2021 — NSDA Campus, WY/US
Judges (Debates & IES) Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I did pf/extemp for four years in hs.
i am the beach.
i will not intervene if i can help it
every round is decided by determining what the highest layer of offense is -> who links into that best.
1. At times I’ve been called a weighing hack, and I guess I understand why. Above all else, I am going to vote for the biggest impact in the round if two teams go for different impacts. I find anything else is intervening, which I hate. I evaluate weighing as I would framing, in rounds where framing is not present. Thus, impact weighing is not a tiebreaker where I determine which arguments have access to the link then decide which argument has the biggest impact, but rather where I look at the resolved weighing debate, and ONLY evaluate the impact which wins said weighing debate. Resolve the weighing in the round early, and my ballot will be quite easy.
2. I believe that in order for defense to be terminal, it only has to be implicated as such and be resolved against frontlines. If these criteria are not met, I will assume there is a small but nonzero risk of a link story happening, which bears the risk of allowing your opponents the ability to win the round off of the framing debate and a risk of a link. I also believe defense is not sticky, it doesn't make sense for an argument to be extended from first rebuttal to first summary. I think this norm made sense when summary was only two minutes, but it should have died when the NSDA changed this speech to three minutes.
3. I am fine with speed, but depending on the time of day my ability to keep up varies. SLOW DOWN WHEN SWITCHING BETWEEN PAGES/SPOTS ON THE FLOW. Please give me speech docs and slow down a bit in the back half. Add me to the email chain: email@example.com. I also hate teams who read 40 paraphrased responses in rebuttal with no warrants and don’t at least slow down when they’re switching between arguments.
4. I hate intervening. I was not an ethical debater, and as a result, I don't really care much about things like evidence ethics or academic integrity. You can lie, you can read false evidence, etc. If it is not called out, I will not do anything. In my view, my role as a judge is not to be an educator or anything, but rather to be a blank slate in the back of the room. All the "educating" can wait for after the round, I see no need and have no desire to meddle with the content of the round.
5. I like warrants, but I dislike intervening more. That means if you extend a contention with no warrant, I will unfortunately vote off it if your opponent drops it/doesn't point it out. But, if they do point out it's no warrant I'll treat the "no warrant" response as terminal defense and won't vote off the contention. Just have warrants please, I'll tank your speaks if you don't.
6. Tag Team CX is allowed, I think it's a good thing. I largely do not care about cross, I am probably not paying attention anyways.
7.You have to frontline everything in second rebuttal. If you get a bunch of arguments dumped on you, then you should be collapsing (this should happen in every second rebuttal imo). I will consider anything not frontlined in 2nd rebuttal conceded.
8. I am surprised that I have to say this, but ANY ARGUMENT has to be responded to by the speech immediately following it (obvious exception for constructive case level arguments, not gonna make you diverge from the norm in PF.) However, there is one exception. If the first constructive reads framing or theory, the second constructive MUST RESPOND. If first constructive theory or framing is not responded to in the second constructive, it's conceded, unless you make arguments (in the second constructive) as to why you do not have to respond in this speech.
9. Asking questions after the round is fine. Light post rounding is fine. Be aggressive/disrespectful at your own risk, I will probably match your energy as well as dock speaks.
10. Other than disclosure type arguments, I will by no means evaluate arguments about things that happened outside of the round. I think arguments about individual actions that debaters take as students are really an existential threat to the activity, and ignores the fact that you are all, in fact, still children. I was a kid who benefited from being around the community to learn the wrong in the (many) wrong things I said or did, and I think that future students deserve the same experience.
***If you are in varsity at a TOC bid tournament, I will by NO MEANS evaluate a "we do not understand theory/theory excludes me because I don't know how to debate it" response. In fact, I will give you the lowest speaker points the tournament reasonably permits-- you're perpetuating horrible norms in this activity. Do not enter the varsity division of tournaments if you are unwilling to handle varsity level argumentation. ***
As an aside to this ^, if you read anything from this article as a reason why theory is bad, I'm probably just going to intervene. This is one of the worst takes I've ever heard, and I'm really sick of people perpetuating the narrative that "public forum should be for the public" or whatever dumb thing boomers in this activity activity propagate. this is the one spot I feel 0 shame in intervening.
I believe that I am the correct judge to read theory in front of, often I find a well-executed theory debate both more interesting and easier to evaluate than a substance debate of the same caliber. I do not care if you're reading friv shells, it's probably funny.
Istrongly dislike paragraph theory, and strongly prefer shell format. I will still vote for paragraph shells (again, not going to intervene,) but I would probably have a low threshold to pull the trigger on "theory must be in shell format" interps. This is definitely the only area in which I am strongly biased, to be honest, so read para theory at your own risk.
An interpretation can only be read immediately after the violation occurs. Conversely, a counterinterp can only be read immediately after the initial interpretation is read. The latest I will evaluate an interp is the FIRST summary speech (large, immediately hostile violations are an obvious exception.)
Misdisclosure automatically disqualifies you from accessing any disclosure based interp/counter-interp. Really bad practice.
some defaults people have informed me are helpful:
text over spirit of interp
Competing Interps (legit have no clue how to resolve rounds under reasonability pls don't make me do it)
Fairness O/W Education
voter metatheory 1st
I think I'm competent enough compared to the average Public Forum judge to evaluate any K that gets read in Public Forum (performance args, cap, sec, setcol, neolib, etc.) However, I am not one of the judges who are increasingly abundant in Public Forum, that will just hack for any perf args.
I think K debate can be important, so it's disappointing when it's done poorly, and equally disappointing when judges hack for a poor execution of the K so as to avoid being viewed as problematic. If you are going to swing wildly outside of the PF meta, and read phil-rooted args, I am going to be confused and will require a lot of slow explanation. Make sure you're extending the ROTB, alt, link-- every part of the K, in order to garner offense.
I also by default believe that the theory page comes before the K page, as theory exists to determine what parameters the K can be evaluated under, but I could definitely be convinced otherwise.
I've gone back and forth with this for a while, but I think probability is just a function of the strength of an argument's link. That's the only objective way for me to evaluate arguments, and as a result I think that your mitigatory defense should just be leveraged into warrants for why you comparatively outweigh. I also consider arguments like evidence indicts as things that merely diminish an argument's strength of link, instead of entirely defeating the argument. Just keep that in mind.
Refer to the "General Info" section part 1 for everything else.
I'll never call for evidence if it sounds too good to be true and nobody called it out. I will also not do anything with evidence that I see after the round, unless there is an implication made IN THE ROUND to the indict being true.
If there's anything you felt weighed in on my decision that wasn't something you could collect from reading this paradigm, let me know. I tried to make my paradigm fairly extensive so you could get a good feel for how I view the activity.
I have become hardened towards debate in recent years, but I still think that the activity can be very transformative for students. The activity was instrumental in making me a more accepting/inclusive person and preventing me from adopting hateful ideas that were prominent in the environment I was raised in (literally a trailer park.) I hope that you come out of this activity a better person, and proud of the things you achieved in it.
Policy- I'm tab. I like people to go slower, I feel like as a community speaking quickly and reading more cards have come at the cost of analysis and comparison. To earn my ballot with ease do more of that comparison. I'm fine with Ks, CPs, theory and T. I even like T when done well. I did high school and college policy and look forward to judging the round!
"Get off my lawn" old person gripes-
-Don't prep when a timer isn't running.
-Please don't ask if people read everything in a document, or asking if they could tell you what all they read. Unless circumstances show they've obscured what they did, you just look like you weren't listening or flowing. This makes CX like a episode recap when you've been binging a show.
-Please don't just say "then the case flow." Still not helpful. Tell me which pages and in which order.
-Be kind. You can give hard hitting questions and answers while still being polite.
-You may want to look at your judge during CX. It will give you an impression of what they think is a good or bad idea for a line of argumentation you may pursue. Remember- you're trying to convince the one with the ballot you're right, not your opponent.
-Open CX- I'm totally fine with CX being open. If you are the main person in that CX from your side, you should still be doing a majority of the questioning/answering and your partner should only chime in when needed. You need your time to shine too! I will lower speaker points for the partner that is more of a back pack. By which I mean just standing up there because it is their cross examination, but doesn't really speak or add to the CX.
-Finally- be respectful of all of our time. Try to be quick to start prep, move to the next speech, flash/email with speed. If you mosey, you'll irk me.
Note- I will say clear once and then just let you roll. I don't write down things I can't understand, but most speed is fine. I may also not be up on the topic lingo as I have judge 15 or less policy debates on this year's topic.
I value a good mix of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in a debate. Lincoln-Douglas debate is about the value clash; I expect to see debtors using philosophy and moral arguments.
I will be listening to the speakers carefully and looking for flow, consistency, evidence and sources of evidence. Will be noting down all the key points and assess based on content presented and will go by the data for final out come. I have judged in Berkley and other tournaments around Bay area before.
For speaks I average a 29.7/29.8 so you will be fine
Primarily, I consider "clash," or direct engagement with the opposing argument and defense of one's own.
Equally though, I value coherence, or the logical consistency and organization of an argument, as well as the support of objective facts from credible sources.
Of secondary importance I look for civil, respectful demeanor, and delivery that is accurate, grammatical, confident, and expressive. Please don't speak so quickly that I can't take notes.
I prefer an argument built on solid evidence and reasoning, rather than one hung on formalities or technicalities. Whoever presents the most convincing case wins the round.
I am primarily a tabula rasa judge, adjudicating arguments as presented in the round. Theoretical arguments are fine as long as they contain the necessary standards and voting issue components. I am not a huge fan of the kritik in PF and tend to reside in that camp that believes such discussions violate the legitimacy of tournament competitions; that being said, I will entertain the argument as well as theoretical counter arguments that speak to its legitimacy, but be forewarned that shifting the discussion to another topic and away from the tournament-listed resolution presents serious questions in my mind as to the respect owed to teams that have done the resolutional research deemed appropriate by the NSDA.
I am adept at flowing but cannot keep up with exceptionally fast-paced speaking and see this practice as minimizing the value of authentic communication. I will do my best but may not render everything on the flow to its fullest potential. Please remember that debate is both an exercise in argumentation as well as a communication enterprise. Recognizing the rationale behind the creation of public forum debate by the NSDA underscores this statement. As a result, I am an advocate for debate as an event that involves the cogent, persuasive communication of ideas. Debaters who can balance argumentation with persuasive appeal will earn high marks from me. Signposting, numbering of arguments, crystallization, and synthesis of important issues are critical practices toward winning my ballot, as are diction, clarity, and succinct argumentation. The rationale that supports an argument or a clear link chain will factor into my decision making paradigm.
RFD is usually based on a weighing calculus - I will look at a priori arguments first before considering other relevant voters in the round. On a side note: I am not fond of debaters engaging with me as I explain a decision; that being said, I am happy to entertain further discussion via email, should a situation warrant. Also, Standing for speeches is my preference.
10+ years of collective debate experience in total
3 years Junior High School Speech and Debate experience
4 years of High School Speech and Debate experience
4 years of British Parliamentary Debate for the University of Wyoming
1 year coaching at Dean Morgan Jr. High
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am open to talking about results, feedback, questions, concerns etc.
I give out event specific paradigms before rounds.
I am fine with the use of technology in debate rounds. However, I will stop you and check if I feel you are using any tech in an inappropriate way (i.e. Looking up info in the middle of a round)
Speak clearly and fluently for the sake of myself and your peers
I can understand spreading or other forms of complex and speedy speech, but I won’t give you points based off that. If you know how and can speak clearly while doing so, feel free
I will not do the work for you in any round. Especially in important debate rounds. I won’t draw connections, fill in blanks, or preform any action that is not directly pointed out by you as the speaker. (i.e. Cross-applying arguments, linking impacts or points, etc.)
TRUTH OVER TECH!!!
Speech and Debate is meant to be an inclusive environment. I will not tolerate aggression of any form in my rounds. I have and will DQ anyone should they attempt to preform any action (verbal or physical) that attacks another. Just be kind, respectful, and courteous
You will be judged and scored based off…
The content of your speech (The points, connections, examples, etc.)
The way you preform your speech (The physical actions, verbal speaking, etc.)
How well you address your topic
I do not judge based off…
My personal interest of the topic
Props. However, in the case of Informative, I will give points for a creative use of boards to emphasize speech
Length of speech
You will be judged and scored based off…
The way you preform your acts (Verbal speaking, physical actions, etc.)
You will not be judged based off…
Which pieces you choose. (I would rather hear The Raven for the fiftieth time preformed in an unique manner than the most obscure piece in a monotone voice.)
Length of speech
You will be judged and scored based off…
The content of your speech (The points, connections, examples, etc.)
Your examples (including citations)
The linkwork you do (I will not do any linkwork)
Your Impacts and Warranting (This is included in weighing)
How you preform in the debate and follow debate format (Clash, formatting, etc.)
Way Below Average – You’ve preformed aggressive actions against others
Below Average – You performed poorly or in a manner that negatively impacted your room or event
Average – You performed okay and upheld the standard in your room or event
Above Average - You performed well or in a manner that positively impacted your room or event
Way Above Average – You performed incredibly and had mad major positive impacts to your room or event
Please add me to the email chain - email@example.com
I'm a second year policy debater for University of Wyoming and two time qualifier to the NDT.
Debate is fun, you should make it safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Good warrants beat out bad cards.
Impact and evidence comparison is great - write my ballot for me.
Be clear in transitioning from cards to tags to analytics - monotone makes it harder to flow and will hurt your speaks.
Cross-x is a speech, I flow the arguments made here. Prep time is not CX time - asking questions outside of small clarifications during prep time is not what prep time is for and I will not flow those arguments.
Please do not send cards in the body of the email chain. Please use an email chain instead of speech drop.
Don't need to call me judge - just Kaitlyn is fine.
Any theory but condo is a reason to reject the argument not the team. Infinite condo is probably good, but the aff can win condo bad. Best neg offense is neg flex, affs should point out specific conditionality abuse in round. Hard debate is good debate.
Case debate is great - people don't do it enough. Love creative turns, innovation is good.
Topicality is fun - make sure you contextualize impacts - offense is everything in these debates. Tell me why your vision for debate is best - don't just be a definition robot.
For clash debates, give me a reason the aff is bad. The cap K vs K affs is probably not a reason the aff is bad - it will lose to the perm unless you have a hyper specific link. Same is true for Ks v. policy affs - need a reason why the aff's scholarship, impact, ideas, etc. is bad - or it will lose to the perm.
Fairness is an internal link not an impact on framework. Clash, skills, etc. are impacts - and they are often good ones.
Not sold on out of round spillup for K affs - give me a reason why your aff is good besides more people will talk about it out of round.
I've only judged a few debates on this topic - don't assume I know what you're talking about or the acronyms used.
LARP > K > phil > tricks
Infinite condo is less good for LD - aff is still served well by pointing out specific time/strat skew that occurred in round.
** Updated for 2021-2022 Policy Topic**
Evidence: Apparently I need to put this on here now, but evidence standards will always be an a priori issue to evaluation for me. If there is a procedural argument that is brought up on the standards for evidence (example: distortion, not being able to access source for evidence, clipped evidence, or non-existent evidence). I will default to NSDA evidence standards, regardless of it is an NSDA tournament. I will be open to other evidence standards, but you need to present that alt standard for evidence evaluation. I will also only evaluate evidence that has been brought up on an ethics violation. Once an evidence ethics argument has been made, I will stop the round and vote immediately on that issue before anything else in the round proceeds. I see evidence as a core ethics argument that impacts the ability to go through anything else in the round and impacts my ability to trust any evidence that has been read by a team with an ethics evidence.
General Background: I’ve been in the world of policy debate for about 15 years, ranging from participation to coaching. Way back in the day, I debated at both Topeka High and Washburn Rural HS. I also debated in the regional circuit for University of Kansas for a few years and coached in Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi. I have a deep love for the activity. I am currently working on a Ph.D. in Political Science and study immigration surveillance as part of my research.
Topicality/Procedural Issues: I vote on these. While I default to competing interpretations, it's important that you are answering all levels of the argument-- including the impact level of the debate. If you are negative and hope to win the round on T, you need to make sure you have a complete argument out of the gate to vote on. I should see a definition, interp, link, and impact level to your argument and I should see the aff responding to these. Cross apply this to any procedural argument as well (such as ASPEC, condo bad, etc.)
Disads- There needs to be a terminal impact (or at least solid analysis as to why that impact outweighs aff impacts in the round), a risk/okay probability of the disad happening (otherwise, why does your UQ matter?), and a plausible link to the aff. Generic DAs are fine, but there needs to be a plausible link, even if just at an analytical level.
Counterplans-- I tend to be alright with CPs and lean negative. I think most are generally smart. However, that being said, the CP needs to be both rhetorically and functionally competitive. I think Affs can/should be held accountable for clarifications made on positions and that those links apply across both CP and DA grounds.
Kritiks-- I'm fine with these, however, keep in mind that I am studying political theory in a Ph.D. program, so if your whole knowledge of your K is from a long series of back files on the K or from reading a few paragraphs of Nietzsche, this might end badly for you. I tend to prefer Ks with wider reach (capitalism, feminism, racism, etc) and less so Ks of particular authors, mostly because they are generally done poorly. If you run a K, it is EXTREMELY important that you provide a clear narrative of a) the role of my ballot, b) the world of the alternative, and c) how I should prioritize impact calculus in the round.
- If you are going for more than 2 major things in your 2NR/2AR, there is a low chance you are going to win the round. Similarly, if you don't provide an impact calculus, you likely will not like the decision I make at the end of the round.
- Negative strategy-- there needs to be some sort of offense in the round. A defensive strategic approach has rarely won my ballot.
- Please don't be unpleasant during the round. I can almost guarantee that if you are, it's not aligned with the quality of your argumentation and it's just going to be a long round. For me this looks more like arrogance or intentional cruelness-- I'm fine with bluntness, anger, frustration, etc. If you are unsure what I mean by this, please ask.
- I pay attention to the rhetoric used in the round. Slurs and derogatory language will almost assuredly earn you lower speaker points.
- Both teams should start impact calc early, use this to frame your speeches and line by line, and use impact calc to prioritize voting issues and role of the ballot.
- I reward debaters who make an effort to deeply engage with the topic area and issues.
- Squirrel affs are rarely good affs. They generally have poor structure, poor solvency or advantage foundations, and generate poor debate. I would rather see a super mainstream topic that prompts a lot of clash in the round than an aff that is poorly written for an ambush factor.
- In more policy centered debates, I may err more on the tech aspect of the debate. In other cases, I may give some leniency on tech if the arguments are "true" (understanding that truth can be a subjective value).
- I'm starting to realize through my working social justice that I'm more easily effected by detailed narratives of sexism, racism, ableism (esp. invisible disabilities), and sexual assault. Trigger warnings aren't very helpful for me as a judge (I don't have a choice to opt out of them and I don't think that I would want to) but know that I may ask for a minute to just breathe or get some water between speeches, so I can have a clear head for the next speaker, if there is a particularly vivid or powerful speech. This is by no means a common thing that I do, but I did want to add this to affirm the value of self-care in this activity.
- Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I flow on my computer, so please make sure you take a beat at the top of flows before jumping in and please slow down to about 70% for analytical arguments, especially if they are fewer than 5 words. I have physical pain with my joints, especially at the ends of long days of judging. This doesn't make my abilities to assess your arguments any less, nor does it impact my competency. I will do my best to say "slow" if my joints can't keep up.
- If you think you might want my flow of the round, I'm happy to send it. Please try to give me a heads up before the round starts, as I organize my flows a bit differently when they are being distributed. Also, send me an e-mail after the round to remind me to send it to you.
TL;DR: You do you. Have fun. Be a decent human in the round. Learn some things.
For the past twenty-eight years, I have been judging individual events.
For interpretation events and duo, I value natural, motivated, and believable characterizations. All movement should be motivated, not just visually stimulating without real purpose. The key to believable characterization is an internalization of the motivations that manifest themselves through the nonverbal communication channels. Performances that cause me to reflect upon what I have seen/ heard long after the event are indicative of a great, mature performer. (This should be applied to both humorous and dramatic pieces.)
When evaluating public address and limited prep events, I believe the content of the speech with credible sources should be paramount; however, the delivery and connection to the audience must also be present in order to captivate the audience. Support should delve beyond a superficial quotation or secondary source rendering; consequently, I find the unified approach to be far more powerful since it allows the speaker to develop the arguments further than a three part line of reasoning approach (especially in extemporaneous and impromptu speaking). Again, the speaker needs to cultivate a relationship with the audience in order for the content to be effective.
When evaluating debate, the focus should be the strength and depth of both sides of the argument. Fallacies and flawed policies should be exposed. A skilled speaker/ team can conduct himself or herself professionally and analytically without the rapid fire of spreading. The argument should not be made at the expense of the relationship with the audience. I follow a leader who inspires and talks to/ with me, not at me. Points that are hard to flow are not points at all.
As a judge, I would like students to be
1. Clear in communication. Students who talk too fast tend to mumble words/sentences and it becomes very difficult to comprehend what points they are trying to make. The pace of talking should be such that judge is clearly able to make out what they are saying. They also should be loud enough, especially in environments where multiple teams are debating in same room on different tables.
2. Students should provide clear, succinct evidences and avoid repeating same point again and again.
3. Students should be cordial and respectful of other teams points.
Congrats on making it to Nationals! The ability to craft an argument towards your judges is a critical skill, and so checking paradigms is a good start. Mine are simple — be kind, be realistic, and be better than your opponent.
If not nice, be decent. No name calling or intentional interruptions.
If not realistic, be unrealistic within reason. Try not to speak in absolutes like “There is no way impact X could happen because my 1 card refutes” or “my impacts of nuclear fallout absolutely flow through with 100% certainty in 5 years.”
Falsified evidence is also not cool! Don’t do that!
If you’re not better than your opponent, you’ll probably lose the round. Unless they are needlessly rude and unrealistic (see above).
My email for evidence sharing is email@example.com Also, I won't take points off, but avoid off-time roadmaps. Use the time that the NSDA gives you in your speech to outline your speech.
Judge Lorain Clawson
She/Her or They/Them
Freshman at Davidson College
Hello, good people!
A few things to know about me
1.) I debated all four years of high school! I mostly competed in Policy Debate (my main category all four years), but I also dabbled in Congressional Debate and Public Forum Debate. I am best versed in Policy and like to keep my realm there.
2.) I also was a speech kid for three years in high school! I often double entered at tournaments and enjoy some good POI.
3.) I struggle with speed-- in any form of debate. I can handle it, but I willrequire you to send me your files via an email chain this way. If not, I will only flow what I hear. If you don't have clear tag lines... Then please work on making them!
Things I won't tolerate
This is the most important section of my paradigm, so please read it!
1.) I will not tolerate racially motivated statements at any time. If you read evidence that is racially motivated, I expect you to preface these matters before round or to choose a different piece of evidence. This also means I will not tolerate calling a team racist for reading off evidence when the team rejects the narrative personally. Any behavior of such will be reported to tabroom. Please do not define participants via their arguments and please be respectful.
2.) I will not tolerate sexist or misogynistic actions or statements made by the participant. If your evidence has these connotations, I expect you to preface these matters before round or to choose a different piece of evidence. This also means I will not tolerate calling a team sexist or misogynistic for reading off charged evidence when the team rejects the narrative personally. Any behavior of such will be reported to tabroom. Please do not define participants via their arguments and please be respectful.
3.) I will not tolerate cuss words being used in my rooms. I understand that you are a high schooler and I am a college kid, but we will not be using this language. It is not conducive with a semi-professional environment and I do not see it as a way of adding to an argument in any way. Do not use profanity. If you do, I will deduct points from your speaker points.
4.) You will not talk over one another in a debate. If you need to cut someone else in cross, please do so politely and with grace. Most importantly, if you are in a partnered debate, do not correct or interrupt your partner in way that is disrespectful. I will dock points if this persists throughout the round.
Policy Debate Judging Paradigm
Judge Type: Policy-Maker and/or Tabula Rasa.
- You drop an argument, you lose the argument. This includes your case!
- If you are extremely disrespectful in rounds, you will lose and be reported to tab.
Evaluating Topicality: Traditional; Needs Standards, Violation, and Impact of it. I see Topicality as a vital part of Policy Debate, but it is also a time-suck. Extratopicality arguments are normally a wash for me.
Evaluating Inherency: I believe in Structural and Attitudinal Inherency. Either way, you need an inherent barrier for me to buy your plan. Validity arguments are welcomed for Attitudinal Inherency.
Evaluating Solvency: I weigh solvency very heavily. I have seen teams win on Solvency and will vote accordingly. Remember that Magnitude and Time-Frame should be discussed when Solvency is brought up.
Evaluating DAs: Outline your Link, Brink, Impact, and Uniqueness. I accept Generic DAs, but have UQ arguments ready to go on both sides.
Evaluating CPs: Your CP must be nontopical, it must be competitive, and avoid the DAs. I will largely compare in policy making-mode, but feel free to expand CPs to include more if you want.
Evaluating Ks: Tell me what type of a K it is, the Links of the K, and why I should buy the K over an argument or plan. Please only run a K if you know what you are getting into. Outline your K with detail so that everyone understands. Do not use buzzwords and expect people to know what they mean.
Rebuttals: I will not accept new evidence in rebuttals. Please use these to summarize your round and make final, quick arguments. Remember to flow your case through these as well. Use this time to overview the round!
Chicago '05; Minnesota Law '14
For e-mail chains (which you should always use to accelerate evidence sharing): firstname.lastname@example.org
2022-23 rounds (as of 4/23): 169
Aff winning percentage: .527
("David" or "Mr. Coates" to you. I'll know you haven't bothered to read my paradigm if you call me "judge," which isn't my name).
I will not vote on disclosure theory. I will consider RVIs on disclosure theory based solely on the fact that you introduced it in the first place.
I will not vote on claims predicated on your opponents' rate of delivery and will probably nuke your speaker points if all you can come up with is "fast debate is bad" in response to faster opponents. Explain why their arguments are wrong, but don't waste my time complaining about how you didn't have enough time to answer bad arguments because...oh, wait, you wasted two minutes of a constructive griping about how you didn't like your opponents' speed.
I will not vote on frivolous "arguments" criticizing your opponent's sartorial choices (think "shoe theory" or "formal clothes theory" or "skirt length," which still comes up sometimes), and I will likely catapult your points into the sun for wasting my time and insulting your opponents with such nonsense.
You will probably receive a lecture if you highlight down your evidence to such an extent that it no longer contains grammatical sentences.
Allegations of ethical violations I determine not to have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt will result in an automatic loss with the minimum allowable speaker points for the team introducing them.
Allegations of rule violations not supported by the plain text of a rule will make me seriously consider awarding you a loss with no speaker points.
I will actively intervene against new arguments in the last speech of the round, no matter what the debate format. New arguments in the 2AR are the work of the devil and I will not reward you for saving your best arguments for a speech after which they can't be answered. I will entertain claims that new arguments in the 2AR are automatic voting issues for the negative or that they justify a verbal 3NR. Turnabout is fair play.
I will not entertain claims that your opponents should not be allowed to answer your arguments because of personal circumstances beyond their control. Personally abusive language about, or directed at, your opponents will have me looking for reasons to vote against you.
Someone I know has reminded me of this: I will not evaluate any argument suggesting that I must "evaluate the debate after X speech" unless "X speech" is the 2AR. Where do you get off thinking that you can deprive your opponent of speaking time?
I'm okay with slow-walking you through how my decision process works or how I think you can improve your strategic decision making or get better speaker points, but I've no interest, at this point in my career, in relitigating a round I've already decided you've lost. "What would be a better way to make this argument?" will get me actively trying to help you. "Why didn't you vote on this (vague claim)?" will just make me annoyed.
I have been an active coach, primarily of policy debate (though I'm now doing active work only on the LD side), since the 2000-01 season (the year of the privacy topic). Across divisions and events, I generally judge between 100 and 120 rounds a year.
My overall approach to debate is extremely substance dominant. I don't really care what substantive arguments you make as long as you clash with your opponents and fulfill your burdens vis-à-vis the resolution. I will not import my own understanding of argumentative substance to bail you out when you're confronting bad substance--if the content of your opponents' arguments is fundamentally false, they should be especially easy for you to answer without any help from me. (Contrary to what some debaters have mistakenly believed in the past, this does not mean that I want to listen to you run wipeout or spark--I'd actually rather hear you throw down on inherency or defend "the value is justice and the criterion is justice"--but merely that I think that debaters who can't think their way through incredibly stupid arguments are ineffective advocates who don't deserve to win).
My general default (and the box I've consistently checked on paradigm forms) is that of a fairly conventional policymaker. Absent other guidance from the teams involved, I will weigh the substantive advantages and disadvantages of a topical plan against those of the status quo or a competitive counterplan. I'm amenable to alternative evaluative frameworks but generally require these to be developed with more depth and clarity than most telegraphic "role of the ballot" claims usually provide.
THOUGHTS APPLICABLE TO ALL DEBATE FORMATS
That said, I do have certain predispositions and opinions about debate practice that may affect how you choose to execute your preferred strategy:
1. I am skeptical to the point of fairly overt hostility toward most non-resolutional theory claims emanating from either side. Aff-initiated debates about counterplan and kritik theory are usually vague, devoid of clash, and nearly impossible to flow. Neg-initiated "framework" "arguments" usually rest on claims that are either unwarranted or totally implicit. I understand that the affirmative should defend a topical plan, but what I don't understand after "A. Our interpretation is that the aff must run a topical plan; B. Standards" is why the aff's plan isn't topical. My voting on either sort of "argument" has historically been quite rare. It's always better for the neg to run T than "framework," and it's usually better for the aff to use theory claims to justify their own creatively abusive practices ("conditional negative fiat justifies intrinsicness permutations, so here are ten intrinsicness permutations") than to "argue" that they're independent voting issues.
1a. That said, I can be merciless toward negatives who choose to advance contradictory conditional "advocacies" in the 1NC should the affirmative choose to call them out. The modern-day tendency to advance a kritik with a categorical link claim together with one or more counterplans which link to the kritik is not one which meets with my approval. There was a time when deliberately double-turning yourself in the 1NC amounted to an automatic loss, but the re-advent of what my late friend Ross Smith would have characterized as "unlimited, illogical conditionality" has unfortunately put an end to this and caused negative win percentages to swell--not because negatives are doing anything intelligent, but because affirmatives aren't calling them out on it. I'll put it this way--I have awarded someone a 30 for going for "contradictory conditional 'advocacies' are illegitimate" in the 2AR.
2. Offensive arguments should have offensive links and impacts. "The 1AC didn't talk about something we think is important, therefore it doesn't solve the root cause of every problem in the world" wouldn't be considered a reason to vote negative if it were presented on the solvency flow, where it belongs, and I fail to understand why you should get extra credit for wasting time developing your partial case defense with less clarity and specificity than an arch-traditional stock issue debater would have. Generic "state bad" links on a negative state action topic are just as bad as straightforward "links" of omission in this respect.
3. Kritik arguments should NOT depend on my importing special understandings of common terms from your authors, with whose viewpoints I am invariably unfamiliar or in disagreement. For example, the OED defines "problematic" as "presenting a problem or difficulty," so while you may think you're presenting round-winning impact analysis when you say "the affirmative is problematic," all I hear is a non-unique observation about how the aff, like everything else in life, involves difficulties of some kind.I am not hostile to critical debates--some of the best debates I've heard involved K on K violence, as it were--but I don't think it's my job to backfill terms of art for you, and I don't think it's fair to your opponents for me to base my decision in these rounds on my understanding of arguments which have been inadequately explained.
3a. I guess we're doing this now...most of the critical literature with which I'm most familiar involves pretty radical anti-statism. You might start by reading "No Treason" and then proceeding to authors like Hayek, Hazlitt, Mises, and Rothbard. I know these are arguments a lot of my colleagues really don't like, but they're internally consistent, so they have that advantage.
3a(1). Section six of "No Treason," the one with which you should really start, is available at the following link: https://oll-resources.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/oll3/store/titles/2194/Spooner_1485_Bk.pdf so get off your cans and read it already. It will greatly help you answer arguments based on, inter alia, "the social contract."
3a(2). If you genuinely think that something at the tournament is making you unsafe, you may talk to me about it and I will see if there is a solution. Far be it from me to try to make you unable to compete.
4. The following solely self-referential "defenses" of your deliberate choice to run an aggressively non-topical affirmative are singularly unpersuasive:
a. "Topicality excludes our aff and that's bad because it excludes our aff." This is not an argument. This is just a definition of "topicality." I won't cross-apply your case and then fill in argumentative gaps for you.
b. "There is no topical version of our aff." This is not an answer. This is a performative concession of the violation.
c. "The topic forces us to defend the state and the state is racist/sexist/imperialist/settler colonial/oppressive toward 'bodies in the debate space.'" I'm quite sure that most of your authors would advocate, at least in the interim, in favor of increased income redistribution, and debates about how that might occur are really interesting to all of us, or at least to me. (I was one of the editors of Karie Davis-Nozemack, Unequal Burdens in EITC Compliance, 31 L. & Ineq. 37 , which was a good introduction to how these debates occur in the academic literature).
d. "Killing debate is good." Leaving aside the incredible "intellectual" arrogance of this statement, what are you doing here if you believe this to be true? You could overtly "kill debate" more effectively were you to withhold your "contributions" and depress participation numbers, which would have the added benefit of sparing us from having to listen to you.
e. "This is just a wrong forum argument." And? There is, in fact, a FORUM expressly designed to allow you to subject your audience to one-sided speeches about any topic under the sun you "feel" important without having to worry about either making an argument or engaging with an opponent. Last I checked, that FORUM was called "oratory." Try it next time.
f. "The topic selection process is unfair/disenfranchises 'bodies in the debate space.'" In what universe is it more fair for you to get to impose a debate topic on your opponents without consulting them in advance than for you to abide by the results of a topic selection process to which all students were invited to contribute and in which all students were invited to vote?
g. "Fairness is bad." Don't tempt me to vote against you for no reason to show you why fairness is, in fact, good.
5. Many of you are genuinely bad at organizing your speeches. Fix that problem by keeping the following in mind:
a. Off-case flows should be clearly labeled the first time they're introduced. It's needlessly difficult to keep track of what you're trying to do when you expect me to invent names for your arguments for you. I know that some hipster kid "at" some "online debate institute" taught you that it was "cool" to introduce arguments in the 1N with nothing more than "next off" to confuse your opponents, but remember that you're also confusing your audience when you do that, and I, unlike your opponents, have the power to deduct speaker points for poor organization if "next off--Biden disadvantage" is too hard for you to spit out. I'm serious about this.
b. Transitions between individual arguments should be audible. It's not that difficult to throw a "next" in there and it keeps you from sounding like this: "...wreck their economies and set the stage for an era of international confrontation that would make the Cold War look like Woodstock extinction Mead 92 what if the global economy stagnates...." The latter, because it fails to distinguish between the preceding card and subsequent tag, is impossible to flow, and it's not my job to look at your speech document to impose organization with which you couldn't be bothered.
c. Your arguments should line up with those of your opponents. "Embedded clash" flows extremely poorly for me. I will not automatically pluck warrants out of your four-minute-long scripted kritik overview and then apply them for you, nor will I try to figure out what, exactly, a fragment like "yes, link" followed by a minute of unintelligible, undifferentiated boilerplate is supposed to answer.
6. I don't mind speed as long as it's clear and purposeful:
a. Many of you don't project your voices enough to compensate for the poor acoustics of the rooms where debates often take place. I'll help you out by yelling "clearer" or "louder" at you no more than twice if I can't make out what you're saying, but after that you're on your own.
b. There are only two legitimate reasons for speed: Presenting more arguments and presenting more argumentative development. Fast delivery should not be used as a crutch for inefficiency. If you're using speed merely to "signpost" by repeating vast swaths of your opponents' speeches or to read repetitive cards tagged "more evidence," I reserve the right to consider persuasive delivery in how I assign points, meaning that you will suffer deductions you otherwise would not have had you merely trimmed the fat and maintained your maximum sustainable rate.
7: I have a notoriously low tolerance for profanity and will not hesitate to severely dock your points for language I couldn't justify to the host school's teachers, parents, or administrators, any of whom might actually overhear you. When in doubt, keep it clean. Don't jeopardize the activity's image any further by failing to control your language when you have ample alternative fora for profane forms of self-expression.
8: For crying out loud, it is not too hard to respect your opponents' preferred pronouns (and "they" is always okay in policy debate because it's presumed that your opponents agree about their arguments), but I will start vocally correcting you if you start engaging in behavior I've determined is meant to be offensive in this context. You don't have to do that to gain some sort of perceived competitive advantage and being that intentionally alienating doesn't gain you any friends.
9. I guess that younger judges engage in more paradigmatic speaker point disclosure than I have in the past, so here are my thoughts: Historically, the arithmetic mean of my speaker points any given season has averaged out to about 27.9. I think that you merit a 27 if you've successfully used all of your speech time without committing round-losing tactical errors, and your points can move up from there by making gutsy strategic decisions, reading creative arguments, and using your best public speaking skills. Of course, your points can decline for, inter alia, wasting time, insulting your opponents, or using offensive language. I've "awarded" a loss-15 for a false allegation of an ethics violation and a loss-18 for a constructive full of seriously inappropriate invective. Don't make me go there...tackle the arguments in front of you head-on and without fear or favor and I can at least guarantee you that I'll evaluate the content you've presented fairly.
NOTES FOR LINCOLN-DOUGLAS!
PREF SHORTCUT: stock ≈ policy > K > framework > Tricks > Theory
I have historically spent much more time judging policy than LD and my specific topic knowledge is generally restricted to arguments I've helped my LD debaters prepare. In the context of most contemporary LD topics, which mostly encourage recycling arguments which have been floating around in policy debate for decades, this shouldn't affect you very much. With more traditionally phrased LD resolutions ("A just society ought to value X over Y"), this might direct your strategy more toward straight impact comparison than traditional V/C debating.
Also, my specific preferences about how _substantive_ argumentation should be conducted are far less set in stone than they would be in a policy debate. I've voted for everything from traditional value/criterion ACs to policy-style ACs with plan texts to fairly outright critical approaches...and, ab initio, I'm fine with more or less any substantive attempt by the negative to engage whatever form the AC takes, subject to the warnings about what constitutes a link outlined above. (Not talking about something is not a link). Engage your opponent's advocacy and engage the topic and you should be okay.
N.B.: All of the above comments apply only to _substantive_ argumentation. See the section on "theory" in in the overview above if you want to understand what I think about those "arguments," and square it. If winning that something your opponent said is "abusive" is a major part of your strategy, you're going to have to make some adjustments if you want to win in front of me. I can't guarantee that I'll fully understand the basis for your theory claims, and I tend to find theory responses with any degree of articulation more persuasive than the claim that your opponent should lose because of some arguably questionable practice, especially if whatever your opponent said was otherwise substantively responsive. I also tend to find "self-help checks abuse" responses issue-dispositive more often than not. That is to say, if there is something you could have done to prevent the impact to the alleged "abuse," and you failed to do it, any resulting "time skew," "strat skew," or adverse impact on your education is your own fault, and I don't think you should be rewarded with a ballot for helping to create the very condition you're complaining about.
I have voted on theory "arguments" unrelated to topicality in Lincoln-Douglas debates precisely zero times. Do you really think you're going to be the first to persuade me to pull the trigger?
Addendum: To quote my colleague Anthony Berryhill, with whom I paneled the final round of the Isidore Newman Round Robin: " "Tricks debate" isn't debate. Deliberate attempts to hide arguments, mislead your opponent, be unethical, lie...etc. to screw your opponent will be received very poorly. If you need tricks and lying to win, either "git' good" (as the gamers say) or prefer a different judge." I say: I would rather hear you go all-in on spark or counterintuitive internal link turns than be subjected to grandstanding about how your opponent "dropped" some "tricky" half-sentence theory or burden spike. If you think top-loading these sorts of "tricks" in lieu of properly developing substance in the first constructive is a good idea, you will be sorely disappointed with your speaker points and you will probably receive a helpful refresher on how I absolutely will not tolerate aggressive post-rounding. Everyone's value to life increases when you fill the room with your intelligence instead of filling it with your trickery.
AND SPECIFIC NOTES FOR PUBLIC FORUM
NB: After the latest timing disaster, in which a public forum round which was supposed to take 40 minutes took over two hours and wasted the valuable time of the panel, I am seriously considering imposing penalties on teams who make "off-time" requests for evidence or needless requests for original articles or who can't locate a piece of evidence requested by their opponents during crossfire. This type of behavior--which completely disregards the timing norms found in every other debate format--is going to kill this activity because no member of the "public" who has other places to be is interested in judging an event where this type of temporal elongation of rounds takes place.
NB: I actually don't know what "we outweigh on scope" is supposed to mean. I've had drilled into my head that there are four elements to impact calculus: timeframe, probability, magnitude, and hierarchy of values. I'd rather hear developed magnitude comparison (is it worse to cause a lot of damage to very few people or very little damage to a lot of people? This comes up most often in debates about agricultural subsidies of all things) than to hear offsetting, poorly warranted claims about "scope."
NB: In addition to my reflections about improper citation practices infra, I think that evidence should have proper tags. It's really difficult to flow you, or even to follow the travel of your constructive, when you have a bunch of two-sentence cards bleeding into each other without any transitions other than "Larry '21," "Jones '21," and "Anderson '21."
NB: The regrettable PF habit of not using explicit taglines for your evidence severely impedes the travel of your speeches. I really would rather hear tag-cite-text than whatever you're doing. Thus: "Further, economic decline causes nuclear war. Mead '92" rather than "Mead '92 furthers...".
1. You should remember that, notwithstanding its pretensions to being for the "public," this is a debate event. Allowing it to degenerate into talking past each other with dueling oratories past the first pro and first con makes it more like a speech event than I would like, and practically forces me to inject my own thoughts on the merits of substantive arguments into my evaluative process. I can't guarantee that you'll like the results of that, so:
2. Ideally, the second pro/second con/summary stage of the debate will be devoted to engaging in substantive clash (per the activity guidelines, whether on the line-by-line or through introduction of competing principles, which one can envision as being somewhat similar to value clash in a traditional LD round if one wants an analogy) and the final foci will be devoted to resolving the substantive clash.
3. Please review the sections on "theory" in the policy and LD philosophies above. I'm not interested in listening to rule-lawyering about how fast your opponents are/whether or not it's "fair"/whether or not it's "public" for them to phrase an argument a certain way. I'm doubly unenthused about listening to theory "debates" where the team advancing the theory claim doesn't understand the basis for it.* These "debates" are painful enough to listen to in policy and LD, but they're even worse to suffer through in PF because there's less speech time during which to resolve them. Unless there's a written rule prohibiting them (e.g., actually advocating specific plan/counterplan texts), I presume that all arguments are theoretically legitimate, and you will be fighting an uphill battle you won't like trying to persuade me otherwise. You're better off sticking to substance (or, better yet, using your opposition's supposedly dubious stance to justify meting out some "abuse" of your own) than getting into a theoretical "debate" you simply won't have enough time to win, especially given my strong presumption against this style of "argumentation."
*I've heard this misunderstanding multiple times from PF debaters who should have known better: "The resolution isn't justified because some policy in the status quo will solve the 'pro' harms" is not, in fact, a counterplan. It's an inherency argument. There is no rule saying the "con" can't redeploy policy stock issues in an appropriately "public" fashion and I know with absolute metaphysical certitude that many of the initial framers of the public forum rules are big fans of this general school of argumentation.
4. If it's in the final focus, it should have been in the summary. I will patrol the second focus for new arguments. If it's in the summary and you want me to consider it in my decision, you'd better mention it in the final focus. It is definitely not my job to draw lines back to arguments for you. Your defense on the case flow is not "sticky," as some of my PF colleagues put it, as far as I'm concerned.
5. While I pay attention to crossfire, I don't flow it. It's not intended to be a period for initiating arguments, so if you want me to consider something that happened in crossfire in my decision, you have to mention it in your side's first subsequent speech.
6. You should cite authors by name. "Harvard," as an institution, doesn't conduct studies of issues that aren't solely internal Harvard matters, so you sound awful when you attribute your study about military presence in the Arctic to "Harvard." "According to Mr. Choi of Harvard" (yes, he's a Harvard Law School alumnus who's recognized as an expert on this particular issue) doesn't take much longer to say than "according to Harvard," and has the considerable advantage of accuracy.
7. You all need to improve your time management skills and stop proliferating dead time if you'd like rounds to end at a civilized hour.
a. The extent to which PF debaters talk over the buzzer is unfortunate. When the speech time stops, that means that you stop speaking. "Finishing [your] sentence" does not mean going 45 seconds over time, which happens a lot. I will not flow anything you say after my timer goes off.
b. You people really need to streamline your "off-time" evidence exchanges. These are getting ridiculous and seem mostly like excuses for stealing prep time. I recently had to sit through a pre-crossfire set of requests for evidence which lasted for seven minutes. This is simply unacceptable. If you have your laptops with you, why not borrow a round-acceleration tactic from your sister formats and e-mail your speech documents to one another? Even doing this immediately after a speech would be much more efficient than the awkward fumbling around in which you usually engage.
c. This means that you should card evidence properly and not force your opponents to dig around a 25-page document for the section you've just summarized during unnecessary dead time. Your sister debate formats have had the "directly quoting sources" thing nailed dead to rights for decades. Why can't you do the same? Minimally, you should be able to produce the sections of articles you're purporting to summarize immediately when asked.
d. You don't need to negotiate who gets to question first in crossfire. I shouldn't have to waste precious seconds listening to you ask your opponents' permission to ask a question. It's simple to understand that the first-speaking team should always ask, and the second-speaking team always answer, the first question...and after that, you may dialogue.
e. If you're going to insist on giving an "off-time road map," it should take you no more than five seconds and be repeated no more than zero times. This is PF...do you seriously believe we can't keep track of TWO flows?
Was sich überhaupt sagen lässt, lässt sich klar sagen; und wovon man nicht reden kann, darüber muss man schweigen.
Any post-round questions can be directed to my email: email@example.com
My background: the last time I debated (academically) was at the college level in parliamentary debate about ten years ago. I was very competitive, regionally, in policy debate in high school.
My general preferences/skills: I can flow fast enough to keep up with you. I will provide feedback if I can't understand you; this isn't meant to be disruptive but to ensure that I actually catch everything you're saying. I am probably not familiar with topic-specific arguments. I have worked in the legal field and politics, however, so I probably know a little more about how the justice system works than your average individual. Academically, I have a background in political theory, analytical and continental philosophy, and psychology (specifically cognitive biases). Go nuts about the K's; I get down with the social/critical theory and I'd love to learn some new stuff (explained well) from y'all. Procedurals are cool, too. I'll totally pull the trigger on some cheap shot independent voter if it is extended through the debate and articulated well in the rebuttals.
Oh, I also tend to like wacky arguments. Not bad arguments. But I loved going for arguments like de-dev and wipeout when I was debating. Don't take that as carte blanche to go completely off the rails, but it's nice to have a little levity in this event, and not hear the same generic econ or politics disad in every single round.
I'm willing to disclose my decision as long as it conforms to the rules of the tournament and I'm willing to provide extended verbal feedback to competitors if so desired, whether immediately following the round or later on. Some judges don't like this, but I would prefer you ask me questions before the round: "how do you like this type of argument," "what's your threshhold for voting on a procedural," etc. This is more as a favor to you because I can't possibly cover every contingency in this paradigm.
Open CX is fine (as long as it conforms to the rules of the tournament).
I'm tabula rasa but I will default policymaker in the absence of framework analysis.
Impact analysis/comparison is clutch. Timeframe, probability, magnitude, yo!
On speeding through analytics/procedurals: in debates where the teams are speeding through a lot of analytical arguments, I find it helpful to get a little pen (keyboard?) time to both flow and comprehend these arguments. If it just one one-sentence argument after another, I sometimes have difficulty adjusting to the sheer volume of arguments being made. I may flow them all but I do not think I will be able to do adequate analysis of these arguments if you do not provide sufficient explanation of each point. For instance, if you want me to flow your procedural voters, just rattling off that something "is a voter for fairness, education and ground" might be detrimental, if there aren't individual explanations as to why fairness is a voter, education is a voter, ground is a voter. Obviously if time is tight in the 1AR you will have to make a strategic choice how to allocate your time, but I don't think it will be beneficial to you if the coverage is superficial and the import on an individual argument is lost in the shuffle.
Addendum about K affs: I have noticed quite the disparity between the circuit-style "K Affs" (usually performative) that have proliferated, vs. the traditional style of policy debate that is still practiced at the other 95% of tournaments. I am okay with kritiks and critical literature, but I have very little tolerance for these cases that are essentially being formatted in this manner for strategic (rather than ethical or educational) purposes. Do not expect me to clap my hands with glee because you read a poem during the 1AC, had a moment of silence, didn't read a plan, etc. I think it's squirrelly and exclusionary. I understand the strategy: it does really limit the options the neg has. But that also means that I, as the judge, have to hear a bunch of rounds where the 1AC is performative, and the neg runs T. Does this mean you shouldn't run a K aff? Not necessarily. . . But it will probably elicit a deep sigh from me the moment you read a poem instead of a plan. I will definitely be leaning neg on presumption when their strategic options are reduced in this (or any similar) manner.
On speaker points: I attempt to assign points according to a rough bell curve distribution between 25-30 (or whatever the range is for your tournament). If you understand how statistical distributions work, you know this means you will not get a thirty from me. If you receive anything above 29, you should feel very good about your performance.
Also. . . have fun?
I competed in LD briefly in high school. My primary background is in policy debate, so I'll be flowing. Obviously, speed is fine, but make sure the other judges are cool with it, too.
Questions? Feel free to ask before the round.
Be excellent to each other.
I did this the first year they tried it out as "Ted Turner Debate" (sigh). It's definitely improved since then. I'm a policy judge so don't worry about going over my head. PF is very much about style and presentation, so I'm going to be placing a lot more emphasis on speaking skills, tone, nonverbals, etc. I view it as kind of a speech/debate hybrid: less analytical than policy but slightly deeper than StuCo. Not to undermine the value of argumentation (you will probably lose if your arguments suck), but I find that these PF topics are often politically loaded so as to be heavily biased toward one side or the other. I usually am aware of this and will not vote against you simply because you got stuck arguing for something that I absolutely morally abhor. Jokes are good. Politeness is good. Actually knowing what you're talking about is best. Above all, have fun!
Feel free to ask me any questions you may have before the round starts.
I judged this for the first time at nats in 2021 and rather enjoyed it. My related background: I competed in policy, LD, PF, extemp, humor and student congress in high school; in college, I was a member of the student government and competed in parliamentary debate (not British Parliamentary, which is the norm now, and much closer in format to WSD). At this point I have judged a far greater number of rounds than those in which I ever competed.
I will be "flowing" your arguments in a loose way but I will pay a lot of attention to delivery and presentation; I care less about a neat flow than getting a cohesive "story" from both sides. Answering arguments is important, but providing a solid case and returning to that original structure throughout your speeches is going to make your team look stronger overall.
I debated in parli briefly in college. My paradigm for parli is roughly the same as my CX paradigm except you won't be reading cards to support your positions. Badgering your opponents with POI's is kinda a jerk move, but IMO, POI usage is a big part of the strategy of this event; honestly, it will reflect more poorly on the team being badgered if they do nothing to shut it down and allow their time to be monopolized by incessant interruptions from a more dominant team.
I am always ready unless I specify otherwise, please don't ask every time you speak.
Road maps are fine if kept VERY short. I don't time them.
Dates matter and NSDA rules say you should at a minimum read the year of the card; please follow these rules or I will not flow your cards.
Please extend each argument made in a speech in all following speeches for them to be counted by me in the round.
I don't flow Cross-Fire, so anything you'd like to use to further your arguments must be brought up in a speech.
Dropped arguments only matter if you tell me why. You do not automatically win just because an argument is dropped.
I am always ready unless I specify otherwise, please don't ask every time you speak.
Although I have done primarily traditional value-criterion debate, I am open to circuit style arguments as I did some LD circuit debating in High School. I am much more persuaded by arguments that are related to the resolution as opposed to Kritikal arguments that do not link (resolution specific Kritiks I am open to).
Please extend each argument made in a speech in all following speeches for them to be counted by me in the round.
I may not be familiar with all theory arguments, but am open to learning.
You do not automatically win just because an argument is dropped, tell me why it's significant.
As far as speed goes, I can keep up with it if it is clear and well articulated, don't go fast just to go fast.
Interpretation events paradigms:
I have no problem with materials that are edgy or considered "triggering" - this are events that are meant to raise awareness of issues and to allow competitors to push boundaries. Please do not chew gum.
Speaking events paradigms:
I have no problem with materials that are edgy or considered "triggering" - this are events that are meant to raise awareness of issues and to allow competitors to push boundaries.
Debate events paradigms:
I expect competitors to speak clearly and not race through their points. Quality over quantity is important to me. If I can't understand you, then I have a hard time voting for your side. I like evidence, evidence, evidence. I want your points backed up with valid sources. I expect civility - debate can happen without being rude and disrespectful.
I'm a traditional LD coach/judge. I coach CX, as well, but don't care to see CX style argumentation (CPs, Ks, etc.) in LD (or PF) rounds. That includes CX-style speed. I look for who resolves clash by winning the substantive issues, preferably with a coherent story or clear voters in the rebuttals.
In CX, I'm a real world policy maker judge. I see CX as a training ground for future policy makers and voting citizens, so I want to know if plan makes the world a better place or not. When it comes to weighing the round, I'm not swayed by the magnitude of impacts if they are logically absurd, and I'll accept analyticals that tell me why they are so. I'll vote on T but not if the plan is clearly topical. I'll listen to critical positions, but I am unlikely to vote for them unless they are impacted back to a real world impact. If I can't hear the warrant in a card because of your speed, I'm unlikely to find it persuasive.
One may call me a traditionalist, but I am not a fan, at all, of speed or anything policy related drifting into LD or PF debate.
The reason PF was created was to eliminate all of the lexicon/jargon and to make it easier for a judge off of the street to follow. The reason LD was created was to examine the values within our society that can be held dear to how we function as human beings. When debaters ignore those foundational components, they may as well go into policy debate. If you feel the need to run theory, topicality, kritiks, and do everything else but debate the actual topics, policy is always looking for more teams. I would encourage you to join it to try and save it.
I don't think that judges that put paradigms as "...I will give you one half of a point if you make a Pokémon reference..." are doing any good to PF or LD. Keep that stuff/junk in policy. There's a reason policy is dying around the country, and that is a part of it. It's juvenile, it's nonsensical, and it is non-educational. Judges should be here to help you learn how to improve your communication skills, critical analysis, writing, and research skills...not point bait you.
My debate background is in Parliamentary Debate in a program strongly influenced by policy debate. What I look for is clear structure and sound arguments, avoiding fallacies, and using credible evidence to support claims.
In round, being able to compare and evaluate evidence and to impact arguments to the round. Tell me why your argument matters.
Another key element of a good debate is CLASH. Attack and defend your arguments, impact them to the criteria and value, tell me which one should be weighted the most in my evaluation of the round and why.
Be nice and have fun!
PF Debate Judge Paradigm
What school(s) are you affiliated with? Enter names of schools you coach for, judge for, etc.
Were you a competitor when in school? If so, what style of debate did you do and for how many years? Enter type of debate (LD, PF, Policy) and number of years. Otherwise, put N/A.
How often do you judge public forum debate? Can say every weekend, few times a year, etc.
How fast can students speak during speeches? Just a little faster than conversational
If a student is speaking too fast or unclear, will you give any cues to them? no
Evaluating the Round
1. Do you prefer arguments over style, style over arguments, or weigh them equally? Arguments, but it is meant to be a lay style of delivery
2. What do you see as the role of the final focus in the round? Give me voters
3. If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? If you think it is your winning argument, extend it and also make it a voter.
4. Do you weigh evidence over analytics, analytics over evidence, or weigh them equally? Evidence is to support arguments,
In a few sentences, describe the type of debate you would like most to hear or any other things debaters/coaches should know about your judging style.
If you make a claim, link it to the res/argument made, and warrant why it applies. Support your claims with reasoning and evidence. The stronger it is, the more I can weigh it.
*Updated for 2023*
2018-Present: Policy Coach at Rock Springs High School
2007-2011: NPTE Debate at University of Wyoming: Highest national ranking: 4th; 4x national qualifier for NPTE; attended NPDA/NPTE 6x’s (between both tournaments); highest placing at National Tournament: Semi-finalist; Between 2009-2012 ranked top 20 in NPTE points receiving First Round Bids.
2004-2007: Debate at Rock Springs High School in Rock Springs, Wyoming
Approximate number of rounds judged per year: 35+
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Over the past seasons, I have seen numerous teams use the ‘small schools’ argument on theory and procedural positions. Moving forward, I will not listen to, flow or evaluate these types of arguments. Being from a ‘small school’ with limited financial resources and limited ability to travel nationally, these types of arguments suppose that we as competitors have also a limited ability to intelligently evaluate and present competitive arguments due to our position in the community. Utilizing these arguments in order to establish a model of debate based in assumptions of limited abilities of teams, such as ours, is marginalizing our ability as competitors and individuals, it also places unrealistic perceptions of who we are as policy debaters, thus please refrain from reading these arguments. Fight against, what Brian Delong of IU calls "The Cult of the Card". Taking no notice of this position in round can effect speaker points awarded.
Note 2: NO NEW OFF-CASE POSITIONS IN THE 2NC, I WILL NOT FLOW IT!!!! (unless warranted by offensive language/actions, ethics violations, far-reaching 2AC abuses/skews)
Average Speaker Points: 28.5
Spreading is fine, speed is important but clarity is more important. Slow down on analytics, include them in the email chain. Also slow down 20% on tags and authors. Differentiate between tags and the internals of your cards. With the online format, make sure that you are either decreasing your speed on analytics or you are sending them out in the speech doc. I have noticed in cases that some analysis can get missed with the tubes of the internet.
If it’s conceded it’s true; I'll pic out of really terrible arguments (racism, sexism, otherization, etc.), also reading more cards that aren’t true, doesn’t mean I will prefer.
Policy-------------------X---------------------Ks (Aff or Neg)
I am good with either a policy debate or K v. K debate; just make sure to explain your argument thoroughly.
Analytics have their place, however they should be based in the literature, this also includes theory and theory blocks. Speaker points check...cite literature as an argument and I will bump up .5! (make sure I hear it!)
Conditionality good--X----------------------------Conditionality bad
Conditionality is generally good, but I could be persuaded otherwise. This is a vote down the team theory approach.
Actor/PIC/Consult/Process CP good--X------------------------------- Actor/PIC/Consult/Process CP bad
The CP is an essential tool for the Neg, all are strategic. That being said I am open to theory objections and if won by the Aff, I will reject the argument (if indicated). For Courts CP, run them, but be able to clearly articulate how the Courts would be able to hear the Aff plan; be it a test case (include your test case, or be able to defend the timeframe deficit awaiting the next available test case) or defend SCOTUS using a Writ of Crit to rule. Also, it would be wise to include the basis of ruling within the text of the CP. Args directly questioning the mechanisms by which the CP functions and can be very persuasive for me.*
Politics DA good------------------X------------Politics DA bad
Read the appropriate Tix DAs and you’re good, however, as in 2020, reading Prez Tix DAs two days after the elections is frustrating. DO NOT DO IT!
1AR gets new args--------------X----------------------1AR doesn’t get new args
I will give the 1AR room to present new extrapolations of the Aff positions and to respond fully to the block, however running a new position/link turn/mpx turn or a new response to a Neg position isn’t the best and it’s probably too late in the debate to truly develop said position.
UQ matters most-----------------------------X---Link matters most
A solid link into an argument is incredibly important, no matter how unique an argument is, if it doesn’t apply, it doesn’t apply!
Love T-X---------------------------------------------Hate T
I love T!! Evidence again is very important and please read it. I will prefer your standards if you have evidence supporting. Explain your mpx, violation and why you should win. Make sure that if you are going for T, either send a doc with analytics or ensure that you are clear.
Generics solve your ground claims, all though they might not be the most in-depth or educational, they do provide access to clash, and even if they are generic, there is evidence that supports those claims which is still educational. Limits, however, means that the Neg can produce in-depth arguments due to having a limited research burden and lit base.
Fairness is an mpx--------------------------------X-----Education is an mpx
Debate is a game, but, it is a game is which the motive is academic.
Reasonability opens the door for judge intervention, what I believe is reasonably topical and what the next person does, is inherently different. I’d rather hear the mpx of topicality weighed as a net benefit to the presented interpretations.
Longer ev--------------------X---------------------More ev
Whatever way you want to present your evidence is up to you. Your evidence represents your argument, not the tag, if the tag is misrepresentative or an embellishment of the ev then that argument will be given less weight in the round*
"Insert this rehighlighting"--------X---------------I only read what you read
I will only evaluate only what is read during the speech act, unless told to evaluate a rehighlighting (should be sent in the doc) or told to evaluate a card vs. another card.
Durable FIAT solves circumvention--------------------X---Durable FIAT is not a thing
There are a number of ways that a position can be undermined that FIAT cannot account for. However, FIAT would protect teams from args like “plan doesn’t pass”.
A team doesn't need to hide their argument or not disclose their arguments, not disclosing makes for a sloppy debate and a bunch of people not knowing what is going on.
Analytic Perm-----------------------------X-Evidence-based Perm
The words "Perm Do Both" (or similar analytics) mean nothing to me unless you explain how it functions, what level of competition the perm is testing and read evidence indicating a net benefit to said perm. BTW...I love the perm debate!
Existential Mpx---------------X-----------------Systemic Mpx
Tell me how to vote and what mpx to evaluate. This is also more of mpx weighing analysis, not framework. Framework is how debate should be or included within the realm of debate. Mpx prioritization is a question of the specific magnitude of that mpx.
Letter of the Plan Text-X------------------------Intent of the Plan Text
In regards to construction of the plan/counterplan/advocacy/permutation texts, I have a high threshold for properly written texts, meaning that text must do what is indicated that it will do. In a number of rounds, I have found that teams seems to misunderstand or misrepresent what the letter of the text actually would do. This can be as easy as using the wrong diction, syntax and/or semantics...for example using "apart" meaning not a part of vs. what is intended "as a part of" in the text. Just the simple change to this verbiage means that the functional implementation of the policy would be drastically different and not uphold what the solvency advocate intends. Prior to the round please evaluate texts, and the opponent texts as I am willing to vote/reject on miswrote texts in round, however it does have to be on the flow for me to vote.
Leland High school 2021
Cornell college '25
Debated for 4 years for Leland, did ok. Mostly under the code "Leland FS" for those who want to stalk
Paradigm Stolen from Karsen Wahal:
How I vote:
1. Who is winning the weighing?
2. Who is winning a link into that weighing?
3. If no one is winning a link into any weighing, then I'll either find the best remaining offense, or, if none exists, presume whoever lost the coin flip (that'll be rare, though).
Tech > truth, but I'm probably marginally more inclined towards truer arguments.
I debated pretty quickly and I'm totally good with PF fast, but not policy spreading. If you do really want to spread for some reason, at least provide a speech doc.
Second rebuttal must frontline -- all turns must be frontlined and frontline the argument you're going for.
Weighing is the most important thing for me, and it's typically how I evaluate rounds. Give me warrants for your weighing and do clear comparisons (don't just use buzzwords).
Tell me why to prefer your arguments -- give me impact comparisons, link comparisons, evidence comparisons. If you do that effectively, you'll almost always win. Sidenote: Probability weighing is fake 95% of the time, but if you warrant it well, I'll buy it. If it's the only other weighing in the round, I'll probably also buy it.
Warrant everything. Don't just extend your impact, extend your whole argument.
Logic is great -- evidence is better, but I'm more than willing to vote on well-warranted logical turns or defense.
If you do cooler weighing mechanisms than just scope/magnitude etc., you get bonus points.
Defense is sticky, but if defense is frontlined, it must be responded to in the next speech.
Signposting is important. Tell me how to vote in FF (treat me like a lay judge in your final focus).
I won't call for evidence unless a) it's contested in the round and it'll affect my decision or b) I just think it's interesting. But please don't misconstrue evidence: if it's really horrendous, I'll drop you for it. Progressive argumentation is fine, but I didn't run theory/Ks in high school. Run it at your own risk (I might not understand it at all).
Cross: I don't pay that much attention, and don't flow it, so if something important happens, tell me. I'll pay some attention though, so don't screw around too much.
Please time yourselves.
I appreciate humor.
Most importantly, don't be exclusive. To anyone. Period.
I'll almost always disclose. Feel free to ask questions.
For all debates: Sign post your arguments and be polite to one another. Speed is fine as long as you are clear.
CX: I am a stock issues voter. I have a high threshold on topicality and kritiks. There must be a substantial disadvantage for a team that is impacted out if a team wants to win the round solely on topicality. If the aff is truly untopical, then run topicality. Otherwise, if it is for a time-suck I would avoid this. The weirder the kritik the more work needs to be done developing the argument. Also, please use a roadmap to cover what part of the flow you will be on before you start.
LD: The value / value criterion clash is critical. Please go over this throughout the debate and use it as a mechanism to weigh the round with, rather than trying to solely win on the value / value criterion debate. Make sure to clash on the relevant issues in the debate and weigh the impacts on both sides. I look for arguments that are not just evidence based but also have a good tie to philosophy. In your final speech, I prefer that you use some of the time going over voters.
PF: Clash is critical in public forum. You should be weighing all arguments in the debate and bring new evidence in the round to support your position. If you have a framework, make sure to use it throughout your speeches and don't wait until the final focus to use your framework. You need to spend time utilizing your framework throughout. In your final speech, I prefer some voters.
Hi! I competed in LD and policy in high school, and I've coached PF and LD since 2019. I'm a senior at Stanford studying Public Policy.
I try to insert myself as little as possible into the debate, so be thorough in your responses and weighing. I default to being a tech judge. Solid links are more important to me than extinction-level impacts.
I primarily competed in policy, so CPs and Ks are fine. However, I put a lot of value on the framework debate, and I find it to be really disappointing when framework is ignored in favor of poorly run progressive-style arguments.
You don't have to speak slowly, but just be coherent.
I will not flow any racist, classist, sexist, transphobic, etc. arguments, and your speaker points will be affected, so don't bother with them.
Please be polite. Don't speak over each other, don't make unnecessary digs, and give your opponent the benefit of the doubt where possible. Be welcoming to those who are typically excluded or underrepresented in debate.
email@example.com please add me to email chains
from planet debate-
this is difficult for me b/c i'm not sure i have A judging philosophy but I do have many different ideas about and for debate...some inconsistent. that being said i don't want what i think about debate to totally dictate what debaters decide to do in rounds.
topicality- generally don't like it. I find no abuse args to be really persuasive. Since I like critical arguments so much I think you can usually find ground in any debate. i don't like the competing interpretations framework very much. i find the "that limits out any aff" arg to be persuasive. but i will vote on that framework and topicality if left unchallenged. in a good topicality debate on competeing interp vs an ok no abuse arg i'll USUALLY vote aff.
cp- like em. with a critical nb even better. i think i'm a fair judge for these debates. aff theory args generally not persuasive unless unchallenged. very similar to topicality in this regards.
das- great. a lot of people are now struggling with the we control the uniqueness = a risk vs. we got d/risk of turn. i don't think the aff has to have offense to win a da but i do find in a lot of debates that with only defense it hurts the aff a bunch. especially when the neg has a cp. but i tend to weight the da first in terms of probability and then magnitude.
critical args- love em. these are the debates i find the most interesting. i'm willing to listen to virtually any way the neg wants to present them. method. alternative. text no text. don't care. case turn. obviously it's the neg's burden to provide some way to evaluate their "framework" but in terms of theory i think they are all pretty much legit. args are args and it's the other teams responsibility to answer them.
others- i like to see people be nice to each other in debate rounds. some people may say i intervene sometimes. it's true but let me provide context. if you go for you mis-spelled (jk) a word in your plan and you should lose and your winning the arg but the other team says this is stupid...we'll i'm persuaded. you just wasted a bunch of peoples time. another thing. DON'T RUN MALTHUS IN FRONT OF ME- DOESN'T MATTER IF IT RIGHTS OR NOT. i won't flow it. i think that while debate is a game we still have a responsibility to "speak truth to power". discourse is very important. definately co-constitutes with reality. this may be why i'm starting/have been hating the politics debate for the last year and a half. but hey, like i said before, i'm full of inconsistancies b/c sometimes you just don't have another arg in the box to go for. i'm sympathetic to this. especially in high school debate. i still research it for the hs topic and coach my kids to go for it.
Debate is a game- i have a lot of ideas about how the game should be played but in the absence of teams making those arguments i won't default to them. i think debate should make the rules of the game and provide a framework for how i should evaulte the debate. i'm not a big fan of some arguments...like malthus in particular...but also theory arguments in general. these debates generally happen faster then my mind and pen can handle. ive judged a lot although i haven't much this year on the china topic. some people may think i have a bias towards critical arguments, and while this is true to some degree (i generally find them more intersting than other debates), it also means i have higher standards when it comes to these debates. yeah imagine that, me with high standards.
Background: Debated LD in Colorado during high school; coach since graduation also in Colorado, MA in International Studies (Governance, Human Rights, and Civil Society). 2021 - 2022 season: I've watched equal amounts PF and LD, only a few CX rounds.
I have judged at Stanford and Berkeley tournaments for several years, plus numerous out rounds in LD and CX at NSDA Nationals.
Apparently I haven't updated this in a while...since that last update I've come to believe that paradigms are even more useless. I write it. You read it. We probably both ignore it.
- Please impact your extensions. I won't simply flow through a card author.
- Give me voters! Probably with some weighing and clash...
- I dislike it when individuals run arguments that they don't understand: 1) quality over quantity; 2) don't waste my time. (I am seeing SO much power tagging. I can pull up your evidence very quickly and do a keyword search.)
- I think the best debate rounds are those in which the debaters agree what is being debated and don't try to play games--don't try to confuse your opponent, don't try to tell me you addressed something when you didn't, etc. Just be clear and engage with the issues of the round.
- If you want to ask me additional questions before a round, please be specific. Otherwise you prepped for a round and my paradigm is just some words on a screen.
I've never really thought about having a PF specific paradigm... My overall thought is that PF is meant to focus on the topic. I want substantive debate and not theory. I'm normally pretty tab at debate, but I find it so uninspiring to hear a whole round on theory.
Nothing special for LD. Be smart on time use.
My debaters have called me out and said I seem anti-CX here. Truth is, I think really good CX debate is better than anything else, and I've come to really appreciate CX. The problem is that it is rare to see a good round of CX. There's never clash. People read arguments they don't understand. People ignore evidence at a whim. There's a tension between just reading a bunch of cards and wanting the judge to do the work of analysis and then complaining about judges not understanding arguments. And more. And it's not unique to CX.
So, long-story short: I try to be pretty tab in CX -- because I wasn't a competitor I have very few preconceived ideas of what I want to see in a round. Take some extra time and explain any CX theory to me. I'm not going to love a lot of "education is better" or "truthiness is better" either. Do some work if it comes down to theory.
Speed: I have no preference and a pretty high threshold for an LD judge from backwards Colorado. I try to keep a rigorous flow so if you get too fast I will clearly stop typing or writing. If you also don't slow down a bit on taglines, arguments and cards probably won't get flowed where you want them.
Arguments: I tend to be more interested in philosophical debates and "traditional" LD (for CX this means I probably enjoy a good K debate, but I also appreciate a clear policy framework), but I will listen to, and flow anything. Start with a clear framework, provide clash, and make it clear for me where I vote. I have a pretty solid background in political theory and an interest in German philosophy broadly (Kant to Habermas).
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated for the Western Series- 9/23/22
Current policy debater for University of Wyoming
I have more knowledge and experience with policy rounds, but am not opposed to clash or K v K rounds- you guide the direction of the debate, not me
Things to help win my ballot
1. Impact Calculus- Succinct, well warranted impact calc is the key to my heart and can easily steal rounds away. Too many rounds happen where the aff assumes I hear something in the 1AC, and automatically assume their impacts are bigger than the negative's, that often not the case. Without explanation of why I should evaluate your impacts over your opponents, my path to victory should be obvious.
2. Communication- If I can't hear you, I can't flow your arguments. This is especially true as we're mostly online, but I was never good at flowing 16, unlabeled arguments under one subpoint anyways, so probably best to slow down, even just a little bit. I'm okay with speed in general, but I'm not a machine, and if you're spreading to the point where nobody can understand you, it's impossible for me to evaluate those args.
3. Timing- I can't believe I need to put this up here, but literally use a timer. I don't care if it's your phone, on your computer, an egg timer from the kitchen, whatever. I'm a very easily distracted individual and like to give you my undivided attention when you are speaking, and hilariously, I forget very often to set my timer for your speech or CX. If you go over time, and I did remember to hit the button, I will stop listening and flowing, and give you spooky looks until you get the hint.
Argument Specific Stuff
Condo- probably good, but don't overdo it. I find debates where mooting as much of the aff as possible and then owning them on a thing you weren't going for anyways to be very sad, but it's a tool in the tool kit, so just don't abuse it, and for those aff teams out there who think three means go, I'm probably your guy. Also, this is probably the only theory argument that is reject the team, not the arg.
Kritiks- I'm down, just know my lit base knowledge in general is terrible, and topic specific is far less so. That doesn't mean you can't and shouldn't go for these arguments, it just means you need to do more explanation so I get the gist. Also, probably have an alt.
Tech > Truth
Theory args at the bottom of flows- I'll cry if your 3rd response to the CP is theory, your opponents will cry, and if you have another argument, followed by another theory argument, I'll cry some more. If theory becomes more developed we all need space to write them down, trying to sandwich your subpoint z as to why condo is a good thing between other spots on the flow is messy and unfun for everyone.
Judge Kick- I don't do it unless told otherwise by the neg, and can be convinced by the aff not to do so.
Meta Debate Stuff
Prep ends when you hit send on the email chain in my world. I will be upset if you say you're done taking prep, and continue to click things on your computer for up to a minute afterwards, especially if it's obvious other people are prepping. Save you and your opponents the shame of stealing prep and just save a word document in less than an hour.
Be kind- the world is sad sometimes, the last place we need it is in this activity where hopefully most individuals are really brilliant people. Don't be sexist, homophobic, ablest, or racist.
I was a PF debater in high school and will be flowing each round. Tell me how you want the round judged! I want voters at the end of the debate; I'm willing to vote on just about anything. If you provide a framework (or in LD, your value/value criterion), I will vote on that so long as you argue it throughout the debate. If the only time your framework (or value/value criterion) is mentioned is in your case reading, don't expect me to vote on it.
Policy: I'm a stock issues judge, though I am willing to vote on a K or T if it is argued well.
I grew up in Idaho debated and competed in Idaho and I am sure you can guess judge like I am from Idaho. With that in mind, I am not against prog debates but competitors should know you put yourself at more risk running shells, k’s, theory, spreading, and any other form that debaters are creating these days. The amount of Prog debate should factor into overall time: Policy feel free to run anything, I will factor it all into the debate; LD I am okay with k’s and theory and counter plans; PF the craziest I let you get is Framework and theory. On Spreading feel free to try me I can understand speed but note that if you can’t enunciate and properly spread without slobbering words together I will start to drop. I will give a warning if I can’t hear you but you only get one and if it continues I drop your entire speech.
I weigh on these factors:
Argumentation is my key factor for weighing the round. I will look at both members if there is a team, and their ability to work together and to advance a key narrative through the round. If you are varsity partnered with novice and you don’t work together then I don’t care how good you are. Sorry. The Flow is very important to me and I will flow every round but a dropped argument will not matter as much to me unless debaters explain why a dropped argument strengthens their case. I will not consolidate the flow by myself, you need to do that for me. JUSTIFY WHY YOU SHOULD WIN!
Speaks is my second factor. This should fit right in with argumentation. Often without good speaks, I won’t be able to consider effective argumentation. However, if you have an amazing case or make a really good argument, that will not always determine a round for you. A prime example, novice that use Varsity cases, if your speaks suck then I am not giving you the round just because you borrowed other people’s work. I would rather have novice debate on their own cases that are more passionate and debate better because THEY WROTE THEM.
These two would ultimately be the only factors in a round however I do include theory in my decision. This does NOT mean that you can win a round with theory. If you win theory and lose arg and speaks then you just took an L. This also doesn’t necessarily mean I will weigh the theory you run. My philosophy is this: A debate that uses regular argumentation is presenting a case to a judge and telling them what to factor the most; Theory is the opposite, You present the theory and I decide what to factor. If you represent a minority or a disadvantaged group feel free to include that in your theory or tell me in the round however that is not a reason for me to sign the ballot.
I do not weigh debates on disclosure theory. If you want to bring it up that's fine but your opponents have the right to refuse to disclose.
I cut you off at the time limits! If you can’t finish a sentence too bad, fit your case in the time limits.
For online tournaments, I will often ask for any key evidence that was brought up often in a debate at the end of the round. The evidence I ask for will be emailed to me before ANYONE leaves the room. I never want to be alone with one team in a room. I shouldn’t need help with card format but I may ask about particular elements of the card and the competitors should be able to tell me.
*If the card in any way contradicts what you said in the round I will give you a chance to explain but more often than not I will drop the card and not factor it into my decision.*
I love interpretations and they were some of my favorite events in high school. I look for story development, overall message or narrative, blocking, script originality, and humor or emotional impact depending on the kind of piece. A message to those using precut pieces that they purchased, I know you when I see you. I will judge you fairly but you automatically lose on script originality. Interps are all about YOUR interpretation, not one that was made for you.
All other events:
I have no special notes for other speech events. Do your best and I will judge you fairly.
I respect pronouns. Just let me know
I have judged Policy Debate rounds for 10 years, but never debated myself. Accordingly, I can get lost when subjected to a lot of theory and debate jargon presented in rapid fire fashion. I want tag lines and the Plan text presented clearly and at a normal conversational pace. T is a voter for me and I apply a standard of reasonableness in my analysis. If you are going to argue a K you had better be able to explain it clearly and in your own words. If all I hear is a bunch of canned philosophy you are unlikely to prevail. I expect offense from each side and want you to tell me why I should vote for you. I like running summaries. I strongly dislike when one debater prompts/talks over/supplements his or her partner. I think of myself as a big-picture kind of guy and try to base my decisions accordingly.
I am a parent of one of the debaters. I'm a lay judge, please speak a little bit slowly and make the debate easy to understand. Thanks!
I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your Hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way
So take me as I am
This may mean you'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous
And I'm going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change and today won't mean a thing
Coach, Mountain View HS
As an educator, my feedback is always intended to help you improve. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out.
I do my best to evaluate every round without my preconceived notions about what debate should be, so you do you. However, if you want to go the extra mile, here are some things that will help:
Clash - Too many debates end with "two ships passed in the night." It is your responsibility to engage with your opponents arguments. Impact calculus, logical refutation, and citing conflicting evidence are all great ways to engage. With so many tools, there really isn't an excuse for a lack of clash.
Choices - With the limited time of speeches, sometimes quality is better than quantity. I tend to reward students who make deliberate and intentional choices when deciding which arguments to go for. While going for "all of them" is a choice, students are often better served by identifying a single (or perhaps two) win condition(s) and going for that. It is OK to concede an argument in favor of spending more time on a better one.
Communication - If your effort to speak quickly interferes with your ability to effectively communicate, then you would be better served by slowing down. I don't mind fast debate, but am more impressed with debaters who go about 80 percent of their top speed and focus on efficiency. Arguments that I can't explain to your opponent are not arguments that I am likely to vote on.
Instruction - I don't want to feel like I had to step in to have a round make sense. I'd rather let the conclusion of arguments come from the debaters themselves. I will not vote on an argument that was not said or implied by one of the debaters in the round. When telling me how to vote, show that you have good understanding of what has been happening in the debate round. Your overview should be my RFD.
Persuasion - Persuasive arguments are the best arguments! As persuasiveness can be subjective, here are some examples of what I find persuasive: Comparing arguments, impact calculus, evaluation of a body of evidence, moral imperatives backed by sound story telling. Also, consider avoiding these less persuasive arguments: Extending a drop without providing an impact, citing the rules (I'll take care of it if it is a rule violation), citing evidence without providing analysis.
Style - As far as progressive LD goes, I will not punish students for reading that style of case. I simply prefer cases that provide a Value and a Criterion as evaluative measures I can use to vote. If you do not provide a Value or a Criterion, be prepared to defend that choice if your opponent does provide one.
Topicality - I think students should read arguments that engage in the chosen topic. Topicality helps to facilitate clash and I think fairness is a relevant impact. Non-topical arguments (pre-fiat critiques, etc) tend to limit clash, so I think it is a safer strategy to read topical arguments.
I have four years of judging experience at local and online tournaments. I will consider the following extensively:
Significance of value & value criteria and how these goals were met with your framework and argumentation.
How well a debater can prove the validity or invalidity of the resolution.
Communicate with clarity. If I do not understand an argument, I cannot consider it in my decision. I am fine with fast conversational pacing, but spreading is not okay.
Novel arguments introduced in the rebuttal will be disregarded.
Evaluation is based on debaters arguments and NOT personal bias.
I am a parent judge, who prefers clear speaking, logical links, elaborate policy explanation, and precise points.
Please don't assume I know everything about your topic, and be mindful of your target audience (formal).
I'm also not really a fan of jargon, so please thoroughly explain it when you use it.
I competed for Casper College Forensics, this mean I "know what I'm doing". In high school I competed in PF so don't break the rules, I'll know. You can talk quickly if it's understandable, however do not cross the line into spreading. If you spread I will stop flowing.
I vote on the flow, that is to say dropped argument, evidence, and the such.
I like clean debates so don't be rude to your opponents.
In Ld debate I vote on the Value, Value Criterion, so make sure to carry that through.
If you are here because you are a policy debater, I'm sorry... treat me like a lay judge.
email@example.com for file share
I like off-time roadmaps in all debates; it helps me flow everything
I do flow cross
I always prefer quality of arguments over quantity-- keep sub-points to a minimum
I will dock speaker points if you're disrespectful, sexist, racist, or make the debate space toxic or harmful
PF: I never competed in PF, but I am very familiar with the structure, etc. Standard and framework is super important, so please make an effort to maintain these through the round. Also, maintain clear voters and extend the arguments you intend to win on. Theory is fine, but it should be relevant in regard to the resolution and if you intend to run something non-traditional, I expect that it has a purpose and is not performative. Strategic concessions are nice, especially when they help keep a clean flow; trying to salvage arguments you probably won't win on won't win you any points.
LD: I consider burden of proof very important, so that is essentially how I will normally determine a round. I am generally good with philosophy, so don't stray from traditional LD content for the sake of simplicity. I do keep a solid flow, but I will not pick a winner based off how many points they won on if they don't fulfill basic LD elements (like burden of proof).
CX: Please put me on the email chain! I am familiar with all CX terms and the structure of the round, so don't worry too much about that. Spreading is fine for evidence, but I would prefer for you to slow down on analytics. I don't mind T arguments as long as they are truly relevant and follow the T format, but T as a filler is always a little disappointing. Links are incredibly important; I will not count NEG attacks if they do not have a link (impacts as well). I won't weight the round for you, so give impact calculus and voters throughout. K is great, but I'm not very familiar with a lot of Ks so I would recommend you slow down a little more if you do run it.
CON: Speaking style is just as important as content. I like clash with previous speeches, but I also expect that Congress speeches are clean and preparation is obvious. I do take PO into consideration for rank, but I expect an efficient and controlled chamber from the PO. I don't want to hear repetition of the same arguments; after a few rounds of debate, please don't recycle points. I do consider chamber engagement in my rankings, so asking good questions and moving along chamber proceedings will help you stand out. Evidence is important.
About me: I graduated high school in NM in 2021 and I'm now double majoring in Economics and German at UNM. I did CX, CON, Imp, BQ, and extemp (more DX than IX) across (about) three years in high school, but I have watched and judged numerous debate rounds of all types in-team. I did CX and IX at Nats, have qualified in DX, and was State champ in IMP, BQ, and CON, so I am most familiar with those events. I am generally good about not applying policy tactics to other debates, but know that policy was my main event. I hope you have a good, organized, and respectful round! Thanks!
I encourage you to ask me directly if you have any further questions about how I judge.
I will not vote for any argument that is blatantly sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.
Content warnings if necessary please.
TL;DR on how I vote:
I will only vote on points that are extended through both summary and final focus. If it isn’t in both, it won’t be a factor in my decision. The only exception to that is I allow new weighing in 1st final focus
I’ll evaluate any framework/overview if it is warranted or dropped
Cross is binding if the point is brought up in a later speech
Weigh. Competing weighing without telling me why your weighing is more important means I’ll default to util. Prereqs always are the defualt if dropped
If there is competing evidence I’ll call for both pieces of evidence and decide myself which I buy more
If for some reason there is legitimately 0 offense on any arguments in the round
If there is some sort of policy action, I’ll default to whichever side is the status quo
If it’s benefits/harms or good/bad, I’ll vote for the team that lost the coinflip
Speed - I can handle about 225-250 WPM, but I don’t prefer it, especially online. Speaking at a rapid pace is fine if you're making good decisions about what you're saying, but overall being able to speak more at a more reasonable pace indicates that you can critically think and decide what to collapse on and how to make the most effective responses, and that you're not just trying to spread through tons of pre-cut cards and responses
Speech time: I won’t cut you off when your speech time ends, so you can finish whatever you’re saying, but if you bring up something NEW after the time ends, it won’t be flowed.
Tech>Truth. I love unique arguments, I run a lot of them myself. That being said, if your argument is way way out-there and absurd, I will probably have a lower threshold for response.
Moreover, I’ll go with whatever is warranted or carded, but I’m not going to pretend I’m completely tabula rasa. If you make stuff up and it is quite obviously wrong, I'm not going to give you the win because the other team doesn't have cards to counter your made-up claims. If you have the evidence or the logic to back your statement up, I’ll flow it.
Crossfire - In my opinion, cross should feel a chill conversation, which means don’t ramble, don’t be rude/arrogant, etc. Cross is binding, but I won’t vote off of something mentioned in cross unless it is brought up in a later speech. I’ll let you finish whatever you’re saying when time hits 3 minutes. Your speaks will go up if you make good jokes in cross
Your responses to evidence should not be, for example, “My evidence is from Harvard, theirs is from Cleveland State University, and Harvard is more prestigious so buy my evidence instead.” Your indict needs to be warranting as to why their evidence or study is inherently wrong, or I will keep their evidence on my flow.
I also will not buy an indict that says “Their source is biased” unless you explain to me why the source is biased.
I will call for any evidence you tell me to call for in a speech
If you severely misconstrue evidence I won’t drop you for it, but expect low speaks
Please don't tell me that your card explains it all, and please don't tell me that your card is superior to theirs unless you have actual, detailed reasons why that is true.
Rebuttal - Second speaking team should frontline defense - at the bare minimum turns and offense. I personally think it is extremely strategic for the second speaking team to start collapsing and weighing here. It makes the back half of the round a lot cleaner overall.
I won't vote for your arg if I'm not able to re-articulate how you get from the resolution to your impact.
Analysis that's unresponded to in the next speech is functionally conceded
Summary is the last speech that can bring up new offensive weighing, later than that is probably too late. Defensive/metaweighing in First FF is acceptable
Offense must be in both speeches, or else I will not vote off of it
Weighing - Please weigh, it will literally win you my vote if you do it and the other team doesn’t. As long as there's a link to your impact, I will literally vote off of any impact if you tell me why it is the most important one in the round. If there is competing weighing but I don’t get warranting as to why I should prefer one team’s weighing over the other’s I’ll default to util
Framework/overview - If you run a framework/overview:
If it isn’t responded to, and you extend it all the way through the round, that is how I will evaluate the round
Warrant your framework. Your framework cannot just be, for example, “Prefer impacts on the environment because it is the most important”, it must be “Prefer impacts on the environment because it is the most important because…”
If you do not warrant your framework, I will only vote off of it if it is 100% dropped by the other team
When frameworks clash, I need to hear real, logical, statistical, or impactful reasons why one is superior to the other, not merely that yours is "better." Tell me why.
Offensive overviews - These are basically new contentions in rebuttal, and I’m not a huge fan. First rebuttal might be acceptable in some cases, but I definitely don’t want these in the second rebuttal.
Sticky defense - No. If it is important enough to be in the round, it needs to be in summary
Theory - I have debated very few rounds on theory. I don’t like theory, I will not vote on it. I believe that PF is meant to be an accessible debate event, and that introducing these types of arguments in an arbitrary format that smaller schools do not have the resources to learn is an inherent barrier to entry. I encourage you to call out abuses, but don’t do it in the form of theory.
Kritiks - I’ll be honest I’ve never debated a round with a Kritik, so I’m not entirely sure what it is supposed to look like. I understand the general concept, so if you can portray it simply enough for me to understand it I’ll vote off of it.
T’s - I have no idea what this is so probably don’t run it
I am a parent judge. I do not like excessive speed. Please do not spread.
I prefer clarity over speed and quality over quantity.
I judge regularly in Colorado, usually around 60-70 debate rounds a year, somewhat less this year. I've judged at Nationals for many years. I've coached debate as an assistant for about 20 years. What surprised me most in reading other paradigms is how much the PF paradigms sound like Policy paradigms.
I will be looking for:
Being on the e-mail chain.
Tab judging philosophy -- teams set the framework, and it's a debatable issue.
Weighing the round -- teams can collapse if they strategically decide to do so, depending on how the round is playing out.
Speed is not a problem. Clarity is better.
She/They pronouns please!
Last updated for the Holiday Classic
Add me to the email chain - MeliaLever@gmail.com
All debate summary
This is your show and run it how you want. Don’t be problematic in in round. If you are I'll vote you down independent of the rest of the debate, that’s about as much judge intervention I'll ever do. Tell me why you win the debate at the end. Lots of impact calc, lots of judge instruction. I don't like to do work for either side but will if I'm not given anything by the debaters. Ill vote for K affs if they’re topic specific and theres warrants as to why the K aff should be allowed. Don’t ask me if I’m ready, ill tell you if I’m not.
Tech over Truth
Any reference to Brian David Gilbert and his series on polygon, "unraveled", or Dimension 20 fantasy high will make me like you more.
Speaker points are arbitrarily assigned.
CX - This is my main event. I know the most about it (tech wise) and can track anything you read. I'm good on speed, dont go 100% online. Don’t assume I know the topic. Meaning with T debates you should spend some time explaining why the aff isn't topical.
Condo is the only reason to reject a team, all other theory arguments (assuming you win them) are reasons to make the argument go away
The bar for a K is high, but not impossible to reach. If your opponents drop arguments or just ignore it then it’s the same as every other dropped argument so long as its properly extended. Otherwise, lots of work needs to go into the alt debate to explain to me why it does solve. I’m compelled by the argument that “discourse does nothing” so if you’re alt is “reject the aff and talk about it” that’s gonna be a hard debate to win (assuming the aff has the evidence). But if the alt results in material action in the world (I.E., revolution to overthrow a capitalist system), then it’s easier for me to vote on.
K aff's need to relate to the topic, otherwise the threshold for T is low. So long as you relate to the topic and can explain how (even if its tangentially) then I'm willing to vote for you.
For both I would also prefer if you kept the K’s away from broad, overreaching topics and narrowed it down to the nitty gritty of the debate. I understand that’s not always possible, but the more you explain the links, impacts, etc. then the easier it is for me to vote on.
PF and LD
I have judged these debates but know very little about them. I’m not totally sure how either works, or the theory behind arguments. You shouldn’t treat me as a lay judge, but don’t assume I’m going to be the single greatest judge you’ve ever had either. I know and understand debate. Lots of what I said for policy applies. Make sure you extend arguments, explain warrants, extend evidence, etc. Otherwise, you can do whatever.
This is my fourth time judging, so I am very lay. For debate, keep the debate terminology at a minimum, but I can follow along with link chains pretty well. Also do not spread. I would like to hear quantifiable impacts, and emphasize them throughout the round.
For speech, I've judged once, but I'll leave it up to you.
University of Wyoming
Last updated: 9-12-22
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb 2022 update: If your highlighting is incoherent gibberish, you will earn the speaker points of someone who said incoherent gibberish. The more of your highlighting that is incoherent, the more of your speech will be incoherent, and the less points you will earn. To earn speaker points, you must communicate coherent ideas.
If you want to read far more than necessary on my judging process: https://wyodebateroundup.weebly.com/blog/reflections-on-the-judging-process-inside-the-mind-of-a-judge
I put a pretty high premium on effective communication. Too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it’s awesome. You should make sure I know it’s awesome while you read it. I find many debaters over-estimate the amount of ideas they believe they communicate to the judge. Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, not just entering arguments into the record, will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot far more often than those who don’t. I have tended to draw a harder line on comprehensibility than the average judge. I won’t evaluate evidence I couldn’t understand. I also don’t call clear: if you’re unclear, or not loud enough, I won’t intervene and warn you, just like I wouldn't intervene and warn you that you are spending time on a bad argument. Am I flowing? You're clear.
Potential biases on theory: I will of course attempt to evaluate only the arguments in the round, however, I'll be up front about my otherwise hidden biases. Conditionality- I rarely find that debaters are able to articulate a credible and significant impact. International actor fiat seems suspect. Uniform 50 state fiat seems illogical. Various process counterplans are most often won as legitimate when the neg presents a depth of evidence that they are germane to the topic/plan. Reject the arg not the teams seems true of nearly all objections other than conditionality. I will default to evaluating the status quo even if there is a CP in the 2NR. Non-traditional affirmatives- I'll evaluate like any other argument. If you win it, you win it. I have yet to hear an explanation of procedural fairness as an impact that makes sense to me (as an internal link, yes). None of these biases are locked in; in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy.
Clock management: In practice I have let teams end prep when they begin the emailing/jumping process. Your general goal should be to be completely ready to talk when you say ‘end prep.’ No off-case counting, no flow shuffling, etc.
Cross-x is a speech. You get to try to make arguments (which I will flow) and set traps (which I will flow). Once cross-x is over I will stop listening. If you continue to try to ask questions it will annoy me- your speech time is up.
Pet-peeves: leaving the room while the other team is prepping for a final rebuttal, talking over your opponents. I get really annoyed at teams that talk loudly (I have a low threshold for what counts as loudly) during other teams speeches- especially when it’s derisive or mocking comments about the other team’s speech.
I have been judging LD and PF debates for about 6 years. I do flow cases so it will be great if you could provide me with an off-time roadmap and signpost your arguments. I judge based on tech>truth.
It is important to have a clear framework, so make sure that you state that this is contention 1, subpoint 1 etc. Please extend your arguments and make sure that you have cards for your evidence since I do read them. I like clash so you have to defend your contentions during cross examination.
Please be respectful to your opponent during cross examination. Do let your opponent finish their question or sentence. I will sign my ballot the second that I hear any discriminatory language.
Have fun, do your best and good luck!
I consider myself to be tabula rasa with the exception that I will insert myself into the ballot to prevent anything I view to be excessively abusive or factually incorrect. My history is primarily in policy debate but know all events well. I love impact calc/voters in all events- don't make me work the flow myself.
For policy: My biggest pet peeve I have is a debate with no clash. If there is no clash, there is no debate. On that note, tell me where you are arguing. The judge should have to do the least work in the round, so make sure to be very clear where your arguments should go, which arguments you win, and why. With that, tell me why to prefer your evidence. What makes it better than your opponents? I consider myself a traditional STOCK issues judge. This is flexible if you give me voters, but I prefer STOCK issues. That said, I love a good impact debate. Impact calcs are huge for me. See below for specific arguments.
DAs: Run them. Make the link very clear. In the impact debate, I hate terminal impacts. I usually want debaters to focus on probability rather than magnitude.
CPs: Make it clear why the CP is mutually exclusive, otherwise the Perm will probably win.
Topicality: I don't care as much if you run these as time sucks, as that hurts you the most. Just make sure to properly structure the argument. Properly structured topicality debates can be a lot of fun.
Ks: These are more dangerous. The more complex the K, the harder it is to win. Simple Ks are fine, but a good explanation at the end never hurt. I will not vote for a K if the alt is 'Do Nothing'. This isn't an alt. The only way you can win a K with this alt is if you make very clear why this is necessary and will fix an issue in the SQUO.
K affs: Please don't run these. I really hate them. There is a good chance I will sign the ballot against the K aff by the end of the 1AC. Remember, I'm a traditional judge. It has to be incredible for me to vote for it. These usually hurt the quality of debate, so this has to be the best Aff I've ever seen, K or not.
Speed: I am usually fine with it. Given the special circumstances, this is really at your own risk. If I am struggling hearing you, I will say 'Clear' once before I stop flowing. Make sure to really enunciate.
If you have any other questions, ask before the round starts! This is the only time to clear my paradigm up before starting. I will be more than happy to answer any questions. If you do an email chain, please include me at: email@example.com with the subject line being your speech (1AC, 1NC, etc).
For PF: I did PF a couple times, but I am no expert. As you can see, I know policy much better. Because of that, I love clash. I understand there is less emphasis on evidence so I don't require it for arguments. However, if I have to weigh evidence vs analyticals, I will weigh the evidence higher. Tell me why to prefer your framework over your opponent's.
I'm a former competitor and mother of a child participating in POI. I'm a College Professor and have experience judging most speech events. I rank based on the successful completion of each event's elements, originality, structure, content (including the quality and reliability of your evidence), and your delivery (articulation, voice modulation, etc). I appreciate clarity and clear markings for the judge. I believe in inclusivity and diversity in forensic experiences, and therefore won't be taking into account your surroundings or the quality of video.
Hello, folks. The TLDR of my paradigm is:
I try not to interfere in the round unless it's to protect the 1AR and the 2NR from the subsequent speeches.
It should go without saying, but I'm a tech over truth judge. I think debate is fundamentally a game and competition. This view sort of bleeds into my number one issue that I have with a lot of debaters being that there seems to be a lack of strategy in the modern debate round. If you want to see more of my thoughts on debate strategy, scroll down and you can see. No matter what, I'm going to give feedback after the round (partly because my handwriting is awful) partly because you should be able to ask questions. If both teams agree, I'll disclose after the round.
When it comes to feedback, I swear that I'm not mean. I just have thoughts. I don't think you get better with me saying "you did so good", "you're a star", and "sEe YoU aT NaTiOnAls!" I think that you get better by judges telling you what they think. Odds are, unless you did really well I won't give you a positive comment in my verbal feedback. It doesn't help that I'm also very sarcastic and constantly look dead inside. That doesn't mean that you're a bad debater, and it doesn't mean that you didn't do something fantastically in round. It just means that I want to share my constructive criticism. I know it's a meme in the debate community to make fun of judges with bad takes on judging, but (hot take here) maybe listen to them. If one judge has a take like "truth over tech" or "speak slower" or even "substantial means 96%" odds are there are others like them. If you want to win, learn to judge adapt. I always sucked at it and never really cared, so I'm saying this to y'all as my warning.
Don't be a shlemiel, just debate good.
UPDATE: Tabroom isn't linking to my other email that I've judged a lot of tournaments with and debated a lot with. Because of that, my records (both judging and competition) are incomplete. If you ask me before round what my distribution has been for the last couple of tournaments, I'll probably tell you.
Include me in the email chain, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
These next few paragraphs are me ascending the ivory tower and giving thoughts on various arguments, so read at your own risk.
My name is Bax, I use He/His/Him pronouns. I'm a stats major at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota where I do mock trial, debate, J-Street, and I'm an editor for the school newspaper. I qualified for nationals a couple of times and went to a lot of bid tournaments but I was from a rural school so I'm pretty familiar with both traditional and more circuit arguments. I'd like to say that I had a pretty healthy mix of both circuit and trad debate, but let's be honest, no one really tried in the covid season. I did primarily policy throughout high school with a bit of progressive LD in the middle. Now that this biography is done, here's my thoughts on various arguments.
Weigh GOD Damn it, Weigh!! It makes my job easier and lets me stick to my TLDR paradigm better. If there's no weighing done I will vote neg on presumption. I know that makes me unpopular, especially in PF and LD, but these are the consequences of your actions for not weighing. I vote neg on presumption because I think it's the most fair and rational way to assess a round where neither side weighed. In the real world, if someone makes an assertion (and can't prove it), then we don't assume that that statement is true. The aff has the burden of proof, and judges should hold the aff accountable to that burden. I think judge weighing is unfair to both sides. For example, I personally default to probability times magnatude with util calculus as the best way to weigh, but that's obviously not fair to K debaters who run arguments that are harder to quantify in certian ways. As is such, I have decided that the most fair way to assess rounds where neither side weighs is to vote neg on presumption. I also will vote neg on presumption if the neg tells me to and gives me a compelling reason of why its decent way to view the round. This is rare, but it has happened in the past.
If i'm judging with Caleb Stewart, we'll probably vote the same way. We were a team and keep roughly the same paradigm.
Look, we all have preconceptions or things we have thoughts on. I don't want you to think that I believe that my way of the debate is the only right way, because I think there are many different interps. I do want you to know that I'm an ex-debater who has reentered this event on the otherside of the ballot. As is such, I have thoughts on basically every argument and strategy. You can totally try to concince me otherwise, but know that my thoughts on some of these arguments means that you might have to put in substantial work to make me think that they're legit or not. I'm totally open to this, but I think everyone needs to recognize that no judge has 0 bias. If you want to try to convince me that dispo advocacies are bad for policy debate, go for it. You just have to understand that I already have my thoughts on the matter and you'll have to put in more work than your opponent who is trying to defend it. I mention this because I think it's unfair for judges to not disclose their own thoughts on relatively common strategies and arguments used in the debate space and expect debaters to just know what they mean. A lot of these are issues that could come up in round and I have the most thoughts on. If you really feel strongly about this, run a theory shell (might be hard for number 2. I guess that one is more of an FYI).
1. "CX is a speech"- Chris Eckert. Things you say are binding. CX isn't an excuse for severance. With that said, CX is for you as a debater to understand what you're debating against. So, I clearly won't use your CX as a way to judge the final round, but CX is binding. For example, if the other side is running a weird framework and you start poking holes in it in CX and they straight up concede the whole round, you need to tell me that in your next speaking slot. I'm not going to just write that down during cross. Their answer to the CX question is totes binding though.
2. please sign post. I can handle spreading, but sign posting makes it so much easier. Also, sign posting is not "they said λ, but we say ℵ." I'm flowing. I know they said that, where did they say that? Where am I flowing this? Why does what you say matter if they said that? Just say "on the DA" or whatever if you really have to. Nothing makes me more upset than the whole "they said; we say" writen on the flow. It's bad strat and just irks me.
3. Tech issues are to be expected, if it went well it wouldn't be debate.
4. I think flex cross is totally a thing that debaters should be able to use. Ideally you should use your whole cross, but if you'd rather take some of it and put it to prep go ahead or vice versa.
5. I prefer Tag-team CX to traditional CX. If you and your partner want to do this in PF with a Grand Cross for every individual cross I'd be ok but it's up to the other team.
6. Stealing prep is cringe
7. I tend to like Condo and dispo*. I think that the aff should be able to defend itself against multiple different angles. The only reason that I (*) dispo is because I think that it is almost situational. Like, if it's LD and you run a dispo advocacy that's clearly there as a time/strat skew with two seperate condo advocacies I'm going to have a harder time voting for you. I think it's a legit strategy, it just makes you seem like a crummy person. I mention this because I did have to vote for a kid who did this and it made me mad for the rest of the tournament. If it's policy though, I probably won't buy your dispo bad arguments. Saddle the heck up and deal with it, that's why you have 8 and 5 minute speaches with ("somewhat") competent judges.
8. T is an a priori issue. I think this should be obvious, but I guess it needs to be said. If the aff is untopical, it's untopical and shouldn't win. There's no way around it. I remember one time I tried running a RVI on T (so sorry to Cheyenne GL for that) and I sit and cringe at that to this day. The aff shouldn't win just by showing that it's topical and a non-topical aff shouldn't be allowed to win. I won't vote you down on the spot if I think your case isn't topical and no one calls you out, but I will probably mention it after. This should give you a hint that I think RVIs are something of a bain to the debate community.
I think debate strategy is totally underused in more traditional circuits. It's become what I've commented on most in recent tournaments. I'm not going to give you my entire thesis on debate strategy, but I think that a lot of teams (in both PF, LD, and policy but especially LD and PF) tend to hit a point of diminshing returns with their arguments. Running 13 off may be great (please don't I'm trying to cut down on the amount of paper I use), but I miss the days when people would only go for one arg in the 2NR. I know a lot of more experienced debters might be confused by this statement seeing as it's obvious due to the time economy, but newer debaters seem to lack this skill. My honest advice to all debaters is when you get to the neg block (or equivelent) in the debate, take an honest look at the flow. What arguments are sticking and which ones aren't? Never go for everything, kick something. If you're doing it right, by the end of the 1AR (at the latest) it should be obvious what the neg is winning. Kick everything else and just go for it. Clearly, it's better if this is off case, but this works for on case too (sometimes). Obviously, this is situational, but don't go for everything. Time-skew is real, use it to your advantage, but don't let it become a catch 22. For aff strategy, it's honestly all in the 1AR. We all know that the 1AR in both policy and LD is the hardest speach in debate. You have 4 or 5 minutes to respond to 7 or 13 minutes of neg talking ground. If the neg is going for an a priori argument, clearly start with that and then move down in order of arguments that you're winning. The best 1AR that I've ever seen in my life was a policy team that broke to semis at nationals. Go for T, Case, off-case turns, everything else. When you do those, it's harder to loose on T and you can leverage the case and turns to outweigh the neg off. The aff needs to be looking to the 2AR in the prep for the 1AR. How are they going to weigh and how are they going to cut the neg ground down a size? On soft-left affs, framework should be way way up there in terms of aff priority, but that should be clear.
TLDR: neg strategy should always be "what shouldn't I run?" and aff should always be "when should I run this?"
Most of this paradigm is focused on Policy just because I enjoy policy the most. That doesn't mean that I don't like y'all PFers and LDers, I just need to give my policy babes some attention ;)
I love a good K on K debate or even a policy on K debate. I'm pretty caught up on cap and set col lit, but everything else I've fallen out of touch with. Keep me up to speed on the lit, and I'll be down.
I'll vote on T if the Neg goes for it, no matter how bad it is. Hot take. If you're varsity and you can't beat a T shell easily in the 2AC, your aff is probably not topical.
My tolerance for theory is a lot higher than most judges in policy, maybe because I did some LD. In my opinion, theory is a legit tactic that's very underused. That doesn't mean I want to watch 90 minutes of debate about debate for 6 rounds, but I think that some debaters let small abuses go unchecked. Theory to me is just like any other a priori argument: if you want to make it a law in the round, basically run the abuse like an inround DA. Interp of what you think the rule should be, why they didn't follow it, why your rule is better than no rule, and why the rule matters. The only difference is that your impact is competition or fairness or whatever.
I'm not a big fan of multiactor fiat, but if you can run it strategically I'm down. "Fiat is durable" shouldn't get you out of basic circumvention arguments, but if it does because of opponent incompetence, mozel tov I guess.
I like progressive LD, but a good traditional LD debate will always have a special place in my heart. With that said, i generally default to the same policy rules when it comes to progressive LD with more emphasis on theory. I definitely love a good LD debate where theory is made a big issue.
Value and VC clash is big for me too, framework makes the game work (or something quirky like that.)
Plans in LD:
I'm chill with a plan in LD if the resolution is open to it. Action resolutions should always have some debaters running plans, but truth-testing resolutions is where it gets a little dicey for me. For the violent revolutions topic a few years back, I ran a plan about Eritrea and I still laugh at it. I'm obviously not going to vote you down just for running a plan on a truth-testing resolution, but if your opponent brings it up just know that my preconceived biases make it more likely that I'll buy their arg.
Yes, yes, yes. Non-Pic Cps in LD are so underused and it makes me sad to see.
K debates are fun, but don't be the mamzer who runs 5 conditional ks on a novice just because you can.
I could honestly write a book on debate strategy and spend half the time talking about LD. LD strat is (in general) absurdly cringe. That's partly because the way LD is set up has made it the bastard lovechild of 2016 policy debate and 2019 PF debate for one person. This leads to a lot of people that policy debaters have started affectionately calling "LARPers" (Live Action Role Players). They want to be policy debaters, but they bring it into LD. I won't stop you if you want to run a plan in LD. I won't even stop you if you want to run a K. I won't stop you if you want to run a dispo aff plan with an RVI cherry on top. If you want to pretend to be policy debaters, I will judge you like policy debaters. This is both an invitation and a threat.
My thoughts on progressive PF can be summarized by my favorite Scrubs quote:
"Bad, bad noobie"
Progressive PF to me leaves a vacuum that requires the judge to intervene and that sets a dangerous precedent. This changes if both teams are competent, but as I've gone around the less I believe there's such thing as 2 competent progressive PF teams hitting each other in a prelim. I'm not saying don't spread or use some specific policy lingo, but if you're running a DA try to do it right.
Traditional PF debate is good, I'm generally a fan. I tend to think that traditional pf (where it's two sides fighting for truth, justice, yadda yadda yadda) is unrealistic. Trad PF, just like every other form of debate, is a competition. Treat it as such.
Debate: I am a lay judge, please speak at an appropriate pace and explain why your side is more important for me to vote on. Define any terms that you don't think a non-debater will know. For clashing arguments, try to tell me why your side of the argument is more clear and probable. Please explain how your arguments work and also explain your evidence rather than just saying the name of the author. Please time yourselves and your opponents, as I will not keep track of time. Be respectful and enjoy the debate!
For speech: I value your presentation skills like body language, eye contact, and clarity. For interpretations, I like to clearly see many different characters and connection with the audience through your expressions and theme of the piece. In oratory, I enjoy good humor and stories that make your speech seem more personable.
For impromptu/extemp: using your full time to the best of your ability is one of my top judging mechanisms. I will look to see how much you can develop your content and not be repetitive.
One thing I've noticed having judged semi/final rounds at the TOC in Kentucky, the best speakers have a great connection with the audience, whether that's humor in extemp/info/impromptu, incredible expressions and gestures in interp, and personal stories in oratory, they really make an effort to make their speech be memorable.
Impact weighing is near the top of my priorities when making a decision it influences how i frame the rest of the debate and the offense/defense of the debate.
Kritiks - Fine by me but i prefer they have solid links to the opposing side and that they are based in the topic literature.
Theory. Fine as long as they have clear standards and a reject the team arg, i have a high threshold for reject the team args.
The looking at cards off of prep time is somewhat okay but don't use it super often it makes the round unnecessarily long
I think 2nd rebuttal should cover opponents case and offense but this isn't something i will vote on its just something to keep in mind.
Email for email chains - Joshuadalemitchell@gmail.com
I wrote a veritable novel below. I think its mostly useless. I'm largely fine with whatever you want to do.
The biggest thing at the beginning of the season is that I didn't go to camp and I work a full-time job, so I am WAY behind on topic research compared to y'all. Treat this like a camp round in front of your lab leaders, and I'll probably be lost.
- I am older (35) and this definitely influences how I judge debates.
- I did not go to camp and many elements of this topic confuse me; you should assume I know nothing about it.
- Yes, I did policy debate in high school and college. I was mediocre at it.
- Normal nat circuit norms apply to me. Speed is fine, offense/defense calc reigns, some condo is probably good but infinite condo is probably bad, etc.
- I've judged more than 200 debates and cut thousands of pages of evidence over the last several topics.
- I have a harder time keeping up with very dense/confusing debates than a lot of judges. Simplifying things with me is always your best bet.
Areas where I diverge from some nat circuit judges:
- I am more likely to call "nonsense" on your bewildering process CP or Franken K. If the arg doesn't make any sense, you should just tell me that.
- Aff vagueness (and in effect, conditionality) is out of control in modern debate. I will vote on procedural arguments to rectify this trend.
- Bad process CPs are bad and shouldn't be a substitute for cutting cards or developing a real strategy. Obviously, I'll vote on them, but the 2AR that marries perm + theory into a comprehensive model for debate is usually a winner.
- I'm less likely to "rep" out teams or schools. Related: I forget about most rounds 20 minutes after I turn in my ballot.
Core controversies - I'm pretty open so take these with a grain of salt.
- Unlimited condo | -----X-------- | 2-worlds, maybe
- Affs should be T | ---X----------- | T isn't a voter
- Judge kick | ----X--------- | No judge kick
- "Meme" arguments | --------X- | You better be amazing at "meme" debate
- Research = better speaks | --X--------- | Tech = better speaks
- Speed | -------X---- | Slow down a little
- Inherency is case D | -X--------- | Inherency is a DA thumper
- I went for politics DA a lot. Its the only debate thing I'm a genuine expert in, at least in debate terms.
- I do not "get" the topic (inequality) yet. I did not go to camp. Debate like this is Mich finals at your own peril.
- I have some familiarity with the following K lit - cap, Foucault/Agamben, Lacan/psychoanalysis, security, nuclear rhetoric, nihilism, non-violence, and gendered language.
- I'm basically clueless RE: set col / Afropess / Baudrillard / Bataille. I have voted on all of them, though, in the past..
I prefer topical affs, and I like plan-focused debates. I'm neg-leaning on T-framework in the sense that I think reality leans neg if you actually play out the rationale behind most K affs that are being run in modern debate. But I vote aff about 50% of the time in those debates, so if that's your thing, go for it.
T/cap K/ ballot PIK and the like are boring to me, though. I think that unless the K aff is pure intellectual cowardice, and refuses to take a stand on anything debatable, there are usually better approaches for the neg to take.
I'm a great judge for impact turning K affs - e.g., cap good, state reform good.
Word PIKs are a good way to turn the aff's rejection of T/theory against them.
Or, you could simply, you know, engage the aff's lit base and cut some solvency turns / make a strong presumption argument that engages with the aff's method.
Some other advice:
- "Bad things are bad" is not a very interesting argument. You should have a solvency mechanism.
- Affs should have a "debate key" warrant. That warrant can involve changing the nature of debate, but you should have some reason you are presenting your argument in the context of a debate round.
- I think fairness matters, but its obviously possible to win that other things matter more depending on the circumstances.
- Traditional approaches to T-FW is best with me - very complicated 5th-level args on T are less persuasive to me than a simple and unabashed defense of topicality + switch-side debate = fairness + education. "We can't debate you, and that makes this activity pointless" is usually a win condition for the neg, in my book. St. Marks teams always do a really good job on this in front of me, so idk, emulate them I guess, or steal their blocks.
Topicality against policy affs
I have not read enough into this topic's literature to have a strong opinion on the core controversies.
I think I tend to lean into bigger topics than most modern judges do. That a topic might have dozens of viable affs is not a sign of a bad topic, so long as it incents good scholarship and the neg has ways to win debates if they put in the work.
When deciding speaks, I tend to reward research over technical prowess.
If you are clobbering the other team, slow down and make the debate accessible to them. Running up the score will run down your speaks.
I frequently check my speaker points post-tournament to make sure I'm not an outlier. I am not, as near as I can tell. I probably have a smaller range than average. It takes a LOT to get a 29.3 or above from me, but it also takes a lot for me to go below 28.2 or so.
I am pretty hands off and usually not paying close enough attention to catch clipping unless it is blatant.
Prep stealing largely comes out of your speaks, unless the other team makes an appeal.
Experience: Debated in high school and college, now coach.
Paradigm: Persuade me.
...no really, that's it. Persuade me. You can persuade me using any number of techniques, but whether I'm voting off the flow, on theory, or topically on a well impacted argument, I'm still just voting on what I find the most persuasive.
If I can't understand you, I'm not being persuaded.
If an argument is important, make sure you've clearly communicated it. If it's an online debate, make sure you repeat or slow down when making important points.
If only one side in a PF debate gives me voting criteria, I will most likely be voting for that side.
A few other things:
-Nazis equal Nazis. If you are going to link to Nazis or the Holocaust, do so carefully and avoid trivializing Nazis or the Holocaust by comparing everything to them.
-if you have a preferred pronoun, please let me know how you would like to be addressed prior to the start of the round.
-If you are reading a case that might be upsetting/triggering to your opponent, please provide a content warning at the beginning. If your opponent requests you not read triggering content, I will seek guidance from Tab and see if a side switch or other accommodations can be made. However, just because content is uncomfortable does not automatically mean it should not be read.
Please speak slowly and clearly; Parent Judge
Time yourself and your opponent, I will not be giving hand signals.
tldr: trad flow
high threshold for what's considered warranting
warrants for offense and defense r necessary
cross is useless
prog is cool
3 diamond coach. Member of Wyoming coaches Hall of Fame. TabRoss on all debate.
Updated Jan 18 2022.
Hello! I'm Jessica, my pronouns are she/her, and I am always extremely happy to be judging:)
I am a former LD debater from Wyoming! I qualified for Nationals in Big Questions, World Schools, Lincoln Douglas, and Congress. I did CX in college briefly as well.
I am not looking for anything wild in terms of the way you choose to debate. I trust debaters to do what's best for them and persuade me to vote your direction. If you tell me what I should vote on, I will listen, but if you don't I will just weigh the arguments made in round considering the impacts of all arguments, logic of the arguments, and overall coverage of major arguments. Logical arguments will always outweigh cards if you do not provide your own explanation of how the evidence applies to the round. Please provide voting issues for me.
- Please be as polite as possible:)
- Off clock road maps are dandy. Online - I'd also be happy if you said your name and side before you started speaking so that if I happen to not be looking directly at the video I can still tell who's who.
- You can talk fast if you need to, I do understand speed but it will make me sad in anything that is not CX.
- I will not read the evidence in the docs (except in CX), especially if you are not reading them at a speed that I can understand probably, but you sure are welcome to send it to me, and if you specifically tell me to "look at ___ because," then I will.
- I will listen to arguments made in CX, and please be sure to bring them up again in another speech.
- If you are debating LD, please debate LD, not policy. This is not to say I won't vote for you if you are running a counter plan, or talk fast, it just means your debate needs to be centered around ethics.
Email - email@example.com
Jeff City 16-20
Niles West 23-
*Tech over truth with the exception that I will never vote on arguments that say the suffering of a group of people or animals is a good thing. If i believe that an argument is inappropriate for high schoolers i will stop the round and let tab/coaches know.
Please re/highlight in green/yellow - i cannot read blue.
If you want to make an argument regarding out of round violations, I will stop the debate and talk to tab/coaches abt it. Being the judge, jury, and executioner is far above my pay grade.
I enjoy all forms of debate that rely upon substance and are executed properly. I’m neutral about the form and content* presented in debate, my paradigm revolves around what I personally like about debate.
I like teams that condense early and cut the chaf and center the debate on issues quickly. All of your 1nc offensive positions should be able to be a 2NR.
My decision will be whatever is the easiest path to the ballot - nothing more, nothing less.
I will not fill in any gaps of explanation left at the end of the round. I don’t plan on constructing an argument for you make if it did not make sense to me.
I do not care if you post round me. Many times post rounds could’ve been solved by saying the argument you think I missed in the actual debate!
I will clap after the round ends - debate is hard and u deserve recognition!
Largely think states is unbeatable on this topic. Fan of taxes good AFFs tho!
I like k debate. i get the gist of most Ks, but i am more deep in lit that is about: capitalism, security , critical debility studies, orientalism, animal studies, and Hawaiian sovereignty movements. My favorite authors are Jasbir Puar, Edward Said, and Haunani-Kay Trask.
I prefer fw as an alt as opposed to going for the alt. I think if a k team has won fw it becomes far easier for them win more parts of the flow.
I’ve become less opposed to a straight up alt debate. This might be more of an uphill battle with me but if it works it works.
I enjoy specific, well contextualized links to the AFF. Broad, overarching links are fairly hard to win, these links become more powerful when they are specifically applied to the AFF and teams show HOW the AFF makes the world worse.
Recently I’ve been a major fan of teams using in round actions + performative links in tandem with links to the AFF. I usually find these persuasive and extremely strategic to punish your opponents in rounds mistakes.
I think for AFF teams debating the K, they should invest in a perm and link turn strategy. I have found greater success reading AFFs that attempted to resolve some facet of an oppressive system while also being able to solve a defensible extinction impact. I think that this strategy is
A. more fun to watch/judge
B. far less ethically bankrupt than defending heg or capitalism
C. shields you from offense that would sugget plan focused debate is bad.
Despite what i said above I am not opposed to AFFs that will defend the worst excesses of American capitalism or military power. However I will be very very unlikely to vote on some level of permutation or no link. I think in this scenario the 2AR should collapse to a defense of their model of debate (FW) and impact o/w the K.
For K v K debates - establish a specific link to the AFF and explain why it makes the world worse and/or explain how ur alt/counter-method resolves both that violence and the case page.
intuitively it doesnt make sense as to why the AFF would not get perms.
I enjoy perm competition debates, cheating CPs, and internal net benefits.
Counterplan out of everything. This includes 2NC CPs out of thumpers and straight turns.
I enjoy politics debates which display a wealth of knowledge of both governmental function and debate technique.
Turns case is my tiebreaker and an easy way to raise your speaks. I think it can be one of the most creative aspects of debate.
The NEG team needs to provide me reasons as to why the AFF plan creates the worst model of debate. This looks like what AFFs are excluded vs included, what core negative ground is lost, and why I should default to competing interpretations.
The AFF needs to prove why the AFF is good for debate or why the NEG makes a worse model of debate. This looks like offensive reasons to why the NEG's interp is bad or offensive reasons as to why the AFF model is good.
FW is not violent nor analagous to mass atrocities.
fairness is an impact but i think it is an uphill battle for the negative team. Impacts like clash or skills are far more persuasive to me.
I think that the AFF team should present a counter interp/model of what debate looks like with an offensive reason as to why that model is good. I also think the AFF should provide an offensive reason as to why the NEG's model of debate is bad.
I think the NEG should provide reasons as to why their model of debate is good such as clash and skills. The NEG should also provide defense like TVAs or SSD to absorb the AFF's offense. I am very interested in carded specific TVAs to the AFF.
Get to case with 3:30 minutes or GET OUT.
Advantages have names, use them in the order.
I strongly dislike the trend of putting every case arg on one sheet. If an AFF has multiple sheets in the 1AC do the case debate on multiple sheets.
I have been coming around to "hard-left" AFFs that have a very strong link/internal link story that solves some instantiation of racism, gendered violence, or ableism and indicts util impact framing.
2NRs on case will be rewarded with speaker boosts.
I 100 percent believe you can zero out a case, this is because solvency has become shambolic for affirmatives and negatives very rarely capitalize on this.
Circumvention is a powerful weapon that people often forget about.
I will vote on turns like spark, dedev, climate change good and the like.
Every argument except condo is a reason to reject the arg. i tend to not judge many theory debates. if a team goes for condo i will determine it very similar to how i view t debates. I will decide which team creates a better model of debate and vote for that team.
I will not judge kick unless instructed to do so, arguments regarding no judge kick should be set up in the 1AR at the latest.
Clipping requires a team to call out. i do not flow off the doc so i have no clue if clipping has occurred. A team will need to present some form of evidence to substantiate the clipping accusation. If i verify that clipping has occured the round will end and the team that has lost the challenge will receive an L + 25 speaks.
If there is a challenge regarding evidence ethics i will stop the round and evaluate the challenge, the round will not continue if an ethics violation challenge has been made. I will independently verify if a team has violated some level of evidence ethics (miscitations of authors, dates, removal/addition of evidentiary text). The team that loses the challenge will receive an L + 25 speaks.
It is a speech!
With the state of case debating in 2023 i think that the NEG could disprove the AFF in 3 minutes of 1AC CX.
I will flow it and i believe it is binding.
Clarification questions signal to me that you do not flow.
Stop asking questions during prep.
It is an arbitrary metric.
Ethos, ethos, ethos.
Online debate has encouraged prep stealing at another level, i will ask you if you are taking prep and if i continue to see you steal prep it will reflect in your speaks.
I will not yell clear - i think it is judge intervention.
I did not do LD in high school nor was LD in my district similar to the national circuit, i will evaluate LD how i evaluate policy unless told otherwise by debaters.
I will make ratings towards my familiarity but i am open to all styles of LD that utilize substance over tricks.
I am more sympathetic to AFF claims that condo is bad in LD more than other debates..
K - 1
Policy - 1
Phil - 4
Trad - 2
unimportant theory arguments or “skep” - do not run.
I will evaluate this as if it was a policy round.
Pls call me e.c. (it's my intitials if that helps with pronouciation) my real name and judge are just too formal for me.
I care a lot abt animals, arguments that say animals suffering does not matter will not fly with me.
I dont care if your camera is off.
Locally record your speeches. if you get booted from whatever online medium we are using i will not allow you to redo a speech.
Not a fan of inserting rehighlights - you should read them.
References about the immortal and legendary Arsenal Football Club will be rewarded with speaker point boosts (tottenham fans be warned).
Speed- Speak at a rate that is easy to understand.
No flexible prep time- use the designated time allotted.
State impacts clearly, when making claims of fact support with evidence, avoid Fiat cases- looking for clash.
I competed in Colorado at Fort Morgan High School in all three genres so I am familiar with the foundation of most events. I assist and judge whenever needed at FMHS and currently compete on the Forensics team at Hastings College.
Feel free to contact me. My email is Citlalyqu@gmail.com
- Be respectful and kind to each other.
- Provide content warnings when needed before you begin speaking if necessary
- Argument/thesis must be clear and supported with evidence
- I want to know the significance of your topic in your intro
- Have fun and speak on things that YOU care about and are passionate about
- As I stated, please provide a content warning on the video, board, before you speak, etc if necessary
- You could have the most beautiful voice and perfect blocking in the entire world, but if there isn't a clear argument/thesis in the intro unfortunately I will mark you down
- Commit to what you are saying. This is your chance to use 8-10 minutes to speak out on something meaningful to you, leave me with an impact.
- If you spread I will likely mark you down. I want to understand your argument and feeding me with an overload of information at a fast rate does not make you good at debate.
- Debate is an act of persuasion. Convince me why you're right by giving me evidence and good quality arguments. Quality > Quantity.
- Be respectful towards each other!
please add me to the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
3 years of high school local/national LD and Policy
4th year of college policy for the University of Wyoming
- my email is email@example.com if you have questions about the RFD. If you're confused about a result feel free to reach out to me
- tech > truth
- I won't do work for you (aka extend unique offense speech to speech, I won't cross-apply arguments if you don't tell me to, etc).
- this is a shared space, so help make it enjoyable & safe for everyone!
- impact out your arguments
- do impact & evidence comparison
- the only work I will ever do impact calc if I'm forced to.
- speak clearly. This is especially important with online debate. I can handle speed if you articulate and signpost. I will not say clear if you don't see me flowing I can't understand you
- I have gone for k's on the aff and neg as well as policy arguments
-I like Kritiks but you need to explain your alt and the links in a way that makes sense because you are the one that has done all the research on it and I haven't
-how does the world of the alternative function and how does it compete with the world of the AFF
-you need a specific link to the aff and impact out your links
-make sure that you have clear impacts for T though why is it a voter?
-don't just say limits and ground but give examples and explain why limits are important and contextualize your interp
- I will of course attempt to evaluate only the arguments in the round, however, on conditionality- I rarely find that debaters are able to articulate a credible and significant impact. Various process counterplans are most often won as legitimate when the neg presents a depth of evidence that they are germane to the topic/plan. Reject the arg not the teams seems true of nearly all objections other than conditionality. I will judge kick unless the aff tells me not to and has a good reason why I shouldn't
CPs and DAs:
-nothing special here run what you are good at
-as far as CPs go I don't care how many you have or if the planks are conditional
I have countless years of experience as a judge/coach for HS debate, and I was a collegiate competitor back in the day ... Not to mention I have been judging on the local, state and national level around the country.
- PLZ treat your opponent the way you would want to be treated, there is no room for rudeness or hate in debate
- if you treat us judges terribly I will spread your name among the community and encourage everyone to blacklist you
- tournaments that use .5 speaks are VERY bad, .1 all THE way
- My philosophy is Teachers teach, Coaches coach and Judges judge ... it is what it is
IE's: MS and HS level - you do you, be you and give it your all!!
Collegiate (AFA) - you know what to do
(MS , HS , College) - I'm a stickler for binder etiquette
if you treat this event like its a form of entertainment or reality TV I WILL DOWN you , you are wasting your time, your competitors time and my time
POs: I'm not gonna lie, I will be judging you the harshest - you run the chamber not me and I expect nothing but the best. Please be fair with everyone , but if I feel the PO is turning a blind eye or giving preferential treatment I will document it
Competitors: Creativity, impacts, structure and fluency are a must for me.
don't just bounce off of a fellow representatives speech, be you and create your own speech - its ok to agree tho
don't lie about sources/evidence... I will fact check
best way to get high ranks is to stay active thru the round
clash can GO a long way in this event
For direct questioning please keep it civil and no steam rolling or anything harsh, much thanks.
gestures are neato, but don't go bananas
witty banter is a plus
I only judge congress in person not online
NEVER wants to Parli a round
if y'all competitors are early to the round go ahead and do the coin flip and pre flow ... this wastes too much time both online and in person
tech or truth? Most of the time tech, but once in a while truth
I better see clash
if the resolution has loose wording, take advantage of it!!
When did y'all forget that by using definitions you can set the boundaries for the round?? With that being said, I do love me some terms and definitions
I'm all about framework and sometimes turns ... occasionally links
I don't flow during cross x , but if you feel there's something important that the judge should know.. make it clear to the judge in your following speech
I LOVE evidence... but if your doc or chain is a mess I'M going no where near it!!!
Signposting - how do I feel about this? Do it, if not I will get lost and you won't like my flow/decision
FRONTLINE in second rebuttal!! (cough, cough)
Best of luck going for a Technical Knock Out ... these are as rare as unicorns
Extend and weigh your arguments, if not.. then you're gonna get a L with your name on it
I'm ok with flex prep/time but if your opponent isn't then its a no in round - if yes don't abuse it ... same goes for open cross
When it comes to PF ... I will evaluate anything (if there's proper warranting and relevance) but if its the epitome of progressive PLZZ give a little more analysis
^ Disclosure Theory: if you have a history of disclosure then do it, if not then you will get a L from me, why? Great question, if you don't have a history of promoting fairness and being active in the debate community you have no right to use this kind of T
I'll be honest I am not a fan of paraphrasing, to me it takes away the fundamentals from impacts/evidence/arguments/debate as a whole - it lowers the value of the round overall
Speaker points - I consider myself to be very generous unless you did something very off putting or disrespectful
Easiest way to get my ballot is by using the Michael Scott rule: K.I.S "Keep It Simple"
take it easy on speed , maybe send a doc
Tech > Truth (most of the time)
links can make or break you
value/criterion - cool
stock issues - cool
K - cool
LARP - cool
Trix/Phil/Theory - PLZ noo, automatic strike
never assume I know the literature you're referencing
I don't judge a lot of CX but I prefer more traditional arguments, but I will evaluate anything
look at LD above
PLZ send a doc
I expect to see clash
no speed, this needs to be conversational
don't paraphrase evidence/sources
STYLE - a simple Claim , Warrant , Impact will do just fine
its ok to have a model/c.m , but don't get policy debate crazy with them - you don't have enough time in round
not taking any POI's makes you look silly , at least take 1
^ don't take on too many - it kills time
don't forget to extend, if you don't it a'int being evaluated
the framework debate can be very abusive or very fair ... abuse it and you will get downed
as a judge I value decorum, take that into consideration
Should any debate round be too difficult to evaluate as is.... I will vote off stock issues
I like to consider myself a calm, cool and collected judge. I'm here doing something I'm passionate about and so are y'all - my personal opinions will never affect my judgement in any round and I will always uphold that.
If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me or ask before round - whether online or in person.
May all competitors have a great 2023-2024 season!!
I respect civility between competitors.
Please speak slow enough so I can follow your arguments. (Saying points really really fast does not automatically make them count if they are impossible to hear)
Hi! My name is Kay Rollins. I am a sophomore at Harvard University. I competed for the Potomac School in Virginia for five years, where I did Extemp (and some Oratory and Public Forum debate). Here’s what I generally look for in round:
Note: PF is about being accessible to the public, and theory is (largely) inaccessible. Please keep all of your points topical to the resolution.
1. Signpost your speeches clearly. If I can't tell where the speech will go before it happens, I will be lost.
2. Weigh your arguments. If you don't tell me WHY your arguments matter, it becomes harder to evaluate those arguments against your opponents.
3. I don't flow cross-ex, but that doesn't mean I'm not listening. Make that time count.
4. NO spreading and NO theory, please
5. Have fun-- if you are relaxed, I will be too.
1. No personal AGDs or non-topical AGDs. If the topic is about Syria, don’t compare it to a middle school lunchroom dynamic or a fight with your siblings.
2. Your points should be distinct and clear from each other (ie: no bleed between points)
3. If you have a point about how we should change something, be specific as to what we should change (ie: a certain law, regulation, etc) and how that would happen.
4. Just be yourself. I hate Extemp rounds where everyone is trying to fit into a mold of an extemper that they aren’t comfortable in— the more fun you have, the more I will too.
1. This mainly goes for DI/POI, but remember: Just because something is sad or shocking (like suicide, assault, etc) doesn't make it a good piece. Additionally, please give the audience a trigger warning before your performance if it includes a depiction of any of these type of events
For all events (both speech and debate):
1. Have fun, be respectful, and try to make good arguments (or a good performance)
2. Any discriminatory actions/language will result in an automatic drop
Good luck; I look forward to watching your speeches!
If you have any problems, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been judging individual events for approximately 24 years. Over this expanse of time, I have been a head speech coach and assistant coach at the high school level. I have a Bachelors degree in theater and and English Education degree and have directed plays and musicals for 15 years. I do not have much experience judging debate or congress.
When judging individual and duo interp events, I look for believability and connection to the story first, Next when evaluating these events, I also look for versatility in the performance. If you are doing a DI or an HI, I should be able to see the rising and falling of emotions. If your piece has multiple characters, you should have clean and crisp focal points and easily discernible voices. Duo partners should respond naturally to the actions of each other. I also look to see if you are playing your character objectives and look actions beyond the text.
When judging public addresses, such as OO, INFO, and Extemp, I look for a clearly defined outline for where your speech is going. I look for credible sources that support the thesis and purpose of your speech. Eye contact should be natural and used throughout your speech. Movement across the floor should also be natural and be motivated by the points in your speech.I look for thoughtful transitions. With Extemp, answer the question you were given with relevant points.
This is my 2nd year judging at debate tournaments. Last year I judged mostly speech events and this year I have started judging debate events (mostly PF). I was a political science major in college, and I am a cardiologist.
I judge based on whether an argument is persuasive, backed up by facts and references, ability to counter opponents points, eye contact, body language, and clarity of the oratory itself. Even if an argument is valid and persuasive, it really helps when backed up with examples, facts, references. I strive to provide helpful feedback and really appreciate all the work that you all put into these events.
Please do not spread in any of your speeches. If one team spreads and the other does not, I will drop the team that spread even if they may have won on the flow. If both teams spread, I will coin toss the round.
Address as much of the opponents offense on the rebuttal speech if possible. If you are second speaker and you leave an unresolved turn in the rebuttal, it will look bad when I am voting. Please devote a significant portion of your summary speech to weighing so that I know exactly what you are winning. Clarify any points of clash in a clear and concise manner. Please keep cross fire cordial. I am fine with aggressive cross just don't be rude. If NEEDED I will call for evidence at the end of the round but I would rather not.
2015-2019:Policy Debater at Rock Springs HS; 3x NSDA Qualifier/Attendee (PF, Policy, and OO); 2017 NIETOC Qualifier/Attendee; 2017 TOC Qualifier/Attendee
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
1. General thoughts: This is your opportunity to be heard and I am happy to listen to any argument you make, as long as they are respectful. Time yourself, make sure I know who you are, road maps are off time, flashing is off time, no tag team CX (know your argument) and ask if you have questions regarding my paradigm.
2. Flowing/Spreading: First, flow the round. I'll be able to tell if you don't actually flow. In order for my flow to be the best, please ensure that there is a clear distinguishing between Tag/Author and the internals. Having voice inflection ensures that I am able to clearly flow the debate as you are presenting it. Lastly, I am down with spreading and speed as the above is utilized as an approach to spreading. If you aren't being clear, I will indicate to you by using the hand raise function.
3. Public Forum: First, clash!!! If you spend the entire round just reiterating what your first speech said, not only will it be boring, but it's not good debate. I want to know how your arguments interact with your opponents'. Second, I want clear voters! Tell me what the debate boils down to, what you think you are winning, etc. Lastly, I'm not super familiar with the high school topics this season, so if there's any lingo or background information, make sure to clarify or mention that as you use them.
4. Lincoln-Douglas: My domain in HS was policy, so I'm fine with progressive and fast debate. Roadmaps, clash, and clear voters are all good things to have in your debate. Lastly, I'm not super familiar with the high school topics this season, so if there's any lingo or background information, make sure to clarify or mention that as you use them.
If you have any questions, please ask!
I have coached and judged for over 20 years. I am willing to judge just about any event.
In debate I always wait until after the last speech to make a decision. Each speech is important and I like to hear the overall picture....the ideas...the research....how your ideas clash.
I don't have a checklist of arguments I like to see (or don't like to see) I prefer for debaters to set their own stage. I like it when debaters run advanced arguments, but in a way that supports civil discourse. Be nice to each other in round, professionalism is just as important as a well researched and presented argument.
I am a natural resources scientist with extensive past experience and success in high school debate . I will evaluate the methodology and reputation of evidence and sources presented. I will keep track of the flow and will take note at your "speaks", but what makes me sign the ballot at the end of the day is how well researched your cases were, if you had any creative arguments that support your side of the flow, whether or not you were a compelling speaker, and how much critical thinking your team showcases by the end of the round. I did debate in high school and it is my core belief that critical thinking, research, creativity, and confident speaking are the skills you can get from debate. Take liberty with the kinds of arguments you run but keep these four criteria in mind. I have a fair amount of experience in philosophy and a broad scientific and mathematical background. Explain your arguments well, but I do not need you to treat me like a layperson.
Best of luck and congratulations for participating in debate, it was a transformative experience for me and I hope you get as much out of it as I did. I hope you go on to make a positive impact in the world with your future careers.
I want to see a good debate.
Respect for everyone is very important.
No yelling, I will drastically lower your speaker points.
If you send me your cases or add me to an email chain, +1 speaker points.
Former High School Policy Debater (before PF even existed) in Wisconsin and on National Circuit. Assistant Coach at STRIVE Prep - RISE in Denver, CO. Former coach of DSST: Cole High School in Denver, CO.
PF Specific Updates:
Read Evidence Call me old-school, but I'd like to hear you actually read evidence. I'm really not enjoying the paraphrased tag-line strategy that supposedly brings in the entire card of evidence and warrants without reading the actual warrants in the round. Some teams are "reading" more cards than a policy debate round would, but it is really just citing a bibliography with tags. Furthermore, this then can become a bunch of overtagged claims linked together to some extremely illogical argument that isn't supported by the literature. So, read more evidence. This would also make the rounds so much better because we could go more in depth rather than breadth and actual get to the warrants and clash between arguments.
Summary Speech I do think that summary speeches should be "summarizing" the round down and include all the arguments you plan on going for in the final focus. If you don't argue everything in summary then the round can get very messy with new story-lines/cards reappearing in the final focus speech from way back in the rebuttals but hadn't been talked about since, which seems borderline abusive but definitely makes the weighing and story of the round more confusing. Therefore, if your partner didn't talk about it in Summary I won't listen to your argument in Final Focus.
Overarching thoughts for both PF and Policy:
- Evidence: I am evidence-focused and will ask for evidence if it is up for Debate (in both PF and Policy).
- Warrants/Analysis/Links: The lost art of debate from what I've seen at a lot of local tournaments this year - please explain the warrants, analysis, and links/internal links of your arguments to be strong. If you do not adequately do this, don't be surprised by a decision that you might not agree with as I should not be doing any work on my end to make connections - that is your job to prove it to me.
- Clash: The most successful debaters in front of me will clearly clash with their opponents arguments in the line-by-line and explain why those arguments are flawed or not as good as your counter-analytics/evidence.
- Speed: I can handle speed (as long as your speed is clear), but for the fastest teams will require some slight slowing on tags/authors and analytics/non-evidence based arguments (for example when reading your Aff Plan Details or arguing Topicality) so I can adequately capture everything. If during the round it becomes clear you are a lot faster than the other team, please do not continuing spreading to the point of being mean or your speaks will drop. (Also, for PF when you aren't actually reading evidence even slow speed can be hard for me to flow because I just can't keep up flowing a million tag lines.)
- Flow/Drops: I am a flow judge, and do take dropped arguments seriously. However, I also much prefer argumentation and analysis than a ticky-tack debate about who dropped what. Furthermore, if all you say is "they dropped it, so it flows for us" - I will not give it much weight as you need to explain the importance of the argument and how it matters in the round for me to care about it otherwise you effectively dropped it as well by not explaining it. Also, for PF teams that don't talk about a particular contention after their constructive until the Final Focus and then say "our opponents dropped our contention, so we should win on that" I will not take that seriously as you also effectively dropped it throughout the round.
- Social Etiquette: Do not be bigoted or racist in anyway despite the fact our country seems to currently be okay with that - this is the only time you would ever see judge intervention from me.
Policy Specific Paradigm:
- Policy Maker: I would consider myself a policy-maker that evaluates the impacts of the round for Aff vs Neg. Therefore, 2NR and 2AR would do well to frame the round in term of impact analysis and explain why their impacts are the most critical to be solved - this can be argued and justified in many ways, so convince me.
- Like Well-Argued Kritiks/Critiques: I really enjoy Kritik/Critique arguments. However, most teams do not do them super well as they are deeply philosophical arguments that are often very nuanced. If you argue that fiat is illusory (this is not required, and I actually appreciate the kritiks that have real policy impacts more as they are often more believable and interesting in the debate), you better not link harder to the Kritik in your on-case arguments than your opponent. Also, if fiat is illusory, I do want to hear convincing arguments for your alternative and how voting for you actually achieves this alternative goal (and why the Aff can't just perm it and talk/acknowledge the problems in the pre-fiat world but still debate a hypothetical post-fiat policy world). Also as a recommendation, if you are truly going for a Kritik, you should spend substantial time dedicated to it from both evidence and analytic standpoints as they are complicated topics that should be in some ways outside the "game" of debate.
- Limit Topicality/Theory Arguments: While I will vote on topicality/theory arguments if forced to, I do not enjoy them in any way. I understand running T is a negative strategy as a time suck, so I am okay with one or two T arguments and won't hold it against you, but I hope the round doesn't come to Topicality and the quicker they get punted the better. For someone to win on topicality/theory it will have to be largely dropped or actually show very real abuse (with open-evidence project and familiarity of cases/topics, I have a hard time believing there is very much actual abuse that is happening though, so it better be convincing and don't be surprised if I give leeway to reasonable arguments from the other team.)
firstname.lastname@example.org (include on email chain please)
6 years and counting policy debate experience. Current UW college debater.
Some thoughts and useful insights for debaters (an ever growing list):
1. Familiar with mostly all types of argumentation, I'm down with reading whatever argument suits you, just defend it well. There are very few args I will not vote on. If you say racism/sexism/transphobia/ableism are good you will lose. Everything else is up for debate. I am particularly partial to clever impact turns that catch opponents off guard.
2. I'm not as familiar with the K literature, so if that's your jam, you should be extra coherent with your args and line by line work. Don't drop some super complex K terms and expect me to know what they mean please, I do my best to keep up, but there will always be something that I didn't have time to learn.
3. I like clever counterplans that use the aff against itself (within reason of course, I'm not afraid to vote on theory so be careful with your "creativity"), unless you have really good evidence, I'm not likely to vote on generic CP's that copy and paste the plan text from every round. If the CP is unique to the aff or a small section of affs, that's ideal.
4. 2AC addons are underrated, see the HS impact article "2AC add ons" written by Scott Phillips to understand why.
5. Nothing in your speeches should go unjustified, every piece of evidence and every analytic you forward needs to exist for a strategic reason. Chess players (who want to win) don't just move random pieces, everything is purposeful, strategic, and thoughtful. Your speeches are a piece of art and you should treat them with that respect!
6. Cross-ex is a speech
Be kind, prep well, debate smart, have fun, good luck.
please add me on the email chain, email@example.com
I have 7 years of experience of debating in policy and I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2021 where I was primarily a 2N.
--- Top Level Notes ---
1. Make the space enjoyable, safe, and educational for everyone. Your language and actions do matter. I think often times, debaters get defensive when their behavior is called out rather than apologize, listen and be reflective of their actions.
2. Do what you do best and go for whatever you feel most comfortable in front of me. I don't have any argument preferences. I am more concerned about you articulating your arguments to me than what the arguments actually are.
3. In the last rebuttals, I am most persuaded by the team that goes for fewer arguments, spends time impacting them out, providing me judge direction, and telling me how it implicates the rest of the debate.
4. Do not expect me to read your evidence after the round unless it's completely necessary. It is your job to thoroughly explain your evidence and how it contributes to your argument in the debate.
5. While I more on the tech leaning side of the tech over truth debate, I will not grant you an argument that is dropped if you do not extend it properly and/or impacted it out. A dropped argument needs to be fleshed out before I consider it true.
--- POLICY ---
At a glance, here are some things that will go far in front of me:
1. Case engagement: I love case debating and am increasingly persuaded by teams that have a great strategy for case. I find that the block does not spend enough time on case, and it makes debates a lot closer than they should be. If you read the k and are going against a policy aff, I get very excited when ya'll read impact defense, solvency takeouts, and evidence indicts to these policy teams.
2. Impacts in the rebuttals: Impacts need to be fleshed out in the final speeches. I need to know how not doing the aff is going to trigger the impact, where some war is happening, why it's uniquely coming now, etc. I find myself voting for teams that spend a lot of time in the final rebuttal giving me specific details on their impacts, how they can be avoided, and doing impact comparison with the other team. Same goes for more structural impacts.
3. Evidence comparison and indicts: I feel like this is super underrated and a great way to discredit any argument. Why are we not calling out the written impacts from military blogs or written by war criminals? Also, as I stated above, pulling the warrants out of your evidence, doing analysis, and tying it to your argument is very compelling and the best part of policy debate.
4. Judge direction and weighing of arguments: This is more related to policy v. kritik debates on the framework page. I have a hard time evaluating this because I don't see a lot of clash. If you want me to vote on a role of the ballot/judge, there needs to be clear weighing and impact extension as to why this plays an important role in the debate.
5. If you want to have some fun with what you read, I am all for it. I read (and have won rounds) on the time K and nuclear war good. Do with that what you will.
--- Specific Arguments ---
I really enjoy these debates. I think they raise questions about our underlying assumptions about change on a social/political level and the topic itself. I always learn a lot and enjoy seeing debaters creativity!
That being said, I think K affs should be somewhat in the direction of the topic. I also find that solvency mechanism warrants are important for me to be persuaded by your argument. Like any aff, the 2ar should clearly extend the impact, how the aff resolves it, and why it's uniquely important.
Versus T or FW debates, I think even if you are impact turning it, I would like to know why your aff was a prior question to their TVA (if they have one).
Topicality/Framework (v. K affs)
There needs to be more clash, weighing, and comparison in these debates. I find policy teams repeating their blocks and not digging in deep as to why policy interpretations are necessary for educational value (or whatever else your impact is) is in debate. I am not really persuaded by fairness impacts, mainly because I do not think teams clash with their opponents arguments but that doesn't mean I won't vote for them.
I find topical versions of the aff very persuasive. If you have one, you need to explain to me why it solves the affirmatives offense on the page. Make sure you impact this argument out and explain why you couldn't engage with the aff (or rather why potential abuse is a voter). I'm down with the affirmative impact turning these arguments so long as there is impact comparison in the rebuttals.
I really enjoy these debates, especially versus policy affs. Link explanations go a really long way in front of me. I am most persuaded by teams that give extensive analysis of their evidence and provide specific examples to contextualize their link with the aff, rather than teams that dump a bunch of cards or shadow extend arguments.
Depending on how the debate is going, I also enjoy alternative solvency explanation and how/why the alternative can solve the impacts the 1AC isolates.
Please note that if you read psychoanalysis or other high theory, I am going to need a lot of explanation on some basic concepts so please keep this in mind.
Love it. If you read a counterplan with more than three planks, please take your speed down to 80% so I can catch what you are saying.
I default to judge kick unless told otherwise.
Make sure a clear link and impact story is established in the 2NC. This makes for better storytelling in the 2NR. I also think quality of evidence on disads are important.
Please slow down so I can catch these arguments. Theory can be an option in the 2AR so long as there is enough substance in the 1AR to grant you your 2ar arguments. Make sure comparison of arguments happens and that your theory arguments are impacted out.
Topicality (v. policy affs)
Give me a picture of what the topic should look like under your interpretation and what the affirmative has done to disrupt this.
I find that some teams forget to impact out their standards. Go further and tell me how your ground and limits arguments are key to fairness and education. Tell me why the affirmative's interpretation has made fairness and education worse and also why those impacts are important. These arguments should be present in the 2NR.
--- Online procedurals ---
1. Follow tournament procedurals for online debate.
2. Keep your camera on while you speak. If you have some internet issues and need to keep it off to maintain sound quality, that is totally fine, you just need to let me know so I won't dock your speaks. Otherwise, if you are keeping your camera off for the whole debate just to have it off, I will give you low speaker points.
3. Holy cow, do not start a speech without me indicating that I am ready. I will keep my camera off for prep but I will turn my camera on and throw a thumbs up/verbally confirm that I am ready. If my camera is not on and if you do not see me throw a thumbs up to indicate that I am ready, do not start your speech. It's not my fault if I don't catch something you say because you did not confirm everyone was ready.
--- LD ---
While I have not competed in LD, I have judged numerous varsity LD rounds from the local to national level. I do not have a preference to a style in which you debate the topic, i.e. philosophical, kritikal, traditional, etc., however, I do care that you debate the topic in some way.
Here are some thoughts that I have about particular arguments but also how I evaluate LD debates:
1. I view the value-criterion as the framing for the debate and typically go to that debate first so I can filter the rest of the debate through this framework. In some debates it matters, others it doesn't (especially if the teams agree on/have similar value-criterions).
2. I am going to take a bit from a former coach's paradigm because I believe this is something I encounter a lot in LD: "too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it's awesome. You should make sure I know it's awesome while you read it...Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, [by thoroughly explaining their evidence and why it matters in the debate], will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot."
3. I do not like when debaters will read/extend a bunch of arguments that do not provide a good warrant or reason why the argument matters. I would rather the 1NC read 1 less off case position in favor of more developed case analysis, impact calc, or fully complete arguments. I would rather the 1ar make 1 less theory argument in favor of actually explaining what the words "perm do both" mean, why the case outweighs, and sinking time in where it matters.
4. Impacting out your arguments and doing impact/evidence comparison in the final rebuttals is very important to me. Tell me why your arguments matters, why they are a priority, and overall why you won the debate. Ships passing in the night or blippy extensions are not advantageous for you.
5. Conditionality is probably bad in LD, but it's not that hard to defend condo good and I think most of these counterplan issues are best resolved at the level of how competitive they are with the aff, not theory. Again, sink time into arguments where you feel confident in going for them and explaining thoroughly in your final rebuttal.
6. I do not discriminate against certain arguments but if you read Kant, I am probably not the judge for you. I have judge a few of these debates and they are pretty confusing to me. If you are a Kant person who gets me as a judge, I need a lot more explanation on some of these buzzwords. I am also convinced that many students who read Kant don't really go for an impact or tell me how it relates back to the resolution so please do these things.
Please add me to the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org
Experience: CX for 5 years (Grade 6-10), PF for 2 years (Grade 10-11), World Schools (Grade 12)
Furthest I’ve Gone in Tournaments: Taiwan Nationals Winner/Top Speaker 2015 in CX and Quarterfinals in TOC PF Silver in 2016
Judging Style: I am a flow heavy judge. However, I will only write down what you say and will make judgments based on your arguments only. For example, if your opponent double-turns themself but you don't address it, I will not count it against your opponent. I will only use my own judgment and experience if both sides have equal arguments.
Frameworks: If you have a framework, I will judge based on it. If you have a framework and your opponent doesn't bring up a counter-framework, the debate will be judged based on your framework.
Theory/Kritiks: I am okay with theory but will need you to explain it carefully. Do not play the theory game if you are unable to explain all your links. It is NOT my burden to understand all the possible Kritiks out there. IF I DON'T UNDERSTAND IT I WON'T VOTE FOR IT. It is your responsibility as the debater to explain the K if you run it. I do prefer DAs/CPs to Ks. I’m generally good with Marxism Ks, Feminism Ks, Ableism Ks, and Race Ks (I ran Afro-Pessimism and Afro-Nihilism in the past) but anything beyond these I’m going to need clear explanations about the theory. I also need you to have an impact on your K or else I don’t see a point in it.
LD debaters: Please do not expect me to understand every single theory thing that pops up. I'm comfortable with the basic ones used in CX, but please play safe and pretend I don't know much.
Impacts: It is extremely important to me that your case and arguments have a tangible impact. If the argument is part of a link game, that's fine but the link game must end in an impact. Do not leave me thinking so what? If that happens and the opponent makes a decent counterargument, I'll give it to them.
Speed is fine but please be clear.
I did debate (pf) all 4 years in high school. I also did extemp.
For debate, I like good clash. If you can't extend on your opponents' arguments with evidence, arguments, etc. I will not vote for you. Evidence is cool, but not the end all be all. Also if we can try to keep speeches to at most 15 sec over, that would be great to keep the tournament running smoothly.
DO NOT SPREAD!
For extemp, you need to memorize your sources. Also, let's not get crazy political, mkay (you're not a political science major just yet). I like an extemp walk, yes, yes. Keepin' it classy.
For interp, I need to be able to differentiate your characters throughout the piece. Also, shouldn't be forced.
In debate I seek clarity and organization. Your arguments are ineffective if they are not clearly presented and linked to your case.
I prefer substance over presentation. If you have clearly stated arguments that get to the heart of your case and address the concerns of your opponents I will reward that over style or presentation.
hi! i debated pf in hs. toc '19! i was a former co-director for nova debate camp and go to uva now. i also coach ardrey kell VM and oakton ML. add me to the email chain! email@example.com
tl;dr, i'm a typical flow judge. i'm tab and tech>truth, debate however you want (as long as it does not harm others). for more specific stuff, read below!
most important thing:
so many of my RFDs have started with "i default on the weighing". weighing is NOT a conditional you should do if you just so happen to have enough time in summary - i will often default to teams if they're the only ones who have made weighing. strength of link weighing counts only when links are 100% conceded, clarity of impact doesn't.
other less important stuff:
online debate: unless you're sending speech docs, please just make a shared google doc and paste cards there. i get it, you want to steal prep while waiting. but really, it's delaying tournaments and i get bored while waiting :( (you don't have to though, esp in outrounds - but i will be happier if you do)
also, if you're debating from the same computer, it's cool, just lmk in the chat or turn your camera on before the round so i know, because i usually start the round when i see 4 ppl in the room
speed is ok. i think it's fun. i actually like blippy disads (as long as they have warrants). but don't do it in such a way that it makes the debate inaccessible - drop a doc if your opponents ask or if someone says "clear".
whenever you extend something, you have to extend the warrant above all else.
defense is not sticky, but my threshold for completely new frontlines in second summary is super high. turns must be frontlined in second rebuttal.
new implications off of previous responses are okay (in fact, i think they're strategic), but they must be made in summary (unless responding to something new in final). you still need to have concise warranting for the new implication, just as you would for any other response.
i don't listen during cross - if they make a concession, point it out in the next speech.
weighing is important, but comparative and meta weighing are even more important. you can win 100% of your link uncontested but i'd still drop you if you never weigh at all and the opps have like 1% of their link with pre-req weighing into your case. don't just say stuff like "we outweigh because our impact card has x and theirs has y and x>y", but go the next step and directly compare why your magnitude is more important than their timeframe, why your prereq comes before their prereq, etc. if there is no weighing done, i will intervene.
i encourage post-round questions, i'm actually happy to spend like however long you want me to just answering questions regarding my decision. just don't be rude about it.
i will evaluate progressive arguments (Ks, theory, etc).
no friv theory, no tricks
i default to reasonability, RVIs, and DtD *if not told otherwise* - before you start e-mailing me death threats, this is just so teams can't read random new shells in summary unless they're going to spend the time reading warrants for CI and no RVIs - i prefer theory debates to start in constructive/rebuttal, and i'll be sympathetic to teams that have to make new responses to a completely new shell in summary or final focus
i'm less versed on Ks than i am theory. i can probably follow you on the stock Ks (cap, sec, etc), but if you're going to run high level Ks (performance, afropess, etc), i'll still evaluate them, but i advise you run them with caution, since i might not be able to get everything down 100%. it's probably best to make these types of Ks accessible to both me and your opponents (you should honestly just explain everything like i'm a lay judge, and try to stay away from more abstract phil stuff like epistemology/ontology/etc).
if you have any more questions, feel free to ask or e-mail me before the round!
(Paradigm Updated as of March 22, 2022)
Hello all! I am glad to be your judge at this tournament. I have competed for Green River High School in Wyoming for 4 years. My best event was in Extemporaneous Speaking; however, I also had success in Original Oratory and Informative Speaking. I did 2 debates in my high school years: Public Forum (3 years) and Lincoln-Douglas (1 year). I had a decent success record in debate, but I was much better in the realms of Speech.
These are my updated paradigms for the 2022-2023 Speech Season:
General Debate Paradigms:
In debate, I was that edgy traditionalist/progressive debater. Arguably, I was a bit more progressive than I was traditionalist; thus, either form of debate is fine with me. I do ask that if the speaker chooses to be progressive that they do not push the limits of what progressive debate is. There is a point in time where debate does become irrational in nature. Please try to avoid that.
1 - Offense over Defense
This is the number one thing that I look for in rounds, as a flow judge. This is basically assuming that debate is a sport; the more arguments you get across the finish line leads to the more arguments that win the round. The person that wins the round has the most arguments won on the flow, whether the argument is factually correct or not. (Note: I would prefer that you are factually correct, but my job as a judge is not to judge whether or not the information provided is correct. I try to be an impartial judge.)
An "offensive" argument is an argument that is either a cross-application, a turn, or any form of impact calculus. Typically, anything other than this is considered defensive on the flow. If possible, I would urge you to use the technical terms to help me on the flow; otherwise, I will make an assumption based on the argument that is presented to me.
2 - Impact Calculus
As mentioned above, I love to hear impact calculus. I believe that you can win an entire debate by just weighing the consequences of impacts against one another. Any form of impact calculus is good: timeframe, probability, magnitude, scope, irreversibility, pre-requisite, and root cause.
The best part of impact calculus is when you can make a reasonable assumption between the two impacts. Even though I prefer evidence, it is safe to assume the importance of some impacts. (i.e. The effects of climate change are irreversible.)
3 - Framework Debate
If a side wishes to run a framework, I am fair game for it. If no framework is presented on the round, assume that I will vote on cost-benefit analysis. This is the typical voting of your judges. Cost-benefit analysis should not be ran as a framework as most judges already vote on it.
If both sides propose frameworks, I would love to hear the framework clash. As mentioned earlier, offense over defense is preferred in the framework debate.
4 - Cross-Examination
I am not one of those judges that says that everyone should be nice in debate; however, there is an imperative to uphold some sort of debate etiquette. Thus, I prefer a "tense" cross-examination. What this means is that you are not being excessively rude, but having your opponent get to the point is perfectly acceptable. I am fine with people cutting others off to get to the next question.
If you are excessively rude in questioning or in debate, it will result in a significant cut in speaker points. I believe that a cut in speaker points is appropriate versus a complete loss in the round.
5 - Clarity/Signposting
All debaters, before every speech, must give me an off-the-clock road map. I need to know where we are going on the flow. If you jump around, it will be harder for me to follow your arguments and I will be more likely to miss an argument that you are making. Remember, it is my flow that counts toward your ballot.
I am pretty good with speed. My general rule is that if you are too fast, I will stop flowing and look at you.
6 - Tech over Truth
More evidence is always better. If one team has 14 pieces of evidence versus the opposing team's 1 piece of evidence, I will likely vote for the 14 pieces of evidence. This is because there will likely be more offensive arguments. The evidence debate constitutes the best form of debate, in my opinion.
With this philosophy, credibility does not matter (unless if you provide me evidence or logistical arguments as to why, of course). If the 1 source is from a Ph.D. who is well known and the 14 sources are from a variety of journalists, then I view this in favor of the 14 journalists. If credibility should be viewed as important, I ask that you run it as a framework to override this paradigm.
7 - Overview/Underview Debate
This is a unique paradigm of mine, but one that does not have to be implemented. I am a fan of people running overviews and underviews; they act as extra arguments in the round and are burdens that are placed on opponent's cases (or your own, if you choose). With these, please tell me where on the flow you would like me to put them.
With this type of debate, you can run a framework. Because there are no rules on where a framework can be stated in the round, you are certainly allowed to run a framework in your second to last speech and put it on the flow as an overview. Setting the debate up like this allows me to see how arguments narrow down, as the debate furthers.
Specific Debate Paradigms:
1 - Stock Issues (CX)
I consider myself to be a stock issues judge, but on a more traditional level. For clarity, the burden of stock issues is for the Affirmative to uphold all five and the Negation to prove that the Affirmative cannot uphold one of them. If the Affirmative upholds all five stock issues, then the debate proceeds to the argument level (advantages versus disadvantages, counterplans, etc.).
The reason why this is important: If the Aff cannot prove how the plan essentially would work, then I cannot vote for the plan. If the plan cannot solve the problem that it illustrates that it can, there is no reason for me to consider the arguments presented in the round. I also believe that this allows for a fair debate for the Neg, as I feel in CX, the Neg has a much more difficult job.
2 - Topicalities (CX)
In recent years, I have grown more accustomed to the idea of Topicality arguments. If you wish to run these, please make sure that it follows the normal debate argument structure (claim, warrant, and impact). I understand why a Topicality may be important for a team to run, but make sure that you can explain to me the importance of why they are ran.
An important note about Topicality - oftentimes, teams put Topicality at the top of the flow, which can be problematic. Topicality sometimes becomes the central focus of the debate and can result in the debate becoming indecisive. If the team wishes to run a Topicality, ensure that you have time to run the Topicality with your other arguments. As mentioned in a later paradigm, if you do not cover a specific advantage, disadvantage, etc. in the following attack speech, I regard the argument as dropped. If the Topicality takes too much time, it may be in the team's best interest to either kick arguments or have the Topicality kicked.
3 - Ks/Theory Debate (CX)
The National Speech & Debate Tournament, at the High School level, has typically frowned upon this type of debate. Historically at this tournament, these arguments are voted down, not because of the argument, but because they wish to keep the etiquette of CX. For this reason, I will vote down any K or Theory that is presented in the round. If it is unlikely to succeed at the national level, there is no reason for me to vote for it.
*Note: If this changes in future tournaments, this paradigm will be updated to reflect the results of the National Speech & Debate Tournament, at the High School level.
4 - Dropped Arguments (CX, LD)
An argument becomes dropped on the flow if it is not directly addressed in the corresponding speech. In LD, if the Neg does not attack any of the Aff arguments in the NC, then the arguments automatically flow to the Affirmative. This rule applies to each speech, in this debate (the 2AR in LD should only be voters, or a wrap-up of arguments).
For CX, this rule applies starting in the 2AC. Any dropped arguments from the Negation's proposal in the 2AC will be automatically flowed to the Negation. In the 2NC, this rule applies to the Affirmative, as well as the Negative's arguments.
If both teams do not discuss an argument, after it has been introduced, the argument flows to neither team.
5 - Value/Criterion (LD)
I find that Value/Criterion debate is the biggest misconception in LD. LD Debaters receive about 20% of their ballots being focused on this. For this reason, Value/Criterion is not a voting issue for me.
Value/Criterion is the mechanism in which the debate is bounded by. This is not a framework. With this being said, Aff can win the Value while Neg can win the Criterion and vice versa. Once a Value and Criterion has been determined on the flow, I will judge the offensive arguments based to that Value/Criterion and make a ballot decision. A framework can be added to the debate to ensure that a specific type of voting does occur, in addition to Value/Criterion.
6 - Progressive Criterion Debate (LD)
This is something that I do accept. This is where the sides spend less time discussing Values, but more time discussing Criterions. Effectively, what this does is it says that the Criterion best upholds both Values presented in the round rather than having a specific focus on the Values that are accepted.
An example of this would be a Value of Life versus Morality. A debater can run a Criterion of Teleology and claim that it fits under both Values; thus, there is no need to promote one value over another. If the debater convinces me that both Values shall be viewed equally in the round, then I will uphold two Values and the corresponding Criterion that sets the debate. An important note: If you run this, make sure that your case and your arguments fall under both values. Otherwise, I may have to vote for the other team.
7 - Voters (LD, PF, BQ)
Voters are important for me to see what offensive arguments took place in the round. When crafting the voter speech, make sure to tackle the most important points that you (or your team) won. A voter is not winning on "impact." A voter is winning on "my opponent's Contention 2."
8 - Logistical Argumentation (LD, PF, BQ)
While I prefer tech over truth, I understand that logic is sometimes the best for these debates. Just remember, if your opponent brings up a piece of evidence that says the opposite, then I will be more likely to believe that argument.
Logistical arguments are typically defensive, but are great setups for offensive arguments. If you want to claim that an argument is non-unique, then keep it short and set up a turn or cross-application to put more weight as to why you should vote for your side.
9 - Dropped Arguments (PF, BQ)
Since these debates have a different structure than CX and LD, the rule for dropped arguments is quite different. Typically, it is a case constructive, an attack speech, a summary speech, and a final focus. Since the 1st speaker can only attack in the corresponding speech, I find it unfair to call drops to their arguments. Thus, drops on arguments begin in the 3rd speech of this debate (for PF, this would be the Summary speech).
The final focus should remain focused on voters and basically should extend what was brought out by your partner (or yourself for BQ). If the final focus does not establish what was stated in the previous speech, I will assume that those arguments are dropped.
I am happy to be your judge and good luck in this round and your future rounds!
I am a tabula rasa judge, meaning I will judge based almost exclusively on what you debate. If the entire round is fought on definitions, that’s what I will judge on, same with anything else that might be debated. Therefore, it is important to me to be given voters at the end clearly explaining why you believe you won the round.
My only pet peeve is for during Cross-fire. CX is a time for questions, not statements.This includes questions disguised as statements, including "are you aware-", "would you agree-", etc...
Congress: Repetition is not refutation.
*I rank POs well*
I flow carefully, and I look for who has command of the round in terms of content, organization, and delivery. I love when you give me a clear reason for decision in your closing speech, and I tend to be swayed by weighing arguments. Debate is a public speaking activity, so I will pay attention to presentation.
I am a parent judge and although I don't have much experience judging PF, my son is a debater in High School. Please just try to keep the speed at a reasonable pace and refrain from using technical debate jargon. Other than that, just be respectful during round.
Howdy, I am William Wayne Ward from Wyoming.
3 Years High School Congressional Debate
1 Year British Parliamentary Debate
Currently Learning College Public Forum Debate
Currently Learning College Speech (at large)
I enjoy the technical side of debate but better speakers will often win my vote should the speaker's clash and arguments be roughly equal. I really enjoy watching clash, especially lively ones, but I severely punish Ad Hominem arguments and general disrespect. I prefer on the clock roadmaps but I do not care much. I shouldn't have to read y'all's case to understand, it is lame if I do. If you give me a K argument that is not on case, I will likely give you an L. Spreading makes me Sad.
Congress: I expect chairs to be efficient, know parliamentary procedure, be fair, and to take good precedence. Newbies are more forgiven. I have a ton of experience here, I can smell procedural BS from a mile away so do not cross any major ethical boundaries.
LD: Please explain why a value or criterion clash matters, what arguments I should drop or if I should entirely ignore your opponent's case. You are in a moral debate, not PF Lite™, explain why morals matter.
PF: If I cannot explain your case and it's logic in 1-2 sentences, I probably will not vote for you. Simplify your case for me into easy logic if possible.
CX: Pray I am not your CX judge. If you have the misfortune of seeing me as CX judge, K arguments that are off case are annoying and spreading is lame. Treat me like a lay judge.
Debate differences: I will try not force my preferred lay and PF view points on you, I detest how CX judges decide PF, but I cannot reward something I do not understand just because it is the norm.
I judge heavy on energy and blocking (when applicable) as well as speaking ability. I would much rather judge a room full of the same subject with great performance than unique topics with poor performance.
In my view, you are in Speech, not Debate, which means that the best subject, topic, or argument does not always win. It's all about how you can present it, but an interesting topic certainly helps.
I like to flow 'what is said' in your feedback on Tabroom for most events, especially debate so you can see everything I hear/consider. That said, I flow faster on paper so in elimination rounds I will likely not flow on the ballot.
↑ Effective Judge Understanding > Flow Transparency. ↑
I might add emojis to most ballots. ???? ← Might look like this. If I do not have much under your feedback or RFD, it is because I forgot to fill it out like a dingus.
firstname.lastname@example.org or text at 307-921-0711 for additional feedback or questions about your ballot.
I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
I have my bachelor’s in political science from West Virginia University, where my focus was on international relations and national security. While at WVU, I competed for their policy team for about two years, and I have a year of competing in parliamentary and IPDA debate while at Shepherd University. Currently, I am a graduate student at West Virginia University in the department of Communication Studies!
General: I will listen to just about any argument* but I enjoy debates that have a clear framework in which to weigh the round. I think debate is an educational activity and creates a lot of great opportunities for learning, so my openness for many arguments is really stemming from wanting to sus out the ideas that debaters are bringing to the table. Most importantly though, have fun! Get into it! I appreciate humor in a round as well!
*Please do not read arguments like racism or patriarchy good or adjacent arguments. Also please do not use the experiences of other people to get a ballot.
AFF: Topical aff? Great. K aff? Great. I do prefer some kind of affirmative advocacy.
T: I mean, I’ll vote on it, I just might be sad. If you’re going to read T, please just make it clear and uphold your standards.
Theory: like T. My threshold for dropping the debater is going to be pretty high.
CP: Pretty much weighing like how I would weigh the plan.
K: I love a good K. A kritik done well can really lead to great discussions in round. I do think you need to have a good link story to the AFF and a clear alternative. I’ll vote on generic Ks since I think generic Ks help for getting folks into critical literature if it’s done well and is weighed well against the aff. I may know the literature, I may not. Regardless, you should be able to give a good simple explanation of your K.
Perms: Whether it is a CP or a K if you are going for the perm, please explain how it functions. What does doing both look like? Sequencing can be super important!
DA: DAs are cool with me. Give me a good story of how the DA happens, do your impact calc and I’ll vote on it
-On the clock roadmaps
-Speak at a speed/rate that the judge and audience can understand
-Value/Value Clash is Prioritized
-Use of analytical and empirical evidence
LD: I tend to favor more "traditional" flavors of LD, but I will vote on critical affirmatives and other departures from the norm if they are appropriately impacted and extended throughout the round. While I appreciate framework clash, I do not consider framework to be an independent reason to vote AFF or NEG. You should win the framework debate and then apply the framework to the contention-level debate and motivate voters there.
PF: I will flow carefully and appreciate extensions of specific cites and warrants rather than pure volume. Summary and Final Focus speeches which fail to collapse the debate to a manageable list of voters should be avoided. I don't like to intervene in any round, so provide clear reasons to vote in Final Focus. Propose and apply some weighing mechanism....
Policy: I favor policy making and stocks debates, but I will vote on anything if properly developed and weighed in the round. I tend to look less favorably on procedurals and theory shells which multiply lots of standards and substructure in the round but don't amount to much after the block.
1. As a judge, It is a priority of mine to not let bias and predisposed opinions of topics to influence how I judge a competitor. I do not want to award winners just because I agreed with their side beforehand. Fairness comes from a clean slate beforehand and a newfound opinion after the round. I value the the time and effort you put in to debate such challenging topics so I try my best to be someone that really trusts and listens to what you say.
2. I value respect over anything. Respect the judge of course, but also respect your opponent. Losing a round is not worth an attitude of disrespect. I have seen too many rounds recently where people talked over the other and it got ugly. I do not like that. Also remember, this is something that should be considered fun. Enjoy yourselves.
3. it is often thought of to take debate as way more serious than it should be. Humor, puns, and side jokes are ideal. I get bored if it’s all talk and no games. Give a joke or two. Even if other jokes do not like this, it makes it more lively for me.
4. paint me a picture. As a future lawyer, I need to see a picture and a concrete image of your plan and ideas rather than having to try to imagine something in my mind. That makes me get lost in the “what if’s” and “could be‘s.
5. Imagine yourself as a policy maker or politician rather than debate competitor. Convince me that you know how to get the job done and that you know what you are talking about. It is more convincing than talking like a student trying to win a debate competition.
6. Refer to me as “judge”. I am nice, you can make conversation with me. I love meeting competitors and hearing about what they do because it is something that I used to do.
7. pace of speaking is a huge part of how I judge. If you talk too fast, I get lost. A little goes a long way when you keep your pace under control.
8. Snark is okay, don’t be a jerk, please.
9. Know and understand your evidence. Become an expert of it.
10. Prove to me that there ARE flaws and that you CAN fix them.
Did pf for 4 years in hs. I will call for cards if you rely on them too much, and if you misconstrue any evidence I will vote you down.
TLDR: Warrant out your arguments, weigh, tell my why I should vote for you, be nice, and have fun :)
For email related things: firstname.lastname@example.org
PF Paradigm: I have four years of experience in PF debate both in the local Wyoming circuit and the national circuit. I prefer tech over truth so I'll buy any argument you present as long as it's well-warranted and not unethical (i.e. racist, sexist, etc...). I want to see clash and weighing because I think that makes for more interesting debates. That being said you should tell me how I should vote in the round. I won't intervene in the debate. However, if you don't tell me how to vote I will definitely evaluate the link debate first and probably vote off of whoever has the biggest impact second. I will consider dropped arguments as conceded unless you can give me a reason why I should consider the new answer. I don't really want to hear any new arguments in summary though. If it's something that can be cross-applied to an argument that you have already made, most likely I'll buy it as long as the argument still stands. If there was only defense read on your contention but it's something you're not going to go for I'll let you kick it if you don't bring it up again in summary or final focus. If there is offense on the contention and you don't want to go for it you have to kick it yourself, I will not kick it for you.
Policy Paradigm: This is updated for Nats. I'm good with you reading any type of argument. Speed wise, I'm fine with it as long as you're clear and you send me the doc. I'm a big fan of critical literature and definitely think it belongs in the debate space, but would only appreciate it if it's actual discourse and not just because it's a meme. I think you can read your k aff if you justify it but I want you to actually make sense. I'm good with framework and topicality but any other type of theory arguments I'm not as familiar with. For example, I'm not the most experienced with condo debates. I personally don't think unlimited condo is fair but as long as you tell me why condo is good and your opponents don't adequately address your response, I won't vote you down for it.
LD Paradigm: I don't have much experience in LD but I have judged a bunch of LD rounds. I am open to K's being read in LD because I love the literature, but treat it like you would any other argument (i.e. tell me how I should evaluate it, why I should evaluate it that way, why the links are there, and why your opponents should lose the round). I will not automatically vote for you if you prove that your value and value criterion matters more than your opponent's value and value criterion. I often find that some LDers think that if they prove their value and value criterion matters more then they should win the round and end up forgetting about the rest of their case, but just because you define the utility function doesn't mean you maximize it (i.e. just because you prove your value to be more important, your case or how the arguments are interacting in the round may not necessarily prove it). Otherwise, the rest of my paradigm applies :)
It should be assumed that you shouldn't be mean in rounds so I expect good debate etiquette. If you are rude during the round, at the very least I will give you low speaks. Debate is supposed to be a fun and open environment and we should keep it that way. Overall, just have fun!
If you have any questions about my RFD or feedback before the round, feel free to email me or just ask me before the round starts.