Harvard Westlake Debates
2022 — Los Angeles, CA, US
NLD Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Pronouns: she/her ♀️
Please also include: email@example.com
[if the room is empty and I'm not there yet, please feel free to go on in]
I debated policy debate for 3 years in high school 2008-2011 and have judged for 10+ years now. I always disclose. If I forget to, please remind me (I think this is where you learn the most).
I REALLY like to see impact calculus - "Even if..." statements are excellent! Remember:magitude⚠️, timeframe⏳️, probability ⚖️. I only ever give high speaker points to those that remember to do this. This should also help you remember to extend your impacts, and compare them with your opponent's as reasons for a judge to prefer your side.
- However, I don't like when both sides keep extending arguments/cards that say opposite things without also giving reasons to prefer one over the other. Tell me how the arguments interact, how they're talking about something different, etc.
- Be sure to extend arguments (especially your T voters) even if they're uncontested. If it's going to be in your last speech, it better be in the speech before it. Otherwise, I give weight to the debater that points it out and runs theory to block it from coming up again or applying.
------------------------- Miscellaneous ----------------------------
Prep and CX: I do not count emailing /flashdriving as prep time unless it takes ~2+ minutes. Tag-team cross-ex is ok as long as both teams agree to it and you're not talking over your partner. Please keep track of your speech and prep time.
Full disclosure: Beyond the basic K's like Cap, Security, Biopow, Fem, etc., I'm not familiar with unique K's, and especially where FrameWork tends to be a mess, you might need a little more explanation on K solvency for me or I might get lost.
I often read along to the 1AC and 1NC to catch card-clipping, even checking the marked copies.
Judging Philosophy - Tim Alderete -The Meadows School - firstname.lastname@example.org
I've tried to make this much shorter:
-It's either Aff prep or Neg prep - No one preps for free.
- Text, from a debater I just judged to their coach, who is a friend of mine: “What is your friend on? He started my timer early because I took a deep breath.” Me: I'm gonna put that in my Paradigm!
-I do want to be on the email chain, but I won't be reading along with your speech doc - email@example.com
-I am cantankerous about Prep time - for me, it ends when you hit Send on the Email.
-The majority of my decisions will revolve around a lack of flowing or line by line structure.
-I will vote for most any coherent argument. A "coherent" argument must be one that I can defend to the team or debater who lost. Many think this makes me interventionist, but they don't pref me anyway.
-I not the best judge for bad arguments, the Politics Disad, or dumb theory. I will try to take them as seriously as you do, but everyone has their limits. (For example, I have never voted for disclosure theory, because I have never heard an intelligent argument defending it.)
-I will not vote for Offensive arguments. The "Contact Information Disclosure" argument is dangerous and unethical because it abets online predators. It will receive a loss and minimum points.
-I don't give great speaker points. To compensate, if you show me decent flows you can get up to an extra point. Please do this Before I enter the ballot.
-I "can handle" your "speed" and I will only call "Clearer" once or twice if you are unclear.
-I have judged and coached a lot of LD rounds – I like philosophical arguments more than you may expect.
-I have judged and coached a lot of Policy rounds – I tend to think like a Policy debater.
I debated for LAMDL in high school (Bravo’20) and now debate at CSULB. I currently coach Huntington Park High School and am an instructor at LAMDL, which means I’m fairly knowledgeable on whatever the high school topic is. Feel free to email me if you are interested in debating at CSULB.
People who have shaped my debate opinions: Deven Cooper, Cameron Ward, Jaysyn Green, Geo Liriano, Toya Green, Jonathan Meza, Curtis Ortega, Elvis Pineda, Andres Marquez, Isai Ortega
End of season update
For tournament pref sheets, the first section is all you really need to determine where you want to put me, I've left a more detailed paradigm below because I enjoy reading other people's paradigms when bored and it has helped me personally in understanding debate.
How I prefer to judge:
- I heavily decide debates by technical execution as long as the arguments extended have a warrant as to why I should consider them as true. This means you must explain why your opponent dropping an argument matters and extend arguments fully across each speech. That being said, I don’t necessarily require strict line-by-line debating, just that you answer every argument made at some point in your speech and clearly signpost what you are answering.
- 2NR/2AR speeches that start off with an overview identifying parts of the flow they have won and why that means they win the entire debate make the ability to decide a lot easier than immediately going to the line by line. Both sides should isolate the most important portions of the debate, acknowledge whether they are ahead/behind on certain questions, and do their best to resolve them in their favor. 2 or 3 things actually matter at the end of the debate, and both sides are better off spending their time there than trying to extend everything in the last speech.
- Evidence quality matters a lot to me - the way cards are highlighted and how many warrants for a claim actually stem from the text has been a rising issue in my opinion. More teams should be willing to call out wack evidence for what it is, and I think I’m more willing than most to not give weight to bad evidence/substantially reduce their weight in a debate than most. To be clear, this is not me saying I will dismiss a piece of evidence because I personally disagree with its claims/warrants, this is more about current debate practices that lead to wack cards.
- That being said, logical analytic arguments are usually the best arguments I hear in debates, probably because they come from the debaters themselves and not the blocks/cards that other people cut. Setting these up in cross-examination is fun to watch and results in higher speaks.
- Clarity over speed — most of yall are going too fast to allow for pen time needed to get warrants for your arguments down. Other times, you’re going so fast that I simply don’t understand what you’re saying in terms of clarity and substance. If you can’t flow yourself when you hear a recording of your own speech, please readjust. If I can’t explain your argument back to you in the rfd, then it makes it less likely that I’ll consider it.
- I’ve debated every style and have been on “both sides” of the debate, and I enjoy listening to all of them equally. I am willing to listen to any argument made in debate as long as its explained and impacted out. There is no need change the content of your argument in front of me, just win the flow and you’ll win the debate.
- I appreciate being organized outside of your speeches as well: email formatting (Tournament Name - Round - Team (Aff) v. Team (Neg)), starting the round on time and minimizing in-between-speech activities, etc. It helps your speaks.
Speaker point guide
Regardless of a W or L, the best speeches do what is listed above and are full of passion, judge instruction, and provide the clearest path to the ballot possible. Avoiding over-complication, closing every door, sounding like you want to be there, and being respectful to your opponents are what will get you the highest points possible.
29.6 - 30 - you went for the S-tier strategy in the round, attempted to close all doors, had an expert explanation of your arguments and avoided over-complication
29.1 - 29.5 - you went for the A-tier strategy with 1-2 missed opportunities to capitalize on, had a great explanation of your arguments and provided great judge instruction
28.6 - 29 - You executed your strategy but did not go for the best one in the round, provided decent judge instruction but left a couple doors open, and had a good explanation of your arguments
28.1 - 28.5 - A definitive strategy or clear judge instruction was not found, and explanation of arguments is enough for me to understand what’s going on.
27 - 28 - Arguments were extended but not explained as round-winning, and there is no judge instruction/strategy to be found.
25 - A debater has committed an evidence-based ethics violation (clipping, miscut evidence, cheating, etc.)
0 - 20 - Discriminatory action made in bad-faith/full-intent has taken place. Depending on the severity and the request of debaters, tabroom/coaches may or may not get involved.
- I am all for being petty/sassy/having those ethos moments in debate, but I still expect yall to have respect for your opponents. I don’t care for the beef yall have outside the round.
- Song Challenge: both sides get one chance to recommend a song for me to listen to in the RFD. It can’t be a song I already know. If you get past that, +.1 if I like it, +.0 if i find it mid, and -.1 if i don’t like it.
- If you have a fully disclosed wiki (i only require cites of all arguments read and tournaments attended with round reports, not open sourced docs), +.1.
- The best cross-examinations point out important logical holes in a team’s arguments and set up future ones as well, and typically sit on 2-3 major topics. You are free to use it however you want, but clarifying muddled portions of the debate and using CX in this manner is the best way for you to receive boosts in speaker points.
- Asking clarifying questions about arguments read in a speech requires CX time or prep time to be used.
- Teams are not required to answer your questions after cross-ex.
- Aff: I need K Affs to clearly explain how they generate solvency in the 1AC, whether its an epistemological shift in thinking or advocating for a movement, etc. Otherwise, I am completely fine with the negative making new arguments in later speeches if the 2AC shift is clearly identified. The best way to visualize solvency for me is through material examples grounded in aff evidence or explaining why a specific historical example is in line with the affirmative’s advocacy, which requires a higher threshold of analysis in front of me.
- Neg: presumption arguments in relation to the ballot don’t make sense to me unless the aff says the ballot is key for solvency. more presumption arguments should be made about the aff’s solvency, spillover, and materiality claims.
K v. K Debates
- The team that provides actual examples for the DA’s against the other side’s theory of power/advocacy/performance is more likely to win in front of me. These debates are theoretically heavy in nature and I need examples of how this impacts lived experiences, and how that side’s mode of study results in materially worse consequences.
- Affirmative teams should explain the permutation more and how it would actually look like — whether that means explaining what a combination of both theories looks like or how it is materially implemented, I need something. DA’s that stem from the neg’s K not accounting for x thing about the aff and the alt failing to solve the aff’s impacts do much better in front of me than DA’s that say not talking about the aff is bad.
- I have become more willing than most to disregard the permutation on either theory or substance, mostly because I think many aff permutations are not explained beyond the perm text and many DA’s to the K boil down to “arbitrary exclusion da’s” that can be resolved by an “alt solves the case” argument made by the negative.
- I love most variations of the Cap K (boooooooo semiocap), especially ones that center marginalized groups and turn more into K’s of organizing/state engagement strategies than cap root cause arguments.
- Aff: I prefer counter-interpretations that attempt to establish an actual model of debate for many teams to engage in rather than 2AC interps only suited to that particular affirmative. I personally believe Elijah Smith’s article about the Kritik-Focus-Model of debate is something that more people should read because it attempts to establish a predictable and limiting approach to K debate. Other examples include Tiffany-Dillard Knox’s passive voice articles, DSRB’s three-tier model, Rashad Evans’ Intersectional Debate articles, etc. They not only provide defense against the limits DA’s that inevitably come, but it allows teams to have meaningful interp v. counter interp debates about the quality of argumentation that results out of each model as well, and lets the aff resolve the DA’s that they make against framework as well. If this is not you, you are much better suited going for the impact turn by itself rather than trying to counter-define words in the resolution along with it.
- Neg: Clash/Fairness are all equally good in front of me, but I think its important for teams to understand that these exist on a sliding scale. How much clash/fairness the aff erodes is an important question that can be best explained by providing examples of what the aff’s model of debate (or lack thereof) justifies, and why that is a bad approach to debate as a competitive space. You should have at least 30 seconds of your speech dedicated to explaining why a high standard of clash and fairness should be maintained, because at the end of the day they are internal links to the skills we get from debate. In most instances, I prefer SSD over TVA arguments. This is because I only vote for non-carded TVA’s if they’re dropped since most of the time I conclude a risk of the DA outweighs. However, if a TVA has a solvency advocate included and the negative sufficiently explains how it accesses a major portion of the aff, the threshold for aff answers becomes significantly higher.
Policy v. K
- Extinction Policy Affs: each side should spend more time winning the framing of impacts if they want to win the debate.
- Soft-Left Policy Affs: conversely, I do not think the aff needs to win ontology-not-true arguments in order to win these debates. If the aff wins that they are a net-better option than the squo even if they use the state or do not address the root cause of whatever the K is, winning case probably means the aff is a DA to the perm. I would encourage negative teams to read a lot more case defense against these aff rather than just links on the K to push back against the permutation and the above argument.
- Most 2AC’s read generic “progress possible” “state good” cards that the plan does not help to progress or eventually result in. I am more willing than most to disregard these cards/minimize their utility.
- neg teams should engage the case a lot more than just reading impact defense
Policy v. Policy
- Case: Affs should prioritize well-explained internal links to solvency/impacts over shoving the aff with 3-4 impact scenarios that they most likely don’t access.
- DA: In a scenario where both teams are reading extinction-level arguments, teams should spend more time talking about the link/internal link portions of the DA than turns case arguments to establish priority.
- CP: Counterplans that compete on immediacy, certainty, or off of internal net-benefits alone that don’t solve the aff require substantial theory debating in order for me to vote on them. The 2AC strategy to list off permutations as fast as you can is unflowable and unclear as to what the perms even mean, and aff teams should spend more time describing what they actually are. no judge kick make your own decisions. I like process debates.
- Theory: Unless dropped, conditionality is probably the only reason to reject the team. I’m not aff/neg leaning on anything in particular, technical execution decides these debates. Teams should slow down when debating counterplan theory.
- Coffee > (HUGE GAP) monster, red bull, any energy drink
- Highlight color: yellow > blue > any light custom color > purple > green
- Pens: sharpie s-gel gunmetal > b2p > funny design > BIC cristal > random pen on the floor > g2 pens (unless they custom like the NAUDL ones)
tldr do what you do best; claims, warrants, and impacts are necessary; weighing & judge instruction tip the scales in your favor; i care about argument engagement not argument style; stay hydrated & be a good person.
I’ve bolded what you need to skim preround. Table of contents below for phrases you can ctrl+f to get to a specific portion of the paradigm. There’s also a ctrl+f section for opinions on specific arguments. My argumentative opinions are pretty much the same across all events. The last substantive change to this paradigm was February-ish of 2023; any changes since then have been for clarity/formatting. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
Here's a table of contents - you can ctrl+f any of these phrases to get to a certain portion of the paradigm - i understand that this whole paradigm is unreasonably long to read pre-round --
-"actual paradigm/explanation of my thoughts and feelings about debate"
-"some general notes"
-"miscellaneous odds n ends"
-"opinions on specific positions (ctrl+f section)"
within the specific positions section, here are the labels for each position, so you can ctrl+f for those if you want: "case", "planless affs", "t/framework vs planless affs", "theory", "topicality (not framework)", "tricks", "kritiks (neg)", "disads", "counterplans", and "traditional debate".
-"arguments i will never vote for"
Hi! I'm Nethmin! I use she/her pronouns!
The Hill School ’20, Pitzer College ’24 (double majoring in cs-math and economics).
I coach policy at Damien High School and I coach a few LDers independently. I've coached both sides of almost every style of argument.
My strongest belief about argumentation is that argument engagement is good - I don't care what styles of arguments teams read in front of me, but I'd prefer if both teams engaged with their opponents' arguments; I don't enjoy teams who avoid clash (regardless of the style of argument they are reading). I would consider myself to be competent at evaluating whatever debate you want to have. My debate history should not dictate what you read in your round. I think people should stop treating debate as their immortality project and let the students in the activity do what they want.
ideological flexibility is what i value most in debate. judges who hack against k teams and judges who hack against policy teams are equally objectionable to me, all else equal. i do not believe that the arguments a team reads are a reflection of how good/bad of a person they are (except, of course, cases where people do/say things that are egregious). i try to be someone who will vote on any argument as long as it's not delivered in a way that's morally abhorrent (bullying your opponent = bad) and it meets the minimum standards to be considered a complete argument (claim, warrant, impact).
General note about reading my paradigm - most things are phrased in terms of policy debate structure & norms (2nr/2ar being 5 minutes, "team" instead of "debater," "planless aff" = "non-t k aff," etc). If I'm judging you in LD and you have questions about how something translates to LD, feel free to ask!
firstname.lastname@example.org for LD rounds (you can also use this email to contact me if you need anything)
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for CX rounds (please add both!)
Please have the email chain set up by the time the round is supposed to start - don't wait for me to be in the room. I'm always coaching at tournaments, so I likely won't be in the room for the round I'm judging until the time when the round is starting. Set up the chain beforehand, feel free to wait until I'm there to send it out.
actual paradigm/explanations of my thoughts and feelings about debate:
All of my deal-breakers/hard and fast rules/moments of "I won't vote on this" are dependent on four things:
1 - protecting the safety of the participants in the round (no harrassment, no physical violence, etc).
2 - voting for things that meet the minimum standard to be considered an argument (claim, warrant, impact).
3 - rules set forth by the tournament (speech times, one team wins and one team loses, I have to enter my own ballot, etc).
4 - i will only evaluate the debate after the end of the 2ar. this is 0% negotiable. i did not think i would have to say this, but i guess i do.
I'll vote for whichever team wins the line-by-line. It would be nearly impossible to change my mind on this absent something egregious and very out-of-the-norm occurring in-round.
I don't care what style of argument you read. My voting record is roughly 50-50 on most major debate controversies (yes, even planless affs vs framework). As long as your argument doesn't violate the above four criteria, go for it! I have far fewer set-in-stone debate opinions than most coaches/judges.
I think that warrants are hard to come by in many debate rounds these days, even ones with “good” teams. Err on the side of a little too much explanation, because if your arg is warrantless, you will be ballotless. Extensions need to include warrants, not just taglines.
Independent voters need warrants and an articulation of why they should be evaluated before everything else.These debates could generally benefit from more judge instruction and weighing. Simply calling something an independent voter doesn’t mean I vote for you if you extend it.
Some general notes
Policy stuff: I tend to be a good judge for policy teams that read high-quality evidence, are able to explain/contextualize their args against a variety of different positions, and have a good understanding of the topic. I tend to be a worse judge for policy teams that don't do the above, and/or rely on judges to do a substantial amount of work for them. I'm fairly familiar with the topic; the amount of explanation you need to do on acronyms/topic-specific intricacies is inversely proportional to how mainstream/close to the core of the topic the argument/concept is.
K stuff: I tend to be a good judge for K teams that are technical, good at argument engagement/comparative analysis, and understand how their criticism interacts with the core of the topic. I tend to be a worse judge for K teams aren't able to adjust their level of explanation to cater to judges who don't exclusively research/coach their criticism of choice - this isn't because I want to vote against them, I just need to understand what they want me to vote for.
Framing and judge instruction are important. Your speeches should tell me how the arguments in the round interact with each other. Most rounds where a team is unhappy with my decision are rounds where that team failed to weigh, compare args, and give judge instruction. Write my ballot for me in the 2nr/2ar!
Trad team vs circuit team -- I don’t think it’s anyone’s burden to shift their style of debate to accommodate anyone else. I do think it is the burden of both teams to respect all styles of debate and not be rude or condescending. You should each debate how you debate best and I will evaluate the round you give me. Both teams should engage each others' arguments.
Speed/clarity – I will say clear up to two times per speech before just doing my best to flow you. I can handle a decent amount of speed. Going slower on analytics is a good idea. You should account for pen time/scroll time - it takes time for me to find the place on the flow where you want me to flow a certain arg. It's generally more efficient to handle arguments in the order they were on the flow, or at least try to jump around as little as possible. Also, I think that debaters being able to slow/clear the other team is key to accessibility, please be accommodating. I trust that all participants in the round will request and respond to accessibility-related accommodations in good faith; I have no interest in policing who "needs" accommodations, I just want everyone to be able to engage in the round.
Online debate -- 1] please record your speeches, if there are tech issues, I'll listen to a recording of the speech, but not a re-do. 2] debate's still about communication - please watch for nonverbals, listen for people saying "clear," etc.
Speaker points are dependent on strategy, execution, clarity, and overall engagement in the round. Things like not being able to answer the majority of the questions during your cx will negatively impact your points, as will going for messy, confusing, and uphill 2nrs/2ars when there were easier and cleaner routes to the ballot.
Speaker points are scaled to the tournament. A 30 at an abysmal finals bid with 10 entries and a cow as a potential bid round opponent is different from a 30 at Glenbrooks or MBA. I'll be a bit more generous with points at tournaments where there's a 4-2 screw (or another similar consideration). I try to only give 30s to debaters that I think meet a decent standard of being technically proficient and argumentatively adept - even if I think you'll win the Online Nonsense Classic, I'll probably not give you a 30 unless I think you could hold your own at a tournament that is at least semi-competitive.
I try to give points as follows:
30: you're a strong contender to win the tournament & this round was genuinely impressive
29.5+: late elims, many moments of good decisionmaking & argumentative understanding, adapted well to in-round pivots
29+: you'll clear for sure, generally good strat & round vision, a few things could've been more refined
28.5+: likely to clear but not guaranteed, there are some key errors that you should fix
28+: even record, probably losing in the 3-2 round
27.5+: winning less than 50% of your rounds, key technical/strategic errors
27+: winning less than 50% of your rounds, multiple notable technical/strategic errors
26+: errors that indicated a fundamental lack of preparation for the rigor/style of this tournament
25-: you did something really bad/offensive/unsafe.
This scale is based purely on argumentation/in-round strategy. I definitely give extra points if you do things that are listed below in the section for how to improve your speaker points.
I think that I give fairly average points when compared to other judges in the policy community. I try not to contribute to point inflation. I scale points to the tournament to attempt to find a balance between rewarding good/flexible/consistent teams and not punishing teams for the nature of the tournament. The "bonus points" for things that make debate better will likely mitigate my giving "bad points," if that's something you think I do.
Things that you can do to improve your speaker points:
-debate well, be clear, and win decisively (this will always be the primary factor i consider when awarding points)
-be kind! make the round more enjoyable and be kind to your opponents, partner, and judges! i hate being in debate rounds that feel like divorce court!
-be accessible and accommodating. be nice about tech issues, be nice to newer teams, be considerate of accessibility requests, check tab postings/the wiki for pronouns, etc.
-adapt to things that happen in-round. adjust to judges saying "clear," watch for nonverbal reactions/visible confusion, and engage with args.
-disclose! go to the room after pairings to disclose the aff/past 2nrs. if you think you've disclosed particularly well (contact info, open source with highlighting, cite boxes w/ position names as the citation names, disclosing on your team wiki), let me know, and if i agree that you've disclosed well, i'll boost your speaks a bit!
Things that will actively get you bad speaks:
-discrimination of any sort (racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, etc), bullying, egregious misgendering (issues of discrimination also get you a fun talking-to and an email to your coach).
-misdisclosure/lying about disclosure. if you won't disclose, just say that! don't lie/purposefully be sketchy. there's obviously a difference between forgetting something minor (oops, sorry, forgot we have a few new solvency cards) and intentional/malicious lying (fully telling someone the wrong aff).
-unnecessarily rude/disruptive behavior during the other team's speeches. occasionally looking confused during speeches is just a normal reaction - i don't think anyone understands 100% of the arguments that exist in debate. however, constantly shaking your head, laughing during speeches, being really loud when talking to your partner during speeches, etc. are just not necessary!
-ad-homs & asking me to evaluate things that happened outside of the debate & making the debate about someone's personal life.
the notable exception to this is disclosure - this is pretty much the only out-of-round event that i'm fine evaluating debates about.
i don't want to evaluate callouts/judgments about your opponents' coach(es)/interpersonal incidents that occurred. if there is an issue you'd like me to address, tell me before the round and i'll do my best to handle it in a way that makes you comfortable + informs the relevant entities (coaches, tabroom, etc). this isn't to say that i believe problematic/unsafe members of the community don't deserve punishment, but rather, i don't think the way to go about it is to let 4 minors debate it out for 2 hours and then submit a ballot.
-attempts to avoid argument engagement/clash. examples include "you can't answer the k because you're not x identity," "neg must concede aff framing mechanism," "no neg fiat," and other similar strategies.
Miscellaneous odds n ends that didn't really fit in other sections of the paradigm:
1 -- I'm increasingly unconvinced by cards cut from articles written by debate coaches. This is not directed at any one specific person or style of argument. I'm not saying you can't make certain arguments, but I am saying that you should probably find actual academic literature that makes the argument. If there is only one person you can find who says the thing you want them to say, and that person is a debate coach, you should think about why the only person saying what you need them to say is a person who has a vested competitive interest in the thing they're saying being perceived as true. Do with this info what you will.
2 -- I would really strongly prefer that trigger warnings/content warnings/accessibility requests are decided pre-round as opposed to mid-round/by reading a procedural. I'm happy to help facilitate anything that's needed in order to ensure that both teams can engage equitably in the round. I'll still evaluate these debates if they come down to a theory debate, I'll just be not super happy.
3 -- The debate people that I spend a fair amount of time with are Tim Lewis, Chris Paredes, Zoe Rosenberg, Jared Burke, Aly Sawyer, Sam McLoughlin, and Eva Lamberson. This is quite a salad of people, and I don't even know if this info is helpful, but I figured I'd include it in case you're curious. This also doesn't mean that I agree with all of their opinions, but I do talk about debate with them a fair amount, so they've likely shaped how I think about debate as well as how I deliver RFDs. It's worth noting that I coach with the first four people on this list (Tim, Chris, Zoe, and Jared).
Opinions on Specific Positions (ctrl+f section):
I think that negatives that don't engage with the 1ac are putting themselves in a bad position. This is true for both K debates and policy debates.
Extensions should involve warrants, not just tagline extensions - I'm willing to give some amount of leeway for the 1ar/2ar extrapolating a warrant that wasn't the focal point of the 2ac, but I should be able to tell from your extensions what the scenario is, what the internal links are, and why you solve.
I've been on both sides of the planless aff debate, and my strongest opinion about planless affs is that you need to be able to explain what your aff does/why it's good.
I tend to dislike planless affs where the strategy is to make the aff seem like a word salad until after 2ac cx and then give the aff a bunch of new (and not super well-warranted) implications in the 1ar. I tend to be much better for planless aff teams when they're straight-up about what they do/don't defend, they use their aff strategically, engage with neg arguments, and make smart 1ar & 2ar decisions with good ballot analysis.
T/framework vs planless affs:
I'm roughly 50-50 in these debates. I don't have a strong preference for how framework teams engage in these debates other than that you should be respectful when discussing sensitive material- "colonization didn't happen" is probably not the best strategy.
I think that TVAs can be more helpful than teams realize. While having a TVA isn't always necessary, winning a TVA provides substantial defense on many of the aff's exclusion arguments.
I don't have a preference on whether your chosen 2nr is skills or fairness (or something else). I think that both options have strategic value based on the round you're in. Framework teams almost always get better points in front of me when they are able to contextualize their arguments to their opponents' strategy - 2nrs that answer impact turns, make framing arguments, win the internal link to the aff's impacts, and generally are in control of the debate are much more enjoyable to evaluate than 2nrs that give me a generic extension of the framework offense that they're winning and then leave it up to me to weigh between their offense and their opponents' offense.
I also don't have a preference between the aff going for impact turns or going for a counterinterp. The strategic value of this is dependent on how topical/non-topical your aff is. If your counterinterp can plausibly solve the core of the negative's offense, going for the ci will make more sense than if the aff doesn't say a word about the topic. The "no-topic-words-in-aff" teams will likely be more successful going for impact turns purely because the counterinterp will likely link to the neg's disads to the aff's model. This isn't to say that I'm opposed to mostly-topical affs going for impact turns or fully-non-t affs going for a counterinterp; just make sure you're able to adequately warrant what you're going for.
The less frivolous your theory argument, the better I am for it. I am infinitely better for condo debates than I am for "must spec what state you're from," or whatever's cool these days. This isn't to say I have any super strong opinions about condo, but rather, I have rarely been able to find a warranted & convincing ballot story in rounds where theory arguments are unbearably frivolous.
I've noticed a trend in the policy community where a lot of theory debates tend to be resolved based on a judge's pre-existing biases/opinions regarding what is/isn't theoretically legitimate. I don't think I have any theory opinions that are so strong that I'd intervene/hack for a certain argument because of my opinions. If you can win that there's a violation, a reason your interp is good (and better than your opponent's interp), and a clear internal link to an impact, I'll vote for you.
Please weigh! It's not nearly as intuitive to make a decision in theory debates - I can fill in the gaps for why extinction is more impactful than localized war more easily than I can fill in the gaps for why neg flex matters more/less than research burdens.
Theory defaults: competing interps, drop the debater.
My defaults on RVIs: absent a "no RVIs" arg being made & won, I'll assume that RVIs are theoretically legitimate/I'll evaluate an RVI if it's made. This doesn't mean I'll insert an RVI if it's not made. I don't have a particularly strong opinion in either direction on the yes/no RVIs debate.
Topicality (not framework):
Same defaults as theory.
I like T debates that have robust and contextualized definitions of the relevant words/phrases/entities in the resolution. Negative teams that can clearly explain what their model includes/excludes and provide tangible examples of their abuse story are great! Negative teams whose arguments devolve into some flavor of "well i guess the aff doesn't feeeeeel topical" with no clear explanation of what is/isn't T are often better served going for different arguments. Have a clear explanation of what your interpretation is/isn't; examples/caselists are your friend.
Grammar-based topicality arguments: I don't find most of the grammar arguments being made these days to be very intuitive. This isn't to say that you shouldn't go for these args in front of me (I actually find myself voting for them a non-zero amount) but rather, that you should explain/warrant them more than you would in front of a judge who loves those arguments more than anything.
Tricks (this is mostly an LD thing):
I used to say that I would never vote on tricks. I've decided it's bad to exclude a style of argumentation just because I don't enjoy it. Here are some things to know if you're reading tricks in front of me:
1 - I won't flow off the doc (I never flow off the doc, but I won't be checking the doc to see if I missed any of your tricks/spikes)
2 - The argument has to have a warrant in the speech it is presented
3 - The reason I've been so opposed to voting on tricks in the past is that I've never heard a trick that met the minimum threshold to be considered an argument (claim, warrant, impact)
I value the explanation that you do in the round and the actual parts of the evidence you read, and I will not give you credit for the other musings/opinions/theories that I’m sure your author has.
I tend to like K teams that engage with the aff and have a clear analysis of what's wrong with the aff's model/framing/epistemology/etc. I tend to be a bit annoyed when judging K teams that read word-salad or author-salad Ks, refuse to engage with arguments, expect me to fill in massive gaps for them, don't do adequate weighing/ballot analysis/judge instruction, or are actively hostile toward their opponents. The more of the aforementioned things you do, the more annoyed I'll be. The inverse is also true - the more you actively work to ensure that you don't do these things, the happier I'll be! I love judging good K teams; I less-than-love judging K teams that want to run from clash/argument engagement.
Zero risk probably doesn't exist, but very-close-to-zero risk probably does. Teams that answer their opponents' warrants instead of reading generic defense tend to fare better in close rounds. Good evidence tends to matter more in these debates - I'd rather judge a round with 2 great cards + debaters explaining their cards than a round with 10 horrible cards + debaters asking me to interpret their dumpster-quality cards for them.
I don't have strong ideological biases about how many condo advocacies the neg gets or what kinds of counterplans are/aren't cheating. More egregious abuse = easier to persuade me on theory; the issue I usually see in theory debates is a lack of warranting for why the neg's model was uniquely abusive - specific analysis > generic args + no explanation.
Judge kick - you've gotta tell me to do it. I'm not opposed to it, but I won't assume that you want me to unless the 2nr tells me to. No strong opinions for/against judge kick.
I tend to think that counterplans need to have a text that is written out in a speech doc and emailed to all participants in the round PRIOR to the speech in which it's read. There's something that feels sketchy about letting teams type out a text to send out after the 1nc (or even worse, after 1nc cx).
Arguments I will NEVER vote for:
-arguments that are actively discriminatory or make the round unsafe ("misgendering good," "let's make the debate about a minor's personal life," other stuff of that nature).
-any argument that attempts to police what a debater wears or how they present (this includes shoes theory/formal clothes theory).
-any argument that denies the existence/badness of oppression (i don't mean i won't vote for "extinction outweighs." i mean i won't vote for "genocide good.")
if there's anything i didn't mention or you have any questions, feel free to email me! if there's anything i can do to make debate more accessible for you, let me know! i really love debate and i coach because i want to make debate/the community a better place; please don't hesitate to reach out if there's anything you need.
Please feel free to email with questions!
A bit about me: I'm a PhD student in History. I have degrees in International Studies and PoliSci. DId PF in high school.
I will always do my best to minimize intervention within the round — this is your time to be creative with your arguments and to have fun with developing your own style of debate.
I am generally open to any arguments, but especially love to see how far left you can go with each argument.
If you treat novices/obviously less-experienced debaters with anything but the same respect you'd want in a round, you will not pick up my ballot. Debate is an educational activity. I really value debaters who try their best to interpret the debate in the most humane and just way possible. I will not tolerate homophobic, sexist, racist, etc. arguments in debate.
Please refer to Charles Karcher's paradigm!
I don't encourage you to speak quickly if it's a virtual tournament - hardly anyone speaks clearly enough for it to translate well over a Zoom/Jitsi call. However, speaking quickly is different than spreading. If you spread (which if fine with me), send over the doc first or else I won't be able to flow.
If you don't contextualize the argument, I will do it myself and you don't want that. also please engage with the framework debate as soon as it's brought up in round.
YOU CANNOT AND WILL NOT WILL EVERY ARGUMENT. Collapse, collapse, collapse.
The earlier you start weighing, the better the round will be for you. I won't weigh anything in FF if it's not in summary (please condense and weigh impacts in these two speeches rather than going line-by-line.)
Please answer defense.
If you bring theory/spreading into a PF round, I will automatically drop you and your speaks will be a 25.
Feel free to email me with any questions about my paradigm
Only send speech docs to Powell.email@example.com
ASK FOR POLICY PARADIGM - The paradigm below is designed mostly for LD. Some things change for me when evaluating the different events/styles of debate. Also when you ask please have specific questions. Saying "What's your paradigm?", will most likely result in me laughing at you and/or saying ask me a question.
About Me: I graduated from Crowley High School in 2013, where I debated LD for three years mostly on the TFA/TOC circuit. I ran everything from super stock traditional cases to plans/counterplans to skepticism, so you probably can't go wrong with whatever you want to run.I debated at The University of Texas at Dallas, in college policy debate for 3 years. I currently teach and coach at Greenhill School. Running any sort of Morally repugnant argument can hurt you, if you're not sure if your argument will qualify ask me before we begin and I'll let you know.
Speed: I can flow moderately fast speeds (7-8 on a scale of 10), but obviously I'll catch more and understand more if you're clear while spreading. I'll say "clear"/"slow" twice before I stop attempting to flow. If I stop typing and look up, or I'm looking confused, please slow down!! Also just because I can flow speed does not mean I like hearing plan texts and interpretations at full speed, these things should be at conversational speed.
Cross Examination: While in front of me cx is binding anything you say pertaining to intricacies in your case do matter. I don't care about flex prep but I will say that the same rules of regular cx do apply and if you do so your opponent will have the chance to do so. Also be civil to one another, I don't want to hear about your high school drama during cx if this happens you will lose speaker points.
Prep Time: I would prefer that we don't waste prep time or steal it. If you're using technology (i.e. a laptop, tablet, or anything else) I will expect you to use it almost perfectly. These things are not indicative of my decision on the round rather they are pet peeves of mine that I hate to see happen in the round. I hate to see rounds delayed because debaters don't know how to use the tools they have correctly.UPDATE. You need to flow. The excessive asking for new speech docs to be sent has gotten out of hand. If there are only minor changes or one or two marked cards those are things you should catch while flowing. I can understand if there are major changes (3 or more cards being marked or removed) or new cards being read but outside of this you will get no sympathy from me. If you are smart and actually read this just start exempting things. I don't look at the speech doc I flow. If you opponent doesn't catch it so be it. If this happens in rounds I am judging it will impact your speaker points. If you would like a new doc and the changes are not excessive per my definition you are free to use your own prep time, this will not effect your speaker points.
Theory: I don't mind theory debates - I think theory can be used as part of a strategy rather than just as a mechanism for checking abuse. However, this leniency comes with a caveat; I have a very low threshold for RVI's (i.e. they're easier to justify) and I-meet arguments, so starting theory and then throwing it away will be harder provided your opponent makes the RVI/I-meet arguments (if they don't, no problem). While reading your shell, please slow down for the interpretation and use numbering/lettering to distinguish between parts of the shell!
Also theory debates tend to get very messy very quickly, so I prefer that each interpretation be on a different flow. This is how I will flow them unless told to the otherwise. I am not in the business of doing work for the debaters so if you want to cross apply something say it. I wont just assume that because you answered in one place that the answer will cross applied in all necessary places, THAT IS YOUR JOB.
- Meta-Theory: I think meta-thoery can be very effective in checking back abuses caused by the theory debate. With that being said though the role of the ballot should be very clear and well explained, what that means is just that I will try my hardest not to interject my thoughts into the round so long as you tell me exactly how your arguments function. Although I try not to intervene I will still use my brain in round and think about arguments especially ones like Meta-Theory. I believe there are different styles of theory debates that I may not be aware of or have previously used in the past, this does not mean I will reject them I would just like you to explain to me how these arguments function.
Speaks: I start at a 27 and go up (usually) or down depending on your strategy, clarity, selection of issues, signposting, etc. I very rarely will give a 30 in a round, however receiving a 30 from me is possible but only if 1) your reading, signposting, and roadmaps are perfect 2) if the arguments coming out of your case are fully developed and explained clearly 3) if your rebuttals are perfectly organized and use all of your time wisely 4) you do not run arguments that I believe take away from any of these 3 factors. I normally don't have a problem with "morally questionable" arguments because I think there's a difference between the advocacies debaters have or justify in-round and the ones they actually support. However, this will change if one debater wins that such positions should be rejected (micropol, etc). Lastly, I do not care if you sit or stand while you speak, if your speech is affected by your choice I will not be lenient if you struggle to stand and debate at the same time. UPDATE. If you spend a large chunk of time in your 1AC reading and under-view or spikes just know I do not like this and your speaks may be impacted. This is not a model of debate I want to endorse.
General Preferences: I need a framework for evaluating the round but it doesn't have to be a traditional value-criterion setup. You're not required to read an opposing framework (as the neg) as long as your offense links somewhere. I have no problem with severing out of cases (I think it should be done in the 1AR though). NIBs/pre standards are both fine, but both should be clearly labeled or I might not catch it. If you're going to run a laundry list of spikes please number them. My tolerance of just about any argument (e.g. extinction, NIBS, AFC) can be changed through theory.
Kritiks and Micropol: Although I do not run these arguments very often, I do know what good K debate looks like. That being said I often see Kritiks butchered in LD so run them with caution. Both should have an explicit role of the ballot argument (or link to the resolution). For K's that are using postmodern authors or confusing cards, go more slowly than you normally would if you want me to understand it and vote on it.
Extensions and Signposting: Extensions should be clear, and should include the warrant of the card (you don't have to reread that part of the card, just refresh it). I not a fan of "shadow extending," or extending arguments by just talking about them in round - please say "extend"!! Signposting is vital - I'll probably just stare at you with a weird look if I'm lost.
Some of the information above may relate to paper flowing, I've now gone paperless, but many of the same things still apply. If I stop typing for long stretches then I am probably a bit lost as to where you are on the flow.
Current:PhD student @Rice
Past: Mountain House '18, UCLA '22,
For Last Chance Qual:
Debate stock, do flay LD. No spreading. Actually try to talk persuasively, not at 300 wpm.
Efficiency, strategic collapsing, weighing >>> generic card dump
I did PF and believe debate is a game meant to be done with some flair. i’ve judged lots of ld, pf and parli (circuit, trad, whatever) at this point, can handle speed (hit me with your best shot), but I’m also older and don’t spread in my daily life. By the way, the faster you go, the more you should enunciate... People are getting worse and worse at spreading... If you can do LARP, please do LARP. If you don't LARP, procedural arguments are also good (I love T debate), theory is fine, just be clean on the flow and your extensions.. Be mindful that I am not super familiar with it. K's are okay, heed the warnings in bold below.I won't vote on any argument I don't understand; my threshold for voting on something convoluted that you spread at me is much higher. That being said, if you explain a creative, strategic argument well and carefully --> more speaks and my ballot. Entertain me, and you will be rewarded.
"The easiest way to win my ballot is to follow these three rules. Pick an issue and defend against responses constructively with more than just a re-assertion of your argument. Weigh the link against other links and the impact against other impacts. Use this issue to tell a clear story that leaves me confident when I vote."
I study engineering, so I like to consider myself an engineer/scientist in training. if a card is important to my decision, I call for it. If I find that you misrepresented it, put it out of context, whatever, I won't consider it and will tank your speaks. That being said, clever indicts against your opponents' evidence, or knowing their evidence better than they do will majorly help your speaks. Show that mastery of the topic in cross and in your speeches.
Tech >> truth, I can vote on anything and everything, and I don't believe in any form of judge intervention whatsoever. That doesn't mean you should run terrible -ism arguments, just that you can and I will consider it in my decision like any other position. However, my threshold for your opponent to call you out on it and drop it is much, much lower (because these arguments are always objectionable under normative ethics frameworks, and you have to do extra work to prove otherwise, I default normative ethics if there's no FW clash here).
for judging LD/Policy/Parli: **HATE FRIV THEORY and tricks, NOT SUPER FAMILIAR WITH KRITIKAL POSITIONS except very neolib, biopolitics, and especially, THE FEM K. If you run a K, explain it well. I've definitely gotten slower (I'm 5 years out and I no longer coach), so don't spread so quickly that you start foaming at the mouth. I can handle 300-500 wpm (this is different from online debate comfort levels, read that section). Stock issues, case, LARP, love science centered cases --> good. Don't bite each other in cross/flex.
If you run friv theory despite my warnings, and the round becomes a friv theory/trix wash of a massive shitshow on both sides, I will drop the team/debater that read the first shell. Consider yourself warned. ~~
If I stop flowing or put my pen down, you're either going too fast, or you're wasting your time by saying what you are saying, so you should switch strats immediately.
I hate frivolous theory & RVIs, so I have a much higher threshold for voting on it. I prefer case debate, but if you don't wanna do that, that's your call.
It's become clear to me that over the online format, spread is just much more unintelligible than usual. Slow down. Speed is just you compensating for inefficiency, and I'm more receptive to efficiency than anything else. If you are efficient and stay below / around 250 wpm, I will boost your speaker points by a lot. Thank you for adapting to the format.
I'm also a lot more receptive to ableism, speed K args that are triggered by shitty spread in the online format. this is an actual issue and problem that I think matters given the circumstances... Haven't heard a good shell for this, but if you run it, I will like it.
I think first speaking teams are structurally disadvantaged in PF (first summary is arguably the hardest speech to give), so if there is no offense generated in the round, absolute wash, then I default to the first speaking team.
Please weigh. Probability, Scope, and Magnitude. Impact Calculus is good. Weighing needs to start in the summary speech, maybe even the second constructive. In general, good debaters tend to be very good at weighing. Comparative statements are also good: "Even if they win [arg tag], if we win [arg tag], you vote us up because [....]"
NSDA has given summary speeches another minute.. 2nd summary better have defense, both summaries better have comparative weighing. I have a MUCH LOWER tolerance for ships passing in the night now.
Give me a roadmap, and follow it. Signpost frequently. Card by card extensions are good, and please have good warranting. 2nd summary better have defense. Don't be a jerk in x-fire.
On evidence, if a particular card is very important to my decision, I will call for it. If you misrepresented it, then I won't consider the offense/defense it generated on your side. Evidence ethics are terrible in PF. If a team tells me to call for a card, I will call for it. If all your cards seem to be terrible, I'll tank your speaks.
ONLINE PF SPECIFIC PREFS:
PF usually doesn't have emailchains, but since audio can be faulty, people can cut out for a second, please send me and your opponents the case, cut cards should be attached in a separate document (assuming you paraphrased). This saves everyone time when cards are asked to be seen during prep anyway, and I think it's a net good for education + accessibility.
TOC 2023 Conflicts:Scarsdale HS, Sophia Tian, Alice Waters, Selena Teng, Amanda Sun, and Ava Manaker.
- Debate is an educational activity, and I feel completely comfortable ignoring arguments that add no value (or negative value) to the activity. Here is my brightline: if you would not feel comfortable extending an argument unless it were completely conceded, you should not read it.Arguments like evaluate the debate after X speech, Zeno's paradox, Meno's Paradox, etc. (at least the way they're read as one-liners) all fall into this category. You have been warned. On the other hand, I would certainly vote on other types of 'tricks' that are interesting and have good warrants (if your argument is carded from a philosophical journal, for instance, it is probably legitimate). If you can execute this kind of a strategy well, I will likely be impressed and reward your speaks.
- I strongly prefer the type of rounds where debaters extemp smart, intuitive arguments, and make high-level strategy decisions about what to do. On the other hand, if your strategy relies on reading mainly off the doc without any original thinking, I am not the judge for you and your speaks will almost certainly be capped. Essentially, your speaks are a function of how strategic your decisions were and how much original thinking you put into the round.
- Check out the Circuit Debater Library wiki for explanations on all of the most common LD arguments!
Hey, I'm Zach, and I debated for Scarsdale High School '21 in LD, where I broke at the TOC twice. I currently attend Princeton '25, pursuing a major in computer science and minors in philosophy and mathematics.
I have the most experience judging theory and philosophical framework debates. I have less experience judging policy and K debates, although I will do my best to evaluate all rounds in a non-interventionist manner. I feel fine judging clash debates (e.g. policy v K) but you might not want me in the back of the room if the round comes down to a technical policy debate.
- Arguments must have a claim, warrant, and impact. If I do not understand the warrant of an argument or do not believe it to justify the claim, I will not vote on it. I won't vote on extended arguments if I don't catch them in previous speeches.
- I will attempt to default to the assumptions made by debaters in the round. However, if this seems unclear, on theory, I will default to fairness, education, competing interps, no RVIs, and drop the debater, and on substance, truth testing with presumption and permissibility negating.
- I will not vote on out of round violations that, if contested, provide no clear way to resolve who is correct. That means I will not check the wiki or any other source external to the debate round, and in many cases, I will drop the violation in question if I feel there is no objective way to determine who is correct.
- I will follow the NSDA guide when evaluating evidence ethics concerns. If you want to stake the round on an issue, you may, but know that A. I strongly prefer you debate the concern in round, and B. If you stake the round, win, but I feel the violation is frivolous (e.g. ellipses, brackets that don't change the meaning of the card, etc.), your speaks will be capped.
- I will not vote on argument extensions that logically prevent the opponent from responding by being reliant upon the truth value of the original argument (e.g. extending no neg arguments by saying the neg's responses don't apply because they are neg arguments) because the original argument could only be true if the original argument could take out responses to itself, which is circular.
- Try to have some fun! Debate can become monotonous, and I'm sure everyone would benefit from having a more entertaining round (including your speaks).
Background: PF @ Mountain House High School '19, Economics @ UC Berkeley '22, incoming @ Berkeley Law '26. This is my 4th year judging.
THREE ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS BEFORE YOU READ THE REST OF MY PARADIGM:
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
I will NOT entertain postrounding from coaches. This is absolutely embarassing and if it is egregious I will report you to tab. Postrounding from competitors must be respectful and brief.
I am a former PF debater and I still think like one. That means I highly value simple, coherent argumentation that is articulated at at least a somewhat conversational speed.
In my view, debate is an activity that at the end of the day is supposed to help you be able to persuade the average person into agreeing with your viewpoints and ideas. I really dislike how debate nowadays, especially LD, has become completely gamified and is completely detached from real life. Because of this, I am not partial to spread, questionable link chains that we both know won’t happen, theory (unless there is actual abuse) or whatever debate meta is in vogue. I care more about facts and logic than anything else. You are better served thinking me of a good lay judge than a standard circuit judge
That doesn’t mean I do not judge on the merits of arguments or their meaning, but how you present them certainly matters to me because my attention level is at or slightly above the average person (my brain is broken because of chronic internet and social media usage, so keep that in mind).
I will say tech over truth, but truth can make everyone’s life easier. The less truth there is, the more work you have to do to convince me. And when it’s very close, I’m probably going to default to my own biases (subconscious or not), so it’s in your best interest to err on the side of reality. This means that you should make arguments with historical and empirical context in mind, which as a college educated person, I’m pretty familiar with and can sus out things that are not really applicable in real life. But if you run something wild and for whatever reason your opponent does not address those arguments as I have just described, I will grant you the argument.
You should weigh, give me good impact calculus (probability, magnitude, scope, timeframe, etc), and most importantly, TELL ME HOW TO VOTE AND WHY! Do not trust me to understand things between the lines.
More points that I agree with from my friend Vishnu's paradigm:
"I do not view debate as a game, I view it almost like math class or science class as it carries tremendous educational value. There are a lot of inequities in debate and treating it like a game deepens those inequities.
Other than this, have fun, crack jokes, reference anecdotes and be creative.
There is honestly almost 0 real world application to most progressive argumentation, it bars accessibility to this event and enriches already rich schools.
Basically: debate like it's trad LD."
SPEAKER POINT SCALE
Was too lazy to make my own so I stole from the 2020 Yale Tournament. I will use this if the tournament does not provide me with one:
29.5 to 30.0 - WOW; You should win this tournament
29.1 to 29.4 - NICE!; You should be in Late Elims
28.8 to 29.0 - GOOD!; You should be in Elim Rounds
28.3 to 28.7 - OK!; You could or couldn't break
27.8 to 28.2 - MEH; You are struggling a little
27.3 to 27.7 - OUCH; You are struggling a lot
27.0 to 27.2 - UM; You have a lot of learning to do
below 27/lowest speaks possible - OH MY; You did something very bad or very wrong
Debated at Downtown Magnets High School for 4 years
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
TLDR: Open to any argument. Spreading OK. Don't be sexist/racist/homophobic etc.
Updates for TOC
- I don't like tricks
- For phil, I need it to be really clear. I don't understand unexplained abstract philosophies, even if it's Kant. Impact comparison still matters
- Phil + Tricks = :(
- Perms are encouraged against the Kritik, many debaters in LD don't perm them and idk why
- Quality > Quantity
- Spreading is fine, but be clear
- Don't clip cards, if there is evidence of clipping I will end the round and give a win to the other team
- Flashing/emailing isn't prep but please don't take forever
- If you're reading theory slow down a bit, and tell me if you want it on a new sheet
- Dropped arguments are true arguments, but they still have to be impacted out
- I'll weigh a performance the same as evidence, I will flow it too
- Debate is whatever you tell me it is (If the negative reads framework and claims debate is a game..and the aff has no response..then it's a game)
- I have read arguments like death good, I think these are legitimate arguments. Don't shy away from running weird things in front of me. As long as you aren't racist/sexist/homophobic you're fine.
Traditional Affs: I like comprehensive, well-thought-out advantages compared to 7 advantages that all end in nuke war or something. Make sure you give me some type of framing in the 1AC so that I know how I should weigh the aff vs the negs off case, and always use your framing against their off case (please).
Kritikal Affs: I won't vote on it just because you read it. The most important thing for me is an explanation of how the affirmative relates to the topic and how the particular survival strategy/method/epistemology/etc is important for debate. If there is no connection to the topic, I will not shy away from pulling the trigger on T. Kritikal affs that connect to your identity are cool too, but don't make it seem like you're using the oppression of x group for a ballot. If I don't know what the aff does, I'm not voting for it. An advocacy statement of some sort is probably good here.
Performance: The most important thing about performances is that they should be used as arguments. If the 1AC has a performance of some sort, the 2AC should use that performance offensively. If the performance gets lost, I'll probably be skeptical of the 2AR bringing it back up. For the negative, you should press them on the performance in some way. Arguments about performances being bad for debate are legit, but make sure they have an actual argument behind them. For example, "this isn't theatre, this is debate" is not a good answer to a performance.
Kritikal Affs vs the K: The aff should always perm the kritik. There's a good chance that your theories aren't 100% mutually exclusive. I don't buy the "this is a method debate so no perms" argument, but if it goes conceded coming out of a 1AR/2AR then I will evaluate it. The aff should also explain why the perm is necessary and why the negative's theory alone fails. For the negative, you should be winning a strong link to the affirmative and a reason why the alternative is mutually exclusive to the advocacy.
Framework vs the K aff: I'm not biased towards the affirmative in these debates (despite my history of running kritikal arguments). I do think framework is valuable, and seeing people debate the way they believe debate should be is always fun. If there is no TVA I'm more sympathetic to voting aff, but if there's no answer to the TVA I'm definitely voting neg. Fairness is an okay standard but I prefer arguments along the lines of truth testing, stasis args, and deliberation. Tailoring your framework to have benefits like grassroots activism and legalism good arguments are also persuasive. Framework is a definitely a viable strategy in front of me against a kritikal affirmative, but make sure there are also arguments that engage the case. For the aff, "They are excluding us" isn't really an answer to framework (please don't make this argument), but proving why their frameowork is sexist/racist/homophobic/etc. is good offense against the framework. I prefer affirmatives to defend their model of debate. Why should we be able to talk about things only tangentially related to the topic? Why is posing a hypothetical policy implementation bad for debate? These are questions I'll probably be thinking of as the 2AC answers the framework flow. Disads to their model are good leverage, but make sure to answer every standard on the flow. Also, counter interps are nice.
Kritiks: For Kritiks please have multiple clear links to the affirmative. A generic link that you have can always be contextualized to the aff, so try to contextualize each link to the affirmative. A specific link should also be contextualized against the affirmative. Please explain what your alternative is and have a framing that doesn't contradict the alternative. I find that the key arguments to a criticism are usuallly framing/framework, link, impact, alternative, permutation. If a team concedes a framing, I'm most likely voting for the other team. For example, if the Aff reads framing about how specific scenario analysis is good for policy making and broad structural criticisms are bad, I would say they are ahead of the K debate (given that the negative concedes their framing). I'm also okay with teams kicking the alternative and going for the links as case turns, but you must tell me to kick it. I won't kick it for you. Also, "fiat is illusory" isn't really a winning argument. Also, please explain the K. Even if I heard your criticism before, a shallow explanation of the K won't help you win the flow.
Disadvantages: For DAs, I prefer specific links. Internal links are appreciated, but not necessary. Recent DAs are probably better than older ones, make sure the uniqueness and answers to uniqueness are recent for these debates. I think the uniqueness can overwhelm the link in some cases, and I am open to impact turning if you persuade me (nuke war good? Sure why not). Disadvantages should have impact calculus and turn the case in some way. The affirmative should explain why the disadvantage uniqueness overwhelms the link, why there's no link, no impact, etc. Make sure to spend time to make arguments on the disadvantage because if it's undercovered then I'll probably vote for it. Impact framing/calculus is really important, especially when the disadvantage has an impact of a higher magnitude (like war, or extinction) compared to the affirmative. Explain why your impact is more significant than the Affirmative's impact.
Counter plans/Advocacy: Make sure the counter plan has a net benefit, and tell me what the net benefit is. Advantage CPs are also cool. Consult CPs are legit. If there is a link to the DA and the CP clearly avoids that link, I'll probably vote neg on the counterplan. For Kritikal affs I enjoy counter advocacy debates, still explain the net benefit though. I'm not particularly fond of counterplan theory, but I will vote for it if I feel it's a winning argument.
Topicality: I think T is a good strategy, especially if the aff is blatantly not topical. If the aff seems topical, I will probably err aff on reasonability. Both sides should explain and compare interpretations and standards. Standards should be impacted out, basically explain why it's important that they aren't topical. The Aff needs a counter interpretation, without one I vote neg on T (unless it's kicked).
Theory: I will vote for it. Just make sure you slow down a lot cause I want to catch what you're saying in the standards. 1AR/2AR with only Condo is viable, but if you're just repeating your standards then I'd say don't. I don't really lean aff or neg when it comes to condo/dispo debates, but I will say that for these debates both teams need to have a clear interpretation that makes sense. The aff should probably say 1 or 2 condo worlds, while the neg should probably argue their specific number of conditional worlds that they read as a counter interpretation. I lean neg on CP theory, I generally think the negative gets anything outside of the affirmative. It's up for debate if a PIC/PIK constitutes being outside of the aff.
Speaker Points: Speaker awards make this activity a little less shitty so I will try to give high speaks.
Hi I'm Jalyn (she/her/hers), I go to UCLA and debated for WDM Valley in LD for ~7 years. I have experience on both the nat and trad circuits. I've dabbled in pf and policy but don't consider myself adept at judging those.
UPDATES FOR TOC: My conflicts are: WDM Valley, Millburn
If there's an email chain, put me on it: firstname.lastname@example.org. In constructives, I don't flow off the doc.
TLDR - LD
Please note first and foremost that I am not that great with postrounding. To clarify, please ask questions about my decision after the round--I want to incentivize good educational practices and defend my decision. However, I really do not respond well to aggression mentally, so please don't yell at me/please treat me and everyone else in the round with basic respect and we should be good!
quick prefs (but please read the rest of the TLDR at least)
2- theory, id pol k/performance, stock k
3- pomo k, LARP
for traditional/novice/jv debate: I'm good with anything!
i honestly do not care what you read as long as the arguments are well justified. less well justified arguments have a lower threshold for response.
I am fine with speed. At online tournaments, please have local recordings of your speeches ready in case there's audio issues/someone disconnects. Depending on tournament rules, I probably can't let you regive your speech if it cuts out, so be prepared. I will say clear/slow.
I rate my flowing ability a 6/10 in that messy and monotonous debates are difficult for me to flow but as long as you're clear in signposting, numbering, and collapsing, we shouldn't have any problems.
I view evaluating rounds as evaluating the highest framing layer of the round as established by the debaters, then evaluating the application of offense to it. In messy debates, i write two RFDs (one for each side) and take the path of least intervention.
i assign speaks based on strategic vision and in round presence (were you an enjoyable person to watch debate?). However, if you make arguments that are blatantly problematic, L20.
Many judges say they don't tolerate racism/sexism/homophobia/ableism/etc, but know that I take the responsibility of creating a safe debate space seriously. If something within a round makes you feel unsafe, whether it be my behavior, your opponent's behavior, or the behavior of anyone else present in that round, email me or otherwise contact me. I'll do my best to work with you to address these problems together.
LONG VERSION - LD
- If a debater stops the round and says "I will stake the round on this evidence ethics challenge" I will follow tournament/NSDA rules and evaluate accordingly (generally resulting in an auto win/loss situation). However, I usually prefer ev ethics challenges are debated out like a theory debate, and I will evaluate it like I evaluate any other shell.
- I really am not a fan of debates over marginal evidence ethics violations. like i really do not care if a single period is missing from a citation.
- I don't hold strong opinions on disclosure norms. Disclosure to some extent is probably good, but I don't really care whether it's open sourced with green highlighting or full text with citations after the card.
- reasonability probably makes sense on a lot of interps
- I strongly dislike being sketchy about disclosure on both sides. Reading disclosure against a less experienced debater without a wiki seems suss. Misdisclosing and lying about the aff is also suss.
- disclosure functions at the same layer as other shells until proven otherwise
- I strongly dislike defaulting. If no paradigm issues or voters are read by either debater in a theory debate, this means I will literally not vote on theory. I don't think this is an unfair threshold to meet, because for any argument to be considered valid, there needs to be a claim, warrant, and impact.
- You can read frivolous stuff in front of me and I will evaluate it as I would any other shell, but more frivolous shells have a lower threshold for response. For more elaboration, see my musings on the tech/truth distinction below.
- Paragraph theory is fine, just make sure that it's clearly labeled (i flow these on separate sheets)
- Combo shells need to have unique abuse stories to the interp. generally speaking, the more planks in a combo shell, the less persuasive the abuse story, and the more persuasive the counterinterp/ i meet.
- "converse of the interp" has never made much sense to me/seems like a cop out, if you say "converse of the interp" please clarify the specific stance that you're taking because otherwise it's difficult to hold you to the text of the CI
- overemphasize the text of the interp and names of standards so i don't miss anything
- you can make implicit weighing claims in the shell, but extend explicit weighing PLEASE
- RVIs make less sense on T than they do on other shells, so an uphill battle
- T and theory generally function on the same layer for me but I can be persuaded otherwise
- Good/unique TVAs are underutilized, so make them. best type of terminal defense on T IMO
- altho I read a ton of K affs my jr year, I fall in the middle of the K aff/TFW divide.
- if you're going to collapse on T, please actually collapse. don't reread the shell back at me for 2 minutes.
- see above for my takes on defaults
- I am more familiar with asian american, fem, and cap (dean, marx, berardi), but have a decent understanding of wilderson, wynter, tuck and yang, deleuze, anthro, mollow, edelman, i'm sure theres more im forgetting, but chances are I've heard of the author you're reading. I don't vote on arguments I couldn't explain back at the end of the round. if the 1ar/2nr doesn't start off with a coherent explanation of the theory of power, I can't promise you'll like my decision.
- buzzwords in excess are filler words. they're fine, but if you can't explain your theory of power without them, I'm a lot less convinced you actually know what the K says.
- some combination of topical and generic links is probably the best
- i find material examples of the alt/method more persuasive than buzzwordy mindsets. give instances of how your theory of power explains subjectivity/violence/etc in the real world.
- floating piks need to be at least hinted at in the 1n
- idc if the k aff is topical. if it isn't, i need a good reason why it's not/a reason why your advocacy is good.
- you should understand how your lit reads in the following broad categories: theory of the subject, theory of knowledge, theory of violence, ideal/nonideal theory, whether consequences matter, and be able to interact these ideas with your opponent
- the type of debate I grew up on. NC/AC debates are criminally underrated, call me old school
- I'm probably familiar with every common phil author on the circuit, but don't assume that makes me more amenable to voting on it. if anything i have a higher threshold for well explained phil
- i default epistemic confidence and truth testing (but again. hate defaulting. don't make me do it.)
- that being said, I think that winning framework is not solely sufficient to win you the round. You need to win some offense under that framework.
- i like smart arguments like hijacks, fallacies, metaethical args, permissibility/skep, etc.
- sometimes fw arguments devolve into "my fw is a prereq because life" and "my fw is a prereq because liberty" and those debates are really boring. please avoid circular and underwarranted debates and err on the side of implicating these arguments out further/doing weighing
- Rarely did LARP in LD, but I did do policy for like a year (in 8th/9th grade, and I was really bad, so take this with a grain of salt)
- All CPs are valid, but I think process/agent ones are probably more suss
- yes you need to win a util framework to get access to your impacts
- always make perms on CPs and please isolate net benefits
- please weigh strength of link/internal links
- TLDR I'm comfortable evaluating a LARP debate/I actually enjoy judging them, just please err on overexplaining more technical terms (like I didn't know what functional/textual competition was until halfway through my senior year)
- well explained logical syllogisms (condo logic, trivialism, indexicals, etc) (emphasis on WELL EXPLAINED AND WARRANTED) > blippy hidden aprioris and irrelevant paradoxes
- i dont like sketchiness about tricks. if you have them, delineate them clearly, and be straightforward about it in CX/when asked.
- Most tricks require winning truth testing to win. Don't assume that because i default TT, that i'll auto vote for you on the resolved apriori--I'm not doing that level of work for you.
- warrants need to be coherently explained in the speech that the trick is read. If I don't understand an argument/its implication in the 1ac, then I view the argument (if extended) as new in the 1ar and require a strong development of its claim/warrant/impact
TLDR - CX
I have a basic understanding of policy, as I dabbled in it in high school. Err on the side of overexplanation of more technical terms, and don't assume I know the topic lit (bc I don't!)
Misc. thoughts (that probably won't directly affect how I evaluate a specific round, but just explains how I view debate as a whole)
- tech/truth distinction is arbitrary. I vote on the flow, but truer arguments have a lower threshold for being technically won (ex. the earth is round) and less true arguments have a higher threshold for being technically won (ex. the earth is flat)
- I think ROB/standard function on the same layer (and I also don't think theres a distinction between ROB and ROJ), and therefore, also think that the distinctions between K and phil NCs only differ in the alternative section and the type of philosophy that generally is associated with both
- I highly highly value adapting to less experienced debaters, and will boost your speaks generously if you do. This includes speaking clearly, reading positions and explaining them well, attempting to be educational, and being generally kind in the round. To clarify, I don't think that you have to completely change your strategy against a novice or lay debater, but just that if you were planning on reading 4 shells, read 2 and explain them well. It's infinitely more impressive to me to watch a debater be flex and still win the round than to make the round exclusionary for others.
- docbots are boring to me. I just don't like flowing monotonous spreading for 6 minutes of a 2n on Nebel, and it's not educational for anyone in the round to hear the same 2n every other round. lower speaks for docbots.
- I will not evaluate arguments that ask me to vote for/against someone because they are of a certain identity group or because of their out of round performances. I feel that oversteps the authority of a judge to make decisions ad hominem about students in the activity
- pet peeve when people group permissibility/presumption warrants together. THEY'RE TWO DIFFERENT CONCEPTS.
- this list will keep expanding as I continue to muse on my debate takes
As a debater: 4 years HS debate in Missouri, 4 years NDT-CEDA debate at the University of Georgia
Since then: coached at the University of Southern California (NDT-CEDA), coached at the University of Wyoming (NDT-CEDA), worked full-time at the Chicago UDL
Now: Math teacher and debate coach at Solorio HS in the Chicago UDL
College Email Chains: email@example.com
HS Email Chains, please use: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Clarity > speed: Clarity helps everyone. Please slow down for online debate. You should not speak as fast as you did in person. Much like video is transmitted through frames rather than continuous like in real life, sound is transmitted through tiny segments. These segments are not engineered for spreading.
2. Neg positions: I find myself voting more often on the "top part" of any neg position. Explain how the plan causes the DA, how the CP solves the case (and how it works!), and how the K links to the aff and how the world of the alt functions. Similarly, I prefer CPs with solvency advocates (and without a single card they are probably unpredictable). I love when the K or DA turns the case and solves X impact. If you don't explain the link to the case and how you get to the impact, it doesn't matter if you're winning impact calculus.
3. K affs: Despite my tendency to read plans as a debater, if you win the warrants of why it needs to be part of debate/debate topic, then I'll vote on it. As a coach and judge, I read far more critical literature now than I did as a debater. My extensive voting history is on here. Do with that what you will.
4. Warrants: Don't highlight to a point where your card has no warrants. Extend warrants, not just tags. If you keep referring to a specific piece of evidence or say "read this card," I will hold you to what it says, good or bad. Hopefully it makes the claims you tell me it does.
1. Don't be rude in cross-x. If your opponent is not answering your questions well in cross-x either they are trying to be obnoxious or you are not asking good questions. Too often, it's the latter.
2. Questions about what your opponent read belong in cross-x or prep time. You should be flowing.
3. While we are waiting for speech docs to appear in our inboxes, I will often fill this time with random conversation for 3 reasons:
i. To prevent prep stealing,
ii. To get a baseline of everyone's speaking voice to appropriately assign speaker points and to appropriately yell "clear" (if you have a speech impediment, accent, or other reason for a lack of clarity to my ears, understanding your baseline helps me give fair speaker points),
iii. To make debate rounds less hostile.
High School LD Specific:
Values: I competed in a very traditional form of LD in high school (as well as nearly every speech and debate event that existed back then). I view values and value criterions similarly to framing arguments in policy debate. If you win how I should evaluate the debate and that you do the best job of winning under that interpretation, then I'll happily vote for you.
Ballot Writing: LD speeches are short, but doing a little bit of "ballot writing" (what you want me to say in my reason for decision) would go a long way.
Public Forum Specific:
I strongly believe that Public Forum should be a public forum. This is not the format for spreading or policy debate jargon. My policy background as a judge does not negate the purpose of public forum.