Tahoma High School Golden Bear Classic
2021 — Maple Valley, WA/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I debated for Garfield—mostly 2n, mostly Ks. I like to see good clash and an organized debate. I should be okay for most arguments, just explain them thoroughly (especially since I’m rusty and not familiar with the topic). Be clear, try to make my job easy, & 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: 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. I work in tabroom in WA state an awful lot, so my flowing has slowed. Please take that into consideration.
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.
I prefer a strong, developed NEG strategy instead of running a myriad of random positions.
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.
Very, very, very... VERY traditional LD - if you are reading an essay case, I am not the judge for you.
Not a huge fan of disclosure theory-- best to skip this.
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 am also a part-time, de-facto assistant coach for the Mount Vernon team, and I'm starting my own at the school I currently teach at-- I've never really left the debate community, so I know a bit of the norms and I know what's going on. I have my Bachelor's in International Studies focused on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East and North Africa, and my 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
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
Substance > Style
Don't rehash, bring up new points prevalent to the debate. I love to see refutation particularly after the first two speeches. Please, lets move on if we are just going to say the same thing over and over.
Every time you speak in a session, it gives me more reasons to rank you at the end of the round. Fight to give those speeches and use questions! Don't let any of that direct questioning time go to waste!!!
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
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 or trix.
Side note: Please make sure you are educated on the 2024 Jan/Feb LD topic... I don't want to hear arguments that are factually untrue, and I'm excited for well-informed debates that get into the depths of this subject! I've written articles on this topic that you could use as a card-- I know it well.
A huge pet peeve of mine is 3...2..1 and my time starts on my first word. I wont start your timer until you start speaking. I promise.
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.
Congressional Debate-- I'll keep it simple. . .
1) I'm looking for an actual debate (not reading statements written weeks in advanced). The authorship speech and the first speech in opposition do not need to directly address what has already been said. The rest of the speeches do need to respond to what has been said. Please directly reference what you are addressing (e.g. Senator Smith said, ". . ." I respectfully disagree because. . .). Your argumentation should have a direct link to either voting "yes" or "no" on the bill or resolution. I'm looking for good warrants for your claim. Don't just read a quote from someone (even an expert) and assume I agree with the quote. Give evidence that your opinions are the correct ones (i.e. statistics (cite the actual study), arguments from history, detailed explanations, etc.). If you are citing a major news organization, tell me if you are citing an actual news article or an editorial (e.g. Don't just say, "The New York Times argued that. . . "). Your arguments should demonstrate that you have a basic understanding of the social sciences (especially economics). I tire of arguments that assume the legislative body has a magic wand that can do anything (e.g. raising minimum wage to $30 and having no impact on the economy). There are no solutions, only tradeoffs.
2) I'm looking for uniqueness. I'm a social studies teacher. If I learned something from your speech, you are more likely to get a higher score. If I'm thinking, "I knew all of this already," you are more likely to get a lower score. If you are piggybacking on an argument already made, I am expecting you to add to that point (not just repeat it).
3) I'm looking for a demonstration of good public speaking skills. The reason I favor congressional debate over policy debate is that this form of debate makes you learn useful communication skills. Watch members of Congress speak. Listen to real lawyers argue before the Supreme Court. They do not spread. They do not just read cards. I want to see the entire public speaking skills set. . . fluent delivery, excellent nonverbal communication, appeals to ethos, pathos, logos.
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.
TLDR: Substance first. Depth over Breadth. Speed mostly fine (Yes Clarity still matters -_-). K's n stuff fine. Not the biggest fan of T. Be organized.
I don't usually count flashing as prep unless it becomes a problem. Never had a problem outside of policy rounds.
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 treating 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.
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. This doesn't mean you should just re-read the card.
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 1/12/24:
I mostly judge policy, for other events, go to the bottom.
Please add me if you are starting an email chain: steve _at_ interlakedebate _dot_ org (i'm not at Interlake anymore, but still using this account).
CX / Policy Philosophy:
Mt. Vernon will be my first tournament on this topic so don't make assumptions about what acronyms or specific knowledge. I do have a good public policy and economics background, but please explain things.
If you are a policy team, I am likely 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, I may or may not, please 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: Nope. 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.
Impact Calculus and Overviews: Also super important - I like being told how I should vote, and why you think I should vote that way.
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.