Georgia Northern Mountain District Tournament
2022 — GA/US
Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
(she/her) - Northview (AI, AY) '21 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: I had 6 TOC bids in policy debate my senior year and 11 career bid rounds.
General: Do whatever you want but if it helps, I really like the K (mostly familiar with afropessimism, axiology, psychoanalysis, any iteration of academy, coercive mimeticism, cybernetics, settler colonialism, biopolitics, and capitalism) and I think clash debates are the most fun and interesting to watch and participate in. That being said, I think it's important judges stay tabula rasa and I try to honor that to the best of my abilities.
I'll pretty much vote on anything so long as it's ethical and debated well.
Last edited for ’23-24. This paradigm tries to be expansive as possible a) to avoid a slew of questions pre-round (it’ll happen anyway bc people have stopped reading these) and b) because most judges really aren’t transparent at all and I do have real preferences.
Email chains for lay rounds? No thanks, just flow. And make real arguments, regardless of form or content.
About: Did 4 years of LD at a high school you’ve never heard of, ended up learning circuit debate independently, currently a senior/master's student at UGA (studying what is basically just K lit) and not doing college CX but still actively judging and coaching LD—this means I'm reasonably familiar with the rez.
- Pronouns: they/she (basically anything that isn’t masculine)
- I listen to girl in red (iykyk)
- I don’t shake hands, pls don’t try and shake my hand after the round (thanks for your understanding)
Speaks (Numbers n Stuff):
- Go as fast as you want, just be clear, and slow down on interp texts, advocacy texts, and standards plz
- I won’t listen to arguments asking for extra speaks, I also tend to not disclose speaks
- I want to be on the chain, no need to ask: email@example.com
- I typically try to average ~28.5 relative to the pool, they’re always based off efficiency/strategy rather than the ableist method of evaluating “speaking ability”
Prefs Cheat Sheet:
K, Policy: 1
Theory and Tricks: 4
Trad: Your call (I would place myself around a 2 for these kinds of rounds)
*I prefer genuine ACs/NCs to tricks—a “Korsgaard AC” is best read as Korsgaard and not 3 min of goobledygook
TL;DR: engage, clash, and read substantive arguments that are well-thought out and you should be fine
Here are the most common things people look for, people have stopped reading paradigms:
- Paradigms are largely unhelpful bc they're all iterations of "fine with anything" and "do what you do best" - point blank, I do best with Ks and policy, understand philosophy which means I have a higher threshold for it (debate is so far removed from real philosophical deliberation that it hurts sometimes), and do not prefer tricks/friv theory - in general, I'm fine for arguments that are pedagogically responsible (warranted and have real value), bad for arguments that are frivolous
- A lot of my RFDs involve in-round explanation of some degree (in both directions)—well-warranted and explained arguments tend to fare better than meaningless walls of buzzwords and claims, and since debate is a communicative activity, I need to be able to understand and articulate your arguments
- Method and framing evidence has been atrocious as of late—it's underhighlighted and doesn't warrant what's in the tag—if I can't piece together what you're trying to say with the highlighted portion alone, I'm not going to fill in the rest for you—blitz through this at your own risk
- I will always disclose the decision (but not speaks) at the end of the round (if the tournament won’t let me, I will do it anyway if you email me afterwards) – all good judges disclose their decisions. It sometimes takes me a moment to type stuff up if the round was close. I will always try to give the “right” decision since I care a lot about giving quality feedback + results, but similarly, don’t aggressively postround me.
- Misgendering, general misconduct (like being racist or sexist) is a reason for me to damage your speaks at best, if you continue to do it, try to impact turn it, and/or willfully ignore it, neither one of us will like the end result
- Discourse violations are better read as kritiks than theory but I will vote on both (I tend to be slightly annoyed by the team/debater that used harmful discourse to begin with, so no need to worry about how you go about this)
- To add to the above: pls let me know if you have any accommodations that need to be met before the round (slower spreading than normal, preferred pronouns, etc.) to make the round as safe and inclusive as possible, debate is for everyone—I care a lot about student well-being and any accessibility concerns should be relayed in a manner you feel comfortable with (getting my attention or emailing me, whatever you need to do)
- Weighing is good. please do it. thx in advance <3
- Good K debates are the best types of rounds, but bad K debates are frustratingly difficult to resolve (i.e., pre-scripted 2NRs loaded with buzz terms that don’t frame anything for my ballot)—know your lit base (theory of power, topic links…the whole shebang), make it meaningful
- I have noticed a major uptick in criticisms of settler colonialism following the “open borders” topic from J/F 2023—if you’re going to read it, a) read the full text from which you cut evidence and actually read Tuck and Yang first (not just the abstract) and know what the 6 moves to innocence are, read la paperson 2017 (it does not conclude ‘state reform good’), b) have the historical knowledge to actually go for these arguments, c) perf-cons are incredibly damning in these rounds, d) center Indigenous scholarship in the round or read another position
- Fav lit bases are queer and feminist lit but if you don’t know these lit bases, they can also make me v sad
- I'm a material kinda person, which means I like to see material examples of theory in power in motion—always willing to vote on high theory arguments, but it is a near necessity that there be a connection to the material world
- Do impact analysis/weighing bc these debates can otherwise become messy, also do lots of link and alt work and don’t just talk past the Aff—lack of engagement and poor alt work are two ways to a good old-fashioned L
- Non-T Affs are always great but be ready for generic responses (and just make sure the Aff does ‘something’…I don’t really care what that ‘something’ is though)
- T-FW should engage with the Aff and explain what it means to affirm (“must defend only a policy” is a terrible argument and does not explain what it means to affirm), DAs to models of debate are underrated—tailor it to the Aff (ngl, I don't really take a definitive stance on what T-FW should look like, just make it good)
- Aff FW v. K: a) just bc you win that you weigh case, doesn’t mean you’ll win the round, b) state engagement good needs to be contextualized to the specific criticism, otherwise you should just debate at the link level—also, most state engagement good cards are really underhighlighted/underwarranted c) extinction outweighs is often a link but I’ll go either way on this one, d) only makes sense in policy v. K rounds tbh
- K v. K – always welcome but can be very difficult to evaluate without effort on your behalf
- Don’t be lazy—explain the perm (beyond ‘double-bind’ bc that means nothing) and explain the alt
- I do think that debaters should be held accountable for their discourse in-round—I prefer only going for discourse links when the link is egregious (like calling an immigrant an 'illegal alien'), and also think that word PIKs can be policing (basically: tread carefully, do this when it's necessary)
- Performances: can really matter in terms of how the Aff frames its engagement w/ debate + the world, but if it’s a 5-10 second “land acknowledgment” that takes place in your constructive and never gets brought up again, then idrc—performances have as much meaning as you articulate them to have, and can be as simple as playing background music to as complex as layering personal anecdotes/poetry in the round—you do you, I’m here for it
- Sure, did this for a while and it’s probably the most common type of round I judge, fine with however you carry out policy rounds though I much prefer topic-specific ptx positions and impact turns to generics like “x is the actor, extinction”
- Weighing = necessity (and beyond just “magnitude” if there are two competing extinction scenarios), I really like “even if”/relativistic claims to be made in these rounds (it’s never absolute…trust me) and doing evidence comparison/weighing is super helpful
- Case debate is great debate - contest the scenarios, solvency, and other details too beyond just impact D
- “Judge kick” seems rather goofy
- If you can read CP texts and plan texts at conversational speed, that’d be fantastic
- The 1AC probably needs to at least mention Util/SV (even if it’s just a one-liner), the 1NC should exploit Affs that don’t
- Extinction is overused in debate (won’t hack against it but like…do we need to be mentioning extinction on “standardized tests?”)
- I like tests of competition more than theory debates (plan v. CP perm debates are underrated), but if you go with theory, pls weigh against 1NC procedurals
- Less a fan of limits/fairness for the sake of limits—overlimiting is a thing, I prefer topic lit implications and warrants (and similarly this constrains semantics impacts)
- Losing influence in the meta, I did study philosophy for some of college and still actively keep up with philosophy,I prefer real-world style philosophical argumentation to shenanigans based on my experiences in actual philosophical inquiry
- I prefer sensical ACs/NCs to nonsense, not a fan of tricks disguised as philosophy, generally quick to understand what you're reading but many debaters do a very poor job of in-round explanation (just keep that in mind)
- FW justifications need real warrants - a lot of them like "performativity" are like really circular and never explain why the FW is actually true
- A lot of phil contentions don't actually align with their framing - Kantian philosophy, for example, would not conclude "taxation is impermissible under the criterion"
- Don’t quote things like source Kant (Korsgaard is cooler anyway)
- TJFs—mixed feelings, most of them aren’t fantastic arguments but I’m fine voting on them
- I heavily dislike AFC/ACC (debate is about clash lol), not fond of Truth Testing ROBs in place of FW debates
Traditional LD (Trad)
- I would consider myself a reasonably competent judge; I can evaluate whatever you’re doing just fine—traditional rounds are easier to evaluate if you weigh, give clash, and give voters at the end, but are more difficult to resolve in the absence of crystallization in latter speeches
- Please don't read arguments like "we must follow what is in the constitution and only what is in the constitution" as "this is ethical" - consider that you're reading an argument weaponized against queer people in front of an openly queer judge
- Counterplans are a good thing for debate, but many counterplans read in lay debates do not make sense
- Please say the name of the card BEFORE you start reading off the actual card—this makes it so much easier for me to flow (i.e., “Jones 20: blah blah”)
- I’m not a parent judge who cares about “speaking well” or “the values debate” – you should debate impacts instead of framework if the two don’t clash with each other
- Words in the rez =/= abstract principles of good
- The Aff must provide solvency to some extent (implied solvency doesn’t exist)
- “Where’s the statistic for x” is only a legitimate argument when dealing with utilitarian impacts
- I view the rez as a fluid idea—I don’t hack against any given arguments (except obv problematic ones), which includes “circuit arguments” (also, as a heads up: if your opponent is reading a kritik, you should probably not call it “[a] theory” or say “they didn’t have a value/VC” – these two things will tank your speaks)
- Full disclosure here - my ability to eval these rounds is entirely dependent on execution - if you actually do weighing (between standards, paradigm issue warrants, etc.), we're fine, if the opponent concedes something, make that the center of attention, if these things don't happen, brace for impact
- Overall: good for policy-type theory (condo, warranted spec theory like aspec, CP theory, etc.), bad for friv theory, won’t vote on out-of-round violations (beyond disclosure, which similarly needs a clear violation or I won’t vote on it) or theory where there is no in-round abuse
- Won’t evaluate arguments about your opponent’s appearance or other ad hom-type theory (please don’t), similarly have a very high threshold when theory is deployed to shut out hard convos, it’s bad for debate
- People need to SLOWWW DOWN when reading the interp text (conversational speed would be amazing)
- Reading more than 2 shells in-round (on either side) will usually lead me to question your strategic decisions
- I don’t apply defaults in theory rounds—read paradigm issues pls and thx
- Reasonability is always an option (please?) – similarly, I think it’s actually quite strategic to read reasonability as a paradigm issue for accessibility-type theory (must not misgender opponent, accessibility formatting, etc.)
- The RVI: have voted for one before, not an impossible battle, just not an easy one
- I have judged several debates in which there is a “misdisclosure” violation and it devolves to “they said-they said” – please: a) collapse to something else most of the time, b) explain at like 60-70% speed “I asked for x before the debate, they said they would provide it, and then y happened” – basically, make the violation super clear to me, and c) take screenshots that are definitive evidence - this isn't to say "never go for it," it's more so to say "go for it if you think an outsider (me) will get it"
- Disclosure has made debate better, but reading disclosure theory is an attempt to mandate equality when we should be focusing on issues of equity
- You don’t have to disclose performances
- I will not vote on disclosure at locals (as aforementioned at the top), if you think it should be enforced, we can have a conversation about it, but let's be honest: you just want a cheap tech ballot
- Learning about disclosure norms is a topic for out-of-round discussion but not one I ever feel comfortable adjudicating (i.e., rounds where disclosure theory is deployed when one team doesn’t know how to use the wiki)
- Genuine philosophical paradoxes (like stuff out of Socratic dialogues), innovative arguments, and creativity are okay—anything else is probably a non-starter for me, especially if it’s an argument that can be dismantled via any coherent thought (the key distinction is how much explanation is put into the argument…much like other styles in debate)
- I understand ethical paradoxes within the time constraints of a debate round much better than logical formulae/dense logic equations—blitzing through a paragraph of “if p then q” will leave my head spinning and a mess on my flow
- I seriously dislike the way Truth Testing gets deployed in debate, especially if you use it against Ks or K Affs (it’s violent) – I do think that identity tricks are a valid response to violent practices, although you can (and should?) also go for it as a link
Misc/Defaults for LD
- FW Defaults: Comparative Worlds, Epistemic Confidence
- Permissibility and presumption both negate at face value, unlikely to vote on permissibility affirming (given ‘ought’ in the rez), presumption flips Aff if the Neg reads an advocacy, but I seldom vote on either one
- Don’t care if you sit or stand
- If I am on a panel with two lay/parent judges, I apologize to everyone else in the room in advance
Sequoyah HS, Perry HS, Ivy Bridge Academy, Dean Rusk MS
I competed in Lincoln-Douglas for three years in high school, and Public Forum for one. I've been coaching and judging LD and PF since then.
I don't want to be on the email chain/speech drop/whatever. Debate is a speaking activity, not an essay writing contest. I will judge what you say, not what's written in your case. The only exception is if there is an in-round dispute over what was actually said in a case/card.
I prefer a slower debate, I think it allows for a more involved, persuasive and all-around better style of speaking and debating. It is your burden to make sure that your speech is clear and understandable and the faster you want to speak, the more clearly you must speak. If I miss an argument, then you didn't make it.
No. There is designated CX time for a reason. You can ask for evidence during prep, but not clarification.
LARP - Don't. Discussion of policy implications is necessary for some topics, but if your case is 15 seconds of "util is truetil" and 5:45 of a hyperspecific plan with a chain of 5 vague links ending in two different extinction impacts, I'm not going to be a fan. Your links are bad, your impacts won't happen, and you're wasting my time. Please debate the topic rather than making up your own (unless you warrant why you can do that, in which case, see pre-fiat kritiks). If there is no action in the resolution, you can't run a plan. If there is no actor, don't a-spec. If you want to debate policy, do policy debate.
Role of the Ballot: A role of the ballot argument will only influence how I vote on pre-fiat, not post-fiat argumentation. It is not, therefore, a replacement for a framework, unless your entire case is pre-fiat, in which case see "pre-fiat kritiks". A role of the ballot must have a warrant. "The role of the ballot is fighting oppression" is a statement not an argument. You will need to explain why that is the role of the ballot and why it is preferable to "better debater". Please make the warrant specific to debate. "The role of the ballot is fighting oppression because oppression is bad" doesn't tell me why it is specifically the role of this ballot to fight oppression. I have a low threshold for voting against roles of the ballot with no warrants. I will default to a "better debater" role of the ballot.
Theory: Please reserve theory for genuinely abusive arguments or positions which leave one side no ground. I am willing to vote on RVIs if they are made, but I will not vote on theory unless it is specifically impacted to "Vote against my opponent for this violation". I will always use a reasonability standard. Running theory is asking me as the judge in intervene in the round, and I will only do so if I deem it appropriate.
Pre-fiat Kritiks: I am very slow to pull the trigger on most pre-fiat Ks. I generally consider them attempts to exclude the aff from the round or else shut down discourse by focusing the debate on issues of identity or discourse rather than ideas, especially because most pre-fiat Ks are performative but not performed. Ensure you have a role of the ballot which warrants why my vote will have any impact on the world. I do like alts to be a little more fleshed out than "reject the affirmative", and have a low threshold for voting for no solvency arguments against undeveloped alts.
Post-fiat Kritiks: Run anything you want. I do like alts to be a little more fleshed out than "reject the resolution", and have a low threshold for voting for no solvency arguments against undeveloped alts.
Topicality: Fine. Just make sure you specify what the impact of topicality on the round is.
Politics Disadvantages: Please don't. If you absolutely must, you need to prove A: The resolution will occur now. B: The affirmative must defend a specific implementation of the topic. C:The affirmative must defend a specific actor for the topic. Without those three interps, I will not vote on a politics DA.
Narratives: Fine, as long as you preface with a framework which explains why and how narratives impact the round.
Conditionality: I'm permissive but skeptical of conditional argumentation. A conditional argument cannot be kicked if there are turns on it, and I will not vote on contradictory arguments, even if they are conditional. So don't run a cap K and an econ disad. You can't kick out of discourse impacts. Performance is important here.
Word PICs: I don't like word PICs. I'll vote on them if they aren't effectively responded to, but I don't like them. I believe that they drastically decrease clash and cut affirmative ground by taking away unique affirmative offense.
Presumption - I do not presume neg. I'm willing to vote on presumption if the aff or neg gives me arguments for why aff or neg should be presumed, but neither side has presumption inherently. Both aff and neg need offense - in the absence of offense, I revert to possibility of offense.
Pessimistic Ks - Generally not a fan. I find it difficult to understand why they should motivate me to vote for one side over another, even if the argument is true.
Ideal Theory - If you want to run an argument about "ideal theory" (eg Curry 14) please understand what ideal theory is in the context of philosophy. It has nothing to do with theory in debate terms, nor is it just a philosophy which is idealistic. If you do not specify I will assume that you mean that ideal theory is full-compliance theory.
Disclosure - I will not vote on disclosure arguments.
Framework - Please have an actual warrant for your framework. If your case reads "My standard is util, contention 1" I will evaluate it, but have a very low threshold to vote against it, like any claim without a warrant. I will not evaluate pre-fiat framework warrants; eg, "Util is preferable because it gives equal ground to both sides". Read the philosophy and make an actual argument. See the section on theory - there are no theory-based framework warrants I consider reasonable
I will dock half a speaker point if you use Moen 16 or Goodin 95 in your framework. They are wildly overused, and most cuts don't say what people claim they do.
Since I've gotten some questions about this..
I judge on a 5 point scale, from 25-30.
25 is a terrible round, with massive flaws in speeches, huge amounts of time left unused, blatantly offensive things said or other glaring rhetorical issues.
26 is a bad round. The debater had consistent issues with clarity, time management, or fluency which make understanding or believing the case more difficult.
27.5 is average. Speaker made no large, consistent mistakes, but nevertheless had persistent smaller errors in fluency, clarity or other areas of rhetoric.
28.5 is above average. Speaker made very few mistakes, which largely weren't consistent or repeated. Speaker was compelling, used rhetorical devices well.
30 is perfect. No breaks in fluency, no issues with clarity regardless of speed, very strong use of rhetorical devices and strategies.
Argumentation does not impact how I give speaker points. You could have an innovative, well-developed case with strong evidence that is totally unresponded to, but still get a 26 if your speaking is bad.
While I do not take points off for speed, I do take points off for a lack of fluency or clarity, which speed often creates.
Please please please cut cards with complete, grammatically correct sentences. If I have to try to assemble a bunch of disconnected sentence fragments into a coherent idea, your speaker points will not be good.
If there are any aspects of the debate I look to before all others, they would be framework and impact analysis. Not doing one or the other or both makes it much harder for me to vote for you, either because I don't know how to evaluate the impacts in the round or because I don't know how to compare them.
Public Forum Paradigm
I default to an "on balance" metric for evaluating and comparing impacts. I will not consider unwarranted frameworks, especially if they are simply one or two lines asserting the framework without even attempting to justify it.
I will evaluate topicality arguments, though only with the impact "ignore the argument", never "drop the team".
Yes, I understand theory. No, I don't want to hear theory in a PF round. No, I will not vote on a theory argument.
No. Neither the pro nor the con has fiat.
No. Kritiks only function under a truth-testing interpretation of the con burden, I only use comparative worlds in Public Forum.
The pro and the con have an equal and opposite burden of proof. Because of limited time and largely non-technical nature of Public Forum, I consider myself more empowered to intervene against arguments I perceive as unfair or contrary to the rules or spirit of Public Forum debate than I might be while judging LD or Policy.
Experience & Education
Carrollton HS Speech & Debate '08-'12.
CHS S&D (Assistant Coach) '12-'16.
BS Political Science - University of West Georgia '16
Master of Public Policy - Georgia State University '20
PF: I prefer that PF stays as close to it's original intent (in terms of the use of debate theory, jargon, etc.) as possible - i.e., I should be able to judge this round as a layperson with no prior knowledge of the high school debate space. If you're going to spend a considerable amount of time between speeches calling for cards please weigh every card you've asked for.
LD: I appreciate as much of a straightforward framework and/or case debate as you can give me.
My background: I am a former CEDA debater (1987-89) and CEDA coach (1990-93) from East Tennessee State University. Upon my retirement in August 2021 I've judged numerous at numerous debate tournaments for PF, LD, IDPA, Parli, and Big Questions (mostly PF and LD).
Speed: I can keep up with a quick-ish speed - enunciation is very important! Pre round I can do a "speed test" and let you know what I think of a participant's speech speed if anyone wants to. I was never a super speed debater and didn’t encourage my students to speed.
Theory: I am familiar with topicality and if other theory is introduced, I could probably understand it. (I also used to run hasty generalization but not sure if that’s still a thing or not.) Theory is best used when it’s pertinent to a round, not added for filler and needs to be well developed if I am expected to vote on it. If you are debating topicality on the neg you need to provide a counter definition and why I should prefer it to the aff.
The rounds: Racism/sexism etc. will not be tolerated. Rudeness isn’t appreciated either. I do not interject my own thoughts/opinions/judgements to make a decision, I only look at what is provided in the round itself. Re: criteria, I want to hear what the debaters bring forward and not have to come up with my own criteria to judge the round. My default criteria is cost/benefit analysis. I reserve the right to call in evidence. (Once I won a round that came down to a call for evidence, so, it can be important!) As far as overall judging, I always liked what my coach used to say – “write the ballot for me”. Debaters need to point out impacts and make solid, logical arguments. I appreciate good weighing but I will weigh the arguments that carried through to the end of the round more heavily than arguments that are not. Let me know what is important to vote on in your round and why. Sign posting/numbering arguments is appreciated and is VERY important to me; let me know where you plan to go at the top of your speech and also refer back to your roadmap as you go along.
Cross Examination: a good CX that advances the round is always valued. If someone asks a question, please don’t interrupt the debater answering the question. I don’t like to see a cross ex dominated by one side.
In most rounds I will keep back up speaking time and prep time.
I hope to see enjoyable and educational rounds. You will learn so many valuable skills being a debater! Good luck to all participants!
I am fine with almost any speed (don’t spread). I will evaluate my ballot on the basis of cost benefit analysis unless I am given reason in the round vote otherwise - I do not flow crossfire, so if it is important, mention it in your next speech. On a different note, I like to see arguments that have real world impact, so in addition to statistics, I want to know how these statistics effect people// in other words, paint a picture, dont just tell me stats.
Background about me: I am a former pf debater 4 years, and I currently debate at Yale University.
I used to debate public forum for the Lovett School in Atlanta, GA. Did the whole state and national circuit thing. I graduated undergrad at the University of South Carolina and law school from Georgia State. Let's begin...
Order: PF, LD, Speech
FOR PF (and some LD):
Crossfire: Crossfire is the most important part of a PF round. I don't know why other judges don't flow it. I will say that other judges not flowing harms the activity itself and harms you. For some reason, PF culture has evolved to where debaters don’t need to pay attention to the crossfire. The point is to allow impromptu questioning to gain concessions and provoke logical holes. Instead, I typically get a "can you restate/explain your argument" question which I deduct speaker points for. It’s one of the many skills you should learn from participating in this activity. It's my favorite part and I love a feisty crossfire. It's what makes debate, well debate. I find concessions in crossfire binding to the rest of the round even if it is not referenced by any side. Imagine debating on a public stage where someone makes a big oopsy. Do you think people listening will forget about a major concession? This means that should there be any uncertainty in my mind about an argument from a crossfire Q&A, you better believe you should address it ASAP. Therefore, be on your toes.
Evidence Exchange: I do not run prep time for evidence exchange and reading. The reason is because I have seen way too many kids ask for a card, become afraid of using valuable prep to scan evidence that has way too much information on it, then not use it because they really did not get to read it. I would rather we all stop, understand and appreciate the evidence, and have valuable discourse on it than stick with antiquated rules. This is a privilege which means that while the opponent is reading the evidence, no one can do any work during that time. If I see you writing something down during an evidence exchange, I will penalize the offending team. This rule does not apply to break rounds.
Evidence: I also have no reservations on calling for a piece of evidence that I think is being abused. In fact, I will pretty much always call for evidence at this point. I have seen a lot of teams create these "perfect cases" by chain linking evidence together. When I call for them, I quickly realize the evidence is not talking about the point that is being made. They are cut for the purpose of misleading. Usually when I hear "that's why X finds blah blah blah", or I do not hear dates, my instincts tell me something is going on. I have and will report teams for evidence misuse. I will give you terrible speaker points and mention in my comments to your coaches what is going on (although sometimes they themselves are complicit). Be ready to give me the full article/document/etc not the cut blurb in your case. If you cannot provide it, I consider that evidence misuse. I do however make exceptions for paywalls.
I do not like "That is what X card is saying". Why do I care about specifically a last name like "Smith 'XX". I have no idea who that is or why I should listen to him. Your argument is not valid because someone said it is. Dig deeper into the warrants behind the cards themselves. Many people are missing the "why" in the debate. When asked why, most people states "because Smith 'XX says so". That is wrong.
Non-uniqueness: Teams that claim non-uniqueness need to prove why there is also mutual exclusivity. I hear way to many teams say "this is non-unique drop it" and then move on. After recent events, I have now decided to add the extra burden of proof here to prevent teams from using this argument as a catch-all. This means proving that the alternative approach or stance prevents, solves, or addresses the issue in a manner exclusive to that of your opponent. Without this, a non-unique argument can become merely defensive and not necessarily a reason to prefer one side over the other. If Team Pro argues that implementing a certain policy would boost economic growth, and Team Con counters that economic growth is already happening and thus Pro's argument is non-unique, this alone doesn't refute the merits of Pro's proposal. However, if Con can also demonstrate that their approach uniquely achieves growth or that Pro's approach is mutually exclusive with other essential goals, then they've strengthened their position.
Solvency: I am now leaning heavily towards getting rid of the solvency requirement in most cases. Simply stating that an action is not immediately feasible is not be a reason to dismiss an argument. Rather, opponents must demonstrate that the lack of solvency leads to substantial harms or entirely contradicts the principle behind the proposal. So stating that I need to drop an argument because of solvency will no longer work in most matters.
Public Forum: I debated and judge public forum (most of the time). PF to me is a persuasive debate meaning how can I use certain pieces of evidence to convince the general public that my side is the correct side. It’s also a way to create public discourse in an open atmosphere. That means I’m not gonna flow a 4-minute speech past 800 words because, in all likelihood, you’re speaking faster than what an average person can understand to retain your argument. Remember, the skills PF teaches is primarily public speaking to the average public. This is not Lincoln Douglas and it certainly is not policy. I will ask at the beginning how many words your case is.
Jargon that annoys me: weighing, dropped, flow, extend, card, impact, tech, truth etc. This is an accessibility issue.Teams who typically cannot do so have attended way too many debate camps that do not prioritize accessibility. For example, a jury will laugh at me if I say "please drop the argument the prosecutor is making and instead extend my exhibit A across your flow".
I am a very different judge than what you will see in local and national circuits.Whether you decide or not to change your strategy to me or keep it for every other judge out there makes zero difference to me. I am terse, strict, and very shrewd (which means I know all the little tricks). I will always disclose and will give heavy feedback in round and also in tabroom.
I DO NOT CARE ABOUT FRONTLINING. DO IT HOW YOU WANT. JUDGES THAT INSIST ON STRUCTURING THE SPEECHES FOR YOU ARE BAD JUDGES
DO NOT ASK IF EVERYONE IS READY THEN GIVE AN OFF TIME ROADMAP. ALSO, NO OFFTIME ROADMAPS
DO NOT START CROSS AND THEN WASTE TIME BY ASKING IF YOU HAVE THE FIRST QUESTION. IF YOU GO FIRST, YOU GET FIRST QUESTION. THOSE ARE THE RULES.
SECOND SPEAKERS DO NOT GET A PASS FROM GRAND CROSS JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE ANOTHER SPEECH. I DEDUCT HEAVILY IF A TEAMMATE STAYS SILENT DURING GCF
PLEASE DO YOUR PREFLOWS BEFORE THE ROUND. I DO NOT WANT TO SIT THERE FOR 5 MINUTES WHILE YOU FLOW OUT YOUR CASE
DO NOT QUOTE THE RULES OF PUBLIC FORUM TO ME. I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS A VERY VERY LONG TIME.
I do time you but I'll let you go over about 10 seconds before I cut you off. Please do not time each other. It comes off as standoff and rude every time.
I am a strict traditionalist. VC is also paramount. When two different VCs are present please give me a way to solve which ones I should use. Many times, people agree to each other's VCs because they are the same, but there are differences. For example, a util C may mean different things. A government doing the most for its citizens v general good for all are both util Cs but vastly different in how they will be used in the round. Solvency is not important to me when using a morality framework. However, it does help when teams are tied and one can solve better than the other. Please provide a mechanism to compare casualties.
I love seeing more philosophy. Keep in mind that not everyone will be as well versed as you are. Just because you shout out a name does not mean I know who he/she is or why they are the authority on the subject. Instead, I get a weird hybrid of policy and PF. I do expect you to go down the flow in order not to jump around. If you need to address a specific piece of evidence please do so alongside rebuttals on the contention level.
DO NOT RUN ANY WEIRD STUFF. Strike me if you need. I don't like policy debate. In fact, I hate the activity. I had a brother who did policy at Westminster which is a very good policy school. He is a horrible debater today despite winning national tournaments. No K's, no theory shells, no irritants. Global extinction, nuke war, etc fall under that category unless you have a clear roadmap as to why the argument is not extremely hypothetical. No, I will not follow your 7 card link chain as to why giving out red cards at soccer games leads to the breakdown of civil order (Yes, I once ran this and won). I don't know what they are. I will not flow it.
I always thought Speech was inferior to debate. It was not until I graduated that I realized how far my Speech peers were ahead of me in speaking to people. I have learned Speech judging under some of the best coaches on the circuit. I will never give you any facial expression indicating what I think of your speech. This is to make it harder for you. Trust in your skills and the speeches you are giving. I typically take no/sparing notes during your speech and will pause the next speaker to finish my thoughts. I want the focus to be on you. Therefore, do not become discouraged if you do not see me write anything down.
Hand motions and whatever Angela Merkel does with her hands are annoying. I find them to be exaggerated, leading me to believe the hand motions are practice alongside the speech. A natural speaker will use their hands sparingly and with emphasis. Waving your hands around all the time takes away the emphasis you are trying to convey where you really need it.
Be natural. The best speakers are. Don't try and over practice or force it. If you mess up or forget, I have no issue with you taking even a long pause or saying "excuse me let me back up". I, in fact, do not deduct points for this and encourage it. Sure it is awkward. But it is better that skipping over or messing up the rest of the speech.
Put me in email chains or feel free to email me questions: JamieSuzDavenport@Gmail.com
I probably need to do an overhaul of my paradigm; it will likely not happen until I'm out of grad school. Seriously just AMA if it will help you going into the round.
MPA-MSES @ IU Dec ’23, hoo hoo hoo Hoosiers. GA since '21. Please note this is an environmental science degree. I have a very low tolerance for climate denial or global warming good and would recommend not going for those args.
BA: IR, Fr, Arabic @ Samford, May ’20, ruff ‘em, CX and novice coaching
HS: LD in GA, ‘16
A note: I won't read cards unless instructed or seeking clarity (and if this is the case, I will be grumpy). All comments will be typed in the ballot and am open to questions immediately following the round and via email afterward. I do my best not to intervene or let personal biases cloud my judgment. I do have a deep appreciation for friendly competition and will generally be happier while giving out speaks or making decisions if I think the people in the round embodied that spirit. Conversely, am not afraid to have a come-to-Jesus meeting for unnecessary antagonism.
For eTournaments: I'll need a little more time than normal to adjust to your style of speaking/spreading because online anything gets tricky. Try to keep that in mind for your speeches so my ears can adjust. I'll default to having my camera on.
Zoom debate: PLEASE double-check your mic settings so that background noise suppression is not on. Zoom decides that spreading is background noise and it messes with the audio.
Do what you want. I'm pretty go-with-the-flow and will try to adapt to what the round is versus making you adapt to me. The main thing to consider with me is my personal debate experience and potential knowledge gaps because of it. I'm not a great judge for high theory because I simply don't get it and it takes more explaining for me to understand and take it seriously (@ Baudrillard, semio-cap, etc.). There's some k lit that I'm not fully versed in but I try to keep current on major issues. Otherwise go nuts but make good choices.
2AR/NR: I more and more find myself telling debaters to tell me a story so I think I should put it in here. Whether you're going for a K, FW, DAs, extinction - whatever - start the speech telling me what your scenario is and why it's preferable to the other team. This is especially true if going for a perm or in a KvK debate, having a nuanced explanation clearly at the top of the speech frames the rest of the lbl and interactions you go for.
This was formerly organized by each event that I judge but that was getting unmanageable and ugly. If you have specific questions about anything event-specific or otherwise, just email or ask before the round starts.
Topicality/FW - I'll default that fairness is k2 education – if you want a different standard to be my primary metric, just tell me to do the thing. Might need more explanation of how I can apply the standard but that’s mostly for the atypical ones. Err on the side of over-explaining everything. Please please please explain your (counter)interp and what standards I should apply to favor yours - if there are a bunch of standards, which one do I evaluate first? Why? To reiterate: err on the side of over-explaining everything.
Fiat - I'll imagine it's real for policy v policy debates but more than willing to be sus of it, just tell me why.
Condo – dispo is an archaic interp and I think you can get better offense from other brightlines (2, what they did minus 1, etc.). I’ll vote on dispo but it’ll take more for you to win it than you need to do. Generally, think condo gets to its extremes when in the 3-4+ area, but new affs could change that yadda yadda, do what you want.
Other theory – whatever, just make the interp/counter-interp clear and tell me what to do with it.
RVI’s – please strike me or pref me real real low if this is your thing. I just don’t like it. This is one of if not the only hard-line I draw on content. They’re a time suck to play weird chess instead of engaging in the substance of the debate. Also, the majority of the time, horribly explained/extended.
No huge preferences here
Cross-ex - I don’t flow cx unless something spicy grabs my attention and it’s usually obvious when that happens based on my reaction. Bring it up in a speech to remind me. Open cross, flex prep, is fine – I for real check out for flex prep.
Card clipping – you’ll lose. Might report it to tab/your coach if I’m feeling zesty that day.
Love a good joke, wordplay, or reference. I currently am trying to incorporate “slay”, “yeehaw”, “gaslight gatekeep girlboss” and more into my regular debate vernacular. Feel free to also use these and I’ll at least laugh, maybe boost speaks, who knows – depends on how much of a silly goofy mood I’m in.
I want to hear clear impacts in summary and final focus with a strong explanation for why you have won the round. Make your logical links clear and don't assume that I'm familiar with your cards or evidence. Extend your most important arguments, and tell me how I should weigh the round. The quality of your rhetoric is more important than the sheer amount of information you can throw at me. Don't rely too much on speed. If I can't understand you, I can't flow your arguments, and if your opponents can't understand you, we can't have an exciting debate. I don't flow cross, and I will not make my decision based on anything new presented in final focus.
If you're running an email chain, please add me: Andrewgollner@gmail.com
About me: I debated one year of PF and three years of policy at Sequoyah High, and I debated three year of college policy at the University of Georgia. I was a 2N that generally runs policy offcase positions but, especially earlier in my debate career, I ran many critical positions. I'll try to be expressive during the round so that you can discern how I am receiving your arguments.
Judge Preferences: On a personal level, please be kind to your opponents. I dislike it when a team is unnecessarily rude or unsportsmanlike. I am completely willing to discuss my decision about a round in between rounds, so please ask me if you want me to clarify my decision or would like advice. You can email me any questions you have.
I am primarily a policy judge. This means
- I am more comfortable with a faster pace. While I don't like the idea of spreading in PF and LD I can handle a faster pace.
2. I am decently technical. If an argument is dropped point it out, make sure I can draw a clean line through your speeches.
3. I am less used to theory backgrounds in your form of debate, slow down and explain these.
4. Ask me any specific questions you have.
I recognize that my role is to serve as a neutral arbiter without predispositions towards certain arguments, but as this goal is elusive the following are my gut reactions to positions. I strive to ensure that any position (within reason, obviously not obscene or offensive) is a possible path to victory in front of myself.
CP: I love a well written CP which is tailored to your opponent's solvency advocate and that can be clearly explained and is substantiated by credible evidence. If your CP is supported by 1AC solvency evidence, I will be very impressed. Generic CPs are fine, I've read a ton of them, but the more you can at least explain your CP in the context of the affirmative's advantages the more likely you are to solve for their impact scenarios.
DA: Make sure to give a quick overview of the story during the neg block to clarify the intricacies of your position. If, instead of vaguely tagline making a turns case arg like "climate turns econ, resource shortages", you either read and later extend a piece of evidence or spend 10 to 15 seconds analytically creating a story of how climate change exasperates resource shortages and causes mass migrations which strain nation's financial systems, then I will lend far more risk to the disadvantage turning the case. Obviously the same goes for Aff turns the DA. I will also weigh smart analytical arguments on the disad if the negative fails to contest it properly. I'm also very persuaded when teams contest the warrants of their opponents evidence or point out flaws within their opponents evidence, whether it's a hidden contradiction or an unqualified author.
T: I've rarely gone for topicality but I have become increasingly cognizant of incidents in which I likely should have. My gut reaction is that competing interpretations can be a race to the bottom, but I have personally seen many affirmatives which stray far enough from the topic to warrant a debate centered over the resolution in that instance.
K: I used to run Ks pretty frequently in high school but I run them far less frequently now. I'm likely not deep in your literature base so be sure to explain your position and your link story clearly.
FW: My gut feeling is that debate is a game and that it should be fair, but I have seen many rounds where the affirmative team has done an excellent job of comparing the pedagogy of both models and won that their model is key for X type of education or accessibility there of. However, I am persuaded that a TVA only needs to provide reasonable inroads to the affirmatives research without necessarily having to actually solve for all of the affirmative. I do find the response that negs would only read DAs and ignore/"outweigh" the case to be effective - try to add some nuance to this question of why negs would or wouldn't still need to grapple with the case.
Non-traditional Aff: I've always run affs with USFG plan texts, but that doesn't mean that these positions are non-starters. I will be much more receptive to your affirmative if it is intricately tied to the topic area, even if it does refuse to engage the resolution itself for whichever reasons you provide.
Theory: I generally think 2 condo is good, more than that and things start to get a bit iffy.
Most importantly, please be kind to your opponents and have a good time.
Current Coach -- Marist School (2011-present)
Lab Leader -- National Debate Forum (2015-present), Emory University (2016), Dartmouth College (2014-2015), University of Georgia (2012-2015)
Former Coach -- Fayette County (2006-2011), Wheeler (2008-2009)
Former Debater -- Fayette County (2002-2006)
Last Updated -- 2/12/2012 for the 2022 Postseason (no major updates, just being more specific on items)
I am a high school teacher who believes in the power that speech and debate provides students. There is not another activity that provides the benefits that this activity does. I am involved in topic wording with the NSDA and argument development and strategy discussion with Marist, so you can expect I am coming into the room as an informed participant about the topic. As your judge, it is my job to give you the best experience possible in that round. I will work as hard in giving you that experience as I expect you are working to win the debate. I think online debate is amazing and would not be bothered if we never returned to in-person competitions again. For online debate to work, everyone should have their cameras on and be cordial with other understanding that there can be technical issues in a round.
What does a good debate look like?
In my opinion, a good debate features two well-researched teams who clash around a central thesis of the topic. Teams can demonstrate this through a variety of ways in a debate such as the use of evidence, smart questioning in cross examination and strategical thinking through the use of casing and rebuttals. In good debates, each speech answers the one that precedes it (with the second constructive being the exception in public forum). Good debates are fun for all those involved including the judge(s).
The best debates are typically smaller in nature as they can resolve key parts of the debate. The proliferation of large constructives have hindered many second halves as they decrease the amount of time students can interact with specific parts of arguments and even worse leaving judges to sort things out themselves and increasing intervention.
What role does theory play in good debates?
I've always said I prefer substance over theory. That being said, I do know theory has its place in debate rounds and I do have strong opinions on many violations. I will do my best to evaluate theory as pragmatically as possible by weighing the offense under each interpretation. For a crash course in my beliefs of theory - disclosure is good, open source is an unnecessary standard for high school public forum teams until a minimum standard of disclosure is established, paraphrasing is bad, round reports is frivolous, content warnings for graphic representations is required, content warnings over non-graphic representations is debatable.
All of this being said, I don't view myself as an autostrike for teams that don't disclose or paraphrase. However, I've judged enough this year to tell you if you are one of those teams and happen to debate someone with thoughts similar to mine, you should be prepared with answers.
How do "progressive" arguments work in good debates?
Like I said above, arguments work best when they are in the context of the critical thesis of the topic. Thus, if you are reading the same cards in your framing contention from the Septober topic that have zero connections to the current topic, I think you are starting a up-hill battle for yourselves. I have not been entirely persuaded with the "pre-fiat" implications I have seen this year - if those pre-fiat implications were contextualized with topic literature, that would be different.
My major gripe with progressive debates this year has been a lack of clash. Saying "structural violence comes first" doesn't automatically mean it does or that you win. These are debatable arguments, please debate them. I am also finding that sometimes the lack of clash isn't a problem of unprepared debaters, but rather there isn't enough time to resolve major issues in the literature. At a minimum, your evidence that is making progressive type claims in the debate should never be paraphrased and should be well warranted. I have found myself struggling to flow framing contentions that include four completely different arguments that should take 1.5 minutes to read that PF debaters are reading in 20-30 seconds (Read: your crisis politics cards should be more than one line).
How should evidence exchange work?
Evidence exchange in public forum is broken. At the beginning of COVID, I found myself thinking cases sent after the speech in order to protect flowing. However, my view on this has shifted. A lot of debates I found myself judging last season had evidence delays after case. At this point, constructives should be sent immediately prior to speeches. (If you paraphrase, you should send your narrative version with the cut cards in order). At this stage in the game, I don't think rebuttal evidence should be emailed before but I imagine that view will shift with time as well. When you send evidence to the email chain, I prefer a cut card with a proper citation and highlighting to indicate what was read. Cards with no formatting or just links are as a good as analytics.
For what its worth, whenever I return to in-person tournaments, I do expect email chains to continue.
What effects speaker points?
I am trying to increase my baseline for points as I've found I'm typically below average. Instead of starting at a 28, I will try to start at a 28.5 for debaters and move accordingly. Argument selection, strategy choices and smart crossfires are the best way to earn more points with me. You're probably not going to get a 30 but have a good debate with smart strategy choices, and you should get a 29+.
This only applies to tournaments that use a 0.1 metric -- tournaments that are using half points are bad.
I am an Engineer with several tournaments experience at Varsity PF judging. I like a narrative approach where you lay out the framework of your case even if it comes down to a technical RFD. I rely heavily upon evidence-based arguments and impacts. Don't argue that 100's of millions will die by nuclear war if it is a non-unique argument or you have not even presented a good probability we are headed in that direction.
If you have not won me over by the start of Final Focus, you better layout all the reasons why I should vote for AFF or NEG. Lead me to a decision.
The narrative isn't the only thing I consider, but try to be cohesive... i.e. connect the dots.
A few notes:
- You will never lose the round for being a JERK in cross, but I will give you low speaker points. Rudeness or excessive sarcasm is not rewarded here. Equity in all forms is expected.
- Weigh! Weigh! Weigh! I'm not going to catch everything so I need you to give some sort of weighing mechanisms and have valid probabilities for your impacts.
- I can take speed but do not spread. I will say "clear" or "Speed" twice and then I stop flowing altogether.
- If you go slightly over time that's OK, but keep it under 10-secs.
- 2nd rebuttal must front line.
- Speak up a little, I can't hear well (no, I am not kidding). I will miss most of what you say if you speak to me from behind your laptop. Beware of over-sized lecterns if you need a stand for your laptop.
- Time yourselves, please. Don't steal prep time just because we are ONLINE.
PS: Don't get too comfortable entering the room. After the coin toss, I prefer PRO on my left. Yes, I realize this does not apply in an ONLINE environment.
Head coach at the Vancouver Debate Academy. PF, Worlds, Congress experience; taught all of 'em plus LD, BP, CNDF, and the speech formats.
So, I enter my rounds tabula rasa, meaning that I enter without prior knowledge or experience being weighed. Just because I heard something in a past round or I know something to be true, doesn't mean that I'll weigh it in this round. Now, if you tell me the sky is green, I'll know you're lying. I'm not gonna let y'all walk all over me. But I won't hold what you should've said or should've argued against you. You give me the material, and I decide which I buy more. That's who wins.
Also, don't be rude. You don't have to kill each other to win a debate round!
We Out Here.
Background: I did PF debate throughout high school, and judged after I graduated. Most recently, while I was in law school, I coached the Notre Dame Parliamentary Debate Team, and taught an intro to debate and public speaking class.
Theory: Go for it, if you want, but the argument needs to be clear and concise. Also, in general, I am wary of using theory in PF debate because the topic has been chosen for a reason.
Organization: Please make it clear what contentions you are arguing/rebutting, just makes it easier to flow.
Cross-Fire: Though I do pay attention, I do not flow it—so if something important happens bring it up in a speech.
Summary Speeches: I don't consider brand new arguments raised during the summary speeches. I just don't think it's fair because the other team will not have adequate time to respond.
Final Focus: Supposed to be a summary, give me your voters and make them clear. Tell me why I am voting for you.
Decision: I vote based on the flow, so do not drop arguments, and be sure to offer rebuttals against all your opponents' arguments, and impacts. If the flow/impact debate is not clear, I will consider the quality of the presentation and/or the evidence relied on. However, if the teams agree (or one team offers and the other concedes to) a framework, I will vote based on which team fulfilled the framework.
One last thing: Let's all be respectful, remember we are all real human beings behind the screens.
Clash. Most importantly, I value clash rather than distracters or debate "theory." For all forms of debate, clash is essential; beyond initial presentation of cases, "canned" or pre-prepared speeches are unhelpful.
Evidence. I prioritize proof. Therefore, I value evidence over unsubstantiated opinion or theory, and I especially value evidence from quality sources. Be sure that (i) your evidence is from a quality source, (ii) your evidence actually says what you claim it does, and (iii) you are not omitting conditions, limitations, or contrary conclusions within your evidence.
Delivery. I debated back in the day when delivery mattered. Persuasion is still key, so if you are monotone, turn your back, or never bother with eye contact, your speaker points will likely suffer accordingly. You may speak quickly, but you must be clear, particularly with contentions. Eye contact and a well-organized, well-documented case are much appreciated. Always bear in mind that you’re trying to persuade the judge(s), not your opponent(s) or your computer, and focus accordingly.
Weighing arguments. I don’t weigh all arguments equally. You can spread if you want, but the decision will go to the team that carries the majority of the most-substantive issues with greater impacts. I appreciate policy arguments (vs. theory), especially if they relate to law (e.g., the Constitution), economics, international trade (e.g., the WTO), international relations (e.g., the UN or international law), or government policy.
Organization. This is essential. Off-time roadmaps are okay. I try to flow carefully. Please structure your case with numbered/lettered points and sub-points. When refuting arguments, please cross-refer to your opponent(s) case structure (preferably by number/letter) and be very organized for me to keep track.
Resolutions. Please debate the resolutions. Thought has gone into these and their specific wording. Regardless of the form of debate, I prefer that students debate the resolution, and I am not a fan of “Kritiks,” “Alts,” or the like. Whatever the rubric or euphemism, if they relate specifically to the topic, okay, but if they are generic or primarily distractive, I may disregard them. In any event, they are no excuse for failing to deal with the current resolution, for failing to clash with the other side’s specific arguments, or for failing to organize your own points with a clear structure.
Ridiculous rulemaking. Please spare me any “observation” or “framework” that attempts to narrow the resolution or to impose all of the burden on your opponent(s) (e.g., “Unless the other side carries every issue, I win the debate”).
Other pet peeves. These include: not standing during speeches, answering for your partner, claiming that you proved something without reading evidence, claiming evidence says something it doesn’t, rudeness, speaking faster than you can organize thoughts, failing to clash, forgetting that debate is ultimately about persuasion, debating during prep time, etc. Avoid hyperbole: not every issue leads to “global thermonuclear war”.
Feedback. Some students find my feedback very helpful. Even if you don’t, it’s not a time for arguing against the decision or for being disrespectful, which is counterproductive with me.
My background. I was a Policy debater who also competed in Congress, Extemp, and OO. I’ve coached PF. I am an international business attorney and former law school professor, with a background in Economics and experience working on Capitol Hill. I also teach and tutor ELA, History, and SAT (Reading/Writing); words matter.
The above thoughts apply to all forms of debate. I judge a fair amount, primarily PF and L-D. Below are some thoughts specific to those types of debate:
--I prefer line-by-line refutation. I am not a fan of dropping or conceding arguments. I do not appreciate attempts to reduce the debate to “voters,” ignoring other arguments. This is particularly inappropriate when done during your side’s first two-minute speech.
--No “scripted” speeches after the initial presentations of cases. Clash is key.
--Framework is optional, not essential. It may not be used to narrow the resolution.
--Even though you are not required to present a plan, that can’t be used as a knee-jerk response to all arguments or questions concerning Solvency or Topicality.
--Remember that “There is no presumption or burden of proof in Public Forum Debate”.
--I am not a fan of abstract philosophy. Any philosophical presentation must be tied specifically to the resolution and not presented in a generic vacuum.
--I don’t necessarily weigh framework over contentions.
--Your value and criterion should work with your contentions. Ideally, in discussing the relative merits of each side’s framework, explain specifically why your choice is more relevant rather than relying on a circular “chicken and egg” analysis (e.g., “My value comes before her value”).
I like philosophy and theory.
I am new to judging but I was a debater in high school and undergrad. I competed in LD, Extemp, and British Parliamentary.
Lincoln-Douglas has a long history based in politics and we all know politicians don’t debate the facts. Because of this, LD is a value debate above all else. Of course, your evidence is important and you can’t win without good cards but, I really believe the round is more rewarding if the main focus is on value. Use all of your time, including prep time, even if you don’t feel like you need it. I don’t flow the specifics of cross-ex because you should bring up the information in later speeches. I will make notes on the quality of your cross-examination so be respectful and ask good questions.
I can deal with spreading but keep in mind that I flow by hand and if I can’t write down your argument, I can’t judge it. One of my favorite things about the debate world is the confidence it brings out in people. Even if you’re nervous, speak clearly and at an appropriate volume. Since we’re online I don’t expect you to stand but I still expect you to present to me.
I will give constructive criticism to the best of my ability at the end of the round.
Good luck debating! Remember to relax and enjoy the tournament. Debate can be stressful and cause anxiety, so don’t forget it is an education and enjoyable activity. I have debated throughout high school in Varsity Lincoln-Douglas. I am a traditional debater. 2nd year at Georgia Tech - Go Jackets!
Framework: This is so important - it needs to be extended in every speech because it ultimately tells me how to evaluate the impacts in this round.
Contention-Level Preferences: I will vote for Kritiks, topicality, and counter plans. However, I have a strong evidence standard and expect to see well cut evidence in round if you plan to read any of these. I may also call to see cards at the end of a round to evaluate the round.
Cross-Ex: I do not listen during cross or voted based on cross. If something comes up in cross-ex that you want on my flow, you need to bring it up during the speech. Cross-Ex is your time to ask each other, but be polite or I will dock speaker points.
Speed/Spreading: Do not spread. If I cannot understand you, then I won’t have everything on my flow due to the lack of clarity in your speech. Clarity always trumps speed.
Stand while making speeches. You can sit or stand during cross. Do not speak rudely to me or to your opponents - it will affect speaker points.
I have judged both LD and Public Forum before, but I am relatively new to judging policy. Please talk clearly and avoid spreading if possible. When you send out speech docs, they should match your speech. If you cut a card half way through, feel free to say "cut card" and move on to the next. I will not flow cross-ex, so if there is anything important said in cross-ex, then take the time to point it out in the following speech. Finally, if I cannot understand you, I will yell clear, type in the chat, raise my hand, etc. If I still cannot understand, I will stop flowing and judge the round based on what I flowed. Please time yourself. My timer will be the final say, but having your own timer is highly suggested to help pace yourself. Please give a road map before every speech. If you have any questions, please let me know!
Name: Lisa Willoughby
Current Affiliation: Midtown High School formerly Henry W. Grady High School
Conflicts: AUDL teams
Debate Experience: 1 year debating High School 1978-79, Coaching High School 1984-present
How many rounds have you judged in 2012-13: 50, 2013-2014: 45, 2015-2016: 25, 2016-17 15, 2017-2018: 30, 2018-19: 30, 2019-20:10, 2020-21: 40, 2021-2022: 35, 2022-2023:6
send evidence e-mail chain to firstname.lastname@example.org
I still view my self as a policy maker unless the debaters specify a different role for my ballot. I love impact comparison between disadvantages and advantages, what Rich Edwards used to call Desirability. I don’t mind the politics disad, but I am open to Kritiks of Politics.
I like Counterplans, especially case specific counterplans. I certainly think that some counterplans are arguably illegitimate; for example, I think that some international counterplans are utopian, and arguably claim advantages beyond the reciprocal scope of the affirmative, and are, therefore, unfair. I think that negatives should offer a solvency advocate for all aspects of their counterplan, and that multi-plank cps are problematic. I think that there are several reasons why consultation counterplans, and the States CP could be unfair. I will not vote unilaterally on any of these theoretical objections; the debaters need to demonstrate for me why a particular counterplan would be unfair.
I have a minor in Philosophy, and love good Kritik debate. Sadly, I have seen a lot of bad Kritik debate. I think that K debaters need to have a strong understanding of the K authors that they embrace. I really want to understand the alternative or the role of my ballot. I have no problem with a K Aff, but am certainly willing to vote on Framework/T against a case that does not have at least a clear advocacy statement that I can understand. I am persuadable on "AFF must be USFG."
I like Topicality, Theory and Framework arguments when they are merited. I want to see fair division of ground or discourse that allows both teams a chance to prepare and be ready to engage the arguments.
I prefer substance to theory; go for the theoretical objections when the abuse is real.
As for style, I love good line-by-line debate. I adore evidence comparison, and argument comparison. I am fairly comfortable with speed, but I like clarity. I have discovered that as I get older, I am very comfortable asking the students to "clear." I enjoy humor; I prefer entertaining cross-examinations to belligerent CX. Warrant your claims with evidence or reasoning.
Ultimately, I demand civility: any rhetoric, language, performance or interactions that demean, dehumanize or trivialize fellow debaters, their arguments or judges would be problematic, and I believe, a voting issue.
An occasional interruption of a partner’s speech or deferring to a more expert partner to answer a CX question is not a problem in my view. Generally only one debater at a time should be speaking. Interruptions of partner speeches or CX that makes one partner merely a ventriloquist for the other are extremely problematic.
Clipping cards is cheating. Quoting authors or evidence out of context, or distorting the original meaning of a text or narrative is both intellectually bankrupt and unfair.
There is no such thing as one ideal form or type of debate. I love the clash of ideas and argumentation. That said, I prefer discourse that is educational, and substantive. I want to walk away from a round, as I often do, feeling reassured that the policy makers, educators, and citizens of the future will seek to do a reasonable and ethical job of running the world.
For Lincoln Douglas debates:
I am "old school" and feel most comfortable in a Value/Criterion Framework, but it is your debate to frame. Because I judge policy frequently, I am comfortable with speed but generally find it is needless. Clarity is paramount. Because of the limited time, I find that I typically err AFF on theoretical objections much more than I would in a policy round.
I believe that any argument that an AFF wants to weigh in the 2AR needs to be in the 1AR. I will vote against new 2AR arguments.
I believe that NEG has an obligation to clash with the AFF. For this reason, a counterplan would only be justified in a round when the AFF argues for a plan; otherwise a counterplan is an argument for the AFF. The NEG must force a decision, and for that reason, I am not fond of what used to be called a 'balance neg.'
Email Chains: iyang061002 AT google DOT com
Do whatever you want, I’ve gone for almost everything in my time.
I try to have no argumentative bias (I feel like I do a pretty good job).
Spreading is probably good but go ahead and be trad if you want, no preference
- Have fun
- Try your best