaking game, where teams must construct logically sound, valid arguments to defend, while challenging the same effort from their opponents.
- It's better to be more right than the other team than more clever.
- A round is just a collection of individual decisions. If you make the right decisions more often than not, then you'll win more times than you lose.
I'll be happy to answer any questions.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
UT '21 update (since I'm judging policy): I judge probably around a dozen policy rounds on the DFW local circuit a year (since about 2011), so I'm not a policy debate expert but I shouldn't be confused by your round. That means that I will probably understand the arguments you're making in a vacuum, but that you should probably err on the side of over-explaining how you think those arguments should interact with each other; don't just expect me to be operating off the exact same policy norms that you/the national circuit do. I am fairly willing to evaluate arguments however you tell me to. I have read a decent bit of identity, setcol, and cap lit. I am less good on pomo lit but I am not unwilling to vote on anything I can understand. Totally down for just a plan v counterplan/disad debate too.
Tl;dr I'm fine with really any argument you want to read as long as it links to and is weighed in relation to some evaluative mechanism. I am pretty convinced that T/theory should always be an issue of reasonability (I obviously think that some debates are better when there is a clear counter-interp that offense is linked back to); if you trust me to compare and weigh offense on substantive issues in the debate, I can't figure out why you wouldn't also trust me to make the same judgments on T/theory debates (unless you're just making frivolous/bad T/theory args). I enjoy any debate that you think you can execute well (yeah this applies to your K/counter-plan/non-T aff; I'll listen to it). I base speaker points on whether or not I think that you are making strategic choices that might lead to me voting for you (extending unnecessary args instead of prioritizing things that contribute to your ballot story, dropping critical arguments that either are necessary for your position or that majorly help your opponent, failing to weigh arguments in relation to each other/the standard would be some general examples of things that would cause you to lose speaker points if I am judging). Beyond those issues, I think that debate should function as a safe space for anyone involved; any effort to undermine the safety (or perceived safety) of others in the activity will upset me greatly and result in anything from a pretty severe loss of speaker points to losing the round depending on the severity of the harm done. So, be nice (or at least respectful) and do you!
Director of Debate at Casady School
Put me on the e-mail chain: snidert [at] casady [dot] org
Evidence quality and consistency is very important to me. I can easily be convinced to disregard a piece of evidence because it lacks quality, is insufficiently highlighted, or is not qualified.
Author qualifications are under debated and if a piece of evidence lacks a qualification then that should definitely be used in debate.
K Things General
One line should dictate how you approach reading the K in front of me:
“You are a debater, not a philosopher.”
This should be your guiding principle when reading and answering a kritik in front of me. Debaters seem to rely more on jargon than actually doing the work of explaining and applying their argument. Unnecessarily complex kritiks won't get good speaker points (90% of the time you could have just read the cap k).
I will not flow overviews on a separate sheet of paper.
If you plan on reading the K
I've got good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news: You are very unlikely to convince me not the weigh/evaluate the aff. I'm not persuaded much by self-serving counter interpretations on framework.
That said, the good news is that I think people give the aff too much credit and most of the reasons why I shouldn't evaluate the plan are typically offense against it. For example while I don't find the FW interpretation "Debate should be about epistemological assumptions" very convincing, I will definitely vote on "the affirmative's plan relies on a flawed epistemology that ensures serial policy failure, which turns case."
If you're answering the K
While the above may seem like good news for the aff answering the K, I tend to hold the aff to a higher threshold than most in K debates. I don't think "you need a specific link to the plan" is responsive to a K of the aff's epistemology. Likewise, aff framework interps that exclude Ks entirely are pretty much a non-starter.
Condo seems to be getting a bit excessive, but no one goes for condo anymore so I'm sort of stuck with it.
Tech vs Truth
I think of this as more of a continuum as opposed to a binary. I lean more towards tech than truth, but I'm not going to pretend that I evaluate all arguments with equal legitimacy. For example, I have a higher threshold for arguments like “climate change not real” than “plan doesn’t solve climate change.” I traditionally evaluate the debate in offense/defense paradigm, but there is a such thing as a 0% risk.
I enter every debate with the assumption that the resolution is going to play a role in the round. What role it plays, however, is up for debate. I don’t have a preference between skills or fairness standards.
Common reasons I vote aff on FW:
The neg goes for too many “standards”/"DAs"/whatever-youre-calling-them in the 2NR.
The neg doesn’t even try to engage the aff’s 2AC to FW.
Common reasons I vote neg on FW:
The aff doesn’t have an offensive reasons why the TVA is bad.
The aff doesn’t even try to engage the neg’s standards on FW.
I only flow what I hear, I won't use the doc to correct my flow. If I don't catch an argument/tag because you're too unclear then *insert shrug emoji*. That said, with online debate I will flow what I hear and use the doc to correct my flow after the speech. Including your analytics in the speech document will make correcting my flows much easier.
Guaranteed 30 if you’re paper debate team #PaperDebate
My facial reactions will probably tell you how I feel about your arg.
Welcome! You can call me Maggie and I am looking forward to hearing your arguments. I have been involved in policy debate as a coach or debater for the past 15 years. I am currently a graduate student in Communication Studies at the University of Texas. My research falls in the area of political communication, and I am currently working on projects related to cognition, polarization, judicial rhetoric, and a hint of the rhetorical presidency. I was a decent debater, but I participated in debate because I loved the research projects first and foremost. I am not deep in the weeds of the topic this year, but I do try to regularly read articles related to the topic and occasionally look into arguments that various teams are making.
A few thoughts you should know if debating in front of me:
1. I need you all to slow down. I flow on paper and do not just write what is on the speech doc. I write down what I hear you say. That means, I need you to slow down and do the work to check for understanding. I would appreciate it, especially on Counterplans that rely on important distinctions between the plan and your aff. Please do not spread through the CP text- it’s one of the most interesting parts to me, and I want to understand it.
2. I prefer arguments that arise from the literature over arguments that are debate templates making the literature what they want it to be. I am skeptical of arguments that fail to find a coherent literature basis and instead desperately attempt to hold themselves together with the glue of contrived google searches, sparse highlighting, questionable sources, fancy formatting, and word play. I see this happen often with DAs and CPs that are filler in the 1NC. I understand that every argument has a purpose, but I prefer for that purpose to be an educational debate about controversy in the literature. I would like to say that I understand some rounds are different. I’ve been in the Copeland race and I get it, sometimes you just need to read a 1 rounder. But, as a general orientation towards debate, I prefer well researched arguments that have a firm basis in the debates that are actually happening in the literature.
3. I think quals are incredibly important, and I am concerned that they are not more prevalent in policy debates today. Who is qualified to make the claims you are presenting? What evidence are they using? Is it evidence you can trust? If you are using news articles- what are the backgrounds of your reporters? Is this a person with a degree in Journalism and history of reporting on Political Campaigns? Or is this a sports journalist? Or a recent grad with a BA in engineering? Qualifications matter. It matters for determining an author’s ability to interpret evidence, how they present evidence, their motives, and so much more. Please have these debates!
4. I base my speaker points on speaking and in round strategy. I like it when debaters make smart decisions in the context of what is occurring in the debate round. It matters to me that you know your argument. This doesn’t mean that you just know what your disad shell says- but you know what your argument is in the context of the broader debate that’s happening. I also find that I reward debaters who play with the game and debate with intention. How do you present your arguments? How do they unfold in the debate round? What warrants do you introduce when? How does your presence in the debate round reinforce your argument style? All of these things are fascinating for me to think about, and I enjoy judging debaters who act with intention at multiple different levels.
5. I think aff teams should talk about the topic and display an in-depth understanding of issues related to antitrust. It is important and we have such a wonderful opportunity to learn about really complex stuff through a game with some of the smartest people we know. However, I also think that what happens in the debate round is what matters for my vote in the debate round. In framework debates, negative teams must defend why the debates they want are valuable. If the affirmative wins that their debates are more valuable than the negative, then I can see myself voting for the affirmative. However, at my core, I do believe that SSD solves most of the problems presented by affirmative teams who refuse to defend the topic and that the topic has the potential to host some very educational debates. It’s all up for debate, though. I come to these rounds hoping to understand each side and eager to be persuaded to change how I view the rounds.
6. The post round is an important moment for engaging and understanding one another. I will do my best to communicate how I understood the arguments in the round and how they might have been persuasive. I view the post round discussion as an opportunity to learn- for you to learn how you might improve, but also for me to learn more about your argument and strategy. If you think I have made a poor decision, talk to me about what you think I messed up. I would like to know! In response, I will do my best to understand you and work to identify where the communication broke down for understanding on my end. I engage in this discussion so that you can better understand how to communicate with me and others in the future.
I’m not a big fan of questions that ask me to judge something as correct. For example, many students ask “Was this the right 2nr decision?” My answer is that this is the decision. It had consequences- some might be categorized as positive and negative. Any other decision would have other consequences as well. I do not mind if you ask these, but just know, my answer will probably be something like, “Hm, I don’t know, what do you think?” Sometimes, it can be helpful to help me understand your motives in making the decision. For example, “I was worried about __ issue going into the 2ar, so I decided to do ____. Was that effective? Was that a valid concern? Etc”
7. The speech doc is not the record of the debate. I repeat, the speech doc is not the record of the debate. Pay attention to what is being said by your opponents. Do not answer arguments that were not read. Think about what is happening in the debate as a whole. Do not rely on beautiful formatting to replace the skills that are required to give a persuasive speech. Look up. Slow down. Find moments for connection. And engage in the debate round.
8. I used to not agree with judge kick. I've thought about it a bit more and come to the realization that I'm probably wrong and it is correct to kick the CP. Sometimes you're just the slow kid to the game.
I debated policy in high school, and policy and parliamentary in college. There's very few arguments I won't listen to. I ran some pretty out-there positions the entirety of career. I'm fine with speed, be clear, be articulate, be strategic, be smart, be cool.
I debated for 3 years @ Washburn Rural
I debated for 4 years @ Emporia State (NDT '08)
I am the Director of Debate at Lawrence Free State HS (4th year at FS, 12th year as a head coach, 20th year in Policy Debate)
*Please add me to the email chain if one exists: email@example.com
I will do my best to answer any questions that you have before the debate.
-I don't care how fast you talk, but I do care how clear you talk. I'm unlikely to clear you but it will be obvious if I can't understand you because I won't be flowing and I communicate non-verbally probably more than most other judges. This is particularly relevant in online debate.
-I don't care what arguments you read, but I do care whether you are making arguments, responding to opposition arguments, and engaging in impact calculus (your arg v their arg, not just your arg) throughout the debate.
-I don't care what aff you read, if you defend a plan, or if you debate on the margins of the topic, but I do care if you have offensive justifications for your decisions, and if you solve.
-If you're reading generic link arguments or CP solvency cards - it will matter a great deal how well you can contextual that generic evidence to the specific affirmative plan.
-I think teams should be willing to go for theory more.
Some top level thoughts:
1) "New in the 2" is bad for debate. Barring an affirmative theoretical objection - I'll evaluate you arguments and not intervene despite my bias. But, if the other team makes an argument about it - I will disregard all new positions read in the negative block.
2) Neg ground on this topic is not very good. I'm sympathetic to the negative on theoretical objections of counterplans as a result.
3) If you're flowing the speech doc and not the speech itself you deserve to be conned in to answering arguments that were never made in the debate, and to lose to analytic arguments (theory and otherwise) that were made while you were busy staring at your screen.
4) People should assume their opponent's are winning some arguments in the last rebuttals. A decision to assume you're winning everything nearly guarantees that you are incorrect and minimizes the likelihood that you're doing relevant impact calculus. I really think "even-if" statements are valuable for final rebutalists.
-My speaker point scale has tended to be:
29+ - you should be in elimination debates at this tournament, and probably win one or more of those rounds
28.5 - you are competing for a spot to clear but still making errors that may prevent you from doing so. Average for the division/tournament.
28 - you are slightly below average for the division/tournament and need to spend some time on the fundamentals. Hopefully, I've outlined in my notes what those are.
27.5 - there were serious fundamental errors that need to be corrected.
Topicality- I really enjoy T debates, I think competing interpretations is probably true and find reasonability arguments to be uncompelling almost always. If you're not topical you should have an offensive reason that you're not. If you are topical then you should win why your vision of the resolution is superior to the negatives.
Critiques- K debaters tend to spend an extraordinary amount of time on their link arguments, but no time on explaining how the alternative resolves them. Affirmatives tend to concede K tricks too often.
Counterplans - I like smart, aff specific counter plans more than generic, topic type counter plans. I understand the need for questions CPs on this topic.
Critical affs - I'm fine with K affs and deployed them often as a debater. I find it difficult to evaluate k affs with poorly developed "role of the ballot" args. I find "topical version of the aff" to be compelling regularly, because affs concede this argument. I have been more on the "defend topical action" side of the framework debate in the last two years or so. I'm not sure why, but poorly executed affirmative offense seems to be the primary cause.
Updated for Longhorn Classic:
College senior, graduated from LASA. Have not done any debate since then.
I am extremely unfamiliar with the topic. Do not assume I know what you are talking about.
Go slower if you want me to catch everything. I haven't practiced flowing.
I will try to vote for the team that does the better debating, regardless of their style.
I do hold critical arguments to a higher standard because they are usually not explained clearly and I am unfamiliar with the literature.
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
add me to the email chain pls: email@example.com
Winston Churchill High School 20' UT 24'
I haven't judged a lot of rounds on this topic so be conscious of that.
In high school, I primarily read K’s so I’m a better judge for k v. k and policy v. k debates. policy v. policy debates is great if that's what you do best!
Tell me how I should evaluate arguments/impacts
K v. K - These debates can get messy so make sure you have aff specific links and solid strat. If you're going to go for the perm, explain why your two theories are compatible.
Policy v. K - Aff specific links are good and give you a much better chance of winning the debate. I’m familiar with a lot of different K literature but make sure your arguments are clear and theories are well explained. The framework debate is extremely important, don’t forget about it.
K aff v. FW/T - Aff should go for whatever arg they feel is best whether that's the impact turn or w/m. Explain why your interp/counter interp is the best for debate. I’m willing to vote on FW/T. I think fairness works better as an I/L than an impact but I’m willing to vote on it if you warrant it out properly.
Policy v. Policy - I engaged in these types of debates the least in high school but I know how to evaluate them fine. If this is what you're most comfortable with go for it.
don’t make arguments/comments that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, etc.
do what you do best
Virtual Debate Updates:
I am almost always using two computers so I can watch you speak and flow/look at docs. I would prefer that you debate with your camera on so that I can watch you speak, but PLEASE do feel free to turn it off if doing so stabilizes your audio.
Do NOT start at top speed. You should start a little slower anyway to allow judges to get acclimated to your speaking style, but I think this is especially important in virtual debate.
Do I understand why you don't want to flash theory/overviews/analytics? Of course. Do you have to do it? No. Will I be mad at you if you don't? Of course not. Would it help me flow better in many virtual debates? YES.
Do what you do and do it well. I will vote for who wins. Over-adaptation is exhausting and I can smell your soft-left add-ons a mile away. My voting record is a pretty clear indication that I judge a wide variety of debates. Who/what I coach(ed) are generally good indications of what I am about. Update: I've found myself recently in some seven off rounds. I really hate to say I am bad for any kind of debate, but I am bad for these rounds. Late-breaking debates make me tired and grumpy, and I find myself having to do way too much work in these debates to resolve them. If seven off is your thing, and I am your judge, do what you do I guess, but know this is probably the only explicit "don't pref me" in this whole paradigm.
I care a lot about quality of evidence. I would much rather hear you read a few well-warranted cards than a wave of under-highlighted evidence. Same goes for redundant evidence; if you need six cards that “prove” your claim with the same words interchanged in the tag, your claim is probably pretty weak. Evidence does not (alone) a (winning) argument make.
I think I flow pretty throughly. I often flow in direct quotes. I do this for me, but I feel like it helps teams understand my decision as we talk after a round. I reward organized speakers and meaningful overviews. I am easily frustrated by a messy card doc.
I listen closely to cross-ex.
Neg teams lose when they don’t demonstrate how their arguments interact with the 1AC. Winning that the affirmative is “flawed” or “problematic” does not guarantee a neg ballot. In my mind, there are two ways to win the k versus a policy aff: either win that the effects of the plan make the world significantly worse OR win framework and go for epistemology/ontology links. Know when framework is important and when it’s not. Give analysis as to how your links implicate the world of the aff. This is where case mitigation and offense on why voting affirmative is undesirable is helpful. These debates are significantly lacking in impact calculus. Also - the alt needs to solve the links, not the aff - but if it does, great! If you win framework, this burden is lessened. Don’t spread through link explanations. I am seeing more debates where teams kick the alt and go for the links as disads to the aff. This is fine, but be wary of this strategy when the alt is what provides uniqueness to the link debate.
Conversely, affs typically lose these debates when there is little press on what the alternative does and little analysis of perm functions. However, some teams focus on the alt too much and leave much to be desired on the link debate (especially important for soft-left affs). Defend your reps. Your framework shell should also include a robust defense of policymaking, not just procedural fairness. The 1AR should actually answer the block’s framework answers. More impact turning rather than defensive, no-link arguments.
Also, running to the middle will not save you. Some Ks are going to get a link no matter what, and tacking on a structural impact to your otherwise straight policy aff will likely only supercharge the link. So. Read the aff you'd read in front of anybody in front of me. You're probably better at that version anyway.
K Affs vs. FW
For affs: I’m good for these although I do think that oftentimes the method is very poorly explained. Neg teams should really press on this and even consider going for presumption. Side note: I absolutely do not think that critical affs should have to win that the ballot is key for their method. Against framework, I most frequently vote aff when the aff wins impact turns that outweigh the neg’s impacts and have a counter-interp that resolves the majority of their offense. I can still vote for you if you don’t have a counter-interp in the 2AR but only if the impact work is exceptional. I prefer affs that argue that the skills and methods produced under their model inculcate more ethical subjectivities than the negative’s. The best aff teams I’ve seen are good at contextualizing their arguments, framing, and justifying why their model and not their aff is uniquely good. I am most frequently preffed for K v K debates. Judge instruction is extremely important I would rather evaluate those rounds based on whose method is most relevant to the debate rather than k tricks.
For neg teams: I like to see framework deployed as debate methodologies that are normatively good versus debate methodologies that are undesirable and should be rejected. Framework debates should center on the impact of certain methodologies on the debate space. “Your argument doesn’t belong in debate” is not the same thing as “your argument is hindered by forum” or “your argument makes it functionally impossible to be negative.” (fun fact: I read a lot of judges' paradigms/preferences..."debate is a game" does not = debate is a good game, and participation in that "game" does not = can't say the game is bad). I prefer more deliberation & skills-based framework arguments rather than procedural fairness, but I will vote on either as long as you have warrants and comparative impact analysis. If going for skills & research impacts, the internal link debate is most important. TVAs are great as defense against the aff’s impact turns. They do not have to solve the aff but should address its central controversy.
I feel similarly about theory debates in that they should focus on good/undesirable pedagogical practices. Arguments that explain the role of the ballot should not be self-serving and completely inaccessible by a particular team.
Topicality is a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue. T debates are won and lost on the standards level. If the affirmative wins that their interpretation solves the impact of topicality, then I see no reason to vote negative. Thorough T debates are about more than fairness. The idea that you have no game on an aff in this era is just not as persuasive as the idea that the aff’s interpretation negatively impacts future debates.
No real issues here. Specific links to case obviously preferred to generic arguments. Give me good impact analysis. As a debater, counterplans weren’t really my jam. As a judge, I can’t say that I get to vote on CPs often because they are typically kicked or are not competitive enough to survive an affirmative team well-versed in permutations. A CP should be something to which I can give thoughtful consideration. Don’t blow through a really complicated (or long) CP text. Likewise, if the permutation(s) is intricate, slow down. Pretty sure you want me to get these arguments down as you read them, not as I reconstruct them in cross. I vote for theory as much as I don’t vote for theory. No real theoretical dispositions.
1. I’m not going to bump your speaks for thanking me and taking forever to start the round because you’re asking “opponent ready? judge ready? partner ready? observers ready?” for the first 20 minutes.
2. If you do not take notes during my RFD, I will leave.
3. Don’t clip. Why do debaters in Arkansas clip so much? Answer: Because I don’t judge very much in Arkansas.
4. Keep your own time.
Director of Speech & Debate
Isidore Newman School, New Orleans
Please slow down! It is much harder for me to hear online. Go at about 75% rather than 100% of your normal pace!!!
Relevant for Both Policy & LD:
This is my 18th year in debate. I debated in high school, and then went on to debate at the University of Louisville. In addition, I was the Director of Debate at both Fern Creek & Brown School in KY, a former graduate assistant for the University of Louisville, and the Director of Speech & Debate at LSU. I am also a doctoral candidate in Communication & Rhetorical studies, with a Graduate Certificate in Womens, Gender, and Sexuality studies.
I view my role as an educator and believe that it is my job to evaluate the debate in the best way I can and in the most educational way possible. Over the past several years have found myself moving more and more to the middle. So, my paradigm is pretty simple. I like smart arguments and believe that debates should tell a clear and succinct story of the ballot. Simply put: be concise, efficient, and intentional.
Here are a few things you should know coming into the round:
1. I will flow the debate. But PLEASE slow down on the tag lines and the authors. I don’t write as fast as I used to. I will yell clear ONE TIME. After that, I will put my pen down and stop flowing. So, don't be mad at the end of the debate if I missed some arguments because you were unclear. I make lots of facial expressions, so you can use that as a guide for if I understand you
2. I value effective storytelling. I want debates to tell me a clear story about how arguments interact with one another, and as such see debates holistically. Accordingly, dropped arguments are not enough for me to vote against a team. You should both impact your arguments out and tell me why it matters.
3. I will not vote for arguments that are racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, or ableist in nature.
4. Do what you do best. While I do not believe that affirmatives have to be topical, I also find myself more invested in finding new and innovative ways to engage with the topic. Do with that what you will. I am both well versed and have coached students in a wide range of literature. I believe that there are implications to the things we talk about in debate, and believe that our social locations inevitably shape the beliefs that we hold.
5. If you do not believe that performative/critical arguments have a place, or that certain argument choices are “cheating,” I’m probably not the judge for you.
6. Know what you’re talking about. The quickest way to lose a debate in front of me is to read something because it sounds and looks “shiny.” I enjoy debates where students are well read/versed on the things they are reading, care about them, and can actually explain them. Jargon is not appealing to me. If it doesn’t make sense or if I don’t understand it at the end of the debate I will have a hard time evaluating it.
7. I will listen to Theory, FW, and T debates, but I do not believe that it is necessarily a substantive response to certain arguments. Prove actual in-round abuse, actual ground loss, actual education lost (that must necessarily trade off with other forms of education). I do not believe in neutral education, neutral conceptions of fairness, or even ground, or limits. If you run theory, be ready to defend it. Actual abuse is not because you don't understand the literature, know how to deal with the argument, or that you didn't have time to read it.
8. Be respectful of one another and to me. I am a teacher and educator first. I don’t particularly care for foul language, or behavior that would be inappropriate in the classroom.
9. Finally, make smart arguments and have fun. I promise I will do my best to evaluate the debate you give me.
If you have any other questions, just ask.
I debated for Texas from 2014-17 & have remained tangentially affiliated with the program since. I study rhetoric, and as a debater I read a lot of big structural critiques and weird impact turns. Do what you do best and I will evaluate from there.
Update for the LHC: I am not an LD judge. I do not know anything about judging LD. Pref me at your own risk.
My flow is highly detail-oriented, but at the end of the day I need to be provided with a reason to vote for you. The better you are at making meaningful distinctions, the happier you will be with the outcome of my decision. Evidence alone does not constitute an argument, and the quality of your explanation always, always takes precedent over quality of ev. Even if a piece of evidence is generic, your explanation of it shouldn’t be - use your head.
I judge a lot of clash debates, which is cool.
Clarity matters - I type fast, so as long as I can understand what you are saying I shouldn’t have trouble getting it down. That being said, debaters have an unfortunate tendency to overestimate their own clarity, esp at the expense of speed, so just something to keep in mind. Slowing down on procedurals, counterplan/alt texts, & author names is absolutely necessary.
K debates - talk about the aff. This applies to both sides. The neg should be critiquing the affirmative, not merely identifying a structure and breaking down the implications without proper contextualization. Likewise, it would generally behove aff teams to remember that they read a 1AC & leverage it accordingly, instead of allowing it to get lost in the shuffle.
Framework - my personal opinion is that the affirmative should probably do a thing, and ideally, that thing should be at least somewhat germane to the topic. That being said, i'm of course open to challenging that interpretation - as long as there is some sort of articulatable justification for whatever approach you are taking, we’ll be fine. Creative means of generating offense are definitely rewarded.
Prep time ends when the doc is attached to the email.
Be good to each other.
Specific questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Debated at Wake Forest University (2016-21) and Little Rock Central High School (2012-16)
Currently coaching for Berkeley Prep
- Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Please be as clear as possible. I'd rather you slow down than continue stumbling over words and making it painful for all involved.
Be relatively friendly to one another. It's annoying watching a team mock their opponents without reason.
I don't have an argument preference but I am more familiar with K/K affs. However, I was initially trained in "traditional" policy style arguments. So, say whatever just do it well and help me out with policy acronyms/jargon (especially topic specific stuff).
Lastly, it is imperative that you explain to me what voting or not voting aff/neg means. I find it frustrating when I have to construct the big picture at the end of the debate. I expect you to write my ballot for me by a) explaining what offense you are winning or going to win by the end of the speech and 2) contextualizing those arguments to the other team's.
If you have any questions about certain arguments or misc. preferences, please don't hesitate to ask!
HHS 2020 - UT Austin 2024
I haven't judged anything in about a year, and am not familiar with the topic at all. If you want any sort of technical round, and especially a topicality round, do not pref me. I'm pretty rusty, and on top of that will not be familiar with the definitions. Realistically, if you're new, or otherwise inexperienced in debate, I'm probably a better judge. If you are more experienced, or want a faster, more technical round, then you should probably pref me lower.
This is my policy paradigm. If for some reason I'm not judging you in a policy round, you should still read this, as much of it may still be applicable. However, do not hesitate to ask me any clarification questions, I'll be more than happy to answer.
I'm fairly lenient on speaker points - I'll give a 30 if I think you debated to the best of your capacity, which requires that you make coherent arguments, and are not entirely reliant on premade evidence. I'll give a 28 if I think you did average. I generally won't go below that unless you really deserve it, which I define as: rudeness or condescension towards your opponent (or me somehow), if you were obviously bigoted in some way in a round, or you made some other major error.
Please put an overview, or some other way to framing the overall debate in your speeches. I try to be as tabula rasa as possible, and will listen to (almost) any argument.
On the Aff, I need to hear an overview of your plan at the beginning of every speech (except the 1AC ig). If an advantage is not mentioned in the overview, I will not flow it, unless you somehow completely cover the entire logic chain while defending case. If you are going for turns on a DA, then I would appreciate that being in the Aff overview as well, towards the end.
Neg, you need to make sure to clash with the aff. Cards are fine, but they are almost never contextualized, and if you aren't even going to say which part of the aff they apply to, then you probably shouldn't bother reading them. I honestly prefer analytics; read through their card and find what the actual evidence says, because it almost always isn't the tagline.
Disadvantages I'm a fan of. If you have a specific link that's great, and I will be more skeptical of generic links, but I will be more than happy to overlook evidential specificity if you have good contextualization skills. In fact, even if you have a specific link, you should contextualize it, because I guarantee that your link isn't as specific as you think it is. Otherwise, if you can deliver a coherent story with your disadvantage, I will assume tech over truth. I will vote off of any DA, but I really don't like DAs that occur before plan implementation (IE, a horsetrading DA), and will be very receptive to arguments as to why these DAs are illegitimate.
I'm also fine with Counterplans, as they're part and parcel with most good policy strats. I'm fine with conditional counterplans, but have no problem voting on condo bad either. If you want to run a dispositional counterplan, please make it intuitive. I don't want to think too hard on this sort of thing. The same goes for PICs.
Aff, please perm the counterplan, even if it's dumb. Put offense on it as well, but seeing the aff fail to perm is always painful, and it takes like 20 seconds. When you do perm, please make sure to state what the perm actually is. Don't just say "perm do both". I need to know exactly what you're doing. Otherwise, see what I said to neg on the Aff portion. Clash clash clash.
On Kritiks, I am pretty bad. I am not intimately familiar with most of the literature, and have no interest in becoming any more familiar with it. The only exception to this is a Cap K, which I am quite fond of, provided your alternative isn't performative. I don't think debate spills over into the real world in any meaningful way from these rounds, and will not vote for an alternative that tells me that voting negative will actually annihilate global capitalism or something.
Most policy Theory is stupid and frivolous; please don't have a theory debate. That being said, I am ok with the following theories -
- condo bad/good
- topicality (as a general rule, on specific topics I might be bad)
- something specific and egregious (ask me for clarification before round and I can elaborate)
If you don't see a theory you like up here, that doesn't necessarily mean I won't vote off of it. If you're a theory hack who somehow got me, ask before round and I can clarify.
More specifically on Topicality, I think these debates are a headache if done over the most nonsensical word definitions. You're gonna have to assume I have an 8th grade reading level when explaining your definitions. You also need to spell out the implication if your topicality shell is minute - I don't care about the definition of the word "The", and I won't auto drop someone for failing to adhere to this kind of argument. That being said, I don't have a problem adjudicating on T, and if the aff is flagrantly untopical, I see no reason as to not run it.
The only thing I hate more than (most) Ks is Performance. Please do not read performance. I honestly don't think anybody will if they've read my paradigm for even a moment, but if you do, and the opponent reads any sort of T Framework, I will likely vote for them. Otherwise, I will likely just lose interest. The only exception to this is a performative physical competition, like an arm-wrestling competition.
Some other notes
- I am very skeptical of new neg arguments in the block, and I include new links with this as well. If contested, I will only allow new links to DAs/Ks if they link to something said in the 2AC, not the 1AC. If you make a whole new offcase position, I will most likely disregard it. The same goes for case.
- Neg, please collapse effectively in the 2NR. I don't want to sift through like 6 different off for the RFD.
- I don't like profanity in rounds. I'm not a prude, and I won't dock speaker points, but I find it tacky and obnoxious.
- I also don't like Foucault. Please do not refer to people as bodies or the like. It's creepy.
- The secret word is X-Bow. If you mention the secret word before the round, I'll know you read my paradigm, although I'm not sure what that'll do. If you know what an X-Bow is, then congratulations. I honestly just wanted a secret word.
- One of my biggest pet peeves in debate is the commodification and infantilization of various minority groups, such as racial or sexual minorities. I really don't appreciate the way many in the debate community make arguments such as "black people can't be topical", and I will not consider these as valid arguments.
- Class>anything else. If I see a kid from a rich/wealth program telling me that they're institutionally disadvantaged against a kid from some UDL school, I will roll my eyes, and take it with the biggest grain of salt known to man.
- I will not vote on any argument that intends to exclude people from the round based on immutable traits like race/religion/sex/etc. I will exercise this prerogative impartially.
- If you dunk on kids who are clearly less experienced than you, I will dunk on your speaker points.
- Jokes in debate are almost never funny, and they are always never funny when you're trying to make me laugh. It's also almost always band kid humor. The only humor I like is super dry deadpan humor, and I won't give you anything for it, so don't try to shoehorn it in.
- Please clash, even terrible arguments are better than none. Clash is the most important part of the debate, and
- Don't hesitate to ask me any questions.
Updated September 2021
I debated policy and LD for four years (2013-2017) at Winston Churchill HS and qualified to the TOC senior year.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions before or after rounds. Also I would like to be on the email chain if there is one.
Public Forum: Be polite and courteous during cross fire. Make sure to utilize your evidence and author qualifications. I am open to whatever arguments you would like to make (obviously avoid racist, sexist, etc. arguments). I am open to all styles and speeds of delivery, but if your opponent is not speed reading, it would help your speaker points if you can avoid speed reading too. Everything below is more relevant to policy and LD debate, but you may find it useful for PF too.
Speaker points: average = 27.5, I generally adjust relative to the pool when considering how I rank speakers.
-Things that will earn you speaker points: being organized, confidence, well-placed humor, politeness, well executed strategies/arguments, efficiency.
-Things that will lose you speaker points: arrogance, rudeness, humor at the expense of your opponent, stealing prep, pointless cross examination, running things you don’t understand, mumbling insults about myself or other judges who saw the round differently from you.
TLDR version: no strong ideological debate dispositions, link/perm analysis is good, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. Everything below is insight into how I view/adjudicate debates, its questionably useful but will probably result in higher speaks.
Do what you do well: I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments. Sure, some debates I may find more interesting than others, but honestly the most interesting rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy.
-Truth v Tech: I more frequently decide close debates based on questions of truth/solid evidence rather than purely technical skills. Super tech-y teams probably should be paying attention to overviews/nebulous arguments when debating teams who like to use a big overview to answer lots of arguments. I still vote on technical concessions/drops but am lenient to 2AR/2NR extrapolation of an argument made elsewhere on the flow answering a 'drop'. This also bleeds into policy v policy debates, I am much more willing to vote on probability/link analysis than magnitude/timeframe; taking claims of "policy discussions good" seriously also means we need to give probability of impacts/solvency more weight.
-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I will read evidence if said evidence is contested and/or if compared/contrasted to the oppositions evidence. I will first read it through the lens of the debater’s spin but if it is apparent that the evidence has been mis-characterized spin becomes largely irrelevant. This can be easily rectified by combining good evidence with good spin. I often find this to be the case with politics, internal link, and affirmative permutation evidence for kritiks, pointing this out gets you speaks. That being said, there is always a point in which reading more evidence should take a backseat to detailed analysis, I do not need to listen to you read 10 cards about political capital being low.
-Speed vs Clarity: If I have never judged you or it is an early morning/late evening round you should probably start slower and speed up through the speech so I can get used to you speaking. When in doubt err on the side of clarity over speed. If you think things like theory or topicality will be options in the final rebuttals give me pen time so I am able to flow more than just the 'taglines' of your theory blocks.
-Permutation/Link Analysis: this is an increasingly important issue that I am noticing with kritik debates. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. This does not mean that the 2AC needs an detailed permutation analysis but you should be able to explain your permutations if asked to in cross-x and there definitely should be analysis for whatever permutations make their way into the 1AR. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation throughout the debate leaves the door wide open for the negative to justify strategic cross applications and the grouping of permutations since said grouping will still probably contain more analysis than the 1AR/2AR. That being said, well explained/specific permutations will earn you speaker points and often times the ballot. In the same way it benefits affirmatives to obtain alt/CP texts, it would behoove the negative to ask for permutation texts to prevent affirmatives shifting what the permutation means later in the debate.
The same goes for link/link-turn analysis I expect debaters to be able to explain the arguments that they are making beyond the taglines in their blocks. This ultimately means that on questions of permutations/links the team who is better explaining the warrants behind their argument will usually get more leeway than teams who spew multiple arguments but do not explain them.
Topicality/Theory: I tend to lean towards a competing interpretations framework for evaluating T, this does not mean I won't vote on reasonability but I DO think you need to have an interpretation of what is 'reasonable' otherwise it just becomes another competing interp debate. Aff teams should try and have some offense on the T flow, but I don't mean you should go for RVIs. I generally believe that affirmatives should try and be about the topic, this also applies to K affs, I think some of the best education in debate comes from learning to apply your favorite literature to the topic. This also means that I generally think that T is more strategic than FW when debating K affs. I've learned that I have a relatively high threshold for theory and that only goes up with "cheapshot" theory violations, especially in LD. Winning theory debates in front of me means picking a few solid arguments in the last rebuttal and doing some comparative analysis with the other teams arguments; a super tech-y condo 2AR where you go for 15 arguments is going to be a harder sell for me. Other default settings include: Topicality before theory, T before Aff impacts, T is probably not genocidal. These can be changed by a team making arguments, but in an effort for transparency, this is where my predispositions sit.
Kritiks: I have no problems with K's. I've read a decent amount of critical literature, there is also LOTS that I haven't read, it would be wise to not make assumptions and take the time to explain your argument; in general you should always err towards better explanation in front of me. I do not enjoy having to sift through unexplained cards after K v K rounds to find out where the actual tension is (you should be doing this work), as such I am more comfortable with not caring that I may not have understood whatever argument you were trying to go for, that lack of understanding is 9/10 times the debater's fault. Feel free to ask before the round how much I know about whatever author you may be reading, I'm generally pretty honest. I generally think that critical debates are more effective when I feel like things are explained clearly and in an academic way, blippy extensions or lack of warrants/explanation often results in me voting affirmative on permutations, framing, etc.
CP: I have no problems with counterplans, run whatever you want. I think that most counterplans are legitimate however I am pre-dispositioned to think that CP's like steal the funding, delay, and other sketchy counterplans are more suspect to theory debates. I have no preference on the textual/functional competition debate. On CP theory make sure to give me some pen time. If you are reading a multi-plank counterplan you need to either slow down or spend time in the block explaining exactly what the cp does.
DA: I dont have much to say here, disads are fine just give me a clear story on what's going on.
Performance/Other: I'm fine with these debates, I think my best advice is probably for those trying to answer these strats since those reading them already generally know whats up. I am very persuaded by two things 1) affs need to be intersectional with the topic (if we're talking about China your aff better be related to the conversation). 2) affirmatives need to be an affirmation of something, "affirming the negation of the resolution" is not what I mean by that either. These are not hard and fast rules but if you meet both of these things I will be less persuaded by framework/T arguments, if you do not meet these suggestions I will be much more persuaded by framework and topicality arguments. If you make a bunch of case arguments based on misreadings of their authors/theories I'm generally not super persuaded by those arguments.