Tahoma High School Golden Bear Classic
2021 — NSDA Campus, WA/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
i like to see good clash and an organized debate. be clear & have fun!
I’m the head coach of the Mount Vernon HS Debate Team (WA).
I did policy debate in HS very, very long ago - but I’m not a traditionalist. (Bring on the progressive LD arguments-- I will listen to them, unlike my daughter, Peri, who is such a traditional LD'er.)
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t be racist, homophobic, etc. I like sassy, aggressive debaters who enjoy what they do but dislike sullen, mean students who don't really care-- an unpleasant attitude will damage your speaker points.
Speed: I’m worried about judging online, so please slow down a little bit to avoid any issues. Speed hasn't been a problem but I don't tell you if I need you to be more clear-- I feel it's your job to adapt. If you don't see me typing, you probably want to slow down.
Tech = Truth: I’ll probably end up leaning more tech, but I won’t vote for weak arguments that are just blatantly untrue in the round whether or not your opponents call it out.
PSA --- My debater Ausha is my favorite fave : ) but I probably shouldn't given her my tabroom info
I prefer a strong, developed NEG strategy instead of running a myriad of positions that serve no point.
I love it when debaters run unique arguments that they truly believe and offer really high speaker points for this. (I'm not inclined to give high speaks though.)
Any arguments that aren’t on here, assume neutrality.
Do like and will vote on:
T - I love a well-developed T battle but rarely hear one. I don't like reasonability as a standard-- it's lazy, do the work.
Ks - I like debaters who truly believe in the positions they’re running. I like critical argumentation but if you choose to run an alt of "embrace poetry" or "reject all written text", you had better fully embrace it. I’m in touch with most literature, but I need a lot of explanation from either side as to why you should win it in the final rebuttals.
Don’t like but will vote on if won:
“Debate Bad” - I DO NOT LIKE "Debate is Futile" arguments. Please don't tell me what we are doing has no point. I will listen to your analysis. I may even have to vote for it once in a while. But, it is not my preference. Want a happy judge? Don't tell me that how we are spending another weekend of our lives is wasting our time.
LD - Skep, permissibility, etc.
Very, very, very... VERY traditional LD - if you are reading an essay case, congratulations and welcome to my worst nightmare.
Don’t like and won’t vote on:
Hello! I'm Peri (she/her) and I debated for Mount Vernon HS in Washington doing LD for 3 years in high school. I have my Bachelors in International Studies focused on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East and North Africa. Now, I'm enrolled in grad school at American University for a master's in International Relations (meaning I know more about the Middle East than the average person) Here is my email if you need it... email@example.com
Substance > Style
Don't rehash, bring up new points prevalent to the debate
I did traditional LD in high school. I am a traditional LD judge. You can run some arguments but disguise them as more traditional and focus on that style to keep me a happy judge. Take that into account. Don't spread I won't understand. Explain your arguments clearly and you'll be fine. No Meta-Ethics
I'm judging more and more pufo these days. I like clear, well organized constructives. Don't just read everything one note. I appreciate that public forum is supposed to be different than LD and Policy. Keep it that way.
Random framework arguments about the intent of the topic aren't going to work for me. If things change in the status quo, you need to be prepared to discuss them.
Since I have been increasingly judging LD as well as continuing to judge Policy, I thought I should briefly discuss my LD paradigm.
MY LD PARADIGM:
As I frequently tell LD debaters, "My paradigm as an LD judge is that I'm a Policy judge." Ha, ha! OK, but, really, please do read the Policy paradigm below as well as this LD paradigm. Since all LD topics have some policy aspect to them, I remain interested in that, but unlike Policy, which asks us as much HOW we would implement (or not) the topic as WHY we should implement it, LD asks us to think about what we value relative to the policy being discussed. A good V/C debate is essential to LD - if you don't want to have that discussion, you might as well do a Policy debate performance case, since Policy doesn't use values/criteria either.
A creative, thoughtful V/C really gets my attention, especially if you relate everything in your case/your opponent's case/V/C back to it. In that sense, LD requires far more mental and organizational aerobics and acrobatics than Policy does. You need to deal with your case, your opponent's case, ensure your V/C are upheld and demonstrate either that they are superior to your opponent's V/C or that your case meets both your and your opponent's V/C. I am fine with plans and with counterplans, but if you're going to run a CP, make sure you understand how to do so. There's nothing more distressing in LD than witnessing a debater losing a perfectly good CP b/c s/he doesn't understand how to handle it - just as sad is witnessing an affirmative losing to a bad CP b/c s/he doesn't understand how to handle it either. I am fine with theory debates as long as you relate them back to some actual argument. I am more interested in arguments dealing with the topic than dealing with the theory of debate.
MY POLICY PARADIGM:
I like Policy debate because there's a structure of sorts and because I believe that resolving problems requires a solution. For me, that means stock issues and some kind of resolution of the harms the Aff delineates. You can rarely, if ever, go wrong, by arguing appropriate stock issues. For me, the three primary stock issues are solvency, which is key to evaluating the effectiveness of a policy; inherency, which few teams understand or argue effectively, but, which real, live, adult policy makers use every day to determine responses to problems, or, presumption, which is a default policy-maker position and to which few people today appeal. I like a good T debate, but, not on cases when virtually any rational person would agree that a case is topical. It's simply abusive and I will cheerfully agree w/the Aff that calls foul on this. I like cases that are at least minimally topical. For example, if the topic calls for substantially reducing the restrictions on legal immigration to the U.S., the case should be at least dimly related to finding some restriction on legal immigration to the U.S. and then reducing that limitation.
I am also a policy judge; after over 25 years as a Foreign Service Officer in the United States Department of State, I know what a coherent policy looks like and how, in the real world, policies are developed and implemented. Cases that don't offer a real policy with at least some nebulous solution to the problem, i.e. cases that offer some ephemeral philosophy that a judge is supposed to implement through "in-round solvency ballot-signing" are relatively unattractive to me. That doesn't mean I won't vote for them, but only when the Neg won't make the most minimal effort to argue the case in context of stock issues or policy-making. Sadly, some Negs don't do this. If only they realized how easy it would be to get my ballot!
But, after having said that, I also look at who won which issues: who won the most important stock issues and which policy solved the problem more effectively and made the better sense, so, ultimately, it's about persuasion as well. I will vote for cases I don't like and don't think are topical or inherent, for example, if the Neg either fails to respond effectively or simply can't win the argument. I will not make your arguments for you or infer what you meant to say. I like CPs, but, as an elderly person who has been doing this since 1968, I think they should be untopical. If not, then, we have two affirmatives arguing for the resolution and presumption shifts to the Aff. I do wish someone would call out teams on this! Also, having a net benefit that is more than just avoiding some stock DA is a plus. That's because if you lose the DA, then, whoosh! Your NB is gone, too. Feel free to run a NB w/in the CP and a DA outside of it. If you want to run a K, feel free to do so, but, since most of them are non-unique, have no link to the Aff, no threshold and don't provide, in most instances, a viable policy option to the Aff, it's pretty easy for the Aff to beat a K. I have voted for Ks before, but, only when the Aff failed to win the argument.
THINGS THAT LESSEN YOUR CHANCES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND AN L3 BALLOT: Really long, long, long taglines, especially ones that contain large amounts of philo/psychobabble gobbledegook. Debaters who don't pause between taglines and the evidence. Stock DAs with no unique link to the current Aff being debated. Poor refutation organization - if you don't tell me where you're going, it's hard to follow you and you significantly decrease your chances of me putting the argument where YOU want it. Debates that become more about the theory of how we're debating the issue than about the issue itself.
In terms of speed, less is more. I like to be persuaded and if I can't understand what you're saying, then, you're not very persuasive. Actually, it's not so much speed being the problem as clarity; some people can speak incredibly fast, be amazingly clear and a pleasure to follow. Others, not so much. If you tend to be a mush-mouth, you're better off slowing down.
This will be my first World Schools Debate judging. I have taught, coached, judges Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas for the last 15 years. I will being judging based off of the paradigms listed on the NSDA instructional handouts and PowerPoints.
Ryanpmorgan1@gmail.com for the email chain - I coach at Interlake.
I wrote this for TOC-level debates. If I'm judging you at a local or regional tournament, you can probably ignore most of what I wrote below and just treat me like a "circuit flow" judge.
Some general stylistic stuff that is more unique-ish to me:
- When it comes to the highest levels of debate, I'm not great at flowing or listening to extremely fast debates. Slow down and use more accessible language. Use examples and metaphors.
- If your K tag has 35 words, and 15 of them have more than 4 syllables, you've probably failed to communicate.
- 2NC overviews explaining your arguments are good - even if its just a politics DA, give me 2 sentences at the top establishing uniqueness, that it's a horse-trading DA and what the trade is. If you are going for a really tricky PIC that just kill-shots the aff, it's perfectly ok to spend 60-90 seconds in the block explaining it, secure in the knowledge that the 2AC will have no substantive answers and you just need to explain your arg, answer theory, and take my ballot. More teams should slow down and do this, instead of forcing the judges to only "get it" in the 2NR.
- I will vote on vagueness procedurals and vagueness is my number 1 pet peeve in debate today. If your plan text amounts to "do the resolution in [case area]" and you then don't bother with any kind of specific solvency mechanism, you should strike me. I will nearly always prefer functional competition (based on solvency cards) if the plan text is vague. If you can claim solvency for it based on your cards, the neg should be able to PIC out of it, regardless what the plan text says.
- In general, advantage CPs need evidence for planks if you want me to vote for them, and the 2AC can just ignore planks without evidence until the negative reads a card (and I'll entertain 2NC sandbagging bad theory args). I'll exclude from this planks that are super obvious - like the plan has a big long internal link chain that leads to X policy, and the CP just adopts that policy, or the aff says "X is bad" and the CP plank is just "ban X" - in those narrow cases, you probably don't NEED a card.
Core controversies - I'm pretty open so take these with a grain of salt.
- Generics ---------X-- Case-specific strategies
- Unlimited condo | ---X---------- | 2-worlds, maybe
- Plans today are too vague | X------- | Vagueness is ok
- Affs should be T | ---X----------- | T isn't a voter
- Reject the arg not the team | -X----------- | PICs bad = vote aff.
- Terminal defense | ----------X- |Try or die
- Judge kick | ----x--------- | No judge kick
- "Meme"/joke arguments | --------X- | Please don't
- Research = better speaks | --x--------- | Tech = better speaks
- Speed | -------X---- | Slow down a little
- Inherency is case D | -X--------- | Inherency is a DA thumper
- Extend cards | ---------X-- | Extend Warrants w/ cites
Basic bio -
I debated in high school and college in the early 2000s. I was not a great debater. I was good at round vision, strategy, and research, and kind of bad at the whole "debating" part. I've judged about 150 debates over the last two years, since returning to judge for the CJR topic.
Avoiding a bad decision with me
I've made like 5 genuinely awful decisions in the 150ish debates I've judged in the last 2 years - defined as decisions that I would either take back or really like another 30 minutes to stare at the ev and think about.
The factors in those decisions include:
- No impact calc - I shouldn't have to mention this, but it happens especially in K vs. T and K vs. K debate. This is the bad decision I feel zero guilt for. If the debate ends and I've got competing fairness, racism, and nuke war impacts, and nobody has told me what to put first, get ready for a really confusing RFD.
- Gut checks on condo - 5 worlds in the 1NC is hard to defend and 2 worlds is pretty easy to defend. I set my condo ballot threshold accordingly. You can certainly win 5-world condo - I'm just saying if you have a good strategy, why force the 2AR into the one thing that they might beat you on?
- Links are forgotten - Sometimes I judge debates where both sides agree to an impact turn battle. That's fine, great, bring it on. But when the impact defense or uniqueness claims on both sides actually depend on winning a link claim that doesn't exist, I get confused very quickly. Example - aff says multilat good, neg says heg bad, aff concedes the link debate (huh?) and goes for heg good and some sort of pursuit inevitable thing. This is a real example - I was completely lost. Both sides conceded the aff kills heg, maybe, except not? The neg impact args make zero sense, but the aff conceded the link? What do I do?
- I literally have no idea what teams are actually advocating for. Sometimes K vs. K debates end in both teams trying to dodge and duck taking any stance besides "bad things are bad." If this is the debate, I will literally flip a coin. Just take a stand on something, and avoid this.
RE: the topic - I've cut thousands of pages of original evidence on water, but a lot of it is either niche or generic. I didn't go to camp, and haven't done a ton of work on "core" affirmatives, though half of those are recycled from prior topics anyways. I have cut a lot of case negatives to obscure affs, so if the aff is rare, I might strangely know a ton about it.
Ks I know a bit about - Cap, Foucault/Agamben, Lacan/psychoanalysis, security, nuclear rhetoric, nihilism, non-violence, gendered language. You should still slow down and explain things though, because these arguments are often very confusing. My Lacan is not your Lacan, so you need to explain your Lacan to me. I know very little about anti blackness or set col Ks. Be very careful on these on the link level - explain an actual link to the aff that I can hang my hat on.
Politics is kind of my thing - I've cut more than 500 pages of midterms cards this year and cut most of Interlake's politics update files. If you want to go very short-hand on these arguments with me, feel free.
If you want to know whether I know a lot about something, just ask before the debate.
If your question is "can we run a non-topical K aff and win?" the answer is yes. My voting record on K aff vs. T/framework is roughly 50-50.
My personal opinion is that affs should affirm the resolution, and the most workable way to do that is a topical plan text. But like I said, I vote for non-topical K affs frequently.
I'm really kind of bored by these debates, to be honest. Most of that is that I think the arguments feel stale and neither side really cares about what they are saying.
The things I end up caring about the most in these debates:
- Aff vagueness is bad - you are ditching the topic, allowing you to defend literally anything. Make it something valuable, interesting, and most importantly, specific. Else, why on earth are you ditching the topic? I have no patience for K affs that refuse to take a position. That doesn't exclude performance - all debate is performance anyways, but your performance should make an argument.
- K affs should have a debate key warrant. That warrant can be "we need to make debate less like debate" - but explain that. I rarely vote exclusively on a presumption argument, but failing to have a debate key warrant makes it easier to resolve other questions.
- Fairness is an impact, insofar as the neg winning "We can't effectively debate you, denying us an equal chance at winning" is usually sufficient to win my ballot.
- I tend to personally believe "no perms in a method debate" and "if you don't have a plan, the neg can PIK out of anything in the 1ac" but I mean, that's just what I think.
I struggle with modern T debates, because I feel like a lot of times, the negative is just trying to play catch up for the bad topics that keep getting chosen by NSDA, topics that are too big and lack solid neg generics.
So, I'm sympathetic to the approach employed by the negative of finding technical definitions of words like "protect" or phrases like "security cooperation" and using that to try to limit the topic to something reasonable.
But I guess I'm just a hack for reasonability? I tend to look at T in policy debates the same way I look at it in K debates - if the aff is a reasonable interpretation that the average person could understand, and affords the negative an equal chance at the ballot, that seems good enough for me.
Last year's "T-protect" debates felt very arbitrary to me. Usually the aff obviously did protect water resources - the neg's interp was just splitting hairs to try to adjust for a bad topic. And I am uncomfortable trying to step in and fix the topic, no matter how bad it is.
T arguments that I will buy are ones that you could explain to a lay person. T-oceans is a good example of that - there is a legal distinction between what is "in the United States" and what isn't, and we can have a clear debate about that which sets limits on the topic. FX-T and Extra-T are also solid in front of me - yes they have brightline issues, but when the aff is clearly racing to the margins to try to avoid the topic's core controversies, it's easy for me to rationalize voting negative to reign that in.
I suspect I'll feel the same way about "security cooperation" next year as I did with "protect" this year.
Policy debate, to me, is more about showcasing your work ethic than it is showing me how fast or how technically proficient you are. Yes, if you read a 1-off Nihilism K and deliver knock-out speeches against a great team, I'll give you good points.
But I tend to only give great points (29.3 or higher) in debates where both sides clearly went above and beyond to prepare and cut cards specifically for that debate.
If you outclass the other team, you can still get great points. To do that, you need to make the debate a good learning experience for them. Explain your arguments, give conversational speeches, etc.
Disclaimer: I can only argue with what is presented to me in round. Ultimately, if you want to run something, who am I to stop you? I'm flexible enough to deal with it.
TLDR: Speed fine. K's n stuff fine. Do what you want.
I did LD the most when I was actively debating, but have experience with most other forms of debating and have actively judged for Pufo and Pol (Though still pref LD). I debated a wide range of arguments, from stock to progressive. I have a particular love for K's, especially so when they are accessible by everyone in round, and understood particularly well by the Debater running them.
All Prep is running prep. If you say you're only going to take two minutes of prep, end up taking an extra 30 seconds and try to pass it off as only two minutes... no... just no. I'm not setting a timer, I'm using a stopwatch for all prep. Watch your own time.
Flex-Prep is valid. As in, asking questions during Prep time. I prefer if Flex-prep is less confrontational than CX and much more used for clarifying arguments rather then finding tricky questions... you had your chance in CX. Flex prep is Not binding as far as tricky questions go, however, if a debater willfully misrepresents their argument, I'm either slashing speaks or treating just that misrepresentation as binding, depending on how much that misrepresentation shifts the round. IE. If it becomes a centerpiece for the debate, it's binding. If it's just a side argument... speaks. Try not to do it.
As a judge I really like framework, it tends to make for an easier decision. I.E. some arguments that are argued don't really fit within frameworks in round, and I can just drop them. If there are competing frameworks I expect you to debate them, and end up with one superseding the other. That being said... if you have the same or similar frameworks, unless you're gonna describe what the nuance difference is and how that changes the valuation in round, it's almost better to just agree that the Fw's are the same.
K's function as their own FW. They don't necessarily need a super comprehensive FW with a K, the ALT and Link's are FW on their own. If those aren't sufficient, you can run a bit of FW up top or something, especially if your Alt is Drop the Debater... that isn't really a FW sufficient Alternative and you're going to need some work to set that up. Honestly, I have a higher threshold for Drop the debater args with no intrinsic justification then I do a more progressive mindset alt. You have to disclose an alternative for your K's when you read them, no more hidden drop the debater alt. I weigh the Alt as part of the K's FW. I think it's also good form for accessibility. If you don't disclose an Alt, I'm going to default it to Drop the Debater, and hope you provide justifications in the next speech and probably drop speaks a point or two.
I definitely prefer depth of argumentation over breadth,knowing your evidence is key to educating yourself on the topic. I will always buy a warrant from your evidence that's well explained and utilized over one that isn't. A lot of responses to arguments made against a card can be found within the card itself.
Not really a whole lot to say here, just debate it.
I'm fine with Speed and progressive argumentation.
That all being said, I can only vote for what is offered to me in round, and am pretty flexible with what the debaters want to argue.
I was a policy debater in high school for four years, but I am not debating currently.
I have a few preferences. Tag team is okay, as long as it is not abused, this will lead to lower speaker points and bad ethos. Speed is fine, but a noticeable difference between your tags and your evidence would be nice. I would like plans to be read at the speed of your tag lines, if you have a longer plan text I would appreciate a written copy of it.
As for my paradigm, I like to think that I am a tab judge. I have not judged a lot because I graduated last year, so I am still trying to figure out my judging style. With that said, I ran critical and policy/stock arguments in high school and I would be okay with hearing either in a round. But, with all arguments, I want a strong link. The more specific the better. Also, big stick impacts (ie nuclear war) coupled with generalized link stories are probably not going to convince me to vote for you without clear and detailed explanation.
Topicality: I like a good technical debate, most of my neg rounds were won on procedurals. RVI's are something I will not listen to though. The most important part of T for me is that it's legitimate to a degree where I don't feel silly signing the ballot for you. But like any arg, if it's cold hard conceded and you flush it out, you'll get my ballot. Good standards will persuade me too. Just give me something to vote for honestly. I will probably default to reasonability if that debate is not argued out.
Framework: It's important. If you only can win one argument for me, choose this one. But don't forget that you have to win your arguments under this framework, too.
Theory: I'm okay with multiple worlds, but you have to choose one in the end.
Kritiks: As a debater, I ran soft kritiks mostly, with this being said if you want to have a high theory debate with authors like D & G or Baudrillard that's fine, just have good overviews in rebuttals and take time to explain the theory you're presenting. If you feel like you run the risk of me not knowing your lit - I really encourage you to read framework - same with any other critical argument. While I am open to any kritikal argument, I'm not fond of people running death good args, and under any circumstances. If you run a k based off an ontological perspective that you don't identify with, I will doc you major speaks and it will come into play when deciding the round.
Counterplans: PIC's annoy me. I really hate them, I think they're abusive. Unless you have great theory to justify yourself, I will be irritated. In general, I dislike cheap counterplans and will probably side with the aff if an abuse argument comes into play with them. Otherwise, feel free to run fair counterplans.
Advocacies: For the K and CP, I like a good perm debate, but you have to go more in depth on the flow- solvency, time frame, just throw some other basic args on the flow. As far as the status of your advocacies go, I'm fine with conditional, unconditional, and dispositional (i guess if you insist, just explain dispo). Unless I am given another definiton, I define dispositional as only getting to kick the advocacy if there's offense on it.
Disads: Don't be scared to go for one disad in the 2NR if you're winning it. With this being said, I want and NEED a good link. if it's case specific, recent, and has great warrants, and you do the rest of the work on other parts of the flow, you're good to go. I also want a good imapct debate- and I usually default to probability.
I don't know the arguements on this years topic all that well, so don't expect me to understand arguements just because you have said the name or the acronym. I have also been outside of the circuit now for several years now, so I would take that into consideration. I’ll try to be expressive so if I look confused, slow down and explain.
Lastly, your actions in the round matter. Microagressions will not only be taken into account when calculating speaker points, but also in calculating the outcome of the round. Debate can be a game or a pure learning opportunity, but it is not a place to exclude.
Thanks, and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Last updated 9/13/21:
For Public Forum, go to the bottom.
Please add me if you are starting an email chain: steve _at_ interlakedebate _dot_ org
CX / Policy Philosophy:
Long Beach will be my first tournament on the Water topic so don't make assumptions about what I understand. Explain things.
If you are a policy team, I am probably good for you. If you are a team that runs Ks on the neg or K/Soft left impacts on a policy aff, I am probably fine for you. If you run a K-aff, read below.
First and foremost, I judge based on the flow. I will do my best to determine the winner based on what has been said. This makes line-by-line refutation and dropped arguments important. I will do my best not to impose my opinions and values into the round. That being said, I am not strictly tabula rasa. See below for exceptions. By default, I will take a utilitarian approach.
I want to see clash. This means that negatives should not ignore the 1AC. Affirmatives need to respond to the negative positions as they are presented not just read a generic block that only sort-of applies. If you are merely extending your own cards and not responding to the other side’s arguments, your speaker points will be lower.
I am fine with speed, but you need to be clear. Remember that, as a judge, I often do not have a copy of the evidence and especially the analytics on my computer. If I can't hear the words as you read the cards, you are going too fast for your ability. If I am going to judge on the flow, you want to make sure my flow matches what you said. This is especially important when it comes to theory. Reading your theory block at full speed guarantees that I won’t be able to flow it all. Slow down on theory.
Be nice. I will react negatively if you are arrogant or rude to your opponents. This applies to your partner as well. I do not want to see the debate personalized. Feel free to attack and characterize your opponents’ arguments as you like, but refrain from attacking your opponents themselves. Their arguments may be *-ist. Your opponents are not.
My pet peeve is flowing. Rather, teams that don’t flow. If you have to ask about whether your opponents read each card or if you respond to positions and arguments that they didn’t read, your speaks will be docked.
I enjoy the occasional theory debate, but it must be developed well. Everything you say needs a warrant. Develop your arguments if you want me to consider them. I am unlikely to decide an entire round based on an issue explained or extended in less than five seconds.
I am unlikely to find *-spec persuasive unless there is in-round abuse. I do find vagueness more interesting each year as teams make their plans less and less specific.
I will vote on topicality. I evaluate it as a technical argument, no more dominated by truth than any other type of argument. I find myself drawn to the definitional debate over other aspects of T. That means you should focus on standards, definitions, and the fallout from those. I’m more persuaded by limits than ground. I will be unlikely to vote for reasonability unless there is a standard to determine whether something is, or is not, reasonable. I am unlikely to be persuaded by arguments that tell me to ignore topicality.
It is my belief that the resolution must play a critical role in scoping debate and allowing for clash. To that end, while I will vote for a critical aff, I expect it to be germane to the resolution. Affs which are anti-topical will lose if the negative carries a reasonable version of that argument through to the end.
This is my home turf. I want to see clash. Spotting the affirmative their advantages and trying to outweigh them with disads is not a good strategy. Contest the internal links and/or impacts. Run solvency takeouts. These make your off-case much more persuasive.
I am happy to vote on kritiks. You need to explain how I should be evaluating the k versus the case. Teams should feel free to challenge the a-priori status of the kritik. There needs to be some kind of benefit to the world of the alt. At the end of the day, I will be weighing it against the case. A K without an alt is just a non-unique, linear disad.
I expect that critical arguments will be supported by the evidence. This should go without saying, but I have seen teams give entire 2NCs that are not based on anything but their own opinion. Analogies and extrapolations are fine, but the basis for the analogy or the extrapolation should be in found in evidence.
Running a kritik is not an excuse for sloppy debate. I see too many kritik debaters that rest on truth over technical and ignore the structure of the debate. Direct refutation and line-by-line are still important even in the kritik debate.
I was primarily a policy debater in my day. I have judged many critical rounds and read some of the authors. My knowledge of them is reasonable, but if you run something outside of the common ones, explain it clearly.
I try not to impose my views on the debate, but that requires debaters do a good job in the last two rebuttals crystalizing the issues and telling the story of the round. "We win the entire flow" is not usually true and is not a good way to weigh the issues. Tell me why your winning of the disad overwhelms the advantage of case or why their rhetorical slight is more important than structural violence. Make sure there is a traceable lineage to your arguments. I am strict on new arguments from the 1NR onward. Tell me that it’s new and, if true, I’ll strike it. You must tell me though. If you don’t, it counts. I will do my best to protect the 2NR from new 2AR arguments.
If you watch me, I tend to emote my opinions.
Many have asked: Tag-team CX is fine. I only request that the person who is “supposed” to be cross-examining be part of the conversation.
I debated policy in high school and CEDA (policy) in college for a total of seven years, including four at Whitman College. I coached college policy for one year at the University of Puget Sound and have been coaching policy debate at Interlake High School since 2012.
Public Forum Judging Philosophy:
I don’t judge PF a lot so assume that I’m not deeply educated on the topic. That said, I read a lot of economics, politics, and philosophy so I am likely to be familiar with most arguments.
The best description of me is likely as a progressive, flow-oriented judge. I will be adjudicating the round based on who presents, and extends, the better arguments. I will try my best not to intervene. If you didn't say something, I won't make the argument for you. Sounding good making shallow arguments won’t earn you a win. In the end, I want to see clash. Don’t just tell me why you are right, you have to also tell me why they are wrong.
A few points that might matter to you:
1. Speed: Keep it easily comprehensible and you will be fine. In reality, I doubt you will exceed my threshold. If you do, I’ll yell clear.
2. Dropped arguments: There is no punishment for dropping your own arguments. Obviously, don’t drop something your opponent is turning.
3. I think definitions should be used strategically to define what interpretation of the resolution you will be defending.
4. I will reward clever debating. Show me how the arguments interact. Defend ground that avoids most of your opponent’s thrusts.
I have coached policy at Garfield High School since 2014. I have yet to encounter an argument I'm not OK with in a round; it's really about you and how well you explain your arguments and why they should win you the round. I think it's important to be responsive to the specific arguments in the round - don't just read your prewritten overview and assume it works for every debate. I enjoy both policy and critical arguments and have some background knowledge in theory, but don't assume I know your literature. In my opinion, it's your job to tell me how to vote in the round and why. If you leave it up to me, I tend to buy the argument that moral thinking is a prereq to policy making (but I can be convinced otherwise).
I am generally ok with most speed, but make sure I'm flowing if you're blazing through a bunch of analytics you don't want me to miss.
I don't know what "judge kicking" means - are you asking me to decide your strategy for you? I won't do that. Either go for the argument, or don't.
Bottom line: I'm a tabula rasa judge. Run whatever you would like to run, and tell me how you would like me to evaluate the round.
I debated CX on the national circuit for 4 years in high school, did not debate in college. I've been coaching CX at Garfield HS since 2014. I judge ~50 rounds a year, split between the local and national circuit. We took a team to the TOC in 2021. My day job is as a social science researcher who does a lot of applied research with Indigenous, Black, and BIPOC communities. This keeps me pretty engaged with philosophical and critical theoretical literature, and very attendant to questions of power and equity. I am a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual male who was educated and socialized within a Western context, which undoubtedly shapes my epistemic view of the world.
Feelings about specific things:
T/FW: Excellent. Specific and creative violations are more fun to judge than generic ones
CP: Awesome. Highly specific CP strategies (such as PICs) tend to produce more interesting debates than generic CPs, but they certainly both have their place.
Ks: Excellent. Especially if you can articulate specific links to the aff
Policy affs: Great
K affs: Awesome. I find that K vs K debates are often more interesting than K vs FW debates, but that isn't always the case
Theory: Good. If you want to win on theory, make it more substantive than a few warrantless blips
Disclosure Theory: Not very convincing for me. I think that the open source/disclosure movement within debate has been somewhat uncritically embraced in a way that doesn't fully consider how the open sourcing of knowledge reproduces new forms of inequity (often along neoliberal/service economy lines, wherein better resourced teams are better able to take advantage of the open knowledge economy).
New arguments in the rebuttals: Generally not a good idea. Completely new arguments should not be made in the rebuttals. I will strongly protect the negative team from new arguments in the 2AR.
Judge Kicking: Don't expect me to judge kick things for you. Make a strategic choice for yourself.
Overviews and impact calculus: Yes, please. Clearly frame my choice for me at the end of the round, and you are much more likely to get my ballot. Also, 'even if' statements can be super persuasive in the final rebuttals.
Backing up Claims with Warrants: Super important.
Clipping: Don't do it, I will vote you down for cheating.
Speaking: Please be clear! If you're clear, then I am fine with speed. Clarity is especially important in the online debate format.
Dropped arguments: These flow through as 'true' for the team making them.
Voting: I will vote for one team over the other. Don't ask for a double win (or loss).
At the end of the day, I believe that debate should be about the debaters and not about me. My job is to create a safe and educational space, and to do my best to decide the round based on the arguments rather than on my own beliefs. If you clearly tell me how you think I should be judging, then there shouldn't be any big surprises.